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Credit Basics

For years, consumers have been left in the dark about true credit score factors, and how they affect one’s ability to get a loan. Now, with direct access to self-serve websites consumers are finally empowered to gain greater insight into personal credit, credit score myths, security against identity fraud and theft, and how to correct or improve a score. See the links below to have credit scores explained further.

  • What is a FICO Credit Score?
  • What A Credit Score Considers?
  • What FICO Scores Ignore?
  • What Can Affect Your Credit Score?

Credit scores, often called the FICO scores, is the statistical data developed by Fair Isaac and Company, which determines an applicant’s financial position and creditworthiness. A credit score usually ranges from 350 – 850. Only an estimated 1% of the American population has a FICO score above 800. The majority of Americans score in the 600 and 700s while the remaining bottom 20% of the American population scores below 600.
A credit score tries to predict future credit behavior, with an emphasis on whether the consumer is likely to become 90 days late on at least one trade line or account within the next 24 months.

What A Credit Score Considers
There are five main categories of information, known as “weight factors”, that credit scoring models evaluate. They are listed in order of importance and negative weight in the calculation of a consumer’s credit score:

Payment History – 35% (Were Payments Made On Time?)
An individual’s payment history carries the greatest weight. It makes sense, because a lender who is considering granting credit would want to know that the applicant has paid their past credit accounts on time.
The credit score considers the frequency and the severity of delinquencies reported on trade lines within the last 24 months as the primary indicator of future risk.
Payment history includes information from public records on tax liens, bankruptcies, suits, judgements, foreclosures, collections, etc.
Payment history includes trade line repayment history on many types of revolving credit accounts, such as Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover and retail department store accounts.
Payment history considers installment loans such as mortgage loans, auto loans, finance company and student loans.
Payment history on Child support is not considered predictive of risk and is not used in the calculation of credit scores.
Number of past due items on file.
Number of accounts paid as agreed.
Note: Older negative items in the payment history will count less than those more recent items. For example, a recent or current 30 day late payment will hit the score harder than a 60 day late three years ago. In addition, the number of accounts that show no late payments has a positive impact. A good overall payment history will increase the credit score.

Amounts Owed On Accounts – 30% (Is The Debt Utilization Close To The Limit?)
A consumer’s outstanding debt utilization is a major weight factor and can be the area in the consumer’s credit profile most easily worked with in raising the consumer’s credit score.
A large number of open accounts with high balances can indicate a person is overextended and this will negatively impact the score.
The scoring system considers the total amount of available credit and weighs it against the total outstanding owed balances.
The scoring system considers the available account credit limit for each account and the percentage of amount owed on each account.
The number of accounts that have balances is considered. Too many accounts with balances can indicate overextension.
Credit cards that are maxed out, or worse, overdrawn on their limits, will have a very severe negative effect on the scores.
Amounts owed on installment loans compared to the original loan amount can affect scores.

Length Of Credit History – 15% (How long have your accounts been open?)
In general, the longer the history of open credit the more positive weight it carries in the file when compared to a consumer with a short credit history. When reviewing a credit profile for risk it is logical that the longer a consumer has been managing credit, the more accurate an assessment can be made regarding how they have managed that credit and how likely they are to manage that credit in the future.
The scoring system considers both the age of the oldest active account record along with the average age of all the accounts.
Look at the “date opened” column to assess when the credit was established. A short history could indicate some risk, but it would only be a concern if other negative factors exist.
The number of new accounts opened in the last year weighed against the time of the most recent inquiries could be indications of caution. These factors would be considered against the balance of the credit file.
Time since account activity.

Types Of Credit Used – 10% (Retail accounts, credit cards, mortgages, installment accounts and finance company accounts)
The credit scoring system will consider the overall mix of retail accounts, credit cards, mortgages, installment accounts and finance company accounts. The type of credit used does not weigh heavily on a score; therefore, it is not an effective tool to improve a credit rating. It will become more important on those files that do not have other information on which to base the score.
The score will weigh the types and number of accounts in a file. For example, someone who has three open finance company accounts and no major credit cards may indicate caution.

Inquiries / New Credit – 10% (How many new accounts have been opened?)
Inquiries are the most misunderstood, yet most talked about weight factor. This is interesting in light of the fact that inquiries have a minor impact on a person’s credit score and many, even though shown in the credit file, do not count against the score.

