Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud, or the broad term describing wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain is, unfortunately, something that happens everywhere, every day, negatively affecting the lives of many.

Fortunately, there are ways one can prevent falling victim to fraudulent acts, starting with educating oneself on the types of dangerous fraud schemes out there as well as what to watch out for.

Mortgage Fraud:

Mortgage fraud happens which is why it is crucial to work with a lender you can trust. According to stopfraud.gov, traditional mortgage fraud involves homebuyers and/or lenders falsifying information in order to obtain a home loan. Struggling homeowners are also often affected by “foreclosure rescue firms” claiming they can help these struggling individuals obtain home loans ultimately leaving them in more debt and distress. The first thing to watch out for in these situations is requests for all cash payments and to work only with credible lenders, real estate agents, and appraisers.

Other Types of Fraud:

According to FindLaw, there are many types of fraud offenses individuals can be duped by (often unknowingly) that include:

Click here to learn more and educate yourself on popular scams occurring today.

Preventing Fraud – What to Watch out for:

Some warning signs of fraud are more obvious, such as the telemarketing or internet schemes that ask you to “send money immediately” to receive an offer, or, those asking directly for your social security number.

Others can be more tricky and deceptive, even imitating people you know personally or professionally asking for help or money via email, false charity organizations asking for donations, or, pyramid schemes that offer big rewards for a “work from home” position.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to fraud:

  • New forms of fraud pop up every day. Educate yourself on the common scams happening presently
  • Keep your personal information confidential. Never give out personal information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone, through email, or over the internet unless the contact is verified.
  • Update your passwords and PIN numbers monthly to ensure your information is secure. Make sure to use a password that is strong in security and includes letter, numbers, and symbols.
  • Check your statements and online banking records regularly to ensure there are no unusual transactions.

If you think you or someone you know has been affected by fraud, begin by reporting the issue immediately to your local police department. Otherwise, take these steps from USA.gov:

 

PMI vs. MIP – What’s the Difference?

It’s no secret that purchasing a home, especially for the very first time, can feel overwhelming and intimidating. With all of the mortgage and real estate lingo, processes, and procedures involved, it’s no wonder buyers often find themselves confused and asking questions. Some of which regard mortgage insurance.

What is Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is a payment required of home buyers who have limited down payments of less than 20 percent for home loans. Mortgage insurance is designed to offset the borrower default risk for lenders and guarantee agencies that loan large amounts of money to borrowers with very little “skin in the game”. There are two types of mortgage insurance – PMI & MIP.

PMI & MIP

Although the concept of insurance protection is similar, there are distinct differences between private mortgage insurance (PMI) and FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) that should be considered when deciding which loan program suits your financial needs.

PMI is private mortgage insurance that typically is available in a variety of premium plan structures and offers payment options that can usually be tailored to the borrower’s needs. There are a number of private mortgage insurance providers and each structure their offerings a bit differently.

MIP is the government-administered mortgage insurance program for the FHA. Since FHA loans offer reduced down payment options, MIP is required to offset the risk of a borrower defaulting.

Major Differences Between MIP & PMI

Major differences between these insurance programs include:

  • No upfront mortgage premium required with PMI while an upfront MIP is required.
  • PMI can be canceled after a stated LTV (loan-to-value) is achieved and favorable payment history has been established, while MIP is paid for the life of the loan regardless of LTV. In order to remove MIP, a borrower must refinance their FHA mortgage loan and meet minimum down payment and credit requirements.

Contact an Inlanta Mortgage loan professional to discuss your options and ensure that you select the program that is right for you! Click here to find a licensed mortgage loan professional near you or apply online today.

Tips for Choosing the Right Realtor and Lender

Tips for Choosing the Right Realtor and Lender

For most, choosing to purchase a home is a big decision. Choosing the right real estate agent and mortgage lender to help you smoothly along the process, a team you can entrust with all of your sensitive financial information who can educate you on the proper loan options and the ins and outs of homebuying is key to a successful transaction.

