Three Reasons the Best Home Loan May Not Be a 30-year Mortgage

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is one of the most popular types of mortgages. While the 30-year mortgage provides you with a lower monthly payment, a shorter, 15-year mortgage may provide you with advantages that you should take into consideration. While the obvious advantage of interest rate savings is the key attribute that most people pay attention to, there are other reasons the best home loan for you may be a 15-year mortgage and not a traditional 30-year loan.

15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages Save Interest Payments

If saving a large amount of money on interest payments is the primary goal for you, you may want to choose a 15-year mortgage instead of the 30-year variety. Here’s an example: a $200,000 house, purchased without a down payment on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.78% APR will add over $176,000 to the purchase price in interest payments alone. A 15-year fixed rate mortgage would save you over $110,000 in interest payments over the life of the loan. Of course, the 15-year loan increases your monthly mortgage payment by $400; you must make a decision based on your priorities and financial situation. If lower interest payments are more important to you than a low monthly payment, a 15-year mortgage may be the best home loan lenders can offer you because of this incredible savings in interest payments. Not only will you be out of debt 15-years sooner than with a 30-year mortgage, but you end up with more money in your pocket to save or invest in other financial assets.

15-year Mortgages Provide Flexibility

As a homeowner, paying off a home mortgage provides gives you more flexibility. The best home loan for you may be one that is paid off in 15-years because it will free up those mortgage payments, so you can accomplish other financial goals, such as saving for retirement or a child’s college tuition. Even if you sell the home before the final mortgage payment, the amount of equity you have built up will be more than would have been available if the mortgage had originally been the standard 30-year home loan. More equity in a home provides you with more options in establishing a selling price to help move the sale forward if required.

While the lower monthly mortgage payment is a great feature of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you should not immediately discard the idea of getting a 15-year term mortgage loan. There are many benefits to paying a mortgage earlier to consider as well. The best home loan lenders will offer you several mortgage solutions that are both affordable and prevent you from taking out a larger loan than you can afford. Think about the added financial freedom that you would have without a monthly mortgage payment! Paying off your home loan as quickly as possible may become one of your top priorities.

Save by reducing energy costs

People who are in financial trouble often overlook the simple solutions on the road to better financial health. They try to figure out how they are going to pay their bills when they should also be spending time figuring out how to make their existing bills smaller. One excellent way to have more money in your pocket every month is by reducing your home energy costs. We spend a huge amount on utilities each month, but we also spend more than we have to. Here are 9 simple tips which can help you get your energy costs under control.

1. Change your thermostat, then leave it. People spend too much time turning the thermostat way up and then way down. This just burns money. It takes a while for the temperature to change in the whole house. Set it once, then let it do its work.

2. Turn the heat down. By turning the heat down just two or three degrees in your home and then putting on a sweater if you get cold you can save lots of money.

reducing energy costs

3. Fix that leak. A tap that is dripping can really add up and cost you a lot over the course of a month.

4. Fix the draft. Install weather-stripping around your doors to keep the cold out and your heat in.

5. Buy a front loading washer. These appliances use 50% less energy than a regular washer and they do a better job, too.

6. Turn off your computer when you aren’t using it. Some people leave their computer on all the time. This just costs money. Would you leave your TV on when you aren’t watching it? Why is a computer any different?

7. Add more insulation. Many attics have little or no insulation in them. By rolling out a few bundles of insulation you can see your energy bill fall dramatically.

8. Get a home energy audit. There are professionals who can come in, look at your home and identify the areas where you are losing energy or using more than you need to. By following their suggestions you can shrink your bills dramatically.

9. Fill the holes. Look around your windows and the spots where pipes come into or out of your home. If there is an opening or a hole then you are just throwing money away. A little bit of sealant can make a big difference.

Negotiate with your creditors

Sometimes people get into all kinds of financial trouble and don’t know what to do about it, but they never think of the most obvious solution. If you owed money to a friend and needed a bit more time to pay them back you would just talk to them, but people rarely take the same step with a formal creditor like a bank or credit card company. Sure, those creditors want to get paid back on time, but they would much rather get paid back a little slower than not at all, so they are willing to work with you of you let them know the problems that you are having and you are honest and you offer solutions.

There are two types of past due debts – those that have gone to collection and those that haven’t. We will look at each and how to deal with them.

