Improve Your Credit Score

Everyone wants to improve their credit score, but it’s especially important when you’re applying for a large loan like a mortgage.  So as a lender, we wanted to give you a couple of tips to follow to help you improve your credit score before you start shopping for a new home.

Improve Your Credit | 5 Quick Steps

  • Don’t try to wipe old debt off of your credit report. You’ve paid off some debt – that’s awesome! But sometimes people think it’s a good idea to try to get older, paid-off debts erased from their report.  Hold the phone!  Good debt that you’ve paid off and handled well shows lenders that you could handle a home loan too.  Think of it like a good grade on your report card.
  • Avoid opening lots of credit cards at once. Every time someone pulls your credit, it affects your credit score.  So opening a new card (even getting a department store credit card… Christmas shoppers be aware!) will show up on your credit report – and the more inquiries you have in a short period of time, the more it lowers your credit score.  Fewer inquiries, and more spread out, leads to better credit.
  • Don’t close a lot of credit cards at once. Lenders generally look for you to be using 30% or less of your credit, so having a lot of credit available to you doesn’t actually hurt you – but closing a bunch of your cards could move you from using under 30% to well over 30%.  It’s generally a good rule of thumb to KEEP the credit card you’ve had the longest, and only close a line of credit after it’s been open a year or two, even if you are no longer using it. This shows steadiness to any creditor, instead of bouncing around.
  • Don’t be late. If you have been over 30 days late to make a mortgage payment, you may have to wait a whole year to refinance or purchase.
  • Check your debt to income ratio. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your debt under 50% of your income. Not sure what that is or how to measure it?  Check out our blog here.

 

Armed with a little knowledge of how the system works, anyone can take simple steps that can dramatically improve their credit score.  We hope this gives you a few facts that help you out.  Ultimately, it comes down to just being aware of what you’re spending, your deadlines and the overarching “report card” grading system – so no matter where you are at, you can improve your credit.  Have some questions?  Feel free to give us a call.  We’re a Christian Mortgage Lender that’s faith-based and family oriented – just like you.  We’d love to help.

 

Best,

Audrey

The Christian Mortgage Mom

Audrey

2018-11-28T15:55:59+00:00