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The 4 Top Considerations for Choosing a Bank that Meets Your Needs

Choosing a bank is a big decision. After all, this is the start of a relationship with the institution that will help you manage your finances for a long time to come. A misstep here could cost you a lot of money over the long haul. Conversely, making the right choice could help grow your money and save you a ton of headaches. So how do you make sure you’re choosing the right bank? There are plenty of factors that influence your choice but the two primary ones are personal recommendations and convenient locations. However, the most important thing when choosing a bank is making sure it’s the right one for you. Before you make any decisions, make sure that you evaluate these key factors.

Factor #1: Do You Need a Brick and Mortar Location?

Many of today’s banks no longer have brick and mortar locations. Instead, they exist entirely online. In order to make deposits, you simply set up automatic deposits into your account or scan checks into an app on your phone. It’s a simple, streamlined process that makes it easy to access your money at any time of the day. If you do encounter problems, your online banking institution will provide customer service to help you sort things out. What most people don’t realize is that online banks often have fewer fees and better rates for loans since they don’t have the expenses associated with keeping a physical location up and running. However there are several key advantages to a brick and mortar location:

  • It’s easier to develop a personal relationship with the people handling your money since you can see them face to face
  • Many people find it easier to have conversations and solve problems with a person sitting across from them
  • Physical banks are less cumbersome for cash transactions, especially cash deposits

If you do opt for a brick and mortar bank over an online-only institution, make sure they have locations close to your home or office. If you travel frequently, you may also want to consider a bank with a wide range of locations across the country.

Factor #2: Do You Want a Regional Location or a Local Bank?

National bank, regional bank, or community bank: how do you decide? Each one has its own advantages. A community bank, for example, typically stays small. They’re just the right size for the community they serve and are designed to create a more personal environment where you can get to know your banker. Community banks are often less focused on profit, since they continue to prioritize other values. Small banks may be able to offer rates and options that you wouldn’t be able to get on loans from larger banks, but they may also not have as much freedom in their bylaws regarding the loans they can offer. As banks get larger, however, they offer greater lending potential, a wider range of services, and larger branches. It’s important to carefully consider which of these is more important to you when you’re choosing a bank.

Factor #3: Do You Want a Bank or a Credit Union?

Credit unions are typically local facilities. They’re usually created by specific local areas, institutions, or businesses in order to support their members. Credit unions often offer key financial advantages including lower fees for using the bank and higher interest on your interest-earning accounts. Because they are local, however, credit unions tend to only have branches in local areas. They may also be slower to roll out new apps and other technology that will improve your banking convenience. Credit unions, like other local banks, can often create a deeper relationship with their users, but larger banks can provide a wider range of services.

Factor #4: What Features Do You Need From Your Bank?

As you’re choosing a bank, you need to carefully consider the features that are most important to you. Before you create an account, it’s also important to understand exactly what you need from your bank and whether or not the bank you’re considering is the right institution for you. Some important features may include:

  • No fees associated with your checking account. In some cases, your bank may offer free checking if you use automatic deposit for your paycheck or if you keep a certain minimum balance in your account.
  • A lack of overdraft fees. This is especially useful if you’d like to link your savings account to your checking account, which will help prevent minor overdraft incidents from adding up to serious expense.
  • Free ATMs. You shouldn’t be charged to access your own money! It’s also helpful to find a bank that will provide free ATM usage if you have to use another bank’s ATM.
  • Online bill pay. This will allow you to take care of your bills each month without having to stress about when each payment is due.
  • A secure, trustworthy app. An app that you can trust and that will allow you to take care of the bulk of your banking needs in the palm of your hands is essential.

The Bottom Line

There is a wide range of factors that go into a choosing a bank. As you’re considering your options, make sure that you carefully consider all the factors that are most important to you. While there may be some features that you can do without right now, you’ll want to carefully consider which ones you’ll need in the foreseeable future as well. You want a bank that will grow with you – whether you’re opening your first account before you head off to college or combining accounts with a new spouse. As you choose your bank, make sure that you consider your needs not only today but for many years in the future so that you’ll be happy for years to come.

