What is a Good Credit Score?

Posted by Rana & filed under General Debt & Loan Consolidation Information.

Individuals who are in the market to buy a new home, car or any other type of major purchase need to know what their credit score is prior to applying for the financing. This is because credit scores play a key role in determining the type of loans and interest rates borrowers are eligible to receive. Those with good credit can usually lock in better rates and terms, however bad credit borrowers are often limited when it comes to obtaining competitive interest rates and loan terms. So the question is; what is a good credit score? In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand that there are three primary credit bureaus that provide individuals with credit scores. They include Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Of these, Equifax is the credit bureau which is considered to be the most used and trusted due to its initial presence in the market. Individuals are not randomly scored with good or bad credit. In fact, credit scores are specifically based on several different factors, including the following:1. Type of creditAlthough having a good mix of credit types is considered to be great, too many open accounts is usually “frowned upon” by lenders.2. Length of time individuals have had creditThe specific amount of time individuals have been using credit also plays a role in determining credit scores.3. New creditWhen it comes to applying for additional credit, an individual’s score usually drops when too many credit inquiries are made over a short period of time. 4. Payment historyA significant percentage of a person’s credit score is based upon their payment history. While a few late payments are generally okay, more one too many late payments can get borrowers in trouble.5. Outstanding balancesWhen individuals reach, or are close to reaching their credit limits, their score tends to take an automatic dive. This is why it’s important for borrowers to pay their credit cards down immediately when approaching the credit limit. Most creditors use the Fair Isaac credit-scoring model, commonly known as FICO to evaluate credit scores for individuals. The following is a breakdown of their scoring methods, which can also help borrowers answer the question, what is a good credit score?

700 and higher: Excellent credit 680-699: Good credit 620-679: Satisfactory credit 580-619: Not exactly bad credit, but extremely close 500-580: Very low credit, expect to pay significantly higher interest rates for loans 400 and below: Bad credit

For individuals who fall in the lower category of the FICO credit-scoring model, all hope is not lost, as there are several ways to improve bad credit. In addition to making minimum monthly payments on time, credit card holders should contact their creditors immediately if payments are missed unintentionally. It’s also wise for individuals to avoid opening and applying for new accounts, especially if they are not considered necessary. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea for individuals to use credit sensibly, which means abstaining from frivolous or unnecessary purchases on their credit cards. Individuals should make it a habit to check their credit card statements carefully every month for any discrepancies, and pay outstanding balances in full whenever possible. Finally, borrowers should take advantage of the free credit report policy which the U.S. legislation has mandated once a year, and review their status for accuracy.There are also many types of credit services that can help individuals receive debt relief, and improve their credit score. For example, those with bad credit can often turn to different credit counseling agencies, who offer assistance with a range of credit services, including debt management plans. These plans usually allow credit counselors to consolidate a debtor’s loans, which in turn enables them to make one monthly payment to the credit counseling company, versus multiple payments to several lenders. Because this makes it easier for debtors to manage their finances, they can continue making payments on time and slowly begin to rebuild their credit.

Credit Reporting Agencies: Serving both Lenders and Their Prospects

Posted by Rana & filed under General Debt & Loan Consolidation Information.

To determine whether a credit applicant is a good or bad credit risk, lenders rely on the data produced by credit reporting agencies, alternatively referred to as credit bureaus. These boast voluminous databases of consumer credit records on millions of Americans and offer lending institutions an in-depth look at a prospective borrower’s credit history. The three leading credit reporting agencies- TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax- as well as numerous smaller, local credit bureaus furnish risk-management credit services and credit reports to their clientele. Credit bureaus gather information about consumers and their credit histories from public records such as court records (i.e. foreclosure, bankruptcy), creditors such as mortgage companies, credit unions, banks, and credit card companies, as well as retailers and other reliable sources.

Thousands of creditors regularly supply information about their customers’ credit usage and payment history to each of the credit bureaus, which then incorporate it into the credit report. Creditor contacts, inquiries, account histories, public records, and consumer data are utilized by credit reporting agencies to create credit reports. These records typically features information such as 1) whether borrowers have paid their bills in a timely manner, 2) how long their accounts have been open, 3) what forms of credit they use, 4) how much credit they have used, 5) how borrowers pay their bills, and 6) whether they have filed for bankruptcy or been sued or arrested.

