Pages Navigation Menu

Personal Finance Manager

3 Steps For Buying A House With Bad Credit

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Steps For Buying A House With Bad Credit

If you’ve made some mistakes with your finances in the past – or if you’ve just been unlucky – home ownership may seem like a distant, unachievable dream. But the truth is, many people who could own homes don’t simply because they believe they won’t qualify and therefore don’t try. You may be able to make your dream a reality if you’re willing to put the time and work into making it happen. Take a look at some of the steps that you can take to start moving yourself toward home ownership. Take A Hard Look At Your Finances Bad credit ratings and bankruptcies hang around for a long time, so it’s perfectly possible to be on your feet and financially stable enough to own a home and still look like a bad risk for a mortgage company on paper. If that describes you, then there are definitely ways to work around your past credit problems and find a house that you can afford. But if you’ve never owned a home before, how do you really know if you’ve got the financial skills and stability that it takes? This is a good time to consider financial counseling. There are all kinds of financial counselors out there, including some that specializes in helping prospective first-time homebuyers with bad credit or no down payment buy a home that they can afford. An expert financial counselor can help you go over your credit report to find ways that you can improve it and go over your budget to find ways to save toward your down payment. They can also help you connect with government and non-profit programs that can assist with your down payment or help secure a mortgage with bad credit. Find a Mortgage The big question is whether or not you qualify for a conventional mortgage. It may turn out that your credit is better than you think it is, or that it can be improved enough to qualify for a conventional mortgage fairly quickly. If that’s not a possibility, though, you may still be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage if you have a cosigner – somebody who does have good credit and is willing to assume responsibility if you fail to pay on your mortgage. If there’s no way that a lender will approve you for a conventional mortgage, you’re not out of the game yet. You should then look into Federal Housing Administration programs like HUD that are specifically designed to help first-time homebuyers qualify for homes. With HUD, chances are that you’ll pay less to get into the home than even a homebuyer with good credit who gets a traditional mortgage loan. HUD homebuyers with credit scores of 580 and higher can pay as little as 3.5% down, and homebuyers with credit scores above 580 pay about 10%. If you’re a teacher or emergency worker, or if you’ve survived a hurricane, you may even be eligible for a discount on the total purchase price. Consider Down Payment Assistance No matter what kind of mortgage you get, you’re going to need to make some sort of down payment, and this discourages many potential homebuyers. Just because you’re making enough money to make the payments on a home doesn’t mean that you’re making enough to save up...

read more

7 Practical Ways a Personal Loan Will Work for You

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 7 Practical Ways a Personal Loan Will Work for You

If you have a respectable credit profile, there are many options available to you when you need a loan; however, some are more suitable than others. For a basic loan of virtually any amount, a personal loan is often the best way to go. Here are seven practical reasons why. Personal Loans Are Convenient & Accessible Most banks and lending institutions offer easy access to personal loans at bearable interests rates. This cannot be said of many types of loans, where the process is painfully long and equally arduous. Particularly if you need money quickly, a personal loan should fulfill your criteria expeditiously. There’s No Collateral Involved Unlike a mortgage or other type of secured loan, all you need to qualify for personal borrowing is a proven ability to repay, along with your good credit history. This keeps the process uncomplicated and also means you aren’t going to be repossessed of anything, except your good credit, in the event you default on the personal loan, the way you would if collateral were involved. The Fixed Rate Keeps You in Control of Your Budget While a low initial variable rate may hold a lot of appeal, the deal won’t look so good once the interest rate begins to rise. The fixed rate on a personal loan means you know what to expect every month and you know in advance (or should know) that it’s affordable for you. Your Agenda With the Loan Is Basically Irrelevant Lenders don’t scrutinize your motives with a personal loan, so you can use it for whatever purposes you see fit. Unlike an auto loan, for example, where the lender regulates the amount of cash available depending on make, model, condition and so on, as long as your credit qualifies you for a personal loan, it’s yours to do whatever you want with. A Repay Time Table Limits Your Debt Credit cards allow minimum payments on skyrocketing balances and this is one of the main reasons consumers get into trouble with them. While that monthly payment stays the same, the money owed continues to grow and grow, eventually overwhelming the card holder. On the other hand, the terms of most personal loans dictate that payments be made in full and within a certain amount of time. This arrangement helps to avoid incurring more debt than what you can afford. Home Equity Loans May Be Difficult to Obtain for Projects, Repairs & Upgrades Whether for purely aesthetic purposes or because harsh weather and time have worn the home ragged, people depend on home improvement loans. Unfortunately, mortgage lending has become stricter for most people, meaning funds simply aren’t made available for things like a new roof or front porch. When applying for a personal loan, though, it’s simply a matter of a person’s credit being up to par, and has nothing to do with home value or current mortgage lending rules. Personal Loans Facilitate Startups When Other Lending Options Fail Banks are tight with money, now more than ever. If you’re interested in venturing out on your own in business, financing is likely to be an issue. While there are innovative resources at your fingertips, such as online sites and investor groups you can pitch your ideas to, they’re highly competitive and don’t guarantee any funds going...

