Save Money on your Mortgage in 2010

Save Money on your Mortgage in 2010

The temptation to race into the home buying process is stronger than ever this year. And why not? Mortgage and interest rates are at an all time low. Asking prices are somewhat cheaper. However, even with such perks in the real estate market, people could still make costly mistakes.

“With great rates comes great responsibility.” Okay, maybe that’s another

quote. However, when costs are too good to be true, it’s better to play. Buying a home is a popular endeavor right now. Lenders and applicants are more apt to fill out forms incorrectly due to the rush and demand. Real estate agents are inundated with happy go lucky consumers just receiving their $8,000 tax credits from the government. Scammers or greedy lenders are waiting to take advantage of ignorant first time homebuyers. Be responsible and take the process seriously.

Leave the renter mentality behind. Buyers need to realize that buying a home
will lock them in a huge financial obligation. Even worse would be to not
only have to pay mortgage but also high interest rates and other hidden fees
because one did not read the fine print. The new homeowner must now fix,
renovate, and control his or her own domain—no more landlord to turn to.

Think about saving money whenever possible. Owning a home does not have to be scary. Smart homebuyers can save a substantial amount of money on their mortgage and other home owning responsibilities if they follow some common sense rules.

GOVERNMENT BACKED MORTGAGE PROGRAMS

The most obvious way to save on mortgage payments is to choose the loans with the lowest rates in the first place. In today’s economy, more people are turning to the numerous benefits of government-backed loans. For example, VA and USDA loans require no down payment, no private mortgage insurance and low interest rates. VAloans are for veterans, and USDA loans are only for those looking to move to rural areas.

However, the FHA loan program is open to anyone. It does require a down
payment, but the requirement is way less than a conventional loan. The FHA
program is for some people, not for everyone. So, do the necessary research tofind out what’s best.

Another great feature of all these loans is that the government enforces rules on lenders. These rules protect the buyer from hidden fees and bad houses. In any case, a buyer wants to make sure he or she is working with a lender who can be trusted.

A LITTLE EXTRA

How much will the monthly mortgage be? This is good to know before
purchasing. Now ask, can I spare an extra $100 a month? A mortgage should
not bear down and immobilize a family. Buy what is affordable. Then put out an extra $100 per month towards the interest on the house. By doing so, a family can shave five or more years off of their mortgage. Some tricks, be sure to put the $100 in a separate envelope with instructions for it to be applied only to the interest.

CREDIT REPORT

Take time to fix credit mistakes. A potential buyer cannot afford dings on the
credit score. So, if one has past errors, take the next few years to work back up to a admirable score. Why? Because no matter what year and how good it is for the real estate market, people with better credit will be able get a better deal than the next person with lower scores. That’s if he or she does not make any mistakes during the process, of course.

Fixing credit errors, spending a little extra each month, and going with the best loan options possible will save families a ton on their mortgage payments. The trick is to go slow and be responsible in the overall process. Read the fine print and work only with the most trustable lenders.


Budgeting for the Divorce Process – Don’t Become a Statistic

Budgeting for the Divorce Process – Don’t Become a Statistic

If you are thinking about getting a divorce then now is the time to make a budget for you and your family to get through the process and deal with the added financial pressure.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they get divorced is not getting ready financially for the process itself. Divorce costs money. There are legal fees which can be simply low cost divorce agreements or huge amounts if a battle ensues. Then there are the costs that most people do not think about, two households, divided costs that are not usual.

An average divorce takes three years from separation to settlement. It is this time that often sees a couple who may have separated and been relatively OK become financial disadvantaged as the bills mount as there was no forward planning about how to handle the expenses during the separation.

When you separate there are still financial obligations you may need to deal with such as, mortgages, household bills, car repayments, insurance, credit debts, payday loans and children costs to name a few.

Then there are new costs that need to be covered such as two lawyers and legal costs, often an accountant, mediators, and other support professionals. There is also the cost of setting up a second residence for the person leaving the family home.

Some people choose to live in the same home until the actual divorce settlement goes through. Even this arrangement will cost you as you start to divide expenses, there will still be all the legal costs to consider and then the added costs of two separate people living under a single roof.

Even though you may feel like you are being ruled by your emotions. Stop and consider how you may be hurting yourself and your children if you do not look after your finances.

