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Author Archive for BankAim – Page 44

30 year fixed rate mortgages from banks and financial institutions are already considered low when they’re at a 4.7 – 4.9% rate. However, BRINKS Financial Group can give you a mortgage rate for as low as 4.5%.

BRINKS Financial is a division of GoldStar Financial Group and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company has been serving Ann Arbor for 15 years, and holds the lowest mortgage rates in the Ann Arbor area. BRINKS Financial Group also specializes in helping Michigan residents and Michigan first time home buyers. BRINKS financial group is experienced in helping home buyers take advantage of the $8000 tax credit, giving home buyers big savings on their first home purchase.

Aside from providing friendly Ann Arbor Mortgages, BRINKS Financial also specializes in Novi mortgages, West Bloomfield mortgages, Rochester mortgages, and Grosse Pointe Mortgages. For those living in these areas, or who would like to relocate, BRINKS Financial Group provides an easy to navigate website where you can input your details to get to a mortgage rate that suits your profile. They have a section in their website called the Purchase Assistant, which is an online guide and fill up form where you can input your details based on the questions and choices that they post.

The 4.5% 30 year fixed rate is based on a $200,000 loan with a 20% down payment computation. Mortgage rates will vary on the amount of loan you are planning to take, the amount of down payment you can afford, and the number of years you plan to finish payments. Whatever your situation is regarding the home loan you plan to take, BRINKS Financial Group can give you the lowest rates in the area.

Aside from loans for purchasing a home, BRINKS Financial also offers loans for refinancing, and loans for consolidating debt. If you need mortgage help, their staff and experts are also available to give customer service and to answer questions when needed. Other institutions that also give low rates are Mortgages by Golden Rule, also at 4.5%, and Ameriplus Mortgage Corp. at 4.625%.

Navy Federal Credit Union Offers Highest CD Rate at 3.5%

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

With the best CD rates banks are offering at 1.35%, finding a certificate of deposit with an annual interest rate of 3.5% can be startling. But indeed it can be done. The Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a chunky interest rate of 3.5% in their 12-year certificate of deposit.

If this already sounds too good to be true, it gets even better. The Navy Federal Credit Union is only imposing a minimum deposit of $50. Plus your money will be compounded daily. That means more earnings for the depositor. The only tricky thing to this is, whether who can open an account.

The Navy Federal Credit Union does have some requirements when it comes to membership. Only those who have served in the Army, Air force, Department of Defense and of course, the Navy can be eligible. However, this membership also extends to family members. And once these family members have joined, or opened an account, they too will be able to extend the membership opportunity to their family members as well.

Since 1933, Navy Federal has grown from having seven members to three million. It’s vision statement clearly reflects that they are friendly to their depositors, holding close to their saying: “You can leave the military, change employers, move, retire, get married—and never have to leave Navy Federal. “Once a member, always a member.”

The Navy Federal Credit Union also offers different certificate of deposit packages which depositors can choose from. It offers the special, standard, low minimum, jumbo and IRA packages. The IRA certificate aims to help members plan for their retirement, and to help them reach their financial goals. Aside from certificates, the Navy Federal offers a wide range of services, ranging from mortgages, money markets, credit cards, retirement and insurance, and even gift cards.

Considering the slight exclusivity of membership, those who are eligible are lucky to be able to take advantage of the 3.5% CD. Having a rate that high at this time is certainly a feat, one that only Navy Federal can accomplish.

What To Do When Facing Foreclosure

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Foreclosure is one event which all of us dread to happen. This could signify one of the lowest points that people can have in their lives. Facing foreclosure is a terrible experience. Waking up every morning with a feeling of impending doom as you know that the house you have lived in for years could be taken away from you.

Don’t let foreclosure mark the end of your world. In trying times like these, it’s important to man up and do what you can to salvage what’s left. When facing foreclosure here’s what you should do:

1. Face your financials – Instead of going around blind about your financial status, what you should do is find out just how deep you are in debt. Make a list of the payments you’ve missed, and a list of the payments you still owe until the payment term is over. This will give you an idea of how much you need to raise in the next few years. You could also take advantage of mortgage calculators to gain a better understanding of your finances.

