If your regular patterns of credit usage change, it could negatively impact your FICO score.
Shrewsbury, NJ (PRWEB) June 23, 2008
If you're applying for a mortgage, don't max out your credit card accounts during the process. It may sound like obvious advice, but the majority of home buyers overlook how certain activities can impact their credit score, according to Lawrence Montani, Team Montani leader at First Interstate Financial Corporation.
"Overcharging is the fastest way to bring down your credit score as much as 50 to 100 points," says Montani, a NJ mortgage professional for more than 20 years. Along with over-charging, Montani offers potential homebuyers four useful tips for getting their credit in shape:
1. Don't consolidate debt onto one or two credit cards. This makes it look like you are "maxed out" on certain cards. It's better to hold off on any debt consolidation until after your closing.
2. Don't apply for new credit. "Every time you have your credit score examined by a potential creditor, you lose points," says Montani.
3. Avoid unnecessary activity that might be a "red flag" to creditors. Montani counsels clients to avoid opening new accounts, co-signing a loan, and even updating your name or address with the major credit bureaus. "The less activity on your reports throughout the loan process, the better," he advises.
4. Do continue to use your credit as normally as possible. According to Montani, "If your regular patterns of credit usage change, it could negatively impact your FICO score."
Clearly, buyers have to consider credit issues as early as possible if they're thinking of buying a home or refinancing an existing loan.
The most important things to remember -- before, during and after the loan application process -- says Montani, is to manage your credit wisely, and check your credit reports at least once a year. "You should always have an idea of your credit score, because it's the single most important factor that determines if you will qualify for a loan."
For nearly two decades, First Interstate Financial Corporation and Team Montani have led the way as one of the most respected New Jersey mortgage bankers, with more than 80% of its loans written for repeat customers and the friends and family they refer. Licensed in 15 states, Team Montani is known for its refreshingly different approach to mortgages -- combining experience with responsiveness to eliminate much of the stress generally associated with the mortgage process.
For more information, call (732) 389-9898, ext. 300, or visit http://www.teammontani.com.