- Jasmine and Jay McCall prepared to buy their first home by cleaning up their credit.
- They aggressively paid off 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 their home in just 10 days.
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Raised by a single mother on welfare and five siblings, Jasmine McCall had to overcome major difficulties on her path to financial freedom.
In college, McCall was denied a basic checking account because his 495 credit score was too low. At the time, she had 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 charges, and boosted her credit score to over 800.
When 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 who taught people with similar experiences how to clean up their own credit.
Her credit expertise paid off in the long run when she and her husband, Jay, were able to close their first home in just 10 days. Here’s how they did it.
1. The McCalls aggressively paid off their debts
First, the McCalls worked together to aggressively pay off $30,000 in credit card debt and $96,000 in student loans, according to records reviewed by Insider. They cut expenses like clothing, travel, and dining out while tracking every expense down to the penny.
The two found hustles to speed up the process of paying off their debt. Jasmine worked overtime as an IT support specialist, and Jay did web design and business consulting on the side. In total, their side efforts helped them earn an additional $7,350 to meet their debt repayment goals and down payment.
2. They both improved their credit score
Improving their credit scores was key to getting a good interest rate on their mortgage and qualifying for an accelerated mortgage program that helped them close their home in just 10 days. Fortunately, Jasmine was already an expert in this department.
The couple regularly called their credit card companies and asked for their credit limit to be increased. Doing this regularly has lowered their utilization rate, which is the amount of debt you actually owe versus the amount of debt you are allowed to take on. The lower your utilization rate, the better your credit score.
3. They used an accelerated mortgage program
With their debts paid off and excellent credit scores, the McCalls worked with a mortgage lender that offered an accelerated mortgage program. “The Accelerated Mortgage Program is where the mortgage company guarantees funds to sellers to significantly reduce the closing process,” says 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 they originally gave to the lender.