If you’re researching unsecured loans online, you might notice a lot of different terms being used interchangeably. This review site uses the term “online personal loans” to refer to online loans that are used for personal expenses (as opposed to business expenses). One type of personal loan is the payday loan, which is usually for a small amount ranging between $100 and $1500 that has to be paid back in full on your next payday. Personal loans can also be for larger amounts and the payments may be stretched out further, over a period of several months or even a few years.
If you are interested in obtaining a short term loan to help with your immediate expenses, check out our lineup of the best sites for online personal loans.
Payday loans (also called “payday advances” and “online personal loans”) are unsecured loans, meaning that there is no collateral and usually no credit check required for approval. Payday loans are granted based on your income and are designed to be paid back on a specified date that corresponds to your pay dates. Sometimes they can be paid back in multiple payments, but usually you are required to pay back the entire amount plus interest in one payment.
An online payday loan additionally requires that you have a bank account in good standing because the money is transferred directly into your account and your repayment is deducted electronically on the due date. This is in contrast to a payday loan from a storefront, which generally requires that you provide a post-dated check that will be cashed or deposited on your next payday. Even online payday lenders may require you to provide a canceled check in order to enroll for electronic repayment.
The maximum payday loan you can obtain generally depends on your income. Many of the sites on our lineup for online personal loans require you to make a minimum monthly income of around $1000. People who have a much higher verifiable income may be able to borrow more money. Payday lenders usually do not perform credit checks, but there is a national database in the U.S. through which lenders can check whether you have other short-term loans. Some lenders will deny you a loan if you have any unpaid loans with other lenders. Even if your credit score is not considered, you will also typically be denied a payday loan if you are currently in bankruptcy and in some cases if you have ever filed for bankruptcy.
Two Types of Cash Advances
The term “cash advance” is sometimes used synonymously with “payday loan” to refer to an advance on your paycheck. This type of cash advance is structured the same way as a payday loan or online personal loan, in that the maximum amount you can borrow depends on your income. Cash advances are designed to be repaid on your next payday or within one month.
The other type of cash advance is based on a credit card or line of credit. This type of cash advance is based on your available credit limit on a credit card rather than your monthly income. A credit card cash advance is usually treated just like a purchase made with a credit card, so the repayment terms follow the policies of your credit card. A cash advance on a credit card may or may not offer you a better deal than a payday loan depending on your credit rating and the terms of your credit contract. Some credit card companies charge higher interest on cash advances than on standard purchases.
In general, unsecured loans of any type (including payday loans, online personal loans, payday advances and so forth) come with much higher interest rates than secured loans or cash advances on credit cards. This is because the lender for an unsecured loan assumes a much higher risk of not being repaid. Some of the sites on our lineup for online personal loans offer lower interest rates to repeat customers with a history of prompt repayment because they have demonstrated that they are a lower risk.
Before you apply for an online loan, take a look at our lineup of the best sites for online personal loans, which includes an in-depth look at the differences between many of the lenders. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
My family and I are renters, and most of the time that feels fine. But last week I found myself in a state of temporary panic when I read this Twitter post from the financial journalist Felix Salmon: “John Paulson: if you rent, buy. If you own, buy a second home.”
When I read it, I immediately felt anxious. I recognized the feeling. It’s the feeling you get when you think you have to act on something right away or you’ll miss out. After all, if John Paulson, the guy who made “The Greatest Trade Ever,” was saying I should rush out and buy a house, I’d better get on it!
After allowing myself to get all worked up about this, I did what I’ve done several times before. I pulled out a piece of paper and a pencil and worked through the emotions and the numbers. In the end, I was reminded of something incredibly important.
John Paulson doesn’t know me or my situation.
There is absolutely no reason I should be making decisions based on something he said. The same is true for any other “expert” who decides to share his guess about what he thinks will happen next in the housing market.
The same holds true for the other three people who just happened to express similar concerns to me about buying right now. Two were convinced that if they didn’t buy a house now, they’d be priced out of the market, and maybe they will be. But I heard that argument a lot in 2005-6.
Then there was the third conversation I had.
It’s time for this person to downsize to a different home. The children have all moved out and the house just takes too much work. But even though it’s the right decision to sell now (given her individual situation) and buy a smaller home, a decision has been made to wait because the news, the forecasts and even the guesses are implying that the house could be worth substantially more sometime in the next 12 months.
