Here’s the bad news: the housing market is rough, and the banks are stingy. Gone are the days of "no money down" and "less than perfect credit."
The good news? The interest rates are at near-historic lows and the metro Atlanta real estate market is inundated with homes that are ready to be sold at an attractive price.
If good credit and a healthy down payment (think 20 percent) are in your back pocket, then you are poised to purchase your Atlanta dream home! If, however, your credit is less-than-worthy, you’ll want to take immediate steps to begin to repair it.
How to Polish up your Credit:
- Before you begin thinking about purchasing an Atlanta home, you should immediately order a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).
Scan these reports carefully and check for any discrepancies or errors. It is important to IMMEDIATELY bring any problems to the attention of the credit reporting agency so that you can begin to rectify it.
- Make sure all your bills are current and begin to make it a priority to pay your bills – all of them, regardless of how small – on time every month. Most lending agencies want to see a steady history of responsible bill payments.
Don’t forget about utility bills, either. Every bill counts when applying for a home loan!
- Don’t close any open accounts. This may sound odd, but when credit reporting agencies determine your FICO score (your credit rating score) they consider the amount of available credit you have at any given time. And closing accounts lowers that available credit and therefore lowers your FICO score.
- Don’t change jobs. If you are poised to apply for a home loan, then do not choose that time to change jobs or occupations. Most mortgage lenders want to see a steady employment history. A recent change in jobs or occupation could mean that you are a credit risk and may reduce the likelihood of getting approved for a mortgage.
- Don’t forget about your student loans! Many homebuyers underestimate the importance of student loans, when in fact many lenders disqualify applicants for failure to pay student loans.
- Pay down your credit cards and avoid maxing out any one card. Once again, your FICO score is determined by the amount of your available credit. Paying down your credit cards will not only prove to the mortgage lender that you are a good credit risk, but will also put you in a better position regarding your monthly debt payments.
To speak to a professional real estate agent, contact Tina Fountain Realtors at 404.842.1555