Home buyer's Guide to Better Credit

Raise your FICO score  to buy a property in Mifflintown with Jack Gaughen Network Services Hower & Associates as your agent - 717-436-8200

Choosing a lender isn't the first step in becoming a homeowner. In reality, the home buying process begins and ends with your finances. 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 Mifflintown.

The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. Most people traditionally have a score of 650, but scores are tiered from 300 to 850. Job loss has been common in the last few years, but FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get a loan. Some of the factors in summing up your FICO score include:

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

Lenders want to make sure that allowing you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your FICO score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a acceptable interest rate. If your score is less than that, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid in the long run could be more than double the amount of an individual with a stronger credit score.

We're used to working with all levels of FICO scores. Call us at 717-436-8200 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

How do you boost your credit score? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be difficult to make a large-scale change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. Here are some methods to improve your credit score:


Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Mifflintown with Jack Gaughen Network Services Hower & Associates as your REALTOR - 717-436-8200
  • Spread your debt around. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is holding the maximum and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at an even balance than to have the most of your debt transferred to one card.
  • Retail cards and gas station cards. For those who have non-existent credit or less-than-stellar credit, department store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to establish your credit history, increase your spending limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your FICO score. You must always beware of charging a large balance for too long because these types of cards traditionally have a larger interest rate.
  • Use your credit. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
  • Keep up with payments. Payment history is a big factor in your credit score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're able to make payments to a bank.
  • Correct your credit report. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, write to 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 pay extra attention to make sure the activity reported is correct.

Knowing the ways you can raise your credit score, you can move toward becoming a homeowner. Keep in mind that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid adverse effects on your credit score. With the help of Jack Gaughen Network Services Hower & Associates, shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.

Get more information by visiting myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.