Creating a good credit history is important if you wish to buy a new property. While bad credit can translate to a lower FICO credit score, no credit history at all or a brief one, can also lower your score. You can build your credit over time by using a credit card responsibly and making your payments on time.
Whether your credit history is heading in the right direction or has veered off track, these tips will help you take control and improve your credit score.
1. Always pay your bills on time. Set up automatic payments from your bank account or program reminders into your phone if you have trouble keeping track of when each bill is due.
2. Keep your balances low on your credit cards and other revolving lines of credit.If your balances are currently high, begin to pay them off, starting with the card or line of credit with the highest interest rate, until you're debt free.
3. Be careful when opening new accounts. Opening several new accounts at a time may raise red flags and lower your credit score. Similarly, closing several accounts at once may also raise red flags.
4. Limit rate shopping for a mortgage or auto loan to a small window of time (e.g., 30 days); these inquiries are treated as a single inquiry. Otherwise, multiple inquiries can count against your score. According to FICO®, people who had more than five inquiries on their credit reports may be up to eight times more likely to file for bankruptcy than those with no inquiries.
5. Always handle your credit responsibly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but remember, it takes time to repair your credit once it's damaged. And if your credit history needs improvement, it's never too late to take steps to repair it.
So, if you have followed these steps and are ready to move forward with getting your property search started by getting pre-approved, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-209-9953 for more information and a list of my client-preferred lenders.
Thanks to Buffini and LGK Reports for this information.