read more

Bail FAQs Answered

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bail FAQs Answered

Going to jail can be a harrowing experience. Regardless of why you get sent to jail, there is usually the possibility of obtaining bail. Bail is basically a down payment that allows you to go free before your trial date. Not everyone is eligible for bail, and putting down a bail down payment doesn’t always necessarily mean you will get to go free right away. There are probably many questions you have regarding bail. This article will serve to answer those questions. Four main areas of interest will be covered: who gets bail and who doesn’t, who can pay bail, does bail mean freedom, and what factors determine the price of bail. Who Gets Bail And Who Doesn’t? Basically, before going to trial, you will have a pre-trial. During the pre-trial it will be determined whether or not you will be able to post bail. The judge will also set the bail amount during pre-trial if it is decided you can have bail. The prosecution will give a brief opening statement regarding whether you, the defendant, should receive bail. Then, the defense will respond in kind. Generally, some sort of middle ground is met. The prosecution will generally describe how much the bail should be set at, while the defense will attempt to haggle the price, much like at an open-air market. There are a number of factors that are all quite contingent regarding whether or not you will receive the possibility to post bail. These include, but are not limited to: the seriousness of the crime committed, the probability of conviction, any prior crimes and reputation of the defendant, and the financial situation of the defendant involved. Who Can Pay Bail? A question most oft asked is, who can post bail for you? The answer is essentially anyone who can put up the amount of money. Most individuals, however, are unable to meet bond. This can manifest itself in two different ways, however. In some states, the defendant is allowed to pay a portion of the bond set and is allowed to go free before his or her trial. If he or she meets all of his or her court dates, then this portion of the bond is actually refunded to him or her. In other states, bail bondsmen exist. Generally speaking, a bail bondsmen is an outside source, many times commercial, that will agree to pay the full amount of the bail if the defendant meets all of his or her court dates, granted that the defendant pay back the bondsmen, usually with a 10% interest fee attached. For example, if your bond was set at $1,000, you would pay the bail bondsmen $100, then the bondsmen would lend you the $1000 to pay your bond. After you meet your court dates and the $1000 bond is refunded to you, you would re-pay the bail bond loan.  Does Bail Mean Freedom? Posting bail does mean that you will not have to spend any more time in jail until, at least, your trial. Posting bail does not exonerate you of your crime. You will still have to stand trial for the crime that you committed. If you are found guilty of a crime, you will not be eligible for bail, and you will have to pay for the crime...

read more

2 Important Things To Know To Help You Get The Highest Price When Selling Gold Jewelry

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Important Things To Know To Help You Get The Highest Price When Selling Gold Jewelry

