Archive for April, 2008

What’s in your FICO® Score.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Fico scores are calculated from different data within your credit report. This information is grouped into five categories. The Chart below will reflect this as well as the percentage of importance for each category.

These percentages of these categories are for the purpose of the general population. For example someone that is new to the credit scène these percentages may not apply.

Payment History

• Number of accounts paid as agreed
• Presence of negative Public Records(Judgments, bankruptcy, suits, liens, wage attachments, etc ( Collections, and/or delinquency(past due items)
• Severity of delinquency( how long past due)
• Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection accounts
• How much you’re past due on accounts or collections.
• How many collections you have
• Account payment information on particular accounts (installment loans, credit cards, retail accounts, finance company accounts, car notes, mortgage, etc…)

Length of Credit History

• Time since account activity
• Time since accounts opened
• Time since account opended, by type of account

New Credit

• Time since account was open, by credit type
• Time since credit inquiry
• Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts recently opened by account type.
• Re-establishment of credit after recent credit problems
• Number of recent credit inquiries

Amounts Owed

• Proportion of installment loans still owed, proportion of balances to original loan amount on certain installment loans
• Number of accounts with balances
• Amounts owed on specific types of accounts
• Amount owed on accounts
• Lack of specific types of credit balances
• Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limit on certain types of revolving accounts

Types of credit used

• Number of (prevalence, presence, and recent information on ( different account types such as credit cards, retail accounts, mortgage, installment loans, and consumer finance accounts.

*Please take note
Your FICO score takes into consideration of all these variables discussed.
No one piece of information or factor will determine your score alone.

The importance of any factor depends on your over all credit history.
It is really hard to single out any other factor over another, since all factors take part in the overall scoring process. What is important is the mix of information being reported within your credit report.

Your FICO score only looks at information within your credit report. However lenders look at other information outside this report to also make a credit decision.
• Work History
• Salary
• Rental History
• Kind of credit you are requesting

Your score considers both negative and positive information on your credit report. Late payments will lower your credit score, but establishing or re-establishing a good payment history will increase your credit score.

FTC Credit Score FACTS

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Need Credit or Insurance? Your Credit Score Helps Determine What You’ll Pay

Ever wonder how a lender decides whether to grant you credit? For years, creditors have been using credit scoring systems to determine if you’d be a good risk for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. These days, many more types of businesses — including insurance companies and phone companies — are using credit scores to decide whether to approve you for a loan or service and on what terms. Auto and homeowners insurance companies are among the businesses that are using credit scores to help decide if you’d be a good risk for insurance. A higher credit score means you are likely less of a risk, and in turn, means you will be more likely to get credit or insurance — or pay less for it.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how credit scoring works.

What is credit scoring?
Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. It also may be used to help decide the terms you are offered or the rate you will pay for the loan.
Information about you and your credit experiences, like your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, whether you pay your bills by the date they’re due, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the loan repayment history of consumers with similar profiles. For example, a credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points — a credit score — helps predict how creditworthy you are — how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when they’re due.
Some insurance companies also use credit report information, along with other factors, to help predict your likelihood of filing an insurance claim and the amount of the claim. They may consider these factors when they decide whether to grant you insurance and the amount of the premium they charge. The credit scores insurance companies use sometimes are called “insurance scores” or “credit-based insurance scores.”

Credit Scores & Credit Reports
Your credit report is a key part of many credit scoring systems. That’s why it is critical to make sure your credit report is accurate. Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three national consumer reporting companies once every 12 months.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) also gives you the right to get your credit score from the national consumer reporting companies. They are allowed to charge a reasonable fee, generally around $8, for the score. When you buy your score, often you get information on how you can improve it.
To order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies, and to purchase your credit score, visit, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. For more information, see Your Access to Free Credit Report.

