Here is the newest (and accurate) information about credit inquiries.
A credit inquiry is when a company pulls your credit report when you make an application for credit.
The last thing you want is for your credit score to go down while you’re shopping for a home loan. Here’s what you need to know:
- For lenders using FICO 04, you have 30 days to shop for a mortgage, automobile, or student loan without having a penalty to your credit. No matter how many credit pulls you have in that time period, it will count as only one credit pull. (This is pretty much all mortgage lenders.)
- For lenders using FICO 8 and 9, you have 45 days. But this is virtually no mortgage lenders, so in reality, it only applies to automobile loans and student loans. (Ask if they are using FICO 4 or FICO 8 or 9 to be sure of the 45 day timeline as opposed to 30 days.)
- For credit cards, store cards, or lines of credit, there is no grace period. Every credit pull counts separately, and is subject to lowering your credit score.
If you need a credit card, don’t worry about the minor hit to your score, because establishing credit is part of the process.
If you already have three lines of credit and will be buying a home soon, avoid opening any new credit. Believe me, a 10 percent discount on merchandise is not worth taking a higher interest rate on your $200,000 home loan because your score dropped. Don’t risk it!
And remember, NEVER NEVER take out an automobile loan, finance a computer, appliances, or furniture, or open any other new credit six months before applying for a mortgage loan. You don’t want to risk lowering your credit score right when you’re trying to get a low rate for your home.
As of today, no tax liens should be posted on credit reports. This will help boost credit scores for those people who were affected.
However, this does NOT mean that you get to wiggle out of paying your taxes. If you owed money to the IRS or to state taxes, then you still owe that money. The best way to handle it is to contact the tax representative and work out a payment plan. If you can make a lump sum payment, you can expect to pay less than if you need a monthly pay plan.
Be sure to get your agreement in writing.
Also, when you apply for a home loan, even though the tax lien will not show up on your credit report, the lender will still find it. LexisNexis is providing a service to banks and other mortgage lenders that provides information about pubic records such as tax liens.
Enjoy your higher credit score, but take care of the taxes you owe.
Please share this post with others who need this information: Facebook, etc. Thank you for helping get this important news out.
“My credit report shows several negative accounts that I need to dispute. Can I include them all in one letter?”
This is a common question, and I go into detail about how the professional credit repair specialists handle it in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. But let’s talk about common sense.
If your credit is mixed up with another person’s credit, such as your name is Charles Moon, Jr. and Charles Moon Sr.’s credit is showing up on your report, then you should include all of Sr.’s credit accounts that do not belong to you in one letter. Also include two pieces of ID showing you are Jr.
If you were in the hospital getting an appendectomy and some of the bills went into collections because your insurance company messed up, then include all of those collection accounts in one letter, because they are all related to one event.
So, if the erroneous negative accounts are all related, include them in one letter — and if possible, send verification along with it.
On the other hand, if your report shows a collection account from Comcast dated 2013, and a collection account from Sears dated 2016, then it’s clear that those two accounts are not related to one another. Therefore, you must dispute them separately. For each, explain why it is incorrect and request that it be removed from your credit report. You can use a handy Credit Investigation Request Form that goes with the book if you like. It’s a good idea to hand write a short explanation in the white space. Or, if more appropriate, you can use a letter.
Some people have asked me what I think about the 609 template letters. I know a lot of people use them, and that’s one problem. They are over-used. Another problem is that they sound like legalese, not like something an honest citizen would write about his/her situation.
What’s more, the top credit repair experts that I interviewed and have worked with do not use those letters. The book is called Repair Your Credit Like the Pros.
Credit repair is a big topic and it is both simple and complex. It’s too much for a blog post, but I hope that using common sense will make sense to you for your situation. For more detailed instruction, please see the book.
For the record, I do not do credit repair, nor do I give credit advice by email. I am a licensed mortgage loan officer in California and Washington; and as all mortgage professionals do, I have helped my clients get approved for a home loan.
Today is Good Friday, which I think of as Sad Friday. I got to thinking about what that means and debts people owe. How can a person handle a debt that is too great for them to pay?
One choice is bankruptcy. There is Chapter 7 that wipes out all debts except for taxes, government debt (student loans), and child support–pending court approval. There is Chapter 13 which is a repayment plan set up by the court to satisfy the debts.
Another choice is to work out a settlement with a payment plan with the creditor. Even the IRS will grant a payment plan, and when a person has been making faithful payments for a year, he or she can qualify for a mortgage to buy a house.
