Category Archives: Finance

Ways to Pay Off Your Home Loan Sooner

Are you looking for ways to save on your home loan? Following these simple tips will put you on the path to paying off your loan sooner or if your goal is to purchase an investment property, creating equity from which you can draw on.

Increase your repayment amounts
The simplest way to pay off your home loan sooner is to increase the amount you repay. By repaying more than the minimum you can cut the overall term of the loan and save thousands of dollars in interest. The more you pay off earlier on in your mortgage, the more you’ll save over time. Some products may charge you an early payment fee for paying your loan in advance. These costs can be large, so it’s best to always check beforehand.

Consider how mortgage features can help
Think about how using an offset account or a credit card linked to your home loan might help you keep your loan balance low. If you’re looking for ways to keep your interest down, it’s worth investigating what other features your mortgage comes with.

Take advantage if there are variable rate cuts
A lower interest rate will reduce your repayments, but if your lender reduces the interest rate, consider repaying more than the minimum loan repayment amount. This can help you save on future interest payments. Don’t pay the interest-only An interest-only loan might mean you’re able to make lower repayments for the first few years, but this means your repayments will be larger when it comes time to pay off the principal.

Consider re-financing
If you’ve had your mortgage for 12 months or more, re-financing might be able to get you a better deal on your home loan. There may be costs associated with re-financing and it’s important to take this into account.

Consider a split home loan
A split loan allows borrowers to divide their mortgage into both variable and fixed components. You can lock in a low fixed rate on part of your loan, if you only want to limit exposure to the variable rate.

Explore your options
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’ve explored all of your options. It’s worth looking into whether you can get a discounted loan rate with a financial package that includes special rates on other products and services. With just a few easy steps, borrowers can significantly reduce the length of their loan and save thousands of dollars in the process.

Federal Employees Ready for Retire

I meet regularly with Federal employees about their retirement benefits and their current payroll deductions. Most are not aware of what their Paystub reflects but more importantly do not know that a few tweaks to what they are currently doing can make a huge difference in their retirement.

Some key questions you need to ask yourself is:

1) Do I know what I am getting from CSRS/ FERS retirement? This is a simple calculation that is provided in your Summary of Benefits Workbook. Knowing this number is key to setting up the rest of your retirement plan.

2) Do you know what your TSP contributions translate to a lifetime Annuity? Most people contribute to their TSP as a main source of retirement funding. It is important to know what the TSP will translate to in an Annuitized retirement vehicle.

3) Do you know when you can start taking Social Security? Do you know how much your projected monthly Social Security Payments are? If you have not received a statement from Social Security about your benefits, you should call the Social Security office and have one sent to you. As a Federal Employee you can start receiving Social Security income at age 56 through a Special Retirement Supplement. A Special Retirement Supplement is a plan put in place to help Federal employees pad their monthly income until they are eligible for Social Security Benefits. This is available in your Summary of Benefits Workbook.

4) Do you know what your FEGLI Benefits are and do you know how to interpret your FEGLI code on your paystub? Your summary of Benefits workbook, goes into detail about the FEGLI code and how to interpret it. The Workbook also shows some areas of concern that you need to be aware of when approaching retirement.

5) Are you contributing enough or too much to your TSP? Do you know about the 1% FERS contribution? Most people do not know that as a FERS employee the Government matches another 1% if you contribute all 5% to TSP. Thus you are getting a true 100% match.

What is the perfect contribution level? If you are not contributing 5% to your TSP, you are making the biggest error in your retirement investing. The Government matches the first 5% with a 100% match. So for every $1 dollar you invest you are getting $1 dollar plus the additional return of the fund you invest in.

On the other side of the coin I have seen many people invest 10% or more into their TSP and this is also a mistake. The funds within the TSP are very conservative by nature and provide a low rate of return. The maximum you should invest in a TSP is 5% of your income.

6) Do you know the minimum age you can retire with “FULL” Benefits?

Ages are 56-30, 60-20 and 62-5.

7) Do you know how to accurately determine what you are making now compared to what you will be making during your retirement? Do you know what items you will no longer need to pay at retirement? One of the key things that may bring Federal Employees comfort is the knowledge that there are several deductions that they will no longer need to pay at time of Retirement.

