Your Questions About Check My Mortgage Balance

Linda asks…

Can you get approved for a mortgage if…?

…you have recent blemishes on your credit report, yet have no debt?

I have four old things that went to collections, two of which were medical bills. They total $588, which I am paying off this month.

I had a car that was totaled, and I had a bunch of life events which caused me to let it go. I have since settled the amount with the car lender, and the balance is $0.

Same life events, but I had to drop out of school a couple of semesters ago. I ended up owing some money for tuition, which I’ve paid. I paid the school the amount I owed. They haven’t cashed the check yet. It did also go to collections, and they wanted $800 more for the debt. Not sure what to do about this one, except wait.

My credit card balances were all maxed out, but I owe less than $20 for all of them combined.

I had solid work history in the financial industry for the past 7 years. I’ve been employed since 2000 with no breaks, aside from last summer. I was off for 3 months, and am now on a contract with a temp agency in the same industry.

This is basically my situation. My credit score is bad right now, but all of these things were just taken care of this month, or are in the process of being taken care of this month. How long can I expect to wait before being able to get financed for a home? What should I work on? How much will my credit score increase from all these changes? I’m currently at a 581.

Thank you

admin answers:

Maxing out credit cards is doing serious damage to your credit scores.
For best credit, pay credit cards in full each month. No games.
Not the minimum, not more than the minimum, but in full.
You have to also pay off all other negatives before even dreaming of a house.

You need a down payment to buy a home.
3.5% down (at least), along with closing costs, and some insurance and taxes upfront.
The bank will also want to see some money left over.
You don’t even have an emergency fund of 5 months worth of income.
And, you have bad credit and seriously high debt.
Not going to happen any time soon.
And… Temp work does not count towards steady employment.

Thank you for making up this question. It was fun to answer.

Jenny asks…

Life insurance question – term life and term life with return of premium?

Hello, my spouse and I are in the market for life insurance now. After some researching, we have pretty much decided to go with term or term return of premium insurance. I still have following to decide and if you could enlighten me on these I would appreciate it very much.

Which company?

I found the following list that’s supposed to be the best life insurance companies at this website.

* New York Life: A++, stable outlook
* Mass Mutual: A++, stable outlook
* State Farm: A++, stable outlook
* Geico: A++, stable outlook

Does this mean I should probably check out these companies? We have State Farm for auto and home insurance. Would State Farm be a good way to go (convenient to have all three in one place)? I also thought Geico didn’t offer life insurance. I was led to LifeQuotes page from Geico. Does this mean that this list is not reliable?

How much?

We are 40-45 years old, just We still have almost 30 years of mortgage, and 20 years of raising our son. I was using some calculator online (Kiplinger, Life Foundation?) to calculate how much coverage I need, and they both returned figures like 1+ million. How can this be? Is 1 million life insurance common these days?

We have about 170,000 in remaining mortgage balance (actually I only included half of that in calculation), and I calculated monthly living expense to be 2,000-3,000 (depending on if our child is still with us)/month with my spouse’s income to be 2,000/month, and also included college cost. Does this seem reasonable that this will add up to be million dollars in 30 years, with inflation? I was thinking of about 300,000-400,000 before using these calculators.

Term or Term ROP?

We have almost decided against Term ROP and to go with straight term, but are not final on this decision. What do you all think about ROP? With ROP, do we typically actually receive ALL of the premium, or are there any fees etc. subtracted from the refunded amount? Also, does ROP term insurance give you investment returns in addition to the amount of premium you paid? One of the reasons that we are leaning towards straight term is that with our current age, with 20-30 year policies, the likelihood we’ll actually be using the “death benefit” would be moderately high – then ROP won’t be such a good deal, as well as hearing that if we just get term and invest the difference in the premium, we’d be ahead of term ROP.

How long?

In this case, should we try to get a 20 year term (for while our son will be with us), or 30 year term, just to cover the full length of the mortgage, although I wouldn’t need that much coverage towards the end of 30 years (our son will be with us for only 20 more years, our mortgage will be paid off except for last 10 years or so)? Or buy 25 year return of premium term policy and pay 5 more years of mortgage using the money we receive from return of premium? Or buy two term policies – a large amount of 20 year policy plus a smaller amount (to cover the remaining mortgage balance in the last 10 years of mortgage)?

Thank you for your help!
Also, would we be able to buy term insurance online from these companies, and have guaranteed conversion and renewal (are these the two things I need?) (when purchased online)? – without going in to the agent’s office or having an agent come to the office? One visit for health assessment is fine. We just can’t have that many appointments while comparison shopping.

Thanks!, are you referring to State Farm or Geico when you say not to buy life insurance from a auto insurance company? Could you (or someone else) tell me what would be the disadvantage if I did? Thank you!
To all respondents: Please give me guidance on how to find an insurance agent (not tied to a specific insurance company). Would an online agent like, where I can talk to a live person if I’d like by calling an 800 number, be OK?

admin answers:

You can locate an independent agent by typing in your zip code at the agent locator tab, at, to answer your last question first. Sorry, I’m hitting them in opposite order! Online life insurance agents are going to deal with many areas of the country, and probably won’t be as familiar with LOCAL options, as a LOCAL agent. Plus, you might get shuffled around the call center, to get to an agent licensed in YOUR state.

I’m not Pickle, but I can tell you State Farm has some of the HIGHEST life insurance rates around. They JUST aren’t very competitive.

A million dollars is reasonable.

Regarding those four companies that popped up at the top of the list, sure, check them out – but all it means, is that they PAID to be shown at the top of the list. That’s pretty much what you’re going to run into, with online rate comparison sites – you’ll be steered towards the company that pays the webmaster best.

