Most consumers do not understand the importance of a credit score, how it is determined, or the steps one can take to improve it, according to the GMAC Mortgage Second Quarter Consumer Survey.The survey found that 62% of respondents didn't know that a score above 620 out of 850 is needed to obtain the most favorable mortgage rate, and only 42% knew that payment history is a critical element in arriving at a credit score. "Potential homebuyers should not view credit ratings as a last step in the home financing process," said Paul Fein, senior vice president and Southeast divisional manager at GMAC Mortgage. "Credit scores are essential to the mortgage lending process, and it's important that homebuyers start evaluating their credit scores early in the process so they can get above the 620 mark before their formal application is processed." The company can be found online at http://www.gmacmortgage.com.

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