Scoring Your Credit

Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Milwaukee with REALiTEAM Real Estate Group as your agent - 414-727-8280

The road to home ownership doesn't start with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. In reality, the home buying process starts and ends with your finances. Without an acceptable credit score, purchasing a house is harder and, you could find yourself renting for another couple of years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin until you build up your score.

A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people traditionally having a score of 600. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the pieces in summing up your FICO score are:

  • Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
  • Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
  • Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
  • Payment History — How many late payments have you made?

In reviewing your credit history, you'll see that you actually have three reports. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — three of the major credit reporting agencies — use a slightly different systems to determine your credit rating. FICO is used by Experian. Equifax's model is called BEACON and TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. You have a credit score with all three of the bureaus.

Lenders want to ensure that giving you a loan is a safe move. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'd be based solely on your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 700 to get a acceptable interest rate. If your score is lower, you can still qualify for a loan, but the interest paid over time could be more than double the amount of someone having a stronger FICO score.

We're used to working with all tiers of credit history. Call us at 414-727-8280 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

How do you boost your credit score? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be hard to make a significant stride change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a few years by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these tips:

Raise your FICO score  to buy a home in Milwaukee with REALiTEAM Real Estate Group as your REALTOR - 414-727-8280
  • Chain Store cards and service station cards. For those who have no credit or below average credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to start your credit history, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of holding a high balance for too long because these types of cards usually have a surprisingly high interest rate.
  • Don't let your cards get dusty. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, use your cards to make sure your accounts maintain an active status. But, make sure you pay them off in no more than two or three payments.
  • Stay on top of payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your FICO score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to restore your credit with payment history, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a bank.
  • Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you discover incorrect items on your credit report, contact the bureau requesting that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
  • Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't sound like a good idea. But, you want to avoid of having one card that is at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 25% of their credit limit than to have the majority of your debt taking up the balance one card.

Knowing the methods you can use to build up your credit score, you're one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of REALiTEAM Real Estate Group, the loan process can be a stress-free experience so you, too, can achieve home ownership.

Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

We won't judge you based on your credit scores and can help you settle into home ownership with the best lending insitution for you. E-mail us at jason.covert@pipelineroi.com or call 414-727-8280 for additional information.