Credit Health and Home Buying

Your credit report and score can influence the type of home you can afford in different ways. It influences the interest rate of your mortgage, the total amount of money you are qualified to borrow, the lending terms of your mortgage agreement. It is recommended that you check your credit score and report at least three months prior to applying for a home loan. Buying a home is the biggest investment in most people’s lifetime. So, take the time to do your homework, ensure that your credit score is based on accurate credit report information, in order to find a home that fits your budget.

Maintaining Good Credit Habits

– Don’t max your credit cards
– Keep a healthy credit utilization ratio (most creditors consider a ratio of 35% or lower as healthy)
– Make your monthly credit card payments on time
– Keep tabs on your scores and check your credit report regularly

In general, keeping a low balance on your credit card or paying your credit card off each month is ideal. However, letting your credit cards sit idle, without activity, it may not benefit you as the creditors have nothing to report.

VantageScore®

Your VantageScore® and grade is based primarily on a 24-month review of your credit report. Your credit report has information – such as your history of payment punctuality, the total amount of your available credit, the total amount and type of debt you have, the number of open and active accounts, and the longevity of your relationships with creditors.

Credit Score Simulator Offered By TransUnion®

“Only available as part of TransUnion® Credit Monitoring, the Credit Score Simulator tool shows you ways your current credit score would change based on future actions and events.”

The online credit score simulator is a useful tool that provides an insight of how different factors may affect your credit score. For example, just applying for a new credit card may downgrade your credit score by 2 points.

“With Credit Score Simulator, you won’t just know where your credit score stands, but also where it could go.”

Credit Score Simulator Highlights:

  • Learn the easy way by planning credit actions ahead of time
  • See how future actions or events would impact your score
  • Select from 14 different categories
  • Explore thousands of possible credit score simulations!

SignUp Here

 

Changing Monthly Due Date for your Credit Card

Most credit card companies will let you change their card’s monthly due date. Doing so may help you spread your expenses more evenly within each month. Just remember, if you end up calling in and getting your monthly due date changed, take note of it so you don’t forget and miss a payment! Also, changing the credit card’s monthly due date may only be allowed once during a specific period of time.

What’s a foreign transaction fee?

Some credit cards charge a fee (typically between 1% and 3%) for every purchase someone makes in a foreign country or through a bank based abroad. If you’re shopping for a new credit card, you may want to consider which ones have foreign transaction fees and which ones don’t, especially if you travel abroad.

 

Why do I need three credit scores?

There are three national credit bureaus that collect information about you, and they obtain credit data independently. So while you might assume that your three credit reports and credit scores look exactly alike, they can actually differ significantly.

How does my credit score affect me?

Credit scores are important indicators of your financial health. Lenders use credit scores as major tools to determine:

  • Whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan.
  • What type of interest rate you will pay.

While a credit score is a key determinant of your creditworthiness, lenders also examine the information on your credit report and your loan application. Regularly checking your credit report enables you to:

  • Be informed of the most up-to-date information in your credit history.
  • Correct any inaccuracies, thus ensuring that your credit data is a true depiction of your credit record and increasing your chances of receiving credit under the best possible terms.

Negative Score Factors

The date that you opened your oldest account is too recent.
Your oldest account is still too recent. A credit file containing older accounts will have a positive impact on your credit score because it demonstrates that you are experienced managing credit.

What You Can Do
Don’t open more accounts than you actually need. Research shows that new accounts indicate greater risk. Your score will benefit as your accounts get older. Continue reading Negative Score Factors