Biz Bits: Mortgage tips from the pros

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week: How to get a mortgage in today's market

Here are some tips from Frank Destra, managing director and senior vice president of national sales for Ditech, for putting yourself in a healthy financial position to help you get a mortgage in today's market.

- Check your credit.

- Improve your credit score. Paying off old debts and paying your bills on time are two easy ways to start improving your credit score.

- Save just a little bit more. Mortgage lenders recommend that first-time homebuyers have at least three to six months of additional savings.

- Get pre-approved. Before you start working with a real estate agent, consider contacting a mortgage lender to obtain a pre-approval credit decision. A loan officer will review your financial status, including your income, cash flow and credit score, to help you determine the maximum monthly housing payment for which you may be able to qualify, and, if qualified, pre-approve your mortgage before you've found a home. A credit pre-approval will also help you narrow your search to those homes within a predetermined price range and will let sellers know that you are a serious buyer. (ARA)

This Week’s Sign of a Bad Economy

OfficeMax Inc. announced that it’s going to cut 2,700 managerial jobs at its stores. The company, which has 900 stores nationwide, plans to add sales positions to offset the cuts.

The List

Here are the 10 most valuable NASCAR teams, according to Forbes:

1. Hendrick Motorsports,    $335 million

2. Roush Fenway Racing, $313 million

3. Joe Gibbs Racing, $184 million

4. Gillett Evernham Motorsports, $150 million

5. Richard Childress Racing, $130 million

6. Dale Earnhardt Inc., $109 million

7. Penske Racing, $100 million

8. Chip Ganassi Racing, $94 million

9. Michael Waltrip Racing, $86 million

10. Yates Racing, $74 million

Number to Know: $200 billion

Approximate amount of money that U.S. companies lose every year because of counterfeiting and pirated goods, according to testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Quote of Note

"The more they buy, the more we lose."

Roger Randolph, who has banned credit card gas purchases at his gas station, according to a report from The Associated Press. He said because of the high cost of gasoline and the fees charged by credit companies, he sees little profit from fill-ups.

Tech News

This year’s hottest cell phones are about to hit the market. Sprint Nextel Corp.’s Instinct will go on sale June 20 and will sell for $130 after rebate. Apple Inc.'s new iPhone is set to go on sale July 11 and will go for $199.

Tech Tip: Wrestling with payroll management?

If you're a small-business owner considering an online payroll service, here are some tips for finding the solution that's right for your business:

- Look for a service that is specifically designed for small businesses, rather than one that also serves mid to large companies as well.

- Seek guarantees.

- Is the service fully integrated with your online accounts, allowing you to manage all your finances with a single password?

- While all online payroll systems should provide you with instant calculations of federal, state, local and voluntary withholdings, you'll also want to look for one that goes the extra mile.

- What incentives will the service provider offer as thanks for your business? (ARA)

GateHouse News Service