Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day to Your Credit Report

Time to show some love to your credit report! Here are five tips how:

  1. Pay down balances below 30 percent to give your score an instant boost.
  2. Be a transactor, not a revolver, for a better score. A transactor pays the bill in full each month; a revolver carries a balance from month-to-month.
  3. Use your longstanding credit cards every six months to prevent them from being shut down due to inactivity, which usually results in a loss of positive points on your credit score.
  4. Dispute $0 balance collections to get them removed from your credit report. Oftentimes, they are reporting with inaccurate information which is illegal. Also, if an account was sold to collections, the original creditor cannot show a balance owing, because they can no longer collect on the debt. Don’t ask for the balance to be corrected; use that inaccuracy as an opportunity to remove the derogatory account altogether. By law, a credit report must be 100 percent accurate.
  5. Get your home loan before buying a car. Don’t make the bad mistake of buying a car before a home!

Above all, do not charge more than you can afford to pay when the billing statement arrives. Spending beyond your means is no way to show your finances any love.

Love your credit and you will receive love back in the form of saving money on interest and insurance premiums. If your credit needs some help, pick up a copy of this guide here.

News: Credit Score Model is Changing

The way credit scores are calculated is changing this summer, and you need to be prepared.

Millions of Americans will see their scores go down, while millions will see their scores go UP. Which side of the seesaw will you be on?

By preparing now, you can be one of those who are rewarded with a higher score.

A top tier credit score qualifies you for lower interest rates and lower insurance premiums.

Who Will Be Rewarded with Higher Credit Scores?

Consumers who carry low credit card balances will receive a score increase. Paying balances in full when the billing statement comes in will also be rewarded.

Who Will Be Penalized with Lower Credit Scores?

Consumers who carry a high balance-to-available-credit will be penalized. Especially, if they make partial payments and carry a balance from month-to-month. When you can’t pay the balance, it is seen as spending beyond your ability to pay.

The Exception

The balance-to-limit ratio applies to revolving accounts. It does not apply to installment loans (car loans, student loans) or to mortgages.

Action to Take Now

Now is the time to lower your credit card balance-to-limit ratio. It’s also time to take stock of spending and create a budget, as needed.

For more information on achieving a top tier credit score, please see here.

Is Your Credit Score Above Average?

The average credit score is 703.*

In the mortgage home buying world, 703 is meh. It’s good enough to get a conventional loan (which is better than FHA), but a 703 score does not qualify for the best and lowest 30-year fixed rate.

For the best interest rate, you need a score of 740+. Some lenders will reward you with an even better rate if your score is in a 780 tier or 800 tier. Those are the lenders that cater to the creme de la creme borrowers.

In 2013, the average credit score was 691. Scores have been trending upward since then.

The graphic at top right shows the average score by age group.

The state with the highest average credit score is Minnesota at 733.

The state with the lowest average credit score is Louisiana at 677.

Some people have taken the steering wheel and boosted their scores by 50, 80, and even 100+ points. I’ve seen a score increase by 58 points in two weeks when the person paid down two high balance credit cards.

There are several ways to increase your score, and it all starts with paying every bill on time–every time.

The fastest way to increase your score is to lower your balance-to-limit ratio.

One way to hurt your score without knowing it is to open a new revolving credit card when you’ve already got two good cards open.

Another way to get blindsided is by not monitoring your automatic payments. I saw a person’s score knock him down by 50 points, because he didn’t know his student loan had been sold and his bank didn’t send the auto-payment to the new creditor. When he called to get it straightened out, the representative told him not to worry, they weren’t reporting him as late. But that turned out to be a lie. His credit report showed a brand new late payment, which cost him thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Having a high credit score also affects your auto insurance premium. Many drivers have no idea they are being charged more on their auto insurance because their credit scores are not top tier.

We are now in 2020. This is the time to take control of your credit. Grab a quick, easy read here so that you are smart about credit. Being smart about credit is being smart about money.

I don’t know anyone who has money to waste, do you? Make 2020 your year for excellence!

