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Did you ever wonder why some credit report inquiries affected your credit score and some didn't? Following is some information about credit report inquiries by Blueprint for Financial Prosperity that I found useful.


Did you know that when a company checks out your credit report, it can damage your credit score temporarily? It depends on if the inquiry is "hard" or "soft." Hard inquiries ding your score, soft don't. If you're going to get a mortgage or a car loan, a few points difference translates into a big chunk of change. So how do you know when an inquiry is going to be "soft" or "hard?"

A hard inquiry is when a person or organization requests your credit score and history and they intend to make a lending decision. Applying for a credit card? Hard inquiry. Getting approved for a car loan or mortgage loan? Hard inquiry. On your reports, each of the credit unions categorize these inquiries differently. TransUnion calls them "regular inquiries," Experian calls them "requests viewed by others," and Equifax calls them "Inquiries in the last 12 months." Hard inquiries usually drop your score by a few points for six months, then their effect is removed. This is why it's usually NOT a good idea to apply for credit cards before you get a mortgage loan.

A soft inquiry is everything else. They are often used by a person or organization when they don't intend to make a lending decision, though there are exceptions from one institution to another. Landlords and prospective employers will use them to assess your financial risk. Banks often use soft inquiries to confirm your identity. Credit cards and mortgage lenders use them to decide whether to pre-approve you for a card or a loan. When you check your own credit history, that's a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries have no effect on your score.

Sound simple? It's not. Do you think a applying for a checking account would be a hard or soft inquiry? It's actually a hard inquiry. To help you out the members of the Fatwallet forum have compiled a list of financial institutions that use hard inquiries when requesting your score and history for reasons other than credit card or loan approval.

(Scroll to bottom to see list of those that DON'T do hard pulls)

A

+ American Express Co. pulled Experian for a One Financial account without margin (combination brokerage/savings).
+ Ameriprise Insurance (division of American Express) - for car insurance quote (Equifax)
+ AT&T pulled Transunion for current customer moving from CA to OH initiating "new" landline
+ ATTWS - Equifax

B

+ Bank of America pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Bank of America pulled Trans Union for a CD account opened online.(3/20/2007)
+ Bank of America pulled Experian for a checking account. (8/29/06)
+ Bank Of America - Pulled a hard enquiry after applying *only* for savings account.
+ Bank Of America - Pulled a hard enquiry on Experian for MM savings account 4/2007
+ Bank of Atlanta
+ Bank of New York pulled Experian for a checking account and a savings account.
+ BB&T pulled Equifax for a checking account.
+ Brookline Bank pulled Experian for a checking account.
+ Brown & Co. pulls a hard one for EACH account that you open with TransUnion.

C

+ Catholic Federal pulled TU for new membership and opening of new checking.
+ Charles Schwab Bank pulled Equifax for opening new checking and investor account (without margin option)
+ Charter One Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account under the name St. Paul Bank Corp.
+ Chase Manhattan Bank pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Cingular Wireless pulled Equifax.
+ Citibank pulled Equifax (for opening 6-month CD)
+ Citibank pulled Trans Unions for a checking and savings account opened at the same time.
+ Citibank pulls hard inquiry for opening e-Savings account
+ Citizens - checking - Equifax
+ Clackamas Community Federal Credit Union - hard inquiry for savings and CD accounts
+ Comcast cable TV and HSI
+ ComED
+ Costco AMEX car insurance ran a Hard Inquiry on me
+ Countrywide (stopped pulling sometime in 2007)

D

+ DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) pulls a hard inquiry from Equifax when applying for membership.
+ Directv
+ DishNetwork
+ Dollar RENT A CAR (see Thrifty below)

E

+ Ebank - checking - Equifax
+ Everbank - pulled Experian for a Money Market Account, as well as for a checking one.

