July 14, 2006

Improve your credit score, there’s help

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

Once in a while you consider buying a house. You start making plans: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big backyard for carnes asadas on weekends.

You imagine your family, your children with a heritage that will last a life time.

At night, you dream of the ideal house, the one located on a street full of trees.

But when you wake up from your sweet dreams you come face to face with reality: Your credit score isn’t the best, and, for some reason or another, you have some past due accounts pending.

A free event Saturday, July 15, will give you the chance to reserve a brand new home, at the day’s current price, with a new credit improvement program to help turn homeown-ership dreams into a reality. The program in sponsored by The Olson Company, a nationally recognized developer of unique residential communities through-out California.

As a prospective home buyer, you might know that the higher the credit score, the lower your mortgage rate, which in turn equals to lower monthly payments on the purchase of a home.

The Olson Company has teamed up with Countrywide Home Loans to host the credit improvement event on Saturday, July 15, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the builder’s latest Paradise Walk townhome community in National City.

In addition to live entertainment, food, contests, prize giveaways, attendees will have the opportunity to have free consultations with Countrywide credit counselors.

“Anybody interested in buying a house can attend this free workshop, which is the only program of its type in San Diego County,” said Marcie Little, vice president of marketing for The Olson Company. “There’s no obligation, no risk.”

Program participants will learn how to pay their bills more efficiently, keep their debt low on open credit cards, and see how credit history directly affects credit rating. Those accepted into the program will be given a timeline of up to 12 months to correct or improve their credit history.

Rose Ann Djelmane, senior vice president at Countrywide, said that there’s a lot prospective home buyers can do to improve raise their credit score.

A credit score is a credit rating that represents an estimate of an individual’s financial creditworthiness as calculated by a statistical model. A credit score attempts to quantify the likelihood that a prospective borrower will fail to repay a loan or other credit obligation satisfactorily over a specified period of time, she said.

“At the workshop you will get the tools that will help you get control of your credit,” Djelmane said. “These tools will help you improve your current situation.”

After working with a credit counselor, she said you might reach your goals of buying a house.

“Home ownership is achiavable,” she said.

The credit courses taught in San Diego will be in English, however Spanish speakers can get the same training on the phone and will be referred to House America Counseling Services where they can speak to someone in Spanish.

Djelmane, a Latina herself, said that many times Latinos are afraid of looking into buying a house because they don’t have the information they need.

“The resources are here,” she said. “You just need to get informed.”

Paradise Walk, in National City, includes 96 attainably priced homes from the low $400,000’s.

“Unlike anything offered in San Diego, our new credit improvement program helps us attract buyers, not turn them away because of an insufficient credit score,” said Tony Pauker, regional president for The Olson Company.

For more information about the event call (619) 267-0239 or visit the Paradise Walk sales center at 8th and Arcadia in National City.

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