Your credit score can affect any loans you apply for, including a home loan. If your credit score is on the low side, a lender may not be willing to loan you the money you need for a mortgage. There are a number of reasons why your credit score is low, and there are quite a few things you can do to clean up your credit and raise your score. Read below for some things you can do to raise your credit score so you can qualify for the home loan you want.
Get A Copy Of Your Credit Report
After you've applied for a loan (or if you haven't done so yet), get a copy of your credit report free from any of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. You are entitled to a free report once per year. Take a look at your credit report to see what all is listed on the report. If you have anything older than 7 years (and is paid off), you can request that these items be taken off your credit report.
Also look at what you have outstanding on your credit report that is not paid yet. Pay attention to anything paid late or past due. These items need to be caught up and be sure you pay on time to prevent anything further being negatively reported on your credit report.
Start Paying Off Debts
If you have a high debt to income ratio, a lender may not think you can afford anything else. Pay down your outstanding credit card debts or any medical bills you have (especially any that are in collections). If you have any judgments against you, you'll need to get these cleared up as well. Store credit cards hold the highest interest rates, so these should be your main focus. For other outstanding credit cards, you should make your monthly payments and be on time with them.
Don't Close Any Accounts
Even if you've paid off a credit card, don't close the account. Closing an account makes it appear that you cannot afford the credit card, which may mean you can't afford any new loans either. Keep the account open, but don't use it. An account that is open (especially one you've held for a long time) can actually raise your credit score.
If your credit score is low, raising it is a must to help get you the mortgage loan you are looking for and to afford the home of your dreams.