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The 7 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Credit Score

by Leslie Edwards

This Article Was Written by Broderick Perkins and Reposted
Because it is Great Information About Your Credit Score.

John Ulzheimer, president of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft.

Formerly with FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, Ulzheimer is a rare editorial source -- a recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.

He often references in his writings the "Seven FICO Deadlies," credit score deflating actions, but only recently identified them in one consolidated list.

Your credit score, from about 350 (poor) to 800 (excellent) is a numerical rendition of your credit report. The higher your score, the more likely you'll get approved for credit and the more likely you'll get the best rate and terms. Negative actions posted to your credit report, take a bite out of your credit score.

Here's what Ulzheimer says are the seven worst things you can do to your credit score. And speaking of "seven," that's how many years these black marks can stay on your credit report.

 

  • Deadbeat behavior. Frequent, significant and late payments 30 days, 60 days, 90 days late. Don't believe a 30-day-late payment won't hurt. It may not ruin your credit but it's not helpful and can remain on your report for years.

    Collection activity. When the lender gets tired of your deadbeat behavior it will call out the dogs -- a third-party collection agency. The collection agency will report collection activity to the credit bureaus and again, seven years of bad luck.

  •  Charge offs. If the lender gives up on your collection case, acknowledging you'll never pay the bill, it charges off the debt and puts your credit report on notice for seven years.

  • Public recordings. Bankruptcy, tax liens, judgments and the like are killers for your credit rating. Judgments are good (or, from your viewpoint, bad) for seven years, even if you pay them off. Bankruptcies can dog your credit report for 10 years and unpaid tax liens never go away.

  • Settlements. If you pay a portion of a debt to your lender in a settlement, say a some of the mortgage in a short sale, you can get a settlement notice on your credit report card for seven years. Credit cards and other debts, likewise can be settled, with negative impact to your credit report.

  • Foreclosures. If you can't or won't pay your mortgage the lender will eventually foreclose and relieve you of your home. Another seven year negative notification will drag down your score. The same applies when you give the home to the lender in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

  • Repossession – When you don't pay your vehicle loans a bounty hunter will be coming your way. He or she is not coming after you, but your vehicle, and that's often without notice, after you've been dunned for a while. It's all legal. The repo man can take your property down and your credit score will follow.

    Although getting a mortgage is more difficult today than it was a few years ago when the real estate market was hot, qualified buyers are getting approved everyday. Call me and let's discuss your situation and see how I can help you.  Your information is always confidential and as always, there is no obligation to do business with me.  Let's talk.

    leslie edwards                                                                       Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent 770.460.9448                                                                                           

    CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                                                              CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                                                          Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                                                              ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                                                       GRI   Graduate of the Realtor Institute                                                                                            Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider                                                                                   Selling South Metro Atlanta including:Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties. Call me now tow buy or sell in all the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including, but not limited to:Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

    Moving Families Since 1978                                                                                                                 Let My Experience Work For You                                                                                     770.460.0739 Fax                                                                                                                                    See All the Lisings in The MLS At www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com      www.leslieedwards.com/blog                                                                     leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                                           RE/MAX Around Atlanta

     

    Save your credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help your family. Call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

    http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

      

     

     

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    Lax Lending Could Blow Up Housing Market Again

    by Leslie Edwards

    I had a bad car accident once and for awhile after, I drove very carefully.  Slowly, over time, my bad driving habits returned. It is the same when someone has a health scare, like a heart attack.  Immediately after, they diligently follow the doctor's orders regarding diet, exercise and smoking.  But again, over time, most people revert back to their old habits. 

    Is the Government back to their old ways? People might think that the after this latest housing crisis, the Government would realize that not every one should own a home.  But already, the pressure is on for banks to lend to people using less stringent criteria and accepting lower credit scores.

    Are we destined for another housing crash? Read this article from the Washington Times.

    Double bubble Lax lending policy could blow up housing market again
    By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    The Washington Times
    6:35 p.m., Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently guarantee about $5.5 trillion of outstanding mortgages and debts - nearly as much as the Treasury's own public debt. If the companies were fully nationalized, the government's books would have to reflect both the revenues and losses from those obligations. 

