Tag: credit

  • New Policies Could Make Mortgages Easier To Get

    New Policies Could Make Mortgages Easier To Get

    In his first public speech since taking office, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt signals that he will push for easier access to home loans. Continue Reading

  • The 5 Best States to Buy a Home -- If You're a Banker

    The 5 Best States to Buy a Home -- If You're a Banker

    Where are the "healthiest" borrowers in the nation? And what should be the easiest place in the country for residents to get a new home mortgage? Continue Reading

  • Before Co-Signing a Mortgage, Consider These 6 Possible Pitfalls

    Before Co-Signing a Mortgage, Consider These 6 Possible Pitfalls

    By Scott Sheldon Want to be 100 percent responsible for someone else's obligation? Then co-sign for them on a mortgage -- and you'll be just as responsible for repaying the obligation as they are, even though you are co-signing to simply help the other party. When you co-sign on a big-ticket item like a... Continue Reading

  • The Biggest Mortgage Mistake Consumers Make

    The Biggest Mortgage Mistake Consumers Make

    It's already hard enough to get a mortgage loan, but this makes it even more difficult: You have to prove that funds in your bank account are legit. Continue Reading

  • Can't Get a Mortgage? Here's Why

    Can't Get a Mortgage? Here's Why

    By Chris Birk Left out in the cold by a tight lending climate, prospective homebuyers are finally starting to see a thaw. Fifty-one percent of respondents to the latest Fannie Mae National Housing Survey indicated it's now likely easier to secure a mortgage. That latest burst of confidence could help keep the... Continue Reading

  • Short Sale or Foreclosure? Either Way, Your Credit Suffers

    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 Zillow.com, an online real estate marketplace. On... Continue Reading

  • Foreclosure Guru Takes Own Advice

    Foreclosure Guru Takes Own Advice

    When the foreclosure guru founder of Foreclosures.com fell behind in her mortgage payments and found herself to be hurtling down the road toward foreclosure, she did what any American would: She weighed her alternatives. "I am like any other person [facing] something most of America has gone through or is going... Continue Reading

  • Credit Scores for Home Buyers in 2011

    Credit Scores for Home Buyers in 2011

    Consumer lending is still tight, and your credit score will still be a major factor in 2011 if you want to get the best mortgage interest rates. Even if you don't have a top score, you may still be able to get a government-backed loan, such as an FHA, VA or USDA, at a decent rate. To get the best rate on the... Continue Reading

  • Raising Credit Score Reduces Mortgage Costs

    Raising Credit Score Reduces Mortgage Costs

    If you have a credit score at 620 -- generally considered the dividing line between good and bad credit -- boosting it by 20 points could save you thousands of dollars on your mortgage. And there are simple ways to do this in a short time. An analysis of about 300,000 loan requests received through Zillow.com in... Continue Reading

  • Credit Crunch: The Domino Effect

    Credit Crunch: The Domino Effect

    Berry James, who dabbles in residential real estate investment in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, says the hefty unemployment rate coupled with the housing crisis has affected the way he conducts business as a landlord and real estate investor. "Everybody is looking at your credit a little bit more seriously... Continue Reading

  • Selling Your House to Preserve Your Credit

    Selling Your House to Preserve Your Credit

    Tom and Susan Mundahl haven't paid on their Wells Fargo Home mortgage in three months. This is not the first time in the past 12 months that they have been 90 days or more delinquent paying on their 2-bedroom single-family home in St. Louis Park, Minn. -- a home they purchased in April 2001 for $133,450. They... Continue Reading

  • New FHA Credit Requirements Turn Up the Heat on Borrowers

    New FHA Credit Requirements Turn Up the Heat on Borrowers

    Ever since the housing crisis hit, homeowners unable to secure loans from private lenders -- which have gone back to requiring the traditional 20 percent down payment -- have relied on government-insured loans offered for as little as 3.5 percent down. Now the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is tightening... Continue Reading

  • Good Credit Alone Isn't Always Enough to Get a Mortgage

    Good Credit Alone Isn't Always Enough to Get a Mortgage

    Bills have been paid on time without ever paying a late fee. Check. No outstanding credit card debt. Check. A two-income family with investment income. Check. It sounds like this couple will pass the smell test for a mortgage without any problem. And that's a problem, says Todd Huettner, a mortgage broker based... Continue Reading

  • Fast Credit Score Fixes to Get the Best Mortgage Rates

    Fast Credit Score Fixes to Get the Best Mortgage Rates

    With homes at near-bottom prices and mortgage rates at historic lows, a lot of consumers are jockeying to get into the homeowners market or to refinance their standing loan. But there's one catch: Getting approved for today's best mortgage products relies mostly on your credit score. In addition, mortgage... Continue Reading

  • Second Credit Checks for Home Buyers:  Be Prepared

    Second Credit Checks for Home Buyers: Be Prepared

    In today's real estate climate, getting a pre-approval on a loan doesn't mean you can kick back and go on a shopping spree to furnish your soon-to-be dream house. With stricter regulations mandating a further credit probe before borrowers close their mortgage, real estate experts are advising prospective home... Continue Reading

  • Second Credit Checks for Home Buyers:  Be Prepared

    Second Credit Checks for Home Buyers: Be Prepared

    In today's real estate climate, getting a pre-approval on a loan doesn't mean you can kick back and go on a shopping spree to furnish your soon-to-be dream house. With stricter regulations mandating a further credit probe before borrowers close their mortgage, real estate experts are advising prospective home... Continue Reading

