Scoring Your FICO
You might think that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet starts the home buying process. To become a homeowner, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in San Jose.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 650. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop by hundreds of points after underemployment, charged off credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the pieces in calculating your FICO score include:
- 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?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
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 systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. Because of this, you have three scores, one for each scoring model.
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'd 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. You'll still get approved for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over time could be more than double that of an individual having a higher FICO score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Call us at 408.320.8080 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a stronger score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant stride change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:
- Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Your credit score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed 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 responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover mistakes on your credit report, contact 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.
- 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 the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at an even balance than to have all of your debt taking up the balance one card.
- Department store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to improve credit, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You must always avoid keeping a large balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards normally have a surprisingly high interest rate.
Knowing the ways you can improve 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 achieve home ownership.
To learn more, visit myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and review your credit history for free 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.