Phil Mickelson: What he Teaches us About Credit and Credit Reports

Phil Mickelson:  
What he Teaches us About Credit and Credit Reports  

     I'm a fan of golfer  Phil Mickelson.  I'm not alone.  Phil is one of the most popular golfers playing in the PGA today.

     Now if you follow golf and Phil Mickelson's play, you know that Phil ... well, Phil can make your head spin.  One day he'll have you shaking your head with his choice of club, his decision-making, or loss of concentration.  Just frustrate the heck out of you.  And the next, he'll blind you with the depth of his remarkable talent.  (As I write this, Phil ended his day at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday, 1/31/2013 with a round of 60.) 

     But because of Phil's history, it came as no surprise to anyone when a few years back, Phil Mickelson's golf play seemed on yet another zig zag course.  Some days good, other days sad.  And at times it began to look to me as though Phil would rather not be on the course.  

    News then arrived during the 2010 season, that Phil Mickelson had  Psoriatic Arthritis, a more rare autoimmune disease disease that causes the body to "attack" itself.  A rheumatologist from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Robert Shaw, said that ...

     "The hallmark of this type of inflammatory arthritis is that it causes you to stiffen with even minutes of rest. So if Phil takes a short water break while playing, his joints would stiffen up.  The fact that Phil Mickelson was even able to play golf, much less compete in a couple of major tournaments with this condition, is amazing.”  

     Now at this point in the post, you must be wondering why the heck I'm talking about Phil Mickelson, a golfer.  Just what does he have to do with mortgage lending, credit, or real estate?

     Here's my connection ...

     I wrote a blog entitled,  "1 More Reason to Have Good Credit ... and Keep Good Credit".    That post related two facts.  #1 ... that many businesses follow the practice of checking the credit of their job applicants prior to hiring.  And #2, that many states are outlawing this practice.  Illinois is one of them.

     Many of the comments I received regarding this post questioned the ethics surrounding the running of credit on a job applicant.  They also raised the question, "does a credit report accurately portray what an applicant's performance might be in their job?"  Especially now, after the housing crisis our nation went through or the financial upheaval of the last few years?

     I say ... think about Phil Mickelson.  The media and many fans (including me) were about to write him off.  They said he'd lost his game.  He'd lost his competitive edge.  He wanted to quit the tour.  And none of it was correct at that time.

     The answer to Phil's problems were to be found in his health.  Something we could not see!  Things were not what we thought or as they seemed.  We didn't know the full story.  And at times, neither does a potential employer ... or a mortgage lender, when simply viewing a credit report.  

      Much has been  written  regarding "extenuating circumstances" in the past few days, and how they effected home owners during the recent housing crisis.  These "extenuating circumstances" are why mortgage lenders ask mortgage applicants for a  "Letter of Explanation" regarding some issues showing on their credit report.  

     Mortgage applicants should look on these "Letters of Explanation" as reasons for hope.  The Letter of Explanation provides them an opportunity to prove ... explain "extenuating circumstances", or why an issue on their credit report does not prove negligence or a pattern of neglect regarding financial responsibilities.

     I wholeheartedly agree that some credit issues should not jeopardize an otherwise good mortgage candidate's access to financing.  Those that suffered financial hardships should be allowed the opportunity to plead their cause and be heard.  To rejoin or forge a life as a home owner.  Why make them suffer longer or needlessly?

     Life is not always fair.  Life is also not always as it seems.  Phil Mickelson is proof of that.  He's come back and been a winner on the golf circuit.  Those that lost a home to short sale or foreclosure can be winners too ...  

     Dreaming of Buying a Home?  Refinancing?  Want to talk over your credit and how you can get back on track to become a home owner in Will County or elsewhere in Chicagoland?  Contact me today!  We'll have that conversation.  We'll take the action necessary to accomplish your dreams ... together.
     I can be conveniently found at the following:
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281    Skype:  630.219.1316
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1 More Reason to Have Good Credit ... and Keep Good Credit

1 More Reason to Have Good Credit ... 
and Keep Good Credit

     Did you know that ... according to a survey by the  Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of private employers check the credit histories of at least some of their job applicants.  13% conduct them on ALL candidates. 

     Rather sobering statistics that provide even more credibility to my ongoing message regarding the importance of obtaining and keeping good credit ...  

     Creating a good credit history, then maintaining it is vital these days.  It's why I recommend checking your credit, at minimum, once per year, either by going to,  or by contacting me.

     Proof ... strong proof ... lies within these stats.  More and more of our lives are dependent on our credit status.  Insurance rates.  Obtaining cell phones.  Loans of all types.  Renting an apartment.  Utility services within our homes and businesses.  Jobs.

