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Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Bankruptcy & Foreclosure

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A bankruptcy or foreclosure filing delivers a devastating blow to your credit score, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait 10 years before you can qualify for a mortgage. Many consumers who have filed for bankruptcy have been able to obtain a mortgage as little as 2 years from the discharge and and 3 years from the sheriffs sale date in the case of a foreclosure. When it comes time to buy a home mortgage lenders are more interested in your recovery — what you’ve done since your filing. It won’t happen over night, but here are some tips and things to keep in mind when you inquire about a mortgage with a tarnished credit past:

Give explanations. No mortgage lender is going to ignore the fact that you’ve filed bankruptcy Click Here!and he or she will likely want to know the cause of the filing. Your lender will be particularly interested in whether the same situation could happen again. Your chances of being qualified are much better if your bankruptcy was caused by a single event such as a loss of employment or a death in the family, than if it was the result of “just spending too much.”  If the bankruptcy resulted from a single event, it is important to show your lender paperwork describing the incident, such as the layoff notice or death certificate. You may also want to bring in court documents to indicate when the bankruptcy was filed.


Demonstrate good money habits now. Many people who file bankruptcy swear off credit altogether, however, it is important to re-establish your credit rating. Get a secured credit card or take on some sort of loan — furniture, a car or a major appliance — to demonstrate that you are able to pay your bills on time. Make sure you are making other payments (utility bills, cell phone, etc.) on time as well. You won't turn things around in a year but your credit score will improve over time.

Dispute any credit report errors. There’s no need to add to your troubled credit history with errors on your credit report. Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: annualcreditreport.com

Save your money. Lenders may be more willing to loan you money if you’ve saved up a considerable amount of money for a down payment.  Showing that you have the ability to save money is huge!

 

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Mistakes & Disputes

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Reasons for mistakes on your credit report

  • The individual has applied for credit under several different names
  • Someone made a clerical error in entering information
  • Mix ups with common names.
  • The individual gave an inaccurate Social Security number or the number was misread by the creditor.
  • Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.

No matter what the reason, the erroneous information could reflect poorly on your credit file, thus causing approval problems when the time comes to apply for a job or obtain a mortgage. If you find errors, no matter how small, be sure you get them fixed, and make sure that you contact all three credit bureaus with your change.

If you do encounter a mistake on your credit report, several steps need to be taken to correct the matter:

  1. The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major annualcreditreport.com
  2. In a written letter or online, tell the CRA what information you believe to be inaccurate. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position. Provide your complete name and address, identify each item in your report you dispute, and request deletion or correction. Be sure to make copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.
  3. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the CRA received.
  4. The FCRA mandates that all CRAs reinvestigate the items in question — usually within 30 days.
  5. If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the credit card company must notify all nationwide CRAs so they can correct this information in your file. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.
  6. When the reinvestigation is complete, the CRA must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change.
  7. In addition to the CRA, you should also write to the credit card company about the error. Again, include copies of documents that support your dispute.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Getting Your Report

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A relatively new law promotes free access to credit reports.  A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that each agency provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every year; to accomplish that a website was created annualcreditreport.com .  From this site you can see your report and dispute anything that is inaccurate.

WARNING:   you dont need the add-ons annualcreditreport.com sells

 

For additional fees, each agency may offer you different report variations, such as:

  • A credit report with or without your credit score.
  • A three-in-one credit report that lets you see a side-by-side comparison of records, from all three agencies, with or without scores.
  • Notification services when your credit history is requested.
  • Routine notification changes to your file.
  • Subscriptions that allow you to access your report on a regular basis.Gr

Stay away from sites like "Freecreditreport.com"  They will try like crazy to sell you things you dont need.  Use annualcreditreport.com

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Improving Your Score

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How can you improve your credit score?

It's virtually impossible to change your score in the time between when most people decide to buy a home or refinance their mortgage and when they apply. So the short answer is, you really can't "on the spot." But there are strategies you can live with to make sure when you apply for a loan your score is as high as possible.

  1. Check for accuracy:  Make sure that the information each of the three credit reporting bureaus has on you is consistent and up to date. Order a free copy of your credit report about once a year, and dispute any inaccuracies.
  2. Pay on time: Late payments work against you. It's extremely important to pay bills on time, even if it's only the monthly payment. If you dont have any accounts reporting on your credit, get some.  If the credit agencies dont see on time payments they have nothing to score on.
  3. Keep the balance low: Don't "max out" your credit lines. Since the size of the balance on your open accounts is a factor, lower balances are better.  The magic number seems to be around 30%.  So if the limit on your credit card is $1,000 NEVER let the balance go over $300.
  4. Clear up judgments & collections: If you have any outstanding judgments they will have to be paid in full prior to closing.  Although collection may not have to be paid off it is a good idea to clear them up to ensure your score is as high as possible.

I've reviews thousands of credit report.  I would be happy to take a peak at yours and give you some personalized tips on increasing the score.

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Credit Scores

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What is a credit score?

Before deciding on what terms lenders will offer you on a loan (which they base on the "risk" to them), they want to know two things about you: your ability to pay back the loan, and your willingness to pay back the loan. For the first, they look at your income-to-debt obligation ratio. For your willingness to pay back the loan, they consult your credit score.   The most widely used credit scoring models have a range between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).

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Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They do not consider your income, savings, down payment amount, or demographic factors like gender, race, nationality or marital status. Credit scoring was developed as a way to consider only what was relevant to somebody's willingness to repay a loan.

Different portions of your credit history are given different weights:

  • 35% of your score is based on your specific payment history.
  • 30% is your current level of indebtedness.
  • 15% is the time your open credit has been in use (ten year old accounts are good, six month old ones aren't as good) and credit mix (installment loans such as student loans, car loans, etc. versus revolving and debit accounts like credit cards).
  • 5% is the number of inquiries -- credit scores requested.

Your credit report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This ensures that there is enough information in your report to generate an accurate score. If you do not meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you may need to establish a credit history prior to applying for a mortgage.

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