Credit repair is an essential and the most important step towards owning a home and a successful contract for deed.
Understand the reason why you can’t get financing
The number one reason why a home buyer would buy a home on a contract for deed is due to lack of or poor credit. Some end up buying a home using a contract for deed due to self-employment, recent legal matter, divorce or any other circumstance that is preventing them from being qualified for traditional financing. Whatever that reason is, you should always understand it and work towards correcting it so that you can obtain a mortgage before contract term is up.
Work with a loan officer
Unless you are planning on paying off your contract with cash, the minute you enter into a contract for deed you should already have a plan in place on how you will refinance out of it. The best thing to do is to get together with an experienced loan officer that will look at your situation and help you improve your credit faster. Sometimes help of a professional credit repair agency is going to be needed.
Don’t wait until the last minute
Unfortunately, a lot of contract for deed buyers make the same mistake – they wait until the very last moment and act when it is too late. Be responsible and plan your finances accordingly. Credit repair takes time. Sometimes it can take as little as 60 days and sometimes it could take 2-3 years so if you haven’t talked to a loan officer – don’t sign a short-term contract for deed with a balloon payment coming up because you will lose your down payment, all of the equity in the house and will end up looking for a home again.
Once you buy a house on a contract for deed – you should start saving money right away. Moving expenses, down payment and higher monthly payments will make saving harder. You will need additional funds for credit repair, paying off debt and getting ready to refinance the house. You will also incur refinance fees so you should always plan on having extra cash available when you need it. Don’t wipe out your savings account and pray you win a lottery. Contract for deed purchase requires financial planning, discipline and being ready for the unexpected.
Don’t give up on your credit repair plan within the first few months. It is boring, it can be expensive and it requires persistence especially when you have repos, collections, charge offs and so on. Surround yourself with professionals, make a plan and stick to it.