How to Build Credit

The whole point of credit is to show that you are a responsible adult who will be able to pay a lender back when applying for a loan. Applying for a loan is especially difficult if you do not have credit. It is a good idea to start building credit at a young age. The sooner, the better. It is something that is definitely not taught in school but it should be. This information would have been so much more helpful than geometry in my personal opinion. You will need a few nuggets of advice first before you start your financial journey.

 

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Get a credit card. There is a lot of negativity associated with credit cards and I understand. They are a quick way to debt before you realize it. Despite this, they are also a good way to build credit. The trick is to start off buying small things like gas and then paying it off completely each month. It will show the lenders that you are great at paying back debts. It’s important that you use the credit card every month, not that you have it and it sits in a drawer otherwise it defeats the purpose of having it.

 


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Once you have one credit card, then get another. One line of credit is okay but two are amazing. This can be something small like a clothing store credit card. Get your work clothes from the store and pay it off every month as well. Different lines of credit create variety in your hypothetical portfolio.

 


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Get a small loan. This can be as simple as a student loan. Paying back a little loan will open the doors for you to qualify for large loans such as a loan for a car or house. It may even be beneficial to take out a menial loan just to pay it back almost immediately. This is a quick way to build credit fast if you’re in desperate need of good credit.

 


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Get something in your name. Whether it is a gas bill or auto insurance, a bill with your name on it signifies you have been paying someone consistently. Rent, utilities, and phone bills are all included in helping your credit score grow.

 


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Credit building can be intimidating. Don’t let the details bog you down. Start with these few simple tricks and you will have an amazing credit score in no time.

 

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Interested in building your credit to buy or invest in a home?
Tom Davies with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
can guide you to methods or resources that will work best for growing YOUR credit score.

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Maintenance of the Month

This winter has been brutal. One can only imagine what their house is feeling during the winter months. There are some monthly maintenance items that you can check off the list in order to lessen your poor home’s burden. A few little up keeps can help your home work and look its best despite the dreary weather.

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One thing you can do to help your air circulation is remove your vents to vacuum the dust from them. Just like you remove lint from the dryer, you remove dust from the vents to promote clean air and keep your systems from working harder than they should have to.

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Grouting the floors, showers, and back splashes. I’m sure it has been a cool minute since those cracks have been updated. After years, grout can slowly wear away and collect stains so a new grout job will refresh its look. If your grout is newer then it may be a good idea to give it a scrub down.


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Clean out the gutters. If the seasonal sludge has blocked up your gutters, it may be a good time to clean them. Investing in gutter guards may save you some time and effort in the future.

 

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For safety purposes, check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for dead batteries and if they are properly working. “This Is Us” fans will know the importance of this crucial step. Nobody wants another faulty slow cooker situation.

 

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Keep your HVAC cleaned up. Replace the filters on it as well as schedule a routine maintenance appointment for it. It could save you money in the future to do small things to keep it running smoothly now.

 

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Check for rotting wood. The frame of your house is an important structure that needs attention just like any part of the house. Check for rotting wooden beams in the attic, porch, and indoor frame. Have them replaced as soon as you can if they are eaten by termites or moisture.

These are just a few things you can start with now before full blown Spring cleaning commences. A few things each month will keep your home on the right track to a clean, safe and efficient home.

 

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Homestead Exemption

Every tax season is a nightmare. This little tidbit of knowledge can help ease the burden of taxes this year. This tax season save money on your home with the Homestead Exemption. It is an exemption of the assessed valuation.

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A homestead is any structure, condominium or home located on owned or leased land as long as the individual lives in it. It can include up to 20 acres as long as it is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to residential use. The exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation thus lowering your taxes. Not all homes qualify; only the principal residence of the homeowner.


