Current news for Costco members
To learn more about our complete suite of member services,
click on the “Services” link at costco.com or call 1-800-220-6000.
not for everyone
THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY shakeout continues to be headline news, and is projected
to continue into 2008. Yet interest rates are
still historically low, and borrowers are still
finding competitive mortgage loans.
The problem is with mortgage lenders.
The secondary investors that most lenders
sell mortgages to have less cash available to
buy those loans, so lenders are more conservative about how much risk they will accept.
Gone are the days when subprime borrowers—those with less-than-perfect credit, no
proof of income and no down payment—can
easily get a mortgage.
Good news for prime borrowers
If you’re a prime borrower looking to buy
a home or refinance your mortgage, you’re in
a strong position, because that’s just the
type of low-risk borrower lenders want.
What is a prime borrower? If your credit
score is 700 or higher, you can document
your income and assets, and you have at
least a 10 percent down payment, you’re
considered among the least risky of borrowers. The same holds true if you’re in the market to refinance your existing mortgage.
ment. Be realistic about your budget, and
don’t overlook the impact of property
taxes, homeowner’s insurance and maintenance costs on your budget.
Using Lending Tree through Costco is a
great way to save money on mortgage and
refinancing needs by shopping your loan to
multiple lenders, helping you find the best
rates and terms. Lending Tree also offers
deep resources via the Internet, with hundreds of articles, calculators and other tools
to help you make smart borrowing decisions.
Costco members are eligible for Costco
Cash cards from Lending Tree—$300 for
Executive Members, $200 for Gold Star or
Business members—after closing a loan. For
more information, go to costco.com and enter
“mortgage” in the Search box.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON is when you’re likely
to shop more frequently in busy stores, and
that means more exposure to opportunistic
Watch out for these common mistakes.
Too many cards. Do you really need a
wallet full of credit cards when you shop?
One will probably be
adequate, and you’ll be
less distressed if your
wallet is lost or stolen.
Don’t be distracted in
everything that happens
with your credit card to
avoid “skimming” (when the card is swiped
on a second machine for potential unauthorized use).
The rest of your credit
cards should be securely
stored at home.
Watch your card.
Requests for more info. Don’t make it
easy for identity thieves standing in line with
you. If a clerk requests more information,
write it down and then take it back when
the transaction is concluded.
Costco members can arm themselves
with a powerful tool called Identity Guard®
from Intersections. For as little as $7.49
per month, this credit report, score and monitoring service will help you understand your
credit and let you watch for early indications
of identity theft. For more information or to
enroll, go to costco.com and enter “credit
reports” in the Search box.
to use your
The current lending environment Service Updates
Doing your homework before seeking a
mortgage or refinancing is critical.
< Study your credit report. It’s vital to
know both your credit score and what’s
on your credit report before you shop for
a loan. If you have a lower credit score—
below 660—find out how you can improve
your score before you apply for a loan.
< Save and document. Current market conditions require at least a 10 percent down
payment when applying for a new mortgage, as well as complete documentation
of personal income and assets.
< Determine your budget. Owning a home
costs more than just the mortgage pay-
PHOTO PROVIDED BY NEW JERSEY NETS
All services are provided by third parties, may not be available in all areas and are subject to change without notice. Some restrictions apply. See “Services” at costco.com for applicable terms and conditions.
NBA tickets for home games
FANS OF THE New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Orlando
Magic, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards (more
teams coming soon) can now buy discounted home-game
tickets through Costco’s Event Tickets service, with great
reserved seats and pricing exclusively for Costco members.
For more information on NBA home-game tickets, go to
costco.com and enter “event tickets” in the Search box.
Supporting a good cause
AMERIPRISE AUTO & Home Insurance is making a $5 donation
to Toys for Tots for every qualified auto insurance quote issued
to Costco members responding to the Ameriprise November
Connection ad. See page 100 for details.