There are a few important factors that dictate whether you qualify for a given mortgage and the mortgage rates you can receive, and one of the top such factors is your credit. Your credit score and credit report are areas every lender will look at when evaluating you as a potential borrower, speaking to your financial and credit history.
At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we’re here to help with all credit-related elements of a mortgage, helping you obtain the best mortgage rates for your credit range whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran. And while the agencies in charge of credit scores and credit reports are generally accurate and detailed, it’s possible for errors to occur somewhere during this process – here are some basics on this realm, plus what to do if you believe an error on your report is damaging your ability to take out a loan.
How Credit Score Works
Your credit score is a single number that represents your credit rating and quality as assessed by three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Things like on-time payments, greater-than-minimum payments and general responsibility with your credit cards, loans and lines of credit will raise your credit score, while behaviors on the flip side of this coin will lower it.
This number is not the only factor in applying for a loan, but it’s generally a big one. It helps lenders quickly determine how creditworthy you are based on your history and current finances.
Credit Report and Inquiries
So how do you learn your credit score? One way is through obtaining a credit report, which will show both “soft” and “hard” inquiry information. These are defined as follows:
- Soft inquiry: Times you request your own credit report, or when a lender checks your report to see if you can be pre-approved.
- Hard inquiry: Only take place when you apply for credit – such applications will remain on your report for two years and can impact your score.
Disputing Credit Report Errors
When applying for a mortgage loan or any other major loan type, you should check all three of the bureaus listed above for errors. Here are some basics on what to do if you find errors with any of them:
- Equifax: If you find an error, first contact Equifax by phone or mail to file a dispute claim. If the dispute is legitimate and provable, your score may be raised immediately. In other cases, a longer investigation will take place.
- Experian: Experian has online forms to fill out for a disputed claim, plus trackers that allow you to follow your claim through the system.
- TransUnion: TransUnion also uses online dispute forms, first requiring you to create an account.
For more on disputing an error on your credit report, or to learn about any of our home loan services, speak to the staff at Altius Mortgage today.