Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Things To Consider When Shopping For First Time Home Buyer Loans

When shopping for first time home buyer loans it’s wise to compare lenders and loans to get the best mortgage loan for your needs. Among the first questions you should ask yourself is how big of a mortgage can you afford?

The answer should come from your gut instinct and only after you have spoken with a qualified lender. Ultimately you’re the only one who can determine what you can realistically afford. You need to do your homework about firs time home buyer loans and find out the maximum mortgage you qualify for and then give some thought as to whether it falls within your personal comfort zone.

A potential lender will run some numbers for you and come up with a magic number based on the financial information you supply and your personal credit history. Although it may be in the ball park of what you can afford, it may prove to be too much of a financial hardship in the years ahead.

First off, if you currently rent don’t use your monthly rental fees as a comparison. First time home buyer loans are very different – it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Use your monthly rental costs as a guideline only. On one hand it would make sense to compare the two but you also have to consider other factors such as the need to pay extra for property taxes. In a rental situation such taxes were incorporated in your rent. Property taxes can vary between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year depending on where you reside.

Furthermore, did your rent include utilities? If so, you also need to factor in the cost of gas and hydro in addition to the cost of any firs time home buyer loans. And what about having enough money you can put aside as an emergency fund for home repairs and general maintenance? Remember you no longer have a landlord you can call upon when something needs fixing.

Then there’s mortgage insurance to consider whenever you’re shopping for firs time home buyer loans. This is especially important if you have a high-ratio mortgage.

Another good rule of thumb when shopping for firs time home buyer loans is that if your current rent falls within your comfort level, aim for a slightly lower monthly mortgage payment.

Exploring your total monthly debt load as well as your total monthly housing costs is one of the best ways to figure out what is a realistic mortgage payment.

Your next task is to find a lender who specializes in firs time home buyer loans and who will offer you the best deal. Again research and comparison is needed. It will take you some time to investigate both lenders and loan packages. But it’s time well spent. The time you took to investigate the best in firs time home buyer loans could literally save you thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage.

The bottom line when searching for first time home buyer loans is to invest in doing your homework. Research all your options before you start looking for that dream home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is It Safe To Consolidate Debt Online?

Many people are looking to consolidate debt online because they're short on time and money. However, it's important to proceed with caution. Take the time to explore what's available and decide upon the best course of action for you.

Some people are motivated to consolidate debt online because they know they can save a lot of money by taking advantage of low interest rates. Others are panicking to find a quick and easy solution to help them deal with a mountain of debt.

Whatever your motivations, a decision to consolidate debt online may be the solution but before you make your decision or offer detailed personal information to debt consolidation companies check to see what they have to offer.

Don't consolidate debt online with the first company that promises to get you out of debt or help reach your goals quickly. If their promises sound too good to be true, you can bet they are.

The Better Business Bureau has received tens of thousands of complaints from consumers that have fallen prey to false representation and unethical practices of some debt management companies.

Whether you want to consolidate online or deal with a debt management company face to face consider the following tips:

* Find out if the company you want to deal with has a good record with related consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.

* Stay clear of companies that fail to offer you a free consultation or those that offer a free consultation which includes little more than a sales pitch that promises to solve your problems if you sign up with them. You want someone who will thoroughly discuss your financial situation, needs and options.

* Don't give your business to companies that charge large, up-front fees to set up or manage the financial option you choose. A modest processing, application or credit report fee may be required though.

* Get all your questions answered and find out what the terms are. Companies that offer high interest rate loans with harsh conditions and penalties built into the consolidation loan are often the same high pressure companies that promise you the moon.

* Find out if the staff that you are dealing with is trained and/or certified to help consumers deal with personal finance issues such as credit, debt, budgeting, bankruptcy and so on. You only want to deal with trained, courteous and accessible staff members.

* Never give out your personal information unless you are familiar with the company, know why they require it and can provide it via a secure server if you're communicating online.

* Be leery of and certainly don't pay anyone that promises to repair your credit without finding out how they can do it legally and how you can do it yourself for free.

So is it safe to consolidate debt online?

Yes, it can be. By all means surf around the net to discover the best place for you to consolidate debt online. Before you decide on a company, do a background check, get all your questions answered and follow the above tips to protect yourself as you work to achieve your financial goals.

Monday, May 28, 2007

How To Find Reliable Debt Settlement Companies

Before you file bankruptcy or start an intensive debt management plan consider seeking out one of the many reliable debt settlement companies that are on the market.

