If you are below 620 or just below 740, here are a few things you can do to raise your score while looking for a home:
Pay your bills on time- Sounds simple, but one recent late payment can drop your score significantly.
Keep your debt ratios low- If your credit limit on your credit card vs. your balance is too high, you can lose significant points. I have seen 30 points or more for a single credit card. Never have your credit cards maxed out when trying to buy a home.
Opening up new credit- If you open up a new credit card or buy a car, this can negatively impact your score as well. Generally speaking it is not a good idea to open anything when getting ready to buy a home or during the process. There are some circumstances where one may have little to no credit where opening up a new credit card can be positive for your score. You would want to consult an expert in this case.
Don't close your credit card accounts- Generally speaking it is not a good idea to close a credit card that you are no longer using. If you do so, you could potentially eliminate a positive piece of credit from your score which can significantly drop your score. Every credit report and situation is different, so make sure that you get professional help before making changes to your credit profile.Toby Lane is a loan consultant with Academy Mortgage in Atlanta. You can visit him on the web @ www.atlantagamortgages.com and search Atlanta Mortgage for topics such as Atlanta Credit Repair or GA first time homebuyer.