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Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following:

Obtain free credit report. Secure a report from www.annualcreditreport.com and check for any errors but discuss with lender before making any corrections or paying off anything if within 12 months of buying.

Pay down credit card bills. If possible, pay off the entire balance every month. Transferring credit card debt from one card to another could lower your score.

Don’t charge your credit cards to the maximum limit.

No big purchases. Don’t order items on credit such as appliances and furniture, until after you close on your new home.

No new accounts. Don’t open new credit card accounts before applying for a mortgage. Too much available credit can lower your score.

Shop for mortgage rates all at once. Too many credit applications can lower your score.

Avoid finance companies. Even if you pay the loan on time, the interest is high and it will probably be considered a sign of poor credit management.

This information is copyrighted by the Fannie Mae Foundation and is used with permission of the Fannie Mae Foundation. To obtain a complete copy of the publication, “Knowing and Understanding Your Credit”, visit www.homebuyingguide.org.

Tucker Mortgage