When you buy insurance online, you can usually do the entire transaction by mail, except for the paramedical exam. And you won’t get that, until you’ve PICKED an insurance company, submitted an application, along with a deposit amount. THEN they’ll “verify” your rate for you.

I’m not a fan of ROP term, and I think I explained that in a prior question, in detail.

Look, if you want an “online” experience, I had a pretty good one, at Zander Insurance, and they’re licensed in all 50 states. But you’ve got enough questions and concerns, that honestly, wouldn’t you like to be able to develop a relationship with ONE agent that has an office near you, where you can drop by if you have questions or problems? Additionally, with young children involved, maybe it might be worth it to spring for a fee based financial planner, instead, who ISN’T going to try to sell you anything, and will give you TRULY unbiased advice.

George asks…

what does investor restriction mean?

If you make your payments to BofA then your servicer is likely Bank of America, if they aren’t servicing the loan then they definitely can tell you who is and it should be included on your statement. They are required by law to tell you this information, see the link below for more info:…

Bank of America should be able to tell you who owns the loan as well the website for the program does state that only loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible for home affordable refinancing, it does not sound like that’s the case here and its probably why you don’t qualify because you are looking to refinance and you aren’t passed due so you don’t qualify for the modification program which is a little more flexible. You can check to see if your loan is owned by Fannie or Feddie here:…

Thank you for your quick answers. I did check that my loan is through Fannie Mae. My other question is that since I am current on my payments but i feel that my mortgage balance is more than my home is worth, can i still try refinance without a loan modification? Isn’t the make home affordable program designed to reward responsible home borrowers? Rates are low and in these tough economic times, if you can save why not?

admin answers:

It doesn’t matter what you think your house is worth its based entirely on the appraisal. The program you are referring to is not designed to reward responsible borrowers, it was designed to stem the rise in foreclosures and stabilize the housing market, that is its only purpose to help prevent future forecloses due to reseting interest rates and declining home values.

They spell it out for you right on the program website and the government program website. Http://

There is no reason why you can’t refinance your existing loan, you just can’t do it through this particular program. Call Bank of America and ask them if you can apply to refinance your current mortgage to lock in a lower rate.

Maria asks…

FICO dropped after mortgage pre-approval?

I have been paying off my credit cards through a credit counseling agency for the past five years. Part of the agreement was they would be closed and I would no longer be able to use them. Easy enough. I was recently pre-approved for a mortgage of $230K and got a real blow! I got an alert saying that one of my cards had not been fully closed and my FICO dropped 8 points as a result. I checked things out thoroughly and come to find there is one more card that I paid off through them that hasnt been reported as closed which will knock another $6K off my ratio. My question is how could/will this affect my ability to get a mortgage. There were no balances on those cards so I am not adding any debt which I know is a no-no going through this process. On the bright side, I am not able to add any more debt so that looks good…I think? Assuming my FICO score doesnt fall below mortgage limits is there still a chance my loan will go through? I am going to try and get in contact with my broker but it is a holiday weekend, so any advice would be appreciated!
So for 5 years I had my cards in a counseling agency and paid them all off earlier this year. All the accounts were supposed to have been closed, but apparently a couple were left open and one just closed out on my credit report. They were paid off and had no balance. I am just concerned that my debt-credit ratio is going to be out of wack and send my fico score down. Which would then disqualify me from getting my loan approved. It is a USDA guaranteed loan.

admin answers:

There’s not quite enough info here to answer your questions, but I will do my best.
If you have a card that is showing a balance, but you don’t owe a balance, a simple credit update is done and that balance doesn’t affect your ratios.
You said your FICO dropped 8 points — was that one bureau or all 3 bureaus? And was that another mortgage report that your lender pulled or just something that you obtained on your own? Credit score numbers that you are able to obtain vary greatly from a credit report that lenders pull. It is just never the same. So if you had a 700 score from a mortgage report and you just received an alert saying you had a 692, your lender may still have you at a 700.
Most loan programs require that you have open tradelines that you have been paying on time for the last 12 months. It is never a good idea to close all of your accounts.
Hope that helps!

James asks…

Mortgage Help for “thin file” little credit?

I am 19 me and me girlfriend are going to get married and we want to get a house we both work full time I make about about 15000 and she makes 25000 annually we also want her mom to move in who gets around 12000 a year and with help with the mortgage. My girlfriend has bad credit because of not having medical insurance so has medical bills and the city she lived in left her utilities on in old addresses for years 6 in one location so she has thousands owed to utilities and her mom is in the same boat. I currently am also a full time college student I work very hard as does my girlfriend and I want us to be able to get a house. On paper I make so little but I only have good credit with my car payment which has been paid on time for the 10 month lifespan of the loan which is 2 years (totaling $2500) although I am saving up and will have it paid off by February though and the only other thing on my credit is my student loans ( totaling $8250)which i am also in good standing with, I know all of this because I checked my credit report but not my credit score because it costs money and I don’t have a credit card also though I have applied for a discover card and was declined the only other checks on my credit were twice when I was looking for a car and my bank twice trying to get credit over draft protection and my car loan a have a co-signer. I am no longer living with my parent but the rent isn’t in my name all the bills are though but only since July this year. The house market where I live we could get a nice house for about 50,000 we wouldn’t be able to make a big down payment but want to take out only a ten year loan and could afford an interest rate up to 9%. We have heard the are going to extend the 8,000 first time home buyer tax return till April next year which would be nice for paying off the home early but we would definitely like be in a home before next summer and 8K would be nice too but what things I should do to try to get this accomplished. Would getting a credit card with an annual fee and always paying the balance be a good idea because I thought the cards you have to pay to have are a scam or didn’t report to the credit bureaus; and how do I get pre-approve and would this be a good idea at this point or would it be a waist of my time and make my score worse?

admin answers:

Try the actual lending firm is an Experian company BBB approved so very safe.

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