A frantic mother called to know why her daughter’s FICO® scores had dropped 30 points within a few weeks. She was told her daughter’s interest rate would be almost ½% higher on a $325,000 loan because of her lower scores.
What happen next is beyond criminal.
Finding out that his client had reached out to a FICO® score expert, the loan officer called and told her that no one would be able to help her raise her scores. Since he himself could not find any way to increase her daughter’s score, no one else could. She would have to just acknowledge she would have to pay more.
The extra costs will hit her pocketbook for an almost an extra $1,000 more annually.
Shame on this loan officer! He lied to her. This happens all the time. It is a sham and it costs many homebuyers thousands of dollars!
An estimated 70% of homebuyers are paying more than they should -- all because their FICO scores could have been higher if they knew what they should do before they close on their mortgage!
They are all inept!
At a meeting of over 50 certified housing counselors, a pointed question was asked; “Do loan officers know how to correctly counsel prospective homebuyers how to improve their credit scores. NOT ONE OF THEM RAISED THEIR HANDS – NOT ONE. One eventually yelled out to the confirmation of all attending, “They are all inept!”
There are two serious points to consider:
- Loan Officers
- Failure to Maximize Client’s Scores
- Loan Officer Exams
Loan officers want you to think they really do know everything about everything, including FICO scores. They don't want you to know differently. Even if they could, they bypass this opportunity for you. It is too distracting. Even if you could lower your monthly payment by $100 or even $200 a month by raising your scores, your loan officer really doesn't care. It doesn't benefit them. It is not making them more money. More importantly to you, it is not your loan officer making the monthly payment. It is you! They want you to close on your mortgage because they want to be paid today.
Mortgage loan officers are NOT certified credit counselors. They are NOT FICO score experts. They may be nice, and they can tell you every mortgage loan guideline, but they can't tell you how to maximize your FICO scores. They may tell you one or two items that raise your FICO scores a few points. But all too often, many more FICO score points higher are left on the table because those solutions are not given to you. Why? Loan officers don't know.
Failure to Maximize Scores
Those of us in the credit counseling and education fields have not found one loan officer that knows all three dozen factors that determine the FICO credit scores. We have run into many lenders who claim they are very knowledgeable, but after a short Q&A session, they always falter to even identify a mere ten factors of the FICO Score.
We run into "knowledgeable" experienced loan officers in a court proceeding as someone's credit expert. It doesn't take long into a deposition or cross examination that these "knowledgeable" loan officer is NOT A CREDIT EXPERT.
If loan officers don’t know all the factors that drive a FICO Score, how can any loan officer identify all your possible solutions to maximize your scores? They can’t! It doesn’t matter how “knowledgeable or experienced“ they are. They are costing you money.
Loan Officer Exams
Having worked on the national SAFE Mortgage Exam committee (and its predecessor) for almost 15 years, I have reviewed the answers to many loan questions. Loan officers always perform poorly when answering credit questions. I have seen their pass rates on basic credit questions consistently in the 20 to 30 percentile.
A more recent set of credit questions have fared no better, I have seen loan officers with successful pass rates from credit questions between 17 and 31%. It is stunning.
Here are some of the recent questions asked of mortgage loan officers and their respective pass rates:
- How long does an inquiry lower a credit score?
- (28% accurate)
- How many days do multiple mortgage lenders have to pull your credit report and only count as one inquiry?
- (17% accurate)
- What is the optimal credit card utilization ratio to maximize a FICO score?
- (22% accurate)
They may give you a suggestion or two that may or may not be right. They just don’t know. As a result, you are left with higher rate and fees, probably adding thousands extra to your mortgage payments.
The best advice for you? Create an account with My Credit Plan, pull your lender’s report and FICO scores, and My Credit Plan identifies many possible personal solutions to higher FICO scores. There is a reason the average score improvement of 73 points far surpasses any other program. It is very extensive. Start an account with My Credit Plan today. You will not regret it.