FICO - The First Step to Owning
The home buying process doesn't start with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The quality of your wallet begins the home buying process. To make your goal of homeownership realized, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Gun Barrel City, Texas.
A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 650. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but 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 factors in reviewing your FICO score are:
- Payment History — How often do you make late payments?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
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 models to calculate your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. As a result, you have three scores, one for each scoring model.
Lenders want to be positive that giving you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a decent interest rate. You can qualify for a loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of an individual having a higher credit score.
Improving your FICO score is the best way to ease into buying a home. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
There are plans to boost your score. Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your credit score with small changes, but your score can improve in a few years by monitoring your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Department store cards and gas cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your credit. You must always avoid keeping a high balance for more than a couple of billing cycles because these types of cards normally have a higher interest rate.
- Keep your cards in rotation. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, be sure to use your cards to make sure your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
- Stay on top of payments. How often you're late with payments greatly affects your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit 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 able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear of having 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 a smaller balance than to have the bulk of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
Knowing the ways you can raise your FICO score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Keep in mind that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of McAtee Realty (Cedar Creek Lake), the loan application process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.
Get more information by visiting 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.