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Monday, December 29, 2008

Who is a Reverse Mortgage Candidate

By Spooni Vanrock

Reverse mortgages are becoming mainstream lately. Perhaps it's Robert Wagner, or maybe its life circumstance creeping up on today's seniors forcing them to use the reverse mortgage.

The reverse mortgage is an exceptable and real financial problem solver if it is used in the right circumstances.

Is it the best possible tool for everyone. If I said yes here you should stop reading and move on. It's not. I get asked by my clients, "Is this right for me?"

I'm flattered they trust me enough to ask the question. Don't forget I make money if they go forward with a reverse mortgage and zero if they don't. There may be a conflict of interest there somewhere.

Well, their question in no way compromises my integrity, and I, in return, ask them as to the length of time they expect to stay at the house before moving. This is the big question.

Why? Reverse mortgage closing costs are high to the point that if the senior vacates and sells the home in the short term it makes getting the loan a very expensive proposition.

The answer I like to hear is, "I'll be in the home until they carry me out." As a borrower stays in the home longer the cost of the loan continues to decrease as the years go on.

Regardless of each individual's unique situation the basic rule of thumb is to be in the home at least three years.

Being in the home for any length of time less than that would be prohibitively expensive, and i may suggest other financial alternatives.

The second point is to look at the relationship between the borrower's income as it pertains to the problem which the borrower is attempting to solve.

Is the financial trouble going to last through the year or will it be lifelong? Are incomes variable, such that the issue, be it short or long term, can be overcome? Are incomes fixed?

The conservative answer to the question is if the borrower intends on staying in the home indefinately, and current or future income cannot solve the problem, a reverse mortgage is a viable financial lever.

Breaking Down Reverse Mortgage Cash Out to Borrower

By Eversemort Vanrock

As of last month the new law went into effect allowing reverse mortgage companies to loan based upon the new higher FHA reverse mortgage limits.

At $417,000 the new national loan limits, in most parts of the country, absolutely bury the old limits by more than twice the former amount. It's quite a boon, but how does this affect the average borrower?

One could liken the lending limit to the actual value of a home and as a starting point to determine how much money the lender will actually allow the senior to borrow. If the value of the home exceeds the lending limit ($417,000), the borrower receives no additional benefit.

Remember, the mortgage company uses the home's equity as the security for the loan. It will use the value or the maximum lending limit, whichever is less, as a starting point to determine how much they will allow the borrower to cash out at any given time.

Interest rates and age of the youngest senior who's name will be attached to mortgage are the other determing factors.

Age makes sense right? Let's face it, reverse mortgage lenders are using actuarial tables, just like insurance companies, to determine how long the borrower will live in the house.

Forward lenders today have the serious problem of more being owed than the home is actually worth. Reverse mortgage companies fear the exact same problem on the tail end of these mortgages. Therefore the borrower, who will likely pass on earlier rather than later, will be loaned more money.

Variances in interst rates plays a big role. Reverse mortgage companies lend more money when interest rates are low and less when rates are high. When rates are high the equity in the home is eaten up much quicker than when rates are low.

People often say to me, "What percentage of my value am I going to get?" There is no percentage. All three variables need to be input into the formula and out will come the number.

For a rough guestimate, borrowers aged 90, would receive roughly seventy-five percent of the home's value or loan limits (the lesser of the two). The young sixty two year old would qualify at about fifty percent.

Don't Claim Deductions without Knowing your Tax Deduction Limits

By Harold Guy

Some taxpayers with simple tax returns may not have to worry about tax deduction limits. However, most taxpayers will have tax deductions that will require them to know what the tax deduction limits are so that they can claim the most deduction on their tax returns. After all, the more tax deductions they can claim, the less taxes they will owe the IRS.

While some people are already aware that it is important to know tax deduction limits, some people are still unsure of what tax deductions are. There are many websites that explain what IRS deductions are. Basically, tax deductions are sometimes referred to as tax deductible expenses because they are qualified expenses that the IRS allows taxpayers to subtract from income taxes. That means, the more tax deductions a taxpayer can claim, the less taxes he or she will have to pay.

Knowing the tax deduction limits will allow taxpayers to plan what they are going to owe the IRS. The more you know, the more creative you can be to claim the tax deductions to the limit. Some of the tax deduction limits are confusing and obscure so you may have to read relevant IRS publications to understand how to claim these tax deductions and how much to claim.

