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Archive for ◊ October, 2016 ◊

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Business students at North Bays Canadore College now have the chance to fast track through their program.

Colleges Ontario has partnered with McDonalds Canada to give fast-food restaurant workers credit for training theyve received on-the-job.

The new partnership recognizes the quality of training at McDonalds and empowers workers to apply the skills theyve learned to reach their career and academic goals, said Mary OFarrell-Bowers, vice-president of academics with Canadore College.

I think they will be very, very excited to have the excellent training that McDonalds Canada [provides] when they pursue their post secondary education at Canadore, she said.

  • McDonalds Canada CEO calls foreign worker controversy bullshit

Canadore said it also intends to facilitate a credit transfer into about half-a-dozen of its business-related programs.

Its an exciting opportunity for students and those who are interested in coming to Canadore to get recognition for the work and the training that theyve received with McDonalds Canada, OFarrell-Bowers said, and it enables them to fast-track through a program.

  • Ex-Winnipeg McDonalds employee accuses chain of unsafe grills in lawsuit

McDonalds Canada currently offers a similar program in BC with the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Across Ontario, twenty-four colleges have agreed to participate in the partnership with McDonalds.

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Just how important is it to know about credit scores? You may think you dont need to know your score if you are not applying for a mortgage or a car loan, but you may be wrong. Low scores can cost you money, so it pays to know your score.

Credit bureaus, such as Experian, and nonprofit associations, such as the Consumer Federation of America, study the state of credit. Based on a recent survey, the CFA reports that consumers greatly underestimate the cost of low credit scores.

Here is an example of how a low score can affect a car loan, which I will put to you in the form of one of the CFA survey questions:

On a $20,000, 60-month auto loan, about how much more would a borrower with a bad credit score pay than a borrower with a good report?

A. Less than $1,000

B. $1,000-$3,000

C. $3,000-$5,000

D. More than $5,000

The answer is D. Only 22 percent of the people surveyed knew the answer.

What are the types of vendors who can use a credit score to determine the price they will charge you for a services? Consider this list:

A. Mortgage lender

B. Credit-card issuer

C. Home insurer

D. Cellphone company

E. Electric utility

F. Landlord

G. All of the above

The correct answer is G.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed knew that electric utilities can use credit scores to determine an initial deposit, for example.

Roughly two out of three knew that scores may be used by home insurers (66 percent), cellphone companies (68 percent) and landlords (70 percent).

Mortgage lenders and credit-card issuers often use credit scores to help decide whether they will extend credit and, if so, at what price, according to the CFA. In most states, many auto and home insurers use specialized credit scores to help determine annual premiums. Cellphone companies, electric utilities and landlords may use credit scores to decide whether they will require a security deposit and, if so, how large it should be.

What about this question: Which one of these groupings contains three factors that are all used to calculate a credit score?

A. A persons age, missed loan payments and marital status

B. Missed loan payments, high balances on credit cards and ethnic origin

C. Marital status, high balances on credit cards and personal bankruptcy

D. A persons age, high balances on credit cards and ethnic origin

E. Missed loan payments, high balances on credit cards and personal bankruptcy

The correct answer is E.

More than 40 percent of those surveyed assumed that marital status and age affect credit scores. However, that is not the case, according to the CFA. Neither is ethnic origin.

And here is the final question: When are lenders that use credit scores required to inform borrowers of the credit score used in the lending decision?

A. After a consumer applies for a mortgage

B. On all credit-card, auto and other consumer loans when a consumer doesnt receive the best terms and/or lowest interest rate available

C. Whenever a consumer is turned down for a loan

D. All of the above

E. None of the above

The correct answer is D.

The Consumer Federation of America, along with VantageScore Solutions, contacted 1,005 adults across the country for this survey. The CFA is a nonprofit association whose goal is to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education.

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BlueVine Review: Best B2B Factoring Service
Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 | Author:

Credit: BlueVine

We recommend BlueVineas the best B2B factoring service. We chose BlueVine from dozens of factoring services. To understand how we chose BlueVine, you can find our methodology and a list of factoring services on our best picks page.

Why BlueVine?

BlueVine makes it easy for small B2B businesses to qualify for factoring services. The company offers both invoice financing and a line of credit with low rates, fast funding and no obligations or long-term contracts.

BlueVine costs 1 percent of the total invoice value with a minimum term of three weeks. BlueVine advances 85-90 percent of the total invoice value upfront and pays you the remaining balance, minus fees, after customers have paid their invoices in full. Businesses can get financing for $5,000 up to $500,000 in as little as 24 hours.

Minimum requirements

Most factoring services have strict requirements that automatically disqualify many small businesses. We like that BlueVine makes it easier to qualify for invoice financing or a line of credit by being more accommodating to B2B small businesses.

