Stop worring about inquiries on your credit report

Inquiries on your credit report

Plan on getting a home loan soon? Worried about qualifying for a mortgage? Need to get pre-approved to buy a home in Minnesota or Wisconsin? Think your credit score will go down?

For 99% of the people, 99% of the time, you don’t need to sweat a lender pulling your credit report!

Minneapolis Weak and bad credit loans down since 2007

Minneapolis, MN:  Not much of a shocker here, but weak, and bad credit loans are down dramatically since the lending correction of 2007.   Part of the reason for the housing collapse was an immense community desire to allow everyone to have a home. Clearly, that experiment failed miserably. Simply put,  not everyone who wants a home loan deserves a loan, regardless of what liberal community activists say.

Mortgage loans written today, have some of the highest “quality” seen in underwriting history. New mortgage regulations pretend to provide important protections to borrowers, but have also lead to a permanent increase in the cost of originating loans to all borrowers, and a dramatic decrease in loans to those with poor credit.

deniedBetween 2007 and 2012

  • Home buyers with credit scores higher than 780 declined by 30 percent
  • Home buyers with credit scores between 620 and 680 declined by 90 percent
  • Home buyer with credit scores below 620 were virtually non-existent

Loans harder to get with no incentive


All loans are much more difficult to originate, process, and underwrite.  But small loan amounts, and especially small loan amounts combined with credit challenges require a huge amount of time and effort that loan officers can no longer be compensated correctly to work on.

In the past the loan officer and their company were rewarded and compensated for their extra efforts with problem clients. Today, loan officer walk away from them because there simply is no reward or incentive to help challenging clients.

Simply put, if you worked on a project for 10-hours, and got paid the exact same amount as you do on a 1-hour project, would anyone ever work on the 10-hour projects anymore?  Of course not… The government and community activists may disagree, but Loan Officers and lenders are in this business to make a living, not work for free.

Lack of quality homes for sale causing problems

Minneapolis, MN:  Who would have thought we would be saying this, but strong demand for housing is now running into supply problems, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), and what I see and hear from my mortgage clients everyday.
real1Homes For Sale:
The lack of quality supply in homes for sale, especially in the under $150,000 price range in the Minneapolis / St Paul area if very evident with the number of clients unable to find a home that doesn’t need a lot of repair.  Any home in good condition, and priced right for today’s market is selling very fast, with multiple offers, and within just days of being put on the market. Home buyers need to be pre-approved, and ready to immediately offer full price.
Nationally, signed purchase agreements  in February and NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index slipped 0.4 percent from the previous month.

The Index, an indicator of future home sales, dropped to 104.8 from a revised 105.2 in January, but is still at a recent high, second only to April 2010 when it reached 110.9 shortly before the end a government home buyer tax credit program.  The index was 8.4 percent higher than a year earlier when it was 96.6 and February marked the 22nd month that contract activity increased on an annual basis.

On a regional basis the Index declined 2.5 percent in the Northeast but was 6.8 percent higher than a year earlier at 82.8.  The Midwest was up 0.4 percent month over month to 103.6 and 13.2 percent year over year.  Pending home sales in the South slipped 0.3 percent to an index of 118.8 in February but are 12.1 percent above February 2012.  In the West the index increased 0.1 percent in February to 101.4 but is 0.8 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors expects existing-home sales to rise about 7 percent in 2013 to approximately 5 million sales, which is near the current level of activity.  The volume of home sales appears to be leveling off with the quality inventory problems, and the leveling of the index means little change is likely in the pace of sales over the next couple months.

Because of limited inventory of quality homes,  NAR also expects the median existing home price to increase about 7 percent, while they expect mortgage nterest rates to slowly move up to closer to 4% by the end of the year.

Mortgages for Self-employed about to be even harder to obtain

If you’re self-employed or own a small business, getting a mortgage will become a whole lot harder soon.

Beginning in January, new lending rules go into effect that might make it more difficult for a small-business owner or self-employed individual to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage.

READ THE FULL STORY at Deleware Online


Wells Fargo issuing refunds to some FHA mortgage customers

Thousands of Wells Fargo & Co. home loan customers recently received a surprise in the mail: refund checks from the big bank, along with letters saying they had paid unnecessary fees for their mortgages.

The unsolicited offers of thousands of dollars arrived with a catch — if the borrowers cash the checks, they can’t later sue the No. 1 U.S. home lender. The San Francisco bank, which is Minnesota’s largest by deposit market share, said in the letters that borrowers were put into more expensive loans when they could have qualified for cheaper ones.



