If you’re trying to get a good deal on Kansas City mortgage rates, you may have heard that you can buy points on your mortgage. Essentially, you are “buying down” your mortgage rate. But is this the right move for you and when should you do it? [Read more…]
Beginning July 1, 2017, credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian will no longer collect tax lien and civil judgement information in order to calculate credit scores – especially if the information doesn’t provide complete details on the consumer like their name or date of birth, and public records aren’t checked for updates every 90 days. According to USA Today, the change is meant to “ensure that consumer identifications in the data are accurate and current.” [Read more…]
Whether you are applying for a home loan, getting pre-approved, or selling a home, keeping accurate records is an important part of financial responsibility. Accurate records will help you provide evidence about a past event like a home purchase in case of emergency or you need proof of ownership.
Why Keep Accurate, Organized Records?
According to the IRA, keeping accurate, organized records is an important part of:
- Preparing financial statements
- Disputing claims or errors
- Showing lenders that you can make your payments
- Identifying and confirming your income sources
The best way to organize your records is by keeping them in their own separate files by category and then the year for easy access. For example:
- Health Records, which cover documents like insurance policies, bills, prescriptions, and life insurance.
- Financial Records, which cover documents like bank statement, taxes, and loans.
- Home/Property Records, which cover documents like mortgages, deeds, and property tax information.
When organizing your records, keep them in a safe, secure place like a lockable filing cabinet or fireproof safe. In cases of records that are difficult to replace, like titles and deeds, put them in a safety deposit box.
Make Sure Statements & Other Records Are Accurate
When you receive statements and other records, remember to go through them to make sure that the information presented there is accurate. If you find an error, talk to your financial advisor and the party is responsible for issuing the statement about getting it corrected. If you don’t, it will negatively affect you in the future if you wish to purchase a home.
Save Your Records
Keeping records is a critical part of making large purchases like a home or filing claims, among other financial decisions. You may have heard that you should keep records for up to seven years, which is good advice. However, different records require different periods of time until they can be safely destroyed. For example:
- Taxes, some credit card statements, and property records can be kept for up to seven years.
- If you have IRA contribution records, keep these records indefinitely to prove that you’ve paid taxes on the money.
- Bills like utilities can be shredded after one year, but bills for larger purchases like jewelry and electronics should be kept permanently in case of loss or damage.
- After you have sold a property, you should keep records relating to the property “until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the property,” according to the IRS.
- Home inventories should be kept indefinitely and updated every six months.
Keep Backups Of Those Records
If you are not keen on disposing of old records but don’t have the room to store them, it is advised that you back them up to an electronic file or by making scans. By keeping backups of your records, you will have access to them in case the originals are lost.
Safely Disposing Of Records
When it is time to dispose of a record, it needs to be done correctly and safely. In doing so, you will be protecting your personal information from thieves:
- Paper records should be shredded or incinerated. If shredding, opt for shredders that produce “confetti”. These pieces are smaller and cannot be put back together like strip shredding .
- Digital records should be “sanitized” either by physically destroying the storage medium (like a CD), degaussing, or overwriting the data.
While more convenient to store, digital records are harder to destroy since hitting “delete” doesn’t actually destroy the information–there are backup files that can be dug out and recovered with file recovery programs. If you are unsure how to safely destroy digital records, consult a reputable IT professional.
When you close on your home, you will be paying around 2 to 6 percent of the purchase price in closing costs, or fees paid to third parties for their services. Lenders are required by law to provide you with an estimate of how much these closing costs will cost you so you know what to expect. [Read more…]
You’ve heard it time and time again: “Make sure you get your mortgage pre-approved.” But what exactly is a mortgage pre-approval and why do you need one? Do you even need one?
Getting a mortgage pre-approved before you search for a home is an important step that many would-be homebuyers skip. By not skipping, you can get a leg up on the competition and know how much you can afford to pay for a home. [Read more…]
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you may come across what is known as an escalation clause. Simply put, this practice increases your bid on a home by a specified amount whenever there is a competing bid. However as simple as it sounds, there are a lot of rules and intricacies to follow and know in order to use it correctly. [Read more…]
As a loan officer, you will get clients who are looking into buying a home, be it their first or second, and find that financing isn’t available to them. Therefore, it’s up to you to help them find viable alternatives. For a potential home buyer, a wrap around loan offers a way to get into a home when traditional financing is unavailable. [Read more…]
When it comes to buying a home, it’s sometimes best to leave your spouse off of the loan so you are able to obtain a home. Depending on your state, a non-purchasing spouse could have a huge influence on your ability to qualify for a home mortgage, regardless of if their name is on the home or not. [Read more…]
Boosting your credit score can sometimes be no easy feat. If you find that your credit score is poor, don’t panic. With the right methods and a little patience, there are ways to make your score better.
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