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1st And 2nd Mortgage Refinance Loan – Why Refinance Both Mortgages?

The hassle of making two monthly mortgage payments has prompted many homeowners to consider refinancing their 1st and 2nd mortgages into one loan. While combining both loans into one mortgage is convenient, and may save you money, homeowners should carefully weigh the risks and advantages before choosing to refinance their mortgages.

Benefits Associated with Combining 1st and 2nd Mortgages, aside from consolidating your mortgages and making one monthly payment.

The hassle of making two monthly mortgage payments has prompted many homeowners to consider refinancing their 1st and 2nd mortgages into one loan. While combining both loans into one mortgage is convenient, and may save you money, homeowners should carefully weigh the risks and advantages before choosing to refinance their mortgages.

Benefits Associated with Combining 1st and 2nd Mortgages.

Aside from consolidating your mortgages and making one monthly payment, a mortgage consolidation may lower your monthly payments to mortgage lenders. If you acquired your 1st or 2nd mortgage before home loan rates began to decline, you are likely paying an interest rate that is at least two points above current market rates. If so, a refinancing will greatly benefit you. By refinancing both mortgages with a low-interest rate, you may save hundreds on your monthly mortgage payment.

Furthermore, if you accepted a 1st and 2nd mortgage with an adjustable mortgage rate, refinancing both loans at a fixed rate may benefit you in the long run. Even if your current rates are low, these rates are not guaranteed to remain low. As market trends fluctuated, your adjustable-rate mortgages are free to rise. Higher mortgage rates will cause your mortgage payment to climb considerably. Refinancing both mortgages with a fixed rate will ensure that your mortgage remains predictable.

Disadvantages to Refinancing 1st and 2nd Mortgage

Before choosing to refinance your mortgages, it is imperative to consider the drawbacks of combining both mortgages. To begin, refinancing a mortgage involves the same procedures as applying for the initial mortgage. Thus, you are required to pay closing costs and fees. In this case, refinancing is best for those who plan to live in their homes for a long time.

If your credit score has dropped considerably within recent years, lenders may not approve you for a low rate refinancing. By refinancing and consolidating both mortgages, be prepared to pay a higher interest rate. Before accepting an offer, carefully compare the savings.

Moreover, refinancing your two mortgages may result in you paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is required for home loans with less than 20% equity. To avoid paying private mortgage insurance, homeowners may consider refinancing both mortgages separately, as opposed to consolidating both mortgage loans.

How To Avoid Loan Default

Late payments and loan defaults leave marks on a credit history that can complicate any effort to refinance or secure a loan in the future. Default can also lead to a home being repossessed and sold by the lender, so it’s very important to act quickly to avoid it.

While late bill payments and a loan in arrears can impact your credit report and lead to difficulty securing finance in the future, the worst case scenario is repossession of a property.

In the past, lenders may have taken months to start the proceedings that lead to repossession. However, according to the Financial Rights Legal Centre (FRLC), this is not the case anymore.

Lenders work to a timetable to begin court proceedings and this can be very difficult to stop once this process has started,” the FRLC explains in its Mortgage Stress Fact Sheet.

Once a mortgagee has defaulted on a loan by failing to make repayments as agreed, they can be sent a Default Notice, which gives them 30 days to catch up on the repayments that are in arrears, as well as continuing to make any repayments that are due in the 30-day period.

“This notice will include an acceleration clause,” the FRLC explains. “This means that if the arrears are still outstanding after the 30 days has lapsed, the entire loan becomes payable.”

Thirty days after the Default Notice, the lender can take vacant possession of a property that is not occupied, or seek a court order for possession of a property that is occupied.

The key to avoiding this substantial trouble is, of course, to keep making repayments. From time to time, circumstances such as unexpected job loss or illness will impact a mortgagee’s ability to make payments and, when this happens, the key is to act quickly, as there are more options before a Default Notice is served than there are after.

“Don’t be scared,” advises the FRLC. “Lenders make repayment arrangements all the time.”

Many lenders will negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules as long as there is a plan to get back on track, and there are circumstances in which lenders are obligated to agree to such arrangements. It is important, however, not to agree to payment terms that cannot be met.

