Americans have critical misconceptions about mortgage requirements

Image result for Americans have critical misconceptions about mortgage requirementsCurrent economicOpens a New Window. conditions might indicate it is a good time to get into the housing market, but many potential homeowners appear to have some serious misconceptions about what it takesOpens a New Window. to do so.

Fannie Mae conducted a nationwide study among 3,000 respondents to track trends among consumers’ understanding of mortgage qualification requirements, and found that the majority of people think it is harder to qualify for a mortgage than it really is.

According to the findings, people overestimate the minimum credit score necessary to qualify for a mortgage. While the actual minimum FICO score is about 580 – which only 11 percent of respondents correctly identified – people thought it was 650. More than four-in-ten people did not know what their own credit score was.

People also overestimated the minimum down payment to qualify for a mortgage, which is about 3 percent. Most people said 10 percent.

Further, Americans are generally unfamiliar with low down payment programs – only 23 percent of people knew about the option.

Sixty percent of people, overall, thought getting a mortgage would be easy. More current homeowners (78 percent) were confident when compared with renters (33 percent).

The survey found, however, that even those who should be more knowledgeable about mortgage requirements – including current homeowners – are not. For example, while 9 percent of renters identified the correct credit score range needed to qualify for a mortgage, only 12 percent of owners were able to do so.

The top reasons people expect to have difficulty getting a mortgage are insufficient income to afford monthly payments, too much debt and insufficient credit score or credit history.

“For some Americans who would like to own a home, they could qualify for a mortgage but may assume homeownership is not a possibility,” researchers concluded.

Meanwhile, conditions appear to be ripe for homebuyers. Mortgage application volume increased 1.5 percent for the week ending May 31 – after falling the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s survey. Meanwhile, mortgage rates recently fell to their lowest level since the first week of 2018 amid rising concerns over trade tensions.

Digital Risk co-founder Jeff Taylor told FOX Business on Monday that for those looking to get into the housing market, “this is literally the perfect time.”

Meanwhile, many expect the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates this year, which could further benefit potential homebuyers.


Mozilla, Tor Issue Critical Update for Actively Exploited Firefox Vulnerability

Mozilla, Tor Issue Critical Update for Actively Exploited Firefox Vulnerability
The browser vulnerability is being exploited on the Widows platform
Reports say the code was intended for lawful purposes, which went public
Tor and Mozilla have both rolled out updates to curb this exploit
An unknown Firefox vulnerability which originally came to light in a post on the official Tor website, has now been fixed by Mozilla and Tor. The exploit takes advantage of a memory corruption vulnerability that allows malicious payload to send the targets IP and MAC address to an anonymous server.

The Motherboard found several reports that point to this code being used on a Tor hidden service called the Giftbox, which is used to peddle child pornography. This is very similar to the technique used by the FBI back in 2013 to identify users who were trading child pornography, over the Tor network. However, now that this very same code is out in the wild, anyone can exploit it with some changes to the code.

Daniel Veditz from Mozilla, stated in a blog post, “This similarity has led to speculation that this exploit was created by FBI or another law enforcement agency. As of now, we do not know whether this is the case. If this exploit was in fact developed and deployed by a government agency, the fact that it has been published and can now be used by anyone to attack Firefox users is a clear demonstration of how supposedly limited government hacking can become a threat to the broader Web.” Mozilla issued an update to Firefox on Wednesday that it says will roll out automatically to existing users – but users can also update their browsers via the company site.

The Tor browser is built using Firefox as its base. The latest version (6.0.7) is now available for download and is said to fix this issue. The official Tor blog post states that this security flaw is currently being actively exploited on Windows systems and that Mac and Linux users are most likely also affected, although the exploit is being actively present on the latter to platforms as of now.

The blog post by Tor strongly recommends updating the browser immediately if that’s something you use for surfing the Web. If you have the security slider set to ‘High’ then your chances are better, although doing so might prevent most websites that use JavaScript from working properly. Updates to the alpha and hardened versions of Tor are on the way so till then, it’s recommended to switch to the stable release.

Tags: Tor exploit, Mozilla exploit, Tor browser update, malicious code Tor, browser vulnerability, Firefox exploit