*(2019 second quarter, FICO8 Scoring Model) Experian Source here

 

 

2020 Forecasts in Real Estate and Mortgage Rates

All the experts have weighed in with their predictions for 2020. Here is a quick summary of the consensus.

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES will remain low and fairly flat with daily and weekly ups and downs according to the market.

The 30-year fixed rate for people with excellent credit (740+ score) is slated to be about 4%, but if you go to a mortgage broker instead of a direct lender, you may be able to get 3.75%. This is because brokers shop wholesale for you, which is a big advantage over direct lenders’ retail rates. APR (annual percentage rate that factors in certain costs) would be about 3.85% or 4.125%. APR will vary according to fees and interpretation of the APR law.

HOME REAL ESTATE VALUES will increase moderately, partly because the low interest rates makes for more affordability. In many areas, there is an increased population of home buyers, which also drives up prices.

Spring is the most popular time to buy and sell real estate, so if you purchase a home now in winter, chances are that you will pay less than if you wait a few months.

BOTTOM LINE FOR YOU is that now is an excellent time to become a home owner. Or, if you already own a home, it’s an excellent time to move into one that is more suitable to your needs. You can get great loan pricing and increase your wealth through real estate.

Have a wonderful and prosperous 2020. Happy New Year!

 

New Year’s Resolution: Build Better Credit

Is 2020 going to be your year for better credit? Will you buy a home in 2020?

If so, here is a list to get you started in the right direction.

BETTER CREDIT IN 2020

  1. I will pay all bills on the same day they come in.
  2. I will set auto-pay dates for earlier than the last date (when errors can cause an unfair late payment).
  3.  I will keep all credit card balances below 50% of the limit at all times.
  4.  I will buy only what I can afford to pay in full when the bill comes. (No more carrying balances and wasting precious money on interest.)
  5. I will not engage in so-called “retail therapy” or shopping out of emotion, which is an unhealthy financial habit.
  6. I will not take a loan with a finance company.
  7. I will not do any type of business with a “payday” type of loan.
  8. I will have credit in my own name and remove myself from piggyback credit on parents or strangers.
  9. I will remove myself from co-signed loans. I will not co-sign for anyone, ever, for any reason.
  10. I will take joy in nature, friendships, family, and God rather than in material possessions that I cannot truly afford.

Have a happy and blessed New Decade!

 

New Fee Schedule for VA Loans in 2020

Below is the chart for VA loans closing between 2020 and 2028.

Most VA loans have a funding fee that is rolled into the loan.

Veterans who received a Purple Heart and veterans who were disabled during service pay no funding fee.

The percentages are based on the loan amount. For example, if you purchase a $300,000 home with zero down, and you are using your VA benefit for the first time, the funding fee is 2.3% of $300,000 = $6,900.

Therefore, your loan will be $306,900.

Here is the chart for the VA Funding Fee 2020:

The Authentic Christmas Story

Jesus Is Born

At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived.

So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of King David, went to Bethlehem because David had been born there. Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant.

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.

Angels Announce the Birth of Jesus

Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night. An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. 11 Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David’s city. 12 This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, a large army of angels appeared with the angel. They were praising God by saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those who have his good will!”

15 The angels left them and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.”

16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger. 17 When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him. 18 Everyone who heard the shepherds’ story was amazed.

19 Mary treasured all these things in her heart and always thought about them.

20 As the shepherds returned to their flock, they glorified and praised God for everything they had seen and heard. Everything happened the way the angel had told them.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)Copyright © 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations. Available here.

How Long Can a Creditor Collect on Debt?

There are four categories of debt:

  1. Oral Agreements
  2. Written Contracts (medical debt, typical collection accounts)
  3. Promissory Notes (car loans, student loans, installment loans)
  4. Open-ended accounts (credit cards)

Each state has it’s own law that dictates how many years a creditor may collect. It’s also called the Statute of Limitations.

However, even if a debt is past the legal date, bottom-feeding collectors will persist in trying to get money out of you. That’s why it’s good to know the law in your state.

If you’re in Alaska, Arkansas, Mississippi, or Nevada, the limit for collecting on an Promissory Note is 3 years.

