IAFF members save up to $2,198 on their mortgage.*

Fiscal fitness

Fiscal fitness

Strengthen your credit with these financial moves

When you're planning to buy a home, financial strength training pays off. Stronger credit and finances may lead to a lower rate, a bigger loan, and more money for a down payment. In addition, you may be able to afford upgrades, like new appliances and furniture. Ready? Start your workout now!

Plan for success

It doesn't matter if you don't plan to buy a house for a year or more, start working on your credit now. The more creditworthy you are, the better. We have specific steps for you below, but it's important to understand the impact credit scores have on your loan. Really low scores - below 500, for example - will probably make it impossible to get a home loan. Higher scores will generally result in better rates and more loan options.

Manage your credit

Start by reviewing your credit reports. Every year, you can get a free report (without scores) from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Check for any errors. Contest the errors you find. If you identify any delinquent accounts, settle them.

Once you've taken those steps, make sure your financial fitness routine includes:

  • Making all payments on time
  • Paying down revolving accounts as much as possible
    • Don't open new credit accounts or close old ones
    • Don't co-sign loans
  • Monitoring credit scores through credit agencies or your financial institution's monitoring tools

Assemble your financial resources

Get your finances in order so you understand your current resources, and can work toward a down payment saving goal.

    • Increase savings as much as possible
    • Invest savings for larger returns if possible, but keep them in safe investments
    • Put existing capital to work — invest for additional capital, such as bonds with fixed-rate returns
    • Saleable personal property
    • Gift funds
    • Life insurance policies
    • Retirement accounts
    • Stocks/bonds/securities
    • Setting a household budget and sticking to it
    • Finding opportunities to economize and invest savings
    • Avoiding budget breakers like extra meals out, impulse buys, or unnecessary purchases
    • Deferring large purchases, such as cars or appliances

Check your fitness level

Review your progress with CCM Mortgage Calculators. Yoll find out how much house you can afford, compare renting and buying, and much more.

Your personal mortgage trainer

Your CCM loan officer is your source for advice on improving your readiness to take on the homebuying competition. Contact them today!

CrossCountry Mortgage is not a credit repair company, credit reporting agency, broker, or advisor. We do not provide any services to repair or improve your credit profile or score, nor do we provide any representation that the information we provide will actually repair or improve your profile. Consult the services of a competent professional when you need any type of assistance.

Let’s get started

Our dedicated mortgage experts are ready to get it done for you and your family.

Apply now