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What Type Of Mortgage Loan Is Right For You?

postHomebuyers and homeowners need to decide which home Mortgage loan is right for them. Then, the next step in getting a mortgage loan is to submit an application ( Uniform Residential Loan Application ). Although we try to make the loan simple and easy for you, getting a mortgage loan is not an insignificant process.

Below is a short synopsis of some loan types that are currently available.

CONVENTIONAL OR CONFORMING MORTGAGE Loans are the most common types of mortgages. These include a fixed rate mortgage loan which is the most commonly sought of the various loan programs. If your mortgage loan is conforming, you will likely have an easier time finding a lender than if the loan is non-conforming. For conforming mortgage loans, it does not matter whether the mortgage loan is an adjustable rate mortgage or a fixed-rate loan. We find that more borrowers are choosing fixed mortgage rate than other loan products.

Conventional mortgage loans come with several lives. The most common life or term of a
mortgage loan is 30 years. The one major benefit of a 30 year home mortgage loan is that one pays lower monthly payments over its life. 30 year mortgage loans are available for Conventional, Jumbo, FHA and VA Loans. A 15 year mortgage loan is usually the least expensive way to go, but only for those who can afford the larger monthly payments. 15 year mortgage loans are available for Conventional, Jumbo, FHA and VA Loans. Remember that you will pay more interest on a 30 year loan, but your monthly payments are lower. For 15 year mortgage loans your monthly payments are higher, but you pay more principal and less interest. New 40 year mortgage loans are available and are some of the the newest programs used to finance a residential purchase. 40 year mortgage loans are available in both Conventional and Jumbo. If you are a 40 year mortgage borrower, you can expect to pay more interest over the life of the loan.

A Fixed Rate Mortgage Loan is a type of loan where the interest rate remains fixed
over life of the loan. Whereas a Variable Rate Mortgage will fluctuate over the life
of the loan. More specifically the Adjustable-Rate Mortgage loan is a loan that has a
fluctuating interest rate. First time homebuyers may take a risk on a variable rate for qualification purposes, but this should be refinanced to a fixed rate as soon as possible.

A Balloon Mortgage loan is a short-term loan that contains some risk for the borrower. Balloon mortgages can help you get into a mortgage loan, but again should be financed into a more reliable or stable payment product as soon as financially feasible. The Balloon Mortgage should be well thought out with a plan in place when getting this product. For example, you may plan on being in the home for only three years.

Despite the bad rap Sub-Prime Mortgage loans are getting as of late, the market for this kind of mortgage loan is still active, viable and necessary. Subprime loans will be here for the duration, but because they are not government backed, stricter approval requirements will most likely occur.

Refinance Mortgage loans are popular and can help to increase your monthly disposable income. But more importantly, you should refinance only when you are looking to lower the interest rate of your mortgage. The loan process for refinancing your mortgage loan is easier and faster then when you received the first loan to purchase your home. Because closing costs and points are collected each and every time a mortgage loan is closed, it is generally not a good idea to refinance often. Wait, but stay regularly informed on the interest rates and when they are attractive enough, do it and act fast to lock the rate.

A Fixed Rate Second Mortgage loan is perfect for those financial moments such as home improvements, college tuition, or other large expenses. A Second Mortgage loan is a mortgage granted only when there is a first mortgage registered against the property. This Second Mortgage loan is one that is secured by the equity in your home. Typically, you can expect the interest rate on the second mortgage loan to be higher than the interest rate of the first loan.

An Interest Only Mortgage loan is not the right choice for everyone, but it can be very effective choice for some individuals. This is yet another loan that must be thought out carefully. Consider the amount of time that you will be in the home. You take a calculated risk that property values will increase by the time you sell and this is your monies or capital gain for your next home purchase. If plans change and you end up staying in the home longer, consider a strategy that includes a new mortgage. Again pay attention to the rates.

A Reverse mortgage loan is designed for people that are 62 years of age or older and already have a mortgage. The reverse mortgage loan is based mostly on the equity in the home. This loan type provides you a monthly income, but you are reducing your equity ownership. This is a very attractive loan product and should be seriously considered by all who qualify. It can make the twilight years more manageable.

The easiest way to qualify for a Poor Credit Mortgage loan or Bad Credit Mortgage loan is to fill out a two minute loan application. By far the easiest way to qualify for any home mortgage loan is by establishing a good credit history. Another loan vehicle available is a Bad Credit Re-Mortgage loan product and basically it’s for refinancing your current loan.

Another factor when considering applying for a mortgage loan is the rate lock-in. We discuss this at length in our mortgage loan primer. Remember that getting the right mortgage loan is getting the keys to your new home. It can sometimes be difficult to determine which mortgage loan is applicable to you. How do you know which mortgage loan is right for you? You should also factor and home improvements your home may need. Will you have to hire a contractor like ABC Roofing to make and fixes in you home? If so you may want to add the cost of the improvements into your loan. In short, when considering what mortgage loan is right for you, your personal financial situation needs to be considered in full detail. Complete that first step, fill out an application, and you are on your way!

