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.
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.
Ready to own your own home? Ready to make the investment of your lifetime? Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Preparing to buy your first home is both exciting and stressful. Before you start down the road of home ownership, it is vital that you have all of your finances in order and that you fully understand what is in store for your budget. Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Mortgage and Down Payments
The world of mortgages and down payments can be confusing for the first-time homebuyer. Understanding the differences between a fixed-rate and an adjustable mortgage will help you to make a more informed decision. You also need to plan how much money you want to put down on the home. There are several advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment, but it’s important to consider what works best for you and your financial situation. Keep in mind that if you put less than 20 percent down, it is likely you will be charged a monthly fee for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Consider the pros and cons as you're weighing the offsetting advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment.
Set a Price Range
Picking the right price range is an imperative step in finding the right house for your personal needs and your budget. When it comes to real estate, timing is everything. If you are shopping in a buyer's market, you are going to get more for your dollar. There are a host of online tools to help you figure out how much home you can afford. A lot of times, a real estate agent can also help you to figure out how much you can afford. You also need to examine your current and projected lifestyle to determine how much you can spend. For example, if you plan on having children in the future, you need to add these costs to your overall budget, especially if one parent plans on staying home with the kids.
Budget for Extra Expenses
The costs of purchasing a house go well beyond the basic outlay for the down payment and insurance. Chances are that if this is your first home, you will be upgrading to a significant amount of additional space. This will likely necessitate that you set aside extra money for new furnishings. If you are moving into a newly constructed home, it is also probable that you will need a budget for landscaping. Depending on the condition of the home, you will want to have some cash on hand for repairs and renovations.
Equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge will help the process of buying your first home go more smoothly. All of the stress will be worth it once you are relaxing in a place you own.
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