Tag: credit score

Breakdown Your Credit Score

Credit Score Breakdown

When buying a home, your credit score is an important factor in your home loan approval. It is important to know what is on your credit and what credit score you have when applying for a mortgage.

While, the exact scoring models are proprietary and not released by the credit bureaus to the public, credit experts have determined the weight of each factor that determines your credit score.

Related: Buying a home with Bad Credit may be possible with FHA Home Loans. We accept applications down to a 580 credit score!

What Makes up your Credit Score

Payment History

Paying your bills on time is the most important factor for your credit score. Weighted at 35% of the total score, paying bills late can devastate your credit rating.

Amounts Owed

Credit to Debt ratios are the second most important factor which is weighted at 30% of the overall score. The good news about this is that it is a quick and easy fix to improve your credit scores. For example, if you have a credit card with a $500.00 limit and you owe $490.00, it is essentially “Maxed Out” which reflects poorly on your credit rating. Paying down this debt to under 30% of the limit ( $150 or less in this example) would boost your scores quickly!

Length of Credit History

The length of time you have had accounts open is the next rating factor. At 15% of the credit rating, the credit bureaus know that maintaining long credit relationship with banks and lenders proves that you are a good credit risk and positively affects your score. For this reason, it is important to keep old credit lines open even if you are not utilizing them.

New Credit Inquiries

Having your credit pulled is an necessary evil when applying for a mortgage. What is not necessary is having it pulled by 10 different institutions for different credit types. If you apply for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages over a short period of time, your credit rating may drop.

Types of Credit

The final major category that determines your credit score is the types of credit that you hold. Long term investments such as a mortgage can positively impact your credit. If you only have revolving credit such as credit cards, your credit depth is shallow and may not give you the highest credit scores possible.

Click here to Download Our Credit Tip Flyer!

How to Improve your Credit Score

There are simple techniques to improving your credit scores. It is important to monitor your credit from time to time and make sure all of the information is accurate. If there are errors, you can dispute the information directly with the bureaus to have it corrected. It is not suggested that you do this before or during the mortgage process as it may cause delays.

Additionally, paying down revolving account balances can quickly boost your credit scores. While there are no magical fixes to your credit, there are several best practices that you should do to increase your credit score.

Tips to Improve your Credit Rating

  • Correct inaccuracies on your credit
  • Pay all your bills on time.
  • Do not apply for too many lines of credit.
  • Do not max out credit cards.
  • Keep older credit lines open.

Contact a mortgage expert today by calling us at 1-800-555-2098 or simply apply online below. We are happy to help!

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5 Mortgage Myths that are no Longer True

While it can be useful to listen to the advice from others who have gotten a mortgage, you might have heard some wrong information. Or, at the very least, dated information. Here are 5 rules that no longer are true for getting a mortgage:

1. You need a 20% down payment.

I recently spoke to my grandmother about her family’s first home purchase. She told me that they didn’t get a mortgage because, at the time they bought their home, mortgage rates were at a whopping 12%. My parents often warned me that you need to save at least 20% to make a down payment on a house. Fortunately, rates are not 12% anymore, and you don’t need a 20% down payment. Some loans don’t require a down payment at all.

Related: Conventional 1% Down Mortgage

2. Your credit score has to be perfect.

We’ve all made mistakes. Some of us have paid our credit cards late or forgot a medical bill. Those mistakes can wind up hurting your credit score. But the good news is, you don’t need a score of 750 to score a loan anymore! Riverbank Finance has helped borrowers with scores as low as 580 obtain loans.

3. You can’t have student debt.

It used to be assumed that you couldn’t get a loan until that festering student loan from college was paid off. Not true! Student loan debt is no longer a hindrance from acquiring the loan you need for your home. Guidelines are becoming easier to qualify for a mortgage with student loan debt. While our loan officers will need to know how much you owe and the type of loan you are seeking, having student debt isn’t a dead end.

4. Pay it off as fast as you can.

There are numerous “Get out of Debt” gurus who advocate paying off debts aggressively. To some of them, a success story is when a family scrimps and saves to pay off their mortgage within 5 years of buying their home. While paying off a mortgage is always the right thing to do, there are wrong ways to go about doing so: In order for this particular family to pay theirs off, they stopped paying into their 401k, their college savings for their kids, and saving in general. That was not the best plan, because they stopped preparing for their future.

If you want to pay off your mortgage quickly, you must also consider early prepayment penalties. Some loans have rules as to how much a borrower can pay back early. Pay too much, and that money may go to just eating a fee instead of eating away at your interest.

5. Buy the most expensive house you can.

On the surface, buying the most expensive house you can afford seems like a good idea. A home is an investment, after all. Really, when sitting down with one of our loan officers, what you’ll find is they’ll ask questions to help fit what you can afford and what you need into a mortgage. You may not need a home with 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 20 acres of land. Think of the upkeep you’ll need to budget for landscaping alone.

It’s important to be upfront about the kind of needs you have when seeking a loan. Schedule an appointment with one of our mortgage professionals at (800) 555-2098 for more information.

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Mortgages for the Self-Empoyed

Getting a Mortgage when Self Employed.


The process of getting a home loan when self-employed does not have to be difficult if you are prepared. While the self-employed enjoy the freedom to work when and how they want, full-time employees benefit from getting the same paycheck month-to-month from long-established companies. In the eyes of lenders, that gives them a sense of security the self-employed may not have. This makes working with an experienced mortgage professional essential when getting a mortgage while you are self employed. Here are five key items to getting a loan as a self-employed business owner:

Document Your Income

When banks consider the self-employed for a mortgage, they usually look at the last two years of tax returns. They’ll take the income you earned, combine it, then divide by 24 months to estimate your monthly income.