Military Payday Loans

What is a payday loan? This is a small short-term loan for employees who are categorically perceived as those belonging to the lower socio-demographic class because they have no other financial options except to apply for a cash advance payday loan. The borrowers apply payday loans to bridge the cash flow gap between their paydays. Or sometimes, advanced cash payday loan usually provides cash for occurrences of emergencies in time of cash flow problem. This type of loan is typically handed out to the borrower in the form of cash and secured only of the borrower’s postdated check which may amount to the original loan principal and as well as the accrued interest. Payment is processed through in the maturity date by a traditional check or through electronic withdrawal from the client’s checking account. A military payday loan is one very common type everywhere in the world.

Military payday loans are intended specifically for the military men and women. No matter what is the rank or grade, those who served the armed forces are eligible for the application of a military payday loan. If a military man needs cash but payday is still far, he can apply for an instant military payday loan. An advantage of military payday loans is that application can be obtained wherever a military man may be. Many countries have already contracted online services to make payday loan services more accessible. So that whenever a military man resides, he can go online and fill out necessary forms and then send the application. If approved, cash advance may be received through an electronic funds transfer. Instant military payday loans are quick and easy because funds were provided specially for the military men and women’s emergency financial needs. Online application is secured and protected so transactions are safe and kept in privacy.

Another advantage of payday loans for military is its lower rates than other types of cash advance loans. Also, the military are also given option for choosing repayment schedule. If they cannot afford to pay it with one payday check, they can always pay back the loan with the next paychecks. Military loan companies are everywhere. Most of them understand the needs of the military man/woman and families. They knew how can a military man or woman affords so they these military payday loan companies how to equate the interests for their cash advance loans. Other military loan companies offer kind of loans that will aid servicemen to acquire new home, cars, or other things that might require higher expense. These companies offer easy and affordable mortgage plans. Basically, instant payday loans will afford military men and families an easier and keep finances in order.

Application for an instant military loan is also offered through phone line and is directly assisted with military loan consultant. Most reputable and reliable military loan companies are available for the customers. Military cash loans are not only available for active military men. There are also military corporate consumers loans companies who offer this same service to the retired military men. Retired armed forces men normally want to apply for a fast cash loan when circumstances of sudden need of large amount of money is needed like unexpected bills. Like the aforementioned type of instant cash payday loans, retired military loans also do not discriminate the ranks and grades of the former servicemen. As long as they have served the country and meet other related requirements, these men are also eligible for an application. And, likewise, best military cash loans provide lower interest rates than any other type of cash lending companies.

A military profession is a job that has stable and security guarantees. They are typically given grants and greater benefits than other employee types but one disadvantage is that they are not well compensated much like other working class. That’s why loan companies have sprouted all over the world to answer financial difficulties a military man usually encounters. To alleviate these men from difficulties, they only need to provide lending institution the necessary papers like military ETS, personal information, and of course checking account number. After approval, cash would be in their hands to improve their financial condition.

Instant Loans – Prompt Response to Unforeseen Financial Fiasco

Loan market is flooded with loan types that cater to specific needs of loan borrowers – car loans, education loans, mortgage, home loan etc. But what if a requirement of £250 springs up and you don’t have the needful cash and neither can postpone the payment. For this specific cash constraint, there are instant loans. The word ‘instant’ is self explanatory in reference to instant loans. Instant loans are formulated to cover financial emergencies. If borrowers are looking for a source to provide them small amount of money quickly then instant loans are what they need.

Money crisis can spring up at any time. Someone in the family might fall ill and the doctor’s bill amounts to 200 pounds. Death in the family might require you to travel at some other place and bring £400 of expense. Emergency car repair can invite a bill of £250. There are so many things and so many reasons that can extend your monthly budget beyond your capacity.

Instant loans are a rather recent loan type and therefore quite isolated from traditional loans which are meant for larger amounts and require good credit history for approval. Instant loans negate all such cumbersome procedure and get approved in time period of one day or less. Instant loans actually provide you money instantly.

The prerequisite for instant loans is a regular income and current valid bank account. The approval of Instant loans takes a few minutes and the money will be transferred to your bank account the same day or the next business day. This means weekends and bank holidays will not affect the transference of money as instant loans. With instant loans, you can have cash before the pay check arrives.

Instant loans are generally advertised with the provision of no credit check. This is of a specific significance to those borrowers who have less than perfect credit. They have equal standing while applying for instant loans. Instant loans pose considerable risk to the loan lender; therefore, the interest rates of instant loans are usually higher than traditional loans. The interest rates can range from 15%-25% depending on the loan lender. Different loan lenders offer different terms and conditions for instant loans therefore research and looking around would be beneficial in finding instant loans that match your financial anticipation.

Instant loans have never been easier to obtain, especially with the online option. Just one application form and there you are making an instant loans claim. The internet is flooded with instant loan options. Explore your options and familiarize yourself with the terms and condition of instant loans before you settle on any one instant loan. You can apply for instant loans quote at different loan lenders and thereby compare loans. Comparing instant loans online will open your eyes to the cost of instant loans.

Just as the expenses are temporary so are instant loans. This is basic to this loan type. Instant loans simply do not fill in the long term financial planning. Their loan term use will not only backfire but lead you into debt situation which will be difficult to get out of. This is because instant loans have high interest rates. However, they can certainly provide a boost for long term financial planning by taking care of the sudden unforeseen monetary crisis.

