Tips on Improving 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 realize your goal of owning a home, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Sunset Beach.
A FICO score is a review 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 650. With the change in the economy, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop dramatically because of unemployment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score are:
- 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?
When you pull your credit report, 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 calculate your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with each of the bureaus.
Lenders want to be positive that allowing you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be 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 a satisfactory interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double that of an individual with a near perfect FICO score.
Staying on top of your FICO score is the first step in buying a home. Call us at 9103676396 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are methods to improve your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant stride change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year or two by monitoring your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Stay on top of payments. Your FICO 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 restore your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find mistakes on your credit report, write to 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.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear 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 transferred to a single card.
- Store cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your spending limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of holding a large balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a surprisingly high interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. 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, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
Now that you're better informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. 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 a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Fred Thorne Realty LLC, shopping for a mortgage can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Get more information by visiting 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.