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    Louisville, KY
  1. And that means interviewing lenders. I get that the learning curve is high buying your first house, so I'm trying to ask as many relevant questions as possible before I decide to apply with anyone. Please let me know what I am missing! Thank you! What kind of mortgage products do you offer? Do I have to decide which one I want when I seek prequalification? I have cash savings, but I anticipate needing some of that money for closing costs and moving expenses. Do you have down payment assistance programs? Downpayment minimums? If I do apply, how long will my prequalification last? Will you pull my credit again before closing? What do I need to apply? What fees are associated with your loans? Origination fee? Funding fee? What upfront costs should I be prepared for at closing? Escrow for taxes? Prepay homeowner’s insurance? Are there any penalties or negative amortization? At what point will I receive a Loan Estimate? Will you be servicing the loan or are you likely to sell it off?
  2. I waited six years from discharge, which I read somewhere here was my best bet, and had no other apps/inquiries for 12 months prior. I've also read your EX FICO needs to be over 700, not positive about that but mine was. The great thing about AmEx though is the prequalified offers page on their website, so you don't have to blow an inquiry with your fingers crossed. Good luck!!
  3. Thank you for being candid. I don't think it will take me longer to buy a house that isn't a fixer upper, but I like things the way I like them and I thought being involved in the fixing would be more rewarding than settling for someone else's vision and making changes over time. Maybe not.
  4. Since you are a contractor...I'm looking at a place that needs the kitchen and two bathrooms completely renovated. My best friend is a house painter and her husband is a handyman and they've spent the last year renovating an income property. Between the three of us I think we can handle flooring and cosmetic issues. I would be happy rescuing old cabinetry from the Habitat ReStore and getting butcher block counters from Ikea. My ultimate luxury would be an old claw foot tub, so I'm not expecting to end up with an HGTV dream house. The Homestyle loan requires you to come in with contractor bids and determines the loan amount as purchase + renovation costs and contingency. When you're done, hopefully there is instant equity and this also appeals to me. So, am I delusional to consider this?
  5. I've been here working on repairing my credit since my BK7 six years ago and I've achieved all my modest financial goals but one: becoming a homeowner. I'm low income, but I also live where there are affordable homes. My ideal scenario, I think, would be to buy an older home with good bones that needs renovation. I've researched Fannie Mae Homestyle Loans a bit and I will have saved more than the required 5% by September, but it seems more complicated than applying for a traditional mortgage. So many questions. Does anyone have experience with Homestyle Loans? If so, how do you find lenders/realtors/contractors who are experienced with the process? Is it harder in general to get financing for loans under $100,000? Am I crazy to go the renovation route as a first time home buyer? I like things the way they used to be built with hardwood floors and solid craftsmanship, but I don't want to get in over my head either. What should I be considering that I don't know about yet because I've never done this before? My FICO scores range from 706-734 and my DTI is 16%. My income is around $35,000 and I'm looking at homes priced from $50-60,000 and assuming up to $25,000 in renovations. All advice appreciated. Thank you!
  6. AmEx BCE $4,000 instant approval! This is my first American Express card and I'm 6 years and 1 month post BK7, so I've been waiting patiently to apply and I'm delighted.
  7. I tried calling several numbers, found here and elsewhere, over the last week and they all lead to the same automated menu reporting 90 min to 2 hour wait times. Tuesday night I waited 2 hours and 20 minutes to get a live human...who told me the system was not generating security questions to confirm my identity and I would have to mail or upload ID docs. I'm trying to lift a security freeze I never received a related PIN for, so YMMV, but I then waited another 20 minutes for this story to be confirmed by a supervisor. They said it will take 3-5 days to process the uploaded docs. Good luck!
  8. UPDATE: I can't figure out how to post the screen grab, but my EQ FICO 09 went from 674 to 783 today!! Obviously this was years in the making, but a 109 point bump is thrilling any way you slice it. I was 5 years post BK7 as of February, but I think the big difference is my bad student loans finally fell off my report. I long suspected they were more damaging to my score than the bankruptcy and had been disputing the accounts for years. Initially they weren't set to come off until 2019, but disputing the DOFD worked and now all four of them (with 10+ 120 day lates each) are gone. Hallelujah!
  9. FWIW, I got my NFCU CLOC in early May, haven't used it, and it just started reporting this week.
  10. I applied for the Apple Rewards Visa last month to take advantage of their 0% financing offer buying a new laptop and I went straight to ID verification. The slow pace and lack of communication struck me as BS as well. I did some research across other forums and found that this is business as usual for them. But I've never heard of anyone having to verify after instant approval, so that is strange. FWIW after I called into the security line and got a supervisor looking for my docs, things went a lot faster. They scan everything you send them before it's analyzed and they don't always do the best job scanning. I was able to fax a second round of docs and they actually connected me to the same supervisor when I called in again the next day. Good luck!
  11. Your social security benefits can be garnished or "offset" when you owe the government money, as in taxes or a federal student loan. I had to end up contacting ECMC's CEO's office and basically shamed them into returning the funds and even then they wouldn't work with me on a lower payment. I was told my only option was to discharge the entire debt due to disability and they ceased garnishment for a few months to let me file the paperwork, however in the meantime congress changed the law and allowed consolidation out of default and I was able to do that and apply for income based repayment. It was such an ordeal!

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