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Credit Qualifying for a Mortgage after Divorce: 3 Tips

Credit Qualifying for a Mortgage after Divorce: 3 Tips

Very frequently, we get borrowers who have gone through a divorce and due to lack of awareness of the items still on their credit report, are unable to qualify for the refinance or purchase mortgage they were hoping to obtain. You can still get a mortgage after divorce. Here are some tips to make sure this isolated event doesn’t affect your credit score, causing you to miss out.
Continue reading “Credit Qualifying for a Mortgage after Divorce: 3 Tips”

5 Tips to Qualify for a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Young Couple and BankrupstcyAfter the Great Recession, many have been trying to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives, or just get back to where they were. Today we’ll talk about how to qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy. How to manage your credit afterward, how to manage your finances, and when you can expect to be able to qualify for a mortgage.

Qualifying for a mortgage after bankruptcy isn’t a forever wait. In fact, you can qualify for a mortgage as soon as 2 years after a bankruptcy.

If you’re one of the unfortunate many who have filed for bankruptcy(bk), the road back to credit health starts with which type of bankruptcy you filed. A Chapter 13 bk is easier to work with in that the payback plans helps re-establish credit history, but the 3-5 year payback plan takes your timeline out longer. A chapter 7 is over faster, but it can be more problematic especially if the borrower didn’t reaffirm on any trade lines(or keep any accounts open) after their filing

What do I need to do?Bankruptcy - Recovery

  1. Re-Establish credit. Get your credit score above 640
  2. Do not miss any payments
  3. Pay your rent and other bills by check
  4. Check your score before your 2 year window opens.
  5. Clean up any outstanding inaccuracies

Re-Establish Credit

This can be easier said than done. Getting a secured credit card will help. A secured credit card is when you put a deposit down on a credit card to secure the amount of your credit limit. Capital One has a secured credit card program. Other department stores have on the spot approvals with low credit score requirements that can get you started. Their interest rates may be higher, but so long as you pay off your balance at month end, you should be safe. The goal is to have 3 trade lines, plus the payments for where you live reporting for at least 12 months before you apply.

 

Get your score above 640

FHA will approve most borrowers 2 years after a BK, but participating banks have established a market where the minimum credit score to qualify is 640.

Do not miss any payments

In order to qualify for a mortgage 2 years and 1 day after your BK, you must have re-established credit and can not have missed any payments since the discharge. So, from the time of your discharge, you must be squeaky clean!

Pay your rent and other bills by check

Do you best to pay any monthly obligations by check and not by cash. For borrower’s who are borderline, being able to produce cancelled checks to show payment history can be the deciding factor for approval or denial of your mortgage application. If you’ve always paid by cash, there is no objective proof the payments were actually made.

Check your credit score before your 2 year window opens.

If you want to qualify for a mortgage as soon as you can after a bankruptcy, then the time to pull your credit is not at 2 years. You should pull your credit 6 months after your bankruptcy to make sure all of the trade lines that were discharged in BK report that way and not as collections and any new trade lines you have re-established are now reporting correctly in your favor.

Clean up any outstanding inaccuracies

In many cases after a BK, accounts that were supposed to be reporting as discharged, don’t report correctly, many times they report as collections or write offs. If you pull your credit early enough, you have plenty of time to correct them. The longer you wait to correct in-accuracies, the harder it is due to lack of documentation and support for the new action.

To conclude, it is possible to qualify for a mortgage as soon as 2 years after a bankruptcy will a good amount of discipline, planning and effort.

