Finance

Tax Considerations When Re-Financing

For many homeowners the overall goals of re-financing are often paying less in interest overall and reducing monthly payments. When a homeowner is able to obtain a lower interest rate, there is usually the opportunity to re-finance the mortgage to capitalize on the lower interest rate. However, a lower interest rate does not automatically translate to a savings. The homeowner must carefully consider the amount of money they will be savings over the course of the loan in relation to the amount of money they will be spending to re-finance the mortgage. When the closing costs associated with re-financing are larger than the savings, re-financing may not be warranted. Re-financing can also have financial ramifications associated with tax options.

Paying Less Interest Equals Less of a Deduction

In most locations, homeowners are permitted to deduct the amount of taxes they pay on their mortgage when filing their tax forms. This is usually quite a substantial deduction for homeowners who owned the home for the entire tax year. Those who re-finance their mortgage will typically be paying less money each year in taxes on the mortgage. While this is great in the long run, it can adversely affect the homeowner’s tax return.

Consider a situation where a homeowner is located just below a major tax bracket which would be quite costly for the homeowner. As all ready discussed, re-financing may result in the homeowner paying less money in taxes each year. This means the taxpayer will be able to make a smaller deduction this year now fall above the tax bracket they previously fell below. When this happens the homeowner may find themselves paying significantly more in taxes.

Consult a Tax Preparation Specialist

Determining the exact ramifications of paying less interest on a home mortgage on a tax return can be a rather tricky process. There are a number of difficult equations involved which can make the apt to make mistakes while trying to determine the consequences of paying less in taxes on the mortgage. For this reason, the homeowner should consult a tax preparation specialist when determining whether or not re-financing is worthwhile because the tax specialist can provide information regarding the impact of paying less in interest.

In selecting a tax preparation specialist, the homeowner should seek out opinions from friends and family members if the homeowner does not employ a specialist to prepare their own taxes. This can be helpful because trusted friends and family members are only likely to recommend professionals they feel were knowledgeable, trustworthy and caring. A tax preparation specialists should have all of these qualities but should also be well versed in the area of tax preparation. This will enable the tax preparation specialist to make all of the right decisions when considering the needs of the homeowner.

Online Calculators

For homeowners who do not know a tax preparation specialist or for homeowners who are unable to afford the consulting services of these individuals, there are online calculators which homeowners might find very useful. These calculators are readily available throughout the Internet and can be used to determine the tax ramifications to re-financing. These calculators ask the user to input specific criteria then returns results regarding the amount the homeowner will pay in taxes during the year if he refinances. Additionally the homeowner can run these equations several times to consider a number of different scenarios.

PPPPP

Word count 566

Choosing High Interest Saving Account

You know the saying,  » Today is the first day of the rest of your life » well it’s true. No matter what shape your finances are in you can always take steps to improve them starting today. One of those steps will probably involve opening a high interest saving account.

You have more choices than ever when it comes to opening a savings account. You don’t just have to stick with your local bank. You can open one online at many large national banks.

There is some evidence to suggest that an online account will make you more interest since the bank doesn’t have as much overhead. This isn’t written in stone though so make sure you check. You will usually need a higher deposit to open a high interest rate account and will often have a higher minimum balance to maintain.

Before you rush off to open an online savings account here are a few points you should keep in mind:

1) Interest rates are always changing so before you make your decision visit a website like bankrate.com. But remember, interest rates should be only one consideration when choosing a bank.

2) Make sure whatever bank you choose, whether online or off, has a very competent and easily accessible customer service department. You need to be able to talk to someone if you ever have a question or problem.

3) Make sure you fully understand any fee’s associated with your account. Some savings accounts only allow you a certain number of withdrawals a month after which time you will be charged fee’s. You need to know this and determine if it will fit in with your habits.

You may also be charged significant fee’s if your balance falls below the required minimum balance. Make sure you know beforehand. Even a bank that offers a high interest rate may not be worth it if they are going to ‘nickel and dime’ you to death with a bunch of fee’s.

4) How much money will you need to deposit in order to open the account? Usually the larger the deposit the higher the interest rate, but not everyone has a lot of money to open an account.