How is a credit scoring system developed?
To develop a credit scoring system or model, a creditor or insurance company selects a random sample of its customers, or a sample of similar customers, and analyzes it statistically to identify characteristics that relate to risk. Each of the characteristics then is assigned a weight based on how strong a predictor it is of who would be a good risk. Each company may use its own scoring model, different scoring models for different types of credit or insurance, or a generic model developed by a scoring company.
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), a creditor’s scoring system may not use certain characteristics — for example, race, sex, marital status, national origin, or religion — as factors. The law allows creditors to use age in properly designed scoring systems. But any credit scoring system that includes age must give equal treatment to elderly applicants.

What can I do to improve my score?
Credit scoring systems are complex and vary among creditors or insurance companies and for different types of credit or insurance. If one factor changes, your score may change — but improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to others the system considers. Only the business using the scoring knows what might improve your score under the particular model they use to evaluate your application.
Nevertheless, scoring models usually consider the following types of information in your credit report to help compute your credit score:
• Have you paid your bills on time? You can count on payment history to be a significant factor. If your credit report indicates that you have paid bills late, had an account referred to collections, or declared bankruptcy, it is likely to affect your score negatively.
• Are you maxed out? Many scoring systems evaluate the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limits. If the amount you owe is close to your credit limit, it’s likely to have a negative effect on your score.
• How long have you had credit? Generally, scoring systems consider the length of your credit track record. An insufficient credit history may affect your score negatively, but factors like timely payments and low balances can offset that.
• Have you applied for new credit lately? Many scoring systems consider whether you have applied for credit recently by looking at “inquiries” on your credit report. If you have applied for too many new accounts recently, it could have a negative effect on your score. Every inquiry isn’t counted: for example, inquiries by creditors who are monitoring your account or looking at credit reports to make “prescreened” credit offers are not considered liabilities.
• How many credit accounts do you have and what kinds of accounts are they? Although it is generally considered a plus to have established credit accounts, too many credit card accounts may have a negative effect on your score. In addition, many scoring systems consider the type of credit accounts you have. For example, under some scoring models, loans from finance companies may have a negative effect on your credit score.

Scoring models may be based on more than the information in your credit report. When you are applying for a mortgage loan, for example, the system may consider the amount of your down payment, your total debt, and your income, among other things.

Improving your score significantly is likely to take some time, but it can be done. To improve your credit score under most systems, focus on paying your bills in a timely way, paying down any outstanding balances, and staying away from new debt.

Are credit scoring systems reliable?
Credit scoring systems enable creditors or insurance companies to evaluate millions of applicants consistently on many different characteristics. To be statistically valid, these systems must be based on a big enough sample. They generally vary among businesses that use them.
Properly designed, credit scoring systems generally enable faster, more accurate, and more impartial decisions than individual people can make. And some creditors design their systems so that some applicants — those with scores not high enough to pass easily or low enough to fail absolutely — are referred to a credit manager who decides whether the company or lender will extend credit. Referrals can result in discussion and negotiation between the credit manager and the would-be borrower.

What if I am denied credit or insurance, or don’t get the terms I want?
If you are denied credit, the ECOA requires that the creditor give you a notice with the specific reasons your application was rejected or the news that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days. Ask the creditor to be specific: Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal. Acceptable reasons might be “your income was low” or “you haven’t been employed long enough.” Unacceptable reasons include “you didn’t meet our minimum standards” or “you didn’t receive enough points on our credit scoring system.”

Sometimes you can be denied credit or insurance — or initially be charged a higher premium — because of information in your credit report. In that case, the FCRA requires the creditor or insurance company to give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the information. Contact the company to find out what your report said. This information is free if you ask for it within 60 days of being turned down for credit or insurance. The consumer reporting company can tell you what’s in your report; only the creditor or insurance company can tell you why your application was denied.

If a creditor or insurance company says you were denied credit or insurance because you are too near your credit limits on your credit cards, you may want to reapply after paying down your balances. Because credit scores are based on credit report information, a score often changes when the information in the credit report changes.

