Tag Archives: finance

Become Debt-Free with an Incredible Debt Management Strategy

debt managementMany Americans buckle under the weight of a growing debt that ruins their finances for the rest of their lives. With the debt-snowball method, you can lower the amount you owe and work towards being debt free.

A cash loans expert in Provo explained that as Americans grow older, so does the amount of debts they carry. Americans under the age of 35 years are in $67,400 debt while the amount doubles to $133,100 for those between 35 and 44 years, according to a survey by Federal Reserve. Though increasing costs of living are somewhat responsible for these massive debts, the issue also points to some other underlying problems.

The Federal Reserve survey findings show that most Americans have poor money and debt management skills. Escaping such burdensome debts would take a considerable amount of effort. Luckily, you can overcome this bleak situation with the so-called debt-snowball approach.

List all your debts

Under the debt-snowball method, you need to make a list of all of your debts, and then order them from the smallest to the largest. Write down the required minimum payment on each debt to get a feel of how much money you need.

The key to keeping debt from overrunning your life is to avoid incurring fines and penalties. So, you need to settle at least the minimum payment on each bill as soon as it is due. Otherwise, you’d only be making matters worse by incurring additional fines. Once you’ve established the minimum payable amount on each debt, use any money left to clear the smallest debt.

Grow your income

The main idea here is to clear the smallest debt, then channel the freed money towards the second smallest debt on the list. With a little bit of consistency, you can work your way up until you get to the biggest debts, such as student loans and mortgages. But, if your income is not enough to cover all the minimum payments, then it is time to shore up your income.

At this point, you should be willing to put in an extra shift, get a second job, join the freelancing movement, or anything that can bring extra dollars to your account. Just be sure to commit those extra dollars to your debt management plan.

Carrying too much debt can ruin your finances and your ability to secure your financial future. Fortunately, you can employ the debt-snowball method and work towards a debt-free existence.

Making Extra Income from Rental Properties

property rentingAvoiding legal trouble is the key to keeping your rental income constant at all times. If you are not sure of the legal provisions or requirements in an area, you are better off seeking legal advice and avoid any problems.

If you are looking for an investment opportunity with consistent income every month, you can’t go wrong with rental properties. Whether it’s a factory complex, office building or an apartment unit, you stand a good chance to make money.

However, you need to address some crucial issues that ensure success, explains a property lawyer in Townsville. Without a great understanding of the legal provisions, you are likely to run into some legal issues that could ruin your plans.

Don’t draft weak rental agreements

Troublesome tenants come in all shapes and sizes, and without proper protective measures, they can hurt you. To avoid unnecessary trouble, have the proper legal counsel when drafting a legal document. Some renters are quite adept at spotting loopholes in lease agreements. They can use shortcomings to their advantage and cause you a lot of grief.

In some cases, tenants can pick clauses in the agreement and bring a civil suit against you in a court of law. Such a move could cost you thousands of dollars in legal costs and lawyer fees. In some instances, the tenant might legally stop remitting payment until the matter is resolved by the courts.

Don’t ignore the law

In legal matters, ignorance is never a defence, and as such, you can’t use your unfamiliarity with the laws to defend a wrong. Property laws vary between places, making it crucial to appreciate these differences. What might be legal in one area might be illegal in the next.

Failing to tell the difference can saddle you with hefty fines and penalties. You are better off having a legal expert handle such matters if unsure. Such a move saves you a great deal of trouble in the future from both the law and unruly tenants.

Rental properties make an excellent way to generate income and build wealth. You stand a better chance of having a regular rental income by avoiding legal troubles.

3 Ways to Speed Up Your Mortgage Approval Process

Approved Mortgage Loan AgreementMany mortgage borrowers leave the power of their loan approval to the lender. Granted, the lender plays a significant role in the process. But what many people fail to realize is that the role they should play will determine how fast their loans will be approved.
Here are some of the practical ways to speed up your mortgage approval process.

Be honest from the beginning

According to experts, the mortgage vetting process is a rigorous one. This means a standard procedure is followed in verifying the information you give. Lenders have also improved the way they search for the truth about the borrower. It is, therefore, important that you disclose all the information the lender needs, both good and bad.

