Buying a home is one of the best times to know about your credit. According to a recent survey by Experian, many of those in the market for a home already know the wisdom of credit score insight. However, only half of recent buyers said they checked their credit when they first considered purchasing a home.
The good news?
95 percent of both recent and future buyers understand the power that credit scores have in making a home purchase.
Of those sampled, more than half (55 percent) are currently working to improve their credit overall to qualify for better home loan rates in the near future. Early credit knowledge offers prospective home buyers their best chance to make course corrections or improvements to their credit behaviors – something 31 percent of recent buyers needed to do after discovering a negative surprise on their credit report.
Recent buyers are savvy to the impact that poor credit can have, but far fewer understand identity theft can deliver similar blows to securing a good interest rate (74 percent versus 61 percent), getting a large enough loan (66 percent versus 54 percent), or might require you to have a cosigner (58 percent versus 47 percent). Similarly, recent homebuyers understood less about the importance of checking in with your credit when preparing to refinance.
Lesson learned? Pay attention to your credit year-round, and understand that what you do today impacts how your credit works for you in critical purchase moments like home buying.
View the complete survey findings and methodology here:
Experian Home Buying and Credit: Survey Report, 2015