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, we want you to know we have your back every step of the way. Our team of mortgage professionals works with top real estate agents every day. While we want to assist you with all of your mortgage lending needs and can refer you to a great agent, we also want to provide you with the tools necessary to choose the right lender/realtor partner for your particular needs and circumstances. Here are some tips on how to choose the right homebuying team.

  1. Do Your Research

The market is changing every day. That’s why it is wise to shop around and talk to a few local lenders and agents in your area to learn more about the types of loan programs offered, current market rates, and current listings available. This will also give you the chance to explain any unique financial needs you may have to your potential lender as well as your timeline and exactly what you are looking for to your agent. Note – while it may be tempting to want to choose a loan officer that advertises the “best rate,” it is important to take into account customer satisfaction, knowledge, experience, and more.

  1. Referrals and Testimonials 

You can learn a lot about a lender or agent based on real online reviews and testimonials from real clients they have had in the past. Successful transactions produce successful reviews and can provide social proof of happy peers in your area that are now homeowners with the help of their homebuying team. Visit lender and agent websites, Google+, Yelp, or Facebook pages and speak to recent clients to get an inside look at past client experiences.

  1. Communication

Communication is key during the homebuying process, so having a team that will stay in touch with you and keep you up to date on the market outlook, status of your loan, and any current listing information while providing you with honest feedback is important. When researching lenders and agents, inquire with them about their communication styles and if applicable, ask to meet their team prior to conducting business with them to learn how it all works. It is important for you to not feel afraid to ask questions. Open communication with your loan officer and real estate agent will help ease any worries you have throughout the process.

  1. Knowledge and Experience

Strong knowledge of the real estate and loan process along with information on loan programs and the current market is important when choosing the right team to help you purchase a home. With knowledge comes experience. Working with an experienced team that has successfully helped many homeowners achieve the American dream may help give you peace of mind during the process. Whether you are new to the process or are a seasoned homeowner, your agent and loan officer should be able to speak with you on the process and provide you with the education and guidance needed based on your level of experience. Ask about professional awards, years of experience, licenses, and credentials to ensure you are selecting the right team for your needs.

If you’d like to get in touch with one of our mortgage professionals today, click here to find a local lender within your area or contact us for more information. We’d love to have one of our lenders set you up with a top real estate professional – ask us about our referral partners today.

 

25 Years Strong

Here’s to 25 Years Strong!

Twenty-five years ago, our Chairman of the Board and Founder, John Knowlton, assembled a small group of mortgage professionals and began offering mortgage lending services in Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today, Inlanta Mortgage continues to thrive, employing more than 250 people with a solid presence in 20 states across the nation.

Key to Success

It’s no secret – our employees are the key to our success. Team Inlanta’s first priority and #1 shared goal is to provide the highest-level mortgage lending services possible to our friends, families, and communities.

Here at Inlanta, our licensed, experienced mortgage loan officers help borrowers determine the loan program best suited to their financial needs from our wide array of loan products to make home buying a breeze. Our highly trained team of processors work diligently to collect and organize all the information necessary for a loan file to move to underwriting. Our underwriting team then reviews all loan files quickly and thoroughly, speeding up the time it takes to move your loan file on to our experienced funding team. The funding department ensures that your closing date goes as planned and you are able to move into your house on time!

Educating Borrowers

It is our responsibility to educate our borrowers and our communities to help them make wise choices when it comes to home financing. We take this responsibility seriously and will continue to do so for the next 25 years. While it is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting with one of our licensed mortgage loan officers, our blog regularly includes home buyer tips, industry news, and specific loan program information to support borrowers during this important time. Visit our blog regularly or visit us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, and Instagram for current news, events, team photos, and more.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees.

Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Our team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has also been recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

To find your local Inlanta Mortgage branch or loan officer, click here. If you are interested in employment opportunities with Inlanta Mortgage, we encourage you to visit our careers page today!

 

Inlanta Mortgage Promotes Paul Buege to President

 Original press release from PR Web

Inlanta Mortgage Chairman, John Knowlton, announced the promotion of Mr. Paul Buege to the role of President.