5) Do you have to maintain a minimum balance? If so, how much and what fee’s will be accessed if you fall below that level? Again, think about your situation and decide whether or not that arrangement will work for you.

6) Most banks are FDIC insured, online or off, but don’t take that for granted. Always make sure the bank you choose is FDIC insured. (If it’s a credit union it will be NCUA insured).

It doesn’t matter if you open your account at your local bank or choose an online bank. The important thing is that you find a way to put money aside so that if something unexpected happens you won’t have to rely on using credit. Opening a high interest saving account is a great way to take control of your finances, start today.

Indicators for Forex Trading

Some people find Forex trading very difficult. The reason behind this is because they did not spend adequate time in studying the market trends and they did not conduct thorough technical analysis. Forex charts are very important and you need to know how these charts are developed. As you probably know by now, the Forex market is a fast-paced environment and you need to keep up with it if you want to earn good profits. Technical analysis can definitely help you and so can market indicators.

Indicators are quite helpful especially when you’re about to make a transaction in the Forex market. Most of the time, these indicators provide you with market’s probability behavior but it can’t exactly tell the certainty of currency prices.

Technical indicators are very important in Forex trading. You can combine the indicators to create your very own trading strategy in order to recognize the market trends. As an effective trader, you must be able to identify the current or major trends, the short-trends, and intermediate trends; if you can do this, you will be able to hold a good position in the Forex market where you can earn great profits.

Since the Forex market is changing constantly, you need set a criterion for using the technical indicators. If you want to get the highest probability and accurate predictions, you must be able to combine required indicators. By doing so, you can determine the price behaviors of the currencies you would like to invest on.

Supposing that your judgment is correct, you should still consider other factors in order to gain maximum profits from your trades. If you’re having a bad day in the Forex market, take your profits and stop trading for the moment. This is a smart decision because if you stay longer (hoping to regain your lost money), you might lose more of your investment. When the prices of the currencies are moving within a so-called narrow range and isn’t going anywhere, there is no need to anticipate for a big movement. Find another currency to trade with better profit potentials.

With so many technical indicators to use, you will surely find combinations that will work best for you. Don’t be discouraged if ever you encounter some downfalls in Forex trading because that’s natural. When using technical indicators, you must give yourself enough time in doing the analysis and studies. There are so many things to consider and you can’t just do it in minutes. However, make sure that you don’t take too long in making your trading decisions because the Forex market will not slow down just to work for you. You’re the one who needs to adjust to its fast-paced environment. Keep in mind that there are also lots of traders out there who want to earn profits. You need to keep up with the competition.

Technical analysis is not very easy to do and so you will need all the help you can get. You can consult a broker or some online Forex trading tools if you want to learn more about this kind of trade. The internet is widely available and you can use it to your advantage. Educate yourself about these various technical indicators so that you can use them in identifying the market trends. For successful Forex trading, you must learn about these technical indicators.

Ten Practical Tips That Save Money

Saving money is not as hard as it seems. Here are ten practical tips that you can do to begin saving money, without changing your lifestyle.

1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs consume 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but give the same illumination. Make sure to buy only lamps and bulbs that have the Energy Star rating to ensure quality compliance.

2. Make a list when going to the grocery and stick to it! Anything that is not on the list is not a “need”, but merely a “want” so avoid busting your pockets for unnecessary items. Buy non-perishable consumables in bulk to benefit from bulk discounts.

3. Use coupons when available. Take the time and have the patience to clip and organize grocery coupons. When added together, savings from using all coupons in one grocery trip can be as much as $20-$30. Purchase dining and shopping coupons online and print them at home. Doing so can save you at least 50% on the face value of the coupons.

4. Buy online, whenever possible. Online stores pass their savings from rental costs and warehousing to the online consumer, thus they can afford as much as 70% off their rack price. When buying items online, Google it first together with the word, “discount code”. This can give you further reductions on the item you want to purchase. Try also online bidding: they offer at least 75% off the original purchase price, for practically new (slightly used!) items.

5. Take lunch to work. Buy potato chips and soda from the grocery and make a homemade sandwich and pack them in a brown bag.

6. Eat homemade dinners as often as possible. Plan menus that are practical and easy-to-cook to encourage eating at home. Save money by dining out only on special occasions.

