From Premier Lending, here is a handy Home Buyers Guide that will help you through the loan and buying process. I found this guide through a newsletter which also includes tips on improving your credit score. Here are the 7 points in brief:
- Review your credit report for errors and/or inaccuracies
- Reduce your credit card balances. High balances affect your score, especially if you have balances greater than one-third your gross monthly income.
- Avoid the temptation to cancel credit cards, especially if they are never used. This could adversely affect the ratios that go into developing your score.
- Avoid taking out any new credit cards. Opening a lot of cards can make you look desperate for cash, but your goal is to look responsible.
- If you don't have any credit cards at all, consider getting one or two and using them responsibly.
- Pay all your bills on time--every time! Call and make the payment by phone if you would be late otherwise. And consider setting up auto-payments to avoid missing payments.
- But if you have a late payment, ask for forgiveness. Your creditor may require the request in writing, but if you have an otherwise good record, the creditor may make a "goodwill" adjustment.
Most importantly, don't assume you can't get a home loan. Talk to a lender (or two)--You might be surprised! If there are credit concerns, they might be able to show you how a few simple actions can help you get the credit score you need and quickly. If someone else's bad actions are still showing up on your credit report, a lender may be able to help you document that you are creditworthy or give you guidance on how best to remedy the situation.