Monday, March 26, 2012

Tips for Getting the Cheapest Mortgage

Buying a new house is filled with difficult decisions that will affect you for years to come, and choosing the right mortgage for you is one of them. While there are many things to consider when choosing a mortgage, usually the price is one of the most important factors that will influence your decision. Banks offer different interest rates and terms depending on your credit history and the deposit you are putting forward, so it's worth thinking about this even before you start looking for a suitable property.

The first thing you need to do when you go mortgage hunting is to take a good look at your credit history. If you don't know anything about your credit rating or credit history you should get a report from one of the national credit rating agencies, as that's exactly what your bank representative will do when negotiating your mortgage. Things that could affect your credit rating negatively are missing payments, however small, on your credit cards or any other debt, so always make at the very least your minimum repayment on each of your accounts. If you ever had a bankruptcy you may find it very difficult to find a lender willing to offer you a cheap mortgage.

Credit ratings are what banks use to decide whether you are to be trusted with paying off your debts on time, so if you have never had a credit card or any sort of credit you may find it negatively affects your mortgage negotiations. So if you are planning to buy a house in the near future, you should get a credit card and pay the balance in full every month for a few months before you start house-hunting. Your employment situation is also something your bank will look at, so it's a bad idea to abandon your permanent, well paid job in order to start a freelance career right before starting house-hunting.

Along with your credit rating, banks will look at the amount of money you want to borrow compared with the value of the house you are buying. This means that with a high enough deposit your chances of getting a cheap mortgage with a low interest rate increase greatly. However, increasing your deposit is often easier said than done, as people often try to buy a house that is as good as they can afford. If your credit rating is bad you will be asked for a higher deposit as well, so keep that in mind when looking for a mortgage. Always shop around and compare mortgages from different providers, as the rates may vary quite a lot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lowest Mortgage Refinance Rates Available Online

Low mortgage rate refinance could be accessed on the internet where low mortgage rate refinance lenders are available in plenty. And low refinancing rates could also be obtained by seeking help from an expert who has knowledge. Qualifying for a low interest rate mortgage refinance loans could be extremely difficult especially if your credit rating is bad. This could be despite the fact that rates of interests being provided on home refinancing loans are at record lows.

Remember, the government backed making homes affordable is in action and it has served to stabilize the interest rates in the mortgage market. However, you may be able to take advantage of the lowest mortgage refinance rates if you seek help from experts who could be well versed with the eligibility guidelines and process requirements that apply to bad credit mortgage refinancing. Here is some vital information pertaining to the same which might guide you in your effort to reduce your monthly payments substantially and save money over the long run.

The internet could be the best place to start your search for a refinance mortgage loan rates loan with poor credit. When you go online you could find some lenders that specialize in providing refinance home loans to even those borrowers whose credit history may not be that desirable. And few lenders may not even require applicants to undergo the tedious process of credit verification for offering the benefit of low refinancing rates. It could be easy to qualify for a home refinance loan with such types of lenders and save your home from getting foreclosed. Besides, these days there is assistance available at your disposal and you could get valuable support for enabling you to determine the right home refinancing option for your peculiar financial and credit circumstances. You just need to get it.

Many firms provide free advice to help applicants in deriving low mortgage refinance rates through a procedure which is simple, easy and free of any kind of hassles. Such agencies employ professionals who have knowledge, skills and experience to assist borrowers in getting their mortgage refinancing loan application quickly approved regardless of the status of their credit histories. As a result, when you seek their guidance, you could get in touch with a qualified and experienced mortgage specialist in your local area who would primarily evaluate your financial and debt situation before suggesting you the correct strategy to get of your existing mortgage debts. Additionally, the expert also assists you to compare the free quotes offered by several lenders to help identify the best option for you.

However, in your task of finding low rates refinancing mortgage with bad credit, it could be important for you to make sure that you have chosen a service which is totally reliable and reputable. This could be easily achieved by conducting some online research. Reputed firms enable you to secure solutions that are affordable and favorable to satisfy your unique financial needs and requirements.

