Credit scores are enormously important to both borrowers and mortgage lenders. In the same way that doing better in work, sports or at school produces real benefits, the same is true with credit scores.
With good credit you can borrow more and pay less. With a mortgage, a borrower with solid credit might pay the best available rate while someone with poor credit might pay an additional 1.5 percent. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but on a $300,000 mortgage you’re looking at an additional annual cost of as much as $4,500.
There are a lot of questions concerning good credit and how to get it. Here are 10 basics that come up with great frequency.
1. I finished college a few years ago and did not pay a lot of bills. Now I want to buy a house. How can I improve my credit?
Negative items remain on credit reports for seven years (bankruptcies stay on for 10 years). However, mortgage lenders are particularly interested in your recent credit behavior, what you’ve done in the past two years or so.
To change your credit profile you need to make a point of paying every bill in full and on time. No exceptions. Your credit score...