Archive for the ‘credit reports’ Category

Are we currently in a “Buyers Market” Really??

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

With all the talk about us being in a buyers market currently, one might wonder where all the buyers are at. You can look around the country as see that tons of neighborhoods are plagued with homes for sale by individual sellers and banks also. So what exactly is a buyers market?

This market can be applied to the old rule of “supply and demand.” When the supply is low the price increases, but when the supply is high the cost decreases for that particular product. This is the market we are in now, where the amount of homes for sale out way the number of buyers. “Hence, a “buyers market.” The terminology can be a bit deceiving, but that is exactly what we are in. There are lots of homes for sale and very little buyers in this current market.

You might be asking where are all the buyers and the answer to that will be in 2009. This is the year where the first time buyers market comes back into action. The reason the first time buyers market disappeared was because of the cost of homes. The cost of homes increased at such an alarming rate around the US that it squeezed the first time buyers out of the game. With home prices falling around the country now it is more affordable for this market to pick back up where it left off.

There are a couple of concerns that worry the housing market and that is inflation and financing. Current interest rates are in the mid to upper 6 range, and if inflation continues to be problem rates will increase after the first of the year. Also the financing arenas have tightened up and now will require money down to get financing in place. So this could be a possible issue going into 2009.

My best advice would be to mange your credit report, and if you are not aware what is on your credit report pull a copy of your free credit report today. You should also save your money for down payment; FHA will require 3.5% investment on any loan financed after October 1st of 2008.

With all the banking scandals and bad loans underwritten, you can count on financing being a lot tougher now. So be better prepared so you will not have issues getting a loan in this current lending market.

What First Time Home Buyers Need to know

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

The hard way always seems to be the better way. I have been told there are two ways to do things in life, “The hard way and the easy way.” I think most want to do things the hard way. When it comes to buying a house for the first time, there is process to follow so your buying experience is not done the hard way. The easy way may not seem the best way in the eyes of a buyer, but I assure you it’s the correct process. I have seen more problems with mortgage loans following apart because someone led the cart before the horse. Here is the easy way to buy a home.

Get approved first
The first step in the home buying process is to get your finances in order first. Get your credit reports pulled and your income verified to see where you stand. If you don’t do this first I guarantee that you will have problems. Most want to go and look at homes first and then apply for a mortgage. This is why all the nightmares you hear about happen in the lending industry.

Meet with reputable lender
After you have been approved for a mortgage meet with the lender to review what type of loan they have approved you for. You need to understand the loan and your estimated payments with your credit. It is important that you understand all aspects of your loan and monthly payments. Mortgage payment can be an issue as well, because you thought you payment might be lower. Some of the on-line calculators don’t estimate your entire payment, which causes confusion in lending. The calculators on-line usually estimate your principal and interest payment only, which does not include your taxes, MIP, and homes owners insurance with the payment. So make sure your review all of this with a reputable lender.

Meet with a seasoned Realtor
After you have met with a lender and have been approved, the next step is to get a Realtor to find homes in your price range. I would recommend that you find a full-time Realtor, not one that is part time. The reason is if there is a problem during the day, you will have issues getting a hold of this Realtor because they are at work. There are a lot of part-time realtors out there, and as far as I am concerned should not be allowed to have their license. Real Estate is a full time career and requires someone that has experience. If you are working with a Realtor that does not have experience you could have issues as well.

If this process is followed and the people you are working with are experienced, then your home buying process should be a good one. Buying a home is a big step in life and needs to be handled by experienced real estate professionals.

Get alerts when your Credit Scores are inaccurate.

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

When you’re quoted a higher interest rate than you deserve because of information in your credit file, wouldn’t you appreciate it if someone red-flagged it for you?

That’s an especially pertinent question in today’s mortgage market, as lenders ratchet up their credit score minimums and use electronic “risk-based pricing” to set rates and other loan terms. If you really deserve a 720 FICO credit score but you have been pulled into the low 600s because of incorrect or missing information in your national credit-bureau files, you ought to know so you have the opportunity to fix the problems.

To help with this, two federal agencies have proposed risk-based-pricing alerts that would cover all lending situations, including home mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. As part of credit legislation enacted at the end of 2003, Congress directed the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission to devise a system that would require lenders to notify consumers whenever the contents of their credit files contribute to a less favorable credit offer than the borrower might otherwise receive.

It took four years, but the two agencies published their proposal for a risk-based-pricing alert in mid-May. After a three-month comment period open to the public and affected industry groups, the FTC and the Fed could adopt the plan later this year.

Here’s how it might work for home mortgage applicants: The bank pulls your credit files and prepares a rate quote. If your score comes in too low to qualify for the lender’s best deals, the loan officer would be required to use one of several methods to notify you.

Using one method, the bank could provide you the credit score that governed your rate quote, along with a graphic representation of how your score compares with those of other mortgage applicants, plus the key factors in your file that depressed your score. The notice would also include information on how to contact the credit bureau that provided the score and how to obtain your full credit report.

Because you wouldn’t yet be contractually committed on the mortgage, you would be free to call a timeout and check what’s in your credit files. If derogatory information is erroneous, or if some of your creditors had failed to report your on-time accounts to the national bureaus, you would be able to correct the files before proceeding.

Not all applicants would be issued risk-based-pricing notices under the proposal — only those whose mortgage terms and rate quotes are “materially less favorable than the most favorable terms available to a substantial portion of consumers [obtaining credit] from or through” that lender.

The FTC and the Fed offered two methods for lenders to determine which applicants fit that description. Using one approach, lenders would set a credit-score cutoff at which about 60 percent of customers have lower scores and about 40 percent have higher scores. Only loan applicants with scores below the cutoff would have to receive the alerts.

Under a second alternative, lenders would create a tiered pricing structure, with notices required only for applicants whose scores are in the lowest tiers. For example, if a lender used five pricing gradations, only applicants who fell into the lowest three tiers would receive an alert.

In a key decision that could provoke debate, the FTC and the Fed would not require most mortgage brokers to issue notices, as long as they do not function as lender during a transaction but are solely intermediaries. If the agencies’ proposal is adopted, that means that when brokers shop loan applications to multiple lenders and receive quotes, they will not need to provide multiple risk-based-pricing notices.

In another limitation, the two agencies conceded that some consumers might not receive notices even though negative information in their files depressed their scores. That’s because mortgage brokers might send applications with seemingly subprime credit exclusively to lenders who specialize in subprime loans. In that event, an applicant’s high rate quote may be typical for that lender, not “materially less favorable” than what the bulk of the lender’s clients receive.

Whatever the shape of the final plan for a risk-based-pricing alert, it almost certainly will heighten consumer awareness of the importance of credit data in determining mortgage rates and terms. In the meantime, remember this: Always check at least one of your national credit bureau reports — on file with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — months before applying for a mortgage.

That allows you the time to fix problems if necessary and qualify for the rate you deserve.
By Kenneth R. Harney

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.