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5 Steps to Good Credit

Having good credit has always helped when applying for a home mortgage. In today’s market,good credit is even more important. The following tips have been created to assist Buyers in understanding the importance of credit as well as providing steps that can be taken to help build your credit score.

Step One: Know What Your Credit Report is Saying About You!
As a result of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), each year you are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has compiled a helpful brochure telling you how you can order your FREE credit reports over the phone, via mail or at the secure website AnnualCreditReport.com. Order yours as soon as possible and begin reviewing it closely for erroneous information.

Step Two: Learn More About Credit and Get to Know Your Rights!
Credit scores are based on a 450 to 800 point scale and they are used by lenders as a means of determining a borrower’s level of credit worthiness. Today, a poor credit score can effect your ability to get a mortgage loan, car loan, or even a job.

If a creditor has reported information incorrectly on your report–you have rights. You can dispute negative marks on your credit by writing dispute letters to each of the credit bureaus. Now, in many instances you can submit your dispute online. Begin by learning more about Fico Scores/Reports and how they effect you.

Step Three: Pay Your Bills
Make paying every bill on time a priority. Late pays can really hurt your credit and paying on time moves your credit score in the right direction. You may even want to consider signing up for automatic payments directly from your checking account. Doing this can help to prevent inadvertently late payments.

Step Four: Out of Site, Out of Mind
Begin paying down your credit cards–begin with cards that are “maxed-out” or close to being maxed-out. Lenders want to see that you only use a portion of your overall credit. Also, once you pay off a credit card, don’t close the account. Keep it open and hide the card in a safe place. Once your credit is back on track, pull it out and begin using it. However, before then, setting it aside will help to demonstrate a higher level of creditworthiness.

Step Five: Maintaining A Strong Credit Rating is a Lifelong Process
Once you clean up your credit and you are pleased with your new credit rating. It is now time to make sure that you monitor Fico Scores/Reports monthly. If anything damaging pops up you will be able to address it quickly and begin working towards a resolution
Hang in There!

Cleaning up your credit and maintaining good credit can be a long process that requires discipline, but it is more than doable. All you have to do is keep working on it.

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