credit score - Articles

How a Mortgage Lender Can Ruin Your Credit

Shutterstock By Bev O'Shea A reader, Shelly, recently told us she applied for a mortgage while her home was under construction. She had given the lender permission to pull her credit reports, which is routine in such a situation. However, she recently learned that she won't be eligible for the interest rate she expected... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Lenders Are Showing Some Give on Credit Scores

Shutterstock By Christin DiGangi Credit scores are among the many things lenders review when you apply for a mortgage, because scores are designed to predict how likely you are to meet your debt obligations. After the mortgage crisis, lenders were hesitant to take on risky borrowers, and at the end of 2012, the average... Continue Reading »

Credit Score Sabotage: 5 Common Ways You Can Undermine Yourself

Shutterstock By Becky Frost Last month your credit score was 735. You checked it again this morning, and it's 20 points lower. What's up? It could be any combination of factors. There are different credit scoring models used, and they can weigh factors differently to determine your score. But these are five of the most... Continue Reading »

Why Getting a Low Mortgage Rate Is Mostly Up to You

Shutterstock By Scott Sheldon It's not surprising that interest rates recently rose as the Fed committed to reducing its mortgage bond buying starting this month. Most consumers know that there's a multitude of factors affecting a mortgage rate -- such as property occupancy, loan program and even property type. However,... Continue Reading »

Don't Let 'Old Sofa Syndrome' Sink Your Credit

Shutterstock By Gerri Detweiler It is such a well-known phenomena that credit counselors have a name for it: "Old Sofa Syndrome." And if you're not careful, it can wreak havoc on your budget -- and your credit scores. New homeowners are particularly vulnerable, but so are those who have lived in the same place or with the... Continue Reading »

Tight Credit Leaving More Homebuyers on Sidelines, Survey Says

Shutterstock By Diana Olick Investors may be reaping the rewards of the housing recovery, but regular buyers, especially single and first-time buyers, are still on the outside looking in. Tight credit has kept some financially qualified buyers from getting the loans they need, according to a new survey from the... Continue Reading »

How Netflix Account Can Help You Qualify for a Mortgage

Shutterstock By Chris Birk Ideally, prospective homebuyers have a miles-long credit report that leaves little doubt about their ability and willingness to repay debt. That's clearly not always the reality on the ground, a fact not lost on mortgage lenders. Consumers with a positive but thin credit profile may still... Continue Reading »

It's Still Possible to Qualify for a Mortgage Despite Bad Credit

By Scott Sheldon Today, there is still a general consensus that to buy a home you need to have 20 percent down and a good-to-excellent credit history. The good news is you actually don't need a large down payment or great credit in order to purchase a home with competitive market terms. Let's look at the characteristics... Continue Reading »

7 Top Mistakes People Make When Shopping for a Mortgage

By Kate Ashford Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make, and it's likely the largest purchase you will ever make. So it's no surprise that there are multiple ways you can trip up. Getting a mortgage is about more than having your offer accepted and signing on the dotted line. (Or hundreds of dotted... Continue Reading »

Buying a Home: Good or Bad for Your Credit?

By Shannon McNay When it comes to debt, we each tend to think of different types of debt in different ways. For example, you may feel "normal" for having an auto loan but ashamed of having credit card debt. So what about real estate? People buy homes either as a home to live in or as a way to earn extra income. Either... Continue Reading »

Credit Scores of Potential Homebuyers Are Improving

There have been numerous improvements in the economy and the housing market, specifically in the last few years, and that is reflected in the type of credit ratings carried by potential homebuyers nationwide through the end of last year. With the slowly improving economy and jobs numbers, many consumers are now finding... Continue Reading »

How Refinancing a Mortgage Can Affect Your Credit

By Gerri Detweiler It hardly seems possible that mortgage rates can get much lower, but they have. Homeowners are taking notice and refinancing their mortgages. Freddie Mac reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have reached an all-time record low at 3.4 percent for the week ending Sept. 27, down from last week's 3.49... Continue Reading »

How Bad Credit Can Stop You From Buying a Home

By Christopher Maag Melissa was about to try and live the American Dream. Eager to buy a house, she applied for a pre-approved bank loan only to discover that an old unpaid bill that she resolved two years ago is still lingering on her credit report. That's dragging down her score. And she's getting desperate. "I can't... Continue Reading »

Short Sale or Foreclosure? Either Way, Your Credit Suffers

By Christopher Maag Five years into the housing crisis, many Americans are still saddled with homes they cannot afford. Close to 16 million people, or nearly 30 percent of borrowers, owe more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth, according to, an online real estate marketplace. On average,... Continue Reading »

