How to Build Credit and Other Financial Strategies for Buyers — Week 4

My new series brings together all of my advice and tips about the importance of your creditworthiness and more when buying a home. Most buyers need to take out a mortgage, and that’s when your finances become an open book. Lenders will need to gauge if you’re worth the risk to lend you money. I’m here to help you learn some important strategies so you don’t miss out on becoming a homeowner.

In my final week, it’s all about what NOT to do! You want to keep it simple and straightforward with your finances as you lead up to buying a home. Nothing extravagant or excessive during this time.

Whether you’re buying your first home, your next home or even refinancing, you need to avoid some risky actions that could hurt your credit score and, ultimately, block you from getting the mortgage you want.

Lenders will look at you and your credit history thoroughly before they pre-approve you and again once you are under contract and on your way to closing. Don’t think you’re off the hook once a lender pre-approves you!

Know these 10 Commandments and stick to them as you begin the home-buying process.

They’re your handy reminder of what NOT to do – so you can keep your credit score on track from start to finish.  Better yet, follow them well before you even start looking for a home so your finances and score will be well regarded by lenders.

At first glance, these 10 Commandments seem very easy to follow. However, you’d be amazed at how ignoring just ONE of these items can do damage.

  1. Thou shalt not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
  2. Thou shalt not buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it)!
  3. Thou shalt not use charge cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.
  4. Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.
  5. Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
  6. Thou shalt not buy furniture. (Even if you’re about to go to settlement, just don’t!)
  7. Thou shalt not originate any inquiries into your credit.
  8. Thou shalt not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer. (It could be suspicious to suddenly have lots of money; a loan or gift from family needs to be acknowledged.)
  9. Thou shalt not change bank accounts.
  10. Thou shalt not co-sign a loan for anyone.

I hope you enjoyed this new series. Take a look back at the articles from the 3 other weeks: Want a Home? Then Get a Credit Card; Don’t Be Derailed by Your Credit Scoreand 3 Common Misconceptions That Needlessly Lower Credit Scores

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