Finance

Re-Financing with Shorter Loan Terms

For some homeowners there is the possibility of making a sound re-financing decision even when interest rates are stagnant, the homeowner does not have a great amount of equity in the home and the homeowner’s credit score has not increased significantly. You might wonder how this is possible. It certainly isn’t an option for every homeowner but those who can afford to pay significantly more each month can yield huge financial benefits by refinancing their loan terms from 30 years to 15 years. The benefits which may result from this type of re-financing include a significant overall savings, the ability to gain equity quicker and the ability to repay the balance of the loan quicker.

Higher Monthly Payments Increase Overall Savings

Re-financing with shorter loan terms is definitely not an easy option but homeowners who have a large monthly cash flow or who receive a sizable promotion at work might be able to consider the possibility of re-financing by decreasing the loan terms from 30 years to 15 years.

The result of this type of re-financing will be a significantly higher monthly payment which is not conventional but can be worthwhile if it meets the needs of the homeowner. In particular this type of re-financing option is a viable solution if the homeowner can afford the increase in monthly payments and has an overall goal of reducing the amount of interest they will pay over the course of the entire loan.

Reducing the amount of interest is critical to the overall savings plan because the homeowner does not have the option of reducing their original debt but they can drastically reduce the amount of interest paid over the course of the loan. Consider two loans with a 5% interest rate. One loan is to be repaid over a period of 15 years while the other loan is to be repaid over a period of 30 years. It is clear that in this example, the homeowner with the 30 year mortgage will pay more during the course of the loan.

Equity Gained Quicker

Another major advantage to re-financing by reducing the loan terms from 30 years to 15 years is the ability to gain equity in the home at a significantly faster rate. The amount of the equity in the home is equal to the amount of the principal loan which has already been repaid by the homeowner. Under a conventional loan, the homeowner typically pays a combination of principal and interest with their monthly payments. The amount of the principal which is repaid on two mortgages for the same amount and with the same interest rate will be different if one loan is a 30 year term and the other is a 15 year term. The homeowner with the 15 year mortgage will be paying more of the principal each month and will therefore be accumulating more equity each month. Gaining equity in the home quicker is ideal because it gives the homeowner greater flexibility. The equity in the home can be used for a number of purposes including home improvement projects, travel, educational pursuits and small business ventures.

Loan Repaid Quicker

One advantage of shortening the loan terms, which cannot be denied by some homeowners, is the ability to repay the loan quicker by re-financing to shorten the loan terms from 30 years to 15 years. In this case the homeowner will have completely repaid the home loan a full 15 years earlier than they would have under the conventional loan. This is advantageous because it can enable the homeowners to enjoy living mortgage free a full 15 years earlier. Once the mortgage is fully repaid, the homeowner may be able to make significantly more sizable contributions to his retirement plan. Some homeowners may even be able to afford to retire once their mortgage is repaid in full. This ability can have a significant impact on the quality of life for the homeowner. Homeowners may find themselves with the financial means to travel, assist family in educational pursuits or invest in a small business.

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Bill Consolidation Service – How To Choose The Right One

Using a bill consolidation service can be a way to become debt free for many people. To be clear it is not a way to just write off your outstanding credit or to walk away scot free from your financial obligations. No, it is a service offered by some companies to reduce the amount of your overall credit bill. Consolidation service is the name used by many of these companies to describe a service where by they will negotiate with your creditors.

It’s an especially useful service if you’re not a home owner but you have debts that you can no longer manage. You simply let the bill consolidation service contact your creditors and agree lower monthly or weekly repayments on your behalf.

Now I guess at this point you’re thinking hey, I could do that myself. Well, yes, you could and you may succeed. But I’ll wager that a credit counselling service can do the job better. And what I mean by better is that they will get you a lower repayment schedule.

Why? Simply because they have more clout and credibility than you would have as an individual.

The main thing is to choose carefully when you’re seeking out a consolidation service to act on your behalf. Choosing wisely will usually get you a lower repayment each month and possibly a shorter term as well. However go with the wrong credit counselling service and you’ll be paying out more and for longer.

To select your company you need to look out for some important points. Do they have a good record of helping people for example? Have you been referred to them by someone you know and trust? Are they non-profit or a profit making company?

