Tag Archives: finance

Early Mortgage Payoff: 3 Smart Ways to Cut Back On Costs

mortgage documentPaying off your debt early comes with various benefits. Your interest accruals are minimized, you rid yourself of debt burdens, and you get to focus your energy and finances on other investments. However, early mortgage repayment also comes with a fair share of its pitfalls.

Opportunity Costs

When you allocate budget to your FHA 203k loan payment, you miss an opportunity to allocate funds to other essential investments. However, if such funds are spared and set aside for other profitable projects, they can yield unimaginable returns as time progresses. It is wise to first weigh your options to make an informed decision on whether to use the extra cash to invest or pay off debts.

Emergency Savings

A disaster or disease may strike you or your loved ones, and you might have to take out cash to attend to these emergencies. Your cash reserves are the best source of quick cash when trouble comes your way. This is one reason why your cash reserves should not be used to pay debts.

Other Debts

Some individuals have a number of debts in their name. The interest rates chargeable on these loans vary from one type of loan to another, and many factors are responsible for the difference in interest rates – from credit scores to the state of the economy at large. But ideally, the best way to pay your loans is starting with the ones that carry high-interest rates so that you cut back on costs in the long run.

Using a mortgage to build or buy a new home comes in handy especially if you cannot fund the whole project alone. However, the need to pay off the debt early should not deny you a chance to explore and take investment opportunities that will lead you to your financial goals.

Top 3 Ways to Pay Off Your Loan Faster

debt settlementAbout 80 percent of borrowers find it hard to pay their debt. Some end up defaulting on loan repayments, not because they want, but because they take comfort in paying the little installments stated in the contract.

This, in turn, racks up interest rates and sometimes unwarranted fines that becomes unbearable at the end of it all. This article provides some of the secrets to paying your debts early. Enjoy reading.

Make one sizeable extra payment per year

For many individuals, especially business people, there is always a particular time of the year when good profits are realized in their businesses. For the few intelligent ones, they will put a huge chunk of such cash in savings.

Making it a habit of channeling such funds towards your debts at least once a year can be a prudent idea. When you use such funds to top up on installments made, you will find a significant number of months covered which may cut the entire repayment period by a half or so.

Never skip payments

Some cash loan lenders either in Salt Lake City or elsewhere will charge you hefty penalties if you skip a month or two to pay installments. Others will freely allow you to skip without any fees. By all means, avoid the temptations of skipping on payments.

If you are keen enough, you will realize that there is an extra cost that you will have to incur in both cases. Besides, skipping a month or so translates to an extended payoff period.

Use paperless payment means

Most lenders prefer paperless payment methods since it saves them money and time of having to follow up and sign thousands of papers manually. Some of them offer some good discounts to clients who subscribe to auto-payment systems.

Furthermore, you also keep extra fees that come as a result of late payments at bay, since the payment is set at time intervals and you don’t have to be there in person.

However, besides the many benefits that result from early debt pay off, it also has its share of setbacks. One of them is that some lenders don’t allow early loan repayment. Doing so would land the borrower in hefty penalties.

Consequently, it’s advisable to read and elaborately understand the terms of your loan before signing any papers.

Declaring Bankruptcy and a Fresh Start

Businessman BankruptEven with overpowering debts, some people don’t want to entertain the idea of declaring bankruptcy. While filing for one has some repercussions, it can also give you a fresh start. If your debts are out of control and you can no longer pay your creditors, bankruptcy may liquidate your assets to repay the debts or help you create a repayment plan.

Bankruptcy attorneys from Barski Law Firm PLC note that under the protection of bankruptcy law, you can discharge or pay off your debts, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file for. Here’s how bankruptcy can give you a fresh start:

Creditors Can’t Harass You

When you file for bankruptcy, all debt collection activities stop. This means that creditors can’t call, pester, or harass you to pay back their money. Bankruptcy can allow you to live a normal life again by stopping all creditor contacts such as calls, texts, emails, letters, and subtle threats.

Stop Wage Garnishment

With wage garnishment, the court will require an employer to withhold a certain amount of an employee’s salary to make debt payments. The automatic stay in bankruptcy stops garnishment, which is also a form of collection action. While the case is proceeding, creditors cannot seek new garnishments.

You’ll Sleep Better

As bankruptcy stops credit collection and helps you start a new life, you can sleep better. There’s also less stress and reduced mental burden. Just be sure to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney when going through a bankruptcy case. The right lawyer can answer all your questions and explain how the law applies to your situation.

