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Car Insurance – How Did They Calculate That?


Insurance premiums are calculated according to several risk factors. These are the factors identified by the insurance company as most likely to have an impact on the insured against risk occurring. Insurance is a significant cost associated with the item insured and should not be rushed into. It is always a good idea to shop around for the best price available. Insurance premiums will vary considerably from insurer to insurer so do your homework.

Shop Around

Look up the various insurance companies you are interested in and ask them for a quote. They can usually give you a rough estimate fairly quickly and even more exact quotes should also be possible if you provide more details and wait. You should also look up insurers online and get instant quotes from their website. This is a very fast and effective way of shopping around. You will get a good idea of what prices to expect. You can also experiment with the quotation websites to see what effect it makes to your premium price if you select different options. With all insurance policies you will have a number of options that affect the price of the policy.

Therefore you should think about these options and if there are risks that you do not wish to cover then let the insurer know as your premium should become cheaper.

You should also try to make sure you do not double insure. It is a principle of insurance that you cannot benefit from the insured event’s occurrence. So you cannot get paid twice even if you have two insurance policies. So if a risk is already covered by one policy, again let your insurer know so they can remove it from their calculation.


Car insurance premiums usually depend on factors such as what kind of car you are driving, how old it is, how big the engine is, what make and model it is? What type of insurance you require also plays a part, do you need only liability, or also comprehensive? What use you will make of the car, for example will you commute to work and how many miles do you plan on driving?

Your driving history will be a strong factor in determining your risk, and linked to this will be the age of the driver, with younger drivers being significantly more at risk of being involved in an accident. If you are young, your sex will also be an important risk factor, however if you are older sex usually becomes less significant.

Home Mortgage Loan Mistakes Most Home buyers Should Avoid


MISTAKE #1: Over shopping your loan

Your credit score is based on the perceived risk associated with extending you credit. Over the years, the credit reporting agencies have determined that a borrower who seeks credit from many different lenders is riskier than others. Therefore, they decrease your credit score each time a lender pulls your credit report.

Each time you call a lender seeking the best possible rate and terms for your home mortgage, he has to pull your credit report. This is factored into your credit score, and a lower score decreases your likelihood of getting the best rate and terms.

While some consumers are ONLY focused on rates, you should seek the guidance of a National Association of Responsible Loan Officers member that is willing to speak with you about your loan options. There are literally hundreds of loan products available and every borrower has a different financial situation and financial goal. We highly recommend having a consultation with your loan officer so they can tailor a program to meet your individual needs instead of focusing exclusively on rates and points. You may likely find a better product than the one you were shopping for.

MISTAKE #2: Trying to hide past financial difficulties

One of the important services a responsible loan officer offers is helping you overcome past financial difficulties that may hinder your ability to have your loan approved. Your loan officer is on your side.

Supply the information that will help your loan officer provide you with the best possible rate and terms and minimize the impact of your past credit history. The fact that you have recovered from past financial problems makes you a better risk than others who haven’t yet faced challenges. Overcoming past financial difficulty proves that you honor your commitments and don’t give up.

MISTAKE #3: Allowing a loan officer to put misleading or untruthful information about your income, expense or cash available for down payments on a loan application in order to get a loan

Providing untruthful information on a loan application is fraud. Mortgage fraud is prosecuted by federal authorities, and they will find out about the fraudulent information. Do not allow yourself to become an accomplice of a loan officer’s fraudulent loan application.

Even if a loan officer fills in the information for you, if you do not believe the loan application is 100% truthful, you should refuse to sign it until the loan officer corrects the application. While many loan officers try to “help” borrowers by misstating the facts, the truth is that they are simply getting themselves and their borrowers into a lot of trouble.

MISTAKE #4: Borrowing more than you can repay

All of us understand that we may have to stretch our monthly budgets a bit to afford the homes we want. However, you will put your entire financial health in jeopardy by buying a home you simply cannot afford.

If you buy an expensive home and find you cannot make the monthly payments, you could face a huge loss when you have to sell that home quickly to get out from under your mortgage. Or worse, you could be forced into foreclosure or bankruptcy.

It is much better to be patient, buy a home you can comfortably afford, make payments, build equity and then transition into a larger home after a couple of years. Yes, the larger home will cost more then, but the home you purchased will also have appreciated during that time. Most importantly, you will have built a successful financial foundation that allows you to experience all of your dreams, including that dream home.

