NewRez brings back non-QM platform

Months after halting its non-qualified mortgage (non-QM) operations in response to COVID-19, home financing company NewRez announced Monday that it is bringing back its non-QM lending platform.

Like many non-QM lenders, NewRez stepped out of the market temporarily due to the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But it didn’t take long for non-QM to re-enter the mortgage space and help drive the US housing market’s recovery.

Read more: Non-QM vital to economic recovery

“As we look ahead to a healthy and growing non-agency and non-QM market, we are excited to provide options to highly qualified and strong borrowers that sit outside the traditional agency guidelines,” said NewRez President Baron Silverstein.

The Fort Washington, Penn.-based lender offers a wide range of mortgage products that meet the various needs of creditworthy borrowers who may not otherwise satisfy conventional financing requirements. NewRez said that its SMART Non-QM Loan Series can now be accessed through its relaunched non-QM specific platform.

“As we further grow our footprint in non-QM lending, we are committed to underwriting quality loans that meet our guidelines and pricing models. Our product suite is differentiated with various options to fit specific borrower criteria and needs. Matched with our superior customer service, growing technology capabilities and end-to-end non-QM platform, each lending experience is treated delicately from start to finish. Our non-QM borrowers will also benefit from our experience in servicing these loans with our in-house servicer,” said Jeff Gravelle, chief production officer of NewRez.

“With our leading lending platform, we have the expertise, resources, capabilities and sophisticated products to help complex borrowers find the right lending solutions and pursue the dream of homeownership,” Silverstein said.

Source: mpamag.com

Joint home loans for unmarried first-time buyers – Rising Sun Overport

One of the biggest hindrances to a successful home loan application, particularly for younger and first-time home buyers, is a high debt-to-income ratio and low credit score rating. Many do not have a credit rating at all and thus are unable to open an account. Without an account in good standing, there is no means to prove an individual is a good credit risk. This vicious circle can delay many plans and dreams of a home purchase, which is particularly sad in the current climate of being able to avail of the best interest rate in years.

There is however, a possible solution: When you add a co-applicant that does have a good credit rating and has the capacity for a repayment, the odds of a successful approval for a home loan become so much better. Such a co-applicant may be a long-term partner, a friend, business associate or even a family member.

Before rushing into a joint home loan assessment process, there are some legalities to consider, and the first is that contrary to popular belief, South African laws do not recognise so-called ‘common law’ relationships.

I approached Louis Kruger for clarification. He is an Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer, and Managing Director of Kruger Attorneys & Conveyancers, who explains that traditionally the consequences of married persons owning a property are usually governed by their matrimonial property regime, such as being married in community- or out-of-community, customary marriage, religious marriage or civil union.

“The law dictates, dependent on the regime, what the proprietary consequences are for the respective spouses or partners. Persons in a personal or romantic relationship, or same sex partnership however, which is not recognised by law, cannot rely on the same legal protection that the law provides to married persons.”

It is for this reason that Kruger stresses that the future aspirations and relationship between the parties is of great concern. “I always strongly recommend that unmarried persons who wish to purchase a property jointly, must enter into a ‘Co-Ownership or Co-Habitation Agreement’, which helps to regulate their affairs. These agreements generally provide for important aspects such as liability for acquisition costs, maintenance, what happens to the property when the relationship is terminated, or in the event that either party wishes to sell. This agreement will be enforceable between the parties, but will not bind creditors such as the bond holder.

“It is imperative for the parties of such an agreement to understand that should one of them parties no longer wish to remain a co-owner, the remaining owner can only ‘buy-out’ that partner if they are capable of proving affordability to the bank for the full bond amount outstanding,” says Kruger.

From the bank or financial institution’s perspective, if one applicant wishes to exit from the home loan agreement, a substitution of debt is implemented, whereby a new home loan application will need to be processed and a full credit assessment to be conducted to verify affordability. That applicant will then become liable to pay the full bond registration fees for the new home loan.

