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Field Guide to Credit Scoring

(Updated September 2013)

Credit scoring has become a serious issue in the lending community and it can affect your ability to obtain or refinance your next mortgage. Credit scoring systems can gauge a mortgage applicant's credit rating and assign an interest rate and risk value based upon information provided in the loan application. Credit scoring offers several advantages. It provides quick recommendations while taking human judgment out of the equation. Credit scoring also is extremely efficient and, usually, inexpensive. This updated field guide includes articles and books relating to credit scoring. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)

Information From NAR

Credit Scores and Reporting, (National Association of REALTORS®).

NAR Credit Policy, (Government Affairs, National Association of REALTORS®, June 2011).

Credit Tight? Fannie and Freddie FICO Scores are Still High, (Economists Outlook, National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 14, 2011).

7 Common Credit Report Mistakes, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Feb. 2009).

Rx for Consumers' Credit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Jan. 2009).

6 Ways to Quickly Boost Credit Scores, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, July 20, 2007).

What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, n.d.).

5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, n.d.).

Credit Scoring Basics

Who’s Got Your Back When Your Credit Report is Wrong?, (HouseLogic, Mar. 19, 2014).

6 Weird Ways You Could Hurt Your Credit Score, (OfficialWire, Sept. 9, 2013).

How long can your credit score go?, (Today, Aug. 15, 2013).

Credit scores continue to confound consumers, (Realty Times, May 22, 2013).

Will the real credit score please stand up?, (Realty Times, Oct. 4, 2012).

4 Moves That Can Lower Your Credit Score, (Kiplinger.com, Sept. 2011).

The New Credit Score Rules, (Forbes, Aug. 19, 2011).

Your credit score? You actually have many, (MSN Money, Aug. 18, 2011).

Five Credit Score Secrets of the Young and FICO-Savvy, (Fox Business, Aug. 10, 2011).

9 Seemingly Innocent Ways to Severely Damage Your Credit Score, (InvestigatingAnswers, Aug. 5, 2011).

The Myth of a "True" Credit Score, (U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 3, 2011).

Alternative Credit Scores, (Mortgage Banking, June 2011). Q

Seven Deadly Credit Score Sins, (Realty Times, May 19, 2011).

5 Credit Score Myths Decoded, (CreditSesame.com, Apr. 5, 2011).

What You Should Know About Credit Scores, (Realty Times, Mar. 17, 2011).

Explaining Credit Scores, (Realty Times, Feb. 16, 2011).

Looking Behind the Credit Score: Beware of Shifting Risk, (The RMA Journal, Nov. 2010). Q

Improve your Credit Scores, (Realty Times, Aug. 10, 2010).

Understanding Credit Scores and Reports, (Realty Times, Apr. 12, 2010).

A few quick steps can give you a better credit score, (Washington Business Times, Apr. 17, 2009).

Credit-Score Pitfalls of the Wealthy, (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 17, 2009).

A Credit Score Gets Harder to Find, (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2009).

Credit scores: Which ones do lenders use?, (Consumer Reports, Sept. 2008). Q

Default, Credit Scoring, and Loan-to-Value: A Theoretical Analysis of Competitive and Non-Competitive Mortgage Markets, (The Journal of Real Estate Research, Apr.-June 2008). Q

Is Your Credit Score as High as You Think?, (Realty Times, Feb. 29, 2008).

Seven Steps to a Credit Score Makeover, (Realty Times, July 19, 2007).

Social Media and Credit Scoring

Facebook Isn’t Always Your Friend: Don’t Get Burned By Social Media, (Forbes, Sept. 5, 2013).

Facebook and Credit Scores: Don’t Start Un-Friending Just Yet, (eCreditDaily.com, Sept. 4, 2013).

Social Media May Influence Your Credit Worthiness, (Information Week, Sept. 3, 2013).

Facebook and your credit score, (Long Island Business News, Aug. 30, 2013).

Facebook friends could change your credit score, (CNN Money, Aug. 27, 2013).

Could social media impact your credit?, (Mother Nature Network, Aug. 27, 2013).

A credit score is not as simple as a three-digit number, (The Buffalo News, Aug. 26, 2013).

Keep calm and tweet on: creditors have been sizing you up online for years, (Digital Trends, Sept. 1, 2013).

Why your social media profile might be your next credit score, (VentureBeat, May 26, 2013).

Your Social Networking Credit Score, (Slate, Jan. 30, 2013).

Your Social Score is the New Credit Score, (Huffington Post, Dec. 19, 2012).

Can Social Media Affect Your Credit Score?, (CreditSesame.com, July 10, 2012).

Could That Facebook ‘Like’ Hurt Your Credit Score?, (Time, June 14, 2012).

Banks to Use Social Media Data for Loans and Pricing, (American Banker, Jan. 26, 2012).

Useful Websites

Federal Trade Commission – Free Credit Reports

Fannie Mae

Fair Isaac Corporation

Credit Scoring Organizations

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
Washington, D.C. 20580
Phone: 202-382-4357
email: uce@ftc.gov

Click here for full-text of Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Information Services

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: 800-685-1111
email: customer.care@equifax.com

475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 888-397-3742

Trans Union
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Phone: 800-322-8228

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Credit Repair (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Credit Repair Kit (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score (Adobe eReader)

The Credit Diet: How to Shed Unwanted Debt and Achieve Fiscal Fitness (Adobe eReader)

Credit Repair (Adobe eReader)

Credit Repair Kit for Dummies® (Adobe eReader)

Credit Smart (Adobe eReader)

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Repairing Your Credit (Adobe eReader)

Repair Your Credit and Knock Out Your Debt (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Mortgage rip-offs and money savers: an industry insider explains how to save thousands on your mortgage or re-finance, (John Wiley, 2007). HG 2040.5 W25

Credit road map: a practical guide for navigating your way to good credit, (Success Road Map Press, 2006). HG 3751 R51

Credit risk modeling: theory and application, (Princeton University Press, 2004). HG 3751 L36

Credit scores & credit reports: how the system really works, what you can do, (Privacy Times, Inc., 2004). HG 3751 H46

Home Buying Without the BS!, (Hall Street Press, 2002). HD 1341 T39

Credit risk and mortgage lending, (Arlington, VA: Research Institute for Housing America, 2000). HG 2051 P38

An introduction to credit scoring, (San Rafael, CA: Fair Isaac & Company, 1992). HG 3751 L58

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.