“Make sure you think through your plan as to when you will resume making payments. Do not promise something you are not certain you can achieve or is not realistic,” warns the FRLC. “If you don’t know when things will improve, ask for an initial arrangement to be reviewed at the end of the agreed repayment arrangement.”

One of the advantages of recognising a looming problem before you get behind in repayments is that a finance broker may be able to assist you to pinpoint the source of the problem, as well as identify savings that may be available by refinancing to a lower-rate or lower-fee loan. Once there are clear signs of financial distress, this will become much more difficult.

If you are struggling to make your mortgage repayments, an MFAA Accredited Finance Broker may be able to help you negotiate with your lender or find a more manageable loan.

 

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How to avoid paying too much for a home

Knowing what a property is worth is central to avoiding paying too much for it.

Set a benchmark

Comparing nearby properties that have sold recently is the best way to assess an acceptable price for the property you are looking at and provides a valuable bargaining tool when you are negotiating with a seller or agent. Make sure the properties are comparable, with a similar land size and number of bedrooms, for example, so you aren’t measuring apples against oranges.

“Your mortgage broker can give you a list of sales in the area and then you can drive around and look online to do a quick comparison. If you can find one or two similar properties then you can be sure of what the property is worth,” advises the finance broker.

Keep in mind current market conditions

The property market is always changing, so doing this research once and sitting on it for a few months will offer little help. Going to open homes and auctions regularly will give you insight into the current state of the market and how much certain properties are going for.

Expand your search

“My number one tip is to look at properties in the suburb next to the one that you want,” says the finance broker. “We find that first-home buyers in particular usually end up buying in the more affordable suburb next door to the one that they first wanted to buy in.”

Don’t exceed your financial capacity

Even if a lender approves you for a particular loan amount, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it – a higher loan amount means higher interest charges over the life of the loan, increasing the total cost of the property purchase, so only ever commit to a loan that you can afford alongside your current income and real expenditure. When calculating figures for the price of a home, ensure you also budget for maintenance and repair costs, as well as any other expertise you may require in the purchasing process.

Bring in the experts

“I would strongly recommend using a buyer’s agent as buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life and most people go in blind,” says the finance broker. “If cost is a concern, then I would suggest maybe using them only for part of the process that you need help with, such as the negotiation or bidding at an auction.”

Having an MFAA accredited finance broker onside is key to avoid overpaying for finance – they will search out the best loan for you and make sure it is one that you can afford.

 

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Credit Card Reward Cards

No matter where you look, there is always a credit card company that is offering reward programs with their credit cards. New ones pop up all the time, making it sound too good to turn down. Even though they may sound great, you may wonder if the rewards are truly worth it. In some cases they are, although in others they may not be quite as good as you would like.

Although having more than one reward card is something many people instantly think about, you should always keep in mind that not all of them are worth having. Even though using your credit card is always good, you can sometimes end up paying quite a bit if you don’t pay attention to what you are buying. When it comes down to credit card reward cards, you should use caution – with a dash of common sense.

Any reward cards that come with high interest rates should always be avoided. With most reward cards, you’ll find that they include higher rates of interest than standard cards. This higher interest rate can quickly and easily offset any type of reward. To be on the safe side, you should always look at the interest rates and determine if the reward is indeed worth it. If you pay off your entire balance at the end of every month – then this won’t be a concern at all for you.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for reward cards that offer a high annual fee. These cards can be very tough to keep a grasp of, and they can also interfere with any type of reward you may think your getting. If you look at the fine print before you get choose your reward credit card, you can help to eliminate problems.

Cash back is a type of reward card that is becoming very popular. A lot of the top credit card companies and banks offer cash back programs that are normally around 1% for every purchase that you make. Before you rush out and get a reward card, you should always make sure that you read the fine print and see if there is a maximum limit on the card.

Another type of popular reward credit card is the type that give you points for every purchase you make using that card. Once you have accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for items and other cool things. Some cards will have limits as to how many points you can receive, which again makes it your best interest to shop around.

