Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Score!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

1. a hot date
2. a soccer/hockey goal
3. your kids SAT's
4. your credit

#4 may be last on your list...
...but it could make all of the above a lot easier..

We all function better with less stress, and higher scores = less stress.

So why is the scoring system so frustrating to most Americans?

There are several different score models that are used by different types of industry.

For example: FICO Score 9 that was released last fall the 3 major credit bureaus, borrowers who have wrestled with medical debt and others who have only a limited credit history portfolio, might find their scores have improved when they apply for future credit cards or auto loans. However, mortgage lenders use credit assessment standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-government enterprises that provide the secondary market for home mortgages, and mortgage experts say those agencies tend to use older FICO models.

Check your scores at least once a year from all 3 major bureaus:
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and address any items that are not spot on, remove disputes on zero balance accounts, make sure your name, address and work history are accurate. Check balances and credit limits that are being reported.

And may you SCORE in all aspects of life!

Friday, January 3, 2014

SHOW ME THE MONEY! Energy Efficient Income Tax Deductions for Home Owners

Home Owners Save $$$
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
This tax credit was retroactively renewed until December 2013, meaning that any qualified equipment, installed in 2012 or 2013, is eligible for this credit. This personal tax credit can be used towards energy efficient technologies such as:
Water heaters/Furnaces/Boilers/Heat pumps/Central air conditioners
Building insulation/Windows/Roofs/Circulating fans used in a qualifying furnace.
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (for residential energy property) was originally applicable for solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems and fuel cells. However, through the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, the tax credit was extended to include small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps as well. Eligible renewable (and other) technologies include:
Solar Water Heat/Photovoltaics/Wind/Fuel Cells/Geothermal Heat Pumps/Other Solar-Electric Technologies/Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels.
Refer to IRS Form 5695:
Have more Tax related questions?  Call or email Prestige Accounting - Pres. Helen Waddell
Mortgage related questions? Call or email Sr. Loan Officer, Heather L. Craig

Saturday, December 28, 2013

IRS Refund - Tax Deductions that can hurt your mortgage approval - Form 2106

Be wary of the BIG Refund...
Before you begin your year-end tax preparation for your 2013
Personal & Corporate Tax filings: Details you, and your tax preparer, should take note of: 
If you are in the market to purchase or refinance a home, BE CAREFUL not to take "extra" deductions especially on the 2106 Form - I see this a lot, and any portion of these expenses, less the allowable noted business mileage use of your car or depreciation*, will be deducted from the allowable usable income when qualifying for a mortgage. It may be great to save on taxes, but it just may STOP you from qualifying for a new mortgage, whether purchasing or refinancing. For instance, if you show $12,000.00 of expenses on the 2106 form and non of these expenses can be added back into your income,* then you have just lost $1000 a month in qualifying income. For example: If you qualified for a $2500 monthly mortgage payment before the 2106 form was considered, you now may only qualify for a $2068 monthly mortgage payment.
Here is the FHA underwriting guideline Re: (Salary, Wage and Other Forms of Income, ref 4155.1 4.D.2.l)
Automobile Allowances and Expense Account Payments
*Only the amount by which the borrower’s automobile allowance or expense
account payments exceed actual expenditures may be considered income. 
To establish the amount to add to gross income, the borrower must provide
IRS Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, for the previous two years,
and employer verification that the payments will continue.
*If the borrower uses the standard per-mile rate in calculating automobile
expenses, as opposed to the actual cost method, the portion that the IRS considers depreciation may be added back to income.
Expenses that must be treated as recurring debt include the borrower’s monthly car payment, and
any loss resulting from the calculation of the difference between the actual expenditures and the expense account allowance.
To find out how income is analyzed by mortgage underwriters, email me for a Free Income Analysis form at   

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Grinch that Stole your Good Interest Rate

Sure "10% Instant Savings NOW" sounds Great, but not if it drops your credit score...

