Factors that influence your credit score

If you are looking for a mortgage to buy your first home, you need to know your credit score and understand the basics of how it will ultimately influence your monthly mortgage payment.  

Before deciding on what terms to offer you on a loan (which they base on the "risk" to them), lenders will want to know two things about you: your ability to pay back the loan, and your willingness to pay back the loan. For the first, they look at your income-to-debt obligation ratio. For your willingness to pay back the loan, they consult your credit score.


The most widely used credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. (and they're named after their inventor!). Your FICO score is between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).

1.     It Is Not About How Much Money You Have

Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They do not consider your income, savings, down payment amount, or demographic factors like gender, race, nationality or marital status. In fact, the fact that they don't consider demographic factors is why they were invented in the first place. "Profiling" was not as dirty a word when FICO scores were invented as it is now.

Credit scoring was developed as a way to consider only what was relevant to somebody's willingness to repay a loan.

2.     You Need to Show That You Make Payments on Time

Past delinquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report.

Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

3.     Some Parts of Your Payment History Are More Important Than Others

Different portions of your credit history are given different weights:

  • 35% t of your FICO score is based on your specific payment history. 
  • 30% is your current level of indebtedness. 
  • 15% is the time your open credit has been in use (ten-year old accounts are good, six-month old ones aren't as good) 
  • 10% is types of credit available to you (installment loans such as student loans, car loans, etc. versus revolving and debit accounts like credit cards). 
  • 5% is pursuit of new credit -- frequency of credit scores requested.

4.     You Need At Least Six Months to Establish Credit History

Your credit report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This ensures that there is enough information in your report to generate an accurate score. If you do not meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you may need to establish a credit history prior to applying for a mortgage.

If you have questions about how your credit score will impact your mortgage rate, give American Dream Residential a call at 919-771-3379. With nearly 25 years of experience in the finance industry and a perfect track record of 0 Better Business Bureau complaints, our team makes sure you are comfortable with the mortgage process and happy with your experience. 

Posted by Andrew Walter May on December 19th, 2017 11:14 AM
Top 5 important steps to take before engaging a local Realtor to handle what is typically the largest asset purchase by North Carolina and Virginia families.

Top five essential steps to take before hiring a local real estate agent, according to Andy May, President of Many consumers incorrectly think that the first phone call made should be to a Realtor(R). Millennials, military families, new home buyers, and repeat or move-up home buyers should implement the following five step process prior to signing a buyer's agreement obligating the consumer to the real estate agent.

Step one is to obtain information by researching mortgage topics on the web. The first topic researched should be, "what is a buyer's contract". As many consumers have read my past articles (due diligence and earnest monies, construction mortgages, military home loans), when the consumer signs the buyer's contract (and yes, there is a new contract that just came out in North Carolina - that I've written about - and it's not so great for the consumer) the relationship changes from a relatively low level of fiduciary responsibility to contract law (think, "I can't get out of this contract?").

Step two is for the consumer to search websites for mortgage calculators to get a feel for qualifications for a mortgage. Search the web. Research loan officers at If the consumer feels comfortable reach out and speak to a state licensed loan officer (banks typically don't hire state licensed loan officers - so check out the loan officer on the to make sure the loan officer is a professionally licensed loan officer). Once the consumer has a feel for qualifications, step three comes into play.

Step three is to understand that the consumer can lose thousands of dollars in today's real estate market, just by making an offer to purchase a home. If the consumer is working through a builder, do not hand over a $50,000 deposit check (as the consumer may very well lose this money). Preliminary house hunting can be treacherous and the consumer needs to be well educated and advised before showing up to a new home development, or signing a buyer's agency contract with a real estate agent. Know what's at risk, before starting to physically meet professionals. Due diligence and earnest money is at risk and can add up, particularly if the consumer loses out on the home purchase, which can be for almost any reason.

Step four in the process is to now engage a real estate agent, and select an independent state licensed mortgage professional. Type into Google the word complaints and any bank - one such search found 850,000+ hits. Complaints are one way to identify if the consumer's selection is a risky one. Independent parties are important and serve as your fiduciary. The one-stop shop concept has pretty much imploded as consumers opting for this approach get limited education and all entities are pretty much working as one against the consumer, rather than for the consumer.

Step five is to understand the timeline and reduce expectations of a quick close. The last five years have seen billions of dollars in advertising regarding how fast a consumer can close on a mortgage loan. The reality is that nearly all 30 year fixed rate mortgages are held by a government entity for some period of time. The front end origination of a mortgage is simply a conduit to the federal government (be it a bank, credit union, mortgage bank/broker). The consumer needs to engage licensed loan originators (knowledgeable and educated) in order to make it through this process. Hiring a call center person that lives a million miles away and may or may not be under the state laws of the consumers' state, is a sure-fire way to obtain less than optimal results. With rates set to rise over the coming years, now is also the time to lock in fixed rate product. Don't be fooled by some entities that call adjustable rate product, fixed. 30 and 15 year fixed rates are the ones that nearly all consumers should be reviewing in this historically low interest rate environment.

