FICO - The First Step to Home Buying
Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process starts and ends with your finances. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of mortgage loan for which you'll qualify in Seminole, Florida.
The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 650. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is a low score and that often means you can't get credit. Some of the factors in summing up your FICO score are:
- Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
- Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus how much credit you have available?
- Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
- Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
In reviewing your credit history, you'll find that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to calculate your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all three of the bureaus.
When you apply for a mortgage or any other loan, lenders want to make sure that extending a loan to you isn't a risk. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you are based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double the amount of an individual having a superior FICO score.
Improving your FICO is the best way to ease into owning a home. Contact us and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.
You want an improved score, but how do you get it? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a significant change in your credit score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year by keeping tabs your credit report and by using credit extended to you to raise your score, instead of ruin it. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:
- Stay on top of payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your FICO score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit this way, but it's the surest way to prove that you're able to make payments to a bank.
- Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover mistakes on your credit report, write to the bureau asking 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.
- Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is maxed out 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 the majority of your debt sitting on a single card.
- Retail cards and service station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or below average credit, chain store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your spending limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of charging a large balance for too long because these types of cards more than likely have a surprising interest rate.
- Use your credit. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
Knowing the methods you can use to build up your FICO score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. 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 adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Future Home Realty, the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.
Learn more about FICO scores at myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and review your credit history for free at annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.