Q: I want to see if I can get approved for a mortgage as a first time buyer. My credit score currently sits at 581. Most of my bad credit is over seven years old. I am a teacher and make approximately $40,000 a year. Where should I start? – Tamara
A: Your best bet wouild be to speak with a successful lender in your area. They can review your credit options with you and most likely can offer very good advice for improving your score which should start right away. Typically governemnt loans will back a score of 620, but most lenders place some financial impacts on scores below 660. I would not recommend a credit counselor, but there are some very good resources you may find through you local government Housing/redevelopment office or speaking again with a reputable and succesful local lender for advice specific to your credit profile.