Tips for your financial success

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Kill Bills


Get Rid of Some "Extras"

The key to financial freedom is building wealth. The key to building wealth is eliminating all your extra bills so you have money to save. The average consumer's credit report carries quite a burden from these bills as well. Let's start with what hurts the most. Eliminate any habits you currently have. Most habits cost money and if it's a habit it can't be healthy for you in the long run anyway. Smoking, drinking, candy, coffee, collecting junk, etc. You will be surprised how much cash you pocket if you just quit 1 or 2 of the above (if any apply of course). By giving up a habit you are not only saving money and maybe even your health, but you are also gaining self-discipline helping you mature financially.

Food: Dine In or Carry Out

Let's look at the two separately AND together. If you eat out once a week, even at $25 you are spending $100 a month. Pretty simple math. Let's say you get carry-out (drive-thru) 3 times a week at $5 per visit. This equals $60 a month. These figures are below average, but even so, this is $160 in 1 month that could be used to eliminate some smelly debt. Pack a lunch for work. Try cooking at home. It's a fraction of the cost, it tastes better than "fast food" and it is usually healthier. If you can't eliminate eating out then try cutting it in half for starters.

Grocery List (or lack thereof)

Many consumers head to the grocery store with no plan or list. BIG mistake. This is what grocery stores are designed for. Go ahead, walk down each aisle and tempt yourself with row after row, shelf after shelf of junk food, extra stuff that you don't need. A list could save you 50% alone - that much more to wipe out those irritating loan payments. A grocery list serves two purposes. It saves you quite a bit of money which you notice immediately. Secondly, it allows you to be more prepared for the upcoming week, month or however often you shop. You can make out a daily meal plan ahead of time so you know exactly what you need to purchase and approximately how much cash you will need.

Sell Some Stuff

Everyone has stuff lying around collecting dust. Remember the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure."? You could probably knock out a couple of stagnate bills with some of those collectibles sitting in a box in the closet. You would be surprised to know that an object you have absolutely no interest in could sell on an auction site and pay off that hospital bill that's been chasing you around like a mad hornet.

Cash, Cash, Cash

Only buy with cash. Plastic looks the same when you spend it. Dollar bills disappear and you will feel the impact when you start to get a shortage of it. Start a cash envelope system - at least one for gas, food and clothing. Like any new system, it will take a few times before you get the right amount in the envelopes. You will start to notice a large impact on your budget though and will find it worth while. If you buy something with cash you don't owe on it. You might think a little longer about it too when you hold on to that $100 bill. If you apply the various techniques and ideas in this article you will start to knock chunks off your overall debt. This will get you closer to achieving financial freedom and your credit report will begin the long awaited healing process. Start today!

Mortgage loans—Obtaining Mortgage Loans Depends on FICO scores


FICO Scores were developed by Fairlsaac Corporation. Fairlsaac is a leader in the credit-management arena. Their development has become an industry standard for determining an individual’s credit worthiness. The score is determined by payment history, credit history, which includes how many credit inquires have been made on you over a period of time, how much credit you have actually used and what kind of credit you are using.

The score grades your history. It provides a snapshot of how you make your payments. If you make your payments timely, you will have a low credit risk score. The FICO score shows on credit reports. If you score is lower than 500, you pay a premium to obtain a mortgage. If your score is above 700, you can obtain better interest rates.

Ways to increase your score are:

1. Pay your bills on time. Late payments reflect negatively on your score.

2. Pay your medical bills. If you account is turned over to a collection agency, this will have a negative impact on your score.

3. Pay your school loans. In addition to reflecting negatively on your score, the government will find you and force you to pay this obligation.

4. Since the number of inquires impacts your score, less is better. The assumption is that more inquires indicate you have been turned down for credit.

You can obtain your credit report yearly from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Federal law makes this possible. The report will lay out your credit history for you to review. Correct all errors. When you find an error, notify the creditor and all three reporting agencies. The credit must send a letter for the mistake to be rectified. You need to stay on top of this process. Finding adverse credit issues when you actually need to obtain credit will hinder your ability to obtain financing.

Mortgage lenders look for at least three open credit accounts older than a year. Maintaining long term accounts will help you immensely. Pay your bills on time. Pay high credit card debt and pay off interest loans first. Don’t use your credit card to its limit.

You can seek a pre-qualified loan for a mortgage before you seek housing. This process is usually verbal and often free of charge. Once you have a pre-approved mortgage, you can complete and application easily. This is a legal loan agreement which should expedite the closing on your home. Of the two – pre-approval and pre-qualified, the best is pre-approved. This approval gives you an idea of your buying power and determines what you can actually afford.

Your Real Estate agent can guide you in the right direction to start your process of applying for loans.