Archive for February, 2012

New CoreScore credit report tracks more personal data than ever
News from Michigan Business Review – MLive.com:

Chris Palmer, a credit counselor at Greenpath Debt Solutions in Portage, discusses bankruptcy with a client on Thursday, Feb. 9. Debt counselors and poverty advocates are concerned a new credit score, CoreScore, will adversely affect lower-income families when it rolls out in March.

KALAMAZOO – It’s time to check your credit score.

Starting in March, Americans will be getting a brand-new number — one that’s based on information that banks typically haven’t had access to when deciding whether to offer someone a mortgage or credit card.

The new CoreScore, which rolls out March 30 in a partnership between CoreLogic and FICO, tracks data such as whether people have paid their rent and utilities on time, whether they have a child-support judgment against them, if they have applied for a payday loan (and repaid it) and whether they have ever been evicted. It also tracks whether a homeowner is underwater on his or her mortgage, meaning they owe more than the house is currently worth, or if they’ve paid their association dues or had a lien placed against the property.

“It’s going to be a change,” said Dorot…………… continues on Michigan Business Review – MLive.com

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Ten Top Tips: Get paid
News from Management Today:

By Max Firth Friday, 17 February 2012

Experian’s data shows that at the end of 2011, firms were waiting an average of nearly 26 days on top of their agreed payment terms to pay their bills. What’s more, 1,756 companies went under each month during the last year, leaving it up to administrators to determine whether previous commitments would be made in part or at all.

It is vital that firms place as much emphasis on getting paid as they do on securing the business in the first place. While sales and delivery are important, they are meaningless if you are not getting any reward for your product or service.

Here are ten ways that British businesses are making sure they get paid and remain financially strong and successful.

1. Avoid the wolves in sheep’s clothing

It sounds obvious, but make sure you are dealing with a real business. Establish whether you are dealing with a sole trader or a limited company and validate your findings against what you have been told. Conduct a site visit where possible. You can even use tools such as Google maps to confirm an address.

2. Find out whether they pay or delay

Having established that they do actually exist, obtain a credit report for all potential customers, suppl…………… continues on Management Today

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Mortgage Secrets Exposed – Real Estate.
How Anyone, With Any Credit Can Get Any Mortgage Fast & Easy! Get Any Loan With Bad Credit: Mortgages, Home Loans And More!
Mortgage Secrets Exposed – Real Estate.

Credit score raters may face new DC oversight
News from msnbc.com:

The new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a proposal to regulate about 200 debt collectors and companies that produce credit reports as part of an effort to extend its oversight beyond the banking industry.

  1. More from TODAY.com

    1. Rossen Reports: Why can’t celebrities beat addiction?

      In the wake of Whitney Houston’s death, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen goes inside a rehab facility popular with …

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Call For Action: Refinancing Tips
News from Cleveland News – Fox 8:

Interest rates are still at an all-time low. Is it time to refinance your home?

“I think a lot of people are out there with much higher rates than there are right now,” said Jeff Paul, President of American Midwest Mortgage in Parma Heights.

Paul has been helping clients refinance their homes for more than 25 years.  He said anyone who has been at the same job for at least two years, has a healthy credit score and owns a home worth more than is owed on it, is a good candidate to refinance a house. But he said consumers need to be careful when shopping for the best rate.

“It’s that one that’s offering an extremely low rate that you may want to be leery of,” he warned.

Paul said it’s important for consumers to shop around and ask for three Good Faith Estimates before deciding on a lender. A Good Faith Estimate, or GFE, breaks down all the costs of a loan so a consumer knows exactly what they’re being charged.

“The lender may request to get a credit report on you before they do that because your credit report might impact the rate or the cost related to it,” said Paul.

Consumers with bad credit may not qualify for the lowest interest rate, which means it might not be in their best interest to refinance.

It might also be a mistake to look for a new loan if the homeowner is close to paying off the original mortgage. That’s…………… continues on Cleveland News – Fox 8

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Tips To Maintain A High Credit Score
News from EQuicknews:

The majority of people with а low credit score hаvе likely misused credit. Understandably, sоme people develop bad credit bеcause of situations beуоnd thеіr control. These may include sickness, loss of employment, etc. Fortunately, there are ways tо raise yоur credit score. However, to kеep a high credit score, uѕіng credit wisely iѕ a must. Here аre a fеw tips to hеlр уou maintain a high credit rating.

