Is the Mortgage Market Reaching a Tech Tipping Point?

Is the Mortgage Market Reaching a Tech Tipping Point?

Real Estate
September 28, 2018 • 6 min read by David Lord   In 2008, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression hit the world with shocking and reverberating consequences. People lost their homes, their hard earned savings, and many were left with nothing to their names. Though it probably feels like that was yesterday to many of us, that was almost exactly ten years ago. The impact of the 2008 recession is still being felt by millions of people, and though trends in the economy appear to be looking up, apprehension to return to business as usual abounds. How the financial crisis impacted the mortgage market While the 2008 recession was a result of a combination of factors, years of irresponsible mortgage lending practices in America were a key player.…
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How Much Do Americans Actually Know About Credit Scoring?

How Much Do Americans Actually Know About Credit Scoring?

Credit Scores
August 21, 2018 • 10 min read by James Conners Every year, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore Solutions work together to produce the Annual Credit Score Survey. This survey examines how much Americans actually know about the credit system. With the average credit score reaching a record high of 700 last year, Americans might know a lot more than we think. The survey tested over 1,000 adults on topics related to the overall credit process. These subjects include: frequency of checking credit scores how credit scores are calculated, and best ways to increase your credit score or keep it high The 2018 results showed that on the whole, Americans have increased knowledge and participation in the credit score process compared to previous years. Let’s break down the…
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6 Creative Ways to Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

6 Creative Ways to Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Financial
August 21, 2018 • 10 min read by James Conners If you’re struggling to qualify for a personal loan, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio could be to blame. Your DTI, often expressed as a percentage, compares your debt payments with your gross income each month. Loan companies look closely at your DTI before approving your application. If the ratio is high, lenders take it as a warning sign that you might not be able to repay what you owe. Plus, a high DTI could make it difficult for you to cover living costs or save for the future. Find out how your DTI can impact not just your loan applications, but also your daily life. Then, consider the six creative strategies for lowering your debt-to-income ratio. Why does DTI matter? Let’s say your monthly gross (or…
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Understanding the Different Types of Financial Advisors

Understanding the Different Types of Financial Advisors

Financial
September 21, 2018 • 11 min read by James Conners   Part of “adulting” is beginning to better manage our money, investing, and planning for retirement. If you are at the stage of your life where you are ready to put some real plans in place to get out of debt, grow your wealth, and start making solid plans for your financial future, you may be seeking financial advice. Even so, you may be unsure about what type of help you need, especially if you are just getting started on your investment or retirement planning journey. There are plenty of professionals that specialize in different areas of financial advising, and it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the different types of financial advisors, and their specialties and…
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When Hard Inquiries Fall Off a Credit Report, Does Your Credit Score Go Up?

When Hard Inquiries Fall Off a Credit Report, Does Your Credit Score Go Up?

Credit Repair
August 21, 2018 • 7 min read by James Conners If you’ve applied for a loan or new credit recently, you may have noticed (or been forewarned) that a “hard inquiry” was made into your credit report. Inquiries are just another term for credit check, and they helps banks, lenders, and creditors determine your creditworthiness. While there are technically two types of inquiries — hard and soft — only a hard inquiry has a negative effect on your credit score. But it’s difficult to avoid a hard inquiry when you really need a loan or new credit. And thinking about what it does to your score can understandably be worrying. But remember that your credit report and credit score are never permanent. They fluctuate over time to reflect your credit…
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Big Credit Card Firms Agree to Cut Fees They Charge Merchants

Big Credit Card Firms Agree to Cut Fees They Charge Merchants

Credit Cards
September 20, 2018 • 7 min read by James Conners   Swipe, insert, or tap — sound familiar? According to recent research, 66 percent of all point-of-sale transactions are completed by card. And this number is expected to grow with technological developments and time-conscious consumers looking for the fastest payment method. Yet, there are still many businesses that don’t accept credit cards as a form of payment. Why? Because merchants are charged a fee every time consumers swipe, insert, or tap their plastic card. Recently, large credit card companies have lowered these merchant fees. This change is, of course, beneficial to business owners. And, these lower fees could also prove to be a strategic move on the part of credit card companies. What are merchant fees? Merchant fees are costs that business owners must pay to credit…
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The U.S. is About to Add Even More Cities with a Median Home Value of $1 Million

The U.S. is About to Add Even More Cities with a Median Home Value of $1 Million

Real Estate
September 20, 2018 • 6 min read by James Conners   A recent Zillow report found that the average home costs around $1 million in 197 different cities. In 2018 alone, 23 cities have been added to the millionaire’s club. This reflects an ongoing trend in the U.S: homes are simply getting more expensive. Unsurprisingly, most of these million dollar homes reside in wealthy suburbs of popular cities. However, there are a few outliers that indicate home value growth is becoming a universal trend. Joining the list this year are cities like Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, Biltmore Forest, North Carolina, and Anna Maria, Florida. The numbers keep climbing. Estimates show that the number of cities in which half of homes are valued over $1 million will reach an all-time high over the next year.…
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