Improving Your Credit Score

Even if it is just a few days late, just one overdue payment-whether it’s for your mortgage, a utility bill, an auto loan, a Visa account, or any of a hundred other credit obligations-could seriously damage your FICO score. FICO pays a lot of attention to whether you start a pattern of missing due dates, so a series of late payments can really hurt your score.

It’s not too late to straighten up your act. Get yourself current as quickly as you can and then remain current. Your score will begin to increase within six months- and the longer you keep it up, the more noticeable the increase will be. The negative weight FICO gives to bad behavior like delinquencies lessens over time, so as long as you stay on the right path, those black marks will eventually disappear from your record for good.

Of all the factors you are able to control-and improve quickly-the amount you owe is probably the most powerful. Say you’ve got a $1,000 balance on card with a $2,000 credit limit-and then the card company slashes your limit to $1,000. Suddenly, you’ve gone from 50% credit utilization to being maxed out, and being maxed out might cost you as much as 100 points.

Closing old accounts shortens your credit history and reduces your total credit-neither of which is good for your FICO score. If you have to close an account, close a relatively new one and keep the older ones open. Also, closing an account will not remove a bad payment record from your report. Accounts that are closed are listed with active ones.

The best way to increase your score is to show that you are able to handle credit responsibly-which means not taking too much and paying back what you do borrow on time. Do not open new accounts just to raise your available credit or create a better variety of credit. This is especially true if you’re just beginning to establish a credit history.

When you apply for a loan, the lender will “run your credit”-that is, send an inquiry to a credit rating agencies to figure out if you are credit worthy. Too many such inquiries might hurt your FICO score, since that can indicate you are trying to borrow money from many different sources.

The FICO scoring system is designed to allow for this by considering the length of time over which a series of inquiries are made. Try to do all your loan shopping within 30 days, so the inquiries get tied together and it is obvious to FICO that you are loan shopping.

I need to find http://tinyurl.com/dktx98. I am trying to locate a debt agency.. This article, Improving Your Credit Score is available for free reprint.

Advantages of Credit Reports.

It is clear, why credit reports are beneficial to banks: they allow credit organizations to avoid unwanted risks when deciding whether to extend credit to the client. But experts say that credit reports are favorable to the mutuary who, having a good credit report, can reckon, for example, on the condescension for delay of the loan, and even on the new credit.

Specialized bureaus collect credit histories for several years. Meanwhile, until now not every borrower understands what the credit history is. Modern Dictionary of Economics provides the following definition of the term “credit history”: “information accumulated during a long time about obtaining and returning bank loans by the borrower; it characterizes the reliability of the borrower in the terms of repayment of the loan, it is used by banks in the decision to grant the credit to this borrower.”

It is clear that it is favorably for a bank to have in possession the information about the borrower’s credit history. The credit report allows to minimize the credits to be given out to unconscientious debtors.

Initially the profit was not as plain as a pikestaff for borrowers. Clients simply apprehended that their data will fall not only in the credit bureau, but in the hands of swindlers. In order to encourage clients to share personal data and information about their loans, the banks have begun to introduce special programs of privileged crediting for trusted customers, convincing them that the credit reports help clients to reduce the cost of the loan.

Special programs for trusted clients require relief from paying a fee, reducing the size of down payment, interest rate reduction and simplification of the procedure of processing the loan. The presence of a good credit report says about honesty and punctuality in meeting the commitments in the past and describes the client’s desire to fulfill his obligations to repay the loan in the future.

However, banks do not often demand confirmation of credit report, prefer to check the reliability of the customer by own forces. In this case, the bank can inquire from the customer an agreement to verify his credit history. If the information about credits provided by the client in the application blank does not match the data of Credit Bureau, the bank asks the customer to bring a bank statement from a credit report.

Those who managed to get a loan for any purpose certainly have to order credit reports regularly. These reports can show you a real picture of your credit but in many cases the reports are very complicated to understand. Here you can make use of credit report monitoring service – they will make the reports easy to understand.

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Budget and DTI

The Phoenix home buying planning process means time to budget

Phoenix home buying seriesIt is time to finally track your spending and put pen to paper an itemized list of where you spend money each month and how much. The goal here is to see how much Phoenix home you can afford within your budget.  The good thing is right now in Phoenix-Metro area you can own for less per month that what you can rent in many areas so your living expenses might actually go down once you buy!

Accurate figures are important to the Phoenix home buying planning process

Start with making a list of all your expenses such as utilities and living expenses such as electricity and groceries, then all monthly expenses such as credit card bills, car insurance and yes add your entertainment, clothes, etc. as well. If you spend $40/week on movies and you want to continue to spend $40/week on movies than include it, otherwise remove or lower it to something you feel is reasonable and then follow that. You may be surprised to find out how much money you spend on certain things that with a few minor changes here and there you can drastically reduce your overall monthly expenditures. After you total everything and subtract it from your income you will have a figure. From that figure take a certain percentage off the top to add to your savings accounts and/or retirement plan, etc and the final figure leftover (assuming you already accounted for miscellaneous disposable income in your list) is what you can afford as a mortgage payment with/without any lifestyle changes while growing your savings.

Lenders consider Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios during the Phoenix home buying pre-qualification process

The above budget is mainly for your purposes so you can determine during the Phoenix home buying process your comfort level with the money in and money out every month and also help identify spending habits that can be modified to help strengthen your overall financials. Lenders will take your debt such as current mortgage/rent, credit cards, car payments and compare it to your income (aka DTI or debt-to-income ratio). The qualifying ratio will vary by loan program and FICO score but for our example we will use FHA which is 41%.

