Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit
Most people assume that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Oil City, Pennsylvania.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 650. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is a low score and that often means you can't get credit. Some of the pieces in summing up 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 late payments have you made?
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 a view of what type of borrower you'll be based solely on your credit history. Because of the shift in the economy, most home buyers should have scores in the range of 740 or higher to get a satisfactory interest rate. You can qualify for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double that of someone with a better credit score.
Improving your credit is the best way to ease into owning a home. Call us at (814) 677-2326 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are strategies to improve your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be hard 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 wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these tips:
- Stay on top of payments. Delinquent payments drastically drop your credit score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you discover 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.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is at the maximum and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 25% of their credit limit than to have all of your debt transferred to one card.
- Store cards and service station cards. For those who have no credit or below average credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your spending limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of keeping a large balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards traditionally have a larger interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts maintain an active status. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
Knowing the ways you can raise your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Oil Region Realty, LLC, shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Learn more about FICO scores at myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year 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.