Your Credit

Credit reporting on rent can be mixed bag E-mail
Your Credit
Written by Carolyn Bigda, Special to the Tribune   

For years, it didn't matter to your credit score whether you paid rent on time.

But that is starting to change, and if you're a 20-something with little or no credit history, your rent payments could make a big difference to your score. Here's what you need to know.

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Your Credit History Is Spelled FICO E-mail
Your Credit
Written by ForSaleByOwner.com staff   

Mortgage lenders use a special type of credit score, called the FICO, to gauge your creditworthiness. Here’s what your FICO score is made of and how to manage each component that goes into it, according to Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, contributing editor to CardRatings.com. Here’s how it breaks down.

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Countdown to Clean Credit E-mail
Your Credit
Written by Joanne Cleaver   

It can take 12 weeks or more to tidy up your credit to get the best mortgage rate with the least hassle. Get started with this countdown.

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Taxing matters for down payment gifts E-mail
Your Credit
Written by ForSaleByOwner.com staff   

Friends and family want to give you money towards your home down payment.  In 2011, 27% of first-time buyers received part of their home purchase down payments in the form of gifts, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

But there are strings attached – to the IRS and lenders.

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Why We Go In the Red Over Green E-mail
Your Credit
Written by ForSaleByOwner.com staff   

As a newlywed, Amy Jo Lauber was determined to save enough money for a down payment on a house. Before getting married, she and her husband lived with their respective parents to save. And the couple tried valiantly to use creativity, not credit, to make their first Christmas together fun and inexpensive.

It wasn’t easy…which is how Lauber, now a certified financial planner and president of Lauber Financial Planning, can empathize with her clients. Everybody has an idealized definition of a merry holiday. And when reality fails to conform, spending more than you intended can jerryrig some joy, even if you know you risk derailing next year’s home purchase.

It’s hard to break that pattern – and a real downer during the happiest season of all. But there are ways to have fun spending while sticking with your long term financial priorities.

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