Your credit score makes all the difference between a loan being approved or declined. It represents the risk a lender takes on when they give you credit and also determines the interest rates you pay.

Think of it as a representation of your reliability as a borrower that also shows how good you are at managing your debt.

What Determines Your Credit Score?

90% of the United States’ top lenders use the FICO score to determine your credit score.1

This score ranks credit reports from 300-850, with the latter being the highest score one can get. 

What determines your FICO score?

  1. Your payment history- how well do you pay your bills on time? This factor accounts for 35% of the score, making it the most weighted metric.2
  2. Amounts owed- how much individual credit balances do you have? Maintain low debts to improve your credit score.
  3. Age of debt- the length of your credit history is a huge determining factor.
  4. Recent credit behavior- maintain a sizable gap between getting credits to increase your credit score.
  5. Credit mix- how many types of credit do you have? (auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc)

Different Types Of Credit Scores And What They Mean


This is an exceptional credit score that shows the borrower is very less likely to default on their payments. It is the A of all credit scores and can only be attained by those who are responsible with their debts. It is as a result of consistent debt management, done over a period of time. 

Only 1% of borrowers in this range are likely to default on their payments.

727 – 817

Think of it as a B in your credit report. This score shows the lenders that you are a solid bet and probably a little bit new to borrowing. You’ve been doing the right things and paying your debts on time trying to build your score.

Borrowers at this range are eligible for most loans, credit cards, and mortgages and will have no problem securing loans. They will however have an interest rate that’s slightly higher than those in the 818 and over category.

636 – 726

Borrowers at this range are either new to the game or have made a few costly mistakes along the way. It could be that you were late at paying bills or maybe have a huge balance on your credit cards. 

While this score will not prevent you from getting more credit, it will however result in high-interest rates on loans. There is definitely room for improvement here. 

546 – 635

If your credit score is within this range then you’re either going through a tough time and have defaulted on most of your payment or are recovering from recent setbacks. You should work on making the right moves to improve your score but there’s a high chance it will take a couple of months or even years. 

Lenders will be hesitant to give you credit and even if you do qualify, you will end up paying an interest rate that’s higher than average. 

300 – 545

This credit score range shows that you are a very huge risk. Maybe you are going through foreclosure or are bankrupt but whatever the case, you should lay low and refrain from getting credit until your credit score rises. 

It will take years but your hard work and resilience will finally pay off. If you’re looking for ways to increase your savings using your mortgage, feel free to talk to one of our expert advisors about the  CalPATH Home Loan Program 

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Your credit score does not represent how much money you have. It is simply a rating of your creditworthiness that tells creditors how responsible you are with your debt. Always aim to maintain a credit score of 547+ to make it easy to obtain credit. 

About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program

Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.

You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.

We look forward to working with you soon!


Joe Moore – Branch Manager


Links to sources used

  1. What Makes Up Your Credit Score-
  2. Want a good credit score? This is the most important factor –