MISTAKE #5: Relying on interest rate advertising

Some loan officers use interest rates to get your attention; however, they may actually end up costing you more. Such rates are often derived by using a 30-year mortgage coupled with an accelerated payment plan.

You may decide you like that option, but you cannot directly compare the interest rate on that mortgage to other opportunities. This loan could cost more than other mortgages with seemingly higher interest rates.

It is critical to find a loan officer you can trust to review the options available to you and the best possible rates for your financial situation. Only a responsible loan officer can give you all of your options in an understandable way.

How can I avoid mortgage foreclosure?


Mortgage foreclosure can occur if homeowners, who have taken a VA, conventional loan, or an FHA insured loan, default on the mortgage payments. Foreclosure can lead to the lender gaining possession of a borrower’s home. If the value of the home is less than the mortgage amount, the homeowner may have to pay the balance amount to the lender under a deficiency judgment. Foreclosures have a negative impact on the credit score of a home owner.

In order to avoid foreclosure, there are several things that a homeowner can do. These include communicating to the lender one’s inability in making payments as soon as possible and requesting assistance. If necessary, homeowners should back their communication with relevant financial figures such as expenses and income from various sources. They should not abandon their premises or they may not qualify for the assistance.

There are several housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development; they offer up-to-date information on the various programs initiated by government and private organizations that are designed to help homeowners facing the prospects of foreclosure. Housing counseling agencies, which also provide credit counseling services, provide their services at no cost.

In order to avoid forbearance, homeowners can try and apply for Special Forbearance. This may lead to a revision of the repayment schedule and in some cases the payment may either be revised or suspended. A rise in expenditure and a fall in the monthly income may enable homeowners to qualify for a new monthly plan. Similarly, mortgage modification may result in extension of the period of repayment and may open up refinancing options. Homeowners who have undergone a financial crisis stand to benefit from mortgage modification as they can chart out a more manageable repayment plan.

Homeowners can also take recourse to a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This entails voluntarily handing over the property to the lender. Such a deed does not hurt a homeowner’s credit rating as much as a foreclosure. A homeowner, who is a defaulter on payments, and does not qualify for other alternatives, has not been able to sell the house, and is not in default with respect to other mortgages, qualifies for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

A homeowner’s qualification for any of the above mentioned alternatives is determined by the lender. However, homeowners should be aware of solutions that are not genuine. It is highly advisable to take the help of housing counseling agencies in such matters. Homeowners in financial difficulties are liable to fall prey to scams such as equity skimming in which a homeowner is tricked into signing the deed of the property to another person. There are several counseling agencies that are not genuine and often charge homeowners for services that can be done for free. It is imperative that homeowners check the background of the counseling agency before deciding to go with a particular firm.

Mortgage Tips: Pros and Cons of Refinance Loans for People with Bad Credit


If you’re stuck under some high credit card bills and your credit rating is slipping, one of the best ways to immediately improve your credit is a home equity loan. When the loan closes, home owners have cash-on-hand to pay off bills. The result: their credit rating starts to improve immediately.

Banking executive Dan Ambrose refers to those as the “band-aid loan”, also known as the 2/28 in mortgage lingo.

“Most sub-time loans are short term loans, not A paper market, which means a fixed rate for two years then the loan adjusts.”

He’s talking about 30 year refinancing mortgages for people with less than stellar credit. Lenders offer a home-equity loan at a set interest rate for two years, and then the loan converts to a variable rate loan, where the interest rate fluctuates with the prime rate at the time.

That’s the down-side to the “band-aid loan.” Lenders usually charge higher interest rates for people with lower credit scores. Dan warns consumers to prepare themselves for when the loan converts. Home owners could face a higher interest rate than the original home loan, and their monthly payments could hit them harder.

If consumers take the cash from their equity loan and pay-off their bills in full, after 18 months of perfect mortgage payments, Dan says the consumer’s credit improves to the point that “now every bank will deal with them.”

If you think a home-equity loan could save you form your creditors, watch out for the current housing market in your area. “Watching the marketplace, I saw the writing on the wall”, says Dan. “The real estate values are going down. They’re starting to slow down drastically.”

And there’s the other potential roadblock for homeowners in this situation. Lower home values means less equity and possibly not enough equity to satisfy their payment needs. If the equity isn’t enough to pay all of your bills, and after two years your payments are even higher than before, you could possibly put yourself in a worse situation.

