Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 9/5/2018

One of the most important factors that many home buyers face is that of their credit score. You have the right to get one free credit report per year. There are also many different apps and websites that keep you updated on your credit score and any changes in your credit report. These programs even guide you in how to improve your score. 


Why Do We Have Credit Scores? 


A credit score is a number that shows how creditworthy a person is. Lenders look at this score in order to assess how risky a person may be to lend to. This lessens the potential risks that the lender may face, keeping people who may be at high risk for defaulting from securing a loan in the first place. 


What’s A Good Score?


Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest score that you can get. A credit score of 700 or above is considered good. A credit score above 800 is seen as excellent. The bottom line is that the better your credit score is, the more reliable of a borrower you will be seen as by lenders. 


If your credit score is less than stellar, however, you need to get to work so that you will be able to get loans in the near future. Here’s some steps that you can take to improve your credit:


Pay Off Outstanding Debt 


If you owe anything on medical collection accounts, credit cards, legal judgements; basically any debt that will show up on your credit report, you need to pay these off. Getting rid of debt can help you to increase your credit score more quickly. 


Rebuild Your Credit


You’ll need to keep up any accounts that you have with good payment history and maintain the good work. You should be diligent to maintain those on-time payments for an increased good payment history. Even if you have accounts that have had late payments previously, you can still work to get the accounts back in good order. 


If you don’t happen to have any existing credit accounts, you’ll need to get one in order to begin establishing credit. A good way to do this is to apply for a credit card and only charge what you can afford each month in order to help establish a credit history.     

Look At Your Whole Financial Picture


Aside from your credit score, you’ll need to take a look at your bigger financial picture. Everything from the amount of savings that you have available to how much of a home you’ll be able to afford is important. You need sufficient income so that you’ll be able to buy a home and provide a down payment along with money to pay closing costs. 


Once you start investigating your credit score and how to improve it, you’ll be on your way to better financial health.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/17/2018

Did you know that you could drastically improve your credit score in just a year? Or that there are things that you can actively be doing to keep up your good credit score and make it to excellent? Improving your credit score involves improving many pieces of what makes up a credit score. The tips here are twofold. If your score is low and you are looking to greatly improve it, then you must first figure out why. Review the tips below to see if any listed can help you deal with your credit pitfall(s). If you have an average to good score and just want to improve it as much as possible then each of the steps below can give you insight into how to do so. Balances: The amount of revolving credit you have compared to the credit that you are using is a large factor in your credit score. It’s best to keep your balances from all of your credit cards under 30% of your revolving credit. Even if you pay off your credit cards every month, the amount of credit you are utilizing is recorded. In short, keep balances low, but also keep paying them off each month so you do not end up with a balance than can’t be immediately paid off. Credit Inquiries: Hard credit inquiries show up on your report for 2 years, but only affecting your score for around a year. Hard inquiries show that you are looking to use additional credit and too many hard inquiries in a short amount of time can negatively affect your credit score. One or two within a year’s time will not significantly affect your score but as that number gets higher it will. One way around this is to make those couple of inquiries within a 30-day period. FICO will count those inquiries as one since oftentimes multiple inquiries in a short period of time results in one loan— meaning you are not in search of multiple lines of credit/loans. But it’s best to be cognizant of this and strategic in how you view your credit report or apply for loans and credit cards. Payment History/On-Time Payments: If you have struggled with paying your bills on time and have seen a suffering credit score then this then would be a main reason behind your low score. And it’s time to take action and change that. This is one of the main factors in your credit score and therefore significantly impacting your score, either negatively or positively. It’s important to do everything in your power to pay all bills on time. Even being just a couple days late on payments will have affect. Length of Credit History: Length of credit is not necessary something that you can completely control. But it does have an affect on your credit score. As the length of your credit increases, and given that you are responsible with your credit, your score will improve. The most important piece to remember here is to be responsible with your credit. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, sign up for a free credit score site or find out if one of your credit card companies offers it. Frequently checking and seeing your score rise will provide you with the gratification you need to keep on track.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 6/22/2016

Credit scores are complicated. There are numerous companies who calculate credit reports. What's more, those companies have different versions of their credit calculators, so any given person can have tens or even hundreds of different credit scores. In this way, credit reports can seem subjective or arbitrary. While that may be true, credit scores can play a role in which credit cards we receive and what loans we get approved for. And now some employers are even running credit checks on their potential new hires. Read on to learn all you need to know about what goes into your credit score.

