Category Archive: Credit Scores

Jul 23

Sub-Prime Mortgages

Sub-Prime Will Return

The overall condition of the economy is creating an environment that will hasten the return of the sub-prime mortgage.  I was never an advocate of the sub-prime industry but it served a need.  That need is stronger today than ever before.  I predict sub-prime mortgages will return soon.  They may be called something different, may be touted as new and improved, but a rose is a rose.

There are many factors that will push my prediction forward.  Unemployment is very high with disposable income being the lowest it has been in modern time.   This is causing many homeowners to defer maintenance on their home opting instead to put food on the table.

Home inspectors are being super critical as their industry matures, causing many pending transactions to implode.  Not long ago the National Association of Realtors reported the highest fall out ratio since they have been keeping stats.   The number of real estate listings reported as a pending sale then changed back to an active listing is where that bit of information comes from.

Buyers and sellers are both more difficult than I have ever witnessed prior to the last couple of years.  Prior to last year I never had a buyer and seller disagree on a day and time for closing the deal.  This year it has been difficult to get both sides on the same page on any subject, let alone a closing date.  I mentioned in an earlier post that people searching for information on Power of Attorney or POA is the number one subject people are looking for when they visit this site.  They  just don’t want to attend the closing!

Another factor is the middle ground on credit scores seem to be disappearing.   I see either very high or very low credit scores, not much in the middle.  This is a personal observation; I haven’t read anything that supports this.  You would expect a general distribution, a third low, a third in the middle and finally a third on the top.  Not what I see these days, either very high above the top credit tier or very low below the minimum threshold.  Last week I saw several above 800 or in the high 700’s and an equal number in the low 500’s dipping into the high 400’s with none in the mid 600’s.

Finally, the wreckage caused by foreclosures and loan modifications will linger for at least a decade.   The buzz topic has been short sales, but in reality they are a very tiny slice of the pie.  They are a symptom of the times but I don’t think they are as serious to the overall market as the other factors mentioned above.

All of the dynamics mentioned here have one result, stress.   Sellers want to sell and buyers really want to buy but never has it been as stressful even back in the days of very high interest rates.

As the gap widens the mortgage industry will figure out a way to serve the demand that is having trouble moving above the minimum credit score threshold.   That segment of the buyer pool is the only one that is expanding.  The market conditions are not pushing people upwards, only down.   Individuals that have never been late on credit obligations are suddenly finding themselves below the credit thresholds.

The Solution

I don’t have an answer to the overall problem, but I see lots of opportunity.  A few people are doing very well, but most are not.  What I know for sure is the market has changed.  People have changed.  Those that are moving forward have a chance to improve greatly, interest rates are low and prices are good.  It has never been a better time to buy in the last 50 years.

Part of the solution to get things moving is going to be the return of some of the aspects of the sub-prime industry.  I am not calling for a movement, just predicting this is going to happen.

May 09

CreditXpert™ Rides Again

Had a guy call me this morning, said he had been turned down by two loan officers from other mortgage companies because of his credit report.  When I asked why they turned down his loan request he said it was because of a bankruptcy and a low credit score.  The bankruptcy was five years ago, not a reason to decline a mortgage.

He told me his credit score was low, below 580, but when I asked if they gave him a copy of the credit report he said neither had bothered to pull one.  Okay, how do you know the credit score was my next question.  Answer, one of the online free credit reports. Bad, bad, bad, not a true credit score.

We pulled a real credit report and the score was actually 635, only a couple of points below the threshold but the problem had nothing to do with late payments or other negative entries.  In fact, his payment history was absolutely perfect after the BK.  I could see the reason for the low score was two credit cards cranked to the limit, one was $150 above the limit.

We ran CreditXpert and it confirmed my assessment but gave exact numbers to reduce the balance, what a program!  Half an hour later he had an approval letter based on paying down the credit cards.

May 07

Collections on a Credit Report

9am this morning, a lady filled out an application on my web site and I received the notification by email.  Her credit report listed multiple collection accounts and a judgment for nearly $1,000.  Four of the collections were sizable medical bills and a couple of small ones from utility companies.  She acknowledged the judgment and the utilities but said the medical bills should have been covered by insurance.  She was not aware they were in her credit file.

She said her tax refund was due any day and as soon as it arrived she would pay off the judgment and the utilities, in the meantime would contact her insurance company and get to the bottom of the medical bills.  Regardless, she would do whatever is needed to clean up the mess so she could buy a home.  I bet she will follow through on her promise to herself, I was just helping out, she wasn’t promising me.

Contrast, around 11am a gentleman called me saying he was ready to buy a home, asked if I remembered speaking with him last year.  Not really, but I pulled up my notes and it was two and a half years ago, not last year.   Back then he had a total of 14 collections on his credit report and I asked if he had taken care of them.  He acted surprised by my question and asked what they were.

