Two of the Scariest Words in Real Estate!
Two little words always creep up when talking Real Estate that has many investors (and prospective tenants) go 😱😱😱! So what are those words? Credit. Score.
So first, let's talk about what this even is. It is a number between 300 and 850 that predicts how likely you are to pay back a loan based on prior experiences. There are 3 main Credit Bureaus; TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. And, this little 3 digit number can make or break you in a lot of situations!
I remember when I got my first credit card. I was 16 and it had a $300 dollar limit! To me, that was a huge amount of money, and a huge responsibility that I was totally not prepared for. When I got to college, my strategy was just to open new cards when I maxed out the previous. (READ: This is NOT a good strategy!🤦🏼♀️)
Before I knew it, my credit score was tanking and I had no idea what to do about it!
Then, I moved to Europe, ignored my credit score and paid for everything in cash for 5 years. (Ignoring things means they just get resolved, right?) Nope! When I moved home, the debt was still there, the low scores were still there, and the shame and guilt I felt for not managing my finances was still there.
But not all hope is lost!
I put a plan into action and started to see my debt go down and my credit score go up! It wasn't always easy and straightforward, but was really rewarding when I moved into Real Estate Investing. Improving my credit score has literally saved me thousands of dollars and opened up doors I never expected!
Here are just a few ways you can fund your next deal: 1. Start paying on time, every time! Stop the bleeding! Improving your credit will take some time but the most important thing is to start making small changes now. This might mean you need to cut back on spending, find a part-time job, or follow a budget for a little while. But, consistently paying on time, every time will make an impact. This will help cut back on all those pesky fees too that can really bury us!
2. Check your score often!
Listen, I've been there. I was so ashamed of my debt that I didn't even want to look at the numbers most of the time. But, we have to. Owning Real Estate Investments meaning being a business owner. And, to be a profitable and successful business owner, we need to know our numbers- the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are a ton of free services where you can check your credit score. I use Credit Wise through my Capital One account to review my credit score and double check for any inaccuracies. If we don't know the numbers, we can't improve them. 3. Find ways to buy without using your Credit Score! Don't have a good credit score? Don't use it! For example, partner up with someone that does have good credit! This will allow you to take advantage of the traditional lending but you don't have to wait to improve your personal score. You can also use creative lending strategies and work with lenders that don't require a credit check. Watch our Creative Lending Workshop here to get some ideas! You might have a higher interest rate or have to sacrifice in other terms, but it it'll get your foot in the door to extra cash flow (that you can then put towards your bills! 😜)
Happy Deal Hunting!