Credit scores play a big role 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:
#1 Check for errors in your credit report
Thanks to an act of Congress, you can download one free credit report each year at annualcreditreport.com. If you find any errors, correct them immediately.
#2 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.
#3 Don’t charge your credit cards to the max
Pay down as much as you can every month.
#4 Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage
You’re penalized less severely for problems after a year.
#5 Don’t order items for your new home on credit
Putting items on credit for your new home will change your debt to income ratio.
#6 Don’t open any new lines of credit or credit card accounts
If you’re applying for a mortgage, having too much available credit can lower your score.
#7 Shop for mortgage rates all at once
Having too many credit inquiries can lower your score. However, multiple inquiries about your credit score from the same type of lender are counted as one if submitted over a short period of time.
#8 Avoid finance companies
Even if you pay off their loan on time, if the interest is high, it may be considered a sign of poor credit management.
These are good tips, but for more details regarding your own personal credit, seek the counsel of a reputable lender and an ethical loan officer that you trust prior to starting your new home search. Seeking the advice of a consumer credit counseling service will be able to advise of specific strategies to improve or repair your credit.