A great way to generate some extra cash is to sell your unwanted gold jewelry that you have sitting around your house. You can easily turn this gold into cash by visiting a store that buys gold. While most of these shops are legitimate, it never hurts to do your research before you go. By spending a little time looking into your items and the value of gold, you can make sure you are getting a fair price for the jewelry you are selling. Here are two tips to help you through this. Separate The Items And Understand The Differences The first thing you should do is separate the items you have. Real gold jewelry generally contains a stamp on it, which states its karat amount. The lowest karat amount you may find on jewelry is 10 karats, whereas the highest you will find is 24 karats. In addition, you may have items that are in between these amounts. The most important thing to know is that higher karats represent jewelry that is more valuable. For example, a 24-karat necklace is worth more than a 10-karat necklace. The karat amount represents how much gold the jewelry contains, and here is a breakdown of popular karat amounts of jewelry: 24 karats – This means the item is made of pure gold. 18 karats – This jewelry item would contain 75% gold, and the remaining 25% is made of other types of metals. 10 karats – This type of item contains 41.7% gold. The remaining amount is made of other metals. By understanding this and keeping your items separate, you will have a better chance of getting more money for them when you sell them to a gold buyer. Beware, the gold buyer might not simply accept the stamps on the jewelry you have. If the buyer feels that the items might be stamped incorrectly, he or she may use a test to determine the purity of the gold. The most common test involves the use of a magnet. If a magnet sticks to the gold, it is not pure gold. Another test used is a scratch test, which involves scratching the gold with a piece of glass. If the gold scratches, it is not pure gold. Understand How The Weight And Value of Gold Affects Prices The next thing you should understand is that the type of item you have is not the only factor that matters. The other factor that affects the amount of money you can sell the items for is the weight. If you look up the current price of gold, it will be stated in terms of a Troy ounce. A Troy ounce is equivalent to 31.3 grams, but a gold buyer might weigh the gold in terms of a U.S. ounce, which is equivalent to 28 grams. Because these amounts are very similar, you really shouldn’t be concerned about the small difference. You should, however, be concerned if a different measurement is used other than these two. If the price of gold is currently at $1,200 and you bring in an 18-karat necklace that weighs approximately one ounce, then it would be worth $900. This is calculated by multiplying $1,200 times 75% (based on the chart above), and then multiplying the result by 1, because...

read more

Want To Start Flipping Homes? Get A Hard Money Loan To Help You Begin

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Getting into the business of flipping homes is a great way to earn money; however, it can be hard to do if you do not have the resources you need. Cash is the number one resource you must have in order to flip homes, but getting the cash can be hard to do if you try applying for loans with traditional lenders. There is another option you could try, which involves borrowing money from a hard money lender. What Is a Hard Money Lender? Hard money lenders are typically private firms that are known for handing out loans for distressed properties. While traditional lenders often hesitate in issuing loans for properties that need work, hard money lenders are often willing to give loans for these properties if certain conditions exist. To get a hard money loan, you will have to: Have good credit – These loans are considered high-risk loans, and they are typically only issued to people with good credit. Borrow around 70% of the home’s value, or less – A hard money lender will not loan you more than this, but they generally base the loan value on the value of the house after repairs are made. Provide a clear exit strategy – Hard money loans are often considered bridge loans, or temporary loans. All hard money lenders will want to know how you plan on repaying the loan when it is due, which is usually within one or two years. If you believe that you meet these three conditions, it might be worthwhile to apply for a hard money loan. How Is a Hard Money Loan Different From a Traditional Home Loan? Traditional home loans are long-term loans that usually last around 30 years. The interest rates on these loans vary, but they are calculated based on the current interest rates and the risk level the borrower has. A hard money loan is not designed to last for 30 years. Instead, it is designed simply for a short amount of time, and this is why these loans are often acquired by people that flip properties. Time lengths of traditional loans and hard money loans is one difference, but another difference involves interest rates. The rate you will pay on a hard money loan will be higher than a traditional house loan. According to Foreclosure University, you can expect to have an interest rate that is 12% to 20% per year. When Is a Hard Loan the Best Option? Hard loans are great loan types to use for a number of reasons, but getting a hard loan to start flipping houses is the best option you might find. If you really think you can make money by fixing up old houses, applying for a hard loan could be your ticket in. You can start small by purchasing one fixer-upper with a hard money loan. When you finish the house and sell it, you will hopefully end up with a decent profit that you could use to invest in another fixer-upper. After doing this several times, you may no longer have the need to get a loan to buy another house, because you may have accumulated enough profit from the other projects you completed. The benefits of getting a hard loan are that it is relatively easy to...