As with any other major decision you should do some checks to make certain you are doing the right thing. Ask about them at your church. Consult the Better Business Bureau and speak to your state consumer affairs representatives.

One final point to keep in mind when you start to make your enquiries. All these organizations stand to benefit by having you as a customer. That means some, if not all, will try to get you to sign up straight away. Don’t! Remember to take your time and decide with a cool head. That way you will finish up with good and worthwhile bill consolidation service.

Forex Trading: Make Forex Signals Work for You

In forex trading, watching the market for entrance and exit points is the brunt of your work. Traditionally, you monitor the progress of currencies by feed reports. Either by watching the news or guarding the numbers in your laptop.

Here lies the problem- who would want to spend the rest of their day plastered to their laptops? Forex trading seems to be a perfect business ground for everyone: opportunities are near equal, and you could trade anytime, anywhere provided you have internet access.

The answer to this is to get a service that provides forex signals. Simply put, forex signal services are paid subscription services where they monitor and interpret the market to your liking. Your set of specifications, what to watch out for and when to alert you. They send you results by email, or directly to your phone.

Forex signal services are very popular nowadays. You may even refer to it as an indispensable tool for any trader. Brokers even provide their own unique platform that will cater your information requirements. When you sign in with them for an account, they give you this service with a fee or even free.

What usually happens is that they give you signals for known or popular currency pairs. For instance, you may be intent in watching the changes in Euros and American dollars, Japanese Yen and Singaporean dollars. If requested on your account, they can provide you with signals on less known pairs. Whatever your strategy and currency trade is, they can fit their services for your needs.

How do they do this?

Well, forex signal companies use computerized systems to monitor pairs and make some analysis for their subscribers. Understand that they do not make decisions for their subscribers mind you; they are just signals, tools to help you make a decision. Once you make a decision right away, your broker and software can even do the trade right away.

However, there is a catch: they are not a hundred percent accurate. They only provide leanings or advice on what decisions traders should make. The best signal service companies have good track records of providing great recommendations and near accurate signals. The service will cost you, but if you are a serious trader upping their game, then signals are a must.

Here are some tips how to make the most out of your service:
1. Ask about the features from your service provider. If the service comes from your broker, then consider if they are effective for you. Some are packaged into the type of accounts.
2. List down what are the things you need to monitor. You might save money on services by getting a less costly subscription that just gives what you need.
3. Invest on the reputable forex signal service companies. Their excellent service might be just what you need to gain an edge.

At the end, what you should remember is that forex signals are just instruments that help you. They are not meant to replace you decision-making process. You alone should decide the trade you have to make. After all, you would not risk all of your money based solely on a machine. You and your strategy must still take control. Forex signals makes forex trading more manageable and more enticing to other people.

Money Savings on Food

Thinking of cutting down your expenses on food? Then you should read the following tips. They will surely help you on reducing your food expenses. They are by no means comprehensive but they will be very useful.

For coffee drinkers

It is a good idea to re-use the grounded coffee once. Using coffee grounds two times or more will not greatly affect the taste of the coffee. It is highly encouraged to do this using a filter that is permanent and avoid the paper variety. Keep the grounds refrigerated until using it the following day.

For bread lovers

Grocery stores sell bread that was made the day before at a much lower price. There is nothing wrong with eating bread that was made the day before since it still is good to eat. If you have a lot of space in your refrigerator, store a lot for bigger savings. If you will eat the bread, you can defrost it using your microwave oven. Re-heat it every 30 seconds to prevent the edges of the bread from getting too hard.

When buying from the grocery

Before going to the grocery, you should have already made a list of all the things that you really need. Prioritize basic goods and avoid buying things that you do not really need. Observe the prices indicated on the displays. Remember, branded products cost considerably more than store brands. It is also a good idea to keep the receipt of your previous trip to the grocery and make it as a basis for your purchases on your next trip. To have higher savings, buy more of the product. You can always store it in your refrigerator or in the house to minimize your trips to the grocery store.