You’ll Get Some Credit Education

According to the Federal Trade Commission, filing for bankruptcy protection requires to you complete a debtor education course and credit counseling from a government-approved organization. This can give you an opportunity to look back and learn how you got into trouble, as well as provide helpful tips on managing your finances better.

If you find yourself with spiraling debt and in need of a fresh start, talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. This is to learn more about the law and find out if bankruptcy is right for your situation.

Couple signing divorce paper

What’s Making Your Divorce More Expensive?

Couple signing divorce paperDivorce, in general, is expensive, but what you don’t know is that you may also be the culprit for the high expenses of your case. When you and your spouse can’t settle things on your own, the divorce cost is likely to be higher. This is because fighting makes the process longer and more difficult, with the likelihood of your case ending up to be settled in court.

A family law attorney in Albuquerque shares the other possible reasons your divorce costs so much:

Representing Yourself

You may think that not hiring a lawyer and doing it on your own can help you save money on legal fees. The sad part is representing yourself can cost you more in the long run, especially if you unknowingly enter into a bad agreement. Keep in mind that every divorce case is unique, so you can’t just rely on DIY guides on the Internet. If you really want to save, hire an experienced lawyer.

Treating Your Lawyer as a Therapist

Divorce attorneys charge in different ways: hourly, flat-fee, or combination. If you constantly call your lawyer to share your grievances or simply to talk, expect your fees to be higher. This is because doing so means taking their time away from working or dealing with other clients. If you want someone to talk to, it’s best to turn to your close friends, find a support group, or seek the help of a therapist.

Getting Revenge on Your Spouse

If your spouse has done something unforgivable, it’s easy to entertain the idea of getting even. This, however, can invite more expenses and hate. There’s also no winning with the goal of revenge in your divorce. It’s best to set hurt and anger side so that you can get through the process as quickly as possible.

Forgetting to Plan for the Future

Those going through a divorce usually experience a drop in their standard of living. This only makes it important to think carefully about how a new life will be like as a single person or as a single parent.  Work with your attorney and make sure that financial negotiations with your soon-to-be ex-spouse are included in the divorce process.

Prevent your divorce cost from rising. Consult an experienced family lawyer and find out how you can manage the cost of your case.

Home Buying Basics: The Section 32 Statement

For Sale sign outside houseAmong the most disregarded, but immensely crucial parts​ of purchasing a house is the “Section 32 Statement”. Some homeowners might or might not have heard of it, or perhaps even bought a home before without even glancing or truly understanding what was in Section 32.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you need to know and understand what a Section 32 Statement is to help make sure that you don’t run into any issues later on.

What Exactly is a Section 32 Statement?

Before signing a contract of sale, the lawyer of a vendor or seller would give their agent a Section 32 Statement so that the agent could, in turn, pass it on to prospective buyers. According to a top conveyancing lawyer in Townsville, in general, a Section 32 Statement would typically include the following details:

  • Title Details: This is an immensely crucial component of the statement that you should pay close attention to. Don’t forget to check the property’s measurements as stated in the property title, most particularly if what you’re planning to buy is a subdivided property. Put simply, make sure that the measurements are accurate.
  • Details about Building Permits if the Property has been Renovated Recently: If the statement includes permits and renovations, but lacks insurance information, you should ask the seller why.
  • Zoning Details: Make certain that you’re aware whether what you’re planning to purchase is a residential or commercial zone, and if it’s residential, what zone type.
  • Notices of Upcoming Orders or Works that Authorities Issued: This is very vital if there are changes to the property’s area that might impact you.
  • Outgoings: These usually include rates as well as strata or corporate body fees.
  • Easements: Easements are specific areas of the property that could be used by specific individuals or entity for a particular purpose, regardless if they’re the owner of the land or not. Easements are most commonly applied to drainage and road access. That said, easements could potentially compromise or affect any renovations that you’re planning to do.

Crucial Points to Remember

A Section 32 Statement is an important document that contains relevant details that could impact a buyer’s decision to go ahead with the purchase or not. With this in mind, once you receive this statement, it’s important that you go over it with your conveyancer or lawyer. He or she could likewise check its accuracy and determine if everything’s in order.

Selling Your House Effectively This Spring

For Sale sign outside houseSpring is officially here. For the real estate industry, it’s the most wonderful time of year.