For Instance, you no longer need to contribute to TSP or FEGLI.

8) Is your W4 deduction status set to the proper level? Are you giving the government a tax free loan by mistake when you could be earning tax free interest? If you are getting money back each year, it may seem like a bonus but you have missed out getting interest on that income all year.

These are all key questions that will make a HUGE difference to your retirement. Take time to review your Summary of Benefits workbook.

To get your Summary of Benefits Workbook and a Benefit Review call 800-221-3928 and schedule a 20 minute appointment.

Tips For You to Improve Your Credit

Credit Scores. It can be one of those touchy topics depending on how you see it. Your score can take years to build up and just months to destroy. We’ve all suffered from credit mishaps; from forgetting to make a payment to utilizing all of your credit. Sometimes, a bad score can be result of something out of our control- divorce, medical bills, and bankruptcy. Simply, maintaining your credit is a way of life. Since almost all big purchases require credit, A low score will make everything more expensive. You’ll have to pay a higher interest rate on loans over time.

A score Is used to show credit history, on-time payments, responsibility and discipline. A low credit score will improve naturally over time, so don’t lose sleep over it. However, if you have upcoming equipment financing or leasing needs in the near future. It’d be smart to try raising your score beforehand. That can be the deciding factor between boosting you into the next tier and saving money.

Let’s be realistic. There’s no miracle method to raise your credit score 100 points in a month. Some Credit Repair “Experts” will try to fool you into believing this can be done, but it’s simply impossible. You hear it all the time in advertisements – ” 1-2% APR for excellent credit “, but you’re never sure what exactly is excellent credit. Let’s break it down, There are 4 tiers of credit.

Tier 1 (Excellent Credit): 700 and above

Tier 2 (Good Credit): 660-699

Tier 3 (Fair Credit): 620-659

Tier 4 (Poor Credit): 619 and below

Credit score

Tier 1 and 2 typically get the best rates. Tier 4 is usually the most difficult to get approval for. Even if you have a Tier 3 score, it’s still advisable to try and improve your score. It’s a important part of your life and business. If you’re a newer business without cashflow statements, it can be hard to obtain financing. Many Lenders will use your score to assess you. That’s why it’s important to improve your credit score when you can.

Here are our 4 best hacks for quickly improving your credit score. The improvement can be anywhere between 10 points to 40 points which should be enough to bump your credit score up. Note: These are quick tips to boost your score up, we will have a more comprehensive guide on maintaining your credit later.

Dispute the negative marks – We get it. It’s hard to pay your bills on time sometimes. Between juggling your business and family, paying your bill sometimes slips your mind. There’s 3 major credit reporting bureau: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your credit report with all of them will vary a little bit. Contact them and dispute whatever you can. Write as much as you can with your dispute and make copies of everything.

NOTE: Spend time and be thorough – This can make a huge impact on your scores.

Open A New Secured Credit Card – According to Credit Karma: People with a credit score of 800 and above typically have 7 open credit cards. While you don’t want to open more than 1 a year, 7 is just a guideline number to aim for. No matter how bad your credit score might be, you can still get approved for a secured credit card. Secured Credit Cards are the best way to rebuild your credit. You’ll have to put a deposit down, but the lender will give you a line of credit. To pick a good secured credit card to use, we would use this Guide by Magnify Money.

NOTE: You want to keep your credit utilization under 30% usage, so monitor your usage accordingly. Only open 1 credit card as doing more may hurt your score.

Raise your Credit Limits – Call your existing card companies and ask for your limits raised. If you’re not at 100% credit utilization, it’ll be helpful to get your limits raised. Even if it’s just a 10% increase, It’ll help your overall report health.

Become an Authorized User – This one is a little tougher to do. You’ll need someone who is in good credit standing. They’ll add you onto their existing credit card accounts. You’ll be provided a card linked to their account and responsible for charges spent. Family members and Close friends are going to be the people you ask. Understandably, It’ll be difficult convincing someone to add you, so don’t take it personally. Becoming an authorized user can cause a boost in score up to 50 points!

