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January 12, 2019

Borrowing money when you’re retired – Knowing your options

retirement money needThere are several retirees who are of the opinion that they won’t be able to obtain a loan just because they don’t get a salary any longer. Although it is true that it can be tougher to qualify for loans during retirement, yet it is not at all impossible. You must have been saving in your retirement accounts like your Roth IRA or 401(k) accounts but something that you should avoid is borrowing from these accounts. This can have an adverse impact on your savings and also on the income that you fall back on during your retirement. There are several kinds of online loans and offline ones which can save you from a financial setback even during retirement. Read on to know more on this.

Borrowing during retirement – How do you qualify?

When you’re self-funded, lenders will typically decide the monthly income utilizing 2 different procedures which are as follows:

  • Asset depletion: In this technique, the lender will subtract the down payment from the entire and sum total of the value of your fiscal assets and then take 70% of the remainder amount and then divide by 360 months.
  • Drawdown of assets: The regular monthly amount that you withdraw from your retirement accounts in the form of income will be taken into account.

Retiree loan borrowing options

Secured loans are still easier to borrow as you can set collateral against the loan but as long as unsecured loans are concerned, they’re tough for a retiree to borrow as there is no collateral to assure timely payment and hence the interest rates will also be pretty high. Here are few loan options combining secured and unsecured.

MORTGAGE LOAN

The most common kind of secured loan is definitely a home loan which carries your home as collateral. However, the income of the retiree is a major setback, more so when most of your income comes from savings or investment earnings.

CASH-OUT REFINANCE LOAN

When you refinance your existing loan with an amount that is more than what you owe and less than the value of your home, this is called cash-out refinance loan. The extra amount that you make is the secured cash loan. This will also extend the time that it take to repay your mortgage loan.

DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOAN

As the name suggests, a debt consolidation loan is only designed to consolidate debt. It is more like refinancing your current debt. This will mean paying off the debt throughout a longer period of time with lower payments. The new interest rate that you pay may be lower than your present rate or may not be.

PAYDAY LOANS

Anyone including retirees can qualify for unsecured short term loans like payday loans. You may check out websites like www.PaydayMe.com to get short term loans during an emergency when you’re sure that money will come in again with which you can repay the existing payday loan on time.

Therefore, when you’re a retiree who is thinking of ways in which you can fund your emergencies, you can take into account the above mentioned options.

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December 18, 2018

Own a Home, Not a Mortgage

time for no mortgageOwning a home is one of the biggest dreams of almost every adult, especially when they have a family. Mortgage arrangements come in handy to make this desire a reality. Nevertheless, homeowners are left with another big question on their minds: What strategies can I employ to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible? Well, it is natural to want to be free of any debt commitments, and to know that you own your home and that no one has a claim on it. This is because owning a home will allow you to work on other financial goals, like saving for retirement, saving for your children’s education, and so on.

Paying off your mortgage in a shorter period is not too difficult or unachievable, but it calls for slight adjustments in your payment plan, or changing a few things in your mortgage terms. Here are some things you can do:

Increase the frequency of your regular repayments

The normal terms are monthly payments, but you can choose bi-weekly or weekly payments. Such an arrangement will significantly enable you to save on interest and it will set you free from mortgage sooner than if you only do it monthly. The goal is to make more monthly payments each year without realizing it.

Go for the shortest amortization period and the biggest repayment amount you can afford

Opting for a larger monthly payment, which means it will be paid off quicker, will cause you to consider it as a budget item, thereby shaving several years off your mortgage. While still clearing out your mortgage, a good and consistent mortgage repayment history will enhance your credit score, because mortgage is one of the trade lines (credit accounts) that contributes to your score. You can work with experts to boost your credit score to access more credit at better rates. You need not look further than https://www.boostcredit101.com/ to boost your score and find more advice.

Increase your monthly payment amount when possible

If you have had a mortgage for some time, you have most likely set a plan to make uniform payments each month. It is time you consider increasing the amount, if you can manage. Additionally, if you have experienced an increase in your income, be it from a new job, a pay raise, or any other source, it would be prudent to increase your mortgage payment with the increased income.