Secrets of 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

What is a Balance Transfer?

A Balance Transfer is using a new credit card to move your credit from one card to another.

Why are they so Valuable?

If you qualify, Balance Transfer Credit Cards are a great way to manage your debts. By transferring your debt from a high-interest rate credit card to a card with a zero per cent APR for a set period of time you could be saving a substantial amount of money each month in interest payments. Theoretically, by making the same monthly payment, you could be significantly reducing the amount you owe.

What a Balance Transfers is Not?

A Balance Transfer is not a repayment of debt, you will still owe the same amount of debt.

Here is everything you need to know about balance transfers:

1. Don’t Confuse Transfer with Repayment
A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer your credit to another card with a 0% APR that will allow you to save money in terms of the interest you have to pay on the debt. For an instance, let’s assume you owe an outstanding balance of $5,000 on your high-interest credit card and are you are paying interest at 19% interest and your monthly payments are $238. By transferring your balance to a 0% APR card for 21 months, if you continue to make the same monthly payments of $238, you will pay off your balance at the end of 21 months, saving you approximately $1,661of additional interest on your debt.

2. Consolidating Is a Good Idea
A balance transfer credit card not only saves you an additional interest on debts with its 0% intro APR for a minimum time period, it will also allow you to consolidate your debts from multiple other credit cards to a single card to paid once every month. This is one of the most desirable ways to manage your finances as you will have to keep a track of only one credit card at a time, potentially avoiding late fees.

3. The Balance Transfer Fees
Though several balance transfer cards may allow you to pay off your debts without paying the additional interest on them, there is almost always a balance transfer fees associated with the new credit card. While the balance transfer fees may vary from 3-5%, they are almost always less than the additional interest you will not have to pay due to the 0% intro APR.

4. Effects on Your Credit Score

Applying for a new credit card will require the institution to check your credit reports which will require a full credit history which may ultimately wind up affecting your credit score. Even if you are not approved for a balance transfer credit card, your credit score may take a hit.

5. Other Considerations
Though balance transfer credit cards give you an easy way to avoid the additional interest on your debts, through the introductory offer of 0% APR, the rate will only last for a specific amount of time. To receive the maximum benefit you will have to stay on top of your spending and the goal should always be to attempt to pay off your debts within the specific period or you will be once again subjected to the additional interest which may range from 15-18%, which also could be higher than you were originally paying. Another important consideration is that this balance transfer option may not be available again to you upon the expiration of the initial offer. Often times credit card companies may not continue to allow you to open new balance transfer accounts if you continue to have high credit card balances, so make sure you choose carefully when to take advantage of this option.

Do check out our blog post on Best Small Business Loans of 2018.

Best Small Business Loans of 2018

Best Small Business Loans of 2018: If you’re a small-business owner relying on personal investments for capital, you’re not alone. About three-fourths of starting businesses depend on personal or family savings when starting out. But what happens when your lack of funding prohibits your business’s growth? You might wonder how to get small-business loans from a bank or credit union. As a less established business, you can’t bank on help from a bank. Fortunately, some services specialize in online business loans for smaller companies.
Given below guidelines will help individuals to know more about our five favorite picks and understand which loan company best fits your needs.

Here are some of the best small business loans of 2018:

1. Business Lines of Credit
Business lines of credit are very similar to credit cards and offer a lot of flexibility. With a business line of credit, a lender approves you for a revolving line of credit with a maximum limit you can borrow. Similar to credit cards, you’ll be charged interest on the amount of money you draw, not on the maximum limit.
You can access your line of credit for any of your business needs, whether it’s to purchase inventory or equipment, invest in marketing or manage fluctuations from seasonal sales. As long as you make the minimum payments and don’t go over your limit, you can use your line of credit and repay what you borrowed for as long as you like.

2. Equipment Loans
Equipment loans can be used to purchase and spread out the cost of a large piece of machinery or equipment for your business. The down payment is typically 10 to 20 percent but can be as low as 5 per cent. Sometimes the equipment serves as collateral for the loan. Instead of taking out a loan, you may also have the option to lease equipment.

