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A Quick Trick to Boost Fico Scores Used in Mortgage Lending by 10-20 points


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Hello Everyone!


This is my first time posting to the Mortgage section of CB.


I am looking for strategies/tricks to boost my FICO scores most commonly used by mortgage lenders (i.e. Experian FICO 2, TransUnion FICO 4, Equifax FICO 5) by about 10-20 points in 2-3 weeks time.


In other words, I need something to post by the end of month that would move my scores by 10-15 points.


I have studied in detail the threads about the installment loan trick (which some people previously referred to as the Alliant CU installment loan trick) as I currently have 0 installment loans. For those who don't know, the trick works as follows: you open an installment loan (can be a share secured loan but ideally without a hard inquiry), immediately pay it down to <9% and then get the benefit of about 10-20 points due to a more diversified credit profile without showing much new debt.


However, I have some reservations about this trick. My hesitation with this trick is two-fold:


  • Opening a new line right before the mortgage approval may not be viewed as favorable during manual underwriting. Although I don't think it would matter since I can make it just $500 line paid to a $50 balance. So I think this would not be a concern.
  • More, importantly, I am not sure if this strategy works for mortgage-specific FICO models such Experian FICO 2 (as opposed to let's say FICO 8 model)

Question: Does anyone have experience with using the installment loan trick to boost their mortgage FICO scores such as Experian FICO 2 scores? Did it work?


Thank you very much in advance!!

Edited by seattlecredit
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a lot depends on why your scores are not higher already.


paying down revolving balances and getting CLIs (i.e., managing utilization) is generally the fasted way to increase FICO scores.


This definitely makes sense. The specific case is that I am trying to increase my middle mortgage FICO score up by the first week of next month and I have exhausted all other strategies such as optimizing my revolving lines using AZEO, etc.


I am hunting for about 10-12 FICO points and the only thing that I could come up with that has a remote promise to give a boost by next month is the installment loan trick.


I have already added 2 AUs. I could potentially find someone who could offer me 1 more AU but I am not sure if it will do anything.


Of course, if there any any other tactics that people have used, I would be very interested to learn about those.



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as the quote from Medelssohn says, the installment loan route isn't likely to help. Moreover, the score impact of a new account may defeat your purpose.


what reasons does FICO give you for why your score is not higher?


Experian FICO 2 model (which I am trying to optimize) is giving me these reasons:


  • You have a serious delinquency (60 days past due or greater) or derogatory indicator on your credit report.
  • You've made heavy use of your available revolving credit
  • You have one or more accounts showing missed payments or derogatory indicators.
  • You have past due amounts on your accounts.

These reasons are all related to two very old charged off accounts, not old enough to fall off but old enough to be considered derogatory (5-6 years old). All open/new accounts have perfect history and close to 0% utilization per AZEO. Further, they are too old to consider paying them off.


At this point, I am just trying to see if there is any anecdotal evidence that would either confirm or refute the notion that installment accounts can give a slight (i.e. 10-20 points) boost to FICO scoring models used by mortgage lenders (e.g. Experian FICO 2).



Edited by seattlecredit
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  • 5 weeks later...

Depending on how much you owe on the current cards, if you're near a utilization threshold (90%, 70% 50% 30% 10%), you could pay down the current things until your TOTAL utilization is below the next utilization threshold. That should give you some points. Alternately, see if you can get an inquiry free CLI on any of your open and active lines.

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I am having the same prob I cant get fico 2 to budge even with credit line increases. I have old late mort payments and 4 paid in full old collections. Im at 646 and need 680 for our construction loan. I am wondering how long the dispute process will take on those derogatories?

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