FICO - The First Step to Home Ownership

Raise your FICO score  to buy a home in Needham with Louis Wolfson & Co. as your agent - (617) 799-3326

The home buying process doesn't start with getting pre-approved for a loan or with choosing a real estate agent. The content of your wallet starts the home buying process. Without a reasonable FICO score, entering into a loan for a house is more difficult and, you could find yourself renting for another couple of years in Needham, Massachusetts until your score improves.

A FICO score is a collection of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. The score ranges from 300 to 850, with the majority of people normally having a score of 650. Even though more people these days are experiencing job loss and delinquent credit cards, FICO scores aren't necessarily adjusted "on a curve." A low score is just that and often means you can't get credit extended to you via a mortgage loan. Some of the pieces in calculating your FICO score are:

  • Credit to Debt Ratio — How much do you owe versus your available credit?
  • Credit Inquiries — How many times has your credit history been accessed by someone other than you?
  • Types of Credit — Do you have a healthy mix of credit cards and loans?
  • Payment History — How many times do you make late payments?

Lenders want to be positive that giving you a loan is a safe move. Your FICO score gives lenders a view of what type of borrower you'll be solely because of your credit history. You'll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. You can get approved for a loan with a lower score, but the interest accumulated over the life of the loan could be more than double that of someone with a stronger credit score.

We're used to working with all levels of credit history. Call us at (617) 799-3326 and we can help you get on the right track to the home of your dreams.

You want a higher score, but how do you get there? Building your FICO score takes time. It can be rare to make a significant stride change in your credit score with quick fixes, but your score can improve in a year or two by keeping tabs your credit report and by wisely using credit. The best way to do this is to know your FICO score. You'll improve your credit score by using these pointers:


Raise your FICO score  to buy a property in Needham with Louis Wolfson & Co. as your REALTOR - (617) 799-3326
  • Ensure that your credit history is correct. If you find incorrect items on your credit report, contact the bureau asking that the item be removed. If you have a common name or the same name as a family member, you'll want to give extra care to make sure the activity reported is correct.
  • Even out your debt. At first, this doesn't seem like a good idea. But, you don't want to have one card that is at the limit and have your remaining cards at a zero balance. It's better to have each of your cards at an even balance than to have the bulk of your debt transferred to a single card.
  • Retail cards and gas cards. For those who have no credit or low credit, store credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to improve credit, increase your credit limits and have a solid payment history, which will raise your FICO score. You should always beware of maintaining a high balance for too long because these types of cards more than likely have a steeper interest rate.
  • Keep your cards active. Whether you have older cards, or are just getting started with credit, use your cards so that your accounts stay active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments.
  • Pay on time. Payment history is a big factor in your FICO score. It's where people who have recently been unemployed see the biggest hit in their credit score. Yes, it takes longer to build up your credit with payment history, but it's the surest way to prove that you're able to make payments to a bank.

Now that you're more informed about credit reporting, you'll be able to successfully take the first steps to homeownership, and that is improving your FICO score. Keep in mind that when it's time to apply for a loan to purchase a home, you'll want to keep your applications within a two-week window to avoid damaging your credit score. With the help of Louis Wolfson & Co., shopping for a mortgage is sure to go more smoothly so you, too, can become a homeowner.

Get more information by visiting myFICO.com, Fair Isaac's informational site and you can review all of your credit reports for free each year at annualcreditreport.com. And, for a small payment, you can get your FICO score from each bureau on their websites: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.

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29 Cimino Road
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