As you prepare to buy a new home or refinance your current mortgage, the one thing that needs the most attention is your credit score.
If you haven't checked your score in a while, it can be a scary thing that you may have been avoiding to do, but it is necessary.
Without knowing where you stand on the credit scoring system, you can't properly prepare to get a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage.
Over the course of a traditional 30-year mortgage, one percentage point can cost you thousands of dollars a year.
The difference between getting approved for a loan at that higher interest rate can be a matter of just a couple points in your credit rating.
That's something you'll have to live with for the next 30 years and can easily be avoided.
With the housing market and financial institutions still recovering from the mortgage crisis, lenders are being particularly cautious with who they lend their money to.
That means it's harder today to get approved for a mortgage than it ever has been.
At the same time, the credit scoring system has undergone some recent changes, which has helped some and hurt others.
If you are one of those individuals who were negatively impacted by the change in how your score is calculated, you'll first need to do some basic credit repair strategies to increase your score - something that is relatively easy for someone to do on their own.
First thing is first, and that is to find out exactly where you stand on the credit score spectrum today.
That information will tell you how you compare to the national average and the type of mortgage rate you can expect to get approved for.