Dec 16, 2009

All Homebuyers Need to Check Their Credit Scores

The headline of Sandra Block (of USA TODAY)'s recent column says it all: "Home buyers need good credit scores even with 20% down payment." Credit is tight, tight, tight, and even people who assumed they could sail in and get a loan before may have trouble now.

Block also offers some sound advice for raising credit scores, including the latest word on whether to close little-used credit card accounts.

And given that even making a 20% down payment is difficult without some family help, it's worth checking out this Wall Street Journal article by June Fletcher, which succinctly discusses issues like whether it's better to arrange a gift or a loan, and what happens if the giver doesn't file a tax return. (Big penalties despite the fact that no gift tax needs to be paid during one's lifetime!)