This is madness!
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that most of us will make in our lifetimes. And yet it’s often a decision in which the person with the most knowledge about what makes the most sense gets overlooked: You.
There’s a simple way to fix this problem. As I was reminded last week, all it takes is a piece of paper, a pencil and some time. So if you’re struggling with this decision to buy (or sell), take a minute to think through these questions and write down the answers, because I suspect you’ll need to refer back to them the next time somebody decides to share what he thinks will happen with housing market. This list is not meant to be prescriptive. It is meant to get you thinking about something other than forecasts and guesses.
■ Can you afford it, and do you have enough saved for a down payment? Make sure you include the cost for things like property taxes, homeowner association fees and utilities.
■ Can you qualify for a loan? If the answer right now is no, then you can stop torturing yourself, because it doesn’t matter if the market is about to take off. You can’t buy a house.
■ How long do you plan to live in the home? There’s some debate about the minimum time you should live in a home for it to be worthwhile, but if it’s less than five years, forget about it.
■ What guess are you making about housing prices? It is a painful reality that the one variable that makes a huge difference in this decision is unknowable. What is going to happen to housing prices in the short term is anyone’s guess. But for your own sanity, just assume that housing prices will continue to increase by about the long-term average of inflation, or 3 percent. You really can’t afford to buy a house if the decision depends solely on what the house might one day be worth.
The answers to all of these questions will depend on you and your individual situation. And that’s the point. Hopefully it’s clear now how ridiculous it is to buy a house based on some stranger’s advice.
Through this process, you may discover that buying and owning a house isn’t for you, and that’s O.K., too. But these questions can also help end your anxiety around what is probably the biggest financial decision you’ll make. Don’t you think that’s worth a piece of paper, a pencil and a little time?
Raman was a young and enthusiastic 25-year-old. He had a new job and was on top of the world. His father suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital. Raman din’t know what to do, and was left scrounging for money to pay the hefty hospital bills. He was not covered by any health insurance policy. Most people, like Raman, do not realize the importance of a good health insurance policy till they are in circumstances where they need it. Some of them who do have one, is thanks to the company group health insurance policy. Unfortunately, even these aren’t enough and most people don’t even know it.
Ok, you finally decide to get health insurance. But how do you decide which one to get? Here are 10 practical tips for you:
1. Choose your insurance company wisely:
Generally, companies that offer health insurance are either general insurance or life insurance companies. Experts say that it is better to pick a general insurance company over one that offers life insurance, because a company that provides life insurance is invested in policies that will reimburse the family members of the deceased, and will not be focused on health insurance. Another reason is that the policy usually costs more when taken from a life insurance company.
2. Plan for future needs:
You need to think of the needs that might arise in the future. If you have a family with ageing parents or are newly married and are planning to start a family in the near future, it is important to think of policies that will cover aged parents or possibly cover maternity costs.
3. Make an informed decision about the type of health insurance:
Read all that you can about the various options your health insurance company is providing you. Ask questions. Generally, if you have a family it is advisable to opt for a family floater plan. It is more economical and effective in the long run. Similarly choosing a cashless policy over a reimbursement type of policy may suit some but may not be beneficial to all.
4. Choose the right amount as ‘sum assured’:
‘Sum assured’ in simple terms is the maximum amount that a person who is insured can be reimbursed or covered for in one policy year. Basically, it is the base for all your future medical claims. Before you choose the sum assured, take into account the rising medical costs. At the same time, the amount shouldn’t be so high that it would be difficult for you to pay the premium.
For example, an insurance company assumes that the cost of a hospital bed for one day is one percent of the sum assured. Therefore if your sum assured is one lakh, hospitalization should cost you thousand rupees per day. If you were hospitalized for seven days and the hospital charges more than a thousand rupees per day, you will be left paying the difference. Hence choosing the right amount is imperative.
5. Check the empanelled hospitals:
Every insurance company has empanelled hospitals, with whom they have a tie up. These hospitals are instructed on how to settle the claims of a patient who has a particular company’s cover. Therefore it is best to check which hospitals are under the insurance company. Checking for their specialty, reputation and distance from your home is important. This is because in case of an emergency you are most likely to visit a hospital closest to your home.
Another consideration is that there should be hospitals with varied specialites under the insurance company– it is better to have a choice when it comes to certain illnesses rather than going to the same hospital that may not provide you with appropriate care.