Limit thе Amount оf Credit Accounts

If уоu hаve too much avaіlаblе credit, thе temptation tо spend money wіll arise. To avoid thіѕ common problem, avoid opening sеveral lines оf credit. If you аrе а student or havе good credit, it iѕ easy tо get approved for a major credit card. Although credit card companies wіll generously extend credit, yоu do not havе tо accept thеir offer.

Closing a credit account may decrease уоur credit rating. If yоu аre unable to exercise self-control аnd need tо close a fеw credit accounts, іt would be bettеr tо cancel thе newest credit accounts.

Pay More than thе Minimum Payments

Carrying а small revolving credit card balance іs not harmful. However, if yоu use your credit card vеrу regularly, it іѕ essential tо payoff the balance periodically. The minimum payments barely reduce thе finance fees. Thus, to maintain a low credit card balance and a high credit rating, strive to pay mоrе than thе minimum paymen…………… continues on EQuicknews

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SCORE column: Credit crucial to business startup
News from Green Bay Press Gazette:

Last week’s column discussed the importance of character in obtaining a business loan. It was stressed that you should never lie to your lender about credit, because you will be found out.

So, what do you do if your credit is bad? Can you still get a loan?

“There is no quick fix,” said Joan Burke, certified SCORE mentor and former business owner. “That’s why it’s important to manage your credit on the front end and all the way through.”

Burke has developed a seminar to help entrepreneurs rebuild credit. It isn’t a fast process, but it’s necessary if small-business ownership is a future goal. If there’s been a bankruptcy, it can take 10 years. For other bad credit issues, it can take seven.

She recommends taking a look at the components of a credit score. These include: payment history, 35 percent; debt level, 30 percent; credit history, 15 percent; inquiries, 10 percent; and credit mix, 10 percent.

That means the most important aspect is to pay bills on time.

“If you aren’t diligent about paying your bills, you need to work on that. Your payments are due within the payment period so when they’re due, pay,” Burke noted.

The hardest issue in building credit might be finding someone willing to loan money or issue a credit card so that you can demonstrate timely payment.

Burke says a bank credit card might be a possib…………… continues on Green Bay Press Gazette

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Tips for purchasing a home
News from Richmond Register:

RICHMOND — Buying your home is an exciting experience, and it may be the largest financial investment you will ever make.

Taking the time to learn about the steps involved in the process will help ensure that you purchase a quality home at a price you can afford.

The seven basic steps to buying are:

Prepare for home ownership

Begin by seeking homebuyer education. A free workshop on Home Buying and Borrowing will be conducted at the Madison County Extension Education Center, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Please call 623-4072 to register.

Monitor your credit record. Your credit score is a key factor in determining the rate of interest that you will pay for your mortgage loan.

Generally, a higher credit score will qualify you for a lower interest rate.

Save time, energy and money by having a realistic idea of what you need and how much you can afford before you start home shopping.

Shop for a loan

• Gather all the information you need to complete the mortgage loan application.

Compare the different types of mortgages offered and the tradeoffs associated with each option.

• You can avoid paying for private mortgage insurance if your down payment equals at least 20 of the purchase price.

• You will be in a better position to have your offer accepted if you are prequalif…………… continues on Richmond Register

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Does Your Credit Suck?
News from Salt Lake City Weekly:

Posted // February 15,2012 –

This article not prepared by City Weekly Staff

The real-estate market right now has heated up. Anyone trying to buy a decently priced home will find that the house they find to buy may have multiple offers on it. For reals. Why? I believe renters have finally figured out that rents are high and mortgage payments are cheaper than rent. But what if your credit scores suck and you can’t buy? Here’s some advice:

1. If you think your credit score sucks, it may very well not suck. I often talk to people who say things like: “I filed bankruptcy once.” That was 10 years ago and, well, if your credit has been good since your bankruptcy, then you should be able to qualify for a loan if you have good income and not too high of a debt load each month. Check with a lender, a good lender. Sit down, eye to eye, and have them go over your financial life. Spill your guts and see what they think. If you need some improvement, the lender will tell you how to fix your credit and maybe help you fix your credit. All for free.

2. If you want to improve your credit ratings, work toward these goals:

• If you have a $ 500 limit on your credit card, keep your balance under 30 percent—$ 150 or less. Credit raters love that!

• Improve your payment history—this makes up 35 percent of your total credit scor…………… continues on Salt Lake City Weekly

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How To Fix Your Credit Score After A Big Problem (Credit Score:Understanding The Basics)

Big, bad problems can happen to you – bankruptcies, divorces, law suits, nonpayment of taxes. These are big problems that can affect your credit score in as big way. If you have faced a large problem that has ruined your credit, you need
to take action fast and work consistently to boost your FICO scoreBig, bad problems can happen to you – bankruptcies, divorces, law suits, nonpayment of taxes. These are big problems that can affect your credit score in as big way. If you have faced a large

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Britain Defends Its Austerity Measures
News from New York Times:

LONDON — The British government came under more criticism on Tuesday for its far-reaching austerity program after Moody’s Investors Service warned that the country could be next in line to lose its AAA credit rating.