Monday, January 23, 2012

18 Ways to Reduce Your Mortgage Loan

1. Skip the introductory rate (Honeymoon)

Beware of lenders bearing gifts! Introductory or honeymoon rates have long been an important marketing tool for lenders. You are initially offered a cheap rate on your loan to get you in the door but once the honeymoon period is over, the lender will switch you to a higher variable rate of interest. An example of this is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).

There are two problems with this scenario. First, the variable rate is often higher than some of the lower basic loans available so you could end up paying more. Second, you need to clearly understand that a honeymoon rate applies only for the first year or two of the loan and is a minor consideration compared to the actual variable rate that will determine your repayments over the next 20 or so years.

You may also be hit with fairly steep exit penalties if you want to refinance in the first two or three years to a cheaper loan. So make sure you fully understand what you are letting yourself in before setting off on a "honeymoon" with your lender.

2. Pay it off quickly

Time is money. There are all sorts of strategies for paying less interest on your loan, but most of them boil down to one thing: Pay your loan off as fast as you can. For example, if take out a loan of $300,000 at 6.5 per cent for 30 years, your repayment will be about be about $1,896. This equates to a total repayment of $682,632 over the term of your loan.

If you pay the loan out over 15 years rather than 30, your monthly payment will be $2,613 a month (ouch!). But the total amount you will repay over the term of the loan will be only $470,397 - saving you a whopping $212,235

· Make repayments at a higher rate

A good way to get ahead of your mortgage commitments is to pay it off as if you have a higher rate of interest. Get a loan at the lowest interest rate you can and add 2 or 3 points to your repayment amount. So if you have a loan at about 6.5 percent and pay it off at 10 per cent, you won't even notice if rates go up. Best of all, you'll be paying off your loan quicker and saving yourself a packet.

· Make more frequent payments

The simple things in life are often the best. One of the simplest and best strategies for reducing the term and cost of your loan (and thus your exposure should interest rates rise) is to make your repayment on a fortnightly (bi-weekly) rather than monthly basis. How can this make a difference I hear you ask? It works like this:

Split your monthly payment in two and pay every fortnight. You'll hardly feel the difference in terms of your disposable income, but it could make thousands of dollars and years difference over the term of your loan. The reason for this is that there are 26 fortnights in a year, but only 12 months. Paying fortnightly (bi-weekly) means that you will be effectively making 13 monthly payments every year. And this can make a big difference.

Using our example from above, by paying monthly, you will end uprepaying $682,632 over the term of your loan. But, by paying fortnightly (bi-weekly), you will save $87,254 in interest and 5.8 years off the loan. Zero pain to you, major benefit to your pocket.

· Hit the principal early

Over the first few years of your mortgage, it may seem that you are only paying interest and the principal isn't reducing at all. Unfortunately, you're probably right, as this is one of the unfortunate effects of compound interest. So you need to try everything you can to get some of the principal repaid early and you'll notice the difference.

Every dollar you put into your mortgage above your repayment amount attacks the capital, which means down the track you'll be paying interest on a smaller amount. Extra lump sums or regular additional repayments will help you cut many years off the term of your loan.

· Forego those minor luxuries

This is the bit you don't want to read. Once you have a mortgage, your life is likely to be luxury-free (or at least pretty close to it). Think of all the weight you will lose by giving up your favourite indulgent snack. For the sake of your health you should quit smoking and drink less anyway. Take your lunch from home and save on bad fast food. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

If you're still not convinced consider the following example. A typical day may include a pack of cigarettes ($10), a coffee and donut ($5), lunch ($12) and a couple of beers after work ($8). That's $35 a day or $175 a week or $750 a month or $9,100 a year.

Assuming a mortgage of $300,000 at 6.5 per cent over 30 years, by making $750 in extra repayments each month, you'd save more than $216,000 in interest and be mortgage free in just over 14.5 years.

No one is saying you should live a convict existence but just cutting down a little on your expenses will see you reap huge financial benefits.

