Protect Your Credit When Buying or Selling a Home
If you are listing your home for sale, and/or preparing to buy a home, it’s important not only to protect your credit, but to guard against credit or identity theft as well as the theft of valuables. From Bankrate.com, here is a checklist that can help you do that during the buy/sell transaction period:
- Apply with care–Be mindful when applying to multiple lenders. To some
versions of the FICO software, all applications submitted within 30-45 days of each
other only count as one hit on your credit report. However, many lenders may still use
older versions of the software. Play it safe by submitting all applications in a 14-day
period. This will ensure that your credit report doesn’t show multiple hits, which will
in turn better your overall score.
- Prepare for lookers – When selling your home, pack up small, valuable belongings before strangers begin to walk through the house. Additionally, all bills or financial papers should be put into a locked box or drawer. Protecting your finances and account numbers should be your number-one priority because identity and credit theft can happen.
- Protect your documents: When buying a new home, only potential mortgage lenders need to see all of your personal information. Agents and sellers only need to know how much you can afford. When dealing with a lender, stick to the same representative to minimize the number of people who have access to your documents. Avoid sending any files with your social security number through email. Opt for mail or fax instead.
- Stay on top of your finances: Even if you are on top of paying bills on a monthly basis, you may want to consider checking into your accounts weekly. By logging into your credit card accounts regularly, you can make sure that all of the charges are legitimately yours. Credit watch services are also a good idea. If a fraudulent charge is made, the service will pick up on it and alert you of the charges. It’s important to act quickly with regards to your credit.