7. Use everyday pantry items for skin and body care. Cucumbers, honey, milk, lemon, salt and baking soda are some items in your home that can also be used to take care of your skin.

8. Avoid shopping to de-stress. Try walking around the park or watching a movie instead.

9. Bring your own sodas and snacks when watching a movie. The cost of sodas and snacks are at least 25% higher in movie houses. Plus, homemade popcorn tastes much better: you can put on all the salt and butter you want!

10. Pay off your credit card balances each month and avoid finance charges. Better yet, use cash as much as possible, unless using plastic will give you a better deal (0% interest on appliance purchases, or cash rebates).

How to Find the Honest Debt Consolidation Programs

Debt consolidation programs claim to help families and individuals avoid bankruptcy by consolidating debts into one monthly installment. Some programs offer first-time free counseling, which includes debt information and information on how to reduce or eliminate interest rates on credit cards. These programs will assess your needs carefully,
claiming to search for the best plan for you.

After your information is analyzed thoroughly by a qualified representative, they will then begin to develop a strategy to help you budget your income so that you can payoff your bills and increase your income. These organizations will help you keep records of your spending, learn how to prepare for emergencies, and at the same time, help you to manage your debts.

Furthermore, the companies that help you organize may see a need to refer you to qualifying debt management programs that offer counseling. These counselors will contact creditors on your behalf, including business creditors, legal creditors to negotiate, and arrange lower monthly fees, including rates of interest.

The programs may even ask for waiver on fees for late charges, and will ask for elimination of accounts past the seven-year guideline. Once the plans are set in motion, they may require you to send one monthly installment to the debt consolidation agency, which then will then be broken down into payments and sent in the arranged amounts to each creditor.

As you can see the plans seem amicable; however this is not always the case: some programs will charge up to $70 per month, plus interest for helping you get out of debt. This means if your plan is to repay $500 per month, then only $430 of that amount will apply to your debts after and/if the programs charge interest rates and also after the rates of interest are deducted. In this event, maybe only $400 is giving to the creditors, which means you are paying out $100 each month simply for debt servicing.

High FICO Score on Credit Report Obtains Positive Responses

Are you living life in the fast lane? And tired of keeping up with all your expenditures? Life is like that, sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes you don’t. And since this is a fact of life, is there anything you can do to improve your life?

Don’t be desperate; it’s not the end of the world. It’s but natural to incur expenses as you go on with your daily life. Most especially now that almost every price of an item you need is soaring high. This is one reason why people find loans, credit cards, and other credit transactions more attractive.

Transactions involving credit is not that easy to apply for, you will need to have a good credit rating based on your credit report. Your credit report holds your credit score, or formally known as the FICO score.

The FICO score of each person applying for credit is very important. This is usually the deciding factor for any company to approve your application for credit. This will determine whether you’re eligible or not.

You should not disregard your FICO score. This means that from the very start, you should have handled all your credit transactions in a good manner and pays your bill on time. If you’ve been living your life like this, then you can expect a high FICO score. Having a high credit score means that you have great chances in getting secured loans, credit cards, and the like.

A high FICO score indicates that you’re a low risk for creditors, which means that once they extend you a loan (or any credit transaction), you can pay off your dues on time.

FICO scores have different ranges. If you’ve scored 500-559, it means that you should start improving your score. 560-619 scores have great troubles in obtaining credit, and for you to have a decent score, you must get a score of 675-699. Scores from 700-719 can expect a favorable response when it comes to financing terms. For people having FICO scores from 720-850, a big round of applause for you, because you’ve attained the best score of all; you will certainly have no trouble in applying for any credit term.

Aside from the different score-range, the FICO score is divided into five categories: the payment history, the credit history’s length, amounts owned, new credit, and the type of credit that you have used. These categories have a direct relation to your credit scores.

Your credit report will contain information such as retail accounts, credit cards, mortgages, installment loans, unpaid accounts, bankruptcy, and other pertinent information regarding your history (on credit). You can’t lie because the records are pieces of evidence which proves your eligibility.

However, there are also times when some information contained in your credit report are not that accurate, so you need to check with the bureau along with your supporting papers at least once every year to have your records updated.

