In Real Estate, understanding your FICO scores is important both if you are considering renting or buying.
FICO measures credit-worthiness. Underwriters use three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, to determine your score in the following ways:
1. Delinquencies lower scores, and scores drop when several credit accounts are opened in a short period.
2. A long credit history is better than a new one, and too few revolving accounts makes it harder to evaluate the ability to manage credit.
3. Consumers with “maxed out” cards may have trouble making payments. Too many revolving accounts indicate over-extension.
4. Tax liens, bankruptcies, and use of consumer credit agencies can all lower a FICO score.
5. Small credit card balances and no late payments show responsibility. If you pay more than the minimum try to pay balances with the highest interest rate first.
I highly recommend using Credit Karma, a free service, as an initial start if you don't already use a credit service. Scores are updated monthly and they provide good suggestions for credit.