Top 7 Credit Score Secrets, part 2

credit score secretsIn my last post, I shared the first of seven secrets to help protect or improve your credit score. A higher credit score leads to better interest rates on car loans, mortgages and large purchases, and I’m pleased to share with you the remaining secrets to help you achieve financial security.


4. Applying for too many credit cards at one time is extremely detrimental to your credit score since every time someone checks your current credit status, it leaves a ding that can last up to one year. When you suddenly start applying for a large amount of credit, it sends a red flag that you are either enduring some type of financial trouble or that you are accumulating too much debt. Either way, it negatively impacts your credit.

5. Although teenagers are not always the most responsible with money, getting your teen a credit card early in life can make a significant difference in their credit scores over the long run. There are a few excellent options for low-limit cards and prepaid cards, both of which will help your child start building a positive foundation for their future credit.

6. Avoid “free” online credit reports! Usually, they are not free and can be a complete scam. If you want to receive a free credit report, you can check with all three major reporting companies once every 12 months with no negative impact on your credit. You can access this information at the government-sponsored site:

7. Never lie or falsify information about your credit score. Your credit score can easily be checked by anyone, and you may even face legal action for falsifying information on a loan application.


We hope this information will help you maintain or improve your credit score, as well as lead to favorable interest rates. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for assistance with any financing needs.


Top 7 Credit Score Secrets, part 1

credit score secretsIn my experience working in the mortgage industry, I have found that many people have a misguided perception of credit. I want to help set the record straight about some common credit myths and provide you with valuable information about how you can protect your credit score. Higher credit scores lead to better interest rates on car loans, mortgages and other debts. The following tips can translate into a few extra dollars in your wallet each month.

1. Approximately 35 percent of your credit score is based on outstanding debts that are more than 30 days late. This means that if for some reason you are going to be late on a payment, do not let it slip past 30 days.

2. Canceling credit cards can actually hurt your credit score, particularly if they are an old and established part of your credit history. Since 15 percent of your score is based on the length of your credit history, even if you no longer use a card that is ten or twenty years old, it is typically better to shred the card and leave the account open with a zero balance. Additionally, keeping accounts open gives you a better debt-to-credit ratio, which makes up 30 percent of your credit score.

3. While not taking on any debt and paying for everything with cash seems like a logical choice for individuals who can afford this lifestyle, no credit means bad credit in the eyes of lenders. There is bound to be a time when you cannot buy something with cash, such as purchasing a home. So, open at least one credit card account (two accounts are recommended) and make occasional purchases with the card.

In my next post, I will share the remaining credit score secrets. Should you need any home-financing assistance or guidance in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Mortgage Process

When you finance your home through Cornerstone, we will guide you through the entire process and address any of your questions or concerns in a timely manner. Our goal is to make your mortgage transaction as smooth and streamlined as possible. To help you understand everything involved in securing a home loan, I have provided this brief guide to the mortgage process.


steps1. I will meet with you to explain my role in the transaction. You will be asked to complete a prequalification form. This form is conveniently located on my website. Your information can also be taken over the phone. Once your prequalification form is complete, we will notify your Realtor.


2. Our staff will underwrite your loan based on the information you have provided. We will contact you with the underwriting results and provide a list of required documents that you will need to submit.


3. Once you have provided this information, we will schedule an appointment for your mortgage consultation to discuss your financial goals and review loan products. A Notice of Loan Approval (NOLA) may be available at the conclusion of your consultation. A copy of this letter will be given to your Realtor.


4. Next, you will negotiate the purchase of a home with your Realtor. When the contract is accepted, we will review the terms of your agreement and revise your Cost Analysis Worksheet.


5. You will now need to pay the appraisal fee. The appraisal is typically ordered when the option period is complete.


6. Review the disclosures we will be sending you. One of the documents you will receive is the Truth-In-Lending statement (TIL). The TIL will quote you an Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This is the cost of the loan on an annual basis, based on your note rate and fees paid to the lender for that note rate. Please sign and return the disclosures.


7. You and your Realtor will be notified of the appraised value and any repairs that the appraisal requires. Your file is then submitted for final underwriting.


8. Our staff will prepare your loan documents for closing. We will make sure your insurance and any other required certificates are in place prior to closing. Together, we will review the terms of your loan and your lock before sending your papers to the title company.


9. Before closing, we will contact you with the amount needed for closing. You will need a cashier’s check made payable to the title company and a photo ID for each borrower. We will fax or email a copy of the HUD 1 Settlement Statement to you and your Realtor.


I hope these steps will help you understand the flow of paperwork during your loan process. Our commitment is to give you our best every step of the way. Please contact my team with any questions or concerns.