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Mortgage Lenders And How To Find Them – What to Look For When Picking A Loan Broker or Online Mortgage Company or Bank    

Mortgage Lenders And How To Find Them – What to Look For When Picking A Loan Broker or Online Mortgage Company or Bank

How to Find Lenders

Finding the right mortgage is a complex process that involves a lot of factors. The first step you take when you plan to make an important mortgage decision is finding the right mortgage lender. Below is a list of mortgage lenders and brokers in the United States. Here, you will also find information about the types of loan programs provided by each mortgage lender.

800USALoan .com is a mortgage lender that works with several other mortgage lenders to offer you the best rates possible. The products of this mortgage lender include loans for homes, cars, debt consolidation, home refinance and improvement, home equity, and more.  Complete Article


How To Find Wholesale Mortgage Lenders

How To Find Wholesale Mortgage Lenders

Wholesale Lenders

Some mortgage bankers and portfolio lenders are also wholesale lenders that deal with mortgage brokers, sometimes exclusively.

Most mortgage lenders have both wholesale and retail departments. Mortgage brokers prefer to obtain wholesale rates and then mark up these rates by adding points, presenting the borrowers with quotes that are similar to what borrowers could obtain directly from a retail lender. Mortgage brokers are free to set whatever prices they want, and have different methods for marking up wholesale rates.  Complete Article


Credit Rating: What Is It and Why Should I Pay Attention? – Check Credit Report and Dispute Inaccuracies - Save you Money on a Loan or Mortgage

Credit Rating: What Is It and Why Should I Pay Attention? – Check Credit Report and Dispute Inaccuracies - Save you Money on a Loan or Mortgage

Credit Score

Far too few people know about something that has a huge impact on their life--their credit rating. They often learn about it after it is too late and pay dearly for it. You see you start forming your score as soon as you become a regular consumer which for a lot of people is during High School and for most is at least by the time they enter college.

The problem is that they don't know what this mysterious entity is all about and make decisions that they rue financially. It really is a shame that more of this financial mumbo jumbo isn't taught to people in high school. The problem is it is not just a problem of young people and so their teachers might not have the foggiest either.  Complete Article


What the Heck is a Jumbo Mortgage Loan?

What the Heck is a Jumbo Mortgage Loan?

What is a Jumbo Loan

You may have heard of the term jumbo mortgage loan and wondered what it means. Well, in this short article I will take you through the meaning and why it is important for you to understand it.

In basic terms, if a mortgage loan exceeds a certain amount, it is considered a jumbo mortgage loan. Currently (as of 2006), a jumbo mortgage loan is a loan more than $417,000. The limit typically changes each year. In 2005, the amount was $357,650.

The great part about a jumbo mortgage loan is the approval process is the same for conventional loans for most lenders. Unfortunately, the interest rate for a jumbo mortgage loan is typically 1/4% higher than a conventional loan but this does vary and the difference seems to be less year after year.  Complete Article


Various Loan Types Available – Construction Loans – FHA and Jumbo Mortgages – Home Car or Education Loans – One at Time Only

Various Loan Types Available – Construction Loans – FHA and Jumbo Mortgages – Home Car or Education Loans – One at Time Only

Types of Loans

In days gone by one had to save to acquire a home or anything of value. Almost two thirds of the life was spent in cringing and saving to buy a place of one's own. Today the situation is entirely different. Everywhere the media is loud about fulfilling your dreams with loans of various types to suit any pocket.

A loan is a transaction of money from a lender to a borrower for any valid purpose. The borrower has to pay a certain percentage of interest periodically, and also pay back the initial amount over an agreed time with some specific terms. The lender can be a bank, a government organization or any private institution. A conventional loan is a loan that is not backed by the federal government. Complete Article


What You Need To Know About Debt-To-Income Ratios  

What You Need To Know About Debt-To-Income Ratios

Debt to Income

Debt is a problem that plagues many of us today. If unmonitored, your debt can grow at an alarming rate and the next thing you know you're finances are in shambles.

If you want to identify your overall financial situation and keep your debt in check, you need to establish your debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income is the relation between what you owe and what you make. To calculate your ratio, take your monthly debt payments (such as house, credit card, and payments) and divide it by your monthly take-home income.

Monthly debt payments are considered anything you can't pay off in 6 months. Items such as monthly food expenditures, utility bills, and entertainment expenses should not be considered when calculating your debt-to-income ratio. These expenses can be paid off within a month's time. Complete Article


What's the Catch With Credit Card Freebies? – What to Watch For with Balance Transfers and Zero Interest Deals

What's the Catch With Credit Card Freebies? – What to Watch For with Balance Transfers and Zero Interest Deals

Credit Cards

You've certainly heard it said that there's no such thing as a free lunch. If you believe that, then you must be eyeing the current crop of 0% balance transfer cards with a wary eye, wondering where you'll find the catch that makes it not so free.

The answer is - as it usually is when it comes to contracts - in the fine print. And the truth is, if you manage yourself wisely, you'll find that the cost isn't nearly so hard to swallow as the plastic chicken dinners that often masquerade as free lunches at banquets.

Now that I've stretched that metaphor to the breaking point, let's take a serious look at balance transfer credit cards and how they can work to help you get out of debt faster - and at far less cost than you'd think.  Complete Article


How to Buy a Bigger Home with Smaller Payments – Types of Loans – Fixed or Pay Option Adjustable Rate Interest Only Mortgages

How to Buy a Bigger Home with Smaller Payments – Types of Loans – Fixed or Pay Option Adjustable Rate Interest Only Mortgages

Bigger House

With the rising prices of home and property taxes, how can anyone afford to move? There are a few Loan Programs that can make it easier on your pocket. However, knowing the difference between the programs is the key! There are some Loan Programs that I would recommend only for the brave of heart and there are others that may fit the needs and comfort level of the average Homeowner. Which one are you...

First you have to know a few things about yourself. For instance:

1) Is it an investment property, 2nd home or primary residence?  Complete Article


Debt Reduction - Your Simple 9 Step Plan

Debt Reduction - Your Simple 9 Step Plan

Debt

Debt reduction doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. Who wants to deal with a cure that's more painful than the ailment? Mounting debt is stressful enough - then you have to face the task of figuring out just where to start if you want to get rid of it. Then there are all the different angles of attack you can take and that just adds to the frustration.

So here's a simplified approach that will get you started in the right direction for debt reduction. After all, sometimes the simplest approach is the most effective. This 9 step plan can help you get out of debt and stay out.

1. Spend less than you make. Easier said than done, right? I agree, but this is the very first step in any debt reduction effort. And there's no getting around it. The only way to get out of debt is to spend less than you make. The key is to get determined to make it happen.  Complete Article


Consolidate Debt to Make Debt Repayment Easier

Consolidate Debt to Make Debt Repayment Easier

Consolidate

Consolidate debt and take the worry out of making monthly payments. When was the last time a month passed by without you stressed about bill payments, or how much you charged on your credit cards?

Your debt just seems to keep growing and you find it harder and harder to make ends meet. With the average household having 10 credit cards, you are probably finding it more difficult to keep track of multiple credit card payments, bills, loan statements, and more. If you consolidate debt, you can make it much easier to pay off your debt.  Complete Article


How Do People in Southern California Afford Mortgage Loan Payments for Million Dollar Homes?

How Do People in Southern California Afford Mortgage Loan Payments for Million Dollar Homes?

Jumbo Loans

Any loan amount above these conforming loan limits is considered a jumbo mortgage, and any amount over $650,000 is considered a super jumbo loan. "Once again, although the new conforming loan limits will help some home buyers qualify for a lower-cost loan, they do not go far enough to benefit most home buyers in California," said Jim Hamilton, president of the real estate trade group. "Conforming loan limits need to more accurately reflect the cost of housing in California." So, how do Southern Californians afford those million dollar loans?

The 2006 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan amounts are:  Complete Article


Online Mortgage Brokers – Finding a Home Loan Broker On the Internet

Online Mortgage Brokers – Finding a Home Loan Broker On the Internet

Online Brokers

Looking for the best property buy has been made easier by the availability of information over the Internet. These information providers and services are available twenty-four hours a day, everyday of the week. Some online mortgage broker sites guide you through the steps of obtaining the property you have in mind.

Basically, there are two kinds of online mortgage broker sites. The first is a “no loan site.” When you visit this kind of site, you will only see and get information related to mortgages—the kinds and options available and free quotes on certain mortgage leads. They feature mortgage news, keep tabs on market factors that dictate the prices of property, and monitor standard industry rates.  Complete Article


Pre-approved Mortgages: Helping You Buy the Home of Your Dreams – Get Pre Approval For Loan Before You Shop for A House

Pre-approved Mortgages: Helping You Buy the Home of Your Dreams – Get Pre Approval For Loan Before You Shop for A House

Business

Each year, millions of individuals make the decision to buy a new home. If you are interested in becoming one of those individuals, it is likely that you will have to obtain a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan that will allow you to purchase the home of your dreams. When it comes to obtaining a mortgage, there are many individuals who are misinformed. This misinformation is often centered on when you should apply for a mortgage.

There are many individuals who believe that they should not apply for a mortgage until after they find a home that they are interested in buying. This is untrue and it may even end up being a costly mistake. That mistake could prevent you from purchasing the home that you desire. Instead of waiting until you find a home, you are encouraged to apply for a mortgage as soon as you decide that you want to purchase a new home.  Complete Article


Low Mortgage Rates - Are They Only A Dream? Low Home Loans Interest Rates Are Vanishing – Refinancing

Low Mortgage Rates - Are They Only A Dream? Low Home Loans Interest Rates Are Vanishing – Refinancing

Low Rates?

The short answer is No, but they are starting to vanish before our very eyes. If you are to take advantage of low mortgage rates your time is running out. The Federal Reserve is continuing it's policy of raising rates. This will in turn cause the banks and lenders to raise mortgage rates.