Mr. Buege is currently the Chief Operating Officer and will continue those responsibilities. Nicholas DelTorto will remain as CEO. “I am proud to announce Paul’s promotion to President. It has been a privilege to work with and get to know him over the past five years. Paul and his team have developed a premier service platform for our loan originators and consumers. He is dedicated to Inlanta and the continued growth and success of our company,” Knowlton said in a company statement announcing the move.

“Our senior management team has positioned us for a solid future. We have worked together for many years and that continuity in leadership translates into a consistent focus on improving our platform, performance for the branches, and highest level of progressive services and technology for our referral partners and consumers,” said DelTorto.

“Paul has done outstanding work in developing a sales and service accountability culture at Inlanta. Our ‘mortgage banking for grown-ups’ approach allows the true mortgage professional to operate using their personally developed skills to build on their success,” Knowlton adds.

Inlanta announces this move as they celebrate 25 years in the mortgage business. “We are very proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. In a business where so many have come and gone, Inlanta is looking forward to serving our customers and referral partners for many years to come,” Knowlton said.

About Inlanta Mortgage 
Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees. Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Their team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has also been recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Inlanta Mortgage continually seeks branch managers and loan officers who want to grow their business. To learn about growth opportunities, please contact Brian Jensen (Midwest) at brianjensen@inlanta.com or 630-927-0380; or Kevin Laffey (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska) at kevinlaffey@inlanta.com or 913-645-4647. To learn about opportunities in other locations, visit http://www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Embark on the Purchase Process – A Loan Road Map for First-Time Buyers

Embark on the Purchase Process – A Loan Road Map for First-Time Buyers

If you are just beginning to embark on the purchase process for the very first time, you may be unsure of what lies ahead on your journey. That’s why we’ve provided the steps via an Inlanta Loan Road Map to help guide you on your way to homeownership.

 

Stop #1 – Get Pre-Approved

Submit your application and the documents needed to verify your income, assets, and debts, including thirty days of recent paystubs, last two years of W-2s, and two recent bank statements.

Stop #2 – Home Search and Offer

Your Realtor will help you find the perfect home and write up an offer letter to the seller, which details the price you are offering to pay for a property and any applicable conditions.

Stop #3 – Purchase Agreement

Your Realtor will write up the contract for you and the seller to sign. A deposit is generally required. This agreement will outline all of the required dates, deadlines, and contingencies.

Stop #4 – Home Inspection

If the offer is accepted, a home inspection is next. Home inspections are not required but highly recommended. A home inspector will look for any issues or violations with the property.

Stop #5 – Application and Disclosures

Your loan officer will have you review and sign a number of documents and disclosures, including your mortgage application and a Good Faith Estimate, which details the estimated costs of financing.

Stop #6 – Appraisal and Title

An appraisal (an estimate or property value) will be ordered and provided to the underwriting team. Your loan officer will select a title company to research the property title.

Stop #7 – Homeowners Insurance

Proof of insurance is required prior to closing. Your first year’s premium must be paid in full. Have your insurance agent contact your loan officer to ensure they receive the proper insurance binder.

Stop #8 – Final Approval

Underwriting will review all the documentation necessary to approve your mortgage loan additional verifications may be necessary at this point. If all of the documentation is acceptable, you will be clear to close.

Stop #9 – Closing Disclosure

You will get a final breakdown of all costs and money required at closing. For closing, you will need government-issued identification and a certified check to pay closing costs.

Stop #10 – Your Loan Closing!

It’s closing time! Did you bring your government issued identification? Do you have a certified check to cover closing costs? During the closing, a representative from the title company will review all the loan documents with you. They will get signatures from both you and the seller. After all money is distributed, the deed will then be recorded with you as the new owner of record!

 

Rest assured you are not on this journey alone. Your loan officer will be with you every step of the way and will be able to answer any questions that arise. Click here to find your local Inlanta loan officer today to get started on your home loan journey!

Helpful Tips to Successfully Utilize your Tax Refund

Helpful Tips to Successfully Utilize your Tax Refund

Tax season is here and if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve got a generous refund check coming your way. While it may be tempting to treat yourself to a much-needed vacation or shopping spree with the extra money in your pocket, utilizing your tax return to help you get ahead or catch up on your finances may be a better decision for you and wallet.

