Tips for Buying a Home in Your 20s

tips for buying a home in your 20s

Are you a 20-something-year-old who is looking to buy your very first home? We know it can be pretty overwhelming and confusing. Somewhere along the way, the home buying process may leave you wondering, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” But don’t worry! We’ve put together these tips for buying a home in your 20s to make things easier!

1. Determine What You Can Afford

We’ve all heard it before, live within your financial means. This statement also applies to buying a house. As you look at homes, it is important to have a strong understanding of what you can afford based on your credit score and your financial history.

Look for properties that are within your buying capabilities. Buying outside of your finances capabilities can cause problems down the road affecting your ability to make mortgage payments and maintain good credit. When you buy inside your budget, you set yourself up for financial success.

2. Stash a Ton of Cash Under the Mattress

Storing cash under your mattress might not really be the best idea these days; the point is to start stashing your money away. In order to get a mortgage in this post-recession economy, the bank often requires a down-payment on your home of about 5%-10%.

If you’re looking at a $100,000 home, you’ll need $5,000 – $10,000 in cash at closing for the down payment. Plus, you’ll be expected to cover additional closing costs.

3. Build up Your Credit Score

Banks desire a credit score that is over 700 for anyone seeking a mortgage. The national average score is 695. You can’t raise your credit score in the blink of an eye, but we’ve put together several guides for those at various levels:

Figure out how many points you’ll need to raise your score then read the applicable guide above. It’ll give you specific strategies you can set in motion right away.

4. Apply for Grants and Payment Assistance

All of that credit score talk can feel really stressful! Here is some exciting news for you: There are grants and programs available to make it a little easier to purchase your first home. offers a list of nine ideas to help get you started:

  • FHA Loan
  • USDA Loan
  • VA Loan
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • Energy-efficient mortgage
  • FHA Section 203(k)
  • Native American Direct Loan
  • Local Grants and Programs

Each type of program has its own qualifications, so be sure to read up on each individual one!

5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Many real estate agents will not even begin showing you houses if you have yet to be pre-approved for a mortgage. This is different from being pre-qualified. During the pre-approval process, a mortgage lender looks at your credit and income and writes a letter stating how much of a loan the bank will grant you once you make an offer on a home. A good real estate agent will help connect you with a reliable lender to get you started.

What questions do you still have about the house-buying process? We are available to answer all of your questions. Contact us at or 480-991-4885.

Should You Pay More Than Your Credit Card’s Minimum?

should you pay more than your credit card's minimum

Most people are unable to buy the home of their dreams because of their poor credit scores. Having a large amount of credit card debt across one or multiple cards can present obstacles.

Some people feel they can only afford to pay their credit card’s minimum monthly payments, while others wonder if they should be paying more than that.  Today we answer the question of whether should you pay more than your credit card’s minimum and how paying more than the minimum offers many benefits.

The Two Main Methods of Debt Repayment

1. The Snowball Method

The snowball method works well for people who have a lot of credit card debt. First, you must check how much you owe for each card. Start off by paying as much as you can on the credit card you owe the least.

Once you’ve paid it off, pay off the card with the next highest balance.

2. The Avalanche Method

The avalanche method consists of paying off the credit card balance with the highest interest rate. This works best when you have a balance you know you can pay off in five years or less. It also works best for people who have the patience to pay off a debt over a long period of time.

Benefits of Paying More Than the Minimum

You Won’t Pay as Much Interest

Regardless of whether you choose the snowball or avalanche method, you’ll pay less in interest the faster you get rid of your debt. The snowball method allows you to pay off small debt sooner, while the avalanche method allows you to pay off your debt with the highest interest rates first.

You’ll Get Out of Credit Card Debt Sooner

You can choose the right method to pay off credit card debt depending on which one makes you feel better. The snowball method fits people who need small victories to motivate them, while the avalanche method works best for people who are more patient.

Your Credit Score Will Improve

Though there are many ways to improve your credit score, paying off credit card debt is one of the best ways to do so. FICO scores are confusing by design. Paying off your debt is one way to ensure you’re on the right path toward improving your credit score.

