If you want to buy a home soon, for the first time or the tenth time, you’ll need to take a look at your credit score. Your credit score is one of the factors a lender will look at when determining 1) if you qualify for a mortgage and 2) your interest rate on that mortgage.
Higher credit scores will help you secure a lower interest rate on your mortgage, which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan. So you’ll want to get your credit score as high as possible before you talk to a lender. But how exactly can you boost your credit score? Try these four strategies.
1. Keep balances low and pay on time. This might seem really basic, but it’s so important! A big part of your credit score is based on how well you repay your debts, so make sure to always pay your credit cards and other loans on time. Also focus on getting your balances under 30%—the lower they are, the better!
2. Increase your credit limits. Even if you know you won’t spend as much as your credit limit, every time you have an opportunity to increase it, do! Your credit score LOVES this. If you already have a good or very good credit score, this is a great way to boost it.
3. Don’t request new lines of credit. The average age of your credit accounts also plays a role in calculating your credit score. The younger your accounts, the worse your credit score.
That means that every time you open a new line of credit, you decrease the average age of your accounts. Applying for new lines of credit will also drop your credit score a few points for a couple months because of the hard pull on your credit report, so you’ll definitely want to avoid it before getting pre-approved.
4. Check your credit reports for inaccuracy. Sometimes mistakes happen and inaccuracies can get filed on your credit report. It’s your responsibility to check for these and get them corrected. You can get a free credit report from your bank or from apps like CreditKarma. It’s a good idea to just check them out and stay on top of it so you can catch any errors fast.
With these strategies, you’ll have an amazing credit score and get a great rate on your mortgage. But if you have any questions about getting a mortgage or need some pointers, just reply to this email!