FICO reveals behaviors behind sterling credit scores | Inman News

26 10 2012

Credit cards image via Shutterstock.

FICO high achievers typically have long, well-established credit histories and rarely open new accounts, FICO said. They opened their oldest credit account 25 years ago, on average, and their most recent credit account more than two years 28 months ago. In general, their average credit account is 11 years old.Their balances are often low and they use only an average of 7 percent of their available revolving credit, i.e., $70 on a credit card with a $1,000 maximum.FICO considers both positive and negative credit report information within five general categories, the company said: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used.Source: FICO The FICO score does not take into account attributes such as race, gender, age, marital status, salary, employment history or address, the company said. FICOs consumer website, myFICO.com, offers tips and tools to help people make decisions about their credit.”Because a high FICO score is typically achieved over time and takes into account dozens of variables, there are no quick fixes for rapidly improving scores or repairing bad credit,” Sprauve said.

via FICO reveals behaviors behind sterling credit scores | Inman News.

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Five signs you may be ready to refinance – Yahoo! Homes

27 08 2012

Photo: Thinkstock

If youre on the fence about refinancing, check out these five signs it might be right for you…By Leslie Barrie | Yahoo! Homes – Thu, Aug 16, 2012 7:20

Good news: There are some signs to help you figure out if refinancing the process of paying off your existing mortgage with a new one is a smart idea for you. Just note: lenders usually require that you have at least 5 percent equity accumulated in your property to be eligible to refinance your mortgage, according to Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored national mortgage finance company. (I’d like to add…unless you are eligible for the HARP program- call me if you have more questions about this) – Are you eligible? Here are five more signs it may be time to refinance your mortgage.

Sign #1 – You Can Get a Lower Interest Rate

If you can snag an interest rate lower than what you currently have.And chances are, you can.”Interest rates are at a historic low right now, so it may be a good time to go ahead and [refinance],” says Shah Tehrany, a managing director at Franklin First Financial, a nationwide mortgage banker. “Right now, at 5 percent on a fixed rate 30-year loan or 4 percent on a fixed rate 15-year loan, you may want to seriously look into seeing if you can get a lower rate. According to the central bank of the United States, also known as the Federal Reserve, refinancing costs can range from 3 to 6 percent of your outstanding principal. (No closing costs options are also available.)

Sign #2 – You Have an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage…

via Five signs you may be ready to refinance – Yahoo! Homes.





Buying a Home Won’t Get Much Cheaper | AOL Real Estate

7 05 2012

Buying a Home Won’t Get Much Cheaper By CNNMoney | Posted May 3rd 2012 1:02PM

By Les Christie

Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.

With home prices down 34% nationally since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable — but it won’t stay this way for much longer.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year.

A number of factors will help bolster the housing market, he said, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.

“This is a strong indicator that we will start seeing home price indexes, like the S&P/Case-Shiller, start to report home price increases this summer,” he said.

Prospective homebuyers who’ve been sitting on the fence shouldn’t worry if they aren’t quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest, at least, in most markets.

Read more at CNNMoney.

via Buying a Home Won’t Get Much Cheaper | AOL Real Estate.





Even if your home is underwater, new HARP guidelines may be able to help you save money

8 12 2011

I wanted to pass along an idea that may help you or someone you know…

Very recent changes to the government refinance programs for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac-owned mortgages are providing many people – who had previously been unable to refinance – the opportunity to do so at phenomenal rates!

If you haven’t refinanced since May of 2009, check to see if your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (links to the web sites are below).  If your mortgage is owned by one of those two, and if it was with Fannie or Freddie PRIOR to June 1, 2009, then you may very well be eligible to refinance, even if you owe more on your home than the home is worth.

Here is an example of a loan I got approved this week :

Lisle – owes a combined $278,000 and the home is worth $240,000 for a 116% combined loan to value. I have them approved on a 30 year fixed at 4.115% with no closing costs. They are saving $138/month.

The appraised value of your home may have declined, and as such, refinancing the “normal way” – even to a lower rate – would be prohibitive as it would normally include PMI.  With these new program changes however, a refinance may now be a real possibility and may save you a bunch of cash.

THE KEY – and this is very important – is that your CURRENT loan must have been Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-owned PRIOR to June 1, 2009, and that you don’t currently have Mortgage Insurance.

Here are the links to both web sites you can use to check and see if your loan may be one of those eligible for this special refinance program: (or give me a call and I will check for you).

Fannie Mae’s site:  http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/

Freddie Mac’s site:  https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/

Let me know if you have any questions!





Opportunities hidden in an economic recession – Sep. 28, 2011

28 09 2011

Three reasons to LOVE the slowdown

By Kim Clark, Lisa Gibbs and Susie Poppick @Money September 28, 2011: 5:36 AM ET

There are plenty of opportunities during an economic recession, if you know where to look.

(MONEY Magazine) — There’s no denying that these are scary times for you and your money. The economy is teetering on the edge of another recession.

Housing prices remain stuck in the basement. Newly downgraded U.S. Treasury bonds are paying so little in interest that you’re likely to lose ground against inflation. And stocks have been sinking for months. So what’s to love, you ask?

Fear and loathing usually create opportunities for bargain hunters with enough cash, credit, and Pepto-Bismol to ride out short-term queasiness.

It’s not just with stocks. You can take advantage of historically low mortgage rates and rising rents to make headway in this real estate market, or you can simply borrow money more effectively than in years past.

Remember that managing your money is all about risk and return, says William Bernstein, author of “The Investor’s Manifesto.” “When the risks rise,” he says, “the potential for future return rises too.”

the article continues via Opportunities hidden in an economic recession – Sep. 28, 2011.





Bottom Line – Fed moves to push rates lower, boost economy

21 09 2011

Fed moves to push rates lower, boost economy

By Patrick Rizzo

It’s back to the future for the Federal Reserve.

Faced with a lethargic economy and a jobless rate hovering at 9 percent, the nation’s central bank reached deep into its bag of tricks on Wednesday and pulled out a move to spur growth that it hadn’t used in 50 years.

The move, dubbed “Operation Twist” when it was first used in 1961, is intended to push long-term interest rates lower, which the Fed hopes will spur lending, induce businesses to expand and tempt consumers into spending more.

The Fed said it will do that by selling $400 billion worth of short-term securities to buy longer-term securities, much like a homeowner swapping higher-rate credit card debt for a lower-rate home equity loan.

“The Committee intends to purchase, by the end of June 2012, $400 billion of Treasury securities with remaining maturities of 6 years to 30 years and to sell an equal amount of Treasury securities with remaining maturities of 3 years or less,” the Fed said in a statement after a meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee.

Click  here to see the rest: via Bottom Line – Fed moves to push rates lower, boost economy.