5 Star Blog Review

Minneapolis, MN: has review our Blog,  the MN Real Estate Daily, and given it a 5 Star Rating.

Lender411 is a mortgage resource portal on the web.  They provide free and educational mortgage information while matching you up with possible lenders for each unique mortgage loan situation.

READ OUR REVIEW on Lender411


Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Minneapolis, MN: Every year, millions of potential new home owners ask the question, “can I qualify for a mortgage?” It’s a scary question for many people, but getting the answer isn’t anywhere as hard or difficult as people think.First, ask yourself some of these basic questions, then contact a local licensed non-bank lender and fill out an application. There are no obligations to let a lender review your situation.

Can I afford the payment?

This is obviously a major questions. I always tell people if they have been comfortably making a rent payment similar to what the anticipated mortgage payment will be, you’ve passed this test!Many people on the other hand have “payment shock”, which simply means the new home payment will be significantly more than what the pay now, if anything.

Lender use a term called “debt ratio”, which is simply a measure of a percentage of your income that would go towards the house, and all other debt. There are two different ratios they measure. The first number is your “housing debt”, which they don’t like to see over 28%. This is a measure of just the cost of the house {principal, interest, taxes, insurance) versus your income.  The next number, which most people are more familiar with is your “total debt ratio”, takes in all debt. The house payment, car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc. This number they generally do not like to see over 41% of your income.

There are slight variations to these ratios depending on loan program, so be sure to consult your Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer for details. Here is a link to some popular mortgage calculators to help you determine debt ratios.

Down Payment

Mortgage lenders love it when you put at least 20% down. That down payment size or more will get you a loan without mortgage insurance, a nice money saver. Realistically many people simply can’t afford that much. Conventional loans may be available with as little as 5% down, and the very popular FHA Loan is available with as little as 3.5% down payment.  The minimum down payment can also be effected by credit score.  Someone with a 660 credit score for example, will need at least 10% down on a conventional loan, while someone with a 720 score will only need 5% down.

Zero down payment is a potential option for some people. Military veterans can possible obtain a zero down payment VA Loan, and those seeing to live in rural areas of the country may also qualify for a no down payment USDA Rural Development Loan.

Your down payment will also affect your interest rate. All other things being equal, the best interest rates go to borrowers who put down larger down payments; you’ll pay a somewhat higher rate if you put down only 5 percent or 10 percent.

Credit score

Credit scores clearly are a major factor, but it is actually pretty simple. If you have great credit (over 720), you’ll have no problems.  If you have OK or average credit (660 – 720), you’ll likely qualify for most programs, but not necessarily all, or not with the best mortgage interest rates. If you have bad credit (below 620), you will not qualify for anything, and should work on repairing your credit before attempting to get a mortgage loan.

To review your credit go to You can get a copy of your report for free once every year. This service does NOT include scores. Another free option is This DOES include scores, but they offer similar, but not the actual FICO scores lenders use, so your numbers may be different than what a lender gets, but at least it gets you an idea of where you are at.

Your Income

To qualify for a mortgage loan, you will be required to fully document all of your qualifying income. Lenders want to see your past two-years job history. Do not confuse this with needing to be at the SAME job for two-years. It is OK if you’ve changed jobs.

If you’re self-employed, get commission, or tipped income, it’s another story. You’ll need to be at the same position for at least two-years, and provide the past two-years Federal Tax returns. Your income is based on your AFTER deductions. If your income is stable, or increasing, you’re in great shape.  If your income is declining, this may be an issue.

Income from child support, alimony, social security, pensions, etc, are all acceptable.  You’ll need to fully document what is is, and that you are actually receiving it.  You will also need to prove it will continue for at least three years.

Bottom Line

If you feel you meet these basic requirements, contact a local licensed Loan Officer to submit an application. Before you do, understand who you should contact, and some of the myths:

  • 80% of Loan Officers are unlicensed application clerks. Only deal with a licensed Loan Officer. Learn How.
  • Your Bank doesn’t know you or care about you
  • Credit Unions DO make a profit
  • Get off the Internet. There are no deals there you can’t get locally – Sit down with a LOCAL Lender

An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for

USDA Refinance Funds Gone for 2012 – Purchase Money Still OK!

USDA Refinance funds for fiscal year (FY) 2012 are now exhausted!

St Paul, MN: Have a USDA Rural Development loan?  Thinking of getting a USDA Refinance loan? Sorry – USDA announced today that they are out of money for refinances for 2012.

For the vast majority of homeowners, this really isn’t a big issue, as many of them can lower their interest rate and refinance into many other loan products.

