Showing posts with label Interest rate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interest rate. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2024

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do and Why Should You Get One?

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. This is why it's important to have a professional who can help guide you through the process. 

Enter the mortgage broker. What exactly does a mortgage broker do, and why should you consider getting one? 

In this post, we'll explore the role of a mortgage broker and the benefits they provide to both lenders and borrowers.

What is a Mortgage Broker?

A mortgage broker is a licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. They work with multiple lenders to find the best mortgage products and rates for their clients. 

Mortgage brokers are not employees of banks or lending institutions but rather independent contractors who work on behalf of their clients.

How Does a Mortgage Broker Help Borrowers?

Mortgage brokers help borrowers by shopping around for the best mortgage products and rates available. 

They can also help borrowers navigate complex lending processes, from pre-approval to closing. Mortgage brokers are able to provide their clients with a wider range of mortgage products than traditional banks. 

They are particularly useful for borrowers who may not meet banks' strict lending criteria or have unique financial needs and goals.

How Does a Mortgage Broker Help Lenders?

Mortgage brokers also provide many benefits to lenders. They act as a distribution channel for lenders' products, bringing in a steady stream of business. Mortgage brokers also help lenders keep up with changing market conditions by providing real-time feedback on their products and services. 

Additionally, mortgage brokers help lenders reduce their risk by pre-screening potential borrowers and ensuring they meet the lender's criteria.

What are the Costs Involved?

Mortgage brokers are typically paid by the lender in the form of a commission. This commission is a percentage of the loan amount and is paid upon closing. 

Some mortgage brokers may charge additional fees, such as origination fees or processing fees. These fees should be disclosed upfront and should be in line with industry standards. It's important to note that mortgage brokers do not "mark up" the interest rate to get a higher commission.

In fact, it's in their best interest to find the lowest rate possible for their clients, as this can lead to repeat business and referrals.

Why Should You Get a Mortgage Broker?

If you're considering buying a home, a mortgage broker can provide a number of benefits. They can save you time by doing the legwork of shopping around for the best rates and products. 

They can save you money by finding lower rates and negotiating on your behalf. They can also help simplify the lending process and provide guidance on important decisions. 

Overall, working with mortgage brokers like the Lund Mortgage Team can make the home buying process less stressful and more successful.

Final Thoughts

A mortgage broker is an invaluable resource for both borrowers and lenders. They provide many benefits, from shopping around for the best rates and products to helping lenders reduce their risk. 

If you're considering buying a home, working with a mortgage broker can simplify the lending process and help you achieve your financial goals. 

Remember to do your research and choose a reputable mortgage broker who has your best interests in mind.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Do You Really Need a 20% Downpayment Saved Up for Home Loans?

Even people who don't know much about mortgages know the rule of thumb that you should expect to put down 20% of the cost of the home. It begs the question, though, of whether that is a hard-and-fast rule or if there is some wiggle room.

If you're looking to get into a home, it makes sense to do your research so that you can be prepared to make the best moves to secure your financial future.

Here is a basic explanation of how to do just that.

Different Lenders

One thing to consider when it comes to home loans is that different lenders offer different mortgage products. While any lender can offer you a product that requires a 20% down payment, some lenders are willing to get especially creative to work with your financial situation. 

Digging further into this, the lender you choose could have a major impact on whether or not you're approved for a particular loan. Therefore, if you have time, it might suit you to shop lenders before you commit.

Different Loans

The good news for aspiring homeowners is that there are a variety of mortgage products available that don't require a 20% down payment. 

Many of these home loans are readily available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For example, if you have served in the military, you may be eligible for exclusive mortgage products offering competitive interest rates and low down payments. 

First-time homebuyers also can often find unique loan products that require less than 20% down.

Paying More

Just because 20% is the recommended down payment for many types of loans doesn't mean that you can't put down more. In fact, if you are able to put a larger down payment on your home, you'll likely lower your monthly payments over the life of the mortgage. 

In many cases, you'll also be able to reduce your interest rate, saving you even more money and helping you get out of debt sooner.

Interest Rates

Buying a home right now is a great choice because interest rates are at historically low levels. It's important to keep in mind, though, that opting for a lower down payment may increase your interest rate, at least slightly. 

Of course, this largely depends on the types of mortgages you qualify for and your personal financial history. Don't let slightly higher interest rates stop you from pursuing the dream of owning a home if you're otherwise able to afford the mortgage payments.

Don't Get Ahead of Yourself

With all of the talk about the hot housing market, it can be easy to think that you need to get into a house as quickly as possible. Before you go down that road, though, it's important to first assess your current financial standing. 

Taking stock of your budget will ensure that you don't run into any speed bumps down the road. This will help make the gift of owning a home even sweeter.

Friday, January 21, 2022

3 Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage When You've Been Living in Your Home for a While

The process of refinancing your mortgage is quite simple. You simply start by contacting a lender, and they'll be able to help you get started on the process.

