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Credit Confidential: What Really Powers Your Home Purchase?

woman refinancing a home
Knowing your full credit picture empowers your decision making, wherever you are in your homebuying process.

Most homebuyers know that their credit will play a role in their home search and lender approval process. But what’s the best way to become familiar with all the parts and pieces that compose the whole known as “your credit”?

Each credit bureau (Experian®, Equifax®, and TransUnion®) tracks your credit activity and publishes a report along with a credit score. If you regularly check your credit report, you might think that seeing your information from just one bureau is enough, but with such a major purchase ahead of you, you may need broader and more comprehensive information to be as knowledgeable about your credit as possible.

While credit bureaus follow similar guidelines to track and score your credit behaviors, not all creditors report information to all three bureaus. Since the information on each bureau’s report can differ, comparing all three reports is the best way to review your complete credit history, as well as identify any suspicious activity you may need to flag.

How can all this information play into your homebuying process? Wherever you are along the road to opening escrow, being closely connected to your credit is valuable.
 Below, we walk you through some milestones you should hit to get the information you need for your best shot at securing a home loan.

12 months

Just beginning your search process? Gather all your credit information to compare accounts across the bureaus and spot issues that may need your attention.

9 months

Preparing to prequalify? Confirm that your information is accurate and where you want it to be before you meet with your lender of choice.

6 months

This is when many others recommend checking your credit for the first time. By doing this earlier, you’ve allowed yourself time to address any issues. Confirm your credit picture is still in top form as your search narrows down.

3 months

You’ve selected a lender and your decision-making support team is completed. Capturing your full credit picture is vital right before you make an offer to affirm that your credit is still exactly where you thought it was.

Wherever you are in your search for the perfect property, be fully armed with everything you’ll need to know about your credit. Knowing as much as you can helps prepare you for the next step of the home-search journey, however far along you are.

Complete credit knowledge empowers your search and keeps financial surprises at bay — peace of mind with real value whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking for somewhere to retire with ease.