Why free credit report scores are not accurate

Why free credit report scores are not accurate

Minneapolis, MN:  As a mortgage loan officer, every single day, someone tells me their credit score they received from Credit Karma, some “free credit report” web site, their Discover Card statement, or even directly from the actual credit reporting agency.

Everyday, I tell them that is NOT their correct mortgage credit score.

We jokingly call those score your “Fake ‘O’ Score”  – (joke for FICO score)

Why isn’t my credit score my credit score?

It is actually rather simple. There are multiple credit score models, and the models vary by what you are doing.

Your Credit Score

When you apply for a credit card, the credit card company cares most about how you handle credit cards, and the likelihood of you defaulting on a credit card. Like wise, when you apply for a car loan, the scores are based on the likelihood of you defaulting on an auto loan. The same holds true for mortgages loans.

When you obtain your credit score from ANY SITE that YOU as the consumer are able to get your credit report, you are getting a GENERIC score.  That is, a score NOT based on any one industry risk factor.

It is very common for mortgage lenders to pull scores that are 20 points, even 30-points lower that you just saw on one of those other sites…. and NO, it isn’t because we pulled your credit!!  That truth about inquiries NOT lowering your score is for another article

 


Stop worring about inquiries on your credit report

Inquiries on your credit report

Plan on getting a home loan soon? Worried about qualifying for a mortgage? Need to get pre-approved to buy a home in Minnesota or Wisconsin? Think your credit score will go down?

For 99% of the people, 99% of the time, you don’t need to sweat a lender pulling your credit report!


8 things that will screw up your mortgage closing

Minneapolis, MN:  In the home mortgage approval process, things are not what they used to be.  Underwriting now goes over your entire life with a fine tooth comb.  It really isn’t something to be scared of, if you deserve a loan, you will still get one.

FHA Mortgage Loan Expert in MN and WI
FHA Mortgage Loan Expert in MN and WI

But, there are several places buyers often do things that can turn an approval into a denial. In the excitement of purchasing their new home, they may prematurely make financial moves that impact their mortgage loan approval. Lenders now run a final credit check within a few days of closing, and if it is different from the original credit report, it may be a deal breaker.

Here is a list of 8 things that will screw up your mortgage closing.

1.      Don’t change employment status.  Seems simple, but I’ve had many people over the years quit their job, be laid off, or even terminated

2.      Don’t make any major purchases:  Furniture for the new house sounds great, but can blow your debt-to-income ratio right out of the water.  So can new cars.

3.      Don’t increase credit card debt or miss any payments.

4.      Don’t change bank accounts or make undisclosed large deposits. Any large non-payroll deposit on your last two months bank statements need to be explained and proved.

5.      Don’t apply for a credit card, co-sign on a loan or make a credit inquiry.  Any changes to the original credit report need to be explained and documented.

6.      Don’t spend money set aside for closing, not any, not ever.  Again, seems like common sense, but I once had a client spend their down payment money on a moving truck.

7.     Any delay in providing all paperwork asked for by the mortgage company can and does cause huge problems. When the Loan Officer asks for something, don’t argue or question why they want it, just drop everything and get it to them ASAP.

8.      If you change anything…  anything, let the lender know. You’d be surprised how many times deals get to the closing table and this is the first time the lender finds out the purchase price changed.

Buyers must be sure there is nothing happening personally or financially that might put the closing at risk.  It is too common for buyers, being approved for a mortgage loan, to think that relatively smaller financial issues won’t matter.

The bottom line is tell your Loan Officer everything, and we’ll make sure you have a smooth, stress free, no surprises closing.


Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Minneapolis, MN: Every year, millions of potential new home owners ask the question, “can I qualify for a mortgage?” It’s a scary question for many people, but getting the answer isn’t anywhere as hard or difficult as people think.First, ask yourself some of these basic questions, then contact a local licensed non-bank lender and fill out an application. There are no obligations to let a lender review your situation.

Can I afford the payment?

This is obviously a major questions. I always tell people if they have been comfortably making a rent payment similar to what the anticipated mortgage payment will be, you’ve passed this test!Many people on the other hand have “payment shock”, which simply means the new home payment will be significantly more than what the pay now, if anything.

Lender use a term called “debt ratio”, which is simply a measure of a percentage of your income that would go towards the house, and all other debt. There are two different ratios they measure. The first number is your “housing debt”, which they don’t like to see over 28%. This is a measure of just the cost of the house {principal, interest, taxes, insurance) versus your income.  The next number, which most people are more familiar with is your “total debt ratio”, takes in all debt. The house payment, car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc. This number they generally do not like to see over 41% of your income.

There are slight variations to these ratios depending on loan program, so be sure to consult your Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer for details. Here is a link to some popular mortgage calculators to help you determine debt ratios.

Down Payment

Mortgage lenders love it when you put at least 20% down. That down payment size or more will get you a loan without mortgage insurance, a nice money saver. Realistically many people simply can’t afford that much. Conventional loans may be available with as little as 5% down, and the very popular FHA Loan is available with as little as 3.5% down payment.  The minimum down payment can also be effected by credit score.  Someone with a 660 credit score for example, will need at least 10% down on a conventional loan, while someone with a 720 score will only need 5% down.

