If you are worried about your credit history, don’t feel alone – most people have something in their credit past that is less than perfect. That’s why it is so important to begin to take steps as soon as possible to improve your score – and that is why I so strongly advocate the pre-approval process.
The pre-approval process for a mortgage begins a review of your credit report, since mortgage program guidelines specify minimum credit requirements. The turmoil in the housing and mortgage markets 10 years ago was largely a result of lenders underestimating risk. As a result, credit guidelines became more restrictive and many flexible loan programs were eliminated.
That’s why it’s so important to find out what’s on your report today, and if necessary, to take steps to repair any damage that has been already been done. Sometimes paying down credit card balances will have an immediate impact on your score, and moving your score up just a few points can have a dramatic effect on what loan you will qualify for. I’m happy to meet with you and help determine what steps you can take to improve your credit. We may even find errors in your report that can be addressed quickly.
In general, a lower score will mean a higher rate and could require a larger down payment. If you don’t like the financing options that are currently available to you, based on the information provided in your credit report, we can work out a plan to help you improve your credit rating and get your finances in shape to get you a better loan in the future. If there are factual errors on your report, I can show you how to begin the process of dealing with incorrect items, which will be needed to move your score higher in the future.
Most creditors report credit activity once per month. They report your credit limit, current balance, minimum monthly payment, and your payment history – including the number of times you’ve been 30, 60 or 90 days late on a payment. This information is reported to each of the three main credit bureaus. A lender’s credit report consolidates information from all three of these bureaus, and is usually valid for a loan closing within 120 days.
If there is incorrect information on your credit report, you must contact each bureau individually and dispute the item. Here is how to do it:
2 Baldwin Place, P.O. BOX 1000
Chester, PA 19022
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
All disputes with Experian are handled online.
PO Box 740243
Atlanta, GA 30374
All disputes with Equifax are handled online.