    Americans have lost more than $4 trillion in assets since the housing market collapsed in 2006. Risky government mortgage lending regulations helped inflate prices beyond reason, but those policies have not gone away. Instead, they've just moved into a new home, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Unless Congress acts to renovate eligibility requirements for borrowers, we could see an even worse financial disaster unfold.


    Signed into law in July, the Dodd-Frank Act pulled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending institutions out of the subprime loan business. Those government-sponsored monstrosities were fingered as prime culprits in the financial collapse, so the Obama administration has enlisted the FHA to perform the same functions. Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute have raised the alarm, writing, "As in the period leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, these loans will again contribute to a housing bubble, which will feed on government funding and grow to enormous size."

    Congress began blowing the initial bubble in 1992 when it amended Fannie's and Freddie's charters to compel the mortgage giants to back financing for low- and middle-income families seeking housing. Subsequently, those enterprises induced mortgage lenders to relax their qualification standards, allowing millions to buy homes with no or little money down. As these properties went into foreclosure starting in 2006, the red ink at Fannie and Freddie ran into the hundreds of billions - with the public footing the bill. In October, the Federal Housing Finance Agency estimated the eventual cost to taxpayers would be up to $360 billion.

     The pressure to perpetuate dicey lending has begun already. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a housing rights group, filed complaints on Dec. 7 with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, claiming 22 banks across the country have violated fair-housing laws by denying FHA-insured loans to black and Hispanic borrowers with credit scores above the federal minimum.

     The FHA insures loans for borrowers with a minimal credit score of 580 and a down payment of 3.5 percent. The feds responded the next day by launching an investigation into the banks' practices.

    Participating lenders are caught between the Scylla of penalty for denying loans to marginal borrowers and the Charybdis of sanction for having too many defaults on their books. It will only get worse: The FHA has announced it intends to pump up its loan volume to $1.34 trillion by 2013 and make nearly half of its loans subprime by 2017. Thus, the stage is set for a second housing-market crash.

     If Republicans in the 112th Congress intend to make good on their promise to set the country back on the path to financial stability, they should toughen FHA mortgage lending standards by requiring higher credit scores and larger down payments. Better yet, the feds should get out of the mortgage business altogether and let the free market reach an equilibrium free of bubble and bust.

    While Uncle Sam may appear compassionate in assisting low-income families become homeowners, this "charity" has been disastrous. Millions have lost homes in the recent crash, with the burden falling most heavily on financially responsible Americans to clean up the billions in damage done. Learning from these mistakes of the past will prevent their return in the future.

    If you know someone who is behind on their mortgage payments, have them call me for a FREE confidential consultation.  As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I help people avoid foreclosure. 

    leslie edwards

    Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent

    770.460.9448

    CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert

    CRS   Certified Residential Specialist

    Epro  Certified Internet Professional

    ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative

    GRI    Graduate of the Realtor Institute

    Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

    Selling South Metro Atlanta including:

    Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

    All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including:

    Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough

    Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

    Moving Families Since 1978

    Let My Experience Work For You

    fax:  770.460.0739

    www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

    www.leslieedwards.com/blog

    leslie@leslieedwards.com

    RE/MAX Around Atlanta

     

     

    Mortgage Interest Rates

    by Leslie Edwards

    Mortgage interest updates courtesy of Mark King, Fairfield Mortgage. For a quick response call Mark at 770.314.3991.

    Email M.King@FairfieldMortgage.com

    After reaching the lowest levels in decades, mortgage rates have shot higher over the past few weeks, but why?  The simplest explanation is that when investors look ahead, they see few reasons for mortgage rates to move lower and many possible causes for them to move higher.  To fully understand this explanation, though, it is important to understand the unusual developments during the month of November and to look at all of the factors influencing mortgage rates at this time.  

