Blog  | Finances | An interview with Southern Trust credit expert Mike McNamara

An interview with Southern Trust credit expert Mike McNamara

In early 2018, Southern Trust Mortgage took our commitment to offering the very best tools for success to our borrowers, loan officers and referral partners to the next level with the addition of VP Credit Officer, Mike McNamara.

Mike is solely dedicated to helping our borrowers understand and rescore their credit, while also educating our referral sources! He frequently travels to Southern Trust branch locations and holds Credit Training Seminars for real estate professionals looking to gain knowledge on how to educate their clients on this important piece of the home buying process. We sat down with Mike to get a better understanding of his role at Southern Trust and how it is instrumental to the success of our borrowers and industry partners alike.

How long have you worked in the credit guidance field?

I started in the credit reporting business in 1985.

What led you to this career?

I was led to this field right out of college as I was interested in learning about credit and the home buying process.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is when we can assist home buyers in raising their scores for qualification and they are able to purchase their home.

Thinking back, about how many families do you think owe their home ownership to your credit assistance?

I would estimate that I’ve been able to assist over 10 thousand home buyers in helping them realize their dream of homeownership.

About how much, on average, are you able to raise homebuyers’ credit scores with your guidance?

I would estimate an average of 40-50 points when working to raise scores.

Do you have a favorite credit rescoring success story?

One of my favorite credit rescoring stories is when we were able to raise a non-qualified borrower’s 589 middle score to 703 by fixing a few mistakes on her report. She was able to purchase the home in 3 weeks time.

What is one fact about credit that you wish more people knew?

One fact I wish everyone knew about credit is that there are many different score models. For example, the score someone obtains from Credit Karma or Discover is completely different than the score used in mortgage lending

What’s one tip you can give specifically to Real Estate professionals who want to help out homebuyers?

One tip for agents would be to have the potential buyer obtain a free copy of the credit file (not score) from annualcreditreport.com to check for any inaccurate items early in the process.

What’s one tip homebuyers can do on their own to raise their credit before applying for a loan?

Before applying for a loan, one tip for buyers would be to reduce the balances on their credit cards to 30% of their limits. This utilization ratio is pivotal to the score formulas.

How can Real Estate professionals learn more about the formula you use to achieve all this success?

Real Estate professionals can learn more about our formula for success by scheduling a credit seminar with me or a Southern Trust Mortgage Loan Officer and/or attending one of my many Real Estate Continuing Education classes.

Testimonials From The Southern Trust Team


“You are my shining star- my veterans are especially important to me! We are at a 692 thanks to your help and BAM, the clients are getting their home of choice!



“I had a family of 5; the husband had a 540 credit score and the wife a 646.  Mike reviewed their scores and made 4 specific credit improvement suggestions.  The client carefully followed Mike’s suggestions and within 3 weeks the husband’s credit score improved 80 points.  They signed a contract to buy their first home last week.


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