Raising Your FICO Score for Home Ownership
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, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Covina, California.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 600. 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 extended to you in the form of a mortgage loan. Some of the factors in determining your FICO score include:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- 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?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll find that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with each of the bureaus.
Lenders want to be positive that allowing you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'll be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a satisfactory interest rate. You'll still qualify for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest paid over time could be more than double that of someone with a better credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Call us at (626) 608-7310 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want an improved score, but how do you get there? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant stride 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:
- Apply for service station cards or store credit. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of carrying a large balance for too long because these types of cards normally have a larger interest rate.
- Use your credit. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. Your credit score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's one of the reasons people who have recently experienced job loss 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 prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you find mistakes on your credit report, write to 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear 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 an even balance than to have the most of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
Knowing the ways you can improve your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of In Home Realty, the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
To learn more, visit 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.