Mortgage Refinancing: Look before You Leap

Anyone who spends any amount of time at all on the internet has probably seen a million and one ads and telling them that they can save thousands of dollars each and every year by refinancing their homes. Be careful since this may or may not be the case.

So many times we take what we are told as gospel truth, but in reality it is just a sales ploy to drum up business for lenders. In a recent Wall Street Journal article posted on Yahoo! Finance, it was made clear that many of those ads are posted by lead generating brokers who make it their business to match lenders with potential borrowers. As a result, it is not uncommon to find information on their websites that is either erroneous or incomplete.

For example, when you plug your data into their ‘calculators’ to get a rough estimate on what you would be saving by refinancing, there are several key factors which aren’t taken into consideration. First of all, there are origination fees, closing costs, title searches and a myriad of other oftentimes hidden upfront fees that can significantly reduce the amount of savings you would realize.

Then, of course, there is your credit history and credit score. Most consumers have absolutely no idea what the exact status is of their personal credit rating which is why those calculators often only ask you very broad questions. You won’t typically be asked for your exact score; rather, you will be asked if your credit is excellent, good, fair or poor. This tells them nothing and has no effect on the rate you will be expected to pay! Remember, even those with less than perfect credit can qualify for a mortgage loan but they often pay double (and sometimes more!) the interest than someone with a great credit score.

As a rule of thumb, refinancing your home can cost you anywhere from 3% of your unpaid balance to 6% or more. The point is, you will not be told that after paying these refinance charges you are saving little, if anything. In fact, there have been cases where refinancing actually cost borrowers rather than providing a savings. The ‘rule’ many people go by is called the 1% rule or the 2% rule. You will be told that if the interest rate you are being charged is at least 1% less than what you are currently paying you will save money. Beware! This is not always the case.

Again, the bottom line is your credit score and credit history which combined will be analyzed by a lender to predict your creditworthiness. Also, keep in mind that every time a lender runs your credit history it will automatically result in losing a few points on your credit score. It would be far wiser to get a free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus in order to know exactly where you stand. Actually, you can go one step further as there are credit monitoring companies that will also keep you informed of any changes as they occur. This helps to prevent identity theft as well as giving you the heads-up that there may be an error which has been entered to your history.

Nevertheless, there also may be times when refinancing your mortgage could indeed save you a bit of money each year. The point is, talk to a disinterested third party such as a consumer advocacy group prior to finalizing a new mortgage. If you will realize a savings even after all those hidden refinancing charges, then this may actually be a great plan. Just make sure to look before you leap.

 

Invitation Only Credit Cards for the Elite

Most of us are struggling just to make ends meet and to keep current on bills as they come in each month. We worry that if we don’t keep a decent credit score we may not be able to borrow money in case of an emergency and we worry that we won’t get a good job, a good apartment or will not be able to arrange medical payments ‘on time’ if we can’t maintain a decent credit history. Not so for the super affluent as they are invited to carry a credit card that is by invitation only.

What Is an Invitation Only Credit Card?

According to Yahoo! Finance, most of the major credit card companies and several banks such as Chase have their own versions of an invitation only credit card. Unfortunately, little is known about these cards as they are cloaked in secrecy. Only those members who have been privileged with an invitation actually know why someone would want one. What we do know is that many of them come with an extremely high initiation fee, sometimes as much as $5,000, and that they may carry high annual rates as well. It is known that the American Express Black Centurion is one of those cards that carries a $5k initiation fee and the annual fee is $2,500. Oddly, most of us would like to have a credit score worthy enough to have a $5,000 credit limit on a basic card!

What Do You Get For All That Money?

Besides the prestige of having an invitation only credit card that is offered to the wealthiest card holders (or at least those who have probably charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single year), there are reputed to be some pretty nice perks along the way. Among the ‘known’ benefits are travel perks above and beyond those frequent flyer type miles such as extra special service at hotels around the world. These cards hold private discounts and as mentioned, free upgrades for all sorts of travel arrangements and accommodations. Some of credit card companies also hold dinners for invitation only cardholders at which they are given a ‘bag of personalized loot.’

