Florida Mortgage Solutions - Solid Rock Mortgage

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Welcome to Solid Rock Mortgage Corporation


Robert Ashby
Certified Mortgage Planner
Solid Rock Mortgage Corporation
Phone: 954-432-3450
Fax: 954-432-3407

Mortgage News
Optimizing Credit Scores & Interest Rates: A Skilled Originator Can Help

Table of Contents

Mortgage News
The Money Pit
Creative Cuisine
Street Smarts
Rates at a Glance
Did You Know?
Quote of the Day
Trivia Challenge
Book Review

Rates at a Glance

30-Year Fixed
Low 6's
15-Year Fixed High 5's
10/1 ARM Low 6's
7/1 ARM Low 6's
5/1 ARM High 5's
3/1 ARM

Mid 5's
1-Year ARM Low 5's

Rates provided by Bankrate.com. These rates do not reference a specific loan program; rather, they reflect general market conditions, which are subject to change.

Did You Know?

Nike's trademark Swoosh was originally purchased from a graphic design student in 1971 for $35!

Quote of the Day

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."

-George E. Woodberry

Trivia Challenge

This residence has 147 windows, 412 doors, and 28 fireplaces.
It takes 570 gallons of paint to maintain its exterior. What is it?

The first person to call in with the correct answer wins dinner and movie tickets for two! Trivia Challenge Answer line:

Book Review

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

By Gary Keller,
Dave Jenks, and
Jay Papasan

Along with its counterpart, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, this book was one of BusinessWeek's best-selling business paperbacks of 2005!

After conducting interviews with over 120 top real estate investors across the U.S., the authors identified investment techniques that will enable readers to significantly increase their wealth. What makes this book so special is the practical nature of the advice given. It's a virtual hand book for not only the real-estate novice but the experienced investor as well.

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is available at www.Amazon.com.

About the authors:
Gary Keller and Dave Jenks each have decades of successful experience within the real estate industry. Keller is the founder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty International, a company which has experienced 700% growth over the last decade. Dave Jenks is considered to be one of the brightest minds in real estate. He previously served as President and CEO of Century 21 South Central States and owned his own training company.

Thank You!

As always, we wish to thank our clients who have been kind enough to refer business to us. We appreciate the opportunity to provide excellent service to your family, friends, and co-workers.

It's a very simple equation. The higher your credit score, the better interest rate you will receive as a borrower. The reasoning behind the equation is equally simple – your interest rate not only reflects current market conditions but also your estimated ability to pay back the loan. To a lender, the latter is worth its weight in gold.

Components of a Credit Score
Generally speaking, your credit score is based upon the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Payment history (this is where delinquencies will hurt you).
  • Responsibility regarding credit usage (how maxed out are your accounts).
  • Credit age (how long have you had your credit accounts).
  • Number of credit inquiry requests.
  • Credit diversity.

These quantifiable aspects, once accumulated, typically result in a number between 350 and 850. The bottom line is the higher the number, the more likely you are to pay back the loan.

A Closer Look at the Players Involved
There are three separate credit bureaus which keep track of your score, Experian®, TransUnion®, and Equifax. If you've heard your score referred to as a "FICO" score it's because all three bureaus use software developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO is an acronym taken from that name. It's important to know most lenders look at all three scores when making a decision on your loan, since scores can and often do vary.

While FICO is the industry standard, the three major credit bureaus recently released their own scoring model called VantageScoreSM. The new system is being actively marketed to lenders, and the bureaus claim that it will produce more uniform results across agencies. In addition, the scoring system is arranged similarly to the grades given out in school, making it easier for everyone to understand. Time will tell whether this system will impact the use of the FICO system.

What a Credit Score Means
A borrower with an outstanding credit score will get what is called an A-paper loan. This borrower is rewarded with a lower interest rate because of their proven track record. Consumers with less-than-perfect credit receive loans labeled A-minus, B-paper, C-paper or D-paper. These loans are known as "sub-prime" and come with a higher interest rate. On a monthly basis, this translates into more money out of a borrower's pocket.

Improving Your Score
Now that we've explored the nuts and bolts of credit scoring, let's examine how you can improve your score.

