Financing in Shawnee>Question Details

L, Home Buyer in Kansas City, MO

If your credit score isn't high enough (620-640) will mortgage brokers tell you what you need to do to help raise your score or do you have to

Asked by L, Kansas City, MO Sun May 16, 2010

figure it out on your own?

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A good one will help you. You certainly shouldn't have to figure it out on your own.

I put together lease-options (among other things), and that often involves working with people with "bruised" credit. One of the most valuable "partners" to anyone doing lease-options is a good mortgage broker who will work with a prospective buyer to help improve their credit scores. And that clearly works well for all parties involved: It helps the potential buyer actually qualify for a loan. It helps the mortgage broker, who may make the loan. And it helps the investor, who will make more of a profit if the tenant-buyer actually purchases.

And, of course, that same benefit is there even when you're not doing lease-options. In "conventional" purchases, just substitute "Realtor" for "investor" in the scenario above.

So if you've run into a lender or broker who just shrugs and says your scores aren't high enough--come back when they're higher--you may want to look for someone else who can provide the guidance you need on how to get your scores up.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 16, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Currently FHA loans do require a minimum credit score of 620 and 3.5% down--there may be lenders willing to work with a lesser score, however the interest rate may be higher--do visit with any qualified loan officer(s) first and see exactly what your budget can handle and have your credit score checked--their scoring is usually different--yes, your loan officer may suggest ways to best improve your credit in the fastest time--in the meantime, do pay all bills on time, keep credit cards below 50%, dispute any negatives, pay off old debt, pay down debt, etc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 16, 2010
Your question dips into a grey region in human nature. Yes, you could find a reputable mortgage broker who might help you; you might not. Rather than spend time judging the nature of a stranger, maybe a better place to start is your local bank and their loan department there. It is likely that you probably already have a relationship with them. If you do not have a trusted banker, you might have the most success starting with a credit union, which by nature, is owned by the depositors and exists for this very reason.

Good luck!

-Ken Schmidt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 4, 2014
I know several good loan officers that have worked with my clients to improve their credit scores in the Topeka,KS, area. ( I don't usually work with mortgage brokers). These people, whom loan officers have helped, will return to me 6 months to a year later with improved credit. I can then help them find a house. If anyone needs names of these loan officers, call me!

Marcia Kelly, CRS
Keller Williams, Legacy Partners, Inc.
2945 SW Wanamaker Drive, Topeka, KS
(785) 249-3989
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 26, 2014
Stephanie raises a valid point regarding the use of rapid rescores, but it doesn't sound like you'd need one at a 620+ FICO for a home.

There is one really, really important thing about rescores: They are temporary. It helps with that one credit report in the pursuit of that one loan. Assume you have an inaccurate item. That inaccurate item is excluded, they re-run the FICO model and, voila, loan approved.

Your credit file; however, has not changed. So, when GEICO goes to renew your auto insurance, you still pay more than you would if they thought you had good credit, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 19, 2010
Hi L-

I just recently problem solved this exact situation. I have a credit councelor here in Kansas City that has helped many of our clients raise thier credit score. If you aren't interested in that, please email me directly and I'll tell you some other ways to fix your credit. AND, finally, I have a lender that pulled credit (last week) noticed about 4 ways that my clients could improve thier score right away - my clients did a few of those recommendations and then the lender did a rapid rescore! Let me know how I can help!

Stephanie Kulp
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 19, 2010
You have received good comments from others.You can go to and look up resources and also names of approved credit counselors.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 18, 2010
Hi L,
Why wouldn't 620 be high enough? You should have a preliminary approval from whomever you speak with relatively quickly.

Be careful. Some originators will tell you that the score being below X means you need to pay extra fees, etc. Total rubbish. You should not origination fees over $1000, you should not be told that you have to pay points.

Even if the loan doesn't require a higher score, yes, a good originator will be talking about credit planning if they care about your long-term finances. Higher FICOs save you money on auto/home insurance, auto loans, and credit cards.

Best, Chris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 18, 2010
Hi L:

Some lenders will and many wont.

Generally you want to keep your number of credit lines open to less than 5, i.e. credit cards.

You want to keep your CC balances to only 30% of the card limit.
Prudent to pay, your balance say 2-3 times online, on different days before the due date or send in
2-3 payments per credit card on different days before due date.

Also you want to limit your number of credit checks on your Soc. Sec. number.
Call the Credit Bureaus, and have them restrict access to Credit Card companies trying to
send you new cards.

Negotiate your late payments or pay them off.

Set up a secured loan and pay it down, over 6 months to a year.

Good luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 17, 2010
I'd recommend that you stay away from a mortgage broker on this and see a reputable local lender; they can give you this information and direct you down the right path.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 16, 2010
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