Tag Archives: credit score

Money Monday: What does FICO have to do with my Home Loan?

Your FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness.

debt calculationThe major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading

Money Monday: Who’s checking your credit?

You may be surprised….

According to the Consumer Federation of America’ research, it’s not just creditors who are looking at your credit scores.

You may not realize this, but creditors are only required to inform consumers that their scores are being checked when consumers have one of the three happen:

  1. They apply for a mortgage
  2. When they haven’t received the best loan terms
  3. When they are denied a loan

Who else may be looking at your credit? 

  • Electric utility companies
  • Cell phone companies
  • Landlords
  • Home insurers

Who is checking your credit score

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

Money Monday: How to improve credit scores

10 ways home buyers can improve credit scores

Source: Inman

credit scorePotential home buyers looking to acquire a home loan and make their dream of homeownership a reality can do a lot to ensure their credit scores are in good shape, as buyers will find it easier to get a loan with a few key tips. For example, it is advised that you keep your credit card balances within half of the allowed limit. If you have $10,000 as your limit, then it is wise to restrict your statement amount to $5,000.

Paying in full and on time are obvious steps to improving credit as well, as is paying high-interest and small loans first. Another step is if you know you will be unable to pay on time, negotiate with your bank.

Banks often will be willing to extend your loan period and reduce the equated monthly installment (EMI) if they see a genuine customer.

Read the full story from Inman here.

Money Monday: How to get your credit score in the 800 range

Here’s how to get close to the perfect FICO score of 850, according to MSN:

credit score

  1. Pay the highest debt down or off first
  2. Get positive alternative data reported
  3. Use a personal loan to pay off debt
  4. And more ideas!

Read the rest of MSN’s ideas here!

Money Monday: Prioritize bills when you’re short on cash

How to prioritize which bills to pay

If you’re in a tough spot and can’t pay all of your bills, then you need to make a strategic decision on what to pay and what to delay.

money

Daily Finance gives advice on what “five bills you should always pay on time, each month. Not doing so could damage your credit, leave you with huge financial penalties, or even cause you to lose your home or car.”

1. Your mortgage
2. Student loans
3. Credit card payments
4. Your rent
5. Auto loans

Details on each of these bills to pay and the reasons why you shouldn’t miss payment is covered by Daily Finance. And the bills you need to pay late? They have some tips on dealing with that, too.

Read all of Daily Finance’s article here: “Prioritize These 5 Bills When You’re Short on Cash”.

First-time Buyers to Benefit from FHA Insurance Rate Cut

It should be the perfect moment for first-time buyers—the missing link in the housing recovery—to enter the market. Houses are selling, prices are rising, foreclosure rates are down, and interest rates have maintained historically low levels—yet they have not jumped in. With its recent moves, the Obama administration is trying to entice them. Continue reading

VA loans for San Diego military

VA loanThe U-T San Diego posted a recent article about VA loans from Linda Lee, the president of the San Diego Association of Realtors. 

The San Diego area has a high density of active and veteran military members, and VA loans are accessible by them, but perhaps not utilized often.

VA loans are supervised by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. With these loans, borrowers don’t need a large down payment (some may qualify for a zero down payment), and often can avoid the negative aspects of loans, such as: penalty fees and high interest rates.

According to Linda Lee in the article, often “it is easier to get a VA loan with a less-than-favorable credit score than a bank loan. In fact, Veteran Affairs does not require a minimum credit score, although lenders may have their own internal requirements. Unfortunately, many applicants do not take advantage of the VA loan system because they are not sure if they qualify or know how to start the process.”

Read Linda Lee’s article on the U-T San Diego here. Other resources to take a look at: Vahomeloancenters.org and the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

Are you in the military? Have you utilized this resource for our active and veteran military members? I’d love to hear about your experience! If not, and are interested buying a home with a VA loan, please contact me for help!

-John A Silva | (619) 890-3648

Four steps to buying a house in 2012

Q: I am on a mission to buy a home. I’ve wanted to own a home my entire life, and thought I would miss the opportunity to buy while the market was down, because I had no real savings when the market crashed. I think I’m ready, though, and prices still seem low. What should I be doing now to make this happen in 2012?

A: The recession has done lots of favors for buyers-to-be, including dropping prices and interest rates to bargain levels. But it has also created a lending and housing market climate in which loans are tough to get, tensions about buying into a down market run high, and transactions are harder and longer to close than they have ever been.

Here are the things to do now, to buy a home this year:

1. Fix credit problems. More deals than ever are dying on the vine, and credit problems are a top reason home-sale transactions fall out of escrow. Detect and correct errors on your credit report now by reviewing the federally mandated free reports you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Study up. Do some research, both online and offline, into things like:

Areas: Start your online research into decision points like tax rates, school districts, neighborhood character and even prices in various areas. Check out NabeWise.com for some local insight into neighborhood flavor and personality.

When you start connecting with local agents, ask them to brief you on neighborhood market dynamics. They can give you a deeper view into need-to-knows like how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search vis-à-vis what you have to spend.

Agents: This is the perfect time to ask your family and friends for a referral to an agent they know, have used and love. Then, follow up by doing an online search for the agent’s name and seeing what sort of online reviews and activities you find. When you’ve narrowed the field down to a few, call them up and set up a meeting to find out if you’re a good fit.

Distressed properties: In some areas, more than 40 percent of the homes on the market are short sales and foreclosures, and they involve a very different timeline and set of facts than traditional home sales. Read up and talk with the agent candidates you interview about what you should expect from these types of listings, to minimize surprise and manage your expectations way in advance.

3. Save even more. Sounds like you’ve worked hard for a number of years to save enough cash that you think you’re in the clear when it comes to funding your down payment and closing costs. Studies show that after months of saving, people often let up and relax into a spending season. Even at your early stage in the process, it’s easy to start noticing and buying the furnishings and touches you want to install in your new home.

Although you shouldn’t feel deprived or forgo amazing and affordable deals on things you know you’re going to need, rest assured that no matter what amount of cash you have on hand, when you start house hunting, making offers, closing your transaction or moving in, the time will definitely come when you’ll wish you had more.

You might want to ratchet up your offer a bit to best another buyer, or you might just end up with a place that needs a little sprucing up. It might be months before you know exactly what you’ll need extra cash for, but now is not the time to press the gas pedal when it comes to your monthly spending.

4. Purge. Now’s the time to sell, donate or give away as much of your personal possessions as you can. Use the proceeds to pad your cash cushion, or tuck the donation receipts away for your tax records next year.

Start here, and chances are good that your house hunt — and purchase — will be in full swing by spring, if not sooner.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.