Saturday, November 14, 2009

bravery

I know I've been talking about this house-purchasing thing for aaaaages and I haven't gotten on the ball with DOING anything about it. (I think I do deserve credit for getting on top of the one thing that requires lead time - getting an erroneous late payment report removed in August. But it's now NOVEMBER.)

So this morning, I realized I was being a wimp, and I signed up for a seven-day free trial at freecreditreport.com. (I know I have mentioned before how I love their songs.) I thought it was 30 days, so I'm a little disappointed, but this was time enough to find out that there are no errors, all my accounts are current (I need to double-check that they're all also "never late" - the site doesn't say, so I need to go back to annualcreditreport.com and get my second statutorily required free report for the year and check whether there are any late payments. And THEN I canceled a Capital One card that I HATE because the credit limit is $500 and they have refused to increase it even though they promised to and I charge more than that and repay it every MONTH and I think they are ridiculous. Unfortunately it is my oldest credit card (by a little less than a year though) and I just read that you're not supposed to do that, so I hope it doesn't do any harm.

Now, I figure that people might enjoy the break from estradiol and progesterone numbers and efforts to improve them. So...

...my credit score is apparently 750. This is in the "excellent" range, which warms my heart. However, according to this article (which seems really good), the break point for good interest rates is 760. Now, I really really want to get a 760. I cancelled the stupid Capital One card (which may actually hurt my credit. But I hate them, so I'm still not going to have it reinstated). I am going to pay all my credit card bills the minute they're payable, instead of merely in full by the due date. I am going to check whether I've got any payments registered as late ever (I don't think so, but just in case). And I am thinking about repaying the one of my college loans that's not consolidated with the others. The total balance on that one is less than $800, but I'm not going to put the money there until I find out that that will really help.

I want that 760. After I get it (and help my DH get off his history the adverse court judgment of the guy in Baltimore who happens to share his name), I am calling first USAA, and then every other lender I can find until I get a rate I like. So, we shall see how that goes.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good plan. And hey, you've inspired me to take a look at my own credit report. Haven't a clue what mine might be - but not a bad task to do on this dreary Saturday afternoon.

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  2. You actually influenced me to go ahead get my free annual credit report. D has a membership on one of the credit reporting ones, but I hadn't seen mine since we bought our house last year.

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  3. You can get that 760 and it is worth it! I think paying off the debt will probably help b/c it will help the monthly debt-to-income ratio. You can also check with local smaller banks which is where we got the better deal on both the home loan and a car loan that has since been paid off . . . it just surprised me that the local bank had better rates than the national ones. Be sure to ask about the origination loan fees as those will vary from lender-to-lender more so than the actual interest rate.

    You may know more about this than I do as banking is not my field at all, but I was warned to check with lenders all on the same day because (a) interest rate varies day-to-day so the quotes given on different days aren't a great reflection; and (b) (and most importantly) having too many inquiries on your credit can affect your score in a negative way even if the inquiries do not result in a loan. I do not think 3 or 4 will hurt, but I do not know how many it takes or how many you are thinking of calling. That shouldn't matter if you are getting pre-qualification (where they run general numbers without your ss# and all that jazz) instead of pre-approval (which is great, but you generally cannot lock in the rate until you are under contract and the rate can change).

    Now, I realize you did not ask for an advice so forgive all this . . . . I feel like I learned so much more purchasing my 2nd home than I ever did with the first one.

    Best of luck. I can't wait to see pictures of your actual house.

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  4. It's not just the amount of debt you have, but the open revolving accounts, so cancelling that credit card was probably fine. Also, they factor in how often you reach your limit on the card, so having a really high limit and not spending up to it will look better than a low-limit card even though you pay it off every month. USAA is an awesome bank - I've been a member for almost 12 years now. They've raised my limit countless times, and have given me an excellent interest rate, so I've been very happy with them. We also have Navy Federal, which is also outstanding, but you may not qualify for.

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  5. you can totally get 760!!

    and, from my experience, usaa usually has beat out everyone else's offers...i love them.

    now i have the free credit report.com song on my mind. :)

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