Mortgage category


3 Simple, Yet Important Credit Tips

April 2, 2015 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

You Need to Know these 3 Tips for Managing or Repairing Your Credit

3 Credit Tipsby Darren Robinson, Guest Contributor

Want to buy a house? Don’t miss these 3 valuable tips anyone can do for building great credit in order to qualify for the best mortgage rates!

When it comes to securing financing for a new house or an existing property, getting a great mortgage rate is at the top of all of our lists. This is probably because even a small difference in your mortgage rate can make a BIG difference to the total interest you’ll pay over the lifetime of your mortgage and overall amortization.

The truth is that getting a great mortgage rate often comes down to having great credit.

But did you know that having no credit can be just as damaging as having bad credit?

Did you know that credit reporting agencies don’t verify the information that is given to them? Or did you know that your credit can affect more than just your ability to qualify for loans? In fact, it can affect many of your everyday purchases, from cell phones to insurance to public utilities!

So if you’re looking for tips to improve or repair your credit, read on for valuable advice and recommendations to manage your credit and improve your financial situation you can start today!

First, always make at least your minimum payment on time on every loan, credit card or other debt you owe.

You may think that you can miss a month and then pay extra the following month—but that’s not how the credit card companies operate (or calculate interest). Instead, your required payment will be considered late or delinquent. Most companies will report even one missed payment to the credit reporting agencies – and this can damage your credit score. So make at least the minimum payment on every loan, no matter what, to keep your credit healthy and in good standing with any debtors you have, as well as have the best chance of a high FICO credit score.

Related Article: How Are FICO Scores Determined

Second, set up pre-authorized payments so your bills are paid automatically.

As I mentioned above, missing even one payment can affect your credit. Debtors don’t care if you intentionally or accidentally forgot to make a payment. They only care if you make your payments on time, every time.

Maybe you simply forgot to pay a bill because all of your bills are due on different days and you don’t have an organized system to keep track of them. In that case, setting up pre-authorized payments can be a lifesaver.

If you prefer not to use preauthorized payments, setting a reminder on your cell phone or computer can be another great way to make sure your bills are always paid on time. Paying your bills becomes effortless so you never miss a due date. You’ll also save money by avoiding unnecessary interest charges.

Lastly, request a copy of your credit report at least once a year and review it thoroughly.

In Canada, you can contact one of two credit bureaus (Equifax or TransUnion) directly to request a free copy of your credit report. In the U.S. you can go to http://annualcreditreport.com to get all 3 credit reports from Equifax, Transunion and Experian.  Verify the accuracy of ALL information, including your personal information, loans, credit cards, etc.

Take note: Credit bureaus don’t verify the information they get from your creditors so it’s up to you to make sure all the information is accurate! Otherwise, you could get a nasty surprise since inaccurate information or information about a loan you don’t recognize could signal that someone may have opened an account in your name, or even possible identify theft.

Address any inaccurate information as soon as possible so that you can be on your way to improving your credit.

For more tips on managing and repairing your credit you are in the right place. Upgrade My Credit is here to help. To get straight forward advice and tips so you can qualify for the best Barrie mortgage rates, visit my website or give me a call.

By Darren Robinson, Mortgage Broker

Darren Robinson is a Barrie mortgage broker, dedicated to offering the best mortgage strategies. He helps people qualify for difficult mortgages and loans. Visit his blog for home buying tips and mortgage renewal tips or call him at 705.737.6161!


What is a Mortgage Pre-approval?

October 7, 2014 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

home buyer's checklist - pre-approvalIf you have even mentioned to a Realtor or mortgage professional that you are thinking of buying a home soon, you no doubt have heard the term “pre-approval”.

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

First, let’s clarify what a mortgage pre-approval is NOT. It is not the same as a pre-qualification. The pre-qualification process most often includes pulling your credit score and getting some information from you either verbally or from an application. No verification of any kind occurs. Mortgage pre-qualification happens when your lender approves you as the borrower for a certain amount to buy a house (how much house you can afford), and that you qualify on a least a preliminary basis. A pre-qualification is a minimal first step before most Realtors will begin showing you houses.

