- Jasmine and Jay McCall got ready to buy their first house by cleaning up their credit.
- They aggressively paid down their debts and saved $33,000 for their down payment and closing costs.
- The McCalls qualified for an accelerated mortgage program that allowed them to close on their house in just 10 days.
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Having been raised by a single mom on welfare and five siblings, Jasmine McCall had to overcome major struggles on her path to financial freedom.
In college, McCall was denied a basic checking account because her credit score of 495 was too low. At the time, she owed various medical debts because she grew up unable to afford health insurance. After months of research, McCall learned her rights as a consumer, disputed medical debts with illegal collection fees, and raised her credit score to over 800.
While she was eight months pregnant with her first child, she decided to turn this painful experience into a service that could help her community. McCall began creating digital courses and YouTube videos that taught people with similar experiences how to clear up their own credit.
Her credit expertise paid off in the long run when she and her husband, Jay, were able to close on their first home in just 10 days. Here’s how they did it.
1. The McCalls aggressively paid down their debts
First, the McCalls worked together to aggressively pay down $30,000 worth of credit card debt and $96,000 worth of student loans, according to records reviewed by Insider. They cut expenses like clothing, travel, and eating out while tracking every expense down to the penny.
Both found side hustles to speed up their debt repayment process. Jasmine worked extra hours as an IT support specialist, and Jay did web design and business consulting on the side. In total, their side hustles helped them earn an extra $7,350 toward their debt repayment goals and down payment.
2. They both improved their credit scores
Improving their credit scores was the key to securing a good interest rate on their mortgage and qualifying for a fast track mortgage program that helped them close on their house in just 10 days. Luckily, Jasmine was already an expert in this department.
The couple regularly called their credit card companies and asked for an increase in their credit limit. Doing this on a regular basis lowered their utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you actually owe compared to the amount of debt you’re allowed to take out. The lower your utilization ratio, the better your credit score.
3. They used a fast track mortgage program
With their debts paid off and great credit scores in tow, the McCalls worked with a mortgage lender that offered a fast track mortgage program. “The fast track mortgage program is where the mortgage company guarantees the funds to the sellers to cut the closing timeline process significantly,” explains McCall.
The McCalls gave the lender $15,000 up front to secure the deal, and once they made an offer, the $15,000 went into their final closing costs. The McCalls paid $21,350 for their down payment and an additional $16,611 for closing costs, which included the $15,000 that they initially gave the lender.