Decreasing Monthly Mortgage Payments Effectively

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Refinancing the mortgage to decrease mortgage paymentsA high monthly mortgage rate can greatly affect your income and other paying commitments. If you find your mortgage difficult to pay due to its cost, below are four smart strategies that can assist you. Read on.

Consider refinancing

Many borrowers opt to refinance their mortgage because apart from lowering their monthly payments, it allows them to get a lower interest rate as well. One of the most popular refinancing programs is the HARP Loan Program, a program initiated by the federal government in 2009.

Some lenders offer loans under this scheme, one of them being Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans are eligible for this program and suits any property even vacation homes.

Expand repayment term

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your monthly payment on a mortgage is by stretching out its term. Also, known as re-amortizing, this approach does not require homeowners to refinance their mortgage but instead pay a one-time service fee.

If your mortgage, for example, is set to 10 years, extending it to 15 will significantly lower its monthly price.

Let go of mortgage insurance

Do you know that you can get rid of your private mortgage insurance (PMI) to lessen the costs of your payment of monthly mortgage? All you have to do is repay enough of your mortgage to gain equity in your home.

When you do this successfully, you can request your lender to drop your PMI, which adds to the costs of your monthly expenses.

Alter your payment schedule

Lenders are typically considerate, especially to long-time clients. If monthly payments are not working for you, ask your lending company about changing your payment plan. Request for a bi-weekly schedule if you wish to pay off your mortgage with the money you already have.

Bi-monthly and quarterly payments may also be considered

Mortgages entail a paying commitment, which for some could be harder to settle over time. Determine the option that best suits your budget to help lower your monthly costs.

The Basics of an FHA Loan Program

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FHA loan paperwork with pen, glasses and moneyIn the 1930s, there were many foreclosures and defaults on mortgages. So in response to that, the government instituted the FHA Loan Program to make home loans more affordable for individuals with low to moderate income who cannot afford the 20% down payment and those with low credit scores.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures FHA loans issued by federally qualified lenders. This also provides mortgage lenders with sufficient insurance, so they are not at the losing end if the borrower defaults.

Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. notes that the percentage of the down payment is according to borrower’s credit score. The higher the credit score, the lower the down payment.

The 3.5% down payment is available to those with a credit score of 580 and up while those with 500 to 579 can avail of the loan with a 10% down payment.

FHA Loan Benefits

The main advantage of an FHA program is the low down payment and not being required to have a high credit score to qualify. In fact, you can still qualify even if you only have a credit score of 500; however, you will need to pay a down payment of 10%.

But compare that with the 20% down payment for a conventional mortgage, that’s already a good deal.

Possible Disadvantages Of An FHA Loan

While an FHA program is great at first glance, there are still downsides you need to consider. One of them is having to pay two types of mortgage insurance premiums (MIP).

One of them is the MIP paid up front during closing or paid monthly together with the mortgage where borrowers need to pay an extra 1.75% of the total home loan. The other one is an annual premium charged monthly.

An FHA program is a great option for people with less than stellar credit scores and do not have enough money for the down payment. However, you still need to look into the additional fees that you will need to pay.

Buying Your First Home? Here Are Some Tips to Keep in Mind

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Man and woman talking to their real estate agent about the house they're buyingYour first home is a big investment, but it’s worth it as you create a sanctuary for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, the cost of homes today usually means that people must put off buying one until they’re more financially secure. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait as long with these tips that to help you purchase your home:

Make Sure Your Credit Rating is Excellent

Home loan rates in Fort Myers are largely predicted by your credit rating; as such, it is important to improve your credit standing. With an excellent credit rating, you’re in a better position to negotiate the loan rates. Order your credit report through the credit bureaus and find out what can be done with your rating.

Qualify Your Situation

As the idiom goes, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Figure out your assets and liabilities as a first-time home buyer. There’s an online calculator today that lets you figure out how much you can afford based on the income you’re pulling in versus the expenses you have monthly.

Go Big with Your Down payment

Put as much money down as you can to further minimize the home rates you must deal with. More down payment means you’ll have to pay less residual on the home. This will significantly shorten the length of time you have to pay off the loan, as well.

Compare, Compare, Compare

Not all lenders are the same. You’ll find that comparing one from another will give you a better chance of finding a mortgage provider with terms that best fit your needs. Study the terms of the loan so you understand what you are committing to.

Of course, those are just some of the tips to keep in mind when buying your first home. It might take some time – but having your own home will offer wonderful security for the years to come.

Finding Ways to Afford Your Home Down Payment

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Man and woman talking to their real estate agent about the house they're buyingBuying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. While you do not have to cover the entire cost of the home up front, you must pay a significant down payment to close the deal.

Having a big amount for down payment can help you get a good deal from a mortgage company in St George. Here are some tips that you can use to save enough money for your down payment.

Check Out Down Payment Assistance Programs Offered by Your State

Some states, such as Utah and California, offer down payment assistance loans to prospective homeowners. The loans can help cover the down payment and closing costs. Check out your local government website to see if there are programs that you may qualify for.

