Should You Check Your Credit Report Before Buying A House?
When you’re thinking about buying a house there’s a lot to consider. Finances are a large part of that, but while you’re focused on whether you have a down payment and how much the house costs, you might be neglecting something very important. You also need to check your credit report. Even if you’re never done anything negative that could show up on your report, credit bureaus can and do make mistakes. You want to catch any of those, and ensure that everything is accurate, before you start applying for a loan to buy a house.
How Do You Get a Credit Report?
You can get a credit report from one or all of the three main bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can also get them from free credit reporting sites, but make sure you’re choosing one that’s actually free, and doesn’t require you to sign up for monitoring or other services. If you want those kinds of options they are available, but you shouldn’t have to pay for them to get your report. They are free to everyone once per year, and many people get them from one credit bureau at a time, so they can get a report every few months. If you haven’t checked yours recently, it’s time to do that before you buy a house.
What Kinds of Things Should You Look For?
Look for anything that’s negative, such as late payments, charge-offs, over-limit problems, and settlements where you didn’t pay the full amount you originally owed. If these things are on your report and they’re actually yours there isn’t much to be done about them except to give it time. You can work on building good credit since that problem occurred, and if it has been a while since any credit troubles those issues may not affect your score too much. Sometimes a person with a very similar name or social security number can have accounts that end up on your report by mistake. Or you could have been the victim of identity theft. Either way, you want to make sure you get these incorrect items removed from your report so your credit score can be higher.
How Do You Fix Problems or Errors?
If there are negative items that don’t belong to you, you’ll want to dispute them. If the credit bureau can’t prove those items belong to you, they must remove them and send you a corrected report. Additionally, if you have items that belong to you but that you feel have been handled incorrectly, you can also file a dispute on those. While it may not get them removed from your report, it will allow you to tell your side of the story and will become part of your credit file. That can help anyone looking at your credit report and score decide if there are extenuating circumstances that will affect your ability to buy a house. This can work to your advantage in some cases.
Copyright 2017 Keller Williams Colorado West Realty, LLC. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal opportunity housing provider. Each office is independently owned and operated. For sale by owner data not included in research findings. Sales data reflects sales from homes not limited to the Atha Team LLC. This information was gathered from Keller Williams, The National Association of Realtor, CoreLogic data analysis firm, Montrose Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Brokers Association. This data is considered accurate, but is not guaranteed. Copyright Atha Team LLC 2017. All Rights Reserved.