Epperson: Want to buy a home? Get good credit

Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM ET

Today Money financial expert Sharon Epperson joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday to answer your questions.

Here’s one of her answers to questions from the live chat. (See below for the full Q&A and video of Sharon’s TV appearance this morning.)

Bridget asked:

“Hi Sharon, my husband and I are both in our mid 20s and we are looking to buy a house in the next year or two years. Our credit scores are both in the 650-670 range. What do you recommend we do to bring those scores up? And what is a good score to have when that time comes to buy a home?”

Sharon replied:

“If you want to buy a home, having good credit is essential to ensuring you get the best rate on your mortgage. A score in the mid-to-upper 700s is ideal. To raise your score, make sure you pay your bills on time and don't use too much of your available credit. Using 10% or less of your available credit across all cards may help raise your score. Also check your credit reports to make sure there are not errors and monitor them regularly. You can get a free report once a year from each of the 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Go to”

Here’s the full chat archive and Sharon’s TV appearance:

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