Check Your Credit Before Shopping For That Home Loan


By: Kevin Adelsberg

Too many consumers get frustrated when a ding on their credit score delays the process of closing on a mortgage or completing a home equity loan. Before you start shopping for financing, understand these four important tips.

Review Your Credit Score. Nearly every bank, credit union, and mortgage lender relies on a three digit score provided by one of the three major credit bureaus to help them make lending decisions. A credit score can range from the perfect 850 all the way down to the abysmal 300. Scores under 720 may not qualify for the best interest rates, so you should check your credit scores with all three bureaus before shopping for a loan. You may discover you have some cleaning up to do before you can take advantage of a great loan deal.

Scan Your Report for Mistakes. Though some consumers struggle with debt, many more would-be borrowers suffer needlessly because of mistakes they made in the past or mistakes that credit bureau systems made when compiling their reports. To avoid embarrassment and wasted time during the loan origination process, you should review your report carefully before you start shopping for loans. Dispute any inaccuracies both with the credit bureau and with the creditor using certified mail. If you find any long-lost bills you left unpaid, pay them. A bill as insignificant as $100 can actually stall or derail the closing process, costing you the chance to buy your dream home.

Avoid Credit Applications. In the weeks leading up to your home purchase, you may consider switching banks or responding to attractive credit card offers. Resist the urge to earn those frequent flyer miles, because a flurry of applications can show up on your credit report simultaneously. Therefore, lenders may grow concerned about potential identity theft. Even worse, lenders might assume you've lost control of your spending, making you an unsuitable candidate for a home loan.

Do All Your Shopping on the Same Day. For the same reasons, you should choose one day to make inquiries from your favorite mortgage lenders. A few weeks after your inquiries, your applications will show up on your report and drag down your score by a few points. Because the bureau assumes that every application may result in an approval, the amount of your potential debt load increases significantly. In addition, the market changes so frequently that quotes made on different days cannot be compared directly. Be prepared to make your phone calls, run the numbers, and accept a locked pre-approval all on the same day.

Kevin Adelsberg is a writer for FDLoans.com. For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about loans, please visit us at: http://www.FDLoans.com/

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