How to qualify for BlueVine

We like that BlueVine takes a holistic approach to evaluating businesses. The company considers everything from your customers to your business cash flow, financial history, reputation and quality of invoices.

To qualify for BlueVines invoice financing, you only need to have been in business for three months and have a minimum revenue of $10,000 per month.

To qualify for a line of credit, youll need to have been in business for at least six months. This option has a lower revenue requirement of at least $5,000 per month.

BlueVine also works with business owners who have a below average credit score. The minimum credit requirements are a credit score of 530 for invoice financing and 600 for a line of credit. Although BlueVine looks at your personal and business credit scores, we like that the company puts more weight on customers credit worthiness than its owners.

Invoice requirements

In addition to evaluating your business, BlueVine will also assess your invoices. For invoices to be approved, heres what BlueVine is looking for:

  1. Services rendered are complete or product delivered and accepted by customers
  2. Minimum of $500 with due dates of at least one week away up to 90 days
  3. Payment term of less than 12 weeks
  4. US- or Canada-based B2B customers

Editors Note: Looking or information on factoring services? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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New specifications for Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs common mortgage application unveiled Tuesday add data points and remove obsolete questions, as well as include additional capabilities to promote digital mortgage workflows.

The completely redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application commonly referred to as the Fannie Mae Form 1003 or Freddie Mac Form 65 wont be effective until Jan. 1, 2018, the same implementation date for collecting expanded demographic information under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

In addition to collecting the expanded HMDA data, the new application requests information like the borrowers email address and cell phone number details that lenders gather today, but werent commonplace when the form was first implemented more than 20 years ago.

[Conference Program Note: Join National Mortgage News for its first ever Digital Mortgage event, with an agenda focused on digital innovations in home buying and lending.]

When a borrower is completing a digital version of the application, certain sections can be expanded or collapsed based on the circumstances of the loan. Borrowers will also be able to use drop-down menus to provide information like types of assets and liabilities.

The redesigned URLA allows much greater flexibility than in the past by acknowledging that not all loan applications are the same, said Samuel Oliver III, Freddie Mac vice president of single-family business transformation management, in a statement.

The layout of the application has also been reorganized so that information that a borrower provides and acknowledges is separate from information that the lender collects and verifies during underwriting. There are eight borrower sections and five lender sections.

To respond to the growing demand for mortgages from non-English speakers, the government-sponsored enterprises said they will also make a version of the new application available in Spanish. However, the document is non-executable and will only serve to assist borrowers in completing the English version of the application.

Despite the significant upgrades to the loan application, more could have been done in the redesign to embrace all-electronic processes, said Tim Anderson, the director of eServices at DocMagic, a Torrance, Calif.-based mortgage document software vendor.

I just wish we couldve finally gone to a true intelligent doc in the new MISMO format where the output would reflect just the terms and transactions that are specific to the conditions of that loan, he said, noting that unnecessary sections of the application are still visible on the paper document, even though borrowers dont have to fill them out.

The challenge, Anderson said, was that the GSEs couldnt make more radical changes to the form without alienating small lenders and borrowers who would prefer a paper-based process.

They took it from the lowest common denominator, which would be somebody manually writing on a paper application and handing it to a loan officer, said Anderson, who also sits on the governance board of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization.

Released in conjunction with the new form is a collection of data standards called the Uniform Loan Application Dataset. The dataset was designed using the latest MISMO guidelines and is essentially a set of rules for formatting the data collected on the loan application to ensure accuracy and consistency.

The redesigned loan application and corresponding dataset have been in development since at least 2013 under the umbrella of the Uniform Mortgage Data Program, a joint Fannie-Freddie initiative to expand and standardize mortgage data collection. Previous UMDP projects include MISMO-based datasets for appraisal reports and the closing disclosure document.

While Fannie and Freddie jointly own the URLA document, other secondary market participants also use it, including the government loan programs of the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture. They were consulted during the redesign process, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and lenders, software vendors, trade associations and housing and borrower advocacy groups.

The GSEs were also advised by Kleimann Communication Group, a Washington, DC, consulting firm that helped develop and test the forms for the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rules the CFPB implemented last year.

Next month, Fannie and Freddie will release data specifications for their respective automated underwriting systems so that they align with the data format of the new application.

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Your first home
Thursday, October 13th, 2016 | Author:
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Whats up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take.


From Freddie Macs weekly survey: This week the 30-year fixed averaged 3.43 percent, 2 basis points better than last weeks 3.43 percent. The 15-year fixed averaged 2.74 percent, also two basis points better than last weeks 2.76 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports a 4 percent decrease in loan application volume from the previous week.

BOTTOM LINE: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year conforming fixed rate on a $417,000 loan, last years rate of 3.93 percent and payment of $1,974 is $118 more than this weeks payment of $1,856.

