I am needing to refinance a house I purchased almost 5 years ago. This was a owner-financing deal. My credit score is still not very good.

Asked by beth, Austin, TX Thu Jun 13, 2013

I have been working on getting my credit better over the past couple years although my score hasn't moved much. Both my vehicles will be pd in full in Sept. but I do have a foreclosure from 5 years ago. What can I do to get the score up to 620 to be able to refinance this house and get it off of the original owner? I have signed up for freecreditscore.com and check it almost every couple weeks but the point movement has been slow. I have been on time with my mortgage to the owner but it's not reported.

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Don Groff’s answer
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jun 13, 2013
Hello Need Help,

There are a lot of things you can do. First is to fully understand where you are now. Looks like the foreclosure is in the rear view mirror and that is good. Each month it has less and less of an impact on your credit and would not keep you from being able to refinance today.

First, you should establish credit with and get a secured credit card if you have not already done so. I have answered many questions like yours in the past so you can go into my archives here on Trulia for a more detailed explanation. Having your cars paid off is not a bad thing but in your case you probably need some active trade lines. Establishing credit in the form of a secured credit card that reports to the credit bureaus and an installment loan would help your scores a great deal. Make sure if you open a secured credit card with a bank that it #1 reports to the credit bureaus and #2 that you never charge over 35 to 40% of your available credit in any given month. This will help you get the best jump in your credit scores. Charge over that and your credit will not improve as the percentage of your utilized credit is a major factor in your credit score.

Please note that Free Credit Score.com will not give you your actual credit scores. In fact your real scores are probably lower than what they are stating. This because they use a credit model and not the exact credit formulas the bureaus use. Your actual credit could be 30 to 60 points lower so just be aware of that fact.

You can use credit sites like CreditKarma.com, this site is run by TransUnion and you can get your TransUnion score for free on this site. It's great but also even though it is run by TransUnion the credit score is a model and not exactly what you will have when an actual credit report is pulled. CreditSesame is another similar site run by Experian and it does the same thing. So both of these sites are run by the credit bureaus so they are safe to use. To pull a free actual credit report once a year go to http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com... this site is run by all 3 bureaus. Now your free yearly credit report will not have a score unless you pay but this is a good site to check into once a year and with all 3 of these sites you can drop your other paid membership at Freecreditscore.com as I think it's anything but free unless I'm mistaken.

Anyway, hope this helps. I am a mortgage broker and Realtor so if you would like to discuss your credit in further detail please let me know. I have refinanced many owner financed clients in the past and would be happy to help you.

Best of luck to you.

Don Groff | REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros & 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 | m 512.633.4157 | listings@dongroff.com
websites: http://www.AustinListed.com | http://www.360LendingGroup.com
1 vote
Linda Morris…, Agent, Georgetown, TX
Thu Jun 13, 2013
A GREAT lender I use is Michelle Alberts with Supreme Lending. She can work with you on improvement in your credit score--sometimes it doesn't help to pay off your vehicles. Please give her a call at 512-698-8738 as soon as possible!
0 votes
Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jun 13, 2013
I'd be happy to talk with you about how to make the most impact on improving your score. You'd need to call me, I don't follow the post after I make them. I am not a lender, just experienced enough to help.
Bill ~ 512-709-6343
0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Thu Jun 13, 2013
You need to sit down with a local lender, who can review all of your financial info. That's the problem with owner financing -- its not going to positively affect your credit score. Plus what has happened to the home's value since then? Has the value gone down or up? Your lender can give you good advice on what you can do to raise your score. It can sometimes be counter-intuitive. Sometimes if you don't have enough lines of credit, that can affect your score negatively. Sometimes they'll suggest you get a credit card, and use it occasionally, but pay if off every month.
0 votes
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