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Preparing for first mortgage - next steps?

New Member

Preparing for first mortgage - next steps?

Hi all! New member here. My wife and I are planning to purchase our first home together next fall. This will be my first home purchase, while she has owned two homes in the past.


We have been at our jobs for 2.5 yrs (me) and 8 yrs (her) and we make ~105k combined. I am considering a new job, though. Is this terrible timing?


We have no loans right now, other than student loans. If the proposed forgiveness is passed, we would both qualify for $20k, bringing me down to $7.5k and her down to $2k.


My credit cards are:

Bank of America -- $1650 / $2500 limit (0% balance transfer until 6/2023)

Best Buy -- $290 / $2500 limit (0% promo until 8/2023)

Synchrony -- $0 / $5000 limit (CLI from $3500 this month, yet to be reported)

Capital One -- $0 / $3000 limit (CLI from $1000 this month, yet to be reported)

Wells Fargo furniture -- $0 / $4300 limit

Local bank credit line -- $0 / $1000 (opened 30 years ago, only reporting on Experian)


Scores as of 9/22:


Experian 742

Equifax 731

Transunion 715



Experian 732

Equifax 732

Transunion 685


I have one 30-day late and two 60-day lates reported, all over two years old

I have an additional 30-day late on TU that is inaccurate and under dispute (previously removed from Experian)



Experian 6.9 years

Equifax 5.75 years

Transunion 5.75 years



6 months



Experian -- 1 (3/2022)

Equifax -- 0

Transunion -- 1 (9/2021)


The plan

Pay off the credit cards and start AZEO with the BoA card reporting a balance

No inquiries until preapproval process

Save for a down payment


Is it true that lenders look at the middle of the three mortgage scores? I would like to get them up to 760 by next spring if possible. I'm guessing the TU score is so low because of the extra 30-day late. I'm hoping that one gets removed with this dispute.


Does a six-year AAoA give a bump? If so, I will be over that on all three bureaus soon.


I should see an additional bump when my utilization goes down due to the CLIs and paying down CC balances. If the student loan forgiveness comes through, I imagine I could see another bump, as I'll have a much lower balance and won't lose my only installment line before the mortgage goes through.


My wife's scores are in the low to mid 700s. She is unable to be on a mortgage until next fall due to a short sale with her ex-husband. Does anyone know if she can start the pre-approval process before the short sale is dropped? We have gotten conflicting answers to that question.


I think we're on our way to getting to prime rates, but I was wondering if there is anything we're missing as far as mortgage prepping goes.

New Member

Re: Preparing for first mortgage - next steps?

I can't answer all of your questions, but the few I can answer:


If you switch jobs, if you stay in the same field it won't be an issue.   


When applying jointly, the mortgage companies use the lower of the two middle scores, so if you currenlty applied with your wife, they would use her middle score based upon the information provided.  

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Super Contributor

Re: Preparing for first mortgage - next steps?

When was your wife's short sale?  She can apply before the seasoning period is up but wouldn't be able to close until afterwards.


A lot of people report that the AZEO scoring strategy is the best way to get optimal credit scores.  Not sure how much the AAoA impacts mortgage scores, from what I've seen primarily it's revolving debt and payment history so getting any late payments removed can help gain points.

Helping people with mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie, Freddie, Non-Prime, Construction, Renovation/Rehab, Commercial) since 2002
Located in Southern California and lending in all 50 states
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