Posts Tagged ‘Mortgages and Credit’

Comments Off on Planning to Get a Mortgage in 2017? 4 Reasons Why It’s Time to Start Paying Down Other Debts Now

Planning to Get a Mortgage in 2017? 4 Reasons Why It’s Time to Start Paying Down Other Debts Now


2016
10.13

Getting a Mortgage in 2017? 4 Reasons Why It's Time to Start Paying Down Other Debts NowBuying a home is an ideal investment for many people because not only is it a place that belongs to them, it can also be very beneficial financially. While you may be strongly considering buying a home for these reasons, it’s also important to be in good financial health so that your ideal home purchase is within reach. If you’re currently perusing the market for prospects, here are some reasons you should pay down debt before taking the leap into home ownership.

Good Credit History

The amount of your debt load and whether or not you’re paying off your minimum monthly payments has a considerable impact on your mortgage approval, so ensuring that you have good credit history going into the process is important. If you’ve had hiccups with your credit, make sure you go through your credit report prior to submitting your application to determine where you’re at.

Lowering Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Whether or not you’ve heard the term, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) has a significant impact on how much house you can afford. Made up of the amount of your monthly debt payment and current house payment, your DTI should be below a certain percentage as this will enable you to afford a higher home payment each month.

Shifting Interest Rates

Getting a mortgage is one thing, but interest rates add more to the monthly amount you’ll owe. A fixed-rate mortgage can seem like a good idea, but if interest rates are low you may end up paying more than you would on a variable rate, which can be hard to predict. As interest rates are a part of home ownership, having lower debt will enable you to deal with these additional costs.

Finding The Right Home

Putting your money into a home can be one of the best purchases you’ll make, but if you’re unable to afford the home you love, it can be a disappointing fact to face. While there are no assurances that paying down debt will enable you to afford your dream home, it can go a long way towards giving you more options that will fit your budget.

Buying a home can be a money saver in the long run, but if you’re struggling to keep up with your debt payments buying into the market can be more of a burden than anything else. If you’re currently paying down debt and considering a home purchase, contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

Comments Off on Spouse with Bad Credit? 3 Reasons You’ll Want to Consider a Co-signer for Your Mortgage

Spouse with Bad Credit? 3 Reasons You’ll Want to Consider a Co-signer for Your Mortgage


2016
08.03

Spouse with Bad Credit? 3 Reasons You'll Want to Consider a Co-signer for Your MortgageObtaining a mortgage can be quite a complicated process even without the financial hurdles, but if your spouse’s credit has experienced a number of difficulties, acquiring a mortgage can be even more of a burden. If you’re concerned about what bad credit will mean for your mortgage and are weighing your options, here are some reasons why it might be important to use a co-signer for your application.

Increasing The Likelihood Of Approval

From getting an education to purchasing your first vehicle, it’s a common occurrence for people to take a loan out at some point in their life. However, getting a loan can be very difficult if you happen to be married to someone with a poor credit history. While having someone you know co-sign your application is not without its risks, it can be a means of securing mortgage financing so that you can move towards a less burdensome financial situation.

Improving A Bad Credit History

It adds stress to the process if you have a partner with a poor credit history, but the benefit of a co-signer is that it can be one of the few opportunities you’ll have to really improve a problematic rating. With a co-signer to vouch for you, you will be able to pay down your mortgage consistently and slowly build your spouse’s credit in a way that will give both of you a lot more financial opportunities in the future.

Building Up Trust

It goes without saying that having a co-signer can be a significant financial risk for the person who chooses to sign for you, but – if approached responsibly – this can be a means of building trust with your family members or friends. While co-signing may be a necessity for your situation, it’s important to be aware that it’s a huge commitment for the person who agrees to it and their support should be seen for the good faith it is.

As co-signing is a considerable responsibility for the person who offers it, it’s important to ensure that purchasing a home is the right financial choice for you before asking someone to vouch for your application. If you’re currently in the process of looking for a new home, contact your trusted mortgage professional for more information.

Comments Off on FICO Scores 101: How to Shop for a New Mortgage Without Harming Your Credit Score

FICO Scores 101: How to Shop for a New Mortgage Without Harming Your Credit Score


2015
09.29

FICO Scores 101: How to Shop for a New Mortgage Without Harming Your Credit ScoreIt’s difficult to begin shopping around for a new mortgage without the facts on how this can affect your FICO score.