It's also worth it since there are many benefits associated with refinancing your mortgage when you've been living in your home for a while. 

Here are three reasons to refinance your mortgage when you've been living in your home for a while.

A Lower Interest Rate

The best reason to refinance your mortgage is that you'll get a lower interest rate. This means that when it comes time for you to pay off your loan or even make monthly payments, you'll be paying less of a percentage on the overall amount that you owe. 

The process of refinancing your mortgage is the easiest way to make sure that you get a lower interest rate, simply because new lenders will be taking a look at your home's worth and deciding on an interest rate.

You Can Save Money in the Long-Term

Another reason that refinancing your mortgage is important when you've been living in your home for a while is that you can save money in the long term. 

You may want to buy a new car or even take a vacation, and the money that you save can be put towards all sorts of excursions and luxuries. By refinancing your mortgage and having more disposable income, you'll be able to enjoy life much more. 

Lenders will be able to help you if you're looking to pay off debt or you want to save up for the future. They can also help you by offering a variety of mortgage refinancing solutions.

You Don't Have to Worry About Losing Your Home

One of the biggest reasons to refinance your mortgage when you've been living in your home for a while is because there's no risk of losing it. 

When you first purchase a home, you have to worry about paying off your mortgage so that the house doesn't get repossessed. However, when the time that passes from that point is more than 1/3rd of what was left on the loan's term, there's no risk of refinancing it. 

For example, if you took out a 30-year mortgage, but it's been more than 10 years since then, there is no risk of refinancing.

However, this doesn't mean that you should refinance at random points in time. It would help if you made sure that the time since the last payment is over 1/3rd of the total term.

Refinancing your mortgage can be a great way to save money in the long term. By refinancing, you'll be able to get a lower interest rate and enjoy life more with less worry of repossession. Make sure that the time since the last payment is over 1/3rd of what's left on the term for this benefit.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Factors that Impact your Mortgage Rates

Since every lender has the inside knowledge of how a mortgage interest rate is determined, it is only fair that you, as a customer, have the same understanding. So, how is your individual interest rate determined? 

There are several factors that go into the decision, and knowing what they are can help you learn what to expect going forward so you can better negotiate your loan.

Here are just six of the basic components that are considered:


The duration of your loan, which is referred to as a “term,” is how long you have to pay it back. Those that are shorter term may have higher payments due each month, but they tend to have lower costs overall, including lower interest rates.

Down Payment Amount

If you put down a larger down payment, you will most likely receive a lower interest rate. This is because you will increase your stake of ownership in the property, therefore you appear to be a much lower-risk recipient for a home loan.

Type of Interest Rate

There are two different types of interest rates, which are “adjustable” and “fixed.” As the names imply, adjustable rates change after a time, and fixed rates are locked in. An adjustable rate fluctuates depending on the market.

Size of the Loan

If your loan is especially large or small, you may end up paying higher-than-average interest rates. Remember, your loan amount will depend on not just the price of the home, but also includes closing costs. And, you should also subtract your down payment amount.

Type of Loan

There is a plethora of loans out there, including VA, USDA, FHA, and conventional types. Rates tend to change in accordance with the type of loan that you acquire.

Credit Score

Your credit score can certainly affect your interest rate, because it acts as a predictor of how likely you are to pay back your loan. That is because credit scores reflect your payment history on your bills, including credit cards, utilities, and other loans.

Just keep in mind that it isn’t any one of these factors that determines your interest. It is the combination of all of them that culminates in your particular rate. 

Taking the time to understand each of these reasons will help you to find the best mortgage for your personal situation. And, understanding these factors is one way to take control of your future when it comes to determining your interest rate.

Monday, July 15, 2019

How to Manage Your Savings to Grow Instead of Fall With Inflation

Saving money is always a wise idea. Unfortunately, simply putting your money away and leaving it alone won't actually save you anything - in fact, due to inflation, you'll lose money when it's in a savings account. If you're really looking to grow your savings, you should try one of the tactics below.

Look at Your Savings Interest Rate

The current interest rate in the United States is hovering around two percent. As such, the worst financial mistake you can make is to put your money in a savings account with a lower interest rate than two percent. 

Keeping some money back is advisable, though, so you'll need to make a compromise. Look for savings accounts with the highest possible interest rates - you won't find anything that matches inflation, but the closer you can get, the less you will lose.

Look at Real Estate

Investing in real estate is a common way to generate passive income. At the moment, growth is slowing a bit - but housing prices are still rising. The current growth rate of the real estate market is estimated to be around two and a half percent, or almost a full percentage point about the next year's estimated inflation rate. As such, investing in property seems to be a safe way to keep your money growing slowly but steadily.

Low Risk Investments

Putting money into your investment portfolio is also a useful way to save. If your goal is to simply keep your money safe, then you'll want to look solely at safe investments that have historically trended with more than two-percent growth. 

Though you're certainly not going to become a millionaire overnight with these investments, you'll slowly grow your savings and avoid losing money due to rising inflation.