F

+ Fidelity - LionBank (Not Fidelity Investments)
+ Financial Center Credit Union
+ Fifth Third - Opening Checking Account
+ Flagstar Bank - Checking - Pulls TU

G

+ GMAC Bank - pulled TU for their MM savings account

H

+ HARRIS BANK — CD

I

+ Indiana Members Credit Union
+ ING Direct - When you open Electric Orange checking account, they will hard pull Equifax to determine the overdraft credit line limit for you. No hard pull for opening Orange Savings account.

J

+ Johnson & Johnson by Yale & Associates on Experian- employment

L

+ Local gas & electric utility (We Energies - Wisconsin)
+ Local Honda dealer- check + 5K credit card
+ Local Nissan dealer (Coral Springs Nissan Auto Mall) pulled a HARD one when I browsed their inventory
+ Local Toyota dealership- cash transaction

M

+ Marquette National Bank — checking, savings, CD and safe deposit box
+ Meadows Credit Union pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Mechanics Bank (sf) did hard pull from Equifax for a checking account.
+ Muriel Siebert & Co. pulled Experian for a brokerage account without margin.

N

+ National1St Credit Union - When opening an account/CD etc - Experian had pull
+ NASA Federal Credit Union - when applying for membership - Equifax hard pull

P

+ People's Gas
+ Pentagon Federal Credit Union
+ Presidential Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account under the name Presidential Savings.
+ Principal Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account, also pulls for money market account according to CSR.
+ Provident Central Credit Union, Bay Area, CA - When opening an account - Experean hard pull

Q

+ Qwest

S

+ Salem Five - pulled Equifax for a checking account.
+ Schwab - hard pull on Equifax for a checking account.
+ SCOTTRADE - hard pull on Equifax
+ Sprint - Long Distance for having them as the LD provider on a home phone.
+ State Farm Auto Insurance - for getting an auto insurance quote.
+ Suntrust - pulls an Equifax for opening of a checking account

T

+ T-Mobile for cell phone service on Transunion or Equifax
+ TD Waterhouse/Ameritrade pulled Equifax on an exisiting customer to open IRA
+ Thrifty RENT A CAR did hard pull prior to rental

U

+ UFBDirect.com - 3.30% on High Yield Money Market Savings
+ US Bank ( online / phone only. soft pull when opening in branch)

V

+ Verizon - landline, DSL, or VoIP (on Equifax or TransUnion). Also for new cellphone account.

W

+ Wachovia-Trans union (or Equifax in some cases) for opening a checking account
+ Wanigas CU - Pulls to become Member, Pulls for Checking - Experian
+ Wells Fargo (When ever you make any changes like adding additional account holder, change address on your account etc, their Credit department is making a hard enquiry on Experean, I fought with them to get it Re-Classified as a soft pull, be very careful with Wells Fargo). Add this also, i change my account from regular to all advantage account (have free bill pay, checks etc) and a hard pull.

—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-
Banks that DO NOT pull hard credit inquiries

Amalgamated Bank
Countrywide Bank FSB
FNBO Direct
PNC Bank (for opening a free checking account), soft pull in Equifax
Valley National Bank of NJ
Washington Mutual
U.S. Bank (in-branch visits only)

Review that list, compiled from empirical data, to help you make your credit decisions. Note: This list is pulled from a Fatwallet group-edited post. Check the original post for the most up-to-date information.

Jim writes the blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

FREE SEMINAR: HOW TO BUY A FORECLOSURE

by Pistol Tingen

In light of the harsh economic times and rampant foreclosures, the Pistol Tingen Team is conducting a free, educational Q & A seminar on how to buy foreclosures as a first time home buyer, move up buyer or investor.

We offer a positive perspective where there is currently so much negative. It is an excellent time for first time buyers to realize the American dream, or for investors to capitalize on low prices and abundant availablilty in the Greenville/Pitt County area. As one analyst recently wrote, “this is the opportunity of a generation to increase wealth through home/real estate ownership”.