TIP: Don’t use the card when you get added. Shred it so you won’t have any temptation.

Leveraging your credit is important to getting the most out of your money. Hopefully with these 4 hacks, you’ll get the score improvements that you need. The usual advice applies, don’t overspend with your new increased credit limits and pay your bills on time! Many people have success using the autopay feature to eliminate late payments. Feel free reach out to us and let us know how this has benefited you!

The Credit Cards for Armed Forces

Having a credit card and maintaining a good credit score are definitely challenging jobs. There are some credit cards which are designed especially for the armed personnel. Having the national flag design and regular contribution to the Defence Welfare Association are some of the privileges these types of cards offers to the armed forces.

Highlights of these credit cards

• Joining fees and annual fees for first year usually will be nil.
• Similarly, joining and annual fees for an add-on member are free.
• Card holders do not have to pay charges for loss/re-issue/replacement of card as well for SMS transaction alerts
• If the card is misplaced or lost, the holder can withdraw cash by cheque – no fee for the service
• Charges for duplicate statement, charge slip retrieval and balance enquiry are nil.
• Dining Delight option – Minimum 15 % discount for dining at specific partnered restaurants.

Benefits

• Complimentary access available to airport lounges
• Want to include a beloved family member – spouse, children, siblings, parents? – They just have to be above 18 years of age.
• Similar to all bank credit cards, even this card will be PIN protected and equipped with an EMV certified chip. Card holders can remain hassle free while making all kinds of transactions on mobile and other devices as there is less possibility of skimming/counterfeit fraud.
• Reward options may include a visit to a theme park, paragliding trip or going abroad a charter.

Features

• Zero Lost Card Liability – Lost or misplaced the card? Afraid it fell on wrong hands? This liability protects the holder from the moment the loss of card is reported to the customer service. However, terms and conditions apply.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for these cards, the card holder should be
• Defence Personnel
• The primary card holder should be between 18 and 70 years of age
• Add-on card holder should have attained the age of 18 years

These cards come with multiple reward points which can be gained by participating in community competitions. Accumulation of more than 1000 points leads to a voucher having value of $50. A card holder can get discounts in multiplexes by just showing proof of the discount voucher.

Or they can avail of free travel (as per the conditions and terms) in a theme park.
In all, these credit cards issued to the armed forces are a boon to their families as they can make bill payments online, book tickets for their favourite show or shop for essential items at multiplexes.

SathyaNarayana B has completed Post Graduation and is interested in writing articles on health, martial arts, finance, history, travel etc.

The meaning of Installment Loan

The buyer has to pay minimum two payments for receiving the loan. The loan can be little, you could say for a few months or it can be as long as thirty years. Example for installment loans is ‘Mortagage’.

The installment loan is mostly integrated with traditional consumer loans, developed and maintained locally, and can be repaid over a period of time by paying the loan as per the terms and conditions of the loan. These types of loans are safe and affordable by every layman, for example, credit cards.

How To Calculate Installment Loans

For calculating Installment Loans there is an online tool named ‘ Personal Finance Assessment’ from which you can easily calculate your loan. For example, you can calculate the amount of interest you have to pay, you can also calculate the maturity period, the principal, the rate of interest, etc from which you can determine your future payments which may not affect your lifestyle. Before opting any type of loan, it is important to keep in mind that you should compare the loan from different banks and opt the best for you and your family. To fulfil your task, this tool can help you to assist the best plan for taking a loan as per your needs.

Below are some of the characteristics of installment loans:

It is very easy and simple step to apply online. You will take less time for the approval of your loan.

You will not require any type of collateral or to give security for the approval of your loan. You can buy anything as per your needs, but the amount should be between $500- $1000 only. This tool will help you to deliver your request to business development or working capital to SMEs.

You will not charge any kind of prepayment for applying for the loan. If you want to repay your loan before the maturity date you can also apply it for the same.

This tool will offer you to reimburse your loan in easy steps. It is scheduled as per your needs.

This type of loan will also offer you different types of payments, for example, monthly, quarterly, annually.

It will also give you an option to change your rate loan as per your convenience.

