Tag Archives: Mortgage

What About Credit Inquiries?

Q & A

 A Question From Our First Time Homebuyer Workshop

Question

I want to order my credit report but I’ve heard that credit inquiries lower your credit score. Is that correct?

 

Answer

Whether a credit inquiry affects your credit score depends on who’s asking. Requesting information on your own credit won’t affect your credit score and in fact, it’s strongly recommended.

Here’s how it works: When a business or individual asks about your credit, it’s called an “inquiry.” Credit inquiries are either “hard” inquiries” or “soft inquiries” and there’s an important difference:

  • Hard inquiries: A hard inquiry can lower your credit score. These happen when you apply for credit from a lender or other business and you authorize them to check your credit as part of the application process. Examples are applying for a mortgage, an auto loan, or a credit card.
  • Soft inquiries. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. Examples are when you request your own credit report, when a landlord checks your credit for an apartment rental, and when employers check your credit as part of a hiring process. Credit card companies may also perform soft credit inquiries by checking your credit without your knowledge or authorization. If you didn’t request the credit or authorize the credit check, then the company is performing a soft inquiry.

Recommendations

  • Don’t apply for new credit cards, store cards, auto loans, etc. when you’re shopping for a mortgage. These are all “hard inquiries”. The impact on your credit score varies but it can add up. Even if you only lose a few points, lenders will see the inquiries on your credit report and may be concerned about your intention to increase your debt while applying for a mortgage. (If you do create significant additional debt while applying for a mortgage, the added payments may have a negative impact on your eligibility for a loan.)

The only credit you should apply for when shopping for a mortgage is the mortgage itself!

  • Do check your own credit report and correct any errors. Instructions are included in the reports. Your credit is a major factor when you apply for a mortgage, so make sure all the information about your finances is correct.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months to ensure that the information on all of your credit reports is correct and up to date.

We recommend www.annualcreditreport.com to order your free credit reports and if you wish, your credit scores (scores require a fee).

Learn more at www.annualcreditreport.com or visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports and www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/search?selected_facets=category_exact:credit-reporting

 

Fern Selesnick, Homeownership Education Coordinator

 

What you need to know about the MHP One loan

house for saleQ&A

Question:

Hi Donna,

I know that the One Mortgage is a conventional loan, but what are the rules for the home inspection?  Asbestos siding, lead paint, etc.  Does the bank do the inspection or does it follow some other rules for inspecting?  I’m buying a “For Sale by Owner” but I do have a real estate sales agent and an attorney working on my behalf.

Thanks,

Buyer

 

Answer:

Dear Buyer,

The structural, mechanical inspection, or home inspection that you pay for covers just that; the structure and mechanics of the home.  Lead paint, asbestos, mold, radon, or water quality tests are separate inspections that you have to pay for in addition to the home inspection.  The home inspector should advise you if you need any of these or any other additional inspections based on what is seen at the property at the time of the inspection.  Inspections are recommended but not required in the home buying process or by the lender.  Its buyer beware though; once you sign at the closing it’s all yours issues and all.  This is why you have the inspection period, so you know what you are buying.  If you choose not to inspect, the real estate sales agent will have you sign a waiver, because it’s that important.  Sellers may not disclose all the information they know about the house.  Hopefully the sales agent asks for a signed “Statement of Condition of the Property”   Due to this being a “for sale by owner,” this probably is not the case because it’s the seller’s agent’s responsibility to ask for this document to be completed.  You should ask for this form to be completed prior to having your inspection.

The bank will not inspect the property.  However, they will send out an appraiser to determine the value.  The appraiser is looking at the condition of the property as to how it effects the value and looking to see that the house livable.  Government-insured loans, such as VA or FHA, go a step further and will care about chipping, peeling paint, the life of a roof, and other health and safety conditions that may be present at the property.  Sometimes these conditions effect your ability to get an FHA loan.  They will not allow chipping paint or a roof that has less than 3 years of life remaining.
Donna Cabana

Homeownership Coordinator

Guide For Homebuyers

This guide gives you advice for getting a safe, affordable mortgage.

If you’re a financial whiz, there may be other ways you can save money. But this guide emphasizes safety and affordability. You might think it’s OK to sign up for a mortgage that will not be affordable over the long term, because you can sell your home or refinance the loan before you run into trouble. But that’s a big risk. If you can’t refinance or sell when the monthly payments go up or your income goes down, you could lose your home to foreclosure. We think the best deal is a mortgage you can afford over the long term, without worrying about whether you can refinance or sell later.

There are a number of steps to getting a mortgage:

1. Decide what you can afford

2. Choosing the right loan terms and loan program

3. Shop for a loan

4. Negotiate for a better deal

5. Get ready to sign.

Continue reading here.

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