Credit Repair Law Change & My Intimidation

Credit repair specialists have been working tirelessly to get for-profit credit repair legalized in the state of Georgia. Details are below, but first, I have a confession.

I was intimidated, anxious, and worried about having an award-winning therapist and counsellor who holds a doctorate degree in psychology read and review my book, Credit Repair MINDSET. I mean, how could I possibly deserve an accolade from a woman who was voted “Best Mental Health & Counseling” for two years in a row? Who was featured in Psychology Today Magazine?

Wouldn’t she think my writing was so simplistic it deserved zero to one stars? I’ll admit I was scared when she got my book.

Here’s what she wrote on Amazon:

I am humbled and very grateful, to say the least!

Would you do me a favor? If you like this review, would you please go to the Amazon page here and click the HELPFUL button? It would mean so much to me to have her review upvoted.

BREAKING NEWS! Georgia Credit Repair Law

Yesterday, February 1, 2023, bill H.B. 187 was introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives. The House Bill is to legalize for profit credit repair in the state of Georgia. The bill is in the hopper and will be assigned to committee shortly. The bill was sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats making it a bi-partisan effort this year.

First, the bill must pass the house by March 6, crossover day, to be moved to the Senate. Second, the bill must pass the Senate by March 29, the last day of the session for this year.

To track the bill, here is the link: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63879

Many thanks to Matt Liistro, Georgia Credit Repair Trade Association, for this pertinent news!

The Perfect Credit Dispute Letter

If you want to see a real life example of the perfect response to your dispute letter, look below.

This letter was sent to me by one of my readers who used the Debt Validation Letter in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros to remove an old and unfair collection account.

The account had been sold by his former apartment landlord to National Credit Systems, Inc.

They could not provide the specific items requested in the Debt Validation Letter, so this was their response.

PERFECTION!

What’s Changed About Credit Card Rates (and what to do about it)

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Kathleen Doler, a writer for Investors online. With the information she gathered from several experts, she put together an excellent article that was published this morning.

The last half of the article is where she quoted from our conversation. I thought you would be interested in the statistics and in the advice. Who wouldn’t want to save $7,000 in credit card interest payments?!

To read, click here.

You CAN Improve Your Credit in 2023

Hard times don’t last forever, and neither does bad credit. You can take steps to overcome mistakes of the past and raise your credit score — starting now.

Can bad credit really be removed from a credit report? Look at this letter Peggy B. sent me. This was a collection account with Verizon — deleted!

This is from an email I received in 2022:

“My name is Robert R. and I purchased Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. I have had fantastic results using your advice and instructions. I’ve had numerous old collection accounts removed from my credit report, and I am pleased to report that my score has increased from about 500 to 700 or so today.”

Ron H. wrote:

“TransUnion has removed 11 derogatory accounts from my credit report profile with them!!!!!!!

“All my debts have been settled and negative tradelines have been removed. I negotiated my final debt of $2,388 for a settlement of $597 (25% of balance owed) and a “Pay for Delete” of the negative tradeline. As always, YES, I did get everything in writing BEFORE paying the debt.”

Adam D. wrote:

“My Experian score has officially increased 100 points as of today.”

How did these people improve their credit so much, so fast?

  1. They ordered their credit reports via USPS mail, as in Chapter 2.
  2. Peggy used the Credit Investigation Form that comes with the letter packet included in the book.
  3. Adam and Ron used the negotiation strategy in Chapter 15.
  4. They all used the list of what to do first, second, third, etc. in Chapter 24.
  5. They all followed the guidelines in the book for establishing positive credit.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t improve your financial situation, your credit, or reach your goals. Who are they to forecast your future and say you cannot do something? Tell them this:

Your opinion is not my reality. (Quoted from Steve Maraboli.)

When I hit my personal bottom and lost nearly everything in my life, I did not wallow in the mud. I got myself to the bookstore and went home with a bagful of hope. I literally read my way out of a pit of poverty and darkness — of course, by taking actions after reading.

My story is in Credit Repair Mindset Journal. Inspiration is in Credit Repair Mindset. The roadmap and all strategies are in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. How to go from zero to a top tier credit score in the fastest amount of time is in Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros. All are available on Amazon.

All credit improvement emails are shared with permission from the book readers.

Make 2023 your best year yet! May God bless your journey.