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To qualify you must be a resident of Oklahoma and the homeowner that resides on the property by January 1st with the deed executed before January 1st and filed with the County Clerks Office before February 1st. You may file it for two years up to the delinquency date. Once you have applied for and granted the Homestead Exemption then you do not have to continue applying as long as you continue to occupy the homestead home.


pexels-photo-296886.jpegYou may even be able to apply for an additional exemption if you qualify for the original homestead exemption and are head of the household. There are several options including county, school, disabled, optional percentage and senior tax exemptions. This is potentially another $1000 if your total annual income did not exceed $20,000 the previous year. Apply today from our Oklahoma County Assessor site.

 

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New Year, New House

It’s already the New Year people and it’s time for big ideas and big changes. There is the one thing that has been on your mind for a while now but can’t seem to get started. Now is the time. Those homes you have been eyeballing secretly, following the buyer’s apps, and drooling over those historic district houses, well now is the time to act.

Make your New Year’s resolution to treat yourself
to a well deserved new home.
You’ve survived through 2017 so you’ve earned it.


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Why is the New Year a good time to buy? Tax Deductions. Start this year off right with huge tax deductions that are ready to be taken advantage of. Next year you will thank yourself while filing in February. I know it seems like a long way off now but so did the end of 2017, am I right?


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In addition to the usual perks of buying, the holidays and New Year make everyone a little more jolly. The freshness of the New Year may make people nicer as you start your journey into purchasing. Your real estate agent will be more attentive due to slow traffic; the seller may be easier to negotiate with in the spirit of the season. YOU will be less stressed and more easy-going in light of the exciting prospects of ownership.


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Not many people shop for houses this season so many sit on the market for a long time. This will save you money by getting a great deal in a slow market. Sellers will be thrilled to negotiate and sell to you after waiting a spell on a bid.


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It’s better than renting. On rentals you are essentially burning your money each month. Buying is an investment that will eventually make you money if you ever decide to sell your home.

Make your New Year work for you, make your new year’s resolution to own.

 


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It’s the Most Wonderful Time to Buy

Winter gets a bad rap. It’s known for the cold, bad driving weather and terrible hair days from the elements. Despite the negative connotations, it does have some upsides and one of those include a great time to purchase a home. If you are toying with the idea of purchasing then consider these points.

First of all, someone moving in winter probably needs to leave his or her property quickly for job relocation. These owners are more willing to negotiate which benefits the buyer because the buyer can get a better deal. To say what everyone is thinking, they are desperate. Which is good news for you. On the flip side, do not list your house in the winter if you are trying to get the most out of the sell. Bargain hunters are on the prowl for a good fixer upper.

House prices are annually at an all time low in the winter season. The buyer will get more purchasing power and get more bang for your buck by purchasing at the end of the year. This is due to lower level of listings and preoccupation with more pressing motives such as holidays and family.

Touring homes in winter can be rewarding. Right away you can tell if the windows are drafty, if the central heating and AC are working, or if your feet are already freezing on the hardwood floors. This can save you costs in the future and make huge impacts on your future daily life.

Winter may just be your season this year.

 

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Benefits of Buying

Renting is overrated. The money is being thrown into the wind while your landlord is rolling in your hard earned cash and paying off their mortgage while telling you they’ll get to that leak under the sink “soon.” I remember renting one year when I didn’t even see the landlord. I couldn’t tell you what they looked like. My dishwasher was broken and the maintenance man told us to not use our health hazard heater because it was outdated. Needless to say it was a cold winter and we moved out of there quickly as possible. Does this sound like a familiar situation? Then you may be ready to sail into the sea of ownership where you are the Captain and that ship is under your control.

Buying a home comes with certain freedoms. One of those freedoms is not having a landlord. You are able to paint, hang wall art, and landscape as you please without the risk of not getting a deposit back. There are no noise restrictions, pet deposits, or remodeling. Butters, the hound, can run and be free in his house without his human worrying about what the landlord will say about his accident on the carpet. Renting stifles this ability to truly make a space your own. A home is yours to customize into a beautiful space that mirrors your personality with no guilt.


