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10 Steps to Your Best Deal on a Car Loan

10 Steps to Your Best Deal on a Car Loan

When you find yourself in need of a vehicle, whether new or used, you probably begin to stress a little bit about the money. Paying the full price for a car, especially since the average cost of a brand new vehicle is $30,000 according to the Federal Trade Commission, is a challenge for many individuals, so you likely need to procure a loan. Knowing how to get the best deal on the car loan can save you money overall.

1. Research the cars.

You may have a particular make, model and year in mind, but that doesn’t mean the price for the car will come out to the same at every dealership. Make sure that you conduct your research and check out different prices online. Even if you have a particular dealership where you would like to shop, you might lose a lower price at another entity as a negotiating point.

2. Save up a larger down payment.

The fewer dollars that you put down on the table, the more money you will likely have to pay each month. Try saving up a larger down payment, especially if you plan to finance the car and keep it for a significant amount of time. Even though you are spending more money now, you are creating a clearer path if your financial circumstances change in the future.

3. Trade in your old car.

Deciding to trade in your old car is one way to cut down on some of the down payment amount. For example, let’s say that you really need to make a down payment of $10,000 for the car that you want. However, your current car is worth $8,000. Then, you may have only $2,000 to save up. You will need to check with the dealership to see how much you can get for your car.

4. Pull Your Credit Report.

Whether or not you qualify for a car loan is heavily connected to your credit scores. Low credit scores mean that you are a risk to the lender. Therefore, you need to know what your credit score is now. If your score is low and you can get by with your current mode of transportation, work on fixing that situation first.

5. Repair your credit.

You should work on your credit so that you can qualify for the loan, but you should also accomplish this goal so that your interest rates are not too high. The interest on a loan can seriously hurt your ability to pay, so you want to make sure the rates are reasonable.

6. Shop at the right time.

You should also familiarize yourself with the times of the car when dealerships are looking to sell cars at better prices. For example, consider going when the new models with next year attached to them come onto the lot. You may find that the models for this year are available at lower prices than they were in the past.

7. Stick to your figure.

It is easy to have a number in your head and then to get lured into a higher priced vehicle once you see an intriguing one on the lot. When you speak with the salesperson, let him or her know that you are sticking to your budget and that you do not want to see any cars that exceed that price at all.

8. Negotiate.

Knowing how to negotiate is key. You can bring in material that shows the true value of the car as opposed to the sticker price on the lot. However, you also need to have reasonable expectations. The salesperson cannot drop the price so low that he or she loses money.

9. Try again later.

When you are not getting the deal that you want, you may have to consider walking away. Keep in mind that salespeople know that some prospective buyers will pretend to walk away in order to get a better deal. Only walk away if you are truly at a point where you are finished with the conversation.

10. Evaluate your expectations.

You might want to have the best new car at an incredible price, but that isn’t always possible. If you are struggling to get what you want, consider looking into some other cars that are more affordable.

Sticking to your budget is important, and these tips will help you to do so.

6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Your Student Loans

6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Your Student Loans

Refinancing your student loans is an alternative for those in the repayment process. The problem that lies in consolidating or refinancing student loans falls in finding a bank willing to do this. It’s not an option at your local corner bank no matter how good of a relationship you have with the bank. It’s a very precarious situation, but it’s one many consumers wish to take on. Student loan debt is substantial, and it’s only growing as more graduates and leave college. Refinancing or consolidating your loans allows you to repay them on a more affordable level. The interest rates available for these loans are better in most cases, and you can better afford to live your life without worrying so much about your debts.

That leaves consumers wondering which banks do offer this kind of refinance program. It’s not just any bank, but there are six banks that do take the time to consider applicants looking to refinance their loans and enter the future with a little more excitement and the ability to better afford their student debts. These banks are your best bet for student loan consolidation and/or refinance.

Darien Rowayton Bank

This bank gets top marks because they finance 100% of loans for lower rates and more affordable payments for their clients. The bank does require the people who want to refinance their student loans are an alumni of either a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree program. Those who take out student loans do not graduate college need not apply for this type of loan.

Earnest

This bank gets high marks because they offer consumers a very flexible repayment plan that works with their own schedule. They also allow their consumers to choose the length of time in which they can afford to repay their loans. You can choose to pay for your loan for 5 years or 20.

