Credit Score in Philadelphia>Question Details

Inpursuitofa…, Renter in Philadelphia

Can I get a decent mortgage rate without a FICO score? Please help!

Asked by Inpursuitofanswers, Philadelphia Wed May 2, 2012

Hi, I've just found out that the bank (Bank of America) with whom I have a secured credit card since the last 8 months has not been reporting to FICO--despite its stated advertisement to 'build' credit. So all I have are my TransUnion (756) and Experian (755) credit scores (which I suspect are Vantage Scores). I'm thus wondering what my chances are in getting a competitive mortgage? We are first time buyers in the US and have a decent downpayment (around 75-80k). Any advice and suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

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Larry Lichtman’s answer

Chances are you do have a FICO score. The three credit reporting agencies are: 1.) Experian, 2.) Equifax, and 3.)Trans Union. Fair Isaacs is only a scoring system from the data on your 3 reports.

I would suggest you contact a mortgage broker directly so he can discuss all 3 reports, your mid, FICO scores, etc. More importantly, he can tell you the real facts, and make suggestions as to what actions you should take to be able to be pre-approved for a certain amount (a range of house prices from low to high?).

With the amount of money you have saved for a down payment, you should have several options depending on the price range of the homes you are looking for. For an FHA mortgage, you only need 3.5% Down Payment. Since you have a good amount of savings, it may be more beneficial to go with a conventional mortgage. With a larger down payment, you are borrowing less of the total purchase amount and may be able to get a better rate. The larger the Down Payment, the better the rate and terms should be.

Please feel free to call Ed Dubinsky directly at Absolute Home Mortgage at 215-808-5353. You can also e-mail him at He will be glad to review your options and put you on a game plan to get the mortgage pre-approval you desire.

If you would like some further assistance in finding that perfect home and negotiating a good deal for you, please feel free to call me anytime at (267) 254-7994. Have a great weekend.

All the best,
Larry Lichtman
REALTOR, Negotiation Specialist
Cell/Text: (267) 254-7994
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
You should have a FICO score especially if two of your three score are in the 750's
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
I ran your scenario by a reputable lender I work with and they said you could be ok. Definitely discuss with Bank of America that they are not reporting to the third agency but go ahead and get preapproved.

Let me know if you want a referral on a local lender.


Carl Caldas
2200 Walnut St.
Phila, Pa 19103
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Good Evening Inpursuitofanswers,

You may need a private lender to create a portfolio file.

Feel free to call for a confidential talk.

All the Best. John Curci RE/MAX 215-757-2889
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 2, 2012
Suzanne is correct, what u need to do is see where you are now and what you can do further, to better your situation from a mortgage specialist. I have severalI work with in the Philadelphia Area, who are excellent. So if you are interested please give me a call or email. I can definitely refer you to them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 2, 2012
I would contact Bank of America and ask them to report the account. Then I would suggest you contact a local mortgage banker. They may have some ideas how to get this counted. The banker can tell you where you stand right now considering ALL aspects of your current situation, and what, if anything, you need to improve your situation so that you will be able to buy a home as soon as possible. There is a good chance they will even be able to tell you what to do with this secured credit card. By the way, I am not suggesting you contact a big bank, but a small local lender who specializes in writing mortgages. If you don't know one, contact a realtor and ask to be referred.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 2, 2012
Thanks very much for your advice. I've been in touch with BoA since the last few days on this and they're providing me with all sorts of inaccurate and even conflicting information. Anyhow, thanks for replying.
Flag Wed May 2, 2012
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
A lack of FICO score probably means you either have no credit history at all, or a very limited credit history (your credit accounts are less than six months old).

While loan programs such as the FHA allows for you to provide a Lender with an "alternate" credit profile---reference letters from utilities, cellphone providers, furniture stores and such---the reality of today's market is that Lenders want a credit score and a credit history containing at least 2 accounts open and active for twelve months or longer.

In short, you'll need to build a credit profile and obtain a credit score so you can buy a home in the future.

I have found that CONSUMER ACTION is an excellent resource for objective advice on all things credit related. You'll find free and sincere advice on everything from settling collection accounts to rebuilding credit to building credit from scratch on their website.

You can also find great information about building a credit history and obtaining a credit score at

The best way to buy a home is to have a decent credit history combined with sufficient Income and Assets for a home purchase.

The best way to have a decent credit history is to settle negative outstanding obligations and pay all your bills on time for at least two years.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Good Evening Inpursuit,

Before the 2008 Mtg Melt Down Yes.... Now.... Natta...Some banks want your first born....

May I suggest get away from B of A... They Are very toxic with County Wides trash.

For a confidential Conversation please feel free to call us at 215-757-2889

All the Best John + Sheri Curci RE/MAX Properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
Sounds like you have limited accounts on your credit report. Most mortgages require that you have a minimum of 3 accounts on your credit report at least 1 to 2 years old. If not, they will allow for alternative credit which means they will get a letter of credit from your utility, phone, rent history and assign you a credit score. So if you are a first time home buyer with limited credit, its not the score that matters but whether you can provide alternative credit info to your lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
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