Luke Macgregor/Reuters

George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, called the Moody’s announcement “a reality check for the whole political system that Britain has to deal with its debt.”

The opposition Labour Party and some business groups saw the threatened downgrade as evidence that the government’s deep spending cuts were hindering growth and called for a change of course. George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, defended the cuts and said the idea that he had abandoned growth was “nonsense.”

“This…………… continues on New York Times

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Bank declares living customer dead
News from MSN Money:

In October, South Carolina resident Arthur Livingston was surprised to learn that his bank thought he was deceased — and had been since May 2009. But three months later, despite having contacted Bank of America multiple times, he’s more than a little frustrated.

It might be funny — as Livingston’s friends originally thought — were it not for the fact that the error has put his life in limbo.

Because of the reporting error, Livingston and his wife can’t get the loan they need to start building their family’s new home. And despite the fact that he has two checking accounts, a savings account and two college savings accounts for his children at Bank of America, as well as a credit card — which he pays off every month — Livingston isn’t benefiting from these good-credit deeds.

The problem seems to have originated in May 2009, when the Prosperity, S.C., resident sold his prior home. At that time, the bank began reporting him as deceased to the

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Score


Score
List Price:
Price: 155.16

Understanding credit scores
News from The Hillsdale Daily News:

A credit score indicates credit worthiness.  It is a measure of risk based on a person’s credit history and indicates how likely that person is to repay a loan and make payments on time.  People with higher scores are considered lower risk and are likely to get better loan terms (lower interest rates) than people with low scores.  People with lower scores are considered to be at higher risk for not re-paying a loan and therefore don’t get the best loan terms (higher interest rates).
A credit score can range from 300 to 850 depending on the rating agency.  Generally, about 35 percent of the score is based on payment history; 30 percent is based on the ratio of outstanding debt to credit available, even if the credit hasn’t been used (known as debt-to-credit ratio); 15 percent is based on how long a consumer has had credit; 10 percent is based on the number of inquiries into a report; and 10 percent is based on types of credit.  
Since the credit crisis began in 2008, bank lending standards became stricter and, in order to reduce the risk of loss, the minimum credit score required to obtain loans rose.  While lending standards started to ease again in 2010, an “excellent” credit score is generally considered to be above 720.  However, this varies depending on which credit bureau awarded the score and which bank is extending the loan offer.  The average U.S. credi…………… continues on The Hillsdale Daily News

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The Score


The Score
List Price: 19.95
Price: 14.63

How to handle a credit problem as a job seeker
News from Sun-Sentinel:

Some Florida lawmakers don’t think employers should be considering credit reports in their hiring decisions, at least for most jobs.

Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit Florida employers from using a job applicant’s credit history in hiring, with the exception of financial positions. But “for those who are digging a ditch or painting, [credit] shouldn’t have an impact on their employment status,” he said.

Nearly half of employers run credit checks for those with financial responsibilities, according to the 2010 survey. And 13 percent say they do credit checks on all job candidates.

In looking at a candidate’s credit problems, hiring managers consider whether the job seeker had control over the situation, said Mark Schmit, vice president of research for the HR group.

Lori Brown, head of human resources at Garda World Security Corp.’s U.S. headquarters in Boca Raton, said the company conducts credit checks on all job applicants. But “for people who have challenged credit scores based on conditions most people have had to weather, we’re not going to disqualify them,” she said.

What can the job hunter do to mitigate financial issues?

Check for errors on reports from all three cred…………… continues on Sun-Sentinel

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How to handle a credit problem as a job seeker
News from Sun-Sentinel:

With recent signs that hiring is picking up, more people are likely to enter the job market — many with credit problems. Foreclosures, liens and other credit faults are common in South Florida after four years of high unemployment.

Those financial problems can be revealed when an employer gets permission — usually through the job application — to look at the applicant’s credit report.

What credit blemishes are most likely to get noticed? One survey of employers found 64 percent said a court judgment, or lawsuit by a creditor, would affect their decision whether to make a job offer.

The 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found 49 percent of employers would be influenced by accounts in debt collection; 25 percent by bankruptcy, 18 percent by a high debt-to-income ratio and just 11 percent by foreclosure.


