Monthly Archives: July 2013

Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?

Faster recovery with identity theft protection

Faster recovery with identity theft protection

You’ve probably seen advertisements for identity theft insurance. Have you wondered what it really is and if it’s something you need?

The insurance pros over at the Equifax Finance blog recently covered the topic of identity theft insurance in the article, “

Do I need Identity Theft Insurance?

Here’s the rundown: Identity theft insurance is niche insurance, for those people who are concerned about the costs involved with repairing their identity should a theft ever occur. Recovering from identity theft can be costly in time and in money. Identity theft insurance can’t actually stop a theft, of course. It just helps reimburse individuals for the costs of restoring their identity, like phone bills, lost wages, notary costs, certified mail costs, and possible even attorney’s fees. The insurance also usually provides access to services that can also help. If you are interested in purchasing identity theft insurance, be sure you know what you are buying. Get all the details on policies from several different companies, comparing price, coverage, limits and deductibles.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, call one of the three major credit reporting agencies to request a fraud alert (whichever agency you contact will alert the other two agencies, so you only need to call one). Order a copy of your

credit report so you can see what is going on.

Get more identity theft protection information at the Equifax Finance blog.

When Can You Buy a Home After a Foreclosure

By recovering your credit ratings after foreclosure, you can become a homeowner again.

By recovering your credit ratings after foreclosure, you can become a homeowner again.

Many Americans were forced into a foreclosure or short sale over the past few years due to job loss, decreased incomes and declining home values. The market is recovering now and homeowners who did fall victim to foreclosure or short sale may now be wondering when they will be able to purchase a home. The real estate pros at the Equifax Finance blog addressed this question in the recent article, “

Can I Buy a Home After a Short Sale or Foreclosure?

According to the article, when is the right question, not if. Homeownership is a smart idea but buyers will have to demonstrate the ability to pay for a mortgage with proof of sufficient and stable income, the willingness to pay based on credit ratings and the ability to provide a sufficient down payment. But when depends on individual circumstances. In order to buy a home again, “you must focus diligently on improving your credit and saving money.” There are five variables that go into your ability to secure financing on a home:

  • Duration of delinquency – the longer your short sale or foreclosure proceedings took, the worse
  • Deficiency judgments – how much unpaid negative debt you were left with on your

    credit ratings after your short sale or foreclosure

  • Interest rate – a lower credit score may mean a higher interest rate, which can make a big difference on a major purchase like a home; waiting until you can get a better interest rate can save you thousands of dollars
  • Down payment – a higher down payment may be required; some rules require down payments of up to 20 percent (saving that much will take some time)
  • Waiting period – many major investors and mortgage insurers have set rules on how long a borrower has to wait after a foreclosure or other housing problem, from two to seven years, depending on your situation

Get the full article on the Equifax Finance blog, and while you’re there, get more personal finance advice on topics like retirement, taxes, credit and more.

June Numbers Show Continued Improvements for South Carolina Real Estate

South Carolina real estate

Earlier this week, the South Carolina REALTORS (SCR) association released its statewide June market reports which show that the housing recovery is definitely coming.

South Carolina new home listings increased by 4.2 percent to 8,867, and pending sales were up a whopping 12.1 percent to 5,544. Couple this with a shrinking inventory of 47,149 units (8.5 percent decrease), and you can tell that demand is on the rise. Prices also rose by 4.4 percent to $164,900, days on market saw a dramatic decrease of 16.3 percent to 112 and supply decreased by an also impressive 22.2 percent to 9.3 months.

All of these numbers plus an improving economy spell good times ahead for the South Carolina real estate market.

The South Carolina REALTORS association is the largest professional trade association in the state. Serving as the voice of real estate for more than 14,000 members, SCR is dedicated to protecting and promoting the local residential and commercial real estate industries.