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March 10, 2022
Four Tips to Get Your Credit Mortgage-Ready
Buying your first home is a big step, and we know preparing your finances for this kind of purchase can be intimidating. If your mind went straight to your credit score, you’re on the right track. Your credit score plays an important role in your financial life, especially in big purchases like a home. We’ve got four tips to help you get your credit mortgage-ready.
1. Check your credit report regularly.
Start by reviewing your credit report to get an idea of your credit health and where you can improve. Don’t forget, you’re legally entitled to access one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Regardless of your current score, take advantage of this offer to monitor your finances regularly! Next, review your credit utilization ratio (the comparison between everything you owe and your total available credit). Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent, so if your ratio is higher, you may have some work to do. Lenders want to know you have your spending and debt repayment strategies under control. Finally, if you notice any loans or credit accounts that shouldn’t be on your credit report, don’t be afraid to dispute inaccuracies with the relevant credit bureaus.
2. Maintain existing credit cards and keep balances low.
Closing credit cards and other lines of credit can lower your score by decreasing your total available credit. When preparing to buy a home, keep your existing credit cards open and keep their balances low. If possible, avoid opening new lines of credit as well. Making big purchases or taking out a new loan can impact your credit score before the homebuying process is complete. We know how tempting it can be to start shopping for accessories for your potential new home immediately, but we promise it’s worth it to wait!
3. Pay your bills on time.
The most important factor in the calculation of your credit score is your payment history. Be sure to pay your bills on time to establish a consistent payment history. Thirty-five percent of your credit score is determined by this factor, so making late payments can ding your score quickly. Need help remembering when everything is due? Most lenders offer automatic payment options. If you’re a Grow Financial member, schedule your payments in the Bill Pay or Transfers widgets in Grow Online and Mobile Banking.*
4. Save for a down payment.
Your credit score can also impact your required down payment depending on the type of mortgage you’re applying for. A higher score can often mean a lower down payment. To make sure you’re ready whatever your downpayment, whenever you can, save, save, save! Maintaining a monthly budget can help you visualize your spending and save consistently. If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend reviewing the basics of budgeting.
When making a big purchase like a home, your credit score is more important than ever. Having the best possible credit score can save you money by ensuring you get the lowest mortgage rate possible. For more help improving your credit, check out these good credit habits. Even if you aren’t ready to buy a home now, it’s important to understand that improving your credit score takes patience and persistence. Eager to get your credit mortgage-ready? Don’t be afraid to get started today!
*Additional data charges may apply when using apps. Please see your wireless carrier for more information.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733
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