Mortgage Monday with Margaret: Credit Scores

When I meet with you to prequalify you for a loan, one of the steps I will look at is your credit report and credit score. I describe the credit report as your “adult report card” and I can help you to get a better “grade”.

Here are some important things you can do right now to assure an improved score:

  1. Check your credit report. Request a free copy of your credit report and check it for errors. You can get one free report a year from each of the three credit bureaus at: annualcreditreport.com. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and you want to make sure all the data is being reported correctly.
  2. Setup Payment Reminders- Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. In fact, payment history is 35% of the credit score and one late payment can hurt your score drastically.
  3. Reduce the Amount of Debt you Owe – This is sometimes easier said than done, but is also a big factor in the credit score. 30% of the credit score is utilization of credit card limits. In other words, you want to keep your credit card balances to less than 30% of the total credit card limits.

MyFICO.com offers the following suggestions on How to Improve a Credit Score and Maintain Good Credit:

Payment History Tips

Contributing 35% to a FICO Score calculation, this category has the greatest effect on improving your scores, but past problems like missed or late payments are not easily fixed.

  • Pay your bills on time – Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, and collections can have a major negative impact on your FICO scores.
  • If you have missed payments, get current and stay current – The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your FICO Scores should increase. Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won’t haunt you forever. The impact of past credit problems on your FICO Scores fades as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. Good FICO Scores weigh any credit problems against the positive information that says you’re managing your credit well.
  • Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report- it will stay on your report for seven years.

The one thing I would like for you to remember is that even if your score is low, if you stay motivated and focused, there is always HOPE!!

Homeowners Financial

margaret

Margaret Livingston | Licensed Mortgage Professional Homeowners Financial Group LLC   Mobile: (602) 309-5558  Email: mlivingston@homeownersfg.com  NMLS# 309479

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