November 30, 2010
Property is widely understood to be one of the most secure and financially rewarding areas to invest. The only difficulty is that raising the capital to purchase a property outright is something that most of us won’t be able to achieve during our lifetime. That’s why we turn to money lenders such as banks and credit unions for assistance. With so many different lenders and loan packages out there, it helps to have some expert knowledge at hand, and that’s where a specialist mortgage broker can really help. With their expert knowledge and industry connections, a mortgage broker can secure the right loan to suit your specific needs.
Choosing the right mortgage broker
So, we know that a mortgage broker can help us choose the right home loan, but what about choosing the right mortgage broker? While it’s true that mortgage brokers are traditionally paid by the lender, rather than the borrower, it’s important that your broker is finding the loan to best suit YOUR needs, not just the first offer that’s going to line their pockets. So do some shopping around to make sure you select a broker that’s looking out for your best interests.
Which lender should I go with?
The reason why mortgage brokers are so useful is because they can provide expert opinion and industry connections that most people are not generally privy to. Having access to this information puts the broker in an excellent position to find the loan that will best suit the needs of their clients. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t be prepared with a little knowledge of your own, and understanding the different kinds of lenders who are available will allow you and your mortgage broker to make the best decision in relation to your financial situation.
Borrowing from the bank is one of the more popular ways to secure a mortgage, mainly due to the security a bank can offer. For most people, by the time they become interested in acquiring a home loan, dealing with the bank is already a very familiar process, they have built up a level of trust towards their bank, and they feel safe borrowing from them. Often however, this sense of trust can be misleading, and often banks will not be able to offer the lowest available interest rates. Coupled with a lengthy (and often rigorous) application process, you may wish to look elsewhere.
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is operated by its owners in order to make a profit by providing credit at highly competitive rates. The clear advantage in dealing with an institution like this is the potential to save thousands of dollars during the duration of the loan. What’s less appealing about these lenders is that their contracts will usually include a caveat that allows them to recall your loan in case they face financial crisis themselves. For this reason, borrowing from a credit union is considered far riskier than dealing with the bank.
Bad credit lenders
As the name suggests, bad credit lenders specialize in financing people who suffer from bad credit. Although this may sound like a very generous provision on their part, they do so only for an incredibly high return, meaning interest rates on these types of loans are through the roof. For some people, bad credit lenders are their only option when it comes to securing a loan. However, if at all possible, these lenders should be avoided in favour of something less financially straining.
At the end of the day, the type of lender you and your broker decide to go with needs to be the one that best suits your purposes. If you don’t mind taking a risk, borrowing from a credit union could save you a fortune. On the other hand, the bank is always a good bet when it comes to playing it safe. The best advice we can give is to make sure you discuss everything with your mortgage broker in detail, and remember, a mortgage broker might be paid by the lender, but they work for you.
November 18, 2010
The holiday season is fast approaching and this means that you may have some travel plans on the horizon. Christmas is a great time to get together with your loved ones, but it is also a time to watch your finances. Here are some helpful tips to help you stay smart with your money during the holiday season.
Use prepaid travel cards
These cards serve as a useful alternative to credit cards and debit cards. Money can easily be loaded onto the prepaid card and it can then be used for travel reservations, purchases and cash withdrawals. The nice thing about these cards is the security they provide. Since they are not connected to any of your bank accounts you don’t have to worry about identity theft. You will also have to limit your purchases and expenses since you have a limit on the balance. You can budget your expenses before you buy the card so that you are not tempted to spend more than you can afford while you are away.
Make a travel budget
A lot of people never consider making a budget for their travel activities and this can end up being a huge mistake. When you are away from home it is easier to spend money since you are more carefree and have less restrictions that you would at home.
You need to sit down and plan out what you need to spend for necessities and how much you can use for activities and purchases. This will help stop overspending because you’ll know before leaving exactly how much you can afford to spend. You must also remember to put some money aside in case an emergency arises while you’re away.
Avoid costly souvenirs
During the holiday season you will have enough to spend your money on without having to worry about purchasing expensive souvenirs. Christmas is a time of giving and you really don’t need to worry about bringing home anything fancy for your friends and family. Just let them know before you go away that you won’t be spending any money on souvenirs so they won’t be expecting anything when you return.
Avoid eating out
If you are heading off to visit family or friends this may not be a too much of a problem, but it can come up. If you are staying in a hotel and need to eat some meals look out for local cafes that offer good food at a reasonable price. Hotel restaurants are usually overpriced and the quality is not always the best.
Plan your trip wisely
Spontaneity has its place but only when funds are available to sponsor it. If you are running on a limited budget being spontaneous can get very expensive. You want to get through this holiday season with a smile on your face in January knowing that you were able to avoid temptation and managed to stay on budget. The more you plan out your trip during the holiday season the more money you will save on reckless impulse spending.
