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How to Refinance Your Mortgage With a Bad Credit Score

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Mortgage rates have recently hit record lows, and many Americans are jumping at the opportunity to buy new homes as well as refinance. 

According to the Mortgage Banking Association (MBA), mortgage applications have been surging since March 2020 when the Fed slashed interest rates in response to the coronavirus pandemic. By year-end, mortgage applications are expected to double in volume compared to economists’ original 2020 predictions.

Mortgage refinancing applications are also on the rise: Currently, Americans are applying for refinancing loans at a 38% higher rate than they were this time last year.

Refinancing your house means essentially taking out a brand new loan, often for the remainder that you owe on the property (but not always). Depending on how much equity you have in the house (i.e. what you’ve paid on it already) and what your credit score is when applying, refinancing might offer you one or more benefits, including:

  • a lower interest rate (APR)
  • a lower monthly payment
  • a shorter payoff term
  • the ability to cash out your equity for other uses

When you’re faced with economic uncertainty, refinancing your mortgage can help give you some breathing room. But at the same time, if you’re struggling financially, refinancing can be a little more complicated. If you have a bad credit score, you’ll need to take a few steps to ensure you can even qualify. And when you do qualify, you want to make sure your refinanced mortgage is better than your original mortgage, not worse. 

Below, CNBC Select spoke with senior community development loan officer at Quontic Bank Darrin Q. English about what to keep in mind while refinancing your home with less-than-perfect credit. He shares 3 tips to keep in mind.

How to refinance your mortgage with a bad credit score

  1. Understand what “bad credit” means to banks
  2. Work with a community loan officer
  3. Improve your credit

1. Understand what ‘bad credit’ means to banks

The first step in refinancing your mortgage is to understand what banks are looking for in order to give borrowers the best rates.

The minimum credit score you need to be eligible for the most accessible mortgage programs, such as the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans for first-time homebuyers, is 580 (sometimes as low as 500, depending on your down payment).

But for refinancing, you want a better score than 580, says English.

“There is no desire right now to lend to subprime candidates,” he tells CNBC Select. English defines such candidates as having a score below 580 and at least two missed payments on their credit report — especially on an installment loan in the past 12 months.

Those requirements make sense. Refinancing, or refi, loans are meant to give borrowers with positive credit history a chance to leverage their creditworthiness and compel lenders to compete for their business. People normally refinance after they’ve built a good track record and built up equity in their home. When banks see this, they’ll think of you as less of a risk and will be more likely to give you a better loan with good rates.

“When it comes to refinancing, 620 is the minimum number that you really need to have in order to be able to leverage one lender against another,” says English. Hitting this mark opens up more access to loan programs and gives you the chance to shop around. And the real “sweet spot,” says English, is 680 or above.

Learn more: Here’s what credit score is required to buy a house

2. Work with a community loan officer

Loan officers who have expertise in community development can be your number-one resource when you want to refinance your home. You can get a long way with researching mortgage programs on the web, but loan officers can serve as a partner and help you identify, then work toward, your options.

In addition, loan officers have access to industry tools that might be able to put you on the fast-track toward becoming eligible for a mortgage. Often, a loan officer can look at your credit report and identify actions you can take to improve your credit within 30 days or so. They might suggest that you pay down certain balances or flag errors on your report and offer advice on how you can resolve them.

Once you’ve taken steps to improve your credit, a loan officer can also do something called a “rapid rescore” and submit proof of your new, improved credit behavior directly to the credit bureaus.

“We have the ability to have the bureaus refresh the borrower’s credit and reevaluate them based on new balances and other updates. [The bureaus] use some form of artificial intelligence to determine risk, and they’ll score the borrower’s new credit based upon that,” says English.

Community loan officers can also help you understand the ins and outs of every mortgage program so you’re comfortable with the terms of your loan.

3. Improve your credit

Once you understand what the banks are looking for in a borrower, and you’ve formed a relationship with a trusted loan officer, use a credit monitoring tool to monitor your credit while you work to rebuild.

English recommends using free credit score simulator tool like the one from CreditWise® from Capital One. Similar to what the credit bureaus see, you can check the status of all your credit accounts and see the potential effect that certain actions, like paying off debt or closing a credit card, may have on your credit score. Start checking your credit score a few months before you know you want to refinance, so you know ahead of time what improvements you might need to make. 

CreditWise® from Capital One

CreditWise® from Capital One

Information about CreditWise has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.

  • Cost

  • Credit bureaus monitored

  • Credit scoring model used

  • Dark web scan

  • Identity insurance

The credit bureau Experian also offers a free credit monitoring service that you can sign up for without providing a credit card number. It is helpful to pull your report with a credit bureau in addition to using simulator tools like Capital One’s CreditWise, since mortgage lenders look at the same reports when evaluating your creditworthiness.

“A bank will use all three bureaus,” says English. “It’s called a tri-merge credit report, which includes Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Then we’ll use the middle, or median, score as the qualifying credit score.”