Are the banks pleased with raising rates? No. Banks are no more pleased than you and I are, because they actually make more money when rates are low. More people finance and refinance when rates are low. The increased volume of business makes up the loss of interest rate.  Complete Article


Mortgage Loan Types: Choosing the Right Mortgage – Jumbo and Adjustable and Fixed Rate Mortgages

Mortgage Loan Types: Choosing the Right Mortgage – Jumbo and Adjustable and Fixed Rate Mortgages

Types of Loans

Your mortgage will be one of the biggest investments you make. Choosing the right type of mortgage will save you a lot of money and headaches down the road. Here are the basics of mortgage loan types.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans

Adjustable Rate Mortgages typically come with a very low introductory interest rate. This rate is only valid for a period of time specified in the loan contract. At the end of the introductory period the mortgage lender will adjust the interest rate and payment amount. Your loan contract will specify regular intervals where the lender will adjust your interest rate and monthly payment amount. Complete Article


Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Mortgage to Avoid Jumbo Mortgage Loan Rates

Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Mortgage to Avoid Jumbo Mortgage Loan Rates

Refinance

The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), commonly known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, respectively, subsidize the real estate mortgage market by buying mortgage loans originated by banks and other lenders. However, these government sponsored entities (GSEs) are subject to maximum loan amounts (e.g., $417, 000 for a single-family home).

Loans up to these limits are considered conforming loans. "Any loan over that amount is considered either a jumbo or a super-jumbo loan," explains Steve Litten, president of Home Security Mortgage in Fredericksburg, Virginia. However, conventional loans can be either conforming or non-conforming loans (jumbo and super jumbo loans). Jumbo loans run between $417,001 and $650,000. Loans above $650,000 are super jumbo loans.  Complete Article


Home Loans: Zero Down Financing is a Reality for First Time Homebuyers

Home Loans: Zero Down Financing is a Reality for First Time Homebuyers

No Money Down

In the face of rising interest rates, many lenders are now offering 100 percent home loans at near-market rates to conventional borrowers. These no-down-payment loans are generally targeted toward people with good credit (typically, FICO scores of 720 and higher) but not a lot of cash.

This is in part because the two agencies that buy many of the loans lenders make, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have shown willingness during the past couple of years to purchase mortgages with less money down than ever before. "We've been buying lower and lower down payment mortgages and we will buy 3 percent down mortgages at this time," Fannie Mae spokesman Clyde Ensslin points out.  Complete Article


Debt Consolidation Services And Information - The Fundamentals of Available Debt Consolidation Services

Debt Consolidation Services And Information - The Fundamentals of Available Debt Consolidation Services

Debt Consolidation

Owing large sums on your credit cards and other bills is a very stressful situation. Every dime of your paycheck is allocated before you even cash it, you have collection agencies calling you both at home and at work, and you constantly have to worry about making ends meet. Worst of all, with the incredibly high interest rates you're paying, it could conceivably take 15 years or more to pay off the amount you owe. But you could change all of that right now by taking advantage of debt consolidation services.

Debt consolidation services are designed to help get you back on your feet quickly. Although the specifics vary depending on the nature and extent of your financial troubles as well as the debt settlement or credit counseling company you sign up with, most debt consolidation services operate to get you out of debt fast. The debt relief provider will review the details of your financial picture and explain if, how, and where they can save you money. If you like what you hear and if you agree to pay the fees they charge for their debt consolidation services, the company will go to work on your case.  Complete Article


Bad Credit Repair - Defining The Problem – Credit Card Debt – Help in Financing and Home Loans

Bad Credit Repair - Defining The Problem – Credit Card Debt – Help in Financing and Home Loans

Credit Repair

Before you begin the process of repairing your credit, you first need to ask yourself why you are having credit problems? Poor credit is nothing to be ashamed of. It is far more common than you may realize. Often it may not even be your fault, like Gerald and Lisa.

They invested five years and all they money they saved to start a small sign company. Then one summer someone broke into their business office and stole all the computers and expensive sign-making equipment. Unfortunately they did not have any insurance to cover what was stolen, so they had to take out loans to replace the items so they could stay in business. It took them years to recover financially from that, leaving them with bad credit. Complete Article


Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord – How To Get A Loan For Your First Home – Financing Real Estate and Houses

Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord – How To Get A Loan For Your First Home – Financing Real Estate and Houses

Financing

If you’re like most renters, you feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours.

It’s a dream we all have - to own our own home and stop paying rent. But if you’re like most renters, you feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours. How could it when you’re not even permitted to bang in a nail or two without a hassle. You feel like you’re stuck in the renter’s rut with no way of rising up out of it and owning your own home.

Don’t Feel Trapped Anymore  Complete Article


Mortgage Refinancing For People With Bad Credit - Low Credit Score Home Loans

Mortgage Refinancing For People With Bad Credit - Low Credit Score Home Loans

Refinancing w/ Bad Crdit

Refinancing a home loan with poor credit is a great and effective way to resolve some of your credit problems. Individuals with poor credit are likely unable to pay creditors on time or have many past due credit accounts. To fix credit problems, most people simply need extra cash to payoff debts. With this said, homeowners hoping to improve their credit should consider refinancing their mortgage.

When Is Refinancing a Good Idea?

Although there are numerous benefits to refinancing, each situation is different. To gain the most from a refinancing, the circumstances must be right. For example, if you have a high interest rate, refinancing is ideal for obtaining a lower rate. Complete Article


Credit Card FAQ - Credit Card Security And Authentication

Credit Card FAQ - Credit Card Security And Authentication

Credit Card FAQ

With the ever rising reports of credit card fraud, fraudulent use, internet phishing and identity theft, people are rightly concerned about credit card security. Fraudulent credit card use can be an annoyance at best, and seriously damage your credit at worst. It's only reasonable that people have questions about credit card security and authentication methods. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about credit card security.

1. How does the ATM or store terminal know my PIN number?

PIN (personal identification numbers) are the most often used way to authenticate your identity when you use your credit or ATM card. When you first choose your PIN number, it is 'encrypted' - stored in a secret code of letters and symbols - and either stored in a database or on the magnetic stripe on the back of your card.  Complete Article


Debt and Your Dreams – How to Get Out of Debt – Don’t Declare Bankruptcy – Put Your Spending on a Diet

Debt and Your Dreams – How to Get Out of Debt – Don’t Declare Bankruptcy – Put Your Spending on a Diet

Get Out of Debt

You may not realize what that credit card bill is doing to you…

Bob is a 27 year old truck driver. He dropped out of college after one year and got a job. With hard work and good luck, he is making about $35,000 a year. Bob is passionate about remaining debt free. He drove his old car from high school until he could afford to pay cash for a newer one. He rented a cheap apartment until he saved a solid down payment on his house. Even during the lean months, he steadfastly refused to build up a credit card balance he couldn’t pay off at the end of the month.

At 27, he’s decided he’s tired of his job and would like to change directions. By living within his means and staying out of debt, Bob has enough money in the bank to take some time off, get a part time job, and go back to school. He has visions of owning his own business one day soon – and there’s nothing to stop him.  Complete Article


Open the Cash Vault Inside Your Home – Equity Loans and Lines of Credit – Debt Consolidation With Interest Only Loan

Open the Cash Vault Inside Your Home – Equity Loans and Lines of Credit – Debt Consolidation With Interest Only Loan

Debt Consolidation

In its purest form, equity is money. With regard to real estate (specifically, your house or other investment property), equity is measured in terms of the value of the property minus what you owe. So, if your home is valued at $100,000, and you owe $40,000 on it, you have $60,000 in equity (actual money that is available to you, under particular circumstances).

Surprisingly, many people have this type of equity and do not take advantage of it. Some people are actually in dire financial straits and fail to realize their problems can be solved very easily, by taking the equity from their home. Remember, your home is a “vault,” and the money inside that vault belongs to you. Best of all, you can use that money/ equity for anything you desire, from home improvement to travel expenses to spending money.  Complete Article


A New Choice for Home Financing: Correspondent Lenders - Online Loan Brokers For Mortgages and Home Loans

A New Choice for Home Financing: Correspondent Lenders - Online Loan Brokers For Mortgages and Home Loans

Refinancing a home

When you begin your search for a new home loan, one of the first things to consider is where you'll get the money. Your basic choices will be mortgage brokers and banks.

Your first instinct may be to go with your local bank, who you know from doing business with them for other things, such as your checking and saving accounts. But you've probably also heard that mortgage brokers can get you a better interest rate, since they deal with hundreds of lending sources. It can be confusing, but there’s a third source of funding that combines the best of both--the correspondent lender.  Complete Article


Repair Bad Credit With Debt Consolidation Loans

Repair Bad Credit With Debt Consolidation Loans

Credit cards

Bad credit? Debt consolidation loans are an effective strategy to help you overcome bad credit and get back on the road to credit health. Does it seem strange that a finance company would offer someone with bad credit debt consolidation loans? There are many credit and finance agencies that offer specific bad credit debt consolidation loans that will help you get all your debts into one manageable monthly payment and begin to repair your credit.

What are a "bad credit debt consolidation loans"?

There are two parts to that question. Let's address the first to begin with. The purpose of a debt consolidation loan is to combine all of the debts that you owe into one large debt.

If you currently are carrying debt on several high interest credit cards, it makes sense to take out a lower interest loan for the total amount that you owe and use the money to pay off the balance of each credit card. Instead of making five payments each month at interest rates ranging from 9.9% to 29.5%, you'll be making one payment to the finance company - at rates as low as 6.2% interest (this morning's prime lending rate."  Complete Article


Flexible Payment Mortgages Home Loans

Flexible Payment Mortgages Home Loans

Flexible Payments

With most mortgages, your payment is the same every month. But what if your paycheck isn’t so regular? Would you like to be able to vary your mortgage payment depending on your cash flow? An option ARM -- also called a flex-ARM or pick-a-payment loan -- allows you to do just that.

How does it work?

An option ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage with a twist. You don’t pay a set amount each month. Instead, the lender sends a monthly statement with up to four payment options. You simply choose the amount you want to pay that month and then submit your payment.


Does Term Life Insurance Make Economic Sense? – What type of Policy is Best – How to Choose - Term Compared to Permanent Life Insurance

Does Term Life Insurance Make Economic Sense? – What type of Policy is Best – How to Choose - Term Compared to Permanent Life Insurance

How to Choose

Purpose of Life Insurance.  If you die, life insurance is designed to provide financially for those you have left behind and have listed as your beneficiaries. In buying life insurance you, the insured, enter into a legal contract with the insurance company, also known as the insurer. Basically, the contract states that if you make your monthly insurance payments in a timely manner, your family or other beneficiaries will receive a specific amount of money when you pass on.

