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Does my credit card balance affect my ability to get a favorable mortgage loan rate?

frequently asked questions

Will a lack of credit affect my future mortgage opportunities?

Maybe. This question is worth asking because, according to a recent study by, 63 percent of young persons — ages 18 to 29 — do not have a credit card, compared with 35 percent of adults over 30.

There are ways for you to secure a mortgage loan even without credit. You can apply for a government-backed mortgage, or an FHA loan, designed for low income, first-time homebuyers. There is quite a bit of paperwork involved (you’ll have to prove that you’ve paid rent, bills, etc.), and you’ll most likely be required to put down a larger down payment than is required with a traditional loan — 20 percent down compared to as low as 3.5 percent down.

You could also ask someone with good credit to co-sign on a loan for you. If you don’t have any credit at all, the co-signer can help. Just make sure she understands that the payment of the loan will affect her credit report for years to come.

If you’d rather not ask a friend or family member to co-sign, and an FHA loan isn’t right for you, consider waiting six months to a year and start establishing good credit on your own. Keep your balance to less than 25 percent of your card’s limit and pay it off monthly.

What is the best way to pay off credit card debt?

There is no one right way; multiple approaches can prove effective. Consider consolidating your debt by transferring balances from your high-interest credit cards to a low-interest card. Be aware that transfers include fees, usually around 3 percent to 5 percent.

Then, control your spending. Cut out unnecessary purchases. Even the smallest savings (skipping your daily latte purchase, for example) can really add up.

Finally, pay more than your minimum fees. This will keep your credit score healthy, which can help you land a mortgage loan in the future.

Yes. Depending on your bank, most mortgage loan officers will want to know that you have the assets/cash to pay off your outstanding credit card balance. If you don’t, you may be subject to a higher interest rate.

Worried that you won’t get a loan at all? This comes down to your credit history. Credit history is the largest factor in determining your credit score, so if you’ve paid off card balances in full for some time, you should be OK. But if you’ve historically defaulted on your credit card debt, you may have a more difficult time getting a loan.

Note: Most lenders will check your credit in the final stages, so don’t run up card debt right before your closing date. Even if you’ve already been approved for a favorable loan rate, this can cause the lender to cancel your loan or delay closing.

1. Decide to buy.

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call homeownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we at Ford Real Estate Capital, believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

2. Hire your agent.

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals –insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your Ford Real Estate Capital agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

3. Find your home.

Today, prospective buyers start by looking on the Internet. The Internet allows you to search by zip codes, price ranges, area’s of town and through many other search criteria. This allows, you the buyer to get a feel for market inventory and market prices. However, after you have done your initial search, you should contact your Ford Real Estate Capital agent so we can set up appointments, verify whether or not the house is located in a good location (not on a busy corner or backing to a commercial area, power lines or water towers) and confirm that all the properties you liked are truly active listings. We then will load up the car and begin finding your dream home!

4. Secure financing.

There are many mortgage companies out there today. Please talk to your Ford Real Estate Capital agent so that we can refer you to companies that we know will deliver a quality product within a reasonable timeframe. Being in this business for many years has allowed us to encounter many reputable companies that we would gladly refer you to for your mortgage needs, pre-qualification letters, and steps to obtaining financing. This is the first thing a buyer should do prior to making an offer or truly looking at market inventory. it guarantees that you are buying a home that meets your personal short term and long term budget goals.

5. Make an offer.

Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).Price –the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your Ford Real Estate Capital agent’s market research will guide this decision. Terms –the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

6. Perform due diligence.

Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important. A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:

  1. Against loss or damage to the property itself
  2. Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

7. Close.

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your Ford Real Estate Capital agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

8. Protect your investment.

Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Buying a home is a bucket list item for many of us, but we often find it difficult to finance such a massive purchase. Especially if you have credit card debt — or no credit at all — you may struggle to convince a bank officer to sign on the dotted line. Here, we answer a few questions relating to credit, credit card debt and mortgage loan applications.

8 Steps to Buying Real Estate in Jacksonville Beach, FL

Please contact Ford Real Estate Capital for an initial consultation

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