Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application Approved

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application ApprovedRight now, mortgage rates have fallen to rates that haven’t been seen in years. This opens the door for many people to apply for a mortgage that they previously may not have been able to afford. Sadly, not everyone who applies for a mortgage is going to be approved. There are a few steps that applicants can take to increase their chances of getting their mortgage application approved.

Increase The Credit Score

Applicants need to make sure that their credit scores are as high as possible when they apply for a mortgage. The greater the credit score is, the more trustworthy they look to lenders. In general, applicants are going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a home loan; however, those who want to get the best interest rates possible need to make sure their credit score is as high as possible. Try to ask for a free copy of the credit report from one of the major credit bureaus and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. Then, pay down as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Add More To Savings

Those who want to qualify for the best interest rates will need to be willing to put more money down. The only way to make this happen is to increase the amount of money in the savings account. Lenders are more willing to provide people with a home loan if they know the potential homeowner is supplying some of the capital as well. Delaying the home search by a month or two to collect more money in a savings account can dramatically improve someone’s chances of getting approved.

Increase Employment History

The longer someone has been employed, the better the chances of the application being approved. Lenders want to make sure that the potential homeowner is going to be able to pay back the loan. The longer the applicant has been employed, the greater the chances that he or she is going to remain in that position. A longer employment history could help someone qualify for lower interest rates.

Get A Mortgage Application Approved

These are a few steps applicants can take to improve the strength of their application. That way, they can get the home of their dreams.

A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down Payment

A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down PaymentFor those who are looking to buy a home, they know that this is one of the most exciting experiences in the world. There is something special that comes with looking at a bunch of homes and envisioning a life there. On the other hand, the prospect of saving 20 percent of the home’s value to put down might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few creative ways that people can save up enough money to purchase their starter dream home.

Talk To The Seller

One of the first tips that people need to keep in mind involves talking to the seller. There are a bunch of items that need to be negotiated between the buyer and the seller. One of the most important is the closing costs. Ask the real estate agent to speak with the seller. Even if the seller is able to take half of the closing costs, this could amount to a few thousand extra dollars that could be put toward the down payment.

Crowdsource The Down Payment

Another creative option involves asking the crowd to help with the down payment. It is not unusual to see people try to go the crowdfunding route for everything from medical bills to student loans. Why not give it a shot with a down payment as well? First, anyone who has a wedding coming up should add “money for a down payment” to their wish list, as this is becoming more common. Second, think about exploring platforms like Feather the Nest to try to raise money for a down payment.

Check With The Employer

Finally, it is also critical to look at your Employer Assisted Housing Program(EAH). While not everyone is going to qualify, those who work for an employer who falls under this category might qualify for a substantial loan for the down payment and closing costs. The best part is that this loan comes without interest. 

Save For A Down Payment

These are a few of the top ways to save money for a down payment. Using these tips, everyone can get over that last hurdle and buy their home.

Building An Emergency Fund During An Emergency

Building An Emergency Fund During An EmergencyBy now, it should be apparent that this COVID-19 (Corona-virus) pandemic is going to be here for several months. It is already causing the market to plummet and is disrupting jobs all over the country. Many people who work as hourly employees (or are independent contractors) are starting to suffer. As people’s budgets start to feel the squeeze, this is exactly the time that people should be relying on an emergency fund; however, for those who don’t have one, it is time to start saving.

How To Create An Emergency Fund

Even though cash assistance from the government might be coming soon, this is not going to be enough to get people through the crisis. To start building an emergency fund, it is important to take a look at the regular income first. Try to figure out how many shifts are going to cut and estimate what money is left (unless you are a salaried employee).

After this, take a look at other possible sources of credit. Know the limits on the card and figure out to what extent these cards can be drawn out. If there is an income tax refund coming, plan for this; however, remember that the government might be behind.

Finally, try to cut spending where possible. Remember that vacations should be postponed, given travel restrictions. Most restaurants are going to close, so try to shop at the grocery store instead. Finally, consider asking the bank to put a stop on mortgage payments. These are all great ways to save immediate money.

Save What Is Left

Finally, after figuring out all of the expenses, subtract this from the expected monthly income over the next few months. Whatever is left should be socked away into an emergency fund. It is critical to have this fund put away in case a repair is needed on the house or if someone gets laid off. 

Other Ideas To Consider

Finally, while this is not advisable, people might be able to cut retirement contributions to help with the emergency fund. It is better to save for the future when possible, but this can help people save money in a pinch, if needed. Take these tips to heart over the next few months and build an emergency fund.

5 Power Saving Ideas That Can Lower Your Energy Bill

Energy Saving IdeasHow to Save Money on Energy Costs in Your Home

Many communities in US are seeing their energy costs increase; sometimes dramatically.

Whether you are energy conscious or just trying to save money, there are many steps you can take to lower your home bills while helping the environment at the same time.

Below are several energy-saving measures to help you save money either in your current house or future residence. 

Heating and cooling

Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature uses more energy than anything else.

To save energy, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the inside temperature when you are not there for long periods of time.

Seal windows and doors to prevent air leaks, and close doors and air vents to rooms that are not often used.

Changing filters in your heating system monthly can also help it run more efficiently, with the added bonus of increasing the air quality in your home.

Water heaters

Heating water is usually the second highest energy expense. To cut costs, set the hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Wrap older hot water heaters with an insulation jacket and insulate the piping leaving the water heater to prevent heat loss.

Appliances

Invest in appliances with the ENERGY STAR® rating. These appliances use less energy to run and will save money.

Cleaning the coils on the back of your refrigerator will help it run more efficiently.

Washing full loads of clothes on cooler settings and keeping your dryer vent clean will also save on energy costs.

Lighting

Besides turning lights out when leaving a room, use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs use less energy and can last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Insulation

Improperly insulated houses mean high energy costs. If the attic is easily accessible, check and replace insufficient insulation to keep your living space at a more comfortable temperature.

By making energy-efficient choices you can save electricity without giving up the comforts of home.  Plus, with a little extra effort these simple tips might add more money to your month as well!

The Importance of Paying Yourself First

Blue Piggy BankIf you are like most other average Americans you will have a list of bills that you have to pay every month, such as rent, cable, internet, cell phone, water, electricity and much more.

If you were to list each of these monthly expenses in order of importance, which would be number one?

The answer is none, because there is one payment you need to make which is even more important than all of these and that is to yourself.

The bill of “You” should be the first payment you make before you make any of your other payments. You can pay this bill by contributing a certain amount of your paycheck into your savings account.

Why is this so important?

It is extremely important because saving your money for the future should not be optional. If you are not consistently saving at least 10% of your income, you are actually living beyond your means.

If you do not pay yourself into your savings account, you will never be able to fund large purchases in life and will have to subject yourself to debt in order to buy what you need.

If an emergency such as losing your job or injuring yourself, you will have no emergency fund to take care of you and you will again be forced into debt.

When you are old enough to retire, you will have amassed no retirement nest egg to support yourself, unless you have been paying yourself first.

Check out a short video on the power of savings here 

Make it Foolproof and Automatic

Call your financial planner right now and ask them if they can set up an automatic direct deposit from your bank account to your savings or investment account.

Schedule it every month for the day that your paycheck comes in. If you earn $400 take home pay per week for example, 10% of this is $40, so you should set up the deposit to put $40 into your savings account every week.

Pretend that it is just another bill for a service that you have signed up for. After a while, you will adjust your spending habits and get used to not having it. Meanwhile, the money will be building up in your savings account and compounding interest.

Paying yourself first with a manageable percentage of your income is one of the easiest ways to grow your savings and prepare for the future. 

It Is Easier to Spend Less Than Make More

No matter how much or how little you’re paid, you’ll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn.

This little piece of wisdom is incredibly common sense when you think about it, yet with so many Blue Pig BankAmericans in debt it’s clear that not everyone follows it in practice.

Living within your means is one of the best ways that you can save your money and set yourself up for financial freedom and prosperity.

Living within your means is very simple, it means that you are spending less money than you are making.

This allows you to put the extra money into a savings account so that you can have a back-up fund for emergencies, save for large purchases, or fund your dreams and passions such as travel or a hobby.

If you are spending more money than you are making, there are two solutions to this problem:

  1. Spend Less.
  2. Make More.

Depending on your situation, most people will find that making more money is the harder of the two options. Usually to make more money you will either have to get a raise at your current job, find a higher paying one, or take on a second job.

This requires a lot of extra work and it is not always possible. Also, making more money can be inefficient, because whatever extra you make will still be subjected to taxes and is worth a lot less when it finally ends up in your bank account.

By far, the easier option is to spend less. If you’re like most people, you already spend a lot of money on things that you just don’t need.

The thing about cutting down your expenses is that although you might notice the difference at first, you will soon get used to life without those added luxurious and not even notice that they are gone.

Meanwhile, your savings will continue to slowly build until you are in a wonderful position of financial security and freedom.

 

Creating a Holiday Savings Fund

Do you find that every January, you stare at your credit card bill and your bank balance in horror, shocked at how much money you spent in credit card billsDecember on presents, holiday treats, decorations, special outings and more?

The holidays can be a very expensive time of year, and many people tend to get carried away and sentence themselves to a January of barely scraping by.

However, if you plan ahead for next Christmas, you will be able to buy all of the presents you need without even batting an eye or seeing your bank balance dip even once.

How can you do this?

Create a Holiday Savings Fund

It’s quite simple. All you need to do is to open a new bank account the week after Christmas and set up an automatic transfer to pay a small amount from your paycheck into the account every week. The amount can be as small as $10 per week.

Now, $10 per week will seem like nothing to you and you won’t even miss it. After all, it’s less than $1.50 per day. It’s the equivalent of two cups of coffee and a muffin at Starbucks every week.

If you can buy things on sale when you go grocery shopping, you can easily shave $10 per week off your shopping budget without even noticing the difference. You will get so used to having $10 less to spend each week that you will forget it was even there in the first place.

It All Adds Up

However, if you stick to the plan and save $10 per week by next December you will have a fantastic surprise. You will look into your bank account and find $520 that you have saved up effortlessly over the last 52 weeks.

$520 is a big chunk of cash, and it will probably be enough to cover all of the Christmas presents for your family! The best thing is that you can splurge on your holiday treats without having to go into debt.

A Holiday Savings Fund is an easy strategy to save up for the holidays, and you will always have enough to make the season special!