Financial reality check |

Financial reality check

In my profession as a mortgage lender I have the opportunity to see the personal finances of a lot of borrowers. Time after time I am surprised how some people have their finances in perfect order and others have their finances in such a mess I wonder how they can sleep at night. But as one who balances my checkbook daily I am looking at others from a rather compulsive standpoint.For those of you who have your finances in order please read on and then you can sleep better at night knowing that from a mortgage lenders standpoint you are on firm ground. For those of you who find out from reading on that your finances are in major need of repair you should sleep better knowing what to do to start the process of correction.First of all everyone should obtain a copy of their Credit. The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion can be found on the Internet and you can obtain a free copy of your report. Once the reports have been received review them to make sure that the items listed are correct. I have seen reports where there are balances due on accounts that the person never opened. Hopefully you can get corrections made and well prior to being under the gun in a short time frame when applying for a mortgage or vehicle loan.The second thing to do is start weaning yourself off your credit cards. This will save money spent on interest paid to the credit card company and the lower your balances are on your credit cards your credit scores should rise accordingly.The third thing to do is pay extra on your higher interest credit cards. Why pay off a card with six percent interest if another card has a ten percent interest? Then try to eliminate that higher interest rate card. Or at least call the card company and try to negotiate a lower interest rate.Fourth, if you have student loans, call and consolidate them into one loan. You should be able to reduce the interest rate being paid today and also reduce your monthly payment too. Then keep paying the higher amount to get that debt paid off early.Next, hold off buying that new car. I say this for those of you who are considering the purchase of a home or the refinance of your current mortgage. As an example a new car payment of $390 a month can be the equivalent of $70,000 of buying power on a mortgage.Finally, pay your bills and pay them on time. As an example a thirty day late payment on a mortgage can reduce your credit scores as much as a bankruptcy can reduce it. So be smart and make sure your debts are paid in a timely fashion.These are just a few of the many things that you can do to check and improve your personal financial situation. The little things can make your situation better and that will pay off in the long run when a mortgage is needed and you have already done your homework.For answers to your mortgage related questions call Bob Kieber are (970) 262-1199 or e-mail him at Bob is a local mortgage lender and principal of Resort Lending. He has 30-plus years of professional experience in real estate, finance and investments, and is a longtime resident of the High Country.

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