Need to Improve Your Credit Score Before You Apply for a Mortgage?

Published On: July 6, 2017|Categories: Real Estate|

improve your credit score before you buy a house tampa bay real estate listings

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, which is a great source for a completely free (and genuinely no-strings-attached) credit report.

When you have your credit report:

  1. 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.
  2. Get in touch with the credit bureau that gave you your credit report and let them know there are errors.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

When you’re ready to start looking at homes for sale in Hillsborough CountyPasco County or Pinellas County, we’re here to help.

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.