Pay lump sum amounts

Mortgage arrangements come with some privileges or additional options that the borrower can use to their advantage. For example, any chance to make lump sum payments should be utilized, especially an annual lump sum payment, against the mortgage. Based on the options you choose for your mortgage, you can pay amounts equal to 10%, 15%, or 20% of the initial principal figure of your mortgage at any time for each year of the mortgage term.

Diversify your mortgage

You need to weigh the various options and choose the mortgage arrangement that offers savings and flexibility.

Conclusion

It is such a relief to pay off your mortgage as fast as possible; thus, you need to work out how to save on other things and repay your mortgage in larger, more frequent payments. Also, you should do lump sum payments when possible.

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October 2, 2018

DIY Investing with Peer to Peer Loans

another loan optionAre you a hands-on investor who enjoys evaluating investment opportunities and finding a diamond in the rough? If so you may want to consider investing in peer to peer lending. As a peer to peer lender you have the opportunity to review individual borrower applications and select the ones that you think are going to repay their loans.

What is Peer to Peer Lending?

For those of you not familiar with peer to peer lending (also know as P2P lending), let’s take a moment for a quick introduction. In the past ten years several websites (known as platforms) like LendingClub and Prosper have sprung up offering personal loans to individuals. This is certainly not unique but what makes them different is that they are not banks or financial institutions in the traditional sense. These websites get funding for the loans they provide from individual investors in amounts as small as $2,500. In a sense, anyone can be a banker with just a small amount of money. The signup process is quick and easy, and as soon as you transfer the funds you can start investing.

How Do You Invest in Peer to Peer Loans?

The process for P2P lending investing is pretty simple. Once you have opened and funded your account you will be able to see all of the loan applications that the platform has approved. These loan applications have been evaluated based on industry standard underwriting techniques and many are rejected. The ones that are approved are rated and the highest rated borrowers get the lowest interest rates.

Lenders review the approved loan applications and decide which loans they would like to invest in based on their comfort level with risk and their desired return. Investment in a loan can be as little as $25 and most experts recommend investing the minimum amount and spreading your portfolio over as many loans as possible in order to minimize risk through diversification. This is where you get to Do-It-Yourself. The platform provides dozens of pieces of information from the loan application and the borrower’s credit history. You get to determine which factors matter, how much to weigh them and what a good borrower profile looks like. To some people this may sound boring and tedious but for many investing junkies this is the fun part. You can look at data like length of employment, debt-to-income ratio, home ownership vs. renting, late payments, outstanding debt, bankruptcies and so much more.

There are a limited number of filters available on the platforms that allow you to quickly find loans that meet certain criteria, then you can review them in the more detail individually. Or, for the really hardcore investment analysis junkies, the information for all available loans can be downloaded to a spreadsheet for study and review. There are approximately 50 to 250 loans available at any given time and there are approximately 80 pieces of information available so, as you can imagine, this can be an enormous amount of data to review. However, with some simple sorting and filtering in your spreadsheet you can pretty easily identify the loans that meet your criteria.

There is also room for intuition and past experience in the analysis process. There may be more loans that meet your criteria than you have funds to invest. Ultimately, you may have to ‘go with your gut’ in order to select the loan or loans that you think are most likely to be paid back.

For those who want passive income or do not feel they are savvy enough to select quality loans there is also an auto invest feature that will choose the loans for you based on your desired risk/return level. But for the investment analysis enthusiast the DIY approach is the way to do. All in all, this can be a fun way to achieve a great return on your investment.

Cody Smith is the founder of PeerLoanAdvisor.com which provides information and advice to peer to peer lending investors.

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September 12, 2018

Tips on Using Credit Cards Responsibly

using money cardsThese days, credit cards are driving the consumer market all around the globe. This is a mode of payment that yields benefits like car rental coverage, cash-back points, and automated payments just to simplify our lives.

However, a user needs to be aware of the ways in which a con artist can misuse these credit cards. It’s truly essential as these cards can yield disastrous outcomes when misused. With cards depicting high APR, you may find it tough to pull out of your debt burden. Avoiding debt is your only way out this problem.

You may do your research on using credit cards if you really wish to handle them responsibly. You may come across several online resources illustrating the use of credit cards regardless of whether you’re applying for your first card or is paying off dues to improve your credit rating. While repaying your credit card debt, you must arrive at an affordable minimum payment like when you calculated your personal loan EMI.

