Gloria Dodge's Blog
Every homeowner knows how difficult it is to maintain a household. There are so many things that could go wrong in one’s life that committing to significant home payments may cause trouble.
Those who have been in debt knows that the reality of real estate is that it goes up. The value of your house would increase with the limited inventory and the high demand for homes.
Refinancing is always a viable option for every homeowner. With that, if you are asking if refinancing is a good step for you, the following should provide an answer:
First, refinancing is not a one size fits all kind of solution. It has different types which would determine if it is the right step for you.
There is a cash-out refinance which allows the homeowner to take advantage of the increase in price and replace the existing mortgage with a new one. Every person should know, however, that taking out cash-out refinancing is not good for those who cannot handle their payments in the first place. It renews your loan and extends it for a period, but it is not always a solution for those who lack self-control.
There is also a rate refinance where you would renegotiate the interest rates that you are paying. This one is a good step for those who are willing to pay off some of the debt through the equity and place it directly on loan.
Second, refinancing is not free. A common mistake that people think is that their refinancing option is open, so they get shocked when they have to pay about a thousand dollars for it. If you are in a position where you can afford a thousand dollar lost for tens of gain, it should be a good step for you.
Third, refinancing extends the term of your loan. You may feel like you get out of debt with refinancing but what you are only doing is reaching the end of your credit, and you are still in debt.
Now that you know some facts about refinancing, you can make a better decision if it is right for you and your mortgage. A financial adviser could advise you, but it is you who ultimately makes the decision.
Keep in mind that in case you need to ask more questions, you should ask a real estate professional and seek help from the experts.
Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.
1. Know Your Credit Score
Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary – something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.
You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.
2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders
There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.
Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.
3. Review a Mortgage Closely
A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.
For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.
Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.
If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender – use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.
What do buying a house, opening a credit card, and getting approved for an auto loan have in common? They all depend on your credit score.
Building credit is a multifaceted undertaking. In a way, this is a good thing--you wouldn’t want lenders to base their opinions solely on one aspect of your financial history. The downside is that understanding just what makes up your credit score can be difficult.
To complicate matters further, there isn’t one standard method for scoring your credit, and different credit bureaus each use their own criteria.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the factors the major credit bureaus use to calculate your credit, and give you some ways you can boost your credit.
But first, let’s talk about some of the implications of having a good credit score.
Why credit matters
Typical credit scores range anywhere from 250 to 850. The three main reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Most lenders use a combination of those scores that is reported by FICO.
Most credit reports will rank your category from “bad” to “excellent.” Here’s an example of what a credit ranking might look like:
Good: 700 - 749
Fair: 650 - 659
Poor: 550 - 649
U.S. legislation makes it possible for Americans to receive a free report of their credit score and to challenge and correct the score if it contains inaccuracies.
If you’re thinking about buying a house, opening a new line of credit, or taking out a loan of some kind, then the provider will likely run your credit score. Those providers are going to want to see a return on their investment, so they’ll charge interest.
If you have a high credit score, it tells the lenders that you are a low-risk investment, and therefore they can offer you a lower interest rate, saving you money in the long run.
Components of a credit score
There are five main factors that credit bureaus take into consideration when formulating your credit score. Not all of the factors are treated equally. Your ability to pay your bills on time, for example, is considered to be more important than the types of bills you have. Here’s a breakdown of the five components that make up a credit score:
35% - Bill and loan payments
30% - Current total amount of debt
15% - Amount of time you’ve had credit (since you took out your first loan or opened your first credit card)
10% - Types of credit (cards, loans, etc.)
10 % - New credit inquiries
Quick tips for building credit
It takes time to build credit and improve your score. So, if you’re hoping to buy a home within the next few years, now is the time to start working on your credit. Here are some best practices for building credit:
Set up autopay for your bills to avoid late payments. Even if the service doesn’t offer autopay, you can likely set up recurring payments through your bank.
Settle outstanding debt. Avoiding debt that you can’t pay off will only hurt you more in the long run. Call your creditor and see if they offer debt relief programs. More likely than not they’d rather work with you to ensure they receive some repayment rather than none at all.
Start budgeting the right way. New budgeting software like Mint and “You Need a Budget” are easy to use and link up with your accounts. They’ll help you monitor your spending and start paying off debt.
Don’t open new lines of credit close to when you want to take out a loan. New credit inquiries can briefly lower your credit, especially if you make more than one. Viewing your free credit reports doesn’t count as an inquiry, so feel free to do that as often as needed to check your progress.
Get credit for bills you’re already paying. You can report your monthly rent payments, switch bills into your name that you contribute to, or take out a credit builder loan. All three will help you build rent without changing your spending habits.
A month passes quickly, especially when you're faced with the responsibility of paying a five-figure or larger mortgage each month. Knowing that a $1,000 or more bill is coming in the mail, electronically or in print, could keep you up at night.
Paying a mortgage shouldn't leave you feeling anxious and worried
The only way to let go of all thoughts about paying a mortgage is to pay your entire mortgage off. That's not always easy if you just bought a house. With focus and action, there are things that you can do to release year round mortgage worries.
Giving yourself permission to accept how much financial responsibility you've taken on is a good first step. So too is remembering other times when you were concerned that you'd taken off more than you could chew only to find out that you had what it took to meet those demands. To stop worrying about your mortgage, you could also:
- Look at your other household expenses. Can you cut down on water, electricity or gas usage? Do you really need to take four or more outfits to the dry cleaners each week?
- Use money that you save from other household expenses to pay down the principal on your mortgage. Also, use a portion of the money to treat yourself to something that you love each week. It could be as simple as a new, ethnic meal. It could be as wonderful as a deep body massage.
- Listen to people when they tell you that you have a gift. Consider using your gift to advise and consult others, to generate additional income. Put 75% or more of the income that you earn from this work to pay off the principal on your mortgage.
- Take your bonus and overtime pay and start chipping away at your mortgage principal.
- Get serious about paying off credit cards, starting with credit cards that have the highest interest rates. Just paying off one high interest credit card could save you several hundred dollars a month. Invest this savings in your aim to pay your mortgage off early.
- Work up numbers on how much you would save if you refinanced your mortgage at lower interest rates.
A place to worry in is not what you bought your house for
At its core, a house should be a place to create great memories. It should be a place where you know, absolutely know, that you're free to express yourself without fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Step inside your house and you should let your hair down, not curl up on the sofa and start worrying about how you're going to pay next month's mortgage.
Start taking steps early to breakdown how you're going to pay your mortgage. Include how you'll pay your mortgage should unexpected events like job changes or layoffs occur. Be confident that you can continue to make changes, shifts in how you review and meet your financial responsibilities, until the task of paying your monthly mortgage no longer scares you.