Ways to Raise Your FICO Score for Home Buying

Raise your FICO score  to buy a home in St Petersburg with Royal Highlander Real Estate Consultants, LLC as your REALTOR - (904) 823-8909

Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. The content of your wallet begins the home buying process. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, considering your credit score is a must along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in St Petersburg, Florida.

A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on an instrument developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people usually have a score of 600, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score are:

  • Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
  • Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
  • Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?
  • Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?

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 determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with each of the bureaus.

Lenders want to be positive that giving you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your credit score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you are solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a acceptable interest rate. If your score is less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double the amount of someone having a near perfect FICO score.

We're used to working with all tiers of credit history. Call us at (904) 509-8622 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

You want a better score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant change in your number with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year by monitoring your credit report and by using your credit wisely. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:

Raise your FICO score  to buy a home in St Petersburg with Royal Highlander Real Estate Consultants, LLC as your real estate agent - (904) 823-8909
  • Stay on top of payments. Late payments hurt your credit score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit this way, but it's the surest way to prove that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.
  • Correct your credit report. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact 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 steer clear of having one card that is at the limit 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 most of your debt taking up the balance a single card.
  • Apply for service station cards or chain store credit. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your credit limits and stay on top of your payments, which will raise your credit. You should always beware of carrying a high balance for too long because these types of cards normally have a steeper interest rate.
  • Keep your cards in rotation. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.

Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Keep in mind that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Royal Highlander Real Estate Consultants, LLC, the loan process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.

To learn more, visit www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

We work with all tiers of credit and can help you get back into home ownership with the right lending insitution for you. E-mail us at anita@royalhighlanderrealestate.com or call (904) 509-8622 for additional information.
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