Learn everything you need to know about buying foreclosures at this seminar. Taking place on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at 9am-12pm at Prudential Prime Properties, this seminar will feature an Expert Panel of Speakers. Having handled Fannie Mae foreclosures exclusively in our market since 1991, The Pistol Tingen Team has a wealth of knowledge to share. The public is invited and seating is limited. A lender will be available for mortage questions.

Location:

Prudential Prime Properties upstairs conference room, 2625 Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC  (Across from Gold's Gym).
If you have questions or need directions, don't hesitate to call us at 252-321-6161 or email Pistol@PistolTingen.com.

East Carolina University School of Dentistry will be one of the first public dental schools in the United States established in the past 40 years with an emphasis on serving the oral health care needs of rural America by focusing the curriculum on the education of general dentists to provide dental care and health policy leadership in North Carolina communities that have limited health resources and few other dentists, particularly specialists. 

Dental schools in other states operate admirable community education programs and provide valuable service learning opportunities for their students. However, in most dental schools, these community programs are often elective experiences or relatively brief 2-4 week rotations designed to supplement the core in-school clinical training.  A recent study found that the typical senior student in U.S. dental schools receives an average of only 11 days of patient care experience in community settings.  No other dental school emphasizes the unique culture and challenges of health services delivery and medical/dental disease patterns in small town America.

ECUSOD is also unique in that the primary focus of student recruitment will be individuals from rural and underserved areas who desire to return to this environment as health care providers. The school will also take the unique approach of preparing graduates to fulfill leadership roles in these communities and will provide students with curricular experiences designed to help them succeed as general dentists and as small business operators in the often economically challenging environment of rural counties.
ECUSOD will educate graduates to function autonomously as the sole dentist within a region and thus will emphasize the diagnostic role of the general dentist since timely referral to dental specialists is often not feasible in the rural practice environment. ECUSOD students will enter school with the expectation that substantial components of the curriculum will be implemented outside the confines of the core campus and with the expectation that their capstone learning experience will be an extended immersion in a dental clinic located in a rural community away from the ECU campus.

With a projected opening date of fall 2011, ECUSOD will provide a unique dental education experience with emphasis on preparing graduates to fulfill an expanded primary care role that requires well developed assessment skills and capacity to provide a broad array of dental care services without support from dental specialists such as endodontists, oral surgeons and pediatric dentists who are often not available in rural North Carolina.

For more information about the Greenville, NC – Pitt County area—especially real estate information, please contact The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team at (252) 321-6161.

 

Now is the perfect time to buy a home or invest in real estate in the Greenville, NC – Pitt County area.

The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team can help you locate a variety of well-priced properties, as well as direct you towards a multitude of financing options currently available. Contact us at (252) 321-6161 so we can show you that the timing is perfect and financing choices are still available!

See for yourself--take a moment and review our brief True – False Test below.  We think you’ll be surprised by the answers.

True or False 

1. “I have to have a large down payment to purchase a home.”
     False.
  There are several loans available that require little or NO Money Down Payments
2. “I have to have perfect credit to qualify for a home loan.”
     False.
  Loan programs are available for many buyers with mid range credit scores.
3. “Homes are not a good investment now.”
     False.
  The September 2008 average sales price of a single family home in Pitt County was      higher than for September 2007.

Current economic fundamentals show that this is a good time to buy a home. 

Here are the Top 4 Ways to Buy a Home Now!

1.  USDA Offers 100% Financing
     You may even be able to financing closing costs!
2.  3% Down FHA Loans
      Easy Underwriting guidelines still available!
3.  100% Veterans Loans
     Qualifed Veterans are exempt from 1st Time Homebuyers Requirements! 
4.  NC Housing with Down Payment Assistance
    
You may borrow  $7,000  for down payment and closing costs with no interest and deferred payments!  Income and sales price limits may apply.  Contact The Pistol Tingen Team for a referral to a Mortgage Specialist who can assist you.

Plus, the once-in-a-lifetime $7,500 tax credit available to many First Time Buyers, makes a home purchase today an even greater investment!

