Plano home loan / plano mortgage ratesWhen it comes to finding the best Plano mortgage, your credit score is a major determinant as to the kinds of rates and conditions you can get. Lenders quite understandably want to manage their risk. But for a number of potential homeowners, these practices and policies can be a barrier to home ownership.

The good news? If your credit score isn’t great, you can easily improve it and get better lending terms. Here are five steps you can take right now to give your credit a boost.

Get Your Annual Credit Report And Dispute ErrorsPlano home loan / plano mortgage rates

Simply disputing errors on your credit report is one of the easiest ways to give your score a boost. The FTC says that 1 in every 5 Americans has errors on their credit report that have an impact on their score. By simply disputing errors on your credit report, you can give your score a small boost almost overnight.  Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free copy.

Miss A Few Payments? Talk To Your Lender

If you’ve missed a payment and it’s more than 30 days past due, chances are your lender has already reported the missed payment. Once a missed payment is on your credit report, the fastest way to remove it is to talk to your lender. Get a written and signed agreement that if you pay the overdue balance, they’ll report the account as “paid in full.”

Plano home loan / plano mortgage ratesAsk For A Credit Increase

Your credit utilization ratio – the amount of credit you’ve used compared to the total amount available to you – makes up 30% of your FICO score. In general, experts say that using more than 30% of your available credit can harm your score. If you can’t immediately pay down your debt below that 30% threshold, one great way to improve your credit utilization ratio is to ask for a credit limit increase.

Get A Co-Signer To Help

Having someone with good credit co-sign your lending agreement is a great way to improve your credit. When you get a co-signer for your credit card or car loan, the better quality credit line may help boost your score. Just make sure you stay on top of payments – otherwise both you and the co-signer will see your credit scores fall.

Keep Good Debts On Your ReportPlano home loan / plano mortgage rates

While it is important to review your credit report and have any negative items removed, you’ll want to ensure that any positive entries – debts you’ve paid in full – stay on the report. When your credit report shows debts as paid in full, your score increases because it shows that you’re a responsible borrower.

Improving your credit score doesn’t have to take years. These five strategies can help you to boost your credit and qualify for better mortgage loan terms. Contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or Warren@Lendhome.comyour local mortgage professional to learn more.

Plano real estateIt’s difficult to begin shopping around for a new Plano mortgage without the facts on how this can affect your FICO score.

Anybody who is holding off for fear that their credit score will be ruined by multiple credit checks has nothing to worry about. Mortgage lenders require this information to give an accurate quote, so many credit checks by mortgage companies will have a miniscule effect on credit scores.

The system has been designed this way because a mortgage is not considered to be ‘bad debt’ by lenders and consumers should have the right to shop around without fear of their credit being destroyed by it.

Understanding The ‘Tiers’ Of Credit Checks

FICO scores are affected each time a credit inquiry is requested to check a borrower’s credit report. This makes sense, as every time somebody searches for new credit they increase their ability to acquire significant debt.Plano homes

Thankfully, not all credit checks are created equal and they do not affect FICO scores in the same way. A mortgage loan is not considered remotely close to store credit cards, which allow a person to get into more debt. Debts on mortgages only get lower as time goes on, ranking them very low on the list of things lenders consider bad credit.

The One Thing To Know Before Shopping For A New Mortgage

Every time a credit card company or consumer loan company pulls a credit check, the borrower’s FICO score will fall, but this will not happen when multiple mortgage lenders pull the same person’s credit score.

plano home loansThis is because each credit card has the chance to accumulate debt, whereas only one mortgage will be taken out. So once a mortgage lender pulls your credit score, you will only receive one ‘ding’ even if other lenders pull your score afterwards.

Here is the important part: there is only a 14-day window from the first credit check where all other credit inquiries will be ignored. So it is imperative to plan ahead and shop around within a two week period to limit the impact on your FICO score.

Shopping around when looking for a new mortgage is a necessary step to getting the best possible deal, and thankfully the system is designed around not punishing people for doing this. It can be very intimidating to do alone and working with a professional mortgage specialist can relieve stress and get you the best deal on your new mortgage.