    The story begins in late August when the Fed hinted that they would initiate a new stimulus program to purchase US Treasury securities, a process now famously known as quantitative easing.  The news of this stimulus program created a strong demand for bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and mortgage rates fell lower.  Fast-forward to November 3rd when the Fed announced that they would indeed buy $600B. of US Treasury securities between now and the middle of 2011.  At that time, many predicted that rates would fall even lower during the winter months ahead.  A couple of days later, however, mortgage rates actually began to do the opposite and rose for the following four reasons:

    1.  Foreign and domestic opposition to quantitative easing.  The announcement of the program was met with substantial opposition from other countries and from many US politicians and economists.  Investors had viewed the $600 billion figure as a first step which would likely be increased in the future.  It is clear now that the Fed will face strong resistance to an expansion of the program, in fact, this resistance could be strong enough to end the program early.  

    2.  Stronger than expected economic data.  Stronger growth decreases the need for additional Fed stimulus, and it generally leads to higher inflation.  A few key reports released just after the Fed announcement caused investors to raise their outlook for economic growth.

    3.  Concerns about lower foreign demand for US securities.  The quantitative easing program pumps dollars into the economy, and the increased supply weakens the value of the dollar relative to other currencies. When foreign investors sell US securities, they must convert the US dollars they receive into their own currency. If the value of the dollar falls, then the value of their US investment falls in relative terms to their own currency. As a result, foreign investors may reduce their purchases of US securities, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which would cause yields to increase.

    4.  Rising foreign rates.  China's announcement of a rate hike was another negative for US mortgage rates.  Yields must rise in other markets to compete with higher yields in Chinese markets.

    The recent news has not been uniformly negative for mortgage rates, however.  Current inflation levels remain extremely low.  In fact, the Consumer Price Index data released last week showed that annual core inflation dropped to a record low in October.  Bottom line, though, when mortgage rates reached such extremely low levels, it left them in a position to reverse direction very quickly, and that is what has happened in November.  December and January should be very interesting...

                   

    Understanding Appraisals    

    If it’s too high, underwriters get nervous and get out their red pen.  If it’s too low, realtors get nervous and call their loan officer.  If it's right around the sales price, everyone's happy!  What is it?  The appraisal, of course!  An appraisal is a key component of the mortgage process.  It provides assurance to the lender that if the loan isn’t paid back, the lender could recoup any losses through the sale of the property.  Here are some key facts regarding this important piece of the loan approval process.

    Appraisers are independent experts
    Appraisers are beholden to no one.  They are independent third-parties hired by lenders to render an opinion on what a home is worth, based on specific data.  Recent guidelines put into place by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae prohibit anyone tied to the sales side of the mortgage process (loan officer, processor, etc) discussing the appraised valued with the appraiser.  Appraiser independence is a big deal in the mortgage world today and has forced many lenders to use impersonal national appraisal firms that are low on customer service.  At Fairfield Mortgage, however, we only use the best appraisers in Georgia that have been cherry-picked by county and are the very best in each given area.

    Appraisers use data and experience
    Appraisals are based on opinion, but that opinion is steeped in data that supports the conclusion.  A common practice for appraisers is to compare similar properties that are superior and inferior in features, size and condition to the subject property, making adjustments between them to support the final value.  This practice, called bracketing, would work like this.  A comparable property might have a fireplace whereas the subject property does not.  Or, the square footage might be greater in the subject property compared to the other comparable properties.  Appropriate positive or negative adjustments are made to the subject property's value accounting for differences in features (or lack of them), so the properties are compared as closely as possible.

    Adjustments based on market and not cost
    Some home remodeling projects will deliver a healthy return on the investment, but others do not.  A seller may have paid $30,000 to install a pool, but the current market is only willing to increase the price they’ll pay for that pool by $15,000.  Adjustments are based on what the market values the improvements, not the cost or opinion of the seller.

    Appraisals are a snapshot.
    As market conditions change, so will the appraised value of a home.  Appraisals capture the value at a specific point in time, but as we know, the housing market can change quickly.  Thus, the value of a home in the Fall of 2010 might be a lot different than the value of the same home in the Fall of 2009.  This is why appraisers are instructed to primarily look back only 3-6 months for data and appraisals are normally only good for four months.

