Pages Menu

Financing options for vacations

Blog

Getting A USDA Loan: The Most Important Requirements

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting A USDA Loan: The Most Important Requirements

Depending on where you live, you might be qualified for a USDA loan. These are loans that were created as a result of the Rural Development program. The purpose of these loans is to improve the quality of life for families who live on rural areas by offering lower interest rates and no down payment. The entire purchase price of the home can be financed. However, to obtain one of these very attractive loans, you will need to meet certain qualifications.  Basic Requirements Since this loan is designed to hep rural residents, you must live in a location that is considered rural.  Also, the loan is only intended for those who are purchasing their first home for the purpose of living there. The loan cannot be used for those purchasing a second home or those who are using the home as an investment property. Also, you cannot be making more than 115% of the median income of wherever you live. Fees Required To obtain the loan, you will need to pay a small fee and you will also need to pay a premium of 2% of the loan. However, this can be rolled into the loan and paid over time. Therefore, it is possible to receive the loan with nothing down. While this loan is very affordable, you will still need to prove that you have a dependable income if your loan is underwritten manually. You will need to make a monthly payment, but it fortunately needs to be 29% or less of your monthly income. Credit Requirements One of the best parts of a USDA loan is that it can be entirely automated. However, to receive automatic approval, you will need to have a credit score of 640 or higher. If you are above the 29/40 ratio requirement, you may need to have a credit score of 680. Otherwise, you will have to undergo a manual underwriting. When undergoing a manual underwriting, you will need compensating factors that will increase the chances that you will be approved for the loan. For instance, if you have a college degree, this is treated as a compensating factor. There is no minimum credit score, but the worse the credit score, the more difficult it will be to be approved and the more important that you will need a good credit history. But it is always a good idea to speak with a lender and use a USDA calculator to determine if the loan is right for...

read more

Three Things Borrowers Should Do Before Applying For A VA Home Loan

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things Borrowers Should Do Before Applying For A VA Home Loan

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not issue home loans. However, the VA Home Loan program guarantees a portion of home loans to eligible military members and veterans. These loans are issued by traditional mortgage companies. If you default on the loan, VA will make it right and come after you for the amount you owe. This can mean garnishment of wages and tax returns, as well as a negative impact on your ability to obtain federal student financial aid. It can also negatively impact your ability to take advantage of other programs. As a result, you should make sure you are very ready to handle a mortgage loan before you even apply. The following three things are issues you should analyze before you decide to buy a home with a VA Home Loan. Credit Score  VA does not mandate a minimum credit score requirement for a home loan. However, many lenders will not even look at your home loan application if your credit score is below 620. Check your credit score online to get a good estimate of your current score. Your bank or credit card issuer may offer a free credit score to you as part of your membership. Otherwise, you can use some of the reputable free credit score services online to obtain this information. Most of these services offer a credit score simulator to help you determine the best (and fastest) actions you can take to improve your credit score. Credit Report Most lenders want to see a clean credit report, free of major delinquencies and bad debts or accounts in collections. Check over your credit report. If any information was reported incorrectly, take the proper steps to dispute the entry or have the company at fault make a correction. If you have any past due accounts or accounts in collections, make those right and then negotiate with the creditor to clean up your credit report.  Income Requirements Most lenders require that you have at least two years of solid, steady employment history under your belt before you apply for a mortgage. You should also make sure you have enough disposable income to be able to pay for your home. Include taxes and insurance into the estimated monthly payment. Most lenders won’t extend a loan to you unless the monthly payment on your loan, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance is equal to or less than 28% of your gross income per month. If you are above this 28% mark, consider a house with a lower price tag, or find a way to increase your income. For more information, contact Texas Veterans Home Loans or a similar...

read more

Peer-to-Peer Lending: Saving the Day and Reducing the Debt in Financial Crises

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Peer-to-Peer Lending: Saving the Day and Reducing the Debt in Financial Crises