Avoid the back and forth or holding your breath hoping that the lender won’t discover a past credit mistake. Past mistakes may come out sooner or later. So, make sure your lender has nothing left to unearth because when they do, it won’t go well with your application.

Work with experienced lenders

When looking for the right lender, don’t just look for the one offering the best mortgage rate in Utah or wherever you live. Instead, Altius Mortgage Group recommends looking for other qualities, such as experience and reliability. Dealing with an experienced lender will ensure that the mortgage approval process goes faster. This is because they have a good relationship with other industry players.

Prepare all the necessary documents

There is a lot of paperwork involved in a mortgage application process. Know which documents your lender needs and prepare them to avoid the back and forth that leads to time wastage. This will go a long way in speeding up the process.

The approval time varies because each loan application is unique. But there are things you can do as the borrower, which can help you gain approval quickly. Follow these tips and you can get the keys to your new home in no time.

Unusual Reasons That May Send You Filing for Bankruptcy

a man with no moneyFor most people, the thought of filing for bankruptcy comes as a crushing blow. It comes off as the ultimate fail in all matters finances, at least in the eyes of the world. In some cases, your current predicament may be due to factors beyond your control.

Here are some life situations that may lead you to need to seek out a bankruptcy attorney in Salt Lake City.

A declining income

Contrary to popular opinion, not all people who are insolvent are also unemployed. An economic downturn can lead to a significant drop in your revenue. In such cases, it is common for people to use credit cards to bridge the income gap. If nothing turns up in good time, your debt utilization level hits the roof.

You are likely to incur a Rob Peter to pay Paul situation. Since your income doesn’t suffice to pay the bills, you must borrow money to keep the lights on or buy grocery. Again, an inability to make the minimum payments on the cards leads to penalties and surcharges.

You got divorced

Annulment of your marriage carries a great risk of insolvency. In some instances, you might be held liable for your spouse’s debts. If your ex-spouse doesn’t pay up the creditors might try to collect for you. On the other hand, you might experience financial pressures of supporting two households on the same income.

Child support, alimony, and other mandatory payment might lead you to increase your credit card utilization ration. Especially when carrying other debts such as student or personal loans, mortgage, and car payments. Unless you come into a windfall, you’re likely to face severe financial hurdles.

Financial insolvencies are a harsh reality that people contend with at some point in their life. Some situations that lead up to bankruptcy might be beyond your control, and as such, you should not view it as a failure.

Three Things About Reverse Mortgage Programs You Might Not Know

A conceptual look at variable mortgage rates.About 49 million US residents turned 65 years and older in 2016, which is about 15% of the total population. Many of these people are baby boomers, about 80% of whom own their own homes. Unfortunately, they do not have much else.

Many retirees struggle to make ends meet on their monthly pensions because of high healthcare costs. Those who own their own homes turn to reverse mortgages to add to their income. It is the perfect fit for some homeowners over 62, but not for all. Here are three things you may not know about a reverse mortgage program, according to Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Age matters

Any homeowner over 62 can qualify for a reverse mortgage. However, what you might not know is that the older you are, the more cash you can get. This is because reverse mortgage calculations include the probable term of the loan. This makes sense because the loan matures when the borrower dies or sells the property, whichever comes first.

Interesting options

Not all reverse mortgage lenders are alike. The interest rate you get for a reverse mortgage program will depend on the lender. Reputable lenders follow strict regulations that protect reverse mortgage borrowers. When choosing a lender, find one with a good reputation in the market. Ask friends, family, and your financial adviser for recommendations.

Net proceeds

The money you receive from the lender will not be the amount of the loan. This is because you have to pay for fees and costs. The first thing that will take a chunk out of the money is any balance left on your mortgage. Even if you have fully paid the mortgage, you still have to pay for mortgage insurance, application fees, lender fees, and closing costs. Your lender is obligated to explain all these costs to you before you commit to an agreement. If this does not happen, find another lender.

A reverse mortgage program is a good way to add to a retiree’s monthly income. However, it is not without costs. You’ll be all right as long as you know everything you need to know about reverse mortgages from your lender. To be on the safe side, find a lender with a good reputation for taking care of their clients.

Could Kiwis Solve Auckland’s $2 Billion Traffic Woes?

