July 10th, 2017 by homehappily

As a realtor (and former car sales professional), I’ve talked to a lot of people about their credit score. I find that many consumers rely on Credit Karma to know where they stand financially. However, in my experience, Credit Karma has never been accurate. But people use it because it’s free.

Credit Karma’s Help Center transparently reveals its service is “free” by generating revenue through advertising partners. The service provides you with personalized offers that Credit Karma algorithms calculate might be helpful to you based on your current credit situation.

Offers may include refinancing options if you look like you might be overpaying for a loan, or credit cards that could help you optimize your savings and earnings. When you click on their ads or sign up for one of the offers, Credit Karma gets paid.

These offers aren’t the devil. They can be quite useful (and sometimes very expensive). Credit Karma as a whole can give you a range and overall all pulse on your credit health. But, Credit Karma has some flaws that make is so you cannot depend on it to tell you the whole story, or even enough of the story.

Most importantly, it only shows you your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. Experian is not included in Credit Karma’s algorithms. In regards to the service’s credit tracking function, it only tracks TransUnion.

If you think your credit score is below 500, 600…or even if it’s in the low 700s, you should definitely consider bringing the big guns. Click to watch a quick video to learn more

Before you start checking your credit, make sure you’re looking at your real credit score, according to “How Many Credit Scores Do you Have, and Which One Matters Most” from The Motley Fool Blog.

There are several credit scoring formulas out there that use data from the three major credit bureaus, but only one lets you know what lenders see: the FICO score, which is based on the consumer credit files of each of the THREE CREDIT BUREAUS — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The FICO score is used in over 90% of lending decisions, so it’s easily the most beneficial for you to check.

The confusion comes when each of your three scores from the different bureaus are different. This happens because —

  • A: Some creditors report to all three bureaus and some only report to one or two
  • B: A different number of credit inquiries to the bureaus most definitely affect your credit, usually negatively
  • C: Errors. If one of the credit bureaus mistakenly lists one of your accounts as “past due” or is reporting an account that is not yours, the three scores can vary quite a bit. Looking for errors is the No. 1 reason why checking only one or two of your credit reports is not enough.

How your various scores are used depends on what type of credit you are applying for, as well as what credit-checking system the lender is using.

If you are applying for a mortgage, lenders will almost always check all three of your FICO scores. They generally use the middle score to determine your eligibility, but this can vary among lenders. So, if your three FICO scores are 708, 715, and 695, then the 708 score will be used to determine whether you qualify and what your rate will be.

On that note, have a credit score in the high 600s or low 700s really isn’t that great. You are still paying a lot more interest than someone with an 800 credit score. As I referenced earlier, The Motley Fool Blog says increasing your credit score above 800 will put you in rare company. In fact, only 1 in 9 Americans can claim they’re members of this elite club. Mean while, 8 out of 10 Americans have less than perfect credit. If you’re like the majority, you’re paying higher insurance premiums, higher interest rates and you risk your ability to get an apartment or are required to pay a high security deposit on utilities. And, if you’re trying to get a job in Corporate America, be prepared for the employer to request to check your credit before they high you.

Contrary to popular belief, racking up a high credit score is possible! First, if your credit score is below 740, consider going to an expert for help repairing and building credit. P.S. I’m a credit specialist and can work with anyone in the USA, so contact me now!

Then, once your FICO ducks are in a row begin following 5 simple, disciplined strategies to get from a 740 to an 800+:

  1. Pay On Time: Paying bills on time accounts for 30% of your FICO score.
  2. Understand your Credit Utilization: Keeping your debt revolving between 15 and 30%, and showing 70% available credit accounts for another 30% of your FICO calculation.
  3. Vary The Kinds of Credit You Use: Creditors want to see a good mix credit on your report, i.e. mortgage, car loan, credit card, bank card, student loan, etc. This accounts for 10% of your credit worthiness.
  4. Keep Credit Lines for 5 Years: A long credit history with an open account in good standing of 5 years or more shows stability and trustworthiness. Fifteen percent of your FICO is calculated by the average age of your credit accounts.
  5. Decide if Opening a New Credit Account is Beneficial – As I said earlier, having a good mix of credit lines is helpful to build credit. But be mindful when applying for credit. Opening account for bigger money items like a washer and dryer or a car is usually necessary. But ask yourself, do you really need that Kohls’s card when you’re buying a $19 T-shirt? New credit inquiries comprise 10% of your FICO score.