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit: A Reason to Buy Now

When you combine the tax credit with today’s continuing low interest rates, large selection of for-sale inventory, and low home prices, now is a perfect time to buy a home.

How the Tax Credit Works

The First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit was passed this year as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.R. 3221) on July 30 and targets any individual or household that hasn’t owned a home for at least three years. Taxpayers can take the credit on their 2008 tax return if they bought their house this year after April 9.

It’s worth up to $7,500 and can be taken in a single tax year. Authorization for the credit ends July 1, 2009, so if you wait to buy in the first half of 2009, you can take the credit on your 2009 tax return.

The actual credit amount is set as a percentage of the home purchase amount. That percentage amount is 10 percent, so you can get 10 percent of the home price credited against your tax liability, up to a maximum $7,500.

Income limits are $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for households. Individuals whose income exceeds the $75,000 limit but isn’t more than $95,000 can still take the credit but on a reduced basis. The same thing applies to households earning up to $170,000.

Any house is eligible as long as it’s a primary residence and is in the United States.

Buyers Have 15 Years to Pay Back

To help keep the program cost effective for taxpayers, the federal government requires the tax credit to be paid back in small, 6.67-percent increments over 15 years. For that reason, some analysts have likened the credit to a 15-year, interest-free loan to help make home buying affordable.

There’s one restriction on the type of financing that home buyers can use if they plan to take the credit. That restriction is on tax-exempt mortgage financing. That only applies if the home buyers are using below-market interest-rate financing from a public agency or nonprofit that’s funding the loan using proceeds from a tax-exempt mortgage-revenue bond issue. For most buyers, this won’t be an issue. It’s mainly an issue for low-income buyers using special mortgage financing.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, or if you have questions about the Greenville, NC – Pitt County real estate market, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

The Reality of Real Estate

by Pistol Tingen


     The media, all brands and flavors, has done a magnificent job of portraying the housing market as distressed and all but out of business.  Yes, there are areas that have been hard hit such as resort markets where property “flipping” was all the rage along with the belief that rising values would never end.  Well, it’s silly to believe that any commodity has an infinite price point and when markets got overbuilt and overpriced, look at what happened.  No one should be surprised.  There are other parts of the country that have faced manufacturing plant closings and other job losses and that has had a dramatic and profoundly negative impact on the housing market.

     But what about North Carolina and, especially, the Greenville-Pitt County area?  North Carolina and our locale are some of the hottest destinations in the country for business, industry and retirement.  There is no reason to believe that is going to change over the long term, and that’s good news for real estate.

     Let’s look at homes from a practical point of view.  A home is somewhere you live. It is something you can enjoy every day. It is something you can improve over time and immediately reap the benefits.  It is also something that affords most families a significant tax break through the mortgage interest deduction.  And as you pay down your mortgage over time, you build equity, or savings, that millions of people have found to be invaluable over the years, aside from long term appreciation.  Is all that gone?  In my opinion, not in the long run and history validates my position.

    So, what has happened here?  The Greenville-Pitt County real estate market has slowed along with the rest of the economy.  That was inevitable.  My opinion is that it will also improve along with the rest of the economy.  Exactly when?  Nobody knows.  In the meantime, and looking over  comparisons of sales activity for the first three quarters of 2007 and 2008, the number of closed single family residential sales has declined approximately 33%, but has outperformed some other markets.  That still represents over 1,100 homes sold – not an insignificant number.   What about prices?  Prices have actually increased in our market from an average of $185, 233 last year to $187,922 this year.  A modest gain, yes, but a gain nonetheless.  The slight price rise we’ve witnessed is  an indication of the value many buyers have seen in local properties for sale, in my opinion.  What about financing with the “collapse” of the credit markets?  The fact of the matter is that mortgage financing is readily available to qualified, credit worthy buyers.   It’s that simple.  And interest rates remain at historic lows, saving individual consumers thousands of dollars in mortgage interest charges.