If you’re in Ohio, it is 15 years. Wow, what a big difference!

Here is a chart for each type of debt and the Statute of Limitations for each state.

Would you like to know how the certified credit repair professionals get the debt removed from credit reports? If so, then you’ll want to order a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.

3 Credit Tips for a Higher Credit Score

Last month, I was recorded for an episode of “On Everyone’s Lips.” Today, I am sharing three of those credit tips with you.

O.E.L.’s goal is to teach techniques and strategies.

O.E.L.’s mission is to inspire listeners.

Here are 3 Tips from the show:

  1. What debts should be tackled first?

It’s best to pay down any and all revolving debts first. Credit cards have a higher negative impact on your credit because they continue to affect you for longer, as opposed to installment loans like student loans and auto loans that have an end date.

Pay down your credit card debt first. Generally, it’s best to start with the card that has the highest APR/interest rate. The more you pay on interest, the more money you wind up paying in the long run.

2. What are some ways to maintain good credit?

Never shut down all of your cards. Closing your credit card accounts means that nothing is actively reporting to the credit bureaus. Eventually, that closed account stops helping your score. When there is no score to report and you have no credit history, then you will pay more for a home loan and other financing.

If you use a credit card once or twice a year, then the creditor won’t shut down your card.

3. What is the best way to obtain your credit report?

The best way is to write a letter to the address below and request a copy of your free annual report. Avoid using the online credit report request, because in so-doing you agree to waive several of your rights when you check the box agreeing to the terms and conditions. It’s always best to put everything in writing. Use the good, old fashioned USPS mail, even though it takes longer than the online system.

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

For the complete podcast, see here.

Thank you, Mr. Khari Harrigan, podcast producer and manager, for inviting me on your show.

Thank you, O.E.L. team Lindsey J, Chelsea Jade, and Monique Knows aka Mo for the interview.

 

Announcement: I’m Giving Away All My Book Royalties

Very near the equator where the sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m. 356 days a year, there are villages where people live in thatch and mud homes barely large enough to shelter a sleeping family. They cook by fire and farm by oxen. They gather sticks and carry 50-lb stacks on their backs to sell at market in order to survive. In this place, something wonderful has happened.

Ethiopians are telling other Ethiopians about a newfound joy, the joy of knowing Jesus in a personal way. Their lives are being changed from male-domineering-sometimes-abusive into compassion. One of these villages has been praying for a neighboring village for 10 years, and now those same villagers are finding faith in Christ.

In one village there are now 88 Believers who gather to worship. They sit on plastic jugs or on the ground under a tree. They have no protection from scorching heat or rain. They need a church. Moreover, in their culture, what makes a religion valid is a church. They are accustomed to prayers in a mosque. Socially, without a church, you are nobody. Friends have told them, “If you get a church, that is when I will come and pray with you and join your faith.”

To build a church, they need land. A prominent Ethiopian, an Influencer, has come to salvation—and he brought his family of 24 into the faith with him. This man has donated land for the purpose of a church. The problem is, there are no funds to build a church nor means to earn funds. How much does a church cost?

$7,000! That’s right, only $7K will build a church that will change the course of a village. Less than what most of us pay for our cars.

I am donating 100% of my royalty income for November and December from my two bestselling books to fund a church for these dear people. However, my current monthly is not enough. And this is where I need your help. I am asking you to hit Share on Facebook to pass on this information so that people who need the information will order a book.

Repair Your Credit Like the Pros has 412 reviews with an average of 5 stars. Everyone who needs to fix their credit can benefit. (See Amazon)

Build and Project Your Credit Like the Pros is for young people starting out, immigrants, and anyone else who wants to go from basic-to-expert and a 800+ credit score in record time.

All November and December profits brought in by these books will go to build a church in Ethiopia. It is high time that prayers sent to heaven for 10 long years get answered!

If you know someone who could use it, why not purchase a book as a gift for them, knowing you will be helping families living far, far below the poverty line?

Thank you for considering being a co-partner with me in this worthy endeavor.

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