First-Time 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. Without a reasonable credit score, entering into a loan for a house is more difficult and, you could end up renting longer than you expected in North Kingstown until your score improves.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 600. 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 just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the pieces in reviewing your FICO score are:
- 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 — How many times do you make late payments?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
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 FICO score gives lenders a view of 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 acceptable interest rate. You'll still qualify for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double that of an individual having a stronger credit score.
Getting your credit in order is the first step in purchasing a home. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are methods to boost your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a large-scale 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 best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Correct your credit report. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- 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 a lower balance than to have all of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
- Apply for service station cards or retail credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, store 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 avoid charging a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards usually have a surprising interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you 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 been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
Knowing the ways you can build up your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Greater R.I. Properties, 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.