If you’ve been denied credit or insurance or didn’t get the rate or terms you want, ask questions:
• Ask the creditor or insurance company if a credit scoring system was used. If it was, ask what characteristics or factors were used in the system, and how you can improve your application.
• If you get the credit or insurance, ask the creditor or insurance company whether you are getting the best rate and terms available. If you’re not, ask why.
• If you are denied credit or not offered the best rate available because of inaccuracies in your credit report, be sure to dispute the inaccurate information with the consumer reporting company. To learn more about this right, see How to Dispute Credit Report Errors.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Maybe you are in a pinch currently and either debt consolidation or bankruptcy is lurking at your back door. You and the rest of America are having trouble currently with the down turn in our economy. Whether anyone wants to realize it or not, matters financially for most Americans could be a lot better currently. With the rise in energy costs, this trickles down into everything we buy. The result of all of this is causing a loss of jobs, people going into debt, families loosing their homes, and even bankruptcy is on the rise. The entire real estate sector has been extremely traumatized and has sent a ripple all across our country. So the point is times are tough and we understand at In this article we wanted to discuss the bankruptcy and debt consolidation options for individuals and families that may be having issues as a result of our current economy in the United States.

Credit Solutions of America, Inc.

Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation is where you get help from a third party to put all your debt into one loan typically with a low interest rate. The advantage of this is you get a payment that you can afford as opposed to letting your creditors go to collection. Obviously this is better on your credit report than just not paying it at all. As this may not be for everyone there are alternate options as well. You can also use the debt settlement method that will reduce your obligations. There are companies that will negotiate a lesser balance on credit card debt that you owe. So you might look at your options to see which makes sense for you.

Personal bankruptcy generally is considered the debt management option of last resort because the results are long-lasting and far reaching. People who follow the bankruptcy rules receive a discharge — a court order that says they don’t have to repay certain debts. However, bankruptcy information (both the date of your filing and the later date of discharge) stay on your credit report for 10 years, and can make it difficult to obtain credit, buy a home, get life insurance, or sometimes get a job. Still, bankruptcy is a legal procedure that offers a fresh start for people who have gotten into financial difficulty and can’t satisfy their debts.
There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Each must be filed in federal bankruptcy court. As of April 2006, the filing fees run about $274 for Chapter 13 and $299 for Chapter 7. Attorney fees are additional and can vary.
Effective October 2005, Congress made sweeping changes to the bankruptcy laws. The net effect of these changes is to give consumers more incentive to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows people with a steady income to keep property, like a mortgaged house or a car, that they might otherwise lose through the bankruptcy process. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to use your future income to pay off your debts during a three-to-five-year period, rather than surrender any property. After you have made all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.
Chapter 7 is known as straight bankruptcy, and involves liquidation of all assets that are not exempt. Exempt property may include automobiles, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official — a trustee — or turned over to your creditors. The new bankruptcy laws have changed the time period during which you can receive a discharge through Chapter 7. You now must wait 8 years after receiving a discharge in Chapter 7 before you can file again under that chapter. The Chapter 13 waiting period is much shorter and can be as little as two years between filings.
Both types of bankruptcy may get rid of unsecured debts and stop foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments and utility shut-offs, and debt collection activities. Both also provide exemptions that allow people to keep certain assets, although exemption amounts vary by state. Note that personal bankruptcy usually does not erase child support, alimony, fines, taxes, and some student loan obligations. And, unless you have an acceptable plan to catch up on your debt under Chapter 13, bankruptcy usually does not allow you to keep property when your creditor has an unpaid mortgage or security lien on it.Another major change to the bankruptcy laws involves certain hurdles that a consumer must clear before even filing for bankruptcy, no matter what the chapter. You must get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months before you file for any bankruptcy relief. You can find a state-by-state list of government-approved organizations at That is the website of the U.S. Trustee Program, the organization within the U.S. Department of Justice that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees. Also, before you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you must satisfy a “means test.” This test requires you to confirm that your income does not exceed a certain amount. The amount varies by state and is publicized by the U.S. Trustee Program at