The first thing to do after you have made the decision to separate is to get all your documentation. With this you will be able to get an over view of your weekly, monthly and yearly costs. Add to this your estimated costs of a second home, two lots of legal costs and any extras you can think of.

The next thing to do is to sit down with your spouse and discuss how much money you are both willing to spend on the divorce and how long you think the process is going to take.

Most people do not have much more than a couple of month’s expenses put aside. Maybe you will need to take a further loan on the house or even a loan to pay for the added expenses of divorce. Banks can be quite accommodating and may let you forgo mortgage payments while the divorce in going on. They will want their payments eventually and it will come out of the sale of your home before you see any money.

Sorting your finances at the time of separating can make the divorce process easier for both of you as from the beginning you are both taking responsibility for the divorce and separation instead of stumbling from one bill to the next.

You can jointly decide how much you are willing to spend which will give you a clear idea how long you can afford to keep things going. By deciding on your finances before you separate you will effectively already be working together to settle your divorce.

Nicola Baume is a divorce planner and coach helping people get through marriage breakdown so they can move on into their happily ever after with confidence. You can read more about Nicola’s work at http://www.baumeandco.com.au or visit her blog http://www.simpledivorceadvice.com


7 Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

7 Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

These days stretching, a buck has become something akin to a magic act. However it simply must be done in order to make ends meet. To accomplish this a personal or household budget is a must. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes your carefully designed budget doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Here are seven reasons your budget isn’t working.

1. Patience

If you’ve been in a bit of a financial mess for awhile, it’s unrealistic to think that a couple of weeks worth of sticking to you budget will suddenly turn things around. It doesn’t work that way. If you’ve constructed a sound plan, it may take a little time before you see dramatic results. Have a little patience before you give up.

2. Get A Little Fun Out Of Your Wallet

Budgets can be a lot like starvation diets. With monastic zeal we cut out every ‘unnecessary’ expense, pair everything penny down so that it’s being spent wisely while any extra goes into the bank so fast it ruffles the toupee on your bank teller’s head. Such determination is admirable but you can’t keep it up for long. Depriving yourself of a little fun in life will lead to a backlash where you splurge or go on a spending binge. You don’t need these kinds of setbacks. So, while you budgeting, put a little fun into the mix.

3. Following Orders

Budgets aren’t written in stone. That said, you won’t get blood or money out of a stone either. If you think of your budget as something you can bend or break whenever you feel like then you’re wasting your time even trying to get your finances in order. You need to exercise some discipline if you expect your budget to do any good.

4. Get Real

Unrealistic expectations have derailed many a budget. To really get a handle on things, you have to know precisely how the numbers add up and don’t expect them to jump through hoops for you. Create a sound financial plan that represents precisely where you stand financially.

5. Proof Positive

A positive attitude is essential for pretty much anything one attempts in life. And budgets are no exception. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “if you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”  Implementing your budget with a defeatist certainty that it will fail will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be positive.

 

6. Budget 911

 

No one can predict the future. Well, how do you budget for the unknown? Answer: You set up an emergency fund. A little reserve cash tucked away to help get you over unexpected rough spots life throws in your way. Without this kind of reserve, a minor calamity can shatter your whole budget. Don’t let it happen.

 

7. Do You Fit Your Budget?

There’s a lot of talk about creating a budget that fits you. The real trick, however, is to make sure you fit your budget. Be honest with yourself, your strengths and weaknesses where it comes to money and make sure your budget is something you can live with.

This article was written by Andrew Salmon from the life insurance quote site LifeCover.


What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You – 5 Bankruptcy Myths

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You – 5 Bankruptcy Myths

In the course of my work as a Colorado bankruptcy attorney, I find that there are a lot of common misconceptions that consumers have about personal bankruptcy. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can sometimes cause consumers to make the wrong financial choice, resulting in needless expenses and personal difficulties. Here are the five most common “myths” I’ve found surrounding the topic of bankruptcy:

Myth #1: When someone files bankruptcy, they will lose everything. It’s a popular notion that bankruptcy requires consumers to hand over all of their assets to their creditors. However, most people keep all of their property after bankruptcy. This is because most states have a long lists of assets that are exempt from liquidation during bankruptcy. Common bankruptcy exemptions include home equity, vehicle, retirement account, family heirlooms (including jewelry), tools necessary for work, household goods, clothing, etc.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy is “bad.” Many consumers automatically reject bankruptcy as an option because of negative feelings they have towards the concept. While it might seem that bankruptcy is something our society objects to, the truth is that it provides much needed resiliency for our economy and its participants. This is perhaps most evident in the many famous people that have been bankrupt. Former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Harry Truman were all bankrupt at one point in their lives, as was famous American author Mark Twain. Twentieth century business icons Henry Ford and Walt Disney also declared bankruptcy before going on to create two of the world’s most successful corporations.

Myth #3: Bankruptcy solves all financial problems. While it’s true that bankruptcy can help a consumer gain control of his or her finances, it’s not a cure-all solution for financial problems. While some consumers experience a once-in-a-lifetime event that causes them to file bankruptcy (such as a death in the family, a business failure, medical problem, etc.), other consumers are forced to file because they have bad financial habits. Bankruptcy is a tool that consumers can use to get their financial life back under control, but it’s not a cure for bad money habits or poor financial choices. filing bankruptcy, it’s important for consumers to recognize why they need to file in the first place.

Myth #4: Bankruptcy is a financial “trick.” Some people think of bankruptcy as some sort of financial trickery that businesses and consumers use to avoid creditors. However, I often find these people don’t know that bankruptcy is a right provided for by the U.S. Constitution. Much like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, bankruptcy rights are essential to a free society. Without the right to file bankruptcy, the founding fathers believed that banks and creditors would have too much power over consumers.

Myth #5: Filing bankruptcy ruins personal credit for years. It’s commonly believed that filing bankruptcy means that a consumer won’t be able to get credit again until seven years have passed. However, many people experience an increase in their credit score after filing bankruptcy. Additionally, many lenders and creditors specialize in working with people fresh out of bankruptcy, and it’s not uncommon for recent bankruptcy filers to receive credit immediately after their bankruptcy is discharged. Granted, these offers of credit may come at a higher interest rate than before bankruptcy, but they do help recent bankruptcy filers to get re-established.

Bankruptcy isn’t a magical cure for all financial problems, but it does often make sense for individuals in financial distress. If you or someone you know is considering filing for bankruptcy, be sure that they contact a bankruptcy lawyer to discuss their options. Only by educating ourselves about our legal rights can we make smart financial decisions.

About the author: Attorney Michael Wink is founder of Wink & Wink, P.C., a Denver bankruptcy law firm.


Pension or 401k: Opt for the best

Pension or 401k: Opt for the best

You always need to confirm the value of your retirement income. I have seen a number of blogs and websites where it was clearly mentioned that the 401(k) is a retirement savings vehicle. Now the question is how effectively people use 401(k). Conversely, people think that company pensions or other lifetime income allowances from any insurance companies don’t have the risk beyond the savings for retirement. Actually, these options might create bigger risks, which you cannot control.

Question will arise that, which option is the best, Pension or 401k?

Pension is one of the best retirement programs, which pays an employee a set of percentage each year after retirement. It is also probable for the self-employed to create a pension fund scheme and create a degree of financial security for later years, whereas, a 401(k) is an investment account.

Risk does matter:

No matter who is liable for your retirement, there will be risk always. Moving it over to somebody else does not make it leave you. So as difficult as it is to put aside on your own, and make choices about how to invest your hard-earned money, I think you will be more affluent taking on the responsibility. It’s just my opinion.

Let’s have a look on some more options

Company Pension: Managing your retirement plan by the employer is not a universal remedy. The company will do the same that you have to do: prudential investment and fund it adequately. But sorry to say, they don’t do this always.

Don’t worry you have another option that is Insurance Company: You might give the whole responsibility of your retirement savings to any insurance company in place for a lifetime income allowance and that is very much similar to a pension plan.

Well, still you are not comfortable with above-mentioned options? Manage your fund yourself. There are number of accounts that you can manage and those will certainly help after your retirement like a regular brokerage account, IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and 401(k). My suggestion is to choose 401k as a consequence of tax deductions and high contribution limits.