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
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MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Credit Repair Tagged with: , , , , , ,

June 12th, 2017 by homehappily

Financial Education Services: FES Protection Plan Membership Features & Benefits

Services that restore your credit, while helping you get all your personal & financial affairs in order

Use this link to watch a quick video, tell me you’re interested or enroll


Credit Restoration

Your financial health revolves around your credit score! Work with credit experts and proven system to eliminate any inaccurate, obsolete or erroneous accounts. Using your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to your advantage,Financial Education Services helps you dispute the mistaken negative ratings that may be preventing you from obtaining new credit when you need it most. Lower your interest rates, avoid high late fees, save money and advance your credit opportunities. (Elsewhere $100+ per month for this single service)

  • A+ Rating with Better Business Bureau
  • Providing exceptional service, results and satisfied clients since 2004
  • Complete customer involvement with review and change to your disputes
  • Monitor your progress online 24/7
  • Live, friendly customer service staff

 

Positive Credit Builder

Understanding how your credit score is calculated and how to read your credit report are the first steps in improving your current standing. The FES Credit Education Center offers a wide variety of educational services, credit tips and resources to help you take the necessary steps to enhance your credit score and manage your financial life. Improve your score by identifying the accounts that need immediate attention and understand the impact of the amount of credit you are using. Financial Education Services also offers a secured credit card to help rebuild credit or help build new credit for those just starting out. (Elsewhere $10+ per month for this single service)

  • A breakdown of the credit scoring system
  • Credit management techniques
  • Education and resource center

 

Smart Credit

Manage all your online accounts in one place, integrated with your credit and identity. You can use action buttons to ask a creditor a question about your account or a transaction. FES automatically tracks and update your account balances, bills coming due and transactions every day. access your interactive credit report, which is now easy to read and search or find anything quickly. It also includes your credit score, auto score, insurance score and even a hiring risk index for job seekers. Get alerts to your phone or email that someone opened credit in your name. Then use the action button to stop the thieves.  (Elsewhere $25+ per month for this single service)

  • Credit monitoring alerts
  • Instand statements
  • Easily take action
  • Daily transactions

 

Credit Attorney

FES fixes consumer credit reports in a legal and trustworthy manner and fights abusive debt collectors — turning victims into victors as they step into an otherwise unfair fight started by debt collectors, creditors and credit reporting agencies. FES is focused on you and not just your case. FES lawyers and paralegals band together to analyze your case and situation from all angles to bring about the best result in the quickest manner. They will work with you to determine your case eligibility an aim to stop harassment and clean up difficult to remove credit report errors from your credit file. (Elsewhere $250+ per hour for this single service)

  • Personal attention
  • Eliminate debt collector harassment
  • Money damages awarded to you

 

Debt Zero

DebtZero is a clear guide on how to more efficiently pay down your debt. Taking into account your debt obligations and interest, the system will show you exactly how to properly allocate your money towards your monthly payments using nothing more than your current income in order to speed up your debt payoff. It will map out the thousands of dollars you will be saving in interest by paying off your debt significantly earlier than expected. Put more simply, it will show you the amount of hard-earned money you can save by eliminating unnecessary years of interest payments! (Elsewhere $50+ per month for this single service)

  • No extra income required
  • No line of credit suggested
  • No refinancing required
  • No consolidation needed
  • No change in lifestyle requested

 

