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Short Sales and Foreclosures Have Same Effect on Credit

Are you confronted with a possible short sale or foreclosure on your home? If so, you may be wondering how long it will take your FICO scores to FULLY recover after one of these bombshells hits your credit reports. It's a great question, and it happens to be one that we receive emails about every day. Well, now we have some hard data from FICO that finally helps clear up all the confusion around FICO scores, short sales, and foreclosures.

Check out this chart: Estimated Time for FICO Score to Fully Recover, which was released yesterday on one of FICO's blogs. Essentially, what FICO's telling us is that if you have a good starting score (780), it will take your FICO score about 7 years to fully recover. In addition, there's absolutely no difference in recovery time between short sales or foreclosures. The overall effect on credit scores is the same as well. However, if your starting FICO score is lower, then your score should fully recover in a much shorter period of time. The estimated recovery time for those with FICO scores around 680 is 3 years—less than half the amount of time those with higher starting scores may have to wait.

What have we learned? Ignore all the gurus out there that keep preaching how short sales are better for your credit than foreclosures. It's just not true.

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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