Q: My husband and I lost a home to foreclosure four years ago. We have talked to several real estate agents and mortgage specialists, and we’re receiving conflicting information. One company reviewed our credit report and highlighted two creditors we needed to pay off in order to bring my husband’s credit score up from a 620 to a 650, telling us that it would take six to nine months for this to reflect on our credit report — then we would qualify for a home loan.

Just recently we attended an open house and spoke to a mortgage broker who was there; he said we should not have paid off the two debts completely, but should have just paid them down instead. He also reviewed our credit reports and highlighted more debt he felt we should pay, and told us we wouldn’t qualify for a loan until five years after the foreclosure.

The conflicting information we are receiving is creating a roadblock for us. Do we wait a couple more months, in hopes of my husband’s credit score rising, or do we resolve more debt and wait until five years post-foreclosure? –Chaky

A: Whew! You sure have a lot going on. First things first: What’s the rush? I’m going to suggest that you slow down and take a very cautious, deliberate approach to both choosing your mortgage professional and actually preparing to qualify for a home loan.

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