6. Understand the premium calculation process:
A premium is the sum you pay to the insurance company while buying an insurance policy. Although the formula to calculate one’s premium usually has a common formula, there are a few factors that may change while charging a premium. Some of the main factors are — the ‘sum assured’, the number of times you have used the policy and for how much. Talk to your insurance agent about the amount of premium you will have to pay per year and how the company will charge for various services.
7. Read the fine print:
A health insurance policy has a number of clauses – what could be called the ‘fine print’. Reading them well is very important. And if you do not understand them, do ask questions.
For example: Read clauses related to the renewability of an insurance policy. This means that the policy will no longer hold good after a person attains a particular age. This could mean that you may not have a health insurance at the age of 70 or 75, when you need it the most. Here, choosing a policy that will cover you for life rather than one that will expire when you need it the most is adviceable.
If you have a pre-existing disease (for eg: diabetes), policies can be used only after a stipulated time period decided by the company.
If you are planning to start a family, ask the company about their maternity clause. Many companies do not cover costs of delivery or of any complications arising from that.
8. Read reviews and compare policies:
In the case of a medical emergency it is important that you and our family have complete peace of mind when it comes to money matters. Therefore, talk to your friends who might have the same policy, or read reviews about the policy you are about to buy. Another good tool is to compare policies. Knowing that the company takes care of your finances seamlessly is important for a smooth stay at the hospital and a stress free recovery.
9. Check flexibility of the policy:
In the case of an illness, it important that the company allows the insured person to have some flexibility in paying the premium for the amount used. A premium is recalculated at the end of a policy year and is increased depending on the amount the policy has been used. Therefore it is important that the policy you choose allows you the leeway of paying older premium amount for some time, after which you can start paying the increased premium without interest or other charges levied on it.
10. Check if the company offers a no-claim bonus or discount:
If you haven’t claimed any insurance in the policy year, some companies offer either a bonus amount or a discount on the premium in the next year. This is called a ‘no-claim’ bonus or discount. This is a good feature and also an incentive to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Want to take charge of your financial life? Pay off your credit card debt.
High balances and high finance charges can put a real drain on your wallet and limit your financial options. And if you let those balances linger long enough, they could keep you from achieving other important goals and dreams, such as buying a home.
Whatever your financial goals and dreams, paying off high-interest credit card debt is the first important step in the right direction. These pay-down tips and strategies will show you how.
Get organized. Step 1 is getting organized. Gather up all your credit card information. Make note of the balance, interest rate, due date, and minimum payment for each card. How bad is it?
Do you have lots of balances spread out over lots of different cards? Do you have one big balance and several small ones? Have you consolidated your debt to one card but can’t seem to make any headway on your balance? Have you been playing the balance transfer game for months and months?
Next, add up the minimum payments on each of your credit cards. How much money must you pay each month just to stay current on your credit card bills? Can you afford to pay more than the minimum payment on one or more of your cards? If so, get ready to do it. Debt can pile up for all kinds of reasons. Paying it down is pretty straightforward. Pick a pay down strategy and stick with it until your balances are paid off in full.
Pay off the balance with the highest APR first
From a dollar and cents point of view, this strategy makes the most sense. With this strategy, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards. Once you pay off the balance on the card with the highest interest rate, you move on to the card with the second highest interest rate, and so on.
Doubling or tripling your minimum payment on the card with the highest interest rate is a good way to start. Whatever payment boost you can afford, do it and stick with it. If you start by paying $150 on a credit card, keep on paying at least $150 each and every month until the card is paid off.
Be sure to stick with your boosted payment amount even as your balance and minimum payments slip lower and lower. Remember: the aim is to get your balance to zero. Easing up on your payments as your balance creeps lower will slow your progress.
Pay off the card with the lowest balance first
This strategy is a great way to build up a little momentum. With this strategy, you increase your payment on the credit card with the lowest balance, while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards. Once you pay off the card with the lowest balance, you move on to the card with the next lowest balance, and so on.
It’s quicker and easier to pay a $500 balance down to zero than a $2,500 balance. And it feels good to pay a credit card bill in full, no matter what size balance you begin with. Plus, every low balance card that you pay in full is one less minimum payment that you have to pay each month. By knocking out one or two smaller balance cards, you’ll have more money to focus on larger balances.