“People with marginal credit or no equity do have some options such as the 125% loan to get ahead.”

A 125% loan offers you a loan for more than your home is actually worth. Talk to a mortgage professional to make certain the credit risk is worth the return. Dan says most importantly; use the equity cash to pay-off those bills before you splurge on your dream vacation.

What Are The Different Mortgage Loan Options?


When it comes to financing your home, you have a few options to take into consideration. It can be confusing and you may not know the difference between the options or know which one is right for you. Let’s take a look at the three most popular mortgage loan options.

Fixed mortgage loans

Fixed mortgage rate loans are the most popular type of home loan. With this type of loan you will know upfront what your monthly payment will be for the life of your loan.

The 30 year fixed rate loan is probably the most common loan selected by home buyers because the loan is spread over a longer span of time which reduces the monthly payment required each month. However, it increases the amount you have to pay over time due to interest as opposed to a shorter term loan.

The 15 year fixed rate loan allows you to pay off your home if fifteen years and is a popular choice for home buyers that can afford a higher monthly payment. You will only pay half the interest you would otherwise pay with a 30 year loan.

Biweekly loans are usually tied in with a 30 year fixed rate loan. Payments are made every two weeks instead of monthly. This lowers the amount of interest you have to pay and means your home will be paid off a few years sooner.

Adjustable rate loans

The adjustable rate mortgage can be tricky for those that don’t understand how it works or are on a tight budget. The amount you pay each month depends on the current interest rate. Therefore it is possible your payments will increase as time goes on.

Convertible loans

This type of loan allows you to switch from a fixed rate loan to an adjustable loan or vice versa. This gives you flexibility in the years ahead to switch your loan type to get the lowest interest rates and lowest house payments.

Interest only loan

If you work on commission or receive a big bonus each year as part of your salary, you may be interested in an interest only loan. With this type of loan, you just make the interest payments each month until you get your bonus, and then you make a lump sum payment on your mortgage.

Balloon loan

A balloon loan is a fixed rate loan that has small monthly payments which span around seven years. Then at the end of seven years you must pay off the loan in a lump sum payment or refinance the loan.

Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage is for those with a lot of equity built up in their home. The loan requires no mouthy payment, however the loan needs to be paid off if you sell your house.

FHA mortgage

This type of mortgage loan is a good match for first time home buyers and those with little money for a down payment. FHA loans require a smaller down payment than conventional loans and the monthly payments are also less.

Veterans loan

Veterans loans are only for those who have served in the armed forces and their survivors. No down payment is required for this type of loan.

You can see there are quite a few choices to mull over. The best idea is to consult with your realtor, financial advisor, or other professional to help guide you through the types of loans available and how to choose the one best for you.

What Loan Lenders Look For In Would-be Homeowners


Nothing spells stability like a house does. This is why it is the ultimate goal of every wage-earning, tax-paying American to own his own house. All too often, the easiest way to own a house is through mortgage. How does mortgage work? You secure money from home loan lenders to buy a house.

There are two things that lie close to home loan lenders’ hearts. The first is profit. The second is your ability to pay. Every now and then, there are home loan lenders who truly care about the well-being of their clients, but this type of home loan lenders is few and far in between. In dealing with home loan lenders, you must keep in mind that they are running a business and the bedrock of every healthy business is return on investment. Therefore, home loan lenders put high premium on taking care of business and what better way to do this than by ensuring that everyone who takes out a mortgage is able to meet payments on time?

The Importance of Credit History
Home loan lenders look at your credit history to gauge your ability to pay. Your credit score speaks volumes about the kind of debtor you are. A credit score is a standardized measure used by home loan lenders to assess potential borrowers’ ability to discharge debts. 900 is considered an ideal score while scores of 620 and above will qualify you for a conventional mortgage. Should your credit score fall below 620, you will have to utilize more creative means for financing and bear with higher interest rates.

Dealing with Poor Credit History
Credit problems, however, do not disqualify you from getting a mortgage from home loan lenders. It will be more difficult for you to take out a loan, but the operative word here is difficult, not impossible.

If you have poor credit history, what you do is keep your record clean for at least two years. Pay off those credit cards and car loans. Such payments will reflect favorably on your credit history and would make you less of an investment risk to home loan lenders.