Experian Free Credit Monitoring

Experian Free Credit Monitoring

On Experian’s secure site

  • Cost

  • Credit bureaus monitored

  • Credit scoring model used

  • Dark web scan

  • Identity insurance

English also recommends that you take advantage of Experian Boost™, which lets you add positive payments for phone and utility bills to your Experian credit file, potentially increasing your credit score. Experian Boost now lets you add on-time Netflix payments to raise your credit score.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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Loans Bad Credit Online – Loans Bad Credit Online – Reforming India’s deposit insurance scheme | Fintech Zoom | Fintech Zoom

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Loans Bad Credit Online – Loans Bad Credit Online – Reforming India’s deposit insurance scheme | Fintech Zoom

Loans Bad Credit Online – Loans Bad Credit Online – Reforming India’s deposit insurance scheme | Fintech Zoom



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Loans Bad Credit Online – Reforming India’s deposit insurance scheme | Fintech Zoom

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The government’s incentive to step in and bail out depositors when banks fail is clear from past experience.

By Anusha Chari & Amiyatosh Purnanandam

The failure of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC) in September 2019 shone a light on the limitations of India’s deposit insurance system. With over Rs 11,000 crore in deposits, PMC bank was one of the largest co-op banks. That the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) insurance covered depositors, provided little solace when the realisation hit that the insurance amounted to a mere Rs 1 lakh per deposit.

The predicament of PMC depositors is, unfortunately, not an anomaly. Several bank failures over the years have severely strained RBI and central government resources. While co-operative banks account for a predominant share of failures, other prime examples include the Global Trust Bank and Yes Bank failures. These failures entail a direct cost to the taxpayer—the DICGC payment or a government bailout. More importantly, bank failures impose long-term indirect costs. They erode depositor confidence and threaten financial stability, presenting an urgent need for deposit insurance reform in the country.

A sound deposit insurance system requires balancing two opposing forces: maintaining depositor confidence while minimising deposit insurance’s direct and indirect costs. At one extreme, the regulator can insure all the deposits, which will undoubtedly strengthen depositor confidence. But such a system would be very expensive.

A bank with full deposit insurance has minimal incentive to be prudent while making loans. Taxpayers bear the losses in the eventuality that risky loans go bad. Depositors also have little incentive to be careful. They can simply make deposits in the banks offering high interest rates regardless of the risks these banks take on the lending side.

Boosting depositor confidence and reducing direct and indirect costs require careful structuring of both the quantity and pricing of deposit insurance. Some relatively quick and straightforward fixes could help alleviate the public’s mistrust while improving the deposit insurance framework’s efficiency.

India has made some progress on this front over the last couple of years. First, the insurance limit increased to `5 lakh in 2020. Second, the 2021 Union Budget amended the DICGC Act of 1961, allowing the immediate withdrawal of insured deposits without waiting for complete resolution. These are very welcome moves. Several additional steps could bring India’s deposit insurance system in line with best practices around the world. Even with the increased coverage limit, India remains an outlier, as the accompanying graphic shows.

The government’s incentive to step in and bail out depositors when banks fail is clear from past experience. However, these ex-post bailouts are costly. The bailout process also tends to be long, complicated, and uncertain, further eroding depositor confidence in the banking system. A better alternative would be to increase the deposit insurance limit substantially and, at the same time, charge the insured banks a risk-based premium for this insurance. Under the current flat-fee based system, the SBI pays144 the same premium to the DICGC—12 paise per 100 rupees of insured deposits—as does any other bank!

A risk-based approach will achieve two objectives. First, it will ensure that the deposit insurance fund of the DICGC has sufficient funds to make quick and timely repayments to depositors. Second, the risk-based premia will curb excessive risk-taking by banks, given that they will be required to pay a higher cost for taking on risk.

India is not alone in trying to address the issue of improving the efficiency of deposit insurance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recognizes that the regulatory framework governing deposit insurance is far from perfect and the United States is moving towards risk-based premia. The concept is similar to pricing car insurance premia according to the risk profile of the driver. The FDIC computes deposit insurance premia based on factors such as the bank’s capital position, asset quality, earnings, liquidity positions, and the types of deposits.

In India, too, banks can be placed into buckets or tiers along these different dimensions. The deposit premium can depend on these factors. It is easy to see that a bank with a worsening capital position and a high NPA ratio should pay a higher deposit insurance premium than a well-capitalized bank with a healthy lending portfolio. The idea is not dissimilar to a risky driver paying more for car insurance than a safe driver.

Risk-sensitive pricing can go hand-in-hand with the increase in the insured deposit coverage limits bringing India in line with its emerging market peers. In a credit-hungry country like India, these moves would build depositor confidence, possibly increasing the volume of deposits and achieving the happy result of the banking system channeling more savings to productive use.

Chari is professor of economics and finance, and director of the Modern Indian Studies Initiative, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Purnanandam is the Michael Stark Professor of Finance at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

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5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Own a Home, According to a CFP

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The housing market has boomed over the last year, despite a global pandemic and millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. 

