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The-Mortgage-Gal

Give Yourself Some Credit

It can reach the point where you don't want to pick up the mail. There isn't much to look forward to: after all, who writes letters any more? The daily mail invariably consists of a few pieces of colorful junk mail and et another pesky bill to pay.

Believe it or not, those pesky bills are the ticket to your financial wellbeing. The way you handle those bills can make a difference that you can measure on the bottom line of your family finances.

A great credit score (the higher, the better) is rewarded with good loan rates and access to money when you need it. A low credit score can cost you extra - even on your mortgage, where the debt is secured against your home. And you may be refused credit just when you need it most.

You may want to check your own credit score once a year - to ensure that all the information in your file is accurate. You have a right to access your own credit records through a service like Equifax. There may be charges for mailing or internet downloading of your files, but it can pay to know your own credit score.

It's helpful to understand what's behind the credit score: what impacts your score and what lenders are looking for when they check your credit.

When those pesky bills come in, do you pay them on time? Your payment history is a significant factor in your credit score. If you have paid bills late, had an account that has gone to collections, or declared bankruptcy, then your credit score will drop accordingly.

How much money do you owe? Lenders will look for a nice comfortable buffer between your debt and your credit limits. If your credit card or your line of credit are always teetering at the top of their limits, that is likely to have a negative effect on your credit score.

How long is your credit history? Lenders will be interested to know how long you've been a borrower. If you have a long credit history with a good payment record, you will score high in this component. A short credit history makes it difficult for lenders to assess your risk - though if you pay your bills in a timely way and maintain low credit balances, these good habits can offset a short history.

Have you applied for new credit lately? A lender will be able to see if there have been other "inquiries" on your credit report. If you have requested new credit several times in a recent period, your score may be affected. Don't worry about routine checks or inquiries from your existing creditors. Those inquiries should not impact your score.

How much credit do you have and what types of credit do you use? Both too much and too little credit can lower your credit score. Lenders will be looking for a record of established credit accounts with good payment histories. Too many credit cards, or accounts with high-interest finance companies can affect your credit score.

So what doesn't affect your credit score? Personal information such as your race, religion, sex or martial status are neither recorded nor scored in your credit history. And, perhaps surprisingly, your salary, occupation and employment history are also not relevant to your credit history.

This year, whether or not you intend to take out a mortgage or borrow money, you should check your credit history and ensure that all the information contained there is accurate. You want to know what any future lender can see. Secondly, make those pesky bills in the mailbox your new best friends. Be systematic about your bill paying routine and reap the financial rewards!

For more information contact Laurie Baird
Consultant, Mortgage Intelligence Inc.
Phone (250) 862-1802 Fax (250) 712-0209

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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