Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit
The road to home ownership doesn't start with getting pre-approved for a loan or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. Without an acceptable credit score, buying a house is harder and, you could end up renting longer than you expected in Shelton until you improve your score.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. 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 extended to you via a mortgage loan. Some of the factors in calculating your FICO score are:
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — How many times do you make late payments?
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn't a problem. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'd be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a acceptable interest rate. You can get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double the amount of an individual having a higher credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of credit history. Call us at (360) 426-5555 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are plans to improve your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a large-scale change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by monitoring 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 pointers:
- Correct your credit report. If you discover incorrect items on your credit report, write to 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 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 maxed out 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 majority of your debt taking up the balance one card.
- Apply for gas cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of keeping a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards more than likely have a higher interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Stay on top of payments. Your credit score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
Knowing the methods you can use to improve your FICO score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Shelton Land & Homes, LLC, shopping for a mortgage can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Learn more about FICO scores at 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.