Consolidate your debt to a single card or loan
Like things simple? This pay-down strategy might be for you. By consolidating your credit card debt to a single card or debt consolidation loan, you have a single payment to make each month rather than four or five. One payment to pay each month – that’s it. You can even automate payments so you never have to worry about paying late. Just be sure to choose a payment amount much more than the minimum each and every month so you can make some real progress on paying off your debt.
This payment strategy makes things easy, but it also makes it easy to let things slide. So pick a payment amount, double or triple your minimum payment (or whatever you can afford), and be sure to stick with it.
I guess most of you reading this blog, have run into debts and have nightmares with creditors, banks, lawyers, money. Or perhaps, you have a very large amount of credit card debt, or a huge mortgage of your flat. Or you have lost a lot of investments at the financial market. In one word, you must be close to or have already reached the stage of personal bankruptcy. Whatever the reasons for the financial crisis in global terms, you have to cope with it on your own be it with the aid of experts or really on your own. Terrible! But not desperate!
Probably you have already browsed the Internet and you’ve read heaps of posts advising you on filing bankruptcy. One way you can deal with this is representing yourself in court and file bankruptcy without a lawyer. Lawyers naturally charge a lot of money and their work is worth it, but what if you have already run out of money and opportunities? And if you are claiming bankruptcy you are most probably in this situation.
That’s why online assistance might come in very handy. Some web sites can help you get in touch with leading debt management and debt consolidation services online. Indeed, this might be a swift relief from debt, without having to rob Peter to pay Paul, but be careful and do your homework research in advance.
Life is wonderful and there is nothing you cannot overcome as long as you have friends and someone loves you. Indeed, there are moments in our lives when someone else has to take care of us, or we simply need more money in order to handle a situation where we are in trouble. Health is what we treasure most and should take care of in time. Health insurance is just one way to do so. The more experience a company has in the health insurance business, and the wider range of health insurance quotes it offers, the easier it is to trust it.
One such company is Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which has more than 75 years of experience in the sphere of insurance. Its branch companies work from coast to coast and its Blue Cross Health Insurance is a reliable way to risk protect your health.
Of course, when you are looking to contract a health insurance policy, you want to find the most profitable offer – the offer that covers most health risks, the most flexible payment plan, and of course, the most reliable. There is nothing wrong with doing some research in advance and comparing various health insurance quotes. At the same time, you need to find a company that introduces innovative tendencies in its policy. Many websites offer free quote comparison and help you find the most suitable insurance plan.
It is the end of 2008, the computer mouse celebrates its 40th anniversary and online services have long been established on the market. Perhaps you are already used to doing many things on the Internet, such as sending Christmas cards, shopping, looking for information, ordering photo printing, and what not. But have you ever thought of online banking? Even braver: online loans for bad credit. If you have a bad credit history, few lenders would like to give you unsecured loans just like that. Then, how do you like an online application and approval of bad credit personal loans, on reasonable terms, in no time at all?
If you cannot obtain financial support anywhere, but you need instant cash, you can well use a loan guide that can advise you on determining the best loan in view of your financial situation. All you need to have is an email and a telephone. The system needs no collaterals, no additional guarantee, and no stable incomes. Unfavorable credit status should not stop you from getting some money that you might get to double with time if you invest it properly. Even if you have poor credit rating, be sure to look for credit specialists – yes, there are people, who would be willing to give you a personal loan. And it’s all done on the Internet, promptly and securely.
So, don’t despair and make the best of your money.
My insurance agent called me offering to hold an interview with me in order to determine where I belong in terms of life insurance risk. So, we met last week and she started promoting the so-called term life insurance. I had not heard about such type of insurance before and in fact never thought of risk protecting my life.
The presentation sounded pretty interesting and I got really interested in the possibility to have my life insured, especially with my weekly oversees trips and with a minor surgery that I had undergone a couple of months ago, despite my 30 years. Why not make my inheritors my beneficiaries in return for a couple of dollars per year, I thought?
As the insurance agent explained, the good thing about term life insurance is exactly the concept of term, which means that such insurance is contracted only for a finite period of time. It is also a good investment for people like me: young people, who travel a lot, work under great stress, or whose financial status might change. Another key fact is that should you consider that the insurance contract conditions are not lucrative, or decide to change the insurance procedure, payments, term, etc., you can always drop the insurance policy. Besides, term life insurance is the least expensive insurance compared to all other the types of life insurance.