The Significance of Debt-to-income Ratio
Home loan lenders consider not only your credit history but also your debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income ratio is the money you make each month pitted against the debts you pay off monthly.

As a rule of thumb, the mortgage you can get will be somewhere between 2.5 to 2.75 times your income. If you make $90,000 a year, for example, you might be pre-qualified for a mortgage of $225,000 to $247,500.

In determining your debt-to-income ratio, home loan lenders consider your car payments, student loans, and credit card balances. If your monthly income barely meets your monthly expenses, your home loan lender will naturally require you to pay a higher interest rate. The logic for this is simple. Even without payments on your house, you are already having difficulties making ends meet. Thus, you represent high-risk investment to home loan lenders. To justify their funding of a high-risk investment, they will have to charge you more. This is the only way your mortgage will appeal to them, despite all associated risks.

In taking out a mortgage from home loan lenders, you will need both patience and cunning. More importantly, you will need to make decisions. Just be sure to gather all the information you need. You cannot go wrong with informed decisions.

You And The 30 Year Home Loans


It used to be the first choice of most borrowers, because since the total payments are spread over a longer period of time with the interest rate set for the entire time of the mortgage. 30 year home loan rates are an industry standard but is it the right choice for you?

As we mentioned, the plus side for a 30 year home loan is lower monthly payments. This attraction is somewhat dimmed by the fact that you pay thousands extra in interest. But, your interest is 100% tax deductible which does lower your after tax cost. It offers you some flexibility so that if your financial situation changes and you have more money you can pay it off in less than 30 years, this while keeping the low monthly payments. Your payments are smaller so in reality you can purchase a larger roomier home.

We have just reached the tip of the iceberg, as the remainder of this article will help to further your understanding of this not so easy subject.

To show an example of the interest difference between 30 year home loan rates and one of the other rates. On a 30 year, 100,000 dollar loan using 7% interest rate your monthly payment of interest and principle would be $665.30 dollars. Over the next 30 years you will have paid $139,511.04 in interest alone. Now with a 15 year home loan rate on the same amount you will pay $871.11 per month and over the next 15 years, you would pay $56,799 in interest. This would save you $82,712 dollars.

If you have the will power to invest the savings from the monthly payments, it still could be a good choice to go with the 30 year mortgage. Especially if you can find an investment that the long term payoff matches or exceeds what you would save in a 15 year mortgage. Another factor to consider is how fast you want to accrue equity in your home or to own it out right. 30 year home loan rates take much longer to build equity.

30 year home loan rates are certainly attractive and the vast majority of home buyers get 30-year loans because that is the longest home loan available today. Experts agree if they could get a 35- or 40-year loan, they probably would. There are many other options to consider. Probably the biggest question you have to ask yourself when considering a loan is what are your financial goals?

What loan plan will help you the most to reach that goal? It is clearly to your advantage to look into other loan options for the best loan available for you and your financial goals. It may surprise you that because of your personal situation there may be other plans more suitable for you. What you have learned while reading this informative article, is knowledge that you can keep with you for a lifetime.

All About Credit Cards – Low Interest Credit Card


Many people in our modern society live from paycheck to paycheck. Most of them do not even see where the money they earn from a month long work goes a day after the payday.

Looking for low interest credit cards? There are many options out there. With so many companies and banks offering many different styles and types of cards, it’s good to know the basics about how credit cards work so you can find out what type of card would work best for you. Many cards offer an introductory interest rate, which can be as low as 0% on purchases for up to the first 12 months of your card’s use. Banks such as Citi, Chase, and American Express offer many varieties of cards including some with this illustrious introductory offer.

However, once this initial period of your card expires, you are subject to a “Purchase APR” interest rate. APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This number can be quite high, or low, usually depending on your credit score. A fairly low interest credit cards APR is around 9% or lower.

There are cards out there that you can obtain with an APR of as low as 5.5%, given a good credit score and some searching. Another thing to note when looking at APRs would be the letters “V” and “F”. These seemingly harmless looking letters that appear after interest rates can mean a lot. “V” stands for variable, which means your rates are subject to change. “F” stands for “Fixed”, which means your APR will stay at a certain rate. Obviously, it is good to get a card with a fixed rate.

It all depends on your credit score on how much credit and what apr you will normally be given. However, you can obtain a decent card if you shop around for the best deals. Some companies will negotiate with you if your credit score is poor, as long as you can show that you have had income for the past several months. They will normally come up with a deal to suit your needs and income.

