Tag Archives: credit score

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.

How Long Does a Late Payment Stay on Your Credit?

LAte payment hurts credit report

LAte payment hurts credit report

Ever made a late payment on a bill? Maybe forgot about your credit card bill? Or have you ever been a few weeks late on your car note when money got tight? Are you looking now at a big purchase that’s going to require credit and you’re wondering how that late payment is going to look?

The Equifax Finance blog answers these questions and more in the recent post “

FAQ: How Long Do Late Payments Stay On My Credit Report.”

The article explains that positive information (like early payments and on-time payments) can stay on your credit report forever; but negative information (like that late payment) could stick around for seven years. Bankruptcies will generally stay for 10 years.

If you are concerned about what may be in your credit report, the Equifax experts recommend checking your credit report. This will tell you what you need to know about your credit now and where you will stand in terms of getting new credit; and will be starting board for building or repairing your credit, if necessary.

Check out the Equifax Finance blog to get more answers to your credit questions, and other topics like finance,

identity theft insurance, real estate, taxes and more.

Make a List and Check it Twice to get Ahead of Taxes

Organize taxes to keep good credit scores

Organize taxes to keep good credit scores

With less than a month before Tax Day, it’s harder to get ahead but not yet impossible and there are a whole host of reasons to not wait for an extension. If you have procrastinated up to this point but want to get your taxes done and your refund in hand sooner, the experts at Equifax have some great tips for pushing forward to tax success in the new article, “

Five Tips to Jumpstart Filing Your Taxes.”

While the days are fewer, there is still time to gather up your forms and paperwork neatly and set out to either do or have someone do your taxes for you. But it will take organization and an investment of time (and possibly money, if you need help from software or a professional) to get started. First of all, set a goal or a deadline so you have a reason to start working and write it down. Do a little each day so that gathering receipts and filling out forms is progress that can be tracked rather than a mountain of work. And then don’t be afraid to ask for help – taxes are daunting and while it’s possible to do them yourself, it’s also possible to build a house yourself piece by piece – but it can be a lot easier and more precisely completed to get a professional homebuilder to do it for you.

To learn more, including tips about taxes,

credit scores and everything else personal finance, check in with free expert advice from Equifax.

Use Fraud Alerts to Protect Yourself from Holiday Credit Heartburn

fraud alerts and security freezes

fraud alerts and security freezes

After all that holiday spending, have you been diligent about following up and checking your credit cards to make sure you didn’t get any unwanted holiday cheer for fraudsters and identity thieves? There are ways to protect your

credit score from holiday heartburn that you can use to help yourself stay safe. The Equifax Finance Blog explores them in its series, “

Fraud Alert Versus Security Freeze,” and it’s a good idea to know how they both work.

When your credit is damaged by fraudulent activities, it takes time to repair and heal itself through regular borrowing and timely repayments. That being said, fraud alerts and security freezes tell others that you have either been a victim or are proactive about only allowing your credit to be shared with your approval. Security freezes work like a bouncer to keep others from accessing your credit or opening new accounts in your name without your direct approval.

Fraud alerts, on the other hand, work like red flags on your account. Third parties can see your credit as usual, but when they come across these red flags, they have to contact you when they come across activity which may be suspicious. There are three kinds of fraud alerts, and they have varying durations: the initial fraud alert lasts for 90 says, an active duty fraud alert lasts for a year and an extended fraud alert lasts for seven years. When a fraud alert is placed on your account, you also are entitled to a free

credit report.

Be sure to check out the

Equifax Finance Blog for more information about protective measures for your credit, as well as great information on taxes, insurance, retirement planning and real estate.