FHA loan Basics

Friday, April 18th, 2008

FHA loans are loans that are insured by (HUD) Housing Urban and Development. FHA loans have been around since the 1930’s right after the “Great Depression.” This was when 4 out of 10 households owned a home. (FHA) Federal Housing Administration is the savior for our current market just like it was back during the roaring 30’s.With FHA loans especially during a credit crunch like we are currently are in, you can rest assure banks are willing to be more lenient to approve credit challenged borrowers with FHA financing. The reason is FHA loans are insured by HUD, and if the borrower looses the home HUD will pay a claim to lender for the loss. FHA is the largest single insurer of loans in the world.

FHA Advantages.

• Lower interest rates, typically interest rates are lower on FHA loans with the banks since they are government insured loans
• Only requires minimum investment from borrower of 3% down payment, which can be eliminated by Down Payment Assistance. So essential you can get a 100% financing with FHA loans. Note: Requires Seller participation
• If you have less than perfect credit you can typically can get a loan with FHA, they usually like to see 12 to 24 months clean credit report history. You can even get a loan while in chapter 13 bankruptcy.
• No Credit Score Requirement
• Recent loan limits increased-varies from state to state; go here to find out. For example you can buy a home in the state of Texas with FHA up to $271,050. Depending on if your state is a high cost area; obviously this loan limit would be higher.
• Will allow alternate lines of credit if not good history is on credit report.
1. Letter from any utility company stating you have been on-time with your payment history for that last 12 months.
2. 12 month payment history from car insurance company, cell phone company and even daycare will work.

If you are currently in the market to buy or maybe you feel like you need credit repair, what ever your direction is, getting a FHA loan is not as hard as you think. FHA gets people approved that may not get approved with other loan types. The first step is to examine where you are at with a lender and get the ball rolling. IN this current market some lenders are requiring you to either have a 580 credit score or higher. They will also allow no credit score but your interest rate is higher than current market rates. This is going on even though FHA has no credit score requirement; this is due to bad performance of loans below the credit score benchmark of 580.

How Debt after a Divorce will affect your Credit Score

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

We all know how important it is to have as high a Credit Score these days. Especially since your credit score is no longer a secret anymore. Divorce is all too common in today’s society, and when Divorce Decrees are drawn up, the attorney forgets to make sure debts that are joint accounts are only in the person’s name that is awarded that debt per the decree. Typically what the divorce decree will say is whom is awarded what debt. Here is how this is a problem.

How debts after divorce will affect you:
Let’s assume while you were married you and your significant other had accumulated some debt that are joint accounts. This means that both of your social security numbers are attached to the obligations and its being reported to all 3 credit bureaus. So once day you both decide to get a divorce and the attorney works up a Divorce Decree like they normally do, which of course is the wrong way. Both of you go on your marry way, and the other party decided to be late on a obligation that is reporting in your name still. Guess what happens to your credit score. Your score just dropped 150 points. This is a common problem, and of course now it’s your problem even though you have a debt that was awarded to the other party per decree. Let’s assume it’s a house, and your ex decides to let the house go to foreclosure. Now you cannot buy a home for 3 years because you have a foreclosure on your credit report. So basically a divorce decree is a agreement between divorcing couples, it does not separate liabilities.

What you need to do so you’re Credit Score is not affected:
Divorcing couples should never rely on the other spouse to pay bills that were awarded to them per Decree. This is a disaster waiting to happen. These type of issues need to be tackled up front so there is no issues once the divorce is final. If you have already made this huge mistake, my suggestion would be to go back to court and get these debts out of your name. If there is a house involved, I would recommend getting the house refinanced out your name or sold depending on the situation. Obviously if the spouse is behind on the mortgage they would not be able to refinance due to the credit situation. In a situation where the ex spouse is behind on the mortgage and its affecting your credit report, I would recommend going back to court and taking over the mortgage payment along with having the house awarded back to you. The solution to all of this is simple; make sure you don’t have debts in your name that gets awarded to ex spouse. Don’t let your ex spouse ruin your credit. If you have already made the mistake, I would recommend pulling a recent copy of your credit report with credit scores to make sure there is no damage done.

Author: Mike Clover

6 Tips to protect against ID Theft.

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

9 million people a year are victims of id theft, learn some tips on how to prevent this from happening to you.

About the Author: Mike Clover is the owner of is the one of the most unique on-line resources for free credit score report, fico score, Internet identity theft software, secured credit cards, student credit cards , mortgage loans, auto loans, insurance and a BlOG with a wealth of personal credit information. The information within this website is written by professionals that know about credit, and what determines ones credit worthiness

Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Are you currently having trouble making your mortgage payment? Has your mortgage company sent you notice or called you?

* Contact your lender immediately
* Contact a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency
* Don’t ignore the letters and calls from your lender
* TTY (800) 877-8339
* Toll FREE (800) 569-4287

If you are not able to make your mortgage payment:
1. Contact your lender as soon as you realize there is a problem.
Lenders don’t want your house back. They have options to help families that are going through tough financial times.
2. Don’t ignore that there is a problem.
The further you get behind the hard it is to reinstate the loan, and you will more likely loose your house.
3. Undertand foreclosure prevention options.
Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found on the internet at
4. Open and respond to all your mail from lender.
The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention. The mail that will come later will give notice of pending legal action. Your failure to open your mail will not be a excuse in foreclosure court.
5. Know your mortgage rights.
Find your mortgage documents so you can find out what your options are with your currently lender if you can’t make your payment. Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes for your state by contacting the State Government Housing Office. Every states laws and timeframe are different.
6. Prioritize your spending
After healthcare, keeping your house is your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can start cutting back on spending. Look for luxury expenses like cable, memberships, and entertainment you can eliminate.
7. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand your options and the law; also they will organize your finances and represent you in the negotiations with your current lender if you need assistance. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you or call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339

8. Avoid foreclosure preventions companies
You don’t need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help-use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While these may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee (typically two or three month’s mortgage payment) for information and services your lender or a HUD approved housing counselor will provide you for FREE if you contact them.

9. Use your assets
Do you have assets, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy that you could sell to help re-instate your loan? Can anyone in your household get a extra job to bring in additional income? Even if these efforts don’t significantly increase your available cash or your income, they will demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make personal sacrifices to keep your home.
10. Don’t lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams !
If any firm claims they can stop your foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title of your property and becoming a renter in your own home ! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or a HUD approved housing counselor.

Different Chapters of Bankruptcy

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

In Title 11 of the United States Code (the Federal Bankruptcy Code), there are four types of bankruptcy filings:

• Chapter 13 – Adjustment of Debts of an individual with Regular Income
• Chapter 11 – Reorganization
• Chapter 7 – Liquidation
• Chapter 12 – Adjustment of Debts of a Family Farmer with Regular Annual Income

The filing of your bankruptcy is determined by a person’s financial situation. Currently the most common filing is Chapter 7.

A debtor that is filing Chapter 7 is basically wiping the slate clean and starting over. When filing Chapter 7 you are assigned an administrator or a Trustee to maneuver the sale of the debtor’s assets. This does not mean necessarily everything you own is sold. Federal and state laws allow certain exemptions, meaning that the debtor might get to keep some property, such as his or her primary residence or some personal items. Once a debtor’s assets are liquidated, the trustee pays certain creditors with the monies that were raised. Most of the financial obligations are forgiven or discharged. Once you have filed Chapter 7 you cannot file a Chapter 7 again for 7 years, and the debts that were not filed in the previous Chapter 7 cannot be discharged in the next filing.

