Increasing 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. Without an acceptable FICO score, purchasing a house is more difficult and, you could end up renting for another couple of years in Arcadia, Florida until your FICO score is acceptable.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 650. 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 just that and often means you can't get a decent interest rate. Some of the pieces in determining your FICO score include:
- Payment History — How many times do you make late payments?
- 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?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll find that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to calculate your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. Because of this, you have three scores, one for each scoring model.
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 a view of what type of borrower you'd be solely because of 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 with a near perfect FICO score.
Getting your credit in order is the best way to ease into owning a home. Call us at 8634949009 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want a stronger score, but how do you get it? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your FICO score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 25% of their credit limit than to have the majority of your debt transferred to a single card.
- Retail cards and gas station cards. For those who have no credit or less-than-stellar credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to get credit, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You must always beware of holding a high balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards usually have a surprisingly high 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 maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Keep up with payments. Late payments hurt your FICO score. It's where people who have recently experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover incorrect items on your credit report, write to 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 give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
Now that you know more about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Remember that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of The Williamson Group Realty, Inc., the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
To learn more, visit myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and review your credit history for free 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.