For those thinking about buying a Tampa foreclosure, condo or other property there are several credit considerations to take into account for the new economy. By now everyone has heard about the banking crisis taking place but it hasn’t yet reached the average consumer – until now. Credit cards, home equity lines of credit, mortgages and even car loans are beginning to get tighter. Larger down payments and stricter lending standards are beginning to take a toll on the average buyer.
Despite the economic uncertainty, now is a great time to buy a foreclosure. Prices are low and banks are willing to negotiate short sale offers especially on properties that may require a little additional work. Here is how to make sure you still qualify for the best rates and ultra-low selling prices:
1. Check your credit in advance. Work with all four (yes, Four) credit rating agencies listed below:
• Equifax: P.O. Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374. (800)-685-1111 www.equifax.com
• Experian: PO Box 2002 Allen, TX 75013. (888) 397-3742 www.experian.com
• TransUnion LLC: P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022 (800) 888-4213 www.transunion.com
• Innovis: P.O. Box 1358 Columbus, Ohio 43216 (888-567-8688) www.innovis.com
Notice, although Innovis is the lesser known of the credit agencies, they work closely with the mortgage market – much closer than some of the other credit agencies that target credit card/other consumer loans. When applying for a mortgage it is imperative to check Innovis.
2. Keep a solid debt-to-income ratio. If your credit cards, car loans and other debt is near the limit, take time to pay down some before applying for a mortgage. Stricter lending standards are increasingly resulting in reductions in credit lines so leave a little wiggle room prior to shopping for new homes.
3. Watch your banker. Remember how your grandmother used to say you were judged by the company you keep? Well, credit agencies are beginning to use the same criteria; where you shop, what you purchase and other banking – as well as lifestyle habits – are increasingly used s credit criteria when approving loans or rates.
The combination of deeply discounted Tampa Bay foreclosures / short sales and bank owned properties combined with historically low interest rates is a recipe for success. Take the time to implement these quick credit considerations to lock in great rates and even better buying opportunities in this once in a lifetime buyers market.