Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process.
Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.’
Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month!
Here are some tips for improving your credit score:
- Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time.
- Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards.
- Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance transfers to free up credit.
- Check for errors on your credit report and work toward fixing them.
- Shop for mortgage rates within a 30-day period — too many spread-out inquiries can lower your score.
- Work with a credit counselor or a lender to improve your score.
Once you know your score, your next step will be finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will ensure that you know your budget before you start looking for your dream home.
2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers
In Realtor.com’s recent article, “Home Buyers’ Top Mortgage Fears: Which One Scares You?” they mention that “46% of potential home buyers fear they won’t qualify for a mortgage to the point that they don’t even try.”
Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”
Buyers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the First Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) from Down Payment Resource, saving for a down payment was the barrier that kept 70% of renters from buying. Costs of Buying a Home
Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource had this to say, Costs of Buying a Home
“There are many mortgage-ready renters today, but they don’t know it. Often, homebuyers remain sidelined for years due to the down payment.” Costs of Buying a Home
Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but programs are available that allow buyers put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket. Costs of Buying a Home in Bolingbrook
Buying A Home As A Newly Married Couple
While the home buying struggles of unmarried couples are well known, the process is not straight forward for married couples either. After tying the knot, many newlyweds look forward to buying a home together. But before you start scanning property listings and searching for the perfect bathroom suite, make sure you sit down together and ask each other these house buying questions. Costs of Buying a Home in Plainfield
What is your financial history and credit rating?
At the start of a relationship, couples talk all the time, from music to travel and everything in between. However, as a married couple you should have a serious conversation about your finances and credit scores. Costs of Buying a Home in Naperville
While some couples will have already discussed their credit scores, others consider it a taboo topic of discussion. If one person has a credit score that is significantly lower than their partners, it could affect the couple’s chances of securing a mortgage to buy a property, or at a minimum affect the ability to get an appealing interest rate on a loan. Costs of Buying a Home