New 3% Down Payment Mortgages Available

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Are you looking for a mortgage that features a low down payment but can’t find a suitable conventional loan because of various restrictions?The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan products with down payments of just 3.5% for borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 – an attractive combination for potential homebuyers with lesser credit that are struggling to come up with a sufficient down payment.

However, the FHA faces increasing competition for the low-down-payment mortgage market. The government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are increasing their push into this market with new loan programs that allow certain borrowers to purchase homes with only a 3% down payment.

Freddie Mac already offered 3% down mortgages under the Home Possible program designed to help low-income borrowers. The program features optional down payment sources such as family contributions and employee-assistance programs, along with income flexibility f…

Video: How To Raise Your Credit Score If You Mostly Use Cash

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Do you have limited credit because you usually use cash? There will come a time when you need a solid credit score to get a mortgage or auto loan, or even to rent an apartment! Watch National Financial Educators Founder Adam Carroll explain how to increase your credit score by getting a credit-builder loan in our video above.

You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips.

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Credit Card Freezes 101

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Identity theft accounted for $16.8 billion in losses in 2017 spread across 16.7 million victims, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. Were you one of the unfortunate 16.7 million?

Victim or not, it’s wise to consider freezing your credit to make it difficult for identity thieves to use your personal data – and now, you have several freezing methods available.

American Express recently joined several large financial institutions that allow you to temporarily freeze your credit and/or debit card for seven days with a simple click. With this variety of freeze, the card can’t be used for most new purchases. It can still be used for recurring bills, transactions through digital wallets, and some online purchases where your information has already been stored.

The freeze function acts as an on/off switch that gives you time to find a lost/stolen ca…

Credit Card Default Rates Are… Dropping?

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Credit Card Defaults Drop in Consecutive Months

Is there a limit to America’s appetite for debt? At least one indicator suggests that the answer is no. According to the Q2 2018 Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve, total household debt in America has risen for the 16th straight quarter. Our current consumer debt is just under $13.3 trillion, with $9.43 trillion of that as housing debt.

At least there’s a silver lining – one economic index indicates that we are handling part of our debt load reasonably well, since credit card default rates are currently in decline.

The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Composite Index is a measure of collective default rates across credit cards, auto loans, and both first and second mortgages, with each indicator also having a separate index. The Composite index shows that overall default rates have stayed …

On The Dark Web, How Much Are You Worth?

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“Consumers for sale! Get your consumer information here! Plump ripe consumers, ready for the taking! Only $1,170 for a full consumer package! À la carte information for as little as a few dollars! Get them while they’re fresh.”

Granted, there aren’t peddlers roaming around your local business district selling your stolen information – but the above patter could apply in hidden and unregulated areas of the Internet (aka the “Dark Web”). According to the Dark Web Market Price Index released by the independent VPN review site Top10VPN in February 2018, a thief could purchase your entire online identity for approximately $1,170 if enough of your relevant information were there.

The full $1,170 package would include basic proof of identity, credit and debit accounts, online banking information, and logins for everything from your PayPa…

Millennials Should Improve Credit Before Home Shopping

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Small Changes, Big Impact

Sometimes a seemingly small difference can have a large effect, like the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. According to a recent study by the credit bureau Experian, that same principle applies to millennials and their borrowing behaviors. With a small change in financial habits, more millennials could significantly shift their risk perception with lenders – allowing them to qualify for mortgage loans or receive better rates if they do qualify.

Older Borrowers, Better Scores

Your credit score, a reflection of your borrowing and repayment history as reported to the credit bureaus, is a valuable risk assessment tool for lenders. It’s not the only measure, but you’ll need other positive factors – such as a large pool of savings or an increase in income – to overcome a poor credit score.

According to the study, average credit scores improve with age. Baby Boomers (age 5…

What Are You Worth On The Dark Web?

MoneyTips

“Consumers for sale! Get your consumer information here! Plump ripe consumers, ready for the taking! Only $1,170 for a full consumer package! À la carte information for as little as a few dollars! Get them while they’re fresh.”

Granted, there aren’t peddlers roaming around your local business district selling your stolen information – but the above patter could apply in hidden and unregulated areas of the Internet (aka the “Dark Web”). According to the Dark Web Market Price Index released by the independent VPN review site Top10VPN in February 2018, a thief could purchase your entire online identity for approximately $1,170 if enough of your relevant information were there.

The full $1,170 package would include basic proof of identity, credit and debit accounts, online banking information, and logins for everything from your PayPa…

1 Out Of 7 Are Afraid To See Their Credit Report

MoneyTips

Have you checked your credit report lately? If not, what’s keeping you from doing so? A recent survey by WalletHub found several reasons, ranging from complexity to fear.

Your credit report is a history of all your loans and credit transactions as reported to the credit bureaus. The information in your credit report is used to determine your credit score. Both are evaluated by lenders when they are deciding whether to lend you money, and how much to charge you for the privilege.

Errors on your credit report or fraudulent accounts opened in your name can cost you dearly. If you don’t check your reports regularly, you may not know of any problems until your credit is ruined and bill collectors try to collect unauthorized debts in your name.

Why wouldn’t you check your report? It’s free at

Video: The Top 5 Credit Mistakes Millennials Are Still Making

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Many millennials struggle to build up a credit history and get the credit score they need to get a loan or buy a car or home. Watch MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia explain how to overcome five common credit pitfalls in our video above.

You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips and using our Credit Manager tool.

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