3. Invoice Financing
If your small business struggles with cash flow issues because you’re waiting on invoices to be paid, you can use invoice financing, also known as factoring. With invoice factoring, you sell your unpaid invoices to a lender at a discount. The lender will provide you with the majority of the amount owed on the invoice upfront and hold a portion of the outstanding amount (usually 20 per cent) until the invoice is paid. It one of the Best Small Business Loans of 2018 every small business owner can consider.
Businesses that take on invoice financing may be perceived as struggling. You should carefully weigh the costs when considering invoice financing. There is a fee that is based on a percentage of the invoice, plus interest charged on the cash advance.

4. Merchant Cash Advances
If you need cash immediately, a merchant cash advance can provide access to capital. With a merchant cash advance, the lender provides you with a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of your future sales. You’re responsible for paying the amount of the loan plus fees.
You repay the advance with either a portion of your future credit and debit card sales, or with fixed daily or weekly transfers from your bank account. Your fee is determined by a risk assessment, with lower fees for lower-risk borrowers. Because of the high-interest rates which can be in the triple digits, merchant cash advances are not recommended.

5. Commercial Mortgage loans
The money borrowed from a commercial mortgage loan is used to buy, develop or refinance commercial property such as a warehouse, mixed-use building or retail centre. Commercial mortgage loan rates are typically 0.50 to 1 percent higher than the prime, 30-year residential mortgage rate, C-Loans.com reports. Loans that are guaranteed by the SBA are usually 2 to 2.5 percent higher than the prime residential mortgage rate. they are one of the Best Small Business Loans of 2018 that you can consider for a better functionong of your small business.

6. Franchise Loans
If you want to purchase or expand a franchise, a franchise loan can help you pay for it. Franchise loans can be used for standard business opening expenses and franchise-specific expenses such as marketing fees or the franchise fee, which is paid upfront to open a franchise. While you can finance a franchise with a traditional term loan, there are lenders that offer loans specifically for franchises. Some franchisors may offer funding to help you establish your franchise.

7. Real Estate and Equipment Loans:
The CDC/504 loan program provides businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major assets such as real estate and equipment. These loans are provided by a Certified Development Company, which is a nonprofit corporation that helps with the economic development of its community.
Funds from a 504 loan can be used to purchase existing buildings, land or long-term machinery, to construct or renovate facilities, or to refinance debt in connection with an expansion of the business. These loans cannot be used for working capital or inventory. The typical 504 loan includes a loan secured from a private sector, a loan secured by the CDC, which is 100 percent backed by the SBA, and a contribution from the borrower. The maximum amount of a 504 loan is $5.5 million, and these loans are available with 10- or 20-year maturity terms.

8. Disaster Loans:
These low-interest loans can be used to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets that were damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. The SBA offers disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses and includes assistance in both economic injury and physical damage. These low interest loans are some of the Best Small Business Loans of 2018.

Check out our blog post on Everything You Need to Know About IRAs.

Everything You Need to Know About IRAs

Everything You Need to Know About IRAs: As opposing what many people believe that, Individual Retirement Account is not an investment, rather it is an account which is set up at some financial institution or brokerage firm. The purchase investments like mutual funds, individual stocks, shares, bonds etc., that are held in the account are from the individuals when they add money to the account over time. Gradually, the income in retirement can be taken by withdrawing the money in that account.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About IRAs:

IRA benefits
The major point of a traditional IRA is that it contributes to tax-deductible till its limits, leading to reduce the annual tax bill.
In both traditional and Roth IRAs the investments in your IRA grow tax-deferred, meaning you owe nothing on the gains so long as the money remains in the IRA.
IRAs allow individuals to contribute up to $5,500 per year; that’s on top of what you can sock away in a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Investors 50 and older are allowed to save even more per year — an extra $1,000 an year as an catch up contribution.
Although you shouldn’t withdraw money from an IRA before retirement, the IRS does allow individuals to take out money before age 59 ½ to pay for certain expenses.