A mortgage pre-approval is more detailed. This process also includes pulling your credit score, but includes verifying income with paystubs or a W2 tax form, collecting bank statements, etc. and can sometimes even be submitted to underwriting. Mortgage pre-approval positions a buyer to better negotiate a purchase because the seller knows your offer is backed by a lender. Mortgage approval comes after pre-approval.

What do you do if you don’t qualify for a mortgage pre-approval?

If there are credit or debt road blocks to obtaining a pre-approval, or a pre-qualification, for that mater, now would be the time to start taking steps to improve your credit, and if necessary, contact a certified credit consultant. Don’t let it discourage you. You are on the road to home ownership and WILL eventually start looking for your dream home; you just need to get your ducks in a row, first.


For more details on mortgage pre-approval and why home buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage go here –> (courtesy of Amerifirst Home Mortgage)


Posted by Blair Warner – Credit Consultant and Chief Editor of UpgradeMyCredit.com

6 Credit Tips to Remember When Buying a House

July 11, 2014 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

Guest Author: Dan Moyle of Amerifirst Home Mortgage

highlighted credit tips

Credit advice abounds on the Internet today. A lot of it is great advice. Much of it is suspect. There is everything from where to pull your credit, to how to have a good score, and even how to dispute errors on one’s credit report, but when you’re a home buyer looking to ensure that your credit is mortgage ready, how do you know what is important to “highlight”?

Additionally, credit advice for general purchases or buying a car can differ from home-financing tips, not to mention, your FICO score can vary, depending on who pulls it. A consumer-pulled score will likely differ from when a car dealer looks…which will probably be different than when a mortgage consultant pulls your credit score. It also matters which financial institution that’s looking at the credit history and the score. A store offering zero-down credit with their store card, for example, may not look as far back as a mortgage banker, or they may not look at medical collections the same way, either.

A lot is riding on your FICO score when you’re looking to buy a house. So, it benefits you to have a few tips to keep in mind if you’re considering a purchase in the future, near or far?

“Highlight” these 6 credit tips when you’re getting on the road to mortgage-ready credit.  Tweet This…


1 – Pay your payments on time, all the time. Whether you’re 6 months away from buying a house or 6 years, paying your bills on time is a big one. Late payments can negatively affect your credit score for years. Sometimes “things come up,” and a late payment just happens. Fortunately, some bills have grace periods. Make sure that if you’re going to be late on a payment, it’s one with a grace period. The ones without, should be paid first. Then make sure you pay the late ones as soon as possible. Again, late payments can have a major impact on your credit score. Payment history actually makes up about 35% of your FICO score.

2 – Don’t close credit accounts, yet. Paying down balances to zero is generally a great idea. However, don’t close that account just yet. Wait until you talk to a mortgage consultant about your FICO score in particular. A varied, seasoned credit history helps your score. That credit card you opened up your freshman year at college shows that you’re a long-term consumer. That helps. Don’t max it out, but keep it at about 30% of the limit or less. Keep it at zero, just make sure you use it occasionally. A long history with various lines of credit – credit card, car payment, insurance, cell phone bill – shows that you’re a “good borrower.”

3 – Keep an eye on your credit history. Checking your credit often is a great way to make sure no one is stealing your identity. You have the right to check your score with each of the major credit bureaus once a year. This means you can do it all at once, or each quarter check with a different bureau. Keep on top of fraudulent charges or other issues so you’re not surprised when a creditor pulls your FICO score. Preparation is vital.

4 – Don’t open line after line of credit. When you’re getting close to buying a home and you’re ready to get your mortgage pre-approval, it’s not a good idea to go buy a new car, motorcycle or a bunch of furniture on credit. Remember: your mortgage pre-approval is based on your current financial situation. If you change that drastically, your pre-approval could turn into a denial.

5 – Avoid major purchases. Even if it’s not on credit, a major purchase during your mortgage pre-approval time frame can sap your cash reserves. A vacation or new appliances might have to wait until after you close and move into the new house.

