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Cecelia Marlow's Blog

By Cecelia Marlow | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Chicago, IL
  • Why Do I Have Different Scores Reporting with Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Financing in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  January 27, 2014 3:35 PM  |  373 views  |  No comments

    I am often asked the question, as to why there is a difference between the three scores that are reporting to the three credit bureaus.  The reason for the difference in credit scores is as follows.  All of your creditors do not have to report to all three bureaus.  Some of your creditors may report to Equifax, some may report to Experian, some may report to Trans Union.  You may find that some of your creditors report to one bureau, two bureau's, or all three.  Given that the reporting is different per creditor to all three bureaus is gives you different scores. 

    There are some items on a credit report that may take a little extra effort to have updated.  Judgments are one of these items. As it relates to judgments, because a judgment is filed through the courts, you actually have to go back to the courts to have a release of judgment issued.  Once you have a release of judgment issued you will need to have that information presented to the credit bureaus to have your report updated.

    Also take note that new accounts usually take up to 30 days to begin reporting, so if you have opened new accounts, you may see a credit score change within 30 days of opening the account.  The key with new accounts is to keep the balances low.

    Cecelia Marlow
    The Federal Savings Bank
    Vice President
  • Someone’s Buying Your Name…and You Don’t Even Know It!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Foreclosure in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  September 24, 2012 11:14 AM  |  1,507 views  |  No comments

    Your name is actually worth quite a bit.  The only problem is that you aren’t the one benefiting from it.  Very few people realize that each time their credit is checked, the information provided to the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis or Experian) immediately becomes a commodity that is sold not only to other lenders but also to companies that sell and resell the same names and personal information. 

    The credit bureaus have found a way to increase their revenues at your expense….and without your permission.  These ‘trigger leads’ include name, address, phone numbers (including unlisted), credit score, current debt and debt history, property information, age, gender and estimated income.

    They are marketing your personal, confidential information to competing creditors and making millions.  Your privacy is being sold, not just once, but over and over again.  The lenders that have purchased these leads at a premium will then do everything they can to recoup their investment and turn a hefty profit. Often, bait and switch tactics are being used to lure clients away from their reputable lender. 

    From one such website that offers these names:  Mortgage Trigger Leads are hard inquiries into a person’s credit report generated daily. These consumers have just had their credit checked within the past 24 hours, specifically for a mortgage loan approval.  Simply give them a better offer and watch your closing ratios go through the roof. 


    The good news is that you can make it stop!  The consumer credit reporting industry has provided a way for you to “opt out” or remove your name from these lists.  You can contact them by phone at 1-888-567-8688 or online at https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t.  You must opt out at least 48 hours prior to having your credit checked to make sure it is processed in time.  You can choose a five year or lifetime option.  The lifetime option does require a signed form.


    At this time the practice of generating and selling these lists is allowed by the law.  If you would like complain about this or have been targeted after opting out, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) or your state Attorney General's Office.  These agencies will investigate reported violations. In most cases, an agency's primary source of information is complaints from the public. 


    As a consumer, it is your right to shop for the best service and price for a product, but this should be when and how you want to shop.  These unsolicited marketing tactics are a nuisance and intrusive.  Take your privacy back and refuse to be a part of this system.

  • Good News for Homebuyer's.... Lower Down Payment Available for Conventional Financing!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Financing in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  September 7, 2011 9:56 AM  |  2,036 views  |  No comments

    Good news for buyers.  Recent updates with Mortgage Insurance companies have expanded Conventional financing to allow borrowers financing options down to a 620 Credit Score with only 5% Down Payment.  This is good news for all buyers on the fence.  There are only certain Mortgage Insurance Companies that will ensure these loans, so be sure to go with a lender that understands the criteria needed to get approved.  All lenders are not created equal.  Also, be sure to understand that I am not promoting that individuals and families with unhealthy credit reports purchase a home.  I do believe in buying a home with integrity, meaning the capacity to pay those you owe and afford future obligations.  Low credit scores do not always mean bad credit.  I have seen credit reports with less than 700 credit scores where maybe an individual just didn't have a lot of credit, or maybe there were previous life circumstances that they have now overcome.  The key with this program is to ensure that fiscally responsible individuals who want to take advantage of such a low interest rate environment are able to do so with some investment into the transaction.  For more information call me today!

    Cecelia Marlow
    Chicago Bancorp
    Mortgage Banker
  • The 10 Commandments of Homebuying!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Financing in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  August 26, 2011 10:43 AM  |  1,971 views  |  No comments

    The mortgage process does not have to be a complicated one, however, if you do not adhere to the following, it could messy fast.  Below you will find 10 Principles to Adhere to when purchasing Your New Home!  Happy House Hunting!

