When embarking on the house buying process for the first time, plan well ahead because lenders are very fussy. Most lenders will credit score you, and this process assumes you are guilty of not being able to handle credit unless you can prove otherwise. It is therefore important to understand what affects your credit score and how you can improve it. For example, make sure you are on the electoral roll – even if you don’t plan to vote. Never go overdrawn unless you have agreed an overdraft facility and if you have a facility, never exceed it. Make sure no cheques or direct debits bounce. (Most lenders want to see between one and three months bank statements for first-time buyers.) If you are renting don’t miss any payments. If you don’t have any credit cards get a couple, spend something on them every month and set up a direct debit to repay the balance in full every month. The longer you have had your current account with the same bank, lived at the same address and been with the same employer the more points you will get. Always put your landline telephone number on a mortgage application form in preference to a mobile number.
Graham Boyce, Director, Wrights Estate Agents, Stevenage