Credit Score

KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE AND GET YOUR CREDIT READY

Your credit scores are the primary factor that determine how much your loan will cost and what your payment will be. They can also be a factor in determining what loans you can qualify for. It’s really important to try to get your score as high as you can before you buy a house.

You can still buy a home with a credit score as low as 500 FICO, however, this will make your loan more expensive and most likely it will be an FHA loan with mortgage insurance.

THINGS TO ASSESS REGARDING YOUR CREDIT AND CREDIT SCORES

Your credit score is a reflection of how you use and manage credit.

Not paying bills on time, maxing out credit cards, having leans or judgments, and having unpaid medical or other bills all have a negative impact on your credit score.

Keeping card balances low relative to credit limits, always paying bills on time, clearing up disputes and unpaid bills will help you to maintain excellent credit.

Having excellent credit is a mindset and it’s something that you want to be important to you. Having good financial habits and a desire to keep yourself in good financial health will help you to maintain your credit. It will make buying a house and your life much easier.  

HOW TO RESTORE DAMAGED CREDIT

Sometimes our lives do not go as planned because things happen beyond our control. There may come a day when you will need to start over in life. Everyone has periods of turbulence in their lives and stuff happens. You can rebuild your credit after a major financial event quickly if you know what to do. If you find yourself in financial turmoil, try to mitigate the damage to your credit as much as you can. If you know you will not be able repay your debt, don’t let damaging economic events linger, take action as soon as you can to resolve your finances. Take the hit and take steps to rebuild your credit right away. Having a plan will help you. You will need to do your homework.

One of the best tips I could share about rebuilding your credit is to not allow; ever, any derogatory events after a bankruptcy or foreclosure. Although the seasoning is 7 years for foreclosure and 4 for bankruptcy, with regard to conventional loans, you can improve your credit scores and bring them back within a few years.      

If you are trying to restore your credit and working towards getting ready to buy a home, you could begin by finding a Mortgage Planner. This is different than calling the bank. A Mortgage Planning Specialist will work with you to create a game plan and give you guidance towards your goal.

A Mortgage Planner will have a team of partners that can provide good resources for you. For example, there are credit repair specialists that your Mortgage Planner may be able to direct you to. Your Mortgage Planner will also review your credit with you and provide steps for you to take to get your credit restored.

Remember that no one can do this for you; you will have to do the work, but there are people who can help you and give you guidance. For a fee, a good credit repair specialist can do a lot of the heavy lifting. You need to find a good one though; oftentimes credit repair companies will take your money but not provide satisfactory results.

SOME THINGS TO ADDRESS WHEN YOU ARE WORKING TO RESTORE YOUR CREDIT
  • Unpaid charge offs or collections - For conventional and FHA loans, medical bills do not need to paid, however, they have a significant negative impact on your credit score because they can continue to report monthly on your credit, each time affecting your credit score.   
  • Judgments - if you owe anyone money, these debts will need to be paid.
  • Liens - Tax liens must be paid.
  • Late payments - no late mortgage payments in the last 12 months. No 60 or 90 days late payments in the last 12 months.
  • Credit usage - by paying down credit card balances relative to the card limit, you can increase your credit scores.  Generally, keeping balances down below 30% will improve your scores and keep them in good standing. 
  • There are 3 credit bureaus; Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. The middle score is used for pricing and qualifying. Your qualifying score can be the middle score of any of the bureaus.