When eating outside

If you are going to eat in a pricey restaurant, the best time for you to go there would be during lunch. Food during lunch usually costs less and this will be to your advantage. When staying at the hotel on your trips, it is a good idea to check if they also include breakfast in your total room charge. You should also find out where the locals eat. Chances are, they will eat where the food is great and the price is even better. When going around, carry with you some snacks. A chocolate bar, chips, and cookies will go a long way while strolling around.

Eating cheaply does not necessarily mean eating bad food. Look around and you will be suprised at the options you can choose from. Take time and consider your choices so that you will not only eat a lot but save some money also.

How to Find the Best Consolidation for Debt

United Way is a useful organization that works closely with your creditors to free up your debts. Most creditors prefer to work with trusted organizations, rather than work with the debtor or attorneys. Nonprofit organizations and debt analysts that work to free up debt will analyze your debts, come to an agreement on the amount owed, and decide on a worthy amount to repay the debts-all while at the same time helping debtors to restore their credit.

Another method for debt consolidation is to approach the creditors on your own. Few creditors realize how difficult times become for families and individuals; therefore they will work with you to free up your debts when they hear your story. Otherwise, if you are not geared up to handle the process yourself, then the credit assistance agencies are your best bet.

Be aware that debt consolidation programs are subject to charge costly fees and interest rates. Therefore, learn about the programs for debt consolidation for stepping into any agreement. United Way, once more, is a trustworthy source for debt relief and restoring credit.

In addition, you will need to obtain copies of your credit reports to verify your debts. If you notice any wrongful charges on the report, be sure to argue with the credit bureaus to clear up any allegations made against you. On the credit report, you will notice your debts in order, and therefore, it can help you to see which debts can be torn down quicker than other debts. Furthermore, be advised that if you make any payments toward your debts, you are at less risk of injunctions, summons, of subpoenas.

If you make no effort at all to repay your debts, then you are subject to risk, since some creditors will alert the courts. Finally, start paying now and avoid problems later.

Credit Scores

Credit scores determine if someone gets approved or
declined on any type of credit.

In commercial terms, credit scores are defined as
numerical expression based on a statistical analysis
of a person’s credit files, generated by a
mathematical algorithm.

To be more precise, credit scores are determined on
the basis of the certain amount of credit a person has
taken.

His credit statements are compared with the accounts
of other people applying for credit to the same
financial body.

Bankers and credit card companies are termed as
lenders who use credit scores to evaluate the
potential risk while lending money to the consumers
and to alleviate losses due to bad debt.

Credit scores are being used by the lenders to
determine who qualifies for a loan and who does not,
at what interest rate, and what credit limits they
could lend the money to the person and in what time
and what interest they could get their refund back.

There are lenders who sometimes build or create
regression models that predict the amount of bad debt
a customer may incur.

But it is really difficult and hard to predict about
the debt return still it is done to have an idea in
the future if this person is a high risk or worthy of
future credits.

Lenders usually look for higher number as we have seen
that people with highest score get the lowest rate of
interest.

Different countries use different techniques to make
credit scores and similarity is found between Canada
and USA. But the system is said to be better in
Australia.

Chase.com credit card

Chase.com credit card offers

Online credit card applications seem to be the in thing and Chase too offers online credit card application facility. Here, ‘Chase.com credit cards’ refers to the chase credit cards that can be applied for online. Just for those who don’t know, ‘Chase’ is a brand that is owned by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (a leading global financial services firm).

By ‘Chase.com credit card offers’, I mean the credit card offers that are available at chase.com. Obviously, ‘Chase.com credit cards’ would be regulated by chase. Again, as with any other credit card supplier, ‘Chase.com credit cards’ on offer would be changing too.

Anyways; one night, before going to bed, I thought of just checking the chase.com credit cards section. Here is what I found:

There is a separate Chase.com credit cards section. As I browsed through the Chase.com credit cards section (the online application ones), the first one I encountered was called ‘Chase Cash Plus’ or the ‘Chase Cash Plus Rewards’. These promise faster rewards and offer 5% earnings on gas and on purchases made at grocery-stores/drug-stores. For other shopping venues, it offers 1% earnings. These earnings can be in the form of gift certificates or cash.