Are you in need of a personal loan? Perhaps you have a number of issues that are preventing you from getting a traditional loan through a bank. You may have also exhausted your means of getting small loans from friends and family. These are common obstacles that many people today face, and even if your needs and ability to acquire a loan are different than other people’s, do not feel as though you will not be able to get a loan. Peer-to-peer lending could be a loan option for you. You are being extended offers for secured loans, but you need an unsecured loan. Sometimes people lack sufficient credit to qualify for unsecured loans, or they may have issues obtaining unsecured credit due to derogatory information on their credit reports. This can pose an issue when an emergency loan is needed for an inconvenience such as vehicle repairs, especially if the collateral needed to secure the loan is your vehicle. You desire the option to repay the loan without penalties. There are some loan options that are designed to ensure that lenders make exorbitant amounts of money from borrowers. This may come in the form of fees or penalties. For example, you might be penalized for repaying a loan before it matures. Regardless of where you get a loan, always review penalties and fees before accepting an offer. Keep in mind that many peer-to-peer lenders have diversified portfolios that consist of many small investment loans, and your loan would likely represent a fraction of the contributing investors’ portfolios. This is one way they are able to combine their resources and extend flexible and attractive loan agreements that may not include fees and penalties. Some peer-to-peer lenders may even offer loan matching, which means that they will negotiate and possibly match offers extended to you from elsewhere.  You want to consolidate your credit card debt, but you are having issues getting a new card with a high credit limit.  If you have credit card debt, your high balances may be interfering with your qualifying for a new credit card to be used for debt consolidation. Peer-to-peer lending could benefit you if you can acquire a better APR. Keep in mind that consolidating the credit card debt through a loan will mean that you should only use your cards for emergencies and only charge what you can afford to pay off each month. This is because consolidation will do little for improving your finances if you accumulate the debt back on the cards.  You are leery about hard inquiries and being turned down for a loan at local lending institutions. You may not want anyone in your local area to know about your financial issues. Many peer-to-peer transactions can be completed online, and your loan information will be confidential. Some peer-to-peer lenders may perform soft credit inquiries, which will not impact an already suffering score. For more information, talk to companies like Crossroads Investment...

read more

Buying A New Home? Get Better Mortgage Rates Using These Tips

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A New Home? Get Better Mortgage Rates Using These Tips

Buying a home gives you the opportunity to become your own landlord, create a customized household look through renovations, and maintain full control over your quality of life at home. Taking the time to plan and prepare for the mortgage application process before you start making offers on homes you like is an effective way to optimize your chance of getting great mortgage rates on your loan. Here are three things to consider doing before you start shopping for your new dream home: Take Care of Unpaid Bills Even small unforgotten bills that have gone unpaid can be detrimental to your credit score, which in turn will likely increase any mortgage rates you’re offered by potential lenders when shopping for a home. Whether it’s a five dollar late fee that wasn’t paid with a final credit card payment months ago or a last cable bill you overlooked during a move last year, if you’re delinquent on any payments it can result in higher mortgage rates when you apply for a home loan. It’s a good idea to request a copy of your credit report so you can see exactly what’s reported on it and take care of any old bills that haven’t been paid yet. Debts that aren’t so small, such as hospital bills, can also present a problem if not addressed. If you can’t pay a bill that’s on your credit report in full, inquire about making payments until paid in full. Some companies may offer you a hefty discount on the whole of your past due bill if you agree to pay it in full. Improve Your Asset Portfolio Improving your asset portfolio before applying for a home loan can help keep your available mortgage rates low too. Mortgage lenders will look for assets that you own when considering your rates because they interpret assets as wealth. Having access to various types of assets lets lenders know that you shouldn’t have a problem making your mortgage payments long-term. If you already have a 401K account set up, start putting more money into it if possible. If you haven’t yet paid your vehicle off so you own it outright, consider doing so even if it means taking out a small personal loan at your bank. Putting money into a 529 plan to save for college is likely to be counted as an asset as well. Invest in a bond or buy into a timeshare if you can. These tips and tricks should help prepare you for a successful home shopping experience that results in excellent mortgage rate offers when all is said and done. Contact a financing company, like Doolin Security Savings Bank, for more...

read more

3 Major Differences Between Banks And Credit Unions

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Major Differences Between Banks And Credit Unions