6 – Finally, try to avoid job changes. Whether it’s leaving your job, or a big change to your hours worked, changes in employment can sometimes have adverse effects on your home buying journey. If you worked a ton of overtime in the months leading up to your mortgage pre-approval, cutting way back on your hours before you close on the mortgage could affect your full, official approval. Keep things as even-keeled as you can.

One of the best things you can do as you consider launching your ship on a home-buying journey, is to talk to your local lender about mortgage pre-approval. Make sure you’re on the right track with your finances before you go house hunting. Tweet This…

Maintaining good credit is not rocket science, but it certainly takes diligence, awareness and work. Tweet this..


Author bio: Dan Moyle is the Creative Director of Marketing at AmeriFirst Home Mortgage. AmeriFirst believes in education rather than flashy sales techniques. An educated home buyer is a powerful home buyer. Dan loves to write and give back to his community.


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Posted by Blair Warner, Chief Editor and Sr. Credit Consultant of UpgradeMyCredit.com

Is Wells Fargo Getting Back Into Subprime Mortgages?

February 21, 2014 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

Wells Fargo is testing the waters of subprime mortgages again. Will it make any difference in today’s real estate market? Tweet This Tweet: Wells is testing the waters of subprime mortgages again. Will it make any difference in today's real estate market? http://ctt.ec/d3en5+

Wells Fargo Subprime Mortgage Loans We at Upgrade My Credit like to keep you up-to-date on the mortgage and real estate industry. Today, we highlight some interesting news in the subprime market. Most people know that what is now non-affectionately called the mortgage crisis and credit crunch began toward the end of 2006 and “blew up” in 2007, effectively ending all subprime lending overnight. It was a disaster waiting to happen, and understandably so. People were buying homes who should not be, or, at least buying homes they could not afford.

Wells Fargo, then and now is a leader in the mortgage lending world, and is again leading the way, testing the waters of subprime mortgages, except this time with caution and armed with lessons learned from the past. Below is an excerpt from an article going into more depth.

Excerpt from an article at Credit.com

“Wells Fargo is once again setting sail on subprime mortgage waters, despite how choppy they were several years ago. The bank will consider mortgage applicants with credit scores as low as 600, announced Franklin Codel, a Wells Fargo mortgage executive. Previously, the minimum was 640, and this change applies to purchase mortgages to be guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration.”

Read full article here…

This could be a good thing for the lagging real estate industry which has been trying to “recover” from the fall out of the mortgage and credit crisis of 2006 -2008. What do you think, is it a good move to lower credit score requirements for buying a home? Is it too soon? Will it stimulate home buying, or is the economy still too fragile?

Let us hear your thoughts, and feel free to share on your social networks

Bad Credit Scores Costs You Money!

October 28, 2013 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

A Great Credit Score Can Save You A Lot of Money

A good credit score can save you money!Have you ever considered how much Money You can Save by having a Great Credit Score?

If you currently have low credit scores, you may be wondering if you should pay money to improve your credit score. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you ever get any kind of loan, you will make your money back many times over!

The reason is simple. Creditors of all kinds will charge you more – sometimes much more – to borrow money if you have a low or even a fair credit score.

Having a 720 credit score instead of a 640 score could save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Yes, it may seem unfair, but that’s the reality of the lending world.

As someone who has 12 years of experience in the lending world as a loan officer and manager, and now the editor of MyMortgageInsider.com, I could tell you countless stories of how people have saved tons of money by having great credit.

Let’s look at an example, taken straight from today’s rate sheets: Someone with a 720 score could get a $200,000 loan with a principal and interest payment of $1013 per month and a rate of 4.5% (4.652% APR)*.

The same person with a 640 score would pay $1073 per month and have a 5.0% interest rate (5.155% APR)*. The borrower with a 640 score would pay an extra $60 per month and an additional $21,700 in interest over the life of the loan!

How does that fee for credit repair services look now? Pretty low?

The bottom line is this: lenders want to see that you are a low-risk borrower. And it all comes down to the three little numbers on your credit report. The higher those numbers, the less you will pay for credit.