Lets consider a quick scenario in determining DTI for a Phoenix home buying loan applicant;

Your Monthly payment on mortgage/rent = 1200
Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payments = 300
Monthly Car Loan Payments = 450
Other Loan payment = 300

Thus, your total monthly debt payment = $2250

Now, let’s consider your Gross Annual Salary = $75000
So, gross monthly salary = $6250
Other monthly income = $1000
Thus, your gross monthly income = $7250

So, mortgage debt to income ratio = (monthly debt payment)/(gross monthly income)
= ($2250/$7250)  = .310 or 31% which is well within the standard DTI ratio.

Hopefully now you have a good idea of how much you can comfortable afford every month, what changes to you budget need to be made if any and if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is in-line with qualifying. If not you may have to pay off some debt to get your ratio where it needs to be as part of the Phoenix home buying process.

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Repairing Credit

Repairing credit to buy a Phoenix home takes time…

buy a phoenix home by repairing bad credit
If you read the previous post in this 11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series regarding establishing credit we are back to the same notion of maintaining a good credit history. So it will take time.  Repairing credit is all about correcting the negative references on your report and keeping the items in good standing …in good standing!  There are many reasons one might have bad credit. For the purpose of this post and buying a Phoenix home we will address general misuse or overuse, etc. We will not touch on bankruptcy issues, short sales, or foreclosures in this post as they are different in terms of recovery.

Nowadays, you will most likely need a 620 credit score or higher to buy a Phoenix home with traditional financing

Some things to consider when you review your credit report;

  • When you look at your report there are some things you should keep in mind. If you have too many credit lines this could be hurting your score. You would need to pay off and cancel or at least cancel all but a preferred three cards. The cards that you should keep should be the ones you have had the longest. Longer histories with a creditor helps your score. Try to negotiate lower rates on the three that you keep.
  • Pay down balances on all three remaining cards to 30% or less of the credit limit (10% is better).
  • Put together a budget to pay down any outstanding/delinquent payments or satisfy any debt/judgments.  Many times these balances can be settled and negotiated for less than the full amount.

Keep in mind that to buy a Phoenix home is not a given right but a reward and responsibility

Once your credit is in check make sure you take the necessary steps to keep it that way. Set up automatic payments whenever possible. Don’t wait until the last minute to mail a payment to your creditors. Make sure you don’t overspend or have to high of limits. Report any unauthorized use of your credit. Once you implement these strategies it is just a matter of time and history until you have good credit to buy a Phoenix home.  Your preferred mortgage finance specialist can give you a ball park estimate based on your current credit scenario just how long until your credit should be good enough to qualify for the best rates available to buy a Phoenix home.

If you have questions or comments on credit issues that are stopping you from qualifying to buy a Phoenix home please post them below, we would love to hear from you!

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-No Credit

Buying a Phoenix home requires good credit history

Buying a Phoenix home with good credit
No credit is not good credit. No credit will stop you from buying a Phoenix home. Some people assume they have good credit just because they have not used it or damaged it yet. This is not the case. The good news is there are easy ways to establish credit. I spoke with a client that asked, “Why do I need credit cards in order to buy a home?,” as she had no debt and did not want to get a credit card. The answer is you don’t. You can always save up and pay cash for a Phoenix home which many people sometimes do, however, if you are going to require a loan to finance your purchase you may have to consider the scenario from the lenders POV. If you were going to loan money to someone you will probably want to see that they have a history or managing debt responsibly prior to doing so in order to analyze the risk, i.e. the likelihood they will pay you back.

Establish credit as early as possible prior to when you plan on buying a Phoenix home

Establishing credit takes time. Having no credit does not illustrate you a.) know how to manage it or that b.) you will not abuse it.  You may have credit card offers come in the mail or when you go to your bank. It is ideal that you open three credit lines but no more with either your bank, department store, mail offer, etc. Most will come with a low or zero APR for the first year or so and of course you want the best rate and perks.  Instead of paying cash for things like groceries, gas, medicine, etc. just set your cash aside and use your card. Then when the bill comes pay it off with the cash you stashed. If you are going to carry a small balance vs. paying it off completely each month carry no more than 10% of the credit line for an optimal credit rating although paying it off each month in full is ideal. If you only carry a small balance and only buy things you would normally have to buy regardless, then you should be fine with managing your credit. In three to six months you should be on your way to having great credit to buy a Phoenix home.

Remember these 5 things when building your credit for buying a Phoenix home or any other purpose

  1. Make your payments on time every time or it will lower your credit score
  2. Always keep your credit card balance at 30% or less of your total credit line in the event you don’t pay it off in full each month
  3. Once you have a history request a credit line increase from at least one of your cards to be at 5K or more
  4. Don’t have more than 3 credit lines at any one time
  5. Don’t buy things you don’t need on credit, just buy the things you would buy anyway

Also it is important to note that it is a good idea to keep your cards for the duration. Don’t cancel one and hop to another just because they offer you a short term introductory rate. Try to negotiate the rates with the cards you have. Overall the length that you hold each credit line open will impact your score, i.e. the longer the better. This will in turn possibly get you better home loan rate when buying a Phoenix home and possibly a quicker approval process.

Many cards offer a cash back option. This means for every dollar you spend with the card (even when you pay the balance off in full each month) you will receive typically 1% or 2% cash back. So lets say you spend $2,000/month on groceries, food, gas, medicine, clothing, etc. you would have earned $40 cash back which is $40 more than you would have made if you bought the exact same items but just paid cash for them.

This post is not intended to be in any way a form or financial and/or credit counseling and it is advised you see a professional finance/credit specialist for further insight or questions regarding your credit prior to buying a Phoenix home. We have plenty of wonderful referrals!

I hope so far you are finding this 11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series helpful and I welcome any comments you may have below as we move through the series.