Credit scoring is becoming more important to mortgage pricing so now would be a terrific time to brush up on your credit education.
If you understand how the system works, after all, you can make it work to your advantage. One terrific place to start your research is at myFICO.com.
Published by credit scoring powerhouse Equifax, myFICO.com give you information right from the source. There are tens of pages of tips and tricks from which everybody can learn.
Here are some basic pointers to get you started:
Use It Or Lose It: If you don't use credit, the credit agencies can't assign you a credit score. Spend $10 monthly on your credit cards and then pay it in full to "get on the grid" and get yourself a score.
30 Is The Magic Number: Holding your credit card balances below 30 percent of their respective limits shows an ability to manage credit responsibly. Before consolidating multiple credit cards onto one credit line, consider that card's credit limit. Overload it and the consolidation could hurt your credit score.
The Trend Is Your Friend: A track record of paying accounts on-time means that you're likely to continue paying on-time. Credit bureaus like on-time payments. If you've been late, catch up immediately. At 35 percent, this is the largest component of your credit score.
History Is The Best Teacher: Don't close unused credit cards. Having a credit "history" accounts for 10 percent of your score.
There are more helpful hints available at the Web site so with additional credit score adjustments to mortgage rates expected later this year, the best way to protect yourself is to be proactive.
Identify potential issues in your credit profile and work to improve them.
Credit scoring is not always intuitive so if you're not getting the personal information you need from general Web sites, ask your loan officer for an in-depth analysis. The mortgage rate you save may be your own.