Credit reporting agencies determine a borrower’s credit rating on the basis of information contained in the credit report. Most credit bureaus employ a variation of what is known as the FICO score, which is calculated by considering factors such as the applicant’s payment history, new credit, length of his or her credit history, and balance due. To improve and simplify the credit procedure for lenders and consumers, the big three recently introduced a scoring system called the Vantage score. The new streamlined methodology aims at ensuring objectivity, predictability, and consistency in credit scoring among the three credit reporting agencies. The sole variance in the credit score depends on the information in the credit report.

After compiling information about consumers and their credit history, the agencies place the reports at the disposal of employers as permitted by law, insurance companies, landlords, credit card companies, banks, and other prospective and current lenders. Credit bureaus disclose credit scores and credit reports when a hard or soft inquiry or request is made. A soft inquiry is one made by employers or consumers. A hard inquiry, on the other hand, is set in motion by rental applications to landlords or is put forward by creditors such as mortgage lenders and credit card companies. Whenever a prospective borrower applies for credit, the lending institution contacts one or several of the credit reporting agencies for purposes of verifying applicants’ credit score and report. To aid them in deciding whether or not to extend credit and at which interest rate, lenders purchase credit reports on their clients and applicants from the credit bureaus and review the credit history reported by the latter.

The top three credit reporting agencies are independent of one another and utilize distinct approaches when collecting and managing information. Credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax generally differ in content, with one study showing as much as a 40-point disparity between them. Consequently, it is recommended that consumers access information and their credit report from each of the major credit bureaus in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of their credit history. Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus must be made available once every 12 months to consumers requesting one. The Act also requires credit reporting agencies to investigate within 30 days any items brought to their attention by consumers. If the credit report is incomplete or inaccurate, the credit bureau must fill in the gaps or correct it, respectively. Upon completing the investigation, the credit reporting agency must furnish the written results to the consumer and offer him or her a free copy of the report if an amendment is made. At the consumer’s request, it is required to notify recipients of the report within the last six months of any corrections made to the record.

Some credit bureaus also provide credit monitoring, a paid service that prevents identity theft. Consumers are informed of any changes or inquiries to their credit report, and suspicious activity is reported.

The History of National Debt America’s Ongoing Struggle

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under General Debt & Loan Consolidation Information.

While the United States may have one of the largest economies in the world, the country has its fair share of problems. In fact, one of the major challenges facing the U.S. today is the overwhelming amount of national debt. The country’s national debt is made up of direct liabilities or money which is owed by the government. There are different categories which are used to refer to the national debt, including public debt, debt held by the public and gross federal debt. These include public debt securities issued by the Treasury Department, such as bills, notes and different types of bonds. America’s national debt has also accumulated as a result of money borrowed from both internal and external sources. Money which the government owes to lenders within the country refers to internal debt, while money owed to foreign lenders refers to external debt. Because the U.S. government represents the people, taxpayers are also held responsible for the country’s national debt dilemma to a certain degree. Therefore, a portion of the tax money paid by citizens each year goes directly towards paying off the national debt, which is mostly used to cover the interest. Over the last few years alone, the U.S.’s national debt amount has grown significantly and is now over $9 billion.When it comes to understanding the history of national debt, it’s important to be aware of how governments borrow money in order to keep their countries running. One of the ways in which they obtain the necessary funds is by issuing securities, which includes government bonds and bills. Similar to the rules and regulations that govern traditional lending for individuals, countries who possess good credit can easily secure money from financial lending institutions. This is true within their countries, as well as outside or foreign sources. The credit worthiness is based upon the country’s ability to pay back what is borrowed, the economic status, and other forms of revenues. Countries with a lower credit rating are usually limited when it comes to the amount of money they can borrow. Additionally, they are also subject to adhere to more stringent laws.America’s history of national debt can be greatly attributed to the country’s borrowing and spending habits. Over the years, many countries, including China have loaned the U.S. billions of dollars to cover various expenses. However, just like credit card debt, the interest continues to accumulate as the amount being borrowed increases. Consequently, the U.S. owes a significant amount of money in interest alone to other countries which have been used as lending resources, as part of the entire national debt.With the country suffering financially and ongoing discussions about the economy heading towards a recession, one has to question, what is the cause for the national debt? There are actually many contributing factors, as well as several probable causes which have reinforced the U.S.’s national debt situation. Many believe that the fault lies in overspending which administrations and congresses have indulged in with a variety projects, programs, and defense expenditures. America also spends billions of dollars for a range of public uses, which all contribute to the national debt. These include the following:

Department of Agriculture Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Vets Affairs Health and Human Services Social Security Administration Treasury Department

Although the United States’ national debt problem is currently at an all time high, there is still hope for debt reduction. However, in order for this happen, the country needs to change its spending practices. With new presidential representation just around the corner, perhaps Americans can begin to hope for a better economy in the upcoming years.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Watching Over Borrowers

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under Home & Mortgage Refinance Information.

One of the most comprehensive consumer protection laws regulating credit is known as the fair credit reporting act. Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, this federal law requires credit reporting agencies (CRAs) to act fairly and equitably when collecting, disseminating, and utilizing consumer credit information. The act ensures that credit bureaus ensure the accuracy, pertinence, confidentiality, and proper use of consumer data. Some of its key provisions are as follows:1. Access to informationCredit reporting agencies must provide consumers access to the data in their credit report and inform them of the individuals or entities that have requested it recently. 2. Opportunity to correct informationNot only does the fair credit reporting act grant borrowers the right to review their credit report, it also sets forth a procedure for rectifying any errors on their record. Consumers may dispute the accuracy of information contained in their file, and the credit reporting bureau must take prompt steps to conduct an investigation- usually within 30 days- with the source that supplied the data. The CRA must correct or delete any inaccurate information and furnish a copy of the report (if modified and updated) and results of the investigation. The information supplier or source of the incorrect information is required to notify the CRAs where the data was sent. When a consumer disputes an item with credit services that report to a CRA, the creditor many not disclose the information to a CRA without attaching a notice of the dispute. 3. Adverse informationThe fair credit reporting act places an obligation on lenders that reject credit applications due to adverse information or an error in the consumer’s file, such as credit ratings, to inform the applicant. Furthermore, the creditor must inform consumers of the source of that information by providing them the name, phone number, and address of the CRA that supplied the report. The applicant then has 30 days to obtain a free copy from the credit reporting agency. The fair credit reporting act allows consumers to request that the CRA re-issue the amended reports to employers who received a report in the last two years or creditors who received one in the past six months.4. Duty on the part of information suppliersThe fair credit reporting act places responsibilities on creditors or companies that furnish information to CRAs to provide accurate and complete data to the latter. 5. Fairness and confidentialityCredit reporting agencies must maintain complete and accurate files and have a duty to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of borrowers’ credit information. The fair credit reporting act requires credit bureaus to furnish accurate credit histories and to exercise confidentiality and act impartially when preparing and disseminating consumer reports. 6. Limited access to credit reportsUnder the fair credit reporting act, credit reporting agencies can only disclose consumer information to entities with a legitimate business or legal need, a permissible purpose, or the borrower’s written consent. The following third parties may obtain a copy of a consumer’s credit report:

Those evaluating a borrower’s loan/credit application and considering the extension of credit Insurance providers Employers and prospective employers, but only with the applicant’s consent; Landlords Governmental agencies, in connection with the issuance of a government benefit or license (information generally restricted to the individual’s name, former address, current address, present and past employers) Local or state child support enforcement agency; and Companies holding an applicant’s account for purposes of account monitoring.

The fair credit reporting act punishes (1) CRA employees who disclose credit reports to unauthorized third parties and (2) unauthorized individuals who receive credit reports. Those who negligently or willfully violate provisions of the fair credit reporting act are subject to civil liability. Consumers may bring suit against credit reporting agencies in federal or state court and seek damages for violations. 7. Duration of negative information on record. The fair credit reporting act sets forth the length of time that adverse information may remain on a consumer’s credit report. Negative entries such as judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, and late payments may stay on the report typically no longer than seven years from the time of the delinquency. Tax liens may only be posted on the credit report for seven years from the date that borrowers pay them. As for bankruptcies, they must be removed from the credit report after ten years.

The Pivotal Concept of Credit Card Rates

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under Credit Card Debt Consolidation Information.