Work with an Asset Management Company

Finally, you'll want to make sure you're working with professionals if you are dealing with complex assets. A good asset management company will help you to make sure that your assets appreciate in value and that you don't lose money due to rising prices. 

Asset management companies are useful when you're dealing with anything that has a complex market history or that requires a significant amount of hands-on interaction in order to grow in value.

Remember, your goal is to make sure that all of your investments beat inflation. Keep an eye on inflation rates and adjust accordingly. If you can stay ahead of the curve, you can rely on the money you've saved.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

3 Tips to Get the Lowest CA Loan Interest Rate

Mr. Ankush Tiwari, a Chartered Accountant by profession, had a long-cherished and an abroad family holiday pending! However, he was short on funds yet wanted to take a small break from his hectic schedule to rejuvenate! He was in a spot of bother as he needed around Rs.10 lakh to fund his trip.

He was almost to give up the idea when one of his other CA friends Vikram Taware informed him about availing a Chartered Accountant loan at a lower interest rate. He gave it a thought and found that he is eligible for it and applied for it. With a CA loan, he could enjoy his heart content with his family in Singapore.

If you are a CA and are willing to go on a foreign trip yet scared of the CA loan interest rate, you can implement some habits and avail a lower CA loan interest rate. Want to know more? Let’s go!

What is a CA loan?

A Chartered Accountant loan is nothing but a personal loan designed for CA professionals. Lenders consider CAs as respectable and responsible citizens of the society, and that’s why they are awarded a higher loan amount of up to Rs.35 lakh.

How to get the lowest CA loan interest rates?

The only thing that bothers a majority of CAs and ordinary citizens is a higher interest rate. However, there are ways you can bring it down and never feel the pressure. Here are those tips that you need to implement:

1. Always shop around a bit

Did you know that there are more than 100+ banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) that offer loans in India? Thus, a borrower has many choices, and must not go to the first lender that confirms the eligibility. 

Thus, you should always compare leading offers on a third-party website as CA loan interest rate can vary between 14-20%. Comparing all offers beforehand will surely help you avail a lower rate of interest.

2. Maintain a good CIBIL score

A CA loan is an unsecured one which means you need not provide collateral as in the case of a home loan. Thus, a borrower’s Credit history becomes an important factor while deciding a CA loan interest rate. 

Aim to maintain a CIBIL Score of at least 700+ so that lenders could award you the best interest rate. Some of the things that you can do to maintain a good CIBIL Score are: 
  • Paying your existing loan EMIs on time 
  • Having a clean repayment history 
  • Not having many credit cards 
  • Not maximizing the credit card’s limit 
  • Ensuring to get all Credit history mistakes corrected 

3. Opt for NBFCs over banks

A banks’ rate of interest may be lower, but their charge structure is heavy on the pocket of a borrower. NBFCs, on the other hand, also provide a lower CA loan interest rate along with a unique facility in the flexi loan. 

It allows a certain amount to be borrowed from a provided limit. The interest is paid as an EMI on the utilized amount and not on the total amount, making it easy to manage. The remainder of the amount is adjusted at the end of the tenor.

Don’t fear the CA loan interest rate

Thus, if you wanted to avail for a CA loan, but could not do so fearing the exorbitant CA loan interest rate, you can now do that by implementing the above-discussed tips. Incorporating these tips is easy, and it will help you avail a lower interest rate for CA loans without hassles.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have an idea of what it will take for a Chartered Accountant to grab the best CA loan interest rate - go ahead and make the most of it. Once you are sure that you are availing the best CA loan interest rate, apply for it online, and fulfill your needs.

Monday, November 20, 2017

How To Get The Best Interest Rate On A CA Loan

Loans can be used to finance your business expansion plan, but if you are a chartered accountant and looking for a loan to arrange funds for your new office, the financial institutions have got something special for you. 

Professional loans are a new provision offered by the lenders, and it has specialised loans for chartered accountants too, and they are called as CA loans.

What are CA loans?

A CA loan is a lending provision offered by the lenders and is a part of professional loans. CA Loans are a type of professional loans with terms and conditions made for chartered accountants. The best thing about a chartered accountant loan is they are collateral free loans.

There are various benefits that you can avail from a CA loan; such as, you can avail a high amount loan. Personal loans offer a maximum amount of INR 25 Lakh for the loans whereas CA loans offer INR 30 Lakh for the loan amount. 

If you apply for a CA loan from a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), you can get instant loan approval from the lenders. 

When it comes to easy and convenient repayments, CA loans offer adjustable EMI as well as the tenor to make loan repayment easy for you.

All these benefits maybe pleasing and tempting but to make the most out of a loan, you must look at all the aspects of the loan with the most important thing, i.e., interest rates. 

Interest rates are an important part of any loan as they have a major impact on the final repayment amount. 

Though it is compounded and added to the final amount on a yearly basis, the interest rate is calculated throughout the tenor.

