When you’re shopping for a home, you want to get the best deal possible. And part of that savvy buying process involves getting the best mortgage interest rate—which can hinge on your current credit score.
Credit scores can range from 300-850, and the higher your score, the lower your mortgage interest rate will be. That rate is also dependent on the day you lock in a rate, but having a higher score can help regardless of the date and time.
Your mortgage interest rate determines how much you’ll pay monthly in interest, and over the life of the loan. So even a slight variance in monthly payments can mean thousands over a 30-year loan period.
So how can you improve your score? And what can you do to avoid damaging it? Here’s a list to get you started.
- Make monthly credit card payments on time. Paying off your credit card balance and any bills every month is a great way to boost your score. Keeping credit card balances low is also a good step; maxed out cards aren’t necessarily appealing to creditors. Aim for keeping your balance at 30% of your limit or less.
- Be picky about the cards you apply for. Excessive inquiries when applying for credit cards can hurt your credit. Look past the solicitations in the mail or at your favorite retailer, and know which card is right for you and your lifestyle before applying.
This is also true when looking at mortgage rates. Loan shopping at too many places can potentially knock down your score. Narrow down your list so you limit the number of potential lending institutions you seriously look into. A banker can help you navigate this process, as well.
- Have a history. Not having a credit history can hold you back just like having bad credit does. Your credit score goes beyond banking, too. Someone might request your score when starting a new mobile phone contract, leasing a space, enrolling in utility services and even applying for a job. In short, it’s a good thing to have.
- Know your credit. You might not know what you’re doing right or wrong until you check your credit report. The good news is that Experian, Equifax and TransUnion allow you to check your credit report once a year for free. Just be sure you read the terms when signing up, and know if you’re doing a one-time check or a membership. You can also ask a banker how to find out, or for any tips related to improving it.
By keeping these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to getting the best mortgage rate out there. To start your homebuying process or ask more questions about credit, make an appointment
with a mortgage banker today.
We’re here for all your mortgage questions.
Want to learn more about mortgages? National Bank of Commerce makes it easy to start the process online or in person.
1. Call or visit a branch near you
2. Send us a
3. Meet with a Mortgage Banker to get pre-approved.
4. Apply Online.
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