Traffic JamAuckland is the 47th most congested city in the world this year. And despite still being relatively far from the top, traffic in New Zealand’s biggest city costs it about $2 billion each year. The situation is so bad that even it’s taken a toll on the Kiwis’ productivity. Everybody is spending an extra 45 minutes a day on the road — or the equivalent of four working weeks a year.

It’s a far cry from the figures of three years ago. In 2014, Aucklanders spent only an extra 12 working days a year in traffic. This growing problem is prompting experts to look at its causes and try to find solutions.

Rising Population, Bad Roads and Irresponsible Driving

According to experts, the increasing number of vehicles hitting the road is the main cause of worsening traffic congestion. The area’s growing population is partly responsible for this. For instance, new housing developments in West Auckland and Hobsonville put 10,000 more cars on the Northwestern roads.

It’s not the sole culprit though. Bad, potholed roads and irresponsible driving could also cause accidents that could also jam the streets.

Solutions for the Worsening Traffic

The high cost of traffic is prompting economists from the Auckland Council to push for solutions. Motorists can do their part by following road rules in order to avoid causing accidents and jamming the highways. Meanwhile, builders need to hire efficient compactors and use quality materials to ensure that the road will not develop cracks or potholes that could cause mishaps.

Kiwis could turn to their bicycles to help relieve Auckland motorways. Cycling is becoming the most efficient mode of travel to and from work for people who live in the city suburbs, in fact. There’s more to come with this initiative. The Auckland Transport is investing $200 million in building and improving cycle paths. In fact, a new path from Glen Innes to Auckland through the Orakei Basin will be completed in 2019.

There are many ways to alleviate Auckland’s roads. If the city can solve its traffic woes, productivity could increase by up to 30%. People, then, are urged to do what they can to help. After all, a free-flowing motorway does not only save time — it could help improve the economy too.

Save Money on Your Next Travel Vacation

Passport and Visa Travel can be a freeing and satisfying experience, which is perhaps why many people, both young and old, aspire to travel the world. Even if you only travel within the United States, you can still have a great time.

With cheap nonstop flights from South Bend, Indiana, to 10 domestic locations with international connections, you can be the traveler you want to be.

Book during sleeping hours

Even with cheap flights, however, you can still spend more money than you anticipated. Fortunately, you can save up on travel costs through different ways. You can save up even more on your flight by booking a ticket early and on a Monday or Tuesday between midnight and 5 a.m.

During these sleeping hours, they release flights not paid in full during the day, leading to cheaper airfares, less competition, and more seats.

Book a bundle or travel off-peak

Regarding other flight-saving strategies, you can get a cheaper flight when you avail a package that includes a flight and a hotel or rental vehicle. Otherwise, you can travel during off-peak times such as early mornings or late nights.

Many travelers find these times inconvenient, which results in less demand and lower airfares.

Bring your meals

Airport meals can cost you quite a lot. To save up on meals when waiting for your flight, you can pre-order meals from restaurants on the way to or near the vicinity of your airport terminal. For your in-flight meal, you can even keep instant oatmeal in a Ziploc bag.

Ship your souvenirs

On your way home from your travel vacation, you may have some souvenirs or items that can take up space. To save time at the airport and to free up storage in your luggage, you can ship your items.

With these tips, you can enjoy your vacation!

What Makes a Divorce so Expensive?

divorce proceedings in AustraliaExpensive divorces are nothing new. Celebrities and other high-profile individuals are the ones who figure in such. It doesn’t matter how long a marriage lasts; in the right circumstances, the final settlement can reach six digits on occasion. As for more typical couples, five-digit settlements aren’t unheard.

Various factors can make a divorce pricey. Family law practitioners such as Connolly Suthers can vouch for this. But what are these factors that make a divorce so expensive?

A Costly Split

In Australia, it’s largely the same story when it comes to divorce costs. It can be as little as over $432 if there is a prenuptial agreement (and everything else related is handled well), or as much as millions of dollars. Estimates show that about one in three marriages in Australia ends up in divorce, and the costs can skyrocket quickly. Throughout the country, divorce costs can amount to as much as $6 billion a year.