We all know that repayments are generally smaller as compared to other types of repayments. Hence, you can repay your loan in installments as per the period of time. There are many loan lenders in UK who provide loans on the basis of installment without charging any collateral to the client. There are companies who offer competitive installment loans with the contacts with loan lenders from the UK.

The quick mantras to win a home loan application

Taking a suitable home loan could seem a tussle task, as it involves so many facets like finding low-interest rates, low processing fee, a lot of documentation, right loan deal, good and reputed bank or finance company, and of course the application process and so on. Obviously, a little low on interest rates will definitely help you save thousands of bucks in the long run. The easy repayment options offered will help you build confidence and trust in banks and NBFCs. A waiver in pre or post-closure will give a sigh of relief. There are many factors to consider while taking home loans. Some parameters that will decide loan amount are important to access before you apply for it. Follow the given mantras and make a winning home loan application:

Check the eligibility criteria – Before you sail in the ship, you should also be aware of the prevailing conditions. It is, therefore, necessary to check the eligibility criteria on various home loans product offered by banks and NBFCs.  You can use home loan eligibility calculator and do the math on the housing finance. With a few clicks on your laptops or smartphones, you can get a fair idea about your affordable loan amount, tenure, EMI, etc.  After calculation, check the documentation required for the lender. There are lots of housing finance companies that facilitate easy housing finance even at low income and with unstructured income documents. If you meet these conditions, visit the website, fill-up the application form, attach a scanned copy of necessary documents and wait for a couple of days for approval by the bank or finance companies.

Know credit Score – One of the most mistakes that applicants make is that they apply for a loan without checking their credit score. To get your loan application approve, you need to have a good credit score.  Whether you shop or take any loan, RBI monitors each and every translation done by you and it’s your responsibility to repay it back. If you repay the money on time you will maintain your credit score well. Spend few minutes to know your credit score. If you score is > 700 you easy derive home loans. But it’s between < 700 then you may face a little hurdle in the loan process.

Job Stability – Experts’ advice whenever you’re planning to buy a home, stick to your job at least 2 to 3 years around before making the application. It’s because banks or NBFCs will scrutinize your job stability, you can payment capability, and credit score and only then go for loan approval. The company you work whether listed or not matters a lot. It will help you fetch more loan amount. If you switch your job, the lenders have to reevaluate your employment and income source. It can cause a delay in your home loan process. Lenders generally prefer to lend money to those applicants who have stable job employment history.

Co – Applicant – A co-applicant like your spouse or parents will enhance your home loan eligibility. When you apply on a co-applicant basis, it will diversify your risk and also guarantees bank or NFBCs of regular and more payment source for loan repayment. Thus, you have higher chances of getting your loan application approved.

Down Payment – Most people are not aware that bank or finance companies will not cater 100% finance on housing needs. You will have to arrange the margin money cost of 10 to 20% as a down payment towards your home loans. Ensure to keep this amount handy along with some extra to combat against recession, job loss, etc. else your application may tend to get rejected or delayed.

Avoid new debt – Although, you have a good salary, credit cards, co-applicants income source it doesn’t mean you keep splurging money on and off. If you’re tied up with too many running loans, the lenders might turn down your house loan application. Therefore, avoid new debts before applying for your housing finance.

Here Tips for Choosing The Right Private Money Lender

Over the years, private money lenders have played a significant role in providing loans to those who typically would not qualify for conventional financing. These private lenders offer a plethora of private money loans depending on the specific acquisition and funding needs of the borrower. In the real estate industry, private money lenders extend financing to borrowers who may not qualify for a bank loan due to poor credit scores or insufficient income history. Those who wish to acquire a fix and flip renovation property that is in very poor condition may also be turned away by a bank.

Another challenge some borrows face and one that prevents them from receiving a traditional loan is not having enough cash on hand for a down payment. Although, private money lenders do require their borrowers to have some “skin in the game”, their loan-to-value requirements are more flexible than a bank. In addition to the increased flexibility of private money loans, a major benefit with this type of funding is the speed with which the borrower can receive the money for their real estate investment.