This drives another of the major legal considerations by joint owners of a property who are utilising mortgage bond finance to purchase a property; that being the effect of both being held jointly and severally liable for any amount due to the financial institution granting such a home loan. Here the law is very clear: Regardless of whether only one individual defaults, both parties’ credit profiles are impacted.

In practice, this means that the bank can claim any amount due from both, or either, of the parties and the bank is not bound by their personal arrangements relative to payment,” says Kruger. “For example, if the parties agree that one of them is responsible for maintaining the regular bond instalments, whilst the other will cover municipal costs and insurance, the bank is not bound by the same agreement, and can insist on payment from either party.

The decision of which financial institution or bank to apply for a home loan, also has to be decided up front. A bond application cannot be split between two different home loan providers, and the monthly debit order has to come from one account. This may put the financial burden on one party who has to ensure that bond repayments funds are always available.

Absa Home Loans confirms what Kruger has already alerted us to, which emphasises that by law, joint applicants have to accept that they are jointly and severally liable for the total monthly home loan repayments, and which includes taxes and other legal and administrative fees that are associated with the ownership of a property.

Another consideration that Absa Home Loans stresses, is the need for each party to have a Last Will and Testament in place, which instructs what should happen to the property in the event of one another’s death. One additional step is also for both parties to have adequate life cover that will settle their share of the outstanding bond.

In the excitement and realisation that together, two parties can afford a property, joint applicants tend to focus mainly on the benefits of pooling their cash resources and affordability, not giving sufficient consideration to the downside impact if things don’t go as planned; death and taxes for example.

Before making a joint home loan application it is highly recommended that both parties explore all eventualities or possibilities no matter how difficult it may be, especially when considering a possible future termination of the relationship. Attorney advice is always recommended because they take an unemotional view of the partnership and are aware of all the legal pitfalls, proffering advice and options.

The consequences of not doing so, and/or not having adequate legal advice, can have serious implications on individual credit ratings and future loan applications, which in turn can set both individuals back for years, regardless of who defaulted or reneged on the co-ownership agreement.

A golden rule is in the word ‘joint’: You are jointly liable, jointly bound to the home loan, and jointly you will thrive or fail.

Source: risingsunoverport.co.za

‘Home Town’: Ben and Erin Napier’s Top Upgrade To Give a Home Happy Vibes

Ben and Erin Napier of “Home Town” usually renovate single-family homes, but in their latest episode, they’ve turned their keen reno eye toward a good cause.

In “Color Psychology,” Napier’s clients Lisa and Mike Cochran have bought a house in Laurel, MS, for $25,000 in order to turn it into a women’s home. They want this nonprofit to be a welcoming place for women who have run into tough times. It should be comfortable and beautiful, but they also know it needs to function for multiple people (and their kids) at once.

Ben and Erin set out to create the ultimate “roommate house” with a modest all-in budget of $100,000. Read on to find out Erin’s favorite beautiful (but inexpensive) upgrades, and find out if you can use them in your own space.

Use bright colors for a welcoming home

Before: This house looked dark and dreary.
Before: This house looked dark and dreary.

HGTV

Erin knows that the women who will move into this house have been through a lot, so she wants to create a welcoming, happy ambiance.

One way she does this is by using color to make the common spaces and the exterior give off a joyful energy.

“I did a lot of research in college about color psychology, and certain colors make you feel hungry or happy or sad or sleepy,” Erin explains. “In a color palette of sky blue, light-coral colors, lemon-meringue yellow, and then lots of neutrals and creams around those colors together give you a feeling of happiness.”

After: These colors are bright and welcoming.
After: These colors are bright and welcoming.

HGTV

So Erin paints the exterior a beautiful blue, with a playful coral on the front door. Inside, she brightens up the living room with sunny yellow walls set off by creamy white trim.

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Watch: Exclusive: HGTV’s Orlando Soria Gives Us a Tour of His Home

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When the paint is dry, the house looks like it’s bursting with joy and life. Sometimes, the right colors can make all the difference.

Erin Napier used bright, uplifting colors in this living room.
Erin Napier used bright, uplifting colors in this living room.

HGTV

Invest in small updates everyone will appreciate

Everyone will enjoy the new, improved window.
Everyone will enjoy the new, improved window.

