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Credit Myths Debunked for Future Homebuyers

What are these common myths that might be standing in the way of your dream home? Let's dive into each one of them.

Myth: Your credit score is the sole determinant of your eligibility for a mortgage.

Mortgage eligibility involves a comprehensive evaluation of various factors beyond just the credit score. These include:

  • Income Stability: Lenders assess your income to ensure you have the financial capacity to repay the mortgage. A steady income is a positive indicator.

  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: This ratio, comparing your monthly debt payments to your gross income, is crucial. A lower ratio indicates a healthier financial situation.

  • Down Payment: The amount you can put down as a down payment influences mortgage eligibility. A higher down payment may compensate for a lower credit score.

  • Employment History: Lenders often consider your employment history. A stable job and consistent income contribute positively to your mortgage application.

  • Overall Financial Picture: Lenders examine your overall financial situation, including savings, investments, and existing assets. A robust financial portfolio can strengthen your case.

Understanding that credit score is just one aspect helps applicants focus on improving other elements to enhance their overall mortgage eligibility.

 Myth: You need a perfect credit score.

Having a perfect credit score (usually 850) is not a prerequisite for securing a mortgage (yay!). Lenders typically consider a range of credit scores for home loans. Acceptable credit score ranges may vary among lenders, but common classifications are:

  • Excellent (750 and above): Borrowers with excellent credit scores are likely to qualify for the best interest rates and terms.

  • Good (700-749): This range is generally considered good, offering favorable terms for mortgage approval.

  • Fair (650-699): While borrowers in this range may face slightly higher interest rates, obtaining a mortgage is still feasible.

  • Poor (600-649): Borrowers in this range may encounter challenges and could be subject to higher interest rates.

  • Very Poor (Below 600): Individuals with very poor credit may face difficulty securing a mortgage, but alternative options may exist.

Understanding this should help you set some goals!

 Myth:  Checking your credit harms your score.

It's crucial to distinguish between soft and hard inquiries when monitoring your credit:

  • Soft Inquiries: Checking your credit score through methods like personal credit monitoring or your own VantageScore 3.0 credit score constitutes a soft inquiry. Importantly, soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.

  • Hard Inquiries: These occur when a lender checks your credit report as part of a loan application. While hard inquiries can have a minimal and short-lived impact, they are necessary for certain financial transactions.

 Myth: Once denied, always denied.

Not necessarily true. Insights into common reasons for denials include:

  • Low Credit Score: If a low credit score was a factor, taking steps to improve it can enhance future eligibility.

  • High Debt-to-Income Ratio: Reducing existing debts or increasing income can positively impact this ratio.

  • Insufficient Down Payment: Saving for a larger down payment may address this issue.

  • Employment History Concerns: Establishing stable employment or addressing gaps in employment history can be beneficial.

This is where communicating with your agent can make a HUGE difference. Sometimes, it really is the case that we need to improve our file before we can expect a pre-approval BUT there have been multiple instances where I've been able to connect my client with the right people in order to get their file from "denied" to "approved".

So, there you have it – a myth-busting guide to home buying, with a special focus on credit scores. Hopefully, you are now better equipped to navigate the twists and turns of your homebuying adventure.

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