Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
There are a lot of folks who are happy 2010 is over and are looking forward to a better 2011.
For many homeowners who struggled to make mortgage payments and get bills paid, 2010 was a year of putting off big home purchases, like furniture and appliances, and big home-improvement projects, like recarpeting and repainting.
According to ServiceMagic’s Q3 Home Remodeling and Repair Index, Americans have switched their focus from adding on and doing major remodeling projects to completing “high cost” projects deemed “necessary.”
It’s no surprise that discretionary spending is down. Most households still haven’t seen their incomes rise, and millions of Americans are starting another year without a job. What most homeowners have been doing is saving as much money as they can to pay down debt, a process known in the commercial credit world as “deleveraging,” and a topic we’ve discussed elsewhere on the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
But you can’t put off an important home repair forever, even if it is expensive.
According to Craig Smith, ServiceMagic CEO, “Homeowners have started investing in large-scale improvement and repair projects, like windows, roofing, heating and air-conditioning, and septic tanks and wells. Many homeowners told us that they have been putting these projects off for a year or more but could no longer wait to replace these major items. As homeowners decide to stay put, they are continuing to invest in their homes.”
The index, which looks at more than a million requests for home repair service, found that:
How can you afford a major repair?
But by putting yourself on a sounder financial footing, you may be able to spend a little more on your house next year, especially if not doing a particular home-improvement project could cause major damage to your home.
Here are a few things you might want to do before you sign a home-improvement contract with the first contractor who crosses your threshold:
One final piece of advice: If you’re starting a big home-improvement project, be sure to have someone with experience (like a real estate attorney) read over and approve your contract. And if the attorney recommends that you set up an escrow account and use that to pay the contractor, do it!
Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and at the Home Equity blog for CBS MoneyWatch.
Balancing What the Bank Says You Can Afford and What You Can Really Afford
Getting Rid of Debt before Buying a Home
How to Think about Debt When Buying a Home
Strategic Default: The Consequences of Not Paying Your Mortgage
4 Tips for Buying a HUD Home
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.