Private money loans offer a quicker and easier way to obtain funding for real estate deals. However, choosing the right private money lender can be a daunting task, considering the fact that there are so many lenders in the market and it may be hard to decide which lender to partner with.

To help cut through the masses and pinpoint the best lender for your real estate investment needs, you should consider the following:

1. Responsiveness and Reputation- When it comes to choosing a private money lender, make sure they are responsive to your inquiries, concerns, and can provide answers to questions that pop up throughout the lending process. It goes without saying that you should visit the lender’s website to read past customer reviews and testimonials. A huge bonus is selecting a lender who has extensive building and development experience themselves. This experience will only be of benefit to you as they can offer you advice and provide recommendations on contractors, budgets, timelines, etc. Who knows, they may even know someone at the permitting office to help get those stuck building permits pushed through!

2. Loan Flexibility- Before you choose a private money lender, make sure the terms are disclosed in the documents and that you are comfortable with them. Sometimes the parameters of the loan can be modified depending on your specific funding needs, desired loan term and exit strategy. In any case, the flexibility you will experience with a private money lender will be greater than that of a bank.

3. Interest Rates- One major factor to consider before choosing a private lending company is the interest rate. A private lender’s rates will be higher than those of a bank because of the flexibility, quicker access to funding, and the greater risk they are taking on.

4. Assess Your Financial Situation- Even if you find the right private lender, you still have to factor in the higher interest rate into your profit calculations. In order to fully maximize the benefits of this type of loan, it is best to have a solid team of subcontractors, a comprehensive building and development plan and anticipate to be in and out of the investment property within 9-12 months.

5. Focus Your Search Locally- Although you can find hard money lenders across the country, it may be best to choose a lender that is local to your real estate investment property. Not only is it good to be able to meet face-to-face with them when you are reviewing the terms of your loan, but a local lender will have extensive knowledge about your area’s real estate market and can help guide you on the right buy and sell price for your property.

About North Carolina credit union

People are always looking for solutions that will help them improve their lives. Since money is one of the first things most people focus on for most of their lives, they will have to find the financial solutions that will deliver the best answer. If you want to make the right choice, first you have to focus on the goals you set out for from the start.

Personal interests are usually at the top of the list. Most people spend a great deal of money on things they do not care for and the expenses do not add up at the end of the day. If you do not want to do the same thing, you should use a tool that will help you manage things better. A North Carolina credit union has just what you had in mind for it.

If you are looking for a place to settle down and raise a family, you have to buy a home first. There are quite a few properties that seem perfect for it, but you may not have the money for them. A North Carolina state credit union is going to offer you a range of loans you can solicit so you can set the foundation of your future as soon as possible.

Buying a car is a necessity rather than a whim, but it is also an investment that may be over your budget. If you are looking for solutions, the North Carolina credit union is the first source you can turn to. No matter if you seek a top of the line new vehicle or you want to get your hand on a bargain used car, they are going to finance your choice.

If you are looking for ways to increase your monthly income, the North Carolina state credit union will provide the answers for it as well. Starting a business is one of the options you have at hand for it and the credit union will support your needs. Making the right choices is going to help you build your future with a lot less effort in the end.

Using technology is common and you can do the same when you interact with the North Carolina credit union. No matter if you want to manage your account on the go, make payments, avoid penalties and other things like that, this is one of the first options you must consider. A modern credit union will offer you the answers to improve your life.

Since you are not willing to waste too much time trying to find the answers you can work with, you should use the web to cover as much ground as you can faster. This is where you will find quite a few details about each option you can turn to and you will know if the North Carolina state credit union on the site of allegacy.com is reliable or not. The more you learn about them, the surer you will be about the choice you make.

A North Carolina credit union is one of the best local sources you can turn to for financial solutions. If you are interested in any of the aspects you have read about here or others, you can turn to the North Carolina state credit union found on the site named before for the answers.

Nine Ways To Save with Student Loans

When it comes to student loans there can be a number of ways that you can actually save money. In a lot of cases, many students often have multiple loans and many of these may all have different interest rate and terms.

Having many loans against your name can have a detrimental effect to your overall credit score.

Let’s look at some ways in which you can save both financially and monetarily with your student loans.