If you have any questions please contact Warren Whitaker @ 972.523.8353, or warren@lendhome.com, your trusted mortgage professional for advice on the right steps to getting your new mortgage.

Plano mortgage ratesIf you’re shopping around for Plano Home Loan, you’ve probably heard about pre-qualification processes – or maybe even received a pre-qualification offer in the mail. Lots of prospective homeowners hold misconceptions about what exactly pre-qualification is and how it works, and it leads them to opt into poor mortgage deals.

But by understanding how pre-qualification works, you’ll be able to find the right Plano mortgage for you – at the best possible rate. So what is mortgage pre-qualification, and what isn’t it? Here are three common pre-qualification myths that you may have heard.

Myth: Mortgage Pre-qualification Commits You To A Specific LenderPlano mortgage.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that being pre-qualified for a mortgage commits them to a specific lender. In truth, being pre-qualified only creates an opportunity for a lender to work with you.

The pre-qualification process doesn’t involve any loan contracts and doesn’t require you to pay the lender. Few homeowners know this, but you’re actually not at all committed to any particular lender until you sign the closing documents.

Pre-qualification is also generally a free process, although some lenders will ask you to pay the $20 fee it costs them to check your credit report. Typically a reputable lender will NOT ask you to pay for a pre-qualification.

Plano Home AppraisalMyth: Rate Shopping Hurts Your Credit Score

Another common myth is that shopping around for the best rate will hurt your credit score as a result of having multiple credit checks done. Some lenders may tell you this is true in order to discourage you from checking out other lenders. But according to FICO, mortgage inquiries aren’t handled the same way that other credit inquiries are.  The credit scoring models allow dozens of mortgage inquiries in a 30-45 window without affecting your credit score.

Mortgage pre-qualification may seem like something you don’t want during a house hunt, but in truth, it’s really just a small gesture lenders make in order to make the mortgage process faster and simpler. If you’ve been pre-qualified for a mortgage, you will still need to go through the standard application process before you’re approved. To learn more about the mortgage application process, or to apply for your new mortgage today, contact Warren Whitaker @ 972.523.8353 or warren@LendHome.com, your trusted mortgage professional.

Plano home loansFHA loans are designed to help individuals take advantage of the benefits of Plano home ownership, and these loans have low down payment requirements. However, for borrowers who choose to make a down payment that is less than 20 percent of the sales price, the borrower will be required to pay a mortgage insurance premium with a monthly mortgage payment or a financed mortgage insurance premium option.

Mortgage insurance is in place to minimize the risk that the lender takes when making a low down payment (less than 20%) loan, but it does result in a higher monthly mortgage payment for the homeowner. Recently, the FHA has announced a lower rate for FHA mortgage insurance premiums, and this will help home buyers save money.

A Closer Look At The Reduced Premium

In January 2015, the FHA announced that the FHA premium rate would decline from a current level of 1.35 percent of the loan value to 0.85 percent. ThisPlano home loans has the potential to save home buyers hundreds of dollars per year in reduced mortgage payments, making home ownership more affordable. In fact, the FHA stated that it believes this reduction will help as many as 250,000 home buyers who currently do not qualify for a mortgage to purchase a home.

Calculating the Savings For You

The mortgage insurance premium is in place on low down payment loans until the home equity has accrued to at least 20 percent of the home’s value. This equity is essentially built up between principal reduction with regular monthly payments and increasing property values, but homeowners typically will need to prove that the equity is present before the mortgage insurance premium can be removed from the monthly payment.

Plano Home LoansAs a home buyer, it is important to know that you may be responsible for the mortgage insurance premium for several years or longer. Therefore, this reduced premium can result in considerable savings for you over time. You can use an online calculator to determine your actual savings and to calculate your monthly payment based on the new rate.

If you have not qualified for a mortgage in the past due to the addition of a mortgage insurance premium, you may consider contacting Warren Whitaker @ 972.523.8353 or warren@LendHome.com about your current options. The reduction in the premium rate will help many to qualify for the loan amount that they need, and you can speak with a representative about your financing needs and to request an estimate for your mortgage payment.

