If you ever thought about buying a home now is the perfect time. It’s a buyer’s market. Historically high foreclosure rates have left banks with a lot of distressed properties they would like to get rid of. Combine that with the lowest mortgage interest rates in decades and that means one thing. There is no better time to buy a home than right now. But there is one catch. You must at least have decent credit. If you don’t you should take steps immediately to clean yours up or you will miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to get a great deal on a home.
You do not have to hire anyone to fix your credit. There are a number of things you can do on your own which will increase your FICO score (the number mortgage companies use to decide if you are credit worthy)and prepare yourself to get approved for a mortgage. It may take a little time but a slow fix is a sure fix and many of the companies and individuals offering quick credit fixes are probably just trying to scam you out of your hard earned money.
The first thing you should do if you are trying to improve your credit score is get a copy of your credit report. You can get one free copy each year from the three major credit reporting agencies. Check your credit report for errors. If you find any errors, contact the credit bureau and the reporting agency and make sure they are corrected. This may improve your credit score significantly.
Paying your bills on time is the most important thing you can do to improve your credit score. Consider having your bills automatically paid through your credit card or bank account. You can also ask your creditors to send you reminders each month when your bills are due. These reminders can be in the form of e-mails, text messages or a simple phone call. Be vigilant. Older information on your credit report has less impact on your credit score. Paying all your bills on time for a few months you can have a dramatic impact on your credit score.
Reducing the amount of debt you have is another way to quickly improve your credit score. Make a list of all your debts. If there are any you can pay off immediately do so. Be sure to continue to make a least the minimum payments on all your other bills on time. If you have missed payments on any of your accounts, make the necessary payments to get current. A pattern of consistent current payments will show up on your credit report and improve your credit score.