There are also credit cards with frequent flyer miles, which have been around the longest. Some cards will base their rewards on points, while some choose to use actual miles. For every dollar you spend using your frequent flyer credit card, you’ll receive either a point or a mile. Once you get enough accumulated, you can redeem them. Most frequent flyer rewards take about 25,000 points or miles in order to redeem them, which can make it nearly impossible for some to reap the benefits of using the card.

No matter where you look, finding the right credit card reward card can take some time and effort. You may have no problems finding the card to fit your needs, and if you do, you should consider yourself lucky. Before you choose your card however – you should always take the necessary time to read the fine print and compare what each unique company has to offer you.

 

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Basic Financial Information Tips (Part 1)

Savings. Pay yourself first. Start now stashing 10% of your income in an “Emergency” savings. Don’t use it for anything but real emergencies. Keep a “For Sure” savings account for yearly expenses you know are coming and you can estimate (e.g. Christmas, insurance, taxes, etc.). Also have a “Buy Stuff” account. If you do, you’ll be able to avoid many financial disasters which will face you, and you can avoid borrowing money from high-rate lenders.

Borrowing. Don’t borrow money unless you are willing and able to pay it back. Failure to pay debts – on time – causes severe financial, emotional, and family problems. Experts recommend you don’t borrow for wants, only for needs, or for things that increase in value. Many lenders will loan you money you can’t afford to pay back, especially high-rate lenders.

Co-signing. Don’t co-sign on a loan unless you are willing and able to pay it back. Often, co-signers end up paying off loans they are unprepared for, and financial hardships follow. Numerous co-signors now have negative credit ratings because a primary borrower paid late. Many lenders do not notify the co-signor before reporting delinquencies or repossessions to the credit bureau.

Compare. Before you decide who to borrow from, compare! Find out who is offering the best deal at that time – look for the loan with the lowest rate (APR).

APR. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR). It is the standard rate, so we may compare the cost of borrowing. It is the cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. When you borrow, always beat 13% APR (consider “13” to be unlucky when it comes to borrowing). Some have been illegally stating other rates such as weekly or monthly rates. Compare APR to APR. If you pay your bills on time, and you aren’t over-extended, you can nearly always find loans or financing arrangements at rates lower than 13%. Beware though, because beating 13% does not always mean you are getting a good deal. For instance: the difference in total interest paid on an 11% versus an 8% 30-year, $100,000 mortgage loan is $64,283 (assuming all payments are made as agreed).

Consolidation Loans. A consolidation loan can result in great savings to borrowers if the new interest rate is significantly lower, and if you don’t run-up debt similar to what was just consolidated. But beware, because consolidation loans usually result in substantially more money out of your pocket into the lenders’. For instance, mortgage loans usually involve closing costs. They increase the total debt. Many refinances involve reducing the monthly payment, but increasing the length of payback, which substantially increases the total interest paid. Borrowers, who refinance unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards) into a home mortgage, also increase their risk of losing their homes. Also, remember to keep all of your payments current until the old debt is paid off. Too many people have damaged credit ratings, and are in bad financial condition because they counted on money which didn’t come when they expected it. Expect delays when applying for loans, especially consolidation loans. Don’t spend money before you get it.

Desperation. Don’t get desperate for money. The more desperate you are, the less likely you are to get a good loan.

Auto insurance. Keep your auto insurance current. If you fail to keep your insurance up-to-date, you could end up making loan payments for years after your car has been totalled.

Establish good credit. To avoid bad credit, don’t borrow too much, and do pay your bills on time. Inexpensive ways to establish good credit: (1) Obtain a good credit card. When you charge things, pay off the balance each month – on time – and pay no interest. (2) Establish a revolving line of credit (an empty loan) as an overdraft protection against bounced checks, and don’t use it as a loan. (3) Get a loan to buy a car, or furniture, or etc.) and pay it off within a few months.

Late fees. To avoid late fees (which multiply the cost of borrowing), pay early, or at least on time.

Repossessions. To avoid repossessions and associated fees, pay early or on time, and keep your insurance current.