Credit report, credit scoreOne of the most significant factors a Plano mortgage lender will review when you apply for a new mortgage loan is your credit history and score. While some people have stellar credit, others have a troubled credit history with lower scores.

If you fall into the latter scenario, you may be wondering how lenders will assess your credit situation when you apply for a mortgage in the near future.

Reviewing Your Credit ScoresPlano Home Loans

Initially, lenders will review your credit report and your credit scores. Your scores will have a direct impact on the interest rate that you qualify for or if you qualify for a loan at all. There are prime mortgages for good credit borrowers and sub-prime mortgages for those with a blemished credit rating.

If your scores are too low (usually lower than 620), however, you may not qualify for a mortgage. A Loan Officer can tell you more about their credit rating thresholds and the terms that you may qualify for.

High Debt Balances

Your mortgage lender will dig deeper into your credit report after an initial review of your credit score. Your debt balances will be reviewed to determine your debt-to-income ratio. Provided your debt-to-income ratio and your credit rating are in line with requirements, high debt balances may not be an issue. Essentially, the lender will determine if you are able to make your payments on time as scheduled or if your debt balances appear to be burdensome. Even if your debt balances are high, you may be approved for a loan if you can afford to make the payments.

Warren Whitaker Plano Mortgage Guy

Warren Whitaker Plano Mortgage Guy – NMLS#620924, 972.523.8353

Credit Score Analyzer

One of the unique tools that Warren Whitaker utilizes provides for his customer is a credit score analyzer.  This tool is provided by the credit reporting company and will analyze the customers existing credit situation and if there is an opportunity to pay down or pay off a credit account and what the impact will be on the customer credit score.  Although the results are not guaranteed, the tool gets pretty darn close to estimating the updated credit score.  If you are thinking about buying a home, contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 to discuss your credit situation.

Difficulty Making Timely Payments

Your mortgage lender will also review the number of late payments on your credit report as well as the dates for those late payments. When late payments are clustered together, this may indicate a temporary rough patch rather than an on-going issue with making payments on time. However, if you have multiple payments that have been late over the course of the last year or two, this may indicate that you are not creditworthy as a loan applicant.

A credit report can tell a lender many things about you. While it superficially can tell a lender more about your outstanding debts, it also delves into previous financial issues and your overall responsibility with managing debt. If you have suffered from credit problems in the past, you may consider reaching out to a mortgage professional, like Warren, for more insight on your credit situation.

Plano Home LoanIs your credit score holding you back from getting the best rate on your next mortgage? The good news is that there are actions that you can take to increase your credit score and improve the Plano Home Loan Interest Rate offered on your next home loan.

Here are a few easy and effective tips to help you get your credit score to where you want it to be.

Increase The Amount Of Credit Available To You

The easiest way to increase your credit score is to increase your credit limit, as this reduces your utilization ratio. To do this, you can either apply for another credit card or ask a current credit card provider to increase your credit limit. Those who have a stable income and have made their monthly payments on time should have no problem getting an increase of their credit limit.

Pay Down The Balances On Your Credit Card

Paying down your credit card balances can help you increase your credit score, as a large portion of your score is determined by the percent of availablePlano Home Loan credit that you are using. Ideally, you want each card balance to be under 30 percent of the total limit while also keeping your total credit usage to less than 30 percent of available credit. A utilization ratio under 30 percent tells lenders that you can manage credit responsibly.

Settle Past Due Debts

Proceed with caution here…Roughly one-third of your credit score is determined by your ability to make payments in a timely manner. If you have any payments that are 30 or more days past due, you MAY wish to settle those debts or make arrangements to pay them.  However, if you are NOT familiar with the credit scoring process – this could back-fire and decrease your credit score.
Plano Mortgage Loans, Plano Home LoansSome creditors who allow you to roll past due payments back into your loan may update your credit report to say that you are current on your payments. This could have a huge impact on your credit score and help you qualify for a better rate on a home loan.

Increasing your credit score is one of the best ways to get the best rate on a mortgage. This may enable you to gain additional leverage when negotiating for a better rate that may lower your monthly payment to a more affordable level.