The importance of paying off credit card debt

It Instills Good Financial Lessons and Habits

Paying off credit card debt requires you to make lifestyle changes that will help you pay for a mortgage. You can even use apps such as Mint to track how you spend your money in order to have a better idea of where your money is going.

Read more: 4 Tips For Using Your Credit Card

It Increases Your Line of Available Credit

Another key benefit of paying off your credit card debt is how much doing so can improve your credit score. Bolstering your credit score will give you more breathing room with your credit cards as you’ll have higher limits.

It Makes Buying a Home (Or Anything) MUCH Easier

Having low credit card debt is important if you’re hoping to buy a home or car in the future. Your mortgage and automotive interest rates will likely be higher if your credit is poor. You may not even qualify to be a homeowner if you have too much credit card debt.

While improving your credit score may sound daunting at first, our team of experts can help to permanently fix your credit in no time. Contact us today!

How To Build Credit Without A Credit Card

how to build credit without a credit card

Your house is in foreclosure… Numerous credit card companies have rejected you because of your poor credit score… You need to build credit fast!

But… You need a credit card for that, right? Not necessarily.

It doesn’t matter why you have bad credit. You just need to learn how to fix it — even if you don’t have a credit card! These seven points will build up your financial self-confidence and show you how to build your credit without a standard credit card!

1. Invest in a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is a credit builder’s best friend! It gives you access to a line of credit in exchange for collateral (a small deposit).  which helps mitigate some of your lender’s risk. While paying a deposit may seem a little scary, don’t fret. Most deposits are no more than a couple of hundred dollars.

Secured credit cards tend to come with low monthly fees and some lenders will even give cardholders perks like cash back. Also, since your card is secured by a deposit, defaulting on your balance may not lead to a ding on your credit score. It will, however, result in the loss of your deposit.

The best part about secured credit cards is that you’ll only need to use them for a limited amount of time! As you prove to your lender that you can make timely payments, your credit score will go up. As it does, you’ll find that you qualify for a number of other cards with better terms and no collateral requirements!

2. Get Approved for a Credit-Builder Loan

Want a true credit card alternative to building your credit? A credit-builder loan has you covered!

Several types of credit-builder loans exist.

Pure credit-builder loan: This loan type is a savings account/loan hybrid. Basically, the lender deposits your loan amount into a savings account and freezes that money. You then progressively contribute to the savings account an amount equal to the loan.

Once you’ve paid down the loan, the money unfreezes and is awarded to you.

Proper management of this process can give your credit score a serious boost!

Standard secured loan: With a standard secured loan, you’ll need to show your lender that you have assets equal to the amount you’re looking to borrow. That way, if you default, the lender can repossess your assets and pay themselves back.

Unsecured loan: Unsecured loans are common for medical expenses and other emergencies. These are relatively straightforward in that you apply for an amount of money and, upon approval, walk out with that amount the same day. You will then need to pay back the loan per its pre-determined payment schedule.

Unsecured loans can come with high-interest rates and fees to help lower a lender’s risk.

3. Ask Someone to Cosign for You

A lot of credit products you may not ordinarily qualify for will consider approving you if you can find a cosigner.

A cosigner is a person who has good credit and vouches to take care of your debt if you should default. With a cosigner, you can often enjoy low-interest rates, credit card perks and of course, the ability to build up your credit.

4. Become an Authorized User on Someone Else’s Card

Becoming an authorized user means getting a credit card that’s attached to someone else’s account. Given that the account holder is liable for ensuring balances get paid, banks are very liberal about authorizing additional users despite their credit history.

If credit card companies see that you are responsible with money as an authorized user, they are more likely to issue you your own card in the future.

5. Use Rent-Reporting Agencies

Rent payments are seldom reported to credit bureaus but they can and should be.


Because timely rent payments help build credit.  

Every instance where a person demonstrates the responsible handling of their rent will work in their favor on a credit report. Also, future landlords will be more likely to rent to applicants with reported histories of prompt housing payments.