SoFi

This is a bank that refinances or consolidates private or federal student loans, and it’s one that anyone who has an undergraduate or graduate degree can take advantage of. The rates are low and the benefits numerous, and there are no origination fees on any loan through this bank. Consumers enjoy working with this bank because the savings they receive. The bank advertises an average of more than $300 in student loan savings.

CommonBond

What makes this bank stand out from the rest is the fact you can apply for a refinance or consolidation loan in as little as 7 minutes. There are very few things you must do to qualify other than have a good credit score and have a degree. Bachelor degrees, graduate degrees, and even Parent PLUS loans are all eligible to apply for a loan with this bank. The bank contacts you immediately to discuss with you what you qualify for and how you can make it work for you.

LendKey

This is a bank that’s funded not by the bank, but by community members who want to partake in a specific type of lending. There are more than 300 lenders available through this program, and each one considers those with lower credit and imperfect credit. Applying for a loan through this company keeps your credit score safe, and you have a higher chance of being approved for a loan through this company than with any other lender based on the peer-to-peer lending.

Citizens Banks

There are no fees associated with this type of consolidation loan or refinance. This bank has a program in play that allows their consumers a chance to save more money in the form of a bonus when they apply for a loan. The rates are low, the savings are significant, and the customers of this bank are always happy with what’s offered to them.

There are several options for people to consolidate private and federal student loans through different banks. It’s not always simple to get a loan for a student loan consolidation or refinance, but these banks do make it easy. Be sure you have the qualifications to apply for a loan of this nature, and send your application to the bank as quickly as you can. It’s a simple way to find money when you need it most to help you save.

Best Cell-Phone Companies: Big or Small Carrier?

Best Cell-Phone Companies: Big or Small Carrier?

Everyone wants to have cell phone service from a provider that they feel is the “best.” The problem with trying to figure out which provider is best is that best means different things to different people. Desirable cell phone characteristics fall into five categories: pricing, products, customer service, service quality and features. A big cell phone company could be the best for one person and the worst for another. However, the following are some of the best carriers under the various categories. An interested person can sift through this information and find the best option to choose for personal service:

Inexpensive Service: Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless knows how to help consumers to make the most out of their cell phones and their dollars. The company offers a wide range of plans that start at about $5 and go all the way up to $90 a month. The $15 plan allows the consumer to use cellular service for phone calls and Wi-Fi connects for data. The other plans offer a specific amount of cell data, with the $90 plan offering up to 10 GB per month. All of the plans have unlimited talking and texting on them. Furthermore, Republic Wireless offers some of the most popular phones on the market and uses Sprint’s reliable service. https://republicwireless.com/cell-phone-plans/

Deliverer of Quality: Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless has always been the master of high-quality reception and premium goods. It still holds its name tightly. The company received first place in a contest that TopTenReviews had for its amazing service. Verizon has an inventory full of the cream-of-the-crop cell phones. The plans are easy to understand. The customer must pay a monthly fee for phone service and a separate fee for data. The prices may be on the high side, but it’s worth it if the user can complete calls without screaming, “Heh?” www.verizonwireless.com

Wide Variety of Phones and Payment Plan: T-Mobile

T-mobile not only has a wide variety of cell phone options, but also it allows its customers to obtain a cell phone and maintain it by simply making small payments each month. Moreover, the company’s service is starting soar beyond belief. It’s 4G LTE is now something to be rivaled. No one has to go without a mobile phone with this company. Another impressive thing about T-Mobile is that they include all monthly taxes and fees in the price that they give their clients. No customer has to be unpleasantly surprised by a bill that doesn’t seem to know how to below.

Customer Service: AT&T Wireless

AT&T Wireless may only be number two for quality, but it is number one for customer service. The workers greet people immediately inside of the physical stores whether it is busy or not. Phone representatives are truly concerned about resolving issues for customers, as well. Another thing that is positive about AT&T is that it offers a large inventory of cell phones. The company has very good reception, as well. It provides some strong competition for Verizon Wireless.

Features: Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile is good for the features and the way the company treats the customers. The company provides its customers with a discount on their service if they pay for it faithfully. Customers can get $5 off of their monthly bill. That may not seem as if it is much, but it can help immensely. Boost also carries a variety of phones that customers love to pieces.

