Should I Use Credit Karma to Prepare to Buy a Home?

Dated: February 10 2022

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If you are working on increasing your credit score kudos to you!  That is a great move to position yourself to purchase a home.  It has become increasingly popular to use apps such as Credit Karma to gauge how you are doing.  Is there anything wrong with it?

Credit Karma is a great tool to make sure your score is going in the right direction, but it is not a good tool to determine if you are ready (credit wise) to purchase a home.  The score Credit Karma and others like it use is called a VantageScore.  It uses different measures to determine your score than a FICO which is what your lender will use to determine your credit worthiness. The VantageScore is much more forgiving and can be 50 points higher than what a FICO will be.                      

I would suggest signing up for an Experian Creditworks Premium account.  Along with getting your report from all three bureaus you will also get updated scores anytime you like.  This membership will get you the FICO from Experian only and the VantageScore from all three bureaus.

The other credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax also have memberships that are similar.

Why is it important to know what your score is before you speak with a lender?  When a lender checks your credit, it is considered a “hard pull”.  That hard pull can drop your score so if you are working on increasing your score to where you need it to be, having a lender hard pull can be counterproductive.

The higher your score the better the chance of the interest rate being lower.  That will translate to being able to qualify for a more expensive home or to having a lower payment.  Working to increase your score before you start looking for a home can save you money!

Most importantly, you are doing the hard work to increase your score so that you can qualify to buy a home.  It’s frustrating to think you’ve finally gotten to that point only to find out when the lender pulls your credit that you are still short!

I hope this information was helpful to you and if you have any other questions, please get in touch with me.  I’m happy to help. You can email me at Regina@ReginaMcKinney.com, or call/text me at (505) 500-4370. You can also click the chat now button.  I look forward to chatting with you!

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Regina McKinney

Regina McKinney is an "outside-the-box" thinker with her finger on the newest, innovative ways of marketing your home. Her deep understanding of the role technology plays in today's real estate market....

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