     And yes, you read that right.  JOBS ...

     Here in Illinois (other states also - Hawaii, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, California, and Oregon) we have laws and rules prohibiting employers from using an applicant's (or current employee's) credit history when making decisions regarding employment.

     On January 1st, 2011, it became unlawful for Illinois employers to utilize credit reports in this manner ... unless a "satisfactory credit history is an established bona fide occupational requirement of a particular position or a particular group of an employer's employees".  

     An example of that?  To receive a mortgage license to do mortgage lending within the State of Illinois, I had to undergo fingerprinting and a credit check.  There are other employs that require the same.

     But for those states that do NOT have a similar law or protections in place, the issue remains.  Poor credit, or even credit issues from your past, can come back to haunt you in the present when you make application for a new job.  

     And with American credit card holders between their late 20's and early 30's acquiring more debt than older consumers, the issue of credit could loom even larger in the future. 

     What do employers hope to learn from running a credit report on a job applicant or employee?  

     Simply, they're looking for clues into the behavior and mindset of that applicant.  They're looking for a glimpse of their priorities. Their approach to life.  What the likelihood for fraudulent behavior or activities might be if hired? And a whole host of other insights that would somehow show how they might conduct their job. 

     One note should you be applying for a new job:  An employer can not run a credit report without notifying you in writing that they are going to do so.  

     Employers must also gain your written authorization to run the report.  And the report they acquire is just that, a report.  It does not include actual credit scores.  But again ... what are they looking for?  

     The following are the most common "red flags" that an employer will look for:

     *  Foreclosures
     *  Liens
     *  What percentage of your credit you are utilizing on credit cards, loans, etc.
     *  Late Payments and Late Fees
     *  Recent activity, inquiries, or credit usage

      All of the above truly provides you 1 More Reason to Have Good Credit ... and Keep Good Credit.  Although there are protections in place in many states, the facts remain ... many states DO allow employers to run credit ... and credit and credit scores are increasingly important.  

     Credit maintenance is important and should be a full-time focus. Not just when you're hoping to find a new job.  Not just when you're dreaming of buying a home.

    Dreaming of buying, building, refinancing, or investing in a home in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in Chicagoland?  

Contact me now.  We'll check your credit and get you on the path to home ownership.

     I'm easily and conveniently found at:

Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI Lic #216987

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331

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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40+ years of mortgage
experience will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  
Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and 
the greater Chicagoland region, including:  
The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, 
(New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill,
 Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, 
the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL & WI

Your Referrals are Greatly Appreciated!







You Go to the Gym. You Workout Daily. But How is Your FINANCIAL Fitness??

You Go to the Gym.  You Workout Daily. 
But How is Your FINANCIAL Fitness??

     During a mortgage pre-qualification, I ask many questions.  Among those questions are those pertaining to the applicant's credit and credit scores.  This shouldn't be surprising, given the enormous importance credit plays in mortgage lending.

 Your Mortgage Menu: Your Financial Health Dictates What Choices You Have      What's surprising to me though, is NOT the number of those applicants that don't know their credit scores.  Nope.  

     It's the sheer number of those that think they DO ... and then are totally, utterly, completely wrong.  They truly have no clue just how "financially fit" they are.  

     Now I'm not talking people trying to misrepresent the reality of their credit scores.  That happens, although I don't understand why someone would try this, as I'm obviously going to uncover the truth when their credit report is run.   

     No, I'm talking those that honestly do not know.  And being in the dark about credit and credit scores?  It's just not financially healthy.

     Credit and credit scores, are written about and talked about endlessly and in great detail.  And there's a good reason for that.  

     Now more than ever, your credit scores play a huge part in what you are charged when buying items.  Or whether you successfully obtain those things you want or need to live or work. 

     Credit scores can be:  

  • The bottom-line determinate as to whether landlords will rent to you  
  • Whether you'll get a utility company to supply service in your home, apartment, or business when you apply for it  
  • Whether you can get a cell phone or cable provider to put you under contract for service  
  • More ...

     In today's world, all very important things ... 

     It's mandatory that you carry car insurance when driving.  What you pay for that auto insurance will be dictated by your credit scores.  Other insurance premiums will be affected, as well.   

    Those credit cards with the low-interest rates seen advertised all the time (especially around the holidays)?  You won't be eligible if your credit scores are too low. 

     Credit scores ... they can't just matter to you when you're hoping to buy a home ... 

      Everything related above is why it's so important for you to get aware ... and stay aware ... of your credit scores and credit standing.  You have to pay attention on an ongoing basis. 

