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Terry Lipe
REALTOR®, CRS, ABR, CLHMS, SFR, CNHS, RCC
(509) 999-7916
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Articles and Advice

Getting Your Credit In Shape Before You Buy A House

When you're buying a house, the preparation you do ahead of time plays a major role in the end result of your home search. During this time, there are a few things more important than your credit score. An excellent credit score can ultimately help you save big on interest payments over the life of your mortgage. Start by understanding these steps to building great credit.

  • Check Your Credit Score
    The first step is simply understanding where your credit currently stands, and it's easier than ever to do so. You are entitled to one free report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year, so you can check for free if you haven't done so already. Even if you know your report will be less-than-perfect, checking it is the only way to find out what you need to do to improve your score.

  • Ask an Expert
    If you're not too familiar with reading credit reports or simply want to make sure you don't miss any details, speaking with a credit expert is a great way to get up to speed. If possible, choose a credit/financial expert you know and trust. If not, ask around for recommendations from others who have been in your position.

  • Clear Up Debt
    Old, outstanding debts can do major damage to your credit score, so addressing those issues is one of the first steps in establishing good credit. Many creditors are willing to set up payment plans so that you can cover old debts over time rather than in one lump sum.

  • Pay on Time, Every Time
    Cleaning up old credit issues can be a real hassle, and making payments on time helps ensure that no new issues will crop up. If possible, it's even a good idea to pay down your balance a little extra each month. In addition to helping avoid complications, using your credit and then making payments on time is one of the best ways to improve your credit score long-term.

  • Set Up Automatic Bill-Pay
    Even small, local banks now typically offer online banking and automatic bill-pay, so why not take advantage? Doing so will save you time, help you avoid forgetting to pay on time, and keep your credit score moving in the right direction.

  • Plan Ahead
    No matter what part of the home-buying process we're discussing, planning ahead is always one of the keys to success. The same goes for getting your credit in order because repairing past issues takes time. Even if your credit is currently in great shape, you'll want to plan ahead so that you know what sort of interest rates to expect from your mortgage, and make sure your credit score is as strong as possible.

No matter where you're starting from, it really is possible to clean up your credit before buying a house, and the payoff is more than worth the effort. The key is to make sure you understand how your credit score is calculated, where your score could use improvement, and the steps you need to take to achieve your credit goals. With the right credit plan in place, you'll be well on your way to achieving your home-buying goals, as well.

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 10/06/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 10/06/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Coeur dAlene MLS (last updated Wed 10/05/2022 11:46:18 PM EST) or Spokane MLS (last updated Wed 10/05/2022 10:45:46 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --



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