Apply For National Government-Sponsored Down Payment Assistance Programs

Not too many home-buyers are aware that they can qualify for down payment assistance programs or grants offered by the national government. With the loan proceeds, you can lower your down payment and out-of-pocket expenses by a significant amount. You can find many programs online. These include those offered by the National Home-buyers Fund.

Save Your Change

You may not realize it but you can save some money to add to your down payment fund with small amounts at a time. Some banks allow their account holders to save the spare change from online transactions they make. You can use online banking/payment apps that will round up your payments to the nearest whole dollar. The app will deposit the change into your designated savings account.

Save a Part of Your Performance Bonus or Tax Refund

If you are expecting a performance bonus or tax refund anytime soon, set some money aside for your down payment. It’s alright to spend a little for dinner at a fine restaurant or a weekend getaway. But do not splurge on luxuries or things you can live without.

These are only a few ideas on how you can save enough money for your down payment. With a little creativity and proper planning, you can come up with more and get the keys to your new house soon.

Outsourcing Financial Functions—Is it a Smart Move for Startups?

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Pointing the outsourcing informationWhen you’re a startup owner, you have more important things to do than accounting and keeping records of your business’ financial affairs. You can hire professionals to do those tasks for you. But, hiring too many people for a small organization isn’t the greatest idea. So, why don’t you consider outsourcing your financial functions instead?

Here are some of the key benefits of outsourcing financial services:

Less Overhead Costs

When you hire in-house accounting professionals, you have to earmark the budget for their monthly salaries and worker’s benefits. Of course, the operating expenses will also increase with more people in the office. On the other hand, you only need to outsource a financial service when you need it. Plus, you need only pay for the hours of service used – nothing more.

Higher Level Expertise

Most companies that offer outsourced financial services are composed of professionals with deep industry knowledge and a high level of accounting and bookkeeping skills. They can determine the needs of your business in terms of financial functions, plus, they can tailor their services just for you.

In addition, these companies often employ best practices delivering excellent service to their clients. As a matter of fact, some of them now combine traditional financing methods with software systems to perform their services more efficiently.

Accurate Financial Statements and Reports

Working with financial outsourcing companies will give you access to accurate and timely financial statements and reports. You can use this data to analyze how you can further grow your business. Also, these documents are vital for your year-end audit preparation, systems conversion, tax preparation and other business transactions.

By outsourcing your financial functions, you can have the best accounting talent when you need it. But more importantly, this move could free up a lot of your time, so you focus on growing your business.

How to Find the Best Rate for Your Home Loan

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Mortgage loan on a keyboardWhen getting a home mortgage, finding a loan product that comes with a preferential rate is always ideal. In fact, it is one of the initial steps to take before going deep into the home buying process. But, the process of finding a good loan product can be a bit tricky. You need to do comparison shopping to come up with one that you can afford.

Here are a few tips on how to land the best home loan rates in Fort Myers, or wherever you are in the country:

Compare Costs Using Your Loan Estimates

In general, lenders provide borrowers with a loan estimate before finalizing a loan transaction. The statement details the costs and terms of the loan. Before deciding on which loan offer to take, compare the loan estimates provided by different lenders. This way, you can come up with an informed decision on which loan product will best suit your requirements.

Compare as Many Lenders as Possible

Compare offers from as many online lenders, banks, and credit unions as possible. These should include referrals from your friends and real estate agent. This way, you will have a more complete picture of all the options you have.

Compared to banks and other lenders, credit unions often offer lower home loan rates. They can do it since these institutions are, in general, not-for-profit types.

Limit Your Search to a 14-Day Window

When searching for the best mortgage loan rates, it is important limit the search to a two-week window. Applying for a home loan beyond that period may result to a decline in your credit score.

Availing of a home loan is a major decision that has a direct effect on you future finances. Thus, it is important that you explore all your options before deciding on which loan offer to take.

Reasons Title Loans are Better than Pawnshops

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Red Sign of title loans with a checkIf you need quick cash in between paydays, pawning your jewelry pieces and getting a car title loan are two good options. Whichever you decide to get, they do not care about your credit scores.

Unlike conventional bank loans, even if your credit score rating is not that good, you can still get some quick cash for your pawned jewelry pieces or car title loan. But here is why getting car title loans is better than pawning your precious gems.

Consider these benefits if you are deciding to get a title loan in Provo from institutions such as Utah Money Center.

You do not need to hand over your car

When you pawn your precious jewelry in a pawnshop, lenders hang on to the pieces until you can pay back the loan plus interest. This means you cannot wear your grandmother’s heirloom piece to that wedding next week or your diamond engagement ring for some time.

Your car is worth so much more

Unless you have a rare piece of jewelry that is worth a high six figures, your vehicle is worth so much more than your pearl earrings. Whether you go to the pawnshops or car title lending companies, the money you can borrow is proportional to the value of the things you hand over.

But for car title loans, you only need to hand over the title, not the actual car. Therefore, you can get more if you get a car title loan. If you need to borrow a larger amount for emergencies, just go for a car title loan.

You do not have to worry about losing your heirloom pieces

While you can always wish that the pawnshops would not chip a piece of your precious jewelry pieces, you can ensure that your car will be safe even if you get a car title loan. For the latter, you just need to provide the title of your vehicle as collateral.