How to choose the right type of IRA
There are two main types of IRAs: The Roth IRA and the traditional IRA. The primary difference between the two relates to the tax breaks this account offers.

Traditional IRA
If the current tax rate is higher than the tax rate one can face in the retirement, then traditional IRA may be a good choice. That way you get the tax break when it benefits you the most.

Roth IRA
The concept of Everything You Need to Know About IRAs varies from time to time. One cannot deduct the taxable income as the contributions are made with post-tax dollars. The payoff of contributing to a Roth is in retirement your withdrawals are not taxed at all. A Roth IRA may be a good choice if you’re in a lower tax bracket now than you’ll likely be in the future.
These aren’t the only differences between these account types, however.
Note that not everyone is eligible for both account types. Eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA is based on income — only those below a certain threshold are permitted to fully or partially fund an account. Anyone can contribute to a traditional IRA, but the amount you’re allowed to deduct may be limited by your income and whether you or your spouse has access to a retirement plan at work.

How to open an IRA
Before choosing an IRA provider, one should be aware that how much involvement he or she wants to be in the management of investments.
An online broker is a perfect way to go if an individual wants to manage investments solely.
The best way if someone wants help with managing investments should consider a robot-advisor, which is an automated as well price effective investment manager, helping in choosing low cost, low-risk mutual funds and ETFs. the further process of choosing a provider is very fundamental to online signing process for an IRA and giving some general information. Here’s everything you need to know about IRAs.

Do check out our blog post on Mutual Funds vs ETF.

Mutual Funds vs ETF

Mutual Funds vs ETF: Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about exchange-traded funds (ETFs) being one of the best investment channels. For the uninformed, these funds may seem like mutual funds as they pool together the money of investors to buy a portfolio of bonds and stocks that are diverse. So what exactly is the difference between the two?
In fact, there is not much of a difference between ETFs and mutual funds. One of the main differences between the two is the fact that you can buy a share of ETF through a brokerage, like stocks, not through a fund management company that sells mutual funds.

Here are some important factors of the debate about Mutual Funds vs ETF:

ETF:
Also known as Exchange Traded Fund is an investment fund which is traded on the stock exchange. The assets held under an ETF are commodities, stocks and bonds. These are traded for an amount close to the original net asset value of the asset, during a trading day. ETF can be used for the following purposes: Hedging, Equitizing Cash and for Arbitrage. ETF shareholders get a part of the profits, i.e, the dividends paid and interest earned. They may also get a residual value if there is a liquidation of the fund. ETF shares are usually traded on public stock exchanges so these shares can be transferred, bought, or sold easily like the shares of a stock.
ETF supply is regulated through “creation” and “redemption” processes that involve some special investors, also referred to as authorised participants (APs). APs are usually renowned financial institutions such as banks and investment firms that have a great deal of buying power.

The key advantages of ETFs are as follows:
Investors can sell short or buy on margin. They can also purchase one share, as there are no minimum investment requirements.
The commission that is paid to the broker when buying or selling ETFs is the same as that paid for a regular order.
It is comparable to a mutual fund that can be bought and sold at a cost that varies throughout the day. The transactions are carried out in real-time as well.

Mutual Funds:
A professionally managed investment funds that trade in diversified holding are known as mutual funds. Funds are pooled from various investors and invested with the assistance of professionals. Bonds, stocks, money market instruments or a combination of all are part of the investment portfolio. The investor owns a share of the mutual fund and reaps the same benefits or losses as the other shareholders.
ETF shareholders get a part of the profits, i.e, the dividends paid and interest earned. They may also get a residual value if there is a liquidation of the fund. ETF shares are usually traded on public stock exchanges so these shares can be transferred, bought, or sold easily like the shares of a stock.

The key advantages of ETFs are as follows:
Investors can sell short or buy on margin. They can also purchase one share, as there are no minimum investment requirements.
The commission that is paid to the broker when buying or selling ETFs is the same as that paid for a regular order.
It is comparable to a mutual fund that can be bought and sold at a cost that varies throughout the day. The transactions are carried out in real-time as well.