Instant loans are available in two forms. One is instant payday loans and instant cash loans. There is not much difference between the two loan types. Instant payday loans are based on the borrowers next pay period. Instant cash loans are also similar requiring little documentation and regular income proofs. Both the loan types are for short term and small loan amounts.

There are instant personal loans and instant secured loans also. Instant personal loans are an extensive term providing a huge variety of interest options and repayment terms. You are likely to find here an instant loan that will satisfy your economic crisis. Instant secured loan will be offered with security. This would mean better interest rates and repayment facilities.

Cash in an instant seems all so promising and inviting but it comes with its usual responsibility that is repayment. Instant loans are fast, transparent and easy way to get cash in lesser time. They practically take an instant to get approved. All they have is a limitation on the loan amount that can be taken for them. So how does it feel like having money right when you don’t have any left? It sure feels good. Instant loans do provide along with the confidence to be in control of your finances.

Low Interest Auto Loans

Second Hand Car buyers know the benefit of a loan. A loan can help you get a vehicle you want at a monthly payment that fits their budget. What you may not know is that in the case of an auto loan, you can avoid travel and apply for the car loan from your computer! The availability of online auto loans comes from the emergence of online financial institutions. Banks and several other businesses have become comfortable operating online, with some banks even performing loan interviews over the internet. In the case of online auto loans, banks and other financial aids can operate via online lenders to help people receive their loans through online transactions.

One of the benefits of applying for a car loan online is that the car loan application takes no time at all to finish. Whereas you would have to commute to the bank and then the dealership to fill out the paperwork involved with applying for a loan, you will not have to leave the house to fill out an online auto loan application! The streamlined service involved in applying for an online auto loan comes from the plethora of online loan lenders that will work with you quickly and efficiently to find the best loan that you need.

A simple search will reveal thousands of sites and lending services ready to help you on the spot and the applications are stress-free. As with all loans, whether they are for a car or house, when applying for a loan online, research it! The online loan rates can differ wildly depending on what bank, company, or business the online lender works with. In order to find the best APR on a loan, I would recommend searching various lender web pages, such as Up2drive.com or Myautoloan.com. These sites have APR estimates on the main web page and can give you a rough idea of what you are looking at paying for your monthly bill.

As with all loans, the APR is extremely important to take into account when looking at repaying your loan. The APR, or annual percentage rate, is the interest returned on your borrowed loan from the bank or financial service. These institutions can help settle your financial matters through a fixed APR, meaning an interest rate that cannot change, regardless of the bank’s situation. A non-fixed APR means that the interest rate on the loan from the bank or in some cases, the dealership itself, would fluctuate at the end of a year. At the beginning of the New Year, the bank can either decrease or increase your APR and although they are rare, a decreased APR could be obtained under the precedent that your financial institution is working with you to help you repay your loan.

This could stem from financial hardship or simply not having enough money at the time to repay your loan. To counteract bad credit, a bad credit auto loan can be applied for. These loaning situations are for those that have a credit score of 600 or lower. When applying for loans, if your score is below 600, it’s very likely that a loan corporation or business will simply pass you over. However, applying further for loans will actually hurt your credit score more, so to counter this you could visit Myautoloan.com. This site helps you connect with high-risk lenders and nearby car dealers that can help you finance your new car.

An online auto loan holds many benefits to the average consumer. In one example, an online auto loan will typically beat out a dealer’s overall APR. As well as being cheaper overall, an online auto loan application does not incur fees, such as one may be subject to at a dealer’s. Many car dealers tack on application fees to squeeze that extra bit of cash out of the customer beforehand. In another example of why an online auto loan is more beneficial than an in-person one, you may find that the online application is considerably easier to fill out since you do have the internet at your fingertips. Besides having the information needed to properly fill out an app online, you will also be able to work at your own pace to fill the application out. Lastly, the best part about an online auto loan would be that with most online auto loans, there is no down payment involved. Unlike at a dealership’s, an online auto loan steps around any down payments by working directly with the lender, as opposed to working through the dealer to find financing.

The availability of online auto loans comes from the emergence of online banking and financial institutions. Banks and several other businesses have become comfortable operating online, with some banks even performing loan interviews over the internet. In the case of online auto loans, banks and other financial aids can operate via online lenders to help people receive their loans through online transactions.

One of the benefits of applying for a car loan online is that the car loan application takes no time at all to finish. Whereas you would have to commute to the bank and then the dealership to fill out the paperwork involved with applying for a loan, you will not have to leave the house to fill out an online auto loan application!

The streamlined service involved in applying for an online auto loan comes from the plethora of online loan lenders that will work with you quickly and efficiently to find the best loan that you need. A simple search will reveal thousands of sites and lending services ready to help you on the spot and the applications are stress-free.

As with all loans, whether they are for a car or house, when applying for a loan online, research it! The online loan rates can differ wildly depending on what bank, company, or business the online lender works with. In order to find the best APR on a loan, I would recommend searching various lender web pages, such as Up2drive.com or Myautoloan.com. These sites have APR estimates on the main web page and can give you a rough idea of what you are looking at paying for your monthly bill.

