Credit Score:
How to Improve It (March 2011)

by Enrique (Henry) Saldana

Although this process would apply to anyone whether in the USA or Canada, we are gearing this information to those people looking to purchase a home in Mexico.

There is a standard credit score requirement to obtain mortgage financing in Mexico, and that is a 680 Credit Score, either FICO (for Americans) or BEACON (for Canadians).  These two terms have become a standard for lenders to determine the credit worthiness of a client.

Banks are very adamant at this requirement which causes a lot of mortgage loan requests to be denied right on the spot.  Therefore, if your credit score is just under 680 (679 or lower), the likelihood for you to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a property in USD in Mexico is zero.

But for most people, their credit score may be improved very easily. I have helped some of my clients to do this in the past on several occasions.

Credit Scoring by the three main Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) varies, although, not significantly. Each one of these three main credit bureaus in the USA uses a slightly different algorithm to calculate credit scores. And that is the reason why we get three different credit scores when pulling a Tri-merge Credit Report.

In the case of a USD Mortgage Loan to purchase a property in Mexico, these three scores must ALL be at, or above, a 680 (FICO or BEACON) score.

What does FICO mean?

FICO refers to the Fair Isaac Corporation, named after the two men who developed the credit-rating formula, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac. Stearns Lending defines it as "The numerical credit score that credit bureaus give to you based on the amount of debt you have and whether you pay your bills on time." This formula provides lenders with an assessment of your credit worthiness. FICO Score is mostly used by American Lending Institutions.

What is a BEACON Score?

Equifax calls its version of the score, the BEACON Score and it is generally used in Canada.

There is also EMPIRICA, which is the credit scoring utilized by TransUnion.

As a general rule, credit scoring is based on five criteria, or categories. These criteria are: payment history, debt owed, length of credit, credit inquiries, and types of credit history.

But generally speaking, what impacts more the score is the payment history and amount of debt of the client.

So how do you improve your credit score from 618 to 680+? And how long does that take?

In general, a person who has a 618 will have a good credit history. But what impacts the score and keeps it at 618 is the amount of debt of the client.  And this is what must be modified, in order to improve the score.

By reducing your amount of debt, you may improve your credit scoring. By reducing the amount of debt we are NOT implying to pay off the debt, but simply REDUCING that debt. This may be done in a matter of weeks.

Keeping accounts open is important, especially those which you may have had for quite some time already.  Gradually reducing the debt on each account by 30%, or more, will actually improve your credit rating, and thus your ability to obtain a USD mortgage loan to purchase your dream home in Mexico. We may provide you with a FREE analysis if you wish to know your options.

Let me also add that there are ONLY TWO Lenders presently funding purchase homes in Mexico, other than funding through the developer and specific developments using Spanish Cajas (a form of Spain Mortgage Lending Institutions); anyone else out there is just a Mortgage Broker.

How do you select a Mortgage Broker to work with? Base your choice on experience, service, and pricing (your cost for dealing with that particular mortgage broker). Bank costs are normally standard and practically the same for both lenders funding property in Mexico.

So, look for the best service, the lowest pricing, and the most experienced mortgage broker when looking for funding for a real estate purchase in Mexico.

Mortgages "R" uS: A True One Stop Real Estate Company in Mexico. Feel free to contact us at:,

Tel: 984-147-0100 Cell: 984-111-8743.  Skype: Henrys1955.

And check the new Mexico MLS Network system:

Mexico Realty Solutions

Enrique (Henry) Saldana

Mortgage, Real Estate, and Business Consultant

Buy Playa Real Estate Advisors

Akumal Villas