read more

3 Effective Ways To Fund Your Holiday Fun

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The holiday season offers a perfect excuse to let loose a little and spend some quality time with friends and family. It might even be a great time for you to get away on a trip of some kind. And with all the extras (like décor and gifts) in mind, it’s nice to have a little extra cash to work with. Forget about working overtime – use one of more of these ideas to fund your holiday fun: Host a Fun Community Raffle Have a little fun and spark the holiday spirit within your community by hosting a small raffle. Give away something that does not require a large initial investment, but yet provides some value to those who decide to participate. Consider these options: Free lawn mowing services for one month. Home-cooked meal delivery service once a week for a month. Several movie rentals or theater tickets. Homemade holiday décor. Sell your raffle tickets for just a couple dollars each, and you’ll pile up a nice stack of cash while offering the community a little fun, and providing one or two lucky people with prizes that will help make their holiday season a little more special. Hold a Block Auction Instead of holding a traditional block sale where everyone in your immediate area essentially has a garage sale at the same time, get together with neighbors and hold a block auction instead! With multiple households participating, you’ll find that it is easy to draw attention to your event throughout your community. Ask neighbors who want to participate to put together two or three items they want to sell at the auction. These things don’t have to be expensive – the idea is to make the event affordable so more people in your community are willing to place bids. You don’t even have put everything on display to pull the event off. Take pictures of all the goods and have community members phone their offers in. Items go to the highest offers, simple as that. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. You and your neighbors get to clear out your garage and put a little money in your pockets, while friends and community members get to have a little fun and possibly take something new home with them. Get a Short Term Payday Loan If you don’t have time (or just don’t want to) deal with raffles and auctions to fund your holiday season, a short term payday loan from a company like 1st Choice Money Center is an easy option to consider. Unlike a long term bank loan, you don’t have to worry about borrowing more money than you can afford to pay back in a reasonable amount of time. After all, you don’t want to have to end up paying for that New Year’s party for months on end. In most cases, you can get the funds you need for your holiday fun the same day you apply. Some benefits of using payday loans include: As the name suggests, payday loans work around your income so you don’t have to pay your loan back until you get paid. Thanks to interest rate caps, you don’t have to worry about your rates going up after you are approved for your loan. There is no need to disclose...

read more

How Specialty Credit Unions Are Changing The Face Of Lending

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You may be familiar with credit unions as local, friendly alternatives to large banks, where you can do everything from funding a checking account to taking out a home equity loan. However, the unique structure of credit unions allow them to enjoy a much more diverse customer base than larger banks. At least one state that has legalized the use of recreational marijuana has taken steps to establish the first-ever marijuana credit union. How will such a credit union work, and what is its ultimate purpose? Read on to learn more about this credit union, as well as the potential for specialty credit unions in other states. What is the difference between a credit union and a bank? Although credit unions share many similarities with banks, including the types of products offered, they are structured in a much different way. Most banks are governed by both a board of directors and a group of investors. The investors will set various regulations regarding to whom and under what conditions the bank can lend money. When you visit a local branch of your bank to inquire about opening an account or taking out a line of credit, the person to whom you speak generally doesn’t have authority to act outside the investor’s guidelines.  For credit unions, the investors are also the customers. Credit unions have a reputation for being more flexible than banks because they are not bound by the thousands of regulations put forth by investors. For example, if you miss a few payments on your credit union-held mortgage, you may be able to walk down to your credit union and negotiate an alternative repayment plan — whereas if your mortgage is held by a bank, you may be required to go through months of paperwork exchange and court conferences. Although credit union deposits are not insured with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as are bank deposits, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) provides substantially similar coverage.  What is the proposed marijuana credit union? In Colorado, medical and recreational marijuana are now legal and can be purchased at any number of marijuana shops. However, because the possession or sale of marijuana is still illegal under federal laws, these shops cannot secure financing from banks who operate in more than one state (and are therefore governed by federal regulations).  In an effort to ensure these businesses (and future businesses) have access to capital, some local investors have created a credit union specifically designed to lend to shops that sell marijuana. Because this credit union operates only in Colorado, it is governed by Colorado law, and is not subject to federal restrictions on lending to businesses that perform federally illegal activities. What does this mean for the future of credit unions? The creation of a marijuana credit union is an unprecedented step into lender specialization and may spawn other credit unions that only lend to groups who are unable to secure financing through traditional means.  As with marijuana shops, the inability of certain businesses to obtain traditional financing certainly does not mean these businesses will not be profitable. Because credit unions are non-profit organizations, this will likely mean much lower interest rates and higher yields for those who hold accounts at these credit unions.  Small businesses are notoriously hard to finance,...

