Get Your Credit Score When Getting Ready to Buy a Home

by Kathryn Williams 10/13/2019

It is a fact that people who plan carefully to own a home will run into fewer financial issues later. So, if you want to buy a property now or sometime in the future, your first step should be to check your credit. It is a good idea to review your credit reports and scores from time to time, even if you are not buying the house or applying for a mortgage immediately. 

Your Credit Scores

Nowadays, most lenders use a FICO score when determining whether to offer you a loan or not, as well as in setting the rate and terms. Different lenders may use different credit scoring formulas, so your score can vary based on what type of scoring model the mortgage lender uses whether Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion FICO score. 

The scoring system is dynamic so that your score changes as the information in your credit report changes.

Ways of Getting Your Credit Score

There are many ways of accessing a credit score, and some of them are free. However, most organizations that provide free credit scores do so using different scoring methods than what the lenders' actually use. 

The four ways to obtain a score: 

1. Evaluate your credit card or another account statement - Most big credit card companies and some financial institutions, as well as credit unions, have started the service of providing credit scores to all their customers every month for free. The score is often written on your monthly statement or can be found by logging in to your online account. 

2. Consult with a non-profit adviser - Non-profit credit advisers and HUD-approved housing counselors can provide you with a free credit report in most cases and score and even assist you in reviewing them. A counselor may help you to buy a home, but we recommend you reach out to your reliable real estate agent who is more experienced and understands the job well than a mere counselor.

3. Buy a score - Credit reporting companies will sell your scores to you directly. You can also buy a FICO credit score at myfico.com. These credit scores are often different from your free ones and can be more accurate to what your lender sees. Don't get sucked into paying for extra features with your credit report such as identity theft monitoring, credit protection, or other services offered at the time of purchase.

4. Credit score services - Several websites offer a free credit score service. Some of these websites may be funded through advertising while others may require that you register for a credit monitoring service where you pay a monthly subscription fee to get your free score. 

Be aware that some of these services are usually advertised as free trial offers, and will start charging you a monthly fee if you don't cancel within the first week or month. Before you register for a service, ensure you know how much it really costs and how long the free period lasts. 

Your Credit Score Matters

Everybody is entitled to shop around for the best mortgage for their financial situation no matter their credit score. So, checking your credit history, fixing any mistakes, and knowing your credit scores will make you most suitable for getting a mortgage to buy a property for yourself.

About the Author
Author

Kathryn Williams

As a respected and accomplished Realtor, Katy offers her clients an outstanding level of service. With three generations of her family living in Fairfield County, Katy has an exceptional knowledge of the surrounding communities and her years of experience allow her to excel at every level of the transaction. Prior to earning her Real Estate license, Katy graduated from Wilton High School, earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science from the Bank Street School of Education. Katy received her Real Estate license in 2009 and chose to work in a local agency that values and supports the communities she loves. Known by colleagues and clients alike for her honesty, clarity, perseverance and fairness, Katy has a reputation for her timely responsiveness to her clients’ needs and concerns. In addition to her real estate business, Katy is deeply committed to volunteerism. She is involved on the board of the Wilton Historical Society and with the biannual Minks to Sinks Fundraiser for the Family and Children's Agency. She enjoys playing tennis and golf, cooking, reading and spending time with her family. For the past 22 years, Katy and her husband have been raising their four children in Wilton. Katy loves sharing her passion for the community with her clients and helping them find their perfect home. Member: National Association of Realtors Connecticut Association of Realtors Consolidated Multiple Listing Service Mid Fairfield County Association of Realtors Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Wilton Chamber of Commerce Kiwanis Club