6. Build Good Financial Habits

This point might sound obvious but at the end of the day, how you manage your money can have a profound impact on your credit score.

Live within your means. Buy only what you need as inexpensively as you can. Whenever possible, pay upfront. When you do spend money, spend it on things that you really need and that are built to last.

Also, never get caught up loaning money to people who aren’t likely to pay you back. This can not only strain your wallet but can also strain relationships.

7. Enlist the Help of a Credit Repair Agency

Credit repair agencies remove negative items from credit reports.  These items can include repossessions, liens, foreclosures, and late payments.

You may be surprised to learn that many indications of poor credit on credit reports are errors. There are a lot of companies who specialize in finding and removing those errors for a nominal fee.

With an error-free credit report, you’re more likely to strike banks and credit card companies as a promising applicant and be approved for loans!

If you want to learn more and start paving your path towards a promising financial future, contact or give us a call at 1-866-991-4885 for expert advice.


Credit Score of 569: Home Loans, Auto Loans & More

credit score of 569

A credit score of 569 indicates that you’ve got some work ahead. Nothing’s impossible, but it’s also not easy. At this level, the best thing you can do is focus on raising that number.

If you’re going to apply for loans, make sure the monthly payments are reasonable. Check the interest rate too, as those can become astronomical at your score. Pay your bills on time and avoid getting in over your head with credit lines.

With that pattern, you’ll be able to raise your score by 100 points or more. However, you’ve got to start somewhere. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly where.

Credit Score of 569: Credit Cards

Most credit card companies won’t take the risk on you with a credit score of 569. It’s unfortunate, but you must stay realistic about this.

That’s why you start with a secured credit card.

Once you start making steady payments, it establishes a good record. Over time, you build a reputation and become trustworthy in the eyes of creditors. Then you can graduate to a “real” credit card.

Don’t go crazy, though! Always balance your credit to debt ratio reasonably. If you don’t have the money to pay for it straight out, don’t put it on your card.

If not, you’ll be back at square one in no time!

Credit Score of 569: Auto Loans

Auto loans are a little easier. Just about anyone can qualify if you go to the right place. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a reputable or reasonable creditor. Be careful because you may find yourself falling prey to a bad financial situation.

Low/no credit auto loans will lock you into interest rates as high as the principle. If you are desperate for a car, it really does put you into a bind. However, just a few months of credit building can put you in a better spot to qualify from a legitimate financer.

Try to shop around, especially if you’re desperate for a car and must get an auto loan with a credit score of 569. Make sure to avoid directly applying for too many loans, though, as this can hurt your score even more.

No matter what, only apply for a loan you can afford. It’ll keep your bank account and stress-levels at a comfortable level.

Credit Score of 569: Mortgages

Mortgages will be especially hard. If you do manage to get one, it may be a less established bank and/or a high interest amount. The principle on a house is higher than credit cards or auto loans. A high interest rate can ruin your financial life.

Look into FHA or Federal Housing Administration loans. They may be able to help. They accept low down payments and will sometimes take people with low credit scores.

If not, keep saving and building credit! Once you’re in a better place financially, traditional mortgages will be far easier to obtain.

Imagine the world of opportunities that will be open to you once your credit is good. Nice car? Check! Picket fence? Check. Live the dream!

If you want to be able to apply for loans, it’ll be hard work. That’s what we offer here at strategic support. Our credit restoration experts can help you back on to your feet in no time.

Additional Articles:

Personality Types & Credit Scores: Is There a Link? (For you Myers-Briggs lovers)
How to Raise a 610 Credit Score: 4 Quick Tips
How To Improve Credit Score In 30 Days

What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a House?

What is a good credit score to buy a house?

People looking to buy property often have thousands of questions running through their mind. But one of the most common is, “What is a good credit score to buy a house?” That’s because the better your score, the lower your interest rates. So, the less you will pay in the long run.

There are many rating systems, but FICO is the one most often used by lenders. Your FICO score can range from 300 to 850. But what makes an excellent credit score and what is considered poor?

Let’s take a look at where you fall and what options are available to you when buying a house.

