One thing that can dramatically reduce your credit scores and delay or hinder your home buying process is a late payment.  A late payment can occur when a monthly obligation is not met in a timely manner, generally within a 30-day period.  It can also occur if a loan is not paid off by its maturity date.  For instance, if your car loan is supposed to be paid off by November 26th, any payments after this date can be considered late. 

Some loans may offer a “holiday” on your monthly payment and tack it to the back end of your loan.  It does not, however, change the maturity date.  If it does not look like you’re going to meet your loan’s maturity date, check with your creditor to see if they will extend the loan.  If the creditor is unwilling to do so, see if you can get the loan refinanced with another creditor.  Failure to meet this important deadline can reduce your credit scores by as much as 60 points.