Deals: Credo Mobile

Anyone who is searching for a deal will appreciate Credo Mobile. Credo Mobile offers amazing deals to people who are not afraid to switch from their current providers. They can receive massive discounts on the phones they choose and their monthly bill. Credo Mobile puts it all on the line just to say to its customers, “Thank you.” Credo has been around since 1985 and follows the old-school contracted cell phone service model. Consumers can take advantage by taking Credo’s offer to supply them with inexpensive service.

You should be able to find something worthwhile in this list of generous providers. keep looking, and you will find what’s right for you. And if your looking to sell your cell phone to replace it with a new one then here’s an option.

3 Types of Insurance You Need – And 3 You Don’t

3 Types of Insurance You Need – And 3 You Don’t

Insurance is a subject many consumers discuss, but rarely with a happy tone to the conversation. Insurance is expensive, and it’s not always readily available. With the addition of Obamacare to the nation, it’s more difficult than ever to find affordable insurance, and many consumers are left without insurance as a result. Finding insurance is stressful enough, but it’s made more stressful when you aren’t entirely positive which insurance you need and which you don’t. This advice can help you on your quest to find the right insurance for the best price. Knowing what you need versus what you don’t makes it easier to search for comprehensive coverage for all your insurance needs.

Three Types of Insurance You Need

Homeowner’s insurance is a need. You cannot finance a home without it, and you cannot live without it even when your home is paid for. If anything happens to your home, can you afford to make the repairs or replace it all together? Probably not, and the simple fact is anything can happen at any time. Natural disasters, fires, break-ins, and even injuries. Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers more than just the basics. If someone comes to your home and falls down your stairs, they could sue. Without an insurance policy, you become personally liable for the damages you owe them. It can cause financial ruin without insurance.

Auto insurance is another must. This is for the same reason as homeowner’s insurance. Your financial future depends on being able to pay for damages caused by your car. If someone else hits you and they don’t have insurance, your insurance covers the cost of the damage. If you don’t have insurance, can you afford to pay out of pocket for the medical bills you’ve incurred or the repair or replacement to your car? Additionally, no bank will finance a car without auto insurance.

Health Insurance is the third must-have. You must have this insurance if you hope to stay financially stable. Even a simple doctor appointment for a fever can run you hundreds of dollars in cash if you don’t have insurance. Many people don’t have that kind of money. With the introduction of Obamacare, you are required by law to carry health insurance or pay hefty fines at the end of the year.

Three Types of Insurance You Don’t Need

Credit card insurance is not mandatory, and it doesn’t protect you as you might assume. You might have the option to choose this when you check out of any store or online, but it’s usually more money than it’s worth. The purpose of this type of insurance is for the company to make the minimum payment for you each month if your income is affected.

Child life insurance is another policy you don’t need. Unless your child pays for your monthly bills, insuring their life is not worth the money you’ll pay to do it. Financial experts recommend you not think about your child dying. Think of them living, their future, and their income. Put your money to good use and save it for their college, car, or wedding fund instead.

Fraud insurance for your credit card is another type of insurance you don’t need. Even if you’re worried someone might take your identity and run up debt in your name using your card, you shouldn’t worry. This is possible and it does happen, but you’re protected. The most you’ll be liable for is $50. That amount is significantly lower than the cost of the actual insurance for your card.

Insurance is a fickle subject, and everyone has an opinion regarding what you need and don’t need. You need insurance to cover you in case of a financial emergency, but you don’t need other types. The industry wants your money, so don’t give them more than they’re already getting by purchasing policies for things that aren’t financially pressing. Talk to your insurer about the types you do need, and move past the ones you don’t need to protect you from financial downfall. Save your money for more pressing things, such as living your life to the fullest.

12 Ways to Get the Lowest Mortgage Refinance Rates

12 Ways to Get the Lowest Mortgage Refinance Rates

Refinancing mortgages is something many consumers do. As the Federal Reserve drops rates to historic lows, more homeowners look to refinance their mortgages. Some do it for a lower rate, a better monthly payment, and a grand total of less interest paid over the life of their loans. Others do it to take out some equity in their home, extend the life of their loan, and have a bit more financial freedom. The why behind consumer’s decisions to do this is unimportant in comparison to the how. How will consumers find the lowest refinance rates? There are a few tips that might help.

