All Posts By

Amie Wheeler

5 Tips To Help You Improve Your Credit In 2018

By | Banking, credit

Need To Improve Your Credit ?

Here are some helpful tips to help you boost your credit in 2018.

Make your payments on time.

Everyone has done it at one time or another during their adult life, whether by accident or maybe you just forgot to pay your car payment or your credit card bill or maybe you just didn’t have the money when the payment due date rolled around.

Regardless of why previous bills weren’t paid on time, it’s never too late to start fresh and start improving your credit score. Beleive it or not late payments even on small balances can have disastrous effects down the line when you need to use your credit for more important purchases such as rental applications, car loans or home loans.

Making payments on time is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve and build a strong credit score.

If you are going to be late on payments never let it go more than one full billing cycle, most billing cycles are between 21- 30 days between payments. The reason it is important to make sure you’re making your payments before the next billing due date expires is most creditors will automatically report late payments after one full billing cycle. Which reflects negatively on your credit score.


Obviously, it is better to try to make your payments on time, on time payments give creditors more confidence in your ability to repay loans and to stick to your financial commitments helping you in turn to build stronger creditworthiness.

Request a credit report

Did you know that you can request a free copy of your credit report once a year?

If you contact one of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax)  you can request a copy of your credit report.  It’s an easy way to review where you stand and to check what is reporting to your credit, it’s also a good way to check for inaccuracies or even in some cases lines of credit with your name attached that you may be unaware of.

Make sure you review your credit report for any inaccuracies, your credit score is based solely on the information reported to the three credit bureaus, (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax)  if the information in your credit report is inaccurate you should contact the reporting agency to dispute the information in the report.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once every 12 months. You can request a free credit report here

Clean Up Past Debts

After reviewing your credit report it’s time to get busy cleaning up any past debts that could potentially hurt your credit score down the road.

Outstanding debt doesn’t just disappear and can stay on your credit for years affecting your credit score long after the money has been spent. If you can locate the contact information for the outstanding creditors it’s a good idea to reach out to them and try to negotiate an agreement to settle past due accounts, in doing so it’s important to secure in writing what type of agreement you’re able to reach and then stick to it.

Paying off old debts not only helps to pump up your credit score but will also help you feel better knowing you won’t have past debts coming back to haunt you later on.

Payoff smaller credit cards

So maybe you went on a shopping spree and created a hefty amount of credit card debt by opening up credit accounts at every store you visit, it’s easy to do. Retailers offering discounts up to 10% at checkout can be a tempting offer that is hard to resist for many people, before you know it you have 10 credit cards to retailers charging high-interest rates on balances if your unable to pay off the balance every month.

According to a recent study, Americans have an average credit card debt of 15k -$16k in credit card debt.

Regardless of what type of credit accounts you open, it’s very easy to find yourself faced with a lot of small credit card debt that adds up fast if you’re not wise about how you manage your finances.

Don’t let these numbers discourage you, there is hope if you really want to improve your credit score and give yourself some breathing room start by putting a stop on the spending an reel in your finances.

Instead of paying just the minimum payment every month, start paying as much as you can comfortably afford every month, start with the smallest debt and continue this until its paid off and then repeat the same process with other credit debts.

Over time this will have a positive effect, you’ll have more money available to pay off larger debts and it will help boost your credit score.

Live within your means

In a world filled with social media, smartphones and everyone wanting to impress their friends with photos of lavish trips to exotic places or show off coolest new electronics or living in a decked out crib, people are overextending themselves financially like no other time in history just to maintain the appearance of  ” keeping up with the Joneses” , if your serious about boosting your credit score and want to cut down on debt you will have to make a firm commitment to living within your means.

Creating a budget and sticking to is key to success if you’re serious about boosting your credit, it will make it easier to account for your expenses and pay your creditors every month.

If you’re shopping for a new car then buy a car that you can afford, if you’re making $46k a year don’t run out and try to buy a car that costs $50K, your better off finding a car that is more reliable and that you can afford the monthly payment without cutting into your allotted money for other bills.

Applying some of these simple common sense tips can help boost your credit score in 2018

5 Mistakes That Could Hurt Home Buyers

By | Home Buyers
Home ownership is part of the American dream, here are a few tips to help you avoid common mistakes when buying a home.

Down Payment Programs Make Financing More Difficult.

There are now more than 2,500 programs available across the country and 85% have funds available for new house buyers. It is recommended that new potential new buyers seek homeownership education.

It's often a necessity with down payment programs and it provides} buyers self-confidence and assurance in their ability in the buying process and knowledge about financing options, including down payment assistance programs as well as spending budget and cash management strategy.

Loan Programs Are Only For New First-time Homebuyers.

While there are many first-time home buyer programs out there, it's important to take note that the meaning of a first-time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in three years.

Additionally, more than 37% of First Time Buyer programs might not even have a first-time homebuyer requirement.

You Need To Have A Down Payment Of 20%.

Today, a 20% down payment is not always required and with regards to the buyer's situation, having the ability put down a sizeable down payment will definitely put you in a better position when banks review your loan application, it may also help put you in a better position to get a better interest rate.

However, if you are like many home buyers who cannot come up with a 20% downpayment, you are in luck because there are down payment assistance programs which allow buyers to save on the down payment, retaining savings for property maintenance and improvements.

Some of these present programs include grants, first mortgages with below-market interest rates and some annual tax credit.ement.

Home Are Too Expensive To Buy In My Neighborhood.

While it is true that home prices have taken off in recent years, if you do a little searching and networking you may be able to find a home close to the area in which you want to.

Foreclosures are always available however are a little harder to purchase but if you do your research it is possible to find a gem in your price range.

There are also many resources that are designed for individuals providing an important community service, including educators, protectors, workers in the healthcare industry, veterans and other special community servers which allow would be home buyers to purchase homes in your cities.

This is especially helpful in high-cost markets, these programs help critical personnel stay and live in the communities they serve, it also helps to keep home values stable within communities.

If you have questions or comments please contact us.

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Home$tart Opens The Door To Home Ownership.

By | Home$tart

Opening The Door To Homeownership with Home$tart

Home$tart can help you become a homeowner.
There Is Grant Money Available

With housing costs on the rise and home sales continuing strong into the winter despite the average prices of single-family homes increasing on a national average to around 191k, interested buyers are out in force.

Interest rates are still hovering below 4%, which makes for a great time to purchase a home before rates increase. However many home buyers may feel that buying a home may be out of reach due to the amount needed for a down payment.

For qualified buyers, this is where Home$tart can step in to help.

By allowing potential home buyers to take advantage of grant money that is set aside for qualifying people, many people will be able to purchase their first home.

How Much Is Available?

Home$tart funds will be available beginning January 1st, through Liberty Bank to all qualifying home buyers.

Including first-time home buyers and those who have previously owned a home, funds will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

This federally funded grant helps to promote homeownership by helping homebuyers earning up to 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size, purchase a home.

The grant program makes it possible for people who would like to purchase a home but who may not otherwise be able to come up with funds needed for a downpayment or closing costs.

The Home$tart Program provides $3 for every $1 of a home buyer’s funds up to $5,000.

Home$tart grants may be used for down payments, closing costs, or rehabilitation of an owner-occupied housing unit

Condominium or cooperative housing unit are also included and may be used as the home buyer’s primary residence. Grants may be used in combination with funds from other sources.

Since their inception in 1995, Home$tart and Home$tart Plus have granted $43.2 million to help more than 8,700 first-time home buyers purchase their first homes (as of November 1, 2012).

Contact us today to get more information about this program

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