credit - Articles

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

Timothy Jacobsen/AP Looking for the states that provide the best value for homebuyers? The results may lie in a new report from online lender exchange LendingTree about which states are hot, and which are not, for bankers wanting to lend money to homebuyers. In preparing its report, LendingTree crunched the numbers on... Continue Reading »

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 mortgage, you are... Continue Reading »

The Biggest Mortgage Mistake Consumers Make

By Scott Sheldon Despite the technical rigors of qualifying for a loan today, there is something more ominous lurking in all mortgage applications that most consumers wouldn't think twice about. Specifically, we're talking about the eligible funds for the mortgage transaction. You might have the money in the bank, but it... Continue Reading »

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

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 through as... Continue Reading »

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 market,... Continue Reading »

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 September... Continue Reading »

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 now due to... Continue Reading »

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 cringe when... Continue Reading »

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 its belt by... Continue Reading »

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 in Denver.... Continue Reading »

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 lenders are... Continue Reading »

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 shoppers to... Continue Reading »

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 shoppers to... Continue Reading »

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 homeowners... Continue Reading »

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 saw what... Continue Reading »

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 bright. Or so... Continue Reading »

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 Columbia... Continue Reading »

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 at 760,... Continue Reading »

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 etc.) having... Continue Reading »

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 report are big... Continue Reading »

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. Her healthy... Continue Reading »

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 softball,... Continue Reading »

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 work and his... Continue Reading »

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 score that... Continue Reading »

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 closing. And... Continue Reading »

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. Cha-ching! "I'm... Continue Reading »

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 expert and... Continue Reading »

In addition, a bankruptcy may have a greater negative impact on a borrower's FICO score than a foreclosure, according to the myFICO Web site: "While a foreclosure is a single account that you default on, declaring bankruptcy has the opportunity to affect multiple accounts and therefore has potential to have a greater... Continue Reading »

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