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Author: Noor Almina

Changes in the Mortgage Industry

Changes in the Mortgage Industry

As housing prices are starting to gain traction, we still have progress that needs to be made. Right now the big influence on pricing is still location. Markets that have fewer foreclosures, smaller inventories at the banks and low unemployment are see growth in this area. As more of America goes back to work the positive impact will continue to be felt. When people feel more confident, they start spending money. When you combined this with affordable mortgages this contributes to the housing recovery our economy needs.

After dealing with the banking market issues, our industry is certain to have new regulatory controls put in place. Right now those issues are still up in the air. We can expect the Dodd-Frank legislation to have a direct impact on the mortgage industry. Issues may include accountability from both the buyer and the seller, the definition of a qualified mortgage and conflict of interest of various parties.

Looking at the issues the mortgage industry has seen, you can be certain the market is I for major changes. You can expect better technology that’s makes qualifying a loan easier and the loans that are qualified are better loans. As new regulations are put in place we will see more education to our industry, better informed lenders originate better loans.

Moving forward we will see new players emerge in the mortgage sector. This creates competition in the market allowing customer’s flexibility. As new technology emerges, originators will have better access to different programs. This gives the ability to build a loan specific for the needs of the consumer. Improved technology will create a higher level of service and a more accurate package to be assembled.

Beware of Falling Minimum Payments

Beware of Falling Minimum Payments

More and more credit card companies are moving to requiring a minimum payment of 2% of your total outstanding balance. Consumer Action, a consumer advocacy group out of San Francisco, found that the number of card companies with a 2% minimum payment reached 53%, up from 43% just a year ago.

Some creditors have even gone so far as to call this a “consumer friendly” move claiming it will assist consumers faced with today’s economic woes. In reality, a lower minimum payment causes you to take longer to pay off your debt to the creditor while winding up paying them more money in interest payments.

For example, let’s say you have a credit card debt of $2500.00 @18% annual percentage rate (APR). Your monthly minimum payment based on a 2.5% pay back rate would be $62.50 per month. Oh and by the way, here’s what the credit card company really doesn’t want you to know – it will take you 20 YEARS to pay off your $2500.00 balance paying the minimum monthly due. And you will have paid the credit card company $3,365.51 in interest!

Now lets look at the same example using the rate of 2% minimum monthly payment. Your monthly payment drops to just $50.00 a month. You might be tempted to think “wow, I’ve got an extra $12.50 a month to play with, yippeee!”. Not so fast! That lower minimum payment now means it will take you 34.5 YEARS to pay off your balance of $2500.00 and you’ll wind up paying $6,430.93 in interest!

Consumer Action also reports that many credit card companies are imposing higher late payment fees and “more than a third of card issuers said they will raise existing cardholders’ rates because of poor credit histories — with other creditors — even if the consumer has made regular, timely payments with that issuer”.

Building Credit History

Building Credit History

When applying for a credit, if you don’t have a credit history, it is possible your credit application to be denied. This means you definitely need to start building a credit history. There are different ways to start a credit history. If you’re a student, you can get a student card from the companies that offer such special cards. On this credit card you can charge your necessities and at the same time build your own credit history.

When you’re a young adult and you have always used checks or paid cash for your purchases you’ll soon realize that you cannot apply for a credit as you don’t have a credit history. A secured credit card can really help you. These secured credit cards are considered a first step for those with no credit history. For obtaining a secured credit card a deposit is required and the spending limit is equal to the amount of the deposit. To make sure you’re building a good credit history with this first credit card, be careful not to go over the limit and pay your bills on time. After some time, depending on each company, you can apply for an unsecured credit card but only if you have a good credit history.

There are also other more simple ways of starting a credit history. One easy solution is to open a savings or checking account that will definitely show how you are able to manage your money. Or if you have a cellular phone or a pager and pay your bills on time every month, you can demonstrate that you’re capable to control your money wisely. Another way is to consider applying for a card offered by gasoline companies or retail stores. This type of card has a low credit limit and can be paid off each month.