And a home mortgage is just scratching the surface when it comes to the money you’ll save by having a good credit score. Some other things you’ll save money on are:

    Car insurance
    Homeowner’s insurance
    Renter’s insurance
    Auto loans
    Credit cards

Heck, many employers look at your credit reports when you’re applying for a job these days, and some may even look at your credit scores! What if your bad credit cost you a great job? Reference NYTimes article on this subject.

When you add up all the money you could save and make over your lifetime by having a great credit score, the dollar amount could easily be six figures or more. This is no exaggeration.

Yes, it may seem like a lot of work to build, improve, and maintain your credit score. It takes a lot of discipline. But it’s that discipline that lenders are looking for. It proves you are a worthy candidate and will pay back the loan according to the terms you agreed to.

So if you can get help from an expert to improve your credit score, take that opportunity despite the time, cost and effort. You will get huge returns on your investment – more than you probably ever expected.

*Payment does not include taxes, insurance, or HOA dues. Rates are as of 9/10/13. Purchase price $250,000, loan amount $200,000, property in WA. Scenarios are 30 year fixed conventional loans.

by Tim Lucas – MyMortgageInsider.com

Tim is the Editor and Chief Contributor to the website MyMortgageInsider.com. He has been in the mortgage industry for more than 12 years as a loan originator and mortgage processor. He’s answered just about every kind of mortgage question over the years and has tons of experience to draw from. Please Send Mortgage Questions to: tim@mymortgageinsider.com

Has this been helpful? Please feel free to comment or share on social media. We like helping people.

Tweet for creditTweetable Takeaways Include:

  • Having a 720 credit score instead of a 640 score could save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. (Click to tweet)
  • Lenders want to see that you are a low-risk borrower. And it all comes down to the three little numbers on your credit report. (Click to tweet)
  • Most employers look at your credit reports when you’re applying for a job these days! (Click to tweet)



Blair Warner – UpgradeMyCredit.com Editor & Chief Credit Consultant

What do mortgage rates look like for 2013?

December 26, 2012 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

Special Report: Mortgage rate outlook

We like to offer you the best information and resources for your home-buying plans. Here is a good article on mortgage rate forecasts for next year from a mortgage partner Total Mortgage Services.

Click here for the article Mortgage Rates: Naughty or Nice?

If you are looking to buy a house in 2013, make sure your credit and debt house is in shape. If you need credit repair help, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Happy 2013

By Blair Warner

Credit Scores Used By Consumers and Lenders Can Differ

October 1, 2012 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU STUDY FINDS CREDIT SCORES USED BY CONSUMERS AND LENDERS CAN DIFFER

One out of Five Consumers Likely to Receive Meaningfully Different Score than Creditor



federal consumer protection bureau logo WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 25, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a study comparing credit scores sold to creditors and those sold to consumers.

“This study highlights the complexities consumers face in the credit scoring market,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “When consumers buy a credit score, they should be aware that a lender may be using a very different score in making a credit decision.”

The complete Analysis of Differences between Consumer and Creditor-Purchased Credit Scores is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201209_Analysis_Differences_Consumer_Credit.pdf

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed the CFPB to compare credit scores sold to creditors and those sold to consumers by nationwide credit bureaus and to determine whether differences between those scores harm consumers.

THE STUDY DETERMINED:

    1. One out of five consumers would likely receive a meaningfully different score than would a creditor: When consumers purchase their score from a credit bureau. A meaningful difference means that the consumer would be likely to qualify for different credit offers – either better or worse – than they would expect to get based on the score they purchased.
    1. Score discrepancies may generate consumer harm: When discrepancies exist between the scores consumers purchase and the scores used for decision-making by lenders in the marketplace, consumers may take action that does not benefit them. For example, consumers who have reviewed their own score may expect a certain price from a lender, may waste time and effort applying for loans they are not qualified for, or may accept offers that are worse than they could get.
    1. Consumers unlikely to know about score discrepancies: There is no way for consumers to know how the score they receive will compare to the score a creditor uses in making a lending decision. As such, consumers cannot exclusively rely on the credit score they receive to understand how lenders will view their creditworthiness.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:

