Increasing Your FICO Score for Home buyers
You might think that the home buying process starts 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. Without an acceptable FICO score, buying a house is harder and, you could find yourself renting longer than you expected in Evansville until your FICO score is acceptable.
A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people traditionally having a score of 650. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get a decent interest rate. Some of the pieces in summing up your FICO score include:
- 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 every month?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
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 are based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a acceptable interest rate. You can get approved for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest accrued over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of someone having a near perfect FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels of FICO scores. Call us at (812) 436-9222 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you obtain a stronger 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 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 helpful hints:
- Apply for gas station cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of maintaining a high balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a steeper interest rate.
- Don't let your cards get dusty. 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, be sure to 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 where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover mistakes 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have 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 about 20% of their credit limit than to have the majority of your debt taking up the balance one card.
Knowing the ways you can raise your FICO score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Gammon Realty, shopping for a mortgage 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 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.
We won't judge you based on your credit history and can help you step into home ownership with the best lender for you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (812) 436-9222 for more information.