Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score

One of the biggest hurdles you will have to jump through when purchasing a home is organizing your finances – and the one that might be most intimidating? Your credit score.

Having a good credit score will improve your responsibility to potential lenders; and if you want the best deal, a strong credit score is best.

Credit scores range, so it’s important to know where you fall. If you’re below a “good” credit score, luckily, there are ways to bring it back up.

Understanding Scores

Here are the scores lenders look at and categorize:

Perfect Credit Score: 850

Excellent Credit Score: 760-849

Good Credit Score: 700 to 759

Fair Score: 650 to 699

Low Score: 649 and below

Lenders generally look for a score of 660 or higher before they consider a mortgage loan.

Improving Your Score

Don’t fret! There are ways to help improve and adjust your credit score.

You can request a free credit report once a year from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian through this website.

Review your credit report for any errors – if there is an error on one of your accounts, you’ll need to refute the error with the bureau by providing documentation. Credit bureaus usually have 30 days to investigate the error.

CUR – Credit Utilization Ratio

This ratio showcases how much you owe compared with the amount of available credit you have. If you have a $10,000 credit limit on your credit card, and you have a balance of $9,000, you’ve utilized 90% of your credit, which drags down your score.

Tackling what you owe is a major step in improving your score. Paying on time, and (if you can) paying more than your minimum balance, can help build up that perfect payment history that you need.

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