Be careful however, as some companies will put you on a very high interest rate which can be hard on you if you mount up debt on the card. Once you have made payments for around a year on this card, you can then apply for much lower APR card and start building an excellent credit score up.

Are You Allowed To Keep Your Credit Cards In A Bankruptcy?


Many bankruptcy filers are wondering whether they are entitled to keep one or several credit cards for emergencies backup. In general, you may not because your credit cards will be cancelled regardless, since you file the bankruptcy. The credit card issuers tend to punish their card holders for filling any kind of bankruptcy; in most cases, the credit cards of bankruptcy filers will be terminated once they file for a bankruptcy. But there are some exemptions where terms and conditions will be applied to enable the bankruptcy filers to continue holding their credit cards.

There are some exceptions applicable only to chapter 7 bankruptcy filers. Some credit card’s issuers will allow you to keep your credit card but with a sized down credit limit, and in return you need to repay them for some of your debts. In fact, some companies will automatically send you or your attorney a proposed reaffirmation agreement, a contract between you and your creditor that you will pay all or a portion of the money owed, despite the bankruptcy filing, in exchange for a minimal amount of new credit.

Beside the sized down credit limit, a chapter 7 bankruptcy filers may allow to keep their credit cards by some of their card issuers but the interest rate will be revised to a higher than the normal interest rate. But, if you can always pay your credit balance in full each month, you will never incur a finance charge, and the high interest rate won’t hurt you.

Other than chapter 7 bankruptcy filers, all credit cards must be given up at the filling of bankruptcy. However, there are credit card holders who have maintained their credit cards at zero balance for a long period of time do not report their credit cards during the filing. This action can be considered illegal since in effect your preference on one creditor (your credit card issuer) over other creditors, because repayment ordination is a trustee job.

If you are not eligible to file under chapter 7 or even you are filling under chapter 7 but you didn’t manage to get approval from your credit card issuers to keep your credit cards, the best thing is report all your credit cards and give them up. In most cases, your need to wait until the bankruptcy filing has cleared and then work with a debt management consultant to rebuilt your credit step by step. Of course, in the months and years after the bankruptcy filling, you may not be eligible for top-tier or even middle-tier credit cards.

But with some efforts and fiscal strategy such pay your monthly credit balance in full and on schedule will help you to rebuilt your good credit record and you can begin to erase the stigma of the bankruptcy; and eventually put you back in the realm of good to high credit score.

4 Steps to Creating Good Credit


As a consumer you’ve learned the importance of
establishing a good credit rating with your lenders. Whether you are shopping for a new home or auto, or searching for the best deals on insurance, your credit worthiness will be judged by your credit rating or credit score.

A bad credit history or bad credit habits will place “black marks” on your credit profile. These include things such as late payments, having an account assigned to a collection agency, and of course bankruptcy.

Establishing good credit habits and therefore a good credit rating will improve your credit worthiness. This will be reflected in potential lenders offering you substantially lower interest rates and better deals on credit offers.

Here are 4 tips to help you create a shining credit profile:

1) Pay Your Bills On Time

Lenders only have your past payment history on which to decide the type of credit risk you present to them. How you pay off your debts now indicates to them how you will pay off future debts.

2) Don’t Use Too Many or Too Few Credit Cards

How much is too much ? How little is too little ? Many credit experts and financial planners suggest two to four credit cards is just the right mix.

3) Pay At Least The Minimum Due

Always pay at least the minimum due payment, but never less. And remember, just paying the minimum payment means it will take you years and years to pay off that credit card.

Example: Paying off a $2,000 credit payment at 18% APR with a minimum monthly payment of 2% ($40 dollars or less) will take you 30 years to pay off the amount plus interest.

4) Review Your Credit Report Regularly

Monitor your credit report from all three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – on a regular basis. Check your credit profile at least annually. Review it carefully and make sure that any past mistakes or disputes have been corrected.

Also, if you notice an account listed that you know that you have not personally opened, contact that creditor and the credit bureaus immediately. This could be a sign that you’ve had your identity stolen. Request to have a fraud alert placed on your profile and account to protect yourself and your credit. Identity theft is the fastest growing consumer crime in America, with an estimated 1 million people victimized each year.

Establish good credit habits early in life and reap the benefits that your good credit rating will provide you for the rest of your financial future.