Credit HELP!!!! - Bellefontaine,OH

Updated on October 12, 2011
M.H. asks from Lima, OH
18 answers

Hello :) My husband & I have been working VERY hard to get his credit straight to buy a house. We've been working on this for TWO YEARS. We called a loan officer today about a small personal loan thinking we'd for sure be able to get it seeing as to how his credit score 6 months ago was 580 so we thought it has to be better by now. Well, she tells us it's 527!!!!!!!!!!!! I freaked. But, I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on HOW we can get his credit score up fairly quick? Like I said, we've been going through this for 2 years now and it just plain stinks & I hate that we don't have a house just because of his credit and I do not work (stay at home mom) and I have no credit. It's the only thing holding us back & I'm trying so hard to be positive but I'm running out of patience. **Also, is it true that keeping your credit card balance below 30% tremendously helps?? And by how many points?

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answers from St. Louis on

Have you tried talking with the bank to see what you can do? I would recommend speaking with them. Do you know why his credit score is so low? Unpaid bills? Bankruptcy? Something is causing it to be this low.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I just want to point out, A. you can get credit based on Household income, even if you don't work. I have awesome credit, and actually everything is in my name but I haven't worked in 5 years. B. the change in his score could be based on where they pulled the report from. Not all places look at all 3 scores, and each score is different, sometimes VERY different.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Unfortunately, there usually isn't a "quick fix" to a low credit score, unless there is inaccurate information on the report. The first thing I would do is pull a credit report on your husband from all 3 major credit bureaus. The difference between his 580 and 527 may be that you are comparing scores from different credit bureaus. The score can fluctuate quite a bit between the 3.

After you pull the credit report, I would look for anything you think may be inaccurate on the report and dispute it with the credit bureau. For anything else, it will just take time. Keep making sure you pay all bills on time (most important factor in your score) and also make sure you keep your debt to limit ratio BELOW 30%.

Sorry, that's really the only advice I have. I wish there was a quick way to fix things but it often takes YEARS. I got into a bad credit trap in college (they basically handed out cards to anyone!) and it took me a good 5-7 years to get my score back.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

My husband and I have recently been looking into getting a house as well. We met with a financial advisor at our bank last week and he told us that we were only 25 pts short from quialifying, therefore he advised us to use our credit card (the one we have through our bank) and get it up to only a couple hundred and then pay it off, apparently credit cards have a big impact on your credit report, and by using very little money and then paying it off completely it will help your score tremendously. My credit limit is only of 1,000. And my husband actually opened one for only $300 through our bank, so that he too can build his score by using this card. Hope this helped

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answers from San Diego on

There is nothing you can do to magically make your credit score go up. There is NO quick fix. Do NOT spend money giving it to a "credit agency" that says "we'll get your credit score up" - it's a scam.

You need to look over his credit report and if there are discrepancies, you need to fight them. So many things factor into your credit score - length of account, payment history, amount of credit and much more...

What I do not understand why you do not have credit. You've had NOTHING in your name, EVER?

You might try opening an account with a credit union. And keep your account current with them for at least six months maybe longer.

If his credit score dropped by 53 points - it sounds like late payments were received during this time frame as well as requesting more credit...when you ask for a line of credit or a new credit card, your credit score is pinged. If you are late paying a credit card, car payment or anything that involves your credit score, it WILL go down.

I wouldn't worry about keeping something below 30% - i would worry about paying the things off. I'm 52 years old, divorced and am a cash only woman. I am financially stable and have a decent credit score because I own my own home and pay my mortgage on time. I had credit while married but my husband was not financially stable. He had money in his pocket? He needed to spend it. it caused us many problems....

You need to pay off your debt and pay it ON TIME. Some people do file for bankruptcy and for some - their credit score goes up after it is discharged. It is not something I would recommend. I would recommend paying off all of your credit cards and any car payments you might have and start putting money in savings. Your husband MUST be on board with this and he has to take this seriously. If it means that you are the more responsible one with money - then you pay all the bills and give each other an allowance. Get a budget in place. Go to the library and look at Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman or some other financial person and take control of your finances and your financial's not easy and it's NOT quick.

If you have family who can loan you money to pay off your debts, that will help but the fact remains that you will have to pay them back as well. And learn NOT to use credit cards. In my opinion, they are the root of all evil. You do NOT need credit cards to get a loan. You need to show that any credit or accounts you have had in the past you took seriously, paid them responsibly and were fiscally responsible.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The thing that concerns me most about your post is that you have no credit. This is something you need to take care of immediately!!!!!!

Your not having any credit is a huge factor in your not having a house.

There is no magic way to increase your credit score in a short period of time. What's contributing to the bad score? You mention that you've been working really hard for 2 years. What have you done? Do you know what you need to do to increase HIS credit score? When was the last time you got your free credit reports - all 6 of them, and checked them for errors? Without knowing your personal credit history, we can't tell you what will bring up your score. We can just give you the general knowledge.

