Apparently, the third most popular New Year’s resolution is to learn something new. At least that was the discussion on the radio show I was listening to yesterday.


A noble goal, in my opinion, and not really a surprise. I believe we should all be life-long learners and I appreciate the aging who continue to aspire to learn. I certainly have that goal for myself, too.


If we stop learning, we stop being relevant. We stop being appreciated. And we soon lose the will to remain engaged in living. People who stop learning accelerate their demise.


But, here’s the surprise! The radio hosts had invited listeners, via social media, to identify new things they’d either recently learned or resolved to learn. After two hours, they’d received but one response! The hosts themselves could not remember anything new they’d recently learned, beyond the updates to their latest apps. That does not count, they agreed.


The one response they’d gotten was from someone who’d resolved to learn a new language.


Their conclusion—clearly not scientific but probably a good take on reality: We resolve to learn new things, but mostly we don’t follow through.




I felt pretty good about myself. In fall, I took up curling and am enjoying learning that game. After my latest trip to a Spanish country (for which I’d quickly learned a bit of Spanish, but way too little, and way too late), I resolved to hunker down and learn more Spanish even without any further such trips planned. A couple of weeks into that project, I am still on it.


I hope I’m not the exception, but rather that the show’s results were totally out of whack.


How about you? Do you agree with the importance of keeping learning? Have you resolved to learn something new? How are you doing on that resolve?


I’d like to hear.


More Credit and mortgage preparation tips

I recently shared some basic information about credit scores and reports that many people aren’t aware of. Lack of knowledge about what is important can needlessly prevent you from getting a mortgage or other loan. Here are a few more things to know that will improve your credit and mortgage chances.


  1. Update the credit bureaus when you have life changes such as a name change, job change or new address. These are the criteria that identify you to the credit bureaus, not your social insurance numbers. If there is significant difference between the information they have on file from that reported by a trade line, they may not be convinced that it is the same person and start a new file on you instead. Many people have multiple files, with only partial information on each.


  1. Resolve all disagreements with your creditors. What is a creditor? Anyone with whom you have a contract that requires you to make a payment. I recently saw a case where a mortgage was denied because the clients hadn’t returned their Shaw equipment when they switched carriers. It had been reported to the bureaus as an outstanding collection. Cell phone disputes are among the largest killers of credit.


  1. Check your credit reports frequently. If there are errors, get them corrected. Sometimes agencies will not bother reporting satisfactory settlement of an account and it will still appear as outstanding. This is not uncommon with collection agencies, but I have seen it even with bankruptcies that were not reported as discharged.


  1. Following a bankruptcy, you do not need to wait seven years to become eligible for a mortgage. This is a very common misunderstanding. True, the information will stay on your file for seven years but you can become eligible for a mortgage in as little as two years after a bankruptcy (provided, of course, you are eligible on all other criteria, as well.)


  1. The “Triple Two” rule. Already referenced last time was that fact that, to get a mortgage, you need at least two trade lines, and one of them must be a credit card. Also referenced, was the fact that you will need those two trade lines to have at least two years’ history. The third “two” is that they will need to have minimum limits of at least $2000, though even higher amounts may be required for larger loans. Those limits do not need to have been in place for the full two years, but they must have reached that level by the time you apply for a mortgage.


If you are not currently eligible for a mortgage but the issues can be repaired so that you become eligible within a period of 2 – 4 years, then a rent 2 own program is the perfect solution. Not only does it buy you the time to become eligible, it also gets you into the home now rather than waiting those 2 – 4 years, secures your purchase price at the end of the term and, most importantly, gets you the coaching to successfully reach eligibility requirements for a mortgage.