Scoring Your Credit
You might think that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in DuBois.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people normally having a score of 650. In recent years, however, some borrowers have seen their score lowered as a result of loss of employment, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score are:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time each month?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
Lenders want to ensure that allowing you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'd be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a satisfactory interest rate. If your score is less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double that of an individual with a near perfect credit score.
Staying on top of your FICO score is the best way to ease into owning a home. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are strategies to boost your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:
- Retail cards and gas cards. For those who have no credit or below average credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of keeping a large balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards normally have a surprisingly high interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Your FICO score plummets with every account that goes to collections. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, contact the bureau requesting that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having one card that is at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at an even balance than to have the most of your debt transferred to a single card.
Knowing the methods you can use to improve your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Remember that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Hoffer Realty Associates, shopping for a mortgage can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Get more information by visiting myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.