• “Don't max out or over charge on your credit card accounts.”
No surprise there, but this was an eye-opener: “Don't charge on credit cards at all if possible.” Are you kidding me? Sigh.
And I knew this in general but had never seen a percentage spelled out: “Keep your credit card balances below 30 percent of their available limit at ALL times during the loan process.
And if you decide to pay down balances, do it across the board. Meaning, pay balances to bring your balance-to-limit ratio to the same level on each card (i.e. all to 30 percent of the limit, or all to 40 percent, etc.).”
• “Don't consolidate your debt onto one or two credit cards.”
Makes sense. “It seems like it would be the smart thing to do, however, when you consolidate all of your debt onto one card, it appears that you are maxed out on that card, and the system will penalize you ... If you want to save money on credit card interest rates, wait until after closing.”
Finally, here are two more ways to keep from stirring up bad credit karma: Don't close accounts, or it will look like your debt-to-income ratio has gone up.
And don't dispute anything on your credit report once the loan process is under way, because anything in dispute probably will stop a loan underwriter — and the loan process — dead cold.
There you go. Some news to use to avoid the refi blues.