The year is wrapping up pretty quickly, and for most of us, we’re thinking about our goals for next year. Is buying a home on your bucket list for 2018? If so, now is the time to get your finances and credit in order. With early preparation, you can set your sights on touring new homes in no time!
Monitoring your credit report and credit rating is important, especially if you’re considering purchasing a home. Here are five tips for improving your credit. It’s not about quick fixes, but responsible financial activity over time.
1. Get a credit card: OK, this may seem counterintuitive, but let me explain. When used correctly, a credit card can be an effective tool for building credit. Charge a few budget-conscious purchases each month, and pay the balance off before your due date.
2. Keep your balance low: This is the other side of the coin with credit cards. Try to only charge for items you could pay for out-of-pocket, and try to stick to a balance of only 10 percent of your credit limit.
3. Food: If your kitchen is being torn apart, preparing meals becomes a lot more difficult. You may be able to keep your food budget steady by switching to meals that don’t require counter space, the stove, or the oven, but don’t be surprised if you end up dining out more often.
4. Leave paid debts on your report: Paid off debts like car loans show that you have a history of paying your debt on time.
5. Ask! If you’re looking to pay off a debt quickly, it can’t hurt to ask the lender to lower your interest rate. You can’t get what you don’t ask for!
Credit-building is just one of the stepping stones to buying a home. To learn more about what you need to prepare for a home purchase, follow the “yellow brick road to homeownership.”
WHAT’S MY CREDIT SCORE? In order to know where to start, it’s a good idea to see where you stand. Many mortgage lenders are willing to run your credit, review your options, and build a game plan at no upfront cost to you.
Find the lender who is right for you. Here are a couple of local options in San Antonio, TX: Agent Val’s Favorite Mortgage Loan Officers