In the face of a severe financial crisis, banks going bankrupt left and right, people who find it more and more difficult to pay their credits, financial instability and volatile markets, it is extremely important to get the best of your marketing dollars. You must have already arrived at the conclusion that marketing money spent wisely is absolutely worth it – it doubles and triples with wise decisions taken on time.
As a real estate agency you need to spend your advertisement money smartly and expect the highest quality in return. So, if you are looking for high-quality real estate printing services, such as printing of business cards, envelopes, flyers, holiday postcards, etc., make sure to pay a visit to PSPrint Printing. Projects are conveniently discussed online, saving your time and heaps of paperwork, taking your personal taste and preferences into account. Also, they can deliver it anywhere in the US, or even send it directly to your customers.
It is Christmas time, so you probably would like to express special gratitude to loyal customers, or remind your partners of your successful collaboration, then maybe custom solutions are a good way to do it. Save money and get the special Christmas discounts that are offered online.
Many credit card holders are experiencing problems with credit card debt. They are unable to pay off their credit card balance each month and more than that the interest rates continue to increase. During the holiday spending on credit cards is usually going to increase because families decide to get gifts with their cards rather than the money they have. Despite being a convenient payment system for consumers, credit cards can very easily turn into a negative option.
Spending habits of consumers is the most dangerous part of the credit card. Consumers see credit cards as a way to get what they want when they want it. This mentality has to change if the credit crunch is going to right itself. Consumers can no longer depend on their credit cards and their old spending habits.
Financial trouble is growing in the UK due to the debt and lack of income. Loss of jobs is increasing. Mortgage companies are no longer willing to lend money, especially equity type loans. Credit card use is just one of the many areas UK consumers need to look at for how they are spending and what can be done.
It is not the time to go to an ATM and do a cash withdrawal from your credit card. You should also avoid using your credit cards if you can’t pay the balance off. For many, credit cards and shopping is imperative because you get more protection with the use of a credit card for gifts. However, when the consumer cannot pay the amount they place on the card the debt just continues to increase. Fraudsters are another concern of credit card use. The best thing to do is avoid credit cards for daily use and watch where you use your card. Don’t use your card in an online shop you are not familiar with. Protect yourself and spend wisely.
A friend of mine had problems while renting a car online a week ago. She felt very frustrated as she did not get what she’d paid for. No refund was offered either. Sound familiar? I guess you’ve all been in a situation when someone’s service did not come up to your expectations and you felt like making a claim against them.
Being an Internet guru I offered to help her and made a short research on the topic. Of course, public forums are full of various solutions for all sorts of problem that you might have stumbled upon. But I needed genuine place where I could make a claim fast and for free. So, if you have any problems whatsoever, such as a person or an establishment ripped you off, let you down, or simply did something wrong to you, this is an extremely well-working web site. It gives you the floor to voice your complaints and put the finger on people or bodies that have decided to shirk their duties. Three things sum up what makes it stand out (no exaggeration here) among similar web sites: public opinion, free to use, operates on a national scale. And last but not least, it definitely saves time, money, and that you’re sure to waste while settling the argument through the official institutions.
“Stagflation” is a word that sounds funny, even though it is the name for a very serious situation when it comes to your finances. Stagflation refers to an economic phenomenon that occurs when the economy slows down but inflation rates go up.
Inflation on its own is scary enough, but stagflation is even more sinister. The combination of a slowdown in the economy with high inflation can put a major hurt on the average consumer, even more so than a recession alone would. After all, when it’s only a recession – even though that is a big deal, of course – you’re only dealing with a stagnant economy. You may lose your employment, but you’re not facing prices going up at the same time. With stagflation, you are facing costs rising while simultaneously seeing less income coming in.
You may or may not remember it, but the last stagflation cycle lasted for nearly twenty years. Unemployment rates were high, and the cost of living was even higher. It took a major recession to beat the inflation rates back down, and many, many people suffered during that time. Unfortunately, it appears we’re once again embroiled in a stagflation cycle.
While no one can predict if and when we will break out of it, there are ways to protect your assets while you wait for things to level out. In fact, you can even use stagflation to your benefit if you play your cards right. Major investments are not a good idea during times like these, and in order to keep your money safe, you’re going to have to do a lot of homework. Shop around for the best rates possible, and consider investing in money market deposit accounts. Alternatively, you could put your money into Treasury Investment Protected Securities. Putting money into TIPS is a good idea, because the yield actually increases during times of inflation. The money your money earns while in TIPS will increase parallel to the inflation increases.