As with all loans, the APR is extremely important to take into account when looking at repaying your loan. The APR, or annual percentage rate, is the interest returned on your borrowed loan from the bank or financial service. These institutions can help settle your financial matters through a fixed APR, meaning an interest rate that cannot change, regardless of the bank’s situation.

A non-fixed APR means that the interest rate on the loan from the bank or in some cases, the dealership itself, would fluctuate at the end of a year. At the beginning of each year, the bank can either decrease or increase your APR and although they are rare, a decreased APR could be requested and obtained under the premise that your financial institution is working with you to repay your loan. This could stem from financial hardship or simply not having enough money at the time to repay your loan.

For car buyers with bad or no credit, there are special bad credit auto loans available. These loans are for those that have a credit score of 600 or lower. When applying for loans, if your score is below 600, it’s very likely that a loan corporation or business will simply pass you over. However, applying further for loans will actually hurt your credit score more, so to counter this you could visit Myautoloan.com. This site helps you connect with high-risk lenders and nearby car dealers that can help you finance your new car.

An online auto loan holds many benefits for the average car buyer. In one example, an online auto loan will typically beat out a dealer’s overall APR. As well as being cheaper overall, an online auto loan application does not incur fees, such as one may be subject to at a dealer’s. Many car dealers tack on application fees to squeeze that extra bit of cash out of the customer beforehand.

Another example of why an online auto loan is superior to a traditional in-person one, you will find that the online application is considerably easier to fill out. Besides having the information needed to properly fill out an app online, you will also be able to work at your own pace to fill the application out.

Lastly, the best part about an online auto loan would be that with most online auto loans, there is no down payment involved. Unlike financing at a car dealership, an online auto loan steps around any down payments by working directly with the lender, it also lowers your cost and rate and removes dealer markups. Find more information at www.AutoVillage.co.uk

Understanding Student Loans

Understanding Student Loans

Students who opt for higher studies often find that they lack the required capital to fund their anticipated study program stretching perhaps to several years. Fortunately, there are many institutions that a student can turn to for assistance for financing his education program. Except in the case of grants and scholarships, all other loans taken have to be re-paid; and unfortunately this fact does not strike the borrower forcefully enough at the time of obtaining loans. The obvious reason for same is since many repayments start only on graduation; and due to a feeling of satisfaction for the time being at finding the funds to cover more and more of the direct education costs and other education related expenses.

There is a cost attached to every loan that you take and it is very important that you educate yourself first on the types of loans available, which carry fixed as well as variable rates of interest during the lifetime of the loan. Even at fixed rates, the rates attached to different types of loans differ, as does the repayment periods, deferment options etc. It is also pertinent to visit websites of different lenders and do an in-depth study of the diverse packages on offer and / or negotiable, incorporating varying concessions on credit terms with regard to rate of interest, repayment period, deferment options etc; so that you can select the type and lender that best suits the circumstances on a case by case basis.

For purposes of college education, it is the Student Loans (except for limited Perkins Loans) that carry the most favorable all-round terms than any other general financial loans, and as such your search should mainly be confined to all types of student loans only.

1. Student Loans may be classified broadly under 2 categories:

(a) Federal Loans

Government sponsored loans executed via the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and generally carry fixed, low interest rates; Perkins and Stafford Subsidized loans are need based while Stafford Unsubsidized and PLUS loans are not need based; but do not generally cover related costs of education such as tuition, books, computers, board and living expenses etc. Multiple options for re-payments and deferments may be available. Can be obtained through schools, banks and other student loans lending institutions

(b) Private Loans

Granted by private lenders and are obviously at higher interest rates than federal loans, but you do not have to show financial need for the amount of the loan and there is also no maximum limit, but have to show a good credit score. Deferment options may be obtainable (though at a price). Credit terms obtainable can be further improved by getting a good cosigner to support your loan application. A parent can apply on behalf of a student as a co-borrower to take advantage of his / her good credit score, but the responsibility for the loan lies with student as well as co-borrower parent.

2. Federal Loans comprise mainly of 3 types of loans:

(a) Perkins Loans

To qualify, have to establish “need” for exceptional financial aid, and be enrolled in school at least half time. Carries a Government subsidized fixed interest rate of 5%. Borrowing is limited to $ 4,000 for undergraduates and $ 6,000 for graduates.

(b) Stafford Loans

General conditions applicable for all types of Stafford Loans

To qualify, have to be already enrolled in a college at least half time or planning to be enrolled at least half time in a school participating in the FFELP Scheme, sometimes trade and business schools also may be considered; but those attending full time could obtain enhanced loans than those attending half time. Interest rate is currently fixed at 6.8%.

The applicant has to show the need for financial aid in respect of Stafford Subsidized Loans, (although it is not necessary to show need for financial aid to get a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan). No credit check is required; loans are low interest bearing at a standard fixed rate. Stafford Loans come in three types with prefix “Subsidized”, “Unsubsidized” and “Additional Unsubsidized”.

Essential differences between Subsidized & Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

The meaning of “subsidized” in the context of these loans is that the federal government guarantees the loan and also pays the interest component of the loan while the student remains at school as well as in the case of any and every occasion a deferment of payments is allowed to the student on request. In the case of unsubsidized loans the student undertakes to pay the interest as well and although deferments may be allowed, the consequent accrued interest also has to be paid by the student, thereby adding to the total cost of the loan.

