Practical advice to get started making your financial future better - read the full Medium article here.
Winning a scholarship can be as competitive as gaining entrance to the college of your choice. While academic performance, extracurricular activities and character all matter, your success often boils down to discovering scholarships that fit your credentials and properly promoting your accomplishments. These tips will help you prepare scholarship applications that get you noticed — and could get you some extra cash to help pay for school. Read the full Medium article here.
If emergency officials in your community issued a mandatory evacuation order to get out of the path of a wildfire, hurricane or other natural disaster, would you know what to take with you, the evacuation route you would take and where you would go until it was safe to return home? A recent survey shows that many homeowners are not prepared for an emergency - learn how to make your own plan by reading the full Medium article here.
If you’ve been entrusted to assist an elderly relative with scheduling preventive exams and putting a health care plan in place, you may struggle with knowing when it’s time to take on a greater role in other aspects of their life. That’s why now is the perfect time to look for warning signs that your loved ones might be suffering from a decline in financial ability. Learn more by reading the full article here.
Getting your financial house in order doesn’t have to be a burden. Follow these tips to establish a budget and begin building healthier money habits! Read the full article here.
Buying a home is the American dream. Finding the right loan and lender to process your home is not always as easy as finding the right place to hang your hat. Since you are going to be taking on a 30-year commitment, you want to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck. If you're ready to start negotiations on a home to put down roots, then here is an easy guide you can use.
Finding a Lender
Finding a lender seems like a simple task as you just get online or ask a friend for advice. However, different lenders have different requirements. For instance, the threshold to get an FHA loan approved is a credit score of 520. However, most lenders won’t even consider approving a loan unless the FICO is above 580. Why the difference? The underwriting company at each bank has specific guidelines that they use for their loans. Make sure you brush up on lending terms so that you can understand their jargon before going into negotiations. You must find the right company to work with that can use your credit and income to give you the best possible mortgage. You’ll likely receive offers that vary greatly, but don’t be surprised if some banks will match others to vie for your business. Don’t just fall into the trap of going with the first bank you find. Good deals come to those who do their homework.
Possibility to Refinance
It’s common for people to sign for a loan with the hopes of refinancing into a better mortgage later. Refinancing rates change as the interest rate goes up and down. You can lower your payment significantly by switching banks. You might be able to refinance with another lender. However, your credit score, income, and debt to ratio must be adequate for such a transaction to be approved. Your credit situation can change overnight, so you should never get a loan that you can only afford long term with refinancing. Nevertheless, it’s a great option if your credit is worthy.
Choosing the Best Loan for Your Credit
If your credit score is below 620, then you may want to hold off on a purchase. Many lenders will give you a mortgage that requires you to pay some of the principle and interest if you cannot meet the entire 20 percent down payment. Additionally, you may be talked into a loan that has an adjustable rate. While it seems like a good idea at the time, balloon mortgages increase your payment every few years according to the interest rate. Before you buy a house, make sure your credit, income and down payment are all in order. Not only does it make the process easier, but you will get a more affordable mortgage payment and an attractive loan.
When it comes to dealing with lenders, you can certainly negotiate your terms. However, they are more eager to negotiate with those who have an excellent FICO and significant down payment. Don't think you have to settle for the first loan you're offered. You are in the driver’s seat. If you do get a loan with lackluster terms, then you can always refinance later.
If you are looking to buy a house, go to school, or start a business, you will likely need to borrow money to do so. While taking on debt to finance your future success can be a smart move, it is important to choose a loan product that best meets your needs and budget. Here are the differences you need to be aware of between the types of loans.
Installment loans have a fixed number of payments and typically come with a fixed interest rate. Lenders will typically let you know ahead of time what your monthly payment will be, when it is due each month and what the interest rate on the loan will be. Unlike a line of credit, an installment loan simply goes away after it is paid in full. Auto loans and mortgages are common examples of installment loans.
Factoring loans are used by businesses that are looking to improve their cash flow. This type of loan allows a company to sell its accounts receivable to a lender at a discount. A factoring loan can be ideal for companies that don't want to wait 60 or 90 days to get paid or don't want to risk not getting paid at all.
Line of Credit
Keep in mind that with a line of credit, the interest rate fluctuates over the life of the loan. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to pay down the outstanding balance as quickly as possible to keep finance charges to a minimum. With a revolving line of credit, your available balance goes up each time you make a payment. Lenders may offer lines of credit on an indefinite basis or for a set period of several months or years. Minimum payments may be required by some lenders.
Hard Money Loan
Hard money loans are made by private lenders who are looking to make a return on their available capital. Hard money lenders typically work with those who don't have a good enough credit score to get a traditional loan. They may also work with borrowers who simply don't want to bother going through a credit check or who want to get funded immediately.
Borrowing money can be an effective way to help secure your personal or financial future. If you have any questions about a specific loan product, it may be a good idea to speak with a loan officer at a local bank or credit union. Friends and family members may also be able to provide advice about various loan products that may be available.
You might also like this article: Financial Insight: Red Flags and Smart Steps to Avoid Scams
In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security. Here's important information to help safeguard your money, your personal information, and your family today.
(BPT) - You work hard for your money. Unfortunately, crooks work hard as well, attempting various tactics to take your money. If you fall for a scam, little can be done to help you get your money back. In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security.
Know the red flags
From classic methods to using sophisticated technology, criminals will try a variety of strategies to gain access to your money. If you experience any of the following, consider it a red flag and pause before you act:
Learn the do's and don'ts
The Bank of America Privacy and Security Center provides key actions you can take to help protect yourself from becoming the victim of a scam:
Learn more and find out about the latest scam and fraud prevention news by visiting www.bankofamerica.com/security.
¹Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle.
Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.
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