Thinking About Buying a Home in Monroe County or Downriver Soon? Make Sure Your Credit Is In Order

Dated: 06/06/2018

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Make Sure Your Credit Is In Order

There's no more important time to work on your credit score than when you're about to apply for a mortgage.  Improving your credit can save you a ton of money - we're talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.  Here are the actions you can take that will have a notable impact on your score.  

Pay Down Your Credit Card Balances   Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score.  Your credit utilization should be less than 30 percent of your limit, and it's even better if you can get it below 15 percent.  This rule applies to both individual cards and your overall credit limit. 

It may even be worthwhile to use some of the cash funds you were planning to use for a down payment to pay off credit card balances. 

Do No Harm   While you certainly want to improve your score if possible, at the very least you'll want to keep it steady.  Avoid opening new lines of credit if you're applying for a mortgage in the near future.  This will cause a hard inquiry to show up on your credit report.  

Take Care of Negative Items   It's good practice to check your credit report for negative items a few times a year.  You can get one free report from each of the three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) per year.  One of the best websites to check your credit is AnnualCreditReport.com, as they do not charge a fee for the inquiry.  

If you find any negative items (collections, late payments, etc.), write a letter to the original creditor.  Explain the circumstances that led to the negative item, and request that it be removed from your report.  It can be surprisingly effective, and removing a negative item will improve your credit score in a hurry.  You can find some good templates for a request letter online.

Better yet, contact a good lender before you're ready to start looking for your Downriver or Monroe County home.  You'll want to find out what loan products are available to you and get your pre-approval letter ready for your home search.  If your credit needs a bit of work, a good lender will be willing to work with you to get you where you need to be.  I'd be happy to pass along a list of great mortgage lenders who have successfully helped some of my past clients purchase their homes.

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Rhonda Wright

For most people, a home is one of the largest purchases they will ever make. My clients hire me to make the process of buying or selling their home go as smoothly as possible. At the end of the tran....

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