Stafford Subsidized Loan

Log term, low interest, need based which has to be shown by filling a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but no credit check is required;, Loan guaranteed by federal government and interest too paid by government, postponement of payments possible in some cases and if allowed, accrued interest thereon too will be paid by the government.

Stafford Unsubsidized Loans

Log term, low interest, not need based, no credit check, interest is paid by the student; postponement of payments is possible in some cases, but accrued interest thereon is payable by the student. More suitable for those who don’t qualify for other loans or those who still need additional funding for their education.

Stafford Additional Unsubsidized Loan

Federal guidelines classify certain students as “Independent Students”. Another branch of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans known as Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are generally reserved for borrowers from this Independent Students category.

To change your status from eligibility for a subsidized loan from an initial eligibility for only an unsubsidized loan.

Although a student may initially not qualify for a subsidized loan because of his lesser need in virtue of his part time work or other income, if he now quits his work / employment, he can fill a fresh application form showing his changed financial status and the new need for additional financial aid which may qualify him for a subsidized loan on the second occasion.

If this succeeds, it would make a very big difference to your total cost ultimately payable as an unsubsidized loan ends up very much costlier than a subsidized loan to repay, for obvious reasons.

Students may defer interest payments until graduation or up to when school attendance ends. When repayments start, a student may find himself owing anything between $ 20,000 – $ 100,000 or even more. Loan Repayment re-scheduling is not always negotiable and Stafford Loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

(c) PLUS Loans (Parent Loan Undergraduate Students).

Parents do not have to show financial need to apply. The only federal loan where a credit check is required (although not a full scale check), however, parents should have not have had any adverse credit experience / records of default or bankruptcy; interest rate is currently fixed at 8.5%. This type of loan is disbursed to parents of undergrad dependent children who are enrolled in school at least halftime. (independent children are not eligible). Can borrow up to total cost of entire education of a dependent child undergraduate less: any grants, scholarships received. Repayments start after 60 – 90 days from the full disbursement of the loan; or after the student graduates.

3. Private Loans

These are also known as Alternative Education Loans and are offered by private lenders. There are no federal forms to be filled and these loans are not need based. Eligibility will depend on a good credit score. The rate of interest is (obviously) higher than in the case of federal loans and variable. Maximum amount that can be borrowed as well as a reduction in the interest rate are dependent on how good your credit score is. If your credit score is not good enough for the lender, to service your maximum requirements, getting a cosigner of high credit standing to support your application may achieve those extra benefits for you. These loans are generally taken as a supplement to federal loans to bridge the gap between the borrower’s actual requirement of financial aid and the limited amount that can be borrowed under federal loans programs; or when they need more flexible repayment options.

4. Conclusion:

We have given above concise and yet sufficient details in order to get an all round basic idea of all types of student loans available for the funding of educational programs. We have not tried to overload this article with comprehensive details and facts pertaining to these loans since we have already posted 2 separate and more comprehensive articles on Federal Loans and Private Loans under the captions of Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans respectively.

We recommend the said two articles for those desirous of obtaining more details on eligibility, features, repayments etc., and a deeper understanding of the advantages / disadvantages and other implications pertaining to all classes of Student Loans.

18 Ways to Reduce Your Mortgage Loan

1. Skip the introductory rate (Honeymoon)

Beware of lenders bearing gifts! Introductory or honeymoon rates have long been an important marketing tool for lenders. You are initially offered a cheap rate on your loan to get you in the door but once the honeymoon period is over, the lender will switch you to a higher variable rate of interest. An example of this is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).

There are two problems with this scenario. First, the variable rate is often higher than some of the lower basic loans available so you could end up paying more. Second, you need to clearly understand that a honeymoon rate applies only for the first year or two of the loan and is a minor consideration compared to the actual variable rate that will determine your repayments over the next 20 or so years.

You may also be hit with fairly steep exit penalties if you want to refinance in the first two or three years to a cheaper loan. So make sure you fully understand what you are letting yourself in before setting off on a “honeymoon” with your lender.

2. Pay it off quickly

Time is money. There are all sorts of strategies for paying less interest on your loan, but most of them boil down to one thing: Pay your loan off as fast as you can. For example, if take out a loan of $300,000 at 6.5 per cent for 30 years, your repayment will be about be about $1,896. This equates to a total repayment of $682,632 over the term of your loan.

If you pay the loan out over 15 years rather than 30, your monthly payment will be $2,613 a month (ouch!). But the total amount you will repay over the term of the loan will be only $470,397 – saving you a whopping $212,235

· Make repayments at a higher rate

A good way to get ahead of your mortgage commitments is to pay it off as if you have a higher rate of interest. Get a loan at the lowest interest rate you can and add 2 or 3 points to your repayment amount. So if you have a loan at about 6.5 percent and pay it off at 10 per cent, you won’t even notice if rates go up. Best of all, you’ll be paying off your loan quicker and saving yourself a packet.

· Make more frequent payments

The simple things in life are often the best. One of the simplest and best strategies for reducing the term and cost of your loan (and thus your exposure should interest rates rise) is to make your repayment on a fortnightly (bi-weekly) rather than monthly basis. How can this make a difference I hear you ask? It works like this:

Split your monthly payment in two and pay every fortnight. You’ll hardly feel the difference in terms of your disposable income, but it could make thousands of dollars and years difference over the term of your loan. The reason for this is that there are 26 fortnights in a year, but only 12 months. Paying fortnightly (bi-weekly) means that you will be effectively making 13 monthly payments every year. And this can make a big difference.

