If you are getting a loan to purchase your home, your lender will run your credit report and obtain your credit score. You can run your credit score yearly for free without taking a hit to your score to do so. Sites like www.creditkarma.com or www.freecreditreport.com are good sites to check how you are doing. But when you are ready, the credit report will be required and run by the lender you choose.
In most cases, the better the score, the better the interest rate you will get for your loan. Even if your credit score is poor or fair, it's not as hard as you may think in some cases to increase your score. The Info below will help you determine what areas you may want to work on if you know you have some credit challenges that may prevent you from either obtaining a loan, or qualifying for better interest rates.
How is your Credit Score Calculated?
35% Payment history
30% Amounts Owed
15% Length of credit history
10% New Credit, including inquiries
10% Types of credit in use
What is "Good" Credit?
660-679 -Average- You will want to improve your score for better rates
680-719 - Above Average- You can qualify for most loans although your rates may be higher than those with excellent credit
720-759 - Good- If you improve your score to above 760, you'll qualify for lower interest rates
760-799 - Great- if your FICO score is above 760, you are a "high achiever".
780-85 -Excellent - Your credit is flawless and you may qualify for best interest rates
Keep in mind, even though 660 and above is considered good credit, there are lender specialists who can help people with 580 credit scores, and even lower, depending on other information.
Length of Time Negative Credit Info Lingers on your Credit Report
Late Payments- 7 years
Judgments - 7 years
A Short Sale - Up to 7 Years
A Foreclosure- Up to 7 Years
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy- 7 years from filing date
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - 10 years from filing date
Tax Liens- Until the lien is paid in full plus 7 years (though some may remain indefinitely)
It's important that you get prequalified prior to viewing homes so you know what your budget is and so that you will be ready to write an offer when you find the home you wish to buy.
Note: To determine the best course to clean up your personal credit challenges, we recommend consulting with a credit specialist and/or lender who can professionally advise you.