Although some may find the idea of life insurance distasteful, it is considered to be essential in protecting the fiscal health of your spouse and children should they find themselves fiscally taxed due to your death.


Prepaid Debit Card - Guaranteed Approval – How to Establish Credit When You Don’t Have Credit

Prepaid Debit Card - Guaranteed Approval – How to Establish Credit When You Don’t Have Credit

Business

The difference between a credit card and prepaid debit card is that with a credit card you are borrowing the money to pay back later, while with a prepaid debit card you are subtracting your own money being held at the financial institution.

Most people realize that it's almost impossible to get by without a credit card of some sort. Yet, there are millions of American families that have no bank account and no credit card. They often pay their bills either in cash or by money orders. For these people, a prepaid debit card may be the answer.

A prepaid debit card looks just like a regular credit card and normally carries a credit card logo such as Visa or MasterCard. Retailers accept these just like any other card. The difference is at the time you use the card, it is instantaneously deducted from your funds on deposit with the your bank.


The New 50 Year Mortgage - Things to Consider with this Loan

The New 50 Year Mortgage - Things to Consider with this Loan

50 year Mortgage

Just a few short years ago, many people were amazed by the prospect of a 40 year mortgage. While 30 year mortgages had dominated the market for decades, the idea of being able to spread out your mortgage payments over forty years was just almost too much to comprehend. Now, there is the new 50 year mortgage and if the 40 year mortgage took the finance world by storm the 50 year mortgage is leaving many people speechless.

But, is a half century mortgage really a good idea? Well, there are certain some advantages to a 50 year mortgage. The most obvious advantage is that it allows a homeowner to spread out the cost of a home purchase and lower monthly mortgage payments. In housing markets where prices have skyrocketed this can be a major pro because it may make it available for individuals to purchase homes who might not have been able to do so otherwise. Complete Article


Interest Only Loans – When To Use Them and How Do They Work? Owners Will Carry These Mortgages - Benefits both Seller and Buyer  

Interest Only Loans – When To Use Them and How Do They Work? Owners Will Carry These Mortgages - Benefits both Seller and Buyer  

Home Loans

If you have been shopping for a home loan you have probably seen ads for interest only (IO) loans.  What are these loans and are they advantageous?  This may depend on whether you plan on living in the house for a long time or anticipate an increase in your income. 

Interest only loans give you the option to pay interest only for a limited time, usually 5 to 10 years.  At that time the loan amount may become due and payable.  This is called a balloon payment.  Some loans may convert to a conventional loan with interest plus principal.   Complete Article 


Home Loans and What you Need to Know to Pre-Qualify For a Mortgage - Income to Debt Ratios and Credit Reports

Home Loans and What you Need to Know to Pre-Qualify For a Mortgage - Income to Debt Ratios and Credit Reports

Business

Buying a home can be very stressful, but there are some things you should do before you start looking.  Having a regular pay check makes it easier to qualify, but you will still need to check your credit report first.  You may be surprised how many extra addresses and mistakes can be on your credit record. 

Credit reporting agencies will not remove anything until they have evidence that what they have is inaccurate.  Usually the credit report will have a dispute form attached with it.  If you see something that does not belong, fill in the forms and send them back.  Complete Article


Pick the Right Home Loan - Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) Give Lenders More Security - Easier To Qualify For Than Fixed Rate

Pick the Right Home Loan - Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) Give Lenders More Security - Easier To Qualify For Than Fixed Rate

Home Loans

Now that interest rates have been on the rise and may go higher, fixed interest mortgages may be harder to get.  The adjustable rate mortgages give the lender a bit of security in uncertain times.  If interest rates go up, their rates can also go up. 

There are some advantages to the adjustable rate mortgage and there are some advantages to the fixed rate mortgages.  You can get some lower initial payments with an adjustable rate mortgage.  It is also easier to qualify for an adjustable rate mortgage.  Complete Article


Oprah Winfrey's Debt Diet - Author David Bach Talk About Loans Credit Cards and Consolidation and Repayment

Oprah Winfrey's Debt Diet - Author David Bach Talk About Loans Credit Cards and Consolidation and Repayment

David Bach

This week the Oprah Winfrey Show is revisiting the Debt Diet Series.  In this group of shows Oprah interviews various families to determine how each got into debt and how each can get out of debt.

The series breaks down getting out of debt into four steps.  The first step is to determine how much debt you have.  This is done by pulling out your bills and totaling your expenses and debt. 

The next step entails tracking your spending.  One of Oprah’s guests, David Bach, says one place to cut spending is the “Latte Factor”.  We need to review our luxury expenses like fancy cups of coffee, cigarettes, bottled water or fast food.  Not spending just $10 per day can put $3600 in your pocket after one year (or pay your debt). Complete Story 


First Time Home Buyers – How to get a No Money down Home Loan Mortgage

First Time Home Buyers – How to get a No Money down Home Loan Mortgage

Real Estate

If you are a looking for a low down payment or no down payment home loan you might want to check out conventional loans.  If you have served in the military or are currently in the military you could qualify for a VA loan with no money down along with competitive interest rates.

The Federal housing Administration (FHA) is another option if you cannot qualify for the VA loan.  An FHA loan may ask for as little as 3 percent down. You can sometimes obtain a grant to help with the down payment if you are a low income qualifying applicant.  The problem with an FHA loan is that the loans dollar amount is limited.  With housing markets that can easily exceed most FHA loans this becomes harder to get an FHA loan.


Reverse Mortgage - Myths and Misconceptions

Reverse Mortgage - Myths and Misconceptions

Financing

What is it about Reverse Mortgages that instills fear in some Senior Americans?  This feeling is real even when the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and nationally syndicated columnists like Robert Bruss continue to praise them in their literature.  The answer may be like that old axiom says “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”, and from the fact that many seniors consult friends and relatives who proclaim they know, but in reality are grossly misinformed themselves.

Since the Reverse Mortgage can be a valuable and safe tool for Senior Americans, we will endeavor to correct the major misconceptions connected with them and allow the Senior Citizen to make an informed decision on the use of the Reverse Mortgage.


Debt Consolidation Home Loans - Advantages and Disadvantages - Lower Credit Card Interest Rates and Tax Write-Offs

Debt Consolidation Home Loans - Advantages and Disadvantages - Lower Credit Card Interest Rates and Tax Write-Offs

Business

With the rise of interest rates, debt consolidation is becoming more common.  It entails taking out one loan to pay off many others, and is often done to secure a fixed interest rate or for convenience.  It is easier to write one check than many.

It may also be advantageous, especially if you are consolidating credit card debt into a fixed home loan.  Although there is some risk in converting unsecured debt into secured debt, there may also be a tax write-off.  Also, the change in the bankruptcy laws has made it more difficult to remove debt via bankruptcy. Consolidation could also entail placing unsecured loans into another unsecured loan, but more often it involves a secured loan against an asset that serves as collateral, which is often a house.


Stated Income Loans – Mortgage with No Documentation

Stated Income Loans – Mortgage with No Documentation

Stated Income Loans

Stated Income loans are a type of loan that allows borrowers with fair to excellent credit to qualify for a mortgage without their income being verified by the bank. Stated Income, Verified Asset (SIVA) loans are primarily designed for self employed people who may not have the means to accurately reflect their income.

Business owners may receive much of their revenue in cash but their cash reserves shown in the bank display a different picture.  The borrowers are required to disclose their two year employment history and state a figure for their monthly income on the Uniform Residential Lending Application (Form 1003).  The borrower may also be required to disclose bank accounts, their retirement programs or other types of assets.  Stated Income Loans – Mortgage with No Documentation


Qualifying for a Home Loan – Steps for being approved on a Mortgage Loan

Qualifying for a Home Loan – Steps for being approved on a Mortgage Loan

Realtor .com website will help you understand housing prices

If you are anticipating purchasing your first home, you will want to make sure that you can qualify for a home loan before you even begin to look at real estate.  Most of the time, a real estate agent will get you pre-qualified through a mortgage broker, however, this is loosely based and you should still be aware that it does not guarantee that you will get a loan or the type of loan that you desire.

By knowing what your finances should look like you will be in charge of deciding the type of loan, be it a fixed rate or interest only loan you make the final decision.  If you are not prepared with knowing how to qualify for a home loan, you will be left very little options and you may be left with only a very undesirable adjustable rate loan with closing points for the loan.  You can end up being put in a position that will cost you considerably more to repay the loan.  Qualifying for a Home Loan – Steps for being approved on a Mortgage Loan


Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Choose a Lender and How Do They Work - Disadvantages of a Reverse Mortgage and Pitfalls

Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Choose a Lender and How Do They Work - Disadvantages of a Reverse Mortgage and Pitfalls

Business

There are many reasons a person may want a reverse mortgage.  If you are over the age of 62 and find yourself in a position of needing cash for whatever reason, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage.  You may need some supplemental income, money for medical bills or need to make your retirement more enjoyable, but so not want to take a chance of losing your home with a regular mortgage.

There are three types of reverse mortgages.  The first is a single-purpose reverse mortgage which is offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  To qualify, the barrower may need to be in the low to moderate income bracket.  These loans are typically for a specific use, like home improvement, property taxes, or health expenses.  Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Choose a Lender and How Do They Work - Disadvantages of a Reverse Mortgage and Pitfalls


Student Loans - How to Shop for a Student Loan - Federal Backing and Private Financial Aid

Student Loans - How to Shop for a Student Loan - Federal Backing and Private Financial Aid

Yale University

Unlike some other financial aid programs, student loans must be paid back. There are several types of student loans available in the United States.  The first is the Federal Student Loans made to the students directly (1).   There are no payments until after graduation, but amounts are quite limited.  The second is the Federal Student Loans made to the parents (2).  They have a much higher limit, but payments start immediately. The third type is the Private Student Loans made to students or parents (3).  These have higher limits and no payments until after graduation.  Usually the interest will start to accrue immediately though.

