In new policies aimed at bolstering its depleted reserves, Federal Housing Administration officials today announced tougher measures for borrowers, including higher mortgage insurance premiums, tighter credit scoring requirements and higher down payments. The FHA also is reducing seller concessions to three percent, from six percent to diminish “incentives to inflate appraised value.” The agency is also implementing a series of “significant measures aimed at increasing lender enforcement.”
Lenders who offer less favorable terms to some based on their credit report will have to provide the borrowers with so-called “risk-based pricing” notices, according to new rules reported today by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission. The rules mean that now consumers with some negative information on their credit reports will be better informed and be able to track vital credit scoring factors. And they will be able to do so more cheaply. Risk-based pricing notices enable consumers to obtain a free credit report.
The Federal Housing Administration, its funds almost depleted from the mortgage lending crisis, is seeking approval for new policies that would require higher minimum credit scores, more upfront cash and higher annual premiums from borrowers.
Many credit counseling organizations are nonprofit and work with you to solve your financial problems. But beware — just because an organization says it is “nonprofit” doesn’t guarantee that its services are free or affordable, or that its services are legitimate.
Bank of America recently made an announcement that put credit card consumers and the rest of the industry on notice. It informed a small group of its credit cardholders that they will be charged an annual “membership” fee starting in February 2010.
When you are choosing a credit card, there are many features — and several kinds of cards — to consider: Fees, charges, interest rates, and benefits can vary among credit card issuers. As a result, some credit cards that look like a great deal at first glance may lose their appeal once you read the terms and conditions of use and calculate how the fees could affect your available credit.
As creditors tighten their standards – canceling underused accounts and lowering credit limits – it is now more important then ever to monitor your credit reports and scoring.