When it comes to finances, there is a lot of discussion and controversy about banks versus credit unions. Many financial experts and everyday people state that credit unions are much better than banks. However, understanding the facts and details surrounding this statement is very important. Read on to discover the major differences between banks and credit unions.   1. Banks Are For-Profit Organizations Banks are for-profit financial institutions, and they have shareholders that invest in them. They earn money from the interest that is earned by the banks. These shareholders want to earn as much revenue as possible. This gives banks the incentive to earn more money. Because of this, fees and interest rates tend to be higher at banks. Banks are known for charging: ATM usage fees monthly or yearly account fees account closure fees minimum balance fees human teller fees overdraft fees 2. Credit Unions Are Non-Profit Organizations Credit unions are non-profit financial institutions. They are operated and owned by members of the credit unions. External shareholders do not invest in credit unions. Profits are not generated for shareholders when the credit union makes more money. This means that credit unions have no incentive to charge excessive fees. BankRate.com shows that credit unions are known for charging: lower overdraft fees lower ATM usage fees low or zero monthly maintenance fees low or zero annual maintenance fees low or zero human teller fees 3. Credit Unions May Offer More Member Advantages Now that you know the main difference between credit unions and banks, you can understand why they have different interest rates and fees. Since credit unions do not make a profit from charging extra fees, they simply tend to avoid charging these fees. Credit unions are well-known for offering: high-interest savings, checking, and money market accounts low-interest loans and financing options for car, homes, and more better customer service and customer-oriented practices flexibility to members who have a poor credit history Despite these perks, credit unions do have a few minor disadvantages. They tend to have fewer locations and less advanced online services. This may be inconvenient for members who travel frequently or prefer using online banking. However, many members find that these inconveniences are worth the numerous perks and the financial savings. Some people opt to have an account at a traditional bank and at a credit union simultaneously. This can eliminate the small downsides to solely using a credit union. Overall, credit unions (such as New Horizons Credit Union) are a great resource for people who want to use a hassle-free, affordable, and customer-oriented financial institution....

read more

What Are Your Most Cost-Effective Home Financing Options?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Are Your Most Cost-Effective Home Financing Options?

Although many housing markets across the country are still feeling the effects of the subprime mortgage crisis, homebuying rates continue to rise — driving up prices in hot communities. If you’ve recently transitioned from wishful thinking to house-hunting in earnest, you may be wondering which financing options will allow you to purchase the home of your dreams while still leaving you a bit of cash in pocket to finance improvements or redecorate. What should you do to ensure you’re getting the best mortgage rates and not leaving money on the table? Read on to learn more about financing your first home purchase.  What are the most cost-effective ways to finance a home purchase?  Because few Americans can afford to plunk down tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars in cash for a home, most buyers will obtain a mortgage — repaying this money over a longer term and granting the lender a security interest in the home purchased. Mortgages can run the gamut from short-term adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) to long-term fixed rate mortgages and everything in between. In general, the longer your loan term, the more interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. However, you’ll also to take the time value of money into account before writing off a long-term mortgage as too expensive. By spreading your monthly mortgage payments over a longer term, your actual payment amount will decrease — giving you additional cash flow to invest in home improvements, tax-sheltered retirement accounts, or other sources of future income. If you’re able to secure a low interest rate and invest leftover funds into the stock market over your mortgage’s term, you may find that you can more than recoup the amount of interest paid to the lender. In other cases, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be more appropriate for your needs. If your job requires you to move frequently, or if you suspect you’ll upgrade your starter home once you expand your family, you may not expect to keep your first home for more than a few years. Selecting an adjustable-rate mortgage that will reset long after you expect to have moved on to another home can allow you to secure a lower interest rate than if you’d selected a fixed-rate mortgage instead.  What else should you consider when investigating home financing options?  Navigating the variety of mortgage products available and determining the right option for you can be a complex calculation, particularly for those who haven’t gone through the purchasing process before. Seeking the advice of a loan officer, like those at Assurance Financial, can be invaluable when making this decision. Your loan officer should be able to raise points you may not have considered, and will run a variety of scenarios to help you determine which makes the most financial sense for your...

read more

Three Of The Worst Things You Can Do When Getting Your First Mortgage

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Of The Worst Things You Can Do When Getting Your First Mortgage

Getting your first mortgage can be a pretty intimidating experience. You’re dealing with a lot of paperwork, numbers on top of numbers, and more. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to make a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars, or even ruin your chances at getting a mortgage. Here’s a look at three common mistakes that people make with their first mortgage, and what you can do to avoid them. Acting like your loan is final before it really is Just because your mortgage has been accepted and approved, that doesn’t mean that the deal is final. Even after all the numbers have been crunched and piles of paperwork have been filled out, there’s still work to be done. If you apply for credit cards or make major financial changes before your loan is final, you could be jeopardizing your loan. It’s easy to get excited about your new home and rush out to furnish it, but racking up debt is a potentially huge mistake. Loan officers and lawyers and analyzing your financial portfolio until the moment your loan is finished. Lenders want to see that you’re responsible with your finances. Don’t give them a reason to deny your loan. Not considering the true cost of home ownership When you own a home, there’s a lot to consider financially beyond your mortgage payment. You’ll be paying property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and more. It may seem like as a homeowner, there are always surprises that pop up. Your mortgage broker will likely sit down with you and help you figure out a good number, but do research on your own as well. Not taking into account the true cost of home ownership is one of the largest reasons that people find themselves in default on their mortgage. Not taking care of credit issues beforehand If you know that you’re going to be applying for a mortgage, do everything you can to make sure your credit is in good shape. Even something as simple as paying off a sub $1000 balance on a credit card can have huge implications when it comes to the interest rate you’ll be able to get. Lenders want to see that you’re not a risk to lend to. Show them that you’re willing to work towards having good credit, and you’ll see that reflected in your mortgage terms. Make sure you look at more than one option when you’re considering mortgages. You won’t want to actually apply for multiple mortgages, but being pre-approved from different places is okay. Being aware of what different companies have to offer will make sure that you’re able to get the best possible deal....

read more

Tips For Successfully Obtaining A VA Home Mortgage Loan

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Successfully Obtaining A VA Home Mortgage Loan

As a veteran of the armed services, one of your many benefits is the ability to obtain a home mortgage loan that is backed by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). This benefit is known as the home loan guarantee, and it is available for current service members, surviving spouses, and veterans. If you have a need for a home that has been adapted for a disability, then the benefit is available to meet those needs as well. Follow these tips to ensure that you are successful at easily obtaining a V.A. home mortgage loan: Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) The VA issues a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that you will need to possess in order to obtain a VA home loan. The COE shows lenders that you have earned, and are eligible to use the housing benefit. Rather than waiting until you find the home of your dreams, first obtain your COE so that you will have it when you find a house that you want to purchase. You can apply for a C.O.E. from the V.A. online using their eBenefits portal. Obtain a VA Loan Prequalification Letter Just as a COE shows lenders that you have earned the benefit of a V.A. home mortgage loan, a prequalification letter shows home sellers that you have already been approved for financing a mortgage for any home that you make an offer on. This helps your position as a buyer, especially if you enter into a bidding war with another buyer who has not been prequalified for financing. With a loan prequalification letter from the VA, you can prove your ability to make it through the escrow process and on to a successful sale. This can easily be the difference between your offer being accepted versus being denied. Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Reports Before you apply for a mortgage prequalification, it is always a good idea to obtain each of your three credit reports. By going over each report with a fine-toothed comb, you can often find errors and omissions that can be detrimental during the mortgage financing process. By getting a copy of your credit reports before applying for financing, you can ask the credit reporting agencies to change any information that is incorrect on your reports. This is a very common problem, so it is always advised for you to check your reports and fix omissions and errors before they negatively affect your VA home...

read more

Need More Money? 4 Easy Lifestyle Changes To Make Today To Save More Of Your Hard-Earned Cash

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need More Money? 4 Easy Lifestyle Changes To Make Today To Save More Of Your Hard-Earned Cash