HGTV

Just like a fresh coat of paint, new windows are something everyone in the house will enjoy, and a window upgrade doesn’t have to cost a lot.

That’s why Ben and Erin decide to upgrade this house by replacing a window upstairs. While this only brings extra light to the attic, it also gives the exterior a more elegant look.

“That window is beautiful,” Erin says when she sees the new window installed. “That small change is like changing the world for this house.” This new window proves that sometimes the smallest update can have a huge impact.

Create a designated workspace for everyone

These desks add extra function to this space.
These desks add extra function to this space.

HGTV

Erin knows that a home should be beautiful as well as functional, which is why she decides to add two custom desks to the living space.

With kids living in the home, she wants to make sure they have space to do their homework—but these convenient desks could also work in a house with roommates.

“We can make it even more multipurpose,” Erin says when looking at the dual kitchen and dining room. “We’re going to have kids. I want to think about how we have a really communal sort of dining space where there’s also maybe desks.”

Ben Napier made these desks in his wood shop.
Ben Napier made these desks in his wood shop.

HGTV

Ben and Erin find space in the corners of the dining room where one desk could be tucked in on either side of the room, away from the dining table and out of the way of foot traffic.

The desks look lovely and prove that, while there might not be room for a dedicated office in a shared house, there can still be workspaces for everyone.

Use inexpensive and easily-cleaned materials

This backsplash is inexpensive and fun.
This backsplash is inexpensive and fun.

HGTV

Ben and Erin next move onto the kitchen, choosing a backsplash that is beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to clean. They use vinyl wallpaper as a clever substitute for tile, giving the room a pop of color that doesn’t cost a lot. To protect the wallpaper from messes, Erin covers it with plexiglass so it can be quickly cleaned.

“We went with this because it’s affordable but it’s really pretty, because we want this to be a lovely, soft first landing for these women and their kids,” Erin says.

Best of all, Erin’s wallpaper is peel-and-stick, so it’s easy to put up and easy to take down. This makes it an especially great choice for any roommates who want to be able to change up the look of their kitchen without spending too much money.

Don’t go too pricey with kitchen features

Erin learns how laminate counters are made.
Erin learns how laminate counters are made.

HGTV

With a great roommate-friendly backsplash, Erin wants to continue the theme of inexpensive, sharable space with style. So she uses laminate countertops in the kitchen, knowing that this durable material will look great—and cost just $300. And that frees up funds for the nonprofit to use somewhere else.

“People want to be down on laminate,” Erin says, acknowledging how laminate might not be the popular choice. “But it wouldn’t make sense if we had put $2,000 worth of countertops in this house that was all about the budget.”

And the laminate counters look just like marble, giving the new tenants a beautiful kitchen that isn’t breaking the bank.

When the house is finally finished, Erin and Ben get to present their clients with a happy home that will be enjoyed by many deserving women for years to come.

Source: realtor.com

Mociun’s Shift To Home Decor Helped It Navigate The Unpredictable Year That Was 2020 – The Zoe Report

In the midst of a global pandemic that’s forced so many to stay home (or at least spend more time there), it’s helpful to have a successful jewelry business that also features a robust collection of chic home goods. Just ask Caitlin Mociun. The owner and founder of namesake label Mociun has managed to navigate the storm with her extensive and well-curated home treasures that are as playful and whimsical as they are elevated and well-crafted.

Since its early years, the New York-based company has been no stranger to necessary pivots and evolving. In fact, the label actually began as an apparel company before moving on to jewelry and home decor. “I started [the label] in 2006 as a women’s clothing line, focusing on hand-printed textiles that I designed, printed, and sewed myself,” says the founder, who studied textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design. “I never imagined then that I would have a fine jewelry brand and a store.”

Like its thoughtful and intricate jewelry collections, the label’s home goods are carefully selected and sourced with emerging brands and “styles and designs that [my buyer and I] feel are unique and new,” says Mociun to TZR. “But we also like to mix in and work with brands that have been in business for hundreds of years. I think a big part of what we are looking for is a unique perspective and beautiful craftsmanship.”

