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Understanding Your Credit


How Your Scores Are Calculated

The all-important credit score - know exactly where you stand.

Credit scores range anywhere from 350-850. The higher the better. Your number is determined by five factors combined to calculate your personal score. Even if your score is lower than desired, don’t give up. With a little clarity and focus, a lot can be done to make things better.

Types of Credit - 10%:
This looks at what types of credit you have.

New Credit - 10%:
New applications for credit might cause you to be risky and lower your score.

Length of History - 15%:
How long your accounts have been open. If you are going to close an account, DO NOT close the oldest.


Payment History - 35%:
Making sure that you have your payments in full and on time.

Debt Utilization - 30%:
How active EACH of your accounts are will affect this portion of your score.

Do's and dont's

How to handle your credit during the mortgage process.


  • Immediately inform your Loan Officer if there are any changes in your employment, income, or assets.

  • Continue living in your current residence.

  • Continue making all mortgage or rent payments.

  • Continue to make payments and stay current on all existing credit accounts.

  • Be prepared with an explanation for any credit “blemishes” and recent credit inquiries.

  • Research and select a preferred homeowner’s insurance provider.


  • Make any major purchases or home improvements.
    (ie. auto, boat, appliances, furniture, pool)

  • Apply for new credit or loans.

  • Pay off any charge-off accounts, collections, loans, credit cards, or consolidate debt.

  • Close any credit card accounts, max-out, or over-charge credit accounts.

  • Change bank accounts of transfer balances from one account to another.

  • Change the source of your “closing funds.”

  • Deposit large amounts of cash into your own bank account without proper documentation.

The Dispute Process

How to dispute an inaccurate account through each credit reporting agency.

do's & dont's
The Dispute Process
Credit FAQ's
  • "How much do I need for my down payment?""
    While many believe a 20% down payment is required, it’s far from the only option. See our down payment guide below to have an idea of how much you may need to save. Click the option that best fits your scenario.
  • I'm a veteran or active military member
    0% The VA and the USDA both offer a zero down loan program for individuals and/or properties that meet their criteria. Sometimes, loans require little or no cash out of pocket. Some HUD properties are available with as little as $100 down.
  • I'm a first time home buyer
    3% - 3.5% Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac conventional loans are available with down payments as low as 3% for credit qualifying first time home buyers. ​ The FHA loan program allows as little as 3.5% down, and it is more lenient than most other programs on minimum credit scores.
  • I'm looking to buy my next home to live in (I've owned a home in the past 3 years)
    3.5% - 5% The FHA loan program allows as little as 3.5% down, you do not need to be a first time home buyer. ​ Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac conventional loans are available with down payments as low as 5%. The minimum changes based on property type, credit score, occupancy, etc.
  • I'm looking to buy a 2nd home
    10% A second home is a residence that you intend to occupy in addition to a primary residence for part of the year. (Example: A vacation home, a property in a city where you frequently conduct business, etc.) The minimum down payment requirement for 2nd homes is 10%.
  • I'm looking to buy an investment property
    15% - 25% Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac conventional investment loans are available with a minimum 15% down payment for a 1 unit rental property. 2-4 unit properties typically require a 25% down payment.
  • Closing Costs!
    2% - 3.5% Closing costs are items paid at closing for the parties involved in a real estate transaction. This includes prepaid interest and taxes/insurance to set up your escrow impound account.
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