2. Talk to your lender – Don’t be afraid of showing your face to your bank or your private lender. You’ll be surprised to find that banks will be willing to help you find options to work around your situation. Perhaps they can give you a longer term. Banks generally don’t like foreclosed properties since these will be non-moving assets for them.

3. Consider getting help – There are credit counseling services that can help you evaluate your options. Agencies linked with the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling or National Foundation for Credit Counseling can give you a hand. If you’re comfortable with the idea, you may also approach relatives who will be able to give you a loan on easy interest rates. Just make sure to pay them on time, and put your loan in writing.

4. Perhaps Refinance – If you’ve already got equity on your home, and your lender hasn’t filed a notice of default, you might still be able to refinance your home. Refinancing will give you lower interest rates and lower monthly payments that you just might be able to afford. Be careful about loan options such as the interest only mortgage and adjustable rates. These might just get you in a deep hole sometime in the future.

5. Be realistic – Most of us are too tied to our homes. However, when the situation calls for it, it’s time to let go of emotional attachments and face the reality that it may be better for you to let go of the property and sell. There are real estate professionals and investors who are looking for foreclosure deals they can buy to make a profit. You could consider selling your house to them, or you could partner with them and discuss how you can turn your situation around to your advantage. Real estate professionals are experienced when it comes to foreclosures and they just might be the ones to give you the best option.

Nobody wants to have their home in foreclosure. Before you get to that point, get your finances in order and seek professional help as to what are your best options. There is definitely a way out to that sticky situation, and you just might get a good start to rebuilding your future.

10 Sensible Tips To Save On Mortgage

Monday, March 7th, 2011

It has always been part of the American dream to own a home. Once a young adult graduates and finds a secure job, the one thing that will always be on his mind is getting his first house.

Often, a person who purchases a home for the first time and with little investment experience, will find himself caught in the whirlwind of mortgage promotions, never realizing the real amount he is paying until he finds himself 10 years deep into the mortgage. Here are 10 useful tips to help you save on mortgage:

1. Pick a bank with the lowest interest rates – This is one of the most obvious things you can do to save on mortgage. It’s best to be aware that a difference of .1% could already mean a couple of thousand dollars in the long run. Don’t be caught by the bank with excellent customer service and a crisp smelling office. If it has high mortgage rates, go and look for another lender.

2. Choose a fixed rate mortgage over an adjustable rate mortgage – Adjustable rate mortgages may sound appealing due to the low interest rates you could be faced at the start. However, ARM’s are volatile and the interest rates could definitely go up depending on the index. This will put you at risk on having a monthly obligation which is bigger than what you normally have planned on.

3. Increase your equity – The bigger down payment you can afford, the better. Having a bigger equity will mean having to take on a lower loan. If you can afford to wait until you have more money to pay for a bigger downpayment, this could be ultimately better for you in the long run.

4. Shorten the loan term – Although 30 year loans and the small amount of monthly payment you have to dish out may make your eyes dance, what you don’t know is the amount of interest this long loan term piles up on you. The best way to distinguish just how much you’re paying is by using a mortgage calculator. You will then see the advantage of shortening the loan term.

5. Refinance – There will come a time when refinancing becomes a sensible thing for you to do. You could exchange your higher interest rates for lower ones, decreasing your monthly dues.
6. Waive some settlement fees – Ask your bank if you can have some settlement fees waived. There’s no harm in asking.

7. Be aware of bank promotions – Ask your customer representative to inform you of any bank promotions. Some banks might just have promos about cutting closing fees. Right now, Ever Bank in Florida can give as much as $500 off on closing costs.

8. Pay a little extra every month – This is one golden tip that could potentially save you thousands of dollars. For every month that you pay off your mortgage, add a little bit to pay for the principal. You could put in an extra $50 or $100. In a $100,000 mortgage at 6% and in 30 years, chipping in an extra $50 on the principal per month could mean a savings of $25,000. That’s a lot!

