It’s no secret when we tell you that the better your credit score is, the easier your life can be. Your credit score is a three-digit number that represents how trustworthy you are from the perspective of someone that would lend you money for something like a loan or a mortgage. In fact, your credit is THE single most important determining factor from a lending perspective. Our economy runs on credit. So what is so important about those 3 numbers, and how does it impact your mortgage rates when you decide to buy a home? Here’s what you need to know:
- Your credit report = Your financial report card. You want all A’s – Like we mentioned before, your credit score is a representation of how well you can handle your money, and can make or break a lender’s decision to approve you for a loan or mortgage, and impact your interest rates majorly. Your credit report is made up of how much money you’ve borrowed, your history of paying it back, and how much open credit is available to you. Here is what appears on your credit report: debts and a history of how they’ve been paid, public record information (tax liens, bankruptcies), bills referred to collection agencies, and inquiries made about your creditworthiness.
- Credit score: Credit scores range from 300-850 points and are based on debt, amount of time you’ve used credit, debt totals, how often you apply for new credit, and types of credit you currently use based on information received from your credit report.
- The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be, and vice versa- The better your credit score is, the more banks and lenders can trust you, resulting in much lower interest rates for loans and mortgages. Don’t think interest rates are that big of a deal? Consider this- for a long-term credit loan such as a mortgage, interest alone can add thousands of dollars to your original buying price. Ouch.
- Banks aren’t the only ones who look at your credit – so do landlords, employers, insurance companies, utility companies, phone companies, and more!
Having good credit is essential for having a healthy financial presence. So now that you understand how vital it is, check out these tips for improving your credit before shopping for a mortgage!
Credit Checklist Preparing for a Mortgage:
- Start early – A year to a year and a half before you will be buying a home, do a deep analysis of your credit report. This will give you time to make minor changes to your score that can save you big bucks in the end when you start shopping for mortgage rates.
- ALWAYS pay your bills on time- This is a given! It is also important and make an effort to pay more than the minimum balance if possible.
- Have a mix of credit (auto, credit cards, student loans, etc.) – Lenders like to see a long and versatile credit history.
- Keep a low balance – on any given credit card try not to use more than 30% of your limit.
- Start saving now– It is ideal to try and aim to put a 20% down payment on your home, which requires a decent amount of cash upfront. Start bulking up your savings account now!
- Don’t forget about closing costs!
- Whatever you do- do not do these 5 things that will destroy your credit while looking for a mortgage!
When it is time to find a mortgage for your dream home, be sure to contact us so we can help make your dream rate a reality!