  • Caution:  That Loan Modification Can Hurt Your Credit

    Caution: That Loan Modification Can Hurt Your Credit

    A homeowner was dumbfounded to discover that his near-perfect credit score of 750 fell more than 100 points after joining a trial mortgage assistance program. And it happened despite never having fallen behind in his mortgage and even though he made the trial's payments on time. It's a dilemma facing many... Continue Reading

  • Credit Lessons Learned at an Early Age

    Credit Lessons Learned at an Early Age

    What did you do with your allowance when you were a kid? Blew it on the things you wanted, maybe? Not Katrina Jones. She would stash her cash, and sometimes dole out a loan or two to her brother ... with interest attached. Growing up, Jones witnessed the results of careless money handling in her family. She also... Continue Reading

  • House Hunting When Your Credit is Fine, but Your Partner's Isn't

    House Hunting When Your Credit is Fine, but Your Partner's Isn't

    Myrlin Hermes and her boyfriend, Jeremy Capps, knew the kind of house they wanted to buy in Portland, Ore., and had an idea of how much home they could afford. Hermes, a novelist, has an excellent credit score of 765. Capps earns a solid living as a network engineer for Intel. Their mortgage prospects looked... Continue Reading

  • Mortgage Planning: Fixing Credit Report Errors 101

    Mortgage Planning: Fixing Credit Report Errors 101

    Blake Allison prides himself on having excellent credit, so in an effort to preserve his 800+ score, he enrolled in a credit monitoring service. For a monthly fee, he is alerted to changes in his credit report. Through this service, Allison discovered an erroneous tax lien on his credit reports. The District of... Continue Reading

  • The Connection Between Credit Scores and Interest Rates

    The Connection Between Credit Scores and Interest Rates

    In July 2009, Catherine Calame, a 44-year-old marketing director from Bayport, NY decided it was an ideal time to refinance. Interest rates were low and she wanted to consolidate her original home loan and a home equity loan, moving them from a 30 year to a 15 year. Calame says her credit score, sitting pretty... Continue Reading

  • Wastefulness Re-Wired: Credit Lessons Learned the Hard Way

    Wastefulness Re-Wired: Credit Lessons Learned the Hard Way

    Rodney Miller could tell you a little something about excessive spending. After graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta, he landed a decent job and became "that guy" -- the one who seemed to have it all. "I was traveling, hitting various hot spots (i.e. Martha's Vineyard, Black Ski weekend, Cancun... Continue Reading

  • Six Tips for Buying a Home After a Credit Crisis

    Six Tips for Buying a Home After a Credit Crisis

    When it comes to your credit report, not all problems are created equal. Major blips like foreclosure and bankruptcy can seriously jeopardize your chances of getting a mortgage -- and even if you're approved, you could wind up with a sky-high interest rate or subprime loan. "Any public records on your credit... Continue Reading

  • Passing Along Good Credit Lessons

    Passing Along Good Credit Lessons

    Stacey MacGlashan learned a fundamental rule from her father before she entered the adult world of bills and responsibilities: Don't carry credit card debt. "He drilled it into me," says MacGlashan, 39. "If I make a purchase, I make sure it's something I can pay off when I get the bill." Good job, dad.... Continue Reading

  • 9 Ways to Salvage an Ailing Credit Score

    9 Ways to Salvage an Ailing Credit Score

    Without even contacting a credit bureau, Jeana Reed has a pretty good sense of what her credit score is. "It's probably the worst they've ever seen," says Reed, a 51-year-old Texan. Like many Americans, Reed's current credit headaches can be traced to a hospital stay. After her husband blew out his knee playing... Continue Reading

  • Opting for a Short Sale? Beware the Cost to Your Credit

    Opting for a Short Sale? Beware the Cost to Your Credit

    The mortgage crisis of 2008 left John Markson much like it did tens of thousands of homeowners across the country -- stuck, stressed and forced to make desperate and costly financial moves. For Markson, it hit especially hard. He is a deck-builder by trade, and when the real estate market dried up, so did the... Continue Reading

  • How Your Credit Score Affects Where You Can Buy a House

    How Your Credit Score Affects Where You Can Buy a House

    On paper, you'd think Teri Roberts, 32, of Chicago, and her husband would live in a McMansion, or at the very least have a home with some elbowroom. "We can't qualify for a mortgage on a cardboard box, let alone a home," says Roberts, a mother of four. That's because Roberts and her husband don't have a credit... Continue Reading

  • Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Down Payment on a House?

    Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Down Payment on a House?

    The mortgage market is loosening up a bit, and you're hoping to become a new homeowner while interest rates remain at a historical low. Before perusing the listings, experts suggest brushing up on how your credit score drives the amount of money you'll need to pony up to qualify for a mortgage or get through... Continue Reading

  • Mastering the Art of Managing Credit

    Mastering the Art of Managing Credit

    Call Shameka Gainey obsessive about her money, and she won't deny it a bit. She masters her accounts like a conductor of an orchestra, cueing a percentage of her salary to go to emergency funds, to retirement, to her personal weekly allowance, all so she can hear the sweet sound of financial stability.... Continue Reading

  • When a Good Credit Score Isn't Enough

    When a Good Credit Score Isn't Enough

    If you're in the market to buy a home, you probably know the importance of having a good credit score. What you may not realize, however, is that as of April 2009, the definition of a "good credit score" has changed dramatically. "Today's 740 is yesterday's 700," says Todd Huettner, finance and real estate... Continue Reading