Government Grants for Free Houses & 2023 Interest Rate Forecasts

My friends in the mortgage business are receiving lots of phone calls and emails from folks asking about the free grants from the U.S. government (and other sources) for getting a home.

There’s a website with a .gov domain that looks like it belongs to the U.S. government. On the website, many grants are offered — everything from real estate to education to business start-up money. Wow, who can’t use some free cash to make their dreams come true in 2023?

Here’s the TRUTH:

  • There are no free houses from the U.S. government. The closest thing is a program through Habitat for Humanity, which does not give you a zero cost house. You must work alongside volunteers in building the home, and at the end, you get an affordable mortgage (which is not zero payment).
  • The website is actually owned by one individual who lives in California but has the business registered in Delaware.
  • This look-alive website makes you pay a fee to get their list of resources. The fee doesn’t seem so bad, but what you might not realize is that they continue to automatically charge you monthly.
  • They won’t refund all your money unless you provide a rejection letter from a company, which is a bit of a hassle on your part.
  • There are complaints with the Better Business Bureau; however, the company is not registered with the BBB.

    GOOD NEWS that is REAL:
  • You don’t need 20% down to buy a home. There are 3% down, 3.5% down, and 5% down loan programs.
  • If you are a U.S. Military Veteran, there is a $0 down VA loan you can obtain through your local mortgage broker.
  • If you are purchasing in a non-metropolitan area, there is a USDA (United States Dept of Agriculture) loan that is 0 down. You can obtain it through your local mortgage broker.

WHAT’S AHEAD FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES IN 2023?

One self-proclaimed guru has predicted a return to 5% this spring for 30-year conventional loans; but he’s only right about half the time, so we shall see. No one knows what will happen this year, just like no one knew rates would rise so extraordinarily fast mid-2022. So take the forecasts with a grain of salt. I’ll be watching for that spring prediction and comment on it then. I hope it’s true, but I’m not holding my breath.

What would you like me to write about in 2023? I am open to your suggestions. And thank you for reading and subscribing. I do my best to help people stay in the know about credit and home buying and save money.

Who’s Getting Worse Customer Service?

In a shocking admission of truth — according to DSL Reports — Cable One fully admitted that they provide worse customer service to people with lower credit scores.

CEO Thomas Might said at a JP Morgan Global Technology conference that their cable company’s support staff is not going to spend 15 minutes setting up an iPhone app for a customer who has a low FICO score.

Legal or not, like it or not, Cable One (who services about a million people) made it known that a variety of companies are getting more skilled at using data to identify consumers with credit challenges and low credit scores so that they spend less time and resources servicing them.

I’ve written a lot about how having a good credit rating gets you respect in the business world. This is one real life example of that happening. It might not be legal, but it is life.

It’s not going to do much good complaining about it, so instead, take action to raise your credit profile, increase your credit score, and gain the respect you know you deserve.

It’s quick and easy to pick up one great guide and one great boost of inspiration: HERE and HERE

You are worth it!

Source: National Credit Care Newsletter to Mortgage Brokers 11/9/2021

Is Now a Good/Bad Time to Buy a Home?

If you’re wondering whether or not this is a good time to buy a house, here are four considerations to help you decide.

1) Is your income secure so that you’re not concerned about being laid off after your purchase closes?

2) What is the trend for real estate values in the County where you live? It is very different from one state or region of the U.S. to another.. You can go to zillow.com and type in an address (or select an address from the listings in the city you search), then look at the Market Value page.

Notice that this first one I searched shows the value trending downward. It also showed that the seller recently reduced the price from its original listed price..

But this second home I searched shows the value still going up.

Very interesting, right?

3) You might consider a 2/1 Buydown. That is a loan where the seller can give you a credit to buy down the interest rate. It is lower by 2% the first year, then by 1% the second year, then goes to the full interest rate. The idea is that in two years, the rates will be better and then you can refinance. BUT, will the rates actually be lower in two years? No one knows for sure. In some areas of the country, this is a very popular loan and the sellers are paying for the buy down fee; but in other areas of the country, the sellers are not, so then it’s too expensive to be of value for most buyers. You will need to discuss this with your local mortgage broker for what’s happening in your area.

4) Even though interest rates are higher than last year, the home prices are lower in many parts of the country; therefore, with a lower purchase price and smaller loan, your payment might not be much higher than it would have been last year. But again, that depends on where you are buying.

