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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 at least 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 very 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.

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.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/24/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/24/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of MichRic (Michigan Regional Information Center) (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:42:27 PM EST) or RealComp MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:30:24 PM EST) or Dayton MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:40:16 PM EST) or NORIS MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:39:21 PM EST) or CBRMLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:39:31 PM EST) or Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:38:01 PM EST) or AAR MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:25:23 PM EST) or Wrist MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:34:27 PM EST) or Firelands MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:11:55 PM EST) or West Central MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:41:44 PM EST) or Fort Myers (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:40:20 PM EST) or MLS NOW (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:37:47 PM EST) or Northern Great Lakes Association of Realtors (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:34:30 PM EST) or Mansfield MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:42:26 PM EST) or Knox County MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:38:12 PM EST) or Upper Peninsula MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:33:52 PM EST) or Greater Lansing MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:35:27 PM EST) or SEBAR MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:39:22 PM EST) or Lancaster MLS (last updated Fri 03/19/2021 11:17:13 AM EST) or Jackson MI MLS (last updated Tue 08/03/2021 2:09:13 PM EST) or Water Wonderland MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 4:58:58 PM EST) or Utah MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:38:28 PM EST) or Eastern Upper Peninsula MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 5:00:15 PM EST) or Scioto Valley MLS (last updated Fri 06/24/2022 4:02:35 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Key Realty, LTD may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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