Has Local Real Estate Financing Stabilized?

It seems that almost every day someone asks me about home financing. Often, the perception is that money is super tight and that it is really difficult to get financing these days. After a long conversation with a leading local expert in this area, I am inclined to say that loan processing and availability have come a long way in the last couple of years.

A few things have shifted. Interest rates are lower now than they were in 2007. Stated income loans have all but disappeared. The front and back ratios have tightened up a little bit, as have credit score hurdles, but not by that much. Otherwise, the money appears to be available. Interestingly, FHA insured loans are on the rise. They require relatively low down payments, come at a very modest cost, and have attractive interest rates. FICO scores of 620 are required. Additionally, there can be non-occupant co-buyers with these loans (to help with the loan approval).

Other loan types are readily available to qualified borrowers as well, but at slightly higher interest rates. Down payments of 20 to 25 percent may be required. The cost for the loans are about the same for the FHA loans and the money appears to be available.

Qualified investors hoping to pick up income properties have access to capital as well. They will need up to 25 percent down to secure the note. Rental income will be discounted to 75 percent of total income in the qualifying process. Loans for multi-unit properties can be picked up with six percent or lower interest.

Should You Finance Your Cosmetic Surgery?

If you are like most people during this economic time, you are probably struggling to make ends meet. With more people turning to personal budgets and really watching their money, one issue still seems to be in the media about cosmetic surgery loans and how many people are using them. But should you finance your cosmetic surgery?

While there are many reasons that people desire to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, paying for it can be a tough decision. Sometimes if there is a medical need or a procedure that needs to be done after an accident or other medical problem, insurance companies can sometimes pick up the costs associated with the surgery.

However, most people desire to have elective surgery on something that they feel they want different. This being an elective surgery, meaning that you want it and don’t “need” it, means that you will be paying for it. With the popularity of certain procedures coming down in price, more people are finding it affordable to pay for these procedures.

However if you can’t afford the cost of the procedure up front, what are your options? Most doctors that perform cosmetic procedures often times work with finance companies that will provide you the loan for the cost. This isn’t a full loan however and you will often be asked to pay a large down payment or be charged a larger interest rate on the loan. Why? Well, if you default on your loan the finance company can’t necessarily come and repossess your body.

Another option that more companies are using is to allow you to use your home or vehicle as collateral for a down payment. This can be a good method, however you must own the home or vehicle and not be leasing or renting.

There are several other options and different factors that can go into your being able to secure a loan for your cosmetic or plastic surgery needs. Learning about your different options and making sure that the costs will fit into your budget are key in order to prevent you from coming into tough economic problems because of an elective procedure.

Driving Away From Your Bankruptcy With a New Car Loan

One thing is for certain, bankruptcy is a brutal beast when it comes to your credit file. But getting a car loan after bankruptcy is one of the best ways to begin the rebuilding process to regain your borrowing reputation and qualify for other loans. In fact, once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you can pretty much apply almost immediately for a car loan. Let us take a look at what you can do to get the best rates on your post bankruptcy car loan.

Checking Your Credit Report And Score

Before you run to the car dealership, you should always check your credit report to make certain that all of your accounts are noted as discharged in bankruptcy. Oftentimes, your credit report following bankruptcy will still show open accounts when they should be noted as closed and discharged, which does harm to your credit rating. And since different car dealerships use different credit bureaus when they inquire about your credit, be certain that you contact all three major credit reporting bureaus to determine the accuracy of your credit file (Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax).

If your bankruptcy and accounts are not noted accurately, contact the bureau in question immediately to request that they update your record. In addition, you should add a page onto your credit file that explains why you ended up in bankruptcy in the first place so that potential creditors get a better picture of your circumstances when filing. This is especially true if extenuating circumstances forced you to file bankruptcy, such as job loss, accident, illness, injury, and other reasons that led to your particular situation.

Making A Budget For Your Car Purchase

That being done, you should also make out a reasonable budget for the vehicle that you wish to purchase, and determine how much you can truly afford to pay each month by way of a car payment. Keep in mind that the length of the loan and the amount of the loan will be big determinants in your payment amount, so decide before going to the dealership how long you want to pay for your car and how much you can afford to pay.

Choosing A Lender

In addition, you should determine who will finance your car loan. There are options such as dealer financing, banks, finance companies, or even online car loan servicers. Research which of these can give you the best deal, and do not feel pressured to go with dealer financing either. Oftentimes, dealerships are given great incentives for sending loan applications through to larger finance companies. By going to the finance company yourself, you cut out the middle man, which can only save you money.

Refinance As Soon As Possible

Your car loan following bankruptcy discharge will undoubtedly be written at a much higher rate than a normal borrower would pay. For this reason, it is important that after a year or so of good payment history, you attempt to arrange to refinance your car loan. This can save you literally thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, and lenders will often refinance your loan when you have demonstrated responsible payment behavior.