Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The content of your wallet starts the home buying process. To realize your goal of owning a home, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Hobart, Oklahoma.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people usually have a score of 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is a low score and that often means you can't get credit extended to you via a mortgage loan. Some of the factors in calculating your FICO score include:
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
- Payment History — Do you pay your bills on time every month?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
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 insight into 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 700 or higher to get a decent 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 the amount of someone having a higher FICO score.
Improving your FICO is the best way to ease into buying a home. Call us at 580-726-4222 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you obtain a better score? Improving your FICO score takes time. At Russ Real Estate, we know it's rare to make a significant change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by monitoring your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have 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 an even balance than to have the majority of your debt transferred to a single card.
- Department Store cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your FICO score. Simply avoid holding a large balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a steeper 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 maintain an active status. But, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. Your FICO score plummets with each account that goes to collections. It's one of the reasons 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 lender.
- 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.
Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Know that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Russ Real Estate, the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.
At Russ Real Estate we work with all tiers of credit scores and can help you get back into home ownership with the right mortgage lender for you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 580-726-4222 for more information.