There are ways which can get you best interest rates on your chartered accountant loans they are as follows:

Apply during festivals: During the festive seasons, lenders introduce attractive offers on loans. Some lenders even offer special interest rates on professional loans that are usually lower than the normal interest rates offered. So applying for a chartered accountant loan might get you a lower interest rate for the loan. 

Talk to your lender: Most of the time the lenders do not set interest rates according to the repo rates regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The lenders set the interest rates a bit higher than the repo rates. So if you have a good relationship with your lender, you can ask your lender to lower the interest rates slightly lower than the normal. 

Considering alternate lenders: Banks are regulated by the RBI and are not allowed to make any reforms without its consent. Due to which the banks are not allowed to make any reforms in their lending terms. However this is not the case with the NBFCs, the NBFCs are not regulated by the RBI, and they are free to frame their own terms. This allows them to provide interest rates according to their own consent. For low interest chartered accountant loans, you can consider applying to the NBFCs. 

Professional loans are an altogether different avenue for the financial institutions as well as the borrowers. To get the best interest rates on CA Loan, you can use the above-mentioned tips.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Why Refinancing your Home can be Beneficial to your Financial Health

When executed correctly, refinancing a home mortgage can save families significant amounts of money over many years by cutting sharply their interest expense. Of course, understanding if refinancing is the right path to take depends upon a borrower's specific situation. 

Generally speaking, refinance mortgage rates make sense when a family can reduce its interest costs enough to more than offset a new loan's settlement costs.

Closing Costs and Expenses

Refinancing a mortgage with an above market interest rate can yield instant benefits for your family's financial well-being. Refinancing too frequently or without consideration of associated settlement costs can have the opposite effect. 

Ideally, refinancing should be undertaken when it is abundantly clear that sufficient interest savings can be realized over the life of the loan. Other good reasons for refinancing include debt consolidation and the funding of important financial obligations such as a child's education or tax payments. 

These important things cannot be done by the average homeowner with most bank loans or credit products because the interest rates, terms and tax-treatment can never be so favorable.

Managing you Credit

If you are having problems with debt and bad credit, then this is another reason why you might want to refinance. However, this is kind of contingent upon whether or not you have been able to keep up on your mortgage payments. If you have, this helps improve your credit score. This might help you refinance into a loan with a much lower interest rates and decreased payments. 

Government Agency Mortgage Programs

Today, the U.S. government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the mortgage money market with significant amounts of liquidity with the goal of promoting home ownership. The government does this through two agencies, the FHA, and the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). 

The mandate of the VA is to guarantee repayment of mortgage loans granted to U.S. service men and women. These loans are issued by qualified lenders such as Low VA Rates, one of the many lenders that active and retired members of the service rely on for VA home loan financing.

The Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

An adjustable rate mortgage may be exactly what your family needs if you plan to sell your house within in the next few years. ARM loans will commonly provide the borrower with a significantly lower start rate than what they currently have. 

If a new ARM loan's accumulated savings surpass the total closing costs by the time your house needs to sell, then refinancing with an ARM can be beneficial to your family's present financial position.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

For some people refinancing into a fixed-rate mortgage is the better way to go. The reason for this, is that if you are already struggling financially, a fixed-rate mortgage takes away of any risk of your mortgage going up and making you more financially unstable. It will stay at the same rate the entire life of the mortgage.

Before refinancing your home, you must make sure that it is right for you. You only want to do it if it is actually going to save you money in the end. Refinancing without proper consideration of the long-term costs and effects can be an expensive mistake. 

So can cashing out home equity for the sake of financing consumer spending that does nothing to enhance one's personal balance sheet. On the other hand, saving tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a twenty or thirty-year loan by replacing it with a new loan makes all the sense in the world if it can be justified after examining the economics of the situation.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Get Some Expert Help When Obtaining a Mortgage

Buying a house can be a very exciting time for you and your family, but trying to find ways to afford it can be stressful. It is vital to compare mortgage brokers so you will not only get the best service, but get an expert in this field. 

Great service includes putting you first; they don’t treat you as customer, but as a person. By being an expert, the mortgage broker will give you advice to help you when making critical financial decisions. 

Putting these two together, you want a mortgage broker who truly cares about you, but also has the expertise in the mortgage process. When choosing a mortgage broker, there are more things to consider such as the term, rates, and fees. 

Once you know everything, you are ready to choose a mortgage broker who will fit your lifestyle.

How to Choose a Mortgage Broker

There are many mortgage brokers out there, so the best way to choose one is through a referral. Ask any homeowner who their mortgage broker was, such as a friend, co-worker, or a family member. When asking your friend about their mortgage broker, find out about the customer service to see if they were treated fairly. 

If you want to go a little further, you can also ask your real estate agent for a referral. You don’t want to take their word for it, so ask questions about the broker’s experience, professionalism, and commitment. After talking to someone, you want to do further research by looking on their website and on any online reviews. After your research, interview a few mortgage brokers, and ask for references. 

