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Archive for July, 2015

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

By: G. M. Filisko

Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible.

Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes homebuying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that.

1. Know your credit score

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They’re based on whether you’ve paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. You’ll need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Access all three versions of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. Review them to ensure the information is accurate.

2. Correct errors on your credit report

If you find mistakes on your credit report, write a letter to the credit-reporting agency explaining why you believe there’s an error. Send documents that support your case, and ask that the error be corrected or removed. Also write to the company, or debt collector, that reported the incorrect information to dispute the information, and ask to be copied on any materials sent to credit-reporting agencies.

3. Pay every bill on time

You may be surprised at the damage even a few late payments will have on your credit score. The easiest way to make a big difference in your credit score without altering your spending habits is to diligently pay all your bills on time. You’ll also save money because you’ll keep the money you’ve been spending on late fees. Credit card or mortgage companies probably won’t report minor late payments, those less than 30 days overdue, but you’ll still have to pay late fees.

4. Use credit carefully

Another good way to boost your credit score is to pay your credit card bills in full every month. If you can’t do that, pay as much over your required minimum payment as possible to begin whittling away the debt. Stop using your credit cards to keep your balances from increasing, and transfer balances from high-interest credit cards to lower-interest cards.

5. Take care with the length of your credit

Credit rating agencies also consider the length of your credit history. If you’ve had a credit card for a long time and managed it responsibly, that works in your favor. However, opening several new credit cards at once can lower the average age of your accounts, which pushes down your score. Likewise, closing credit card accounts lowers your available credit, so keep credit cards open even if you’re not using them.

6. Don’t use all the credit you’re offered

Credit scores are also based on how much credit you use compared with how much you’re offered. Using $1,000 of available credit will give you a lower score than having $1,000 of available credit and using $100 of it. Occasionally opening new lines of credit can boost your available credit, which also affects your score positively.

7. Be patient

It can take time for your credit score to climb once you’ve begun working to improve it. Keep at it because the more distance you put between your spotty payment history and your current good payment record, the less damage you’ll do to your credit score.

Other web resources

How FICO scores are calculated

Answers to frequently asked credit report questions

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who keeps a close eye on her credit scores. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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K. Renaud for LaNell White

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

“Hi Aimee,

I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know how much my husband Matt and I truly appreciated all of the help that Crossland Real Estate, particularly LaNell White, provided us in our relocation move.

I reached out to Crossland in March when we decided to visit Oklahoma. We knew that Matt’s job was moving to Oklahoma, but none of us had ever been there. We wanted to get a feel for the area. I was hoping that someone at Crossland could suggest areas where we might want to look around in preparation for our future house hunting trip. You put us in contact with LaNell.

Not only did LaNell provide us with ideas, based on what we told her was important to us, but she took a day to drive us around and show us different houses. She showed us a variety of styles of houses, as well as different communities, and LISTENED to what we said. When we got back in the car my family would discuss, and I’d write down, things we liked and disliked about each house. I was surprised how frequently LaNell was able to add things which she had heard us mention, but we had forgotten. She paid attention to what WE found important, not what she thought we should like.

We had our house hunting trip in May, and were thrilled to find a wonderful home on the first morning. I know that our early success was due in large part to the fact that LaNell paid attention to what we wanted, and showed us homes that met those requirements. Not only did she walk us through the offer and counter offer process, but she made sure that the things that we wanted added to the offer were written in clear, concise language that made them unambiguous when determining if they had been completed when we went to closing. Additionally LaNell was able to schedule the home inspection before we had to leave Oklahoma, as well as working with us to create a punch list for the builder. She took meticulous notes that she was able to share with the builder to ensure that the problems would be corrected.

Matt and I returned to Oklahoma last week for the closing, and thanks to the fact that LaNell had gone over to the house earlier in the week, we weren’t blindsided by the fact that the builder had not completed the items we had specified in the contract. By the time we arrived she had already contacted the builder, and his realtor, to ensure that the items would be corrected, and that we would be able to close as scheduled. LaNell was not afraid to go head to head with the builder to make sure that things were done, and done in a timely manner. After a very stressful week, I was able to step back and leave things in her capable hands.

We closed on our house with most, but not everything, completed. LaNell could have walked away at that point. She had successfully seen us through our home finding and purchase, so she was under no obligation to do more. Instead, she agreed to act as our intermediary with the builder, and to go out next week, check that he has completed all of the required installations and repairs, and retrieve his copy of our house key. I know LaNell will not agree that things are complete unless they truly are completed. That is a tremendous relief.

The process of moving 2000 miles away from ‘home’ is daunting. The relocation services that Crossland, in particular LaNell, provided to us made it much less so. Thank You!


Karin Renaud”

M & K Renaud for LaNell White

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

“Amazing wonderful, thoughtful, kind, helpful. Tough with the builder when needed. LaNell has been amazing.”

V. Howard for Connie Miller

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

“With Connie and VJ Miller, they were always very knowledgeable, capable and caring. They were always friendly, professional and understanding.”

Clarkson for Connie Miller

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

“They were very helpful and making my home shopping and buying a very pleasant experience. when issues came up they were right on it trying to help me get the home I wanted. they listened to what we wanted and did not waste time looking at houses that did not meet what we wanted. I was extremely happy and if you need an excellent realtor the go with the Miller Dream Team.”

Barr for Connie Miller

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

“Our Experience with the “Miller Dream Team” (Connie & her son VJ) was extremely positive. Connie took the stress out of looking for a new home and made it a pleasant experience. As we were moving from a different state, she sent us listings of available homes in local areas daily for us to choose from. When we arrived for our buying trip, she was extremely organized and took us to look at various home we had chosen from the listings she sent us. Our time was limited and she was very efficient, knowledgeable and friendly. She showed us not only the houses we were looking at, but the local amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. When we made a decision on the house to purchase she handles the negotiations professionally, and knowledgeably. She took care of the inspection as we were out of town. She puts us into contact with different vendors, such as flooring specialist, sprinkling system vendors, names of contractors for blinds, etc. As we were moving from out of state these recommendations were invaluable. Her son VJ was also extremely helpful. especially in giving us a tour of Norman & restaurant recommendations & working behind the scenes on paperwork. Connie, was invaluable at closing in working with us and making sure all things worked together. We appreciate her help so much and feel we have made a friend not just a real estate agent.”

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