The first type of student loan is made directly to the students and is used to supplement personal and family resources, scholarships, grants and work-study.  These loans can be subsidized by the Federal government or may not be, depending on the students needs.  Student Loans - How to Shop for a Student Loan - Federal Backing and Private Financial Aid


Compare Mortgages - First Time Homebuyers Choose Between Adjustable Rate Fixed Rate and Interest Only Loans

Compare Mortgages - First Time Homebuyers Choose Between Adjustable Rate Fixed Rate and Interest Only Loans

Business

There are many types of home loans (mortgages) available including fixed rate, interest only and adjustable rate mortgages.  Typically they are affixed to real property and improvements (a house), but can be associated with ships, and raw land. 

Each loan has its advantages.  Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) give the lender some safety if interest rates rise.  For instance, if the interest rate right now is 5% but 5 years from now increased to 10%, the lender can raise their rate to 10%. Usually the rate is associated with an index such as the Prime Interest Rate plus a percentage.  Compare Mortgages - First Time Homebuyers Choose Between Adjustable Rate Fixed Rate and Interest Only Loans


Interest Rates and Home Loans – Fixed Rate Mortgages may be better than Adjustable Rates

Interest Rates and Home Loans – Fixed Rate Mortgages may be better than Adjustable Rates

Real Estate

Considering the current trend of inflation, gas prices, and the cost of the Iraq war, interest rates may continue to rise for some time making the fixed rate home loan very desirable.  When shopping for a home loan you will find that many loans are adjustable rate, interest only, or fixed rate.  If you plan to live in your home for a very long time then fixed rate is definitely for you.  If you plan to live in a home for only two or three years, you might consider the adjustable rate and interest only, or a temporary fixed rate home loan.

The benefits of an adjustable rate loan is that the interest rates are often lower than a fixed rate loan, the bad part of this type of loan is that when interest rates go up, so do your monthly payments.  It is usually easier to qualify for the adjustable rate loans.  Interest Rates and Home Loans – Fixed Rate Mortgages may be better than Adjustable Rates


Closeouts and Bargain Hunting – NBC’s Today Show how to Save Money Shopping

Closeouts and Bargain Hunting – NBC’s Today Show how to Save Money Shopping

Great Buys by
Sue Goldstein

On NBC’s Today Show one of the topics that was discussed was how to be a bargain hunter.  Sue Goldstein, who has 35 years of experience in bargain hunting, has shared some of her tips.  She is the author of “Great Buys for People Over 50 (How to save Money on Everything)” and also has other titles related to bargain shopping.

Websites that Goldstein visits are Nextag and Overstock.  Nextag is a price comparison website for household goods, loans, and tickets.  Overstock is a website that is a combination of an online auction site and closeouts.  Overstock auctions is similar to eBay in they way they have many sellers.  Other price comparisons not mentioned is Pricewatch for computer and electronics, Shopping.com and Froogle.  There are other price comparison sites as well.  Closeouts and Bargain Hunting – NBC’s Today Show how to Save Money Shopping


How to Get out of Debt - Debt Consolidation and Ideas - Avoid Bankruptcy and Reduce Payments Using Credit Counseling Agencies

How to Get out of Debt - Debt Consolidation and Ideas - Avoid Bankruptcy and Reduce Payments Using Credit Counseling Agencies

Create a Plan First

Over the past decade many Americans have found themselves in debt.  Some debtors have run-up their credit cards on consumer products, while others were hit with a medical emergency that placed them in a financial bind.  There are several options for reducing and eliminating debt, however you will not eliminate your debt overnight. 

This may sound simple, but the first thing you need to do is develop a plan.  You have three options: 1) Make more money, 2) spend less or 3) make more while spending less. On a recent Oprah Winfrey series of shows called The Debt Diet, experts agreed the best approach is to make more and spend less.  How to Get out of Debt - Debt Consolidation and Ideas - Avoid Bankruptcy and Reduce Payments Using Credit Counseling Agencies


Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 13 and 7 – New Laws Change Rules – Credit Counseling Services Required – How to Choose a Non-Profit Company

Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 13 and 7 – New Laws Change Rules – Credit Counseling Services Required – How to Choose a Non-Profit Company

Business

There are two types of bankruptcy for consumers facing financial trouble, Chapter 13 and 7.  The new bankruptcy laws have made it more difficult for consumers to file 7, which allow you to start over by erasing your debts with the exception of back taxes, child support, alimony, and most student loans.

According to the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the court is allowed to sell off most of your assets except for certain exempt assets. The states determine what is exempt, but generally your home or at least some of its equity, clothing, a car, furnishings, life insurance (though not necessarily all the cash value), pension assets, and tools of your trade are exempt.  Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 13 and 7 – New Laws Change Rules – Credit Counseling Services Required – How to Choose a Non-Profit Company


Home Improvement Loans – Benefits to a Home Equity Loan 2nd Mortgage

Home Improvement Loans – Benefits to a Home Equity Loan 2nd Mortgage

Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Remodeling Book

You decided to fix up the house, remodel the kitchen, put a new floor down and maybe even get your house painted.  You really would like to get the job done as it is way over due and you don’t have enough funds set aside to pay for the improvements.  What you can do is get a home improvement loan which is a 2nd mortgage that will fund the project.

You will find there are many different lenders available that offer different terms and interest rates.  You need to know how much the improvements are going to cost.  You will need to get some estimates by the contractors that you anticipate hiring.  A written quote is the most valuable as this number will be valid for the time specified.  Knowing how much the improvements will cost will be the first step to getting the loan.  You probably will want to add a little bit extra to the quote price, as construction costs can go over the quote price sometimes.  Home Improvement Loans – Benefits to a Home Equity Loan 2nd Mortgage


Investment Strategies – Why Invest in Gold, Silver, and Platinum?

Investment Strategies – Why Invest in Gold, Silver, and Platinum?

Gold Coins
by US Mint

Gold and silver have been valued by numerous civilizations for over 5,000 years.  It offers investors a way to stabilize their investments.  If you invest solely in the stock market you are wagering all of your savings on a volatile market.  The stock market can sink if the economy goes into a depression.  The stock market relies on business being financially productive in order for the investment to pay off.  Gold, silver and platinum prices vary from the stock market prices which make it a good idea to diversify some of your investments.

What purposes and true value do these precious metals offer?  Why invest in a hunk of metal?  These metals are in demand for certain types of applications.  Besides the glitz of jewelry and decorative items, there are many practical applications for these precious metals.  Investment Strategies – Why Invest in Gold, Silver, and Platinum?


Overeating Costs Money - Hidden Costs Associated with Gaining Weight

Overeating Costs Money - Hidden Costs Associated with Gaining Weight

French Fries

Upsizing your meal to mega-size at the fast food restaurants may be inexpensive but there are hidden costs to eating excessively.

A group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison calculated how much money a single occurrence of overeating costs over the following year.  The study will be published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

"When confronted with the overwhelming costs of obesity to society as a whole, people don't always take the statistics personally," said Rachel Close who worked with th professor of nutritional science, Dale Schoeller, as part of her master's thesis. "This is another way to present the costs associated with weight gain, and might help convince people that upsizing a meal is no bargain after all. With obesity projected to rise from the current 30 percent to 40 percent of the American population by 2010, this is an important message."  Overeating Costs Money - Hidden Costs Associated with Gaining Weight


Advantages of Refinancing Mortgages – Save Money by Possibly Consolidating Debt into a Home Loan or Renegotiate Your Credit Card Debt with Banks

Advantages of Refinancing Mortgages – Save Money by Possibly Consolidating Debt into a Home Loan or Renegotiate Your Credit Card Debt with Banks

Home Finance

Some homeowners may find themselves with high credit card debt and equity in their homes.  Some will consider debt consolidation as a way to save money and meet their obligations.  It is always a good idea to talk to a professional before making the jump.

Recently credit card companies were required to double their minimum payments while bankruptcy laws have made it harder to extinguish credit card debt in court.  For some homeowners it may make sense to look for a good rate or loan that fits them so they can save money and possibly add a deduction to their taxes.  Always talk to your tax preparer to make sure this is the right course for you.  Advantages of Refinancing Mortgages – Save Money by Possibly Consolidating Debt into a Home Loan or Renegotiate Your Credit Card Debt with Banks


Create A Home Loan Rate - Repair Your Credit and How to Qualify For A Mortgage

Create A Home Loan Rate - Repair Your Credit and How to Qualify For A Mortgage

Qualify for a Loan

In the world of home buying, the process of finding a house and neighborhood suitable to your family’s needs can become laborious even with the assistance of a realtor.  However, if you truly understand your desires and needs, a competent realtor will locate your prospective home through diligence and determination.  Once identified, the real journey of this process begins. 

This is when you must secure funding and obtain that desired rate you so desperately long for.  The industry of mortgage rates is less complicated than portrayed but more sensitive than perceived.  In this article, we’ll try to better understand the concept and not just the numbers.  Create A Home Loan Rate - Repair Your Credit and How to Qualify For A Mortgage


Zillow.com Free Home Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables - Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate

Zillow.com Free Home Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables - Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate

Home and Travel

Homebuyers and sellers have a new tool that will help them determine the value of their home or homes they are considering buying. Zillow.com is a new website that allows visitors to quickly get a zestimate of a property’s value.  What’s more, you can get a birds-eye (low altitude) view of the house and estimates for homes in the area. 

Not only can you see the house from the front, but you can also see it from the back and sides using a 45 degree-angle view from the sky.  Zillow worked out a deal with Microsoft to use their Virtual Earth platform. They supplement these images with ones taken by Pictometry (these are the 45 degree angle views), a supplier of low flying photographs from planes.  Zillow.com Free Home Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables - Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate


Home Equity Line Of Credit - Consolidate Debt with Second Home Mortgage Even With Bad Credit - Save Money and Lower Payments

Home Equity Line Of Credit - Consolidate Debt with Second Home Mortgage Even With Bad Credit - Save Money and Lower Payments

Home Equity Line of Credit

Does it make sense to consolidate credit card debt into a home loan?  There are a lot of factors to mull over before doing so, but it should be considered if you feel you may be unable to meet your obligations soon.  If fact, it might be better to consider debt consolidation before you miss or are late on a payment.