Achieving a Happy Medium

While most consumers could never hope to be a member of such a select few who would qualify for such a swank invitation only credit card, we can work towards achieving a happy medium. By keeping tabs on our credit score we can work our way up the credit card ladder in order to perhaps qualify for a credit card with low annual fees and perhaps even a fairly high credit limit. Unless you have a bank account with perhaps $20+ million which would qualify you for one of those ritzy bank invitation only credit cards that is about the most you can hope for – a credit card which has low rates and a high limit.

Take the time to get your free annual credit report to keep tabs on what could be affecting your credit. If there are any errors, contact the credit reporting agency (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) that reported erroneous information. Make sure that you are not the victim of identity theft and then look at how your creditors have been ‘grading’ you. Have you been paying bills on time and in full? Did a creditor report that you had paid off a loan? These are the types of things you should be looking for that will affect your credit score and future credit. You may never qualify for an invitation only credit card, but why would anyone want one? Don’t you think they could purchase so much more than they are getting with that $2,500 annual fee? I guess we’ll never know.

 

Free Credit Report Once a Year

First time home buyers should keep several things in mind before going out to look at homes. Of course it is important to check the local financial institutions to see if there are any special mortgages in the area for first time home buyers. After you are armed with that information you should take a good long look at your credit score. Before you actually go out and apply for your home financing loan you should know what shape your credit is in. Since you are entitled to a free credit report once a year there should be no problem in seeing exactly what, if anything, is affecting your credit.
Since things have a way of getting out of control when we aren’t looking, it is important to keep up with your credit report. Some people wait altogether too long to see what is on theirs and there is no need to do this since they can get their free credit report once a year.

First time home buyers should keep several things in mind before going out to look at homes. Of course it is important to check the local financial institutions to see if there are any special mortgages in the area for first time home buyers. After you are armed with that information you should take a good long look at your credit score. Before you actually go out and apply for your home financing loan you should know what shape your credit is in. Since you are entitled to a free credit report once a year there should be no problem in seeing exactly what, if anything, is affecting your credit.

Since things have a way of getting out of control when we aren’t looking, it is important to keep up with your credit report. Some people wait altogether too long to see what is on theirs and there is no need to do this since they can get their free credit report once a year.

One Time Credit Report

It never ceases to amaze young people that they can just be starting out in life and already have an assortment of negative marks on their credit report. Unfortunately, there are a great number of people out there who are less than reputable and think nothing of stealing another’s identity. This happens more often than you might think which is why it is imperative even for young people to order a one time credit report.
There are a number of ways in which to obtain a credit report but the easiest way is to order a free credit report from one or all of the credit reporting agencies. In fact, a 3 in 1 one time credit report that has information from all three credit bureaus is also available if you find the right website. You are never too young to worry about your credit since it is so important to everything you do in life. In fact, you might even decide to take advantage of an annual free credit report, but at the very least get that one time report so that you know what is on it.

It never ceases to amaze young people that they can just be starting out in life and already have an assortment of negative marks on their credit report. Unfortunately, there are a great number of people out there who are less than reputable and think nothing of stealing another’s identity. This happens more often than you might think which is why it is imperative even for young people to order a one time credit report.

There are a number of ways in which to obtain a credit report but the easiest way is to order a free credit report from one or all of the credit reporting agencies. In fact, a 3 in 1 one time credit report that has information from all three credit bureaus is also available if you find the right website. You are never too young to worry about your credit since it is so important to everything you do in life. In fact, you might even decide to take advantage of an annual free credit report, but at the very least get that one time report so that you know what is on it.

Free Yearly Credit Report

Computers have become a part of our everyday lives and this is never more apparent than when it comes to your credit. It seems as though there isn’t a single aspect of life that isn’t recorded somewhere on some computer. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on your life if your credit is less than perfect. From job seeking to applying for a line of credit, everything that affects your finances can be reported which is why it is so important to always get your free yearly credit report.
Altogether too many people walk through life without knowing what is on that report which is a grave mistake in judgment. As a responsible adult you should always know what is being reported so that you can dispute any errors or cases of identity theft and it is easier to keep track of than you think. You are entitled to a free yearly credit report so take advantage of it before your credit gets the best of you.

Computers have become a part of our everyday lives and this is never more apparent than when it comes to your credit. It seems as though there isn’t a single aspect of life that isn’t recorded somewhere on some computer. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on your life if your credit is less than perfect. From job seeking to applying for a line of credit, everything that affects your finances can be reported which is why it is so important to always get your free yearly credit report.

