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Before deciding on what terms they will offer you a loan (which they base on their risk), lenders need to discover two things about you: your ability to repay the loan, and if you will pay it back. To assess whether you can repay, they look at your income and debt ratio. In order to calculate your willingness to repay the mortgage loan, they consult your credit score.
Fair Isaac and Company calculated the original FICO score to assess creditworthiness. We've written more about FICO here.
Credit scores only consider the info in your credit reports. They do not consider income, savings, down payment amount, or factors like sex race, nationality or marital status. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors. "Profiling" was as bad a word when these scores were first invented as it is now. Credit scoring was developed as a way to consider only that which was relevant to a borrower's willingness to repay the lender.
Your current debt load, past late payments, length of your credit history, and other factors are considered. Your score reflects the good and the bad of your credit history. Late payments count against your score, but a record of paying on time will improve it.
To get a credit score, borrowers must have an active credit account with a payment history of at least six months. This payment history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to build an accurate score. Some borrowers don't have a long enough credit history to get a credit score. They may need to spend a little time building a credit history before they apply for a loan.