Looking to buy a home? USDA Rural Development Purchase Loans on the other hand have plenty of money – so there is no need to worry if you are buying a home.

As a side note, the cost of a USDA home loan in going up slightly on October 1st, 2012. Currently the loans have mortgage insurance of .030%, and will be going up to .040%.  On a $100,000 loan, the old mortgage insure would have been $25 a month, and would now be $33.33 a month.

An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for

Mortgage closing costs up because of government rules

Closing costs have NOT gone down!

St Paul, MN:  Recent news releases from the government have been claiming that mortgage closing costs have gone down 7% due to new mandated government procedures that make it necessary for lenders to be more accurate when making estimates for borrower’s closing costs.

The spin masters are wrong on two fronts.

First, most lenders were already accurate in their initial closing cost disclosures, and the items that caused them to re-adjust their estimate later on are still there.  The only significant difference is the incredible burden of new paperwork, and disclosures that make absolutely no difference to the customer, or their bottom line.  For example, the old easy to read and understand one page Good Faith Estimate has been replaced with an incredible confusing three page Good Faith Estimate. The new form has been so badly received, that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is already working on a new form to replace the new form! Furthermore, re-disclosing forms for minor changes with mandatory wait times before a client can close on their loan has done more harm than good, and has significantly increased lender costs, turn times, and client frustration.

Secondly, due to the new rules, industry insiders have proven that closing costs have actually risen about $1200 per client.  Where the government spins it is that under the new rules, lenders are now forced to give home owners more “lender credits towards closing costs”. This sounds great, and it does actually lower the OUT-OF-POCKET average closing cost for many people. But, what is actually happening is that the client now has reduced options, and is being forced to pay more over time with a higher interest rate in exchange for those lender credit.

The bottom line?  Don’t be fooled by the spin. The government has mandated more rules, more paperwork, and less consumer choice all while claiming victory in reduced costs. The reality is it cost consumers significantly more in a higher mortgage interest rate over the length of the loan than they ever saved in initial closing costs.

How soon after a short-sale can I get a new mortgage?

How Soon Can You Get A Mortgage After a Short-Sale or Foreclosure

Depending on which lending institution you ask you will receive different time-frames allowed to purchase again after a short sale or foreclosure. The reason is most lenders have credit overlays, which translates into stricter underwriting guidelines than Fannie Mae and FHA have published.

There are lesser time-frames allowed if there are documented Extenuating Circumstances involved beyond the control of the borrower, such as serious illness or death of a wage earner, and the borrower has re-established good credit since the foreclosure.

Divorce, loss of employment, inability to sell the property and job transfer or relocation does not qualify for extenuating circumstances. All other events are known as Financial Mismanagement.

  • Conventional – Foreclosure – 7 years
  • FHA – Foreclosure: 3 years.  Exception: No waiting Period if the borrower was current on their mortgage and all other installment debt for the 12 months preceding the short sale, the new subject property is not in the same geographical area as the short sale, and the short sale lender accepted the short sale as payment in full.
  • USDA – 3 years. You may read of significantly less time, but the rules are so tough, it will never happen.
  • VA – 2 years minimum. Score over 640, otherwise 3-years
  • Conventional Short-sale 2-7 years: 2 years with 20% down, 4 years with 10% down (2 years with 10% with  extenuating Circumstance) and 7 years with less than 10% down or financial mismanagement.

I am using the current Fannie Mae conventional guidelines to close loans for Short Sale as of 6/20/2012.


Adjustable mortgage loans popular again. Here is why.

Adjustable (ARM) Loan Resets Cause Foreclosures – Fact or Fiction?

Saint Paul, Minnesota: Requests for adjustable mortgage loans dropped to near zero the past few years because of the general belief that adjustable loans are bad, and that recent high levels of foreclosures was because homeowners were doing fine with their loans until their adjustable loans reset to higher rates.

Lenders are again starting to see inquiries about, and home buyers again taking adjustable rate loans because of the super low adjustable loan rates.

FACTS VERSUS FICTION:  According to recent nationwide data, the number one reason homeowners default on their home loans was because their income was cut. This accounted for just under 60% of loans in default. Once traditional causes of foreclosure are factored in (divorce, major illness), cash flow problems added up to a whopping 80% of all “causes” of defaulted mortgages nationwide.

Adjustable payment loans resetting to a higher payment alone accounted for just 2%, according to the data. Rather than being the cause, they appear to be the final straw that breaks the camels back of people who were already in financial trouble.

ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGES: Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) became one of the most popular and effective tools for helping some prospective homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership between 2000 and 2007. Initially developed during a time of high interest rates that kept many people out of the housing market, the ARM offers lower initial interest rates by sharing the future risk of higher rates between borrower and lender.

