Did you think there wasn’t a top must do?
This isn’t a tip exclusively for first-time home buyers, so please don’t think that you are too savvy to begin with a review of your credit report. The credit report and the resulting FICO Score hold the proverbial keys to your next castle, but can also be the stealthy iceberg that sinks the ship.
Why can’t it wait?
If you need to get something removed or identified as “closed” then it is essential to understand that changes need to “season” about thirty days to show up on the report. Some information may be old and you thought it had been taken care of, but know that it often does not get updated and now is your chance to set the record straight.
But my FICO Score is 720 which is considered excellent.
My point is that the specific mortgage interest rates offered to you depend 100% on your credit report and FICO Score. Gaining 25 points in your score may place you in the best pricing, knocking off .25 to .50 on the rates lenders offer you. That can mean real savings every year. (read as $$$$)
The other issue at hand which demands your attention right now (regarding taking a look at your report) is that assuming your report is “okay” is irresponsible. I have spoken with highly motivated home buyers who, once we say down to put together a plan, finally called a mortgage guy only find out that their credit report contained three or five errors that needed correcting.
Some current Vienna VA real estate buyer clients are having to wait out a reported billing error from their doctor’s office that was on the credit report and is causing an issue (and he is a CPA). It is a bummer, but they started early enough and can wait out the time-lag it takes to fix errors.
Any changes will need proper seasoning (about a month)
Many of the credit agencies can show you your report online (once you have paid) but start with the free Annual Credit Report that you are entitled to review.
So there is a top to the “must do” list for real estate advice, and reviewing your credit report and getting your FICO score is at the top of the heap.
- Your Credit Score Matters More Than You Think (money.usnews.com)
- Mortgage shoppers to get credit-score alerts automatically (seattletimes.nwsource.com)