How's Your Credit?
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The quality of your wallet begins the home buying process. To become a homeowner, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in New York.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people traditionally have a score of 650, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. 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. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score are:
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time every month?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
When you pull your credit report, you'll see that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different models to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all three of the bureaus.
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn't a problem. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'd be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a satisfactory interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accrued over the life of the loan could be more than double that of an individual having a near perfect credit score.
I'm used to working with all levels of FICO scores. Call me at 917-397-0507 and I can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a higher 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 quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound 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 about 30% of their credit limit than to have the majority of your debt sitting on one card.
- Chain Store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to improve credit, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always avoid holding a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards traditionally have a steeper interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit this way, but it's the surest way to show that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover incorrect items on your credit report, contact 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 can move toward becoming a homeowner. Remember 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 a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Nelson's List, shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports 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.
I work with all levels of credit scores and can help you step into home ownership with the right lender for you. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 917-397-0507 for more information.