The IRS deductions are not to be confused with tax credit. The same goes for tax deduction limits versus tax credit limits. They are different. Most people prefer tax credits because tax credits give taxpayers dollars into their pockets whereas tax deductions just lower taxable income. If there is no income, then there is not use lowering it but tax credits may work even if there is no income to report.

Different IRS deductions have their own tax deduction limits. The standard deduction has the easiest limit because it is set by the IRS for anyone claiming the standard deduction. Most people who do not have outrageous expenses during the year will find it best to just claim the standard deduction which is usually more than their itemized deductions anyway. To claim the standard deduction, just tick the box that says standard deduction on your tax form.

Some taxpayers are not eligible to claim standard deduction so they must claim the itemized deductions and pay attention to the tax deduction limits. The itemized deductions are more complicated than standard deduction because each tax deductible item has its own limit. If you are qualified for both the standard deduction and the itemized deductions, it is important to know the limits so that you can calculate which route is best for your tax return.

If you do not know your tax deduction limits, you will not know if it is best for you to take the standard deduction or itemized deductions when you qualify for both. Most taxpayers figure out what they would owe the IRS both ways and then take the tax deduction route that gives them the lowest taxable income.

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Various Debt Consolidation Loans Available

By Daniel Atolben

Debt consolidation loans were created solely as a means for putting all the debt together, or consolidating it, and lump sum loan is made instead of separate payments to individual creditors. Instead, the bank takes your debt total, and through many different types of loans, can, with the appropriate credit, aid in the immediate repayment of all creditors. The bank pays off the debts, and you pay the bank.

A very good reason to do this is when the interest rate on the loan is a fixed rate that is less than the typically higher rate charged by credit card companies and other creditors, especially if you have recently begun to pay your credit card bills later and later and the fees for such activity are beginning to mount.

A possible consideration for debt consolidation is a straight loan. This is equivalent to a home or car loan, but with no collateral. You are simply borrowing a set amount to pay a specific debt. Again, the rate should be noticeably lower than the interest rate being paid to the credit card companies. Not everyone who applies for a straight loan will qualify. There are serious guidelines to protect the bank from someone who may default on a loan that the bank has no way of recouping without your cooperation. Usually this type of loan is reserved for consumers with the highest credit rates.

Home equity loans are also valuable to a consumer interested in debt consolidation. If your home is worth more than the amount of the loan you are paying for it, the difference may be borrowed from the bank and used to pay creditors. These loans are restricted by the amount of equity in the home, and dependent upon good standing in the first mortgage. Often these loans are separate from the first home mortgage, and the rate may or may not be the same for each loan. As long as the interest rate is lower in the equity loan than the credit card rate, a home equity loan can be a good decision.

A total home refinance is also a possibility. If your home has been paid down considerably or increased in value quickly, and if the rates have gone down enough to justify the fees for refinancing, an whole new home mortgage may be established, with the extra debt added in to the value of the loan.

While escaping from a debt ridden situation can seem like a struggle, debt consolidation loans can be invaluable to a consumer who would like to reduce the number of payments that they make and interest that they pay per month. Consolidation loans stream line the payment process, no matter which method you choose.

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Home Mortgages Information

By John Bear

Conventionally, a mortgage loan is used to buy the same property that is also used as collateral. Mortgages are generally taken on real estate properties rather than other movable properties. Home mortgages are loans that are taken to buy a house, which is the security for the loan.

When you get a home mortgage, it will enable you to defer paying for the house that you bought. Usually, it takes two parties in a home mortgage, which are the creditor, which is the one giving the loan, and the debtor, the person taking the mortgage. If you like, you can also include a legal advisor, a mortgage broker, and a financial advisor.

Mortgages can also be repaid in a number of different ways, just like conventional loans. These different ways include paying capital and interest, interest-only, no capital or interest, interest and partial capital, and more. Second mortgages, refinance mortgages, and bad credit mortgage loans are some of the other kinds of mortgages.

Another most important aspect in home mortgages is the mortgage rate, which is the rate of interest that is to be paid that goes with the capital. Based on the rate, home mortgages can also be categorized as either fixed-rate mortgages or adjustable-rate mortgages.

The type of mortgage that the borrower can take actually depends on the requirements and the borrower's situation. Other factors that could also influence the type of mortgage include the price range, how much can be borrowed, and the tax advantages of taking the mortgage.

