A credit risk score is a statistical summary of the information contained in an individual's credit report.

The most well known type of credit risk score is the Fair Isaac or FICO score. This score is not just your average ranking device. Sophisticated mathematical processes calculate the score by assigning numerical values to various pieces of information in your credit report.

The score itself is relative. Some lenders will consider a particular score acceptable, and others will not. Lenders will view scores differently, depending on many factors, including the marketing goals and mortgage underwriting guidelines for that lender.

Not all lenders will work with 'higher risk' clients.

There is good news though. Your risk score will change over time as your credit history develops. And you can affect that score by improving your performance with credit. Paying regularly and on time is an excellent start.

Note that FICO scores range from 375- 900. The higher the score the better the credit rating. Usually any credit score under 620 is considered bad credit. What that means is that you may not qualify for a 'conforming' mortgage. But that doesn't mean that you won't qualify for a mortgage at all. Other lenders may be willing to consider your business.

Your goal should always be to continuously work towards obtaining a higher credit score. However, this can take time.