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Buy a home with bad credit

3 Grievous Errors to Ending Your Credit Rating Disaster Countdown

23 Dec , 2014  

The new year’s coming. Scary thought. I’m sure many of you will watch the countdown and the proverbial ball drop as the confetti sprays up and noisemakers ring in a sparkly 2015, and undoubtedly you’re all going to be thinking of what kind of New Year’s resolution you should make. Let one of your resolutions be this: fix your credit rating.new year credit repair

Getting Credit Ratings Right Isn’t an Easy Task, Though

This is especially the case if your credit rating’s terrible! Why do those ratings matter? It’s simple. You want to prospect home ownership, don’t you? Why else do you think the H.O.P.E. Program’s around, helping those recover and eliminate as many blemishes as possible?

Owning a home is the premium accomplishment of our age. It’s the American Dream. Getting the keys to the house is equivalent to accepting an Oscar for your role as Batman or Superman, for crying out loud. It’s next to godliness. When you hope to own, you hope for the future. But like I said — it’s not as easy as it looks, because there are some pitfalls for you to watch out for. Three pitfalls, to be exact.

Watch Out for Some Credit Repair Clinics Out There

Credit scores are the stamp of approvals, undoubtedly, so it’s no surprise that there are numerous credit repair companies out there, credit consolidation corporations and other credit watchdogs barking their calls to creditors to stop the calling, remove the balances and get those reports looking spotless. Rest assured: their intentions are good. Some clinics, though, pave the way to Hell with the good intentions, and in the end, the consumer, you, end up suffering even more than you already are.

red wine credit repairWhat you have to understand is that many creditors will do what’s called a “soft delete.” An okay, but “not really” underneath their breath. You see, those credit repair clinics can bark all they want to creditors; but to get them to stop, all creditors would have to do is wipe it clean but then bring them back after the clinic has done the supposed job.

It’s like cleaning a carpet only for the kid to spill red wine all over it again.

The result is a cost to the clinic repeatedly, like an addiction, if you will, because the negative reports on your credit rating keep cropping back up needlessly. Just another expense on your wallet you have to constantly worry about.

Closing Old Accounts Won’t Benefit You Either

Since we’ve got that out of the way, it’s pretty obvious: you can, in fact, repair your credit rating on your own. It will, however, take some dedication on your part. Write goodwill letters to your creditors. Negotiate. Settle. Get the debt eliminated however you can. Pay off your bills on time. You’ll undoubtedly see a transformation to your credit rating —

When you pay those accounts off, though, don’t fall into this trap: closing them out completely. Why? Believe it or not, but a “closed” accountClosed_Sign on your credit score isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can, in fact, be a bad omen to some people reviewing scores for the prospect of homeownership, or even leasing a vehicle. Closed accounts can sometimes mean “written-off” accounts for unpaid debt. Unpaid debt is truly a bad omen when it comes to owning a home, right?

Instead, simply pay off whatever balance and let that account sit there on your credit rating. Don’t do anything to it. You might not use the account anymore for anything, and that’s fine — but why close it down when it looks good on your credit? Leave it on there.

Multiple Credit Card Applications Can Also Leave a Stain on the Carpet

You can bet your financial horses that this form of “window shopping” won’t help you, and it’s unfortunate. Interest rates vary, yes, and you can never know that one credit card account might benefit you better than another, but definitely don’t shop around and compare. It’ll look bad on your credit rating.

This doesn’t, however, apply to mortgages and car loans, as ‘rate shopping’ is allowed, so much so that you can practically apply for as many as 20 mortgages if you want within a month and a half, and the inquiry on your credit report will only show up as one listing. Yes, a simple credit cards credit repairinquiry will affect your credit score, but that one listing is a whole lot better than 20 total on your rating, and you can bet your stars that so much of that will adversely drop your score just a tad.

Typically, revolving credit card accounts count each inquiry as one, so the more you have within a year, the lower your FICO score. Go easy on the credit cards, please.

Keep It Clean

At the end of it all, even when you avoid these errors, you’re going to be a watchdog. Pay close attention to your credit and pay your bills regularly. You might even see errors on your credit report as well, and this is where you, the watchdog, can start barking. Get it fixed. Perhaps it wasn’t on your end that hurt your credit rating. It does happen.

Whatever the case, know this: you’re in charge. You’re the top spot. And your credit rating will swing you to every corner of success as a result. Contact the HOPE Program today to learn more about how to ring in the new year the right way.