But what about the debt that is so great, it can never be repaid, can never be declared bankruptcy on, cannot qualify for a repayment plan? The debt that weighs on a person’s soul, because the debt is actually sin against God?
That is the miracle of Good Friday. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, stepped up and willing paid that debt for you, for me, for all humankind–by giving His own innocent life.
I know it seems odd, maybe even unfair, that Jesus should pay the debt of sin for you and me. But that is what happened, as verified by holy Scripture. Now to “seal the deal,” we have to accept that payment. We have to acknowledge our debt, our sin, and accept that Jesus Christ paid the price. In turn, we pledge to make him Lord of our life.
It’s a wonderful trade-off! We get forgiven and we get a Savior to lead and guide us through life.
So although Jesus dying on the cross is sad, it is also a day of goodness and hope — especially when Jesus rose from the grave in victory on what we call Easter morning!
Thank you for reading my heart-felt post today.
Who wouldn’t like some more cash? Unless you just won the lottery, it’s probably you (and me).
But listen, friends. The loan spiders know this and they are licking their fangs to get you trapped into their web. They are not your friends, being nice by handing you a check. They are looking at how much they’re going to make off the interest you’re going to pay. Here’s a real life example…
The Wedding Loan
One greedy credit union is now advertising that they make “wedding loans.” That’s right. In case love isn’t enough and it’s really all about your vanity and ego, you can borrow $10,000 and pay 4.99%. You end up paying back $11,006. Paying $1K in interest on $10K = paying 10% more!
(If you can afford a $10K or $100K wedding, I have no problem with it. But borrowing money for a ceremony is a bad idea. You don’t need to start your new life in debt.)
The “Me Loan” (They actually call it that.)
If you’re not totally pleased with your appearance and want to get some cosmetic work done, you can borrow money at what they call an “affordable” 9.45%. If you borrow $20,000, you’ll pay back almost $25,000 over five years.
Paying $5K in interest on $20K = paying 20% more!
The Vacation Loan
The worst idea of all is their “vacation loan.” Listen friends, if you haven’t been able to save enough money to travel, then it’s better to enjoy a “stay-cation” than to go into debt so you’ll have to work even harder just to keep even. Backyard parties, bike rides, the local sites… they can all be a lot of fun without spending a ton of money.
Yes, there are times it makes sense to take a loan. Some of those valid situations are…
- Your house needs a vital repair, such as the roof is going bad. (Not new granite counter tops.)
- Your child needs orthodontic work.
- You need to take a class in order to qualify for a higher-paying position.
For the non-essentials, it’s best to save money until you’ve got the cash.
To get ahead, here are some ideas to consider:
- Sell clothing/coats/handbags through a consignment shop.
- Sell collectibles you no longer love on OfferUp, Ebay, or Craig’s List. In some neighborhoods, garage sales are effective for unloading a lot of inexpensive items in one day. Ebay is better for high priced items. Craig’s List is pure luck.
- Cancel extra cable channels and maybe even cable TV altogether. Switch to antenna TV and read more.
- Pack your own lunch for work. (Add up how much you spend eating out in a month.)
- Switch to a cheaper grocery story. (You don’t have to spend gas driving all over town to four groceries, just stop paying more at the most expensive store in town.)
Two words to the wise (make a big different in a hurry):
- Stop using the debit card. Examine the past two months of your bank statement and you’ll see what I mean. Add up all those “little” charges to see how your money is flushing away at an alarming rate.
- Track your spending! Become more aware of where your money is going and then get creative with ways to save. I know 90 percent of you can do it. (The other 10 percent are already doing it.)
Temporary sacrifices bring wonderful rewards.
If you think this message is valuable, please share on social media and pass it on. Thank you.
The Home Possible Advantage Loan Program has distinct advantages for home buyers. First, let’s look at what it takes to qualify, then we’ll look at the benefits.
Who Can Qualify for Home Possible Advantage
* First-time home buyer, or
* Displaced homemaker or single parent who used to have joint ownership in a marital residence, but now is buying on their own, or
* Have not owned real estate in the last three years.
* Credit score 620 or higher.
* The home must be your primary residence, not a rental or vacation home.
* Annual income cannot exceed 100% of the median income in the area, UNLESS the property is located in an area designated to increase home ownership. In that case, there is no income limit.
The Home Possible Income & Property Eligibility tool is here.
Benefits of the Home Possible Advantage Loan Program
Only 3% down payment.
Lower monthly mortgage insurance (MI) payment.
No up-charge to the interest rate for the low down payment.
Lower monthly payment.
Down payment can be from your own money, or gift money from immediate family.
