Tips on Increasing Your FICO Score for Home Buying
You might think 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 begins the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Mechanicsville.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. Most people usually have a score of 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. In recent years, however, some people have seen their score drop by hundreds of points as a result of unemployment, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score include:
- 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 loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time every month?
Lenders want to ensure that giving you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are 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'll still qualify for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest paid over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of someone having a better FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels of FICO scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a better score, but how do you get it? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a large-scale change in your credit score with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these tips:
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Payment history is a huge factor in your FICO score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover 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 pay extra attention 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 at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a lower balance than to have the most of your debt transferred to one card.
- Apply for gas cards or retail credit. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to repair credit, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of carrying a large balance for too long because these types of cards traditionally have a surprising interest rate.
Knowing the methods you can use to build up your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Lighthouse Realty, Inc., shopping for a mortgage can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
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.