If you do decide to take a more financially friendly route, we’ve got some tips for you below to help make the best use of your refund.

  1. Pay Down Debt

Our #1 tip for those wanting to utilize their tax refund for financial gain would be to pay down any debt you already have. If you’ve got multiple areas of debt, start with focusing on the debt that is causing you the most financial strain, like credit cards with high-interest rates. Even if you can’t pay your balance in full, making a large payment will feel great and help you make a leap toward a debt-free life.

  1. Build your Savings

If you don’t already have a savings account, now is a great time to begin building one by using your refund money as a solid foundation. If you do already have a savings account (or two) with a specific purpose in mind such as saving to buy a home, a car, or for your dream vacation, using your tax refund to make a substantial contribution toward that goal is always a good idea.

  1. Invest in Homeownership

Are you currently saving up to buy your first home? If so, why not utilize your tax refund to get ahead on your down payment? If you’ve already got your down payment covered, you can always put the money towards closing costs or for furnishing your new place. Already a homeowner? Why not look for ways to increase your home’s value like using the extra cash to complete a home improvement project or upgrade an old appliance.

  1. Create or Add to Your “Rainy Day” Fund

A “rainy day” fund is a reserved amount of money intentionally created and set aside for unplanned emergencies, life events, or disturbances in your regular income. If you do not already have one of these “rainy day” or emergency funds set aside, using your tax refund to create one is a great idea. While it may not be the most exciting place to invest your money, having this designated account set aside as cushion can help save you from financial distress caused by an unexpected life event in the future.

  1. Take the Vacation

Hey, as long as you are not in a state of financial distress, there’s no harm in taking that vacation! With as many travel saving sites as there are out there today, chances are, you’ll be able to find a great deal and enjoy the reward of a well-deserved getaway after a year of hard work.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Debt

5 Steps to Reducing Debt

Do you feel like your debt is holding you back in life? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, we’ve got a step by step process for you to start taking control of your debt today!

Step 1: Evaluate your Debt – All of It

The first thing you must do to move forward with a plan to reduce your debt is sit down and take a hard look at your finances and just how much debt you owe. Once you’ve got the details down, evaluate where your debts lie and understand that not all debt is alike. Some of your debt may be causing more of a financial strain than others, like credit cards with high-interest rates, so taking time to dig into your debt and prioritize what needs to be paid off first will help you to gain some control of your financial strains and begin your journey to debt-free living.

Step 2: Understand your Bills and your Budget

Have you done the math? If not, step #2 of your debt reduction plan involves evaluating your income each month along with how much you are spending. This is a great time as well to truly gauge your expenses and figure out where you are being frivolous. If your income does not outweigh your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or, adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means in order to focus on paying off your debt.

Step 3: Set Timely and Attainable Goals

While we’d all love to have our debts paid off immediately, setting unattainable goals to have everything paid off as quickly as possible can leave you feeling drained and like living debt-free is next to impossible. After you’ve taken time to evaluate your debts, your income, and your spending, design a plan that works for you to help get you out of debt.

Step 4: Make a Plan to Achieve Them

Now that you have a plan, how will you put it into place? Whether it be that you begin setting up auto payments or you choose to completely alter your lifestyle to cut out unnecessary spending, putting daily practices in place to help you achieve your financial goals is crucial. If this step feels like the hardest of all, remember that this is only temporary and is necessary to help bring you to financial freedom.

Step 5: Seek Advice from a Mentor or Financial Professional

If you’re still struggling with debt and financial woes and it seems like any plan you put in place isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to speak to a personal mentor or financial professional. Seeking advice from an expert and having a peer or mentor periodically check in with you on where you’re at with your goals can be an effective route to help you become debt-free.

If you’d like to speak to one of our financial professionals regarding your situation, click here to contact your local Inlanta officer today!

