Creditors want to see a solid payment history, good fiscal habits and clean, revolving credit lines when they pull up your credit report – and that’s especially true when you’re applying for a mortgage loan. (If you’re applying for joint financing, they’ll look at both of your credit histories to determine whether they’ll lend you enough money to buy a Tampa Bay home.)
But what if your credit history is a little scratched, dented or dinged? Is there anything you can do to improve your score quickly?
Fortunately, there is – but it takes a little know-how and a bit of hard work.
How to Improve Your Credit Score Before Buying a Tampa Bay Home
The first thing you’ll need to do is get an official copy of your credit report. The Federal Trade Commission suggests using AnnualCreditReport.com, which is a great source for a completely free (and genuinely no-strings-attached) credit report.
When you have your credit report:
- Make sure all of the information on it is correct. Sometimes people make mistakes, and being one digit off on a Social Security number can cause someone else’s debt to show up on your report. In other cases, old negative debts are still in place when they should be long-gone; sometimes debts you don’t really owe show up, as well.
- Get in touch with the credit bureau that gave you your credit report and let them know there are errors.
- Pay down your credit card debt. The target number is 30 percent – you want to use 30 percent or less of the credit that’s available to you.
- Combine your credit card debts if you can. If you have small amounts of debt on a number of credit cards, transfer your balances to one or two low-interest cards. The way your debt is spread out has an effect on your credit score, so it’s usually better to keep some cards free-and-clear.
Ready to Explore Homes for Sale in Tampa Bay?
When you’re ready to buy a home for sale in Tampa Bay, call us at 727-584-8480 or 813-961-6000. You can also get in touch with us online to let us know what you’re looking for. We’ll get to work right away finding homes that meet your criteria so before you know it, you’ll be moving into a brand-new space that’s all your own.