9. Beware of the interest only mortgage – An interest only mortgage may sound juicy, but the after effects once the interest only term expires could be devastating to your bank account.

10. Build rapport with your bank – If you have other transactions with your bank, discuss these with them and try to see if you can haggle for a lower interest rate.

Whatever your financial status is, it’s always best to save on mortgage as this could be a loan that stays with you for a relatively long time.

The Lowest Rates for 30 Year Fixed Mortgages

Friday, March 4th, 2011

With 30 year mortgage rates going as high as 5.2%, homeowners wonder, is there anywhere else we can get a lower rate?

Browsing through several banks and lenders, you wouldn’t be surprised to see the rate somewhere between 4.8 to 5.2%. However, there are some banks and lenders that can give you the lowest mortgage rate amongst all. With a 4.750% interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, homeowners can give a sigh of relief. Some of the institutions that can give you these rates are:

1. Ever Bank – Ever Bank, located in Jacksonville, Florida, gives you a 4.750% mortgage rate on properties located in Jacksonville and within Duval County. For added spice, Ever Bank is giving out a promotion of having as much as $500 off in closing costs. Ever Bank also gives out the lowest APR with 4.784%. Fees in APR is $647, and the estimated payment is $861.

2. Freedom Mortgage – Also with a 4.750% interest rate, Freedom Mortgage a low APR with 4.802%. Fees in APR is $995, and the estimated payment is the same as Ever Bank at $861.

3. – Interest rates are at 4.750% for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, and APR is at 4.856%. The fees in APR are substantially bigger than the others, with fees at $1,995. Estimated payment at $861.

4. Directors Financial Group – Interest rates remain at 4.750%, with APR at 4.845%, the highest APR compared to the rest of the institutions who give the same interest rate. Fees in APR is $1,795, and estimated payment is $861.

5. Mortgage Capital Associates – located in West Los Angeles California, Mortgage Capital Associates gives you a 4.750% interest rate, with the lowest APR in the same rate. There are no fees in APR, and the estimated payment is $861. By far, this institution gives you the best deal in rates and fees.

When looking for a loan to cover the expenses on buying a home, it’s important to consider the interest rate. A difference of .1 could mean a difference in hundreds or thousands of dollars out of your pocket. Fixed rate mortgages may seem like they have a higher interest rate, but they lack the risk which adjustable rate mortgages pose in case the national rates go up.

Also, when shopping for a mortgage, it’s best to check the fine print of the bank or the financial institution you plan to get a loan from. Hidden fees and charges could prove to be heavy, and make sure to deal with a stable institution with great terms and perhaps flexibility. Using a mortgage calculator will also help you in seeing just how much you’re going to pay in the end.

Top 10 Banks With the Best CD Rates for 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Looking for the best Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates to get your money growing at the early parts of the year 2011? Looks like banks from all over America are here to help you earn money out of money.

Certificates of deposit will allow your money to earn interest at a fixed rate set by the bank. With a minimum requirement, you’ll be able to earn much more than your regular savings account without having to tie your money to an establishment for a long time. CD’s can give you fixed returns at a period of 30 days, 60 days, 6 month CD’s, 1 year, and more, depending on what type of CD the bank offers, and the CD you choose. So where can you go to make the most out of your money?

Right now, the top 10 12 month CD rates range from 1.24% to 1.35% interest rates. It may not be as high as CD’s in previous years, but these CD rates are as good as it gets for now. Leading the pack is the Metropolitan National Bank of New York City. With a minimum deposit of only $1,000, depositors can enjoy the highest CD rate with a relatively small amount of deposit.
Investors not located in New York City need not worry since anyone can open an account online through their website. One thing depositors have to note however is that if they would like to collect their interest at maturity, they will have to inform the bank ahead of time as the bank will automatically roll the money into another 1 year CD. Early withdrawals will suffer a penalty, so it’s best to keep track of the timeline.

