Scoring Your Credit - How's Your Credit Score
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, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Tarrytown.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. Most people usually have a score of 650, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some borrowers have seen their score drop by hundreds of points as a result of underemployment, closed credit card accounts, or credit card accounts terminated because the card didn't carry a high balance. Some of the factors in reviewing your FICO score are:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time every month?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
Lenders want to make sure that giving you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into 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 less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double that of someone having a superior FICO score.
We're used to working with all levels of credit scores. Call us at 914-301-3277 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 difficult to make a significant stride 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 wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:
- Keep your cards active. 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 maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your credit score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed 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 lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you discover incorrect items on your credit report, contact 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is maxed out and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 30% of their credit limit than to have all of your debt sitting on a single card.
- Department store cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of carrying a large balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards normally have a surprising interest rate.
Knowing the ways you can raise your FICO score, you can move toward 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 credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Joseph Baratta & Company Realty, the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
To learn more, visit 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.