Anybody who is holding off for fear that their credit score will be ruined by multiple credit checks has nothing to worry about. Mortgage brokers require this information to give an accurate quote, so many credit checks by different companies will have a miniscule effect on credit scores.

The system has been designed this way because a mortgage is not considered to be ‘bad debt’ by lenders and consumers should have the right to shop around without fear of their credit being destroyed by it.

Understanding The ‘Tiers’ Of Credit Checks

FICO scores are affected each time a credit inquiry is requested to check a borrower’s credit report. This makes sense, as every time somebody searches for new credit they increase their ability to acquire significant debt.

Thankfully, not all credit checks are created equal and they do not affect FICO scores in the same way. A mortgage loan is not considered remotely close to store credit cards, which allow a person to get into more debt. Debts on mortgages only get lower as time goes on, ranking them very low on the list of things lenders consider bad credit.

The One Thing To Know Before Shopping For A New Mortgage

Every time a credit card company or consumer loan company pulls a credit check, the borrower’s FICO score will fall, but this will not happen when multiple mortgage lenders pull the same person’s credit score.

This is because each credit card has the chance to accumulate debt, whereas only one mortgage will be taken out. So once a mortgage lender pulls your credit score, you will only receive one ‘ding’ even if other lenders pull your score afterwards.

Here is the important part: there is only a 14-day window from the first credit check where all other credit inquiries will be ignored. So it is imperative to plan ahead and shop around within a two week period to limit the impact on your FICO score.

Shopping around when looking for a new mortgage is a necessary step to getting the best possible deal, and thankfully the system is designed around not punishing people for doing this. It can be very intimidating to do alone and working with a professional mortgage specialist can relieve stress and get you the best deal on your new mortgage.

If you have any questions please contact your trusted mortgage professional for advice on the right steps to getting your new mortgage. 

Comments Off on Will Missing Mortgage Payments Impact My FICO Score? Yes – and Here’s How

Will Missing Mortgage Payments Impact My FICO Score? Yes – and Here’s How


2015
08.11

Will Missing Mortgage Payments Impact My FICO Score Yes and Heres HowIf you’re like most homeowners, you probably believe that one missed mortgage payment won’t have a noticeable impact on your FICO score. People get behind now and then, and besides, you’ve been faithfully making payments on time for years. How bad could it be?

In truth, even one missed mortgage payment could seriously damage your FICO score. Lenders can report missed monthly payments whenever they choose – they don’t need to wait until a certain date to do it. That means even if your mortgage payment is a few days late, your lender may report it as unpaid.

So what exactly happens to a FICO score when you miss a mortgage payment? Here’s what you need to know.

Payment History: The Single Largest Factor In Determining Your Credit Score

FICO scores are calculated based on several different criteria, the largest of them being your payment history. A full 35% of your credit score is determined by how often you pay your bills on time and in full. And although FICO says that one or two late payments aren’t going to decimate your credit score, they will shave off some points that could have made the difference between a low-risk and high-risk interest rate.

Consumers With Higher Scores Have More To Lose

A 2011 FICO study analyzed the impact of late mortgage payments on consumer credit scores. The study grouped consumers into three groups based on their starting FICO score, with Consumer A having a score of 680, Consumer B a score of 720, and Consumer C a score of 780. The findings?

Even if you have a credit score of 780, being just 30 days late on a mortgage payment can result in a 100-point drop. And it can take up to three years to earn that credit back. In contrast, a consumer with a score of 680 who is 30 days late will see only a 70 point drop and can recover their original score within 9 months.

The takeaway? Contrary to popular belief, people with high credit scores stand to lose more from a missed payment than people with low credit scores.

There Are Varying Degrees Of “Late”

One common misconception is that if you miss a mortgage payment, it doesn’t matter if it’s 30, 60, or 90 days overdue. The mainstream thinking is that late is late is late. But that’s not how FICO sees it.

Although borrowers with credit scores under 700 won’t see much of a decline after 30 days late, borrowers with a higher credit score will. If you have a credit score of 720 and you’re 30 days late on your mortgage, your score will fall to about 640. If you’re 90 days late, that score will fall again this time, to about 620.