It’s best to compare brokers, that way you can choose one that meets your needs. After this whole process is finished, you will develop a trusted relationship with your mortgage broker. 

Mortgage Broker Process

A mortgage broker is the “middle man” who works with you and a bank/mortgage lender to help you obtain a mortgage that fits your needs. A mortgage broker counsels you through the process of obtaining a mortgage and any problems that might occur, such as credit problems. 

When you meet the right broker, you will be asked to fill out an application with your financial information, which will then be put in a file that will be sent to the lender. After you finish filling out the paperwork, the mortgage broker will work with you to find the lowest rates available by looking up all the different banks/lenders. This is actually their greatest advantage. 

Once you are finished looking for a lender, the mortgage broker puts all your paperwork in a file and sends it off to the lender, who then gives you the loan. Having this type of professional makes everything much easier on you. It can be a stressful time in your life, but having this kind of help can make you treasure this milestone a bit more.


The interest rate is what the lender charges you to pay off your mortgage. There are two forms of interest rates: adjustable and fixed rates. An adjustable rate is when your interest rate will change over the course of your loan. 

When interest rates are low, adjustable rates are not the way to go because the rates are more likely to go up. The best time to have an adjustable rate is when the interest rates are high because it is more likely the interest rate will drop. A fixed rate, on the other hand, is when your interest rate stays the same each year. 

The best time to have a fixed rate is when the interest rate is low because you will have that same rate for the whole term of your loan, no matter what. Right now, a fixed rate is the best option because right now, the interest rate is low. When you meet with a mortgage broker, they will help you choose which option to have.


The term is the period of time in which you are going to repay the loan. The most common terms are fifteen and thirty years. When having a fifteen-year fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate is a little lower, but the monthly payment is higher than having a thirty-year fixed rate mortgage. 

Having a fifteen-year fixed rate mortgage, you will pay off your mortgage by the time your children enter college, which is great because you will get this done sooner rather than later. When having a thirty-year fixed rate mortgage, the monthly payments are lower than fifteen years, which allows you to have extra money and invest in other things.

There are many other options to pay off your mortgage such as 10, 40, or 50. Your mortgage broker can help you determine what’s best for you.


There are two common ways that homeowners pay their mortgage broker. The most common way is through a loan origination fee. This is when your broker charges you a certain percentage, depending on your loan. 

Therefore, if you have a high loan amount, your mortgage broker will charge you a low percentage, but if you have a low loan amount, you will be charged a high percentage. If you don’t want to pay your broker this way, another common way is upfront. 

Instead of paying your mortgage broker over time, you pay them right there all at once. Homeowners who buy expensive homes go for this type of fee. There are other options, but these are the most common among homeowners.

There are many aspects to obtaining a mortgage, and these aspects can be stressful. When this happens, it is a great idea to get a mortgage broker because they will help you with this long, stressful process. 

Be sure to weigh your options when it comes to a broker, in order to find the best service possible. To secure a mortgage, know all about the rates, terms, and fees. If you experience any questions, you always have that professional there to help you with everything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When Does Refinancing Your Mortgage Make Sense?

We keeping hearing about how rates are going to go up any day, month, or year now. However, every day, month, and year that goes by I see rates sticking around at all time lows. Let’s not get into the media frenzy of predicting mortgage rates, but if you are seriously looking at refinancing then there are several question and key points for you to consider. First, how long do you plan on staying in your home? Second, what sort of rate do you have right now, and how much can it really be improved? What are the fees and costs associated with the refinance? Can a NPBS fixed rate mortgage be your solution? These are all questions to ask before refinancing your mortgage.

You really need to consider how long you plan on staying in your house before going through the refinance process. Chances are you have no idea the number of years you will require your mortgage to be without first considering how long you want to live there. If you know that you employer plans on transferring you out of the country sometime within the next ten years it may not make sense to refinance into a 30 year loan. Rather, you can look at rates for a 10 year loans, which are considerably less in interest. Or perhaps you know you have found your dream home and plan on living there the rest of your life. In this case I prefer to err on the side of caution and take out a full 30 year term loan. Rates may go down over that time period, but they could go up as well, I’d prefer not to leave my finances to chance. 

The rate you currently have right now is very important, as are the costs and fees associated with refinancing. You didn’t think that mortgage companies refinanced for free, did you? A general rule of thumb is that you should save at least 0.25% off your current interest rate for a refinance to be worth it financially. If you have to spend a couple thousand dollars on a refinance then it will take you some time to recoup that money, and anything less than 0.25% might not be worth it. You will often hear of zero cost refinances, and this is sort of true, but misleading at the same time. Zero cost really means deferred cost. Rather than paying for the lowest rate upfront, you are saying you are willing to accept a slightly higher rate than necessary in order to offset the loan costs. I have actually done this myself, three times to be exact. It’s a good thing because I sold my house shortly after the refinance, so I was able to pay down a little extra principal on the loan without paying costly refinance fees.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Four Mistakes to Avoid During Debt Consolidation

Many American families are being financially destroyed by debt. With the recent economic slumps and increases in interest rates, many people saw what they’d thought was manageable debt become a mountain that loomed over their future. Debt consolidation offers hope for people in this situation.

