How Not To Mess Up Your Mortgage Application

Apply for MortgageYou’ve heard it all before; buying a house is the biggest investment that you’ll ever make. This statement is usually followed by tips on what to look for in a house, how to get it assessed and how to choose a good neighbourhood. All of which is very important, but what about tips on how not to mess up your mortgage? You’d be surprised at the number of ways in which your mortgage can go wrong, from unwittingly locking yourself into high interest rates to scuppering your approval chances before you even begin your search.

Here are four common mistakes people make when applying for mortgages – and how to avoid them:

1)     Job-hopping

Our grandparents and parents might recoil in horror at the frequency with which we now change our jobs, but job-hopping is the norm these days. Unfortunately, while society deems it perfectly acceptable, lenders do not. They like to see a little stability before they put hundreds of thousands of dollars at risk. According to MSN Real Estate, lenders will consider you a bigger risk if you swop your industry for another (for example, if you go from mining engineering to freelance graphic design), than if you simply change companies. However, even this simple move is best deferred until all the documents have been signed, sealed and delivered.

2)     Skipping the pre-approval process

Pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will get a mortgage; but it does significantly improve your chances. Pre-approval is better than pre-qualification because your finances are vetted more thoroughly (Mike Sheridan – realtor.com). Pre-approval considers your credit record, employment history, debt, and assets. If you don’t meet pre-approval requirements you can bet that you won’t meet mortgage approval requirements. If you are pre-approved, you are also more likely to close a sale because sellers will know that you’re not just wasting their time and that the chances of you not qualifying for finance are slim.

3)     Going with the first lender that comes your way

You wouldn’t buy the very first house you see without comparing it to several others, would you? So why would you choose the first lender you visit without comparing it against others? While lenders have to operate within certain regulations, their services still differ widely. You should visit three to five lenders and get quotes so that you can compare everything from interest rates to closing costs.

4)     Not locking in your mortgage rate

Mortgage rates fluctuate on a daily base; a favourable rate today might rise to an unfavourable rate tomorrow. You can wait about and gamble on locking in at the right time, but if you dither long enough you risk losing everything.

In an article for Fox Business, Kayleigh Kulp cites mortgage expert Polyana da Costa, who says that different lenders have different relock policies, which is another reason you need to shop around before you commit. Basically, the favourability of your rate could depend on you choosing the right lender.

Buying a home certainly is a major financial commitment, so it makes sense to do all that you can to ensure that you get the best financing possible. This requires research on your part, and perhaps a little advice from a home loan expert.

Sandy Cosser writes for a South African-based personal financial services provider that specialises in home loans, pre-approvals, bond calculators and second bonds.

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Are You Planning To Buy A Boat? Think About Boat Finance

Boat FinanceTravelling by sea has evolved from being a means of getting from one land mass to another to become vehicles of leisure and travelling. Buying a boat is expensive and can take you a long time before you save enough. There are many financing options that can provide you with boat finance but you need to consider some things before picking on a lender who will give you a loan at the best rates and terms.

Do Some Research

Before you go for boat finance, you need to know how much money you will need. To do this, you need to know how much the boat you desire costs and how much you have saved so far. You can easily go online and research about the different types of boats and the asking price. Decide whether you want a new boat or a second hand one.

Many public and private companies out there will extend loans to at an interest. Each institution has its own rates and repayment terms that you need to find out and compare. Having an idea of what each lender provides is important because you will get to enjoy the best deal. The interest you pay on the initial amount will depend with the period of the loan, type of boat you are planning to buy, your credit status, collateral and more.

Nowadays financing institutions provide 24-hour customer support. If you feel that you need more information on a given product, you can access the helpline at any time of day and night, making it convenient for you. Ask the representative to give you more information about the advantages and disadvantages of various packages and whether the loan rate is static or it changes with time.

Come Up With an Estimate

Using the online loan finance repayment calculator, you can come up with the total amount of money you need to pay back. This is determined by the amount borrowed, the repayment period and the rate of interest. Calculation is easy because it can be done online at the click of a button.

Know Your Financial Status

The most important thing you need to keep in mind when looking for boat finance is your financial status. The lending organization will look into your repayment history to find out whether they can trust you with their cash. Having a source of income or a stable job gives you an upper hand. Take out a loan that will meet your requirements as well as allow you to repay the loan and interest without draining your earnings.

From this discussion, it is now clear that applying for boat finance needs to be done with careful preparation in order to get the best deal. Make sure you get a company that is trustworthy and has a good reputation.

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Factors To Consider Before Getting An Equipment Finance Service Provider

Equipment Finance servicesIf you have a business that relies on a variety of heavy-duty equipment to carry out day-to-day activities, then you will not want to have them break down. Purchasing most of the business equipment is not cheap and many businesses usually end up folding when they find themselves in this predicament. You should however, be aware that there is hope in form of equipment financing options that exist in the world today. It is necessary for you to make sure that you access an equipment finance option that is right for your needs if you are to avoid making mistakes that may cost you your livelihood.

Below are some of the factors that you should consider before selecting equipment financing option for your business:

Affordability

Each equipment finance company that you contact will give you a quote that is unique depending on the products and services you are going to get. Business equipment is never cheap but with research, you can access a company that will provide you with competitively priced financing options. Getting great value for your money in the long term should be your ultimate goal. As long as you will have access to the equipment your business needs to make money, paying it off should not be a problem if the prices are fair.

