Lenders focusing on FICO scores before granting mortgage applications

With interest rates at historic lows, it's never been easier to buy a home. However, as the Wall Street Journal states, advantageous rates are of little use to homeowners if they have bad credit scores.

"Since 2009, credit has become a lot tighter," said Greg Reiter, managing director of RBS Global Banking and Markets, in an interview with the paper.

As the WSJ states, FICO scores between 700 and 725 were considered good enough for homeowners to obtain a loan for a mortgage prior to the housing crisis in 2008. In fact, between 2003 and 2006, the paper reports 82 percent of Fannie Mae mortgages were given to borrowers with a three-digit score between 700 and 750, according to numbers collected by RBS. In 2011, however, only 13 percent of mortgage have been given to consumers with a score between 700 and 725. The lion's share, the source states, have been to those with FICO scores between 750 and 775.

Because lenders are putting an increased emphasis on the importance of FICO scores, closely following one's credit score may have never been more important than it is today. Unsubstantiated records may adversely affect one's three-digit score, making it next to impossible to land a mortgage. A credit lawyer may be of some assistance in this matter.