Pay attention to credit Before You Buy a Home
5 things you should do before you get serious.
Buying a home can be a stressful and confusing time for many homebuyers.
But it does not have it be.
Five simple things you should do before you buy a home.
Tip Number One: Know your credit score – Get Your Credit Report and Scores for Free
To get a home loan there are several factors that come into play, but your FICO or credit score
is the most important. You can check your credit report and get your scores online for free. The
Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax,
Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your
request, once every 12 months. Once you have your credit report be sure to review it and check
for any errors.
You cannot rely on the credit score that shows up in your checking account statement or your
Discover card. It’s done on a different risk scale and you do have to check all three credit
bureaus because the score used is the middle score of the three
Tip Number Two: Look for Errors on Your Credit Report
Mistakes on credit reports are bigger issues than you may realize. If you do find inaccuracies,
you can dispute them with the three major credit bureaus. They have 30 days to investigate
your dispute. If they find that the item in question is inaccurate, they will correct it.
The higher the credit score the more likely you are to get approved for a home loan, so check
what you can do to improve your score.
Tip Number Three: Improve Your Score Before Applying
A few points difference in your credit score can be the difference in whether you qualify for a
home loan or not. There are a few things you can do to increase your scores. First, pay down
the balances on your credit cards. Your credit utilization ratio is your credit limit divided by your
card balance. This ratio accounts for 30% of your overall credit score, only payment history has
a bigger impact. For example, if your credit limit is $10,000 and your balance is $6,000 your
utilization ratio is 60% which is remarkably high. The lower your credit card balances are the
higher your credit rating will be. Some credit experts advise keeping your balances below 20%
of your credit card limit.
The next thing you can do is to make all your payments on time. 35% of your credit score is
based on your payment history so it’s important to pay all your bills on time. If you’re a forgetful
person you can set up auto pay with your creditors, so you never miss a payment.
If you are wanting to buy a home, do not apply for, or open any new credit. This means to hold
off on buying a new car or opening a credit card until after you close on your mortgage.
Tip Number Four: Check Your Savings
You will need a certain amount of cash in the bank to buy a home. If you are living paycheck to
paycheck, then it probably is not the ideal time for you to apply for a loan. There are more
upfront costs associated with getting a mortgage loan besides the down payment. There are
closing costs and fees that you will need to pay to the appraiser, lender and title company, so
you need to make sure you have enough cash on hand when you get ready to close. And one
of the most important things you should do before you go out looking for a home is to get pre–
Tip Number Five: Get Pre–Approved
A pre–approval means you have completed a mortgage application and we have checked credit
and verified income and assets. You will need to submit documentation verifying your income,
assets and savings and your lender will be able to help you through this process. Most sellers
today will not even consider an offer from a buyer who has not already been pre–approved, so
plan on meeting with us before you go shopping for your home.
Buying a new home is exciting and there are a few simple things you can do before you start
looking that will help you through the process.
If you or someone you know is looking to buy or refinance or just get your questions answered,
please contact me. I look forward to helping you get into the house of your dreams!