Your credit score affects your ability to borrow money and influences the interest you’ll pay on that loan. Most people don’t know how these scores are calculated. Here’s what you need to know.
All Credit Scores are Not the Same
People often assume their credit score is a single three-digit number. In truth each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, score you differently since they don’t have the exact same data. Be clear where your ratings come from when sharing your scores.
Closing Accounts Won’t Always Boost Scores
Closing old or inactive accounts may inadvertently lower your credit score because your credit history appears shorter. If you want to simplify, close newer credit accounts first.
Paying Off a Debt Doesn’t Remove it from Your History
Once a debt goes to collection, or you’ve established a history of late payments, your credit score is impacted even if you pay off what you owe. While your score will get a boost if you pay off an old debt, it may not be by as much as you think. The best way to increase your credit score is to make payments on time every month.
Co-signing a Loan Impacts Your Scores
When you co-sign for someone else’s loan, you are ultimately responsible for the debt. If the person you’re co-signed with does not pay, your credit score will be impacted. Determine ahead of time if the person you’re co-signing with can afford the loan and if it’s worth the risk to your own credit score.
Not sure who to trust when making decisions that could affect your credit score? Refer to a Mel Foster Co. agent for guidance.
This summer will be a competitive season in the housing market where demand will be higher than supply. If you’re planning on buying a home, here are some tips to help you prepare.
Get Your Finances in Order Ahead of Time
Before you begin looking for houses, make sure you’re financially prepared to be a homeowner. This includes doing a credit check, gathering your employment and salary history, getting a current bank statement that shows savings and checking balances, making a list of your debts and anything else that could contribute to your net worth.
Be Prepared for High Prices
If you see a house you love, chances are someone else loves it too. Many sellers are receiving multiple offers and will often receive offers close to their asking price. Be prepared for firm prices and difficult negotiations. Determine your needs vs. wants when it comes to selecting a home and be willing to compromise so you can act and make an offer quickly.
Work with a Professional Real Estate Agent
Having a real estate agent on your team can make a big difference. An experienced agent can recognize what might make or break a deal. Your agent will offer the sellers your whole package and not just an offer number, making your offer more appealing to the seller. Your agent’s ability to negotiate on your behalf gives you peace of mind that you’re getting the most out of the deal.
To contact a Mel Foster Co. agent today visit our website.
Making an offer is a huge commitment and you need an agent on your side to come up with terms and an offer price. You might know how much house you can afford, based on your loan pre-approval, but knowing how much you should pay is a different story.
Your agent is an expert in local market conditions and has data to help you settle on a fair offer price. Reviewing comparable properties that have sold in the neighborhood is a solid tool to determine your offer price. This information is readily available to your agent.
Sellers have a reason for wanting, or needing, to sell their home. By asking the right questions during an open house, you can get a good feel for what will motivate the seller to accept your offer. Your Mel Foster Co. agent can help you prepare questions in advance to determine if price, timing or contract terms are most important to the sellers. This knowledge will give you leverage when negotiating.
Once you make the offer, it is customary to leave earnest money with the seller or seller’s agent. In a seller’s market, the buyer should put down a solid deposit to entice the seller to accept their offer. On the other hand, if it’s a buyer’s market, a larger earnest money deposit may prompt the seller to accept a lower purchase price.
Your agent is your advocate, looking out for your best interest to make sure you don’t overpay for a property or agree to terms out of fear of losing the house of your dreams. Rely on your agent to make sure you come to the table with a winning offer the sellers will accept.