If you’re ready to buy your first home or to move into a new one, good for you! Now is an excellent time to buy a house. However, before you apply for a home loan, there are some things you need to know about your credit. Here are a few credit tips just for people who are getting ready to buy a home.
* It’s really important that you know your score before you even apply for a mortgage. Give yourself a few months if at all possible so that you can spend time pulling up a bad or average credit score. As soon as you can when you know you’re going to buy a home, pull credit reports from all three credit reporting companies, and also get your credit scores and FICO score.
Check the credit reports for errors, especially if your score seems low. If your score isn’t at least in the average range, it’s best to wait a few months until you can get it up. Just a few extra points on your credit score can save you hundreds a month on your home loan by lowering your interest rate. Even though it might be hard to wait, it could definitely be worth it!
* Once you know your credit score, spend some time improving it if need be. Pay down as much revolving – ie. credit card – debt as possible. Get any mistakes on your report changed or fixed. Don’t take out any new credit or get any new inquiries on your report. As you’re doing all this, don’t close any old accounts, even if you pay them off. This can lower your credit age and keep your score lower.
* As soon as you feel comfortable with your credit score, start applying for mortgages. It’s important to shop around, but get quotes all around the same time. If you get all of your mortgage applications in within a week, the credit reporting companies will only count this as one inquiry. This is important, since getting too many inquiries on your report can cause your score to get lower.
* Make sure that you maintain your credit score throughout the home buying process, as it may get checked several times. The best thing is to keep your debt low and to not take out any other loans besides a mortgage. Wait a while before opening that store credit card or buying a new car, and you’ll find that your mortgage interest rate is as low as possible.