Scoring Your Credit - How's Your Credit Score
You might think that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. In reality, the home buying process begins with your finances. Without a reasonable FICO score, buying a house is more difficult and, you could end up renting longer than you expected in Lomita, California until your score improves.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. Most people traditionally 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 loan. Some of the pieces in summing up your FICO score are:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
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 an insight into what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. You'll still get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest paid over time could be more than double the amount of an individual with a better credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you boost your credit score? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by keeping tabs 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 tips:
- Use your credit. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Your FICO score plummets with every 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 rebuild your credit this way, 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.
- 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 the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 25% of their credit limit than to have the most of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
- Chain store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your spending limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of maintaining a large balance for too long because these types of cards traditionally have a surprising interest rate.
Knowing the methods you can use to improve your FICO score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know 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 damaging your credit score. With the help of Kivett Realty, the loan 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 you can review all of your credit reports for free each year 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.