Debt consolidation has certain pitfalls, just like every other financial decision. The following are four of the most common mistakes that people make when going through this process.

Paying More to Consolidate

Many people assume that they will automatically save money in debt consolidation. This is not always the case. While the monthly payments may be lower, they often come with higher interest rates. Even if the interest rates are lower, paying over a longer period of time leads to more interest paid over time. Use an online debt consolidation calculator to see whether you will save money in debt consolidation or end up paying more.

Another way you could end up paying more is by using an inexperience debt consolidation company. Acting too quickly and failing to investigate a company’s claims can result in you paying far more to consolidate your debt than you should. Additionally, this course of action often results in constant harassment from bill collectors, adding even more stress to the debt consolidation process.

Not Dissolving Credit Accounts

If you decide to go forward with consolidating your debt, you would do well to be fully committed. An expert from Faber Inc says it’s much harder to break out of debt when you have credit cards and accounts in use. Immediately after these accounts are paid off, they should be closed. Failing to do this could lead to ending up deeper in debt than when you started. The best way to avoid the temptation to fall back on credit is to remove it completely—this may result in some serious restructuring of your budget, but will be the best move in the long run. 

Using Your Home or Other Major Assets as Collateral

Many people use a home equity loan or refinancing to consolidate their debt. It's easy to see why this sounds attractive. Mortgage rates are relatively low, often far lower than credit card interest rates. However, you are putting your home on the line for an amount of debt that is usually nowhere near its value. If you ever cannot make the payments, you risk losing your home over a relatively small amount of debt. For most people, this is much too risky to attempt if there is any chance that payments may not be met on time. 

Keeping the Same Lifestyle

Debt is often a symptom of a much larger problem. If you routinely rely on credit, you are not living within your means. Examining your average monthly expenditures and using this to create a budget plan is a great way to get started on cutting back. Make changes to your spending and your expenses to avoid acquiring new debt while you struggle to pay off the old. Maintaining these new spending habits will also result in long-term savings and a much healthier financial future. Many people who find themselves deep in debt worry about repeating the cycle for years to come—by forming healthy financial habits now, you can avoid a future in debt.

Debt consolidation can help people to dig themselves out of a hole. Because of this, many people don't pay attention to potential drawbacks of the process. Educate yourself before beginning this process to avoid these common mistakes, and debt consolidation can help put you on the path to a healthy financial future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mortgage FAQ For First-Time Homebuyers

When you venture out into the world of the first-time homebuyer, it stands to reason that you’ll have a lot of questions during the process. Most first-time homebuyers don’t know much, if anything, about the process, the terms or how to get the best deal for themselves.

Everyone knows that buying a home is a big financial obligation, so here’s a quick mortgage FAQ for those of you doing it for the first time.

Where Should I Go?

This is often the first questions a first-time homebuyer has about mortgages. With only a little searching you can find countless options and they all look tempting. So, what do you do? Don’t rush, that is the first thing, then decide if you think bank, credit union, private lender or trust company would be the best choice. Sometimes, seeing a mortgage broker will point you in the right direction.

What Is Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a process where your lender approves you mortgage at a specific amount ahead of time. This approval is based on several factors and it helps homebuyers know where to look, because they have a general idea of what they’ll be able to afford and what they won’t.

What Is a Down Payment?

Even the most novice of homebuyers has heard the term “down payment” before. Just as it seems, a down payment refers to making a lump sum payment upfront, that will come off the total price of the home. A conventional mortgage requires a 20 percent down payment, while a high-ratio mortgage needs 5 percent.

How Much Can I Afford?

Your pre-approval amount can often give you an indication of how much you can afford, but not always. Sometimes, the lifestyle you want isn’t really possible if you assume a mortgage for that much. Some lenders or brokers have calculators that will help, but it’s really about working out the money in vs. money out and see what number works best for you and your family.

What is a Fixed Mortgage Rate?

A fixed mortgage rate comes with a static interest rate for a specific amount of time, or term. The most common term is five years, and this means you don’t have to worry about the interest fluctuating during that time.

What is a Variable Mortgage Rate?

On the other side, a variable mortgage rate is a mortgage that does not have a rate guarantee. The rate you pay fluctuates according to the lenders Prime rate. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it isn’t, based on which direction that Prime rate moves.

What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are part of every home purchase, and they are payable after the purchase is finalized. Some of the most common include:

  • Legal fees and disbursements
  • Title insurance
  • Land transfer tax
  • Property survey
  • Property tax adjustment

Home inspection, moving costs and other miscellaneous expenses like tools and appliances will also be part of the process. 

What Do Amortization & Term Mean?