That means if you miss a mortgage payment, you need to get in touch with your lender as soon as possible in order make repayment arrangements and hope they haven’t yet reported the overdue payment. It’s your best shot at protecting your FICO score.

Credit scores can be vulnerable to all sorts of factors, which is why if you’re looking into mortgages, you’ll want to consult an expert. A qualified mortgage professional can help you find a mortgage you can afford, so your credit will stay intact. Contact your local mortgage expert to learn more.

Comments Off on Understanding the Basics of How the Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ‘ARM’ Works

Understanding the Basics of How the Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ‘ARM’ Works


2015
07.29

Understanding the Basics of How the Adjustable Rate Mortgage or 'ARM' WorksAs the 2009 recession fades into the sunset, the home buying market is showing signs of improvement in areas all over the United States. With more home buyers now entering the market, this becomes a good time to discuss one popular type of mortgage called the “Adjustable Rate Mortgage” or ARM.

What is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

An adjustable rate mortgage is a non-traditional home loan offered by lenders where the interest rate is tied to a specific rate index. The applicable rate on this type of mortgage is adjusted on an annual basis, usually beginning after the first 12 months. The rate index used is usually tied to one of the most popular indexes such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or a cost-of-funds rate determined by the lending institution.

What Are Some Characteristics of an ARM?

ARMs are offered as a promotional option to help home-buyers purchase a home, beginning with an interest rate that is typically lower than normal markets rates. The loan provides for an adjustment period (the stated time-frames when the rate will be adjusted), the index to be used to determine rates, parameters on how the new rates will be determined at point of adjustment, and any caps related to the frequency and the minimum/maximum rates that will be charged during the life of the loan.

What Are Some Advantages of an ARM?

The primary advantages of an ARM begin with the borrower having access to a mortgage where the applicable interest rates are usually lower that those charged on fix-rate loans, which helps keep the monthly payments lower over the first couple years of the loan. This is particularly valuable to marginal borrowers who may need lower payments in order to qualify for a home loan. Also, many ARMs allow for principle prepayments without being charged a prepayment penalty.

What Are Some Disadvantages of an ARM?

The biggest issue related to an ARM in the unpredictability of the interest rate. During times of inflation, interest rate may escalate rapidly. This will result in a corresponding increase in related ARM rate, which might create payments larger than the borrower had envisioned. Consumers also need to be aware of potential rate errors or overcharges, whether intentional or not.

When Are ARMs Preferable?

The best time for a borrower to consider an ARM is if rates are high, but trending lower. This will keep the borrower’s payments lower over the life of the loan. Arms are also preferable if the borrower plans on holding the home for a shorter period of time. Finally, ARMs work well if the borrower wants to keep their initial payments lower in anticipation of high income in the future when larger payments are more feasible.

Comments Off on Suffering from Credit Problems? Three Ways You Can Patch Up Your Credit to Get a Mortgage Approved

Suffering from Credit Problems? Three Ways You Can Patch Up Your Credit to Get a Mortgage Approved


2015
06.17

Suffering from Credit Problems? Three Ways You Can Patch Up Your Credit to Get a Mortgage Approved Credit problems are unfortunately common, and they can make it difficult for you to obtain a mortgage. Even if you are able to obtain a mortgage with your credit issues, the rate may be rather high in comparison to what you may qualify for if you obtain a mortgage without fixing your credit problems. While some issues may take a while to fix, you may be able to see a decent increase in your credit rating when you follow a few easy steps.

Pay Off Outstanding Derogatory Credit Items

When you review a copy of your credit report, you may notice that some items have an outstanding balance due. If the account is in good standing, the outstanding balance is not a primary issue unless you have an excessive amount of debt. If the account is not in good standing, such as if you have a series of late payments or a collection account being reported on the credit report, you can see a boost in your credit rating when you pay off these debts.

Settle Judgments

Legal matters can also be reported on your credit report, and they may be settled or still outstanding. An example of this would be if an electrician serviced your home, and you did not pay the bill. The electrician could file a lien against you. A settled judgment may still be a ding on your credit rating, but it is far better than having an unsettled judgment. If you notice that you have a judgment reported on your credit report, you may consider taking the necessary steps to settle it and get back in good standing.

