The time has finally come. Whether you’ve been living at home with your parents, house-sharing or renting, you’re about to make the big step into buying your own bricks and mortar. Naturally, you’ve already put a great deal of thought, not to mention financial planning, into getting your hands on the keys, but are you sure you’ve got everything in place?
First time buyers, while being incredibly and understandably enthusiastic about making this life-changing move, often fall victim to the finer details involved in the process. Here are five valuable lessons that you no longer need to learn the hard way, so you can focus entirely on packing up and moving in to your new home with a touch more peace of mind.
Don’t just improve your credit score – check your report
Credit reference agencies, including Callcredit, Equifax and Experian, have made it increasingly easy to keep in touch with your all important credit score. ClearScore, for instance, allow you to keep track of how your own score is progressing on a monthly basis, with a simple numerical system. Number goes up – great. Number goes down – maybe not so great. Simple, yes?
Calculating a credit score is actually a complex, and not entirely reliable system to use as the sole indicator of how you appear to lenders. The credit reference agencies, above, each use different methods for working out credit scores, meaning there isn’t a single ‘magic’ number that any individual can completely rely on.
However, keeping an eye on your credit score going up or down is still a fundamental part of preparing to secure your mortgage. While anxiously looking out for the numbers going up, while your spending is hopefully going down, it’s perhaps more important to look at what’s going on in the background. In other words, what is your credit report telling reference agencies about your history?
It’s far from unusual for credit reports to hold outdated, or incorrect information – some of which can be the difference between ‘yay’, or ‘nay’ when it comes to your credit applications, mortgages included. The simple solution is to check that every account and address the agencies hold for you is correct, even over time. If you’ve moved several times, over the years, perhaps during University study for instance, check that your information has not become confused with an old partner, flat-mate or previous occupant at any address you’ve held.
Getting government assistance? Know the finer points
You may be one of the many who’ve been rushing to take advantage of the government’s popular, but not entirely faultless ‘Help-To-Buy’ scheme. For more than three years now, first-time buyers have had the opportunity to make an extra…
Read more tips about buying your first home on Life Is An Episode website.