Credit cards facilitate the lives of millions of Americans by ensuring the attainment of emergency funds, the affordability of large expenditures, the payment of purchases overseas, and the booking of reservations, among other things. For fiscally-responsible consumers, credit cards are a formidable, convenient tool enabling them to achieve a multitude of money management objectives. Before charging a plastic card, however, individuals should do their homework. By shopping around for attractive credit card rates, consumers will be better able to tackle their consumer debt and pay off the finance charges in a more expeditious manner. With a good credit card rate, borrowers can save on interest and fees. By utilizing low interest credit cards, individuals can reap significant savings on one monthly statement alone. By paying less in interest and more in principal, they can attain a zero balance more quickly and free up more monthly cash. It is therefore beneficial to compare the rates offered by different credit card companies.Typically, the credit card rate that is advertised is the bare interest rate. The actual cost of borrowing is reflected in the interest charge known as the annual percentage rate (APR), which is expressed in terms of a yearly rate. This is the rate that consumers pay on cash advances, balance transfers, and outstanding balances. The average APR on credit cards in the U.S. is approximately 18%, and companies generally post a maximum ceiling on their interest rates. This is usually imposed on individuals who are delinquent in their payments. A number of states have passed usury laws restricting the maximum interest rate that creditors can charge their clients. Consumers should familiarize themselves with the various types of APRs that a credit card company may charge. The daily periodic rate is calculated by dividing the APR by 365 days. Each credit card has at least one type of APR, and consumers who request cash advances or balance transfers, fail to pay in a timely manner, or simply make purchases can expect to encounter several APRs. Credit cards are usually associated with a number of APRs including the following:1.  APR for purchases vs. APR for balance transfers and cash advances. The APR on balance transfers and cash advances is generally higher than that on general purchases. 2. Penalty rate or default. Individuals with bounced checks, late payments, or a deteriorating credit score typically face a higher APR. Some card issuers slap a higher interest rate on consumers who are delinquent on their loan or credit card payments with other lenders or who have too many credit cards. 3. Introductory APR. Many credit card companies offer a low or zero APR on purchases, balances transfers or both for a fixed period of time, usually 6 or 12 months. Upon the expiration of the introductory rate, a different rate applies. 4. Tiered APRSome credit card companies apply different rates of interest to different amounts of outstanding balances. For instance, they might offer 16% on balances ranging from $1 to $600 and 18% on balances exceeding $600. 5. Fixed rate APRWith a fixed rate credit card, the APR generally does not fluctuate. It can change, however, if the credit card company provides 15-day notice to the borrower of a change in terms. The APR may also be increased if the borrower is delinquent on his or her payments or a check bounces.6. Variable rate APR. Credit cards with a variable rate have APRs that fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Treasury bill rate, prime rate, or another interest rate index. Prospective borrowers should carefully read the credit card application and agreement to find out the frequency of changes in the card’s APR. 7. Delayed APR. This means that a different rate will be charged upon the expiration of the introductory APR period. Credit companies charge consumers finance fees, which constitute the cost to be paid for using credit. The amount of the finance charge depends partially on the APR and the borrower’s outstanding balance. Some companies post a minimum finance charge. Consumers who carry balances from month to month should avail themselves of a low interest credit card, which offers a low introductory APR or a low fixed rate. Secured credit cards are ideally suited for individuals facing bankruptcy or credit issues. The borrower is required to deposit cash into an account, which serves as collateral. The amount of the deposit determines the credit line. A secured credit card, which may be obtained at a credit union and some banks, usually waives the annual fee and boasts a lower rate of interest. Unsecured credit cards are a boon for individuals with battered credit. Numerous offers with competitive interest rates are available online for consumers with bad credit.To obtain the most favorable credit card rates, prospective borrowers should consider the following tips:

Requesting a copy of their credit report from the three credit reporting agencies and ensuring that the information is accurate. (Credit card companies rely on FICO scores to set interest rates) Comparison-shopping for the credit cards offering the lowest interest rate. Not exceeding their card’s limit, paying their bills on time, and remaining current on their payments.

Ensure Accuracy & Avoid Identity Fraud with Free Credit Reports

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under General Debt & Loan Consolidation Information.