Mociun has always pulled inspiration for the label’s items from the 20th-century German art school and movement The Staatliches Bauhaus, or simply the Bauhaus. “The college (RISD) I went to was based on the Bauhaus, so I think my schooling really informed how I approach design,” she says. And more than being inspired by the actual school (which operated from 1919 to 1933) and artists, Mociun says she is inspired by the movement’s principles. Some of those key elements found in the brand’s jewelry and home collections include:

  • Function before form: “I make wearable pieces, so they need to start with being wearable. A piece of jewelry that is uncomfortable, too heavy, unbalanced, etc. is not a successful piece even if it’s pretty or cool-looking.”
  • Working with true materials: “My materials often inform my designs. Part of what I fell in love with in jewelry is the stones, the color of gold, and how the two so simply play off each other. I find them perfect and beautiful in their simplest forms.”
  • “Not seeing a difference in artist and craftsperson.

In home decor, these principles manifest as brightly colored mouth-blown Italian vases, spotted ceramic tea cups with playful dog sculptures in the center, and fanciful woven throw blankets with interesting designs and patterns. In jewelry, geometric and unexpected shapes, brightly colored gemstones and timeless, dainty pieces can be found in the label’s collections. Yes, each item under the Mociun umbrella strikes the perfect balance of sophisticated and playful — and it works.

In addition to Bahaus principles, the designer says her travels have always served as inspiration for the label’s one-of-a-kind pieces. “[Travel] really is about pushing me out of my everyday comfort and routine,” says Mociun. “It would make me look at things in a new way. It’s been really hard for me in 2020 to find a way to do this without leaving my physical spaces.”

Unsurprisingly, 2020 brought with it other challenges to Mociun and her team (and countless other businesses). But the founder says, “working together as a team” has helped keep everyone motivated in these trying times. “No one wanted this ship to sink,” she says. “It has been beautiful and inspiring to see my team work together in new and challenging ways and to find solutions to the problems that come up.”

Launching a new “and very robust” website at the end of 2019 helped Mociun’s online business put its artful wares, especially those for the home, on full display and allowed the brand to flourish amidst the pandemic, which impacted traffic to its Brooklyn storefront. “This was helped along even further by my amazing website manager who keeps improving our site,” says Mociun. “As well as my photographer and creative content partner, who help our ideas come to life in the photoshoots we work on.”

Indeed, Mociun explains that so much of her namesake labels’ magic lies beyond its stunning product offering. “There is a whole world of people and personalities behind it,” Mociun explains. “I work very hard at figuring out people’s strengths and talents (not always successfully, of course). Just as I have worked towards doing what I like, I want the people on my team to do what they like as well. I have seen all aspects of my brand get better when these things are focused on.”

Better indeed. Mociun’s “organic and unplanned journey” has led it to evolve to the multifaceted — and resilient — label it is today. “I mostly kept moving towards the things that I enjoyed doing, knowing that there are always going to be parts of this that are challenging, that I am not the best at, or that aren’t fun,” says Mociun. “When something really didn’t feel good or didn’t feel like something the world needed, then I would move away from that. [I’m] always checking in and asking myself is this worth spending my time doing and putting out into the world?”

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Source: thezoereport.com

7 Ways to Save for Retirement Without a 401(k)

Man saving for retirement
Rob Byron / Shutterstock.com

When talking about saving for retirement, many of us immediately jump to the 401(k).

However, while the 401(k) can be a great tool for building wealth for retirement, not everyone has access to this retirement savings vehicle.

Here are some ways to save for retirement without a 401(k).

1. Health savings account

Doctor talking to a patient in a hospital bed
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

A health savings account (HSA) is one of the most tax-friendly savings tools available, offering a tax deduction up front and allowing your money to grow tax-free — and to be withdrawn tax-free — as long as it’s used for qualified medical expenses.

While you can’t contribute as much to an HSA as you can to a 401(k), for those who qualify, it can make a solid addition to your effort to save money for health care costs during retirement.

