You’ve heard it all before. Rates are low, house prices are rising, and homeownership is a great way to accumulate wealth in the long term. So everyone should run out and buy a house, right?
Before you make any major decisions, you may want to make sure your credit is as prepared for this investment as your heart is. While taking the time to consider where you want to live and how much house you can afford – you should also take the time to review your credit report.
Your credit score will help determine the interest rate you get. Higher credit scores enable borrowers to pay lower interest rates. If you haven’t already considered improving your credit score – it’s never to late to start. Here are a few credit tips for potential home buyers:
1. Check Your Credit
Make sure the information on your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. Get a free copy of your credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have already applied for a mortgage loan, your loan officer will have already pulled your credit report and should be able to advise you on aspects of your credit report that may require attention.
2. Pay Bills on Time
This sounds like a no-brainer but it is important. Lenders want to see a good payment history. Generally, if you pay your bills within 30 days of the due date your late payment will not be reported to the credit bureaus. However, you will accumulate unnecessary and costly late fees.
3. Pay Down Balances
The amounts of debt you have weighs heavily on your overall credit score. If you can pay down balances – your credit will improve. Generally, it’s reasonable to keep your credit card balances at or below 30% of your credit limit.
4. Approved? Now Don’t Charge ANYTHING!
Before your loan closes, your lender may pull a second credit report. Your financing can fall apart if after you initial application you run up credit balances, apply for a car loan, or anything else that would affect your credit score. There will be plenty of time for shopping after your loan closes – don’t risk it.
Each loan program that Inlanta Mortgage offers has different requirements. Contact me to see which programs you are eligible for.