Other banks that give as much as 1.30% interest on one-year certificates of deposit are Bank of Internet USA in California, Incredible Bank in Wisconsin, and Ascencia, PBI Bank in Louisville Kentucky.

Below is a list of the top 10 banks with the best CD rates by far. Find out if you have one near your area, if not, you could always go ahead and open an account online.

1.    Metropolitan National Bank
New York, NY
Interest Rate: 1.35%
Minimum Deposit: $1,000

2. Bank of Internet USA
San Diego, CA
Interest Rate: 1.30%
Minimum Deposit: $1,000

3.  Incredible Bank
Wasau, WI
Interest Rate:    1.30%
Minimum Deposit: $10,000

4. Ascencia, a div. of PBI Bank
Louisville, KY
Interest Rate: 1.29%
Minimum Deposit: $1,000

5. Transportation Alliance Bank
Ogden, UT
Interest Rate: 1.25%
Minimum Deposit: $1,000

6. Aurora Bank, FSB
Wilmington, DE
Interest Rate: 1.25%
Minimum Deposit: $1,000

7. 89 Goldwater Bank
Scottsdale, AZ
Interest Rate: 1.25%
Minimum Deposit:$5,000

8. Ally Bank
Midvale, UT
Interest Rate: 1.24%
Minimum Deposit: $0

9. Nationwide Bank
Columbus, OH
Interest Rate: 1.24%
Minimum Deposit:$500

10. MetLife Bank
Bridgewater, NJ
Interest Rate:    1.24%
Minimum Deposit: $25,000

For those who are low on cash, Ally Bank in Midvale Utah will give you the best deal there is. With a 1.24% CD rate and no minimum deposit required, it gives hope to the starting investor.

When shopping for CD rates, it’s always best to check out the fees that might come along with it. Be aware of the rules your bank imposes and get the lowdown on taxes, fees and penalties. This will help you make the smarter decision on getting the most out of your money.

MBA looking to help Underwater Homeowners

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Are you an underwater homeowner? Looks like the MBA has got your back.

The Mortgage Bankers Association currently have their eye on the government’s HARP program to make it more accessible and available for homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgage. Right now they are urging the government to reduce, and to even completely eliminate, the limit on how far an underwater homeowner can qualify for the program.

So what exactly is the HARP program all about that is getting the MBA’s attention? HARP, an acronym for Home Affordable Refinance Program, was developed by the government to help underwater homeowners improve their financial status by availing of lower interest rates on their homes. Lenders are provided incentives to encourage them to allow homeowners to refinance with them, despite the fact that their loan may be more than what their property is worth.

Certainly, this impossibility sounds too good to be true. And it does seem to be so. The HARP program has fallen far behind on their original projections, achieving only a total of half a million borrowers, compared to their original projection of 4 – 5 million. That’s a huge gap from the original numbers that provided hope for many homeowners.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the lenders that are involved with the program are rumored to be gradually put to the end by the government to reduce their role in mortgage markets. This possibility has pushed the MBA to further seek reforms in the program.

At this time, mortgage rates are also rising by more than three-quarters of a percentage point from their lows in November, making refinancing less of a juicy option for homeowners. With these markets, the MBA continues to push for the lowering of requirements plus the extension of the deadline of the program. HARP is supposed to be expiring come June this year. But hopefully it can be extended until December 31, 2012 to match the deadline of a similar program called HAMP mortgage loan modification.

Among the things the MBA is advocating for, it is also calling for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to adopt standardized guidelines in the HARP to things such as borrower and loan type eligibility, employment requirements and property inspections, closing costs, and income documentation. Having requirements that are less strict will allow more underwater homeowners a chance to avail of HARP refinancing, and giving them the chance to move up from their rocky financial situations.