For more information about how to get a great Plano mortgage rate for your next home purchase, or for advice on how to improve your credit score, contact Warren Whitaker @ 972.523.8353.

Resources

Bump up your credit score in a hurry 

5 Steps To Scoring A Mortgage

Credit scoresBoost your credit rating

How To Improve Your FICO Scores Quickly

Improve Credit Score: Tips to Fix Poor Credit & Raise Your

Plano MortgageOver the course of a lifetime, financial development can lead to some wonderful opportunities. A person’s financial development and state of affairs is something that is particularly important when it comes to taking out a bank loan to further progress in life, and the largest loan most people will require is a Plano mortgage for a Plano home purchase.

Since the process of getting approved for a mortgage is heavily dependent on credit history and that three-digit credit score that reflects reliability as a borrower, you should always put forth practices to keep that number healthy and growing.

However, how much importance does a credit score hold? Does that magic, three-digit number need to be above 700 in order to get approved for a mortgage?  Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher the score – the better, but…

The FICO Score: The Magic Number That CountsPlano Home Loans

When you apply for a mortgage, you will have to provide certain information to your mortgage lender. The mortgage loan officer at your lender will then pull your credit score and your credit report from the 3 different credit reporting companies in the US ~ Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax.

Fair, Isaac and Company developed one of the formulas for determining your credit score (there are 3 different scoring models) and is the scorekeeper of your FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850, 850 being the highest of all scores, and 300 being the lowest.

Every person in the United States has a FICO scores. Up to 80 percent of financial lenders will use a borrower’s credit score score in order to approve a mortgage application and determine a suitable interest rate on the loan.  There are also different scoring models for autos, personal, medical, other financial – all with slightly different algorithms to develop the score.  So it is possible that the credit score that you personally obtain from the credit bureaus will be completely different from your mortgage score.

The 600 Range: Fair And Good Credit Mortgage Options

If your credit score isn’t perfect (ie. above the 760 mark), you need not worry too much. There are many options available for those with credit scores greater than 620, and, with many different financial lenders to consider, having a mortgage approved sometimes means persisting with an application to several different lenders before receiving a “yes.”

Plano HomesWith a “fair” and “good” credit rating falling between 620 and 719, there are options available to get approved for a mortgage well under the perfect 800 mark.  An FHA loan is a type of mortgage loan that is insured by the US Federal Housing Administration, offering an option with more flexible qualification measures. For homebuyers with a credit score above 620, this is a viable and common option.

720 To Perfect: Under 800 And Still In Great Shape

The median credit score in the United States is 723, the average credit score for the Dallas-Ft. Worth area is 648, and anything above 720 is placed with the marker of “excellent credit.” Therefore, just because you may range just slightly above 720, which may feel miles away from a perfect 800, you’re likely in just as good of shape when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage. You can expect a mortgage approval with good interest rates if you have a credit score higher than Plano Home Loan620.

Keeping an eye on your credit rating and understanding the measures that are used in determining your credit score will certainly help you maintain a good score. Of course, speaking with a professional and receiving expert advice is always recommended. For specified information on your particular situation, contact your mortgage professional to discuss your options for receiving a mortgage loan.

Resources

Bump up your credit score in a hurry

FICO® credit scores & your Mortgage

What Is a Good Credit Score for Buying a House?

Check Your Credit Score & Report Before Buying a Home

What’s the Lowest Credit Score I Can Have and Still Get a

The Credit Scores That Will Cost You When You Apply

Google

Plano Mortgage LoansFor some industry insiders, this is an old story, but for the sake of those new to the mortgage industry, and those who are always hopeful for ways to close more loans, it’s time to address some real “Facts” about credit repair. In a recent edition of this publication, there were some claims made about credit repair “Facts” by individuals who provide credit repair. Many of the claims of “Fact” were truly “Fallacies” and referring consumers to credit repair firms comes with risks that will put your mortgage origination business at risk.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state Attorney General offices (AG) from coast to coast have been very clear about credit repair, assessing fines on many credit repair companies that force them to close, only to reopen under a different name. Steve Baker, director of the FTC office in Chicago has maintained the same position as previous FTC credit repair enforcers since the early 1990s and claims that he has “… not seen a legitimate credit repair clinic.”