IS AN ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE RIGHT FOR YOU? Talk to a local licensed Loan Officer (not an unlicensed bank application clerk) about the benefits. ARMs can be an excellent choice of financing under certain conditions, such as rising income expectations, high interest rates, and short-term homeownership plans. But because payments and interest rates can increase, either steadily or irregularly, homebuyers considering this kind of home mortgage loan need to have the income to keep up with all possible rate and/or payment changes. Each ARM has four basic components:

  • Initial interest rate, which is typically one to three percentage points lower than that of most fixed rate mortgages.
  • Adjustment interval, at the time between changes in the interest rate and/or monthly payment will be.
  • Index, what lenders use to determine future rate changes. This is usually LIBOR.
  • Margin, or the additional amount the lender adds to the index to establish the adjusted interest rate on an ARM.

Typical adjustable loans come in 1-year, 3-year, 5-ya, 7-year, and 10-year initial fixed term options. The 5-year adjustable is super popular. The rate is fixed for the first five years of the loan, then becomes adjustable on a yearly basis.

Who owns my mortgage loan?

Who owns my loan?

Minneapolis, MN: Until recently, no one really needed to know, and no one really cared who ultimately owns their mortgage loan. Home owners receive their monthly statements, and make their monthly payments, to their mortgage company (or mortgage servicer).

With numerous program available to assist homeowners, including HARP 2, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which require the loan be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, it is very important to know who, and if they own your mortgage loan.

There are usually a few people involved in your loan process:

  • The Originator: The company who did the original loan. This could be a bank, broker, or direct mortgage company
  • The Servicer: The company now providing the statements and accepting the payments is only providing the service of billing, statements, customer service, etc. This company could also have been your originator.
  • The Investor:  This is usually not the company that provided the funds originally to make the loan, but a company that may hold your loan permanently, or sell it off to someone else, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Many times this company also becomes your loan servicer.
  • Actual Owner / End Owner: This could be a bank, mortgage company, or some kind of investor group. For a large number of homeowners, this is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Who owns my mortgage loan? – Click to find out

 Click here for a HARP 2.0 Lender in MN and WI


The YourGage? Pick any mortgage amortization loan term you like

Who said you have to pick a standard mortgage loan term?

Design your own mortgage loan. Pick any term loan amortization period you want – from 6 to 30 years.

A big internet lender likes to call this “The YOURgage“, and claims it is “only available from them!”  They go as far as to make it sound like they “invented” it. Well, that is far from the truth. Actually, it is a little know loan option available from a large number of MN mortgage lenders.

Mostly used for refinancing, but it can also be used to purchase a home.  Let’s say you have a 30-year mortgage with just 18-years left. You’d probably like to refinance to today’s super low mortgage rates, but you don’t want to go backwards to a new 30-year loan, or even a 20-year loan.

So how does it work? Simple. Just tell us how many years you want for your home mortgage, and that is what you get!

Does it cost more?  What are the interest rates? No, it doesn’t cost more. Rates are calculated based on the closest standard fixed rate term. For example, if you want an 11-year mortgage loan, you get the standard 15-year interest rate. On the 18-year loan, your interest rate will be the same as a 20-year loan.  If you wanted a 22-year loan, you get the same interest rate as a 30-year loan.

Other than that, it is simply a standard home mortgage loan.

Use this online mortgage calculator to determine what YOUR mortgage payments ( YourGage ) would be, then APPLY with a local MN based direct lender.


What does YOUR credit score say about you?

What does your credit score say about you?

Everyday I am looking at credit reports, and making credit decisions. It amazes me sometimes the people who call and say they have good credit, when they don’t. It also amazes me the people who have good credit, and fear they can’t get a loan.

So What’s Your FICO Credit Score?
Every lending facility uses basic guidelines to determine your credit worthiness, including your FICO credit score. Upon reviewing your mortgage application, you’re given a credit grade and credit scoreand a determination regarding your home mortgage loan approval or denial.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining your specific credit score grade.  Each lender’s criteria may vary slightly, but generally speaking, if you have a mix of credit type (mortgage, revolving, car loans), you have had it for awhile, and you make your payments on time. You have nothing to worry about.

800 + Credit Score: AAA+ A credit score of 800 plus is basically flawless credit. This is usually obtained only with a long history of unblemished credit. You will get the best of the best anything credit related, from mortgage loans to car insurance. Scores in this bracket represent about 13% of the population.