There are certain debts that a debtor will receive not forgiveness for. They are alimony, child support, taxes and student loans. If a lot of your debts fall into this category you might be better off filing Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 and 12 are basically the same filing, except that Chapter 12 is for Family Farmers and Chapter 13 is for individuals. If you have a steady income and less than $269,250 in unsecured debt and less than $807,750 in secured debt, you can file Chapter 13. Once you file Chapter 13 a trustee is assigned to you. The Trustee and the debtor develop a proposal for a repayment plan. The court decides whether to accept or alter the payment plan or dictate another repayment plan. Once a plan is agreed upon, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to repay.

Maybe you are wondering why someone would file Chapter 12 or 13 over Chapter 7. There are a few reasons for this:

• In most Chapter 12 and 13 cases- the debtor only pays back a portion of what they owe. Sometimes it’s as little as 30 to 50 cents on the dollar.
• Under Chapter 12 and 13 filings, debtors don’t have to liquidate their assets. – they actually get to keep everything, not just items that meet the legal exemption.

Chapter 11 is very similar to Chapter 13. The main difference is that there is no limit regarding the amount of money owed by debtor. Originally this filing was only for large corporations, individuals can file Chapter 11 as well.

Filing a bankruptcy cannot be taken lightly, it will affect your credit for years. The decision to file should be made under the counsel of a financial planner or a legal representative.

SNL Skit – Don’t buy stuff you can’t afford !!

Monday, April 7th, 2008

A great SNL skit featuring Steve Martin that really simplifies the truth of the matter with people who are in debt and don’t know how to get out. Not only is it funny but it is true!
I thought this was a great video, due to the current times out there.

About the Author: Mike Clover is the owner of is the one of the most unique on-line resources for free credit score report, fico score, Internet identity theft software, secure credit cards, student credit cards , and a BlOG with a wealth of personal credit information. The information within this website is written by professionals that know about credit, and what determines ones credit worthiness

Survive the Current Credit Crunch

Friday, April 4th, 2008

It’s not hard to see that our country is in turmoil currently. You can’t turn on TV without hearing about people loosing there jobs, gas prices being high, recession, foreclosures, and banks going out of business. I figured with this article I would give some tips to protect you and your family’s credit report. This is probably one of most important times in our history of credit, to make sure you are saving and your credit score is secure.

Personal Finance
A economic downturn could affect your personal savings, investments, and even your job. There are precautionary measures you can take to survive such events.
• Cut back on expenses that are unnecessary, such as cable TV, eating out, frivolous spending, etc……..
• Save 6 months worth of salary in savings account.
• Reduce your Home owner’s insurance policy, shop around for better premiums.
• Reduce insurance costs on your cars.
• Bargain shop for food, clothes, etc….

These are some savings tips that will help you financially with our current economic downturn that we are going through.

Refinance your 15 yr Mortgage
Over the years a 15 yr mortgage might of made since, but of course you could of paid off your mortgage just as quick on a 30 yr mortgage without the pressure of a 15 yr amortized payment.

Equity in your Home
If you currently live in a home and you have equity you might consider tapping into some of the equity for cash on hand. It would be much harder to get a home equity loan if you lost your job.

Rebuilding your credit
If you have had some bumps and bruises, such as a bankruptcy, foreclosure, late payments or collections you don’t have to suffer for the next 7 to 10 yrs. Immediately after such credit issues start rebuilding your credit with secured credit cards. Make sure you have good rental history and save as much money as possible. You really need at least 3 lines of credit reporting, so if you can get 3 secured credit cards I would recommend applying for them.

Tax Refund
If you are receiving a tax refund this year make sure you put that towards a debt with high interest charges or into a interest bearing emergency account.

If you are having issues making your mortgage payment or concerned about a foreclosing on your home here are some number to contact that may be able to assist you. Also make sure you communicate with your current lender as well.
• Home Ownership Preservation – 888-995-HOPE
• Housing and Urban and Development – (888) 569-4287

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.