     So with all that in mind, is it a good time to buy a home?  With low interest rates, realistic prices, homes for sale in all price ranges, the answer is yes.  Just be mindful that real estate, as with other investments, should be viewed from a long term perspective.

Submitted By Richard Lane, Broker-In-Charge
Prudential Prime Properties

World Renowned Surgical Pioneer Launches ECU Lecture Series

by Pistol Tingen

 

September 25, Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr. delivered the inaugural lecture in the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series offered by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University located in Pitt County, Greenville, NC.  Speaking on the history of heart surgery at East Carolina University, Dr. Chitwood addressed an audience of more than 200 people.

Dr. Chitwood is the senior associate vice chancellor for health sciences at the Brody School of Medicine, director of the East Carolina Heart Institute and a cardiovascular surgery professor at the medical school.  Dr. Chitwood described innovations that began with the turn of the 20th century as well as medical innovations that continue today—including his development of the da Vinci Surgical System currently used to help patients at the Brody School of Medicine. Chitwood uses the system he developed and conducts minimally invasive surgery remotely with robotic arms.

Surgeons from around the world travel to Greenville, NC to study and learn the da Vinci Surgical System techniques developed by Dr. Chitwood.    Chitwood’s recognition that robotic technology could provide surgeons with the visibility and freedom of movement required for performing cardiac surgery resulted in his development of the da Vinci System.

The Brody School of Medicine is the first U.S. institution to perform robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery.  The Cardiovascular Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital currently performs 1,200 cardiac surgical, 3,000 interventional, and 5,000 catheter-based procedures every year according to Dr. Chitwood. He described the surgery as being very much like virtual reality. “You are doing the operation as if it is a hand motion, but there are not the mistakes that hands can make,” he said. 

The University Health Systems (UHS) 2008 Quarterly Report, Dr. Chitwood leads the field in heart surgery using the robot, and he recently performed his 400th robot-assited mitral valve replacement.

Dr. Chitwood is a member of 25 professional societies, and is the President of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The community of Greenville, NC is proud and fortunate to claim the world-renowned surgical pioneer as one of our esteemed residents..

For those individuals who would like to learn more about all that Greenville, NC has to offer, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team provides an extensive, informative Newcomer’s Relocation package.  For immediate response, please contact our office to speak with one of our licensed professional Realtors at (252) 321-6161.

North Carolina Global TransPark Newest Site for Spirit AeroSystems

by Pistol Tingen

 

Marking another sign of growth for the North Carolina Global TransPark, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. broke ground this week. For the Global TransPark--located in Kinston, NC and just minutes from Greenville, NC, this ground-breaking represents the beginning of a significant economic development. The GTP is a cargo airport and transportation hub created in 1991 to bring jobs to the eastern part of North Carolina.

Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.is the world’s largest independent supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components and is based in Wichita Kansas. Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. announced May 14, 2008, that it would expand its operations in to Lenoir County, a close neighbor to Pitt County, NC. According to Spirit, their new facility will hire 1,031 workers and invest more than $570 million in the project.

In a press release, Gov. Mike Easley stated, “This groundbreaking represents a tremendous opportunity for Kinston and Lenoir County, North Carolina’s emerging aerospace industry and eastern North Carolina”. In addition Easley said, “When construction is complete, we will have one of the world’s most advanced aerospace fabrication and assembly plants”.

Completion of the projected 500,000-square foot manufacturing facility is scheduled for April of 2010. Initially, Spirit will employ 500 people, with plans to grow employment to the 1,000 number when all five phases are fully implemented. According to Dan Wheeler, Vice President and General Manager of the North Carolina Business Unit, Spirit will begin recruiting engineers later in the year. Wheeler commented that several hundred engineering positions will be created for the Kinston GTP facility.