Pay Off Small Balances

If you can afford to do so, it can improve your credit rating to pay off small balances. A portion of your credit rating will be determined by the number of open accounts and the number of accounts with balances that you have. By focusing on the small balances, you can often see a quick improvement in your credit score. There may also be a benefit to closing these accounts after they have been paid off.

Before you apply for a mortgage, it is wise to request a copy of your credit report. You want to remove any items that you find on the report that do not belong to you. For those derogatory items that are yours, you can follow these steps to help improve your credit rating with fast results.

Comments Off on Freelancing in 2015? Three Tips for How to Secure a Mortgage if You’re a Self-Employed Entrepreneur

Freelancing in 2015? Three Tips for How to Secure a Mortgage if You’re a Self-Employed Entrepreneur


2015
05.20

Freelancing in 2015? Three Tips for How to Secure a Mortgage if You're a Self-employed EntrepreneurIf you are self-employed, either as a freelancer or as the owner of your own business, your income can fluctuate greatly from year to year. That can make it difficult to get approved for a mortgage, although there are some things you can do to improve your chances. Here are three tips for securing a mortgage if you are self-employed.

Make Sure Your Credit Score Is In Good Shape

While your ability to pay back a mortgage is the most important factor in approval, your credit score is a close second, and that goes for every borrower, not just those who are self-employed. If you have a credit score in the high range — something above 750 or 760 — it will help you get approved for a mortgage. To boost your score, make sure you pay all bills on time, pay down your debt levels and don’t make any new big purchases or apply for new credit soon before you apply for a mortgage.

Have a Large Down Payment

The more money a bank lends you to buy a house, the more risk it is taking in that the money won’t be paid back. If you are self-employed and considered a higher risk to begin with, one way you can alleviate some of that risk is to be able to put down a large amount of money. Putting down 20 percent is standard for a conventional loan, and you should be willing to contribute at least that much. Putting down at least 20 percent also will save you money in the long run, because you won’t have to pay for mortgage insurance and you will pay less in finance charges over the life of the loan.

Have Significant Assets

One way to put a lender at ease about your ability to pay for a mortgage is to have significant reserves in the form of assets. If you have large amounts of money in regular savings, brokerage and retirement accounts, it offers a reserve for you to tap should your income take a dive. Other forms of property, such as personal and business property that’s paid off and has value, also help.

If you are self-employed and are thinking about buying a home, contact a mortgage professional to discuss your situation and to see if you will be able to qualify for a home loan.

Comments Off on Yes, It’s Possible to Get a Mortgage Without a Favorable Credit History – Here’s What You Will Need

Yes, It’s Possible to Get a Mortgage Without a Favorable Credit History – Here’s What You Will Need


2015
04.28

Yes, It's Possible to Get a Mortgage Without a Favorable Credit History - Here's What You Will Need There are several factors that are reviewed when you apply for a home mortgage, and one of the initial factors is your credit rating. You may already be aware that you have a lower credit score, or you may have learned about your credit issues after speaking with a mortgage professional. Now that you are aware of the situation, you may be concerned about your ability to get approved for your loan request. The good news is that you may still be able to get a mortgage without a favorable credit history with a few things.

A Co-Borrower Or Co-Signer

One of the best steps that you can take to strengthen your loan request is to find a co-borrower or co-signor for your loan request. Ideally, this will be an individual with a spotless credit history and great scores. There may be some rules in place regarding who can co-sign with you, so you may consider getting more advice from your mortgage representative before moving forward with this option.

A Large Down Payment

The size of your down payment essentially impacts the level of risk that a lender assumes when extending a loan to you, and your loan request is riskier to approve when you have a lower credit rating. You may be able to offset the fact that you have a troubled credit history by making a larger down payment. This may be a down payment that exceeds a standard 20 percent down payment.

A Willingness To Accept A Higher Interest Rate

Mortgage lenders typically have a tiered interest rate structure, and those with a lower credit score will qualify for a higher interest rate. There typically is a minimum threshold to the tier system, and each lender has a different minimum score that they will consider. However, generally, if you have a lower credit rating, you should be prepared to accept a higher interest rate with your loan request.

A lower credit rating will impact your ability to get approved for the best terms on a mortgage, but this does not necessarily mean that you cannot get approved at all. There are various steps that you may be able to take to strengthen your loan request and to structure the loan application so that underwriting will approve it. You can speak with your mortgage consultant today about the options available to you.

