This week will conclude our loan mini-series with Nationally Certified Mortgage Specialist Teresa Giannini. Giannini gives some practical advice on getting a Chicago home loan, even in a difficult economy. She also shares some ways to ensure that you are working with an experienced Chicago home loan officer throughout your loan process. Even with her twenty-three years of experience, Giannini recounts the process that was required of her to maintain her licensing.
“The best tip I can give you to get the best rate in today’s economy is to make sure you are dealing with a qualified, experienced and licensed professional,” Giannini stressed. “Those of us that are still in the business went through a rigorous process last year to be able to originate and get licensed.” Giannini continued, “Not only are we required take the Illinois State Test, but also the National Test, get fingerprinted, have a background check, a credit report done and 8 hours of additional continuing education classes over and above our normal requirement.” Giannini feels that all consumers should ask their loan officer about credentials and licensing before starting loan paperwork.
When dealing with a reputable mortgage broker/banker you are sure to get the best rate and program available to meet your needs,” she said. “The biggest factor impacting rates today is credit scores. It’s all about credit scores.” Giannini continued to advise that the higher the score the better the rate and that consumers need to keep tabs on their credit and watch out for unusual activity on their credit reports.”
The simplest way to maintain your credit rating, according to Giannini is to, “Pay all accounts on time. Keep your balances as low as possible, preferably less than 45% of your high credit limit on credit cards,” said Giannini. She also suggested, “Keep inquiries to a minimum… Excessive inquiries will lower your score.” More tips on keeping your credit score up are to avoid negative credit, “such as late pays, collections, judgments, and bankruptcies and never close an account. The longer the credit history being reported on your credit the higher your scores will be.”
Giannini’s experience has taught that “Every lender has their own ‘hits’ to the rate for low credit scores. Typically,” she said, “on a conventional loan, scores over 740 have the best rate possible. For buyers with blemished credit, I can help them repair their credit and get them on the path to homebuying as soon as possible.”
Teresa Giannini is a licensed Certified Mortgage Specialist trained for FHA, VA and conventional financing including 203k loans. Her Great Lakes Home Mortgage office is located at 1030 W. Higgins Rd. Suite 210 Park Ridge, in Park Ridge. If you would like more information, please call Giannini at 847.292.0989 ext. 102 or email [email protected].