I like most African Americans see buying a home as a rite of passage, for myself and my family. So I knew I would need to at the very least check my credit. So I logged in and saw my score, 452. My computer then logged itself out, and told me to start over tomorrow. ( a little credit humor) Consumer Housing and Lender Offices are already known for not giving us brothers and sisters a fair and impartial turn at the American dream. But it’s not entirely their fault I have to (we have to) take better care of our credit. According to (Wall Street Journal) A 660 credit score is the target score for potential home buyers working to raise their credit score. For African Americans this is not enough. According to the Wall Street Journal, African Americans are 3x more likely to get a higher interest rate than Whites, even when they have a credit score of 660 or higher (WSJ,2017). So instead of trying to attain the minimum 660 credit score I gave them some Black excellence and attained 785. I didn’t want to give them any room to deny and or ignore my dream of owning my own home. Now it was time to apply, I approved at 3.4%, no money down, and got 3200 at closing. You see what a little Black excellence can do?! Here is how I got a piece of the African American dream with these 7 steps.
Follow these Steps
1. Request and review all 3 credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus. Physically print them out, compare and highlight only the missed and late payment accounts.
2. Call either the company that got sold the account or the account themselves.
3. Request the pay off amount. This should be significantly lower than the original amount that was due. Pay the amount due.
4. Ask the account holder to remove the account since it is now in good standing. Or update the account that it is now up to date.
5. If the credit representative on that day does not agree to delete; call back until you get someone who will. Be honest and transparent, most of the time they understand and want to help.
6. If they agreed to delete, request an email or letter to be sent to you for future verification and source documentation.
7. If the account pops up again on any of the 3 credit reports, send the email, or letter and request deletion. They have 30 days to respond or it gets deleted.
One of the biggest needs in the Black community is generational wealth. One of the goals for all of us is to own our own real estate. This is how we increase wealth in our communities, it’s time to pull up our seat at the table.
It was not a walk in the park but at least I now have a view of a park from my new home.