Educational Commentary

Special Real Estate Report: Scores to Get a Boost?

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Credit Reporting Changes

Because of improved standards for utilizing new and existing public records, the three major credit reporting companies are now excluding all tax liens from credit reports. That means some scores will head higher. Credit scores, notably those from FICO, one of the largest credit scoring companies, generally range from 300 to 850. A good credit score generally is above 700, and those over 760 are considered excellent. Credit reporting and scores play a key role in most Americans’ daily life. The process can determine the interest rate a consumer is going to pay for credit cards, car loans and home loans — or whether they will get a loan at all.

The new rules come following a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that found problems with credit reporting and recommended changes to help consumers. Incorrect information on a credit report is the top issue reported by consumers, according to the bureau. Last July, credit reporting companies removed nearly 100 percent of civil judgment data and about 50 percent of tax lien data from credit reports. Effective mid-April, the rest has been removed. LexisNexis Risk Solutions predicts that about 11 percent of the population will have a judgment or lien removed from their credit file, according to the company’s own estimate. Once that information is stripped out, credit scores may go up by as much as 30 points overall, LexisNexis found. LexisNexis also provides lenders with data to make decisions on consumer loans.

Other industry groups have said these changes will have less of an impact. “Analyses conducted by the credit reporting agencies and credit score developers FICO and VantageScore show only modest credit scoring impacts,” Eric Ellman, a senior vice president of the Consumer Data Industry Association, said in a statement when the changes were first announced. The association represents Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three largest credit reporting companies.

Source: CNBC

Special Real Estate Report: Time to Say Goodbye to Your Adjustable?

Increases Coming
Increases Coming

Increases Coming

Most homeowners with adjustable-rate loans could experience their first interest rate increase if the low-interest-rate environment ends, according to survey results released by HSBC. The study revealed that 87% of US homeowners have never experienced a rate increase on their home loan. “From a homeowner’s perspective, we’re heading into unfamiliar territory,” said Pablo Sanchez, HSBC’s regional head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC Bank USA. “The average US homeowner is already spending almost 40% of their monthly income on their housing payment. When you factor potential interest-rate rises into household budgets, making that monthly payment could become a struggle.”

“The good news is that US homeowners are well-informed about their home loans,” Sanchez said. The survey found that 81% of US homeowners are aware of how much interest they are paying while 79% are aware of their loan terms. Although increasing rates are a concern, HSBC said homeowners continue to have options.

Fifty-two percent of homeowners have switched providers and 46% have studied switching their loan to get a better deal. According to the survey, 53% of those who switched were primarily driven by a desire to obtain a better deal or because of increases in their rates. Other reasons homeowners switched included moving or buying a new property with 19% and the expiration of their existing loan terms with 12%.

Source: Mortgage Professional America

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