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November 15-21, 2020 is Fraud Awareness Week. Unfortunately, during times of emergencies (including international pandemics) fraud attempts will increase. Scammers use these uncertain and vulnerable times to attempt to steal your data, identity, or money. In order to help you protect your information, here are some important tips to consider:
Do not disclose personal or financial account information via email and be wary of emails asking you to click a link to log in to your account.
Most companies will not call you directly and ask for your username, password, personal identification number (PIN) or other account information. If you aren’t sure about the call, hang up and call the company directly to ask about the inquiry.
Be cautious of incoming text messages that ask you to click on a link. In the same light, most companies will not ask you for account information via text. CALL the business from a verified phone number to ask them if they are asking for this information.
Browse the internet safely and be aware before clicking on links or downloading materials.
Thoroughly review your financial accounts on a regular basis to ensure all transactions are authorized.
Verify the authenticity of charitable organizations prior to making donations.
Microsoft or other computer software providers do not call asking to have access to your computer for updates.
Make sure your contact information is up to date with BankWest – log in to your online banking and verify under “Settings – Profile”
Safeguard Your Personal Information – ID TheftSmart provides monitoring, consultation and restoration services to protect your personal identifying information. BankWest checking customers qualify for comprehensive services – for just $6.99 per month.
We all know that getting a mortgage is a major decision, with lots of steps involved. Our job is to guide and educate you about things you can do along the way to make the process go more smoothly. Protecting your credit score is critical when you’re in the process of buying a new home. Your rate and loan costs could be affected by even a slight change. Since getting a mortgage requires that you show your creditworthiness and financial stability, here are a few steps you can take to position yourself as a good candidate for a mortgage:
Make sure you have access to recent:
Pay stubs, W-2s and/or 1099s and Tax return
Keep up on all your credit payments by making them on time and avoiding late payments on: vehicle, credit cards, utilities, student loans.
When possible, pay off the total balance of credit cards instead of just making the minimum payment required.
Speaking of credit – don’t apply for new credit, such as a new credit card, car loan, or financing for furniture or appliances. If you do, notify your Mortgage Originator as soon as possible so these debts can be verified and included in your loan review.
Stay at your current job. Since reliable income is a big part of your qualification and stability is important to your creditworthiness, a change now can affect your credit score and delay your loan application. If you do change employment, notify your Mortgage Originator immediately. New income and employment will have to be verified for loan approval.
Don’t liquidate funds (keep your investment funds invested)
Your credit report may be pulled several times throughout the course of processing your home loan, so keep the above advice in mind. And always be sure to inform your BankWest mortgage originator of any changes to your income, debts, purchases, or other financial matters.
These tips are a great start to getting you on the road to refinancing or purchasing a new home. Together we can keep the home financing process smooth and stress-free!
Equal Housing Lender.
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