    1 Thou shalt not change jobs, become self employed or quit your job.

    2. Thou shalt not purchase any large items on credit such as cars, appliances or furniture. 

    3. Thou shalt not use your existing credit cards excessively or fall behind in your payments.

    4. Thou shalt not spend funds that have been set aside for closing.

    5. Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your mortgage application.

    6. Thou shalt not establish any new items of credit within 60 days of your closing.

    7. Thou shalt not initiate any new inquiries into your credit.

    8. Thou shalt not make any large deposits before checking with your Mortgage Banker.

    9. Thou shalt not close any of your bank accounts or change banks.

    10.  Thou shalt not co-sign on new credit for anybody.

    Cecelia Marlow
    Chicago Bancorp
    Mortgage Banker

  • More Changes with FHA to Come in April!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Financing in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  March 1, 2011 12:35 PM  |  627 views  |  1 comment
    Everything Mortgage
    Brought to you by: Cecelia Marlow of Chicago Bancorp

     Buyer's Get Off the Fence
    2010 was filled with numerous changes with regards to a borrower's ability to secure financing for one of the most important investment decisions they will make.  As we approach 2011 with a more optimistic outlook on real estate, it appears that we should not relax our guard as changes continue to remain prevelant. 
    FHA recently announced that the monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium will but again increase as of April 18th.  As seasoned professionals we know that this will mean that our borrower's debt to income ratio will be impacted.  Those borrower's who are shopping on the higher end of their debt to income ratio's will want to use some caution as they continue to shop after April 18th.  Those who may not be as close to their maximum limit, should also be encouraged to re-connect with their lender to review their numbers as the implications of the increase, may have them reconsider their price point.  The increase in FHA's monthly mortgage insurance premium will go from .90% to 1.15%, yes that's a quarter percent difference. 
      As always, it is a pleasure to serve you! Please feel free to check my website for other timely updates and lending programs! Down Payment Assistance is still available for qualified borrowers. Visit my Facebook Fan Page "I Love Real Estate" for details and program qualifications or call me today. I'd love to be your trusted advisor and make both your life and the life your clients much easier! 

    In this issue:
    More Changes with FHA


    News to Use is brought to you free by:
    Cecelia Marlow
    300 N Elizabeth - Fl. 3E
    Chicago, Illinois 60607
    312-738-6294 Direct
    312-491-7704 Fax
  • Credit Challenges, No Problem! Ask the Credit Coach!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, Financing in Chicago, Credit Score in Chicago  |  February 9, 2011 8:46 AM  |  468 views  |  No comments

    I have received numerous questions about credit lately.  However, this doesn't suprise me as our economy has challenged numerous households for lots of different reasons.  As a Banker I understand that life happens; whether it be the loss of a job, or a spouse, a decline in income, and sometimes mismanagement of finances altogether.  The good news is that your credit reports is only a snapshot of your financial capacity, and it can be improved. 

    There are 2 major things that I see as I review credit on a daily basis, items that are not reported correctly and overusage of credit cards.  These two things can severly impact your credit score and your ability to get financing, qualify for a job, depending on the industry that you work in, and it can even impact the premium that you pay for things such as home and auto insurance.

    Here's a break down of how your credit score is calculated:

    As you can see what impacts your credit rating the most is your payment history.  Are you paying your bills on time.   I was in a class recently, where I also learned that also included in your payment history is if you pay only the minimum due or more, as well as, do you typically pay on the due date or before.  That was eye opening for me. 

    The second most important factor is how much you owe in relationship to the credit limit that you were given.  To optimize your score you typically want to keep your credit balances at 30% of the limit given to you.  Meaning the less debt you have the better.  I have been able to help many people become homeowner's by simply advising them to pay down their existing credit card debt.  The more over extended you are the more your score is impacted.

    Increasing your credit score takes diligence and also takes creating new financial habits, however, in the long run you win!  There are numerous Credit Repair and Credit Coaching Programs available do your research and find out which one is going to work best for you.  To your success in 2011 and beyond!

    P.S. Don't forget to check your credit annually at www.annualcreditreport.com for free!

    Cecelia Marlow
    Chicago Bancorp
    Mortgage Banker

  • Options for Buyer's with Little Down Payment Funds!

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Financing, Credit Score  |  January 12, 2011 12:55 PM  |  287 views  |  No comments

    The Illinois HOME START Program offers affordable interest rates and down payment assistance for individuals who qualify.



    1. First-time homebuyer or Veteran.

    2. Minimum credit score of 640.

    3. Maximum total debt (back end) ratio of 45%.

    4. Household income and purchase price limits apply.

    5. Buyer must contribute 1% or $1,000 of the purchase, whichever is greater.

    6. Homeownership counseling is required.


    FIRST MORTGAGE plus down payment assistance

    - Provides 3% of the purchase price (up to $6,000)

    - 0%, 10-year forgivable loan

    - Only available when used in conjunction with Home Start First Mortgage

    - 3.5% down payment required


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