In the United States, the ability for individuals to make large purchases, obtain loans or rent out property is all dependent upon their credit worthiness. The truth is without a decent credit rating, life can become extremely difficult. This is because financial lending institutions perform a thorough credit check before lending out any money. Therefore, these institutions are less likely to offer their services to those with bad credit. Prior to applying for any type of financing, borrowers need to know exactly what their credit score is, and whether it’s accurate. This information can be determined through their annual credit report.

Many people may still be unaware that according to U.S. legislation, citizens have the legal right to access free credit reports once a year. In addition to finding out their credit score, the free annual credit report also enables individuals to keep track of their personal information in an effort to prevent the ongoing threat of identity theft. There are several ways for individuals to obtain their free credit report, however one of the quickest and most convenient methods is via the Internet on FreeCreditReport.com. Individuals can easily access their free annual credit report on this web site by typing in some personal information, including 1) full name, 2) home address, 3) social security number, 4) date of birth, 5) phone number, and 6) email address.

The details of a credit report featured on FreeCrediReport.com are courtesy of the credit reporting agency, Experian. However, the web site allows individuals to order the reports from two other credit bureaus as well: Equifax and TransUnion. The specific type of information that can be obtained from free credit reports includes the following:

Personal information Credit summary Public records Credit inquiries Account history Credit score

Along with the fact that it’s absolutely free every 12 months, there are also other reasons and advantages for individuals to obtain a copy of their annual credit report. Some of the most important include knowing their credit status, early fraud detection, and finding errors in the credit report. Rather than continuing to be uninformed and wondering why they are constantly rejected for credit cards or loans, it’s better for people to be aware of their credit status and FICO score. A free credit report also enables individuals to detect possible fraud. In the case of fraudulent activity, such as identify theft, credit reporting agencies and law enforcement should be notified immediately.

The likelihood of finding errors and omissions in a credit report is significantly high, which is why it’s important for individuals to go through and search for any inaccuracies that may exist. Minor mistakes can usually be fixed by writing a simple letter to the credit bureaus; however, more complex situations can often take longer to clarify. Regardless of the type of oversights discovered in a free credit report, it’s extremely crucial for individuals to make copies of everything that may be helpful in proving the error.

When contacting the credit reporting agency with a written claim, also known as a dispute letter, individuals should include the following information: their name, address, a narrative that clearly explains the problems found in the report and a request to remove the faulty items. In order to ensure the information is received, it’s best for individuals to send their claim by certified mail and request a return receipt. Credit bureaus typically take a minimum of 30 days to investigate claims. However, depending on how intricate the errors are, the entire process could take up to three months or longer to complete. Obtaining your free annual credit report is the first step to ensuring accuracy and preventing identity theft.

The Benefits and Services provided By a Credit Union

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under General Debt & Loan Consolidation Information.

When it comes to obtaining money for personal needs, such as student loans, home loans, and other kinds of financial services, banks are a popular type of lending institution that many borrowers turn to for help. However, many people are beginning to discover that banks are not the only option available in today’s lending market. Credit unions have also begun to gain popularity among the masses, and are now considered a comparable alternative. More specifically, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperative organizations that cater to their members by offering a variety of financial products and services. The members of a credit union are usually comprised of individuals who reside in the same community or work in the same place. Credit unions also boast a plethora of benefits, which is why many individuals find them so appealing.

In addition to basic low-cost services, including checking and savings accounts, credit unions have broadened the scope of financial offerings they provide to customers. For example, individuals can typically obtain personal loans, car loans and mortgage loans from a credit union. The interest rates charged by credit unions are generally lower than those offered by different commercial lenders. Their approval requirements are also less stringent, which makes it easier for borrowers to satisfy them.

Along with financing various loans, credit unions offer other types of financial services as well. Key services provided by credit unions typically include: 1) stock brokerage services, 2) mutual funds, 3) personal financial planning, 4) individual retirement accounts, 5) insurance coverage, 6) automated teller machines, which are usually for a minimum fee or at no cost for access, 7) debit cards, which can be used at numerous locations, and 8) credit cards. When customers obtain credit cards from credit unions, they are able to receive the added advantages of discounted fees and competitive interest rates.

