Understanding How Credit Works For Your Borrower
One of the key concerns a borrower may have about credit checks is how it will impact their overall credit score.
There are typically two types of credit checks: Soft and Hard.
A soft credit inquiry typically occurs where you check your own credit or when a lender checks your credit for a pre-approval for a loan. Soft hits won’t impact credit at all, so both the borrower and lender benefit from gaining this information – without adversely affecting the borrower’s credit score.
Hard credit checks are more thorough and usually occurs when a lender reviews your full credit report as part of their decision-making process in approving your loan. Hard hits are now being grouped together by Equifax to minimize the impact of the overall credit credit score. For example, a client goes to a car dealership and applies for a car loan. The finance person then applies at a number of financing companies. These companies are now grouped together, as they recognize a client is shopping for something specific so there is lower impact. The same would apply to mortgages as well.
Pront-O, Ownest’s financing approval engine, instantly determines a borrower’s creditworthiness using a soft credit check.
The borrower simply answers 8 questions and is pre-approved in an instant – verified with information from Equifax and ranked with the Five Cs of Credit. The borrower benefits because they instantly know how much they can borrow and it doesn’t affect their credit score. The vendor or lender benefits because they know up-front exactly how much the customer can borrow – with no waiting!
How Your Credit Score is Determined
Credit reports hold the latest 7 years of history, so inquiries would be present on your credit report for that long. As to how much impact this has, there is really no way to to know exactly – although the impact is minimal. However, if a client is seeking credit and applies for a car, mortgage and a credit card all at the same time, it could have a bigger impact.
What is a FICO Score?
A FICO Score is simply another type of credit score, which is widely used by top lenders. It formulates a borrower’s credit score based on five predictive variables.
The predictive variables that factor into a FICO Score is based on the following criteria:
- Payment History – 35%
- The Amounts you owe – 30%
- Length of Credit History – 15%
- New Credit – 10%
- Types of Credit in use – 10%
- Credit Score is only one factor in assessing an individual’s creditworthiness
- Delinquency scores do not say that a specific individual is a good or bad customer
- Lenders have their own unique adjudication strategies
Only small changes are needed to move a credit score or make significant changes.
Whether it’s driven by gradual score changes over time, or shock factors, they can impact clients scores immediately.
Examples of gradual score changes:
- Small changes in balance/utilization
- EG: A 25% increase in credit card balance, may only see a 5pt to 10pt change in score
- Age of trades on credit files
- EG: A 3 year-old trade vs a brand new one can see a 10pt difference
- Depth of credit file history
- EG: increased history & trade volumes provides more confidence in the stability of an individual’s credit behaviour
- Examples of Shock factors score changes such as:
- Missed payments/delinquency
- EG: 80% of consumers with no delinquency ever score 685 to 850;
- 80% of consumers with current delinquency score 450 to 700
- Very large balance/utilization changes
- EG: Moving from 0% utilization on a credit card to 90% could lead to a drop in score over 100 points
- Significant increase in level of inquiry/applications
- Moving from no inquiries in the last 12 months in a short time frame to 10 or more across multiple products, could lead to a drop in score. Recent payment deferrals are a key requirement for maintaining a borrowers’ credit score. It takes over 6 months to recover from the pre-crisis level.
Fico Scores range from 300 – 900, the higher the score the lower the credit risk while the lower score the higher the credit risk. Each lender has their own lending criteria when approving applications.
- Score Range: 800 or Higher; Rating: Exceptional; Demonstrates: Borrower is exceptional
- Score Range: 720 – 799; Rating: Very Good; Demonstrates: Borrower is very dependable
- Score Range: 640 – 719; Rating: Good; Demonstrates: Borrower has a good score
- Score Range: 580 – 639; Rating: Fair; Demonstrates: Borrower has okay score
- Score Range: <579; Rating: Poor; Demonstrates: Borrower is risky
Want To Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about credit and mortgages, or what Ownest can do for you, contact us below.