The road to home ownership doesn’t start with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. In reality, the home buying process begins and ends with your finances. To make your goal of homeownership realized, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you’ll qualify in Naples, Florida.
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 the majority of people normally having a score of 600. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren’t necessarily adjusted “on a curve.” A low score is a low score and that often means you can’t get credit extended to you in the form of a mortgage loan. Some of the pieces in reviewing your FICO score include:
- 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?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time ?
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn’t a risk. 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 740 to get a acceptable interest rate. You’ll still get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accrued in the long run could be more than double that of an individual having a stronger FICO score.
Improving your credit score is the best way to ease into owning a home. Contact me and I can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you boost your credit score? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your credit score with small changes, 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. You’ll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn’t seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having one card that is at the limit and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It’s better to have each of your cards at a smaller balance than to have all of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
- Store cards and gas station cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of holding a high balance for too long because these types of cards more than likely have a surprising interest rate.
- Don’t let your cards get dusty. Whether you’re just getting started with credit, or if you’ve got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. Late payments hurt your credit history. It’s where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it’s the surest way to prove that you’re responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
- 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
Knowing the ways you can raise 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 house, 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 Metro Properties, the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Learn more about FICO scores at myFICO.com, Fair Isaac’s informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports 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.
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