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August 17, 2013

Using a Refinance to Reduce Debt

Reduce debt to get financial freedomRefinancing is a great option that homeowners have especially when mortgage rates are lower than what they already have in place. Can refinancing a mortgage eliminate debt? The reality is that refinancing a mortgage cannot eliminate debt, although using a refinance to reduce debt can be a very successful financial strategy.

When refinancing, the homeowner is basically turning in the existing mortgage for a new loan. The new loan can have a different rate, a different term and a completely different program. Normally, borrowers will try to obtain a lower mortgage rate and/or a lower term, if possible. In most cases, the standard fixed rate mortgage is chosen even when refinancing from an adjustable rate mortgage. Fixed rate mortgages offers borrowers security by knowing that the same mortgage payment will be in place for the entire term of the loan.

Debt consolidation is often done when refinancing. By doing so, the borrower is combining the balances of other debt, such as credit cards, loans, etc., and adding it to the mortgage balance. While this increases the funds needed for the mortgage, the other debt is paid off at closing. The debt is not eliminated, it is simply moved to another debt vehicle which is the new mortgage.

Moving other debt to a new mortgage can only be done if the borrower has enough equity in the home. The homeowner must also qualify for the refinance according to the lenders guidelines. This type of loan is considered a cash-out refinance and will generally have a higher mortgage rate than a no cash out loan. The new mortgage will include the funds that are necessary to pay off the other debt. The debt amount is then part of the new mortgage and is paid as part of the the monthly mortgage payment for the full term of the loan.

By utilizing a debt consolidation refinance, many homeowners are able to free themselves of the burden of carrying an overabundance of debt that must be paid on a monthly basis. This debt usually carries a higher interest rate which can make multiple monthly payments uncomfortable. Adding these expenses to a refinance often results in a more cost effective budget for a homeowner because the total debt payment is usually reduced. The end result to the homeowners is typically a better monthly cash flow.

In order to reap the benefits of a debt consolidation through refinance, homeowners must make it a goal not to incur additional debt. With less debt, a homeowner’s financial stability will can often remain intact which leads to added security in case a hardship should arise. The savings recognized from a mortgage refinance can be accumulated or used in lieu of credit cards. This is the beginning of the path to financial freedom for many homeowners. However, incurring additional debt expenses after the refinance can lead a homeowner to repeating the process with multiple debt consolidation loans which, in the end, will not be cost effective.

Everyone dreams of the day when there will not longer be a mortgage payment to make. While it may seem so far away, time does move quickly and, with careful planning, it will be a reality faster than you think. Planning a refinance with debt consolidation will also help a homeowner reach their goals of eliminating overwhelming payments on a monthly basis.

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December 22, 2012

VA Streamline Loans for perfect refinancing

There is help for our veterans who are looking to refinance their mortgage loans. With the help of a VA home loan when using a VA Streamline loan the refinancing process should be very easy.

What Is The VA Streamline Loan

The VA Streamline loan was created in 1944. The purpose of this loan was to give aid to the former military personnel when purchasing their homes and helping maintain their homes. This is a loan that was guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration. With this type of a loan the veterans would receive an interest rate that was considerably lower than that of a typical financial lender.

Even as a veteran there are those that are being denied for the VA Streamline Loan. They are being denied due to a not so good credit history or because the home that they own has lost it’s original value. Believe it or not even though the banks are denying you there is still help and options available to you.

Guidelines To A VA Streamline Loan

Even though the lenders claim that they know all of the mortgage rules and policies for every type of a loan out there the personal loans for bad credit lenders who are unfortunately denying the VA Streamline loans are doing so because they do not know the policies of the lending for the Veteran’s Administration. They will deny the loan due to them not wanting to take the risk. This is not correct. It is important that as a veteran you know the guidelines and rules as well as the lender.