Amortization is the period of time in years that it will take you to pay off your mortgage in full. Term is the length of time your interest rate type (fixed or variable) will last. When the term is over, you pay the balance of the mortgage or renegotiate a new term under the current market conditions.

Author Bio:
The author of the article is Jeremy Benson. He has been writing about finance, mortgage and Canadian law since 7 years. Blogging is one among his greatest passions. Follow him on Twitter@jeremybenson19.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

5 Tips to Pay Your Mortgage Off Fast

For many people, the biggest financial commitment they will ever make is the mortgage on their home. Most of the time, that commitment lasts for 25 years, but many of us

just aren’t comfortable taking it that far. Not only are you in debt for a quarter century, but the interest you pay along the way is ridiculous.

And so, strategies and plans to pay off mortgages fast and avoid these pitfalls were born, and scores of homeowners have benefited. Here are 5 tips that can help get your mortgage out of the way a lot faster than normal.

1. Accelerated Bi-weekly

It stands to reason that paying off your mortgage is all about making the payments, and the difference between monthly and accelerated bi-weekly payments can make a big difference. With monthly payments, you’ll make 12 payments per year, and on the accelerated bi-weekly plan you’ll make 26 payments.

The exact numbers will vary depending on the amount of your mortgage, the amortization and interest rate, but by switching it isn’t unusual to shave a few years off the amortization and up to $20,000 off the amount of interest you pay.

2. Don’t Get Too Comfortable

It’s easy to sit back and get comfortable after you have set up all the details of your mortgage, but that isn’t always a good idea if paying it off early is your goal. This is especially true if the mortgage payment is an automatic withdrawal, because you don’t even have to think about it.

Even if you are in a fixed-rate term, if the rates have dropped significantly, you might be able to save thousands and shorten your amortization even with the penalty you have to pay for breaking the mortgage. Of course, the only way to know this is to stay informed and pay attention to what is going on “out there” in the mortgage world.

3. Boost Payments Whenever Possible

If you anticipate times during your life where you’ll have extra money, or even if you don’t, arrange your mortgage so you can make payments that come off the principal, whenever you like. This might refer to bonuses at work, inheritances, or even increasing your average payments when you get raises at work.

Whenever you get your hands on money that you weren’t expecting, dumping it into your mortgage won’t affect your budget because you weren’t expecting it anyway. Tax refunds and lottery winnings are some other sources or money you probably hadn’t factored into your budget. You certainly don’t have to put every cent you get on the mortgage, but adding different amounts over the course of the loan can make a big difference in the amount you spend and how quickly you pay it off. 

4. Take Advantage of Pre-Payments

Pre-payment privileges are another opportunity to make a lump sum payment and knock a few years off your amortization period. Depending on how much you have available and how much you’re willing to give, you could end up saving the price of a brand new car just in interest. Not to mention, the mortgage-burning ceremony will be sooner. Ask about this option when you are working out your mortgage details, to see if it’s one that applies to you. Even a relatively small sum can make a difference.

5. Knock Some Off at Renewal Time

If you have a 25-year amortization period like so many other homeowners, you will encounter several renewal times during the course of the mortgage. If you saved your money and made a lump sum payment before you renewed the term every five years, you could own the house several years sooner and save yourself thousands in interest, too.

Owning a house is a huge deal for most people, and even though you might feel like you have no choice but to accept whatever terms are laid in front of you, that isn’t always true. You can negotiate and you can shop around and you can knock years off the amount of time it takes for you to own the home outright.

It’s important to keep in mind that lenders all have competition, and even though they seem intimidating and have the power of yes or no over you, they still rely on the business of people like you to survive. If you pass the basic criteria and you know that you qualify for a mortgage, consider some of the above tips when thinking of ways to knock time off your mortgage rate. Not every method is right for every homeowner, but with some creative thinking and some sacrifice, you’ll find one that’s right for you.

Venetia Rose has been a freelance writer and blogger. She loves to share and keep herself updated with the latest tips in mortgage and financial consulting. Her interests are cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on Face book

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Personal Finance Tips for Millenials

saving and spending
saving and spending (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
According to a 2007 study by the American Psychological Association, 73% of those surveyed claimed money is a primary source of stress in their lives. But personal finances don’t have to be a formidable enemy to avoid. In fact, by making a few smart choices now, you can eliminate future financial burdens and alleviate stress. 

Reduce Debt 

Too often, millennials choose to celebrate landing that first job by making a large purchase. Before you rush out to buy a new car, know the difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.” According to, “good debt” is generally debt with a lower interest rate than the rate you could be earning by investing. For example, a home loan would commonly be considered “good debt,” while a car loan or credit card debt are more likely “bad debt.” 

If you already have debt from a credit card, car loan, or student loans, start by paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Top Ten Reviews suggests writing out a game plan for how and when you are going to pay off your debts. Pay off as much as possible, as quickly as possible. 