How to Get the Home Possible Advantage Loan
You get this loan through your mortgage broker. Your broker can shop several wholesale lending sources for Home Possible in order to find you the best pricing you qualify for. I am licensed in California and Washington.
Remember, get pre-approved for financing first, then contact your real estate agent to find a home.
A hacker gets into your Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. Hacker sees your online banking information.
Hacker orders a new credit card using your personal info and has it sent to a P.O. Box.
Hacker picks this new card, in your name, and goes on a spending spree. You don’t find out, because the bill goes to the P.O. box.
When the card is maxed out, Hacker moves onto another victim.
You remain blissfully and scarily unaware until your credit report is checked. To your horror, you find a huge unpaid collection account. Your credit score has plummeted by 100 points.
This is why federal law allows everyone to order a free annual credit report. If you haven’t checked yours in the past 12 months, order it today through the good old-fashioned USPS mail.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you were a potential victim of the big Experian credit breach in 2017, this is all the more reason why you should check your credit report.
Please share this info because people are forgetting to check their credit reports, and crime must be prevented and shut down. Thank you.
Written by Mr. F. McGehee Woolf, mortgage loan manager, licensed in Louisiana and North Carolina (NMLS 89625):
As a client of ours over the years you may recall the importance of having acceptable credit as a primary consideration in the home buying process. Many fall below the acceptable ranges to be approved. This can be very demoralizing, and they typically consider some unattractive options, such as:
- Listen to a friend and dispute all the negative credit information.
- Pay a company or an attorney to rehabilitate the credit which often delivers mixed results.
- Do nothing and keep renting.
Since people look to me for guidance I wanted to learn more about how someone could help himself or herself in this frustrating circumstance. I recently read the book by Carolyn Warren titled Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. It’s an easy read loaded with excellent direction on what to do in almost every conceivable circumstance. Ms. Warren will even provide you with the letter templates you need to be successful.
I contacted Ms. Warren asking for her permission for me to notify you of the availability of her book, and she
graciously granted it. I wholeheartedly endorse it. You can click on the link below and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase her book for $13.49. With her book and some focused effort, most people will be able to get their credit in order.
Best of luck and let me know if I can help you in any way.
F McGehee Woolf, Loan Production Manager NMLS No. 89625
For loans in North Carolina and Louisiana, visit website here. Office: 225.767.5355
I lost an email from someone asking me about a $50,000 home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. I hope she reads this.
In general, I am against home owners taking out a HELOC. It wasn’t that long ago that thousands of home owners who had spent their precious equity on a HELOC found themselves in foreclosure. And consequently, with severely damaged credit.
Now that home values have risen, it is not the time to make that same mistake all over again.
Of course, that doesn’t stop the greedy banks from pushing this product.
I will allow that there is the rare valid reason to take out a HELOC, such as when you want to increase your wealth in real estate by purchasing another home.
On the other hand, using your property as a piggy bank is a bad idea.
Reasons NOT to Take Out a HELOC
I am opposed to increasing the debt on your primary residence for the following purposes.
1) Home improvements: If you can’t afford it, wait until you save the cash. Why? Because a $50,000 remodel does not increase your home value by $50,000. You come out behind financially.
On top of that, you pay back more than $50,000 due to the high interest rates.
2) Consolidating debt: This is a big no! You never roll plastic (credit card debt) into your precious real estate. This is one of the worst financial mistakes home owners made in the past. Don’t repeat it.
If you get your credit card shut down, it’s no big deal. If you get kicked out of your house, it’s a very big deal.
3) Education: Take out a student loan if needed. Never pay for school with your house. That goes double for your kids’ education!
4) Vacation: To the loan officer who suggests this, you reply, “No, I am not stupid.”
5) Open for a Safety Net: A HELOC does not make a good safety net. It is quite the opposite. A bank can reduce or shut down a HELOC at any time. The interest rate can go up, often with a lifetime cap of 19%. This does not provide you with financial safety. Create a savings account for safety. Find a secondary source of income for safety.
A Little-Known Fact and a Warning
Most home owners don’t know that if they have a HELOC (or any type of second mortgage that was opened after purchasing the home) and then want to refinance, that HELOC will put them into a higher credit risk category — even if they have perfect credit and a 800 score.
That’s right, you will pay a higher interest rate simply for having a HELOC when you refinance.
We live in an age of instant gratification and entitlement. Listen folks: you do not “need” granite counter tops or a bathroom makeover. Sure, those things are wonderful to have, but exercise patience and save your money until you can actually afford to purchase them.