Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following:

Check your Credit Report
Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else’s poor financial management

Pay down credit card bills.
If possible, pay off the entire balance every month. Transferring credit card debt from one card to another could lower your score.

Credit Card Limits
Don’t charge your credit cards to the maximum limit.

Delay obtaining a mortgage while fixing errors
Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage. You’re penalized less for problems after a year.

Don’t use credit
Don’t order items for your new home on credit — such as appliances and furniture — until after the loan is approved. The amounts will add to  your debt.

Don’t open new accounts
Don’t open new credit card accounts before applying for a mortgage. Too much available credit can lower your score.

Shop for mortgage rates all at once
Too many credit applications can lower your score, but multiple inquiries from the same type of lender are counted as one inquiry if submitted over a short period of time.

Avoid finance companies

Even if you pay the loan on time, the interest is high and it will probably be considered a sign of poor credit management.

This information is copyrighted by the Fannie Mae Foundation and is used with permission of the Fannie Mae Foundation. To obtain a complete copy of the publication, Knowing and Understanding Your Credit, www.homebuyingguide.org