For starters, it's a good idea to consult with a qualified mortgage professional. An originator can provide examples of reasonable credit usage, discuss options for paying off existing debt, and advise you regarding whether limiting or expanding your credit is most beneficial. A mortgage consultant can also assist you with identifying negative items or potential errors on your credit report. It's important to deal with such issues as soon as possible. In addition, if you need credit counseling, a mortgage professional can help you to obtain it.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  1. Pay your bills in a timely manner - Paying bills on time for one month can raise your credit score as much as 20 points.
  2. Control the balances on your credit cards - Maxing out credit cards can lower your score as much as 70 points.
  3. Don't open new lines of credit you don't need - New accounts lower your average account age which, in turn, may lower your score as much as 10 points.
  4. No credit is bad credit - Having a few credit cards which you manage responsibly is a good thing. Having no credit cards will reflect negatively on your credit report.
  5. Don't start closing accounts - Closed accounts still show up on credit reports. You should be sure to consult with your mortgage professional prior to closing any accounts in case it will negatively impact your overall score.

Next Steps
Once you have improved your credit score, a mortgage originator can re-examine your financial status and help you to determine whether obtaining a new loan or refinancing an existing one would be beneficial.

In the case of a refinance, a mortgage professional will first determine if your existing loan has a prepayment penalty. If it does, you can work with the originator to continue to improve your credit score until it expires. Once this occurs, your mortgage professional can help you obtain a new loan; one with less than a two-year prepayment penalty so you can continue to refinance as your credit score increases. It's advisable to keep refinancing until you reach A-paper status, securing the best interest rate available.

Loans and credit scores can work against each other, but a good mortgage professional can provide the proper guidance, ensuring a symbiotic relationship.

If a proactive approach appeals to you, log on to www.annualcreditreport.com and obtain a free copy of your credit report. Contacting a mortgage originator with your credit report in hand will only expedite your journey towards a brighter financial future.

If you would like to learn more about your credit score and how improving it could potentially save you a great deal of money, please call us at 954-432-3450 to set up an appointment. We would be happy to speak with you about it.

If you know anyone who is looking to buy, sell or refinance a home, please forward their name and telephone number to us. We will happily provide the same high level of service that we have provided to you. The greatest compliment you could possibly give us is the referral of your friends and family.

Creative Cuisine

- (1) 5 oz. package of goat cheese
- 1 Large ripe Haas avocado, seeded and peeled
- 1 Sourdough baguette (about a foot long)
- 1 to 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- ¼ of an English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 Tsp Dijon mustard
- 1½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut baguette in half crosswise, and then lengthwise, yielding four pieces. Toast bread in oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine avocado and goat cheese, and mash together with a fork. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, continuing to whisk until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Spread equal amounts of the goat cheese mixture onto each of the toasted baguettes. Lay alternating slices of tomato and cucumber on top of each piece. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve open-faced. Serves 2.

Hint: Make extra vinaigrette and toss with baby greens for a great side salad!

Street Smarts
Are You Ready for a Beautiful Lawn & Garden?

Spring is here and that means one thing for gardening enthusiasts - it's time to plant! Whether you have a green thumb or you're barely able to keep a cactus alive, it never hurts to review a little helpful advice. Here are a few tips to keep your lawns green and your gardens lush:

Soil is everything
For around $12, you can purchase a soil testing kit at your local garden center. This will tell you the pH levels of your soil and help you to correct any imbalances.

Choose your plants wisely
Pick plants which will thrive in your yard's particular environment. Sunlight, shade, moisture, and exposure to the elements are all factors that should be considered.

Sketch out any landscaping ideas
Whether you're planting a garden or hiring a landscaper, putting your ideas on paper first is never a bad idea. Remember, it's a lot easier and cheaper to erase than it is to replant.

Feed the lawn
After your lawn's initial springtime growth spurt or after mowing it several times, fertilize your lawn with a high-quality, slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and take any necessary precautions if you have small children or pets.

Equip yourself properly
Aside from getting your lawnmower ready for action, you may want to take an inventory of your gardening tools. Here are the top ten tools every aspiring gardener should own: a gardening trowel, a spade, a shovel, a hoe, pruning sheers, a 5-gallon bucket, a wheelbarrow, a hose, a watering can, and gloves.

If you would like to learn more about lawn care and gardening, visit the USDA's website: www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/highlights/homegarden/lawn.html


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