Owning a home is major investment in your financial future. Unfortunately, the last several years have been tough for a lot of people who would like to buy a home. So, it comes as good news that the way the three major credit bureaus calculate your credit score is changing to help people with limited or no credit histories. Under the change, debts paid in full or settle will no longer be taken into account. Previously, those debts would be a factor for up to seven years, even if the balance on them was zero. In addition, victims of natural disaster won't be penalized for negative accounts in the aftermath of the event. VantageScore is used by seven of the top ten U.S. financial institutions and four of the top ten auto and mortgage lenders.

FICO, the most used credit scoring model, may be making changes as well. Monday, they announced they would look into ways to take alternative records into account for people with limited to no credit histories. People who are trying to improve their scores should consider FICO's top three tips for repairing credit.

Check Your Credit Report – This is your first step to identifying what needs to be paid or corrected.

Setup Payment Reminders – Your best strategy for repairing your credit is to pay your debts on time.

Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This sounds obvious, but even paying off a debt a little at a time can be a big boost for your credit.

You have to show lenders you are serious about being financially responsible before they’re going to be willing to give you a mortgage loan. For more about those tips and repairing your credit history, see this story on myFico.com and this report from the Federal Trade Commission.

If you're ready to buy now, let's sit down and talk about what you want and need. And make your dreams come true!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.