The actual differences between mutual funds vs ETF:

1. Mutual Funds Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Mutual Funds are traded at the closing net asset value. Exchange Traded Funds are traded during the course of a trading day and its value varies during this time. Mutual Funds have varying operating expenses. ETF has lower operating expenses. Most Mutual Funds have a minimum expense specified. There is no minimum investment specified for Exchange Traded Funds.

2. Mutual Funds have more tax liabilities than ETFs. ETFs offer tax benefits to the investors due to the manner of its creation and redemption. Mutual Fund shares can only be purchased directly from the funds at the NAV price that is fixed during the trading day. ETF can be bought and sold anytime on the stock exchange, at the prevailing market price. Generally, compared to ETFs, the transaction costs are zero when mutual fund shares are bought or sold. There is an additional cost involved while trading ETFs, which is called the “bid-ask spread”. Mutual funds vs ETF, whatever it may be, you have to first prioritize your demands.

3. Mutual Funds have lower liquidity compared to Exchange Traded Funds. ETF has higher liquidity since it is not connected to its daily trading volume. Usually, the time limit imposed on selling a share is 90 days from the date of purchase. ETF does not have a time limit on selling an asset. The investor can buy or sell at any point of the trading day at the price available during the time. Therefore, there is no minimum holding period specified for the same.

4. Mutual Funds are index-tracking but is actively managed by professionals. Assets are picked in such a way that it beats the index and achieves higher performance. Exchange Traded Funds track an index, i.e., it tries to match the price movements and returns indicated in an index by assembling a portfolio which is similar to the index constituents.

Mutual funds vs ETF debate have been going on for quite a time now, you have to choose which one is best for you according to your requirements.

Do check out our blog post on Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States

Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States

Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States: With more than 800 insurance companies in the United States, you could spend months comparing quotes and analyzing ratings without ever knowing for sure that you’d chosen the right company. There are other great companies out there, but these given below consistently offer the best products and customer service, and they exhibit strength and stability, which means they’re more likely to be there when you need them.

Here is the list of some of the Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States that you will find suitable:

1. Haven Life
Haven life has upended the traditional process of acquiring term life insurance by getting rid of the medical examination for people who qualify. Even if you do need a medical exam, Haven Life’s process is quick and easy to navigate.
Haven Life offers only term life insurance, which is usually the simplest and most affordable type of coverage, especially if you’re young and in good health. The agency’s policies are backed by MassMutual which has earned the highest financial ratings offered by A.M. Best and other insurance company rating agencies.
If you are looking to get term life insurance with the least hassle and faster than any other company can offer, then Haven Life is going to be your top company.

2. Banner Life Insurance
It is a leader in terms of life insurance product diversity and customer service. The company has been operating since 1949, and it currently holds about $415 billion in premiums in force.
Banner Life has both comprehensive and flexible coverage options. For example, they offer special rates for younger or health conscious individuals. In addition, people up to age 95 can apply for a Banner Life term policy, which is nearly unheard of in the insurance industry. Banner Life has earned high ratings, including an A+ from A.M. Best, an AA- from Standard & Poor’s, and an A from Fitch Ratings making it land on the list of Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States. The company also has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
With more than 49,000 employees and clients in over 80 countries and jurisdictions, AIG, or American International Group, is often considered the world’s largest insurance organization.

3. Prudential
Another long-standing, top life insurance company is Prudential, which manages more than $1 trillion in assets for clients throughout the world.
Prudential offers a number of different policy options, including term and permanent coverage. Permanent coverage from Prudential includes universal, indexed universal, variable universal, and survivorship universal life insurance.
The 140-year-old company has earned high ratings, including an A+ from A.M. Best, an AA- from Standard & Poor’s, an A1 from Moody’s, and an A+ rating from Fitch. We’ve noticed that applicants who use chewing tobacco often prefer Prudential because the company does not place chewing tobacco users into its classification for smokers, and this can save a huge amount of money. For example, a 37-year-old man who uses chewing tobacco can save thousands of dollars a year with Prudential.

