You have found a home and are ready to apply for financing. Your pre-approval amount comes back not as high as you would have expected and at an interest rate significantly above what your friends just got on their loan. This could be because you have an average to poor credit score.
Mortgage lenders base their interest rates on many things, but your credit score plays a large part. Anything between 720 and 850 will typically get you better interest rates. A mediocre score is usually between 660 and 719, and a low score is 659 and under. If you have a lower score than you’d like, below are a few traits for you to follow of people who receive high financial marks.
They don’t max out their cards.
It’s better to keep a low revolving balance on a few cards than to spend every dime allotted on one. The ratio of credit card balance to your credit limit is called credit utilization. The higher your credit utilization, the larger affect it can have on your credit score.
They make payments on time.
This could be the most important tip. If you miss a payment on a loan, credit card statement or monthly home bill, then you could be turned over to collections, which will affect your score negatively.
They stay with one card.
Don’t close and open credit cards frequently. Each time you make a change to your line of credit, it affects your score. Even if you don’t want to be tempted to use a credit card, keep the account open and leave the card at home. According to the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), high credit achievers have accounts that are usually at least 11 years old.
Excellent credit could qualify you for a better interest rate, which might save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. So stay on top of your monthly credit bills and keep a low balance on just a few cards to watch your score steadily increase.
For more information on boosting your credit score, please call me at 718.370.3200 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.