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Chipper35

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want to buy a new home with fair credit
My score is 658 and my spouse is 644, we have paid down our debt to 1500 but have a current mortgage of 64,000. He doesn't have much credit other than the mortgage. and the credit cards are in my name. We had some delinquencies off and on in our report due to a layoff in 2011. Will we be able to buy a house in 12 months. What should we do to maximize our credit rating?

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good to plan ahead.

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You should start building his (and your)  credit some.  Maybe a couple of credit cards or a small personal loan.  Build up his available credit ratio. You might try one or two for yourself to.  Only open 1 new account each, once every 4 to 6 months, so starting now is a good plan. A gas card is a good card to have, because your going to buy gas anyway, and paying it off every month looks very good on your CR.    A small personal loan may be harder to get, try with your bank or credit union first. 

Your goal should be to get the most available credit, and not use it to often.  keep the utilization of all your cards to less than 20%  so if you have $5000. max total of all your cards, you should never owe more than $1000 total.  Credit cards with a 0 balance are not a bad thing, but use them at least once a year to show utilization.  I have 5 credit cards.  I only use one card a month, then put it away and use the next one for a month.  Shows good utilization and payment history. I only use store cards at the holidays and for gifts throughout the year. 

in a years time you should have bumped up your scores a few more points which will help to get a lower rate on a new mortgage. 

Hint:  for the best credit scores, You want to have Available Credit equal to 1 years salary with utilization of less than 5%.

Good luck! 

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