Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

News Now

Mortgage rates hit bottom few qualify
SAN FRANCISCO (9/19/11)--Headlines read: “Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows.” With rates lower than they’ve been in more than 50 years, a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averages well below 5%, compared with 6.5% five years ago (MarketWatch Sept. 8). Yet, few Americans are able to take advantage of the low rates due to unemployment, stagnant wages, and low credit scores. Many financial institutions are requiring first-time home buyers to have credit scores above 700 to qualify for a mortgage loan. This boils down to about 40% of U.S. households having what it takes to get a prime rate ( Sept. 8). To improve your credit score, Credit Union National Association’s Center for Personal Finance says to take these steps to improve your score:
* Pay bills on time, all the time. This means all bills, including utility bills. Stay on top of due dates by setting up automatic payments through your credit union’s online bill payment website. * Don’t max out credit lines. It’s best to use part of available credit on a few accounts rather than all available credit on one account. Keep balances low and try not to charge more than you can pay in full each month. * Don’t open or close accounts as a strategy to raise your score. Opening new accounts can send a red flag to lenders that you’re taking on new debt and might indicate that you won’t be able to pay other debts. * Check credit reports from the three major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion--for free, once each year through, and contact the creditor and the credit bureau to correct any errors. * Pay fines. Whether it’s a parking ticket or a library fine, pay up. If debts are reported to a credit reporting agency, they can knock your credit score. * Become an authorized user on someone else’s card. If you’re a young adult and haven’t built up much of a credit history, ask your parents if they’ll include you as an authorized user on their card. You’ll have full charging privileges, but aren’t responsible for payments. The activity will be reported on the primary cardholder’s report as well as yours.
For more information about getting your financial life back in order, read the Financial Fitness Challenge “Earn a Second Chance” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
Other Resources


News Now LiveWire
A recent report from @TransUnion says consumers born 1981 or later made up 27% of total auto-loan originations in 2014, up 16% from 2009.
19 hours ago
.@CUNA says new House bill is "further evidence" of lawmakers' interest in how @TheNCUA uses its funds from CUs. See News Now Monday.
1 day ago
.@MECreditUnions announces winner of @YoungFreeME #SoundOff contest. @Sassquatch_Band will play Old Port Festival in June @PDD_Downtown
14 hours ago
House Financial Services Com. to hold March 3 hearing to receive the semi-annual report of @CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
14 hours ago
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) re-introduced bill to ease veterans' access to loans for #smallbusiness purposes from a #creditunion (HR 1133)
16 hours ago
150x172_Sign up for election newsUnite for Good Share your Stories100 Million CU Memberships