Ways to Improve Your FICO Score for Home Buying
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. 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 mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Farwell.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. Most people usually have a score of 650, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. 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 a loan. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score include:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — How often do you make late payments?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll discover that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. As a result, you have three scores, one for each scoring model.
Lenders want to make sure that allowing you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are solely because of 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 an acceptable interest rate. If your score is less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double that of someone with a higher FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Call us at 806-481-3288 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you boost your credit score? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant stride change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is holding the maximum 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 bulk of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
- Apply for gas cards or retail credit. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always avoid maintaining a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards more than likely have a larger interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Pay on time. Your credit score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed 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 able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you find 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.
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. Remember 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 a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of J.B. Sudderth Realty, Inc., the loan 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.