The first and major thing to remember when applying for one of these loans is that there is no credit score required. Many lenders will demand that they run your credit score. If you are a person with a not so good credit history it might be a great idea to walk away from that lender and find one who will follow the correct policies of the Veteran’s Administration.

Another guideline that should be followed is that there is no appraisal required. This is a very important guideline to remember because in today’s housing market there are many people who have upside down mortgages. This is because the values of their homes have crashed and the amount of their mortgage is more than what their house is worth. As a Veteran you have the option of refinancing your home under the VA Streamline loan without having to worry about how much is owed on your current mortgage loans with no credit check.

The last guideline is that manufactured homes are eligible. If you are a veteran with a current VA mortgage loan you will be eligible for this loan whether you have a manufactured home or a home that the frame has been built.


As a Veteran you have many advantages when it comes to certain things. A home loan and a refinance of your home loan is one of these advantages. You should take advantage of all of the benefits that you receive. After all you have served the country and you deserve what it gives back to you.

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April 22, 2012

Do You Need a Financial Makeover?

There’s no one among us who would turn down more money. We could all use a little extra cash. Even though we’re all the same in that respect, what we’d do with any extra money would be radically different. All of us have different spending habits and personal finances, and not all of us are very smart with our money. Everyone needs to examine their finances from time to time and look for ways to improve, but some of us need more help than others.

The following are five essential questions you need to ask yourself. If you answer no to all of them, you are in dire need of a financial makeover.

Are you happy with your spending habits?

The first clue that you need a financial makeover is if you’re unhappy with the state of your finances. You might not be able to instantly increase your monthly income, but you can do something about your monthly spending habits. If you’re not satisfied with how you’re spending, it’s time to do something about it by taking a very close look at where your money is going.

Do you have a six-month emergency fund?

One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is keep a six-month emergency fund. This fund should have enough money to pay all your bills and cover your entire cost of living for six months, just in case anything was to happen and you lose your income. If you don’t have your emergency fund yet, or if you’re tapping into it now, you probably need to make over your finances.

Are you putting away some savings every month?

Even if you don’t have a six-month emergency fund yet, you should be working toward it regularly. After everything is paid for, do you have money left over? If you do, what do you do with the leftover money? If you aren’t saving any of it, you’re going to have to start. While you should be treating yourself and enjoying your money, at least some of it should get put aside every month.

Do you have a budget?

When your paycheck comes in, do you know where it’s all going? Do you have target dollar amounts for your spending in all categories, like food, clothing, and restaurants? If you don’t, the single best thing you can do for your finances is create a budget. You’ll need to really evaluate your spending habits. When you write everything down, it will be easier to find problem areas, and it will be easier to reach your financial goals.

Are you paying off your debt?

If you have debt, you should be working to pay off a portion of it every month. Hopefully you can afford to pay more than just the minimum payment, too. If your debt is growing, you are in desperate need of a financial makeover. It is possible for you to begin paying off your debt if you make doing so one of your financial priorities as soon as possible.

Alexander Wilson is a small business owner and freelance writer who loves to travel when he can afford it. After saving for a long while he is looking to book himself a trip at one of several hotels in Maldives. His fiance has a love for island resorts and if things go well on this journey he may consider a honeymoon in the Maldives one day.

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April 13, 2012

The Problem With The HARP 2.0 Refinance Program

In 2012, the HARP refinance program for underwater homeowners was revamped.  New guidelines have been set forth by the government and they are soon expected to be adopted by lenders.  But, will the HARP program 2.0, as it has been nicknamed, live up to the expectations?

First, let’s take a look at what this program was designed to do.  HARP was designed as a way for underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages to current interest rates.  This is assuming that their current interest rate on their mortgage is higher than todays rates, which is usually the case.

Homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments and have a loan that is backed by Freddie and Fannie will be able to refinance the loans.  Homeowners who have late payments will not qualify and must look to other options such as loan modification or a short sale to avoid foreclosure.

