Improving Your FICO Score for Home buyers
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The content of your wallet begins the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Guerneville, California.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people traditionally have a score of 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the pieces in calculating 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 credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll find that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to calculate 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 bureau.
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. You'll still get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double that of someone with a near perfect credit 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 an improved score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a large-scale 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 tips:
- Correct your credit report. If you find incorrect items 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.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having one card that is at the maximum and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 25% of their credit limit than to have all 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 begin your credit history, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of holding a large balance for too long because these types of cards traditionally have a larger interest rate.
- Use your credit. 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, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.
- Stay on top of payments. Your FICO score plummets with every 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 build up 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.
Knowing the methods you can use to raise your FICO score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Your City Country Connection, the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly 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.