You are free to visit the bureau. In fact, three known bureaus gather credit reports. They are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

The FICO score is your credit score, and remember, you must get a high score to have any application on your favor. One of the best ways to cope with your expenditures is through credit, so it is a must that you get a high FICO score. Be responsible with your finances.

Choosing Your Reward Card

When you are in the market for a new credit card, the features you have to choose from may draw you to the card. Low interest rates and the types of rewards you can get, are what draw many to reward credit cards. Those of you who have good credit, will more than likely be able to get reward cards that boast 0% APR. This does have an introductory period, normally 1 year, that goes along with your new reward card.

You’ll also need to think about the type of card that best fits your lifestyle. The credit card field is very competitive, meaning that you always have a lot of offers to choose from. Reward cards and becoming very popular, with more and more coming out all the time. If you look for your reward credit card on the Internet, you’ll be able to compare hundreds and hundreds of offers – and decide which one is indeed the best for you.

Those of you who travel on a frequent basis, may find frequent flyer reward cards to be very beneficial. These credit cards will accumulate either points or miles for every dollar that you spend. You can then use the accumulated points or miles and redeem them for airline travel, hotel reservations, car rentals, and even cruises. These credit cards can also help you with discounts as well, which can make a vacation or business trip more affordable than ever.

If you like to pay your full balance at the end of every month, then you may find a reward credit card with a cash back feature to be the most enticing. There are some cards that offer cash rewards of up to 5%, which can equal quite a bit at the end of the year. All you need to do with cash back reward credit cards is make a purchase, and you’ll get money back for everything you buy.

Other types of reward credit cards include discounts on gas purchases, contributions to your savings account, and points that you can redeem for great items and things of that nature. No matter what your lifestyle may be, you can almost always find a reward credit card that fits your needs and interests. Reward credit cards are great to have, as you can buy the things you need and earn points, flyer miles, and even cash back.

If the sound of rewards with your credit card purchases sounds enticing, you should look into getting a reward credit card. These cards are great to have, as most include low APR with great reward incentives. They can save you money as well, which is great for those on a budget. With a reward credit card – no matter what you choose you’ll come out a winner.

You can find the best choice of credit cards and pre-paid cards at www.CreditCards.us (http://www.creditcards.us)

PPPPP

(word count 462)

What is financial window dressing?

Financial managers can do certain things to increase or decrease net income that’s recorded in the year. This is called profit smoothing, income smoothing or just plain old window dressing. This isn’t the same as fraud, or cooking the books.

Most profit smoothing involves pushing some amount of revenue and/or expenses into other years than they would normally be recorded. A common technique for profit smoothing is to delay normal maintenance and repairs. This is referred to as deferred maintenance. Many routine and recurring maintenance costs required for autos, trucks, machines, equipment and buildings can be delayed, or deferred until later.

A business that spends a significant amount of money for employee training and development may delay these programs until the next year so the expense in the current year is lower.

A company can cut back on its current year’s outlays for market research and product development.

A business can ease up on its rules regarding when slow-paying customers are written off to expense as bad debts or uncollectible accounts receivable. The business can put off recording some of its bad debts expense until the next reporting year.

A fixed asset that is not being actively used may have very little current or future value to a business. Instead of writing off the un-depreciated cost of the impaired asset as a loss in the current year, the business might delay the write-off until the next year.

You can see how manipulating the timing of certain expenses can make an impact on net income. This isn’t illegal although companies can go too far in massaging the numbers so that its financial statements are misleading. For the most part though, profit smoothing isn’t much more than robbing Peter to pay Paul. Accountants refer to these as compensatory effects. The effects next year offset and cancel out the effects in the current year. Less expense this year is balanced by more expense the next year.

Seek Recommendations When Re-Financing

Homeowners who are re-financing their home for the first time may need a great deal of advice to assist them during the process. While homeowner can certainly research the process of re-financing by themselves, this can be a cumbersome task which is difficult, if not impossible. While it might be possible for a homeowner to educate himself enough to make informed decisions, it is unreasonable to expect a homeowner to be up to date on the most current information in the re-financing industry. It would also not be reasonable for homeowners to learn enough to make a definite decision regarding re-financing. The homeowner may still require some direction regarding which options are best suited for the needs of the homeowner.