Many will advise that it is a mistake to place unsecured credit card debt into a secured home loan.  But with recent changes to the bankruptcy laws, it may be harder to shake the unsecured debt than ever before.  Recent policy changes that required credit card companies to double their minimum payments have also made it harder for some families and business people to meet their obligations.  Home Equity Line Of Credit - Consolidate Debt with Second Home Mortgage Even With Bad Credit - Save Money and Lower Payments


Credit Card companies offer 5% Gas Rebate Cards – Could help save money with High Cost of Fuel

Credit Card companies offer 5% Gas Rebate Cards – Could help save money with High Cost of Fuel

Ethanol E85
gas pump

The cost of gas just seems to go up to a new high every day lately.  The price at my local gas station was $3.49 for the cheapest gas.  This price seems to keep creeping up and putting a dent in the budget.

One way that you could save a little bit of money despite the high prices of gas is by using a credit card that offers a 5% Gas rebate.  You get a 5% credit back when you buy gas with their card.  With a 5% discount the $3.49 per gallon price would be $3.32 per gallon.  If you have a 25 gallon gas tank you could save $4.25 in just one stop.  This could add up over time.

Discover, Chase and AAA credit cards are just some of the different credit cards that offer the 5% rebate on gas purchases.  There are probably more credit cards that offer this promotion.  The Hess credit card offered by Chase is offering a 10% rebate on purchases for Hess gas locations for the first 90 days of opening an account with them.  Credit Card companies offer 5% Gas Rebate Cards – Could help save money with High Cost of Fuel


Financial Advisor – How to work at home as a Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor – How to work at home as a Financial Advisor

Professional Advisor

Working at home is a dream job for many people.  One career that allows you the opportunity to be self-employed and work at home is to become a personal financial advisor.  According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 out of 10 personal financial advisors are self-employed.  The Bureau of Labor also said that the median average income for a personal financial advisor in May of 2004 was $62,700.

Successful personal financial advisors are college graduates that have good communication and people skills.  Many organizations for financial planners exist.  They can help you with getting a certification to help market your services.  Becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) will add confidence for your client base and will ensure that you are knowledgeable about investing.  The CFP certification is an in-depth process that maintains the professionalism of the financial planning industry.  Financial Advisor – How to work at home as a Financial Advisor


How To Save Money With Your Mortgage - Consolidate Debt Into A Home Loan - Refinancing and Renting Out Your Home

How To Save Money With Your Mortgage - Consolidate Debt Into A Home Loan - Refinancing and Renting Out Your Home

Refinancing

So you have finally bought that home you were searching for. You have organized a Home Loan , have moved in and are enjoying your new life. As months go on and the bills start piling up you are probably asking yourself is there anything that can be done to help you meet all your repayment obligations and still allow you to keep your own home. Naturally, the answer is YES.

Here are a few helpful strategies to help you save money with your mortgage:

Debt Consolidation

If as well as paying your mortgage you are also paying off a number of unsecured debts such as credit cards, charge cards, personal loans etc. ­ you are probably paying too much every month. Interest rates on home loans are generally much lower than those on unsecured debts. How To Save Money With Your Mortgage - Consolidate Debt Into A Home Loan - Refinancing and Renting Out Your Home


Finding a Good Mortgage with Bad Credit

Finding a Good Mortgage with Bad Credit

Bad Credit Good Loan

The decision to buy a house is a great one, and nothing can make the outcome of that decision greater than being well informed of what to expect from the process of choosing and getting a mortgage.  If credit history is an issue, prepare yourself and learn beforehand what you can do to optimize and improve it. 

A less than stellar credit history will not automatically exclude you from a mortgage approval.  Armed with this knowledge, buying the right house will not only be possible, but it will be a pleasant experience. 

The first step in the process is to understand the process of mortgages.  Next, decide what you need from a mortgage company, and pick one that will work well for you: not only in buying the home, but also in the long-term ­ the time during which you will be paying off the mortgage.  Lastly, begin planning now, and work to improve your credit history to minimize it getting in the way of an approval.  Being informed will make the process of applying and being approved for a mortgage a much smoother and more pleasant process.  Finding a Good Mortgage with Bad Credit


FICO Credit Score – How to improve a Credit Score to get Lower Interest Rates

FICO Credit Score – How to improve a Credit Score to get Lower Interest Rates

FICO Credit Score affects Interest Rates

The FICO credit score is used as a reference by financial institutions to help determine what risk is involved with lending money to you.  Depending on the score, you will get either approvals or denials and also lower interest rates or higher interest rates.  By improving your FICO credit score you have a way to get lower interest rates on credit cards as well as on home loans.

You need to contact all three credit reporting agencies.  They are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  Most people know that all credit card companies report to these agencies. The agencies also take information such as automobile and home loans as well as any liens or court ordered payments, such as child support.  You may even get a negative report if you fail to pay doctor bills.  You could potentially have negative items on your credit report without even being aware of it.  FICO Credit Score – How to improve a Credit Score to get Lower Interest Rates


Consolidating Credit Card Debt - Interest Only Loans

Consolidating Credit Card Debt - Interest Only Loans

Business

Rates on 30-year mortgages moved up again this week to their highest point in nearly four years.  The rising rates may cause home prices to fall.  As rates rise, so do the monthly payments to potential barrowers.  This may cause home sellers to lower their price. 

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist said “As a result of higher mortgage rates, housing market activity is beginning to slow."  Associated Press writer, Jeannine Aversa, says that mortgage rates rose as Wall Street investors fretted that inflation might pick up.  Their worries were fanned by government reports released earlier this week showing big increases in both wholesale and consumer prices for March.

But what about credit card payments? This year Credit Card Issuers were required to double their minimum payments from 2% to 4% of the loan balance.  The Credit card companies actually fought this rule, but lost.  They make more money stringing purchasers out for longer periods of time. Consolidating Credit Card Debt - Interest Only Loans


Credit Card Bills – How to Understand Interest Rates

Credit Card Bills – How to Understand Interest Rates

Save Money with Lower Interest Rates

If you have ever looked at your credit card bills there is a section usually on the very end of the bill listing several different interest rates.  The interest rates can add up to a lot of money, and finding ways to lower the interest rates is one way to reduce debt and eventually eliminate it.

Usually the credit card company will specify the finance charge for that month in the bill.  The interest rate is directly related to the finance charge.  The interest rate is calculated from separated transactions.  Depending on the current promotions rates on the same card can vary greatly.  You will notice there is breakdown rate for Balance transfers and checks, Purchases, Cash Advances at ATM’s or Banks.  Credit Card Bills – How to Understand Interest Rates


Florida Refinance Mortgage Rates Are Rising - 30 Year Fixed Rate Loans May Go Up - Convert Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

Florida Refinance Mortgage Rates Are Rising - 30 Year Fixed Rate Loans May Go Up - Convert Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

Florida Real Estate

With Florida home mortgage rates rising now is the time to refinance. Refinancing now turns home equity into cash to pay off credit cards or car loans.

Even if the mortgage rate is a little higher than expected, opportunities exist to “buy down” an interest rate.  This is a process where you pay extra points to the lender to get a better interest rate.  It costs more at the beginning of the loan but greater savings are made over the mortgage term.

Mortgage rates are ever changing and there are many factors that determine Florida refinance mortgage rates. The Fed, economic indicators, international crisis and the labor market are just some of the main components that push mortgage interest rates up or down. Long-term Treasury yields, like the 10 year note, are the central focus for fixed rate mortgages.  Florida Refinance Mortgage Rates Are Rising - 30 Year Fixed Rate Loans May Go Up - Convert Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)


California First Time Home Buyer Program Offers Zero Down Payment Home Mortgage Loan

California First Time Home Buyer Program Offers Zero Down Payment Home Mortgage Loan

No Money Down

For a California first time home buyer, the down payment is probably the biggest hurdle. It has been planted in the buyer's mind that a twenty per cent cash down payment is required.

But the mortgage marketplace is changing and with a good income and good credit, homes can be purchased with zero down, one hundred per cent financing.  There are California lenders that have specialized programs that want to help people purchase their first home. Some programs are tailored for people with damaged credit, while most can help people with little saved for a down payment.

There are numerous lenders that specialize in loans for first time home buyers. Some of these lenders will even loan up to 103 percent of the home's purchase price to include closing costs. California First Time Home Buyer Program Offers Zero Down Payment Home Mortgage Loan


California Reverse Mortgages Give Seniors Financial Security

California Reverse Mortgages Give Seniors Financial Security

Financial Security

Over 150,000 seniors have already benefited from reverse mortgages. A California reverse mortgage is a loan that enables senior homeowners, age 62 and older, to convert part of their home equity into tax-free income-without having to sell their home, give up title to it or make monthly mortgage payments.

The money can be used for anything, from daily living expenses, home improvements, healthcare expenses, paying off existing debts, or simply enhancing the retirement years. For many people, the money provides a "financial security blanket," in case unexpected expenses arise.

You need not pay back the reverse mortgage loan to the lender nor make any monthly mortgage payments until the home is permanently vacated.  California Reverse Mortgages Give Seniors Financial Security


Oprah’s Debt Diet series is Catching on across the Country – Positive Results for How to get out of Debt

Oprah’s Debt Diet series is Catching on across the Country – Positive Results for How to get out of Debt

Live Debt Free Bookl

On the Oprah Show today she showed what an impact her “Debt Diet” series had on many people.  Oprah showed people across the countries that have signed her “Debt Diet” contract.  Positive results are happening with families and people are turning around their financial situation.

Progress is being made in more than one way.  Families that were fighting and at the brink of divorce are getting along better now.  The couples all wanted to turn around their financial situation and work at it as a family.  This seemed to be a big element for success for these families and it worked!

Experts on the show recommended a chart for a break down for a monthly spending guide.  They recommend setting aside money for the following breakdown:  35% for housing, 15% for car including gas, 25% for other expenses including food, 15% to pay off student loans or other debt, and 10% for a savings or a retirement fund.  Oprah’s Debt Diet series is Catching on across the Country – Positive Results for How to get out of Debt


Oprah's Debt Diet - How to Get Rich - Not Just Get Out of Debt - David Bach and Robert Kiyosaki Books Give Good Advice

Oprah's Debt Diet - How to Get Rich - Not Just Get Out of Debt - David Bach and Robert Kiyosaki Books Give Good Advice

Rich Dad

Oprah has been running a series called the Debt Diet, featuring author David Bach.  Many authors and experts have recommended investing in real estate to build wealth, and David is no different.  Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of the popular book Rich Dad Poor Dad, also recommends investing in real estate, not necessarily the stock market. 

