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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Best Egg "Pre-Approved" Loan Offer: Why Not Say "Pre-Qualified?"

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

After all these years, I can't believe that lenders are still allowed to use this language:


I'm old, and I've done plenty of borrowing in my time, so I know that the phrase "you're pre-approved" is a very unethical trick lenders use to make you think that your financial background has already been vetted, and your loan application is virtually guaranteed to get a green light. I know better.

But what about the young, first-time borrower with a limited or nonexistent credit history?  They see the "pre-approved" hook, they apply, they get turned down, and the lender ends up getting something very valuable: all of the rejected borrower's most sensitive, identifying information (name, address, Social Security number, age, etc.) Not good.  Not good at all.


OK, so here's an explainer of a mortgage "pre–approval letter," by the good folks at TheMortgageReports.com:

"...Having a pre–approval letter gives your offer a lot more clout, because the seller has solid evidence you’re qualified for a loan to purchase the home.

Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter, because a pre–approval has been vetted to prove your eligibility.

Note: getting “pre–qualified” is different from getting a pre–approval.”

Both terms mean a lender is likely willing to loan you a certain amount of money. But Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter.

That’s because pre–qualification letters are not verified. They’re just an estimate of your budget based on a few questions.

A pre–approval letter, on the other hand, has been vetted against your credit report, bank statements, W2s, and so on. It’s an actual offer from a mortgage company to lend to you – not just an estimate.

You are NOT required to stick with the lender you use for pre–approval when you get your final mortgage. You can always choose a different lender if you find a better deal..."

And this is exactly what ALL banks should do: use the term "pre–qualified" instead of "pre-approved," and include a detailed explanation of what it means, not in tiny, eye-straining text and the end of the last page, but in bold, and right next to the first use of the term.  Amen.

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Friday, December 10, 2021

Latest Norton Antivirus Protection Renewal Scam In My Inbox

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Latest Norton Antivirus Protection Renewal Scam In My Inbox
Email Scam Alert
OK, so here's another stupid and very lame attempt to scam the world, received in my main Gmail account today:


Subject Line: Invoice Id : NJ7834H78EH39

Email Body: Dear ******* ,

Invoice Id : NJ7834H78EH39

Thank you  for connected with our norton anti-virus protection. This email is to notify you that your membership for your computer security & protection has been renewed

User Id : ********@gmail.com

Congratulations, you have successfully renewed your Norton Anti-Virus Protection membership.

You have been charged the payment of  $107.93 for 01 year Norton Anti-Virus Protection service from your bank account, via Debit/credit card.  If you didn’t authorize the charges or if you want to continue this service.

Kindly reach us immediately at      

1     8   0   6     4   5   4     5   7   3   7

Product                                       Unit Price                             Qty.                                            Total Amt.
Norton Anti-Virus Protection         $107.93                              

This Deduction will be reflected in 2-3 business days in your bank statement.

Note- This is a system generated mail.  Please do not reply to this mail ID. (1)  Call our 24-hr customer care.

Thank You


How lame is this scam attempt?

1)  Well, the email address of the sender is: <alinasmith6254@gmail.com>

Hmmmm.....Not sent from Norton, me thinks: DERP!

You see how the phone number is spaced out?  That's a giveaway too.  The scammer has formatted it like this in the hope that it will trick the email spam filter.  If the scam email goes to the spam folder, it's done.

For this particular scam email, it worked!  Gmail didn't send it directly to my spam folder.  I found it in my inbox.

3) I don't use Norton Antivirus.  I used to, a long time ago, with Windows XP, but I gave up on it as it consumed too much cpu time -- my computers got a lot slower -- and it was too expensive.  I find that Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender antivirus / anti-malware / anti-spyware works great.  Of course, because I'm a total Nazi about these things, I run Windows Update every time I rest and massage my hands (to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome), which is about every 10-15 minutes.

I also run a Windows Defender Offline Scan often, because most experienced malicious coder / hacker deviants know how to hide their BS in places that are hard to clean.


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