When you apply for a real estate loan, or virtually any other type of credit, a key issue will be how good your credit is. Virtually all lenders measure your credit, in large part, by your FICO score. FICO scores are a measure of credit developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. A FICO score is a number between 300 and 850, with 300 being very low and 850 being flawless credit.

There are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each has its own slightly different way of measuring credit scores. Equifax has ScorePower, Experian has its PLUS score, and TransUnion’s has an unnamed credit score. Each of these scoring systems is similar to FICO.