I hope these four considerations have given you something to explore for your area, and then you can make a good choice for yourself. 

Personally, I am a huge fan of home ownership; but I am also a fan of buying a home you can afford so that you don’t become a slave to your mortgage. If you can find a property you will like to keep for at least five years, then it usually makes sense to purchase and begin to accumulate equity and grow your real estate wealth. Especially if your rent is as high or almost as high as your home loan will be.

What’s Coming Up

I am putting the finishing touches on a new book for homebuyers. The cover is still with the design department. All the information in it is brand new and current for 2023. Subscribe to this blog to receive a notification when it is released. (January)

Loan Limits Raised for 2023!

For the first time ever, the U.S. government will back mortgage loans that are over a million dollars.

FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Admin.) has raised the ceiling in high-cost counties (hello California and Western WA) to $1,089,300 for 2023.

For the rest of the counrty, the allowed loan amount has gone up to $726,200.

Some lenders will put those higher loan amounts into effect almost immediately, especially the wholesale lenders (that you can take advantage of by going through a local mortgage broker).

What this means is that more people can get a higher priced home without having to go for a Jumbo loan. Jumbos have higher interest rates, larger down payment requirements, and stricter underwriting rules, so this change is good for buyers, sellers, and everyone in the real estate or mortgage business.

These higher loans are for owner-occupied, one-unit properties.

The FHA conforming loan limit for 2023 has not yet been announced, but the expectation is for $472,040.

If you need work to get your credit score over 700 for the best conventional loan interest rate (or over 620 for FHA), start now so you’ll be ready to purchase a home next year.

While you’re shopping for others, pick up a little something to make your own life better:
Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.

Live Zoom Class: 7 Facts About Credit All Homebuyers Should Know (Wed. Nov 30)

I will be presenting a class that qualifies for one Continuing Education Credit*, hosted by Vanport Escrow and Title this Wednesday, November 30th, at 10: a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The one hour class is free.

All are welcome: Realtors, Loan Officers, Homebuyers, and anyone who is interested in this topic.

Here is what I’ll cover:

1) What information is on your credit report (the one that mortgage lenders get)?

2) How many credit scores do you have?

3) How is your credit score calculated? (Know this and control your own credit rating!)
* Plus, the big change coming to credit reports and scores.

4) What if you have no score? (You can still buy a house, but beware….)

5) What is a surefire way to improve your score fast?

6) What is the worst thing a homebuyer can do when they’re just about to buy a home or are in the process of buying a home that will instantly blow them out of the water and turn their approval into a denial — even if they’ve already signed documents?

I have been a follower and a fan of Carolyn for many years, and what I have learned from her over the years has helped me serve my clients and give better advice to people that I have met. I encourage you to attend the class and feel free to invite people you are working with or wish to work with if that will help your relationship with them or serve them better. I am very excited about this class.

Fred Stewart, President, Vanport Escrow and Title Company Inc.

Vanport Escrow and Title Company Inc. is the first Veteran and Black-owned escrow company in Oregon state. I am honored to be hosted by them for this class.

To sign up, complete the RSVP form here.https://vanportoregon.com/events/topic-7-facts-about-credit-all-home-buyers-should-know/

  • * Confirm with Vanport Escrow and Title if the class credit applies to your state.

More About the Credit Score Changes

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (finally!) updating their underwriting programs to accept the updated FICO 10T and Vantage 4.0 credit scores.

All this time, for decades, the big mortgage lenders have stuck with FICO 2, 4, 5 — never upgrading to any of the changes.

Finally, Congress told them to get with it and update, because the new scoring systems are both more accurate and fairer to all people. So October 23, they announced they are now accepting FICO 10T and Vantage 4.0. However…

The mortgage lenders need time to change their credit report software, so this has not yet happened.

No firm date has been announced, but one national credit reporting agency has given the timeline of two years. I called the two largest wholesale mortgage lenders in the nation and asked them for a date. Both told me, “I will check and get back to you.” It’s been three days and no word has come back. I take this to mean “we don’t know.”

When it does happen, I will post an update. In the meantime, we can be thankful this change is coming. The newer scoring system is predicted to help tens of thousands more people become home owners, especially people with thin credit files.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I will be back with more news next week.