    1. Shop around for credit. Consumers benefit by shopping for credit. Regardless of the scores different lenders use, they may offer different loan terms because they operate different risk models or face different competitive pressures. While some consumers are reluctant to shop for credit out of fear that they will harm their credit score, that actual negative impact is exaggerated. Inquiries generally do not result in a large reduction in a consumer credit score.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – Check the credit report for accuracy and dispute errors. Credit scores are calculated based on information in a consumer’s credit file. Inaccurate information may be the difference between a consumer being approved or denied a loan. Before shopping for major credit items, the Bureau recommends that consumers review their credit files for inaccuracies

    Thanks to contributions from the California Association of Mortgage Professionals

    By Blair Warner

    How Soon Can I Buy A Home After a Short Sale?

    June 21, 2012 | Posted by Blair Warner | 1 Comment

    Short SalesHow soon can I buy a home after a Short Sale? This is one of the many questions that buyers ask us before they decide to move forward with a short sale on their home. Many times it is one of the last obstacles to moving forward with a short sale. I heard of a family delaying their decision over a year which ultimately delayed resolving their problem and being ready to buy a new, more suitably priced home the same length of time. The sooner you can move beyond your fears and hesitations and get the information you need, the sooner you will be able and ready to buy again when your credit is repaired.

    How soon can I buy a house after a short sale? As soon as 2 years! This will vary from borrower to borrower and from lender to lender but the avg recovery time to purchase again seems to be roughly 2 years after a short sale. Please consult with your mortgage expert to be sure.

    How soon can I buy a house after a foreclosure? 3-7 years depending on circumstances and the original lender and loan. It is VERY IMPORTANT to speak with a specialist in the areas of real estate, mortgage lending and credit before making any decisions about a short sale or foreclosure. It might even be wise to consult your attorney if he is familiar with short sales.

    In many cases (not all) buyer’s have worked with a credit repair organization to move the process along further and faster. This may or may not be the best option for you and your family. We would encourage you to get the information you need by taking advantage of our FREE consultation so you can make an informed decision. Additionally, after a short sale, take your time, save and prepare yourself for the right buying opportunity.

    We would love the opportunity to chat with you about your unique situation and about your buying options after a short sale. Give us a call at 888-586-2261 or contact us through the form on this page of our website and we will be in touch.

    I hope you found this helpful.

    By Blair Warner

    The 10 Commandments of a Good Credit Score

    June 3, 2012 | Posted by Blair Warner | 5 Comments

    A common question I get asked is, “what is the secret to a good credit score?” I always hate to answer it so matter-of-factly and quickly because I know they are hoping I can perform magic. The simple answer is, though, the only way to get one is to demonstrate financial responsibility. “Creditors don’t care about how many millions you may have in your investment account, it’s how you use your credit,” says Maxine Sweet, vice president, public education for Experian.

    However, there are some tips for using your credit, and like many things in life, it’s what you don’t do that can have a positive effect on your credit score.


    Steer Clear of These 10 Things:

    1. Thou Shalt Not Avoid Using Credit. If you don’t use credit, you won’t have much of a credit score. To Quote Sweet again, “A credit score is an important tool companies use to protect themselves”. The lower the score, the higher the risk, and this can affect whether or not a loan is approved.

    2. Thou Shalt Not Miss Payments. Paying a bill late will hurt your credit, but missing a payment will damage it even more. “If you do so, you can’t make it up,” Sweet says. In other words, making two payments in the next billing cycle will not remove the blemish from your credit history. Whether or not you pay your bills on time determines 33% of your score.