Zero down payment is a potential option for some people. Military veterans can possible obtain a zero down payment VA Loan, and those seeing to live in rural areas of the country may also qualify for a no down payment USDA Rural Development Loan.

Your down payment will also affect your interest rate. All other things being equal, the best interest rates go to borrowers who put down larger down payments; you’ll pay a somewhat higher rate if you put down only 5 percent or 10 percent.

Credit score

Credit scores clearly are a major factor, but it is actually pretty simple. If you have great credit (over 720), you’ll have no problems.  If you have OK or average credit (660 – 720), you’ll likely qualify for most programs, but not necessarily all, or not with the best mortgage interest rates. If you have bad credit (below 620), you will not qualify for anything, and should work on repairing your credit before attempting to get a mortgage loan.

To review your credit go to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get a copy of your report for free once every year. This service does NOT include scores. Another free option is http://www.creditkarma.com. This DOES include scores, but they offer similar, but not the actual FICO scores lenders use, so your numbers may be different than what a lender gets, but at least it gets you an idea of where you are at.

Your Income

To qualify for a mortgage loan, you will be required to fully document all of your qualifying income. Lenders want to see your past two-years job history. Do not confuse this with needing to be at the SAME job for two-years. It is OK if you’ve changed jobs.

If you’re self-employed, get commission, or tipped income, it’s another story. You’ll need to be at the same position for at least two-years, and provide the past two-years Federal Tax returns. Your income is based on your AFTER deductions. If your income is stable, or increasing, you’re in great shape.  If your income is declining, this may be an issue.

Income from child support, alimony, social security, pensions, etc, are all acceptable.  You’ll need to fully document what is is, and that you are actually receiving it.  You will also need to prove it will continue for at least three years.

Bottom Line

If you feel you meet these basic requirements, contact a local licensed Loan Officer to submit an application. Before you do, understand who you should contact, and some of the myths:

  • 80% of Loan Officers are unlicensed application clerks. Only deal with a licensed Loan Officer. Learn How.
  • Your Bank doesn’t know you or care about you
  • Credit Unions DO make a profit
  • Get off the Internet. There are no deals there you can’t get locally – Sit down with a LOCAL Lender

An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for www.MnRealEstateDaily.com


Credit tips for first time home buyers

 Credit tips for buying a home

We all should know that it’s important to have solid good credit when thinking about buying your first home. We all know that lenders and banks want to see solid credit in any borrower.

But what exactly does that mean for first time home buyers?

It means having some credit.  It means having a score in the mid-to-upper 600 range (although that doesn’t mean you’re out in the cold if you’re in the low 600’s).  It means no major negative items like a repo or bankruptcy in the past few years.

In short, it means you’re responsible with your money, and you pay your bills on time.  The way lender determine if you are doing these things is with a FICO credit score.

How do you make sure your credit is good in general? Let’s explore 6 credit tips for first time home buyers that you could follow even if you’re not a first time buyer.

  • Pay your bills on time, every time. This is a simple rule when it comes to establishing good credit (not always easy to follow, but it’s vital). You have to keep your bills current.
  • Have a diverse credit portfolio. This can include secured credit cards, a small car loan and maybe a store credit line. A diverse mix shows that you are able and willing to pay your bills.
  • Keep your credit charges below 30% of the limits. Going above this number will reduce your credit score. Paying the debt down is the best way to make this happen. You could also ask the credit company to raise your limit (but don’t charge more if they do!).
  • Check your credit history every quarter. You have a right to know what’s on your credit report. Thanks to the government, you actually have the legal right to get your credit report once a year from each of the 3 credit bureaus. That means you can actually check your credit report 3 times per year.
  • Keep your lines of credit open. Closing a paid-off account is a good step after you have your mortgage. A longer, more diverse credit history is important.
  • Once you have a few lines of credit, don’t open any more. Continuously opening new credit accounts is risky, and your score will reflect this.

You can explore more on how to get your credit ready to become a first time home buyer with reading “The Understanding Your FICO Score” at the button below. The Pamphlet covers what makes up a credit score, how to improve your FICO score, steps to rebuilding credit and more.


Dont worry about credit inquiries when shopping for a mortgage loan

Shopping for a mortgage loan? DON’T worry about inquiries on your credit report

We’ve all heard it before. Having someone pull your credit will reduce your credit score. Sadly, many people end up making some poor decisions based on half truths, and bad information.

The fear of reduced credit scores with the occasional pull from a creditor is the most annoying, misleading, and misunderstood thing I hear every week in the mortgage business. If you are worried about “inquiries on your report”, this isn’t the concern most people think it is.

What to know about mortgage rate shopping.
Looking for a mortgage, auto or student loan may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you are only looking for one loan. To compensate for this, the score ignores mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring.  So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won’t affect your score while you’re rate shopping.  In addition, the score looks on your credit report for mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries older than 30 days. If it finds some, it counts those inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry when determining your score. For FICO scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period was any 14 day span. For FICO scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45 day span.

Furthermore, inquiries, even under the worst of situations, could only account for 10% of your overall score. Most people should have absolutely NO CONCERN whatsoever about inquiries on your credit report unless you have applied with 10, 15, or even 20 lenders in the past 90-days.

Visit MyFico.com to find out the truth about inquiries and your credit score, and STOP WORRYING!