     Look at it this way ... 
 Contact Me!
     Your financial health needs must be addressed much like your physical health needs do. 

     You need a yearly financial checkup, just like you do your physical checkups.  Your financial checkup is the act of running your credit report at least once per year.

      Again, you can't wait to become financially "fit" just when hoping to buy a home.  Being knowledgeable about your credit and your financial health should be a lifelong and ongoing regimen.  

     So get knowledgeable about your financial fitness NOW.  Find out your credit scores and then stay educated about maintaining or improving them.  

     I can help you accomplish that.  And there will never be a better time than right now to get started.  Pick-up the phone. Email ... text ... contact me ... or stop by and talk to me today.

Have credit questions or needs?  Want to know your credit scores?  Get on track to buy a home?  Contact me now.  With 40 years of credit and mortgage experience and expertise, I can help you accomplish your goals.   
     I'm easily found at:  

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656

Direct:  815.277.4036      
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281    
 Get Answers - Get a Quote Now!

Twitter Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   LinkedIn Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Facebook Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Pinterest Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40+ years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  
The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL & WI.  

Your Referrals are Always Greatly Appreciated!


A Wedding - Home Buying Registry ... What Do You Think?

A Wedding - Home Buying Registry
What Do You Think?

     Prior to my wife joining me in my business, she worked in a local travel agency owned and run by one of her best friends.  For many reasons, she loved her job there.  Can you think of a job that could be more fun that promoting travel and travel destinations?  And the clients!  They were typically a pretty upbeat, fun group.  Especially those planning their honeymoons.

     I think my wife would have stayed working at the travel agency forever had business not come to a screeching halt as a result of 9/11.  If you remember correctly, no one went anywhere for a good long while after that.  And marketing wasn't going to change that.

     But one of the marketing concepts that was just beginning to take shape at the travel agency just prior to that momentous day was focused on couples planning their honeymoon.  Kay Travel had just implemented a new Honeymoon Registry system and it was beginning to take off.  

     The Honeymoon Registry worked much like other registries.  Couples chose their honeymoon destination, then added a menu of items or activities that they wanted ... say like a snorkeling adventure, a specific restaurant, or horseback riding.  Wedding guests were made aware of the Registry via the Shower or Wedding invitations.   

     Friends and relatives interested in gifting in this manner could then choose to donate to the honeymoon's general cost or supply/arrange a "gift" off the couple's menu of chosen activities/items.  I always thought the idea a good one.  And as I said, it was catching on.

     I'm thinking, maybe I should start something similar with my mortgage lending.  Work in tandem with local realtors ... and help couples set-up a Wedding - Home Buying Registry.  I mean, what can you think of that would be more helpful to today's marrying couple?  The hard cold truth is, that saving for a downpayment has gotten much harder.  This could be valuable help and assistance.

     I can tell you from my personal experience with my own sons and the couples I see.  Times have changed.  Needs have changed.

     The average unmarried couple that I see regarding mortgages is no longer as young as those of decades ago.  The age at which they marry has risen dramatically.  Their situations and financial scenarios are quite different as well.  They have the coffeemaker, the linens, and dishes.  They've been out of their parents home and on their own for quite a while.

    And still others are re-starting their lives.  They may have once been self-sufficient, but the recession forced them back home.  Now I'm seeing more and more that are wanting their own place again.  They are dreaming of rejoining the housing market.  Or ... the couple is remarrying.  They're pooling two households of wares and furniture.  Mingling two families.  They need more room.

     Those marrying today find themselves with needs that are quite different from those in the past.  The wedding gifts once gladly received just aren't needed as often.  So again, what would really help these modern couples most? What gift would have real impact on their lives?

     My answer?  Monetary gifts.  Now I know money has become the gift of choice for many wedding attendees.  And I know many marrying couples depend on those gifts to help pay for the wedding day itself.  But if you're like me, just giving money feels somewhat impersonal .. a little detached. 

     If you knew your wedding couple was hoping to buy a home ... and there was a way to actively help them, wouldn't that make the monetary gifting seem just a bit more meaningful?  A Wedding - Home Buying Registry.  Call me crazy ... and I'm thinking outside the box a bit, but I like the concept

     Rules and Regulations being what they are now , I'm sure there's more than a few "kinks" to work out with this concept.  But still, it sure would be the wedding gift that kept giving ... and grew in value.  

     Mull the idea over a bit.  What do you think??

     *  Dreaming of owning a home in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicagoland region?  Contact me!  I'll put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work on your behalf.  Together, you and I will get you on the right path to home ownership.
     I can be easily and conveniently found at:
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281     Skype:  630.219.1316
You are Invited to Follow Me through
any of the Social Media below:




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