If you’re thinking about buying a home, you need to be aware of your credit score – one of the most important factors when qualifying for a loan. Generally speaking, a higher score can mean a better chance of getting approved for a loan and securing a lower interest rate. Learn more here in the Complete Guide to Purchasing a Home.
Check Your Credit Score
FICO scores, which range from 350 to 800, are used in 90% of all lending decisions and nearly 100% of all mortgage-related lending decisions. Check your credit at myfico.com, the ONLY place online to find your “industry specific FICO” from all three credit bureaus. To get your FREE credit report from all three credit-reporting agencies -- Equifax, Transamerica, and Experien -- visit annualcreditreport.com.
How to Improve your Credit Score
Are You a First-Time Home Buyer?
The Cecil County Department of Housing provides home buyer education and pre-purchase home ownership counseling to help increase client awareness of the process of becoming a home owner and calculating the affordability of home ownership.
First Time Home Buyer Seminars are offered monthly on the 3rd Tuesday from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm at the County Administration Building. The seminar covers such topics as Shopping for a Home, the Residential Contract of Sale, Mortgages and Settlements, Home Inspections, Predatory Lending and Fair Housing. Down payment assistance and First-Time Home Buyer programs are discussed. One-on-one counseling sessions are available for individuals needing a Home Buyer Certificate as required by some lenders and grant programs. For more information, visit their website or call 410-996-5245.
Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage
To get pre-qualified, you'll supply documentation such as pay stubs, tax records and proof of assets. Once the lender verifies your financial information, which may take a few days, it should supply a preapproval letter you can show a real estate agent or seller to prove you're ready and able to purchase a home.
Find a REALTOR®
Why use a REALTOR®? REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers. Learn more here in the Complete Guide to Purchasing a Home. Search our member database for a REALTOR ® .