LifeLock®

Proactively safeguard your credit, your finances and your good name with vigilant services that alert you of potential threatens before the damage is done. If identity thieves steal your personal information, they could take out a mortgage, commit tax fraud, open new credit accounts and a whole lot more. This technology searches for potential misuse of your social security number, name address or date of birth in applications for credit and services. You can choose alerts by text, phone, email or mobile app — and respond immediately to confirm if the activity is fraudulent. Lifelock through FES is confident in their ability to help protect your identity but no one can prevent all identity theft. If you become a victim of identity theft while a Life Lock member, up to $1 million will be spent to hire experts, lawyers, investigators, consultants and whomever else it takes to help your recovery. (Elsewhere $10+ per month for this single service)

  • First in the industry to offer proactive identity theft protection
  • Direct access to fraud resolution teams within our extensive network
  • Internationally recognized for expertise in privacy and security technologies fraud, an criminal methods.
  • Partnerships with FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA)

 

Will, Trust & Power of Attorney

The decisions you make for yourself and your family are important because you know whats best for you. Unfortunately, in the event that you aren’t able to speak on behalf of these decisions, someone that doesn’t understand your wishes can end up making them for you. Without an estate plan in place, these crucial choices regarding YOUR health, finances and family are suddenly out of your control. Many people disregard planning for unexpected events because they’re “too young” or it’s “too expensive.” Now you can have a comprehensive planning package, customized to your needs, covering each of the essential parts that make up a full estate plan. (Elsewhere $5,000+ for this single service)

  • Developed by attorneys
  • No add-ons or surprise charges
  • Friendly customer service staff to answer your questions
  • Complete at your own pace from the privacy of your home
  • Mailed to you in professional binder ready to signed and notarized
  • Peace of mind for life’s uncertainties

 

Financial Lockbox

If you’re like most families, one person is generally designated to handle the financial aspects of the household. If you’re single, you may be he only person who knows the type and location of your financial accounts. What if your loved ones suddenly found themselves in the position of taking over your finances without warning? Would they be able to locate insurance, bank and financial records in the event of an emergency? Financial Lockbox is an online solution that enables you to store your financial data in a single, secure, password-protected location for easy to access by you or loved ones that you select and authorize. (Elsewhere $25+ per month for this single service)

  • Establish a complete listing of all life insurance policies, bank accounts and other financial data
  • All your financial documents organized and easily accessible; especially handy at tax time
  • Restore your records easily in case of fire, flood or earthquake
  • Your data is safe an secure agains hackers with our state-of-the-art encryption programs
  • Appoint a contact person to be notified of your records in the event of an emergency

 

Also included –

  • Youth Financial Literacy online education program to help your children achieve financial literacy and solid financial future
  • Discount Travel & Shopping portals
  • RX Discount Card

 

Use this link to watch a quick video, tell me you’re interested or enroll

Download the PDF

Posted in Community, Credit Repair, Foreclosure Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 12th, 2017 by homehappily

Today, maintaining good personal credit is more important than ever.

A secured credit card can help in rebuilding credit, or help to build new credit for individuals just starting out. The First Progress Platinum MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard® with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score.

The card is designed to advance the accumulation of new information in a credit file, by reporting account activity to all three of the major national credit bureaus every month. Since it is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard®, the card provides the convenience and prestige of the worldwide MasterCard® system.

I can offer you this card, along with many other credit restoration, repair, building and education through Financial Education Services, a company I represent as a credit specialist.

Follow the link to learn more about the secured credit card 

Follow the link to learn more about all the credit services I offer

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

June 9th, 2017 by homehappily

Did you know that someone with less-than-perfect credit will pay $200K to a million dollars MORE in interest over their lifetime than a person with good credit?

SEND ME THE DETAILS NOW

More than 43 percent of Americans have a credit score under 599? Even a credit score between 600-699 isn’t stellar and can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars — money that should be going into your retirement or towards your current quality of life. Instead you’re paying towards interest, leaving you less money each month to live, and putting you even more behind on your bills.

A lower credit score can prevent you from buying a home, leasing a car or qualifying for a credit card. Your credit can also affect whether or not you get hired, as many more employers are including a credit check, along with the more typical background check.

Maybe you’re like millions of other Americans and you’v got some obstacles with your credit. Maybe you’ve been looking for a solution.