    3. Thou Shalt Not Limit Loan Types. Despite what your bank account may think, a car payment and a mortgage may not be enough. Also managing an installment debt, such as a credit card, is a good indicator of credit savviness. There are five elements to the credit score model and revolving credit, which allows consumers to charge and owe different amounts each month, is one of them. “It’s 10% of the score,” says Gail Cunningham, vice president of public relations for National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

    4. Thou Shalt Not Close Unused Credit Card Accounts. Actually, just use caution, says Sweet. A factor in credit score models is your utilization, which is your debt vs. how much is available. For instance, if you owe $4,800 on a card with a $5,000 limit, you’re using most of your available credit and this “utilization” will have a negative impact on your score. Counting toward 30 percent, your utilization is the second highest factor in your credit score. You should charge no more than 30% of your available credit, recommends Cunningham.

    5. Thou Shalt Not Be A Credit Tease. Don’t run up charges all over town or apply for several cards at once while looking for the best rewards program. Recent inquiries means that you have accessed your credit and this can affect your score negatively. “This signals that you’re desperate for credit and don’t have enough cash available for your purchases,” says Cunningham. She adds that if you are shopping for a major purchase, such as a mortgage or car loan, the inquiries will usually roll together into one.

    6. Thou Shalt Not Rob Peter To Pay Paul. Don’t charge anything unless you know how and when you are going to pay it back. One of the benefits of credit is the ability to spread out payments on a big purchase, not to delay paying with hopes that the money will come in – from somewhere. If you need to use a credit card for convenience, use a prepaid card or a secured card that enables you to make payments to your own line of credit.

    7. Thou Shalt Not Get On The Call List. When a debt turns into a collection account, it’s an indication that you got yourself in hot water. Once a collection agency jumps into the arena, it becomes the owner of the debt, which will show on your credit history. Trying to make payments to the original debtor will not make the collection agency or the negative mark on your credit go away.

    8. Thou Shalt Not Forget The Little Things. That library fine you didn’t pay or the health club contract you signed but didn’t honor can show up on your credit report. Any debtor has the right to report unpaid bills to the credit bureaus, and many of them exercise that right.

    9. Thou Shalt Not Negotiate. On paying less than what you owe, that is. If you cannot repay a debt in full and a creditor agrees to settle for less than you owe, you haven’t won the battle. The transaction will be reported as a settled account and this will hurt your credit score. Instead of negotiating to lower the overall amount of the debt, ask to have your interest rate or monthly payment lowered so that you can continue to pay the debt off in full. (Sometimes negotiating is the best choice. Each case is different)

    10. Thou Shalt Not Give Up. If you have late payments, missed payments, defaulted loans, and similar credit mess-ups in-between, don’t give up and think that your credit history is ruined. Although offenses like these generally stay on your credit history for seven years, the recovery clock doesn’t start ticking until you have one full month of paying all of your debts on time, says Sweet.

    Adapted from FreeCreditReport.com, a part of Experian. (excluding introductory paragraph)

    Posted by Blair Warner

    Mortgage Originators: FHA Delays Collection Payoff Rule

    April 8, 2012 | Posted by Blair Warner | No Comments

      FHA Delays Implementation of Collection Payoff Rule

    Looks like the public outcry has FHA rethinking their position. Note in bold–wording regarding seeking additional input.

    Posted as an FHA notice late April 6:

    In order to allow Mortgagees additional time to adapt their procedures to implement portions of the new guidance found in Mortgagee Letter 2012-03 (ML 2012-03), FHA is delaying the effective date of the following topics from ML 2012-03:

    Handling of Disputed Accounts, Public Records FHA Total User Guide Chapter 2, and
    Handbook 4155.1 4.C.2.e, Paying off Collections and Judgments.

    The new effective date of this section is delayed until July 1, 2012. Prior to the effective date, FHA intends to seek additional input on this section and work to clarify guidance, as appropriate.

    The Mortgagee Letter and FHA Total Scorecard User Guide will be updated and posted to HUD’s website on Monday April 9, 2012. Please Note: With this extension, any case numbers assigned prior to July 1, 2012 are subject to the previous guidance in effect for the subject topics.

    From OriginationPro Blog Post April 7, 2012:

    This means we have 3 more months to get more loans closed. It also means there is more time to come up with a workable plan for implementing the new rulings once they do come into effect.

    Best to you!

    By Blair Warner
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