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Unexpected data breaches can leave consumers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) exposed, putting them at risk of identity theft and fraud. With cybersecurity remaining a major concern, credit bureaus such as Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, offer free credit freezes for consumers who believe they are at risk. While a credit freeze is a popular way to protect against credit fraud, it’s important to understand the ways it can inhibit your mortgage application for a new home or refinance. What is a Credit Freeze? A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, suspends anyone from accessing your credit information. Credit freezes prevent you, or any potential identity thieves, from opening any new loans or lines of credit in your name. A credit freeze is a great way to protect yourself against credit or identity fraud. The process of freezing your credit is as simple as contacting TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian by phone or online to request the freeze. The transaction is typically completed within one business day, and does not cost anything or affect your credit score. You may also stop receiving unsolicited mail and other offers, as credit freezes prevent bureaus from selling any of your personal data. Although credit freezes have the intention of stopping someone from opening fraudulent lines of credit with your personal information, they also prevent lenders from accessing your credit report. In other words, a credit freeze can protect you in the case of a stolen identity, but it also prevents your mortgage lender from accessing your credit report to complete your mortgage application. How to Unfreeze Your ...

Every transaction type and borrower’s individual financial profile can influence their borrowing costs. The following variables are used by lenders to determine a borrower’s mortgage interest rate: 1. Property Use Primary residences typically have the lowest interest rates when compared to second homes and investment properties. 2. Property Type Single-family homes and condominiums with 25% or more in a down payment or equity have lower interest rates than condos with less than 25% down, multi-family dwellings, and co-ops. 3. Credit Score In general, borrowers with higher credit scores receive better interest rates than those with lower scores. A borrower with an 800 mid-score might have a rate as much as 1.5% lower than a borrower with a 640 mid-score. 4. Down Payment In many cases, a larger down payment (30-40%) can lead to a lower interest rate. 5. Discount Points and Origination Fees Borrowers can pay discount points and origination fees to buy down their interest rate. Loans with discount points are lower than zero-point options. 6. Loan Term Shorter-term, fixed-rate loans have lower interest rates than longer-term programs. For example, 15-year fixed-rate loans have lower rates than 30-year fixed-rate loans. In certain interest rate markets, Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) also have lower rates than 30-year fixed-rate loans. 7. Loan Amount Conforming loan amounts (under $548,251) have the lowest interest rates. These are the average rates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac publish weekly. High Balance conforming loans (between $548,251 and $822,375) vary depending on the county the ...

If you are a business owner or if you are looking to start a new business, one of the most overlooked resources available to you is your business credit. There are so many benefits to establishing and building your business credit including: ·         Separate Liabilities from your personal to your business ·         Minimize personal DTI / Debt to Income Ratio ·         Get access to high limit credit accounts in the business name ·         Get access to Government programs and Grants ·         Open doors for vendor, business, and investor relationships ·         Reduce cost on business insurances and landlords scrutiny ·         Increase the value of your business for future Sale Getting Started The first step in establishing business credit is making sure your business is Credible in the eyes of the banks, lenders, and the business credit bureaus; Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax Business credit divisions. There are 10 items or data points that must be in place so that your business is “Credible”. ​ Tier 1 Once your business is Credible, we then move on to earning a “Paydex” score. To earn a Paydex score you will need 3-5 business credit accounts to report to D&B. At this point, Round 1 ...

Homes with a mortgage gained an average of $26,300 in equity during the last three months of 2020 versus a year earlier. The average gain is the highest since 2013, and the surge in homeowner’s equity creates a buffer against financial hardship for many borrowers. As a result, many homeowners have opted to put some of the gains to use, giving a boost to the economy.  What is Home Equity?  Home equity is the portion of your home that you’ve paid off. It’s the difference between what your home is worth and the amount that’s still owed on your mortgage. Equity amounts fluctuate over time as mortgage payments are made and the market impacts the value of your property.  For many borrowers, equity from homeownership is an important way to build personal wealth over time. As you pay down the principal mortgage and your home’s value increases over the long-term, your equity grows.  Listed below are six popular ways to tap into your home equity:  1.    Consolidate Debt A very popular use of home equity is to consolidate debt at a much lower rate, and over a longer term. Borrowers can reduce their monthly expenses significantly by using the money from a cash-out refinance to pay off high-interest credit cards.  If you have a solid debt payoff plan, using your home equity can help you get out of debt faster at a substantially lower interest rate.  2.    Home Improvements and Renovations Home improvements are one of the most common reasons homeowners take out home equity loans. Upgrades could raise your home’s value and draw more interest from ...

Getting a Full Credit Approval can save you the frustration of getting your offers rejected in today’s competitive housing market. A Full Credit Approval goes beyond  mortgage pre-qualifications and pre-approvals, as a Full Credit Approval involves a complete review of your income, assets, and credit by an experienced Underwriter. What is Home Buyer’s Edge?  Home Buyer’s Edge is the full credit approval program that gives buyers the opportunity to have every aspect of their credit profile verified by a mortgage loan underwriter. In the mortgage process, the underwriter is the final decision-maker for approval or denial, which is what gives credit approvals a clear advantage over mortgage pre-qualifications and pre-approvals.  Buyers have a few options when it comes to tackling the home-buying process. Below is an outline of each of those options, including their differences and how they can benefit you in today’s competitive market:  Level 1: Pre-Qualification  A pre-qualification consists of verbally informing your loan officer of your income, savings, and assets. Your loan officer will also run your credit. Level 2: Pre-Approval A pre-approval consists of providing your loan officer with your pay stubs, bank statements, W2’s, and running your credit.  Level 3: Credit Approval with Home Buyer’s Edge A credit approval requires the same documentation as a pre-approval; however, an experienced underwriter will review your financial situation instead of your loan officer. As a result, the full credit approval is a complete, upfront vetting of your finances by ...

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