Blog posted On July 15, 2020
Monitoring your credit report is an important first step in the mortgage process and generally good practice for your financial wellness. Lenders use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and whether you will be a good candidate to repay your mortgage loan based on your payment history, current balances, and other factors. Derogatory marks on your credit report can significantly hurt your score and take years to recover. It becomes even more complicated if the credit dings are not your fault and the result of identity theft or credit mistakes.
Monitoring your credit score gives you insight into what is going on in your credit report and can help you spot any suspicious activity as it happens. The sooner you report suspicious activity the better your chances of repairing your credit.
What hurts your credit score?
Your FICO® credit score is influenced by five differently weighted factors: your payment history (35%), your total amount owed (30%), the length of your credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and credit mix (10%). Paying your bills on time, keeping a low credit utilization ratio, and maintaining a healthy mix of credit types will all help you improve your score.
Incidents that hurt your credit score include:
If someone steals your identity and has any of these events occur on a fraudulent account, you will bear the burden and be responsible for repayment or disputing it.
How do you become a victim of identity theft?
In the digital age, you are especially vulnerable to identity theft any time you go online through an unsecured network.
Some common ways your information can get stolen include:
What to do if you find suspicious activity on your credit report
If you do find activity on your credit report that you believe is fraudulent you should report it right away. Keep in mind if the derogatory marks are your own doing you will not be able to get rid of them before the specified amount of time.
All American consumers have access to a free annual credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can request your free credit report three ways:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you have any questions about how your credit report will impact your ability to buy a house, let us know.