Excellent Credit Score

As a general rule, an excellent credit score is anything above 760. If you’re above that marker, congratulations, you can get the best financing terms available when borrowing money.

An excellent credit score will mean you will get the lowest interest rates around. In the long run, you could end up saving thousands of dollars on your mortgage repayments.

As the FICO website says if you are looking to buy a property with a $216,000, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage you could be looking at an interest rate of 4.2%. That’s a monthly repayment of $1,057. But what if your score isn’t as high?

Good Credit Score

A good credit score is anything above 660. With this score, you should still be able to find a loan, but you will be paying a higher interest rate.

Taking our example from earlier, a score of 665 could secure an interest rate of 4.82%. That would make monthly payments of $1,135.

It’s worth trying to improve your numbers before you start your applications. You can improve your credit score in a number of ways. Here are two options:

Removing a recent late payment. The most effective method is to call the creditor and request a goodwill adjustment. If that fails, you could negotiate the removal by signing up for automatic payments.

Removing a collection account. Paying your collection account probably won’t improve your score. Instead, try to negotiate with the servicer for a “pay to delete” — and remember to get it in writing.

Poor Credit Score

A poor credit score is anything 619 and below. For most mortgages, you will need a 620 credit score or higher. However, there are loans available for anything down to 570.

A FICO score of 625, using the same example as before, would secure a 5.79% interest rate. That’s a monthly repayment of $1,266.

It’s extremely important to raise your score to secure a reasonable rate. One of the best ways to do this is to speak to credit restoration experts.

There is no single path to restoring your credit score. By speaking to the experts they will find the best program for you.

Speak to today and receive a free in-depth credit consultation. It’s the first step to improving your credit score and securing the home of your dreams.

How To Lower Mortgage Payments With Bad Credit

how to lower mortgage payments with bad credit

If you’re in financial trouble you may be wondering how to lower mortgage payments with bad credit. Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer — but help is out there.

The agency that owns or insures your mortgage will determine how you go about solving your issues. Before you can fix your financial troubles, find out which mortgage you have.

Fortunately there are only a few options available: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS).

Let’s take a look at some of the options available to you…

Related: 4 Out-of-Box Ways Homeowners Can Build Good Credit

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a similar process for loss mitigation. When asking for help under a Fannie or Freddie, your provider will review a set of options in a certain order. If you don’t qualify for the first, the servicer will move on to the second until they find some relief.

Both require you to complete and submit a Form 710  — Mortgage Assistance Application. You should say you are in trouble due to a loss of income or increase in costs.

A servicer may deem your financial difficulties to be temporary, given after a short-term drop in income or a one-off expense.

The servicer could also offer a long-term solution, if your financial issues are more permanent, such as disability or the death of a spouse.

VA Loan

The VA is expected to run through all its options before forcing the sale of a property. There are plenty available to you including:

Repayment plan. This is a written agreement in which you pay the normal amount and extra to cover the debt.

Special forbearance. With this option, the servicer agrees in writing to suspend payments or accept reduced payments. You can then negotiate a repayment option.

Modifications. This allows the servicer to change the loan without consent from the agency. Ultimately, this could lead to a longer pay-off period with lower mortgage payments.

FHA-Insured Mortgages

It may be possible to reduce your monthly loan payment thanks to FHA-HAMP, the Home Affordable Modification Program. However some borrowers are not eligible for that option.

Instead a repayment plan or forbearance agreement may be the options available. These do not change the terms of your loan but could help you pay off your debts.

RHS Guaranteed Loan Program

To reduce your payments on a Rural Housing Service Loan Program you have a few options available including:

Special forbearance. You can agree with the servicer to temporarily reduce or pause payments. You will then have a repayment plan put in place.

To be accepted for this you must have had a loss of income or increase in expenses and your payment has to be 30 days in arrears.

Modification. It is possible to permanently change your loan terms with a modification. There are two types available: a standard modification or a special loan servicing modification.

Speak to the people who know how to lower mortgage payments with bad credit. Contact for expert advice and your full range of options.

Can Paying Off Collections Raise Your Credit Score?