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Buy a home with bad credit

5 Steps All Newlyweds Must Make as First-Time Homeowners

22 Dec , 2014  

Breaking into the real estate market can be equated to breaking into just about anything: a bank, the White House, the music industry. It’s difficult. You need to know how to “pick a lock” and get in and out swiftly, or you’ll end up stuck in a waiting game that perhaps could be more agonizing than jail time. Thankfully, though, the real estate market risk we’re talking about really has nothing to do with any criminal activity!

Rather, when you hope to own your first home — particularly as newlyweds — you have one thing to worry about, one thing that no mortgage company would ever ignore. That’s your credit. As a first-time homeowner, you better pay close attention to it.married homeowners

As a Newly Married Couple, You’re Not Alone

One would think that getting to be a first-time homeowner should be easier when buying a house together with your spouse. That’s not always the case. When applying for a mortgage, know this — the company will review the credit history of not just you, or your spouse, but both. And that can get complicated.

What if your spouse generally has bad credit? Even if your credit’s spot-on, that low number can make the difference between signing on the dotted line and having the keys to just getting the ‘no’ and sigh equivalent to that of a dentist disappointed at your numerous cavities. No one likes to hear the words “I’m sorry, but we can’t approve.” It’s almost like a slap in the face. All it takes, potentially, is one blemish on your credit report, and your ability to be a first-time homeowner’s shot down.

You can prepare, though, well before you walk out of the church as man and wife, well before you sign the marriage certificate — even well before you propose or get proposed to — with these five steps.

Step 1: Credit Reports, Credit Reports

Know what your credit score is. As a soon-to-be first-time homeowner, that’s a must. Get that credit score long before you even apply for that loan. The same will go for your soon-to-be spouse. If you can gather those scores and know where the problems are, you can fix them long before you apply for that loan.

credit reportStep 2: Whether You Like It or Not, You’ve Got to Quit Your Habits

It does sound a lot harder to do, doesn’t it? We’re always stuck in our ways. However, bear in mind this important fact: you’re about to get married. Let’s pray you’re not already at this step with the rings on the fingers. The point, though, is that you’re making a big decision. You’ve made the choice to join lives with someone else — finances, home, future, everything — without looking back. This often can result in some lifestyles changing. Without a doubt, one of the lifestyles you may have is the ability to be liberal with your spending and let the debt just pile on while you wait to pay it all back “later.” Don’t wait. Change now. Catch up on your bills. Get a system of payment going. You thought it was difficult to keep up on the credit card payments as a single bachelor/bachelorette? Try doing it married as a first-time homeowner.

Step 3: Get a Credit History

Don’t be afraid to face the possibility of blemishes on your credit report. Why? Because no credit is actually worse than ‘bad credit.’ That’s right. The next step is to simply get some credit going. You need a record to even possibly get approval for a home loan. Yes, that means obtaining a credit card and buying a few things — a candy bar, dinner at Applebee’s, or whatever. Just pay it back immediately. When you pay it back, it shows up on your credit report. bills-loans-creditThis is the stuff mortgage companies will see on your credit report. They’ll see you’re reliable. You pay on time. You’re diligent. If you have no credit history, how can they make a decision?

Step 4: If You Do Have Good Credit, Handle the Loan on Your Own

Your spouse just might have to sit out on that venture, sorry to say — but only if your spouse has crappy credit. Think about the future and let’s not let this be about ownership. The fact is this: you want approval for that home loan, you need to ensure that the credit report is as flawless as possible. If you have to be the one applying for the loan in your own name, do it.

Step 5: Lastly, Look at Some of the Alternatives You Have

It’s not the end of the world if you get a denial for a home loan, people. Your goal of getting your home as a first-time homeowner will be just a bit more difficult, a little more complicated. You do have options. Consider a sub-prime loan, a type of loan that’s a bit more expensive for you marriage lifedue to the increased risk for the lender. For instance: you might face mortgage rates of 7%, which isn’t too bad; however, because you and your spouse have bad credit, you’ll have to pay 9%. Not much of a sacrifice when you think about it, especially when you get to have your very first home.

Prepare for Your Life

This is just the start of what you have to face, and you haven’t even had the chance to worry about whether or not you can handle your spouse snoring at night or the socks left in the bathroom! Or perhaps you have experienced that — in an apartment.

The next step is undoubtedly getting to be a first-time homeowner. In order to get there, though, you have to be prepared. Prepare with these five steps. The H.O.P.E. Program can help. Visit us today! But don’t forget to hang your wedding pictures on the walls of your new house.

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