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.
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