You do need to have a high-deductible health care plan in order to qualify, and you can’t be enrolled in Medicare or listed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

2. Traditional IRA

individual retirement account
Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

The traditional IRA is one of the most flexible accounts. It allows you to make contributions as long as you have taxable income. You can even contribute if you have other types of retirement accounts.

Depending on your situation, your contributions might even be tax-deductible, reducing your taxable income and thereby also reducing your tax bill.

Contribution limits are lower for the traditional IRA than for the 401(k), but it can still be a way to build up a retirement portfolio.

3. Roth IRA

investing
designer491 / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t want a tax benefit today, but instead prefer your money to grow tax-free over time, you can contribute to a Roth IRA.

With the Roth, however, you must meet income requirements to contribute. Once you earn over a certain amount, you’re no longer allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA.

4. Taxable investment account

Stock bull
robert cicchetti / Shutterstock.com

You don’t need a tax-advantaged retirement account to set money aside for the future. It’s possible for anyone to open a taxable investment account and begin growing a portfolio.

A taxable investment account typically offers fewer tax advantages than a retirement account. However, you don’t have to worry about early withdrawal penalties and other restrictions to accessing your money when you need it.

5. Solo 401(k)

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

If you’re a business owner, you can set up a solo 401(k) and make contributions in line with a regular 401(k). In order to use a solo 401(k), though, you must be a business owner without employees. The only exception is if you have a spouse and set up a plan for you and your spouse.

Because you act as both employer and employee, you’re also allowed to set up your 401(k) so that you can make employer contributions on top of your employee contributions. This can create enormous tax advantages for some people.

6. SEP IRA

remote worker home office
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

Another option for a business owner is to set up a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRA. You can even open this type of plan if you are self-employed.

The IRS says business owners must offer the SEP IRA to all employees who are at least 21 and who worked for the employer in three of the last five years. The employee must also receive at least $650 in compensation in 2021. You can find more details about the rules at the IRS website.

As a business owner, a SEP IRA can be a way to save for your own retirement, as well as a flexible way to provide a retirement plan for your employees.

7. SIMPLE IRA

workers in an office meeting
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

You can also open a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA as a business looking to provide some type of retirement plan for employees.

In order to qualify to contribute to a SIMPLE IRA, you need to earn at least $5,000 in any two calendar years before the current year and also expect to earn that much in the current year. However, the IRS states that “an employer can use less restrictive participation requirements than those listed, but not more restrictive ones.”

For more on the rules, visit the IRS website.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

How to Get a Low-Interest Personal Loan

When you’re struggling financially, sometimes the best option is to get a personal loan. Unfortunately, “cheap loans” in the form of low-interest rates are hard to come by if you don’t have the right credit score. The interest rate is the amount you’ll pay over the life of the loan on top of the loan amount requested. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive the personal loan will be, and the more you’ll come out of pocket to pay for it.

In this article

What is a low interest rate on a personal loan? 

As of November 2020, the average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan is 9.65%, according to the Federal Reserve. Depending on your creditworthiness, your rate for a personal loan could be higher or lower than the national average.

Lenders use a risk-based model to determine individual interest rates on personal loans and other loan types. Financial institutions use several factors to determine your personal interest rate, including your:

  • Credit score
  • Payment history
  • Income information
  • Outstanding debts

The better your credit score and payment history and the less outstanding debts you have, the better your personal loan interest rates will be. However, if your credit score is lacking, you have trouble paying on time and maxed out your credit cards, don’t expect a low interest rate on your personal loan.

[ More: How to Raise Your Credit Score ]

How can I get a lower interest rate on my loan? 

If you’re looking for a cheap personal loan with a low interest rate, there are some things you can do before applying. If you can improve your creditworthiness, you can get a better-than-average interest rate on a personal loan, which can add up to big savings over the life of the loan.

Lower your debt to income ratio

The first thing to do before applying for a personal loan is to lower your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. The DTI is the amount of debt you have compared to the income you bring in.

The higher the ratio, the less likely you’ll get a low interest rate on a personal loan. With a high amount of debt compared to your income, the risk of default is higher, which means the lender will want a higher amount of interest to take on the greater risk.