Creditors

If the debt hasn’t already gone to collection, then you can often make a difference by talking to the creditor, but it could take some patience. You might not succeed in your first call, but by continuing to call and explain what you are trying to do you will eventually end up speaking to the right person. The steps they will often be open to include lowering the interest rate, lowering the monthly payment or suspending interest for a time. Just remember that you have to be willing to pay something and to work with them or they won’t be willing to work with you. Also, when you are dealing with the companies, you will want to, at all times, be honest, open and very, very polite. They don’t have to help you, but they certainly can if you make them want to.

If the debt has already gone to collection you are going to face a hit to your credit rating no matter what, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your situation dramatically. The collection agencies are a business, so they are interested and motivated to collect something from you. Try to negotiate a lump-sum payment or a payment plan with them. You will still have a collection on your credit report, which will stay there for seven years, but at least you will have paid it off. Be sure that the collection agency reports your deal to the credit bureaus so that it can be noted on your credit report. This will look better to lenders.

Some Good News for Certain Bank of Ireland Customers!

We love reporting on good news in the personal finance world. The Bank of Ireland did a review and instead of 1,200 borrowers having to pay more on their mortgage, the bank decided that that is no longer the case.

There were tons of complaints about the mortgage rate increase, and the company has decided not to pursue their original plan. Now, we can go on and on about corporations gone wild and banks that are pushing our buttons, but when there’s good news, it’s time to celebrate.
The bank has come under fire for their plan, but they cite that it’s necessary. They’re saying that funding is much more expensive now, and they have to maintain a higher level of capital than before.

Bank of Ireland

The issue comes up with tracker mortgages quite often. If you’re not in the loop, tracker mortgages are variable-rate home loans that are linked to an index. So you might have a base rate plus a margin that’s linked to the index. The tracker deal doesn’t last forever, and you’ll get switched to the lender’s SVR (standard variable rate). This is usually a lot more money than what you were getting with the initial tracker mortgage.

People use these mortgages in order to begin climbing the properly ladder. This is perfectly reasonable as long as you’re willing to have your eyes peeled to the fine print. You’ll also do better with this type of mortgage if you have decent credit. That way you can remortgage when the tracker mortgage really doesn’t serve your needs anymore.

It’s always up to you to figure out what’s gig to fit your needs best. If you’re intrigued by tracker mortgages, you should be talking with a financial adviser to see if that’s a really good move. A good mortgage broker can get you really hot tracker mortgage deals, but you’re going to have to weigh the pros and cons on your own. There’s nothing like being able to make sure that you really have covered just about everything possible with your mortgage. The consequences of not paying attention to the details can be quite high, so make sure that you get things together as soon as possible. Good luck!

Seize the House You Want with a Mortgage in Principle

Trying to go after hot property markets can be quite the experience. Just when you think that you’ve narrowed down the house that you really want, somebody else steps in to take your house. Repeat this a few times and you see why the UK real estate market is pretty frustrating. Sellers only want to deal with people that can put down earnest money and reflect their seriousness. However, if you are still mortgage shopping, you aren’t going to be able to do that…are you?

The truth is that you really can step up and get the house that you want quickly. It’s done through a mortgage in principle. If you’re not sure that that really means, this guide is totally for you. You see, the mortgage in principle basically signals to the seller that you really are serious in owning your own home. It shows that you have the financing to go with it at as well. You have to understand that from the perspective of the seller, not having financing in place hurts them. They are probably ready to leave their home and move on, only to find that they just can’t. They’re trapped in that home until it’s sold. If they entertained everyone that didn’t have their financing together, they would encounter a lot of “window shoppers” that have no desire to actually get their own home. It’s not something that you can’t really think about until you get a few other things in place. You just have to think about it from the right perspective. As long as you can connect the dots, then you’ll be good to go. On the other hand, of you’re really not ready to own your own place yet, then you’ll want to avoid wasting the seller’s time.

A row of characteristic English cottages in Cambridge, UK

The mortgage in principle is actually a conditional proposition from the lender that gives you the loan you need. You will suddenly know exactly what you can afford, as well as that the lender is behind you in your decision to own a home.

This part hinges on you actually giving them the right information — you have to make sure that you do that before you really lose track of the game itself. If you miss a detail, the lender cannot give you the mortgage in principle at all. They have to make sure that you have all of your proverbial ducks in a row before they finance the cost of the home. Remember that it’s going to be their money upfront that secures the home. That’s a tall order to deal with, and you must take buying a home very seriously. Sure, you can move mortgages in the future if your credit and finances hold up, but you don’t want to automatically count on that. This is why it pays to know what type of mortgage situation you’re getting into.