I had my credit scores checked several years ago by all 3 agencies. The scores varried by 40 points.

There are many things that go into your credit score. The biggest are late payments and debt to credit ratio. So yes, keeping your balance at less than 30% of your available balance is huge. Actually, you should keep your balance less than 10% per debt.

Another thing that brings down a credit score is applying for credit. So that loan that he applied for just dropped his credit score.

The reality is with credit scores in the 500's or even low 600's is going to be close to impossible for you to qualify for a mortgage unless you have a 25% downpayment, so you'll need to put those dreams on hold for awhile. But there's no reason to be discouraged, keep paying down your debt, increase your income, and start saving. There are tons of great articles at about savings, FICO scores, buying a house, etc.

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answers from Houston on

It takes several years to up a credit score... like 7 or so from what i have been told. Also, I do not work for a company, but I do have good credit. You can put a utility bill in your name to help build your credit.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Payoff any collection accounts in full, pay all your current bills on time, and bring down the balance of your credit cards as low as possible. Pay them off as fast as you can. NEVER pay someone or some company to "help" you get better credit.
Check the credit reports to make sure they are accurate, as mistakes are very common.
You'll be in better shape for home ownership if you are debt free and can have about a %20 down payment.
Have you looked into first time home buyers programs?
You might want to spend the money for the book, The Total Money Makeover.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Yes - keeping your balances below 30% helps. The "points" is a whole different matter.

Google Liz Weston - she has a lot of easy to understand credit information.

One thing that shocked me was that there are "tiers" in the credit score world. So, for example - you carry a lot of debt, maybe have a repo, and in general not great history - maybe even a default or two. Well, your score, in part, is determined on a curve - you're lumped in with those with similar credit histories.

So, say you're working your butt off to pay off credit cards, the defaults and repos have dropped, etc. Your score is going up slowly. Well, as soon as your repo drops, then you're out of the "repo" group and into a "non repo" group. So your score, that was, say, 600 before, actually drops to 580 because you're now at the bottom of a different credit history group.

There are about 10 things FICO looks at and they all have varying "weights" into how much they affect your score.

A few I can think of off the top of my head is:
- Length of credit history (this is the top factor, I think, with the most weight). So, that means, never cancel your oldest credit card. Keep that history on your report.
- They say debt to income, but it's more like available credit vs. balance. This is where the 30% figure comes in. Each one is factored individually, but then it's also looked at as a whole.
- Payment history (on time or not) - really really important
- Type of credit - they care more about some types of credit than others.

That's all I can remember right now. Again, google "Liz Weston credit" and she'll have all the information you could need.

Also, you didn't mention who was actually handling the bills and paying the debt, etc. Not that this is the case, but are you sure he's actually been paying all you debts on time? I had a friend who married a guy with an IRS debt (didn't know until after married). They made a plan and he was making all the financial payments. Turns out, there were months where he decided the money needed to go to other bills and he just didn't make the IRS payments. Nothing malicious - he just didn't realize how his choices affected their finances.

Also, if you want to buy a house, I would absolutely NOT take out any more credit/debt like a small personal loan. Pay off what you have. Unless the loan was going to be used to consolidate payments, don't do it!

Good luck!

Edit - I'm not sure what another poster was referring to by "lenders look at the average" because that has not been true in my case. We were preapproved for a no-paperwork mortgage based on prelim credit scores at a certain low rate. When we went to close, the rate was higher because ONE of my husband's scores was below the cutoff for the best rate - regardless of the fact that the other two were EXCELLENT - this ONE score screwed up our mortgage rate.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

yikes! What they don't tell you is sometimes workiing with a credit repair company or credit counselor things will get worse before they get better. In your case, working with your clean slate might be the way to go. I am able to approve loans for homemakers with no income easier than the breadwinner with delinquencies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Why did his score go down? That stinks. We found with my husband that the fact that he had no credit for years created a very high credit score for him. He got one credit card - paid it off and when we went to buy our house, discovered that his credit score was actually higher than mine! So, you could try getting a credit card in your name, pay it off each month and then in six months try getting your loan.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The fastest way is like the other poster said, to put a balance on a credit card then pay it off over a couple of months and repeat but do not charge it to the limit, only go like 30-40% of the credit limit. Get one for yourself also because having available credit yourself even if you never use it again will help. Then don't close them because that will affect your score unless of course you get too many... it is a very fine line. if you cannot get one at all, then see if someone you trust (i used my M.) will add you as a user of their card. BUT MAKE SURE THEY PAY ON TIME, this will give you payment points without any credit of your own. These are some things we did, and we bought a house less than two years after bankruptcy...but every situation is different so talking to someone could only help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

Have you guys been using credit cards? If so, pay them down to less than one-fourth of whatever is available on that card. Have you applied for any new credit in the past two years? Has he pulled his credit report to see if anything has changed or been reported that you are unaware of?
Time, time and more time is the song and dance here. When your credit tanks it takes forever to get it back.