Check Your Credit

If your credit is imperfect, you won’t qualify for the lowest rates. Check your credit before you apply for any mortgage, and see if it’s where it needs to be. You want to see your score, but you must also check to see there are no mistakes on the report.

Fix Mistakes on Your Credit

Your credit could contain mistakes, which is why you check. If you find mistakes, contact the creditor who made the mistake as well as the credit bureau. Do both in writing, present your evidence, and ask for a chance. The creditor has 30 days to correct or dispute your issue with the bureaus. If they don’t, your score is changed.

Pay Off Debt

If you have debt, your debt-to-income ratio is high. If you can pay off debts and make that smaller, you can qualify for a better rate and a bigger mortgage. Debt is never positive, so pay it off as quickly as you can to increase your credit score and your credit profile.

Try a HARP Mortgage

If you owe a lot of on your home and you have a lot of debt, this might be the best solution for you. It’s a government-backed program that offers homeowner assistance for those who don’t have their finances in perfect order.

Save Money

Closing is expensive, and you can get a better rate if you pay your closing costs out of pocket rather than financing them. It’s up to you to find a way to make this happen, but you can save for a few months before applying for a mortgage, or you can take money from your savings account to make these payments possible.

Compare Rates

Never accept a first offer without first checking out all the other offers available. You can do this online by asking different banks for rate quotes, and by checking to see where the lowest rates are possible in your area. It’s far easier than you assume, and it’s also something you can do without much effort. Pick the best and go from there.

Get a Co-Signer

Do you have a spouse who has better credit who can co-sign this loan with you? It helps to know that someone can do this, and that you can get a lower rate as a result if their credit profile is more promising than your own.

Check Different Loan Options

There are loan options available to you that you might not even know exist. Ask around for different tips and advice from banks on how you can get lower rates for your personal financial situation. Someone might have an option for you that you didn’t know existed.

Speak To Your Credit Union

Is your credit less than perfect? If you have a long-standing relationship with a credit union, you might find it’s easier to apply for a loan with them than it is to apply elsewhere. Credit unions have a reputation for willingly working with their customers even if they have less than perfect credit. It’s a great solution.

Know Your Options

If you have imperfect credit, you must know your rates won’t be as low as others. This doesn’t mean you can’t get a low rate for your particular score, but you do need to know you won’t get the lowest offered rates by any lender.

Be Upfront with Your Lenders

When applying for a refinance, talk to the lender and discuss your financial history with them. If you can get them on board with your life, you might get a better rate. For example, if you can explain to them why you made late payments at some point, they might be more willing to work with you now.

Take Your Time

If you can wait a year to refinance, you can pay down debts and improve your credit score. This raises your chances of getting a lower rate, and it’s always worth the additional time it takes to make it happen.

Refinancing your home should be more affordable rather than more expensive, which is why these options are usually the most helpful.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Expense?

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Expense?

The decision to get pet insurance can be a tricky one. You have to consider a few factors, such as whether it’s within your monthly budget limitations and if your pet needs medical attention often enough in order for you to feel the expense is justified. We will give you further information in order to help you make the best decision regarding insurance for your pet.

The Expense

Medical bills can be a financial burden, and the ones for pets are no exception. If your dog, cat or other animal becomes ill and requires an operation or other special treatment, it can cost thousands of dollars. Some, like Veterinary Pet Insurance spokesman Grant Biniasz, argue that having insurance for your pets is a wise investment.

“If you look at any form of insurance and try to run the numbers, you’re going to find that most people are not going to get back what they pay in premiums. But the people who do are happy they made the investment,” Biniasz said.

Pet insurance premiums will take money out of your bank account on a monthly basis. However, the $20 to $60 it costs each month might be much easier to take compared to a bill that potentially costs several thousand dollars at once.

When to Buy

The best time to purchase an insurance plan for your pet is today. Why? Because they’re not getting any younger. You and your pet will receive the lowest price plans when they’re younger, as they will be much less prone to having medical problems that would require higher premiums. Just like how teen drivers are subject to higher premiums due to their inexperience, older pets are subject to higher premiums due to their greater tendency towards falling ill.

