Credit Management

FHFA's new program to help underwater homeowners

Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a new program designed to help even more underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages at today's low rates. The plan hopefully will allow homeowners to lower their monthly mortgage payments, thus freeing up money to be spent in the broader economy and help the US from slipping back into recession again.

Previous programs had been restricted to homeowners who were no more than 125% upside-down on their homes. The new FHFA program places no cap on how much the borrower owes, or how far underwater they are.  Only mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be eligible. Need to know if your mortgage is owned or managed by Fannie/Freddie? Check here and then here. Then call us for a loan officer recommendation.

Helpful links -

Does Freddie Mac own your mortgage?

Does Fannie Mae own your mortgage?

10 Tips to save more money

From time to time, we post articles that aren't related to our primary business, real estate sales... except that they sort of are.

All our clients, friends and family are in the same boat we are: living through the New Normal Economy, learning to make due with less in a post-Great Recession world.

Pretty much everybody we know has made resolutions to "spend less money" and "save more" but it's awfully hard to do so without a definite plan. Today's 10 Tips come from one of my favorite blogs, CreditSlips.

  1. Meeting friends at a restaurant for dinner? Tell them "I already ate," to save you from chipping in on the big tab at the end of the meal. Of course you either need an iron will, or you need to have pre-planned and already eaten something from home!  See CreditSlips' 10 Mantras to Help You Meet Your Financial Goals, Tip 1, for sneaky ways to get out of tossing money on the table when the tab arrives.

  2. Leave your plastic at home so you can honestly tell friends, "I don't have my card," when you're invited out for after dinner drinks.

  3. When it's gift giving time, remember that "simple" and "homemade" equal "thoughtful" and "expensive" just equals "expensive".

  4. See the CreditSlips post, 10 Mantras to Help You Meet Your Financial Goals for the full list of ideas, including The Waiting Period and The List.

Good luck out there in the New Normal Economy! Remember, we're all in the boat together. Your friends and work colleagues are probably trying as hard as you are to save more money.


Can I remove a short sale from my credit report?

[caption id="attachment_8877" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Don't be the victim of a credit repair scam"]two human hands grabbing a set of stacked coins[/caption]

Had an interesting question this morning from someone who's using our The Phoenix Agents Search All Homes feature. Thought I'd share my answer in case any of our readers have also been presented with this credit repair scam.

Question - My wife has a previous short sale on her record and we've recently discovered that the lender reported the last payment 30 days late.   A California lawyer promised to help us correct our credit report. He said he couldn't get the 30-day late payment off the record but could work towards getting the entire short sale expunged for a mere $2600.  It makes me nervous.

Answer - You should be very nervous about anybody who claims they can remove a short sale from your record, especially if they want money for it.  See these websites which explain no one can remove negative information from your credit report if the information is accurate.

Browse our other Credit Management articles.  Or, visit some of the credit management sites listed on our blogroll.

Can I get my credit score for free?

No. Courtesy of the always wonderful Credit Bloggers,
Q: Where can I get my credit scores for free?

A: This has to be the question I’m asked more often than any other. You can get your credit reports for free, but credit scores – in particular, FICO scores – require a fee.

Source: Credit Bloggers

. is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — every 12 months.

Source: The Federal Trade Commission