Tips on Raising Your FICO Score for Home Buying
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process begins with your finances. To realize your goal of owning a home, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Lomita, California.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. 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 just that and often means you can't get credit. 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 credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — How often do you make late payments?
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 solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a acceptable interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over time could be more than double that of someone having a stronger FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels of credit scores. Call us at (310) 784-8321 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are ways to raise your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a large-scale change in your number with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs 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:
- Keep your cards active. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts maintain an active status. But, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Pay on time. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
- Correct your credit report. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, write to 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 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 want to avoid of having one card that is at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a lower balance than to have the majority of your debt transferred to one card.
- Apply for gas station cards or chain store credit. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, 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 credit. You must always avoid holding a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards more than likely have a higher interest rate.
Knowing the ways you can build up your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Remember that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Kivett Realty, shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Learn more about FICO scores at myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports 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.