For any buyer in the market for a new home, it's a critical time period for your credit to be in great shape. While filling out applications, your personal data and credit score will be as important as ever. Protecting your credit now before you buy will help set you up to take advantage of the best mortgage rates possible so you can secure the home of your choice as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for protecting your credit:
Apply with care
: Be mindful when applying to multiple lenders. To some versions of the FICO software, all applications submitted within 30-45 days of each other only count as one hit on your credit report. However, this isn't always true. Many lenders may still use older versions of the software. Play it safe by submitting all applications in a 14-day period. This will ensure that your credit report doesn't show multiple hits, which will in turn better your overall score.
Pack up to prepare
: When selling a home, pack up some of your belongings to prepare for strangers walking throughout the home. Any bills or financial papers should be put into a locked box or drawer. Protecting your finances and account numbers should be your number-one priority. You won't always know who is walking through your home and identity and credit theft are unfortunately extremely common.
Protect your documents
: When buying a new home, only potential mortgage lenders need to see all of your personal information. Agents and sellers only need to know how much you can afford. When dealing with a lender, stick to the same representative to minimize the number of people who have access to your documents. Avoid sending any files with your social security number through email. Opt for mail or fax.
Stay on top of your finances
: Even if you are on top of bills on a monthly basis, you may want to consider checking into your accounts weekly. By logging into your credit card accounts regularly, you can make sure that all of the charges are legitimately yours. Credit watch services are also a good idea. If a fraudulent charge is made, the service will pick up on it and alert you of the charges. It's important to act quickly with regards to your credit. You can never be too careful.
By keeping a close eye on all of your finances, you can be sure to protect your credit so that there won't be any problems when you need to apply for a loan.