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HELOCs and Your FICO Scores

Unlike mortgages, which are installment loans, the amount of available credit on a home equity line of credit (HELOC) will increase when you pay down the balance. Sounds like a credit card, right? In some ways, yes, and HELOCs are technically considered revolving credit accounts as well.

So don't be alarmed when you pull your credit reports and find that your HELOC looks like a large credit card debt because it's reported as a revolving account. Your lender is most likely reporting the HELOC correctly to the credit bureaus.

However, the FICO credit-scoring model won't look at HELOCs in the same manner as credit cards when calculating your credit scores. In fact, FICO treats large HELOCs as installment loans, which means they shouldn't have an adverse effect on your overall credit scores by skewing your credit utilization ratio.

on Mon, 2010-08-23 17:00