Have you checked?…

When was the last time you checked your credit report? If you have not done so, you should, especially if you are looking to purchase a new home for the first time or upgrade or downgrade your current living standards.

Every year, you are entitled to a Free credit Report from each of the credit bureaus. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It allows you to see all of your accounts, and allows you to address any discrepancies.

You need to pay extra to see your credit score. The report is free on your anniversary date. You want to make sure that you have a credit score of 700 or higher. Any lower, don’t worry, there is always a way to fix it or improve it.

While I am only a Real Estate Agent in Staten Island, New York, experience shows by having a higher credit score means a better interest rate, and less headaches. Especially since the banks are being strict on who they lend their money to.

My only brief suggestion is that you want to stay on top of any credit card, car loan, or mortgage payment. The day that you are late, is when trouble usually happens, and it will take a while to clear up on your credit report.

If you know you are going to be late with a payment, call the company. Let them know you are going to be late. Let them know the date and the amount. They can note it in the system, and may possibly help you avoid late fees. Don’t keep it a consistent pattern or you will be on that company’s watch list.

Budgeting, and knowing what you spend can be an extremely valuable resource as well. You can see where your money is going, and you can sometimes find unnecessary spending. My website has a mortgage calculator, in which you can estimate payments, so that you can set a budget for yourself.

Also, don’t forget the utility bills, as well as an emergency fund in case something haywire goes on in your house.

Raising your credit score doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t pay the credit bureau’s to raise it for you. You need to be smart in what you do, and communication and doing your homework is the key.

As of right now, people don’t get credit for paying their rent on time. Credit cards, personal loans, car loans, are the big ticket items. Make sure that you pay them, and possibly a little over the minimum payment.

Andrew McDermott is an Associate Broker with Clove Lake Realty in Staten Island, New York. Clove Lake Realty is located at 1267 Clove Road, Staten Island, New York. Around the corner from us is the Clove Lake Book Store, and we are across from Clove Lakes Park.

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