If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? Likewise, figuring out which mortgage program you qualify for can be just as twisted. Let me shed some light on many of the common terms you may hear as you embark on the mortgage process.
Many people find it difficult to save for a down payment to buy their first home. That’s why it’s a big help when they receive a lump sum amount of money from a loved one that they can use to fund a down payment. It’s called a gift fund. Homebuyers taking out a conventional loan are required to follow guidelines if they will use a gift fund for their down payment. Lenders may not approve the mortgage if you could not prove the source of the gift fund.
Aside from your credit score and credit history, mortgage lenders will also determine your “ability to repay” through your debt-to-income ratio or DTI ratio. It’s the part of your monthly gross income that you use to repay monthly debts. As someone planning to take out a mortgage, you need to understand DTI to figure out if you need to improve it to increase your chances of getting a lender approval.
Massive data breaches are becoming common nowadays. A few days after the massive Equifax data breach settlement news broke out, Capital One reported that sensitive information of roughly 100 million consumers in the U.S. has been compromised. As someone planning to buy a home, it is critical that you know if you’re affected by such breaches, especially if you’re applying for a mortgage.
Millennials who have plans on becoming a homeowner in a couple of years from now should work hard to improve their credit scores. While credit score provider FICO recently revealed that the median score is now pegged at 706, most millennials only have an average score of 668, which means many have “poor credit.” There are easy ways millennials can do to start improving their credit scores.
The recent Equifax global settlement in connection to a massive data breach, only proves that identity theft is almost impossible to avoid. As security information experts continuously work hard to protect our sensitive information, cybercriminals also work double-time to find security loopholes to steal our information. Although it’s almost impossible to avoid identity theft and fraud, there are steps we can do to reduce its risks.
As you work through the homebuying and loan application process, be aware that large financial transactions, such as a home purchase, can make you a target for fraud. It’s important to know how to protect yourself against identity theft and other types of fraud. Scammers may pose as third-party companies and attempt to appear as though they are involved with your transaction. Here are some recommendations to keep your information safe when transferring funds for a large real estate purchase:
If you are concerned about protecting your financial information from identity theft and data breaches, it’s important to know your options. While credit monitoring and fraud alerts indicate suspicious activity and provide added security, they may not offer enough protection. Placing a freeze on your credit (also known as a security freeze) can add an extra layer of protection against criminal activity. Here’s what you need to know: