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.
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”.
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.
Contact your lender
One of the first steps in successfully avoiding foreclosure is to call your lender. They may have loss mitigation options that they can discuss with you. Keep in mind that lenders are not in the business of owning real estate and it is in their best interest to come up with ways to help you keep your home including loan modification if necessary.
Understand your rights
Consumers often do not understand their rights when it comes to foreclosure. In addition to the written notification of foreclosure, consumers can and should, ask for their original loan documents if they do not have a copy of them. This will help a homeowner better determine what loss mitigation options might be available to them. Lenders are required by law to provide these documents if they are requested.
Create a profit and loss statement
When you are interested in discussing a potential loan modification with your lender, make sure that you gather the necessary documents. These will often include your most recent pay stubs, proof of other income as well as a complete list of all assets and liabilities. Create your profit and loss statement so that you can discuss potential options with your lender to avoid foreclosure.
When lenders are not cooperating
In some cases, the collections department of your mortgage company may not be willing to negotiate with you or, you may feel they are not negotiating in good faith. If this appears to be the case, it may be a good idea to contact a reputable loan modification attorney to assist you. Not only can they assist you in obtaining documents from your lender, but they can also help you with negotiations if they become necessary.
There are a lot of instances wherein debt is unavoidable. Of course you can always save up for it but if you want to buy a home, it will take years to completely save up for that! If you need a home now, simply get a loan so you can buy it and any rental expense that you used to make can be put aside for your monthly amortization.
But before to take on that much needed debt, there are several things that you have to consider – the most important of course, are the three factors that we mentioned at the beginning of this article.
So what are the other considerations that will allow you to take on debt the smart way?
Of course, the usual method is to check how much you can afford to add to your debt payments. But that is not only how you prepare for your debts smartly. You need to consider how you want to live your life beyond this debt. While you really have to base your loan on your current income and expenses, you have to look at your future as well. In a few years, your expenses will change as you make life changing decisions. This can affect your debt payments – or it can affect your future plans.
For instance, if you plan to marry in the next few years or switch careers, these will affect both your expense list and your income. Debt has the potential to rule how your future self will live. It can keep you from going after a career that will provide you with a more fulfilling experience because you have to prioritize the debt that you have to pay for. It will make you rethink having kids because once you do, one of you and your spouse should give up their career to care for the kids. How will you afford your debt payments then?
So if you have to take on debt, you need to make sure that it can provide you with the means to pay it off – like a business loan for instance. If the debt that you plan on getting is only to fund a vacation or a luxury car that you do not really need, then do not get it. This is how you think smartly about your debt.
And before you take on one, make sure you have a plan in place to pay it off. If you want to use your credit card for the reward points you want to accumulate, then make sure you pay off the balance on the next bill so you do not get interest and fees. If you cannot do that, then don’t incur credit card debt.
Google AdWords is another way to ensure that you appear on the top of the results page. You have to choose and bid on keywords and depending on how much you bid, whenever someone searches for the keyword, your ad will appear on the side of the page in the Sponsored Results section. Selecting the right keyword is essential and you can use various tools, such as the Google Keyword Tool to help you in the selection.
You can even market your product or services through email marketing. In this method, you build a list of contacts, or subscribers and you regularly send them emails with relevant information. You keep them updated through your mails and eventually, they might even buy your products or services. In this manner, you are always in contact with your potential clients and you use email to attract them to your services.
If you do not have any product to sell, you can help other people to sell their products or services. With affiliate marketing, you basically agree to advertise other people’s products on your website for a certain fee that varies. You might get paid a certain amount depending on the number of people who viewed the ad. You might even not be paid unless someone clicks on the ad and follows it to the product website. Sometimes, the person might have to buy the product for you to receive money.
Similar to affiliate marketing, you can even get advertisers to bid for your website in order to place their ads. Using Google AdSense, you can specify the kind of ads you want to display on your website. Advertisers registered with Google AdSense will then bid for your space in a real-time auction and the highest paying advertiser will be displayed on your website. You can then earn money by marketing their ads on your website.
After finding out that the Canadian penny went out of circulation in the fall because it costs more to make than it’s worth, I wanted to see if the same issue had ever come up regarding the US penny. I was a bit surprised to find out that it’s quite a hot topic among Americans. During my research, I was even more surprised to learn that many people leaving comments on various websites regarding the penny debate didn’t know some important facts about our country’s history. For example, some people don’t want to get rid of the penny because that would be dishonoring former President Abe Lincoln, not knowing he is also featured on the $5 bill. Another example along the same lines was that some suggested giving Lincoln a memorial somewhere, not knowing there is a very popular Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
As I continued my research, one piece of information in particular was difficult to verify – how much does it cost to mint the penny? I saw prices range from.81 of a cent to 1.23 cents to as high as 3 cents. According to penny related articles on Time Business & Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, and CNN Money, all reputable sources, it cost 2.4 cents to make one penny. If in fact it costs 2.4 cents to make one penny, then the government is losing 1.4 cents on every penny. Strictly looking at this from a budget perspective, continuing to mint the penny doesn’t appear to be a prosperous economic decision. However, nothing, especially when it comes to congress, is ever that simple. According to ABC News, President Obama proposed an initiative in budget for the Treasury Department to reduce the cost of producing pennies by making the composition more cost-effective materials. Perhaps a cheaper-made penny is the solution.