Life can get hard sometimes, but with car title loans, you do not have to worry about losing heirloom jewelry pieces just because you are in need of quick cash in between paydays. Consider getting a car title loan instead of pawning your precious jewels.

Construction Loans Could Help You Build Your Dream Home

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Man and woman talking to the real estate agentOwning a home is a dream of every average individual. While some settle for an apartment, as this way they can own a home and also get good returns in the form of rentals, many families opt to build their own homes. There are very friendly construction loans available, which you can apply for to build the home of your dreams.

Understand the loan

You can consult experts on your loan options and use the Home loan calculator in Utah or elsewhere to plan better. While there are many types of construction loans, the experts at American Loans explain they all work in the same manner. The loan amount will cover the entire construction and can be later converted into a mortgage, the moment the house construction is complete. You need to make a down payment and make monthly interest payments at a fixed rate of interest. After the home is ready, the loan can be converted into a 30 or 15-year mortgage at fixed rates. Your contractor should give you a schedule that specifies the monthly funding needed along with the construction schedule.

A few steps to be on the right track

Once you decide on the type of construction loan best suited for you, follow certain steps to make sure that you are headed in the right direction. The first thing to do is to know your affordability and limits. This will help you determine the total loan you can take, and the down payment you can make. The next step is to find lenders; you can browse the Internet and compare the loan rates before picking the right lender for your needs. Simultaneously do your research well and find a building contractor. You can contact your contractor, if necessary to get a list of lenders, he or she has worked with earlier. Get a pre-approval letter from the lender and understand the tax rates too.

Contact a reputed real estate agent to get a good piece of land suitable for your budget and preferences. Get all the necessary permits and ensure that water and the power supply is readily available in the locality.  With all this done, you are ready to build your dream home.

Volunteer to Be Better: Opportunity in the Armed Forces for Students

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Soldiers lined upStudents take much of their time and effort on studying in hopes of honing themselves as educated individuals in their respective fields. Volunteer work, however, can hone students all the same with regard to their character. Have you performed volunteer work yourself yet?

Grow as a Volunteer

Volunteer work can benefit you personally as well as the community you serve. On a personal level, you can develop positive values such as empathy and compassion. You can even build confidence and improve your communication and leadership skills. On the community level, social responsibility can be inculcated and a network of support can be initiated.

Volunteer for the Armed Forces

You can join many different volunteer work here in Singapore. Some will be formal and structured, while other works remain informal. In terms of scope, some will target specific communities, while others can serve the whole nation of Singapore. Take the Volunteer Corps of the Singapore Armed Forces, for example.

What’s Your Reason?

The Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) offers a volunteer opportunity for students willing to serve in the military.

You can join for various reasons just like the two students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic who volunteered last year. One joined because she wanted to develop herself into a stronger woman, while the other joined to develop herself as a person and to give back to Singapore.

The Volunteer Corps

The volunteer opportunity in the SAF remains open to all Singaporeans and permanent residents over 18 years of age who aren’t required to join by the National Service Act, yet desire to help in national defence. You will undergo a two-week Basic Training and another week of Qualification Training. You may even undergo a fourth week of Advanced Training. As an SAFVC volunteer (SV), you will serve for seven days each year in the role you have been assigned to.

Do you want to serve Singapore? Volunteering for the SAF Volunteer Corps can be a great educational experience for you as it has been for the many volunteers that have joined since 2015.

Eyeglasses of the Future: ‘Tunable,’ Liquid-Based Smart Specs

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Woman having her eye check for her smart specsThe way the human body works is astonishing: do you know, for instance, that your eyes’ natural lenses have the ability to focus on what you’re looking?

Waning Ability

Some eye conditions such as astigmatism or farsightedness, however, can rob the eyes of this capability. Our lenses, moreover, tend to become stiffer with age, causing them to lose the ability to bend well enough to focus at various distances. While some conditions require medical attention and even surgery, some cases need only corrective eyeglasses.

Glasses may compensate for the inability to bend, but in some instances, glasses with multiple lenses for various distances may be necessary, such as bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses. These glasses also call for a replacement as our eyesight changes.

Fortunately for people who need eyeglasses, they now have endless options with the arrival of stores such as International Eyewear. Eyewear technology, moreover, is taking giant leaps of advancement, as scientists have recently developed ‘smart glasses’ that mimic the function of the eyes’ natural lenses.

Smart Specs

Like our eyes, the new ‘smart glasses’ can refocus on what its wearer is viewing, whether it’s near, far, or in-between. The scientists created the glasses using glycerin: a thick liquid, which they sandwiched between membranes. They then mounted the lenses onto a frame that integrates an electromechanical system, which lets the membrane bend and adjust the lenses’ focus.

The glasses work by determining what the user is viewing through a sensor on the bridge of the glasses which uses infrared light to see where the wearer is looking, as well as to determine the precise distance. From there, the glasses use an algorithm that instantly adjusts the lens and allows the wearer to focus.

Researchers hope that this capability may eventually eliminate the need for different types of lenses. In the future, a single pair of glasses may be enough to solve any eye condition, even as it progresses.