This overview touches on some of the more important aspects of the home buying process. Make no mistake, the process has changed and the laws that have been implemented have extended the timeline for completing the mortgage process. Advertisements to the contrary should be reviewed with an eye toward honesty and trustworthiness. is owned by Andy May Group, LLC and is a state licensed mortgage company in North Carolina and Virginia since 2005 (NMLS #88010, MLO #103418). Since 2005 the company has received Zero BBB complaints and treats customers as family. Family owned and operated from Raleigh, North Carolina the company serves military (VA mortgages), Jumbo, conventional, FHA, USDA and other families looking to obtain the lowest financing costs available. competes on rate and service and is located at 8522 Six Forks Road, Suite 201, Raleigh, North Carolina 27615. Andy May may be reached at 919 771 3379.

Top five important steps to take before engaging a local Realtor to handle what is typically the largest asset purchase by North Carolina and Virginia families.
Top five important steps to take before engaging a local Realtor to handle what is typically the largest asset purchase by North Carolina and Virginia families.
Posted in:Home buying Tips and tagged: home buying
Posted by Andrew Walter May on December 7th, 2017 3:34 PM
Austin, Texas Vietnam War Memorial and our staff honor our American Heroes who have fought bravely for our country and we have made a contribution to the Chesty Puller House for PTSD. You can donate here:

We rely on word of mouth referrals for much of our business. If you enjoyed your experience with us, please tell your friends. We appreciate your support!

Interested in a mortgage or refinance? Call Andy May at 919-771-3379.

Posted in:Philanthropy and tagged: Veterans Day
Posted by Andrew Walter May on November 9th, 2017 5:51 PM
Your donation is on its way to change lives. 
Share Your Impact
Tell others your blood is on the way to help save lives.

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Dear Andrew, 

Thank you for giving blood with the American Red Cross on 9/22/2017. After first ensuring local needs were met, your double red cell donation was sent to Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson, NC and New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC to help patients in need. Your donation is on its way to change lives! 

Every day, patients receive blood for a variety of conditions including life-threatening illnesses, blood disorders and traumas. Your blood donations are critical to helping save patients' lives.

On behalf of the hospitals and patients we serve, thank you for being a Red Cross blood donor. 


Mary O'Neill, M.D.
Mary O'Neill, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
American Red Cross
Posted in:General
Posted by Andrew Walter May on October 17th, 2017 4:37 PM

Andy May, CEO of ADR Mortgage, gives "100th pint" of blood to the American Red Cross.  


Andy has been donating blood to the Red Cross for the past 34 years, ever since he used to race his fellow UMASS students in the fastest blood donation.


Andrew provides the five key reasons why he provides blood:

Reason #1:

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.  That means more than 38,000 blood donations are needed per day.  Currently, less than 38% of the population is eligible to give blood, with only 3 out of every 100 Americans actually donating.  It’s a very elite group, but they’re always looking to expand membership.  Will you give next?

Reason #2:

There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from a pint of whole blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate.  As each pint of donated whole blood is separated into two or three of these products, each donation can help save up to three lives. 

Reason #3:

Donating blood is a simple four-step process:  registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments (cookies!)  The whole process takes no more than one hour and 15 minutes with the actual blood collection taking about 12 minutes.

Reason #4:

The two most common reasons people don’t give blood are, “I never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”   Well, we’re thinking about it right now!  Plus, blood donation is an opportunity to volunteer, rather than be drafted.  Wouldn’t it feel good to put out your arm for a cause and walk away knowing you’ve contributed to the good health of someone other than yourself? That's the bedrock of America, give back; feel better about your contribution to the greatest nation on earth.

Reason #5:

More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

Interested in a mortgage or refinance? Call George Imura at (919) 451-5981. (NMLS ID: 78385 / Co. NMLS ID: 88010). Or contact the owner, Andy May at 919 771 3379.

Posted by Andrew Walter May on July 15th, 2015 11:52 AM celebrates 10-year perfect Better Business Bureau Record without a single complaint.

(PRWEB) June 26, 2015

Finding a mortgage company with 0 BBB complaints is rare. Finding a mortgage company in business for ten years and 0 BBB complaints is compelling.

The largest banks and credit unions have acquired thousands of BBB consumer complaints; go with and get local mortgage service with zero BBB Complaints over 10 years. Angry customers are dissatisfied with the level of customer service they received from banks and credit unions  and are looking at ADRMortgage as a great solution.   