read more

Add Variety And Value To Your Ancient Coin Collection With Test-Cut Coins

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many ancient coins have damage from when they were circulated long ago, just as most of the coins and bills in circulation today evidence wear. In most cases, this damage reduces coins’ values–even if it occurred in ancient times. An test cut often increases interest in a specific coin, though, even if it does not raise its worth. Test Cuts in Ancient Coins In an era without modern ways to check for counterfeit currency, a test cut was a practical way of confirming a coin’s authenticity. Silver coins were often counterfeited by casting a bronze or copper facsimile, and then coating it with silver. Because only the exterior of these counterfeits were silver, they were less valuable than their real, pure-silver counterparts. A test cut was a cut into the coin, to confirm it was pure silver. It may have been a simple scratch, or it could be a deep gouge. Test cuts were usually used to confirm the authenticity of silver coins, because they were more valuable than bronze and copper coins. According to Ancient Coin Cleaning and Restoration, the Athenian Owl is the most often test-cut coin, although there are many others that have gouges. Ancient Damage Decreases Coins’ Values Most of the time, test cuts decrease coins value. Even though they may be ancient damage, they are damage nonetheless. Damage almost always lowers the price of a coin. As with any other type of damage, the severity and location of a test cut determines its impact on the coins’ value. A deep gouge will lower the price of a coin more than a shallow scratch, and a mark on the face of a Roman emperor will have a more significant impact than one on the side of the coin. Test Cuts May Increase Interest in a Coin Although they generally lower the overall value of a coin, test cuts may increase interest in a coin. They make the coin unique, which may increase appeal for certain collectors. In fact, some collectors actively seek out singular marks, including unusual test cuts. Counter Stamps May Increase the Value of a Coin Counter stamps are a type of test cut. In addition to penetrating the exterior of a coin, like a test cut, they also marked a coin with the stamp of a trusted authority. Counter stamps may bear the seal of a banker or merchant, and, therefore, are also known as banker and merchant stamps. As is the case with all test cuts, counter stamps are technically damage. Depending on whose stamp appears on the coin, however, they may actually increase the value of a coin. They are more intricate than simple test cuts and can often be historically linked to a specific person or place, which is why some collectors are willing to pay a premium for them. Add Variety and Find Value If you already have a substantial collection, acquiring test-cut coins can add variety to your collection. All test cuts serve as reminders that these coins were once used as everyday currency, and counter stamps provide a more detailed story of a coin’s history. Investors may overlook these coins, because they are only concerned with the price of a coin. Collectors, in contrast, are interested in these coins, because of the history they show. Look beyond...