Comments Off on Suffering from Credit Problems? Understanding Mortgage Lenders and How They Assess Your Credit

Suffering from Credit Problems? Understanding Mortgage Lenders and How They Assess Your Credit


2015
04.14

Suffering from Credit Problems? Understanding Mortgage Lenders and How They Assess Your CreditOne of the most significant factors a mortgage lender will review when you apply for a new mortgage loan is your credit history and rating. While some people have stellar credit, others have a troubled credit history with lower scores.

If you fall into the latter scenario, you may be wondering how lenders will assess your credit situation when you apply for a mortgage in the near future.

Reviewing Your Credit Scores

Initially, lenders will review your credit report to determine your credit scores. Your scores will have a direct impact on the interest rate that you qualify for or if you qualify for a loan at all. There are prime mortgages for good credit borrowers and sub-prime mortgages for those with a blemished credit rating.

If your scores are too low, however, you may not qualify for a mortgage. A mortgage representative can tell you more about their credit rating thresholds and the terms that you may qualify for.

High Debt Balances

Your mortgage lender will dig deeper into your credit report after an initial review of your credit rating. Your debt balances will be reviewed to determine your debt-to-income ratio. Provided your debt-to-income ratio and your credit rating are in line with requirements, high debt balances may not be an issue. Essentially, the lender will determine if you are able to make your payments on time as scheduled or if your debt balances appear to be burdensome. Even if your debt balances are high, you may be approved for a loan if you can afford to make the payments.

Difficulty Making Timely Payments

Your mortgage lender will also review the number of late payments on your credit report as well as the dates for those late payments. When late payments are clustered together, this may indicate a temporary rough patch rather than an on-going issue with making payments on time. However, if you have multiple payments that have been late over the course of the last year or two, this may indicate that you are not creditworthy as a loan applicant.

A credit report can tell a lender many things about you. While it superficially can tell a lender more about your outstanding debts, it also delves into previous financial issues and your overall responsibility with managing debt. If you have suffered from credit problems in the past, you may consider reaching out to a mortgage professional for more insight on how a lender will assess your credit situation.

Comments Off on Four Ways That Being Diligent with Your Mortgage Payments Can Seriously Improve Your Credit

Four Ways That Being Diligent with Your Mortgage Payments Can Seriously Improve Your Credit


2015
04.02

Four Ways That Being Diligent with Your Mortgage Payments Can Seriously Improve Your CreditThe unfortunate reality is that many individuals have a lower credit rating than they would like. For many, this is caused by issues related to high debt balances, late payments and other related issues. If you have a lower credit rating, you may be wondering what steps you can take to improve your standing with the credit bureaus. While there are several steps available for you to consider, making timely payments on your home mortgage can have a great impact on your credit. There are four unique ways that diligence with your mortgage payment may improve your credit.

Showing Financial Responsibility

First, when you make timely payments on an account, including your mortgage, you are proving your financial responsibility. Previous issues with late payments, collections accounts and other similar credit events may have indicated that you are a credit risk to lenders, but you can prove your responsibility through regular mortgage payments.

Reducing Outstanding Debt Balances

High debt balances are another common request you credit ratings may be lower. When you make your mortgage payments on time, you will effectively reduce your outstanding balance on what may be the largest single debt that you have. This can have a tremendous impact on your rating over time.

Preventing New Derogatory Credit Events

When you are trying to improve your credit rating, the last thing that you may want is to have additional derogatory credit events listed on your credit report. Making your mortgage payments on time each month will prevent new late payments from being shown on your report. Establishing a solid new credit history from this day forward will help you to rebuild your credit rating.

Increasing The Length Of Time Between Older Derogatory Credit Events

As you regularly make your payments on your mortgage each month, more time will elapse between any blemishes or derogatory events on your credit report. Essentially, you will be making those derogatory events dated, and you will have a recent history of positive activity. Increasing the length of time between the present and your derogatory credit items is a great way to boost credit scores.

If you have a speckled credit history with lower scores than you would like, you understandably want to take steps to improve your credit rating. These are all ways that making timely mortgage payments can boost your credit rating, and you can apply these concepts to your other outstanding debts as well. Your mortgage consultant may help you to learn more about your current credit report and steps that you may take to boost your scores.