Even if you're sure you have excellent credit, it's
wise to double-check at the outset. Straightening out any errors
or disputed items now will avoid troublesome holdups down the road
when youre waiting for
- You may see disputed items, in addition to errors caused by
a faulty social security number, a name similar to yours, or a
court ordered judgment you paid off that hasn't been cleared from
the public records. If such items appear, write a letter to the
appropriate credit bureau. Credit bureaus are required to help
you straighten things out in a reasonable time (usually 30 days).
- Make sure that any outdated derogatory entries are deleted
from your credit file. Adverse credit information is not supposed
to be reported or included on your credit report after seven years
bankruptcy information, which can be reported up to ten years).
- Officially cancel inactive credit cards. If you have an inactive
credit card with a $5,000 limit, even though you owe nothing on
it, some mortgage lenders will consider that a potential future
debt. Too many
inactive credit cards with significant credit limits could keep
you from obtaining a mortgage loan. Don't just cut up your extra
cards; officially cancel them, and do it now so there will be
time for the news to reach the credit bureaus.
- Hold off on making any major credit card or car purchases while
you're waiting to apply for a mortgage. Monthly payments you're
obligated to pay will be counted against you, and reduce the amount
of the mortgage loan you'll be offered.