Black Boxes That Are Credit Scores

The concept of a Black Boxes is actually derived from the science and engineering fields. Specifically, Black Boxes are defined as something that you can view externally, but have no understanding of how it works internally. The same concept can be applied to credit scores, as many consumers just take note of the three-digit score that they get, yet have no idea of how – and why – it is what it is.

A Google search will quickly provide you with how the FICO score is calculated, but consumer beware – there’s also a lot of misinformation about credit scores and scoring formulas on the Internet as well. You could say that the formula itself behind the credit score isn’t that big of a mystery. The mystery is how that formula is navigated and what parts of it are stressed by the consumer. This post is designed to help you better debunk the black boxes when it comes to credit scores.

Black Boxes that are Credit Scores In a Nutshell

As you likely know, your credit score is essential to getting approved for a mortgage, auto loan, student loan and more. But what you might not know is that there’s more than just one credit score. In fact, while the FICO score is the most popular, there are dozens of credit scores that lenders may choose from based on the data that is reported to the three major credit bureaus. Because of the various different credit scores, and the fact that new formulas are always coming out, this confuses people. It’s why we encourage consumers to pull their credit report at least once a year and pay more attention to the data – not necessarily the three digit number that they get. Understanding the data is what’s really important when it comes to determining whether or not you have good credit – and how you can improve your credit score.

A Credit Repair Plan

Say you want to buy a home, but your credit isn’t good enough to get approved for a mortgage. Or maybe you want to further elevate your credit score so you can lock in a lower interest rate. That’s where a credit repair plan is necessary, as you need to know what your current score is and how much you need to elevate it to meet your goal. This is the point where the “3 Ups” come into play:

  • Clean Up
  • Build Up
  • Pay Up

Before you can truly put a credit repair plan into place, you need to know why your score is what it is, and make a plan to clean it up accordingly. After this, you need to analyze ways that will allow you to build your credit back up. And then, finally, there’s likely to be debts that you have to pay off in order to get your debt-to-credit ratio to at or below 30 percent to really notice an improvement on your score.

back breaking debt issues

Mortgage Loans – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Mortgages are an almost inextricable part of the American dream. If you are going to own a home, it’s nearly impossible to do it without one. But, how much do you know about this American right of passage? Learn a little more about this very common commitment below:

  1. One of the earliest mortgage agreements can be traced to ancient India, where a set of laws called the Code of Manu forbid deceptive lending.
  2. Unfair debt practices have, it seems, always been part of the human experience. In Dante’s Inferno, a special circle of Hell (the seventh) was reserved for lenders who charged usurious rates or misled borrowers. Usury is specifically forbidden in both Biblical and Jewish Talmudic law.
  3. Many scholars believe that the word mortgage comes from the old French terms mort and gage. This literally translates as “dead pledge.” The pledge would “live” until a debt had been paid in full or it had been determined that the borrower was unable to pay.
  4. The modern mortgage did not come into being before the 1930s. Before that, homeownership was difficult and expensive. Most mortgages before then required a 50 percent down payment. Then, the buyer would make payments on the loan over a period of five years. At the end, the balance would be paid off in a massive balloon payment. This was out of many people’s reach, and only about 40% of Americans owned the homes they lived in.
  5. In the US before the Great Depression, people with mortgages had to renegotiate their interest rates every year.
  6. During the Depression, almost one in ten homes faced foreclosure. This rash of defaults on home loans only deepened the country’s instability and led to reforms in how loans could be written.
  7. Modern mortgages were an innovation of the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA instituted policies where down payments only needed to be equal to 10 to 20 percent of the home’s value and buyers were judged on their ability to pay rather than having an in with a banker.
  8. During the second World War, the GI Bill was amended to offer attractive loans to veterans. The terms included low interest rates and down payments as low as 5 percent. This stimulated the housing market and led to greater levels of home ownership.
  9. Until the eighties, mortgages were all fixed-rate, with predictable payments. The adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was introduced so buyers could be enticed with low introductory payments.
  10. Over 35 percent of people who had ARMs before the housing crash of 2007 did not know whether their mortgage rates had a cap. This lack of knowledge caused a lot of sticker shock, with people having payments that sometimes doubled.

Mortgages are a tool that make home owner ship possible for hundreds of thousands of people. Be sure to learn the facts about your home loan to make the most of your home owner ship dreams.