10 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Now If You're Buying Next Spring
November 15, 2016
Spring may seem like quite a ways off, but if you’re looking to buy in 2017—and your credit isn’t as good as it could be—you should start working to improve your credit score now. Here are 10 ways to do that:
1. Review your credit reports. You can view your credit reports—from the three major credit bureaus—at AnnualCreditReport.com up to three times a year, so consider reviewing your reports several times before next spring.
2. Talk to a professional. Whether it’s calling your mortgage professional for advice or hiring a financial advisor, don’t be afraid to get help. After all, raising your credit score could mean saving thousands of dollars in a new mortgage.
3. Make a plan. Everyone’s credit situation is different, so you’ll need to make a plan that is specific to your needs. If you’re getting help from a professional, ask them to help you lay out a good plan of attack.
4. Take action on any negatives. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in four credit reports contain errors. If you find mistakes, follow the steps on the AnnualCreditReport.com website to dispute these errors.
5. Be vigilant about late payments. Your record of on-time payments makes up the largest portion of your credit score—35 percent—so if you’re late on any payments between now and next spring, anything else you do to improve your score may be for naught.
6. Track your credit utilization. Since credit utilization—your credit card balance in relation to your credit limit—can have a big impact on your score, try to keep your credit card balances low.
7. Pay down your debt. One of the biggest ways to improve your credit score is to pay down debt. A lender will view you as less of a credit risk if you have less debt.
8. Don’t close any old accounts. The ratio of your credit balance to your credit limit is 30 percent of your score. Since an ideal debt-to-credit ratio is 35 percent, closing unused credit cards may actually hurt your score.
9. Don’t open any new accounts. Opening new credit card accounts (such as department store credit cards) will negatively impact your short-term credit. New credit is 10 percent of your score, so avoid opening any accounts within six months of applying for a loan.
10. Don’t make changes to your financial situation. Changing jobs or making large purchases will change your credit profile and could affect your credit, so avoid such changes if you can.
In the long run, you’ll likely buy another home or refinance your mortgage, so try to maintain your credit score beyond 2017.
For more than 25 years, Omega Financial has been serving mortgage clients in Massachusetts. Our brokers have approximately 50 years in the mortgage business. You always will receive fast, courteous, and accurate information. Omega Financial, Inc. is a company duly licensed to operate in Massachusetts as a Mortgage Brokerage. We are located in the Town of Norwood, Massachusetts where we have been operating as Omega Financial Incorporated since 1988.
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