Using our example from above, by paying monthly, you will end uprepaying $682,632 over the term of your loan. But, by paying fortnightly (bi-weekly), you will save $87,254 in interest and 5.8 years off the loan. Zero pain to you, major benefit to your pocket.

· Hit the principal early

Over the first few years of your mortgage, it may seem that you are only paying interest and the principal isn’t reducing at all. Unfortunately, you’re probably right, as this is one of the unfortunate effects of compound interest. So you need to try everything you can to get some of the principal repaid early and you’ll notice the difference.

Every dollar you put into your mortgage above your repayment amount attacks the capital, which means down the track you’ll be paying interest on a smaller amount. Extra lump sums or regular additional repayments will help you cut many years off the term of your loan.

· Forego those minor luxuries

This is the bit you don’t want to read. Once you have a mortgage, your life is likely to be luxury-free (or at least pretty close to it). Think of all the weight you will lose by giving up your favourite indulgent snack. For the sake of your health you should quit smoking and drink less anyway. Take your lunch from home and save on bad fast food. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

If you’re still not convinced consider the following example. A typical day may include a pack of cigarettes ($10), a coffee and donut ($5), lunch ($12) and a couple of beers after work ($8). That’s $35 a day or $175 a week or $750 a month or $9,100 a year.

Assuming a mortgage of $300,000 at 6.5 per cent over 30 years, by making $750 in extra repayments each month, you’d save more than $216,000 in interest and be mortgage free in just over 14.5 years.

No one is saying you should live a convict existence but just cutting down a little on your expenses will see you reap huge financial benefits.

3. Get a package

Speak to your lender about the financial packages they have on offer. Common inclusions are discounted home insurance, fee-free credit cards, a free consultation with a financial adviser or even a fee-free transaction account. While these things may seem small beer compared to what you are paying on your home loan, every little bit counts and so you can use the little savings on other financial services to turn them into big savings on your home loan.

There are also “professional” packages on offer for amounts over a certain limit, which can be as little as $150,000. Some lenders offer discounts to specific professional groups or members of professional organizations. Ask your lender if your occupation qualifies you for any discount. You might be pleasantly surprised. There are all sorts of discounts and reductions attached to these packages so make sure you ask your lender about them.

4. Consolidate your debts

One of the best ways of ensuring you continue to pay off your loan quickly is to protect yourself against interest rate rises. If your home loan rate starts to rise, you can be absolutely positive about one thing – your personal loan rate will rise and so will your credit card rate and any hire purchase rate you may happen to have.

This is not a good thing as the interest rates on your credit cards and personal loans are much higher than the interest rate on your home loan. Many lenders will allow you to consolidate – re-finance – all of your debt under the umbrella of your home loan. This means that instead of paying 15 to 20 per cent on your credit card or personal loan, you can transfer these debts to your home loan and pay it off at 7.32 per cent.

As always, any extra repayments or lump sums will benefit you in the long run.

5. Split your loan

Many borrowers worry about interest rates and whether they will go up but don’t want to be tied down by a fixed loan. A good compromise is a split loan, or combination loan as they are often known, which allows you to take part of your loan as fixed and part as variable. Essentially this allows you to hedge your bets as to whether interest rates are going to rise and by how much.

If interest rates rise you will have the security of knowing part of your loan is safely fixed and won’t move. However, if interest rates don’t go up (or if they rise only slightly or slowly) then you can use the flexibility of the variable portion of your loan and pay that part off more quickly.

6. Make your mortgage your key financial product

Mortgage products known as all-in-one loans, revolving line-of-credit or 100 percent offset loans allow you to use your mortgage as your key financial product. This means you have one account into which you can pay all of your income and draw from for your living expenses by using a credit card, EFTPOS or a checkbook, as well as making your mortgage repayments..

These types of accounts can make a huge difference to the speed at which you pay off your loan. Because your whole pay goes into your mortgage account you are reducing the principal on which interest is charged. Sure, you might take a couple of steps back as you withdraw living expenses but careful use of this sort of product can get you thousands of dollars ahead of where you’d be with a “plain vanilla, pay once a month” home loan.

These loans work well when you are able to make additional payments towards the loan. If you are only able to make the equivalent of the minimum repayment on your loan (and not put in any extra) you may be better off with a cheaper standard variable or basic variable loan. However, it’s not unusual for dedicated borrowers using these types of loans to cut the term of a 30 year-old loan to less than ten.

7. Use your equity

If you have already paid off some of your home, you are said to have equity. Equity is the difference between the current value of your property and the amount you owe the lender. For example, if you have a property worth $500,000 on which you owe $150,000, you are said to have home equity of $350,000, which you can re-borrow without having to go through the approval process by accessing it through your existing loan.

Many lenders will allow you to borrow using your equity as collateral. Most lenders will allow you to borrow up to about 80 per cent of the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of your available equity. If you are careful, you can use this equity to your advantage and help to pay off your home loan sooner.

