March 18th, 2011

Friday Roundup: Credit Karma & Housing Market News

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The meaning of owning a house can equate to shelter, or a big monthly payment, or even evolve into a home. But, do you ever think of your home as a key financial asset to benefit your retirement?

U.S. News & World Report shares the benefits of tapping your home value to help you in your golden years. Home equity, among other things, is an alternative option to help fund retirement.

I think people tend to look at their houses as an anchoring point, and are kind of reluctant to mess with that. There’s an emotional attachment there…The point is that people should explore options and find out what’s right for them,” one spokesperson stated.

Dealing with your home as a possible retirement asset is no small decision; your options should meet your individual needs and life situation.

Four major ways to use your home to propel your future finances include:

  1. Loans – borrowing against the value of your home.
  2. Income – generating rental income from your home.
  3. Taxes – taking full advantage of government tax breaks.
  4. Moving – moving to cut down monthly housing expenses and align with post-retirement income levels.

What do you think? Would you be willing to leverage your home to help pad your nest egg?

Happy Friday all! We have more from the housing market front, including a young home buyer’s mortgage primer for 20- or 30-somethings interested in buying their first home, how to get a mortgage for modest means, and even 5 dirt-cheap home staging ideas you must try out if you’re selling your home. Before you sail into your weekend, stop by here and catch up on some great financial reading!

Credit Karma News

  • Ask Credit Karma: How Do I Ditch My Old Credit Card. I had a friend back in college who switched boyfriends every other month to “upgrade,” as she called it. However, switching credit cards will leave you with more than just heartache; a closed account can lower your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to seven years. LearnVest
  • Credit Karma Review That’s why I like Credit Karma, a website dedicated to helping you maintain a good credit score for free. It allows you 24/7 access to your TransRisk score (provided by TransUnion), auto insurance score (also provided by TransUnion), and the recently added VantageScore (an independent company). Money Crashers
  • Despite Debt Decreases, Credit Scores Still Falling, According to, the consumer’s credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for February 2011. The Street

Housing Market News

  • A Young Home Buyer’s Mortgage Primer. You’re not buying a home. You’re buying an investment portfolio, and you’re funding the portfolio with a mortgage. What does this mean for you? My Life ROI
  • Five Myths Regarding Regarding Renter’s Insurance. However when it comes to renter’s insurance we often balk because we are unaware of the risks, and being ignorant to these risks don’t mean they are less likely to befall us. Listed below are five of the most common myths that prevent people from seeing the need to purchase a renter’s insurance policy. Smart On Money
  • 5 dirt-cheap home staging ideas. When it comes to selling your home, appearance is everything. But hiring a professional “stager” to prepare the home for prospective buyers can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, according to Jessica Page, a Realtor with Innovative Real Estate in Denver. Fortunately, homeowners can take matters into their own hands.
  • Mortgage for Modest Means. These aren’t the heady days of 2006, when you could get approved for a huge mortgage with a modest paycheck. Today, mortgage lenders are looking closely at your income, and making sure you can repay your loan. Does that mean you can’t get a loan? Not exactly. But it does mean that you may need to adjust your expectations. Financial Highway
  • An Ethical Dilemma – Choosing Foreclosure to be a Stay At Home Mom . Is short-selling my home just totally wrong, since quitting my job is in fact a choice? Or is it the right choice because my family should come first? Cash Money Life

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

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