As prospective home buyers look at model homes and listed properties on the market, it’s all about is the kitchen the right size or the bedrooms big enough? There are all these questions about the perfect home for each family and the demographics of the neighborhood. All great questions and concerns, but who discusses pre-approved lending and credit scores when you’re looking at granite and flooring options.

So what score do you need?

Many lenders use the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) model for credit scores, which grades consumers on a 300- to 850-point range, with a higher score indicating less risk to the lender. Generally, a score of 800 or higher is considered exceptional; 740 to 799 is very good; 670 to 739 is good; 580 to 669 is fair; and 579 or lower is poor. So, keeping an eye on your score can help substantially. The higher the score, the lower the interest rate in general. All lenders are different and researching what each lender is looking for is a big part of the buying process.

How do I determine how much loan I need with my credit score?

loan comparison calculator can help you see how much a loan costs at varying interest rates.

In the below example from myFICO.com, borrowers with credit scores above 760 save as much as $193 in monthly payments for a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage compared to borrowers with scores ranging from 620 to 639. That adds up to $69,751 in interest payments over the life of the loan.

Using myFICO.com’s loan savings calculator, here’s how much you’d pay at today’s rates for each credit score range. Examples are based on national averages for a 30-year fixed loan of $200,000.

What can I do to make my score better?

  • Check your credit report and correct any errors.
  • Pay down credit card balances below 30 percent of your maximum limit.
  • Pay all bills, including rent, credit cards and loans, on time.
  • Don’t close older credit lines after paying them off.
  • Avoid opening any new lines of credit or taking out large loans.

When your credit has improved, rate-shop within a 30-day window. Spreading out the inquiries can hurt your score.

These are all aspects of credit inquiry that must be taken into account when beginning the buying process. You will need to check into your credit and loan options before you can truly find the home of your dreams. Any steps you can take to make your credit better will give you a stronger, lower interest rate and make your buying experience more positive. Speaking with a mortgage advisor can help you navigate the steps to your perfect home. Reach out to Grand Living Realty for help with your home buying needs.