Comparison Shopping

VPI is the oldest pet insurance company, but it is not the only one. When you look into getting pet insurance, you need to have an understanding of everything you would require for your pet in order to justify the expense. For instance, if your pet has a congenital, hereditary or developmental condition, you need to choose a policy with terms that don’t exclude coverage based on those conditions. You also need to pay attention to the various caps the policy may have in place for your pet, which could affect the duration of coverage being offered.

Finding the Right Vet

If you choose your insurance plan before you choose a veterinarian, then you need to make sure that they are approved under the conditions of your policy. For instance, if your vet is a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, they’ll be unable to treat your pet under a policy which specifies membership of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Alternatives

If you choose to not purchase pet insurance, you still need to consider the possibility of medical expenses for your pet, who will at least require checkups. You should have your own emergency fund for your pet that you deposit money into on a regular basis.

Conclusion

We recommend purchasing pet insurance for the security and peace of mind it provides. Yes, it will require a bit of a financial sacrifice each month. However, should anything happen to your pet that requires medical treatment, you’ll be glad you decided to go with insurance. Take the time to research good policies and consult with anyone you know who has pet insurance.

How and Why to Refinance Your Mortgage: 5 Tips

How and Why to Refinance Your Mortgage: 5 Tips

Refinance to Lower Your Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve Bank is starting to edge interest rates higher from their historic lows. If you have a mortgage that is in good standing but has a higher interest rate it may be beneficial to you to refinance your mortgage with your financial lender to lower your interest rate. Lowering the interest of your mortgage will save you money by lowering the amount of money you have to pay towards interest every month. Evaluate the closing costs and determine if this is the correct course of action for you.

Refinance to Change from an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage to a Fix-Rate Mortgage

Due to the change economy, interest rates are slowly creeping higher, because of this raise, an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate will increase as well. Some ARMs may have a balloon payment at the end of the loan, which could end up breaking your budget. In order to save money in the future you may want to change your mortgage to a fix-rate mortgage, locking in rates for the remaining time on your mortgage.

Refinance to Take Advantage of the HARP Solution

The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP is a US government program that helps those who have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan refinance to a more affordable mortgage. The program is for those home owners that are underwater on their mortgage or if the loan is either at or greater than 80 percent of mortgage amount. However, this program has a deadline and those who wish to apply must do so before September 30, 2017.

Refinance to Adjust the length of Your Mortgage

By refinancing the current amount on your home mortgage, you may be able to lower your monthly payment simply by extending the length of the loan. However, keep in mind, that adjusting the length of your mortgage will force you to pay a monthly payment for a longer term.

The other side of this option is to decrease the term of the loan such as going from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage. Generally, a 15-year mortgage has a lower interest rate, you will pay less interest over the life of the loan, and you will be finished with the loan faster, but your monthly payment will be higher.

Refinance to Get Rid of PMI

PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance is a type of insurance that protects the lender for any mortgage that has been issued with little or no down payment. If you place a 20 percent down payment on a mortgage, then you avoid PMI. When a mortgage has 20 percent of equity in a home then, typically, the PMI is cancelled. If you choose to refinance your home, due to your home going up in value or if you have saved some money to add to the mortgage then you can reduce your monthly payment by removing the PMI.

As always it is best to shop around for the best rates and a lender that will have your best interest at heart, who will find a product that will best suit your needs.

Do I Need a Debt Relief Program or Can I do it Myself?

Do I Need a Debt Relief Program or Can I do it Myself?

If you have fallen on hard times, you can still repair your credit. You can start by not carrying a high credit card balance. Seek credit counseling to help you prepare budgets and pay within your means. Reign in your credit card balances and get rid of useless credit cards. You only need two of them. Leave your account open even if you have paid off the debt. Pay your bills on time to get a favorable rating.

Track credit card balances

Maxing out your credit cards sends the wrong message to the credit bureaus and creditors. Each time you apply for credit, the organization looks at your debt to credit ratio. Businesses will look at your credit score and rate you based on a simple calculation. If your debt is below 30 percent of the math, it is time to reduce the debt and repair your credit.