All above methods are just first steps in building a credit history. The next steps are also important because they will greatly influence the history you have started building. Every time you pay or not pay a bill on time your credit history registers it. Having a good credit history shows that you are a person that treats debts responsibly and you’re likely to pay back the money that you want to borrow. To gain the confidence of the credit companies they have to see on your credit history that you treat with responsibility every bill. So make sure to pay the total minimum due on every one of your bills and do an effort to pay them by the statement due date so that they arrive on time. Also do you best to pay at least the minimum, if not the entire, balance each month. Try to never skip payments; it doesn’t look good on your credit history.

If you ever feel that your debts are getting out of control, immediately seek help from a financial counselor. He will be able to evaluate the entire situation better than you can and he can find the best solution that will get you out of that massy situation. A financial counselor will also advise you to annually check your credit report for any errors that may appear. Then, if any errors are present, correct them immediately.

It is not difficult to start building a credit history; it just takes time and a lot of patience from your side. Yet, we have to admit that the difficult part is to build a good credit history for which you must be able to demonstrate that you can wisely manage your money. Keep in mind that a good credit history will only bring you benefits.

Consolidating Home Loans

Consolidating Home Loans

Essentially if you have lots of different debts then consolidation means reducing these to just one single debt. In short you are taking out on large loan, and then using this in order to pay off may of your smaller loans so that you only owe one company money, and so that you only have the one monthly payment coming out of your account to worry about.

This in essence makes it much easier for you to pay off your loans because you won’t have to worry about keeping enough money in your account on the various different dates that your loan repayments are taken out. You will have one manageable payment to worry about at a set time each month, and that means you can organize your finances around this one date rather than having to keep tabs on several different debits.

What this also means is that in some cases you can also reduce the amount you have to pay. In some cases the interest on your consolidation loan will be higher than on that of your smaller loans and in this case you will pay for the convenience of using these loans. In other cases however that consolidation loan will have a lower interest rate than the combined interest of those smaller loans, and this will actually save you money in the long term.

Another benefit of consolidation is that it can improve your credit rating. Your credit rating is the rating given to you by the various banks and lenders that you have dealt with in the past. Each time you have taken out a loan, they will have given you a rating based on how efficiently you paid that back and whether or not the payment was on time etc.

Thus if you can demonstrate your ability to pay back your loans in full and on time, then this will improve your rating because they will report that you managed to pay them back. It won’t matter to them for the most part that you used consolidation – only that you paid the amount back. This then will mean that your rating goes up as a result, and your status is that of someone who has paid back several loans in the past and currently is only paying one.

Probate Loan

Probate Loan

Probate is the process that legally transfers the estate of a deceased person to heirs. Say, for example, you have an uncle who died and left a legal will giving you all his estate. The process of transferring this estate to you is the probate process.

There are good news and bad news when it comes to this legal system. The good news is it will eventually end at some point. This means you will get your share of the estate once the court sorts out all legal matters involving the estate.

The bad news, however, is it can drag on from a few months to several years. Some reports suggest that it can span from eight months to a maximum of two years. The reason for this is the legal mandate behind estates. The system gives all possible creditors a chance to get their share of the estate so they can be paid.

Another reason is so that all possible heirs may have their share. You might never know it but your deceased uncle, for example, may have other legal heirs who should also have their share.

Probate loan or advance, is loan available to heirs. As this is a loan, a potential heir needs to apply for it. It is not automatically given.

Filing for this loan involves filling out application forms and proving you are a legal heir of an estate set to receive an inheritance worth $20,000 or more. You also need to specify that this estate is within the USA.

One of the goals of this loan is to give heirs money while the process is still underway. If you’re a potential heir with your own money, this option might not mean much. If you are an heir with very little or no cash at all, then you will understand the value of probate advance.

Having money on hand can mean buying what you need or want right now. This situation can be particularly necessary if you face paying various bills. People who are unemployed or those who took care of dying relatives may well relate to this case. The cash will have you settling debts and/or rebuilding your life.

Those who are set to inherit properties that need repair will also find the advance very useful. Say, you are about to get an old inn, the funds you get will be useful to invest on the place. You might use the cash for marketing promotions, too, so you attract more clients in the near future.