The other way to make stagflation work for you is to buy stocks while the prices are low. The tide will eventually turn, so you shouldn’t remove your money from your stocks entirely. Buying new stock can make you more money in the long run if you’re willing to wait the stagflation period out. All in all, stagflation is a scary thing. But you don’t have to panic over it, and with some careful planning, you can actually use it to your advantage.
A great step in improving your overall financial situation is to take a look at your assets. This can include your loan to value ratio for your home. A great way to improve this number is what experts in the industry call flipping your home. There are many indoor and outdoor cosmetic changes that can be made to you home that will increase the overall appraised value. Let’s take a look at just a few.
First walk outside. Stand at the curb (look both ways first) and take a look at your house. If you use the garage entrance in the back, you can sometimes not realize what your house looks like form this angle. Remember, when an appraiser pulls up, this is the first impression they are going to have on the home. Make it a good one.
Now do a walk through of your home as the appraiser would. Do you have a leaky roof? Is the chimney in good condition? Replace damaged bricks around the house and also check your gutters and downspouts. Check the homes foundation. Verify that water drains away from the house and not toward it. If you can’t tell right now, check the next time it rains.
Next check plumbing and electrical work. If you have 2 prong ungrounded outlets in your kitchen or bathrooms make sure you upgrade to GFCI outlets.
Back outside make sure you lawn is green and healthy. While maintaining the perfect lawn outside isn’t easy, you can at least seed and water it. If you prefer faster results, but precut grass pallets from your local home improvement store. Then, cozy the place up a bit. Annuals make a great addition to landscaping and are extremely easy to maintain. If you have not foundation level buses, not only do that really help in making the place inviting, but they are usually very cheap to but at your local nursery.
Bring out the pain cans. Freshen up your front door, exterior walls, and certainly inside your home. Don’t go too bold. Your appraiser or real estate agent sees many houses and while they do remember the one with hot pink walls it isn’t for a good reason.
Lastly, update your appliances and countertops in the kitchen. It is costly, but you can usually see your return fairly quickly. Laminate hardwood flooring is the best replacement for worn out carpet. You can install it yourself and it also won’t break your budget.
Have you ever considered renting out your extra bedroom to supplement your income? More and more people are doing it. A great place to start is by calling up the college in your city, and asking to have your name added to their tenant list. They will ask you a series of questions that you will need to have already thought out. For example: Are you going to charge a deposit? How much will you charge for rent? Is there kitchen access? Will they have access to a laundry area? Will they be required to come in at a certain time of night? You can also place ads on other online sites and the local paper announcing that you have a room available for rent. Make sure that it is obvious that this isn’t a roommate situation; you are simply renting out a room in your personal home.
Some landlords, especially elderly couples, rent out a room at a discounted rate to tenants who help with household chores that may be harder on the landlords. This could include yard work, trash, babysitting, etc.
Make sure that before your new tenant moves into the room you have provided, it is comfortable and clean. You want your tenant to feel at home, and look forward to coming to a comfortable and cozy area. You may or may not provide furniture. If you do, make sure that you offer up a television with cable or satellite service, and certainly a decent bathroom.
Always provide a rental agreement. This agreement should be inclusive of the room, the house, including kitchen, laundry, parking, noise, pets, curfew, and any other rules that may be important to you. Make sure that your tenant has read all of the rules, and ask if they have any questions or concerns. Be willing to amend some items that may be custom to the tenant. For example if they work at a gas station until 11pm, work with them on that.
This agreement can be month to month, every three months, or for the entire semester. Make sure that both you and the tenant are comfortable with everything, and you both sign and keep a copy. Hopefully, the relationship will go smoothly, and you will be able to keep this tenant for a long amount of time. Keep in mind that during vacations you may have some quiet time. Be open and honest about everything, and provide a comfortable home for them to come home to.
Most people dream of owning their own home one day. It is part of the American Dream, with just the idea of being a homeowner conjuring up idyllic mental images of white picket fences and the family dog playing in the yard. If you’re thinking about buying a home, you need to make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row in order to avoid hurting yourself financially.