Check the Web sites of the FTC and state AG offices regarding credit repair and you will find that, nationwide, these firms are most commonly associated with the term scam. Before associating your business with anyone in this industry, you might want to check your local state AG’s position on credit repair. Below, please find a few state AG links and the National Association of State Attorney General link on credit repair as examples:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0225-credit-repair-scams

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Consumers/credit_repair_scams.pdf

http://ago.mo.gov/publications/creditrepair-full.htm

http://www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip4.htm

http://www.naag.org/national_association_of_attorneys_general_urges_consumers_to_beware_of_credit_repair_scams.php

A good summary on the various government perspectives comes from the California AG’s Web site. The California AG warns consumers: “As you begin, be aware that there are no instant fixes and Plano Mortgage Loansno one can “erase” your bad credit. Only your deliberate effort, correction of errors and good practices involving prompt payment of bills over time can rebuild your credit.”

More important reminders for mortgage professionals about credit repair is that working with a credit repair company could cost you the loan and your ability to obtain credit reports from any credit reporting agency. Due to the massive fraud and illegal activity rampant in the credit repair field, even by those in the industry claiming to be legitimate and in it for decades, mortgage lenders who have been documented as to referring consumers to credit repair companies have had their ability to access credit reports terminated. This termination is in effect for ALL consumer credit reporting agencies as each national credit bureau publishes a “Do-Not-Sell” list and requires mortgage credit reporting agencies to monitor it. Anyone on those lists cannot be provided credit reports by anyone in the industry. Obviously, it’s rather difficult to conduct business as a mortgage originator if you are not allowed access to credit reports.

Credit7If you are referring consumers to credit repair firms and are lucky enough not to get discovered by the credit bureaus, you better hope that your luck continues as that loan is no longer eligible for sale to many of the major wholesale lenders. Wells Fargo (Newsflash C13-057 10/15/2013), SunTrust (Wholesale Bulletin BRO 08-346 11/28/2008), and certain other wholesale lenders have taken the position that once a consumer has been working with a credit repair company, that loan is no longer eligible for purchase. Remember, non-eligible loans delivered to most lenders are subject to buy-back provisions in the contract. Lenders are turned off by multiple problems associated with credit repair. In addition, manipulating a consumer’s true credit risk, credit repair costs the banking industry millions of dollars in wasted resources from the constant re-verification of accurate data repeatedly being disputed by credit repair firms. Technicalities are not needed to correct a legitimate error, they are only needed to try to distort factual information and are why the credit repair industry has the reputation it does.

Finding similarities in the comparison to credit repair to credit rescoring provided by mortgage credit reporting companies can only be done by someone who has no idea what each program actually is. Mortgage credit reporting companies are much more than just customers of the credit bureaus, they are consumer reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with most of the exact same obligations to the consumer and lender as the national credit bureaus. They do much more than simply provide credit data in an easy-to-read format, and many of the differences have been documented in my previous articles on this subject.

Another one of the incorrect claims about credit repair is that these agencies are competition to credit rescoring. This is completely false as the credit reporting industry is required by the FCRA to correct all errors for FREE and the industry does this countless times on a daily basis. If there is an error on a credit report, the industry corrects those for free, regardless of the source of the error. If the error is on a trade line created by the mortgage credit reporting agency (a manually verified rental, or non-traditional account added to the report), then the mortgage credit reporting agency will correct that data and provide a new report with the updated information to the mortgage lender, free of charge. If the error is from information provided from one of the national credit bureaus, the mortgage credit reporting agency will pass the consumer dispute onto the national credit bureau with the error on behalf of the consumer at no charge.Plano Mortgage Loans

If the mortgage originator requires changes to the credit report on an expedited basis—with the credit report updated at the national level so a new credit score can be calculated and then reissued into an automated underwriting system rather than waiting for free consumer disputes to take effect (this could take up to 45 days)—then rescoring fees will apply. But that is at the choice of the mortgage originator. The charges for that expedited service are also a fraction of the cost of what credit repair firms charge and include a new report, a new score and the report is reissued into the automated underwriting system of the lender’s choice.

