Few things are more effective at fighting identity theft than credit freezes. When you freeze your credit, potential lenders can’t access your credit file to assess the risk of lending money to you. No risk assessment means no credit – so identity thieves can’t use your stolen information to create fake accounts in your name.
By Laurence Jankelow, cofounder at Avail Whether you’ve owned your two-flat duplex for years or you’re trying to decide whether real estate is the right addition to your portfolio, it’s important to think of rental property as an investment. Like any investment, your goal should be to maximize returns. You don’t need to predict which
Congratulations! You’ve just finished paying off your mortgage – probably the largest debt you’ll ever have in your life. Should you expect your credit score to increase as a result? Not necessarily. Your credit score is calculated from your credit report, a history of all of your borrowing and payment activity. While your mortgage was
When you were a first-time homebuyer, you were probably surprised by the total amount of fees and closing costs. Are you familiar with the costs on the selling side? A recent study from Zillow and Thumbtack calculated the average costs of selling a home both nationwide and in specific markets. The national average is $20,851,
Some trends fade and then return after a few decades or so, like bell bottoms and tie-dye. You probably have a few things in the back of your closet waiting patiently to become a hot new retro-style – whether that’s good or bad for society in general. Unfortunately, that’s true for financial trends as well
Risky home loans led to the 2008 housing crisis and the subsequent Great Recession. Regulators and lenders quickly tightened mortgage-underwriting standards to prevent future crashes. Have we forgotten the roots of the housing crisis in just over a decade? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) thinks so and has taken action to reverse trends showing increased
You want to buy a home, but you haven’t been saving for one. You want to retire near the typical retirement age, but you haven’t been saving for that, either. Don’t worry, the homeowner and retirement fairies will be pulling up to your door soon to deliver a truckload of cash. Absurd, isn’t it? Nobody
How much does your credit score affect a mortgage offer? In some cases, a credit score could make the difference between purchasing a home or being forced to rent instead. That’s especially true for millennials. Many entered the housing market at the worst possible time – amid the Great Recession. They dealt with a crumbling
If you’re in the market for a home, a high credit score is key to qualifying for a mortgage loan and getting the lowest interest rates possible. What do you do if your credit score is toward the lower edge of qualification? The March 2019 Chartbook from the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center has
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the home-buying process. You feel a great sense of satisfaction and relief. Will you feel the same way over time? According to a new survey from Bankrate.com, you have a decent chance of regretting something about your home purchase – especially if you’re a millennial. While 79% of survey respondents
Expand Your Horizons You’ve been searching for a long time for your new home, without success. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place. According to the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Housing Survey (AHS), 35% of people who had recently moved did so because they wanted a larger or higher-quality home – and that dream home
How long have you been searching for your new home? The latest Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that you’ve been looking for a while and may be getting frustrated in the process. You may be coming down with the homebuyer’s blues. Potential homebuyers are being squeezed in multiple
According to the New York Fed’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, America’s student loan debt burden has reached a staggering $1.44 trillion as of September 2018. Has that burden kept younger Americans from buying homes? A new Federal Reserve study suggests that educational debt isn’t the primary reason for the homeownership decline,
When it comes to dealing with risk, America’s housing market struggles with balance. How can lenders offer affordable home mortgages for more Americans and still maintain proper safeguards? The Great Recession was driven in part by overly risky loans that were packaged as securities and sold to investors who were unaware of the underlying risk.
Are you having trouble getting a date? Could be your rap, your looks, or your excessive debt. According to a recent survey by Finder.com, 72% of respondents say they would re-think a relationship with a partner in significant debt. (That’s similar to the percentage in last year’s Finder.com survey, so don’t expect debt to
The Shutdown’s Housing Market Woes It’s a great time to buy a home, and you’re ready. You’ve saved up a suitable down payment, found a home, and settled on a lender. As an added bonus, interest rates are at their lowest point in the last nine months – despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
Is 2019 the year you finally buy that starter home? Are you upgrading or downsizing to a new home? Are you interested in how your home value is likely to change over the next year? We offer these 2019 housing market predictions to consider as you review your housing plans for the year. Inventory Will
Your Christmas gift from the Federal Reserve is here. Surprise! It’s another 0.25% hike in the Federal Funds rate. Sure, you’ve already gotten this same gift three other times in 2018, and nine times since late 2015 – but what else would you expect to receive from the Fed? Interest rate hikes from the Fed
Do you know how your mortgage loan officer is compensated? You should if you plan to buy a home, because your loan officer’s compensation could have the potential to affect your mortgage loan – and proposed new changes could amplify the effects. At the beginning of 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) significantly changed
You’re never too old to learn new things – including better money management practices. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) agrees. To address financial literacy concerns, the FDIC created the Money Smart teaching program in 2001 to help educators and financial institutions increase consumer understanding of basic financial systems work and how to use them
Nearing the Limit The housing market has suffered from excess demand and limited supply for years, causing a sharp increase in home prices. Add continually increasing interest rates to the mix, and eventually something has to give. The turning point may have arrived. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report shows that home prices are still rising,
Is a home purchase on your to-do list over the next two years? You’ll have plenty of competition finding your new home, according to the latest PenFed Credit Union National Mortgage Survey. The survey found that 37% of American adults are planning to purchase a home within the next two years. Over half (52%) of
If you have a low credit score and want to buy a home, your odds of getting a loan have improved. A study by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) shows that credit scores for new mortgage originations have been dropping, suggesting that lenders are slowly relaxing the tight credit policies imposed after the housing crisis.
Are you looking for a mortgage that features a low down payment but can’t find a suitable conventional loan because of various restrictions?The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan products with down payments of just 3.5% for borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 – an attractive combination for potential homebuyers with lesser
A Stressful Experience What’s the most stressful event you’ve had in your life? Applying for college? Going on a job interview? Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for your entire family? According to a recent survey by Homes.com, buying a home tops all of those events as “the most stressful event in modern life.” One-third
E-mail scams can take many forms, but did you realize that an e-mail scam could scuttle your home purchase? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned homebuyers of a housing-related e-mail fraud that could drain your housing funds. Thieves initiate the swindle by hacking into the e-mail accounts of homebuyers, real estate agents, and brokers,
Small Changes, Big Impact Sometimes a seemingly small difference can have a large effect, like the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. According to a recent study by the credit bureau Experian, that same principle applies to millennials and their borrowing behaviors. With a small change in financial habits, more millennials could significantly shift
Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when they consider loaning you money. A lower score means greater risk, and lenders will charge you a higher interest rate because of that difference – but how much could it cost you over the lifetime of a loan? According to a new
Waiting to Buy According to a new study by the Urban Institute, millennials are waiting longer than previous generations to enter the housing market. Approximately 8% fewer millennials of ages 25-34 own homes as compared to baby boomers and generation Xers at the same point in their lives. Why are millennials late to homeownership? The
Are you having trouble getting a home loan because you have no suitable credit history? Has your credit activity been dormant for a long enough time that lenders can’t properly evaluate your risk? The FICO credit-scoring standard used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requires that potential borrowers have a credit account