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5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Before You Buy A Home

If you are planning to buy a home in the San Fernando Valley, there is no time like the present to start working on getting your credit in the best shape possible. With the holiday spending behind us, and a New Year upon us, there frankly isn’t a better time to begin buckling down, budgeting and getting your credit in great shape, so that when you find the perfect home, you’ll be ready to secure a mortgage loan.

Here are 5 tips for improving your credit score before you buy a home in the San Fernando Valley:

1. Access Your Score and Dispute Any Errors
You may access your credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com for free every 12 months. It’s smart to pull your credit, review all items, and take note of anything that seems incorrect. If you find an error on your report (and some studies indicate that up to 5% of credit reports do have errors), begin the process of disputing the error by contacting the Federal Trade Commission. You’ll also need to contact the creditor who has made the error. A step by step guide to disputing any errors can be found on the FTC’s site here.

2. Begin Paying Off Debts As Quickly As You Can
Paying off outstanding credit card bills can go a long way towards boosting your credit score. It’s important that you maintain liquid reserves (accessible cash), but to the extent that you are able, increasing payments to reduce total outstanding debt should be a priority.

3. Pay Everything On Time
Make 2017 the year you refuse to pay a single bill late. Even small oversights like paying your cell phone bill late can negatively impact your credit, so it’s vital that you pay all bills on time to maintain or improve your credit.

4. Avoid Large Purchases
If you’re looking to buy a home in the San Fernando Valley, now is not the time to secure other large loans, such as for a car or a boat. You’ll want to have as little debt as possible when it comes time to apply for a mortgage for your home, so steer clear of big purchases until after you’ve been approved for a mortgage.

5. Consider a Credit Line Increase
Your credit score is based in part on your debt-to-credit ratio. If you have a credit card for example, with a $2,000 balance, but the limit is only $3,000; consider requesting a credit increase. This increases your credit availability and gives your credit score a boost.
If you’re looking to buy a home in the San Fernando Valley, there are lots of loan programs available for first time homebuyers, and experienced home buyers. By getting your credit in the best shape possible prior to applying for a mortgage loan, you’ll be in a great position to secure real estate financing that works for you and your family, this year.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the San Fernando Valley this September or this fall, please contact me today. I’m fortunate to have lived in the San Fernando Valley my whole life, and have helped home buyers and sellers in communities such as Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Tarzana, Reseda, Toluca Lake, Studio City, North Hollywood, Hollywood and Sherman Oaks for many years. As a Los Angeles,native, and a top-rated real estate agent in the San Fernando Valley, I am proud to help others find the home of their dreams throughout Los Angeles County. Visit www.allensellsla.com, email allen@allensellsla.com, or call (818) 312-0831 today.