4. Met Life
MetLife, another well-known insurance and financial services provider in the United States and globally, offers a variety of policy options, including term, whole life, universal, variable, and survivorship plans.
MetLife also offers a simplified issue term life insurance which does not require applicants to get a medical exam. This can be a good option for those who have health-related issues that might make a medically underwritten policy too expensive or impossible to buy.
MetLife has earned an A+ from A.M. Best, an AA- from Fitch, an Aa3 from Moody’s, and an AA- from Standard & Poor.

5. My Voya Review
Formerly known as ING, Voya Financial has emerged as a leader in today’s financial and insurance services industry and ranks 5th on the list of Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States. The company is comprised of premier insurance, investment, and retirement companies, and it serves roughly 13 million clients in the United States.
Voya provides a wide array of coverage, including term life, universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life, and survivorship policies. The company currently has about $519 billion in total assets under management, and it is considered a top five retirement plan provider based on the number of plans, participants, and assets.
Voya Insurance and Annuity Company has earned high ratings: an A from A.M. Best, an A- from Fitch, an A3 from Moody’s, and an A- from Standard & Poor.

6. Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha has been serving customers in the life insurance arena for more than a century. It provides a wide variety of products including term, whole life, universal life, and accidental death.
The company provides easy-to-follow online steps to help customers determine how much coverage they may need. The site also offers calculators to help determine how long life insurance proceeds may last.
Mutual has earned best life insurance company status from the rating agencies due to its financial strength and claims-paying history.

7. New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company opened more than 170 years ago, and the insurer has more than $425 billion in managed assets. It serves policyholders in both the United States and around the world.
New York Life offers term, whole life, universal life and variable life. The company is a financial stalwart, earning an A++ from A.M. Best, an AA+ from Standard & Poor’s, an AAA from Fitch, and an Aaa from Moody’s Investor Services making it rank high on the list of Top Life Insurance Companies in the United States.

8. Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides numerous coverage options, including term, universal, and variable universal life insurance coverage. Lincoln also has a combination life / long-term care option whereby a policyholder can use a universal policy as an alternative to purchasing a stand-alone, long-term care insurance policy.
The Lincoln Life and Annuity Company has earned high marks from rating agencies, including an A+ from A.M. Best, an AA- from Standard & Poor’s, an A1 from Moody’s, and an A+ from Fitch. See our detailed review of Lincoln Financial Group.

Do check out our blog post on How to Find Best Mortgage Rates.

How to Find Best Mortgage Rates

How to Find Best Mortgage Rates: Lending a mortgage is one of the biggest financial gambles you can ever make which essentially requires you to choose the best deal possible so as to bag maximum financial benefits as well as something to call your own home for life. A mortgage for a home will allow your family to grow within those loving walls and this requires you to get a deal for yourself with lower interest rates and other options such as consolidation or refinancing. Finding a favourable mortgage rate should be your primary priority when checking out the mortgage rates. Worry not, we do have some essential tips for you considering the competition, credit scores down payment requirements and much more.

Some tips on how to find best mortgage rates:

1. High Credit Score
A higher credit score eventually means that you are a responsible spender and will handle the loan repayment terms well. A higher credit score allows the lender to believe in your credibility to make the payments on time and thereby they offer you lower interest rates. Getting a good credit score requires you to maintain a steady and healthy relationship with your finances, loan payment on time, cleared off debts and no remaining credit card or personal balances. All these things do take time but once done, they can be of advantage.

2. Build Your Savings for a Down Payment
It’s not always easy to save up when you are already planning to lend a mortgage but it helps a lot. Having a minimum of 20% of the repayment as a down payment will make you eligible for a lesser interest rate thereby allowing you to use that money for something more essential rather than paying more every month. You will be subjected to mortgage insurances and private taxes if the down payment you make is less than 20% which can take up your savings. 20% of minimum down payment is one of the best tips on How to Find Best Mortgage Rates.