Credit inquiries requested by the consumer directly to a credit bureau or their website have no impact on the credit score.
Inquiries made by current creditors to manage the consumer’s existing account, by employers for the purpose of hiring practices or for generating pre-screened credit or insurance solicitation lists by the Consumer reporting agencies, do not affect the score.
Inquiries will show on the file for two years, although only inquiries in the preceding 12 months will affect the score.
The only Credit inquiry that will impact a credit score is an authorized credit request by the consumer for the granting of some type of new credit. Even then, not all of these inquiries will necessarily count in the calculation of the credit score immediately.
When using the newest FICO version, all “Like Types of Credit Inquiries” within a 45 day period count as only one inquiry in the calculation of the score. This applies regardless of how many of one type of inquiry is made during that 45 day period of time. This process is called “De-Duplication of Like Inquiries” (De-Duping). It allows the consumer to really shop for what is best for him or her without his or her credit score being negatively impacted.
In addition, there is a Mortgage, and Auto and student loan inquiry buffer. Fair Isaac has created this buffer in order to allow consumers to shop among various service providers.
Any time a mortgage, auto or student loan inquiry is made, the credit scoring system will buffer it for 30 calendar days. This means that this inquiry will not impact the credit score for the immediate 30 calendar days following the inquiry. This protects consumers and gives them the ability to shop for the best program and the best service provider without worrying about his or her credit score being hurt by multiple inquiries.
Only consumer authorized inquiries for new credit will affect the score. The impact of an inquiry can range from 1 to 50 points depending on what other credit information is present in the credit file. Generally, the impact is minor, so it is rare that a credit inquiry would cause any significant problems for a consumer with a marginal score. There is no set number of points allocated to a credit inquiry or any other piece of credit information stored in a consumer’s credit file.

The following factors are not taken into consideration by the scoring model:

  • Race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, receipt of public assistance or the exercise of any consumer rights under the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Other types of scores may consider your age, but FICO Scores do not.
  • Salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history. Lenders will consider this information, as part of the overall approval process.
  • Geographic location.
  • Any items reported as child/family obligations or rental agreements.
  • Certain types of personal inquiries. Any inquiries from employers or insurance companies, or inquiries not made for the purpose of extending a line of credit (i.e. : pulling your own credit).
  • Any information not found in the consumer report.
  • Any information that is not proven predictive of future credit performance. A score considers both positive and negative information in the consumer report.
  • Late payments will lower a score but establishing or re-establishing a good pay record making payments on time will raise FICO scores.
  • A $10.00 late payment has the same effect on a credit score as a $100.00 late payment.
  • Pay On Time: The longer history a consumer has for paying his or her debts as agreed, the better. Any payments currently past due will have a huge negative impact on the score. Getting them caught up before they become 30 days late and staying current is critical to raising the score.
  • Credit History: Paying off a debt or collection, or closing an account won’t make it go away. A closed account will still show on the file and it will be considered in the credit equation and calculation into the score.
  • High Balances: Pay down credit card balances as close to zero as possible. Balances over 80% of high credit limit are very negative. Below 50% is better. Below 30% is better yet. Keeping balances between 0% and 30 % of the high credit limit is ideal. Better to have small balances under 30% of the available credit limit on several cards than one big balance over 30% on one card.
  • New Credit: A consumer should avoid opening a lot of new accounts especially if they have a relatively young credit history. New accounts will lower the overall age of the credit history average

Your score can improve by properly managing your credit over time, and following some key tips:

  • Confirming that information on your credit report is correct. In its final rule writing of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the FTC encouraged consumers to regularly monitor their personal consumer report. To facilitate self-monitoring by consumers, the FTC mandated that every consumer may receive one free consumer report from each repository (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax), annually. Bu requesting a free copy of the credit file the consumer can review it for accuracy. Upon finding any erroneous information, they can then request the bureau validate the inaccuracies. The CRA has thirty days to confirm the information and correct or delete any errors on the file. To gain access to these annual free reports, consumers should visit to obtain your free reports.
  • Pay down credit card balances as close to zero as possible. Balances over 80% of high credit limit are very negative. Below 50% is better. Below 30% is better yet. Keeping balances between 0% and 30 % of the high credit limit is ideal. Better to have small balances under 30% of the available credit limit on several cards than one big balance over 30% on one card.
  • A consumer should avoid opening a lot of new accounts especially if they don’t need it. Excessive credit inquiries can lower your score. It is better to ask for credit line increases on current accounts. The consumer can request a credit line increase without the vendor pulling a “hard inquiry”.
  • Don’t consolidate credit balances onto one card and close out all other cards to take advantage of low introductory interest rates. That will artificially skew the picture of the consumer’s debt utilization to a higher percentage, and combined with the inquiry of the new account can negatively impact your score.
  • Keeping a good mix of various types of credit in the consumer’s file is optimal for the score. Mortgage loans, installment loans, and revolving credit card accounts impact your score more favorably than finance company accounts. So if possible, avoid finance company type accounts, including “90-day” and “12 months same as cash” accounts.