Origination is the home mortgage process wherein it involves the following stages: submission of an application and documentation about the credit history and income, the underwriter checking the documents and credentials, and granting of the mortgage. For you to secure a home mortgage it is essential for you to have a good credit history. The creditor charges all fees that are included for the mortgage such as the entry and exit fees, administration fees, and lender's mortgage insurance.

One may think that getting a mortgage would have you getting all stressed from having to go one place to another just to compare deals. Well, this is not the case today as most lenders have their own online websites, which means they can provide service to the borrowers at the convenience of their own homes. Borrowers can now discuss mortgage, submit applications, and even compare different options just by sitting in front of the computer screen. There are also home mortgage calculators that would help out borrowers with their payment information and tax advantages.

Most of the sites that offer home mortgages also have financial advisors who can provide advice online, or over the phone. The Internet is a good source for finding a good mortgage dealer. Just make sure though that their credentials are good enough.

It takes some discipline, it is well worth it in the long run

By Rem

Many couples looking to purchase a home consider whether a long run fixed rate mortgage would be best for their monthly installments. Currently, many of us are waiting until later in life to purchase a home but still want to have the house payed off as soon as possible. But, before you commit yourself and sign any papers, there are a number of issues you should consider.

One essential point is to ensure that the rate of interest doesn't change during the life of the mortgage. If you are offered a deal that appears to be too good to be true than it in all likelihood is. Loans arranged for a long term fixed rate mortgage keep the same interest rate throughout the entire life of the mortgage agreement. There are no hidden surprises which is great for many people that want a dependable monthly mortgage payment. When my wife and I were looking at homes for sale we decided to look into the assorted loans available with a fixed rate mortgage. Although it was essential for us to pay off our loan as soon as we could, we didn't need high, unrealistic monthly payments which we would have a problem maintaining.

In addition to considering loans for a long term, fifteen year fixed mortgage rate we also looked into loans that spanned thirty years as well. The problem was that we weren't very happy about having a mortgage still running close to when we both retired and hoped that a fifteen year fixed mortgage rate would still be available to us. We were worried about the stress placed on early completion of the mortgage but had to agree it was what we desired as well.

It became manifest that we had to look at fixed rate mortgages over a extended period and not just fifteen year fixed mortgage rate programs. We didn't really like the idea of having a mortgage as we drew close to the age of retiring so we were really hoping to get one of the loans with a shorter fifteen year fixed rate mortgage. There was obviously very good reasons to finish paying the mortgage off earlier if at all possible.

We felt there was a lot of insistence to have the house paid off as soon as possible and for the most part we agreed with this. Discovering my wife was pregnant was the clincher, although this wasn't the only reason we reached this decision. Because my wife preferred to be at home for our child, her financial income would be unsure and unreliable. Also, loans for a fifteen year fixed mortgage rate required a higher monthly payment. For us it just wasn't practicable as we would just be in over our heads and probably be worrying about money every month.

As such the thirty year fixed mortgage rate brought the monthly installments down quite a bit. During the year, if we have some spare cash, we can make additional payments which helps to lower the sum of money owed. By making just a few of these extra installments each year we learned that year's could be taken off the mortgage term. Although this isn't easy to achieve, in the long run it is well worth it. Under other circumstances, we would have preferred to have taken out a mortgage with a fifteen year fixed mortgage rate but we had to consider our other commitments as well. Despite all our concerns, things turned out well for us ultimately and we don't regret our decision.

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Can You Get a Mortgage Loan with Bad Credit?

By Mark Dawson

It's not easy to get a mortgage with bad credit, but it's not impossible. If you know what your credit score is and it's not that high, you may well ask yourself if you can still qualify for a mortgage.

One of the things that a loan advisor will look at, when considering taking or rejecting a mortgage application, is your credit score. If you know this is going to be a problem, then look at getting this improved as soon as possible. Such as, limit the number of credit cards you have, debt and the number of credit checks done on you and late payments. The better the credit score, the better the interest rate, but even though your credit maybe bad, it does not necessarily mean you will be declined a mortgage.

If there is no way of improving your credit, then you will have to consider other options to get a mortgage, as you probably won't be granted one. This is thanks to the downturn of the economy, which makes it difficult to get a mortgage approved. You could ask someone to cosign the mortgage papers; however this is high risk to the cosigner, as they would be putting their credit on the line for you.