When we last spoke I suggested he begin by paying off the smallest collection first because it was only $25.  So I asked if he had paid it as we discussed. Nope, how about the next one that was only $40? Nope, none, nada, zip, hadn’t paid off a single one.  Combined, all the collections totaled $9,000 but he hasn’t paid a single dollar towards any of them.

He is further away from buying a home today than he was back then; underwriting guidelines have tightened up since then.  If he had followed my suggestions he could be moving in a few weeks.

The wrong way to handle collections is to dispute them.  It is what it is, and disputing accurate information on your credit report just because it is negative in nature is fraud if the purpose is to get a loan.  Besides, having open disputes on a credit report can get a loan application declined.  Underwriters do not like loose ends.  Key point, have you ever tried to remove a dispute from a credit report?  You must dispute the dispute, HAHAHAHA!!  Don’t do this!

Can you offer less than owed on a collection?  Absolutely, but it doesn’t look good if you are trying to borrow money at the same time.  Asking one lender to take less than owed on a $1,000 account doesn’t look good to the lender you are asking $150,000 from.  But one is for a house and the other one was dinner and blue jeans.  It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t look good. 

Pay them off?  Where to start?  Start with the smallest amount that reported or updated their info most recently.  A $25 collection that reported or updated their status last week will cost more points on your credit score than a $2,500 collection that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years.  

Check out the related info on the page, CreditXpert™.

 

 

May 05

CreditXpert™ – New Page Added

There is a new page added to the Buyer’s Section – CreditXpert™ .  It explains how the service helps our clients save thousands of dollars by fine-tuning the structure of the debts listed in a credit report.

This service is provided by CBCInnovis, the company that assembles our credit reports. 

Traditional credit repair companies advise borrowers to dispute accurate information that is negative in nature and that is illegal.  CreditXpert™ does not make suggestions that are dishonest. There is a big difference between lying about what is contained in a report and structuring the content in a positive manner.

This is a major innovation. It will only make suggestions that are 100% legal, and it is provided by the same company that compiled the original credit report, straight from the horse’s mouth. 

Sorry about the horse reference, it is Derby Day after all.

CreditXpert™ will help most home buyers achieve the next best credit position above their existing credit score. This can save a fortune in closing cost and or interest.  Both of these are related to the credit score. 

It can also be the difference between a loan application being approved or declined. All automated underwriting software weighs the entire contents of an application including the credit report.  The more the contents of the credit report matches the approval matrix of the AUS the more likely the application will be approved and the better the terms of the loan will be.  

Check out the New Page.

 

Apr 17

New Pages Added to the Credit Report Section

The Credit Report Section continues to grow.  A couple of new pages added recently, What is a Credit Score and Why Are Credit Scores Important

Coming soon is a page dedicated to taking the information on these two pages and turning it into cold, hard cash!

As always, my position is, “It’s not how much you pay for a house, it’s how you pay for it that matters”. 

 

 

Apr 16

Credit Reports – New Section Added

We have added a new section to assist Kentucky residents understand credit reports.

Credit issues are becoming more frequent as the quality control measures of the underwriting process are tightening up.  We thought it would be helpful to explain the process and help everyone understand credit reports.

It contains a sample of a tri-merged credit report similar to what lenders use to process a loan application.

This section will be an ongoing project but it is off to a good start.

Mar 25

Legal Credit Repair with CreditXpert™

Everyone that knows me professionally is aware of my opinion of the credit repair industry.  It is my belief these guys are the root of the mortgage meltdown. These guys call frequently asking for my turndowns, loan applicants that have had an application rejected. 

Traditional credit repair is based on lying about what is contained in the client’s credit report.  They instruct the client to dispute everything on the report that is negative in nature, even if the information is correct.  These snake salesmen attack the soft underbelly of the credit industry.  Federal laws place the responsibility on the credit grantor to prove the information is correct.  And the timeline to answer a dispute from a creditor is very short.

The credit repair guys know if you dispute everything some of the credit grantors will not respond or may even be out of business and therefore unable to respond.  It’s a numbers game, dispute everything and some of it will go away making the client’s credit score improve.

The only problem with this tactic is it isn’t legal.  If the client knows they were late on a payment and lies about it by disputing the information in order to be approved for a mortgage then it is fraud.  And mortgage fraud is a very, very serious crime. 

I order all of the credit reports for my loan applicants from CBCInnovis.  They recently hosted a seminar for my company and introduced us to a legal alternative to credit repair called CreditXpert™.  What a fantastic product!

It is a web-based software program that reviews an individual’s credit report and makes suggestions of what can be done to increase the credit score.  It is common knowledge that when credit cards are maxed out the credit scores will plummet.  CreditXpert™ will not only make suggestions, it estimates how much each action will add to the credit score.  It doesn’t suggest doing anything wrong, it just fine tunes the debt structure to maximize the credit score using the same matrix used by the credit bureaus.

Buying a property in Kentucky and want to use  CreditXpert™? Visit my online application site or printand use this simple form to get started. If you prefer we can do it over the phone, call my direct line during normal office hours, (502) 753-4127.