Your debt-to-income ratio is another tool lenders use to issue you credit. They need to know you can keep up with your monthly payments. If you do not keep your credit card balance below the limit, creditors will wonder if you are a real risk. Make sure your credit card balances are less than half of the credit limit if you want to repair your credit. It will increase your credit score.

Credit Counseling Organization

It is workable to repair your credit according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can be successful even if you have had an adverse financial history. All creditors do not have the same rules. They set standards based on the service they offer. You can get in touch with each of them and ask to see their procedures.

If you feel you cannot keep up with a creditor’s payment plan, contact a debt relief program or credit counseling agency. Several of them are non-profit organizations. Even though the company says, “non-profit,” it may still charge a fee for its services. A few credit counseling agencies work through local offices. They work at universities, credit unions, and housing authorities. You can also get help through branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service.

The counselors will coach you on managing your debt and how to prepare a budget. Certified counselors work with the credit counseling agencies. Their certification includes consumer credit, money, and debt management. They will help you to repair your credit.

Part of the discussion includes reviewing your financial history. They will also consider your current financial position. Based on the results, they will offer you a personalized plan to fit your budget. The first session will take about an hour. Take advantage of their free educational materials and workshops. They will help you to repair your credit.

Get rid of credit card balances

If you have several credit cards with small balances, pay them off as soon as possible. Part of the FICO Score calculations looks at the balances on each credit card. Instead of charging up several credit cards, try to use one or two cards to build a solid history. Two cards are all you need to help repair your credit in the long-run.

Do not close your accounts

If you have finished paying off your debt on a few credit cards you own, leave the accounts open. Lenders will think you are a good risk when they see a report with zero balance on open lines of credit. Part of your FICO Score takes into account the length of your credit history.

The longer you have an open account with a zero balance, the higher your score will be. Leave the accounts open as long as possible. If you remove them, it will lower your credit score and will not help you to repair your credit.

Pay bills on time

When you pay your bills on time, it looks favorable on your credit report. If you are late with paying any of your bills, it will show up on your credit report and lowers your credit score. If a collections agency gets involved because of a past due amount, your FICO Score could be at risk.

Conclusion

Repairing your credit includes following a few steps: The first phase involves monitoring your account balances. Make sure you are not nearing the credit limit or going over it. Stay below half of the credit limit. Contact credit counseling organizations. They will help you to plan budgets and pay within your means. If you have several credit cards with small balances, pay them off and use only two of them. Do not close the accounts you have finished paying. Leave them open and please pay your bills on time.

The Definitive Guide to Debt Consolidation

The Definitive Guide to Debt Consolidation

Millions of Americans live with substantial debt, which keeps them from being able to live the lives they imagine. Debt is a crippling problem for many, and the amount of debt each family lives with varies. Student loan debt, credit card debt, and other loans mean families are paying thousands of dollars in interest every year, and it’s money they could use to pay for the college education of their children, to pay off their mortgage faster, and even to live without so much fear of financial downfall.

Debt is a serious problem in the United States, and there’s very little many Americans feel they can do about their debt. Making payments is difficult. It’s not easy to spend money on debt when very little is left over for everything else. That’s why so many Americans turn to debt consolidation loan companies to help them with their finances. Anyone considering credit or debt consolidation should take their time to understand what it means and how it will help their families in the future.

Take What You Need

Debt consolidation leaves many feeling as though they can afford more than they can. It means they take what they’re offered rather than what they need. All this does is put families further into debt. Assuming you have $20,000 in debt you’d like to pay off, you’d consolidate $20,000. If you accept a loan offer of $30,000 and pocket the other $10,000, you’re further in debt with your consolidation than you were before you made this decision. When it’s time to consolidate, don’t do the unthinkable and take out more than you already owe. You have a debt to yourself to pay off your debts without incurring even more.

It Might Be More Expensive

Depending on interest rates and how long you take to consolidate your loans, you might pay more over time than you would just paying them off as you are. The math is complex for each individual, but don’t allow a simple interest rate to confuse you into thinking you’re automatically saving money with consolidation. If you could pay off your debts in three years at the rate you’re going but need eight years to pay them off with consolidation, you’re probably spending thousands of dollars in interest you wouldn’t pay otherwise. And you’re in debt five years longer.

