Make Sure Your Credit Scores Are Correct Before Mortgage Shopping
Buying a home is an exciting and often overwhelming experience. However, before you start the home-buying process, it’s important to ensure that your credit scores are correct. Your credit score is a significant factor in determining your eligibility for a mortgage, the interest rate you’ll receive, and the amount you can borrow. As such, it’s essential to take steps to make sure that your credit scores are accurate and up-to-date.
To begin, you should obtain a free credit score report before you begin shopping for a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders use FICO credit scores, which may differ from the credit scores you get through other credit monitoring services. By reviewing your credit reports, you can identify any errors or mistakes that could potentially hurt your credit scores and impact your mortgage application.
It’s a good idea to check your credit reports at least three months before you plan to apply for a loan. This allows you enough time to address any problems or dispute any mistakes that you may find. If you discover any issues, you can work to resolve them before you apply for a mortgage, improving your chances of being approved and receiving favorable loan terms.
However, it’s important to be cautious when making changes to your credit report. Don’t make drastic changes, such as closing credit cards you’ve paid off or opening new credit accounts to buy furniture or appliances, without first consulting with your loan officer. Such changes could potentially lower your credit scores and harm your mortgage application.
Additionally, you should be aware that the lender may check your credit scores again before closing on the mortgage, so it’s important to maintain your credit health throughout the home-buying process. You don’t want any surprises that could negatively impact your mortgage application.
Finally, it’s natural to be concerned about how shopping for a mortgage might impact your credit scores. Fortunately, FICO scores ignore mortgage-related credit inquiries in the past 30 days, and multiple inquiries within a relatively short period count as a single inquiry. So, you can feel confident in shopping around for the best mortgage rates without worrying about damaging your credit scores.