The new year is the perfect time for resolutions in all aspects of life. Many people start out making fitness goals, monetary goals, personal goals, among others. For those whose 2022 resolutions include purchasing a home, we offer some excellent resources.
When you are looking to buy a new home, your credit score is one of the most important factors in determining whether you will be approved for a mortgage. If you don't know your credit score, take heart: Many credit card companies and banks now offer an opportunity to check a credit score for free on their website. Websites such as annualcreditreport.com allow you to view your credit report once a year at no charge.
Following are some ways to improve your credit score in the coming months:
Dispute major errors on your credit report - Request your annual free credit report and review it for errors. Write a letter with the mistakes listed on your report and send the letter, along with copies of documents supporting your disputes, to the credit bureaus. The bureaus are usually required to investigate the dispute and resolve within 30 days. For more information on disputing errors, click here.
Reduce your credit card utilization - Try to keep your credit card balance well below your credit line allowance. Maxing out your cards will take a toll not only on your checking account, but also on your credit score. Making more than one credit card payment per month will liquidate the balance faster.
Pay all your bills on time - Your "on-time payment percentage" impacts your credit score, so it is always important to make payments in a timely manner when possible. Stay ahead of the game by setting up automatic payments or text alerts to remind you when a payment is due.
Monitor your credit regularly - This can help you learn what actions affect your score and help you be proactive in the event of credit fraud. If your credit card company or bank allows you to view your score on its website, create a reminder on your calendar to check this every month.
I would be happy to pull a copy of your credit report and review it with you at your leisure. We can discuss your goals for your current home, see if a refinance of your mortgage would be helpful, and talk about your future homebuying plans. Consider me a resource for any questions you have.
Watch out for more articles about homebuying resolutions in the coming weeks!