Having a good or excellent credit score is not only a badge of honor in today's world, but it is also crucial for financial survival. More and more of our spending these days depends on using credit and a good credit score is what makes that possible for each individual. Getting and maintaining an excellent credit score may seem impossible for some, but if you know about the different things that impact credit scores, you will find it is not as difficult as you might think. There are simple things everyone can do to improve their credit score and to experience the joys of having a higher credit score than most. Learn about all the things that impact the credit score needed to buy a house and how you can make them work in your favor.
Credit scores are calculated based on a number of factors. Some are quite obvious and expected but others are not. By tweaking your credit portfolio in small ways, you can improve your credit score immensely even if some of the larger pieces - like payment history and debt ratio - are not all that great. Your credit score is always in flux. If your credit score is terrible (under 500), you may feel lost and defeated and you may be ready to give up on credit altogether. However, in time and with effort, you should be able to get your credit score back to good (620 to 700) or even all the way to excellent (700 to 850) in time. Improving your credit is possible. You just need to be aware of the things that impact credit scores and act upon them.
There are a number of factors that can make your credit score higher or lower. Fortunately, they are all under your control.
Payment history is a major factor when it comes to your credit score. You knew this even before you signed up for your first credit card. Credit cards are wonderful and allow us to make purchases and delay payment. However, you know that you have to pay for these purchases down the road. If you want to have a good or excellent credit score, it's crucial that you pay your credit card on time and pay it every single month. Every time you are late with a payment or skip one altogether, your credit is impacted in a negative way. This also goes for any bills that you must pay beyond credit cards. If you don't pay other debts to utilities, landlords, loans, or taxes, a collections agency will likely be contacted. Every time this happens, your credit score plummets. The more frequently this happens, the less likely a creditor will be to give you credit in the future. Even if you have a history of late or non-payment, it's never too late to make a change. Don't give up. If you want to improve your credit, you must start paying at least the minimum amount due on your debts every single month and on time. Once you get in this habit, in time your credit will improve.
The amount of debt you have is another major piece of the puzzle when it comes to credit score calculation. This factor accounts for 30% of the score calculation, which is only a little less than the payment history factor at 35%. The amount of debt you have is looked at in a few different ways. First, the overall amount of debt that you carry plays a big part in this calculation. Second, and perhaps more importantly, that debt is looked at in relation to how much credit you have. If you are using almost all of your available credit, your credit score will decrease. Finally, the amount of debt you have paid off compared to what you borrowed is a factor as well. For best results, you should only be using around 30% of your available credit at any given time. This demonstrates responsible use of credit, and your credit score will reflect this fact. Talk to your local mortgage company to find out if any debt can be omitted.
Young people tend to have lower credit scores than older people, even if they haven't made any credit mistakes yet. This is because they have not had their accounts open very long. Whether you are young or began using credit at a later age, your score will be lower to warn potential creditors that you are not that experienced in the credit realm quite yet. As time goes on, if you do everything right, your credit score will increase. It's a good idea to hold onto some of your credit cards for many years. The longer you keep the same cards, the better your credit score will be because it shows staying power. Some people open and close new accounts to get a lower interest rate or to get perks like airline and hotel miles. This is okay in moderation, but if you overdo it, your credit score will suffer. If you are working on your credit score to buy a house, remember that improvement takes time.
Another factor that impacts credit scores is the types of credit accounts you possess. If you only have credit cards or loans, your credit will be lower than if you have both. Having more than one type of credit on your account shows that you are able to be responsible with different types of accounts, which is attractive to lenders. If you want to buy a home, having different types of credit on your account will help you to get a home mortgage loan.
Every time you apply for a new credit card or loan or a home loan or even an apartment lease, a credit check is performed. The more of these you have done, the more your credit score will decrease. A few credit inquiries won't affect your score, but if you apply for a lot of credit from a bunch of different lenders in a short time, you will notice a change. Fortunately, credit inquiries no longer affect your score after twelve months. If you have prompted a large number of credit inquiries in a short time, you simply have to wait it out and you will soon see improvement.
Credit scores can be frustrating and if yours is not great, it can feel like a great weight is upon your shoulders. However, now that you have a better understanding of the things that impact credit scores, you can begin to make the changes you need to improve your own score. It takes time, but with patience and perseverance, you will have a credit score to be proud of in no time. Good luck! If you are wondering if your credit is good enough for a home loan, contact us today. We are here to answer any questions and can help you begin walking through the process right away.
If you pay your credit card balances off each month, try doing it before the due day. This will reflect a zero balance on your credit report and could reduce your DTI ratio.