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Taxes are a big stressor. Who doesn’t want a little relief when April comes around? Homeowners are offered several tax breaks. Some of those include Mortgage Interest, Tax and Penalty Free IRA, Home Improvements, Energy Credits, Home Equity Loans, and Real Estate Taxes. There is even a Home Office credit if you work from home. So many deductions, so little stress.

A homeowner’s net worth is 45 times that of an average renter. While rent is never recovered, mortgage payments build equity. It is an investment in the future by increasing an individual’s net worth. Not to mention it is cheaper to buy than rent. The average mortgage is lower than a rental payment and over time the interest portion of the mortgage payment decreases therefore the interest that you pay will be lower than a rental cost.


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Having a home in a neighborhood provides a sense of community. You know your neighbors. You know where your children will grow up and go to school. You know that you can walk your dog every night with a peace of mind. One doesn’t always get that when renting because you never know when the rent may be raised depending on your lease. You may not even be able to renew your lease when the time comes. Community is a sense of stability and security.

Free yourself of the waves of rent, buy your dream boat.

 


Come to our First Time Home Buyers Workshop if you would like to learn more on August 26th:

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Mortgage Forbearance: the what, when, & how!

What it is

Forbearance isn’t a free pass; nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s an individual agreement between lender and borrower to provide some short-term relief. The forbearance period is something you negotiate with the lender—it can last from a month to a year, although the average is three to four months. The idea is to cut borrowers some slack until they can resume paying the original mortgage as usual.

“Our primary goal is to help delinquent borrowers avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes,” says Brad German, a spokesman for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), which purchases home loans from lenders.

When to act

Immediately! The first and most important step in seeking forbearance is to contact your lender the minute you know you won’t be able to make a payment. The worst thing you can do is to stop paying, hide your head in the sand, and pray the lender won’t notice. Not only will the lender notice, it’ll report late payments to credit bureaus, and be less likely to extend forbearance if you ask for it.

“As long as you’re the one calling and telling them there’s a problem, the lender will most likely work with you,” says Kevin Lynch, assistant professor of insurance at the American College for Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, PA. “If you just quit paying your bills, and they have to call you, it’s cast in an entirely different light. And that light will not be favorable.”

What to say

Tell the truth—Family medical crisis? Job layoff?—and provide as much detail and proof that your lender requires. From there, the lender may agree to extend forbearance, but perhaps not off the bat before you discuss other options first.

Most lenders prefer to offer a loan modification that permanently reduces your monthly payments, often for a lower interest rate, but stretches your loan over a longer period of time. Or, if you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage but can now resume regular payments, a lender may agree to a repayment plan where a portion of the overdue mortgage amount is added to your regular payments until you catch up. Freddie Mac reports that in 2015, its participating members structured 6,000 mortgage forbearances, compared with 21,000 repayment plans and 54,000 loan modifications. The type of mortgage help you get depends on the duration of your hardship and what your particular lender is willing to offer.

If the lender offers forbearance, you both will agree to the length of the forbearance period, the amount of a reduced payment, and the eventual terms of repayment. Though tempting, don’t ask for more forbearance time than you need, but also don’t agree to less time than you think it will take to get back on your feet.

What happens once your time is up?

After the forbearance or the extension has ended, you’ll have to repay the amount that was suspended or reduced—principal, interest, taxes, insurance. Typically, no extra interest is charged on the payments you missed. You can make a one-time payment for the amount due, or add on payments to your regular mortgage until you’re up to date. If the hardship continues, some lenders will extend the forbearance for a few more months, or else you can “cure” the past due amount by modifying your loan. Most often, the loans are modified, says German.

What does forbearance do to your credit?

Nothing, according to FICO—the software company that creates algorithms that credit bureaus use to determine how creditworthy you are.

“Generally, forbearance is not likely to have any impact on the credit score,” says Ethan Dornhelm, a FICO senior director of model development. Lenders may (or may not) report to credit companies the existence of a mortgage forbearance, but it definitely does not wreck your credit like being delinquent on a mortgage. All told, it could be just the timeout you need to get back on your feet.