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

2017 was an eventful year at Inlanta Mortgage. We accomplished a lot thanks to the amazing employees we have on our team, as well as our valued customers and business partners. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last year. While we look forward to all of the exciting things 2018 has in store for us, we’d like to take a moment to count our many blessings and reflect on our accomplishments from this last year:

 

Awards

In May 2017, Inlanta Mortgage was proud to be named a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. In the same month, Inlanta was also recognized as a 2016 Platinum U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Million Dollar Lender. Inlanta closed out the year being named the #1 WHEDA Lender for the second year in a row and was named the #1 Wisconsin Based Independent Mortgage Banker closing the highest number of (loans) units in the state of Wisconsin.

Several individuals were recognized for their achievements as well. Nicholas DelTorto (President/CEO) was awarded for his service as the Chair of Residential Loan Production Committee by the Mortgage Bankers Association and Cindy Laffey (branch partner in Overland Park, KS), Jim Snyder (branch manager in Pewaukee, WI), Rob Stettler (branch partner in Sarasota, FL), and Yvette Clermont (branch partner in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and Green Bay, WI) were recognized as Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 1% Mortgage Originators in America.

Cindy and Yvette were also recognized as MPA’s Elite Women in Mortgage alongside Jean Badciong (Chief Compliance Officer) and Katrina Cole (Business Development and Marketing in Grand Rapids, MI). Last, we had 3 members of our team recognized at the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association’s (WMBA) Best in Business Awards. Inlanta’s Production Services Manager, Rod Weis, was nominated as Best in Leadership for the Milwaukee Chapter, Branch Manager/Senior Mortgage Consultant for Inlanta Mortgage – Greenfield, Kip Warzon, was nominated as Best Loan Originator for the Milwaukee Chapter, and Inlanta Mortgage – Green Bay Processor, Samantha Gates, was nominated for Best in Processing for the Northeast Chapter. Congratulations again to all of our superstars!

 

Growth

2017 was certainly a year of growth for Team Inlanta. The company welcomed three new Regional Vice Presidents; Brain Jensen, David Williams, and Kevin Laffey, along with a National Training Manager, Jennifer Jensen aboard. Inlanta expanded into 5 new states and added 12 new branches as well.

Inlanta also invested in evolving technology strategies by embracing the #1 ranked LOS System by the STRATMOR Group, rolling out a brand new mobile app called IM home, implementing a new video series, and starting a preliminary apprenticeship program.

 

Community & Events

This past year, we enjoyed showcasing our new Home Office in Pewaukee, WI, to business partners, friends, and fellow members of the Inlanta family with an Inlanta Open House and ribbon cutting ceremony this past July. Several members of our Inlanta family were present at events in local communities including an Hablamos Espanol expo in Illinois and the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) conference in Atlanta. Inlanta celebrated another great year of success at our Annual Sales Conference in Sheboygan, WI featuring an awards ceremony, top producers panel, motivational speakers, and more! Another highlight of the event included the presentation of the Customer Service Superstar Awards presented by Craig Pollack from Social Survey. Congratulations to Craig March, Dee Cayo, Yvette Clermont, Herb Lessmiller, and Jason Kupka for having the top customer satisfaction ratings in the company.

 

Philanthropy

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, we are always looking for ways to give back to our community. In honor of the many friends and colleagues who have cancer, have lost their battle to cancer, or know someone with cancer, we have made it our philanthropic mission to help find a cure. In July, a group of Inlanta employees participated in the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer in Milwaukee. The group asked fellow Inlanta employees, family, and friends to donate to the cause and raised a total of $1,500. They then spent the day at the Henry Maier Festival Park to participate in the Walk/Run. At our Inlanta Annual Sales Conference, our team also raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute through raffle & silent auction! To learn more about the Cancer Research Institute, please visit www.cancerresearch.org.

In May, we had the privilege of meeting Bryon Reisch and hearing his incredible story at our Annual Managers Summit.  Inspired by his story, our employees donated $1,700 to the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, which matched & exceeded our company’s original donation of $1,500! In total, we’ve raised $3,200 to help find a cure for paralysis!

Inlanta held two blood drive for the American Red Cross in 2017, giving the employees a chance to come together at our Inlanta Home Office to save a total of 179 lives. Thank you to our donors!

