Loans

Car Financing – a Few Basic Tips to Follow

car loan

For people who need a new car loan, there can sometimes appear to be a few options that make sense for their lifestyle.

The problem is that the future is uncertain, especially when it comes to the economy and to personal finances. Even if you are doing well now, you don’t know if you will be doing as well one year or less down the road. Many people are losing jobs.

Others are finding that their careers are stilted because the companies are afraid to make leaps forward. This is not the kind of financial landscape in which you want to start committing to long term payment plans.

Sometimes, however, you simply don’t have a choice. This is true when it comes to buying a car. Your only option is to get a car loan that you will not regret in the future.

If you are new to this issue, then you might want to know what exactly to avoid and how to make a good practical decision.

Everybody’s situation is different, so there is, unfortunately, no perfect set of rules. There are, however, a number of general rules of thumb that you might find helpful.

To begin with, instead of thinking about the car of your dreams, think about the best car financing that you can afford. You can do this by looking at some of the many helpful consumer magazines that rate automobiles based on a number of factors, such as quality and price. This will help you keep your budget on the ground.

The next thing you will want to consider when you are looking for a car loan is how much you can realistically pay per month.

The biggest mistake that people make when they are buying a car for the first time is that they make these big decisions without looking at their finances from a realistic perspective.

Instead of looking at how much they make per month and what their expenses are, they look at what other people are paying. This is a recipe for disaster. You need to look at the money you make and the money you spend.

If you find that the money you have set aside for a car loan is less than you had hoped, there is no reason to worry.

You do have more options than you might be aware of. Instead of going to the banks, where you are going to be stuck with unreliable and unstable interest rates and too high monthly payments, you need to look on the internet.

An online lender in many cases is able to provide you with better terms than a conventional lender.

You can find the most reasonable payment plans and even have your application approved right away.

Knee Replacement: Prepare for Personal Finances After Surgery

knee surgery

Invasive surgery, requiring hospitalization, can lead to a variety of personal issues that must be addressed to ensure finances and family needs are met.

If you are preparing for double knee replacement surgery, it is important to consider these aspects of your personal family finances prior to undergoing surgery.

For most patients who undergo a major surgical event, the focus of finances is often related to the health insurance coverage of the surgical procedure. But, in addition, it is important to also address insurance coverage of post-operative rehabilitation and home nursing services when undergoing a double knee replacement surgery.

Unlike a minor procedure, such as acne laser scar skin treatment, a double knee replacement surgery is a major event and often leads to weeks of rehabilitation, therapy, immobility, and many months of medication usage.

For this reason, be sure that you are prepared, financially, for the impact the medical services and prescription drugs will have on your personal family finances. Deductibles, co-insurance, and stop-gap coverage all need to be addressed.

In addition to insurance coverage for the medical procedure, you will also need to inquire about any disability coverage – both long term disability as well as short term disability. If your employer offers disability coverage, prior to your surgery be sure you know what the payment benefits will be and how you can efficiently acquire those benefits.

Contacting your mortgage company, your utility companies, and credit card companies often will benefit you as many of these companies will offer deferment of payments for 30-180 days. If you are concerned that your income will be significantly reduced, being proactive and contacting these companies prior to your double knee replacement surgery will help you in mitigating cancellation or risks for collections. With early notice, many companies have a method to provide assistance to their clients. When times are tough, you can opt for personal loans and get $100 – $15,000. To apply for a personal loan in Nebraska near you, for example, you can use online companies like this one. They offer a fast and reliable service, and support is great too.

Major surgery is frightening from many aspects and a double knee replacement surgery can be one of the most anxiety-inducing. Because the surgery leaves a patient immobile, there are significant events that can occur after surgery has taken place. If you are about to undergo this surgery, be sure to take these necessary personal financial steps to ensure you are, at least, well prepared from a financial standpoint. In doing so, you can alleviate many of the anxieties that develop after knee surgery has taken place.

How to Get the Best Interest Rates on a Mortgage

mortgage rate

If you’re one of the relatively few Americans that’s in the market to buy a house right now instead of put one on the market, you’ll find yourself happening upon some fairly enticing mortgage rates.