Tips to Save With Student Loans

  1. Consolidation. You can save several ways when you consolidate all your loans, you will save money over the long term and you will save your credit rating by only having one loan, this will give you a better long term score also which will help you well into the future.
  2. By consolidating, you will also have a greatly improved Debt-Income ratio which will make a significant impact on your ability to obtain a housing or vehicle loan later in life.
  3. When you consolidate your loans, you will not have to depend on using credit cards as much which means that you will have even more savings on interest charges.
  4. Develop a financial management plan that will help you keep a track of your finances this will also help to keep you more aware of your payments.
  5. When you consolidate now, you will be locked into the interest rate right now and so you will save money from increasing interest rates in the future because yours will stay the same.
  6. When you consolidate, you will be in a position to obtain even more discounts, many companies offer more discounts you just need to find the ones that do.
  7. When you arrange to have your payments deducted automatically then you will also be eligible for a more favorable interest rate on your loan and even more when you always make your payments in a timely manner.
  8. Choose the right time when you need to have your loan deferred when necessary because your accruing interest will stop also saving you a little more.
  9. Think about setting up some sort of passive income while you are studying. There are many different low cost or no cost businesses that you can set up online and this way you will building for your future as well.

I hope that this article about student loans has been of help and I wish you well with your studies.

Facts about Student Loans

One of the questions that most students are asking today is that of ‘how can I get student loans?’, it seems to be at the top of everyone’s hot list and rightly so. Because once you have worked out a financing plan with a student loan or even multiple loans if needed then everything else will fall into place. There will also be a lot less stress because you would have overcome the first major hurdle to your education and indeed it will help to make a massive impact on your future after your schooling.

Below we will look at a few facts that may help you understand your options. I have simplified the answers somewhat so as not to confuse you with masses of needless ramblings and I have stuck to what Detective Friday used to say years ago, in that T.V. show Dragnet “Just give me the facts ma’am!”

Just The facts

Below is a list of tips and facts that are not in any specific order, it is just a collection of useful tips that you can store away, keep a note of the ones that resonate with you and throw the others away.

1. Before you decide to commit to any loan it is advisable to talk to your school counselor. They have their finger on the pulse and will have the latest information about student loans that will be applicable to you and have the experience to help you narrow down your search for the perfect loan. Although, not all loans are perfect but the trick is to find the one that is perfect for you.

2. Lots of educational institutions are starting to go paperless these days with many applications forms readily available for you to fill out online in the comfort of your home.

3. The first option you should consider when getting a loan is to always look at the Government loans first. They normally have much lower interest rates and you can have longer terms also.

4. Government loans were set up to provide those students that may be financially challenged and/or have some other challenging situations affecting them in their lives so as to provide as many people as possible with their right to a good education.

5. You can find the Federal Student Aid application form online and can apply online when needed.

6. Quote “For every human on Earth there are 1.6 million ants” (this has absolutely nothing to do with student loans, I just wanted to see if you were still awake).

7. After you have completed your FASA form after it is evaluated, you will receive a Student Aid Report that will show what loans you are eligible for.

8. Once you are granted a loan, you do not have to accept it.

9. It is possible to only use a part of your loan, this will depend on the specific loan provider’s conditions of course, but it is possible.

10. Private loans normally have a higher interest rate but can be more flexible with the amount of money they can provide.

11. It is a real buyers’ market, in other words, you, as a borrower, are eagerly sought after by all these loan companies who are competing. This can give you even more of an advantage because you could think about negotiating and even better deal with them.

12. Most lenders will have an online portal where you can submit a loan application.

13. The Government PLUS loan system was set up to help parents seek out the best type of Government aid for their children.

14. When you fill out the Government loan application it will probably be required that you have your parents with you as some of the information needed will have to be furnished by them.

15. When filling out any loan applications, you will have to supply detailed information about your current finances including and loans, credit cards and any other relevant information.

16. You will also need to provide all you cosigners details if you have one.

And last but not least…

17. “The total weight of those ant, however, is about the same as all the humans”

I hope that this has been of some assistance in helping you decide what type of student loans will best suit you, good, luck with your studies.