The credit market has been getting tighter over the last two years even since the real estate bubble. Banks are not issuing as many credit cards to people like they did five years ago. Credit card companies are decreasing people's credit line and/or shutting down the card without proper notification. Many people are upset over this practice because now you are dealing with a person's credit score.

We have all been issued a three digit number which determines our credit worthiness. My grandmother told me to pay my bills on time and in full. That was wisdom to me. However, times have changed and abusing credit is a way of life. I would like to discuss the top 5 mistakes made when dealing with credit:

  1. CLOSE ESTABLISHED CREDIT CARDS-This will take away from a person's line of credit and the amount of months it has been open. One needs at least three great lines of credit with an established history of online payments. Closing great established lines of credit will decrease one's score according to my expert.
  2. Missing Payments-Many people are missing their mortgage payments while doing short sales and/or loan modifications. That drags the credit score down more than 100 points. Other people forget to pay a $25 payment on a credit card and now the credit score has dropped by 80 points. Make your payments on time and in full.
  3. High Balances-Experts state that people should not use more than 30-50% of available credit at all times to maintain a high score. Over 50% will bring the score down even by making monthly payments on time. Pay down as much as possible to boost the credit score up.
  4. Settling Past Due Accounts-People settle for less than what is owed to credit card companies every day. However, many people realize that they will receive a 1099 at the end of the year for the difference. This is called a deficiency judgment and is considered income earned for that year. One can negotiate with the credit card company during the settlement talks. However, they will report it to the bureaus if not paid in full. This will stay on the credit report for 7 years.
  5. No Credit-People have been taught to pay cash for everything. That is great. However, one needs a credit score with history to obtain financing for a car or home. People have to bee taught more about credit and the power of leverage with a conservative background. Credit is part of our lives that cannot be ignored. No credit then a person will not have a credit score.


We are heading into uncharted waters going forward in the next two years when it comes to real estate and the financial industry. However, I see these mistakes made by people on a weekly basis. Many times it is out of plan ignorance. They do not teach credit education in our school systems. We must continually educate our clients when it comes to credit and the importance of having and maintaining a high credit score to obtain conventional financing for purchasing a home.

Make the Call, Set the Plan, Do the Deal$!

Feel free to listen to my Radio Show to learn more about the phoenix real estate market, new trends, and the latest opportunities.  The Real Estate and Beyond Radio Show Airs every Saturday from Noon-2:00pm on Conservative Newstalk KKNT 960am in Phoenix, Arizona.  You can listent to past shows, or stream on-line.


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Comment balloon 4 commentsHarry F. D'Elia • May 06 2012 08:07AM


Thank you for taking the time to outline some of the information that consumers need to know.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) about 7 years ago

There are times buyers need simple reminders when it comes to their credit

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 7 years ago

Great post, Harry. I for one did not realize the negative impact on credit scores of some of these actions...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 7 years ago

Harry - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on top five ways to improve credit score to purchase home.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) about 7 years ago