Keeping Up With The Money

Various things cause separation expenses to balloon, but it can be prevented. For one, it pays to be a smart spender still even when the family is splitting up — and the kids are in distress. Parents may probably like to make it up to the children, by buying them whatever they want, which could naturally lead to upside-down finances. It’s important to keep in mind that a divorce splits up a previously two-income household. In turn, a divorcee must adjust finances accordingly and not splurge like they used to before.

Another (probably more complicated) method is keeping the trust. In a divorce, it’s easy to maintain an air of distrust between estranged couples. But the truth is, the level of conflict a couple has can affect the financial settlement. Trust issues apparently impair the ability to negotiate effectively. Somehow, this may benefit a childless couple because there is little chance of a split affecting an emotionally vulnerable family member. On the other hand, for couples with children, distrust doesn’t help the youngsters at all — not to mention the finances in the long run.

At the end of the day, there is one certainty when it comes to divorce finances: the more conflict and misunderstanding there is, the bigger the final settlement can get.

Financial Balance Through Business Bank Accounts

Business Bank AccountsWhen running your very own company in Bloomington, a personal bank account may not be good enough to manage your finances. Your expenses as a company owner must have a balance between your personal and your business expenses to ensure that you keep financial equilibrium. 

That is where a business bank account comes into play. Business bank accounts allow you to divide your expenses efficiently without having to do the math with your personal account. On top of that, this allows you to both manage and monitor both your personal and business accounts.

It puts a much-needed divider on expenses

Have you ever had to compute how much you would have to put aside for your personal expenses and your business expenses every time bills come in? That is not very efficient. With a business account, you do not need to do that anymore, because it is already separate from your personal account. This means while you are spending on your personal needs with your personal account, your business account still has money in the bank for running your business and you no longer have to worry about not having enough for it.

Business transactions are easier to do

When you have a business account, banks often provide a representative to assist you with your business transactions. That means it is relatively easy to make loans with the bank to help your business grow, and can make payroll processing significantly easier and more cost efficient through outsourcing. They also normally put forward invoicing services, and can establish transfers to outside banks for simpler transaction procedures. Some banks go even as far as allowing you to make online deposits through scanning checks.

As a business owner, having a business bank account is not just for looking more professional. Business bank accounts are a necessity to have for proper financial management and easier transactions for efficiently running your business. 

Qualities of the SBA Express Loan That Change the Lending Game

Loan ApplicationThe Small Business Administration may not directly lend money to small business owners, but nobody could deny the assistance they provide to countless young entrepreneurs in America. Thanks to this federal agency, more established enterprises are getting the type of financing they require from qualified banks to further their growth.

However, many borrowers still aren’t happy with the process. If you’ve applied for an SBA loan before, you know your application wouldn’t be a breeze. Fortunately, the agency isn’t turning a blind eye toward certain criticisms, which is why it launched SBA Express.

The financial product’s name alone is suggestive, but it actually changes business lending in more ways than one.

Fast Approval

All lenders providing the SBA Express loan program in MN, CA, IL, and anywhere in the U.S. can determine if you qualify or not within just 36 hours. In the past, you may wait for months only to get denied, but that’s no longer the case.

If the funding you need is not more than $350,000, this loan program allows you to know if you got the nod in less than two days.

Securing financing isn’t easy, but at least it’s no longer time-consuming. Especially if you work with an experienced SBA-preferred lender, you should expect to less paperwork too.

Eligibility Depends on Lender’s Discretion

Generally, the agency delegates just the credit decision, liquidation authority, and most of the servicing to lenders under its Preferred Lenders Program, and the SBA continues to check the borrower’s loan eligibility.

With this loan program, lenders may have the power to determine who’s eligible or not. This is still up to the SBA, but should the loan provider get the green light, you’re basically at the mercy of the lending institution.

SBA Guarantees Just Half of the Loan

The average percentage the SBA guarantees is about 75% to 85%; however, the maximum portion the agency promises to shoulder is only 50%. There’s no telling if most lenders are comfortable with this number to be lenient in terms of approval. It boils down to the amount you’re borrowing and the quality of your credentials.

The SBA Express is truly attractive in ways many loan programs are not. It may not be as flawless as you wish, but it could be the fitting solution to several financial problems.