There aren ’ t shortcuts to improving your credit score . You ’ ll need to make sound financial decisions for at least several months to offset previous damage you ’ ve done to your credit record .
But that doesn ’ t mean it can ’ t be done . Here are four steps to improve your score and increase the chances you ’ ll qualify for a favorable mortgage loan .
CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT Verify that the items listed on your report — especially the negative ones — are correct . If there are mistakes , correcting them is an easy way to help your score . You can order free copies of your credit report at annualcreditreport . com .
PAY OVERDUE ACCOUNTS Past-due balances are very damaging to your score . Pay off the debt or at least negotiate a plan to get those accounts current . Once current , those accounts will stop adding negative information to your credit report and can generate positive credit-score movement .
USE LESS OF YOUR AVAILABLE CREDIT Carrying a $ 2,000 balance on a Visa card with a $ 3,000 limit isn ’ t going to help your credit profile . Try to pay down those balances , if possible , to less than 50 % of your available credit . Another option is to ask for a higher limit . If Visa raises the limit on that card to $ 6,000 , your balance looks better — as long as you resist the urge to add to the balance on that card .
DON ’ T CLOSE ACCOUNTS This one is counterintuitive , but closing a credit card account lowers your available credit . Keep that card active and set it up to autopay one or two small , recurring bills , such as your Netflix membership .
When you ’ re ready to start looking for a home , talk to a Texas REALTOR ® . He or she can help you understand the many aspects of the homebuying process .
04 n www . REWeekly . com n 01-07-2022 EL PASO , TX