Altogether too many people walk through life without knowing what is on that report which is a grave mistake in judgment. As a responsible adult you should always know what is being reported so that you can dispute any errors or cases of identity theft and it is easier to keep track of than you think. You are entitled to a free yearly credit report so take advantage of it before your credit gets the best of you.

Free Credit Report Band

It was only a few years ago that televisions around the country were assailed with commercials promoting free credit reports and they were quite memorable because of the band playing the jingle. Although many people weren’t exactly fond of those commercials they certainly did what they set out to do and that was to promote the free credit report website. The band became known as the free credit report band and when the television spots were removed those commercials were actually missed!

Of course all commercials run their course but the name of the website did become a household name which led many people to wonder what exactly happened to the band. It appears as if the credit bureaus wanted to place more emphasis on free credit scores so the free credit report band was replaced with free credit score commercials. The end result is that now more people are aware that they need to obtain their credit score as well since a credit report isn’t sufficient to indicate someone’s creditworthiness.

Free Credit Score No Credit Card

While most consumers do the best they can trying to maintain a good credit score there are others who are less than diligent in keeping up with their credit. Serious problems can result from not paying attention to your debts and it is in those times that obtaining a copy of your credit score is most necessary. If you are looking for a free credit score no credit card website you might be hard pressed to find one. Most often it is easier to obtain a free credit report than a free credit score.

Perhaps the easiest way to find a website with a free credit score no credit card requirement is to do a bit of research. There are actually a few of them out there but in most cases the preliminary credit score that is provided for free is a trial subscription to a credit repair or credit monitoring service.

AnnualCreditReport.com Website

Although there are a number of websites that can provide an annual credit report, there is one site that offers reports from all three of the major credit bureaus. However, make absolutely certain that you pay careful intention when typing in the annualcreditreport.com website URL. A slight deviation could result in being led to a competitor’s site that is not as reliable or as ethical.

Of course there are a number of other methods to employ in seeking your annual credit reports that the government says you are entitled to for free each year. Some people apply directly to the three credit reporting agencies while others apply for a line of credit in order to get their free report when denied. However, the most reliable way is to utilize the services of a site like the annualcreditreport.com website because all three reports will be provided. Because they are able to also provide credit repair counseling, you will find that it is easier to learn how to begin your road to financial recovery.

One Time Credit Score

Although there are a multitude of companies and services that provide free credit reports, it isn’t always easy to obtain a free one time credit score. Even so, there are a select few credit monitoring services that will provide a free credit score one time after which you would want to enroll in their credit monitoring service to obtain updated scores as they change.

After you have received your one time credit score you can then begin analyzing it to see if there is anything you can do to improve it. Talk to friends, family members and even professional credit counselors if you need guidance. Since a bad score can keep you from getting the credit you need it is imperative that you repair your credit as quickly as possible. It might even be possible to set up payment arrangements with some of your creditors in order to remove those blemishes right away, but whatever you do take action even if you can only take small steps at first.

Totally Free Credit Report

Since it was the United States government that established the Fair Credit Reporting Act that entitles consumers to a free credit report once a year, many people look at it as if it is a totally free credit report (free annual credit report from government) Actually, the government is only responsible for mandating that it is the right of consumers to know what is on that report but they are not the ones who provide it.
Of course if you are really sincere in seeking a totally free credit report (free annual credit report from government) then it is imperative to contact only reputable credit repair or credit monitoring websites. Be careful that there is not some hidden catch since there are only a handful of sites that are trustworthy. However, if you do find that your report has some issues keeping you with a low credit score you can then begin the task of repairing your creditworthiness.

Since it was the United States government that established the Fair Credit Reporting Act that entitles consumers to a free credit report once a year, many people look at it as if it is a totally free credit report (free annual credit report from government) Actually, the government is only responsible for mandating that it is the right of consumers to know what is on that report but they are not the ones who provide it.

Of course if you are really sincere in seeking a totally free credit report (free annual credit report from government) then it is imperative to contact only reputable credit repair or credit monitoring websites. Be careful that there is not some hidden catch since there are only a handful of sites that are trustworthy. However, if you do find that your report has some issues keeping you with a low credit score you can then begin the task of repairing your creditworthiness.