First-Time Buyer's Guide to Better Credit
You might think 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 begins and ends with your finances. Without an above average credit score, entering into a loan for a house is more difficult and, you could end up renting longer than you expected in Up-State New York until you raise your score.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. Most people usually have a score of 600, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. With the change in the economy, however, some borrowers have seen their score lowered because of loss of employment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts that were closed because they don't carry a balance. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score include:
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time ?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
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'll be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a acceptable interest rate. You can get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of someone having a better FICO score.
Getting your credit in order is the best way to ease into purchasing a home. Contact us
and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are methods to increase your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Retail cards and gas station cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of holding a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards traditionally have a steeper 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 stay active. But, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Pay on time. Delinquent payments instantly lower your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed 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 prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find mistakes 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.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is at the maximum and have your remaining 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 bulk of your debt sitting on one card.
Now that you know more 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 you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Krutz Properties LLC, the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.
To learn more, visit www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.
We won't judge you based on your credit and can help you settle into home ownership with the right lending insitution for you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-673-2820 for more information.