3. Get a package

Speak to your lender about the financial packages they have on offer. Common inclusions are discounted home insurance, fee-free credit cards, a free consultation with a financial adviser or even a fee-free transaction account. While these things may seem small beer compared to what you are paying on your home loan, every little bit counts and so you can use the little savings on other financial services to turn them into big savings on your home loan.

There are also "professional" packages on offer for amounts over a certain limit, which can be as little as $150,000. Some lenders offer discounts to specific professional groups or members of professional organizations. Ask your lender if your occupation qualifies you for any discount. You might be pleasantly surprised. There are all sorts of discounts and reductions attached to these packages so make sure you ask your lender about them.

4. Consolidate your debts

One of the best ways of ensuring you continue to pay off your loan quickly is to protect yourself against interest rate rises. If your home loan rate starts to rise, you can be absolutely positive about one thing - your personal loan rate will rise and so will your credit card rate and any hire purchase rate you may happen to have.

This is not a good thing as the interest rates on your credit cards and personal loans are much higher than the interest rate on your home loan. Many lenders will allow you to consolidate - re-finance - all of your debt under the umbrella of your home loan. This means that instead of paying 15 to 20 per cent on your credit card or personal loan, you can transfer these debts to your home loan and pay it off at 7.32 per cent.

As always, any extra repayments or lump sums will benefit you in the long run.

5. Split your loan

Many borrowers worry about interest rates and whether they will go up but don't want to be tied down by a fixed loan. A good compromise is a split loan, or combination loan as they are often known, which allows you to take part of your loan as fixed and part as variable. Essentially this allows you to hedge your bets as to whether interest rates are going to rise and by how much.

If interest rates rise you will have the security of knowing part of your loan is safely fixed and won't move. However, if interest rates don't go up (or if they rise only slightly or slowly) then you can use the flexibility of the variable portion of your loan and pay that part off more quickly.

6. Make your mortgage your key financial product

Mortgage products known as all-in-one loans, revolving line-of-credit or 100 percent offset loans allow you to use your mortgage as your key financial product. This means you have one account into which you can pay all of your income and draw from for your living expenses by using a credit card, EFTPOS or a checkbook, as well as making your mortgage repayments..

These types of accounts can make a huge difference to the speed at which you pay off your loan. Because your whole pay goes into your mortgage account you are reducing the principal on which interest is charged. Sure, you might take a couple of steps back as you withdraw living expenses but careful use of this sort of product can get you thousands of dollars ahead of where you'd be with a "plain vanilla, pay once a month" home loan.

These loans work well when you are able to make additional payments towards the loan. If you are only able to make the equivalent of the minimum repayment on your loan (and not put in any extra) you may be better off with a cheaper standard variable or basic variable loan. However, it's not unusual for dedicated borrowers using these types of loans to cut the term of a 30 year-old loan to less than ten.

7. Use your equity

If you have already paid off some of your home, you are said to have equity. Equity is the difference between the current value of your property and the amount you owe the lender. For example, if you have a property worth $500,000 on which you owe $150,000, you are said to have home equity of $350,000, which you can re-borrow without having to go through the approval process by accessing it through your existing loan.

Many lenders will allow you to borrow using your equity as collateral. Most lenders will allow you to borrow up to about 80 per cent of the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of your available equity. If you are careful, you can use this equity to your advantage and help to pay off your home loan sooner.

Using an equity loan to improve your property could be a good way to ensure that your home increases in value over time. But larger expenses such as cars and holidays that would have been paid by credit card are more affordable on the lower rate of your home loan.

8. Switch to a lender with a lower rate (But do your sums)

It may sound like a simple idea but switching out of your current loan and taking out a loan at a lower rate can mean the difference of years and thousands of dollars. If you have a loan that is tricked up with all the features, or even if you have a standard variable loan, you might find that you could get a no frills rate that is as much as a percentage point cheaper than your current loan.

