When applying for credit, you allow lenders to ask or "inquire" for a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau.  You may notice that these credit inquiries are listed on your Credit Report.  The only inquiries that may affect your FICO Scores are the ones that result from you applying for new credit.
How much will credit inquiries affect my score?
The impact from an application for credit is different for each person depending on the individual credit history. Credit inquiries have a small impact on a FICO Scores.  An additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off most people FICO Scores. For perspective, the full range for FICO Scores is 300-850. If you have few accounts or a short credit history the impact can be greater. While inquiries often can play a part in assessing risk, they play a minor part. Payment history and credit utilization are much more important factors for your scores.  
FICO Scores ignore inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries will not affect your scores while you're rate shopping. In addition, FICO Scores look on your credit report for rate-shopping inquiries older than 30 days. FICO Scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45-day span. 
Soft credit inquiry: Occur when a person or company checks your credit report to determine your creditworthiness or as a background check for work.  While these inquiries are listed on the version of the credit report that you (but not other businesses) can view, soft credit inquiries do not affect your credit score. 
Hard credit inquiry: Take place when you apply for credit (credit cards, auto loans, mortgage etc) .  These inquiries are known as hard, or voluntary, credit inquiries. There is a risk that these inquiries “can”affect your credit scores. Potential creditors will see these inquiries listed on your report. 
Inquiries are an essential part in the lending world.  It is good to take your time and effort to browse around.  The inquiry itself will have little or no effect on your credit score.  Multiple inquiries can be explained to any lender, so the risk is nominal.  The real impact for lower are missed payments, high revolving balances, and a lack of positive credit history.  

This was a guest post written by Linda Boscia who is a Business Development Manager for Better Qualified. Better Qualified founded in 2006, is a National Company helping consumers improve, restore and build their credit. Linda has worked with Better Qualified for over 8 years to educate Realtors on the Dos and Donts of Credit. She is dedicated to providing education, self help and support to clients with credit issues.
Linda Boscia I Business Development Manager
Better Qualified

For the Week Ending December 7, 2018



Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.



The yield on 5-year Treasury bonds slipped below the rate on 2-year Treasuries, called an 'inversion.' Inverted yield curves could be a sign of a future recession.
Mortgage rates improved this week as stocks tumbled and bonds rallied. Concerns the economy is cooling off could help rates continue to improve.
The trade deficit widened more than forecast in October to the highest in a decade. This underscores continued fallout from the China-U.S. trade dispute.


CoreLogic reports homeowners with negative equity declined by 81,000 in the 3rd quarter. The average homeowner gained $12,400 in home equity year over year.
Luxury home builder Toll Brothers reported its first decline in quarterly orders in more than 4 years. It's thought rising interest rates and home prices were to blame.
Buyers are spending more time trying to find the perfect home, often 3 months or longer. However, most buyers say they refuse to give up and will keep looking.

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.



When shopping for a home, you may come across properties that aren’t quite what you’re looking for, but have the potential to be your dream home with some repairs or renovations. With a renovation loan, you can roll the cost of financing or refinancing a home and repairs into one loan – saving you time and money.

Whether your home improvement projects are large or small, a home renovation loan can help you get the job done!

What are the benefits of a Renovation Loan?

Home improvements such as adding an extra room or replacing the roof not only makes a difference in how much you enjoy your home, but it can improve its overall value as well. If you aren’t happy with some features of your house, or want to purchase a home that needs work, consider using a home renovation loan to transform a house into your very own dream home.

Although you may be able to pay for home improvements with a personal loan or other types of financing, these methods have higher interest rates and monthly payments.

Instead, you can combine the purchase price plus the renovation costs into one mortgage payment or refinance your existing mortgage plus construction costs into a new mortgage. Our renovation programs make it easy for you to improve your property by including the extra financing in a purchase or refinance loan.

Some of our Renovation Loans Include:

  • FHA 203 K Program
  • Streamlined 203K
  • Standard 203K
  • HomeStyle

Learn more about our Renovation Mortgage Programs here.

Greenway Mortgage understands that home renovations of any size can be a huge undertaking. They’re exciting, but they can be a bit challenging and even inconvenient, depending on the degree of your renovations and the timeframe estimated until completion. Remember, a renovation can increase the value of your home or simply make your home more comfortable to live.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a Renovation Loan can help you, contact us today or visit our website here.

A renovation mortgage could be the right loan product for you. If you're looking to purchase a home or renovate your existing home, you should consult Erin the Expert about your plans. She will be able to explain the different options available.

In this video, Erin tells us about the two types of FHA 203k renovation mortgage programs - how they are different, what they can be used for and the process for getting one.

Below are some notes, details and examples from this episode.

General guidelines

  • Can be used to
    • Purchase and repair a home that needs TLC
    • Finance the renovation of your existing home
  • 203k renovation loans are an FHA product which means 3.5% down payment (96.5% max LTV)
  • Can borrow against 110% of the after improved (end) value (see example)
  • Renovations can be up to 50% of after improved (end) value
  • Can be used to finance the cost of
    • Renovations
    • Permits
    • Inspections
    • Reserves
    • Additional closing costs.

Types of 203k Renovation Loans

  • Limited 203k
    • $35k max renovation
    • Good for roof, windows, bathrooms, kitchens
  • 203k standard
    • Projects over $35k
    • Good for comprehensive and structural repairs: additions, rebuilds, multi-room

You will need a 203k Consultant

  • Independent 3rd party
  • Reviews plans and pricing - Ensures financially feasible
  • Inspects work - Makes sure end result is safe and livable

Max Loan Amount Example

  • Value before renovations: $150,000
  • Renovation costs: $50,000
  • End value: $200,000 ($150,000 + $50,000)
  • 110% end value: $220,000 ($200,000 x 110%)
  • Max loan-to-value (LTV): 96.5% (3.5% down payment)
  • Max mortgage amount: 
    • $220,000 x 96.5%
    • $212,300
  • Minimum down payment (equity) required: $7,700
    • $220,000 x 3.5%

Additional Resources

Are you a first time home buyer?

Consider downloading our FREE homebuying guide specifically for those new to the process. It's packed with useful information, checklists and tip sheets to get you off on the right foot.

Are you ready to take the next step?

It's time to get pre-approved with Erin the Expert!





On November 27, 2018 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an increase in the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019.
The maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. Release.
The decision was based on the recovery of housing prices under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). They require that the baseline conforming loan limit be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price.  
FHFA third quarter 2018 House Price Index (HPI) reported that house prices increased 6.9%, on average, between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018. The baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2019 will increase by the same percentage.
For areas in which 115% of the local median home value exceeds the baseline conforming loan limit, the maximum loan limit will be higher than the baseline loan limit.  
A list of the 2019 maximum conforming loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the country can be found here.
Contact your Greenway Mortgage loan officer today for more details about how the increase can impact you.

2019 Conforming Loan Limits Effective January 2019

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