The easiest way to lower your debt-to-income ratio is to pay off some of your outstanding debt. If you have a lot of debt or aren’t sure about the best way to tackle your existing debt, there are debt relief options available.

Improve your credit score 

Your credit score is a three-digit number assigned to your debt and payment history that determines your creditworthiness. The better your credit score, the better chance you have of getting approved for a low-interest rate on your personal loan.

Here are some tips to use so you can quickly improve your credit score before applying for a loan:

  • Pay all your bills on time
  • Allow your utility and cell phone bills to boost your credit score
  • Pay off your debt
  • Keep low balances on revolving credit accounts
  • Only apply for new credit accounts if needed
  • Keep unused credit cards open and active instead of closing them
  • Avoid applying for new credit often, as inquiries can negatively affect your credit score
  • Review all your credit reports and dispute any inaccuracies

Shop around and compare rates 

Sometimes it pays to shop around. By getting multiple personal loan quotes, you can compare interest rates, fees and other terms to make the best decision.

When shopping, make sure the lender does a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. Once you choose a lender, it will do a hard credit pull to verify your information and lock in the interest rate.

[ See: Three Ways to Build Credit Without Taking on Any Debt ]

Reach out to a credit union 

A credit union is much different from a bank or online lender. Credit unions are nonprofit entities owned by their members, so they can offer more competitive rates and better incentives than the big banks.

To apply for a personal loan with a credit union, you have to be a member first. Qualifying for membership varies by credit union, but you usually have to live in a certain area, work for a particular employer or be related to an existing member. If you belong to an organization, that may also be a qualifying factor that makes you eligible to join the credit union.

Pick a cheaper type of loan

Most personal loans available are unsecured loans, which means you don’t have to provide collateral to get approved. However, offering up a form of collateral could be a way to get a lower interest rate on a secured loan compared to an unsecured personal loan.

Lenders may allow the following forms of collateral for a secured loan:

  • Cash in checking or savings
  • Vehicle
  • House
  • Home equity

Though this route could get a better interest rate, proceed with caution. If you default on the personal loan, the lender can seize your collateral. If you end up down on your luck, losing your house or car could make your situation even worse.

[ Next: Secured Personal Loans vs. Unsecured Personal Loans ]

Get a co signer 

Some lenders offer the option of a co-signer, which can get you a low-interest rate personal loan. The co-signer should have excellent credit and a strong payment history to improve your chances of a better rate.

Make sure your co-signer agrees to taking on the responsibility. Once approved, the co-signer is equally responsible for the loan payments. If you default on the loan, they are on the hook to pay or risk damaging their own credit score.

Choose a shorter repayment period 

Longer loan terms means more risk for the lender, which translates to higher interest rates. Choosing a shorter repayment period can lower the interest rate, but it also increases the monthly payment. Be sure the higher payment fits into your budget over the life of the loan so you don’t default.

Sign up for an auto pay discount 

Some lenders offer incentives like an autopay discount to win over borrowers. With autopay, you attach a checking or savings account to the loan and the lender debits the monthly payment automatically. Not only does this ensure you pay on time each month, it lowers the risk of defaulting on the loan, which is why lenders offer it.

Most lenders offer a 0.25% discount on the personal loan interest rate. It sounds small, but the savings can add up over the life of the loan. Be mindful to have enough money in your account each month to avoid overdraft fees on your account and a returned payment fee with the lender.

Avoid fees 

Fees on loans are the difference between an interest rate and an annual percentage rate (APR). If the APR is higher than the interest rate, there are fees attached to the loan.

One of the biggest fees is the origination fee, also called an administration, processing or underwriting fee.. The origination fee can vary from 1% to 8% of the loan amount. Not all lenders have this fee — lenders including SoFi, Lightstream and Citizens Bank all do not charge this fee.

When shopping for personal loan quotes, check to see what fees, if any, apply to the loan. Just because a lender offers a low-interest rate doesn’t mean it’s always the best option available.