With over two million members, the Navy federal credit union is one of the largest credit unions in the United States. Regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, this federal credit union has been helping citizens for over 50 years. The Navy federal credit union offers financial products and services similar to banks and traditional credit unions, including loans, checking/savings accounts, consumer credit cards, free online account management, low rates etc. Membership of the Navy federal credit union is restricted to all Navy personnel, which include the following:

Active duty marine Active duty navy Military members Reservists Civilian employees Retirees Contractors assigned by the government Family members of federal credit union members

In conjunction with the many benefits mentioned above, every member of a credit union also has a voice when it comes to governance. Many credit unions typically hold elections and meetings every year where members are able to select candidates for the Board of Directors. This means that every member has a direct say when it comes to setting the credit union policies. Additionally, members are entitled to vote on credit union business, and also have the option to serve on their credit union’s volunteer board.

With an abundance of financial products and services to choose from, lower rates and fees, easy membership and a safe place to save and grow your money, it’s no surprise that more and more people are turning to credit unions for financial assistance.

Change in FHA Loans Aim to Curb Mortgage Foreclosures

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under Home & Mortgage Refinance Information.

In an effort to aide homeowners in the growing mortgage crisis, the federal government has announced it will make changes to its Federal Home Loan Administration insured-loan program. Now, a wider range of individuals will be able to qualify for the program. Consequently, these modifications, along with lowered interest rates, have caused an increase in mortgage loan applications. The Federal Home Administration has moved its attentions from heightening housing standards, the purpose it was originally created for in 1934, to providing consumers with multiple loan options. The loans are Federal Home Loan Administration insured, are much more reasonable priced, and are of an overall better quality. The FHA should not be confused with a mortgage lender; the organization simply insures loans for FHA mortgage lenders in order to avoid payment evasion. FHA mortgage loans are special in a variety of ways. First, and probably most accommodating and unique, the program allows payments to come from family members, in the form of a gift from a charity, or from an employer. The payments, which tend to be around the three percent mark, are low down and FHA mortgage interest rates are economical. FHA home loans cater towards a large portion of the public, including individuals who: desire to maintain low monthly payments, do not have a large savings set aside for payments, may experience trouble obtaining a loan because of flawed credit, are new homeowners. Not only has the federal government made changes to FHA loans, but they have also recently announced a new program called HopeNow. The initiative, which has the support of the Bush administration, works as a sort of bridge between homeowners and some of the most prominent mortgage service companies in the country. These service companies include trade organizations, mortgage advisors, and investors. HopeNow is especially tailored for homeowners either dealing with mortgage difficulties or on the brink of mortgage foreclosures. Essentially, a network of debt counselors and mortgage lenders work with homeowners to create a strategy to prevent the owner from losing their home. This means either arranging a payment plan to effectively regain control of past due payments or lessening the interest rate of the loan.As millions of ARM mortgages are hastily approaching their reset dates to higher interest rates, timing is crucial. Luckily, HopeNow has the necessary features to handle such time constraints. Because the initiative includes a wide network of many mortgage experts, debt counselors and lenders are able communicate with each other much faster than ever before. In order to further educate owners facing foreclosure on their homes, HopeNow plans to provide toll free telephone numbers as well as mass mailings; this widely distributed material will include information on refinancing options. Again, it is essential for homeowners to be mindful of the time, as many ARM mortgages head towards higher interest resets. Just as lenders and counselors have open communication, it is important for homeowners to notify their lender, in a timely fashion, in the event they will not or believe they will not be able to meet the higher interest rate payments.With the federal government implementing new programs and initiatives like HopeNow and the changes to FHA loans, homeowners are presented with more viable options to combat foreclosure. Though they do not have as many options as those facing mortgage foreclosures, owners looking to maintain low interest rates also have additional methods of doing so. But whether a homeowner fits into the former or latter category, it is always important to communicate with FHA mortgage lenders so that the owner is aware of all of the options available to them.

Reverse Mortgage Information: The Benefits and Disadvantages of a Reverse Mortgage

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under Home & Mortgage Refinance Information.

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

Reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly popular as senior citizens learn more information about the concept of how a reverse mortgage works. A reverse mortgage works like a regular home mortgage loan, but in “reverse”, which means that the reverse mortgage would allow you to receive tax-free payments in exchange for most or all of your home equity.While a reverse mortgage does not demand too many requirements, there are a few requirements to keep in mind:

It is only available to senior citizens at the age of 62 years or older. The person receiving the reverse mortgage loan must be a homeowner. Your house must be completely or mostly paid off. (This factor may also depend on the reverse mortgage lender you choose.) There are no income requirements.

It is also important to keep in mind that a reverse mortgage loan will not affect your Social Security or Medicare benefits.Advantages of a Reverse MortgageA reverse mortgage may not be the right solution for everyone, but there are many advantages to consider. With a reverse mortgage, you are in command of how and when you receive your payments. You may choose to receive your payments as a fixed monthly sum or as one lump sum. You may also receive payments through a line of credit, which would allow you to receive any amount of money you want, whenever you want, much like a bank account.The major advantage of receiving a reverse mortgage is that you are in charge of how and when you receive your payments. Reverse mortgages are very convenient if you are wanting to:

Prevent foreclosure on your home Pay off your debts Pay for daily life expenses Take a much wanted vacation

Most reverse mortgage lenders will allow you to do whatever you want with your money, so once again, the choice is up to you on how you want to spend your money, so spend it wisely!Disadvantages of a Reverse MortgageAs well as many things in life, there are usually disadvantages that tag along with all the advantages. In order to make the right decision, sometimes you just have to weigh out the differences between the advantages and disadvantages. Some disadvantages of a reverse mortgage include the following:

There is a high interest rate on the payments you receive, meaning you will receive less money than the full value of your home. Reverse mortgage lenders tend to charge certain fees, such as closing costs and service fees. You will not receive as much money on your income taxes because the interest you pay on a reverse mortgage does not count as a deductible. If you do not qualify to receive the full money value of your home, you will be held accounted for coming up with the rest of the money to cover your reverse mortgage loan. For an example on the last disadvantage, if the value of your house is $150,000 and you only qualify for $125,000; you will be expected to come up with $25,000 in order to receive the reverse mortgage.

If you are interested in receiving a reverse mortgage, there are many options and tools out there that will greatly help you. If you want a better idea of how much money you will receive, there are reverse mortgage calculators all over the internet that may come in very handy.A reverse mortgage may not be the right solution for everyone, but if you are still interested, try contacting a reverse mortgage lender to get further detailed reverse mortgage information.

Credit Card Debt Takes over Borrowers’ Lives

Posted by cmsadmin & filed under Credit Card Debt Consolidation Information.

In a dramatic devolving paradigm shift over the last five decades, Americans have come to accept excessive debt as part and parcel of daily life. Unfortunately, the credit card has become a tool to subsidize the American lifestyle, ‘living beyond your means.’ Since there are no longer any societal and cultural stigmas attached to possessing debt, removed from the equation of the American psyche are major components of restricting undesirable behavior, that of possessing bad debt. Today, Americans are more than happy to say, “Charge it.”

Herein, Americans are increasingly saddled with debt, struggling to pay bills, unable to extricate themselves out of the viscous cycle of debt. Not surprisingly, credit consolidation, debt management, credit counseling, and debt management services are busy helping consumers find relief from bad debt.

These debt counseling and consolidation services help people pay off their credit card debts and other bad credit debts in a methodical manner. The counseling goes a step further by attempting to instill in the debtor a sense of fiscal discipline.

But current economic conditions are having a detrimental effect on the personal economy of Americans. If people with minimal or no bad credit debt are having difficulty sustaining themselves, imagine the plight of the many saddled with debt. The ever increasing gas and food costs are leaving people with little or no discretionary income.

Discretionary income is the key to paying off debt faster, as well as saving for the future. Nevertheless, consumer credit counseling services see burgeoning demand for help. New federal statistics show the growing issue with consumer debt as Americans’ credit debt rose 6.7% in the first quarter of 2008 to $957.2 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.

This jump in credit card debt is not surprising despite the tightening of credit by banks and credit card companies.

Regrettably, for many accumulating bad credit debt is an unavoidable choice, lacking cash flow to make needed purchases.

During the boom housing market, consumers could have tapped into the equity in their homes through home equity loans, lines of credit, or mortgage refinancing. But due to declining home prices and mortgage lenders suspending home equity lines of credit, accessing a HELOC is no longer a viable alternative for generating cash flow.

Generally, HELOCs carry lower interest rates, but their availability seems suspect until the rejuvenation of the housing and credit markets occur.

Alas, faced with soaring fuel and food costs, many Americans must charge to make ends meet.