Consider studying probate advance and applying as early as possible if you need it. Many companies offering it work on a first-come-first-served basis and it will be wiser to apply earlier. The sooner you do, the sooner you can receive funding for tasks you need completed.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid Debit Cards

First, know what you’re getting. Most people understand the prepaid debit card as the retail gift card. Others know that such gift cards can be purchased through their local bank. What some consumers don’t know is that those purchased through their bank can come with hefty fees attached, and those fees can come in a myriad of disguises from up-front purchase fees to various administration fees including replacement costs account maintenance fees and fees for checking the balance. Such fees are currently being debated in the courts, but until a fair resolution is offered, it is up to the consumers to be aware of what they are buying.

Second, despite consumer and fair trade concerns, some applications of the prepaid debit card are both innovative and convenient. For example, there are now some tax preparation services offering what is known as the “stored value” card. In other words, in lieu of waiting for your refund to arrive, you can simply tell your tax preparation service that you would like to have your refund loaded onto your prepaid debit card. Once you have your prepaid debit card “loaded” you can make arrangements with your bank to assign it a routing number so that you may use it just like a checking account. Another new use of prepaid debit cards come from the currency exchange companies, better known as remittance services. The usual remittance companies are facing new competition from small companies who are targeting the immigration population by offering speed and convenience in sending money on-line using a bank account, a credit card or a PayPal account. The customer simply electronically “loads” the desired amount onto a Visacard which is then mailed to the beneficiary.

With the help of the internet, the potential to send money via “loaded” cards is without precedent. The ease, speed and convenience of such services are becoming so popular that many companies are aggressively marketing prepaid debit cards to consumers through customization. Visa, for example, has a prepaid debit card marketed exclusively to teens, know as Buxx. American Express has the TravelFunds Card marketing “for people on the go” and MasterCard has its I-Gen MasterCard marketed to those who prefer to either forego traditional checking accounts or keep only a minimum amount while “loading” their card with the cash their budgets dictate they can spend.

Loan Against Property

Loan Against Property

Starting the process

If you want to take a loan against property, the first thing you need to do is to shop around for a lender. Use the internet to learn about the eligibility criteria of a LAP and this is likely to vary from one bank to the other. In general, most banks would ask for the following –

  • Your income/savings details and also information of the debt obligations that you have
  • Cost of the property that you intend to mortgage
  • Your credit record
  • Repayment track record of loans taken prior to this

Steps involved

  • ApplicationThe loan application sets the ball rolling in a LAP. Select your lender and fill up the loan application form with necessary details.
  • Processing: After you apply, the bank starts processing your application, whereby the loan procedure starts moving. Your lender can also call you over for a discussion. Carry original documents with you when you go for it. Following this, the bank will conduct a field investigation of the matter and verify the documents presented by you. Documents required are usually income proof, age proof, address proof, identification proof, property papers, and employment details. When you submit your credit documents to the bank, you might have to shell out a processing fee as well, which is 1-2% of the desired loan value. The bank can also ask for an upfront fee for miscellaneous expenses.
  • Loan sanction: Once the bank has verified your financial credentials, it will work out a loan eligibility amount for you, which is put up in an offer letter along with terms and conditions and mailed across to you. You can accept the loan if it fits your bill by putting your signature on the acceptance copy.
  • Legal check and valuation: The bank will now conduct a legal check on the property that you intend to mortgage and evaluate it. Keep the property papers and No Objection Certificates (NOCs) ready for scrutiny.
  • Loan disbursal: If everything is in place and the bank is convinced of your loan repayment capacity, it disburses the loan through a Demand Draft (DD) or a cheque.

When you plan to take a LAP, consider your pay-off capacities very well, as, if you are unable to pay it back in full, you stand at the risk of losing your mortgaged property to the bank.

Avoiding Online Loan Crooks

Avoiding Online Loan Crooks

Not Interested In Your Credit History

If you’ve ever applied for a bank loan, your credit history is considered to be one of the most important background checks made by any loan company. Those with a low credit score will almost certainly be rejected. Applying for a bad credit loan is one of the easiest ways to be scammed online. Once you have applied, your personal details will be sold to third parties and you may well be tracked by fake debt collectors. Thousands of people are scammed and pay money for debts they don’t actually owe. Lenders that claim they are uninterested in your credit history are to be avoided at all costs. It should be noted that payday lenders don’t worry about credit scores either but such loans come with incredibly high interest rates.

