Tips on Raising Your FICO Score for Home Buying
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The content of your wallet starts the home buying process. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Orlando, Florida.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people normally having a score of 600. Since we've experienced an economic downturn, however, some people have seen their score drop dramatically as a result of job loss, delinquent credit card accounts, or credit card accounts that were closed because they don't carry a balance. Some of the factors in reviewing your FICO score include:
- 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?
- 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?
When you pull your credit report, you'll discover that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all of the bureaus.
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn't a problem. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a satisfactory interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage loan with a lower score, but the interest accrued over time could be more than double that of someone having a better credit score.
We're used to working with all tiers of FICO scores. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
How do you get a higher score? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant stride change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these tips:
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find 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.
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have 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 an even balance than to have the most of your debt transferred to one card.
- Apply for service station cards or retail credit. For those who have non-existent credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of charging a high balance for too long because these types of cards more than likely have a higher interest rate.
- Use your credit. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, be sure to pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
- Keep up with payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
Knowing the ways you can improve your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Know that when you're ready 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 Danny Hilwa P.A., shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Learn more about FICO scores at 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.