However, before you jump the gun, check out what it will cost you to switch loans. For example, there may be exit fees payable on your old loan and establishment fees and stamp duty on your new loan. Work it all out and if it makes sense, go for it.

9. Stay informed - don't forget about your mortgage
Visit Mortgage Loan

With any long-term commitment, there is always the temptation to let your mortgage roll along, make your repayments as they fall due and think as little about it as possible. As long as you keep up the repayments, there's not much else you need to do, right?

This attitude can be a big mistake. Keep yourself up to date with what's happening in the marketplace. You might find that there's an opportunity to put yourself well ahead of the game. Rates change, new products and changes in the market itself may allow you to seize an opportunity or negotiate a better deal.

Stay informed and stay ahead of the game.

10. Get a cheap rate and invest the difference

When interest rates are low, like now, it is usually safe to say that inflation is also low. Thus, bricks and mortar may not be the best place to invest. Try getting the cheapest home loan you can find and make the minimum repayment. This allows you to use the extra cash to invest in other, more profitable areas.

You may find that the return you get on shares or some other type of investment means that you have created a nice little nest egg which you can use to pay off a bigger chunk of your home loan than you might otherwise have been able to do.

But beware - high returns often mean high risks. Before undertaking any investment, invest in a consultation with a qualified financial adviser.

11. Run an offset account

Instead of earning interest, any money you have in your offset account works to offset the interest you are paying on your home loan. For example you may have a mortgage of $300,000 at 6.5 percent and an offset account with $50,000 in it earning 3 percent.

This means that $250,000 of your loan is accruing interest at 6.5 percent but the rest is accruing interest at just over 3.5 percent (6.5 percent on your loan less the 3 percent the $50,000 in your offset account is earning). Imagine how much you can save!

Of course, the best sort of offset account pays the same rate as your loan (100 per cent offset).

12. Pay all your mortgage fees and charges up front

Some lenders allow you to add to the amount you borrow instead of coming up with cash for your upfront costs. While this can seem a blessing try to avoid doing this. Consider the following example:

Borrower A borrows $300,000 over 30 years at 6.5 percent. Her upfront costs are $1,000 but she has enough cash to make sure she can cover these. Her total repayment over 30 years will be $682,632

Borrower B takes out the same loan but doesn't have enough cash to cover the upfront costs. So he borrows $301,000, at the same rate. Her total repayment over 30 years will be $684,907.

Two thousand odd-dollars might not sound like a huge amount but what could you buy with it if it stayed in your pocket?

13. Pay your first instalment before it's due

With most new loans, the first instalment may not become due for a month after settlement. If you can manage it (and your lender will let you), pay the first instalment on the settlement date. If you do this, you will be one step ahead of the lender for the term of your loan. Every little bit counts.

14. Shop around and make sure your lender knows it

One of the most powerful tools you can have in the search for the best home loan is information. Make sure you have rung half a dozen lenders and brokers (as well done some internet research) before you start talking to your preferred lender about getting a new loan or refinancing your existing loan.

Make sure you know what rates and features are offered by each of your lender's competitors on comparable products. Be ready to tell the lender what you are looking for and don't be afraid to ask for extras. If they want your business, and know you know what you are talking about, they may be prepared to work that little bit harder to get your business.

Don't be afraid to walk out if you aren't getting the best possible deal you can.

15. Make sure your loan is portable

If there is any chance that you will move house during the course of your loan (and let's face it, there is a strong chance), make sure that your lender will allow you to transfer your loan to a new property and that it won't charge you the earth for the privilege.

Be careful. If you sell up and buy a new house, you could find yourself down thousands in discharge costs on your old loan and establishment fees on your new one.

16. Avoid bridging finance

Someone once said bridging finance is so called because it allows you to "pylon" the debt. The joke's appalling, but so is bridging finance. Unless you get your timing right you could find yourself with two home loans at the same time - with the bridging finance element costing you an extra couple of percent premium on the standard variable rate.

Consider using a deposit bond or selling before you buy, as it will be much more cost effective for you than another loan.

