SOURCE: Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame

May 18, 2011 08:00 ET

Top 10 Tips for Renters and Potential Homebuyers Offered by Credit Sesame

Consumer Help for Those Faced With the Unpredictable Housing Market and Rising Rents

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - May 18, 2011) - Credit Sesame, the leading free online service that helps consumers make smarter credit decisions and optimize their loans for maximum savings, today released consumer tips for current renters and prospective U.S. homebuyers. While home sales remain stagnant, renters are expected to pay a monthly average of over $1,025 in 2012, according to rental performance data company, Reis Inc.

"Times remain tough in the U.S. economy with many consumers focused on keeping their jobs and paying off debt while trying to stay afloat financially," said Tony Wahl, consumer education lending expert at Credit Sesame. "Renters and potential homebuyers should remain cautious but be empowered. We're offering 10 simple, smart tips to ensure they receive the best rental or home price."

Credit Sesame provides the following top five tips for consumers experiencing a rise in monthly rents:

1. The Master Negotiator -- Have a frank conversation with your current landlord and begin the negotiation process. While it's natural to have anxiety when asking for a rent reduction, landlords definitely do not want to be confronted with the prospect of an empty unit. The potential loss of rent may force them to reconsider their rental hike.

2. Shop Around -- It pays to be picky. Especially with a solid credit score, consumers are at liberty to shop around for a new rental unit, see what other prices are being offered and take their business elsewhere. Landlords, like lenders, check credit scores and reports to make a decision.

3. Two's Company -- Get a roommate to help offset the extra monthly costs. Be sure to check your lease to see if you are allowed to move forward with it and then confirm your landlord's approval. Always screen potential candidates and ask for a copy of one of their credit reports (they can pull one report from each of the three credit bureaus, for a total of three a year, for free from annualcreditreport.com) and make sure they are not habitual late-payers. You can also suggest that they get their Experian Equivalency Score for free, at Credit Sesame, anytime, at https://secure.creditsesame.com/signup with no credit card needed.

4. Sweat the Small Stuff -- All landlords want the perfect tenant. Pay your rent on time, follow the regulations of your lease and always keep an open dialogue between you and your landlord. You may be surprised how much leverage you gain when the topic of a rent increase comes knocking on your door.

5. Consider Buying -- With home interest rates still at record lows, some industry experts say now is the time to buy property. Before you make this big ticket purchase item, it is important to know where you stand and to figure out if buying makes sense for you and if you can afford it.

Credit Sesame offers the following five tips to discover if buying a house is right for you at this time:

6. Down Payment -- First, make sure you have money saved for a down payment -- and then some. Lenders typically require two months' worth of housing payments left in your bank account as a reserve.

7. It Pays to Have Good (or Great) Credit -- Ask yourself if your credit and income will qualify you for a loan. One little known industry secret: Lenders will look at all your credit scores from each of the three credit bureaus and take into consideration the middle score. If you're married and applying with a spouse, they will consider the lower of the two applicants' middle credit scores.

8. Go Beyond the Lender -- Take your time and really investigate the house or property you want to purchase. Consider hiring a professional engineer or a home inspector to locate potential damages, problems or repairs that may cost you money down the road.

9. The Good Old Piggybank -- How much house can you afford and can you afford to buy in your area? As a rule of thumb you should look at homes that are no more expensive than four times your gross income.

10. Location, Location, Location -- And finally, consider whether you are ready to settle down in that area. There's no set standard rule of how long you should plan to live in the property you purchase, but a horizon of at least five years is preferable.

To manage and monitor mortgages, personal loans, credit card debt and credit profile, all in one place for savings opportunities, customers can go to www.creditSesame.com.

About Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame (www.CreditSesame.com) is a leading online service that helps consumers make smarter credit decisions and optimize their loans for maximum savings. Credit Sesame is the only free online service that helps consumers monitor their credit information and the lending market, all in one place, in order to optimize their entire credit and loan portfolio, including mortgages, consumer loans, and credit cards. In just minutes, Credit Sesame provides a complete picture of consumers' credit and debt and regularly sorts through thousands upon thousands of loans, mortgages and refinancing options to help consumers save money and achieve their financial goals as things change. It only takes a minute to sign up for Credit Sesame's free online service. For more information visit http://www.creditsesame.com or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/creditsesame. You can also follow Credit Sesame on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/creditsesame.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Allyson Stinchfield
    H3O for Credit Sesame
    Phone: 415.618.8803
    Email: Email Contact

    Irene Shubladze
    Credit Sesame
    Phone: 650.539.4143
    Email: Email Contact