Scoring Your Credit - How's Your Credit Score
The road to home ownership doesn't start with getting pre-approved for a loan or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. To realize your goal of owning a home, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally 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 a low score and that often means you can't get credit extended to you in the form of a mortgage loan. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score include:
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- 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 — Do you pay your bills on time every month?
Lenders want to make sure that giving you a loan is a safe move. 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 740 to get a satisfactory interest rate. You'll still get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest accrued over time could be more than double that of an individual with a stronger FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of credit scores. Call us at 918-447-8000 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are methods to raise your score. Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant stride change in your credit score 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 methods to improve your credit score:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you don't want to have 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 smaller balance than to have the most of your debt sitting on one card.
- Store cards and gas cards. For those who have no credit or below average credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of holding a high balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards usually have a steeper 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 maintain an active status. But, pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you discover 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
Knowing the ways you can improve your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Dennis Hall Realty, LLC, the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
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 scores and can help you step into home ownership with the best mortgage lender for you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-447-8000 for additional information.