How's Your Credit?
You might think that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved for a loan or with choosing a real estate agent. In reality, the home buying process starts with your finances. To make your goal of homeownership realized, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 600. With the change in the economy, however, some people have seen their score drop dramatically after loss of employment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in reviewing your FICO score are:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
- 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?
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 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 satisfactory interest rate. You can get approved for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double that of an individual having a near perfect FICO score.
Improving your FICO is the first step in owning a home. Call us at (918)348-9250 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a stronger score, but how do you get there? 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 year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:
- Chain store cards and gas cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to establish your credit history, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of keeping a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards traditionally have a surprisingly high interest rate.
- Use your credit. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Stay on top of payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. 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 bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find 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 sound like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is maxed out and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a smaller balance than to have the bulk of your debt transferred to a single card.
Knowing the methods you can use to build up your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Remember 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 Leslie Scott Realty, LLC, the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.
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.