A Bizymoms' Exclusive Interview with Carolyn Warren
1. How did your career as a Mortgage & Credit Expert begin?
One fine day, a friend called and asked me to come join her at a mortgage company. After considering what she said and seeking counsel, I took her up on the invitation, and applied for the job. Two interviews, one background check, and one I.Q. test later, I was hired!
Then a couple years later, I became obsessed with credit. I wondered why the credit scoring method was such a top secret—and I determined to find out everything I could. I went on a quest to discover the short-cuts to gaining a high score!
2. What inspired you to write Mortgage Rip-Offs & Money Savers?
I was enjoying a filet mignon lunch at one of Seattle's top steak houses, overlooking Lake Washington and the city skyline beyond, with a mortgage broker. He confessed to me that he had just made $40,000 in commission off of one single home buyer.
I thought, that is an outrage! So I asked him how he did it, and he told me how he'd taken advantage of this home owner.
Then I said to myself, the public has a right to know how to avoid the rip-offs and get a good money saving loan. So I wrote the book in three months, and the first major publisher my agent presented it to snatched it up. The timing was right for this topic!
3. Would you mind sharing a brief overview of how you became an expert in
Not at all. The steps for me went something like this:
- Gained experience by working in the industry.
- Expanded my knowledge through classes, seminars, and reading books.
- Interviewed top experts in the field to learn "behind the scenes" information that is not available in books and classes.
- Put my expanded knowledge into practice, to gain advanced "in the field" experience.
- Compared notes with other experienced professionals, and continued to read newsletters, books, and reports.
4. As a mother of two, how do you personally balance work & family life?
Great question! I believe a woman can "have it all," but not all at the same time. You have to rotate your priorities, based on what station of life you're in at the moment.
For example, when my children were pre-school, I was a stay-at-home mom, because they were my priority. Then when my children were in elementary school, I worked part-time during their school hours. Later, working full-time became a necessity, even though my children were still in elementary school, so I made a point of giving them some quality time each day.
For me, this meant that I provided them with a nourishing breakfast every morning and got them off to school before I went to work. I made sure to stay tuned about what was going on in their lives by talking with them and taking the time to listen, and by attending their school functions. My daughter, especially, needed that "listening time" from me as she grew older.
We also bonded as a family by attending church together every Sunday. Establishing a spiritual bond with your children through prayer and Bible reading is extremely important.
5. What do you think is the reason behind all the fraud in the lending industry?
GREED. Everyone wants more, more, more. I think it speaks to a lack of spiritual fulfillment.
6. When you first became a mortgage broker, what was the hardest part of your job and what motivated you?
The mortgage business is complex, with a wide variety of loan products and many different wholesale lenders to choose from. Not a day went by during the first year that I didn't learn something new. Every rule has its exceptions, and then even the exceptions have exceptions! But I'm so glad I gained experience before the subprime meltdown, because I know so much more for having gone through that.
The desire to help others was and is still my motivation.
7. Now that you are an expert in your field, what is your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge is trying to get information out to the public. The mortgage mess would not have happened if women and men had known how to make a smart choice. There's a lot of bad information out there, and my goal is to protect people from rip-offs and help them save money by exposing the truth about credit and mortgages.
8. What are the main mistakes that people make when acquiring a mortgage?
3 BIG MISTAKES:
1) Calling a long list and asking, "What's your interest rate?"
That is a meaningless way to shop for a loan, because no one can be held to a verbal quote over the phone. Doing that will lead you straight to the biggest liar.
2) Failing to educate themselves by reading a couple good books before they jump in the real estate market.
3) Falling in love with a house before they've been pre-approved for financing.
9. Can you share few tips for Bizymoms who are seeking a home loan or Mortgage?
Yes, certainly. First, I have to recommend picking up a copy of Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers, because I guarantee you that the information there will save you money.
Second, know your credit rating, because you can control it and raise your score by taking some smart, simple steps.
Third, get pre-approved for financing before you go house hunting. That way, you can tailor your desires to your budget and avoid getting sucked in to a dangerously expensive loan.
10. What are your future goals?
I am "back in the trenches" doing loans for people again, so I want to continue helping bizymoms and others gain the advantage of home ownership.
But I am also writing a book now for pregnant moms who want to discover the power of praying for their unborn baby, and that will come out in time for Mother's Day 2009. I have a contract to publish, but we're still working out the title, so stay tuned for more information. I'm very excited about this!