David Bach recommends you buy a home, live in it, and then buy another.  Like millions of other people each, David says build your wealth through real estate.  Amazingly homes can make you money while you sleep.  Some people have realized a profit of $300 per day or more, as their home values increased over the past few years.  Imagine that, an extra $300 per day. 

Everyone needs to start somewhere.  First buy a house to live in, which may seem impossible to some people, but you need to work out a plan to get there.  The Oprah show recommended looking for other sources of income.  For instance, one guest made extra money by helping a friend paint houses.  Another guest took on a summer school teaching job to supplement her income.  Oprah's Debt Diet - How to Get Rich - Not Just Get Out of Debt - David Bach and Robert Kiyosaki Books Give Good Advice


Creative Financing Can Help Homeowners and Home Buyers – Equity Lines of Credit May Help Homeowners to Pay-Off Credit Card Debt

Creative Financing Can Help Homeowners and Home Buyers – Equity Lines of Credit May Help Homeowners to Pay-Off Credit Card Debt

Home Equity Line of Credit

New nontraditional methods of financing have enabled many homebuyers to enter the market that would have had trouble otherwise.  This brings up the chicken or the egg question. Which came first: higher home prices or creative nontraditional financing?  Did the home sellers adjust their prices upward because of more available credit, or did the lenders adjust their tactics to help buyer qualify for homes that have increased in price?

Either way, it appears creative financing is here to stay.  Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) with low initial payments have helped lower income buyers qualify for home loans.  Newer Interest Only Loans have allowed even more homebuyers to qualify.  These loans typically have a period of payments consisting of interest only, followed by either a balloon payment (possibly after 10 years) where the entire principal becomes due, or a more traditional loan where principal and interest are paid in monthly installments for the rest of the loan period.  Creative Financing Can Help Homeowners and Home Buyers – Equity Lines of Credit May Help Homeowners to Pay-Off Credit Card Debt


2nd Home Mortgage Loan – Benefits to having a Home Equity Line of Credit

2nd Home Mortgage Loan – Benefits to having a Home Equity Line of Credit

Real Estate

A second mortgage on a home can be beneficial to have.  It usually offers lower interest rates compared to credit cards and you also can have lower monthly payments.

While credit cards companies offer temporary promotional rates of 0% interest rates, you might not be able to pay off these credit cards if the amount is too much and be hit with high interest rates as time goes on.

It is better to set up a second home equity line of credit before you even need it.  If something unexpected happened that was very expensive you would be able to finance it without having to worry about getting approved at the time you need it most.  It can cost $50 a year or more depending on the lender to have a home equity line of credit.  Usually the first year is free.  2nd Home Mortgage Loan – Benefits to having a Home Equity Line of Credit


What to Look for When Choosing a Roth IRA – Compare Traditional IRAs to Roths – How to Save using Individual Retirement Accounts

What to Look for When Choosing a Roth IRA – Compare Traditional IRAs to Roths – How to Save using Individual Retirement Accounts

Where to put your money?

A traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a tax deferred self funded retirement fund that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement.  A Roth IRA is also a tax deferred retirement account, but once you turn 59 and a half and have had the Roth IRA at least five years, withdrawals are tax-free.  Neither IRA is subject to required minimum distributions after age 70 and a half.

According to Humberto Cruz, a writer for the Tribune News Services, “For these reasons, many financial advisers recommend that people who have a traditional IRA and are currently in a low tax bracket consider converting all or a portion of it to a Roth IRA. To be eligible, your modified adjusted gross income on any year you convert, not counting the amount converted or IRA required minimum distributions, cannot exceed $100,000.”

Cruz warns that there are pitfalls concerning converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.  One of his readers made the conversion, only find out later that he was penalized for not making estimated tax payments.  The rule of thumb is to talk to your tax preparer and financial planner before converting.  What to Look for When Choosing a Roth IRA – Compare Traditional IRAs to Roths – How to Save using Individual Retirement Accounts


What is a 401k and what are the Benefits of this type of Retirement Account

What is a 401k and what are the Benefits of this type of Retirement Account

Coins

Your employer more than likely offers a 401k package.  You know it has something to do with retirement.  The 401k helps an individual save for retirement and usually there are some extra benefits offered by the company you work with.

The government wanted to get people to save for retirement.  In 1978, The Tax Reform Act was passed.  It gave people a way to lower their state and federal taxes and save for retirement at the same time.  The name 401(k) got its name from the Internal Revenue code from the section 401 and paragraph (k).  It wasn’t until 1982 when the 401(k) was offered for the first time with a tax break.  The final regulations for the 401(k) were completed in 1991.

There are other retirement plans available.  That is were some of the confusion is, there are IRA’s SEP’s and money purchase plans along with the 401(k) plans.  These plans are also called a “defined contribution plan”, which means that the dollar amount is previously defined by either the employee or the employer.  What is a 401k and what are the Benefits of this type of Retirement Account


How to Save Money using Coupons when Grocery Shopping for Food

How to Save Money using Coupons when Grocery Shopping for Food

Coupon Organizer

Oprah’s last Debt Diet show on March 24th, discussed how two families are coping with budgeting and learning to eat at home.  One of the families had spent $29,000 last year eating out for all of their meals.  While many of us do find our way in the kitchens more often than that there are things we can do to help keep our grocery food bill low.

One way that most of us know about is using coupons.  Coupon clipping can be an amazing money saving technique.  It takes organization to really save substantially with coupons.  If you are serious about coupon clipping you will learn what Sunday papers have the most coupon inserts.  Usually just before a holiday the coupon section is stocked full of good coupons.  It can really pay to buy multiple newspapers for the coupons if you having savings on your mind.  How to Save Money using Coupons when Grocery Shopping for Food


60 Minutes News Program Highlights Hedge Fund Lawsuit Filed By Biovail – What Is Selling Short and What Does it Mean?

60 Minutes News Program Highlights Hedge Fund Lawsuit Filed By Biovail – What Is Selling Short and What Does it Mean?

Money

The CBS News show 60 Minutes had a segment on hedge funds and specifically a dispute and lawsuit filed by the Canadian Company Biovail against one of the world’s largest hedge funds, SAC.  According to Lesley Stahl, hedge funds have little government oversight and operate in secrecy.

In this specific case the lawsuit alleges SAC influenced the analysis of Biovail stock.  They allege SAC influenced the stock-analysis firm Camelback (The Arizona company has since changed their name to Gradient).  Camelback gave the biotech firm an “F” rating, hinting at accounting irregularities among other things.  This caused Biovail stock to plummet.       

Usually when most people buy stock, they are hoping the price goes up.  One of the strategies hedge funds use, called selling short, is contrary to this philosophy.  Selling short involves the sale of a security that one may not own, but will buy in anticipation of making a profit by paying for it after its price has fallen. 60 Minutes News Program Highlights Hedge Fund Lawsuit Filed By Biovail – What Is Selling Short and What Does it Mean?


What to Look For When Shopping For Loan - What Are Fannie Mae - Freddie Mac - FHA HUD and VA Loans - Government Assistance For First Time Home Buyers

What to Look For When Shopping For Loan - What Are Fannie Mae - Freddie Mac - FHA HUD and VA Loans - Government Assistance For First Time Home Buyers

What to Look For

The good thing about loan programs is that there are so many loans to choose from.  The bad thing about loan programs is that there are so many loans to choose from.  So how do you decide what loan fits you best? 

If you have at least 3% of the loan amount for a down payment, you might consider the most common type of loan, a conventional loan.  These are conforming loans, which are secured by government sponsored entities (GSE) such as Fannie Mae (FNMA), and Freddie Mac (FHLMC).  Jumbo loans (or loans for large amounts of money) must be funded by private investors.  Jumbo loans exceed the amounts set by GSE’s.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are considered secondary market lenders.  Retail lenders will actually receive their funds from a secondary market lender. What to Look For When Shopping For Loan - What Are Fannie Mae - Freddie Mac - FHA HUD and VA Loans - Government Assistance For First Time Home Buyers


Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Four Steps To Get Out of Debt - How to Pay-Off Your Debt and Save Money - Dieting for Lower Payments and Frugality

Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Four Steps To Get Out of Debt - How to Pay-Off Your Debt and Save Money - Dieting for Lower Payments and Frugality

Ways to Save Money

Oprah Winfrey is running a very informative series of shows with practical methods for dealing with debt.  I am talking about the Debt Diet programs.  She broke the strategy into 4 steps, the first being determining how much you really owe.

Many people do not even know what they owe.  Jean Chatzky said that even if they do know, their spouse doesn’t.  It is important to pull out your bills and total your expenses and debt.  The experts agreed that it is important to know what you owe before you make a plan for repaying it.

The second step is to keep track of your spending.  Look for areas where you can cut spending.  Use this saving to pay down your debt.  One of Oprah’s guests, David Bach, mentioned the “Latte Factor”.  We need to review our luxury expenses like fancy cups of coffee, cigarettes, bottled water or fast food.  Not spending just $10 per day can put $3600 in your pocket after one year (or to pay your debt).  Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Four Steps To Get Out of Debt - How to Pay-Off Your Debt and Save Money - Dieting for Lower Payments and Frugality


Compare Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) with Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) - Interest Only and Pick A Payment Loans - Alternative Financing
 

Compare Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) with Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) - Interest Only and Pick A Payment Loans - Alternative Financing

Read the details 

There are many choices in the mortgage marketplace, and it is important to choose the right type of loan.  Choosing the right loan could save you thousands over the term of the loan. 

There are a few basic options including an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and a fixed rate mortgage (FRM).  The ARM can be a powerful tool, sometimes offering borrowers lower initial payments.  This makes it easier for borrowers to qualify for larger loan sums. 

If the borrower expects interest rates to rise, a FRM may be better.  If qualifying for  a loan is a problem, there are a couple things that can help protect borrowers when choosing a ARM.  For instance, if interest rates do go up, you want to be able to cap your maximum interest rate and also the amount your interest rate can increase per month.  Make sure your ARM includes both types of interest rate caps.  Compare Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) with Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) - Interest Only and Pick A Payment Loans - Alternative Financing 


Home Equity Loans Pros and Cons - Warnings From The FTC and What to Look For When Shopping For a Home Loan - Bad Credit Refinancing

Home Equity Loans Pros and Cons - Warnings From The FTC and What to Look For When Shopping For a Home Loan - Bad Credit Refinancing

Home Equity Loans

Prospective borrowers should be aware of scams and other problems associated with some lenders, especially if the borrower has bad credit.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urges you to be aware of these loan practices to avoid losing your home. 