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  • Terms Of Use

Terms Of Use

Terms of Use

Welcome to ESCO Financial Group, Inc. dba ESCO Mortgage Advisors (“EMA”) provides the use of this website subject to the following terms and conditions, known as “Terms of Use.” Clicking onto webpages beyond the site’s homepage indicates your acceptance and agreement of these Terms of Use. Please read them carefully.


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ESCO Financial Group, Inc. dba ESCO Mortgage Advisors
161 E. 21st Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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This website is owned and operated by ESCO Financial Group, Inc. dba ESCO Mortgage Advisors 161 E. 21st Street Costa Mesa, CA 92627


These Terms and Conditions were last updated 05/22/2018. Please check periodically for changes.


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The website may require the submission of certain fees for services necessary for the completion and processing of a loan or the completion of other services through the website. Use of the website is strictly subject to payment of certain fees. To the extent applicable, all payments shall be made in US dollars by credit card and are non-refundable. All fees submitted are final upon payment. Payments are due in full upon account activation, with future renewal dates and use of portions of the services subject to additional charges. Services will not be activated until payment is received. All payments made are final and there shall be no refunds of payments made by you.

Intellectual Property

All information and content available on the Website and its “look and feel”, including but not limited to trademarks, logos, and service marks, text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, data compilations and software, and the compilation and organization thereof (collectively, the “Content”) is the property of ESCO Mortgage Advisors, our affiliates, partners or licensors, and is protected by United States and international laws, including laws governing copyrights and trademarks.

Except as set forth in the limited licenses in these Terms and Conditions, or as required under applicable law, neither the content nor any portion of the website may be used, reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, accessed, modified, or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, for any purpose without our express, prior written consent.

You shall have no right to use the ESCO Mortgage Advisors technology for any purpose other than accessing the website and using the services offered. Use of the website does not transfer from ESCO Mortgage Advisors to you any ESCO Mortgage Advisors technology, and all rights, titles and interests in and to any ESCO Mortgage Advisors technology and all services shall remain solely with ESCO Mortgage Advisors. You shall not, directly or indirectly, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to derive source code or other trade secrets from any of the ESCO Mortgage Advisors technology if such reverse engineering, decompilation, or disassembly is intended to create, or will be used in, a competitive product.

Third Party Links

Clicking on certain links within this website or certain other websites that are linked to this website may take you to other websites, or may display information on your computer screen from other web sites, which are not maintained by ESCO Mortgage Advisors . Such web sites may contain terms and conditions, privacy provisions, confidentiality provisions, or other provisions that differ from the terms and conditions applicable to this web site. Links to other Internet services and web sites are provided solely for the convenience of users. A link to any service or web site is not an endorsement of any kind of the service or web site, its content, or its sponsoring organization.



In no event will ESCO Mortgage Advisors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential losses, damages or expenses of any kind whether the claimed damages or losses are based in tort, contract or any other theory of law, arising in any way or in connection with this website or use thereof, including, but not limited to failure of performance, omission, error, defect, interruption, failure to process, delay, computer virus, system failure, even if ESCO Mortgage Advisors is made aware of the alleged damages or losses including all third party claims. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless ESCO Mortgage Advisors for any and all damages and losses as described above relating to your use of the website.

Consent to Electronic Delivery

You specifically agree to receive and/or obtain any and all disclosures, notices, information and communications via email, posting on our website or other electronic delivery rather than via paper documents. This includes, but is not limited to, any and all current and future notices and/or disclosures that various federal and/or state laws or regulations require that we provide to you, as well as such other documents, statements, data, records and any other communications regarding your use of the website. You acknowledge that, for your records, you are able to use the website to retain these communications by printing and/or downloading and saving these Terms and Conditions and any other agreements and electronic communications, documents, or records that you agree to in your use of the website. You accept electronic communications provided via ESCO Mortgage Advisors as reasonable and proper notice, for the purpose of any and all laws, rules, and regulations, and agree that such electronic form fully satisfies any requirement that such communications be provided to you in writing or in a form that you may keep. To this agreement described herein or if you require paper documents of any of the above, please contact:

ESCO Financial Group, Inc. dba ESCO Mortgage Advisors
161 E. 21st Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Applicable law

By visiting, you agree that the laws of the State of California, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Terms of Use and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and EMA and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates. You further agree that any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to these Terms of Use or this website shall be filed only in the state or federal courts located in Orange County, California, and you hereby consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.


Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to your use of the website, and/or any alleged damages or losses thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

Any dispute between the parties must be submitted to binding arbitration administered by the AAA to take place in Costa Mesa, California, before one arbitrator in accordance with the AAA Rules. In the event you institute such arbitration, then, without limiting the applicability of the AAA rules, the arbitrator will be obligated to award the prevailing party of any such proceedings all reasonable costs, attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by such prevailing party in the arbitration proceedings. Any award entered by the arbitrator may be enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. All arbitrations will take place in Costa Mesa, California. You hereby waive any right to consolidate, join or combine any arbitration brought with any other matter pending in court or other arbitration proceeding.

You agree that any effort to resolve any dispute will be conducted on an individual basis, and that you waive any right to have any dispute heard in a class action or any other proceeding in which any party seeks to or does act in a representative capacity.

Regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action against ESCO Mortgage Advisors arising out of or related to use of your use of the website or under these Terms and Conditions must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or will be barred.

Entire Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and ESCO Mortgage Advisors governing your use of the website and supersedes any prior and contemporaneous agreements between you and ESCO Mortgage Advisors with respect to the subject matter above.


You acknowledge and agree that these Terms of Use constitute the complete and exclusive agreement between us concerning your use of the website, and supersede and govern all prior proposals, agreements, or other communications;

Nothing contained in these Terms of Use shall be construed as creating any agency, partnership, or other form of joint enterprise between a user and ESCO Mortgage Advisors. Our failure to require your performance of any provision hereof shall not affect our full right to require such performance at any time thereafter, nor shall our waiver of a breach of any provision hereof be taken or held to be a waiver of the provision itself. In the event that any provision of these Terms of Use shall be unenforceable or invalid under any applicable law or be so held by any applicable arbitral award or court decision, such unenforceability or invalidity shall not render these Terms of Use unenforceable or invalid as a whole but these Terms of Use shall be modified, to the extent possible, by the adjudicating entity to most fully reflect the original intent of the parties as reflected in the original provision and with the remaining terms remaining enforceable and binding upon all users.

Electronic Agreement

You have the right to receive loan documents and disclosures in electronic form. Your consent means that your disclosures, loan documents and any other communications (referred to collectively as “Documents”) related to the process of processing, underwriting, and closing your requested loan may be provided to you through the ESCO Mortgage Advisors website and via email (“Electronically”). To access and retain the Documents Electronically you will need to use a computer with the same capabilities you are using and will need to be able to open and view Adobe Acrobat Reader. You have the right to withdraw consent and you may request paper copies of any Documents without charge by contacting us at (855) 940-4663. You should also keep us informed of any change in your e-mail or mailing address by contacting us at (855) 940-4663.

By agreeing to these terms and conditions you are confirming that you do agree to receive Documents Electronically and that you do have the ability to do so through the computer software and hardware.

By continuing, you electronically agree to allow ESCO Mortgage Advisors to view your credit history.

If you have any questions regarding the Terms and Conditions please contact us at:

ESCO Financial Group, Inc. dba ESCO Mortgage Advisors
161 E. 21st Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but ESCO Financial Group, Inc. does not warrant its completeness, timeliness or accuracy. To the fullest extent permissible under applicable law, ESCO Financial Group, Inc. disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. The information on this website is not intended as an offer or solicitation for any mortgage product or any financial instrument. The information and materials contained in this website – and the terms and conditions of the access to and use of such information and materials – are subject to change without notice. Products and services described, as well as, associated fees, charges and interest rates may differ among geographic locations, offices and as a result of individual conditions. Not all products and services are offered at all locations. In no event will ESCO Financial Group, Inc. be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

If you have been referred from another website (including but not limited to any social media site), the information contained in the referring website is for general information purposes only. The information contained there has not been reviewed or approved by ESCO Financial Group, Inc. and is provided solely and exclusive by the site’s author. ESCO Financial Group, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Through the referring website you may be able to link to other websites which are not under the control of ESCO Financial Group, Inc.. ESCO Financial Group, Inc. has no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

You acknowledge and agree that ESCO Financial Group, not, and shall not be, responsible for the results of any defects that may exist in this website or its operation. As to the operation of this website, ESCO Financial Group, Inc. expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, not limited to the implied warrant of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.


Questions regarding our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy or other policy related material can be directed to our support staff by emailing us at .