Rates continue to hover at the low end of their historical range and savvy borrowers can still lock in a terrific long-term rate if they go in prepared and know how to get one.

Knowing exactly what information you should have going into the process and the leverage you hold as a borrower will help you potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

With that having been said, here’s your checklist for finding the best mortgage rate available.

What You Should Have In Hand Before You Talk To A Lender

Know your credit score

A borrower’s credit score is more important than ever in determining the rate he or she can get. If you have a FICO score of 740 or better, you’re probably in line to receive the lender’s best pricing. Below that, you’re looking at a higher rate than what is typically published online or in the newspaper.

If you don’t know your exact score, check out Bankrate’s FICO score estimator (www.bankrate.com/brm/fico/calc.asp) to get an estimated range. This will be the first step in concluding whether or not you may have trouble getting a loan at all.

Know how much you want to borrow

This is important for two reasons.

First, if you’re putting down less than 20%, you’re going to be hit with PMI and possibly an increase in fees or the rate. Lenders want to be sure they’re going to get their money back. The more you borrow, the more uncertainty the lender may have.

Second, if the amount you’re planning on borrowing requires you to take a jumbo mortgage instead of a conventional mortgage, expect a higher rate. Lenders want to be compensated for the additional risk they’re taking in having to deal with moving a higher-priced property should the mortgage default. The current limit on a conventional mortgage is $417,000 (the limit is higher in areas outside the contiguous United States and temporarily higher everywhere thanks to the economic stimulus package).

Know how long you’ll be at your house

In most cases, it’ll be advantageous to lock in a fixed-rate loan at today’s low rates. However, if you know you’ll only be in the house for a short time, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be the better play.

ARMs typically carry a rate slightly lower than fixed-rate mortgages. If you plan on selling the house before the ARM starts adjusting, you can come out ahead. But be careful with ARMs. Once the fixed-rate period is over, your monthly payment can adjust higher and leave you paying hundreds of dollars more per month.

Know what mortgage rates are at other financial institutions

If you have an idea of what others are offering, you’ll know whether or not your lender is presenting you with a reasonable rate. Go to Bankrate’s website (www.bankrate.com) to get a list of mortgage rates in your area.

This is also a particularly helpful site if you’re searching for a lender. And that brings us to…

Where You Should Go To Get Your Mortgage

Your bank

The best place to start is oftentimes your local branch. A bank will likely be able to offer you the most complete spectrum of products and checking with at least three in your community allows you to comparison shop for the best rate.

This may be an especially attractive option if you have a current relationship with the bank. Many banks are willing to “package price” a mortgage if you have a checking or investment relationship with them already.

Mortgage brokers

If you really don’t feel like investing the time in shopping around for a good rate, consider using a mortgage broker. They will take your information and shop it around to several lenders in order to get you the best deal.

Be sure though to compare the rates the broker offers you from a financial institution with the rates from the institution directly. Brokers earn a commission through referring you to a lender and that lender may increase the closing costs or rate quoted to you to make up for it.

Credit Unions

Many people don’t automatically think of credit unions when it comes to getting a mortgage but if you have access to one you might find some of the best rates are available.

Credit unions can offer the benefit of better rates and potentially lower closing costs for their members but, as always, compare rates and fees across all options before making a final decision.

Check out an online credit union locator (such as www.creditunion.coop/cu_locator/index.html) to find a credit union near you.

What You Should Do Once You’re With The Lender

Bargain

People too often forget that the rate the lender presents to you is not necessarily their final offer. Borrowers have the right to haggle over their mortgage rate as much as they do the price of a house or a car.

If you present recent rates from a competitor, the lender may be able to match. If you are willing to pay points on the loan, the lender may be willing to knock down the rate a quarter-point or more. Everything is fluid until the final paperwork is signed.

Finding the right mortgage and securing the best terms, costs, and rates are every bit as important as the price you pay for the house itself. Interest costs over the life of a mortgage can easily run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars so a little time invested in finding a lower rate can save you a lot of money in the long haul.

Knowledge is power when it comes to shopping for a mortgage. The time you spend now will pay dividends later so you can spend many years enjoying your home instead of worrying about how to pay for it.