The next on the Chase.com credit cards section was the ‘Flexible rewards Visa signature card’. Here you earn a point for every purchase of $1. You can keep collecting these points and then finally redeem them for your choice of things (like cash, travel, gift certificates or some kind of merchandise). The redemption can start at 2500 points (and you get a bonus of 1000 points once you make the first purchase). Moreover, this one doesn’t have any annual fee either. So that was the second one in the Chase.com credit cards section.

Moving on in the Chase.com credit cards section, I found ‘Free Cash Rewards Platinum Visa card’. This one, as the name goes, offers cash rewards. You can get a $25 check or a gift certificate on redemption of 2500 points. Since there is one point earned for every $1 spend, this mean that you effectively get 1% cash back on these cards.

I had started loving browsing through the Chase.com credit cards section. So I moved on to the next one in the Chase.com credit cards section. The next one on the Chase.com credit cards section was ‘Chase Perfect Platinum MasterCard’ which doesn’t limit you to getting rebates only on a particular brand of gasoline; instead, you get rebates everywhere. ‘

Chase Platinum MasterCard’ was the next one in the Chase.com credit cards section. This one offers online account management i.e. monthly statements, bill payments etc can all be done online (also you don’t have any annual fee on this one).

There were few more cards on Chase.com credit cards section and one especially caught my attention. This one was at the bottom of Chase.com credit cards section and was called ‘Check Gallery Platinum Visa Card’. Here you could choose the design of your card from those available e.g. cowboys, smileys etc.

By now, I was so sleepy that I really had to shut down my computer and go off to sleep.

Note: The information given in this article was correct at the time it was written. However, the author does not guarantee the correctness and completeness of this information at any time.

What happened in corporate accounting scandals?

When a corporation deliberately conceals or skews information to appear healthy and successful to its shareholders, it has committed corporate or shareholder fraud. Corporate fraud may involve a few individuals or many, depending on the extent to which employees are informed of their company’s financial practices. Directors of corporations may fudge financial records or disguise inappropriate spending. Fraud committed by corporations can be devastating, not only for outside investors who have made share purchases based on false information, but for employees who, through 401ks, have invested their retirement savings in company stock.
Some recent corporate accounting scandals have consumed the news media and ruined hundreds of thousands of lives of the employees who had their retirement invested in the companies that defrauded them and other investors. The nuts and bolts of some of these accounting scandals are as follows:
WorldCom admitted to adjusting accounting records to cover its operation costs and present a successful front to shareholders. Nine billion dollars in discrepancies were discovered before the telecom corporation went bankrupt in July of 2002. One of the hidden expenses was $408 million given to Bernard Ebbers (WorldCom’s CEO) in undisclosed personal loans.
At Tyco, shareholders were not informed of the $170 million in loans that were taken by Tyco’s CEO, CFO, and chief legal officer. The loans, many of which were taken interest free and later written off as benefits, were not approved by Tyco’s compensation committee. Kozlowski (former CEO), Swartz (former CFO), and Belnick (former chief legal officer) face continuing investigations by the SEC and the Tyco Corporation, which is now operating under Edward Breen and a new board of directors.
At Enron, investigations against uncovered multiple acts of fraudulent behavior. Enron used illegal loans and partnerships with other companies to cover its multi-billion dollar debt. It presented erroneous accounting records to investors, and Arthur Anderson, its accounting firm, began shredding incriminating documentation weeks before the SEC could begin investigations. Money laundering, wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud are just some of the indictments directors of Enron have faced and will continue to face as the investigation continues.

Re-Financing with Bad Credit

Many years ago, it would have been extremely difficult for those with bad credit to obtain a mortgage loan in the first place. However, today there are so many loan options available and so many ways for lenders to protect themselves that those with bad credit can not only find a suitable mortgage but can also find appealing re-financing options as well.

Those with poor credit should carefully consider whether or not re-financing is ideal for them at the present time but the process is not much different for them as it is for those with good credit. Those with bad credit who want to learn more about re-financing should consult a mortgage advisor who specializes in mortgages for those with bad credit. Additionally the homeowner should carefully evaluate their credit score and whether or not it has improved. Finally the homeowner should evaluate their options carefully to ensure they are making the best possible decision.

