You can have a credit worthy score and lose 100 pts just by car shopping or applying online. Beware of sites that gather your information and then parcel it out to underwriters. This happens when applying for an auto loan or home loan. You can lose 12 pts each time an underwriter pulls your credit. Learn the process for applying for credit the credit savvy way.

Apply for Credit the Fool Proof Way

 

  1. Get your credit score. You will have to know the credit bureau that will be used by the creditor to determine your credit worthiness. MyCredit Matters opts to not use online reporting because it has proven to be inaccurate (off by as much as 100 pts) and the lag time for updates can be as long as six months. You can get your credit score here.

  2. Only apply for credit if your score is 680 or higher. If you are applying for a home loan your score needs to be 150 pts higher. Mortgage lenders use a risk model that subtracts 150 pts from your actual score. Reminder- you get two inquiries per year. After that, you lose 12 pts whether you are approved or denied.

  3. Take a copy of your score report with you and request that the lender use your current score report rather than pull your credit.

  4. Request from the lender in written form the program you are approved for and the interest rate. Should you decide to move forward with the loan you can compare the terms at closing to make sure it has remained the same.

  5. Provide the lender in written form a request not to pull your credit without your written consent. Do not provide any personal information such as drivers license or social security number until you have it in writing.

  6. Use credit to build credit. Do not apply for credit because you can't afford to secure it. For example, you need new tires for your car. Applying for credit is the wrong thing to do. Only use less than 30% of the total limit. You gain 50 pts for having the credit account and you lose half of those points by using more of the limit.

  7. Protect your credit score. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can be a time consuming process to get your points restored.

Tired of Renting? Let's Ask the Experts

 

Experts state you can afford to buy a home if you can check off every item on the Readiness Checklist.

 

Readiness Checklist

  • Your credit score is 680 or above.

  • You have saved a down payment of 20% of the purchase price of the home.

  • You have 8 months of income in the bank.

  • You can afford the monthly mortgage payment.

  • You can afford the homeowners insurance monthly premium.

  • You can afford the maintenance on the home.

  • You qualify for a fixed interest rate.

  • You can get 'a steal of a deal' on the home you would be buying.

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