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.) This is true whether you’re buying a condo in Apollo Beach, a luxury home in Odessa, or a golf course home in Largo.
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.
Are You Looking for Homes for Sale in Tampa’s Suburbs?
If you’re thinking about moving to Tampa, check out the links below to search for homes with just one click:
Call us at 727-584-8480 or 813-961-6000. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online. We’ll begin searching for your new home right away.