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Tag-Archive for ◊ credit scores ◊

5 Ways Veterans Can Strengthen Their Credit Scores
Sunday, April 09th, 2017 | Author:

These circumstances can lead to financial mismanagement, which can negatively impact veterans’ credit scores. A survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 58 percent of veterans carry debt from month to month (almost twice the rate of civilians); a study published in the American Journal for Public Health found that 30 percent of veterans have gone over their credit limit, bounced or forged a check, been reported to a collection agency, or fallen victim to a financial scam.

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Dive Brief:

  • Freddie Mac has introduced an automated process that replaces mortgage lenders’ current manual underwriting procedures for borrowers without credit scores. Automated assessments will make the process more efficient and provide greater certainty that the government-backed lender will purchase the loan, HousingWire reported.

  • The Loan Product Advisor will evaluate loans based on Freddie Mac’s credit requirements to determine risk for borrowers who lack credit scores but can supply payment references.

  • The move aims to support responsible lending while improving access to credit for all borrowers, including those with low and moderate incomes, as well as first-time buyers.
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Kenneth R. Harney / Washington Post Writers Group

When is your “credit score” irrelevant in buying a house or refinancing a mortgage? A new federal legal settlement with a major credit bureau has the answer.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that Experian “deceptively marketed credit scores to consumers by misrepresenting” them as “the same” as what their lender would use to determine loan terms.

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Credit scores are about to acquire a big blind spot, and mortgage lenders worry theyll be on the hook for bad loans they made while relying on inflated scores.

On July 1, data on tax liens and civil judgments will be scrubbed from credit files under the National Consumer Assistance Plan. The plan, which came about as a result of settlements Experian, Equifax and TransUnion entered with 32 state attorneys general, established minimum standards for an item to be included in a file.

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Prospects are often lost to real estate agents when wanna-be buyers walk into the office door or visit open houses without being pre-qualified by a lender.Agents don’t like to show houses to people who don’t know how much they can afford or whether or not they even qualify for financing. And for folks who haven’t started the lending process when they show up at open houses, the response by agents is usually the same:Sellers don’t want to mess with buyers who haven’t done their most rudimentary homework, so come back after you’ve talked to a lender.After all, you can’t even get a credit score from anyone other then a lender. Sure, you can buy a score online. But it won’t be one of the FICO mortgage scores from the three major credit repositories, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Those and only those are the ones used by lenders to approve and price a home loan.Soon, though, there will be a way for buyers to find out their mortgage scores without approach…

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Lake Zurich residents’ credit scores
Tuesday, April 04th, 2017 | Author:

Village of Lake Zurich officials are touting a survey showing residents rank highly nationwide when it comes to credit ratings. In a news release, the village noted a just-released WalletHub report showing Lake Zurich ranked 152nd of 2,534 US towns for average credit scores. Lake Zurich residents have an average credit score of 726. About 60 percent have excellent credit and 27 percent have bad credit, according to WalletHub. Lake Zurich topped high-credit-scoring Illinois towns, such as Elmhurst at 164, Naperville at 173, Arlington Heights at 184 and Wheaton at 225.

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2 Purchases to Never Put on Credit Cards
Monday, April 03rd, 2017 | Author:

Hamilton:Instead of saying, OK, do I actually have the cash to pay for that new TV? So what I should say is [a] big-ticket purchase — ensure youve got the money to pay for it, and then think about putting it on credit. If not, it probably shouldnt be a purchase youre looking at.

Douglass:And that goes both ways — with both big-ticket purchases and home [renovations]. If you have the $10,000 sitting around, theres no downside to putting it on the credit card and then just paying it off at the end of the month. But most people dont have that. We know that most Americans have reported that they couldnt come up with $1,000 in a sudden emergency without…

Hamilton:Its astounding.

Douglass:Yes, it totally is. Without resorting to either debt, or liquidating investments, or something else. They dont have that kind of money in cash. So the roof springs a leak. Chances are pretty good you dont have that kind of cash sitting around, so its best to approach some of these other things instead of going through a credit card, and the same thing with, maybe, that Black Friday sale.

Hamilton:You just have to be realistic about it. With credit cards, theyre just super convenient to use. Its easy just to whip it out and say, OK, put it on plastic, and not think about the actual purchase. But it is something that consciously we have to fight against what our brain is saying to us, because we get a high from finding a good deal or shopping for purchases. You have to fight against that to actually say to yourself, Is it within my budget? Can I afford it at this point? With big-ticket purchases, yes you do get some of the warranty value out of it by putting it on a credit card, but the most important thing to us at The Motley Fool is [whether] you are actually meeting your budget and [whether] it makes sense.

Douglass:Right, absolutely. For more on budgeting, credit cards, and credit scores (including The Motley Fools top credit cards of 2017), check us out at And again, thats Nathan, always a pleasure.


The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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(WXYZ) – A new study from credit-monitoring site WalletHub finds Detroit ranks near the bottom of the list of cities for the worst average credit score.

According to the site, the average credit score in Detroit is 583.4, which is far below the national average of 669.

The site ranked Detroit in the lowest percentile in the country among big cities.

For their study, WalletHub analysts compared the average credit scores of residents in more than 2,500 cities in the US based on data collected by TransUnion in October 2016.

The study also found nearly 17 percent of people living in Detroit are considered to have Bad Credit and 12 percent of residents are consider to have Excellent Credit.

WalletHub recommends knowing your credit score and checking your credit report to make sure there arent any errors.

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A change in the way credit scores are calculated means almost 12 million people are likely to see their scores rise this year.

Many kinds of long-overdue debts and unpaid taxes will no longer show up as black marks on credit scores, an industry association representing credit bureaus said in a statement on Monday. In the case of unpaid debts that have become subject to a court order, the “vast majority” of such judgments will no longer appear in people’s credit histories, it said.

The changes were estimated to have only “modest” impacts on people’s credit scores, according to the statement from the Community Data Industry Association. Almost 11 million people will see a score bump of less than 20 points, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing FICO data. About 700,000 borrowers will see a 40 point boost, the Journal said.

Court orders for unpaid debts are rarely obtained by the company that was originally owed the money — or even by the debt collectors they hire to chase down overdue bills. Instead, bad debts are sold further down the food chain as they get older and harder to collect, eventually making their way to buyers who pay pennies on the dollar for the right to try to recover the money.

Those buyers often seek court judgments, which can be easily obtained if borrowers fail to show up in court. In some cases the debt is so old that it can no longer be legally enforced.

These kind of court judgments have faced much scrutiny in recent years, as investigations revealed judgments connecting people to unpaid debts were often incomplete or wrong, due to sloppy record keeping.

Tax liens, obtained by governments seeking overdue taxes, have their own record-keeping problems, Liz Weston, a financial planner and columnist at NerdWallet, told BuzzFeed News.

Credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are now changing their policies on when these court judgments and tax liens will be counted as black marks on credit scores. Such judgments will need to include at least a name, address, and birthdate or social security number — something the “vast majority” of civil judgements do not contain, the Consumer Data Industry Association said.

About half of tax lien data “may not meet” the new standards, the CDIA said.

The fact that the bureaus are making these changes suggests that such judgments are not useful indicators of someone’s creditworthiness, Weston said.

Credit bureaus “don’t do things if lenders get pissed off at them,” she said. “It’s not a consumer-oriented business — they are in business to sell information to lenders and other companies.”

The changes will start taking effect in July.

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