Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process begins with your finances. To realize your goal of owning a home, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Waterford, Connecticut.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. Most people traditionally have a score of 650, 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 pieces in calculating your FICO score are:
- Payment History — How often do you make late payments?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- 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 loans and credit cards?
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 FICO score gives lenders an insight into 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. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double that of someone having a higher FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of credit history. Call us at 860-444-9070 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are plans to increase your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a large-scale change in your number with small changes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs 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:
- Store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or below average credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You should always avoid carrying a high balance for too long because these types of cards normally have a surprising interest rate.
- Use your credit. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. Payment history is a big factor in your FICO score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you discover mistakes 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.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is holding the maximum 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 all of your debt transferred to one card.
Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first step in owning a home, and that is improving your FICO score. 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 adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of The Allan Agency L.L.C., the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
To learn more, visit 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.