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Know What Goes Into Your Credit Score

July 18, 2018 posted in Blog, blog, Featured, by dora

You’re probably well aware of how important your credit score is. A good score grants you access to loans and favorable interest rates for a mortgage, and opens up many different possibilities for a healthy financial future.

But do you know how your credit score is determined?  Be aware of the factors used in credit-scoring models so you can work towards achieving a higher credit score, and therefore a better interest rate from your lender. Here are some of the top factors:

On-Time Payment Percentage
This is the percentage of payments you’ve made on time during your credit history. This plays a big role in determining your creditworthiness, so just a couple of late payments could significantly impact your score for the worse. An easy way to avoid late payments? Set up automatic bill pay or create calendar reminders for bill due dates.

Credit Card Utilization
This is a percentage that is calculated by taking the total of your credit card balances and dividing that number by your total credit card limits. This will show creditors how much of your total available credit you are already using. The lower your credit card utilization, the higher your credit score.

Total Accounts
Consumers with more accounts (or more lines of credit) often have higher credit scores because it indicates that more lenders are willing to give them credit. Having a good mix of different types of credit is good for overall credit health as well. But be prudent: Only apply for credit you actually need.

Hard Inquiries
When you apply for a credit card, mortgage or auto loan, a hard credit inquiry is initiated on your credit report. One hard inquiry will usually have little impact, but multiple inquiries can have a larger impact. A soft inquiry is when you check your rate to see what you qualify for. If you’re unsure, check with your potential creditor or lender before applying to see if they will do a hard or soft pull.

Average Age of Open Credit Lines
The longer your credit history and the older your accounts the better. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep older cards open and active, and to start applying for credit at a young age.

Derogatory Marks
Derogatory marks are negative items on your credit report like collections, tax liens or bankruptcy. These records can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years. If you have one on your credit report, it can show a lender that you may have mismanaged your credit in the past. The best way to overcome derogatory marks is to start rebuilding healthy credit again. This will gradually weigh in your favor.

Reprinted with permission from The Real Estate Book®. ©2018. All rights reserved.



May 28, 2014 posted in Blog, Featured, by Cathy Willis

Are you thinking of buying a house, but do not do know how, or who to ask?
Buying a house these days is relatively simple.  Most of the people buying today are young, first time home buyers. Let me give you a few easy steps:
1. Find out how you are going to pay for the house.  Some people pay cash, but 90% get a loan. There are 3 most popular types of loans.

  • a. A USDA loan is the most popular because it requires 0% down payment. It is available in rural areas, such as Pike, Lamar, Monroe and parts of Spalding or Butts Counties.
  • b. A FHA loan, which requires a 3.5% down payment, is the most common loan because it is available throughout the nation.
  • c. A conventional loan usually requires a 20% down payment. The advantage of a conventional loan, is that with a 20% down payment, you will not have to pay primary mortgage insurance, which may add several hundred dollars a month to the payment.


  • a. Ask your real estate agent for his/or recommendation. Most real estate agents want to make money. They only make money if the deal closes. They know the good lenders! A careless lender will make your home buying experience a nightmare even to the point of not closing.
  • b. Get your paperwork ready before you call a lender. Have your job history, bank statements, and most recent tax returns ready when you call. Talk with several recommended lenders. If several lenders pull your credit report it a short period of time it will not affect your credit score.

3. Choose the right real estate agent. Real Estate signs are a little misleading. All real estate signs list the name of the company and telephone number of the agent that has the property for sale. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CALL THE LISTING AGENT TO SEE THE PROPERTY. ANY REAL ESTATE AGENT CAN SHOW YOU ANY REAL ESTATE PROPERTY. You can choose the agent you want to work with. Generally, the best agents do this full time. Talk with several agents and choose the agent with whom you fill most comfortable. A good real estate agent will make the process pleasant. From choosing a lender, to choosing a house, to getting the home inspected, right to the closing table, a good agent will make the process easy.
4. Call Dora Cox Realty. We would love to help you find your dream home! 770-358-7000



July 25, 2013 posted in Featured, by dora

1. Pay your bills on time.
2. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.
3. Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your current credit report.
4. If you are haveing trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.
5. Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit.”
6. Pay off debt rather than moving it around.
7. Don’t open a number of new credit cards that you don’t need, just to increase your available credit.
8. If you have been managing your credit for a short time, don’t open a lot of new accounts too rapidly.
9. Do your rate shopping for a given loan within a focused period of time.
10. Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems.
11. It is OK to request and check your own credit report.
12. Strive to use less than 30 percent of your available credit.
13. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
14. Have credit cards, but manage them responsibly.
15. Note that closing an account doesn’t make it go away.

Information courtesy of James Petty of Regions Mortgage.