Who's FICO?

The industry leader when it comes to credit scores is FICO. They set the standard and started releasing credit scores to lenders in 1989. Since then, however, a number of new names have entered the market like VantageScore and CE score.

How is my score calculated?

Your FICO score is broken down accordingly:
  • 35% - Payment history
  • 30% - Amounts owed (debt)
  • 15% - Length of credit history
  • 10% - Types of credit used
  • 10 % - New credit
  1. Payment history The most important aspect of your credit score is repayment history. It includes information on all of your payments (or lack thereof) and whether you were late or on time. It takes into account things like foreclosures, repossessions, and settlements.
  2. Amounts owed (debt) This section is complicated by the fact that having debt isn't necessarily a bad thing for your credit score. It includes your debt-to-limit ratio, the number of accounts with debt owed, and the total amount of debt across all accounts. If you're keeping up with payments and not hitting credit limits, this section can work to your advantage. Owning huge amounts and having poor repayment habits will certainly harm your score.
  3. Length of credit history Being consistent in paying off your debt over a long period of time can be reflected positively on your credit score. Similarly, if you have a very short credit history, lenders are less likely to approve you for what they see as potentially risky loans. This section also includes the amount of time you've had certain accounts and how long it has been since you used those accounts.
  4. Types of credit used If you have proven that you have successfully managed multiple types of credit (retail cards, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, etc.) this will reflect positively on your credit score. A lack of credit diversity won't win you any extra points.
  5. New credit Beware of opening several new cards or taking on multiple loans within a short span of time. It will raise red flags to lenders that you are having financial difficulties and are a risky borrower.

Build good credit habits

Credit scores are daunting and we often overlook them if we aren't in current need of loans. But like maintaining your health, it's important to take preemptive measures to nurture your credit score. Here are some good habits to build that will save you money and stress in the long run:
  • Check your free credit report annually
  • Set up auto-pay on credit cards and loans and keep an eye on your checking account to make sure it has sufficient funds
  • If you are in financial trouble contact your lenders and ask about your options. Going AWOL is the worst thing you can do on your credit debt
  • Keep credit card balances low and avoid opening several cards within a short period of time
  • Take advantage of free online tools like Credit Karma to calculate your debt repayment
 





Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/23/2015

Unfortunately, many homeowners have gone through a foreclosure in recent years but that doesn't mean that future homeownership is out of the question. Hard work and discipline and these tips should have you on the road to homeownership again soon. 1. Keep a steady job Potential lenders will need to see stable employment before they’ll approve a mortgage loan after a foreclosure. 2. Build your savings Rebuild your savings account. You will want to establish a minimum of six months of living expenses in a liquid account. Mortgage companies will want to see you have a cushion to pay your bills. 3. Work on your credit score After foreclosure, your credit score probably dropped by about 150 points. Rebuilding your score will take time, hard work and perseverance. Pay all of your bills on time and make sure to keep your credit card balances below maximum levels. It is best to have the balance less than half of the available balance. If you stay disciplined and positive, the American dream—obtaining a mortgage and owning a home of your own—can, indeed, be yours again. Even after foreclosure.    





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/8/2014

If your dream of owning a home has been crushed by a mortgage denial you are not alone. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, about half of the applicants who have applied for a mortgage have been turned down. But don't lose hope.                                                                                                                                 Here are some ways to boost the odds of your next mortgage application getting approved: 1. Know why you were rejected. If you are rejected for a mortgage by law you will be given a formal "adverse action" notice from the lender. The reasons for rejection will be outlined in the notice. Some examples of why you could be rejected are: a low credit score, high debt load, or insufficient income. 2. Not all lenders are the same. Guidelines differ so get a second opinion. 3. Have a bigger down payment. A down payment of 20% of the home's value will increase your odds and lower the lender's risk. 4. Check your credit first. At least six months before you apply for your loan request your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. Clean up any errors on your report. Corrections may take 60 to 90 days to show up on credit reports. 5. Improve your credit score by avoiding late payments, getting current on delinquent accounts and reducing debts.  Make sure all of your credit card balances are below 30% of your credit line and reduce your debt-to-income ratio to 36% or less. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to homeownership.