My husband & i are trying to buy a home.Both our credits are not good, b/c we dont have any.What is the next step beside trying to build our credit should we do in order to get a nice home?
Terry Says: There are three requirements for buying your first home: good credit, good income, and enough savings for a down payment (unless you or your spouse is a vet and can get a VA loan with zero down payment).
So, you need to pay attention to your credit. Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com and get a credit report for each of you. Do you have bad credit — or no credit? If you don’t have a credit history go to www.Bankrate.com and search for a “secured card”. That’s a regular Visa that requires you to put money into a savings account at the issuing bank. Your bank deposit (typically minimum $1,000) becomes your line of credit — and guarantees the bank won’t suffer a loss. Then charge a little bit on the card every month and be sure to repay EVERY month in full and on time. That way you will build a good credit report.
Then start saving for a down payment. There are some programs offered by state housing authorities (in Illinois it’s the Illinois Housing Development Authority) for first-time homebuyers. But do try to save at least $10,000 so you will have a small down payment and money for the inevitable expenses that come with home ownership. It’s a great goal — and the time to start is NOW.