Posted: 04/14/2017

Credit scores are vitally important to the home-buying process because your credit worthiness can dictate the terms of your loan. When you apply for a home loan, a pre-approval may reveal your credit blemishes, some of which could be fixed over a relatively short period of time, while some require additional work over a longer period of time.

Those with credit problems may soon be getting some help.

It was recently announced that millions of Americans are poised for a credit boost thanks to a new set of rules that credit reporting companies will follow when issuing negative points on credit scores. The large credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will be dropping tax liens and civil judgments in some instances as it applies to credit scores, both of which can lower a score. By July, as many as 12 million consumers could see a credit score increase because of this.

The switch stems from claims that liens and civil judgments were being attached to the wrong person. Under the new rule, liens or judgments will be dropped if they do not match three out of the four following criteria: name, address, social security number or birthdate.

At the very least, these changes could assist a large segment of consumers with a modest bump in their scores.

Here are a few tips to help you get your credit in order.

Find your Credit Score

Sites like offer free credit scores. Some credit card companies offer customers a credit snapshot, which you may find on your statements. Federal law allows people to receive one free credit report from each of the major three bureaus each year. You can learn more about that here. The report itself is free, but you will have to pay to see a numerical value.

Determine What’s a Good Credit Score

Generally, a score between 800-850 is excellent; 700-800 is very good and 680-699 is good. Anything below 619 is considered poor. If you are on the fringes of one of these ranges, this summer’s boost could elevate you into a better range, allowing you the freedom to pursue a mortgage with a little more confidence, and likely, a better rate.

Other Ways to Boost Your Score

You will want to make sure that the items that make up your credit report are correct. If you see anything incorrect in your report you may be able to dispute it. Another tip is that keeping credit cards active with low or no balances may be better than closing cards completely. Finally, and this sort of is an obvious one, but pay your bills on time and if you have any outstanding bills make sure to get paid up.

If you would like to speak with one of our mortgage advisors about your credit score and your journey to home ownership, don’t hesitate to contact us

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