Using an equity loan to improve your property could be a good way to ensure that your home increases in value over time. But larger expenses such as cars and holidays that would have been paid by credit card are more affordable on the lower rate of your home loan.

8. Switch to a lender with a lower rate (But do your sums)

It may sound like a simple idea but switching out of your current loan and taking out a loan at a lower rate can mean the difference of years and thousands of dollars. If you have a loan that is tricked up with all the features, or even if you have a standard variable loan, you might find that you could get a no frills rate that is as much as a percentage point cheaper than your current loan.

However, before you jump the gun, check out what it will cost you to switch loans. For example, there may be exit fees payable on your old loan and establishment fees and stamp duty on your new loan. Work it all out and if it makes sense, go for it.

9. Stay informed – don’t forget about your mortgage
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With any long-term commitment, there is always the temptation to let your mortgage roll along, make your repayments as they fall due and think as little about it as possible. As long as you keep up the repayments, there’s not much else you need to do, right?

This attitude can be a big mistake. Keep yourself up to date with what’s happening in the marketplace. You might find that there’s an opportunity to put yourself well ahead of the game. Rates change, new products and changes in the market itself may allow you to seize an opportunity or negotiate a better deal.

Stay informed and stay ahead of the game.

10. Get a cheap rate and invest the difference

When interest rates are low, like now, it is usually safe to say that inflation is also low. Thus, bricks and mortar may not be the best place to invest. Try getting the cheapest home loan you can find and make the minimum repayment. This allows you to use the extra cash to invest in other, more profitable areas.

You may find that the return you get on shares or some other type of investment means that you have created a nice little nest egg which you can use to pay off a bigger chunk of your home loan than you might otherwise have been able to do.

But beware – high returns often mean high risks. Before undertaking any investment, invest in a consultation with a qualified financial adviser.

11. Run an offset account

Instead of earning interest, any money you have in your offset account works to offset the interest you are paying on your home loan. For example you may have a mortgage of $300,000 at 6.5 percent and an offset account with $50,000 in it earning 3 percent.

This means that $250,000 of your loan is accruing interest at 6.5 percent but the rest is accruing interest at just over 3.5 percent (6.5 percent on your loan less the 3 percent the $50,000 in your offset account is earning). Imagine how much you can save!

Of course, the best sort of offset account pays the same rate as your loan (100 per cent offset).

12. Pay all your mortgage fees and charges up front

Some lenders allow you to add to the amount you borrow instead of coming up with cash for your upfront costs. While this can seem a blessing try to avoid doing this. Consider the following example:

Borrower A borrows $300,000 over 30 years at 6.5 percent. Her upfront costs are $1,000 but she has enough cash to make sure she can cover these. Her total repayment over 30 years will be $682,632

Borrower B takes out the same loan but doesn’t have enough cash to cover the upfront costs. So he borrows $301,000, at the same rate. Her total repayment over 30 years will be $684,907.

Two thousand odd-dollars might not sound like a huge amount but what could you buy with it if it stayed in your pocket?

13. Pay your first instalment before it’s due

With most new loans, the first instalment may not become due for a month after settlement. If you can manage it (and your lender will let you), pay the first instalment on the settlement date. If you do this, you will be one step ahead of the lender for the term of your loan. Every little bit counts.

14. Shop around and make sure your lender knows it

One of the most powerful tools you can have in the search for the best home loan is information. Make sure you have rung half a dozen lenders and brokers (as well done some internet research) before you start talking to your preferred lender about getting a new loan or refinancing your existing loan.

Make sure you know what rates and features are offered by each of your lender’s competitors on comparable products. Be ready to tell the lender what you are looking for and don’t be afraid to ask for extras. If they want your business, and know you know what you are talking about, they may be prepared to work that little bit harder to get your business.

Don’t be afraid to walk out if you aren’t getting the best possible deal you can.

15. Make sure your loan is portable

If there is any chance that you will move house during the course of your loan (and let’s face it, there is a strong chance), make sure that your lender will allow you to transfer your loan to a new property and that it won’t charge you the earth for the privilege.

Be careful. If you sell up and buy a new house, you could find yourself down thousands in discharge costs on your old loan and establishment fees on your new one.

16. Avoid bridging finance

Someone once said bridging finance is so called because it allows you to “pylon” the debt. The joke’s appalling, but so is bridging finance. Unless you get your timing right you could find yourself with two home loans at the same time – with the bridging finance element costing you an extra couple of percent premium on the standard variable rate.

Consider using a deposit bond or selling before you buy, as it will be much more cost effective for you than another loan.

17. Choose the loan that suits your needs

Choosing a loan is about knowing what you want. Draw up a table of potential home loans and rank them. Make a list of all the features that are important to you and rank them according to importance. Give each feature a score out of 5 – one for unimportant right through to 5 for indispensable.

Use this technique for ranking the loans on offer and pretty soon you’ll see the one that’s right for you. Remember, different loans have different purposes so you need to match a loan to your need. Taking out an interest only loan suitable for investors if you are planning to live in the house is just foolish.

Ditching the features you don’t need can save you up to 1 per cent on the interest rate of your loan. Over 30 years that’s a whole lot of money you’ve just saved yourself.

