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MoneyTips

Few things are more effective at fighting identity theft than credit freezes. When you freeze your credit, potential lenders can't access your credit file to assess the risk of lending money to you. No risk assessment means no credit – so identity thieves can't use your stolen information to create fake accounts in your name.

You can't open new credit accounts in your name, either. When you're ready to shop for a new home or refinance your existing one, you must temporarily remove (thaw) the freeze so lenders can assess your credit.

Fortunately, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 removed credit freeze barriers by making them free and simple to apply and remove. If you request a credit freeze with any of the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) over the phone or via a secu...

Mortgage Pre-Approval Necessities

How To Set Up A Credit Freeze

Free Credit Freezes And More Credit Changes You Need To Know

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MoneyTips

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That's sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for mortgage relief services.

Distressed homeowners don't have to resort to third-party mortgage services. Free counseling is available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD programs such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can allow qualified homeowners to refinance their home at more favorable terms.

If you don't qualify for any HUD programs, you can work directly with your lender or consult with third-party mortgage counseling services. However, you must be careful to distinguish legitimate mortgage services from scammers. Scammers are adept at taking advantage of desperate homeowners for their own gain without providing any assistan...

Five Warning Signs Of A Mortgage Relief Scam

FTC Permanently Bans Scammers From Mortgage Industry

Justice for Mortgage-Relief Scams

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MoneyTips

Congratulations! You've just finished paying off your mortgage – probably the largest debt you'll ever have in your life. Should you expect your credit score to increase as a result? Not necessarily.

Your credit score is calculated from your credit report, a history of all of your borrowing and payment activity. While your mortgage was probably a huge part of that history, it's just one part. Credit reports also consider other installment loans, your credit card payments, and any payments for non-borrowing related charges (like cable or utility bills) that have gone into collections. Every account matters and contributes to your credit score.

Consider the factors that go into calculating a credit score, starting with payment history – the most influential factor. Mortgages require regular payments for a long time. With those payments removed, that's one less regular payment that proves you...

How To Accelerate Mortgage Payments

Pros And Cons Of Paying Off Loans Early

Video: When To Accept Mortgage Prepayment Penalties

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MoneyTips

You want to know exactly what you are getting when you make any large purchase, especially when you are buying a home – the largest purchase that many Americans will ever make in their life. That's why a real estate disclosure statement is a fundamental part of any real estate transaction.

By law, home sellers must provide a disclosure statement in writing regarding the condition of their home. The contents of disclosure statements vary by state and municipality, but they must disclose known hazards and defects of the home, as well as any important information that may affect the seller's decision.

As a seller, you must make sure that you compile a thorough list of disclosure items. Your agent should be able to help you determine if each item must be disclosed.

Sellers are not required to search for any unknown defects, but failing to disclose a reasonab...

7 Tips To Buying A Home During The Holidays

Home Inspections 101

What's Your Home Worth Today?

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MoneyTips

With interest rates currently at a three-year low, it is clear that home values are on the rise. This makes it a great time to purchase a home — especially for first-time buyers. However, buying a home is no cakewalk; it must be handled with great care, and you must be prepared before applying. Here are a few important tips to get you started in the right direction.

1. Pull your credit report

First, check your credit report. Then, search for a mortgage lender who lends to people with your score. Before filling out the papers for a home mortgage loan, you may want to take a peek into your credit file. Having adverse credit can not only limit the amount the lender is willing to let you borrow, but it can also cause you to pay a much higher interest rate in comparison to someone with average to excellent credit. If you have serious debts on your credit file (such as outstanding loans, bankruptcy, or a high amount of debt), this can stop you from even obtaining...

Renters' Top 8 Biggest Concerns About Buying A Home

Stated Income Loans Are Returning

Can Private Mortgage Bonds Be Revived?

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MoneyTips

For years, you have been dreaming about buying your first home and now you are debating taking action. Are you ready to enter the home buying market? Consider these seven signs before taking the plunge.

1. Having Job Security – Mortgage loan approvals require a steady regular income. Is your employment situation secure enough that you can commit to buying a home? Being out of work is bad enough, but being out of work with a brand new mortgage is disastrous.

2. Commitment to the Area – Generally, realtors recommend that you plan to stay in a home for a minimum of five to seven years. If your situation is still fluid, buying may not be for you. Buying a home is a long process, and you do not want to have to sell one in a rush soon after a purchase. Most of your pa...

New HomeOwner Checklist

6 Tips To Improve Your Home Purchase Offer

Millennials Have More Home Buying Regrets

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This recipe is similar to the other pizza recipes, but it offers a slightly different take on how to combine your leftovers. Allrecipes' directions are also a little more thorough yet slower-paced, so even the beginner chef should be able to pull this off.

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Weather conditions are ripe for the Henry County Master Gardeners annual showcase of gardens as National Weather Service forecasters anticipate a mild, and mostly sunny, weekend for the Southern Crescent region.

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The Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District will be sponsoring its seedling giveaway Friday, in honor of Georgias Arbor Day. The district is partnering with the Henry County Master Gardeners during the annual event, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

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Clayton State University recently announced that 18.7 tons of recycled items were collected on campus between May and November of last year, as part of the university communitys single-stream green initiative.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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