740-799 Credit Score:  AA+ A credit score of 740-799 is considered great credit, and will typically result in the best interest rates and approval rates for anything credit related. You have nothing to worry about if you scores fall in this category. In fact, roughly 27% of the population has a credit score of 750-799 alone.

700-739 Credit Score: A+ A score in this bracket is considered good credit. Although it’s not perfect, you should still be able to qualify for most home mortgage loans and auto or rental leases. You may be offered a slightly higher interest rate than offered to borrowers with excellent credit for mortgage loans, credit cards, car insurance, and homeowners insurance.

680-699 Credit Score: B+ Credit scores from 680 – 699 are considered average. You should never have any problems getting basic financing, but you are now in the area where you may pay a slightly higher rate, be required to have a bigger down payment, or be offered less favorable terms. There will be situations where a credit score in this range may prevent you from getting certain types of financing, such as an zero down mortgage loan, the lowest auto insurance premium, or a zero down car loan.

620-679 Credit Score: C Credit scores from 620-679 are still considered “good” or “ok” by many creditors, though you may see further restrictions and fewer approvals when attempting to get a car loans, credit cards, or a mortgage. For example, you can still get an FHA mortgage with this score, but a lot of conventional loan lenders would deny you with a score below 660. Large numbers of people have score in this range.  It would be very wise to evaluate why your score is in this range and try to improve it. In this range, you are NOT getting the best deals in the market.

580-619 Credit Score: D Credit scores in this range are bad, and clearly below average. If you are on the lower end of this range and someone asks, you can answer “I have bad credit“. You will have a difficult time securing a loan, or applying for a credit card. If you are able to secure financing, you’ll find higher interest rates for your low credit scores. If your credit score falls in this range, you definitely need to take a hard look at your credit report and take measures to raise your credit score. Many consumers with credit scores in this bracket are considered “subprime” and may have to work with bad credit banks and lenders to secure financing. You’re basically throwing money away at this point because of your poor credit.

500-579 Credit Score: F

No discussions, no glossing over it. Credit scores in this range are just flat out bad. If you’ve got a credit score in this range, there’s a good chance you have a major derogatory items on your credit report  such as as major late payments, court judgements, collections, foreclosure, or a bankruptcy. There is no question that your credit score is in need of serious credit repair. You will almost always be denied for credit with this score range, or pay such a premium for the credit, it usually is not worth it. You’re clearly paying higher interest rates and making credit mistakes that will impact your life for years to come.

Below 500 Credit Score

Credit scores below 500 are very bad. You almost have to get up everyday and ask yourself “how can I further wreck my credit today” to be in this category. You will usually have current, or very recent major issues, such as a bankruptcy or foreclosure. Improving credit from this level will usually take years to repair (but it can be done). Credit will universally be denied, and you will be paying a major premium on things like car insurance.

What do you know about your Mortgage Loan Officer?

What do you know about your Mortgage Loan Officer?

All Mortgage Loan Officers are required to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) & Registry. The Registry assigns each Loan Officer a unique identifier number that stays with them throughout their career. Using this number you can review professional background information for a Loan Officer through the NMLS database prior to doing business with them.

The display of an NMLS number tends to lead most people to believe all Loan Officers are licensed. This is far from the true. Only about 20% of Loan Officers are actually licensed, the rest are simple registered.

Licensed Loan Officers are required to have pre-employment mortgage education, must pass criminal background checks, must pass a difficult Federal Licensing test, must pass a difficult State Licensing test in EACH state they wish to do business, and must complete yearly continuing education requirements.

Simply registered Loan Officers could have been flipping burgers last week, and doing Loans today. While their employer may have some sort of internal hiring and training system, there are no mandatory state or federal licensing requirements, and no educational requirements.

Now I am not saying that simply registered Loan Officers are bad people, but when you are working on the largest financial transaction of the average persons life, who would you prefer? Licensed or unlicensed? Another way to look at it is to assume you are sick. Sure, you can go online to WebMD, self-diagnose your illness, go to the pharmacy, buy a scalpel, and attempt self surgery. Or you can go to the Doctor.

So how do you verify if a Loan Officer is Licensed or simply Registered? It only takes minute to find out.

  1. Simply go to
  2. Enter the Loan Officers Name, or their NMLS #
  3. Click on their name

Scroll to the bottom of the page.

  • If it says STATE LICENSES/REGISTRATIONS, then lists one or more States – They ARE A LICENSED Loan Officer
  • If it says FEDERAL REGISTRATION, then says Federal Mortgage Loan Originator – They ARE NOT LICENSED.

Licensed or simply registered? I think the choice is clear for smart homeowners.