Before lenders decide to lend you money, they need to know that you're willing and able to pay back that mortgage loan. To assess your ability to repay, they look at your debt-to-income ratio. To assess how willing you are to repay, they use your credit score.
Fair Isaac and Company built the original FICO score to assess creditworthines. We've written more about FICO here.
Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit reports. They don't consider income or personal characteristics. Fair Isaac invented FICO specifically to exclude demographic factors. "Profiling" was as bad a word when these scores were invented as it is today. Credit scoring was invented as a way to take into account only what was relevant to a borrower's likelihood to repay the lender.
Your current debt load, past late payments, length of your credit history, and other factors are considered. Your score is calculated wtih both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments count against your score, but a record of paying on time will raise it.
Your report must have at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This history ensures that there is sufficient information in your credit to assign an accurate score. If you don't meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you might need to establish your credit history before you apply for a mortgage.
First Southeast Mortgage Corporation can answer questions about credit reports and many others. Call us at 954.920.9799.