Property markets come and go, and it can be hard to get into a neighborhood with good schools for your children. So if you’re really hot to get your hands on a property, you absolutely must make sure that you go with a mortgage in principle first. Good luck!

Step Out of the Zero Percent Credit Card Spiral and Get Your Finances Together

There’s something in the water, and it’s bad financial deals. However this time it’s not the credit card company’s fault at all for what you might be dealing with. Sure, they had zero percent offers, but that doesn’t mean that you had to put all of your balances on there and not pay them off. It’s been said that all good things come to an end eventually, and credit card promotional offers are no different. You’re going to need to make sure that you’re focusing on the right approach to your problem. Just burying your head in the sand is only going to make the interest rates climb and the late fees get higher. Ruining your credit merely because you’re not ready to make a good decision? Not a good plan by any stretch of the imagination.

You have to get out of this credit trap. It’s okay if you have spent a little more than what you expected. You were hoping to transfer the balances around and around without paying all of that interest. But if you aren’t proactive you are going to put yourself in a tough position. It’s time to break out, and we have some solutions that you need to check out today.

Zero Percent Credit Card

First, you need to assess just how much your credit rating has fallen. If you haven’t fallen that much, you have a lot more power to change the situation than people that have really bad numbers. The lenders are cracking down on a lot of requests for new credit cards, but that doesn’t mean that the top tier of creditholders are going to be affected. The credit industry knows that they really can’t mess with this crowd. They know that they pay their credit cards on time for the most part, and they are golden customers. Upsetting them as a group would incite a riot. Bad news for the rest of us, but if you’re golden — use it to your advantage. Looking up your credit report never hurts.

If you have good credit still, see about getting some new credit that offers a 0% balance transfer. Okay, we know that we just slammed the zero percent thing, but hear us out: it’s all about perspective. If you’re going to use the balance transfer period to pay off the ENTIRE balance, then you’re in the clear. However, if you’re not going to do that then you’re going to have problems. That’s just the way it is.

You might want to just combine all of your credit cards together. Debt consolidation deals are alive and well, and the amount of interest that you save can be huge. Remember that interest is really your enemy because it can really keep you from getting the type of savings that you deserve. Interest is how the credit card company makes money on their side. You have to be sure that you’re looking at things from different directions. Otherwise, you’ll end up having a really hard time in the long run.

The time is right to really make sure that you get things under control with your credit. You may even want to look into transferring the balance to a “life of balance” style card that will let you keep the same interest rate as long as the debt is still hanging around. This is another powerful way to save money.

Now is not the time to beat yourself up. You made some bad decisions, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be that way for life. The more that you focus on these things, the better off you will actually be in the long run. Good credit is definitely worth fighting for, so don’t give up!

IVA Debt Advice

When debt gets out of control, there are times when the only solution may be to get some professional IVA debt advice. Debt can cause extreme stress, and this stress only becomes worse when you find that you cannot meet your financial obligations. Fortunately there are actions you can take to ease your burden of debt, such as an Individual Voluntary Agreement, also known as the IVA debt solution.

The Warning Signs That You May Need IVA Debt Help

If you are paying attention you will see some warning signs that may indicate that you should seek some advice on IVA debt help; these warning signs include being unable to meet your monthly financial obligations. Although this particular warning sign may seem as if it would be very obvious, it is surprising how many people just don’t pay any attention to the seriousness of the fact that their debt exceeds their income.

Some additional warning signs that would indicate that you could use some IVA debt advice include having constant stress and worry about bills, having to ignore creditors because there just isn’t enough money to pay them, and stress and arguments in your personal relationships over money.

IVA debt solution

All of these warning signs should be an indication that you need to get some help and talk to someone about IVA debt solutions. Although an IVA may not be the best solution for everyone, if you are having financial problems it probably wouldn’t hurt to get some advice about the IVA help alternative.

Often, one of the first reactions someone may have to financial peril is to barrow more money, but soon this solution only adds to the problem. You find that you have borrowed to your limit, and now you have a loan payment to pay, as well as all the debt you had to begin with. Unless getting a consolidation loan can eliminate your other bills and allow you to only make one reduced payment each month, borrowing more money is not likely the answer.

About The IVA Debt Solution

In cases where debt is on the verge of ruining you financially, there is always the IVA debt solution. IVA can help you to avoid bankruptcy and get your financial situation back on track in five years or less.

