Your credit score and history are the first things all lenders will look at to decide whether or not to consider offering you a mortgage (especially a pricey one), so you need to check your credit to make sure you’re in good standing with all your debts. Numerous sites offer free credit reports and free estimated credit scores.
When you pull your report, first check out your score, which will be a three-digit number that generally ranges from 300 to 850. Most lenders look for a score of at least 600 to 640 to offer you financing, but some will make exceptions for buyers in the high 500s. This estimated score will give you a good idea of where you stand, but keep in mind that lenders have their own scoring models, so your official score will vary.
After checking your score, you’ll want to dig deep into your credit report to find any old unpaid debts that could affect you. Forgot to pay that old electric bill six years ago? That's probably on your report as an old collections account and will impact lenders’ willingness to approve you.
Companies like Credit Sesame exist to help you analyze your score and find ways to boost your standings. With a little effort (and time), you should be able to improve your chances. Who knows, maybe someday you'll be sitting pretty inside one of these luxury homes!
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