3 Ways to Prepare Your Credit for Buying a House

Credit Score for Mortgage
Buying a house is a big milestone that you likely have spent months and years saving and planning for. While it’s easy to get caught up in saving for the down payment and scouting out the perfect neighborhood, you should also make sure that your credit is in order before applying for a mortgage.

If your credit score is low, you could potentially find your application for a mortgage turned down and you lose your dream home to another buyer. Even if you qualify for a mortgage, if you have less than ideal credit you may find yourself paying a high interest rate.

Here are three things you should do to get ready to apply for a mortgage:

·         Reduce Your Credit Utilization Percentage – Your credit utilization percentage is the amount of available credit compared to the amount of credit you are currently using. This accounts for 30 percent of your FICO score. To reduce your credit utilization percentage consider paying off your debt or increase your credit limits.
·         Have multiple credit or loan accounts – Mortgage lenders want to see that you regularly pay your bills on time and have successfully managed multiple accounts. If you only have one credit card, you may want to get an additional card to establish a deeper credit history. However, make sure you apply for the new card well in advance of your mortgage to give your credit score time to recover from the slight drop that occurs after opening a new account.
·         Review your credit report for errors –Keep an eye out for errors on your credit report which could lower your credit score, especially incorrect credit limits and erroneous accounts, recommends U.S. News & World Report. Obtain copies of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and verify that all information is correct. You should dispute any incorrect statements on your credit report, so the mortgage company makes their decision based on accurate and timely information.

Buying a home is a big investment, and you want to make sure that you get the best mortgage terms possible. The time and effort you put into getting your credit score and report in shape before applying for a mortgage can make the mortgage process smoother and lower your interest rate at the same time.