Can paying off collections raise your credit score

“Can paying off collections raise your credit score?” It’s a question many people in financial trouble ask. And, unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one.

Paying off collections could boost your credit score, but only under certain circumstances. In today’s article, we’re going to look at your various options. You’ll learn the negative impact of collection accounts, as well as what to do if you find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance.

The Negative Impact of Collection Accounts

Collection accounts lower your credit score and tell lenders you have been unable to manage your finances. This could make it difficult for you to secure credit in the future.

The amount of the collection debt is irrelevant. If the debt is above $1, it impacts your score no matter how much you owe. A debt of $300 will lower your score by the same number of points as a debt of $100,000.

What Happens When You Pay the Debt

When you pay the debt, the collection isn’t removed from your account straight away. It will fall from your report seven years from the date of your first missed payment.

Even if you pay the debt, it is unlikely to result in a major boost to your credit score. However, the collection agency or creditor will update your information to show you have paid. Any future lenders will see that you dealt with the debt and may look favorably upon it.

Make an Arrangement With the Collector

Even though 95% of the time, paying off your debt won’t boost your credit score, there’s a way it could. When contacting the collector to settle, try to agree to a “payment for deletion”.

Remember to get the agreement in writing. If you want more advice on how to do this, contact Go Clean Credit today and speak to an expert.

File a Dispute With the Credit Reporting Agency

Do you think the collection account is a mistake? If you believe it’s inaccurate information, dispute it with a credit reporting agency.

It will then have 30 days to confirm the information they have is correct. If the record is wrong, then the entry could be corrected or (even better) removed.

Work With Credit Restoration Experts

You may be struggling with your financial situation, but Go Clean Credit has the answers.

So, can paying off collections raise your credit score? Yes, we have many credit repair programs available which will get you back on the path to financial success. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, which is why we find the right program for you.

Each program starts with a free in-depth consultation from one of our expert advisors. From this, you will know the exact path to take for a better credit score.

Check out our different credit repair programs now or get in touch for more advice. Better finances and an improved credit score are just a few clicks away.

Credit Score of 567: Loans, Improvement Tips & More

You got a bit of financial work to do if you have a credit score of 567. In fact, I hate to break it to you, but most people are going to classify this as a bad score. Only 1 in 10 credit applications are accepted for people below a credit score of 580, and that can make things a bit difficult.

Improving your credit score is the best option, but it’s not always the fastest solution. It’s hard to operate without access to credit, so what can you do? In today’s post, we’re going to answer the questions you might have about having a credit score of 567.

1. Home Loans

First-time home buyers with a score of 567 are going to have a hard time. Most places will outright reject your application if it’s under 620, so you can imagine the difficulty.

However, difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Unfortunately, if you do find a place willing to accept your score, you’re going to deal with high interest rates. Buying a home with poor credit may put you in a direr financial situation then you’re already in, and it’s important to make a sound decision.

More often than not, it’s best to start by increasing your score. Just a 60 point increase can put you in a much better position for buying a home.

2. Auto Loans

You’ll find that rejection rates for auto loans are similar to that of home loans. However, it’s much easier to find an alternative to buying a car. Though, here again, you’re going to run into astronomical interest rates.

Using the average $27,000 dollars for a car loan and a 60-month loan, a score of 567 could land you an average APR of upwards of 16% and an interest over life of loan of nearly $12,000 extra dollars!

Unfortunately, it’s also important to improve your score because the low-credit financing industry has many predators. You should trust the people to whom you owe money, and increasing your credit score is one way to access these types of reputable companies.

3. Credit Cards

The credit card is probably the easiest to access a line of credit with a low score. Just don’t expect luxurious benefits and a low APR. In fact, you’ll likely have to apply for a secured credit card until your score improves.

The simple act of opening a secured credit card can increase your score, and if you reliably pay it off month after month the score will continue to increase.

So What To Do?

To put yourself in a more secure position, Focus your efforts on improving your credit score of 567. It needs to increase before making any big financial commitments. If you find yourself needing access to a credit line, start with a secured credit card.