Take a look at when you can get a mortgage again after bankruptcy,

Buying a Home After Foreclosure

If you’ve experienced foreclosure you might think you’ll never be in a position to buy another home again. Foreclosure certainly impacts your credit score but it’s only a matter of time before you can once again apply for a mortgage. The question many people have is how long they have to wait before buying a home after foreclosure. How long depends on the circumstances of your foreclosure, your ability to increase your credit score, the type of loan you’re prepared to apply for and the foreclosure waiting period. Continue reading “Buying a Home After Foreclosure”

Climbing Out of Debt – Part 2

In “Climbing Your Way out of Debt Part I,” we looked at the cost of paying down debt by focusing on credit cards with the highest balance before focusing on lower debt balances and loans. This time we examine how much money it will cost over the long term if you pay down credit cards charging the highest interest first. We’ll also examine the costs of emotion when it comes to borrowing money from family members. Continue reading “Climbing Out of Debt – Part 2”

Climbing Out of Debt – Part 1

Like many Americans, you have a few credit cards and do your best to manage your money responsibly but it seems every month you come up a few hundred dollars short. Trouble is your annual raise hasn’t kept pace with the rising costs of gas, groceries and other necessities let alone discretionary or luxury items like movie tickets, your fitness club membership or trips to the spa. You know if you don’t rein in your spending, you’re debt will grow and climbing your way out of debt will be even more difficult than it is right now. Nobody wants, or likes, to be in debt especially in today’s tough economy. While climbing your way out of debt may seem like achieving the impossible, there are several ways to do it. Continue reading “Climbing Out of Debt – Part 1”

Good Credit to Great Credit

Many people ask when looking into refinancing their mortgage ask why their credit is considered good, but not excellent. It is a common misconception that simply because you pay your bills on time every month that your credit is viewed as excellent.

There are other important factors involved in credit score ratings derived by credit reporting agencies. For instance, the 3 credit bureau agencies, Trans Union, Equifax and Experian look at how many credit cards you currently have open, how long they have been open, and how much is currently owed with each creditor associated with the credit limit available. These factors can make a big difference when looking to get a refinance approved and the program qualified for. A consolidation home loan refinance is a productive way to pay off credit card debt in full.

Also, it often increases credit scores from good to excellent in a quick time period, since credit cards that were once listed as owed with high balances are reported as paid in full through the debt consolidation refinance program.

Repairing Your Credit Score: Other Options

If you’re interested in learning more about repairing and maintaining a good credit score, particularly if you need to improve your own credit score, then read on. Perhaps, as a potential first-time homeowner, you’re in the market for a mortgage—or maybe you need your mortgage refinanced; either way, good credit is important!

Fixing and repairing your credit score is more than simply paying off debt regularly and in a timely manner, however. Yet it seems to be commonplace for consumers to be ignorant of what affects their credit score and what they can do to repair it and maintain a higher score.

But as already mentioned, there’s a lot more involved with what goes into a credit score. Here are five other, perhaps lesser-known ways you can fix and then improve your credit score. Continue reading “Repairing Your Credit Score: Other Options”

Benefits of Debt Consolidation Loans

Benefits of a Debt Consolidation Loan

If you have a great deal of outstanding debt, there are a number of benefits to getting a debt consolidation loan. Consumers who qualify for debt consolidation loans have the opportunity to begin paying down their debt much sooner than they would without one. Here are some of the benefits of using a debt consolidation loan.

One of the first benefits people experience from using a debt consolidation loan is stress reduction. The most common factor known to create stress is debt. By consolidating your debt into one account you significantly reduce stress in your life because you’ve taken the steps necessary to get your debt under control. There’s a peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re back in control of your spending habits having worked with professionals to create a workable plan for paying down your debt.

Another benefit to using a debt consolidation loan is reducing several payments due every month to one payment. A debt consolidation loan is a loan that’s used to pay off all of your other accounts. Many consumers have multiple credit cards either maxed out or nearly maxed out that charge high interest rates. With a debt consolidation loan you’ll have one payment instead of worrying about multiple payments with varying deadlines. Having only one payment allows you to focus in on paying your debt down sooner. Rather than worrying about which account to pay off first, you only have to put your extra money into one debt account to begin paying off your debt. In many cases your monthly payment is much smaller because a debt consolidation loan gives you a longer time period to pay off the loan.

Collection agencies

With a debt consolidation loan those annoying calls from collection agencies stop too. Calls from pestering collection agencies only add to the stress of trying to pay down your debt. When you have a lot of debt it’s easy to get behind on payments with creditors ultimately turning your account over to collection agencies who often call you several times a week or daily. By taking out a debt consolidation loan your outstanding balances with collection agencies are paid off so collection calls stop.

