When planning to buy a home, your first of order of business shouldn’t be creating a wish list – it should be reviewing your credit. While it’s possible to buy a home without a mortgage, most people don’t have that kind of cash, and your credit is a major factor in lender decisions.
“Before applying for any loan, be sure to check the state of your credit,” says CreditRepair.com President Scott Smith. “Owning a home is a big part of the American dream, but home loans can be very complex, and doing all of the proper research from the beginning, including completing any necessary credit repair up front, will make the process that much simpler.”
Smith recommends homebuyers follow these tips to evaluate their credit report and/or rectify any errors.
Get a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year by law. In some states, you are entitled to more than one free report a year.
Analyze your credit report. Carefully scrutinize your report to identify any errors that can help boost your score and request corrections for all erroneous information.
Keep all credit card accounts open. Closing an unused credit card account can actually negatively affect your credit. Fifteen percent of your score is based on credit history.
Make all payments on time. Payment history accounts for a whopping 35 percent of your credit score.
Give yourself time. Good things do come to those who wait. Take the time to repair and build up your credit. It could save you thousands of dollars down the road.