Debt settlement is a popular way of regaining financial wellness. If you’ve fallen considerably behind on high interest credit card payments for instance, it could take you as long as 20 years to get back on track. With reliable debt settlement companies you may be able to settle for up to 75% of your actual debt and often in as little as three years.

First off it’s important to understand debt settlement and how the process works. Essentially, debt settlement is a negotiation process where by one of the many reliable debt settlement companies you’re considering will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf.

It’s the job of a debt settlement company to convince your creditors of the value of lowering the total amount of money that you owe. A little money is better than no money at all.

When you sign up for a debt settlement program many creditors will do what is known as ‘re-aging’ or bringing your account into a current status.

Once a settlement is reached it’s your responsibility to pay the agreed upon amount in full. Your debt is cleared when you owe no more money. This whole process may take several months to accomplish during which you may still be harassed by creditors.

This is where the best in reliable debt settlement companies come in. The company will work on your behalf to field all such communications.

Understand that debt settlement demands that you maintain a strict budget as reliable debt settlement companies will usually take monthly payments directly from you and hold the balance in trust.

Once a debt settlement is reached you will find that reliable debt settlement companies will than make a one time payment to your creditor followed by final credit report documentation that your account is now paid in full. Once your account is settled you will no longer have a negative report.

If you have more than one debt, the debt settlement process is repeated for each creditor.

You’ll also find that some reliable debt settlement companies offer credit repair as part of their debt settlement services. Although there are usually fees for any credit repair, it does wonders for removing blemishes from your credit report.

Since debt settlement is one of the fastest debt relief methods there is to clear your debts in three years or less, you’ll find that there are a ton of debt settlement companies seeking your business.

When doing a search for debt settlement companies it’s important you do your homework. You’ll find you can save a substantial amount of money by finding one of the many reliable debt settlement companies that will work towards eliminating your late fee and interest payments.

Remember however that a good debt settlement company can’t do it all for you . Even the reliable debt settlement companies will take issue with you if you don’t have the self-discipline to stick with the program and work with them.

The bottom line is that reliable debt settlement companies will look out for your best interests as long as you do your part and keep the agreed upon payments coming.

Your search for debt settlement companies is bound to undercover a ton of debt settlement services but asking questions and understanding the ins and outs of how the process works is one of the best ways of knowing if you’ve found one of the most reliable debt settlement companies on the market.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Debt Negotiation On Credit Cards

Debt negotiation on credit cards is also often referred to as credit card debt settlement. People to turn to credit card debt negotiation when they find they can’t handle a debt consolidation program.

If you find you’re unable to make the minimum payments of a credit card debt consolidation repayment plan or haven’t been able to make payments in the past three months, a credit card debt negotiation program is the next step in solving your debt and credit problems.

One of the advantages of a credit card debt negotiation program is that you cease making payments to your creditors. The debt negotiation company usually takes the monthly payments directly from you and holds the balance in trust.

During which time you’re conducting your debt negotiation on credit cards and are making regular payments through a credit card debt negotiation program, the debt negotiation company will negotiate with your creditors for a lower payoff of around 40 to 50 % of your total amount of debt.

As soon as a settlement is reached your debt negotiation company will then make a one time payment to your creditors.

A disadvantage of a credit card debt negotiation program is that it lowers your credit score for as long a you’re in the program. However, most debt negotiation companies require the creditor to make sure that the final credit report reflects the account is now paid in full. Therefore, once your debt negotiation on credit cards account is settled you will no longer have a negative report.

A number of debt negotiation companies include a credit repair service as part of their credit card debt negotiation program. This debt negotiation on credit cards repair service removes any negative items caused by the credit card debt negotiation program.

Although it is part of the program there are fees associated with this service.

A credit card debt negotiation program is not your only answer. You may wish to self arbitrate. If you’re determined to pay of your debt(s) and turn over a new ‘financial’ leaf you may wish to contact your creditors yourself. By doing so, you may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate or a more realistic repayment plan.

If you decide to self arbitrate, you’ll also want to have a written agreement with your lender or collector that makes note of the fact your settlement has been ‘paid as agreed’ or ‘satisfied in full’.

Regardless of your approach – self arbitration or going with a credit card debt negotiation program you can be successful. Positive debt negotiation on credit cards will be realized once you’re committed to paying your debt(s) off once and for all. And, just think how good it will feel to get out from under all that ‘debt’ weight.