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Minivans a good family-car buy?

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Also, the end of the credit report lists about 8 credit report requests that may harm our credit and another list that will not harm credit. I do not recognize any of the names on the list that may harm our credit and we only applied for one, Sears, credit card this year. Do you know why we would have so many names on the list of credit report request that may harm our credit and how we would correct it and prevent these requests in the future? We have already opted out of the permission to allow promotional requests for our credit report.
- Laura

Your best bet for improving your debt-to-credit ratio, short of applying for more cards (which has its own set of problems), is to simply focus on lowering that mortgage. Not only will it improve your credit, it’s also one of the better places to put your money in terms of a secure return right now.

Your husband’s ratio is fine – I wouldn’t worry about a 7% ratio one bit.

As for the credit requests, most of them only have a very short and small negative impact on your score. If you’re seriously worried about them, I would spend some time tracking down where exactly the requests came from. Usually, you’ll find that in some way, you initiated the “hard pulls” (the ones that can have a negative impact).

Q6: Splitting mortgage payments
My current house payment (with escrow for insurance, tax, and FHA insurance) is just over $1000/mo with an actual rate of 5.25%. The loan portion of the payment is around $700. I have been paying $1200/mo to pay down additional principle because I calculated that the small amount each month will shorten the life of the loan significantly. I am wondering if splitting my payment over the 1st and 15th of the month would speed up the payment significantly? My additional payments total to around $2200/year, which is nearly 3 additional payments on the loan. Is there an easy way to calculate the difference that bi-weekly payments would make?
- Alex

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