Save Money

Consumers who qualify for a debt consolidation loan are also able to save a significant amount of money each year on interest. Most folks who are in over their heads with debt often have several credit cards that are maxed out. And credit card companies take full advantage of such a high balance by charging astronomical fees and interest rates compared to other interest rates in the market. With a debt consolidation loan consumers are able to secure a lower interest rate than the one charged by the credit card company, saving them money on their monthly payment and long term over the life of their loan.

Improve Your Credit Score

A debt consolidation loan also helps improve your credit score. When your debt is out of control and you’re consistently late making payments on your accounts you significantly damage your credit score. By consolidating your debt into one payment and staying on top of this payment you are better equipped to rebuild your credit score.
If you’re ready to take control of your debt, a debt consolidation loan may be for you. Working with a Homestead Financial Mortgage loan officer can help you get the debt consolidation loan process started.

Should You Cancel Credit Card Accounts When Refinancing?

It’s a temptation many of us have when we’re looking to borrow money. Should you cancel your credit card account as a way to increase your credit score? Would closing a credit card account impact your FICO score? While situations vary, the answers to these questions may surprise you. With banks and credit card companies charging more fees than ever before consumers have to be on top of their game. Reading the mail and the fine print on bank and credit card statements could be the difference between paying more in interest and securing an attractive mortgage rate when it comes to refinancing your home.
Continue reading “Should You Cancel Credit Card Accounts When Refinancing?”

How do I get approved for a mortgage & improve my credit?

Quick facts video 2 – How do I get approved for a mortgage loan and improve my credit score?

How does my credit score impact my ability to qualify for a mortgage?

Let’s start with some basic information about credit.

There are three major credit bureaus:  Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

These credit bureaus document payment histories for mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other consumer debt.  They also track and report derogatory information such as collections, foreclosures, judgments, charge offs, liens and bankruptcies.  From this compilation of debt and payment history a credit score is computed.

My credit history (list below) rent, utilities, mastercard, visa, student loans,

OH NO!!! (list below)  collections, foreclosures, judgments, bankruptcies…

Understanding credit scores

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and have proven to be highly predictive of future repayment performance.  Lenders therefore depend on an individual’s credit score to determine the risk of a borrower defaulting on their mortgage loan.

In the past a credit score of 580 was commonly used as the lowest score acceptable for obtaining a mortgage, however after the 2008 mortgage crisis this score is now considered too risky and a score of at least 640 is now typically required.  Scores above 720 are considered “good” credit since they represent a low risk of default and therefore the best pricing is obtained by borrowers with the highest credit scores.

300 NO WAY!

580 Sorry – won’t work today

640 Acceptable – but by improving your score – you could save!

720 WAY TO GO! That’s going to save you some bucks!

850 Are you kidding? You go you little credit master!

How do I improve my credit score?

  1. Well – make payments on time! This may seem obvious to some, but making your payments consistently on-time over the years is the most critical component of your credit score.
  2. Check your credit on a regular basis and if there are any errors have them corrected immediately.  Federal law entitles you to one free credit report annually which can be ordered at freecreditscore.com
  3. Keep your credit card balances to no more than 1/3 of the outstanding limit. Maxing out your available credit negatively impacts your credit score, even if you pay your bills on time.
  4. Don’t close that account!  Keeping revolving accounts open especially over time improves your score.
In brief 

1. Make Payments ON TIME!!

2. Check your credit at freecreditscore.com.

3. If your Visa limit is $15,000 don’t let your balance go above $5,000.  Maxing out your cards damages your credit score!

4. Don’t close that account, even infrequently used accounts can improve your score.

Thanks for viewing our quick facts Credit video, I hope you found it helpful.  If you have any questions please feel free to call us, our loan officers are friendly and ready to help!

Our loan officers are happy to answer any questions!  So give us a call at 800-Homestead-8! (A text file of this video can be found on our website)