What’s your number?
We’ve all heard that line before, but to a lender there’s perhaps nothing more important than your credit report and your credit score when it comes to buying or refinancing a home. What you don’t know about your credit scores can hurt you when it’s time to finance, especially in a tight credit market.
Your credit report is your fiscal fitness report on your credit habits. It names your credit accounts, identifies them by type, and tracks balances, credit limits, available credit, open-or-closed status and payments, all revealing how well or how poorly you pay each account. The report also documents your applications for credit, as well as notices of liens, judgments and other “derogatory” remarks.
Before you apply for a mortgage, before you search for a home, you should know what’s on your credit report and you should know your score. That’s because you may need to correct errors or make adjustments to your credit habits to improve your credit, raise your score and increase your chance of landing the mortgage you need.
Only 28 percent of consumers are aware that they need at least a 700 credit score to qualify for a low-rate mortgage. Three of every four consumers incorrectly believe that credit scores are influenced by income. A study found that consumers could save $28 billion a year in lower finance charges if they improved their credit scores by 30 points.
While obtaining your credit scores is not free, obtaining your credit report is. You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to access, view and verify the information on your report.
You can dispute inaccurate information and request that a consumer statement be added to your report for unresolved issues.
For information about your credit score, you can visit MyFICO.com. For about $15, you can get a better understanding of your scores to make you ready for house shopping.
Premiere Mortgage, with offices on Maui and Kauai, is an FHA-approved lender and offers extensive loan options (including owner financing and loan modifications) through both broker and banking services.
Tricia Morris may be reached on Maui in Kihei at 874-8800, Wailea at 891-8900, West Maui at 665-8800, Kauai at (808) 822-2300 or toll-free at (800) 813-7711.