Improve and Build a Strong Credit Rating

Ask Kate how to improve your credit rating! Just as poor credit can turn the mortgage process into a nightmare, trustworthy credit puts loan approval, competitive interest rates, and affordable fees within reach. So let's forget the all-too-common gimmicks found on the internet and exchange them for long-lasting results. It's YOUR mortgage after all!

Get Started with Ask Kate About Your Credit

Begin with questions from borrowers asking for credit solutions. I have answered each of them with a personalized solution.

Next, you'll discover personal experiences from other homeowners on a mission to improve their credit histories.

Lastly, near the bottom of the page, look for the complete directory of Ask Kate questions and answers and a table of contents leading to more articles on this site.

By the way, the mortgage modification page has moved. Go here for details on HAMP loan modification, HARP 2 refinance, and HAFA foreclosure alternatives, official Making Home Affordable programs from the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and HUD.

New Questions! How to Improve Credit Rating with Long-Lasting Results

Unforeseen Mortgage Forgiveness: Notification of HELOC Lien Release - How would you react to find out that your lender forgave your 2nd mortgage line of credit and released their lien on your home? Meet Luis who understandably is feeling both happy and perplexed.

Smug Banks: Quit Claim Deeds and Loan Modifications - When Corey confronts the lender about increasing his loan amount without his approval, they respond that he signed a quit claim deed and they can do what they want. Linda asks if she should agree to a $30,000 balloon when she is living on Social Security income.

500k in Home Equity Yet Can't Refinance My Mortgage - Knowing what prompts the bank to freeze funds can help borrowers understand how to approach the bank to convince them of credit worthiness and reinstate a line of credit. In other words, you have to learn how to think like a bank.

Exit Strategy for Mortgage with Balloon Payment - Charlie's 2nd and 3rd mortgages have balloon payments that are coming due and asks me for options other than considering bankruptcy.

Divorce Your Mortgage to Protect Credit Scores - Kary's ex secretly opened a 2nd mortgage on the home she was awarded in the divorce. Todd's ex modified their joint mortgage after the divorce, adversely affecting his credit.

Can't Pay the Mortgage? Struggling Borrower Options - Meet Vince, who after applying seven times, is concerned his HAMP modification payment will increase after the trial period. Local help is coming for Dion who is drowning in her mortgage. Although S.K., a veteran forced into medical retirement, must move, foreclosure is NOT his only option!

FHA Loan Modification with Quitclaim Deed: Ironic Twist - Jordan's ex willingly quitclaimed his interest in their jointly owned home to her. Now the lender insists she must assume the mortgage before they will modify the terms. But the bank may have met their match with Jordan. Read her story to find out why!

Foreclosure Alternatives and 2nd Mortgage Forgiveness - Joe has two houses in foreclosure. He asks if a short sale would be better than a deed in lieu for his personal home. Don was issued mortgage forgiveness for a 2nd mortgage a few years ago. But another lender says the loan was sold to them and they want Don to start making payments.

How to Get Mortgage Approval with a Zero Credit Score - How do I get approved for a home loan when I have a zero credit score? Do I use alternative credit to replace a credit report?

How to Afford Your Mortgage After Divorce - Paige is pursuing a HAMP modification after divorce yet finds her previous HARP refinance has become a roadblock. Dawn needs to know how to get her ex-husband's name off the mortgage. Recently divorced Sandy asks how to free herself from the mortgage obligation.

Stop Mortgage Foreclosure by Embarrassing Your Loan Servicer - Patsy, while reaching out to her loan servicer, can't even get a human voice on the lender's phone to discuss saving her home. And so she titles her letter to Ask Kate very simply, Foreclosure.

How to Refinance Your Mortgage After a Short Sale Process - Financial difficulties due to unemployment, illness, or other extenuating circumstances out of a homeowner's control shouldn't prevent refinancing. Have you recently experienced a short sale, bankruptcy, or foreclosure? Here are options for getting a more affordable mortgage payment.

