How to raise credit score for home purchase

Ask NJMoneyHelp

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Q. I am buying a home and I need to raise my credit score. How can I do that?
— Buyer-be

A. Congratulations on trying to enter the world of homeownership.

As you’ve probably seen based on your own score, many consumers are surprised by their credit score and many find errors on their credit reports.

Bill Connington of Connington Wealth Management in Fairfield suggests you carefully review your credit report and focus in particular on negative comments.

While there is no quick fix for bad credit, he said there are steps you can take to improve your credit and raise your score.

“If you have any collections or judgments against you, pay them off as quickly as possible,” he said. “Bring your over-the-limit and past-due accounts up to date.”

Make sure to pay your bills on time, every time, and try to reduce your credit card debt to 25 percent or less of your credit line on each card.

While you go through this process, don’t open new lines of credit and don’t close your credit card accounts, he said. These actions can lower your score.

Finally, if you have an old credit card that you haven’t used in a while, use it and then pay the bill in full to show you can responsibly handle credit, he said.

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