Low credit score may not be bar­rier to new mort­gage

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Bruce Wil­liams Smart Money

DEAR BRUCE: >> My hus­band and I are ready to down­size and re­tire. We would like to sell our home for a town­house or condo. We cur­rently owe $317,760, and the house has been ap­praised for over $475,000.

Our prob­lem is, due to our co-sign­ing for col­lege loans and some med­i­cal ex­penses, our credit score will never al­low us to get a loan to pur­chase a house, even though we have been cur­rent on our house pay­ments and most of our other bills.

I am cur­rently mak­ing $82,000 a year and my hus­band earns over $2,000 a month in re­tire­ment and So­cial Se­cu­rity. In speak­ing with our ac­coun­tant and re­view­ing our ex­penses and pro­jected in­come af­ter I re­tire, he feels that we could have a rea­son­ably com­fort­able re­tire­ment. The key would be sell­ing the house for a much smaller monthly mort­gage pay­ment than the $1,980 a month that we cur­rently pay.

What ad­vice can you give to pre­pare us for the ap­pli­ca­tion and ap­proval process to pur­chase our re­tire­ment home? -N.C. DEAR N.C.: >> I don’t think you have such a big prob­lem. You men­tioned that you should be able to walk out of your house with $150,000 or more, which is not ex­actly chopped liver!

As to the fact that you have med­i­cal ex­penses on your credit re­port, that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean you can’t get a mort­gage. True, you may have to pay a lit­tle bit more for it, but re­duc­ing that $2,000-a-month mort­gage pay­ment would be well worth it. Fur­ther, you may want to con­sider one of the com­pa­nies that seek out peo­ple with weak credit scores. Again, I don’t see a prob­lem in se­cur­ing the new mort­gage. Make the ef­fort. DEAR BRUCE: >> My brother bought my daugh­ter a sav­ings bond 48 years ago when she was born. He doesn’t re­mem­ber where he bought it, and I have tried many ways to find it for her. Is this a lost cause, or can I re­trieve this for her? -- Reader DEAR READER: >> You’re go­ing to have to make a few phone calls, but there is a way to trace a lost bond. Make the ef­fort to re­search it on­line and gather as much in­for­ma­tion as you can. This will make the search for the lost sav­ings bond eas­ier.

Send ques­tions to bruce@ brucewil­liams.com. Ques­tions of gen­eral in­ter­est will be an­swered in fu­ture col­umns. Ow­ing to the vol­ume of mail, per­sonal replies can­not be pro­vided. The Bruce Wil­liams Ra­dio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at www. taera­dio.com. It is also avail­able at www.brucewil­liams.com.

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