You will find various pension plans available. To choose the best one that fits your income, you can get in touch with pension brokers to know more about it. If you are a citizen of Dublin, you can take suggestions from pension brokers Dublin and they will guide you to the best option available.


Working On Your Credit Rating

Working On Your Credit Rating

Having a good credit rating, you will improve your skill to get a enhanced deal on your finance, which mean your home loan may charge less in the end. However, if you have had bad credit, then you require taking radical act before it has become too late.

Being conscious of your credit rating is helps vastly. Finding out of your credit rating and credit history, before you proceed further for any finance company.

Just, make sure of that any errors are corrected before you move toward for any finance company, this can really help. It has seen in some cases mainly; doing this could save your many dollars in interest repayments.

What your credit rating is? Which can help you to improve it, no matter how bad it is to start with? If you have a good credit rating, there is nothing much you can do to better it.

Make payments on any credit lines this will be a great way to improve your credit rating. as early as you can, with the least amount given time, being at least two to three months earlier than you require to concern for a loan. One way is to hold onto the credit card you have had the longest.?


Useful Credit Card Debt Relief Tips

Useful Credit Card Debt Relief Tips

If you are battling with credit card debt then you are not alone and not all is lost. Here are a few tips on how to relieve your credit card debt. The first thing to do is to write down all your debts. This way you know what you owe. Where you are unsure, ask for records from all your creditors. Make a budget that includes the payment scheme of your debts and your basic needs. Eliminate all luxuries and extra expenses and use the extra cash in facing off the debt. Any windfalls or bonuses should also be used to reduce debt.

If you are paying the minimum balance on your credit cards, begin with those cards that have exceeded the 50% credit line. Cards that are maxed-out place the account at a risk of being closed unexpectedly, which can have dire consequences on your credit record. Find a way of paying more than the minimum balance. You can do this by getting extra cash from selling off personal belongings that you do not need. You can also get a part time job other than your normal daytime job. Use any extra money you get to pay off your credit card debt.

If you are still overwhelmed, you can visit a debt counselor or financial advisor to advise you on the way to go about solving your debt problem. Alternatively, talk to a debt settlement company instead. Most of these companies renegotiate with the creditors on terms of payment. This way, you can get reduced interest rates on the debt or increased payment periods. In some cases, if you are diligent in payment, the debt can be substantially slashed off. They can also consolidate all your debts so that you end up paying one debt altogether at lower interest rates.

Taking a loan to pay off your creditors is another option you can use to pay off these debts. Some people take these loans from their 401k while others borrow from the banks and other credit card sources. Whichever way you choose, ensure that the interest rates are reasonable in your situation. As soon as you pay off the credit card debts, concentrate on paying off the loan to avoid wallowing in debt. You can also borrow interest free loans from your family, friends or employer. Use all the money given to pay up the debts and make a solid plan on how to pay off these people as per agreement.

Having a debt in excess of US $ 10,000 makes you eligible for a debt relief of up to 60%. You will need to prove that you are incapable of paying off the debt, thought. You will need to contact a credit card debt relief service in your locality, who will tell you how to go about this.

If all the above do not work, you can check with an attorney or credit counselor to see if bankruptcy can help your situation. However, this should be done, while considering the effects of bankruptcy on your credit report. Stick to the payment plan and avoid getting into more debt. Change your lifestyle by spending money on necessities and using the rest to pay off the debts. Once you have cleared all your debts, try living without credit cards altogether.


Finance Benefits for Military Members – Know Them and Use Them

Finance Benefits for Military Members – Know Them and Use Them

Every veteran deserves to have a home – one that they own. They have served, protected, and sacrificed for our country, and they have undoubtedly earned their right to be called both patriots and homeowners. How can this be done? Through the VA loan program, which has helped over 18 million veterans achieve this dream.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers government-backed loans to those who have served. With this secure backing, approved VA lenders can lend to a greater number of veteran borrowers as well as offer them great rates and benefits to help them save money. 8 in 10 veterans who have received VA loans would not have qualified for a conventional loan because of low credit or high debt to income rations. After all, they have given so much to our country, they should be helped in return.

Perhaps most importantly, VA loans save veterans money by:

  • Being one of the only home loan options with no down payment
  • Not requiring private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Offering interests rates typically .5%-1% lower than conventional loans

The VA loan qualifications require the borrower to have either served 90 days during wartime, 181 days on active duty during peacetime, 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard, or be the spouse of someone who died in service.

