How's Your Credit?
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process begins and ends with your finances. To become a homeowner, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Farwell.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 650. 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 in the form of a mortgage loan. Some of the pieces in deciding 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 how much credit you have available?
- 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 solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 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 an individual having a near perfect FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels 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.
You want a stronger score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your FICO score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by keeping tabs your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is maxed out and have your remaining 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 sitting on a single card.
- Store cards and service station cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, retail 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 credit. You must always beware of maintaining a high balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a higher interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. 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 with payment history, but it's the surest way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. 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.
Now that you know more 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 lender applications within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects 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 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.