As we slowly head into the year’s busiest and most popular home-buying season, experts are advising movers and first-time buyers alike to be proactive when it comes to credit status. Not only does your credit report help determine which products you will qualify for, but it can also have a huge impact on fees, interest rates and overall borrowing costs in general.
So for those looking to make a move this year, what follows is a quick rundown of a few essential insights from the experts on how to first ensure your credit rating is in order:
Bite the Bullet
First of all, experts unanimously agreed that this is no time to bury your head in the sand and ignore any problems with your credit. Instead, you need to bite the bullet, get hold of your credit report and accept it for what it is. There are plenty of online agencies from which you can obtain a full and detailed credit report with ease.
Check for Bum Entries
One of the main things to look for in your credit report is any entries that you do not recognize. Not only is identity theft one of the most common causes of incorrect entries on credit reports, but mistakes behind the scenes happen considerably more often than you might suspect. If there is anything whatsoever on your credit report you do not recognize, make the necessary call immediately.
Disputes and Discrepancies
Likewise, there may be entries on your credit report that you recognize but do not agree with. In many instances, it is possible to successfully dispute credit report issues – assuming of course that you are in fact in the right. Once again, make the call as quickly as possible.
Pay Credit Card Balances
Even if you have never missed a monthly payment in your life, it is still in your best interests to pay off or at least reduce high credit card balances, for the benefit of your credit report. Generally speaking, any debt that exceeds 30% of the credit limit you have been allocated will result in your credit report being pulled down.
Take Out Extra Credit
Last but not least, if you do not currently use any kinds of credit facilities whatsoever, your credit score may not be as high as it could be. Credit ratings are improved when individuals use credit services and prove themselves to be model customers, meeting all requirements, payments and so on. As such, just as long as you know you can handle it, it is often advisable to consider taking out extra credit services, if you don’t already have a strong record established.