Unclear Fees

Every legitimate lender clearly displays their fees, terms and conditions. They are legally obliged to be as forthcoming with their conditions as possible. All fees are calculated based on the amount you borrow with these fees paid to the lender after the loan is approved and paid. Never sign any contract you don’t understand and carefully read the small print.

Phone Loans

This is another sure-fire way to uncover a scam company. Fake companies will call you and promise loans. Nothing unusual about that you might say. However, these scammers will ask you to pay the fees before giving you loan. What kind of an organization asks you to pay money first in order to receive it? Besides, this practice is totally illegal in the United States.

Copycat Companies

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Scam companies are taking this to the next level by trading with names that sound remarkably similar to respected companies, right down to the company logo. Fake companies will also have slick websites that are high on presentation but low on information. Don’t fall for their style; seek cold hard evidence that they are legitimate. If they are ripping off a well known brand name, you can be sure they are fake.

Mortgage Calculators

Mortgage Calculators

Refinancing your Mortgage. It should be a standard operating procedure to conduct a mortgage health check every five years. There’s a pretty good chance that a more comprehensive and less costly mortgage deal will be available in the market. Using refinance mortgage calculators, you’ll be able to get an estimate of how much you will be able to save when you refinance your existing mortgage.

Get the help and advice of non-banking institutions. Popular non-bank lenders are known for their desire for a bigger market share and lower overheads. Those are some of the reasons why they can offer customers like you interest rates that are significantly lower compared to the variable interest rates offered by standard banks.

Say no to Honeymoon Loans. Honeymoon loans are one of the most popular loan types because they come with low introductory rates. But once the honeymoon rate expires, your interest rates could jump higher than the standard variable rates.

Consolidate your Debts. Repaying your other debts like car loan, credit card debts, personal loan and store credit repayments can choke your family budget, especially when also have a mortgage obligation. One way to lower your expenses would be to consolidate your all your other debts into your mortgage and see how you can cut your monthly repayments in half. Your mortgage’s interest rate will then apply to your other unsecured debts. You may use a debt consolidation mortgage calculator to figure out how you will be able to cut your costs after your debts have all been consolidated.

Instead of the usual monthly payments, make fortnightly payments. Rather than the usual payment mode, you can instead make fortnightly payments. After a year, you’ll be able to make 26 payments instead of the usual 24. With the added payments, you can reduce your loan’s term and save on interest costs.

Try to renegotiate your mortgage. If you find it difficult to manage your mortgage obligations, you should go talk to your mortgage lender and ask if you can renegotiate the terms of your mortgage. Ask them if they can give you a cut in interest rate or provide you with an extension of your mortgage term so as to reduce your monthly repayments. Remember that your lender would rather cooperate with you and get their money back instead of allowing you to default.

Cash Advance Loans

Cash Advance Loans

A cash advance loan is a short term loan that you can apply for. Getting a cash advance loan is easier than you think. There are many lending companies with websites that give you easy access on cash advance loan information. All you have to do is select the right lending company for you. Fill out the online application form and wait for a few hours to get approved. Once approved, your money will be wired to your account as early as the next business day. These kinds of loans do not require that you have a good credit score. Creditors do not do a credit check which means you don’t have to worry much about your financial background.

Usually, cash advance loans come with a specified amount to be paid by the borrower with the principal amount of the loan. Various states and countries have different policies and laws when it comes to the fees to be paid for cash advances.

Payment is very easily arranged as the lenders deduct a fixed amount on the borrower’s bank account every pay day. No more worries about going to the bank or the lending company to pay your dues. Although lending companies are less strict when it comes to payday loans, you will still need to provide some requirements like your employment details, bank account data and driver’s license. If you understand and accept all the terms of a cash advance loan, then go ahead and apply for one. This will be helpful in getting by your day to day expenses.

Once you have a pretty good record with a lending company, then you may have more privileges when you get your next loan. You can enjoy lower interest rates or higher amounts of cash allowed for you to borrow. Of course, if you stick with one lending company that you trust, you do not have to fill out an application form every time you apply for a loan. Your records are already with the company and they are ready to pull them out once you decide to get another loan. So choose your lender carefully, and get back on track with your budget.