Types of Equipment Provided

The service provider you select should provide you with the type of equipment you will need. Different industries have different equipment requirements and getting a leading service provider will assure you of the best deals available. The education, medical, construction, energy, and mining industries are just an example of the sectors that require heavy equipment and having a company that provides for a wide range of these options should be your aim. This way you can purchase all the products you need from one supplier, which may end up being cheaper in the long term.

Range of Financing Options Available

It is important for you to ensure you have some wiggle room as far as the equipment finance options are concerned. Leading financing companies allow for flexibility when it comes to financial payment arrangements to ensure that majority of their clients can pay for their equipment they obtain from them. Some of these include lease purchases, fixed loans, floating term loans, lease lines of credit and so on. Having flexible financing options ensures that you will not default on payments and lose your business.

Terms of Payments

When it comes to doing business, never work with an equipment finance company that does not have transparent dealings. Ensure that you select a service provider who gives you clear terms regarding your expected payment period, interest rates, monthly payments, sell and lease conditions etc. At the end of the day, it is your business on the line, so you must practice caution.

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How To Decide If You Should Focus On Saving Or Paying Off Debt

Saving or paying off debtThere’s no shortage of personal finance information on the Internet. You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve read that it’s important to save money every month. While that sounds great in theory, when you have a cloud of debt hanging over you, focusing on saving becomes even harder.

Regardless of how good your intentions are, it’s hard to convince yourself that funneling money into your savings account is the best course of action when you’re receiving daily phone calls about payments that are past due.

Since this is a dilemma that millions of Americans face, you’re not alone in wondering how you should deal with it. And as you may have guessed, there’s not just one answer to this question. Instead, it really does depend on your individual situation. To decide which option is right for you, there are several factors that you need to take into account:

Rainy Day Fund

While it’s obviously important to think about the future and take steps to help secure your retirement, in terms of what currently matters most for you and your family, that would be having a sufficient rainy day fund. Also commonly referred to as an emergency fund, the reason having one is so important is you simply never know when a significant expense may come up. Although you can plan and project your budget all the way down to the penny, if an emergency situation arises, the last thing you want is for it to also be a financial catastrophe.

Given the importance of this fund, if you don’t have one yet or it’s not even close to the amount you actually need, it’s worth focusing on this type of saving before you begin dealing with getting rid of your debt.

The Real Cost of Your Debt

One important calculation to make is comparing the true cost of your debt to how much you can earn from saving. As an example, let’s say you have $8,000 in credit card debt with 9% interest. By multiplying the two, you can see that specific debt is costing you $720 a year. Then once you decide how much you either want to pay off or put in savings, you can calculate the savings yield you’ll receive and then determine which option will put you in a more favorable position.

Your Short-Term Financial Goals

The other factor you need to take into account is what your priorities are in the short-term. If you’re doing something like starting a business, it makes sense to prioritize saving so you’ll have the funds necessary to get your venture off the ground.

As previously mentioned, although there’s not a definitive answer to this question, you now have all the information you need to make the right decision for your specific situation.

James Freemont is a freelance writer who blogs about income tax planning and financial advice.

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Live Debt Free In Eight Baby Steps

live debt freeIf you want to stop relying on lenders and creditors to get you through the month, then it’s time to learn about debt free living. Follow these eight steps to live debt free. Many of the steps are small and can make a big difference.

1.       Create a budget and stick to it.

Financial experts recommend that you spend a certain percentage of your monthly income on the necessities, leaving the remainder for savings and incidentals. Reserve 35% of your budget for housing, 15% for transportation, and 15% for food.

2.       Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards.

If you only pay the minimum on your credit card debt, you might only be covering the interest. Pay more than the minimum to achieve debt free living.

3.       Check your credit report.

The last thing you want is to have your credit ruined because of a forgotten debt or because of identity theft. Take a peek at your credit report every 12 months to make sure all things are in order.

4.       If you want something, save money for it.

Need new siding on the house? Want to take a trip to Paris? Wishing you could give all the kids their own iPads? Save money for the extras and pay for in full right away.

5.       Look at all your debts and pay them in order of size.

List every debt you have in the order of size. Pay off the smallest debt first and work your way up.

6.       Have a rainy day savings.

It’s recommended that you have 9-12 months of income in a savings account just in case. If you are often tempted to dip into that rainy day account, move the funds to an interest bearing account at a different bank where you do not have a checking account or debit card.

7.       Call and ask for lower interest rates and payment plans.

Many lenders and creditors will lower your interest rate or create or adjust a payment plan, but you have to call and ask. You may also have to prove your facing financial hardship.

8.       Ask for help.

Along with asking for lower interest rates and payment plans from creditors and lenders, ask a financial advisor to help you get on the path to debt-free living. Many professionals charge a fee for this service, but you might also find free help from organizations such as the Salvation Army. They will show you how best to handle your existing debt and give you advice on other money-saving tips such as health savings accounts, IRA contributions, and more.

This is a guest post by Allison Murray. Allison recommends finding more information about debt free living at Dialog.Scarborough.com.

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