Richard, a dissatisfied customer at a large bank, filed a BBB complaint and is no longer a bank customer. “I have been trying to refinance my house with bank since February 2015. It is now the middle of June. Keep in mind bank already has my mortgage. I feel like I was falsely accused of a crime and have to get all kinds of evidence to prove myself innocent. This has been the worst process ever. I'm taking my business elsewhere.” – Richard, Trenton, NJ

ADRMortgage will treat you much better than the bank treated Richard. Our team of licensed loan officers and professional support staff are always ready.    ADR Mortgage hires the best loan officers, the best customer service reps, and the best processors to ensure our clients receive excellent customer service. Remember, the majority of banks hire "18 year olds" with Federal licensing requirements (name, age of 18 or higher, and that's it). offers a wide set of mortgages. Many credit unions do not. Contact if your credit union is only offering adjustable loans in a rising interest rate environment. As a fiduciary, will consult on your mortgage instead of simply offering an adjustable rate loan.

Interested in a mortgage or refinance? Call TJ Powell at (919) 622-1483. (NMLS ID: 78385 / Co. NMLS ID: 88010). Or contact the owner, Andy May at 919 771 3379.

Posted in:General and tagged: BBB adr mortgage 10 years
Posted by Andrew Walter May on June 29th, 2015 10:23 AM

For the second consecutive year, ADR Mortgage is the title sponsor for the Raleigh Tennis Pro League. The ADR Mortgage Raleigh Tennis Pro League starts today Friday, June 19, 2015 at 7pm.

Team ADR Mortgage consists of 8 pro tennis players: Paul Goode, Sanaa Bhambri, Jessica Cook, Leydi Zora, Thomas Mozur, Phillip Faulkner, Shaun Sumner, and John Franceschina. ADR Mortgage’s captain, Paul Goode, is the USTA 30 and Over National Clay Court Champion and is the Director of Tennis at the Raleigh Racquet Club. ADR Mortgage is also sponsoring the Triangle Swim Club. Goode will lead the ADR Mortgage Team in the three-month league against other professional tennis teams.

Come watch the area’s best tennis players compete for prize money and a season championship. There will be great match-ups featuring former college players from NC State, Notre Dame, Kansas, and other schools. All ADR Mortgage Raleigh Pro League matches are open and free to the public, so come enjoy the action.

The 2015 ADR Mortgage Raleigh Pro League kicked off on June 19th, at the Brier Creek Country Club. An estimated 300+ fans and spectators will be cheering on Team ADR Mortgage as we face Brent Bennett and his team.

Interested in obtaining a mortgage or refinancing your home? Call a licensed mortgage professional, TJ Powell, at (919) 622-1483. (Individual NMLS: 78385, Co. NMLS: 88010)

Posted by Andrew Walter May on June 22nd, 2015 9:25 AM

First Mobile Device Mortgage Origination Completed by's Andy May and Brett Bushnell, Realtor from Tri Local Realty, LLC

Mortgage originations done by mobile devices are no longer a thing of the future, as and Tri Local Realty, LLC complete the first mobile device origination. loans with mobile devices isn't even on the map for many large banks, yet it's in's DNA.

Raleigh, North Carolina (PRWEB) August 13, 2014

The first mobile device mortgage origination was completed in 2014 by with Realtor, Brett Bushnell from Tri Local Realty LLC - 919 608 2141. Andy May, completed the first mobile device mortgage origination in 2014 when the consumer said, "I do not have a computer and I want to sign all my documents with my Samsung Galaxy device".

Andy May was able to accomodate this consumer whereas before, the consumer would have to go to the library or a work computer. With's mobile technology, and the help of local Citrix Sharefile the consumer experienced the ultimate in satisfaction as no computer was necessary to sign documents.

Younger adults do not want to be limited by the arcane banking industry's lack of ability. At the consumer can sign all documents necessary to complete the origination of a mortgage loan. Of course, at the closing table the consumer re-verifies all documents using the attorney's computer. The risk is the same in either transaction, a paper based bank originated loan or an online mobile device/computer based origination.

For more information on mortgage loans, call at 919 771 3379 or visit on the web.

Get the most value out of a home sale or purchase by working with licensed professionals that have significant experience. Why risk your biggest asset to an 18 year old unlicensed person at a bank or credit union (these "loan officers" are often times unlicensed, although afforded lofty titles)? Find additional information from Andy May at Andy May's blog. was founded by Andy May in 2005. Refinance, Purchase, VA, FHA, and nearly every loan product - for additional information, please go to or contact Andy May directly. License number 103418.


