FICO - The First Step to Home Ownership
Most people assume that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The content of your wallet begins the home buying process. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of lender for which you'll qualify in Healdsburg.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 650. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop dramatically after job loss, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts closed by the lender due to inactivity. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score include:
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
- 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 how much credit you have available?
Lenders want to make sure that allowing you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of 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. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double that of an individual having a near perfect credit score.
Getting your credit in order is the first step in purchasing a home. Contact us 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 it? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant stride change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by monitoring 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:
- Department store cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to establish your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of maintaining a high balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a steeper interest rate.
- Keep your cards in rotation. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, pay them off in one or two payments.
- Pay on time. Your FICO score plummets with every account that goes to collections. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Spread your debt around. 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 a smaller balance than to have the most of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first step in owning a home, and that is improving your FICO score. Know 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 RE/MAX Full Spectrum - Roxanne Mercer, the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Get more information by visiting 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.