How Important is Your Credit Score?

Gated Community photoThe information we receive about what is important when applying for mortgages seems to change daily.  One of the more confusing aspects of this process is how important your credit score actually is.  According to, there are both “official” and “unofficial” credit scores that are used when you apply for a mortgage to buy a home.

The “official” credit score is the score that is determined by various government-backed mortgage lenders. For example, FHA minimum guidelines require a minimum FICO score of 500 to be eligible for an FHA mortgage. If your score ranges between 500-579, you are required to make a down payment of 10%, but if you have a higher score, you only need to put 3.5% down. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac require that borrowers’ credit scores be at least 620.

However, these scores often don’t matter as much in the “real world” of lending, per This is because lenders also have to look at the reason for a lower credit score before underwriting the loan. So if the lower score is caused by late payments or collections, the lenders will likely require a higher credit score than FHA or Fannie Mae, to protect their loans. For example, while Wells Fargo recently dropped its minimum credit score requirement to 620, it’s still higher than the FHA official minimum credit score requirement.

One of the most illuminating statistics is that over 97 percent of all FHA loan approvals went to applicants with scores above 620. ( There are mitigating circumstances, however, that can be considered by the lenders. Options for navigating this sometimes-complex process include contacting multiple lenders, or of course, using a loan explorer or marketplace, such as those offered by

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Ten Best Restaurants in Glendale

Glendale's Westgate photoGlendale, AZ is bumping!  This vibrant city is constantly growing, not only in population, but culturally.  Part of that culture is the food and restaurant culture.  Here are a few of the more popular culinary options, according to . . .

  1. The most popular restaurant in Glendale is Little Saigon.  This restaurant is located at 7016 N. 57th Avenue, in the heart of downtown Glendale, and serves Vietnamese Food.  Reviewers applaud this little restaurant’s authentic cuisine and its low prices.
  2. Next is Ta’Carbon, located at 5834 W. Camelback Road.  This Mexican grill restaurant touts its carne asada as being the best in the country.  The Yelp reviewers appear to agree, and sing the praises of all of the tacos this little restaurant offers, as well as their reasonable prices.
  3. Next up is ATL Wings, situated at 8024 N. 51st Avenue.  This restaurant has locations in Arizona and in New York, and offers traditional and boneless chicken wings served over a dozen ways.  Reviewers rave about both the food and the service.
  4. Those looking for Caribbean food should check out Caribbean Cuisine, located at 6031 N. 67th Avenue.  This cool little spot offers authentic Caribbean and Jamaican food, including a fresh fish of the day dish, and homemade ginger beer.
  5. Polish food is where it’s at, at A Touch of European Café, located at 7146 N. 57th Drive.  From the homemade Pierogi, to the hunter’s stew with kielbasa or one of the daily homemade soups, there’s something for everyone at this gem of a restaurant.
  6. Italian and pizza are on the menu at La Piazza al Forno, an Italian kitchen and brick oven pizzeria located at 5803 W. Glendale Avenue.  Reviewers praise the various Italian dishes as well as the brick-oven pizza.  Made famous by Guy Fieri’s Triple D show, this tiny little restaurant continues to wow its customers.
  7. Authentic German food is served at Haus Murphy’s, on 5739 W. Glendale Avenue.  This is another restaurant featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives show.  Their menu showcases potato pancakes, schnitzel, and authentic German sausages.
  8. Vegetarians and Indian cuisine aficionados may enjoy Biryani and Bites, located at 15224 N. 59th Avenue.  Reviewers exclaim over this newer restaurant’s authentic biryani and appetizers as well as its many options for vegetarians
  9. Located at 5819 W. Glendale Avenue in downtown Glendale, Cuff is an Asian Fusion and American food restaurant featuring an eclectic menu.  Reviewers compliment the great service and atmosphere.
  10. Rounding out the top 10 restaurants in Glendale is a gourmet taco shop, La Santisima.   Located at 5932 W. Glendale Avenue, this restaurant features several different gourmet style tacos as well as burritos, handmade quesas, as well as a large salsa bar.

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