Scoring Your Credit
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. 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 Austin.
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. In recent years, however, some people have seen their score drop dramatically after loss of employment, charged off credit card accounts, or credit card accounts that were closed because they don't carry a balance. Some of the pieces in calculating your FICO score are:
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time each month?
Lenders want to ensure that allowing you a loan is a safe move. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into 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 over the life of the loan could be more than double that of an individual with a better credit score.
Improving your credit score is the best way to ease into buying a home. Call us at 5122032245 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a better score, but how do you get it? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant stride change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Retail cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of holding a large balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a steeper interest rate.
- Keep your cards in rotation. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your credit score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit this way, but it's the surest way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find 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.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you want to avoid 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 the bulk of your debt sitting on one card.
Knowing the ways you can build up your FICO score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Issac W. Harper Real Estate Broker/Realtor©, the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Learn more about FICO scores at 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.