The first step to take is to check your credit score. Most people require a loan to buy a home, and you will get a better mortgage if your credit is in good shape. Start by getting a copy of your credit report and examining it closely to check for problems. If you discover any issues, take steps to correct them right away before attempting to get your loan.
The next step to take has several layers. Before you begin the actual house hunt, you need to figure out what you can afford. There are many tools online that you can use as a tool to determine this, by calculating a figure based on your personal income, expenses and other circumstances. In addition to that, it’s wise to get a professional real estate agent that you can trust to help you make the right decision for you and your family. Along with the calculator and agent, you’ll want to get pre-approved for your loan. Getting pre-approval will save you the hassle of looking at houses you may end up being unable to afford, and should not be mistaken for getting pre-qualified. Pre-qualification is a quick glance at your finances, whereas pre-approval is an in-depth examination and therefore much more accurate.
Once you’ve got those things in order, you can begin the hunt for your dream home. Do not be tempted to aim for a house out of your price range, but do make sure that the home you finally choose is the one you want – in a good neighborhood, with good schools, and in good shape. The “good shape” part is definitely important, so you do not find yourself having to make expensive repairs down the road that end up making your great deal not so great after all.
Buying a home is a big step and an exciting time in anyone’s life. With careful preparation and attention to detail, you’ll end up with the home that you can afford and suits you perfectly, without any unnecessary grief.
Keeping your budget on an even keel from month to month is no easy feat. There are so many major expenses to take care of, you might not notice the small ways you’re spending money you don’t have to spend every month. Fortunately, there are simple and easy ways to take steps to eliminate those small expenses so you’re not nickel and diming yourself into an early grave, and over time, the savings can really add up. One of those ways is to take advantage of online bill payment systems.
Most of your utility companies have online bill payment systems nowadays, as do most non-utility companies. By creating an account on these sites and setting up automatic monthly payments to be withdrawn from your checking account on or before the due date of your bill, you avoid the costly late fees that can really rack up on you if you forget to send that check in on time through the mail. It saves you the cost of a stamp, as well as the cost of your paper checks, on top of being a good way to eliminate some stress in your life. If the payments are set up to be made automatically, it won’t matter if you forget the bill is due tomorrow.
This is also particularly useful for those of us that forget the bill until the last minute and then try to avoid the late fees by phoning a payment in. Phoning in a payment is definitely convenient, but the convenience isn’t always worth the fees attached to the process. “Small telephone convenience fee” translates directly into “You could’ve done this cheaper another way, chump.”
Online bill paying can often be made even simpler by going through your bank rather than each individual service company. Rather than having to set up a separate account for electric, gas, water, cable, phone, etc, on each of their respective websites, you may be able to just set up automatic payments through your bank account. To find out if your bank offers such a service, and how to get it set up, just give them a call or ask your teller next time you stop in.
This is, of course, only helpful if you know you’ll have the money in the account each and every time a withdrawal is made. A late fee on your electric bill will most likely not be as costly as a bounced check fee, so consider the whole thing carefully before proceeding. If the money not being there isn’t a factor, however, then online bill payment systems are definitely a great way to plug up and prevent tiny leaks in your financial boat.
Vacation time can be very trying for many people. Gas prices keep rising, making it difficult to get to work, let alone go on a long road trip. Costs of hotels also go up during the peak vacation season. Then you usually have to buy new clothes for everyone to take on the trip. A trip to Disneyworld seems to be only a dream for ordinary people. So, what can you do for some affordable vacation fun?
Believe it or not, your very own backyard can be an endless supply of entertainment and amusement. The money you save by staying at home will most likely allow you to purchase some outdoor items, such as tents, family size above ground swimming pools, badminton and volley ball sets, and much more. This also works out well if you have pets because now they will be able to take part in the fun as well, and you won’t have to pay someone to look after them.
If your family has never attempted camping before, your backyard is the best introduction to it. Set up tents as far away from your house as you can to give it more of a “getting away” feeling. This is especially fun if you have children. It will be an adventure for them to get to sleep outside. You will need to check your local laws with regard to building small fires, but if it’s allowed, a campfire is also exciting. Everyone can cook their own hotdogs on a stick. Don’t forget the marshmellows either. What’s a campout with no roasted marshmellows?
During the day, plan some outdoor fun with the pool, or other entertainment sets you have invested in. You may want to include lunch cooked on the grill and eaten outside at a picnic table. If you have something locally, such as a zoo, you can plan one day to visit it. When you return, you will be ready to settle into your camp site again.
