Scoring Your Credit
You might think that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved for a loan or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet begins the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in DuBois.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people traditionally have a score of 600, but scores range from 300 to 850. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the pieces in reviewing your FICO score include:
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time ?
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn't a risk. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a acceptable interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest paid over the life of the loan could be more than double that of an individual having a stronger credit score.
We're used to working with all levels of credit scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a better score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your credit score with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by monitoring your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Apply for gas station cards or retail credit. For those who have non-existent credit or below average credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of keeping a high balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards normally have a surprisingly high interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. Delinquent payments drastically lower your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit this way, but it's the surest way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Correct your credit report. If you find mistakes on your credit report, write to 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 the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a smaller balance than to have the majority of your debt sitting on one card.
Knowing the ways you can raise your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, 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, the loan process 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.