Get Adobe Flash player


General Information

Markets in a Minute – 4/18/2014

For the Week Ending April 18, 2014

The Fed’s most recent economic report reveals no significant changes or adjustments. Status quo for the Fed favors stable rates.
Last week’s jobless claims were at a 7-year low. Good employment news usually leads to a jump in rates, but so far, not this time.
Winter’s thaw is ushering in some economic improvement. Consumer spending was up in March, and consumer sentiment is up in April.

Average asking prices for homes are at a 5-year high. Inventory is up, but not to normal levels. Greater inventory and competition could mitigate price increases.
Housing starts are down overall, but up for single-family homes. Experts had expected weakness in single-family starts, so the news is good for rates.
Mortgage applications rose this past week. This may help support the theory that a tough winter was dampening the spring market.

I met a guy who’s a walking economy.The front of his hair is in recession, his stomach is a terrible victim of inflation,and the combination is putting him into deep depression!



Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Tips for Managing Your Credit

Credit Score Report History WisconsinThis is part four, in a six part series, on how to be an expert of your credit.

Recent tallies show a third of U.S. credit scores fall below 649. While not impossible, acquiring a mortgage loan will likely be more difficult and more expensive at this level than with higher scores.

Below are the fundamentals to guide you in establishing and maintaining a healthy and legitimate score.

The somewhat obvious

  1. Borrow only what you can afford to repay
  2. Make all of your payments on time
  3. Avoid excessive requests or inquiries for credit
  4. Have an emergency account to pay for unexpected expenses
  5. Check your report annually to contest and remove any erroneous information

The not so obvious

  1. Do not open new store credit cards just to save on a purchase. New accounts can lower your score, and too many payments can be difficult to manage. Saving 10% on a $300 lawn mower means little if it costs you even just fractionally more on a $300,000 home loan.
  2. Do not open new accounts just to transfer balances for an introductory rate. In addition to possibly lowering your score, these offers often have traps. Instead, use them to leverage a lower rate from your existing card company.
  3. Do not close old accounts. If you have a good record of payments on old accounts, these will benefit your score. Using them occasionally and conservatively will keep them active and contribute toward a good score.
  4. Do not be afraid to use credit. Without the use of credit, you will have no score, and that can be just as bad as a low one.
  5. Keep a high credit line and a low balance. Credit utilization ratios measure this relationship, and lower is better.
  6. Maintain a variety of account types. A combination of revolving, installment and secured financing along with excellent records of payment will yield a higher score. Still, don’t run out and open an account just to have diversity, as this is the least influential factor.

As always, contact me if you have questions about credit or a home mortgage.