In September, we held a raffle as part of our 13th Annual Sales Conference. We raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organization that provides funding for lifesaving immunotherapy research. This was the third year we raised money for CRI and we look forward to continuing our work with them.

Further, we wanted to help local families in need during the holidays. Our corporate office and Pewaukee branch participated in Inlanta’s second annual food drive competition. Each team competed to bring in the most food items to become the competition victors. The winning team, our Underwriting department, donated 606 items! In total, we collected 2,984 food items for the Pewaukee Food Pantry.

As the holiday season approached, we were grateful for the chance to give back to our Pewaukee community by participating in a “Tree of Giving” for local senior citizens from the United Community Center. Our Pewaukee branch also participated in a holiday gift drive supporting 21 children in need this year.

 

We are grateful beyond measure for another successful year in 2017 and look forward to a bright future in 2018, which marks 25 years of excellence for Inlanta Mortgage, Inc.!

8 Tips to Build and Maintain Healthy Credit

Building and maintaining healthy credit is important for a number of reasons. A good credit score can help you achieve some of your biggest financial dreams, like owning a home or even starting your own business.

If your current credit history isn’t flawless and the dream of a perfect credit score sounds as just that—a dream—don’t fret. There are plenty of steps you can take to begin building solid credit as well as strategies you can put in place to maintain that healthy credit.

Here are our top tips to help you build and maintain a healthy credit score:

  1. Swipe Responsibly

If you’re working on building solid credit, a good rule of thumb is to only borrow what you can actually afford to pay back. This means, only use your credit card if you have enough available in your bank account to pay the balance off right away. Avoid falling into credit debt by leaving your credit card at home if you’re heading out shopping or somewhere that may tempt you to spend.

  1. Stay Below your Limit

Experts suggest keeping your credit spending at about 30% of your maximum balance is best. Maxing out your credit cards regularly shows financial irresponsibility and can leave you stuck in debt for longer than you’d like.

  1. Start Small

If you are just starting to build your credit, the last thing you will want to do is open a number of new cards, creating additional debt to keep track of. Begin with just one credit card to use overtime and talk to a financial advisor when you feel you are in the right place to open a new account.

  1. Pay your Balance in Full

If you are starting to build credit outright, then the best way to begin is by charging small amounts on your card that leaves you with a balance far below your credit limit. This should make it easy for you to pay off the balance, in full, each month which will help to improve your credit.

  1. Never Miss a Payment

Missed credit card payments not only leave you behind in debt but also show to lenders that you have a track record of being financially irresponsible. It also suggests that you struggle to make necessary payments on time. This can greatly affect your future when it comes to, for example, wanting to purchase a home. When you begin the home purchasing process, a lender will review your credit score and credit history to ensure you are a viable candidate who will pay the loan off. They will then take this information to determine whether or not you will be approved for the loan. You are more likely to be approved if you have a healthy credit history and a higher credit score.

  1. Pay More than your Minimum

If you have had a credit card for some time now, you are likely to already have a balance on your card. Having a balance on your credit card is not necessarily a bad thing, though; making on-time, consistent payments every month will help you continue to build your credit. However, if you are unable to pay the balance in full, you will want to make sure you are paying more than the minimum payment due each month to help pay off your balance as quickly as possible. Not only will paying off debt sooner help your credit, you also won’t have to worry about pesky interest payments.

  1. Build a History

If you’ve just opened a new card, plan to keep it long-term to help you display a solid history of creditworthiness. Lenders appreciate at least a few years of experience in maintaining timely payments and the longer you keep your card, the more likely your credit score will increase.

  1. Regularly Review your Account History

What exactly are you spending money on? If you’re swiping your credit card every time you grab a latte in the morning, you likely aren’t using your credit wisely. Designate your credit card for emergencies or basic needs such as groceries and gas to help get you into good spending habits and avoid unnecessary shopping sprees. Also, keep an eye out for any types of fraudulent purchases; if you notice anything strange, notify your credit card company immediately to save yourself from financial distress.