How to Refinance: Shopping for a Mortgage When You Have Poor Credit

By mortgagecreditproblems.com

By Gina Pogol
Mortgage Credit Problems Columnist

Once you've determined that refinancing makes sense, you need to start shopping. Applying over and over, and possibly getting turned down over and over, can be disheartening, time consuming, and can lower your credit score.

Shopping online for a mortgage can be efficient and can save you money, but there are some steps to take and things to consider before you start applying. Here's how to shop the right way.

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Before filling out online applications you need to know where you stand credit-wise. Obtaining a credit report from all three bureaus (www.equifax.com, www.experian.com, and www.transunion.com) is a smart first step. Look for inaccuracies that can be cleared up and get an idea of how bad your credit is. Give lenders copies of this credit report when shopping for a mortgage loan and don't authorize anyone to pull a new report until you have decided to work with that lender.

Rates for Bad Credit Mortgages Are Quoted Differently

If you have bad credit, you can't just open the newspaper and pick the lowest rate. Rates for bad credit mortgages are decided on a case-by-case basis. Getting that copy of your credit report before shopping helps you here. If you see that your credit isn't truly awful, with just a few late payments, you should start with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac lender to see if you can get an A- deal. If your credit is worse, you'll have to shop more, and to give you a meaningful quote, lenders will have to see your credit report. Provide a copy of the report you got before you started applying for your refinance. The lender will also want to know what your house is worth. Be realistic--overstating the value will get you a worthless quote.

Your Mortgage Credit Information: Be On Guard Online

Don't be misled by the ease of filling out an online application. If you received an unsolicited email offering a sure-fire great deal for people with bad credit, you don't know who's on the other end. Ignore anyone who emails you first and don't give out your personal information no matter how tempting the offer. Search reputable sites, request information, and work with an online lender licensed in your state.

Once a lender offers you a rate that is acceptable, lock it in (get the lock in writing) and complete the application process. The lender will have to pull its own credit report to approve you, but the rate shouldn't change unless your credit does.

About the Author
Gina Pogol works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has a BS in financial management, and was formerly a business credit systems consultant with Experien and a mortgage loan consultant.

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