Improve Your Credit Scores with Lasting Results - Before beginning the mortgage pre-approval process, Suzanne is paying off collections. Will this increase her credit scores? Sergio wants to refinance. But he's finding his late mortgage payments are a hindrance to loan approval. Johnny has tried to raise his credit scores over 725. How can he improve his scores?

Mortgage Foreclosure Help - 6 Steps to Save Your Home - Kate, I am in default 2 months now and my lender is Quicken Loans. Because of a vehicular accident, I lost my husband, lost my career, I'm disabled and in fear of losing my home.

To Reaffirm or Not to Reaffirm a Mortgage after Bankruptcy - You may remember Deborah who wrote me about the agony of homeownership after her bank had the audacity to raise the house payment during her mortgage modification process. Now Deb writes... 'Sooooooo, brilliant Kate, should I reaffirm my mortgage and risk trying to work with Nationstar -- or should I keep it in the bankruptcy 7 and be rid of it, once and for all?

Buying a Home after Bankruptcy - Belinda wants to know how they can get a mortgage after their bankruptcy to buy another home. She asks about the Fannie Mae HomePath financing program. Brad needs to buy a two family home to help take care of his wife's parents.

HARP Refinance vs Forced into Loan Modification - Rosa purchased her house in 2005 and financed it with a fixed rate mortgage. But when her disability put strain on her finances, she ended up in a loan modification. Now she's trying to refinance and asks me why her bank is resisting.

HAMP Loan Modification and Your Credit Status After Divorce - Melissa's ex-spouse got the house in the divorce and was given 3 years to remove her name. A year later, he applied to his lender for a loan modification who proceeded WITHOUT Melissa's authorization. Now her credit is trashed!

Difficulties Correcting Credit Report Errors - For foreclosed-upon homeowners like Louise, it's a nightmare getting credit bureaus to reflect the true picture. She also wants to know about assistance with homeownership offered by the National Mortgage Settlement.

Proactive Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Foreclosure - These are backward times when foreclosure and strategic default are as common as buying a house. That's why I recommend a proactive plan to save your home. Now meet Paul who is over his head and going broke making his house payments.

Do Inquiries Damage Your Credit Bureau Scores - Is it true every time a mortgage lender pulls my credit that it takes 5 points off my score? Ouch! I am starting to work with lenders but am concerned about damaging my credit score.

Help with Credit Repair After Past Due Mortgage Payments - Dennis set up auto-pay for his elderly mother's mortgage payments. But he found out yesterday that the mortgage went 60 days without payment, just as he is helping her buy and finance another rental property.

Jargon Free Effective Credit Repair - How do I increase my credit scores and get a mortgage? I am 70 years old, I don't want to live with family but I cannot afford to rent alone in Maryland. I have a job and Social Security Income.

How to Refinance a Good Mortgage Gone Bad - Since my refinance was to close a few weeks ago, I did not make last month's mortgage payment. Furthermore, my current lender reported me in nonpayment verbally today.

Notice of Federal Tax Lien Causing Home Buyer Hiccups - Our mortgage lender assured us we would be able to close on our home until the hiccup - My husband's 7 year tax lien on his credit which the IRS will not agree to subordinate to our mortgage.

How to Build Strong Credit - More Questions and Answers

Do Quit Claim Deeds Protect Credit Score Ratings - What would happen to my credit score if I quit claim our home to my husband and he were to short sell the property in the future?

Buying Another Home After Foreclosure - I lost one home to foreclosure because of a sub-prime mortgage. Now I've found a nice home and have a 20 percent down payment. Will I be able to finance, or should I look at a land contract?

Mortgage Refi and FICO Score Calculation - My husband and I recently applied to refinance our house. When the broker pulled our credit score it was a 739. I was shocked at how low it was, considering the month before it was 798.

How To Reduce Debt - How To Pay Off Debt - I pay bills on time but divorce has my credit score at 680. I need concrete action steps to reduce my debt.

Can Quit Claim Deeds Save Credit Score Ratings - My business partner quit making the mortgage payment. Could a Quit Claim Deed rescue my credit score rating?