There are restrictions on what VA loans can be used toward. Home purchases must be the veteran’s primary residence, and VA loans cannot be used to buy either investment properties or land. VA loans can be used to buy a home, improve a home, or do both simultaneously. They can also be used to refinance both homes and VA-guaranteed or direct loans, and they can be used to purchase farm residences and single-family units in VA-approved condominium developments. In most areas in the U.S., there is a loan limit of $417,000, but the limit is raised in more expensive areas.

These benefits can (and do) save veterans hundreds of dollars every month. However, despite these huge savings, fewer than 10% of veterans have taken advantage of the offer. After graciously protecting the homes of so many, every veteran deserves their own home.


Find Powerful Savings Rates Online

Find Powerful Savings Rates Online

Many people are underwhelmed by the savings account rates they earn through savings accounts. You can follow a few easy tips to maximize your savings rates and earn more money.

The Difference between Bricks and Mortar and Online Accounts
Often, account holders only gain between 0.2 and 0.5 percent yield on their standard savings accounts. Many people opt for money market accounts to increase their money market rates. However, money markets only offer nominally higher interest rates.

It’s possible to earn better rates by putting your money into online savings accounts or online money market accounts. Some online providers will offer interest rates between 2 and 4 percent. These rates can strongly out compete the traditional rates offered by banks.
Just follow some easy tips to raise those interest rates and earn better savings rates.

6 Tips to Find Stronger Interest Rates

1.Find a good database of rates. Bankrate.com offers a variety of rates for your perusal. Here, you can find a modicum of both brick and mortar and online rates. Click the ‘Compare Rates’ link. Then, select ‘Checking and Savings.’ You’ll be able to narrow down your search and look for Money Market Accounts here as well. Continue to select Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts as you browse the site. Eventually, you’ll find some very impressive yields.

2.Only invest with a well regulated institution. Always investigate an institution before you invest. Some of these institutions will offer unusually high rates in order to entice customers. The “Safe and Sound” rating will clearly display that bank’s safety rating. Suffice it to say, only invest with banks that have a high safety rating. The scale runs from 1 to 5, 5 are superior and 1 means you should stay far away.

3.Only invest with institutions that offer government-backed insurance. You need to make sure that your accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC. Most credit unions are also insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, or NCUSIF. Normally, up to $100,000 of your funds will be insured by the government.

4.Don’t be fooled by fake banks. Some identity thieves and scammers will set up sites that look exactly like that of another bank. Inspect the website carefully and call any phone numbers available.

5.Link up to your checking account. People who open online money market accounts or online savings accounts should link their new online account to the pre-existing checking account. This makes it easy for your transfer money between the two accounts.

6.Choose great rates, but don’t be anal-retentive about one-tenth of a percent here or there. You won’t see much a difference if one yield offers .01 percent higher interest than a different yield. It is important to get a rate that will beat the rate of inflation. Also, don’t be enticed by a high teaser rate that will sink in a few months.

Be Diligent About Interest Rates
All of these basic tips can help you find savings rates that will promote financial growth. Always be on the lookout for the best rates. It takes some research, but you’ll be glad you did the legwork before you invest.


Control over our finance its not so easy.

Control over our finance its not so easy.

Keeping control over our finance its not so easy as we think. Few people can get this mark positively, well, most fail to succeed in this process. Achieving for financial plan is highly required.

Normally, we can find lots of article published in the web for financial planning. I will always suggest not taking any help from financial experts and specialist, because you can’t trust them all the time. It’s better to take you own steps I this types of case, no one knows your condition better than you. Its better you search about new techniques and then put your step forward.

You can have problem with most of the financial experts may they don’t have enough plans for your condition. They might show you what they did earlier with other clients in the past, for your  case it’s a new deal for them, and can’t assure you properly or if they can, can’t take you out of it.

Your personal finance plan has to be completely only one of its kinds for you. Its always good to make your plan your own self as I said earlier in this article, may it can be tough for you still, it not impossible. You are the exact person to know about debt and credit you have, so you will be the best to judge it. If then you can’t manage then you opt for some highly professional financial planner who can work properly..


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