You don’t have to plan a full week of activities. This can be done several weekends or just whenever the mood and time are right. Make a deal with yourself and your partner, though. Turn off the telephone. Stay away from the computer. This will make your “vacation getaway” much more realistic. The time you spend relaxing will be even more effective since you won’t be worrying about all the money you have spent.
We’ve all heard it before – “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The Internet has ushered in a new age for the con men of the world. The very essence of what makes the Internet so useful – easy access, the ability to instantly communicate with someone on the other side of the planet, the wealth of information, the list goes on – are also the very things that make it a fraudster’s paradise. Where he once may only have the opportunity to scam a few people a week, he now can multiply the potential targets by the millions without breaking a sweat.
We’ve all seen the stories on television about people that were duped by the Nigerian Prince email schemes and worse. When you hear those stories, you undoubtedly ask yourself, “She seems so SMART. How could she have fallen for something so obviously ridiculous? I would never fall for that.” But guess what? She IS smart, and you could be taken in just as easily if you’re not careful. It’s easy to see when you’re on the outside looking in, but not always as easy to see when you’re directly in the middle of it.
The scams running on the Internet run the gamut from very obvious to very clever – and by “clever,” we mean so good you won’t realize it until it’s too late. A good example of the very obvious would be the email from the Belgian attorney asking you to send him a couple thousand dollars in order for him to be able to send you your 500 million dollar inheritance as the last living relative of your great Uncle Kajagoogoo, even though you know full well your Great-Uncle Kajagoogoo is alive and well in Mobile, Alabama. And a good example of the very clever would be when you’ve already fallen for the Uncle Kajagoogoo trick and you receive a letter from a company claiming to be able to help you recover the money you lost. Unfortunately, the company is in cahoots with the original scammers and you’ve just been had twice.
So, to keep yourself safe, just keep these short guidelines in mind:
- Never pay money to a foreign bank account because someone’s promised you millions in exchange for 10 grand.
- Never give out bank information over the Internet – your bank will never email you to ask you to give them your account number to check on something
- No pill is going to instantly let you drop 100 pounds
- Never pay money in order to get started on your fabulous new career of stuffing envelopes in your living room
- Trust your gut
There are a lot of bad guys out there in the world, but you don’t have to fall for their games. By being vigilant and careful, you can protect your finances and yourself. Just remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
You can tell when interest rates are low because you see a long line of homeowners flocking to the bank. Well, maybe it is not that extreme, but home owners do flock to their lending institution to refinance as soon as rates lower. Unfortunately most never stop to think whether or not refinancing actually makes sense for them. Often because they don’t understand how it would or wouldn’t make financial sense. They see a lower rate and assume that it is the most important factor in their home loan. Honestly, that is just a portion of the overall picture.
If you refinance your home every time rates drop you could be adding on more expense than you are saving. You could be adding more principal to the end of the loan as well as extending the term of the loan.
A refinanced loan is basically a new loan taken out by the borrower to pay off the original loan. If someone has already refinanced (sometimes many times) then the refinance pays off THAT loan instead.
There are additional costs involved in refinancing. You may very well incur more cost through taking out the additional loan than what you will recover through the new lower interest rate. Before jumping into it, add up all the fees that you will incur to take out the new loan (this should include everything from admin fees to closing costs). Find the difference between your new loan payment and your old one. Divide the difference into the fees of the loan to find how long it will take you to break even from the loan fees alone. You may be surprised at what you find. If your loan fees are going to cost $5000 and the monthly savings will only bee $100, you won’t even break even until your 50th month!
Prepare for you mortgage to increase. If you roll all the costs of the loan into the loan itself, you just blew up your loan. This takes away from equity. Additionally if you plan to take cash out you loan balance again will increase. This is called a cash-out refinance. The reason some borrowers do a cash-out refinance is to pay off unsecured purchases like a new stove, or furniture. Think of it this way: are you prepared to pay on that stove or furniture for 30 years? It may only have a life expectancy of half that time.
Do you want a longer amortization period? Even though the option is there to shorten your amortization period, you may not qualify the a higher payment. For example, if you refinance a loan with only 25 years left for a new 30 year loan, you just turned a 30 year loan into a 35 year loan. Consider the time that you have already paid? Do you really want to back-track?
Consider every aspect, do your research, and above all, crunch the numbers.