WHAT I SEE: (From rate sheets hitting my desk that are not part of Freddie Macs survey.) Locally, well-qualified borrowers can get the following conventional fixed rate loans with zero cost: 15-year at 2.875 percent; 20-year at 3.375 percent; 25- and 30-year at 3.5 percent; high balance ($417,001 to $625,500 loan amounts): 15-year fixed at 3.125 percent; 30-year fixed at 3.75 percent.

WHAT I THINK: Common sense, not rocket science will go a long way to expand access to mortgage credit, thereby increasing homeownership rates.

At their annual convention held in Long Beach, this week I learned about homeownership challenges facing minority borrowers from Ronald Cooper, president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers or NAREB. NAREB is a real estate trade organization, primarily representing minority real estate professionals.

Cooper explained that after the mortgage meltdown and Great Recession, many properties in predominantly black communities that were foreclosed upon were sold to many of the same big-time Wall Street investors who were instrumental in the earlier predatory lending practices. Coopers point is now there is a scarcity of product for sale where many blacks live and work and build wealth through homeownership.

The homeownership rate for blacks today is 41.7 percent, according to Cooper. That is lower than the national homeownership rate during the 1930s Great Depression, according to a study NAREB released this week.

Low- to moderate-income blacks are better at paying subsistence bills (rent, utilities). They use credit cards as a last resort. Only time its scored is when you dont pay it, said Cooper.

Updating credit-scoring models to include rents and utilities will not only assist African Americans but will assist all renters who want to get on the homeownership track.

FICO has a credit scoring monopoly, hard welded into Fannies and Freddies mortgage decision engines. Their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA, announced in January 2015 that it was looking into other scoring models and ideas as the old FICO model does not score rents or on-time utilities.

No law or regulation requires the use of FICO scoring. Yet in December 2015, US Rep. Ed Royce co-sponsored with Terri Sewell of Alabama HR 4211 Credit Score Competition Act of 2015 which proposes to do what FHFA already seems to be working on. What gives?

I dont know the answer to that question, said Royce when asked if he was the recipient of contributions by lobbyists from FICO scoring competitors Equifax, Transunion and Experian (Vantage Score).

Most lenders have overlays. That is, they add additional underwriting conditions on borrowers, above and beyond the automated Fannie, Freddie, and FHA underwriting requirements. Lenders never post their underwriting overlays to consumers up front, before application.

Lenders fear loans to marginally qualified borrowers can bite them via the FHA False Claims Act and separately representations and warranties that lenders must provide for conventional loans.

Laurie Goodman, Urban Institutes co-director of housing finance policy, and Dr. Lynne Fisher, research and economics vice president at the Mortgage Bankers Association, separately explained to me that lenders must attest that each FHA loan is perfect.

If the loan goes bad, then the US Justice Department may investigate. Lenders face significant financial redress under the False Claims Act. The Justice Departments written position is they go after lenders for fraudulent acts, not honest mistakes.

Its simple. Update credit scoring models to include rents and utilities.

Congressman Royce should sponsor a new a bill that mandates every lender must underwrite to FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac minimum underwriting standards. No overlays. No funny business.

Mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson can be reached at 949-334-2424 or or on Twitter: @mortgagegrader_.

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Credit Scores and Recruitment in South Africa
Thursday, October 06th, 2016 | Author:

It has become increasingly commonplace for South African employers to consider the credit record of a job applicant as part of the recruitment process. Doing so precludes any applicant with a bad credit record from the possibility of employment unless he could settle or renegotiate his outstanding debts; a challenging task for a person who might not currently be employed, whether due to retrenchment or otherwise.

Business would argue that this is a reasonable measure as someone who has a poor credit record is more likely to steal, or commit fraud; but is it really?

Interestingly, no South African study has found any evidence linking credit behaviour to workplace fraud, corruption, or other forms of dishonest behaviour. This forces a look abroad, to the USA, where Transunion (an American provider of credit reports) themselves admitted during a legislative hearing that job performance and dishonesty does not correlate with credit scores. Interestingly, Transunion is one of the dominant credit score providers in South Africa, and stand the most to lose if the practice is banned.

Ironically, it is already banned, because the Employment Equity Act prohibits the use of psychometric instruments that have not been proven to be valid and reliable. I will agree that a credit report is not a psychometric instrument, but employers are definitely trying to use it as one regardless of the stipulations of the Act.

If this practice continues, it will bolster the wedge between rich and poor, and fill our workplaces with employees who have the right credit history, instead of the right skills. However, it is unlikely for business interrogate and correct itself without the proper incentives in place. For this reason, I would like to encourage labour unions to do so on their behalf, thereby assisting all South African job seekers by ensuring that they are judged fairly and accurately when looking for work.

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