Monday, March 17, 2008 is LIVE!!!

Our team has been working on this site for over three months and we are proud to unveil it. is a complete resource for financial guidance and credit education. You can read more about what we do or even listen to our podcast. You can listen online or download it to your computer. We are very excited about this new tool and hope you enjoy it. Check it out!
Matt Sullivan

Friday, March 7, 2008

Countrywide Mortgage Fraud

Today, it appears, the FBI is launching an investigation into the "Company Practices" of Countrywide Home Loans.

I actually worked for Countrywide. It was great for me when I was working there because we were the top dogs at the time. We could undercut any Mortgage Broker on rate and closing cost. Their subprime division, Full Spectrum would charge a four or five points on each loan for those who had credit issues and they would approve almost anyone. "580 credit score and no money down! Absolutely! No problem...sign right here!"

Another bizarre thing is that Countrywide has in-house underwriting and the Branch Manager was basically given complete control. The Branch Manager was also a working Loan Officer. This meant they submitted deals to the Underwriter. It put the underwriter in a precarious position because they were working for the Branch Manager. Many times the underwriters felt very pressured to approve deals. We were able to get deals closed in record time. We got deals approved that no other mortgage broker could do. It looks like, in hindsight, that was not the best business model.

Matt Sullivan, CEO of Credit Dusters
The BLog:

NyTimes: Countrywide under Criminal Investigation

Monday, March 3, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The New Face of FICO '08

If you have not heard yet the credit scoring system is getting a nose job. Actually it is getting a complete overhaul. Anyway, I thought it would be good to provide a few links on the subject and then we can talk deeper about it in the coming week.

If you would like to see how the new scoring system may have impacted your score we suggest you check your credit. check it out

Have a great weekend,

Credit Hawk

FICO gets a facelift - Quicken Loans -

New Credit Scoring Method Forgiving -

Friday, February 29, 2008

Would anyone sign up for PSA (Poor Spenders Anonymous)?

There is something intoxicating about the smell of NEW. I love the way you move. I love LONGER LASTING, BETTER, SEXIER, SOFTER, 20 MORE OUNCES, and best of all I love FREE. Even though I know that the best things in life are never free. I still buy into it. I still buy the lie – hook, line, and sinker. Yes, I am a fish that has never learned that the hook is not a shiny new friend.

How much do my poor habits cost me? This isn't just about the greenback. I was talking to a friend yesterday. She told me that she actually started taking a different way to work because she found herself stopping at McDonalds every morning. It is amazing how we are creatures of such hard and fast habits. Why is it always the unhealthy habits that seem to be the easiest to chain us?

This same friend told me I need to start a weekly support group for people like us. The Poor Spenders of the world. The voice of Robert Plant is crooning in my head like a rabid dog, "It's nobody's fault but mine. It's nobody's fault but mine!" (Guitar Hero is sold separately.)

I like her ideas, but somehow I don't think it would be practical. Oh, I have to go…Kohl's is having a sale (I have lots of room left on my store card! They just raised my limit, again!) I know. It was weird I had actually cut up my card, but they sent me a new one when they raised my limit. I am so platinum.

Peace out!

Credit (Shopper) Hawk.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Devil Lives In My Mailbox

“I think everyone knows that something just isn’t right.” – Dave Ramsey

The devil lives in my mailbox.

There is something that feels very wrong about how the credit industry markets their products to us. I am stalked each and everyday by these companies who temp me with their 0% APR and 6 months same as cash offers.

Don’t get me wrong I am not anti-credit. I just wonder if it is possible for me to have a moment to breathe without being sold another car, mortgage, credit card, student loan, furniture, or an electronic gadget on credit. Could there be just one solitary website that does not flash a LowerMyBills pop-up?

The internet is a playground for these marketers. We as consumers are little children who are led into their world. We are wide-eyed with bankruptcy laced plasma screens and drunk on consumer credit injected Kia’s. It is porn for spenders and there is nothing to do but enjoy the ride.

I would love to be a fly on the wall for one of those meetings – you know the one. It’s the meeting where all the marketers come together and talk about us like we are lab rats. Maybe we are. They have the charts on our buying habits.

I bet they know when we are about to crash. It starts out harmless enough with the credit cards. You know just a few. Did you know we are called “Preferred” customers when we pay the minimum payment on credit cards?

So where does personal responsibility come into it? When am I going to grow up and realize that the guy at Best Buy is not giving away money when he hands me an application the moment I step into his store? So, can I really blame the credit marketers for being really, really good at manipulating me?

I am starting to wake-up and come to the conclusion that I have the biggest role to play as a consumer. As the master playwright William Shakespeare so eloquently wrote – “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts,”

I believe that my part to play is to simply exercise a little restraint and say, “No.”

Thanks for listening. What is your story with credit cards? How have you been impacted? Talk to me. Post your comments - I want to hear from you.


Credit Hawk -