Generally, you’ll have better odds of being approved on a loan if the monthly debts are less than 45 percent of your monthly income. Of course, you must consider other factors as well. Your loan officer may be able to find items to add back in to your income such as depreciation expenses.

Track your Credit Score and Keep Records

In addition to your income taxes, there are two ways you can prove you aren’t a risk to lenders: a high credit score and adequate record keeping.

A high credit score is crucial for those who work for themselves. Again, it goes back to a reliability factor. Generally a 600-640 FICO score is considered satisfactory for many mortgage lenders if you are self-employed. Government loans such as FHA mortgages may allow self employed borrowers to qualify with as low as a 580 credit score.

Depending on the kind of work you do, you may already have solid record-keeping skills that will make analyzing your income a lot easier. Invoices and accounting software records can help you stay more organized. Lenders need to know you have enough revenue, after expenses, to pay back the loan.

Review Write-Offs with Your Accountant

Tax write-offs are a Godsend for people who work for themselves — until they need a loan. Writing off expenses on your taxes does ease your tax burden, but it also reduces the amount of revenue on your taxes when lenders consider you for a mortgage. Your accountant may offer solutions for write-offs that do not affect your qualifying income such as depreciating assets.

If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, taking a trip to a seminar, or paying some other huge expense for your business, you may want to wait until after you get approved on the mortgage.

Separate Business and Personal Expenses

Every lender is going to ask for two different but important plans: First, your business plan: What do you sell? How is your business growing? What kind of clients (if it doesn’t breach any confidentiality) do you have? It all comes back to knowing where the money comes from and whether the lender considers the source of your income reliable.

Secondly, every business experiences setbacks, and the self-employed are no exception. Do you have a savings plan, a line of credit for emergencies that will allow you to continue making payments until your financial situation gets better? Additional assets that you can document area always a positive thing when qualify for a mortgage.

Keep up Appearances

Full-time employees give the appearance of being a safer investment. The self-employed can also make themselves more appealing through changes in their appearance. Registering your business and having separate business accounts from your personal accounts can make record keeping easier and give the appearance of legitimacy in your work.

Separating the business from the personal also can help keep more money in your wallet. If you use a business credit card for a work expense, your company can write it off, and your personal income will still not be hurt by the deduction.

So, if you work for yourself, have enough clients, and work to keep your bank account in the black, I do have one good piece of news for you: You’ve already mastered overcoming obstacles and objections as a business owner, so the challenges of getting a mortgage should be nothing new to you.

Apply for a Self Employed Home Loan

To apply for a self employed home loan, call Riverbank Finance today at 1-800-555-2098.

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Trended Credit Data: How Will It Affect You?

You may have heard some buzz this spring about mortgage giant Fannie Mae and trended credit data, changes which were set to take effect in June. Just days before the launch, however, the new system was delayed unexpectedly. Well folks, long-awaited Desktop Underwriter 10.0 launched this past weekend, and with it, the requirement that lenders use trended credit data on all new loan casefiles.

What is Trended Credit Data?

Trended credit data is a detailed record of credit history, including payment history and total balance each month. The addition of this new information will allow lenders to more accurately tell the difference between ‘transactors’—borrowers with large balances who pay in full each month—and ‘revolvers’—borrowers with large balances who pay only the minimum payment each month. Until now, existing credit reports could not distinguish the two.

The new credit report will feature trended credit data history on credit cards, HELOCs, student loans, car loans, and mortgages. The actual appearance of credit reports will change very little, but will include 30 months’ history with Transunion and 24 months’ history with Equifax; Experian plans to add trended credit data in January 2017. Neither FICO or VantageScores incorporate trended data into their system at this time.

Example of Trended Credit Data on a Credit Report

The example above shows a revolving account with trended credit data.

Why is This Important?

The addition of trended credit data provides a more detailed picture of a borrower’s credit behavior, rather than the traditional moment-in-time credit snapshot. It allows lenders to better predict your future payment behavior and assess your risk.

“The trended credit data will be used by the DU risk assessment to evaluate how the borrower manages his/her revolving credit card accounts. A borrower who uses revolving accounts conservatively (low revolving credit utilization and/or regular payoff of revolving balance) will be considered a lower risk. A borrower whose revolving credit utilization is high and/or who makes only the minimum monthly payment each month will be considered higher risk.” – Fannie Mae

How will this affect my credit score?

Fannie Mae has not yet released conclusive guidelines as to how trended data will be scored or impact the underwriting process. Financial institutions across the country, however, speculate that this will open up the credit window to potential borrowers previously deemed unworthy. That’s right—trended credit data can turn a denial into an approval!

Even the most responsible borrowers make mistakes, but forgetting to make a payment will cost you more than just a large late fee—it can lower your credit score upwards of 100 points, in some cases! Until now, only years of hard work and waiting for delinquencies to season could rebound a credit score. With the addition of trended data, however, a borrower can effectively counter that late payment within a couple of months. Tendencies such as paying off revolving balances in full, making additional payments, and reducing total amount borrowed over time all demonstrate positive repayment ability and behavior.

Have a specific scenario you’d like to run past us?  Give us a call to speak with one of our licensed loan officers. We would love to recommend the best loan program for you and your situation.

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Call Riverbank Finance today at 1-800-555-2098

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