If you have managed to improve your credit over the last six months i.e. paying bills on time and reducing your debt, you could attempt to get a mortgage. Compare banks to check who is offering the best rates and to see who can you offer you the best deal possible. You may not get the best rate, however you can always remortgage in a few years time, if you continue to improve your credit score.

It's likely you will pay a higher interest if you have a poor credit rating and they may insist you get insurance if you don't have enough funds for down payment. This could increase the cost drastically, so make sure you account for all this and know exactly how much you will be paying each month to the bank. You don't want to be in the position of defaulting on the mortgage, which will virtually be impossible to get another mortgage in future.

Due to the current financial climate, it is very unlikely you will be considered for a mortgage if you have defaulted or filed for bankruptcy in past. All you can do is shop around, but you may find that interest costs are set so high, in order for a bank to trust you that it simply may not be worth it.

To get the best deals, make sure you manage your outgoings and keep your credit scoring good!

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Private Money Lenders Can Be a More Flexible Option for You

By Tomasheus Privetsky

Although there are lots of people out there who have the potential to become successful real estate investors, very few attempt to. Most shrug off this avenue to riches because they don't have the money to invest in a property and they feel that it would be too difficult to secure financing in the form of a bank loan or loan from some other hard money lender. Little do they know that there is an easier and better way for a real estate investor to finance his properties - through private money lenders.

What Are Private Money Lenders?

A private money loan is one that is financed through an individual who has spare money to lend and who wants to make a small profit off of that money. This is the most flexible financing option for real estate investors because you get to borrow money from a regular individual, just like you and me, instead of a bank or other lending institution - which can be very impersonal and formal. Banks and lending institutions have rules and regulations that they must follow when deciding who to lend money to, but private money lenders do not.

Why Are Private Money Loans a Better Way to Finance Properties?

Banks and other traditional lending institutions are bound by strict rules and regulations. They have to follow these regulations exactly. However, private money lenders can choose who they want to lend to, regardless of the investors' credit rating, financial statements, and other financial benchmarks.

What are the Benefits of Using a Private Money Lender?

As a real estate investor, you can approach a private money lender and make your case with them individually. You can explain to the private money lender why you are someone they should invest in, and after you've done so, they can make their own decisions. However, there's more to it than that and the benefits go even further. If the private money lender is interested in what you have to offer, you both can sit down and work out financing and repayment arrangements that are of benefit to both of you. You can both state what you want out of the arrangement and agree on a payment schedule and interest rate that satisfies both of you.

In addition, a private money loan is a short-term loan. This means that the private money lender might very well be willing to wait until after the property has been "flipped" to receive any repayment. This gives you chance to fix and sell the property without worrying about whether or not you can make payments on a property that hasn't actually made you any money.

Drawbacks to Traditional Hard Money Loans

While private money loans benefit both borrower and lender, bank loans usually give the benefit to the bank. They get to set the standards on their side, and if you are lucky enough to get a loan through them, they also get to set the interest rate and determine what other fees might be. In general, you're not going to be allowed to make payment arrangements or other special arrangements, but will have to stick to the schedule the bank sets. This means that even if your credit history is perfect, and even if you can receive financing from a traditional lender, using a private money lender may still offer you more advantages.

In Summary: the Benefits of Private Money Loans

The private money lender can lend to whomever he or she wishes to and doesn't have to follow specific rules and restrictions in the same way traditional institutions like banks do. This means that even real estate investors who have less than perfect credit histories may be able to obtain financing needed for their properties.

Private lending can mean much more open communication between the borrower and private money lender. The borrower and lender can negotiate an interest rate or flat fee that will almost always save the borrower money over that of a traditional loan.

Borrower can make custom payment arrangements that will be beneficial to them and the lender. Payments may even be suspended until the property is sold.

No financial application is required. Borrower can appeal directly to the private money lender and convince him to take a chance on the property in question.

Private Lender will see borrower as a real person with a real goal, instead of just a paper application that must pass ridged guidelines.

All of the above benefits mean that private money loans are often the most flexible and beneficial funding options for those who wish to invest in real estate. As a real estate investor, working with a private money lender gives you a number of options to work with and also opens the door to the opportunity of investing in real estate when it might otherwise not be available to you in the event you would have to go through a traditional lender to obtain your financing.

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