Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit

Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Milaca with Countryside Realty as your agent - (320) 983-2991

Most people assume 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 begins and ends with your finances. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Milaca.

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 traditionally 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 a loan. Some of the pieces 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 how much credit you have available?
  • Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?

Lenders want to be positive that giving you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a satisfactory interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accrued in the long run could be more than double that of an individual with a near perfect FICO score.

Improving your FICO is the first step in purchasing a home. Call us at (320) 983-2991 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

How do you obtain a higher 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 credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:

Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Milaca with Countryside Realty as your agent - (320) 983-2991
  • Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is holding the maximum and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a lower balance than to have the majority of your debt transferred to one card.
  • Apply for service station cards or department store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of maintaining a large balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards normally have a surprising 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 to make sure your accounts stay active. But, 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 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 prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
  • Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover incorrect items 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.

Knowing the ways you can improve your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Countryside Realty, the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.

To learn more, visit www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

We won't judge you based on your FICO scores and can help you get back into home ownership with the right mortgage lender for you. E-mail us at mortgage11@re-consumer.com or call (320) 983-2991 for additional information.

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