Consult a Mortgage Advisor

Consulting with a mortgage advisor is recommended for those with poor credit. These homeowners may be knowledgeable about the process of re-financing but their situation warrants consulting with an industry expert. This is important because a mortgage advisor who specializes in obtaining mortgages and re-financing for those with bad credit will likely be very knowledgeable about the types of options available to the homeowners.

When consulting with the mortgage advisor, the homeowners should be completely honest about their financial situation and should provide the expert with all of the information he needs to assist them in finding an ideal re-financing agreement. Being completely candid will be very helpful in enabling the mortgage advisor to assist the homeowner in the best way possible.

Consider Whether or Not Your Credit has Improved

Homeowners with bad credit should carefully consider whether or not their credit has improved since the original mortgage was secured. Homeowners who have documented proof of past credit scores can compare these scores to current values. Each citizen is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the major credit reporting agencies. Homeowners can obtain these reports for use in making comparisons to the previous credit scores. Imperfections on the credit report such as bankruptcies, delinquent or missed payments and other transgressions do not remain on the credit report.

These blemishes are often erased from the credit report after a certain period of time. The amount of time the transgression remains on the report is proportional to the severity of the offense. For example a bankruptcy will remain on the credit report for significantly longer than a late payment. In examining the credit report, homeowners should consider the overall credit score but should also note whether or not previous offenses are being erased from the credit report in a timely fashion.

Evaluate Re-Financing Options Carefully

Once a homeowner has tentatively made a decision to re-finance the mortgage, it is time to start considering the many options that are available to the homeowner during the process of re-financing. Most homeowners mistakenly believe one factor of the re-financing process they have no control over is the interest rate. While this rate is largely dependent on the homeowners credit score, even those with poor credit have the ability to lower their interest rate by purchasing point. A point is typically equally to 1% of the total loan amount and may translate to a ¼ of a percentage point on the interest rate. When deciding whether or not to purchase points, the homeowner should carefully consider the amount of time it would take the homeowner to recoup the cost of purchasing the points. This will help to determine whether or not it is worthwhile to purchase one or more points when re-financing.

Homeowners will also have options in terms of the type of loan they choose when re-financing. Common options include fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and hybrid mortgages. The interest rate remains constant with a fixed rate mortgage, adjusts with an ARM and is fixed for a period of time and adjustable for the remainder of the loan period with a hybrid loan.

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Bill Consolidation Loans What You Need To Know

Now that many of us are experiencing first hand the bad financial decisions that we have been encouraged to make over the past few decades, it’s time to start to take stock of our financial house and make things right. If you are considering bill consolidation loans then you need to read this article.

There are two major types of consolidation loans: secured and unsecured.

A secured loan will want something for collateral, usually your house. It amounts to a second mortgage. This isn’t a bad option as long as you have sound financial skills and a steady income.

Many people will get into trouble with this type of loan because they often have bad financial habits which is what lead to them needing the consolidation loan in the first place.

For example, someone who uses credit cards to live beyond their means could potentially lose everything with a secured loan. They will be able to pay off all of their credit cards which is good but they will also have another mortgage payment to make.

If they are responsible and don’t use their cards, and they pay their house payments on time, this can be an excellent option. But if they revert to their bad financial habits and start racking up credit card debt they will be in a lot of trouble because now they will not only have their credit card bills they will also have their second mortgage payment too. If they default on their mortgage payment they will likely lose their house.

An unsecured loan can be a safer option but you’ll need excellent credit to qualify. The bank is much stricter on who receives an unsecured loan because they don’t have any collateral and are taking on much more risk. If you have even minor problems with your credit you probably won’t be approved. If you are approved you will likely have a much higher interest rate.

This too can be an excellent option to help you get out of debt but you have to make smart financial moves from that point forward. You don’t have to get a second mortgage on your house but the bank will only allow you to consolidate your debt so many times.

You have to use this money to pay off your credit cards and then put them away. Only use credit for emergencies, and no, a plasma t.v. isn’t an emergency.

If you are financially smart and use a bill consolidation loans wisely it might be a good option for you. Just remember it isn’t a magic cure, you still have to be financially responsible.