4 ways homebuyers can protect their credit

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If you have a good credit score, the last thing you want to do is sink it before you sign off on a mortgage. I’m Clark Palmer with your Bankrate.com personal finance minute.

There are several things you can do to protect your score. First, submit all of your mortgage applications within a 14-day period so they all count as one on your credit report.

You should also keep your credit card balances low and delay opening any new accounts until after you’ve closed on your new home.

Meanwhile, if you’re having an open house to help you sell your current home, put bills and anything else with names and account numbers in one box, preferably with a lock.

Keep in mind that the only people who need your personal information are potential mortgage lenders. Real estate agents and sellers need only know that you can afford to buy. That’s why you should get pre-approved before you start shopping.

And when you’re negotiating, deal with only one person at the lending company. That minimizes the number of people who have access to your paperwork.

For more tips on protecting your credit, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Clark Palmer.

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