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Laura Hunt

Romance & Money

Repairing Your Damaged Credit Past

You credit past is your credit future

Jessica in Omaha, Nebraska:
"A few years ago my fiancé had some credit problems that are still on his credit report. When we applied for a mortgage last month they told us we should wait until these issues are farther behind us. It’s been about 18 months since the problems and since then he has a good job and I make sure all our bills are paid on time. What can we do to speed up the process of qualifying for a mortgage? Our wedding is in two months and I’d like us to get a house by then. Is it possible?"

This can be a source of frustration for many couples; young and not so young. I know that 18 months seems like a long time, but in the banking world what they are looking for in general is 24 months of on time payments. Especially if a rough period preceded that 24 month period.

However, there are some things you can do to speed things. But before I go there, let me say that your spouse needs to understand that he (not you alone) is also responsible for getting things paid on time and dealing with financial responsibilities. Hopefully he understands that his credit past has hampered your immediate credit future. If he knows that, and is helping you with the details of creating a good credit future, then you won’t become a victim of his lack of responsibility. If you bear this burden alone, you may want to develop a plan that will keep you from becoming resentful. If you carry this burden alone, then he needs to take on some other tasks within your relationship. Those tasks can range from taking out the garbage, to coordinating date nights. Make sure you are not left feeling as though you are responsible for everything. Resentment can doom your marriage faster than credit problems. Remember, you are both equally responsible for your relationships Romance & Money issues.

Once you are comfortable with your arrangement, make sure you forgive his credit past. If you can’t forgive it, it will make you its prisoner.

“One can never change the past, only the hold it has on you.”
Merle Shain

Now, there are five things you can start doing today to ensure your credit repair and begin to move you forward towards your goals together.

  1. Order your credit report every six months for two years during the repair process.

  2. Close all unnecessary credit cards and report the closures to the credit bureaus listed on your credit report. Order an updated report.

  3. If in fact it has been eighteen months of good credit, interview at least three loan officers and make loan application with the one whom you are most comfortable. Make sure they know you are committed to this process and will do whatever it takes (with their guidance) to become home owners, even if it takes the full twenty-four months.

  4. Save your money. When you purchase a home, there is more than simply the down payment to consider. There can also be a few thousand dollars in closing cost, and some lenders will require you to have 2-6 months payments in the bank after you close on your new home. Be prepared. Ask the loan officer for a good faith estimate of settlement charges so you can be prepared for closing.

  5. Save all documentation pertaining to the credit repair, and be prepared to supply it to lenders for up to seven years. This includes; paid collection and judgment receipts, judgment release forms, paid utility bills with receipt from the utility. Paid in full car installment loans, etc. Save everything you gather during the credit repair process in its own file. Remember that if you can’t prove it, they don’t have to believe you, and most likely won’t.

Additional information on this topic:


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