The original HARP program placed a cap on your loan to value ratio, which eliminated many homeowners as participants in the program.  Too many people had homes that were worth far less than they owed.  With the new program, this cap has been lifted so that anyone who is upside down on their mortgage and meets the other requirements should be able to qualify and refinance.  Exciting, right?

Sure, if you believe everything that you read.

Here is the main problem I see with the HARP underwater refinance program:  The government does not control what lenders do.  They only set the “guidelines” for the program and expect lenders to adopt them.   The lenders have to agree to these guidelines and use them.

Why they won’t agree to these guidelines

Loans are backed by investors.  For lenders to agree to these guidelines, investors must agree to these guidelines as well.  Wall Street must agree to these guidelines!  Do you think an investor will let someone who owes $300,000 on their home that is worth $125,000 refinance to a lower rate? I for one, do not.

What I think will happen with HARP

When the guidelines are officially adopted by lenders there will definitely be a “feeling out” period.  Sure, HARP refinances will happen, but the majority of those refinances are going to be loans with an LTV (loan-to-value) of 125% or less.  This is what investors are looking for.  I think some lenders may be able to push up the cap to 135% or maybe even 145%, but I just don’t see it getting any higher than that.

HARP can say that they have new guidelines and no LTV cap for underwater homeowners looking to refinance, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

I imagine we will see similar problems with HARP that we saw with the HAMP loan modification program.  Sounds great, but not many homeowners will qualify and get the help that they need.

About the author:  Jeff G. is a prolific financial writer who has composed numerous articles relating to loan modification and the HARP refinance program.

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January 20, 2012

Finding the Right Mortgage Relief Program

Are you eyeing a mortgage relief? Well, the answer is most likely to be ‘yes’, as millions of homeowners across the U.S.A are struggling hard to find the effective relief program or help. Often, homeowners feel that the money that could be saved via the relief programs would help them sustain other costs that were so long been postponed due to financial restrictions. A number of alternatives offer effective relief programs helping the mortgager adjust with his or her payments. The relief ideas in actual sense come to your best help in times when a particular circumstance blocks your road to payment.

Therefore, if you find yourself in hard times owing to mortgage payment then, consider relying upon any one of the following methods –

The Lender

While looking for a mortgage relief idea, consider contacting your lender, as a priority. All you need to do is call up the mortgage statement and request the call to be offered to the department of loss mitigation. This particular department helps in establishing a loan modification program that allows you to change the mortgage terms according to your convenience leading you towards a safe payment rather than foreclosure.

Refinance Program

The Home affordability Refinance Program (HARP) help in cases you have Freddie Mac or a Fannie Mae loan. This program allows the Fannie and Freddie mortgage holders to refinance their present mortgage within a value of 105 per cent to 125 per cent of the present value and worth of the home. This particular program also focuses on the idea of helping the mortgagers with better terms and conditions on the mortgage laying an improved situation financially. For availing, the best benefits with these two above-mentioned relief programs consider contacting the loan service provider for the application procedure.

Consult an Attorney

Consulting an attorney or a specialized real estate lawyer in times of hardship with your mortgage also helps in finding an effective mortgage relief program. If you are in a fixed financial situation then, consider relying upon your attorney for a loan medication program that can help in either delaying or avoiding a foreclosure.

Government Help

If you are facing problem in paying off your mortgage then, turning to government programs help in dealing with the mortgage issue. The Making Home Affordable Program and the Home Affordable Refinance Program are two such programs that are designed to assist the homeowners experiencing trouble with the mortgage payments.

However, while finding out the effective mortgage relief program, you need to keep in mind taking cautious steps towards the idea. Many a time, steps taken in hurry have resulted in bad decision that had further made the mortgage situation worsen leaving the mortgager in trouble. Therefore, it is advisable that you choose a relief program doing the background research well to save yourself from the hassles.

The author, Aalina Jones here provides smart suggestions on mortgage relief. This article will certainly help people gather plenty of information regarding loans and mortgage policies.

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