Scoring Your Credit
The road to home ownership doesn't start with getting pre-approved for a loan 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 mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Grants Pass, Oregon.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 600. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop dramatically after job loss, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in calculating your FICO score include:
- 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?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
Lenders want to make sure that giving you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you are 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 decent interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double the amount of someone with a stronger FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of credit scores. Call us at (541) 494-3932 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you get a better 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 using your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:
- Correct your credit report. If you discover 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having one card that is holding the maximum 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 sitting on a single card.
- Apply for gas station cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always avoid maintaining a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards usually have a steeper interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. 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.
- Pay on time. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed 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 responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
Knowing the methods you can use to build up your FICO score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Realty Executives So. Oregon, the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year 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.
We won't judge you based on your credit and can help you get back into home ownership with the best lender for you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 494-3932 for more information.