Another major distinction in this is also that the consumer is prohibited from being charged for credit rescores. Mortgage originators should know that their contracts to purchase credit reports, in the section about rescoring, will contain language that clearly prohibits consumers from being charged—either directly or indirectly—for rescoring fees.

Please note that in all the FTC and state AG notices about scam credit repair firms, there are no listings about credit rescoring in them. For the past 12 years, I have worked closely with several attorneys at the FTC and with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since its creation, and none have ever suggested that credit rescoring is remotely like credit repair.

Plan Home LoansWhile the credit reporting system is not perfect and errors do occur, those errors are most often quickly corrected through legitimate means. Despite some uninformed claims, credit report accuracy is not subjective. The debt is either paid or it’s not paid, and the payment was either on time or it was late. The research can be done to document the real story and attempts to fool the lender to try to distort actual payment history are scams and there is no subjectivity to that. The reason that there are different accounts reported to the three national credit bureaus is due to FCRA not requiring creditors to report to the credit bureaus at all as reporting is completely voluntary. If a creditor chooses to report, they report to the bureau or bureaus of their choice. The differences in the creditors and the data they provide each bureau are from that voluntary nature of our system, but the data accuracy is certainly not subject in Federal law.

One of the industry’s biggest problems, one that holds back the level of data accuracy is the very existence of credit repair companies. Preying on desperate consumers who are looking for a quick fix and disputing known accurate data in hopes that the creditor has made a mistake in their documentation, is manipulation of the system. Do yourself a favor and don’t refer consumers to entities that every U.S. AG office warns their citizens about. Your reputation, a loan buy-back, and potentially, your entire career, will be at risk.

Adapted from Terry W. Clemens, National Mortgage Professional Magazine

Resources

Credit Repair Warning

Beware of credit repair

Beware of credit repair promises

Credit score poison from mortgage lenders

Credit Repair In The News

Plano Home LoanThe last few years have been financially difficult for millions of homeowners, with job losses and decline in home values devastating families all over the US. As a result, a great number of homes have gone through short sales, which has had a detrimental effect on consumers’ credit ratings.

If you’ve considered or experienced a short sale, one of the biggest concerns you may have is how it will impact your ability to purchase another property in the future. Here are five key variables on how a short sale can impact your next home purchase.

Duration Of Delinquency Plays A Big Role

Short sale transactions take a long time to complete, depending on the state that you live in and the bank’s policies. During this process, homeowners in a short sale may have trouble continuing to make monthly mortgage payments. The duration of delinquency can have a major negative impact on your credit score, even before the final short sale is reported.

Deficiency Judgments May Have Long-Lasting Effects

A short sale usually comes with a large debt that is left unpaid that banks look to settle. In the case of short sale, this debt is the difference between the amount owed and the amount for which the home is sold.

When you’re on the hook to come up with this difference, a deficiency judgment is filed through the courts and is attached to your credit rating as a negative debt outstanding. This can have a lasting effect on your Plano Home Loanscredit rating, and can hinder your chances of buying a home in the future.

Lower Credit Scores Often Mean Higher Interest Rates

The poorer your credit rating, the more likely you are to be charged a higher interest rate when borrowing money. With the large cost of a home purchase, a high interest rate over a long amortization period can prove to be extremely costly, which many home owners may find difficult, if not impossible, to pay for.

Larger Down Payments May Be Necessary

Many banks and credit unions have specific guidelines that require you to put more money down on a future home purchase if you’ve experienced a housing-related credit issue in the past. Certain banks may request as much 20 percent for a down payment. Many homeowners may not be able to come up with such funds, or may need a lot of time to build up such capital before being able to buy a house.  To find out how much of a down payment may be required CLICK HERE.

Plano Short SaleA Long Waiting Period Might Apply

Since the housing crisis in the US, many major mortgage insurers and investors, like Freddie Mac, FHA, and Fannie Mae, have implemented new rules on how long you have to wait after a short sale before you can purchase again. Depending on the type of loan, this can be anywhere between two to four years on a short sale.  CLICK HERE for waiting requirements.