With IVA debt help your representative will bring your financial situation to your creditors so that a repayment agreement can be worked out. The payment you make each month will be divided between all of your creditors for the period of the IVA arrangement. Due to the fact that IVA debt help is meant to aid you in getting your financial problems under control, your combined payment will be less than what your payments were before, and usually not more than what you can afford.

If you have any of the warning signs that indicate severe money problems, consider the IVA debt solution.

IVA Help

There are numerous advantages to choosing to get IVA help to eliminate your debt. If you quality for an IVA, you can stop creditors from hassling you on a constant basis, prevent yourself from going even further into debt by freezing the interest, and paying your debt with an agreement that will help you meet your living expenses. The IVA help programs are government backed and can help you eliminate your debt in five years.

Qualifying For IVA Debt Help

There is no doubt that if you have too much debt, getting IVA help is the best method of getting out of a financial mess, but in order to do this you do have to qualify for IVA debt help.

To qualify for IVA free debt help there are only a few requirements that you will have to meet. The first is that you must have at least £15,000 in debt, but this can’t include your mortgage or other types of secured loans. In addition to having at least £15,000 in debt, you must have at least 3 or more creditors that you owe money to. The only other requirements that you must meet to qualify for IVA free help is to have regular employment and live in England or Wales.

IVA Help

How Can IVA Free Debt Help Prevent Bankruptcy?

The Individual Voluntary Agreement, or IVA is meant to help people avoid bankruptcy by providing them an affordable method of paying their debt. The debt management companies that provide IVA free debt help will offer help through a debt management professional that can arrange an agreement between you and your creditors. This agreement will help reduce the amount of your payments and help you avoid bankruptcy.

Once you are under a free IVA help agreement, your creditors will no longer hassle you about making your payments, and you can eliminate your debt in five years or less, as long as you stick to your payment agreement.

When you meet with an IVA expert, you can discuss how an IVA can help you get out of debt. If this option is not the best solution, the debt management counselor can help you find another solution.

If you qualify for IVA help, your creditors will be presented with financial statements as proof of your inability to pay the amount you are now paying; your living expenses and income will be taken into consideration when deciding on what your monthly payments should be. Once the creditors have all of your information, yourself, your IVA expert, and your creditors will then come to an agreement that will reduce and consolidate your monthly payments.

There is no doubt that free IVA help is one of the best solutions to debt problems, and avoiding bankruptcy.

Move Your Money Around Multiple Banks – That’s Real Power!

Power. We all have it, especially when we realize our role as consumers. There’s just no point in milling around thinking you don’t have options just because we’re in a bad economy. You do have options. Don’t ever forget that. So if there’s one decision that you’ll need to make that can change the flow of your finances, it’s got to be the bank that you use.

Now, the last thing that we want to do is make you think that you can’t choose the type of bank that you work with, because that’s usually a recipe for disaster. A lot of people assume that you can just bank anywhere without problem, but is that really the case? Not really. The thing is that every bank has a slightly different fee schedule, which means that your money is directly affected. In theory, you want to go with the bank that has the lowest fees, but that’s not always the right choice either. They could be making up those fees in other ways that aren’t good. Or they might even be unavailable when you really need them.

Multiple Banks

Indeed, you will want to make sure that you think about the type of banking lifestyle you have. In other words, what are the things that you expect out of your own bank? Are they going to take care of you? Are they going to rapidly take care of an issue that you have without giving you the 3rd degree about it? What are their fraud prevention measures? It’s easy to just assume that a bank will handle all of these issues, but you might be surprised.

Of course, you might also assume that there’s no way that the average person would know the answers to all of these questions. Yet with the rise of the Internet and all of the knowledge to be found online, you can get up to speed quickly. That means that if you really want to know what’s going on, you’re going to have to do the research. Don’t wait for other people to tell you about a bank — go online and see if anyone’s talked about their experiences. If you see more good than bad, then you obviously know that you’re in the right direction.

On the other hand, if you’re running into a lot of bad reviews then that also tells you a lot of what’s going on as well. You don’t want to find yourself at a bank that’s going to raise your fees at the drop of a hat, or make you feel like you’re not a valued customer. Customer service is absolutely critical at a bank, and you’re going to need to really make sure that you get that part settled before you do anything else.