Start Saving 

Now Utilize a budget. Keep your spending under control and allocate a designated amount each month to your savings. A good strategy would be to have three types of savings funds. 

Emergency Fund 

According to U.S. News, in a stretch of hiring slowdowns, it is crucial to have an emergency fund to cover an unexpected period of unemployment.This fund should be enough to cover your living expenses for three to six months. 

Short Term Savings

  • Planning on buying that new car after all? Want to take a weekend trip to Vegas? Minimize your debt by planning ahead and saving now. 
  • Having a short term savings fund can give you the financial freedom to do the things you enjoy, without breaking the bank. Long Term Savings 
  • When you’re in your twenties, “retirement” seems light-years away. However, being in your twenties is the best time to start saving for retirement, because of the power of compound interest. The earlier you start saving, the more interest you’ll earn! 
  • If your employer sponsors a 401K plan, make sure you are taking advantage of this opportunity. In addition, consider opening a Roth IRA. The Roth IRA is especially a good option for someone at the early stages of their career, because once you exceed a certain level of income, you can no longer contribute. Essentially, with a Roth IRA, you can pay taxes now and avoid paying taxes on any future earnings from your investment. 
  •  Consider a Target-Date Retirement Fund. Not only do these funds typically have low expense ratios, but they eliminate the added work load of trying to manage your portfolio yourself. These funds are fully diversified and managed by investing professionals. As you approach your target retirement date, the fund will automatically become more conservative. 
  • It’s important to remember that withdrawing early from a 401K or an IRA will have significant financial penalties. This is why it is important to have your emergency fund and a short term savings fund; do not tap into your long-term savings. 

Put Your Technology to Work 

Today, there are so many resources available to help get your finances under control. For example, is a great tool to monitor your budget and track your spending – and the smartphone app is both fun and user-friendly. Another example would be using or Credit Karma to watch your credit score and prevent identity theft. 

Make your life easier by setting up automatic payments. Find out if your employer offers automatic paycheck deductions for your 401K. In addition, most banks allow you to set-up automatic scheduled transfers. Make your finances your first priority by scheduling an automatic transfer into your savings account. Pay yourself first. You can also set up automatic payments to pay off your student loans and pay your monthly bills. Automatic bank drafts ensure that you always pay on time, thus avoiding any unnecessary late charges. 

Reigning in your finances can seem like a daunting task at first, but you can conquer your financial fears by managing your debt, maximizing your savings, and using technology to your advantage. 

Chris is a blogger for his blog The Financial Park. He is also a golf fanatic and loves to be outdoors. You can find him on Twitter @ChrisLindsey23.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seven Easy Schemes to Clear Off Debt from Credit Cards

Credit cards Français : Cartes de crédit Itali...
Credit card debt, this is one of the main problems that common people face concerning their finances. Having credit cards are tempting, these can make you spend more than what you actually earn. Excessive use can lead to more bills to pay with crippling interest rates and finance charges; making impossible for others to get out of debt. There is no automatic remedy for credit card debt but there are few steps to take in order to become debt free.

All you need is planning and budgeting, sooner you’ll find yourself getting out of credit card debts even faster than you can imagine. Study these seven steps to be able to pay your credit card bills sooner.

1) Make a list

List down all your credit cards, outstanding balances, interest’s rates, and required minimum payments. Do this so that you can easily track down your total debt.

2) Arrange from highest to lowest

The bill with the highest interest rate must be at the top, and so on, making the lowest at the bottom.

3) Calculate the total amount

Compute for the total amount of minimum payments billed for each card. So you will know how much monthly budget you’ll need for credit card payment amortizations.

4) Set a priority payment

Although there is a minimum amount being set for minimum payment, you must still desire to pay debts faster. In order to clear debts quickly, add extra payments for each credit card due.

5) Pay off one at a time

Clear off one credit card bill faster. Begin from the number 1 on your list because higher interest rates will cost more bill amount. This means, pay more than the minimum amount if you have extra cash.

6) Create a payment pattern

Continue doing this process up until the first credit card debt is paid off. Once it’s cleared continue with the second card but follow whatever amount you paid with the first one.

7) Repeat steps 1-6 until all your credit card debt have been paid off

It is important to understand how minimum payments work. When your total bill decreases, your minimum payment also decreases. That is why; it would take many years before you can actually clear off your debts if you will just stick to paying the minimum amount. So, the secret is to always increase your payment. Make it double or triple the amount. Just ignore the required minimum amount, stick to your plan. In less than a few months, you will notice that you finish paying credit card debts one at a time. Although this process will take time, be patient enough because it might take months or years before you can say you’re debt free. If you want to speed up the process, you can pay all of your debts whenever you have much money. You can also avail of balance transfers. These usually have smaller interest rates.

While credit cards exist, debt also exists. If you will only exercise self-control and practice paying debts on time, you may not go wrong in using your credit cards and not be worried of debts anymore.

Claire Reed is a finance writer for Claire Reedif is always online. If you have any questions, please, let him know!

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