Travel agents are going to be very encouraging when it comes to a holiday trip and will make many suggestions about holiday add-ons for your trip. Keep in mind that the more excursions and add-ons you purchase the more money goes into your travel agent’s pocket. Let your agent know upfront what your plans are for the holiday and that you do not plan on purchasing anything extra. This will curb your temptation to buy an interesting excursion or experience.
Timothy Ng is an experienced personal finance writer, specializing in balance transfer comparison. Check out his guide to 0% for 6 months balance transfers where he will step you through the process of consolidating your debt in 6 months.
November 11, 2010
Although the word ‘debt’ has become the most common term in America’s financial world, but their definitely are several other aspects that are ingrained in its country’s economical system since ages. One of the most striking features is the unequal wealth and income distribution in US and this dismal wealth distribution is the key factor behind the roots of major economic crisis in the country. However the debt relief companies and debt relief programs try hard to provide debt cure to a large and increasing numbers of debtors, the basic economic disparity still continues to be the major cause behind the age-old financial disasters.
Now here goes the full report
A shocking report states that 85% of America’s wealth or total assets of the country is held by the country’s richest 20%, with the poor and the lower class holding a mere 0.3% of wealth share. This means that in terms of actual money, the average non-income holdings of the richest section is $2.3 million per person, whereas the per person holdings in lower class is only $22,000. In terms of income as well, the distinction is significant. The rich enjoy a median income of $259,700, while the lower section is making ends meet with a meager $20,200 only. As a matter of fact, such a Mal-distribution of wealth is useless for a society based on buying and selling goods, as the super-rich plutocrats does not need much of the products and the rest of the lower class who have the needs cannot afford to purchase the finished goods because of their lowered purchasing power. And thus debt has to sustain the market economy, with the growing disparity of wealth distribution over a long period of time.
The faulty system has therefore created an array of consumer debt mechanisms like subprime mortgage, payday loan, intricacies of credit card debt etc. With the inability of a massive number of people and the working class, to pay the expensive sub-prime mortgages and overwhelming credit card bills, a number of financial institutions that was founded on the basis of consumer debt have collapsed and the rest required unprecedented federal financial funds to remain afloat. This in turn has crumbled the housing market and new residential construction, consumer goods market, automobiles, appliances, electronics, which led to colossal destruction of employment opportunities and retirement savings of million Americans. This crash which represented a structural crisis had its roots into the grossly unequal wealth distribution in society, as the industry had to pull the brakes when millions had lost their purchase power or afford-ability. The irony lies in the fact that this super-poor mass of humanity which is the production ground of minerals, agricultural wealth, raw material and hard labor, is excluded from taking part in the world’s market economy, as they cannot spare time from fighting their own personal and ever-increasing burdens of debt and deficiencies.
November 9, 2010
This is a guest post by Ty Hyderally
Ty Hyderally is a labor law attorney in New Jersey specializing in employment law, covering topics related to age discrimination and harassment.
The current employment situation favors the employer. Borrowing the phrase often used when expressing the basic law of supply and demand, this phenomenon can be portrayed as a “buyers market.” There simply are too many merchandise waiting to be to be bought in the labor market. Simply put, scores of job seekers are going after a very limited number of job openings. Employers have a larger crowd of applicants to choose from and can be more selective and discriminating. With too many competitors going after a particular job, applicants are finding it harder to be noticeable in the multitude of job seekers. The current economic problem is making it more vital for job applicants to be more knowledgeable on the fundamental laws of labor and employment.
At the forefront, it is necessary to point out that an overwhelming majority of employment contracts in most jurisdictions in the United States, counting New York and New Jersey, are based on mutual consent. This set-up allows any of the parties, the employer and the employee, to finish the employment relationship at any moment and for whatever grounds, as long as the reason for the termination is not against existing laws and not discriminatory in nature.
Some employers may require prospective employees to sign an employment contract as a pre-requisite to employment. In these cases, the provisions of the contract will be enforced over any general law provisions in case of conflict. The agreement may include complex, complicated, and wide-ranging area that can include a provision that settlement of any dispute arising from the contract shall be made in another state. Job applicants should fully understand the repercussions and mull over seeking advice from a labor attorney before signing such contracts.
There are state and federal laws that cannot be overturned by any employment contract. These rules frequently govern hiring procedures and practices. For instance, a prospective employee cannot be made to forfeit overtime pay as a requirement for getting the job. The age discrimination act of 1967 is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It protects job seekers and employees who are 40 years and above from discrimination based on age. This anti age discrimination act applies not only in hiring procedures, but also in promotion, compensation and to the other terms and conditions of employment.
Job hunters and employees who think that their current or potential bosses are violating any labor laws should seek the help of an experienced labor lawyer.