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answers from Cincinnati on

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here in the replies is that you can go to and get one copy of your credit score from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian once per year without having to pay for them. All those other "free" offers require that you sign up for their monthly service and pay a fee. You can take a look and see if there are any errors on there. Be sure to pull both yours and his just to be certain. My hubby has had a problem with someone else's bad info being put on his credit report and we've had to contact the 3 credit bureau's about this for years.

Also, you do have a right to know which companies credit score the bank used. Sometimes credit scores can vary significantly between the 3 companies. If you find there are errors on the credit report(s), you might be able to get them fixed and the credit score will improve in a few months. If there aren't errors, ask your lending institution what their advice is. I usually listen to Suze Orman's advice. You can find lots of good info on And I agree with the others who say you should never pay a company to boost your credit score quickly. Suze says they are scammers because except for correcting legitimate errors, there's no way to quickly boost your credit score.

Finally, like everyone else said, you need to establish some credit in your name alone, if for no other reason than if your husband were to die suddenly, you'd be stuck with no credit and not a lot of options. Protect yourself and your children by establishing credit with at least one utility and one credit card in your name. Good luck with all of this!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why don't you have any credit? You don't need a job to get a credit card, just household income. I would highly recommend applying for a card somewhere (Kohls, Target) sometime in the future so you can build credit history. In fact, switch the phone bill over to your name to get things going....

In terms of your hubby's credit. I'm not sure why his score is so low, but I can having access to lots of credit without carrying balances over is how you get a good credit score. It's crazy, really, the more credit you use, the higher your score, just as long as you pay it off, in full, every month, on time.

So, stop worrying about the 30% debt ratio, and start paying off all your debt. Only charge what you can pay for. So, cut up those cards if you can't live within your means. Pay off the debt, and stop worrying about buying a house until you are debt free. If you are carrying debt every month, there is no way you are going to be able to take on the cost of a house. Houses are money sucking voids. On average, we spend $500 a month on maintenance and upkeep. I am not joking. Weed killer costs money. Paint costs money. 3 months after we moved in we had 2k in emergency plumbing work that needed to be done! 3 years late, another 2k. New appliances and furnaces and roofs cost big money. Driveways need repair, and seal-coating. Lawn needs lawn mowers and fertilizer. You need rakes and garbage cans, etc. All these things cost money. Ask people if simple projects around their houses are ever cheap. Quick trips to the hardware store add up really fast...... Unless you are couponer, and are good at it, household stuff is super expensive.

I'm sorry if this sounds mean, but it sounds to me like you need to get your financial house in order. If I was you, I'd go to the library and check out all their books on improving your credit score. It sounds to me like you need to get your financial house in order.

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answers from Rochester on

We're probably in a well below 600 bracket now, too, since my husband went back to school a few years ago and a lot of other things have gotten us behind. Before that, however, we had our credit score go up over 100 points in one year by paying everything on time (things weren't paid off, mind you) and making all payments on time and in full. I also signed up with Equifax for monthly updates to our credit and email alerts for any change (good or bad). That was around $10 or $15 a month and was worth it to me at the time. In fact, we were doing well enough to be approved for a mortgage for an FHA loan but we didn't find a house we loved. (Now, of course, we wish we had tried harder since it will be at least another year before we might be eligible again.)

Each agency reports credit differently and most lenders look at the average. So with one credit reporting agency your score might be much higher and with another much lower. Lenders also want to see 12 months of solid payment history (no late payments) according to the mortgage broker we've talked with. Did your lender give you any specific steps to take? When I've talked with lenders/mortgage brokers they have been happy to provide concrete information, such as pay credit cards down to ___%, keep total credit balances below ___% of your annual income, save ____% of a down payment (depending on the loan you apply for).

Unfortunately, if you mean you've been playing catch-up for two years, it could take a lot longer. If you mean you've been making all payments on time and in full and your credit card balances are very low, then I'm surprised you're in this situation. If you look at your credit report, make sure that it is updated. We had one credit card paid off for a while and it was several months before our lender updated that information with the major credit reporting companies. You sometimes have to call and ask them to submit your improved information. (They're often quick to report negative.) Keep plugging away if you're following a solid plan and check your credit a few times a year to see how you're doing.

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answers from Cleveland on

My honest opinion based on your last comment is to pay off credit card debt and shut down all but one card and pay it off monthly. When u do that plus save 20 per down, or atleast 10, then relook at his credit. Maybe look at renting a house. I also would t check too often.



answers from Indianapolis on

You need credit too. That will help. You need to make sure you pay bills on time. With some bills if you don't pay on the exact date you are considered late. Pull your credit report and your husbands. If there are credit cards out there that are paid off but still open write a letter to those places and have them closed and tell them that you want a reply when they have closed the account. Having open credit cards can hurt your score even if you haven't used the card in a while. Good luck!!

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