First things first!
1. Get your FREE credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. You can do this at www.annualcreditreport.com
2. You can get a rough idea of what your credit score is for FREE at www.creditkarma.com
Once you've gotten your reports and scores, then you can get to work on updating and cleaning them up. You can do this by Removing Old Addresses, Correcting Personal Information, Clean up Negative Accounts, and submitting Inquiry Removal Letters.
Next step … Financial Budgeting and Spring Cleaning steps:
1. Clear out easy wins first. Easy wins are expenses you can reduce or remove with minimal effort. They're a quick way to feel more in control of spending and motivate you to make other changes. Easy wins could include canceling unused gym memberships, shopping for competitive insurance policies or negotiating with your cable provider for a better deal.
2. Replace outdated living expenses with ones that fit. Just like we have to admit we aren't going to fit into those skinny jeans ever again, be honest when assessing your living expenses. As your life changes, try to plan for future expenses and look for ways to balance them by cutting spending elsewhere.
3. Air out spending patterns. Brush the dust off your checking and credit card statements for a closer look. What's the average amount you spend on groceries, eating out, clothes or entertainment per month? Does it vary depending on the time of year? Understanding your spending patterns can help you plan for future needs or find places where you can cut spending.
4. Leave space for saving. Once you know what your spending patterns are and how much money you need to cover expenses, make a plan to save some money each month. Saving for a specific goal can be motivating as you watch the distance between you and your new home get closer. Setting up automatic transfers into your savings account can help you save without having to think about it … making it oh so much easier to do!
Why Get Pre-Qualified?
1. Pre-qualification acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.
2. While a "pre-qual" is non-binding to the lender (because the information you provide has not been verified), it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness.
3. These days most sellers will NOT accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.
How Do I get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?
That's easy … give me a call at 850-240-2772! We'll create a personalized plan for your needs. And depending on your specific needs, I've got several Local Lenders that I work with who are Top-Notch in their different Fields of Expertise!