FICO - The First Step to Home Buying
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process starts with your finances. To become a homeowner, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Naples, Florida.
The Fair Isaac Company bases your FICO score on the summary of your total credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with most people normally having a score of 600. 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 a low score and that often means you can't get a loan. Some of the pieces in summing up your FICO score include:
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
- Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
Lenders want to ensure that giving you a loan is a safe move. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you are solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid over time could be more than double that of an individual with a stronger FICO score.
Getting your credit in order is the best way to ease into purchasing a home. Contact us 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 there? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a large-scale change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by monitoring your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score:
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is holding the maximum and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at a lower balance than to have the most of your debt transferred to a single card.
- Apply for service station cards or chain store credit. For those who have no credit or below average credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your spending limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always avoid charging a high balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards usually have a larger interest rate.
- Keep your cards active. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that 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 where 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 prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.
- Correct your credit report. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact the bureau asking 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.
Knowing the ways you can build up your FICO score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Remember that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid a negative mark on your credit score. With the help of Metro Properties, shopping for a mortgage can be a stress-free experience 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.