I have the solution — a life-changing solution for you to significantly improve you credit score over the next 90 days, 6 months, 9 months and for years to come. With better credit, you’ll have more choices and freedom. You’ll have more money to spend on travel, retirement or your home.

What if you could invest in your financial future, starting today, for less than half of the price of a Starbucks coffee and a quarter of the price of a trip through the fast food line?

Well, you can. It’s called the FES Protection Plan, from Financial Education Services.

For just $2.85, that’s two dollars and 85 cents a day — aroud the price of a bag of chips and a soda, you could change your financial destiny, and maybe even your waistline.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE DETAILS

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair, Foreclosure Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

June 9th, 2017 by homehappily

Posted in Buying Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 9th, 2017 by homehappily

If you haven’t heard, the Michigan Dower Right has been abolished and it goes into effect on April 7, 2017. See my previous blog post with more details and links to info.

What does this mean to you? If your spouse is not on the title of your home, you need to get that person added ASAP, otherwise — if you die after April 7 — your spouse has no claim to the property.

Here’s what to do: Have your lawyer do a Michigan Quit Claim Deed for you and then record it with your County’s Register of Deeds by April 7. Of course, you can do this after April 7, but if you croak before you get it recorded, your property goes into probate, instead of to your spouse.

You don’t have to use an attorney to prepare a quit claim deed in Michigan. A Michigan quit claim deed form is very simple to complete on your own – you can do it yourself and save money. However, there is no substitute for good legal advice.

I found the free fillible e-form below. This site also seemed like a good resource.

Michigan Quit Claim Deed Form

 

Posted in Homeowners, Property Law Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

February 28th, 2017 by homehappily

Just because you are selling your Grand Rapids home yourself, doesn’t mean your marketing has to suffer!

Get FREE PROFESSIONAL versions of the tools that I use to sell homes!

Requests yours now!


Craigslist

50,000,000 people a month, your home posted every week.

Facebook

Hundreds of millions of people visit a day!

Virtual Tours

Buyers love virtual tours! You will get a virtual tour to share with prospective buyers via the web, email and social media.

YouTube Video!

The 3rd most visited website on the internet and your home will have a video to show people that like videos.

ActiveRain

The largest real estate blog platform in the United States. 2,000,000 people visit ActiveRain month looking for real estate and real estate information!

eFlyers

Get up to 5 different eFlyers to send out to people at different times of your sale to keep up the interest and keep buyers coming!

Single Property Website

A FREE Single Property Website for you to share with buyers.

Twitter

People by the millions are on Twitter!

Open House Tools!

A great set of tools to help you market any open house you may have to better show off your home!

FREE QR Code and Short URL!

Let Buyers scan your QR Code to get all your properties information right on their smartphone!

RealTown

The second largest real estate blog platform in the United States popular with both consumers and real estate professionals looking for real estate and real estate information!

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in For Sale By Owner, Homeowners, Selling Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 24th, 2017 by homehappily

Nonprofit Offers DIY & Assisted Home Repair Services

I’ve recently learned about an organization called Home Repair Services, which exists to strengthen Kent county communities and homeowners. I just wrote a blog post about this nonprofit, but I wanted focus RIGHT NOW on the classes they are offering starting in March!

They are FREE and open to the public! You don’t even need to RSVP. Just walk in. Classes are located at 1100 South Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507.

Money Matters Classes start Wednesday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. Class topics include: Making Your Cash Work for You; Managing Credit, Foreclosure 101; Home Insurance & 21 Day Financial Challenge. (The classes are offered in Spanish as well at a different time)

Fix-it-School DIY Classes take place 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday. These classes (called Rookie Renovators) are so cool! Topics include: Ceramic/stone/glass tile installation; cabinet installation; flooring; electrical; drywall and plaster; landscaping; home maintenance; window installation and plumbing. (There is also a women-only plumbing class.)

Use this link to download the PDF schedule of classes.

If you have more Qs or want to contact HRS, visit my blog post for all the details and links.

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying, Community, DIY, Home Repair, Homeowners Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

February 23rd, 2017 by homehappily

So, you’re thinking about buying a home. Whether you’re a first time buyer, or you just need a brush up, here’s your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home. Please let me know if you have questions!

