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Checking Your Credit Rating
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 you’re waiting for
mortgage approval.

- 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- Make sure that any outdated derogatory entries are deleted from your credit file.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 (except
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.

Further Information:
Planning Your Home Purchase
Checking Your Credit Rating
Pre-qualification and Pre-approval on a Mortgage
Becoming an Educated Buyer: Research Neighborhoods
Becoming an Educated Buyer: Your List of Home Requirements
Assess Your Finances: Checklist
Assess Your Finances: Compare buying with renting
Assess Your Finances: Calculating the cost of homeownership
Assess Your Finances: What you can deduct
Interest Rates and How They Change
Closing Costs
Other Closing Costs
Figuring Out Your Monthly Income
Figuring Out Your Monthly Debt
Amount of Your Down Payment
How Much House Can You Afford?


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