Extra principal ® less interest. To pay less interest on loans, pay more than the minimum required payment. Even small amounts of extra principal, can significantly reduce the total amount of interest you would otherwise pay over the life of the loan. Before doing this, however, make sure your lender accepts extra principal payments, and find out what particular procedure you need to follow to ensure your extra principal is properly applied.

Bi-weekly payments. If you get paid weekly, or every other week, paying bi-weekly is a very convenient (almost painless) way to reduce your loan term and interest. For instance, if you make ½ of your required monthly payment every 14 days (a bi-weekly period), you pay the equivalent of 13.052 payments in an average year. If you don’t get paid bi-weekly, or if your lender doesn’t like biweekly payments, you can pay the equivalent amount in monthly instalments. If you pay 1/12 of the sum of 13.05 payments each month, you will match the bi-weekly advantage (minor rounding differences).

Contrary to popular belief, the frequency of paying ½ payments bi-weekly doesn’t accomplish much, the real advantage is paying the extra principal (13.05 payments, or more, each year) which reduces the term and the interest paid. If you are considering signing up for a bi-weekly program, pay close attention to the cost. Some servicers have large set-up fees and transaction fees. Also consider the credibility of any company handling your money, some have diverted payments into their own pockets, leaving borrowers to make payments twice.

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Credit Crunch Looms Over Interest Only Borrowers

While many Australians are looking forward to this new year to start afresh, there are those who dread what is to come, particularly the interest-only borrowers who are scheduled to switch to principal-and-interest repayments.

The interest-only periods of around $300bn worth of mortgages are expected to end this year, and many borrowers are left with no choice but to transfer to another lender or sell their homes amid the housing downturn. This translates to roughly 900,000 loans, or one in six mortgages, based on Australia’s $1.7bn mort According to a report in The Australian Financial Review (AFR), a borrower owing an average interest-only loan of $316,000 will need to pay an additional $400 monthly in order to meet the higher repayments. Borrowers with around $1m worth of home loans will have to pay about $880 more.

Many borrowers are faced with tight lending rules imposed by most banks. Some of those who find themselves stuck often turn to shadow banks or non-authorised deposit-taking institutions. Digital Finance Analytics principal Martin North said banks will be trying to refinance as many loans as they can, but the alternative for many buyers facing a dilemma is to seek help from these non-banks.

“It is fair to conclude that non-banks are lending like fury compared with the ADIs. But this is a big thing for the python to swallow. This is a symptom of easy non-bank funding, different capital requirements and a greater willingness to lend,” he told AFR.

However, this could potentially spur more risks ahead as borrowers who are rejected by banks often have to pay larger interest rates when they apply to non-banks.gage loan book.

 

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“The Best Comes With The Lowest” With Cheap Secured Loans

Cheap secured loans are offered against any collateral. It could be real estate, automobiles or some other valuable assets. Generally, with cheap secured loans, the ranges of borrowed amount are from $3,000 to $75,000. But, in case of greater amount, lenders will check the worth of your collateral. If your collateral has higher value then, lenders will not only be willing to offer higher amount but also a lower interest rate. Even cheap secured loans are available for a comfortable duration of up to 25 years and you can pay off the instalments either monthly or quarterly.

Cheap secured loans however are offered at better terms and conditions that suit the borrower’s requirement. The interest rate of cheap secured loans varies from individual to individual. For a regular income earner, a lower monthly loan will help in saving a big sum of money. On the other hand, for a person whose monthly income is not stable, a loan with flexible monthly payments such as over payments, underpayments or payment holiday will be highly suitable.

Nevertheless, cheap secured loans are obtainable against your valuable collateral. And for that, in case you fail to repay that can put your collateral in danger. So, before applying, you will have to calculate the amount you want to borrow as a loan. Needless to say, should borrow the exact amount, as borrowing a larger amount may become a huge financial burden in future.

Now the question is how can you get a cheap secured loan. It is a bit tough as many lenders offer cheap secured loans to lure people. But in reality, these loans are not at all cheap. Don’t worry. With some effort, you will be able to get a cheap secured loan. First of all, list your requirement- decide the amount you want to borrow, how long would you like the repayment period to be, what amount of monthly instalment are you comfortable with.