New Credit Score Will Tell Lenders More About You

Mortgage lenders will soon have access to new details about a prospective borrower's past -- such as past rental applications, inquiries to pay-day lenders, and missed child support payments -- that will be factored in to a new credit score. Real estate and mortgage data aggregator CoreLogic says it's signed an... Continue Reading »

How to Improve Your Odds of Getting a Mortgage

By Sheryl Nance-Nash More than 2.5 million people were turned down for mortgages in 2010, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. That's about 23 percent of all those who are seeking a loan to buy a house. Compared to just a few years ago, the number is quite low -- but it's sure not because... Continue Reading »

How Paying Rent Can Boost Your Credit Score

Numbers can drive you nuts. Some folks don't like the digits that reveal their ages, others get frustrated by the ones that make up their bank balances. Some parents can't figure out the "new math," and some of us are still a little shaky on the old math. But one number nearly everyone would agree they'd like to raise is... Continue Reading »

Low Mortgage Rates Are Great -- But Most Can't Qualify

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage rates have reached their lowest levels in six decades, making this the best time in most Americans' lives to buy or refinance a home. For people who qualify, today's rates could save thousands of dollars a year. Yet most people can't take advantage. Half of would-be buyers say they'll never save... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Fall to 15-Year Low Despite Enticing Rates

WASHINGTON - Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell last week to a 15-year low, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Many potential buyers are holding off because they are worried about job security and fear the economy could slip back into another recession. The Mortgage Bankers Association said... Continue Reading »

Life After Foreclosure: 7 Tips for Finding a Rental

For the thousands of families affected by foreclosure, finding a new home can prove difficult and time-consuming. Many landlords require credit checks for tenants, which can seriously limit your options after defaulting on a mortgage. For those unlucky enough to fall in this transient category, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox from... Continue Reading »

Credit Score Catch-22: Mortgage Shopping Can Raise Your Rate

It's a Catch-22 if ever there was one. The very process of shopping around for a low interest rate on a mortgage can adversely impact your credit score and cost you your eligibility for the cheaper loan you're seeking. Each time a lender does what is known as a "hard pull" on your credit report, their action actually... Continue Reading »

Want to Avoid Foreclosure? Listen to Mom

Academic data has shown time and again how important parents are in modeling good financial habits that affect their children's adult lives. New research shows that goes for housing-related finances as well. A story today in reports that adults who said they received a lot of parental teaching around... Continue Reading »

FICO Now Predicts Strategic Default: Don't Walk Away

Think you know your neighbors? FICO Labs, a unit of the Fair Isaac Corp., is implementing a new technology that will measure the likelihood of a homeowner walking away from their mortgage, even when they can afford the payments. The concept is known as strategic default, and it has been difficult to predict in the past.... Continue Reading »

Late Rent to Ding Credit Score As of 2012

Renting has long had some advantages over buying a home. One of the biggest may be that late rent payments don't ding your credit score like late mortgage payments do. But in 2012, that will change, as Lynnette Khalfani-Cox reports at our sister site, For years, renters who got behind on their housing... Continue Reading »

Renters: Raise Your Credit Score Now

It's probably safe to say that it isn't having a new apartment that's hard, it's getting it. First, there's the legwork, then there's the scraping together a security deposit and first and last months' rent. But for some people, it's that pesky credit score that stands between them and the garden apartment with tons of... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae Raises Mortgage Fees

Fannie Mae will be raising its mortgage fees this spring in an effort to cover its risk, or perhaps to make up ground for the losses it felt with the housing downturn. So although homebuyers might benefit from the lower prices on homes for sale, you'll be paying more in fees, when and if you qualify for a Fannie Mae... Continue Reading »

New Year's Resolutions for Homebuyers

Like many homebuyers, you sat on the sidelines for the past few years -- watching the real estate market go from boom to bust -- and now you're just about ready to jump in. What renter wouldn't be at least toying with the idea of homeownership, with interest rates well below 5 percent and home prices having dropped more... Continue Reading »

Credit Card Hurting Your Mortgage Chances?

Your credit cards may be hindering your chances of getting a mortgage. Over the past two years, banks have cut back people's credit limits on their credit cards. Now, people are finding that their credit scores have dropped because of these bank actions. Even though they pay their card on time every month, their credit... Continue Reading »

Freddie Mac Pinches Lenders, Homebuyers Pay

Freddie Mac is squeezing lenders tighter this spring, and that means higher fees will be passed on to homebuyers. The government-sponsored mortgage-finance company stated in a memo last week that it will raise upfront fees to lenders on riskier home loans, including those for homebuyers with lower credit ratings and... Continue Reading »

Maintaining a Stable Credit Score

These days maintaining a stable credit score is more important than ever. So you try to do everything right. You pay off credit card debt, avoid new loans, close unused credit card accounts, and make sure that you pay all your bills on time. Then you check your credit score, only to find that it fluctuates by as much as... Continue Reading »


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