    The appraisal piece of the mortgage puzzle, is more complicated and controversial today than ever before.  That is why it is critical to work only with lenders that use an in-house appraisal desk and the very best in appraisers.  At Fairfield Mortgage, our appraisers always involve the realtors involved in the transaction before turning in a low appraisal.  They will always ask for more data because they want to turn in a value that works if at all possible.  Like everyone at Fairfield Mortgage, they are looking for ways to make deals work, not the opposite.  Experience the difference.  Experience Fairfield Mortgage!

    Rate Update


    Rates are up a bit in November but there is no doubt that we can all be thankful for the low rates of 2010, which continue to be at amazing levels!

     

     

     

    Conforming

    Non-Conforming

    FHA

    VA

    Loan Amount

    < $417,000

    > $417,000

    < $346,250

    < $1,000,000

    30 Year Fixed

    4.375%

    5.375%

    4.375%

    4.375%

    15 Year Fixed

    3.750%

     4.750%

    4.000%

    4.000%

    10 Year ARM

     

     5.125%

       

    5 Year ARM

    3.250%

     3.500%

       

    3 Year ARM

     

     3.375%

       




    The above rates are for purchase loans for a primary residence and are intended to give you an overall idea of how rates are changing from week to week. Other factors such as credit score, down payment, and number of days the rate is locked all contribute to the exact rate, which is subject to change at any time and without notification. The Conforming rates above apply to purchase loan sizes $150,000 - $417,000 and carry zero discount points. Rates for lower loan amounts are slightly higher. Lower rates are also available for all programs with discount points.  Qualification is subject to credit and property approval and other restrictions may apply.




    Looking Ahead

    Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, all of this week's economic reports are due out prior to Thursday.  Revisions to third quarter GDP and Existing Home Sales will be released today.  Durable Orders, New Home Sales, Personal Income, Consumer Sentiment, and the Fed Minutes from the November 3 meeting will come out on Wednesday.  The mortgage markets will be closed on Thursday and will close early on Friday.








    Have a great week and when you think of financing, please think of Fairfield!

    If you like what you read, please forward.


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    Raise Your Credit Score

    by Leslie Edwards

    1. Pay your bills on time

    2. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.  The longer you pay on time the better your credit score

    3. Even if you pay off a collection it will remain on your credit report for seven years. 

    4. If you cannot make your payments, contact your creditors or see a credit counselor

    5. Keep balances low on revolving credit

    6. Maintain fewer open accounts

    7. Don't close unused credit lines.  Closing accounts will not help your score

    8. Don't open new lines of credit

    The best credit score is between 760 to 850

    General loan guidelines will consider scores in the low 600's and sometimes even in the high 500's with compensating factors.

    If you need help finding a loan, call me.  I work with some great mortgage people and would be happy to give you names.  It is always good to shop rates, but don't be fooled.  Often the lowest rate does not have the lowest costs and the difference in costs can make the lowest interest rate, the most expensive program for you. Get and compare all the costs, not just the interest rate.

    Call me for a FREE, no obligation consultation regarding your real estate needs and dreams.

    leslie edwards  sell real estate  770.460.9448 direct  RE/MAX  See 100,000+ listings for sale at www.leslieedwards.com

     

    What Makes Up Your Credit Score

    by Leslie Edwards

    Credit scores are used by most lenders for mortgages, car loans, credit  cards, furniture financing and more, to determine the level of risk they are taking when they loan you money.  Credit scores can affect how much and what loan terms a lender will offer. Often the higher the risk, based on a low credit score, can mean a higher interest rate to the borrower while the higher scores are offered the lowest rates.

    Credit Scores are calculated based on the following percentages

    30% on the amounts you owe

    35%  is based on payment history

    15%  on the length of credit history

    10%   on the types of credit

    10%   on the amount of new credit

    Unless you are paying cash, you should get preapproved prior to looking at properties.  Sellers might be more likely to negotiate and accept offers accompanied by a PreApproval Letter.

    If you want to buy or sell real estate in Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Brooks, Newnan, Sharpsburg, McDonough, Stockbridge, Locust Grove, Hampton, Jonesboro, Lake Spivey or any place in South Metro Atlanta, call me.  leslie edwards direct 770.460.9448  RE/MAX advantage

    Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

    If you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell in any of these areas, please mention me and then call me so I can contact them. I appreciate your referrals!