The most important part of qualifying for a mortgage isn’t how much of a down payment you can make, it’s how good your credit score is. The better your credit, the more easily you can secure a mortgage loan, even without a fat bank account or a high-paying job. The first and most important action you should take is to get your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You have to get all three reports because the companies and utilities that extend you credit don’t report to all three bureaus. The result is that each consumer has three credit reports with three different sets of information. You can access the reports for free at least once a year. If you find errors and report them (see below for details), you can get a revised report for free.

Your credit score is based on the information in the credit report. In the simplest terms, the score indicates how likely you will be to pay back a loan in full and on time. According to Steven Burman, president of Credit Advocates and an expert credit counselor, it reflects your credit history, how much debt you currently carry (called outstanding debt), how much debt you’re already approved to carry in the future (add up the credit limits on your credit cards for the answer), how long your credit history is, and how timely you are in paying bills. The higher the number, the better your credit is, ranging from a low of 300 to a perfect score of 850. Continue Reading

Just about everyone wants to know how to get good credit, unless they are of the opinion that they do not need credit. One radio personality is currently selling his secrets for living without credit. He claims that his credit score is zero, because he has never used credit. This may be great for him. Apparently he has always had enough cash to pay for what he needs or wants. The average person is not so lucky. Whether you currently have a poor credit history or no credit history at all, then there are certain things you can do to create a credit history, improve a poor credit history and correct errors in your credit history. You can learn how to get good credit.

The first step for anyone learning how to get good credit is to view the information stored on their credit reports. Because of a recently enacted law, the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) created a website (www.annualcreditreport.com) where you can view and print your credit reports. Be sure to spell it correctly or you may end up at an impostor site selling information about how to get good credit or improve poor credit. Even the credit bureaus will try to get you to sign up for newsletters offering advice about how to get good credit and what to do if you have poor credit. Continue Reading