One important thing you can do as soon as you start thinking about buying a home is checking your credit report. Ideally, this should be done at least six months before you purchase to give yourself time to dispute any information you believe is inaccurate or incomplete, if needed. It’s also important to know how your payment history is being reported by your current creditors.
Look for any information that might be inaccurate or incomplete. Is your personal information, including your address, correct and up to date? Are there any addresses you don’t recognize? Are all of the accounts listed complete and accurate? Do the balances appear accurate? Are there any accounts you don’t recognize?
If you see something that appears inaccurate or incomplete, contact the company. You can also file a dispute with the credit bureau that provided the report. To file a dispute with Equifax, visit our dispute page.
Other steps to take when preparing to buy a home might include:
- Gather any required documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements that you will need to apply for a mortgage.
- Figure out how much home you can afford. Online mortgage calculators may help. Remember a home’s purchase price is only part of the picture; you may also be responsible for a down payment, closing costs, taxes, insurance and other expenses.
Whether it’s your first car or your dream car, buying a vehicle is a big step, and navigating the ins and outs of financing can be tricky. Preparation is key, from determining what vehicle you can afford to checking your credit report and credit scores and planning for how to manage hard inquiries on your credit report from potential lenders. It’s important to understand what role credit plays in the terms of your auto loan.