5 Steps to Improving Your Credit Score for a Better Home Loan

Buyers, make sure you are on a solid credit score footing in order to obtain a home loan. You can do this by understanding and practicing these five healthy home-buyer’s habits.

Review your credit report at least once a year. Inaccuracies aren’t uncommon, and it takes time to set the record straight. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies–Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion–provide one free credit report per year. Go to freecreditreport.com . You will be charged about $15 to see the actual score, but you’ll see the cost is worth it.

Stay consistent with your spending behavior. A surprisingly good credit score can tempt you as a prospective home buyer to open credit card account or take out a loan for a new car. Such actions can damage (lower) a credit score during a critical time, making it harder to obtain the loan you want.

Apply for the best mortgage loan you can find and remember that other factors besides credit score, like the size of your down payment, come into play when applying for a loan.

When you have determined your intent to buy, know that there is a difference between “prequalification” and “pre-approved.” Prequalification means very little in terms of a consumer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Go ahead and get pre-approved, a process in which the lender checks your employment history, income and bank funds and reviews your credit report.

After closing on your new home, remember to continue to practice the above habits in case you decide to refinance or move again. It’s a good idea to always keep your credit score in mind as you anticipate the prospect of home buying, or with the expenses of being a new home owner