Scoring Your FICO
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The quality of your wallet begins the home buying process. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Auburn.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people normally having a score of 600. With the change in the economy, however, some people have seen their score lowered as a result of underemployment, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts that were closed because they don't carry a balance. Some of the factors in reviewing your FICO score are:
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- 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 — How many late payments have you made?
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 credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are based solely on your credit history. Because of the shift in the economy, most home buyers should have scores in the range of 700 or higher to get a decent interest rate. You can qualify for a loan with a lower score, but the interest paid over time could be more than double that of someone with a near perfect credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Call us at (315) 258-9147 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are methods to improve your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a large-scale change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by monitoring your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having one card that is maxed out 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 taking up the balance a single card.
- Apply for service station cards or retail credit. For those who have non-existent credit or below average credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You should always avoid charging a large balance for too long because these types of cards traditionally have a larger 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, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.
- Stay on top of payments. Your FICO score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Correct your credit report. If you discover mistakes 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.
Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first step in owning a home, and that is improving your FICO score. Keep in mind that when it's time 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 Lake Country Real Estate, Inc., the loan application process 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.