Many people are spending less on entertainment, clothing, travel, and other discretionary purchases during COVID. Federal student loan borrowers have seen temporary relief from their loan payments. These expenses will most likely rise again after the pandemic, and many people who committed to a new home with a large mortgage will struggle to keep up. 

I often speak with clients and prospective clients who want to buy a home before they have a strong financial foundation. Buying a home is not only one of the largest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime, but it’s also a huge commitment that’s extremely hard to undo if you have buyer’s remorse

It’s important to make a thoughtful, informed decision when it comes to a home purchase. Before you take the plunge into homeownership, check for these signs that you’re not quite ready to buy. 

1. You have credit card debt

Credit card debt can be a drain on your monthly budget, and when combined with student loans and a car loan, it can lead to high levels of stress. 

Generally, more debt means higher fixed expenses and little opportunity to save for long-term financial goals. Your financial situation will only get worse with the addition of a mortgage. I always recommend that clients be free of credit card or other high-interest debt before they consider buying a home. 

To rid yourself of credit card debt, take some time to get a good handle on your cash flow. Take an inventory of your spending over the last six to 12 months and see where you can cut back. From there, develop a realistic budget that includes aggressive payments to your credit cards. 

There are several strategies to help you knock out credit card debt fast. Regardless of the method you choose, stick with the plan and track your progress along the way. Once you pay off your credit cards, you can allocate your debt payments to savings, which can help you avoid this situation in the future.  

2. You have bad credit

Bad credit is not only a sign that you may not be ready to take on a mortgage, it can also signal a high risk to

mortgage lenders
. A high-risk status results in higher interest rates and more strict requirements to qualify for a loan. A mortgage is one of the largest loans you’ll take out in your lifetime, and if you get behind on payments, you could lose your home. 

Just as with credit card debt, bad credit could be a result of past financial mistakes. Dedicating the time to repair bad credit and improve your credit score will help you beyond purchasing your dream home. 

Start by pulling a recent credit report from each of the three credit bureaus so you can review it for errors. Dispute any errors, address past-due accounts, and bring your overall debt balances down. It’s helpful to learn what has a negative effect on your credit score so you can avoid these mistakes in the future. 

3. You don’t have an emergency fund (or an inadequate one)

If you’re unable to save for a rainy day, you probably don’t have enough money to buy a house. Owning a home is a big responsibility, and unexpected expenses pop up all the time. In addition, you could lose your job, have a medical emergency, or another unexpected expense unrelated to the home. Maintaining an emergency fund is a good sign that you have discipline and are prepared for the responsibility of homeownership.

Many financial experts recommend saving at least six months of living expenses in an emergency fund. If you have variable income, own a business, or own a house, you should save more. To build an emergency fund, set money aside from each paycheck and automate transfers to make the process easier. Give your emergency fund a boost when you receive lump sums such as bonuses or tax refunds. Start by saving one month of living expenses and build from there. 

4. You don’t have separate savings for your home

I always advise clients to set aside savings for a home in addition to an emergency fund. It’s a bad idea to start homeownership with no savings. Whether you have unexpected expenses related or unrelated to the home, having no emergency fund after a home purchase will lead to unnecessary stress — and possibly more debt. 

When purchasing a home, you’re responsible for a down payment and closing costs. While a 20% down payment is ideal to avoid private mortgage insurance, a down payment of at least 3.5% is typically required. Closing costs can range from 2 to 5% of the home’s value. 

Also, you will have moving costs, costs to spruce up your new place (like new furniture or light cosmetic updates), and any initial maintenance and repairs. Be sure to budget for these items to know how much to save on top of your emergency fund. It doesn’t hurt to boost your emergency fund, too, in preparation for homeownership. 

5. You have a low savings rate

It’s much easier to develop good savings habits before you have a lot of responsibilities. To get on track for financial independence, several studies show that you should save at least 15% of your income. The longer you wait, the more you’ll need to save. 

If your savings rate is low before you purchase a home, it will most likely worsen after becoming a homeowner. Even if your mortgage is similar to your rent, ongoing maintenance and repairs, higher utilities, and homeowners association fees can wreak havoc on your budget. 

Take a look at your current savings rate and see if you’re on track for financial independence. If you’re saving less than 15 to 20% of your income, work to improve your savings rate before you consider buying a home. A strong savings habit can help you build your home savings fund faster and ensure that a home purchase doesn’t impede your long-term financial goals. Finally, understand how much house you can afford so you can avoid being house poor. 

Buying a home can be rewarding, and when done the right way, it’s a way to build wealth. Before you decide to buy a home, it’s important to understand your numbers and ensure that you’re ready for the commitment. Without preparation, your dream home could be detrimental to your long-term financial goals.

Chloe A. Moore, CFP, is the founder of Financial Staples, a virtual, fee-only financial planning firm based in Atlanta, Georgia and serving clients nationwide.

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