Know how to use your credit cards from now on:

1. Repay Your Credit Card Balance Each Month

You must stay focused on repaying your credit card dues every month. You shouldn’t find an excuse since it charges more out of your bank account once you fail to live up to these payments.

You’ll need to bear an interest worth up to 25% based on the outstanding credit balance if you fail to make a payment or opt for making a minimum payment.

You can only keep high rates of interest from piling up if you pay off your dues each month. You must also refrain from skipping a payment. You might have to pay a penalty interest (up to an APR worth 30%) in case you miss out on a due date. Your credit score takes a hit when you actually need to pay a penalty.

2. Restrict Credit Utilization to a bare minimum

Apart from improving your credit score, it will even help in restricting your debt. Credit utilization is the metric that constitutes a large portion of your credit score. Your FICO score tends to rise when your credit utilization falls.

For instance, your credit utilization looks great when it’s valued at 16% after you’ve used 2 credit cards with a balance worth $600 and a combined limit of $3,100. In order to fetch the maximum benefits, you may choose to restrict it below 30%. While avoiding the risk of acquiring debt, you’ll even enjoy an improved credit score.

3. Avoid Using Multiple Credit Cards Simultaneously

You may be lured by the benefits of opening several credit cards especially when you’re seeking the advantage of being a new cardholder or attempting to redeem reward points. You may be thrilled to make the most of cash-back or 0% APR offers. However, you must refrain from opening multiple accounts till you’ve learned to use a single card responsibly.

Chances of overspending get increased when you have several cards in your arsenal. You may even miss out on a due date. You must restrict the number of cards in your wallet as you won’t like to fall prey to any of these incidents.
Credit cards are indeed a very useful tool when you know how to use them properly. By considering the tips mentioned above, you may certainly walk a step forward and repair your credit rating. It will help in securing the financial future of your loved ones.

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June 26, 2018

Reasons behind choosing FDs over other traditional forms of investments

bank investmentsIt’s not advisable that you keep your surplus funds in a regular savings account for long. In that case, you can’t just expect a high ROI against this fund. You may choose to go with multiple options like mutual funds and shares, but they have an element of risk. The risks are much lower with FD investments as they’re regulated.

What’s so special about Fixed Deposits?

You may open FD account while you’re looking for some safe and sound investment option. Besides being safe, FDs yield a lucrative rate of interest for the investors. You may earn quality interests on the amount that goes out in your FD account for a certain period.

1. Fixed Deposits create earning opportunities by compounding interests

FDs yield interest for over a uniform period when issued by banks. If you don’t need the amount of interest to come as regular quarterly or monthly income, you may consider reinvesting in your FD account. You’re likely to witness a growth of the principal amount and the interest of the upcoming period will be ascertained on the new value. In this way, you’ll end up earning more on the invested amount. All you need to do is to pick your payment option besides opting for the compounded FD option. You may use any FD calculator online to check the returns.

2. Sound investment option for senior citizens

You may consider an FD among the most lucrative investment options when you don’t have a source of steady income, especially when you’re old and retired. Many of the Indian banks provide you with an FD account and abide by the safety norms laid out for protecting your invested principal. The rates of interest might not be very high, but you may still gain something on these deposits. Under circumstances when you’re heading towards a financial crisis, you may close all FDs even if they haven’t matured.

3. Fixed Deposits yield tax-saving opportunities

FDs come with great tax saving options when you’re specifically interested in investing a portion of your funds for a long term. You may avail them in the form of a 5-year term deposit and set your money to be locked in for those 5 years. Until the maturity of your FD, you won’t be able to achieve credits or loans on your fixed deposits and can’t break them. With tax saver FDs, you may enjoy tax exemption on the principal amount invested by you. Depending on the tax slab, taxes are levied on the interest.

4. Fixed Deposits are much safer

The RBI governs all FD schemes that are issued by the NBFC and Indian banks. Issuers of these schemes are required to follow certain stringent regulations and rules from time to time. In India, the banking industry is safer for the investors as most saving schemes yield adequate protection towards the principal.

If you’re not among those who looks for a high ROI then you may be in need of a more secure investment. FDs are certainly one of those safer schemes that you’ve been looking for. All of your capital is in safe hands as the FDs are regulated by stringent norms laid down by the government authorities. That is also the reason why FDs are considered so safe for the members of low-income groups that don’t possess any alternative source of income.

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