Credit Score Holding You Back?

Simple tips on improving your score.


At Lake Area Mortgage, we meet people every day with stable finances — a good job, money in the bank — who want to purchase a home. But many of those people are finding a roadblock to mortgage approval: a credit score too low to qualify for a loan with today’s credit requirements. 

For people in this situation, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the end of the road; it’s merely a delay in achieving your goal. Credit scores can be improved. With some basic knowledge of how credit scoring works, you can take steps to improve your score and meet many of your financial goals. It may take some time, but it is possible to change those numbers and get on the path to purchasing your own home.

Although there are no quick fixes when it comes to improving your credit score, you can improve it over time. Here are nine steps you can take to become more creditworthy:

  • Create a budget and stick to it.

  • Continue paying your bills on time — your payment history matters.

  • Pay down high balances.

    Try to keep your card balances below 30% of your available credit. Credit utilization matters and 30% is the sweet spot.

  • Don’t cancel your credit cards, since length of credit helps.

     A paid-off, open line of credit can actually boost your score. In fact, canceling it may cause your score to drop.

  • Don’t apply for new credit.

    This doesn’t mean just credit cards! Any type of loan is considered new credit – a new car or loan on your brand-new smart phone!

  • Dispute inaccurate items on your credit report.

    Federal law allows you to obtain a free credit report at least once every 12 months from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Using is the quickest way, but you can also request them by phone or mail.

  • Settle any collections or past due accounts.

  • Keep "good debt" on your report, such as an auto loan with a good payment history.

  • Pay your parking tickets, library fines, and any other fines you may incur. If they’re sent to collections, it can negatively impact your score.

Getting your financial house in order will get you another step closer to purchasing a new home. Give your mortgage banker, here at Lake Area Mortgage, a call today to start discussing your home loan options.

Lake Area Mortgage; a Division of Royal Credit Union is not a credit counseling or financial advisement firm. This information is for educational purposes only and is not to be taken as guidelines or guarantees to improve your credit or financial situation