How's Your Score?
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 loan for which you'll qualify in Davie.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people usually have a score of 600, 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 a decent interest rate. Some of the factors in determining your FICO score are:
- 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?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time each month?
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 based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a satisfactory interest rate. If your score is less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid over the life of the loan could be more than double that of someone having a superior credit score.
Getting your credit in order is the first step in purchasing a home. Call us at (954) 598-0700 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are plans to increase your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant change in your credit score 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. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Correct your credit report. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, contact 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.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid 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 a smaller balance than to have the most of your debt sitting on a single card.
- Apply for service station cards or department store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to repair credit, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of holding a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards usually have a larger interest rate.
- Use your credit. 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.
- Stay on top of payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your FICO score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
Now that you know more about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, 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 Unicasa International USA Realty, 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.
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