If you want to buy a home, step one is to check your credit score

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When you approach a lender to obtain a conventional mortgage loan, one of the first things he or she will do is order a credit report. This report will outline your financial history and provide what is known as a FICO score. A high FICO score means you have a long history of paying your debts on time and have not over-used the credit available to you.

The higher your FICO score, the better interest rate you’ll be offered on your home loan. This score, by the way, is also used by those offering credit cards and car loans. So no matter what kind of credit you want, high scores are to your benefit.

FICO scores can go as high as 850, which is a perfect score. An excellent score is anything from 750 to 850, while a good score ranges from 700 to 749. Fair is from 650 to 699 and lower than 650 is considered poor.

If your score is good or excellent, and provided that other lender requirements are met, you should have little trouble obtaining a home mortgage loan.

Lenders are most comfortable lending to borrowers who have a habit of repaying their debts, so the better your FICO score, the more they’ll want your business. Because banks do compete for business, they’ll try to attract you by offering a low mortgage interest rate.

Does a poor to fair score mean you cannot get a mortgage loan? No, although you might be better off with a FHA or VA backed loan. Low scores will mean you may only be offered a subprime loan, with a higher interest rate, and you may be required to purchase private mortgage insurance.

For that reason, if you’re thinking of purchasing a home, do check your own credit report. If your scores are low, take action to bring them up.

If you’re thinking of home ownership, please feel free to contact Homewood Mortgage, the Mike Clover Group ahead of time. We’ll be happy to take a look at your financial situation and let you know the interest rate we could offer today.  And, if your scores need improvement, we’ll provide some sound advice on raising them.

 

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