How's Your Credit?

Raise your FICO score  to buy a property in Burlington with Whitfield Properties Team as your real estate agent - (336) 584-0347

The road to home ownership doesn't start with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The content of your wallet begins the home buying process. To become a homeowner, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Burlington.

The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. Most people traditionally have a score of 600, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. 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 decent interest rate. Some of the factors in summing up your FICO score are:

  • 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 loans and credit cards?
  • Payment History — How often do you make late payments?

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 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 acceptable interest rate. You'll still qualify for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest accrued in the long run could be more than double the amount of an individual having a higher credit score.

We're used to working with all levels 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 better score? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a large-scale change in your credit score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year or two by monitoring your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these helpful hints:

Raise your FICO score  to buy a home in Burlington with Whitfield Properties Team as your real estate agent - (336) 584-0347
  • Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you steer clear 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 all of your debt sitting on one card.
  • Chain Store cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, chain 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 should always beware of carrying a high balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a surprising interest rate.
  • Use your credit. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards to make sure your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three 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 experienced job loss see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a bank.
  • Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover 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 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 step in owning a home, and that is improving your FICO score. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your lender applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Whitfield Properties Team, the loan process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.

Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

We work with all levels of FICO scores and can help you step into home ownership with the best mortgage lender for you. E-mail us at steve@whitfieldproperties.com or call (336) 584-0347 for additional information.

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