Next step is choosing lenders. Besides traditional lenders, you can opt for online cheap secured loans. Even, finding an online cheap secured loan is easier- Just a click brings all data within a minute. And last but not the list, comparative judgement of various quotes will help you to get the best deal.

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Watch Out For These 4 Housing Market Scenarios This Year

They say the New Year brings an opportunity for things to improve, but market watchers are not getting their hopes up for Australia’s housing market as conditions remain dire.

In a market forecast, CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said there are four scenarios that are likely to play out over the course of 2019, with the general downturn still continuing throughout the year.

The housing downturn in Sydney and Melbourne will continue to be the main culprit of the housing downturn. On the other hand, while other capital cities are expected to lose some momentum, they are likely to witness positive growth in nominal terms. “There will be a few exceptions: with the improving trend in Darwin, it looks likely the top end market will continue what is likely to be a long and gradual recovery in 2019, while the Perth market could also move back into positive growth territory through the year,” Lawless said.

On the home loan front, tight credit conditions are expected to persist, limiting housing market activity to below-average levels. The unfavourable lending environment will also discourage potential homebuyers from breaking into the market. The strict lending conditions will also have a negative spillover into consumer sentiment, which is already projected to weaken as Australia approaches a federal election.

The third likely scenario is the continued downturn in the new unit market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. This is due to weaker conditions across the two markets brought about by slowing migration rates from both overseas and interstate, fewer domestic and overseas investors, low valuations for off-the-plan unit settlements and overall tougher lending conditions.

Despite these discouraging market projections, one part of the market is likely to buck the trend. Lawless said lifestyle markets along the coastline and hinterland locations adjacent to the major capitals will remain a bright spot in the market as they continue to see strong demand from a variety of market segments.

While growth conditions will not be as stellar as last year, values are expected to trend higher throughout 2019.

How To Improve Credit Score

How to Improve Your Credit Score

 

It may take some bit of work until you get the idea of how to improve your credit score. A credit score may be one of the most important aspects of your financial situation that would need your constant monitoring, especially if you always have the need to borrow money from lenders. Having a low credit score will ensure you of having trouble getting your credit application approved as you would have wanted.

 

Your credit score tells lenders of how dependable you are as a borrower. From your credit score, lenders and credit institutions may be able to gauge your standing as a borrower. That is because the credit score is a mathematical measure of a person’s borrowing habits and behavior based on some important credit factors.

 

When you have a low credit score, it tells the lender straight away that you are not a very prospect as a borrower. This may be based on your previous credit accounts from which you may have defaulted on, late payments of debts, bankruptcy or foreclosure issues that you may have in the past and other similar factors. The higher your credit score, the more attractive you are as a borrower in the eyes of the lenders. This might mean that your credit application from them might just be easier to approve.

 

There are many ways that you may be able to improve on your credit score. This will include having a closer look at your current credit standing. If you do have outstanding credit to take care of, it would be good to pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments of your outstanding credit have a major negative impact on your credit score. It is also important to note that the longer that you try to pay your bills on time, the better it will be for your credit score.

 

If you do find yourself missing on some payments, it may be wise to get current as quickly as possible on your payments if you so can. Staying current with your outstanding credit accounts may also have an effect on your credit score. What’s more, your credit record, along with the missed or delinquent payments, may reflect on your credit report and will stay there for a period of seven years. It will be looked upon as a smudge on your report even after you have paid off your debt.

 

If you find yourself having a hard time managing your outstanding credit, it may be time that you contact your creditors or ask for the help of a qualified credit counselor. These actions may not immediately improve your own credit score. But the sooner you act in managing your debts well and paying your bills on time. It will eventually make your credit score better over time.

 

Once you learn how to improve your credit score, the better your chances will be on availing of a much needed loan or mortgage when you really need it. It would be frustrating for one to apply for some much needed credit and not get approved in the end, all because of a low credit score.

 

Improving your credit score can also assure you that you have better credit options especially during times that you might need it most.