The spring housing market is generally recognized as a goldmine, the best time to sell houses. As the winter frost melts away and warmth returns to the world, most buyers choose this time to search for potential homes, flooding the market between March to May and giving sellers a prime opportunity to make a killing.

Of course, a golden opportunity like this has to be used wisely. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your spring sale:

Start a little earlier

While spring is the best season to sell, there are advantages to starting as soon as winter ends. Since most have their eyes on spring, there’s less competition in the winter. And according to Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks, people looking to buy in winter are usually more motivated to make an actual purchase and aren’t just window shopping.

Find a good agent

Having a good agent by your side is paramount. They have real-time data about the market situation at their fingertips, which is key to determining the value of your home. Agencies like rcsothebysrealty.com, for example, provide personalized neighborhood updates to help monitor other factors, like crime rates or new policies, that can affect market value.

Think like a buyer

If you want to sell, you have to know what your buyers are looking for. Think about what you saw in your house when you bought it, and plan accordingly to make a good impression. This also involves fixing up the place. Box up your winter clutter, spruce up your yard, and make the interiors as presentable as possible.

Spring is a good time for sellers, but success isn’t always guaranteed. Your mileage may vary, and taking steps to enhance your position goes a long way in giving you the most out of your sale. Look for a good agent, do a little spring cleaning, and prepare ahead.

an fha loan form

Interested In An FHA Loan? Here’s All You Need To Know

an fha loan formFHA loans are one of the most popular loan products today. They are very attractive to home loan borrowers, especially those who will be buying a house for the first time because the requirements are much lower compared to private lenders.

In case the borrower defaults, the FHA loan lender like Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. can get back the money from the Federal Housing Administration. Before rushing to get an FHA loan, keep these facts in mind when applying for one.

Low Credit Score and Down Payment Requirement

A typical private lender will first check your credit rating. It’s also the same with FHA loans, but you only need a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify. Also, you need to make 3.5 percent down payment. Those with credit scores below 580 but not lower than 500 can still be eligible, but this time, the down payment requirement is 10 percent. There are cases, however, where an applicant with a credit score of below 500 can get an FHA loan.

FHA is the Insurer, Not the Lender

Some people have the misconception that the FHA itself is the lender. The government agency only guarantees that it will pay the loan in case of default. This is why you need to make sure that the lender you are dealing with is FHA approved. The rates offered by these FHA-approved lenders are also not the same.

Pay Two Mortgage Insurance

On all FHA loans you pay, not one, but two mortgage insurance premiums. The first premium is equivalent to 1.75 percent of the loan. Pay this premium once you get the loan. If it’s possible, you can include this premium to the FHA loan.

The other one is the annual premium, but you pay for it monthly. The rate will depend on the size of the loan, the length of the loan, and the initial loan-to-value ratio.

FHA Loan For Home Repairs

Homeowners in need of cash for repairs can apply for a special loan known as 203(k). The loan amount you can get is not based on your home’s current appraised value. Instead, it’s based on the expected value after you have made the repairs.

Financial Relief Option

FHA loan borrowers who are undergoing financial hardships can apply for relief. If approved, lenders then can offer to lower the interest rate or extending the payback period. They may even allow deferring part of the loan without interest.

Possible Coverage of Closing Costs

Borrowers can include the closing costs in their loan application. The lender charges typically a higher interest rate if you choose this option. There are instances though that a home seller or builder will shoulder the closing costs to finalize the deal.

How to Grow and Make Your Business Successful

Man pointing at a dollar currencyYou have a great business idea and a source of funding for your star-up. You take the plunge, and before you know it, your enterprise is flowing smoothly. Clients begin coming in, and orders are placed in droves.

And then, it begins to plateau. Then it trickles. The initial success is now waning. And you are afraid one day it would just stop. What do you do?

One of the most difficult parts of business is keeping it alive and well. The key is to strategize and know the tricks of the trade. That way, you can grow your enterprise into something that is long-term as it is profitable.

Here are a few key aspects you would want to do to reach your business goals.

Do marketing

Marketing is a crucial part of making any business successful, so make sure you have a plan in place. It covers a lot of things that can get your business rolling, such as marketing online, in radio and TV. It has but one purpose: you need your prospective buyers to know what you are selling.

If done properly, you can say hello to higher sales and a better business reputation. If you are unsure of what marketing strategy to employ, you can contact marketing firms such as conceptmrk.com who can help you figure out what you need.

