�Craig Torres Bid/ask $4.1b Australia’s biggest shipping-container terminal is up for a 50-year lease. The state government of Victoria hopes the privatization plan will raise more than $4 billion. At least three groups of funds have submitted offers. On
The Port of Melbourne welcomes bidders.
cash withdrawals more difficult. With some urging from advisers at Clarifi, the credit-counseling service, she paid off one $1,000 college loan and began making the others current. After about 18 months, she says her credit score crossed into the 700s, a level lenders say denotes a good risk.
She found a house she knew was “the one.” But as collateral, it would worry some lenders. Its stairs were dangerous, and the basement was damp. The doors, floors, and walls all needed fixing. She’d have to use part of her loan for home improvements.
Rivera tried to get a mortgage with Meridian Bank in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. In addition to requests for her diploma, Meridian asked for details on permit, labor, and materials costs. It also wanted the information about her citizenship. Tom Campbell, a Meridian senior vice president, says specifics on renovation costs are required by government guidelines for the type of loan Rivera wanted. The bank also had to establish her residency status because of government loan guarantees, he says. Boxes in the citizenship section of her application were mismarked, and the underwriter asked about it. Campbell says it’s common for a lender to ask for proof of college attainment from borrowers who’ve held multiple jobs, as Rivera has.
“We sit here and constantly complain that we have to put people through the wringer,” he says. He added that his bank provides loans to many lowincome borrowers.
Rivera switched banks. Fearing she’d lose the house, she paid the seller rent to keep the home off the market, even though she wouldn’t be living there. She kept the lights on and a radio playing in the kitchen for a few months to ward off thieves who steal copper piping and wire. On March 18 she got a loan from Quaint Oak Bancorp, in Southampton, Pa., and closed on the house. “I really want it all,” Rivera says. And by all, she means the empty lot next door, several more nearby, and, most of all, a foothold in American capitalism.
The bottom line For buyers who have struggled financially since the recession, low rates aren’t always enough to put a mortgage within reach.
Edited by Pat Regnier Bloomberg.com