Even if you have money saved, there are times when you’ll need to dig into that emergency fund to tackle obstacles that are thrown in front of you. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an emergency fund, you’ll be dipping into your retirement savings or even the money you have put away for your children’s education. According to Business Insider, it is recommended that you have an emergency fund that contains three to six months of expenses. This isn’t something that can be achieved overnight, but here are a few ways you can start saving money each month to put toward that fund so that you have it when you need it: 1. Go Direct Deposit. If your check isn’t currently direct deposited, contact Human Resources at your job to get it that way. By not cashing your check each week and receiving cold hard cash in your hand, you’ll be less likely to spend it as quickly. In addition, you will want to start taking a small, pre-defined amount out of each check and placing it into a savings account. This can be done via your bank, or you can use a savings account at another bank and have it directly deposited there by your job. 2. Be Smarter With Your Washing. You know that laundry detergent is expensive, and the price just seems to continue going up. Unfortunately, you fill the cup up all the way to the top for each load and you run out far too quickly. At the end of the month, you are washing your clothes with hot water because you don’t have any detergent left or money to buy more. Start washing smarter so that this isn’t a problem. The Wall Street Journal says that more than 50 percent of people actually use far too much washing detergent. Take the time to read the instructions so you know how much you should be using. 3. Start Purchasing in Bulk. Rather than purchase a bottle of dish soap here and there whenever it is needed, consider heading to a warehouse shopping club where you can buy in bulk. Sure, you may have to pay a nominal membership fee, but you’ll save a lot more than the fee by having the chance to buy your household items (including food!) in bulk. For example, Consumer Reports determined that you can save nearly 30 percent by purchasing dish soap at a discount warehouse store. 4. Find Your Green Thumb. Another option that you have is to start growing your own herbs. Herbs aren’t hard to grow, like flowers can be, so even if you don’t have a green thumb, you should be okay. Southern Living reports that one pack of herbs at the store can cost as much as $6, which will only last a few meals. However, if you grow your own herbs from seeds, you won’t spend more than roughly $2 and they’ll last for over half the year (or longer, depending on the herb). You can spend a bit more (up to $4) and buy pre-potted herbs. If you haven’t started an emergency fund yet, it’s time to do so. However, if you find that you are in need of cash now, consider getting a quick loan from a local loan company. This will...

read more

Things to Consider When Choosing a Mortgage Broker

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things to Consider When Choosing a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers help people find the best mortgage loan possible. They work with a number of different mortgage lenders so you only need to work with one person rather than call all the different mortgage companies yourself for quotes. Brokers can also help explain what the different mortgage options and terms mean for those who aren’t familiar with them. However, some mortgage brokers are better than others. Broker’s Experience Look for a broker who has been in business long enough to have worked during the housing market recession. Brokers who’ve only worked while the housing market was doing well may not be as good as more experienced brokers at finding the best possible options. Contact people who have used the broker in the past to see whether they would use the broker again and whether he or she was good at explaining the various options and offered a variety of different choices rather than just steering the person toward one particular company or type of mortgage. Payment Methods Ask how the broker is paid. Brokers that are paid a fee are typically a better deal for the homeowner than those who are paid by point spreads. Basically, those paid through point spreads get the bank to pay them in exchange for the homeowner having a higher interest percentage throughout the life of the loan. One situation in which point spreads may be a good idea is when the buyers don’t have money to pay the closing costs and fees and the lender allows these to be rolled into the mortgage. Broker fees are usually a set percentage of the total loan amount, typically between 1 and 2.5 percent. Broker Versus Lender A mortgage broker is a middleman, which is why some people choose to go to the mortgage lenders directly. However, a broker can save a homeowner a lot of time and effort, as they are familiar with the offerings of multiple lenders and can tell you which lenders may be best given your financial situation. A broker can be particularly helpful for those who aren’t very familiar with the whole mortgage process or have a less-than-ideal financial situation. The broker can also easily compare the offerings of different lenders, which can be more problematic for homeowners because they need to make sure they’re comparing the same type of loan. To find a mortgage broker who can help you, contact an establishment like McKinley...

read more