Fortunately there are two simple steps homeowners can take to tips the odds of obtaining the most favorable re-financing in their favor. These simple steps include consulting with friends and family members who have recently financed and turning to industry experts for assistance.

Consult Friends and Family when Re-Financing

Believe it or not consulting with family and friends is one of the first steps a homeowner should take in the refinancing process. Those reading this article might be somewhat confused by this suggestion because in the previous section we stressed how it would be virtually impossible for a homeowner to thoroughly educate themselves on the re-financing process. Surely, we are not implying every homeowner has a friend or family member who is capable of given detailed financial advice in regard to re-financing. However, friends and family members can be helpful in a different capacity.

Friends and family members who recently re-financed their own home likely did a great deal of research and legwork before making their decision. They also likely formed useful opinions, either negative or positive, about the lender they used in the process. It is this information which can be very useful to homeowners who are considering their own re-financing. Homeowners can obtain information such as which lenders are currently offering the best rates as well as which lenders are easy to work with and responsive to the needs of the homeowners as well as which lenders do not take a vested interest in helping the homeowner to succeed.

Ask Experts for Advice when Re-Financing

One piece of advice which cannot be overlooked when re-financing a home, is asking an expert in the re-financing industry for advice. These experts may have costly consulting fees associated with their assistance but most homeowners would agree these fees are certainly worthwhile especially if the result in a significant cost savings for the homeowner.

We previously stressed how the issues associated with re-financing can be quite complex and difficult for those outside of the industry to fully understand, however, those in the industry spend their days devoted to learning more about re-financing, keeping up to date with changes in the industry as well as new developments and figuring out how to best serve the customers. All of these characteristics make it clear that homeowners should really consider employing the services of a financial planner with a great deal of experience in re-financing when they are making decisions regarding the best re-financing option for their situation.

Again, friends and family members who previously consulted with an industry professional can supply candid opinions about those they met. This can save the homeowner a great deal of time by eliminating potential candidates who friends and family members thought performed poorly.

PPPPP

Word count 579

Can Credit Repair Programs Help

Credit repair programs can be inexpensive or they can cost $1000 or more. Much of the cost difference depends on which program you choose and how much debt you have. If you’re very far behind, a program could cost a couple thousand dollars. Yet some credit repair programs can cost very little, especially those used by specific creditors.

When you’re trying to decide if you should look into a program of credit repair, consider how hard it will be for you to get out of debt. A credit repair program may be one that just fixes inaccuracies on your credit report, or it could be one that helps you with a system of repayment.

Some credit repair programs are designed for people who are struggling under crushing debt. These people may need someone to negotiate with their creditors for lower balances, lower interest or more.

Some programs can arrange for you to pay only a little more than half of what you owe. Other programs help settle your debts for less and may also negotiate for no more interest on what you owe. Some programs may combine both smaller balances and no or low interest, which can help you get your debts paid off.

If you really can’t make your payments on time or feel that you’re slipping under, a program could work for you. If you can keep up with your payments and keep paying the balances down, then that’s your best option. Any other options like credit counseling or credit repair programs do leave dings on your credit.

That’s because credit counseling programs may require the cards to be cancelled. Several cancelled cards with outstanding balances can hurt your credit score. And arranging smaller balances through programs for credit repair can hurt your credit because the charge-off amount will show.

Credit repair programs can help you in the long run, however. It’s better to have a charge-off than months of late payments and missed payments. Also, if you’re unable to make your payments on time, your amount of available credit is probably shrinking as the late fees add up.

When your credit cards reach their limit and you have less and less credit available, your credit score will suffer. When you have debt that equals too much of your available credit, it’s known as a bad debt/credit ratio. It can even make the interest rates on cards you do pay on time go up.

If you have a lot of cards that are cancelled at once, it leaves you with a lot of debt and no available credit. This is why credit counseling is not always a good option for your credit score.

You should do everything you can to resolve your credit problems on your own. But if you can’t, it’s better to get help than to keep missing payments or making them late. This will hurt you more than anything in the long wrong.

Each late payment is another month your credit score can’t start to improve. Look into credit repair programs before you do more damage.