It was time to buy a house. The rent got raised again, the baby was crawling and we needed a bigger place. While I was aware that my wife had a higher credit score than me, it wasn’t until we submitted our application for a mortgage that the hard truth was revealed; it was ME who had a credit score that would sink our hopes of a lower interest rate.  My score, my bad. When we met during college I had accumulated a lot of credit card debt. There were several reasons; I was a starving student, I was dating, I’d run of money before my quarterly student loan payments arrived, my computer broke, car trouble…it doesn’t matter. It was my score that the loan officer pointed to that stood between my family and a home of our own; my score, not ours.


The Cold Hard Truth


When it was time to buy a house, my lax credit habits came back to haunt me. My credit score was 5 points away from getting a better interest rate. That score would allow us to have a lower interest rate and an affordable monthly payment. I needed that rate to unlock the dreams of a home for my family.


My wife is a saver. She had encouraged me to change my spending habits and to be honest about when I am not so money conscience. Life isn’t always easy, I find there are times when I let my guard down and begin careless spending. Job stress, boredom, being tired, traffic are all conditions that can cause me to veer from my budget. But now I work to keep my credit card current.  It has not been easy, I must be diligent, but it is truly rewarding. I love owning a home and providing for my family.


There are Simple Rules


These are the rules I learned to follow:

  • Pay my bills on time. Even one late payment in the past 12 months can do significant damage to a credit score.
  • Keep my balances low on revolving credit accounts. Accounts with balances over 30% of the credit limit may lower my score.
  • Avoid frequent balance transfers. Numerous credit applications or balance transfer may lower my credit score.
  • Review my credit file at least once a year to make sure there are no errors.


My Employer Made Life Easier


Fortunately, I was using the no cost homeownership benefit offered at my job.  As part of the mortgage application process, the Loan Specialist analyzed my debt and pinpointed what was causing my low score and explained how to fix it. After a quick negotiation with my bank and a small payment, I increased my credit score by 11 points. Now I am in the house of my dreams with my wife and son.


You’re lucky too, you have this benefit. Give Advantage Home Plus a call and they can look at your credit score and make recommendations that will put you in the position to begin planning for home ownership. The process is confidential and costs nothing. Contact then today at 1-800-376-4603 or  Begin working toward getting credit ready for homeownership today.