Some lenders may actually want to “steal” your equity by asking you to pad your income in order to qualify for a loan.  When you are unable make your payments the lender will foreclose your home and “strip” you of your equity.  There may be hidden costs associated with the foreclosure or you may be forced to pay exorbitant prepayment penalties.  The FTC recommends all barrowers not pad their income and read the fine print to avoid these penalties.

Some lenders may offer lower payments but then include a balloon payment in the loan.  This is more common with interest only loans.  According to the FTC, these loans are usually targeted at homeowners in foreclosure.  Home Equity Loans Pros and Cons - Warnings From The FTC and What to Look For When Shopping For a Home Loan - Bad Credit Refinancing


Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Qualify and Things to Look Out For When Shopping for a Reverse Mortgage

Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Qualify and Things to Look Out For When Shopping for a Reverse Mortgage

Cash Poor & Equity Rich

Many older Americans over the age of 62 may find themselves in a position of cash-poor while sitting on a large sum of equity.  Reverse Mortgages are one option for paying off medical bills, supplementing income, or a method of making retirement more enjoyable with travel.  Whatever the reason for considering a reverse mortgage, we have learned that there are a few things to consider before signing on the dotted line.

There are three types of reverse mortgages.  The first is a single-purpose reverse mortgage which may be offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.   The loans usually have a very low cost, but they are not available everywhere.  The barrower may need to be low to moderate income and have a specific use intended for the funds such as home improvement, property taxes, or health expenses.  Types of Reverse Mortgages - How to Qualify and Things to Look Out For When Shopping for a Reverse Mortgage


Who Should Get a Interest Only Loan?  Compare IO Loans to Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Before Deciding

Who Should Get a Interest Only Loan?  Compare IO Loans to Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Before Deciding

Interest Only Home Loans

Interest Only (IO) Loans may be practical if you are planning on selling the home within the next 10 years or less.  The payments will typically be lower than fixed rate mortgage (FRM), but the loans may include a balloon payment at the end of the term.  In other words, if you take a loan out for $40,000, you may pay interest only for ten years, but after ten years the loan may be due in full.

Some lenders will offer IO loans, where after the specified interest only period, the loan principal can still be paid off in installments.  This may sound better, especially if you are planning to sell your home.  You will have access to the equity at a relatively low monthly cost. 

You may want to consider the difference in cost between a IO loan and FRM before deciding, assuming there is no balloon payment.  This can be done by adding up all of your payments over the term of the loan.  Typically, the total cost of a FRM will be lower than the IO because the loan is considered less risky.  Who Should Get a Interest Only Loan?  Compare IO Loans to Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Before Deciding


Financial Planning – Get a Savings Account started even when Your in Debt

Financial Planning – Get a Savings Account started even when Your in Debt

Saving Money takes effort

In the United States this past year people on average had a negative savings account of .5 percent.  This statistic was only reached on time before during the Great Depression.  What has happened is that Americans are spending more money than their after-tax income.  Americans were not saving money but going into debt on average. 

The reality is that at some point financial issues need to be addressed.  Costs of living have gone up considerably as gas and heating cost have been on the rise.  There is also a general increase of goods across the line because of underlying fuel prices.  Shipping cost and transportation cost increase the costs of goods sold.  Health insurance rates continually go up in price and employers are giving more of the cost to the employee.  Financial Planning – Get a Savings Account started even when Your in Debt


How to Keep Credit Card Bills Low and Save Your Credit – Advantages to Refinancing Your Home or Taking Out A Second Home Loan On Your House

How to Keep Credit Card Bills Low and Save Your Credit – Advantages to Refinancing Your Home or Taking Out A Second Home Loan On Your House

Credit Card Solutions

Some credit card holders pay their bill off every month, and basically use the cards for convenience.  Others may find themselves in a bind due to hospital bills or expenses due to operating a business.  What ever the reason for the revolving credit card balances, there are things you can do to keep your bills lower.

Of course the first thing to do is pay the bills on time.  If you are late, and it is your first time, the late fee could be waived.  You will need to call your credit card company and ask though.  If you are late, make every effort to pay it as soon as possible.  Every negative entry on your credit could cost you.

Some credit card companies might raise your interest rate on your card even if you were not late paying them.  In other words, being late on one card could affect the interest rates on all of your other cards.  Credit card rates are adjustable, and a late fee may cost more than the $50 you pay that card company.  How to Keep Credit Card Bills Low and Save Your Credit – Advantages to Refinancing Your Home or Taking Out A Second Home Loan On Your House


Investment Strategies for Retirement - How to Buy Mutual Funds including Equity, Index, Money Market and Bond Funds - Load Versus No-Load Funds

Investment Strategies for Retirement - How to Buy Mutual Funds including Equity, Index, Money Market and Bond Funds - Load Versus No-Load Funds

New York Stock Exchange

Planning for retirement can be challenging, especially when you are trying to figure out the best strategy to make sure all your future needs are met.  The first step is determining what your retirement is going to cost. 

You will need to total your annual expenses in retirement.  This total may range anywhere from 70% to 90% of your current income. If you plan it right, your home will be paid off or you may want to move into a smaller house.  Some of the complicated estimates include determining future health care costs or insurance premiums.  It can be difficult to predict the future inflation and other factors.

Since most people don’t have time to keep track and research stocks to figure out which is best (or maybe they find better things to do with their time), many investors turn to mutual funds.  Mutual fund companies invest their money in stocks, bonds and other securities.  Each investor owns shares, which represents a portion of the funds holdings.  Investment Strategies for Retirement - How to Buy Mutual Funds including Equity, Index, Money Market and Bond Funds - Load Versus No-Load Funds


Zestimate Offers Free Instant Online Appraisals – Zillow.com Helps Determine What Home is Worth – Appraisers and Broker Agent Business

Zestimate Offers Free Instant Online Appraisals – Zillow.com Helps Determine What Home is Worth – Appraisers and Broker Agent Business

Zestimate Map

There is a new website that may make appraisal fees a thing of the past.  At least that is what some have speculated about Zillow.com (otherwise known as Zestimate).  Rich Barton, Zillow chairman and CEO said “Until now, finding out a current market value of any home -- whether it's yours or one you want to bid on -- has been quite difficult.” 

Banks pay appraisers $300 or more for appraisals, depending on the difficulty of the valuation.  Most of the time appraisers can look at the property, take some pictures and compare the subject property to comparables.  This is a relatively simple process for track homes, but can become more difficult for older homes or non-conforming houses. 

Some appraisals can be difficult to calculate.  Sometimes the appraiser will need to find the worth by determining the value of the land by comparison, and then by adding the cost of construction of the house.  The appraiser may subtract depreciation, due to the age of the improvement (i.e. the building). The appraiser will always document the final valuation process.  Zestimate Offers Free Instant Online Appraisals – Zillow.com Helps Determine What Home is Worth – Appraisers and Broker Agent Business


Do you really need Life Insurance - Who should have Life Insurance and What Kind of Policy

Do you really need Life Insurance - Who should have Life Insurance and What Kind of Policy

Life Insurance Certificate from the 1920's

Life Insurance doesn’t benefit the person that dies; it benefits the family that is left behind.  Not everyone should have life insurance.  But there are prime areas in your life that make it a valuable investment.

Life insurance could be for anyone at any age.  But the reality is that the most helpful life insurance policy is for a family income earner that is currently raising a family.  If there are young children that are not able to support themselves you should have a life insurance policy.  Today, it is more common for both parents to work to earn enough to survive.  If you can’t make it on one income you definitely need to have a life insurance policy.  If you both are income earners then both should have a life insurance policy.  Do you really need Life Insurance - Who should have Life Insurance and What Kind of Policy


Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Financial Trouble can be related to our Thoughts and Attitudes

Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Financial Trouble can be related to our Thoughts and Attitudes

Piggy Bank

Today Oprah had her third show in the “Debt Diet” series.  It was a very difficult show to watch as a psychotherapist Dr. Robin digs below the surface of two of the families that are struggling with their financial situation.

At times it was difficult to watch, you know that these people were so humiliated by their financial situation and you know they didn’t want to cry on national TV.  But it took a lot of courage to confront their financial problems in a big way.

The first family told their immediate family and friends of the financial troubles they were having.  It is a step to acknowledge that you have a problem.  The problem with debt is that it is something that people don’t share or want to acknowledge.  Debt is embarrassing and humiliating for most people.  Oprah’s “Debt Diet” - Financial Trouble can be related to our Thoughts and Attitudes


Lower Monthly Credit Card Payments By Refinancing or Taking out a Second Loan - Consolidate Credit Cards into an Equity Line Of Credit

Lower Monthly Credit Card Payments By Refinancing or Taking out a Second Loan - Consolidate Credit Cards into an Equity Line Of Credit

Cash When you Need It

Now that credit card companies are forced to double their minimum payments, many who relied on the funds for medical emergencies or business may find themselves in a financial bind.  New bankruptcy laws may make it more difficult to shake this debt as well.  Taking a second on your house or refinancing may become more appealing.

Many financial gurus say this is a bad idea because you are taking unsecured loans and turning them into secured loans with your house as collateral.  But if you truly intend on paying off the loans, it might make since, especially if interest rates go higher.  In fact it might be the right time to consider consolidating your debt or taking out a line of credit, whether you use it or not.  Lower Monthly Credit Card Payments By Refinancing or Taking out a Second Loan - Consolidate Credit Cards into an Equity Line Of Credit


Consolidate Credit Card Debt with a 2nd Mortgage – Lower Monthly Payments

Consolidate Credit Card Debt with a 2nd Mortgage – Lower Monthly Payments

Real Estate

You face the day when you have multiple credit card payments due each month and you either can’t make the minimum payments or you are barely making the minimum payments.  This scenario may have just sneaked in life recently due to the double minimum payment rules that the government imposed on credit card companies.  Another law makes filing bankruptcy more difficult to be excused from the debt that you have created.

