Preparing to Buy: The Five Factors of Your Credit Score

There are five factors that comprise your credit score. These are listed below in order of importance, just as an underwriter will look at the score: • Payment History: 35% impact. Paying your bills on time and in full has a positive impact. Late payments, judgments and charge-offs have a [...] Read more »

How to Use Gifts for a Down Payment on a New Chicago Home

In today’s real estate market, lenders are requiring higher down payments than before the bubble burst in 2006. To meet this requirement, potential homebuyers are asking relatives to help fund their down payments and/or closing costs. However, there are rules that apply when using gifts for these purposes. Gifts can [...] Read more »

Lifting the burden of a second loan

Thinking about refinancing? A second lien may be a factor in whether you can. If you’ve taken out a second lien on your home, it is subordinate to your primary mortgage and must be dealt with. It can’t be ignored, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a home equity line [...] Read more »

Housing market heats up — and it’s just getting started

If you tried to buy a home in Phoenix a year ago, you probably would have been able to land it for well under the asking price. Those days are gone. In a city that was hit hard after the housing bubble burst in 2007, you’re more likely to encounter [...] Read more »

Why it’s tough to refinance with your current lender

A small group of borrowers might profit from refinancing with their current lenders — the firm to which they remit their monthly payment. Most borrowers, however, will do better refinancing with a new lender. Your existing lender is ambivalent about refinancing you You are already a client, and your current [...] Read more »