mortgage

4 ways homebuyers can protect their credit

Set up some safeguards
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Set up some safeguards

This might be the time to be more proactive with your finances.

If you regularly check in with your card bills monthly (at bill-paying time), you might want to do it weekly online -- just to make sure all the charges are yours.

"Almost every credit card company has a program to allow you to have any unusual charges noted," Phipps says. "When you've got your house on the market, it might be a more important time to have those security systems in place."

Credit bureaus offer credit watch services aimed at alerting you if someone obtains credit in your name.

While "locking" or "freezing" your credit (a request that ensures no one but you can view it), can make it tough for thieves to open accounts in your name, it could interfere with the final approval of your loan, Ulzheimer says.

And, while your home is on the market, be careful in what you release about yourself over social media, Combs says. It's probably not a good time to announce you're going on a two-week cruise, she says. "It's a different world out there."


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