How's Your Credit?
Most people assume that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. In reality, the home buying process starts and ends with your finances. To realize your goal of owning a home, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Cleveland, Mississippi.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people usually have a score of 600, but scores range from 300 to 850. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some people have seen their score drop by hundreds of points because of loss of employment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score are:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — How often do you make late payments?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
Lenders want to make sure that allowing you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'd be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. You'll still get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double the amount of an individual having a near perfect credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you boost your credit score? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a large-scale change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year or two by monitoring your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have 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 about less than 40% of their credit limit than to have the majority of your debt sitting on a single card.
- Store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of charging a high balance for too long because these types of cards more than likely have a higher interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. 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 maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Payment history is a huge factor in your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, contact the bureau asking that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
Now that you're better informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Partnership Properties, shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly 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.