Paying-off debts can seem as a never-ending cycle UNLESS, you start making more conscious decisions; starting out small, then working your way up to greater decisions. Making well informed decisions of not spending $24 to $36 per month on coffee, and applying those funds to your credit cards, student loans, or mortgage etc., will yield results of lowering the amount you pay in interest i.e. the higher the balance owed on a debt, that is attached to an interest rate, the higher amount you will pay in interest, and again, that’s wasting money unnecessarily. These are some of the things that can affect how soon you reach financial freedom.
Financial freedom is not just being free of debt, but it is encompassed by the ability of releasing yourself of unnecessary stress related to your finances. Financial freedom is also about being able to live life and not just exist; being able to take that vacation you have always dreamed of, being able to spend more time with your friends, and family. The ability to expand on who you are as an individual i.e. it could mean having more time to volunteer at different organizations that support good causes, or being able to donate monetarily to those organizations. Moreover, having financial freedom can help to build your spirituality by allowing you to focus more on the important things in life; just being able to get out of bed, or to even open your eyes to see a new day, or the fact that you were granted another chance at accomplishing your goals.
Financial freedom is also about helping you to grow in your personal relationships. How many relationship or marriages fall apart due to financial stress or burdens? Many couples struggle with managing financial burdens in their relationships, and as a result, those burdens put a strain on the relationship which unfortunately often ends up in couples going their separate ways.
Customer not paying? Find out why.
There could be a good reason why your customer hasn’t paid on time. Maybe they’re not happy with your work, in which case, this is most likely to be because they didn’t fully understand what you were (and weren’t) offering to do for them, or because there were delays that were unavoidable or created by the customer themselves.
Talking to your customers and finding out the reasons for non-payment should sort things out. And in the future, make your sure quotes and terms and conditions are crystal clear so you and your customer both know exactly where you stand.
Protect yourself with staged payments.
Asking for payment in two or more stages will help preserve cash flow whilst you’re working on larger projects. Where appropriate, you could also consider asking for a deposit or partial payment up-front – perhaps when you’re dealing with a new customer, or someone who has delayed paying you in the past. Make sure the details of any staged payments are set out clearly in a written contract before you start work.
Have a clear payment process in place.
Tell your customers when you expect to be paid and remind them of the payment terms when you send their invoice. Follow up with regular reminders or statements until the bill is settled in full.
You should also encourage your customers to tell you straightaway if they’re having problems paying. You may be able to accommodate delayed or staged payments, but only if you know about them sooner rather than later! Make sure any changes to your original payment terms are agreed in writing; an exchange of emails is fine.
A house can be bought using your existing cash. If you have the budget, then we recommend that you pay for the house immediately. This is a good thing because you will not incur any debts. There are not monthly dues to pay for the home. However, not all people have the capacity to pay in cash. Therefore, they may find it more convenient to simply rent an apartment or a home. If you have the available cash for a house, then you could pay it right away. But there are other options for you.
On the other hand, if you do not have the cash for the home, apply for a loan. This is a method that most people tend to go for. A loan is simply a debt from a company to finance your purchase. If your salary is not enough to buy a new home, then a loan company can help you. There are certain requirements before you get an approval. For example, you should have a stable job first. Moreover, you should find a guarantor who will attest to your capacity to pay. There are so many loan companies and you simply have to pick the right one.
Picking a loan company is not a hard thing. In fact, you can go to your local area and you find a bank. Usually, banks have these loan programs ready for you. Simply sustain the requirements they need and you will get approval. In order to get approved faster, show them your capacity to pay. You could provide a copy of the pay slip or credit card records. Moreover, you can get a guarantor so they can do credit checks. Once you are approved, you can finance your home.
On the other hand, there are also loan and mortgage companies online. They have been doing the same thing as other banking institutions. However, you can access their info through the internet. A good loan company online is the same as a good bank. You should always ensure that the company is able to provide you good service. First, make sure that the website is always accessible. This means you can log in to their portal anytime. Second, there should be real feedbacks from clients. You can find these reviews form forums around the internet. Third, you should be able to verify their physical office. You can call their phone number if you want. You should also be able to locate their office based on the address given.