17. Choose the loan that suits your needs

Choosing a loan is about knowing what you want. Draw up a table of potential home loans and rank them. Make a list of all the features that are important to you and rank them according to importance. Give each feature a score out of 5 - one for unimportant right through to 5 for indispensable.

Use this technique for ranking the loans on offer and pretty soon you'll see the one that's right for you. Remember, different loans have different purposes so you need to match a loan to your need. Taking out an interest only loan suitable for investors if you are planning to live in the house is just foolish.

Ditching the features you don't need can save you up to 1 per cent on the interest rate of your loan. Over 30 years that's a whole lot of money you've just saved yourself.

18. Don't be afraid of smaller lenders with cheap rates

Since the advent of the mortgage managers over the past five or six years there's been a lot of talk about smaller and "non-traditional lenders" and how they have forced interest rates down. With the property boom, plenty of opportunities sprang up for smart lenders with low fees willing to take on traditional lenders and many have done very well indeed.

Some borrowers worry about what might happen if their lender gets into financial trouble. Keep in mind that you've got their money - so don't worry too much. There are some smaller lenders whose names might not be readily familiar but whose rates might be enough reason to get in touch.

Be wary, however. Some of these smaller lenders can have huge hidden fees and charges. It is true that the interest rate might be much lower, but in many cases, they exit (or penalty) fees can be very high if you refinance or pay off your mortgage in the first couple of years. Of course, if you're planning on staying with that lender for some time, then these fees will not impact your pocket at all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Get a Home Mortgage Loan With Bad Credit Through Understanding the FICO Credit Score

People that want to get a home mortgage loan with bad credit are often at a loss as to where they should begin their search. They have several questions: What other qualifications are necessary in receiving a home loan with bad credit? How big of an impact will a bad credit score have on my ability to receive a home loan? What can I do to improve my chances of qualifying for a mortgage loan?

Bad credit is not as simple as many people seem to think, however. Determining one's eligibility for a home loan is so much more complicated than looking at a credit score. Therefore, knowing the extent to which FICO credit scores impact home loan eligibility is important. This article will review the extent of that impact and fill you in on what you can do to help yourself get a home loan with bad credit today.

Know Your Credit and What It Means

The first step to understanding the process of receiving a home loan with bad credit comes from assessing the real state of your credit score. Basically, you will need to know what your credit score is, numbers-wise, and what that means in reality.

For starters, a FICO is short for the Fair Isaac Corp., the three-number score that it generates is based on a rather complex formula that looks at many different factors concerning your financial life. The most important of these two factors is your asset to debt ratio (or how much you own versus how much you owe) and your payment history on past accounts. Chronic late payments, defaults, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc. can seriously harm your credit score.

Before you look for a home loan, you need to assess your bad credit score through a review of your full credit report. This document will outline all the elements that the Fair Isaac system uses to determine your score and allow you to check them for discrepancies and misrepresentation.

Why Credit Matters in the home loan Industry

Once you understand the details of your credit score you will see why this number is so important to lenders. When you have a lot of debts, the chances of you being able to afford a home on top of everything else is seriously questionable. A home mortgage is likely the largest loan you will take, so it is clearly important to make sure you can afford it.

Similarly, a history of making late payments and loan defaults will also impact the lender's decision. If a lender feels you will not be responsible or make enough money to afford a home loan he is not likely to extend it to you.

Making a Change Is Important

If you are serious about buying a home there are several steps that you can take, starting today, to make that a reality. You need to fix your bad credit score in order to get the best interest rates, which can be done in a number of ways:

Consolidate debt through a personal loan.
Make sure you rebuild your credit history following a bankruptcy or a foreclosure.
Write out and adhere to a budget which takes all of your debts into account and works to pay them off.
Go to a credit counselor.

By working to improve your bad credit, home mortgage loans will be easier to acquire in the future. There are many lenders online who are accustomed to working with borrowers whose credit score is poor. They may be able to find you a home mortgage loan with bad credit or at least direct you on the proper path to get one in the near future.