It is always better to have a plan of action financially before you get stuck in a corner.  Lenders like to extend credit when you don’t really need it.  They are hoping in a way that you will use it and pay minimum payments until the very last payment.  This ensures the profit can be maximized.  They are in the business of making money.  They make money when you first use the cards and make more money when you pay interest and fees.  Consolidate Credit Card Debt with a 2nd Mortgage – Lower Monthly Payments


Credit cards that offer No Late Fees may have Hidden Costs

Credit cards that offer No Late Fees may have Hidden Costs

Hidden Fees

Citibank has the most humorous ads on television promoting there no hassle no late fee credit card; however there are things to be aware of with any credit card, the fine print.

There is a shorter grace period than there used to be, so when the bill comes in it often needs to be paid within a couple of days in order for it not to be counted late.  Late fees are added to your account on most credit cards and can range from $45 - $50 on average.

While it is nice to not get a late fee, you should still make every effort you would any card to pay it in a timely matter.  The penalties for not paying on time with any late fee cards are costly.  If you are late for a couple of times your interest rate could go up to more than 30 percent.  In addition this penalty, you also will get a lower credit rating.  They will report anyone that is over 30 days late in paying there bill.  This can wreck your credit rating.  So it is important to make sure that you pay every month on your credit card bills at least the minimum amount that is due.  Credit cards that offer No Late Fees may have Hidden Costs


Family Debt increased and more may be forced into Bankruptcy

Family Debt increased and more may be forced into Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Court

Debt in the United States has increased dramatically from 1994 through 2004.  More families have more credit card debt and owe more money for their mortgages.

According to a CBS News Sunday report there is a 2.1 trillion dollars of debt in the United States, not including mortgages.  The average American has went into debt more, in 1994 there was and average credit card debt of $4,301 compared to $9,312 in 2004.  Family Debt increased and more may be forced into Bankruptcy

 


Oprah’s “The Debt Diet” series offers good Financial Help to Get out of Debt

Oprah’s “The Debt Diet” series offers good Financial Help to Get out of Debt

$100 Bill

Oprah has just aired part 2 of the 3 show special called “The Debt Diet”.  This show offered advice on how families are struggling with debt because of poor management on spending.  The 3rd in the series will air on ABC on March 10th.

It was good to watch the process that the professional money managers used to approach the debt consolidation.  What each family did was determine there monthly bills and expenses.  When looking at the totals for their expenses they found that there were a lot of hidden expenses.  

One family over spent on TV and cable bills.  They also wanted the best for their children and had a nicer upright piano.  The financial planner wanted it gone.  They settled for a smaller upright. The big screen TV went back.  They couldn’t give up their cable but they downsized to a cheaper plan.  Oprah’s “The Debt Diet” series offers good Financial Help to Get out of Debt


Student Loan Rate Increase coming July 1st - Consolidate your debt to save on Interest and lower Payments

Student Loan Rate Increase coming July 1st - Consolidate your debt to save on Interest and lower Payments

Graduation Day

The Stafford loans and Plus loans are set to increase considerably come July 1st.  The Stafford loan will increase from 5.3% up to 6.8%.  The Plus loan will increase from 6.1% up to 8.5%.  There is an increase in borrowing limits for undergrads for their first and second year in school. Graduate students also have an increase in borrowing limits.  It is possible that the reasons that the government had to increase interest rates are due to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and also an effort to lower the federal deficit.

Stafford loans are for those that have the most financial need. The Plus loans are made available for all parents regardless of financial need for the undergraduate student.  Graduate students also can qualify for a Plus loan.  Plus loans have interest from the time the loan is made, payments start as soon as the last disbursement for funds is finished.  It is important for the soon to be graduate to check to see if the interest rate changes will affect their loan.  Student Loan Rate Increase coming July 1st - Consolidate your debt to save on Interest and lower Payments


Investing - Working with Transfer Agents Before you Send out RFP Request For Proposals

Investing - Working with Transfer Agents Before you Send out RFP Request For Proposals

Transfer Agents

A transfer agent is the lifeline between your company and its investors, but what happens when you are not happy with the services being provided by your transfer agent or you run into unexpected problems?

Rather than sending out RFPs (Request For Proposals) and seeking out another transfer agent, it is a much better idea to try and work things out with your current agent. This is the preferable route to take for most businesses, as it is much easier than the alternatives and should be chosen if at all possible. Seeking out another transfer agent and trying to make the switch might not be worth your while if you can remedy the situation with your current transfer agent.

To fix the situation, you will need to open discussions with your transfer agent. Before beginning the process, make a list of items that you would like your transfer agent to improve upon and specify what level of service you expect them to provide. Place these points in order of importance - what improvements are most important to you, your company and top management?  Investing - Working with Transfer Agents Before you Send out RFP Request For Proposals


Shorten the time for Paying off Credit Card Debt and Save Money

Shorten the time for Paying off Credit Card Debt and Save Money

Calculator

Have you ever thought what if I would pay just $10 more each month would it really pay off my debt that much faster?  What you will find is that every dollar does count.  The sooner you pay off your credit card debt the sooner you stop losing money on the interest you are paying on the credit card.

If you are faced with credit card debt, it is not an easy thing to even want to address.  However, once you do start to address the problem and see the results, the better off you will be in the future.  Every time you don’t pay off your credit card debt you are increasing the amount of interest that you will have to pay off.

It may be extremely difficult to make the minimum payments and in previous articles I talked about how you can budget to stretch a couple extra dollars to help pay off the credit card debt.  I also have talked about transfer deals and how to lower your credit card interest rates.  These are two strategies that you should use to get you to the ultimate goal of paying off the debt as soon as possible.  Shorten the time for Paying off Credit Card Debt and Save Money


Zillow Website will calculate what a Home is Worth – Offer’s Free Home Appraisals called a Zestimate

February 8th, 2006

Zillow Website will calculate what a Home is Worth – Offer’s Free Home Appraisals called a Zestimate

Zillow.com offers Zestimates

Every wonder what your house is worth?  Need to refinance your home or thinking of selling or buying?  The newly launched website Zillow.com, gives complete data on your home value much like an appraisal service will do.  It compares other homes in your area, offers satellite photos of a specified street.  It also compares daily interest rates and housing prices in general.

The Zillow website calls there appraisals a “Zestimate” and offers daily tracking of your housing price much like a stock market analysis.  Zillow has a database of over 60 million home prices.  The majority of the prices are for the West Coast, and they are working on expanding the data to reach across the country.  They have East Coast locations that cover Boston and many home prices in Florida.  If you are on the East Coast, their data will reach your neighborhood soon.  Zillow Website will calculate what a Home is Worth – Offer’s Free Home Appraisals called a Zestimate


How to Budget – Income Management through Budgeting can help pay off Debt

How to Budget – Income Management through Budgeting can help pay off Debt

Every little bit counts

There are two ways to get more money to pay off debt, one way is to stop spending as much and the other is to make more money.  The reality of what got a person into debt in the first place was likely due to a lack of budgeting each month.  Even if a person did make more money it still does not guarantee that they will live within there pay check.  Sometimes unfortunate events like medical bills can creep in,  but with budgeting in place it can help to prevent you from coming up short for these unexpected events.  How to Budget – Income Management through Budgeting can help pay off Debt


Advantages in Consolidating Credit Card Debt into a Home Loan

Advantages in Consolidating Credit Card Debt into a Home Loan

Equity in your Home

There are some things you need to consider before consolidating credit card debt into a home loan.  Some home owners may not want to take unsecured credit card debt and convert them into a secured loan using the house as collateral.  But now that the bankruptcy laws have changed, this option may get more serious consideration.

Last year minimum credit card payments doubled as well.  Some people may have been forced to pay emergency medical bills off using their credit cards.  At the time they did that their income may have been enough to make those minimum payments.  Other people that started their own business may be feeling the crunch as well.  They may have had just enough to pay the minimum.

The Feds just recently raised interest rates.  Hopefully we never go back to double digit inflation and extremely high interest rates, but this may be another consideration in refinancing.  If you plan on living in your home for more than five years, refinancing may be worth it.  Talk to your financial planner or accountant first.  Advantages in Consolidating Credit Card Debt into a Home Loan


Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt

Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt

Money

With the hints of higher interest rates, it may be time to lock in all your credit card debt by refinancing your Home Loan.  Not only are higher interest rates looming, you also have to worry about new laws that have doubled the credit cards minimum payments.

If you only have $10,000 in credit card debt you are probably better off paying the debt or getting a second on your home.  The reason for this is because the cost to refinance a home loan is usually not a free service.  If you shop around you should be able to avoid some loan fees.  Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt


Start a Roth IRA Savings Account for Retirement

Start a Roth IRA savings account for Retirement

Interest Savings add up

A Roth IRA is a retirement savings account that you pay taxes on the money before you put it in the savings account.  When you are ready to take out the money at retirement (starting at age 59 ½) all the money is tax free, including the interest earned money. 

A teenager would benefit from starting a Roth IRA when they start working because they can invest up to $4,000 each year in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).  If you pay taxes first it means that all the interest acquired during all the years are tax free.  This could save the teenager a large sum of money in taxes when they retire.  If you child was able to put away $4,000 each year for the next 4 years it could, at an 8 percent interest rate, equal $750,000 at age 65.  Turning just $16,000 into $750,000 is a great way resolve a retirement plan early on.  Many people wait until later in life to start and would not ever see this kind of return on investment.  Start a Roth IRA Savings Account for Retirement


Financial Considerations when Refinancing and Consolidating Home Loans and Credit Card Debt

Financial Considerations when Refinancing and Consolidating Home Loans and Credit Card Debt

Credit Considerations

There are some things you should consider before making a decision about refinancing your house. Interest rates may be on the rise so now may be a good time to think about your financial situation and plan a course of action.  If interest rates do go up, they will likely go up on credit cards as well.

Since the new bankruptcy laws have taken effect, it is harder to avoid defaulting on unsecured debt like credit card loans.  It becomes more appealing for some to place the credit card debt into a refinanced home loan package.

In 1981 the Prime Interest Rate was over 18%.  Right now the prime interest rate is a little less than 8%, but that is almost double what it was in 2004.  Interest rates go up and down.  If you have an adjustable rate home loan and interest rates go up you could be paying more each month. Credit card rate are always well above the Prime interest rate.  Financial Considerations when Refinancing and Consolidating Home Loans and Credit Card Debt

 

 

 

 
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