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Knowing how to handle or utilize your credit and debt to your advantage can seem much like a juggling act. Lose control of even a portion of it or for a second ... and you can drop all the balls. Both figuratively speaking and literally.
The topic of credit is obviously one touched-upon often as I speak to my mortgage clients. Questions arise as to the best plan of action regarding the credit and accounts they have ... or need to open in order to have good credit scores and healthy credit. And yes, you read that correctly. Ironic at it may seem, having NO credit or debt (paying Cash for everything) actually works against you when applying for a mortgage. I know, go figure.
Many of the questions I receive revolve around the myths and misperceptions regarding the paying off of debt and CLOSING of credit accounts. Credit can be a tricky topic to fully grasp ... and it doesn't make it easy for my clients to understand, when there are no concrete, full-proof rules or recipe to follow regarding this topic.
Credit, the optimization of credit scores, and the closing of accounts, remains a very personal, very individualized equation specific to the person seeking the advice. What is the right plan of action for one person may actually be the worst plan of action for another.
I try to help my clients understand the delicacy and fragile balance of their credit and credit scores by telling them to think of their credit and debt like "ratios" in a math equation ... or like a scale. What effects those "ratios" or how well the scale balances can be:
The number of credit accounts you have
How much is owed on each account
The accumulative amount of the debt you owe
The "age" of each account
The type of credit/account it is
And More ...
See how and why it can get so confusing?
Credit scores can be damaged or lowered if the wrong credit account is closed. But you don't want to just neglect old accounts with zero balances either.
There is also a right way and wrong way to close out an account. And you want to make sure you receive actual verification or proof of record from the creditor after taking this action. (Just to play it safe and protect yourself, should questions concerning the account arise in the future.)
Juggling balances from one card to another can get your "ratios" out of whack too. Robbing Peter to pay Paul can drive your credit scores down. Exactly the opposite reaction you're hoping for.
Considering all of the above, you can begin to see why it's so important to seek guidance from your Mortgage Lender when hoping to improve your credit scores to their maximum potential. Why it's so important to take action and seek help, especially if you're a first-time home buyer.
If YOU are hoping to buy a home in the future (whether in Will County, Chicagoland, or elsewhere across the nation) ... and you have multiple credit cards, rent, car payments, or other debt in the mix ... NOW is the time to talk to a Mortgage Lender. I will know what YOUR personal credit and debt ratios should and need to be to secure mortgage approval when you buy a home. Plus, I will know how to best optimize your credit to your advantage, allowing for the best mortgage program options and interest rates to choose from at the time of your home purchase.
Please remember this too ...
Polishing your credit and optimizing your credit scores can take time. Months. A year. Maybe even longer.
Interest rates are presently at historic lows. But home prices are on the rise. If you should hope to take advantage of the perfect blend of low interest rates and lower home prices, now is the time for action. And the further ahead that you start the process, the better positioned you will be when you buy your home.
Hoping to Buy a Home? Juggling some credit? Don't drop the ball. Act now so we can talk together soon!
* Hoping to buy a home or refinance in Will County, Chicagoland, or elsewhere across the country? Contact me today! I'll be happy to hear from you and put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work for you on your behalf.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.