First Step for Buyers: Know Your Credit Score

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You may want to make sure your home buyers know their credit score before they begin their house hunt. A new survey finds that house hunters who know their credit scores feel significantly more prepared to buy a home.

Learning Your Score

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What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit 

Traits of People With High Credit Scores

Yet, just half of recent buyers say they have checked their credit as soon as they considered purchasing a home, according to the survey, commissioned by Experian, of 250 recent and 250 future home buyers.

“No one likes to go into a lender’s office, whether buying or refinancing, and not know the state of their credit; it makes them feel helpless,” says Becky Frost, senior manager of consumer education at Experian Consumer Services. “Our survey shows when people interact with their credit by tracking it and learning more about the factors that affect it, they feel more confident about their purchase power.”

Still, more than two in five future home buyers are concerned that they will not qualify for the best home loan rate and have even delayed purchasing to improve their credit, the survey found. Fifty-eight percent of buyers surveyed say they are working to improve their credit to qualify for a better home loan rate, but 35 percent of future buyers say they are not sure what steps to take to qualify for a larger loan.

For those who are working to improve their credit, the top actions respondents said they’ve taken are paying off their debt, paying bills on time, keeping balances low on credit cards, protecting credit card information from fraud or identity theft, and not applying for or opening new credit accounts.

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