Weichert Financial Services Offers Buyers Tips for Improving Credit Score
May 15, 2009 // Franchising.com // Morris Plains, N.J., – The historically-low interest rates and affordable prices of today's real estate market offers great opportunities for buyers. For those thinking about purchasing a home, an important first step is to learn more about their credit score and the direct impact it can have on their loan eligibility. In particular, prospective buyers who may have concerns about their credit score can benefit from finding out if there are any obstacles they need to overcome on their way to homeownership.
To improve your credit score and qualify for better mortgage programs at better interest rates, Weichert Financial Services offers these tips:
- Check and review your credit report – Since a credit score, which is determined by a borrower's bill-paying history and debt profile, is the biggest factor a lender uses when considering a borrower, buyers should start by looking for problem areas and any errors on their report.
- Keep your credit card balances low – Since approximately 30 percent of a borrower's score is determined based on a ratio of the amount that is owed in relation to their available credit, a buyer should keep credit card balances as close to zero as possible. A great way to keep balances low is to make a payment right after any big purchases.
- Keep your cards active – No activity on credit cards can lead to cards being closed so it is important that a borrower utilize their credit cards on a regular basis to show usage. A good way to do this without incurring high balances is to make small purchases a few times a year.
- Pay your bills on time – Timing is really everything. Lenders also consider when bills are paid. In fact, payment history counts for 35 percent of a borrower's credit score. If you anticipate having a problem paying on time, contact your credit-card company immediately. To avoid late payments, consider setting up a monthly email reminder or an automatic payment system.
- Avoid opening new cards – To improve their credit score a borrower should avoid applying for new cards. Having too many active cards can have a negative effect on your credit score in the short term and keeping track of purchases and bill due dates of several credit cards can be difficult. Although some offers come with discounts that are appealing, fight the temptation. In the long run, it will help strengthen your credit score.
To learn more about your credit rating and ways to improve your credit score, call or visit a Gold Services Manager at one of Weichert's neighborhood offices. These financial representatives will personally review your credit file and put you in the best position possible to become a homeowner by providing a custom plan to help raise your credit score through the use of Credit Assure, a unique service developed by CreditXpert Inc.
Weichert Financial Services is one of the "Top 30" lenders in the U.S., according to the industry newsletter "Inside Mortgage Finance," based upon sales to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nationally in 2008. In an August 2007 study assessing the credit standards of the nation's lenders, SMR Research Corp. ranked Weichert Financial Services among the least risky and most reliable. The quality of its products is in the top five percent, according to Radian, a leading mortgage insurance lender.
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates in more than 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance.