A blog dedicated to doing more with less

Finding Debt Help

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Finding debt help can be difficult, especially when you feel as though you are in over your head in credit card debt. Fortunately, there are ways to get your debt situation under control. For example, many creditors will be willing to work with you to set up payment plans or even reduce your debt, depending on your given situation. Generally, the first step is to recognize that you have a problem and to make a concrete plan of action for resolving it. You can make a plan and negotiate with creditors on your own, or youc can ask for assistance from a not-for-profit debt counseling agency to help you along the way. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Save Money on Your Mortgage

In tough economic times, one of the first things that most people are concerned with is protecting their home. Owning a home is an American dream and in most cases is makes up the bulk of a person’s net worth and wealth. Unfortunately, owning a home can be very expensive and when you have large mortgage payments due, it can become difficult if you lose your job or suffer from other economic uncertainty.

Fortunately, for those who are struggling to pay their mortgages, or for those who just want a lower rate in order to save forex trading affiliate program money and relieve pressure associated with monthly bills, there are options available. In 2008 and 2009, interest rates are at record lows. These low rates are designed to encourage home buying and to stimulate the economy in the troubled economic climate. Buyers who have a home loan or home mortgage may be able to take advantage of these record loan interests rates by refinancing their existing mortgage.

Refinancing your mortgage is a simple process in which you apply for a new loan from a lender. The new loan is used to repay your old mortgage loan, which was usually at a higher interest rate, and you now will have the balance only on the new loan instead. It is possible to refinance your mortgage at a lower rate with your existing lender, and it is also possible to shop around for a new lender who may be willing to refinance your loan. Be aware, though, that if you go to a new lender, you may have to get your home appraised again to determine the current value (although you may also have to do this with your existing lender if there is reason to suspect the home fintech affiliate programs value has changed since you took your original loan).

If you really want to save money by refinancing your mortgage, it is advisable to shop around for lenders and look at the different options available to you. FHA refinancing, or refinancing offered through the Federal Housing Administration, may provide many benefits that other lenders don’t. FHA loans may have a lower interest rate or offer other incentives.

FHA loans can also be used for new home builds, in addition to FHA refinancing loans. Both of these options can be attractive to buyers, or to people who already own their homes, as methods to save money on a home mortgage.

To calculate whether refinancing is worth it, determine how much you are currently paying in interest and then determine how much you will pay under the new loan. Subtract closing costs and figure out whether you plan to stay in the home long enough to make the interesting savings worth the closing costs you are going to pay. If so, home refinancing may be a great way for you to save money on your mortgage.

What to Do When You’re Over Your Head in Debt

When you are in over your head in debt, it can be pretty hard to decide what exactly to do to get out. Calls from creditors may be coming in, and you may feel like you really don’t have a lot of options. The documentary Maxed Out touched upon this issue, telling some tragic stories of three different people who were driven to suicide by debt collectors and by the burden of hiding the truth about their debt from friends and family.  These stories were tragic, and it is a testament to one of the great problems with America that people would be driven to those lengths over debt. While it may seem impossible, there are options for those who are struggling. Here are a few suggestions. Read the rest of this entry »

Dow Breaks 10,000

The Dow broke 10,000 today. This seemed unimaginable just a few short months ago. Is it possible that the economy is really turning around or is this just a temporary bubble/bump before the next wave of foreclosures and trouble?

Expanding Population and Rising Housing Prices?

While the stock market seems to be sort of having a bumpy trip back upwards, only to be brought back down briefly by reports of unemployment, the real estate market does not seem to be in any hurry to climb back to the height of the bubble. In fact, houses still seem to be sitting on the market, and there was a 60 minutes episode not too long ago that warned of a possible second tide of foreclosures in residential real estate, to say nothing of the potential for foreclosures in the commercial real estate sector. Read the rest of this entry »

The Opportunity Cost of Student Loan Debt

I mentioned in an early post that I am actually starting to make some progress on my student loan debt and got the smaller debt paid off. $26,000 down, quite a bit left to go! It is especially discouraging because as I spend money to pay off this debt, there are other opportunities that I cannot pursue because I have my money tied up in repaying the loans. This is why so many financial advocates will argue not paying down student loan debt aggressively: the return on your investment is relatively low and the money could potentially be making you more elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Bankruptcy As an Option

In the U.S., the bankruptcy laws recently changed in order to make it more difficult to declare bankruptcy. While before bankruptcy wiped the slate clean, now people with certain income and other characteristics are required to enter into a payment plan of some sort as part of a bankruptcy settlement. Instead of starting with a clean slate, this means people in the U.S. now have to pay back a portion of their debt(s). Furthermore, certain debt like student loan debt and IRS debt is not, and never has been, dischargeable in bankrupcty in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Saving for Retirement When Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Lately, I have been reading some financial books, including Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach (who also wrote The Automatic Millionaire) and the Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books. Some of the points made in the books deal with the fact that many people don’t save or invest for retirement. David Bach especially stresses retirement savings, and the difficulty that comes with saving for retirement when living paycheck to paycheck. Of course, it seems like both common sense and a huge problem: if you simply don’t have money left at the end of the month, how can you possible save any for the future. When it comes to putting groceries on the table or funding an IRA or 401K, it definitely seems like there is no question as to which should take precedence. Read the rest of this entry »

Sidebar Update!

I am updating the side bars- I am very happy to say, I paid off one of my loans in full! Over the past 3 months, I have managed to more than triple my income by finding freelance working, and I made about $10,000. This allowed me to pay off the remaining balance! I am finally starting to make some progress with my debt. And, I did it without taking a job that I wasn’t interested in, and managed to find work I like. Knock on wood, I have to say, I’m very happy right now!

Housing Market Turnaround?

Over the past year, more houses have been for sale in my neighborhood than I have ever seen. I’m sure that it is just because they are sitting on the market longer, not necessarily that more people than usual are moving, although I suppose that with the economy the way it is, maybe both of these reasons are factors and more people are in fact moving. However, in the past three weeks, three different houses that were for sale have been sold. One of the houses, which is right down the street from me, was on the market for over a year. I’m waiting until the information comes up online to find out exactly how much they received for it, but as long as it was a somewhat reasonable offer, I think it is a good sign. Read the rest of this entry »