Unless you’ve recently come into a very large amount of cash, you will need to secure a mortgage to purchase your new Cornerstone Communities home. If you’re a little worried about your current credit situation, there are proactive steps you can take to improve it. With some time and effort, your dream of home ownership can become a reality!

Read and evaluate your current credit report. The first thing you need to do is find out where your credit score stands. Many reporting agencies, banks and credit card companies allow you access your report for free.

Dispute inaccuracies. Once you’re able to see your report, check it thoroughly to see if there are any mistakes. If you see something that isn’t right, immediately enter into the dispute process with the report publisher to get it cleared up as quickly as possible.

Be timely. One of the credit score components is whether your bills are paid on time, so make sure you don’t fall into arrears with any of your utilities, loans or credit cards. Lenders will want to know you’re able to reliably pay your bills. Paying your bills on time reflects positively on your report. Some credit reporting agencies offer ways to “boost” your score by paying some bills on time. Do some research to see if you can qualify for this type program.

Don’t apply for additional credit. Often at the register of your favorite store, the clerk will tempt you with additional savings on your purchase if you apply a credit card. In a word, don’t. Even if you’re only doing it for the short-term gain (the immediate savings), you will have additional hard inquiries on your credit report which is detrimental to your score.

Know the ratio. Lenders prefer debt/balance ratios to be under 30%. To determine yours, take your average monthly credit card balances and then divide by the total credit limits on all your cards. For example, if you charge $2,000 per month and your total credit available is $10,000, then your utilization ration is 20%.

If your goal is to own a Cornerstone Communities home, but your score is less than stellar, don’t give up! It may require planning and patience, but with some work, you should be able realistically begin imagining yourself in your very own home. Come tour our homes and speak to our professional representatives. They can help you determine how much you’ll need to spend to move into your dream home!