Aug 14 2010

How to Qualify for a Home Loan | eHow.com

Before you start seriously looking at homes, it’s a good idea to put a plan in place to qualify for a home loan. It may not be realistic to qualify for a loan big enough to purchase your dream home, but there are things you can do to improve your odds of qualifying for a reasonable loan based on your family’s income.

  1. Set a reasonable goal. Work with your real estate agent to come up with a maximum monthly amount you can devote to a loan, taxes, insurance and maintenance. Your lender can also help you determine the maximum loan amount you would currently qualify for.
  2. Make your financial situation clear to the lender. Explain any pending improvements to your financial situation, such as a raise or new source of income.
  3. Develop a plan to save money for a down payment. Find a source of additional income, such as a second job or find a way to cut back on other expenses. Then, calculate how much money you can save each month and how long it will take you to save enough for the down payment. Plan to apply for a home loan after you have saved enough for the down payment.
  4. Eliminate debt. Pay down credit cards, sell a car or trade down to a cheaper car. If you cannot eliminate debt, consolidate your debt to get your monthly payment down. Not only will eliminating debt give you more money to spend each month, it improves your credit rating.
  5. Talk to your real estate agent about alternative funding options to consider. If you are a veteran, you may qualify for a Veteran’s Administration loan without a down payment. You may also qualify for a balloon mortgage, which has low monthly payments for an initial period.
  6. Look for a home for sale with an assumable mortgage with a desirable interest rate. With an assumable mortgage, you’ll take over the payments and interest rate and pay the difference between the selling price and the remaining amount owed on the loan. You will still have to qualify for this type of loan, but a good interest rate could give you a better chance of qualifying.
  7. Start out with a less expensive home. Find a home in need of remodeling or a smaller home than your ideal home. While living in this home, you can save money and prepare to trade up to the home you really want. Buying or selling a home will give you a credit boost to help you qualify for a larger loan.

Tips & Warnings Lenders suggest you spend no more than 28 percent of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. Improve your chances of qualifying for a home loan by having a friend or family member co-sign for the loan. via How to Qualify for a Home Loan | eHow.com.

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Aug 12 2010

Equifax Launches New Personal Finance Blog

Finance experts partner with credit reporting powerhouse to create online consumer finance resource

Atlanta, GA (Vocus)

Equifax announced the launch of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog earlier this week. The Equifax blog aims to inform and educate consumers about personal finance topics and features weekly insights and practical information from top consumer finance experts— Ilyce Glink (Real Estate), Daniel Solin (Investment), Eva Rosenberg (Tax) and Linda Rey (Insurance), as well as a team of Equifax subject matter experts covering select credit-related topics.

The Equifax Personal Finance Blog marks the company’s latest Web 2.0 effort to further engage with consumers and transform its website, www.equifax.com, into a trusted consumer resource and destination for topical personal finance information. Equifax also boasts an iPhone app, a Facebook Fan Page, and a new Twitter profile (@EquifaxPFB).

“Now, more than ever, consumers are searching for information and answers about their credit and finances,” says Trey Loughran, President, Equifax Personal Information Solutions. “We created the Equifax Personal Finance Blog as a destination for consumers to find sensible, straightforward information and insights to help them make informed decisions about their day-to-day finances.”

Every day on the blog, consumers will find new posts and helpful answers on topics like:

* 4 Myths About Your Credit History

* Tax Talk Before Marriage

* To Convert to Roth IRA or Not: That is the Question

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May 28 2010

Preparing for Homeownership

Before you begin your home search at REALTOR.com, prepare yourself by reading Ten Steps to Homeownership.

Even before you begin looking for a home, the homebuying process requires diligent preparation. Buyers who have been preapproved for a home loan often have their offers taken more seriously by sellers. With advance preparation, you can tackle the process of acquiring the financing you need with more confidence. To help you on the path to homeownership, NeighborWorks® offers* step-by-step guides, developed by the Fannie Mae Foundation, that can help you get closer to achieving your dream:

via Preparing for Homeownership.

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