18. Don’t be afraid of smaller lenders with cheap rates

Since the advent of the mortgage managers over the past five or six years there’s been a lot of talk about smaller and “non-traditional lenders” and how they have forced interest rates down. With the property boom, plenty of opportunities sprang up for smart lenders with low fees willing to take on traditional lenders and many have done very well indeed.

Some borrowers worry about what might happen if their lender gets into financial trouble. Keep in mind that you’ve got their money – so don’t worry too much. There are some smaller lenders whose names might not be readily familiar but whose rates might be enough reason to get in touch.

Be wary, however. Some of these smaller lenders can have huge hidden fees and charges. It is true that the interest rate might be much lower, but in many cases, they exit (or penalty) fees can be very high if you refinance or pay off your mortgage in the first couple of years. Of course, if you’re planning on staying with that lender for some time, then these fees will not impact your pocket at all.

Best School Loan Consolidation Options

School loan consolidation provides you an opportunity to merge all your loans and pay only once for all of them. There are a number of options catering to almost everyone’s needs. These options are divided into the following two major categories:

  1. Federal loan consolidation
  2. Private loan consolidation

1. Federal:

This type of school loan consolidation provides financial help to those who are enrolled at schools that participate in federal aid programs. By school we mean a two-year or four-year degree awarding public or private college, university or trade school.

Consolidation can help reduce your student loan debt by fixing and reducing the interest rate on your loans. This loan option will also combine your separate loan debts into one package thus managing your debt paying options.

Eligibility for federal loan:

In order to qualify for federal consolidation, one should check out the following things before applying for it.

  • The candidate should no longer be enrolled in school (defined as being enrolled less than half-time)
  • You must be in the ‘grace period’ of the loan or must be actively repaying your loan.
  • Most consolidation companies require a minimum loan amount i.e. $10,000 is typical.

Types of Federal Loan:

  1. Federal Family Education Loan Program: These are public-private loans aimed to deliver and administer guaranteed educational loans to parents and students. It provides the following types of loan for post-secondary education:
  • Stafford Loan: Stafford loan consolidation is a fixed-rate refinancing program that combines all your existing federal loans into one new loan.
  • PLUS Loan: PLUS loan consolidation is another form of federal school loan that allows you to pack all your PLUS loans previously taken to finance your kid’s education, into a single loan with a lower monthly payment.
  • Graduate Stafford Loan Consolidation: Graduate Stafford loan consolidation is a great financial tool for those who have recently graduated and are trying to pay off their graduate Stafford loans.
  1. Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: Federal direct loan consolidation is a practical repayment tool that enables you to combine all your Federal Direct student loans into a single loan. Federal Direct loan offers the following consolidation options:

· Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines federal student loans eligible for interest subsidies, such as subsidized FFELP, Direct Loans and Federal Perkins Loans.

· Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines federal student loans not eligible for interest subsidies. If any one of the loans to be consolidated is unsubsidized, then you are eligible for Unsubsidized Direct Consolidation Loan.

· Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines FFELP PLUS and Direct PLUS loans.

Benefits of Federal Loan:

Various benefits can be availed if you opt for federal program. Some of them are stated below:

  • Reduces monthly payments
  • Provides fixed interest rates
  • Requires only one payment every month
  • Improves credit rating
  • Offers flexible payment options
  • No pre-payment penalties

Disadvantages of Federal Loan Consolidation:

If compared to the benefits, consolidation has lesser disadvantages, which are mentioned below:

  • Takes long to pay back
  • Increases the total amount of loan
  • Locked interest rates i.e. if interest rates go down, your rate will not decrease/change
  • Lose benefits (if any) from previous loans

2. Private loan :

The purpose of private loan consolidation is more or less the same as that of federal loan consolidation but the procedure and features differ. It combines only your outstanding private education loans into one package. Private loans cover educational expenses like tuition, accommodation or any other educational expenses.

Eligibility for private loan consolidation:

As there are few eligibility rules to qualify for federal loan consolidation, similarly the private loan levies some regulations on every application that it receives for necessary approval. These criteria are mentioned below:

  • The candidate should be atleast half-time enrolled in a degree or technical/diploma program
  • Have a minimum of $10,000 in private educational loans
  • Is in repayment status of private education loans at the time of application
  • Have good credit standing
  • Have proof of accommodation and present income

Benefits of private loan:

  • Improves the payment history and credit score
  • Gives competitive interest rate against non-government loans
  • Provides a way to consolidate virtually all private and non-federal educational loans
  • Allows you to consolidate education-related debt as well as education-related credit card debt
  • Enable you to write fewer checks and may also lower down the monthly installments
  • Longer repayment term (up to 30 years in some cases)
  • Lower monthly payment

Federal loan versus Private – The Difference:

Federal loan consolidation is a tool to refinance federal education loan only while Private loan consolidation is a way to refinance private education loan only. The main difference is that a federal loan consolidation comes with a fixed interest rate while private loan consolidation comes with a market rate that may be fixed or variable.

If you consolidate both federal and private loans, you should make sure to keep them separate, i.e. refinancing a federal loan with a private loan will most likely result in a much higher interest charge, if compared to the amount you would pay by keeping them separately.

Our Advice: Research thoroughly about all consolidation options first and only then choose to consolidate your school loans.