Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside with Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate as your REALTOR - 386-931-8531

FICO - The First Step to Home Buying

Most people assume that the home buying process starts with getting pre-approved by a lender or with choosing a real estate agent. The content of your wallet starts the home buying process. To propel your dreams of homeownership forward, you must consider your FICO score along with the type of loan for which you'll qualify in Flagler County.

The Fair Isaac Company calculates your FICO score on the summary of your complete credit history. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people normally having a score of 650. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit. Some of the factors in deciding your FICO score are:

  • Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards?
  • Payment History — How many late payments have you made?
  • Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
  • Credit Inquiries — Do you have too many open accounts?

Lenders want to ensure that allowing you a loan isn't a risk for them. Your credit score gives lenders an insight into what type of borrower you'll be based solely on your credit history. Because of the shift in the economy, most home buyers should have scores in the range of 700 or higher to get a decent interest rate. You'll still get approved for a mortgage with a lower score, but the interest accumulated in the long run could be more than double the amount of an individual with a better credit score.

We're used to working with all levels of credit history. Call me at 386-931-8531 and I can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

You want an improved score, but how do you get it? Improving your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant change in your FICO score with small changes, but your score can improve in a year by monitoring your credit report and by wisely using credit. The most important thing is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:

    Raise your FICO score  to buy a house in Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside with Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate as your real estate agent - 386-931-8531
  • Stay on top of payments. Payment history is a huge factor in your FICO score. It's one of the reasons people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest dip in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to rebuild your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to show that you're responsible enough to make payments to a lender.


  • Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, contact the bureau asking that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.


  • Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is at the maximum and have the rest of your cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at about 30% of their credit limit than to have the most of your debt sitting on a single card.


  • Chain Store cards and gas cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to begin your credit history, increase your credit limits and keep up your payments, which will raise your FICO score. You must always avoid carrying a large balance for more than a couple of months because these types of cards traditionally have a steeper interest rate.


  • Keep your cards active. Whether you're just getting started with credit, or if you've got older cards, be sure to use your cards so that your accounts maintain an active status. But, be sure to pay them off in one or two payments.


Now that you know more about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Remember that when you're ready to apply for a loan to purchase a house, you'll want to keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate, the loan application process is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can achieve home ownership.

Get more information by visiting www.myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and once per year, for free, you can review all three of your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

I won't judge you based on your FICO scores and can help you step into home ownership with the best mortgage lender for you. E-mail me at twolanes@twolanes.com or call 386-931-8531 for more information.