Posted in:General
Posted by Andrew Walter May on August 14th, 2014 12:11 PM
ADRMortgage Natural Disaster Risk Model
City Relative Risk Primary Natural Disaster Risk Size of Single Family RE Potential Loss (a) Percentage (b)
1 Newark, New Jersey Flooding $21,023,209,998.00 $2,721,937,199.54 12.9473%
2 Jacksonville, Florida Hurricanes $82,041,489,270.00 $1,408,825,747.29 1.7172%
3 Jersey City, New Jersey Flooding $41,137,760,762.00 $1,360,968,599.77 3.3083%
4 Miami, Florida Hurricanes $587,335,280,000.00 $704,412,873.65 0.1199%
5 New Orleans, Louisiana Hurricanes $87,243,975,000.00 $633,342,265.32 0.7259%
6 Houston, Texas Hurricanes $74,861,426,052.00 $623,879,768.94 0.8334%
7 Paterson, New Jersey Flooding $8,814,732,992.00 $453,656,199.92 5.1466%
8 Baton Rouge, Louisiana Hurricanes $25,268,776,865.00 $316,671,132.66 1.2532%
9 San Antonio, Texas Hurricanes $100,922,478,600.00 $311,939,884.47 0.3091%
10 Jackson, Mississippi Hurricanes $12,076,209,600.00 $288,464,008.40 2.3887%
(a) - Total losses include residential and commercial.
(b) - Assumes all losses are applied towards SF Housing, which is unrealistic, but for simplicty purposes this keeps the math accurate.
Posted in:General
Posted by Andrew Walter May on August 8th, 2014 9:36 AM

May 2014 data point to continued large supply of housing stock in Wake County, as Andy May, the mortgage expert, and Irene Higginson, Realtor, explain the data. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill continues to be a Sellers' Market. As predicted over the last year, home price gains are slowing in Wake County, up 5.9% year to date through May (median home prices) 2014. While most Realtors are hyping the market as hot, the facts point to nearly a 10% increase in new listings. There's no need to panic when purchasing that perfect home.

Housing supply that has fallen to 4.5 months (up from 3.5 months in January), according to Triangle MLS, this (Raleigh) top relocation market will see home prices continue to rise but at a slower pace.

As expected, during the run-up to spring (May) additional homes were listed - with an 8.8% increase in new listings to 2415 homes on the market in Wake County. Year over year data indicate that listings were relatively flat and that prices are only up 6% year over year. Durham County appears to be about 6 months lagging behind Wake in terms of numbers. We expect Durham to continue to slow. Orange County, appears to be in a downward spiral with home prices actually falling on almost all comparative periods.

In fact, Orange County (unit) home sales are almost down 9 to 17%. Irene Higginson, Realtor, states, "When it comes to all the publicity of being one of the top five relocation markets in the country Raleigh and Wake County is what the consumer demands. In fact, that's where all the job growth is. Despite Orange County's aggressive expansion plans in the future, Wake County will continue to be a top priority for relocating families."

Here's the additional data: 
Unit home sales in Wake county are up +2% year to date through May 2014. Irene Higginson, Realtor, can provide neighborhood level data when looking more specifically. Additionally, average home prices are rising but at a slower pace. The percentage off original list price that a home sells for in Wake County has also risen to 98.3% May 2014; indicating that sellers are getting closer to the original list price (up from 97% at the beginning of the year). Orange and Durham Counties continue to be in the low 97% range for accepted offers relative to list price.

While all this is interesting, what about the future housing stock and unemployment rates in Wake County? Wake County has a super-low housing stock supply of 4.5 months (aka a "Sellers Market").

Couple the housing stock numbers with job growth (and unemployment) and future home prices can be predicted with relative accuracy. According to the Bureau of Labor, despite North Carolina's 2.2% drop to 6.2% unemployment rate - North Carolina ranks as the 30th lowest state in the country. However, the Triangle has some of the lowest State unemployment levels approaching the 5% number (which is approximately 17th if Wake County were compared to states).

Triangle residential home price appreciation should continue to follow a low overall unemployment rate with a short (but rising) supply of housing stock. Durham and Chapel Hill data can be requested by contacting Andy May, the mortgage expert.

On the National front, the home price market has corrected to within 15% of the 2008 peak. Home prices nationwide are back to 2004 levels and have another 15% to go before hitting the all-time high level of 2008. Nationally, home prices are up 13% year over year and over the last five years they are up 2.8% per year (better than savings rates for sure).

For more information on mortgage loans, call at 919 771 3379 or visit ADRMortgage on the web. Irene Higginson, Realtor, states, "The Triangle has remained a top 5 relocation market due to excellent schools, outdoor activities, and a big city life style at country prices."

Get the most value out of a home sale or purchase by working with licensed professionals that have significant experience. Why risk your biggest asset to an 18 year old unlicensed person at a bank or credit union (these "loan officers" are often times unlicensed, although afforded lofty titles)? Find additional information from Andy May at Andy May's blog. was founded by Andy May in 2005. Refinance, Purchase, VA, FHA, and nearly every loan product - for additional information, please go to or contact Andy May directly. License number 103418.

Posted in:General
Posted by Andrew Walter May on August 8th, 2014 9:16 AM


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