It’s critical to stay informed and understand how these rules can impact your ability to buy a home in the future after a short sale. Speaking with a seasoned mortgage specialist can help you stay in the know, and help you assess your finances and credit health before you plunge into the real estate market in the future.

Resources

How does a short sale affect my ability to purchase

Buying a house after a Short Sale in 2014

Will a Short Sale Ruin Credit? – Home Buying and Selling

Short Sales Affect Credit – Home Buying and Selling

Can You Get a Home Loan After a Short Sale?

How to Revive Your Credit Score after a Short Sale

How Does A Short Sale Affect Your Credit Score?

home8The process of buying a home doesn’t just begin when you walk through the door of your first open house – it starts long before that. One of the first stops on the road to home ownership is figuring out your finances, and that includes understanding your credit, a critical piece of the buying puzzle.

Good credit often opens the door to success when it comes to buying a home, and, unfortunately, bad credit can close it. In recent years, the number of consumers who have a top score (800 or above) has increased due to the fact that more individuals have cut spending and paid down debt in response to the recession. And that’s good news considering that the new Qualified Mortgage Rules which came into effect in January 2014. The new rules have upped the scrutiny of mortgage applications and made qualifying for a loan much more challenging.

1. Get Your Hands On Your Credit Report – If you don’t have a current one, get your credit report now. You need to be aware that problems exist before you can solve them – and serious issues, and sometimes even minor ones, can take months to repair. There are a variety of ways to get your report, and you’re entitled to a free one from each of the three credit bureaus once a year under the FACT Act; just go to Annual Credit Report website to retrieve it. www.annualcreditreport.com

2. Mistakes Happen – Get Them Fixed – Every year, a whopping 25% of people who get declined for a mortgage had errors in their credit report. (And by “errors,” I mean inaccuracies). When you spot them, it’s credit11up to you to fix them. You can find step-by-step guides (Click Here or Here) on how to file a claim on any of the credit bureau websites; your report itself will also have instructions. Follow them to a T, and keep a good record of your dispute, including copies of any documents you file with the bureaus. Once you make an initial claim, you should get a response within thirty to sixty days.

3. Stay Current – Pay your bills on time – It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’re looking to increase those scores over time in a clear and steady upward climb, never miss a payment. Ever!

5. Maintain Low Balances – Some say the best way to keep you score afloat is to avoid carrying a balance that’s over 50% of your limit on each card, so pay those debts down below that halfway mark as soon as possible.

6. Don’t Move It, Lose It – Pay off the debt on your existing card, don’t just move it to a new one. The credit card companies have caught on to consumers who try to reduce balances by shifting them back and forth between cards, and while they’ll still let you do it, they’ll charge you hefty fees. Incurring the extra cost is simply not worth the benefit. You’ll pay off debt quicker (and you’ll have less of it) if you just work hard to pay off what’s on the card you already have.

Credit77. Cutting Cards – As with juggling debt, there’s a lot of controversy regarding whether you should close paid-off accounts. I say it’s better to play it safe than sorry: pay off all your credit cards, but don’t close any of them prior to applying for a mortgage.

8. Buying A Car Can Put A Dent In Your Credit Score – It’s best to avoid any big changes your finances right before a home purchase. That means no big purchases on credit, like buying a car or charging an expensive vacation. Any significant buys can alter your financial picture, and banks don’t like to see sudden changes just before approving a loan.

9. Plan Ahead…I mean WAAAY Ahead – If you think you can get your credit spruced up and ready to go in a matter of days, think again. Even without any dings on your report, you’ll want to make sure all your credit cards are paid up prior to qualifying for a loan, and that requires planning. Get ahead of the game by paying down your debt, then try and lock up your credit cards until your credit score has been checked and you have been approved for your mortgage.

Adapted from Forbes.com

RESOURCES

Boost Your Credit Score to Buy a Home

5 Ways to Boost Credit Scores Before Applying For a Loan

Ways to Raise Your Credit Score in 2014

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Think you‘re ready to buy a home?

 
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