Naturally, instead of just focusing on one bank or another, you’re going to need to make sure that you are actually thinking about multiple banks. The last thing that we ever want to do when it comes to our financial life is think that only one solution is going to fit. When it comes to the world of banking, there are always multiple options. You shouldn‘t settle for the first bank that makes you a supposedly irresistible offer. You should make sure to actually hold out for the bank that treats you like a valued customer, that has affordable rates and the services that you need most. Look for courtesy services like faxing, copying, and even printing things in some cases. If you really need a safety deposit box, you want to look into not only the price but also the policies. If someone needed to drill into the box to get to your will, could they do that with the paper legal paperwork? These are all concerns that you should have about any bank that you want to “settle down” with.

We might be a little overly cautious in this guide, but the reality is that you only have the rights you fight for. You only have the services that matter to you if you reach out to have them. Since you’re the one making the financial commitment, it’s up to you to select a bank that has a service you’re going to use regularly. It’s up to you to really take your time — this is just one of those decisions where you really don’t want to jump to conclusions. Look through all of your options. Stuck? Ask questions. Nobody is going to look after your money except for you.

With the market continuing to be unstable and banks tightening up on everything from fees to when you can even pull your money out, it’s time to make sure that you’re not just putting all of your chips on one bank. That would be a real disaster indeed.

Check Balancing

Balancing a checkbook is easy… until it gets out of whack! Most banks at which you open a checking account will spend some time with you, and show you their method for keeping everything in order. Usually this method will follow a procedure outlined on the back of your checkbook.

The basics are simple enough: When you deposit money into your checking account, save the deposit slips at least until the bank sends you the monthly statement for your account (so that you have a record if there are any discrepancies). Add the amount of the deposit to the balance in your checkbook.


Each check you write during the month should also be recorded in your checkbook at the time you make out the check. Subtract the amount of the check from the balance in your checkbook.

At the end of the month, the bank will send you all the cancelled checks which were paid during the past month. You should put them in chronological order and then match each one with the information in your checkbook.

If your figures and the bank’s don’t match, check your arithmetic and make certain you recorded each check you wrote. In addition, see if any fees were taken from the account or if any interest was added (some banks will pay you interest on your checking account but most of these will require that you maintain a large balance).

There might also have been automatic payments which were made from your account, such as for a phone bill. And there were probably some withdrawals you made with your ATM card which you might have forgotten to record in your checkbook.

At the end of your school year, some banks will require that you close out your account because it will not be used for a number of months. Other banks will allow you to keep your account active while you are away — if so, you will probably be charged a small monthly fee for maintaining the account.

pay_bills

A New Way to Direct Money in Your Budget

When it comes to your budget, there’s nothing duller than bills. Bills might be a part of life, but that doesn’t mean that everyone really wants to pay them. It’s just a matter of stepping back and looking at your budget in a different way.

For example, most people think about the day that some of their bills will finally be paid. This means that they’ll have a lot of free money left over that used to go to those bills. For example, if you have a car payment then you look fondly on the day that your car payments will cease, giving you your car free and clear. However, the problem with this theory is that you will still need to make sure that the money goes towards something that is actually going to help you get other things done. Generally speaking, once we’re finished with a bill, we just regard the money as “free” — and then spend it on things that we don’t need. We don’t think about satisfying any of our financial goals, because that’s not as fun as buying a new computer or a new set of clothes or even going on vacation.

But you have to think about things that might be dull in order to get from one place to another. It might not sound as sexy to put your money away in another account, but it’s smart to do so. You won’t have to think about trying to figure out where the money is going to come from.

The only warning that we would put here is that you definitely don’t want to just throw the money into a CD or even just a savings account. The return on your investment isn’t high. If your goals are long term enough, then it’s better to throw your money into an investment account where it has a chance to really grow. That’s the reason why people build retirement accounts so quickly.

Speaking of your retirement, that’s one place where it would be wise to put some of that “free” money. You don’t have to put all of it there — but it’s really a good place to start.

As an alternative to savings you should also consider repayment of credit arrangements. With interest rates on savings accounts currently low, thought should go to settling any equity release plans or other debts where payment is due.

At first glance, you might not think about it, but doing things in this manner can really help you think about money in a completely different way. You aren’t going to have to sweat or worry about how to get things paid. By diverting money that used to be for the bills onto things that are meant to enrich your financial life, you will reach your goals sooner.

There’s a psychological element that can’t be ignored here as well. You see, when you actually take the time to put the money that used to be for the bills onto financial goals, you aren’t really losing anything. After all, you’ve already been paying this money out each and every month. So it’s not like you can’t live on other sources of money, right?

If you really think about it, there are a lot of bills in your life that definitely have an “end date”. If you direct the money positively, then you will not have to worry about what to do when it’s actually a rainy day!

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