Contributor | In Mortgages, Personal Finance
A former journalist and author of “The Book on VA Loans: An Essential Guide to Maximizing Your Home Loan Benefits,” Chris Birk is also content development director for Veterans United.
Just like you don’t need perfect credit to land a home loan, you don’t need to be debt-free, either. Credit card bills, collections and charge-offs – you can have some or all of these and still make a mortgage work. Of course, it’s never quite that simple. It’s often a question of what kind of... Read More
Housing economists and would-be homebuyers are finding reasons for optimism as 2015 nears. To be fair, the bar’s set pretty low after a tough year for housing. However, there are some genuinely encouraging signs that next year will be better for prospective buyers. Economic recovery and an improving job market will go a long way... Read More
Home price gains are slowing, credit is thawing and more first-time buyers may be hitting the real estate market in 2015. Better balance in the housing sector is “in” next year, as far as trends go. That’s likely to put buyers and sellers on a more even footing. Some prospective sellers sound especially bullish on... Read More
After years in the shadows, the historic VA loan program is getting some time in the sun, but it may be short-lived. VA loan volume has surged since the housing crisis. Veterans and military buyers have flocked to the program’s more flexible and forgiving requirements in a time of tight credit. But that momentum may be... Read More
Bouncing back from bankruptcy or foreclosure takes time. But that doesn’t mean you have to shelve your homebuying aspirations for some interminable stretch. They’re called “boomerang buyers” for a reason. Consumers may be able to close on a home loan just a couple years removed from one (or both) of these fiscal hiccups. A lot... Read More
Save for maybe the diehard financial romantics, it’s a rare wedding where “credit scores” share billing with sickness and health. But it might be time to update those well-worn marriage vows. From that moment forward, your spouse’s credit profile will play a big role in your collective financial future. That’s especially true when the time... Read More
Many homebuyers are drawn to the lure of the fixer-upper. And with good reason, at least on paper. But the “buy low, sell high” ethos of fixer-uppers isn’t exactly a guarantee. There are plenty of people who snagged the worst house in a great neighborhood and turned it into their dream home. You’re just as... Read More
Losing a job is tough enough. But what do you do if you find yourself out of work when you’re weeks or even days from closing on your dream home? Brutal. But it happens. Employment isn’t a requirement for getting a home loan – just ask retirees. The issue is ensuring there’s stable, reliable income... Read More
We all make financial missteps, whether it’s an impulse purchase in the checkout aisle or something less defensible, like an extended warranty or rental car insurance. But bigger purchases – like, say a home – can really magnify mistakes. Missteps when it comes to securing a mortgage often prove especially damaging, given the size and... Read More
When you’re hoping to lock down a home loan, the focus is on making sure you look like a safe bet for prospective lenders. Conversation tends to drift to the key pieces of the pre-approval puzzle, from credit score and stable income to acceptable debt levels and suitable assets. No one’s arguing the wisdom there.... Read More
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