If you need help getting your credit back on track, we’re here to help. The Go Clean Credit team will help you get your score cleaned up and on the right trajectory.


How Do You Get a Car Back After Repossession?

how do you get a car back after repossession

Having your car repossessed can honestly feel like the end of the world. Most of us rely on it for everything from getting to work to taking the kids to school. But don’t panic. There are steps you can take in a bid to get it back. So, how do you get a car back after repossession?

Step 1: Talk to the creditor

If your car has been claimed by the creditor then you may be able to negotiate to get it back. Do some research and find out whether you have any defenses related to the vehicle, the credit terms or repossession. If you do, you could find yourself in a very strong negotiating position.

Similarly, if the car is not worth much on the market then the creditor might no receive much for it. The creditor will probably negotiate an agreement with you.

Step 2: Can you reinstate?

A number of states allow consumers to reinstate the contract under certain circumstances. This will mean you will be able to reclaim the car and only pay the back-due payments. This is preferable because you won’t have to fork out the whole debt.

Be careful, however. There may be extra costs including storage charges and you may have to hand out an advanced payment or two. In most states in which reinstatement is allowed, you will only have a few weeks to claim your car — so make sure to act quickly.

Step 3: Pay the full debt

If reinstatement isn’t available in your state — or perhaps you have enough spare money going — you can redeem the car by paying off the full remaining amount and expenses. However, you will need to do this before the creditor sells your car. Because once it’s gone, it is gone.

Legally the creditor must tell you the date they intend to sell the vehicle and has to provide you with a telephone number where you can find out the cost of redeeming the car.

This option should be considered very carefully. If you have struggled to keep up with the monthly payments, it is likely that you may not be able to pay the full debt at once. Do not consider taking out expensive loans in a bid to keep the vehicle as this is a quick way to collect even more debt.

Step 4: File for bankruptcy

If you choose to file for bankruptcy then you will be able to reclaim your car — as long as the creditor has not sold it yet.

There are two options if you do want to take this route: chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

With the chapter 7 option, you will need to pay either the full remaining balance on the car or the vehicle’s value (whichever is less).

With the chapter 13 option, it is possible to set up a plan to pay off the car loan in monthly installments, up to as long as five years.

Step 5: Talk to your attorney

Our final option is to talk to your attorney. If you believe that your vehicle was wrongly taken then you could file a lawsuit to get the car back and receive damages.

If your car is repossessed it can feel like the end of the world. These steps on how do you get a car back after repossession will allow you to take back control. If you feel anxious or insecure about your ability to get your car back after a repossession, give us a call today!


Personality Types & Credit Scores: Is There a Link?

Are Personality Types & Credit Scores Linked?

It’s an interesting question that we received. Is there a link between personality types and credit scores? Can a personality type predict whether you’ll have good or bad credit?

We don’t know. We’re not Myers Briggs. We’re just a credit repair company.

But, our curiosity did take us to the internet, where we found several discussion threads and resources.

The consensus from our research? There probably isn’t a strong enough link to draw a logical conclusion.

However, there are some resources worth checking out on whether personality types and credit scores are linked. Here they are.

Discussion Threads

Quora: Is there a correlation between Myers-Briggs personality types and Credit Score?

Best Answer: Aside from pretty much the same question being asked on reddit Which type has the highest/lowest credit score? • r/mbti I could not find any other information, but I assume that it should mainly be a question of whether you’re a J or P type since J types are much better with money and credit cards than P types in general, and should have better credit scores. Though, according to one of the answers on reddit, INTP’s are on both extremes of high and low so maybe there isn’t too strong of a correlation.

Reddit: Which type has the highest/lowest credit score?

Best Answer: Highest: ISTJ Lowest: ESFP


Psych Central: Are Credit Scores and Personality Linked?

Summary: An emerging trend is for companies to use credit reports as an employment screening tool. New research suggests that using a summary of your credit report — your credit score — to screen potential employees is not supported by the evidence.

What do you think? Are personality types and credit scores linked? Tell us by contacting us through our site, or following us on social media to tell us more!