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

How Your Credit Score Impacts Your Financial Future

Improving your Financial FutureYour credit score is a numerical reflection of your credit history. The score is given as a 3-digit number between 300 to 850 and is an indication of how creditworthy you are. You can get both your credit report and credit score from Annual Credit Report.Com.

Generally, a higher credit score increases your credibility to lenders and opens you up to better terms of credit. On the other hand, the lower your credit score, the riskier you appear as a borrower.

More specifically, your credit score impacts your financial future in several ways:

1.  Your Credit Score Influences Eligibility for Employment

When employers are vetting prospective employees, a large percentage also run a background check which may include credit checks. Notably, they cannot access your credit score but they can access your credit reports.

Credit reports give details of your borrowing and payment history, which can give a hint of how well you fair in your credit score. Some employers may take this as a reflection of how well you can handle money, your decision-making ability, and your potential to be involved in criminal activity.

Note: According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, prospective employers are obligated to inform you in writing if a credit check is a requirement in the hiring process and seek your written consent on the same.

2.  Your Credit Score Determines your Qualification for a Loan

Whether you require a private, auto, or business loan, a good credit score is paramount. It is the biggest factor in determining whether your loan gets approved, the amount that you receive, and the interest rates of the loan.

Typically, for SBA and term loans, you will need a minimum credit score of 680. Still, business loan providers consider a score of between 640 and 700 as good. For an auto loan, you will require a minimum score of 660.

While it is still possible to get loans with a low credit score, your choices will be limited. Further, the few lenders who are willing to work with you will charge higher rates, significantly raising your monthly payments.

3.  Your Score Affects Your Ability to Buy or Rent a House

Just like the case with other lenders, mortgage companies depend on your credit record to determine your eligibility for a mortgage. A good score, such as 760 and above, reflects your ability to honor your payments.

On the other hand, you might not strike a deal with many lenders if your score is 640 and below. If you do, they will impose high-interest rates to cover the risk of delayed payments or defaulting.

When you are looking to rent a house, it is common for some landlords to run credit checks. By so doing, they can only get your credit report and not your credit score. That said, there’s no minimum credit score to qualify you to rent.

However, a landlord may use your payment habits and your current debt to decide if they should approve you to rent or not.

 5. Your Credit Score Determines Whether you Get Mortgage Refinancing or Not

Are you looking to lower the interest rate on your current mortgage? You can do that by refinancing. This can also help you get a shorter loan term, reduce your monthly payments, or switch to a fixed-rate mortgage.

To refinance your mortgage, the credit requirements may vary from one lender to another. Nevertheless, you will need a credit score of 620 and over for a conventional mortgage refinance. If you are lucky, you can get refinancing from government programs with a score of 580.

By contrast, if you want to try your luck with private lenders, you may need a credit score of up to 750. In any case, higher credit scores translate to higher chances of loan refinancing approval, better loan terms, and lower interest rates.

Besides your score, you will also need a minimum of 20% property equity and funds to cater for other costs related to refinancing.

The Bottom Line

Many aspects of your financial future are pegged on how you have handled your financial responsibilities in the past. Your credit score is a good indicator of this information. With good credit, you can live more comfortably, access financing when you need it, and avoid extra expenses brought about by a low score.

Source: creditabsolute.com

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Are authorized users covered by credit card travel insurance?


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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

3 ways to pay off credit card debt – The Points Guy

3 ways to pay off credit card debt – The Points Guy


Advertiser Disclosure


Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

Abound Credit Union Visa Offers 5% Cash Back On Restaurants During Q1 2021

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • The Abound Credit Union Visa card is offering 5% cash back on restaurant purchases – dine in, take out, order delivery – for January 1 through March 30, 2021.

The Fine Print

  • No limits mentioned
  • 5% off all restaurant purchases including DoorDash and GrubHub
  • Limited time offer January 1 – March 31 2021

Our Verdict

Some people might have this card due to it offering 5% cashback on all gas purchases. 5% on restaurants is pretty good, though some may prefer other cards.

Hat tip to reader nightfir, Evan, and d.

Source: doctorofcredit.com