For relocating individuals seeking real estate assistance in the areas surrounding the GTP, The Pistol Tingen Team provides superior, professional service. Our team specializes in helping families learn more about the Greenville and Kinston areas. Whether relocating to or simply moving within Pitt and Lenoir counties, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Greenville, NC Ranks 10th Largest City in North Carolina

by Pistol Tingen

 

The most recent U.S. Census Bureau’s annual population estimates reveal that Greenville, NC is on the rise.  Based on the Bureau’s figures, as of July 1, 2007, Greenville has passed Asheville and Jacksonville—ranking Greenville, NC as the 10th largest city in the state of North Carolina. With a population of 76,058, Greenville has increased 3.4% over the 2006 Bureau figures.

In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau figures showed that Greenville had the second fastest growth for a municipality of more than 40,000—second behind Cary, NC.  This year, Bureau statistics reveal that Greenville is the fifth fastest growing city behind Huntersville—with a growth rate of 9.1%, Cary—with a growth rate of 7.2%, Raleigh—with a growth rate of 4.2% and Concord—with a growth rate of 3.8%.

Much of Greenville’s growth is due to the increasing interest in Greenville, NC as a desirable relocation destination because of the city’s variety of attractive characteristics. To learn more about relocating to Greenville, NC, please contact The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team at (252) 321-6161.

U.S. Government to the Mortgage Rescue?

by Pistol Tingen

 

Before the weekend comes to a close, both FannieMae and FreddieMac may lose control to the United States Treasury Department.   Steven Adamske, spokesman for House Financial Services, stated, “We are waiting to see what the details are”.

Both FannieMae and FreddieMac currently buy and package mortgages for other investors, and together hold or guarantee $5 trillion in housing debt—a figure that represents nearly half of the nation’s total.  The financial health of these two mortgage giants is critical to the housing market.

FreddieMac and FannieMae  are chartered by the government but are shareholder owned—funded solely with private capital raised from investors on Wall Street and around the world. Without question, they are the nation’s main source of liquidity for home loans.  At the present time, neither mortgage company appears to be in imminent danger of failure.

The plan under consideration could place Freddie and Fannie under federal control, and could include steps to dilute common stock while sheltering the agencies from financial losses. 

Federal intervention could serve as a partial remedy to help correct the slumping housing market by easing fears about the solvency of FreddieMac and FannieMae.  Both Freddie and Fannie could then obtain funding easier, which could lead to lower interest rates on mortgages and provide a jolt to the housing market.

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, commented, “It’s a bold move and it certainly has big plusses.  Mortgages rates would lower and more credit would be available.  Stepping in like this will be a big shot in the arm to the stock market and bond market.  It’s a very positive step.”.

Certainly these are some changing times in the entire real estate market.  Throughout the fluid housing market of Greenville, NC – Pitt County, The Pistol Tingen Team continues to offer unwavering, professional real estate service to the community. Whether buying or selling, please contact us (252) 321-6161 for all your real estate needs.

30-year Mortgages Lowest in 6 Weeks!

by Pistol Tingen

 

Good news! Right before the Labor Day weekend, rates on 30-year mortgages fell for the second straight week, declining to the lowest level in more than a month.

On August 28 Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.40% for the week, down from 6.47% a week earlier. The rate was the lowest since the week of July 17 when 30-year mortgages were at 6.26%.

 

The Freddie Mac survey also showed that other mortgage rates were mixed during the week.  Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate—a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 5.93% from 6%.  Rates on five-year, adjustable mortgages averaged 6.03%, up slightly from 5.99%.  Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages also edged up slightly to 5.33%, from 5.29%.

 

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.67%, 15-year mortgage rates averaged 6.12%, five-year adjustable-rate mortgages were at

6.35%,  and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages stood at 5.84%.

 

While mortgage rates remain attractively low and there continues to be a surplus of homes on the market, now is a great time to purchase a home in Greenville, NC.  The Pistol Tingen Team is always available to assist with your real estate needs at (252) 321-6161.

 

Displaying blog entries 61-70 of 85

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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