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What Posting on Facebook Could Mean to your Money

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Social networking sites are the new wave of the generation. People are crazy about them. And they have a lot of reason to be. Social networking sites, Facebook especially, have revolutionized the way people across the globe communicate. Making it easy to connect with friends and business connections you otherwise would not have gained contact with. However, Facebook is not all fun and games. It could be a breeding ground for financial disaster.

Identity thieves feast on personal information such as your full name, birth date, birth place, email address and even your pet’s name. It only takes a few of these information to hack into your personal accounts. And with the advent of online banking, these information could just be the thing identity thieves need to make a run for your money.

Identity thieves are smart. They can get one little detail from you and connect it with another. Although it may seem harmless to post a picture of your favorite dog and place a caption of just how much you think Fifi looks cute in this picture, that little piece of information could be the answer to the security question banks and other financial institutions ask you when you forget your password. The thing is, when you post too much information on Facebook, even a high school student can go ahead and hack (and possibly drain)  your account.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from identity thieves in Facebook:

  • Do not place critical personal information such as birth date, birth place and your full address. These information can be critical to identity thieves.
  • Do not place contact information such as your home phone number, cellphone, and  email address
  • Do not post your daily whereabouts. You’re making it doubly easy for stalkers to find you. Instead of posting where and when your hot weekend party will be held and how excited you are, post the details after the event. That is, if you really need to do so.
  • Do not add everyone up as your friend. When Facebook and other social networking sites are concerned, you shouldn’t be overly friendly. Only add friends that you know personally, not friends of friends or someone you just met at the local grocery store or at the bar.
  • Be careful when answering seemingly harmless quizzes such as “10 Things Other People Wouldn’t Know About You”, this could have been made specifically to gather personal information.

Although social networking sites pose a threat to your identity, they are changing the way the world communicates and it’s always better to have one than none at all. You just have to be vigilant about the information you’re disclosing, especially if these information could be clues for identity thieves to gain access to your email, your SSS number, and even your personal bank account.

CashBack Credit Cards: The Real Deal

Monday, February 14th, 2011

With all the promotions and tactics that banks and other finance institutions are throwing at people just to get them to invest, with every “good thing” they propose we start to wonder, “What’s the catch?”

When it comes to cash back credit cards, the deal is this: pay for your bills, groceries, and other purchases with your credit card, and you get a rebate by the end of the year. Sounds good right? So the question that follows is, “Do they really work?”

In all simplicity, cash back credit cards do give you what they promise. However, in order to actually make the most of it, you have to start reading the fine print. Here are the things you need to be aware of:

Fees – That’s right, does your cash back credit card have an annual fee? Most people tend to forget this little detail, and are shocked at the start of the year when they check their mail and find their statement ridden with a few hundred dollars in fees. There are other cash back credit cards that don’t sport this annual fee, so having those will be to your advantage.

Percentage Rates – Usually when we think of credit card rates, the lower the number, the better. But in this case, it’s the opposite. You would actually want your rebate rate to be higher because that means you’ll be getting more from your cash. Some cash back cards give you 1% back annually, but others can give as much as 5%. However, check to see when you’ll start building the rebate. Some cards require you to have spent a certain amount on the card before you start earning. Others give you a bigger rebate for certain grocery stores, gasoline stations, and shops. The more you know, the more you earn.

Pay it Monthly – With some cash back cards, failure to pay your credit card debt monthly will mean automatic cancellation of your rebate. Plus, some cash back cards have higher interest rates than ordinary cards. If in case you feel that you can’t pay off your credit card debt monthly, it’s better to get an ordinary card.

List it Down – Finally, the best way for you to make the most of your cashback card is to list down your credit card expenses. This will give you an idea of how much you expect to get by the end of the year. If you don’t keep track, you probably won’t feel the difference anyway.
Cash back credit cards really do give you a rebate on the money you spent using the card. But when it comes to credit cards, the best thing is to have discipline over yourself and not to have the attitude of “I’m going to get more by the end of the year if I spend more anyway!”. If you don’t have the discipline and if you have a spender’s mentality, it may just be better to pay cash instead.

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