Video: Judge orders man to treat wife to night out


Other items, such as tax liens, education-related debt, and medical debt are less likely to affect a potential employer’s decision.

Some Florida lawmakers d…………… continues on Sun-Sentinel

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Weekend Series on Crime History: the Donny Brasco Story – ticklethewire.com
News from Weekend Series on Crime History: the Donny Brasco Story – ticklethewire.com:

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Tips to avoiding auto fraud
News from Ventura County Star:

Considering buying a new car? Do your homework before stepping onto the dealer lot to avoid getting scammed. Here are some tips from the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to keep in mind before you sign a contract:

Before you look at that first car, check your credit report and credit score. If you have a low score, improve it before applying for a loan.

Find your own financing. Visit your local credit union or bank and apply for a car loan before you shop for your next vehicle.

Have a type of vehicle in mind? Check price information at www.edmunds.com before negotiating the price of a new car. If you’re buying a used car, check its value at www.kbb.com.

Don’t tell the dealer how much you want to spend each month on a car. Concentrate on negotiating a fair price rather than a monthly payment.

Negotiate your trade-in and the cost of the new car separately. Beware of any contract that hides the price of your new car and the price of your trade-in.

Before buying a used car, get an independent vehicle inspection of the car you wish to purchase. Reputable dealers will allow you to take a used car to your mechanic to look at before purchasing.

To check whether the vehicle has been in an accident or been damaged in a flood, use

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Call For Action: Contacting the Credit Agencies
News from Cleveland News – Fox 8:

Jason Sell isn’t just working for a living, he’s working for a future. That means this Broadview Heights dad keeps one eye on his finances and the other on his credit score. That’s because he knows the companies that do the reporting don’t always get it right.

“I will check it periodically if I haven’t made a purchase in a while,” said Sell.

If you find mistaken information on your credit report and its dragging down your credit score you need to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies in writing so you’ll have proof of your efforts.

“You can do this yourself, absolutely,” says Sue McConnell of the Better Business Bureau.

McConnell adds that there’s no need to pay a company to do what you can do free of charge.

“There were just so many abuses by these companies taking advantage of people who were in desperate financial situations,” said McConnell.

McConnell says tell the agency which information you’re disputing and why. Include your credit report with the letter and circle the item you believe is inaccurate, then ask that it be removed from your report.

Do include copies of any information that proves your point and request an investigation.

Getting the mistake off your credit report can make a big difference in your credit score, especially if those few points pushes you into a higher tier of credit…………… continues on Cleveland News – Fox 8

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What you can do to improve your credit score
News from ABC Action News:

If you have a bad credit score, the affects can be immediate – and harsh. A bad credit report can stop you from getting a job or renting an apartment.

A lot of you ask us how to raise your credit score, like Chris in Phoenix.

“Why does it take longer for your credit score numbers to improve after you pay off bills that are affecting your score?” he asked us.

We took his question to an expert, Mike Sullivan, the Director of Education with Take Charge America , a non-profit organization that teaches financial education.

He says a credit problem shows up on your report in 30 days tops. Then, it takes seven years to get rid of it.  

But, we have a few tricks to get the score up:

First, if you can, never use more than 20 percent of your available credit. If you’ve maxed out all of your credit cards, it’s a sign of financial distress, according to Sullivan.

Also, don’t close any accounts. Every time you do, Sullivan says, you lower your amount of available credit – and the percentage of it that you’re using goes up.

And be sure to check your credit score regularly. If there are mistakes, you can contest them with the credit bureaus.

And when you go to check that score, don’t be fooled by those business sites. Go to the only one that’s authorized by t…………… continues on ABC Action News

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Minimum Credit Score to Qualify for an FHA Loan
News from The Dough Roller:

My sister recently signed a contract to buy a home. Given the market and interest rates, she got a great deal. And she’s financing the purchase with an FHA loan. So it seemed timely to talk about the minimum credit score you need to qualify for an FHA mortgage.

As a quick review, an FHA loan is a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration (which is part of HUD). A big advantage of an FHA mortgage is that the required down payment is typically a lot lower than other mortgages. While the down payment does vary depending on the exact FHA program, 3.5% of the purchase price is common. And for our purposes today, the required credit score is also significantly lower than what most would consider to be a good score. The credit score requirements differ depending on several factors.

First, let’s consider the requirements for maximum FHA financing. The most that the FHA will finance is 96.5% of a home’s value. (In lender parlance, this is expressed as 96.5% loan to value ratio.) This means that an applicant will have to have 3.5% on hand to use for a down payment. In order to rece…………… continues on The Dough Roller

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