Sylvia’s Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home from Sylvia Dana

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying Tagged with: , , , , ,

February 22nd, 2017 by homehappily

Home Repair Services strengthens Kent county homeowners. They are located at 1100 South Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507.

I recently went to one of the monthly lunch and learns offered by Home Repair Services. And, wow! If you’re a homeowner in Kent County, this is an organization you NEED to know about.

Home Repair Services is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening Kent County homeowners post purchase. It offers a repair team for vulnerable homeowners, as well as DIY services for all Kent County Homeowners.

For example, low income homeowners could get repair assistance to replace a furnace, a roof — or even a leaky faucet — for about 15 percent of the cost. Homeowners, and also renters, with mobility issues could get help adding a ramp for easier access to their home.

And no matter the income or ability, any Kent County homeowner can take advantage of the organization’s Home Maintenance Check UpRemodeling Together, or Financial Coaching programs.

Scroll down for more detailed information on each program and service offered.

Follow the links for:

Home Repair Assistance

DIY Self Help Registration


Speaking of remodeling… the following is a short, but cool video on three Kent County homeowners who remodeled their kitchens DIY style, with coaching and discounted materials with Home Repair Services. Any Kent County home owner qualifies, as long as they reside in the home!


Quick Summary of Offerings by Home Repair Services in Kent County

(Each heading is a link to its associated webpage)

Repair Team

Each working day, Home Repair Services sends professional service technicians into neighborhoods to handle minor or even the most urgent and critical repair problems facing qualifying lower-income homeowners. More info…

Money Matters Classes

These are free financial coaching classes to any Kent County resident who can attend. The next set of classes begin March 1, 2017. Class titles include: 21 Day Financial Challenge; Cash is King; Managing Credit; Insurance; Foreclosure. There are no income restrictions. Download the PDF schedule OR get more info…

Home Maintenance Check Up

This is amazing! I want to recommend all Kent County homeowners take advantage of this service! It’s a free program in which the HRS Self-Help team will work with you to help plan for regular maintenance and home repairs. This routine maintenance and long-term planning will help save time and money, as well as maintain the value of your home. More info…

During the check-up you will-

  • Learn about how your house works
  • Learn to estimate repair costs and where to buy materials
  • Plan for which things to do now and which to postpone
  • Learn how to make simple repairs yourself
  • Receive a free Home Maintenance Tips booklet

Help to Avoid Foreclosure & Financial Coaching

Last year, HRS handled about 20 pre-foreclosure cases per month. They helped 112 people avoid foreclosure. Financial coaches assist in getting in contact with the mortgage company and working out a payment plans. There are no income restrictions. Flyer. HRS Financial coaches also spotted 20 households with 2015 tax exemptions and were able to help these homeowners get a refund for up to three years in over payment. More info…

Access Ramps & Modifications

Qualifying lower-income residents throughout Kent County with mobility impairments can request home access modifications from Home Repair Services. These include wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, handrails and bathtub modifications. The copay for services is based on a sliding fee scale and ranges between 10% and 20% of a typical job’s total cost. More info…

Fix it School

HRS offers DIY classes in plumbing, electrical, drywall, ceramic tile, flooring and cabinet installation. All classes take place at 10 a.m. every Saturday, are free and open to the public. Download the PDF schedule of upcoming classes. There are no eligibility requirements. Just walk in and have a seat! Participants who complete all six sessions of our “Rookie Renovators” series will receive a certificate of completion. More info…

Remodeling Together

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? What about your bathroom? Remodeling Together offers resources you need to do it yourself successfully and at a lower cost. There are no income restrictions. The program includes free in-home design support, hands-on classes, lots of time with experienced remodeling coaches and a large selection of high quality kitchen cabinets, countertops and tile with passed on discounts. If you own or are buying your home and are willing to do some home remodeling work yourself, then Remodeling Together is a great option! (Scroll up to see video posted earlier in this blog post)  More info…


 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in DIY, Foreclosure, Home Repair, Home Values, Homeowners Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,