Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers & Owners

The Equifax Data Breach: What You Can Do to Protect Your Credit File

You read the papers, right? Or at least you saw the onslaught of articles, blogs and opinion pieces about how some still-unknown hackers breached one of (supposedly, anyway) the most secure servers…ones which house credit data on pretty much anyone that has ever bought something on credit. It’s Equifax, one of the three primary credit repositories. The other two are Experian and TransUnion. So what happened?

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Can I Still Get a Mortgage After Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcies are often necessary but they will of course stick with you on your credit report for years. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will stay on your record for 7 years after discharge, and chapter 7 bankruptcies will stay on your record for 10 years after discharge.

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Frequently Asked Questions for New Mortgage Customers

Can I apply for new credit while my mortgage application is being processed?

Most everyone knows that opening up new credit accounts can potentially disqualify someone from the mortgage they are seeking, but many people don’t realize that even having your credit report accessed by a creditor can also lead to a possible disqualification on their mortgage application as well. This is due to the credit score reduction that occurs when a new creditor accesses your credit report. Otherwise known as a credit “inquiry” the action of accessing your credit report will lower your credit scores by 5 to 7 points. This may not seem like much but if your credit scores drops just below the milestone scores that are set in every 20 point increments you could be reclassified in terms of your mortgage approval or you could cause your interest rate to increase because interest rates are based on these same credit score milestones.

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Topics: New Customers

Can I Still Get a Mortgage After Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is one of the most harmful things that can happen to you and your credit report. If you’ve been foreclosed upon, you’ve probably been patiently waiting and checking your credit report, trying to see how much damage has been done...and when you will be able to buy another home.

Believe it or not, there are a number of government sponsored mortgage programs that are more forgiving of past foreclosures than others. In this article we will provide you with the guidelines for these programs so you know when you are ready to get another mortgage!

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Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans in Michigan and Missouri

When it comes to buying a home, disabled veterans face an uphill battle. Disabled veterans often require specially-outfitted housing, as well as possibly having limited employment opportunities. Thankfully, there are some legal provisions that help disabled veterans avoid the extra burden of yearly property taxes as well as possible financial assistance when it comes to home accessibility. If, after reading this blog post, you are left with questions, it is advisable that you talk to a VA home loan expert. With proper advisement, you may be able to avoid paying 100% of your property taxes in your jurisdiction.

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How Much Can I Save By Refinancing?

Your home mortgage interest rate depends on a number of variables that are currently being decided by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), otherwise known as Fannie Mae. Depending on the housing resale market, your personal and individual qualifications, and the term of the loan, you can find major differences in rates that are available to you.

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How Does the Federal Reserve Affect Mortgage Rates?

In December 2015, the Federal Reserve started the process of raising the federal funds target interest rate. Since 2008, the target rate has been in an reparative state, where it lay close to 0%. Now that the economy is recovering and unemployment rates are at a comfortable level, the Federal Reserve is working to get rates back to normal.So the big question is, how does the Federal Reserve affect mortgage rates?

Now that the Fed is increasing interest rates, does that mean mortgage interest rates will also be increasing? Will you be paying more? Is the market becoming uncertain with all of these rate increases? Let's take a look.

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What Causes a Low Home Appraisal & What Can I Do About It?

Home appraisals are a crucial part of the home buying process, but can also throw you for a loop in certain situations. By far the number one complaint against lenders is faulty appraisals. Home appraisals are always requested by a lender to make sure that the amount of money a buyer is borrowing is fitting to the fair market value of the home. However, a faulty appraisal can make or break a loan and your mortgage interest rate is directly dependent on your appraised value. Wondering what causes a low home appraisal and what you can do about it? Here are some tips.

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How to Choose a Mortgage Lender for Your VA Home Loan

When you’re ready to purchase a home with your veteran benefits, you may be wondering how to choose a mortgage lender for your VA home loan. With so many options out there, it’s challenging to know which lender has the best experience when it comes to VA home loans.

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What Makes a VA Home Loan Appraisal Different from All Others?

Many consumers and realtors are frightened by VA home loan appraisals. But in reality, they are not as tough as they seem. The VA sets strict guidelines for the lenders to follow, more specifically in regards to inspection scheduling and appraisal report due dates. This often forces the appraisal to be completed more quickly than other types of loans.

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