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Consumer Minute: Mortgage Loans, Procrastinating Shoppers, and Hostess Gifts

Time for your Consumer Minute!
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they will charge higher loan fees to borrowers who don't have a down payment of at least 20% or don't have high credit scores. The change goes into effect in march.

Most procrastinators aren't stressed about being ready for christmas according to a poll by Consumer Reports. Of those who have yet to begin their shopping, 64% said they have things under control. Six percent said they're so overwhelmed they are not sure if they will be ready in time, and 3% said - forget it - they won't be prepared for Christmas.

According to etiquette experts at Emilyposts.com it's a good move to bring a gift for the hostess when you attend a holiday party, unless the party giver indicates not to bring one. Some fail-proof ideas include a bottle of wine, special chocolate, sweet treats or a gift basket with various coffee blends.
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