Tips for Preparing Your Credit for a Mortgage

If you're considering purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage, you most likely know the importance of paying your bills in a timely manner in order to preserve good credit. Even if you intend to be responsible with credit, certain situations can derail you and harm your score.

We’re going to go over some tips to help you keep your credit in great shape so you can avoid any credit issues. Let’s get started!

Review Your Credit Scores and Reports

It is critical to review all three of your credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian before applying for a mortgage. offers a free copy of each report once every 12 months.

If you find any errors on your credit reports, you should notify the credit reporting agencies immediately. An investigation into a credit dispute can take between 30 and 45 days. Furthermore, if the first investigation results in a negative outcome, you may have to try again or try a different approach entirely to resolve the issue.

Pay Down Credit Card Debts

 Are you aware that even if you make your monthly payments on time, having a large outstanding credit card balance can impact your credit? It's actually high credit utilization on your credit cards that can hurt your scores, but large balances in relation to your credit card limits cause that high utilization.

You can lower your credit utilization ratio by paying down your credit card balances. Once the new card balances are updated on your credit reports, this may have a positive impact on your credit scores.

Make On-Time Payments

This one comes as a no-brainer! On-time payments are critical to establishing and maintaining good credit. If your credit reports show any recent late payments, it's usually a good idea to wait some time (six to twelve months) before submitting a mortgage application.

When late payments first occur, they have the greatest negative impact on your credit score. Then, as time goes on, they become less damaging. In terms of scoring, the older a late payment becomes, the better.

Hold Off on New Credit Applications

When a lender checks your credit as part of an application, a hard inquiry is recorded on your credit report. That hard inquiry could have a 12-month impact on your credit score.

This isn't to say that every time a lender pulls your credit, it will harm your scores, but it is possible. As a result, if you know you're going to buy a house soon, you should put a hold on any non-essential new credit applications.

The Takeaway

Taking the time to improve your credit score could save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the course of a 30-year mortgage. Whether you are about to purchase your first home or your third, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement and the urge to move quickly. You must keep in mind the role your credit score plays in the cost of your mortgage and your ability to even qualify!

Before you apply, take your time and prepare your credit to the best of your ability. Your efforts may pay off and save you a significant amount of money in the long run.


5 Clever Ways to Complete a Bathroom Remodel

When you think of a bathroom remodel, your mind probably goes to a DIY show you've watched with lots of demolition and expensive changes. It goes without saying that any bathroom renovation is a large undertaking that will not be cheap. And it can appear complicated if you're working with a small or awkwardly shaped space, with quirky (even visible) pipework, lack of natural light, and more.

What if we told you that an attractive bathroom remodel can be achieved without breaking the bank, and the walls? Fortunately, there are numerous cost-effective bathroom remodeling ideas to incorporate into your next project. Let’s get started!

Utilize Mirrors to Create the Look of More Space

When it comes to small bathroom design renovations, large mirrors can make a small bathroom feel lighter and create the illusion of more space. Consider a frameless mirror covering the entire length of one wall, which is an even better approach.

Revitalize Cabinets With New Hardware

Purchasing and replacing old bathroom cabinets can be costly. Removing the old hardware and replacing it with new hardware is a far easier and less expensive way to bring new life to your existing cabinets. Be sure that your screw alignment matches up as well, that way you don’t drill any unnecessary holes. 

Install an Updated Sink Faucet

Adding a brand-new sink faucet, like installing new cabinet hardware, is one trick that do-it-yourselfers and designers like to use to make a sink look new and stand out, without changing the entire top or vanity. Sink faucets are also pretty simple to install, which works in your favor since you will be saving money and not hiring a plumber.

Refinish, Don’t Replace your Tub

If your tub has any yellowness or discoloration from normal wear and tear, or even shallow cracks and scratches, consider refinishing instead of replacing. Bathtub replacement should be a last resort option but will need to take place if your tub has mold or mildew, leaking, or any damage. 

Create Storage Space

Bathroom storage can be a tricky endeavor. There’s usually a struggle to find storage space for towels, toilet paper, soaps, and other toiletries. Here are a few ways to utilize blank spaces for storage:

  1. Think about upper wall space. Consider adding floating shelves over towel bars, or a multi-tiered stand over the toilet.
  2. Woven floor baskets are stylish and functional, and are great for storing extra towels or toilet paper. 
  3. A floor-stand coat rack or a behind-the-door hook are great ideas for robes, towels, and clothes.

Time to Get Creative

By following these five tips, you will get off to a great start, and even better, you can do all of these tasks yourself! If you choose to work with one of our Realtors at 316 Realty Group, they will share recommendations during the renovation process so that you can make the changes that will give you the best return on your investment. Are you ready and confident to start your bathroom renovation?