3. Consider ARMs
If you are planning to have a home for a short period of time and then relocate to a better place, you need to consider adjustable rate mortgages which allow you to pay the repayment sum in heavy amount every month with a lower interest rate allowing you to clear off your mortgage eventually faster. The rates of interest being less allow you to look out for better options sometime soon and make you clear off the loan before the required time without any penalty but it does require you saving a lot beforehand.

4. Consider Pre Approval
When you are absolutely sure of buying a house on a mortgage, you don’t have to sit back and look out when the perfect opportunity strikes. Getting a pre-approval of a mortgage allows you to consider your options and what you can do to make them better. Consider visiting the banks beforehand and look out for what options you have and when you will approach a lender, he will be rather sure of how serious you are with your credit history and repayments, making you a worthy candidate. Pre-planning is something that will help you a lot on the context of How to Find Best Mortgage Rates.

Do check out our blog post on Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage.

Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage: Refinancing is always associated with saving money in some form or another. They are like dependent on each other. The interest rates have finally hit their all term historic lows offering the homeowners a great deal of refinancing that can actually let them save money. It is one of the best ways to not allow the banks to take advantage of your mortgage by offering fewer interest rates as well as benefits. Refinancing allows you to swap your interest rates with something more profitable and competitive and you don’t even have to change your banks for refinancing.

Here are some of the reasons to refinance your mortgage:

1. Swapping to a Better Rate
Refinancing to save money by dealing up with a lower interest rate is one of the major reasons for considering refinancing. The extra cash you save by getting a deal with a low-interest rate can be used for any of the other important things like savings or checking accounts or emergency funds. There are thousand of refinancing deals on the market that can offer you well but you have to consider the one that offers a minimum of 1% of lower interest rate from your previous one as signing up for a new deal also requires wads of cash. So you have to go for the one that actually allows you to save something after all the expenses are covered. Swapping to a better rate is actually one of the primary reasons to refinance your mortgage.

2. Conversion to Fixed Rate Loans
Certain home loan lenders allow you to get your adjustable rate mortgages which are good when the rates are low but when they actually go high, you are left with nothing in your pocket. Converting your ARM to fixed rate loans allows you with a sense of security and a fixed amount to be paid which can further be refinanced when the offer strikes. It will offer you a sense of stability when the rates go high and you won’t have to pay money out of your pocket for keeping the payments adjustable.

3. Consolidation of Loans
Refinancing your home loans is another way to consolidate your loans in order to pay the personal or credit card debts is one of the major reasons to refinance your mortgage. Often credit card loans or personal loans are associated with higher interest rates which are capable of making a hole in your savings but consolidating them with home mortgages through refinancing allows you to pay a lesser term annually. You just have to keep in mind that the loan repayment terms of other loans should be lesser than the mortgage term.

4. Paying Off Your Loan Faster
Refinancing allows you to change the fixed type of payment abilities to a new term that allows you to pay the loan faster if you happen to get a good job that pays much higher or has come across an actual load in a lottery or someone’s heritage. There are often some refinancing penalties associated with the loan lenders so, you have to be aware of them. Shortening your repayment term isn’t always easy but if you are looking to buy something else and have a historical loan to pay off, refinancing is a better option to choose.

Do check out our blog post on 5 ways to save money on a budget.

5 Ways to Save Money On a Budget

5 Ways to Save Money On a Budget: Saving money is indispensable especially when you are on a budget. It takes a little effort on your part and that effort might be the one worthy step you need to initiate in your fast life, the step that can make you save more for the other important issues or emergencies. It’s not at all easy to implement every little aspect of savings when you are already on a budget but making an effort is worth a try. Let’s see if you can add a sum to your savings and give yourself a pat on the back.

Here are some of the smart ways to save money on a budget:

1. Smart Shopping
Savings isn’t always about cash, you can save plenty by using certain smart shopping ways. Look out for all the offers at the commercial and retail stores and buy from the one that offers the least price on the things of your requirement. Look out for coupon codes and gift cards which will allow you to save a little at a time and remember, it will add up one day into something big. This is just a start.

