Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The quality of your wallet begins the home buying process. Putting back your money for a down payment is a good idea, but if you don't have an acceptable credit score to reinforce it, you could find yourself renting for another couple of years in Albemarle, North Carolina until your FICO score is acceptable.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people traditionally having a score of 600. With the change in the economy, however, some borrowers have seen their score lowered after unemployment, charged off credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the pieces in reviewing your FICO score include:
- 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 — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
When you pull your credit report, you'll find that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all three of the bureaus.
Lenders want to be positive that allowing you a loan is a safe move. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a decent interest rate. You can qualify for a loan with a lower score, but the interest paid over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of an individual with a stronger FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of credit scores. Call us at 7049856817 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you obtain a higher score? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant stride 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 your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find mistakes 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- 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 maxed out and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at an even balance than to have all of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
- Apply for gas cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or less-than-stellar credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your spending limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of maintaining a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards usually have a larger interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Stay on top of payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip 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.
Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Keep in mind that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Glen Alford Realty , the loan application 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 review your credit history for free 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.