Keep costs down

One of the most important mottos in the business industry is “keep costs down and profits high.” Find the best way to cut on extra expenditures without compromising the quality of your products. For example, paying your vendors right away can keep you from paying interest.

Avoid paying retail prices as well, always but wholesale. Soon these vendors will become loyal to you and might even start giving you good deals. That way, you get to minimize costs and not skimp on the items you get.

Doing these things, and more, can keep your business thriving for a very long and profitable time. Make sure to invest wisely.

Mortgage Application: Don’t Forget Fees and Penalties

Loan on the monitor of a macbookWhen applying for a loan, most borrowers tend to focus more on their down payment, interest rates, and monthly payments. Many fail to evaluate hidden fees like closing costs and prepayment penalties. If you’re applying for a mortgage and don’t think about them, you may set up yourself for extra expenses before you can finally own your home.

Avoid Surprises Related to Closing Fees

Whether you’re purchasing a home or refinancing a loan, you will need to pay closing costs. A lender or mortgage company should give a Good Faith Estimate (GFE), which lists all related closing costs. Altius Mortgage Group and other mortgage companies in Utah note that these differ based on the type of property, its location, and your loan type. In most cases, buyers pay about 2% to 5% of home’s value in closing fees.

It’s good to know that some fees in the closing costs are unnecessary and negotiable. You can ask your lender to have some of those fees removed or ask them to explain why they are necessary. There is also the no-closing cost mortgage, which may cost you more in the long run. This is because the lender may charge you with a higher rate or include the closing fees into the total loan amount.

Extra Payments and Penalties

Some loans carry prepayment penalties when you may extra mortgage payments. Note that not all loans have this, so it means that you may have agreed on this when you close the purchase. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with your lender. The penalties could apply if you pay the entire balance (by selling or refinancing) or pay a large amount all at once.

If you, for instance, received an inheritance or get a promotion, making extra payments can reduce financial burden in the long. This also reduces your total payment and helps build equity faster. Before agreeing to a loan, you may want to ask your lender to have this removed if possible. Note that paying extra can also lower the number of interests paid.

Buying a house is a financial decision, so you shouldn’t overlook other fees that can affect your payment in the future. Talk to a reliable lender to learn more about your mortgage options and all other associated fees.

Avoid Committing Major Car Buying Mistakes in 4 Steps

man checking out a car with car salesman behindThe process of buying a car — be it new or used — can be extremely overwhelming. It involves many things including the price, the type of service you want, and the maintenance cost. This is practically the reason many people commit mistakes as they go through the process.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a vehicle, here’s what you need to know to avoid the possible blunders of this transaction:

Do Your Own Research

This is the most basic and essential step for every consumer. Whether it’d be a car or a small item, doing proper research could take you a long way. You can’t simply enter a dealership or a car shop without knowing what you need and want. If you do this, you’ll be more confused and scammers may likely take advantage of you. At least show them that you’ve done your homework and you’re knowledgeable in the field so they can’t push you over.

Test Drive the Car

Whether it’s new or pre-owned, test driving the vehicle would allow you to check the overall performance of it. Get behind the wheel and be sure you put the car into a test. Don’t simply drive in a straight, boring route.

Instead, go the same route that you often travel. This would provide you with accurate insight on the car itself. In fact, most used car dealers in Jacksonville give their customers 100% freedom in testing the car for their customers’ own satisfaction.

Don’t Focus on the Price

Money might be everything, but your search must not simply revolve around it. Although car buying is considered as a major investment, looking into the price of the car will never get you anywhere.

Instead of solely concentrating on the tag, you need to pay more attention to checking the functionality and condition of the car. This is especially true if you’re planning to buy a secondhand vehicle. This way, you’re 100% sure that you’re choosing a ride that would match with your lifestyle and would meet what you need.

Look at Financing Terms

Another major mistake you must avoid is failing to review the repayment terms. Don’t get easily swayed by the big and eye-catching tags, which say 0% interest or big discounts. Chances are they are hidden costs, which lie beneath them. Be sure you look into them thoroughly to avoid surprises. Don’t be afraid to ask questions whenever you want to clarify and know something.

Never skip any of these steps to ensure you’re making a smart choice for your ride. If you think you help, don’t hesitate to consult an expert or an auto mechanic you truly trust to assist you throughout the process. After all, this is all about your own money, comfort, and safety.