Hi Mrs. Varnes,
Indeed, both credit scores for a married couple applying for a mortgage will be used to determine eligiblity. With the right plan, you can improve your credit score each month leading up to your anticipated application for a mortgage next year.
First, you want to know your score where you are starting from by obtaining your current credit report and score. Where there are deficiencies, you want to address these:
- pay down outstanding credit (to reduce your debt to income ratio)
- do not open any new lines of credit and do not close any open, zero balance/low balance accounts
- do not make any late payments at all.
- verify the accuracy of any negative information on your credit report and dispute those items that may not be accurate or that are being reported many years after the fact.
- Pay off any charge off debt that has gone neglected, and/or establish payment plans for any current deliquencies.
- shop around for, and compare credit repair companies. Some offer assistance for as little as $50/month. Check their public ratings or ask a mortgage lender or local Realtor for a reference to a credible company to disuss their credit repair services which may help you in expediting the repair of your current rating faster than you can do on your own.
All the best on your journey!