How To Bring Up Your Credit Before Buying a Home

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Whether you’re aspiring to become a first-time homebuyer, or you want to upgrade from your starter home to accommodate your growing family, it’s important to make sure you’re ready when you start the process. One of the most important aspects of buying a home is ensuring your credit is at the level it needs to be to qualify for a competitive mortgage loan. Bad credit can halt your goal of owning a home, so if you’ve struggled in the past, follow a few tips to bring your credit back up.

You need to know your starting point and what that means for your goal of buying a home. A low credit score will always create complications when you’re applying for a loan. You’re eligible for a detailed copy of your credit report for free each year, so pull this report and start carefully reviewing it for potential errors or areas of concern. Some of the most important aspects to lenders include:

  • Your employment history
  • Your identity
  • How you have handled debt in the past (late payments, maxing out credit limits, etc.)
  • Foreclosures, liens, and bankruptcies

Most lenders are looking for people with at least a 660 credit score to consider lending them the funds needed to buy a home. For reference, 850 is the maximum credit score, while anything under 650 is considered low. The average credit score in the U.S. is 695, while only about half of people have a credit score that falls between 700 and 850.

In order to qualify for a better mortgage rate, you’ll need a score of 740 or higher. If yours isn’t close to this range, you may want to spend some time working on it through credit rebuilding and debt payoff. Doing so can help you reduce how much you pay in interest over the life of the loan, which can really add up on a 30-year mortgage.

Courtesy of YOU Magazine