2. Save Automatically
This is the easiest method of saving. You can set up an automatic savings fund which means a part of your salary will be deducted every month by your HR team and that amount will be automatically transferred to a savings account or any other permanent funds such as retirement account that you won’t be able to access as many times as possible giving you an ample amount saved for emergencies. Saving automatically is one of the most efficient Ways to Save Money On a Budget.

3. Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a must if you have an average income and wants to save a decent amount in terms of emergencies. For e.g. you can save a minimum of $1000 in your savings account which can only be used in the time of need. The regularly scheduled payments in your accounts will keep the extra cash save and will add up an interest that will be fruitful in the future.

4. Purposeful Savings
It’s not always easy to save big when you have no further goals on spending them in the future. You can save more if you focus on a goal such as a vacation or for your kids’ tuitions and all. This will allow you to keep your focus on savings even little at times and trust me, it will all be worth it in the ned. After you are getting the ends meet on a budget, savings can add up and will also make you capable of spending less on things that are worthless. Having a purpose to save more is one of the fool proof Ways to Save Money On a Budget.

5. No Credit Cards
In a simple definition, a credit card is a money you don’t actually have. It makes things complex. It is the ultimate temptation that won’t in anyway help you save more and budget your savings. Start using debit cards and cash which will allow you to limit your spendings and save more.

Do check out our blog post on 5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score.

5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score: Improving your credit score is not just an overnight task. It requires effort and lots of patience. We often have the idea that certain quick fixes and changes here and there will make our credit scores better but this usually backfires. Ample responsible measures for a significant period of time allows you to repair and rebuild your credit score. Starting on a righteous path to the better credit requires you to undertake certain changes at a time.

Here are some of the ways to improve your credit score:

1. Take care of Credit Card Balances
It is the foremost step that affects your credit score. Smaller the balances, more improved is the credit score. 30% or less is the accurate balance you have to use from your limit so as to keep your credit score managed at all time. Eliminating the credit card balances is another way to improve your credit score. If you have a number of credit cards with little balance due on every, it affects your credit score badly and paying all the balances through one credit card is not something we would suggest. You need to pay the balances due so as to get a good credit score when your credit reports are being fetched.

2. Do not eliminate the old debts from your credit report
It is a common belief that once you have paid off your older debts, you need to get them eliminated from the reports so as to improve your credit score but the truth is otherwise. Eliminating them from the records doesn’t help in any way. Instead of keeping the reports accurate and paying the debt on time makes you look rather more responsible and managing your finances efficiently improves your credit score eventually in the long run. Moreover, those debts reports are bound to vanish after a specific period of time, so making an extra effort to get them removed is all in vain. Elimintaing old debts is one of the most effctive ways to improve your credit score.

3. Payment Reminders
Paying your bills on the specific time is one of the important ways of improving your credit score. On time payments is one of the easiest ways to get what you essentially want. There is nothing in between, just monthly payments on the required date and you will see the rise in your credit score eventually. If you are manageable enough, automatic payments through some play store apps help a great deal and the reminders are essential for paying those bills on time.

4. The Credit Age
There’s nothing much you can do to make your credit scores improve if you have a short credit history. For an instance, you have a new credit card, which means there aren’t many transactions and balance due on the card which in fact will not help you build a credit score nor will it affect it anyhow. Though, adding a member with a good credit history to your credit card as an authorized user can affect the age of your credit card and build a strong credit history which can be further improved. Though, this requires someone you can trust and rely on which is not something we can get easily.

5. Create an Action Plan
Creating an action plan is one of the foolproof ways to improve your credit score. If there are certain problem areas associated with your credit score and you know them specifically, you can work towards their improvement. Find out solutions that can make things and your financial credit dealings way much better. Develop an action plan that allows you to limit your credit spendings according to the balance and pay every amount due. Pay off any debt if you have been carrying it and start working on managing the credit and it balances a little better.

Do check out our blog post on How to Choose Best College Savings Plans in America.