Improving Your FICO Score for Home buyers
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in San Jose, California.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 650. With the change in the economy, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop dramatically because of job loss, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the pieces in summing up your FICO score are:
- 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 many late payments have you made?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll see that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different models to calculate your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all three of the bureaus.
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 credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. Because of the shift in the economy, most home buyers should have scores in the range of 740 or higher to get a decent interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid over time could be more than double that of an individual with a near perfect FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels of FICO scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a higher score, but how do you get there? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- 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 maxed out and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 30% of their credit limit than to have the bulk of your debt sitting on a single card.
- Retail cards and gas cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of carrying a high balance for too long because these types of cards normally have a surprising 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 stay active. But, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. Payment history is a big factor in 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 rebuild your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find mistakes 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
Knowing the methods you can use to raise your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Keep in mind that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Morgan Real Estate & Financial, Inc., the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly 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.