Hard Inquiries Hurt Your Credit Score
While hard inquiries are necessary for certain financial actions, hard inquiries should be minimized as much as possible. Your credit score is penalized for multiple hard inquiries to discourage consumers from getting into too much debt at one time. Applying for too much credit may indicate that you are desperate for credit, or that you aren't able to qualify for credit. While one hard inquiry will "steal" a few points off your credit score, multiple hard inquiries in a short amount of time can cause significant damage to your score.

Keep your hard inquiries to one or two a year. Data shows that on average, consumers with lower numbers of hard credit inquiries have higher credit scores, which could save you much more than the temporary 10% for a small purchase, in comparison.

...“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas    

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Seeds are not just good for your health...

Build Wealth...Planting "Pumpkin" Seeds Strategically

Pumpkin seeds boost can boost your health, as a great source of magnesium and zinc, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

Planting healthy seeds, in the ideal environment can also give your income a boost!

Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
  • Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and over deliver on every single promise.

The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MCC Is it Right for Me?

MCC - Mortgage Credit Certificate for first time homebuyer(s)
The MCC can be a great tool to assist in generating more buying power for you as a homebuyer and /or as a Realtor helping your customers purchase a home they may not qualify for otherwise.
First-time Homebuyer Requirement - The Applicant who will become an MCC holder cannot have had an Ownership interest in a Principal Residence at any time during the preceding three years ending on the date on which the loan is executed.
As long as you are not pushing the income limitations and you plan on staying in your home for 9 years, you will most likely avoid any recapture tax of the monies you saved.
The Home buyer Benefit
The MCC will reduce the amount of income taxes due to the federal government; however, the tax benefit cannot exceed the amount of federal taxes owed for the year after other credit and deductions have been taken. Instead, the tax credits can be carried forward three years until used.
Typically you can increase your buying power by an additional $166 per month. This could equate up to an additional $30,000.00 in a purchase price, depending on the mortgage program and your credit and income qualifications, which are subject to approval and the current market rates.
To see if MCC is right for you; email me at

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Breaking Bad... Banks Reject More Loans, however it's not the end of the road for some...

Feel like you've hit a brick wall? A home loan refused by a bank might be approved by a Mortgage Lender  - Get more information from your local expert  Heather Craig, and break through the banks with a Portfolio Mortgage Loan Option.

Article By Anna Maria Andriotis - Dow Jones
The likelihood that a mortgage application will be approved varies widely by bank.
Home-buyer rejection rates ranged from 11% to 34% in 2012 at the 10 largest mortgage lenders, according to data released this month by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Those who applied for a mortgage at SunTrust /quotes/zigman/242272/quotes/nls/sti STI +0.77%   faced the lowest rejection rate—3,831 out of 34,749 applications were denied—while those at Chase encountered the highest rejection rate, with 26,894 out of 80,036 (a third) not passing muster. Despite the fact that large lenders sell most of their mortgages to government agencies, many require applicants to clear hurdles that surpass federal guidelines, and they do so in degrees that vary by institution, resulting in confusion for applicants. Home buyers who get rejected for a mortgage at one large bank could get approved at its competitor—assuming they know not to give up the search. “It absolutely makes a difference where you go,” says Stu Feldstein, president at SMR Research, a mortgage-research firm.
Don’t bank on getting that mortgage approved:
Number of 2012 home buyers rejected by the top 10 mortgage lenders
Total applications for purchase Rejection rate Applications denied
Bank of America* 76,355 25.6% 19,547
Branch Banking and Trust Co. 43,840 15.6% 6,855
Citibank* 44,945 14.3% 6,442
Flagstar Bank 52,030 13.2% 6,853
JPMorgan Chase 80,036 33.6% 26,894
PHH Mortgage 17,034 11.5% 1,967
Quicken Loans* 25,038 17.3% 4,331
SunTrust Mortgage 34,749 11.0% 3,831
U.S. Bank * 52,425 17.2% 9,014
Wells Fargo* 399,911 21.2% 84,687