Posts Tagged: ‘Saving Money’

How does your credit score measure up?

December 13, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Every once in a while I will get a customer that wants to know how his score compares to the average person. So I did a little research and was surprised to find out that credit scores were not dispersed as I had thought.

Your credit score is a numerical reflection of the quality of your credit based on statistical logarithms developed by some brainiac math geniuses that will not release the exact formula they use. But the generalities break down like this:

Payment history, length of credit history, recent inquiries, number of accounts and used credit vs available credit. For more on how credit scores are generated and how you can raise your score see How a credit score is figured

Back to credit score averages. Statistically, I was expecting to find a bell-shaped curve where the majority of people are in the middle and that either end of the spectrum (lowest and highest scores) would have less people. Apparently credit quality is fairly even across the board. See the chart below to see how you compare.

Its important that you know your credit score and that it accurately reflects your credit history as generally speaking the higher the credit score, the more likely you are to be offered better credit terms.

If I can be of any assistance in educating you about your credit score in preparation of buying your home, please call me.

 

 

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Anatomy Of Your Credit Score

November 23, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

A Credit Score is a number that ranks a consumer’s credit risk based on a statistical evaluation of information in the consumer’s credit file. In layman’s terms, it’s a number that represents the risk that you will default on a loan, using your prior payment history and other factors as a benchmark. Statistically speaking, the higher your credit score number the less likely the lender will experience delinquencies or a default on your account. Different industries use different credit score products. For instance mortgage lenders rely on FICO or the Fair Issac Credit Company score to determine your credit risk level for home loans. A car dealer and a credit card company may rely on different credit score products. Each mathematical algorithm used to calculate credit scores is unique and extremely complex, so the information below is a simple explanation of how a FICO credit score works.

A FICO score is based on five different weighted factors as presented in the pie chart below:

The most common question I hear about a borrower’s credit score, is how to quickly increase the borrower’s representative score, so that we can get the borrower approved for a home loan. Sometimes we can also quickly improve a score to get a client a better rate and fee combination. The basics for increasing your credit score are all related to the weighted factors in the chart above and have to do with:

  • Correcting any delinquent payment histories that are incorrect.
  • Paying off account balances.
  • Rearranging account balances.

We have tools available by which we can create a plan that actually allows us to try different credit scenario fixes and measure the resulting credit score improvements. This new tool has already saved many of our clients time, money and frustration and is not available through your standard mortgage conduits. If you are looking to purchase a home in the next six months I would highly recommend a free credit consultation to make sure you have the best possible chance of getting the lowest interest rates on your mortgage.

Finally, when dealing with credit score issues it’s best to get help from someone who understands how credit scores are figured.  Attempting to raise your credit score yourself could be counterproductive as simple mistakes made during the process can actually decrease your credit scores delaying or making your home loan more expensive.  Please call me if I can help you.

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Little Known Mortgage Underwriting Guideline Exception

August 1, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Over the last several years the news about lending and lending guidelines has for the most part been pretty negative so when there is something positive to highlight it makes my job a bit easier.

One of Fannie Mae’s (FNMA, the government institution that buys almost all the fixed rate mortgages made today) little known rules that could help certain individuals is how they look at borrowers who are purchasing, refinancing or doing a cash-out refinance for and elderly parent or disabled child.

If the elderly parent, or in the case of a disabled adult child, is unable to work or does not have sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own FNMA will allow the borrower of the elderly parent or disabled child to purchase or refinance the home as the owner occupant at the owner occupant rates, loan to values and guidlelines even if they are not going to occupy the property.

There would be several additional documentation requirements but as a whole it pretty simple. More astonishing than the fact that FNMA allows this as an exception is that not all lenders follow the rule or even know about it.

If i can be a resource to you on any real estate matters please call me.

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South Bay Home Prices Higher and Inventories Still Low

July 26, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Sales prices in the Greater South Bay area have continued to move higher as inventories are still very low. These trends however, are rearward looking events and represent contracts that were written before the mortgage rate increases from 45 days ago. Of real interest are what the numbers will look like in August and September after homebuyers have had some time to digest and concider the higher mortgage rates and the higher monthly housing payments that corresponds with those higher rates.

Robert Dixon of RE/MAX Estate Properties in Palos Verdes thinks that the higher mortgage rates are not going to affect property prices in any substantive way. The number of borrowers who are deciding they have missed the oppurtunity to buy their first home are equal to the number of fence sitters that finally have decided “we better move now, before rates move even higher.” Robert does feel that the higher mortgage rates in conjuction with the traditional end of the summer buying season approaching will bring back a more normalized negotiation environment between buyers and sellers. “The last several months have seen a frenzy of buyers who are climbing over each other to have their offers accepted.”

Greater South Bay Listings vs Sales Prices

Greater South Bay LIstings vs Sales Prices

By Andre Hemmersbach

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Basics of Negotiating with Collection Agencies

May 10, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

These simple tactics work on unsecured debt only, mainly credit cards to include department store cards, medical bills and bounced checks. You cannot negotiate on Liens, Judgments and other items.

Remember you always want to negotiate for removal of the derogatory item.

  • An old unpaid collections account is far better for your credit score than a recent paid collection account.  A paid collections account is a negative mark on your report, therefore always negotiate for the removal of the derogatory item!

There are two basic methods to negotiate with collection agencies.

First of all you will want to negotiate with a manager, not some customer service rep as they usually don’t have the authority. It’s also important to only work with them via written letters or email so you have a paper trail.

1)      Payment in Full. Let’s say you have a $500 debt with an agency. Offer them $200 to settle the debt and to have the item removed from the Big Three (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian). They have probably only paid pennies on the dollar so trust me, they are profiting and willing to work with you most of the time. Do not let them simply update the item to a paid collection or paid account.

2)      Set up a payment plan. If you don’t have the cash on hand offer to make monthly payments  which you can afford and make sure to get the agreement in writing! It can be a simple written contract which states that the collection or derogatory rating will be removed after the agreed upon amount is paid in full.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other tips on increasing your credit score please call me.

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