read more

What You Should Know About Investing In Platinum And Palladium

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Investing in precious metals is popular among individuals seeking to maximize their portfolios, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. Most precious metals investors from sites like http://www.rmcoin.com are familiar with gold and silver to varying degrees; both gold and silver have a long history of being minted into coinage, and there is little doubt about the inherent value of these metals. However, there is one additional family of precious metals that draws the attention of investors: the platinum group. The economics of investing in this group of metals is quite different than gold and silver, and you should possess a background about the platinum family before buying. Here is more information to help you: What is the platinum group? The platinum group is a family of “related” elements: palladium, platinum, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium and iridium. All of them are white metals, and they can be found as pure elements in nature or as part of an alloy with other metals. Out of these six elements, only two are considered investment-grade metals at the present time: platinum and palladium. By far, the world’s largest suppliers of raw platinum and palladium are South Africa and Russia. Together, the two nations account for approximately 85% of the world’s annual supply of these metals; the United States only supplies a small fraction of the total amount of platinum and palladium. What are the uses of platinum and palladium? Platinum and palladium are both extensively used in jewelry-making, but their primary use is in the manufacture of automobile catalytic converters. Platinum group metals possess chemical characteristics that make them excellent catalysts for the exhaust byproducts of internal combustion engines; these metals assist in the process of converting carbon monoxide and unburned fuels into carbon dioxide and water. There are a few other minor uses for platinum group metals, but these are insignificant compared to jewelry-making and automotive industries usage. What are the most important differences between gold and silver investing and platinum and palladium investing? Platinum and palladium investing is relatively uncommon as compared to silver and gold. As such, prospective buyers can find themselves in a financial bind if they aren’t aware of the key differences between platinum group metals and gold and silver. Here are a few key facts to keep in mind: Industrial demand and usage – while gold and silver both have important industrial uses, such as in electronics and computer manufacturing, over three-fourths of the gold used in an average year is for jewelry. In addition, a significant amount of gold is minted into coins or formed into bullion bars. However, the use of platinum and palladium is heavily tied to the production of catalytic converters, and automobiles by extension. That can be problematic for the investor should there be a sudden loss in the demand for cars due to economic disruptions. Therefore, it’s important for you, as an investor in platinum or paladium, to stay alert to what is happening within the automotive industry. Be sure that you are knowledgeable about auto production and projections for the future. Don’t wait until demand begins changing, or you may already be too late to prevent financial loss. Scarcity of potential buyers – platinum and palladium can be difficult to liquidate in certain locales. While banks, coin and metal dealers, and other investors will readily...

read more

Struggling With Sudden Bills? A Payday Loan Could Help You Out!

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re struggling to make ends meet thanks to a sudden expense, you might be considering a payday loan to help keep you afloat. If you feel apprehensive about payday loans or you just want to know if they’re right for you, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about them before you decide whether or not to ask for one. Is A Payday Loan Right For You? For some people, borrowing money can be difficult or even impossible. If you have a bad credit score, for example, you probably won’t qualify for loans or credit cards when you need a little extra cash. Likewise, young people who have never borrowed money in the first place can run into money troubles due to their lack of a score. For others, the approval process for credit cards or loans might take too long. If you need money in an emergency or you’ve been turned away by other lenders, you might still be able to get a payday loan. However, you do still need to be able to demonstrate income to qualify. Typically, you should be able to show the lender proof that your pay check will be significantly more than the amount you intend to borrow.  What Do Payday Loans Typically Cost? Usually, a loan will cost you between 10 and 15 dollars for every 100 you borrow, for every pay period you need. So if you borrow $500, you’ll pay between $550 and $575 after two weeks. However, if you fail to pay the loan back, the company can extend it for you. This means you’ll be paying for the first loan with a second one, which is equal to the amount owed. You then repay the amount owed, plus the recalculated interest fee. Payday loans are somewhat infamous for having a high Annual Percentage Rate, or APR. However, this rate, like other claims about payday loans, can be misleading. Why is the APR for a payday loan misleading? Because it’s generated based on a repayment period of a year, while your repayment period is only two weeks. In order for you to have to pay the APR on your loan, you would need to renew it 26 times! How Can You Ensure You Don’t Need To Roll Over Your Loan? Continual borrowing from any source is a bad idea. Interest, by nature, builds up more the more loans you take out. If you’re worried about rolling over your loan and incurring more debt, don’t worry. You can take steps to ensure you have enough money to repay your loan on time. First, make sure you only take out a loan that you can afford even after all of your expenses are paid. If possible, try to shave your loan down even more just in case something comes up. Never take out a loan that will cost your entire paycheck to repay unless you’re absolutely certain you won’t need the money for anything else. Second, consider little ways to make a little money before payment is due. Sell or pawn expensive items you no longer use, or have a garage sale to get rid of old clothes, appliances, or other possessions you no longer want. If your budget still needs padding and you feel especially heroic, you can give...

read more