Ask Kim: Tips to improve credit help mortgage application
News from Tulsa World:

Paying your bills on time has the biggest impact, so be particularly careful not to miss any deadlines before you apply for the mortgage. The following strategies aren’t as obvious but can also make a big difference.

Here are tips for six months before you apply:

  • Don’t open or even apply for any credit cards. Lenders look at recent “credit inquiries,” which indicate that you might be about to take out a lot of new debt, making it tough to pay your bills on time.
  • Don’t close any credit cards. Almost 30 percent of your FICO score, the one most lenders rely on, is based on how much of your available credit you’ve used (called your “credit utilization ratio”). If you close a card that had a high credit limit but keep your balance the same on your other cards, it will look as if you’re maxing out your available credit.
  • Check your credit reports for errors. You can get free copies from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months at If you’ve already received your free reports for the year, order them directly from, and Check the reports from all three bureaus.
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