First Time Home Buyer Advice - Income and Credit - My husbands job is being outsourced. Can we use his unemployment as income for myself? Our credit scores are under 600.

Can my credit score rating be pulled before closing? - I read lenders can pull my credit again before closing. My score has dropped. Could my lender back out this close to closing?

Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure - What if my house doesn't sell by the time I have to move? Everyone is giving me advice but I don't want to rent it.

Contact Kate For Credit Strategies - We are preparing to buy a house because our credit score is only OK, credit card debt and not much down payment.

Good Credit Not A Luxury - Why in today's world, good credit is not merely nice to have. It is "a must have".

Debt Relief Needed - After completing three international adoptions, supermom owes $63,000. Help!

If we file a quit claim deed, will the bank take title ownership of the home BUT leave the mortgage loan in our name?

A daughter asks... Will a quit claim deed help save Mom's credit score who co-signed for me?

Mortgage With Fair Credit Score Ratings - Do you see an issue with getting approved for new construction?

Best Mortgage Advice - How do I improve my credit rating?

Quit Claim Deeds And Real Estate - I lost my condo but the mortgage is still in my name so what's next?

Credit Score Ratings - Oh no! I missed a payment. What now?

Homeowner Foreclosure Question - We had a call today saying if we did not pay today the mortgage company, they would start foreclosure proceedings.

Letting Bank Foreclose - What will foreclosure do to our credit?

How Can I Refinance After Bankruptcy - Is there a way to get a mortgage and improve our credit rating?

Credit Rating For Spouse - My husband has great credit and I don't. Can he apply alone?

Consumer Credit Help - You are smart to seek out consumer credit help since the late payments are detrimental to your credit scoring.

Mortgage Credit Rating And Credit Score - We have been paying the mortgage jointly but I remain in the shadows.

Improve A Credit Rating To Buy A Home - I am not sure if paying off old collections would help more than paying off an up-to-date loan account.

Looking For Credit Repair Secret - Is it true after 7 years that bad credit is removed from your credit report?

How Much Foreclosure Affects Credit Scores - How much would a foreclosure effect a credit rating?

Ask Kate Will Debt Raise Credit Scores - How exactly does the credit score affect the possibility of getting a mortgage or loan?

Strategies For Credit Scores From Contact Kate - I'm just wondering what will happen when we try to buy a house.

Protect And Improve Credit History - What happens if someone never becomes delinquent on monthly mortgage payments but stops paying credit cards?

Improve Credit And Settle Credit Card Debt - Would providing a copy of the certified letter to the credit card company improve my chances of being approved?

Need Help To Improve Credit - Being that I'm only 21 years old, did I just ruin my entire credit history?

Improve Credit Scores After Bankruptcy - Needless to say, my near perfect credit went through the toilet...

Improve Credit After Foreclosure - How can I improve my credit rating after foreclosure?

Mortgage Refinance with Bad Credit - With mortgage rates decreasing, wouldn't bad credit be financed at a lower rate?

Personal Credit Experiences as Told by Homeowners

Credit Scores - How To Cinch A Refinance - My advice to anyone thinking of refinancing at any point: KEEP UP A GOOD CREDIT SCORE!

Credit Freeze Hurts Independent Contractor - I did everything right and yet I still suffer from the credit freeze.

Credit Freeze And Joe Public - How long can you indefinitely continue to borrow beyond your means?

Credit Freeze Thoughts - It will probably be two years before I consider applying for a loan and definitely not a credit card.

Credit Freeze - Financial organizations lending money are portfolio lenders unaffected by this whole credit mess.

Mortgage Advice About Shaky Credit - How does a non traditional home buyer with shaky credit get a mortgage?

Well, I Was Gonna Refinance - If your credit is decent and you have a great lender relationship, refinancing a breeze.

Refinancing Advice For Married Couple - About seven years ago I went through a divorce and filed chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Refinancing Advice During Bankruptcy - During the bankruptcy, we lost our home but were able to refinance our car loan and keep our car.

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