Understand Fees

Fees associated with the best debt relief programs are oftentimes substantial. Your job is to find a way to do the math and figure what’s more cost-effective for you. Do you have a chance to pay off your loans without fees by leaving them as they are, or do you need to consolidate? The fees are often too expensive for families to pay and send you spiraling further into debt. If you cannot afford to do that, you cannot afford to take out a consolidation loan.

Your Credit

Your credit score is another substantial factor. If you don’t have good enough credit to apply for a traditional consolidation loan, you leave yourself the option of working with debt consolidation companies. This requires ending payments to your creditors, affecting your credit negatively, and spending time paying off debt that’s now causing you further credit damage. If your credit isn’t very good, it might not be the best idea to consider consolidation as a way of protecting your financial future.

Debt consolidation is always different depending on the person who is looking into it. Not all debts are created equally, which means not all consolidation loans are created the same way. Some people save and end up out of debt as a result. Others aren’t able to get through their debt repayments without incurring more debt. Spend every dollar to pay off debts, forgo the fun things in life now so you can enjoy them more later, and spend any unexpected funds you receive on paying off your debts. It’s a lot of work now, but it’s worth it when your bills are paid and you’re able to walk through life without worrying about your finances ever again.

Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What’s the Difference?

Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What’s the Difference?

When opening a bank account, you should first determine which type of account best fits your needs. The most common kinds fall under either checking or savings. Knowing which type of account you need allows you tailor your banking experience. Although subtle variances exist from bank to bank, the basic differences between checking and savings accounts apply to all institutions. Banks are allowed to set their own fees, restrictions, and requirements to open accounts. Always check with your preferred banking facility to avoid unnecessary fees.

Purpose

Checking

Primarily, checking accounts are used for everyday banking, such as paying bills, buying groceries, and other daily transactions. They allow you to withdraw your money quickly and with minimal effort. Most individuals deposit funds into their checking accounts as they get paid, often by direct deposit. They then utilize their checking account numerous times a day to conveniently pay for the things they need. Checking accounts typically do not offer interest on money held in the account, but offer easy, regular access.

Savings

On the other hand, savings accounts exist to aid you in saving money. They can be created for multiple purposes, including college tuition, emergency funds, or saving for a new car. Their main purpose is to save money. They offer long term, risk free savings. Extra money is deposited and earns interest while it stays in the account. These accounts are specifically tailored to minimize access and encourage saving. People often find it easier to resist the temptation to spend when their money rests in a savings account.

Ways to Access Money

Checking

Your checking account offers many ways to access your money. You can easily obtain funds by visiting an ATM, writing a check, or making purchases with your debit card. Each method of payment is useful for different circumstances. If you need a record of payment, write a check. Stop by an ATM to pull out cash, or use your debit card if you forget. Often checking accounts offer online bill pay and external online transactions, such as auto drafts. Many banks also provide overdraft protection.

Savings

Savings accounts encourage savings by discouraging withdrawals. You probably will not receive a debit card or checks with your savings account. To access your money, you will need to request a withdrawal. Sometimes this means going to the bank in person and making a request. However, many banks now allow you to transfer money from your savings account to your checking online or in a mobile app. Some banks even allow you to pull money from your savings account at an ATM with the debit card to your checking account. While savings accounts limit the ways you can access your money, they are still more flexible than other accounts such as a CD or 401(k).

Restrictions

Checking

Limitations on checking accounts usually involve the person obtaining them. For example, most banks require the account owner be over eighteen years of age. Individuals with poor banking history or credit history may be denied checking account privileges. However, many banks offer second chance checking accounts with limited functions during a probationary period. Transaction limits are extremely uncommon for checking accounts.

Savings

Banks typically allow individuals under the age of eighteen to open savings accounts with an adult signer. This allows adolescents to understand the concept of savings without the responsibility of a checking account. However, as decreed by the FDIC, banks must limit account holders to 6 convenient transactions in a monthly time period. Transfers or withdrawals made by telephone, computer, fax, check, or debit card are considered convenient transactions. Also, automatic transfers by the bank to cover overdrafts are convenient transactions. If you go over the number of allowed transactions, you may be charged fees, or the bank may switch your account type.

Checking and savings accounts were developed to provide customers with a variety of banking options. Choosing the right one is important to avoid unnecessary fees. You also want to make sure your account works for you. Once you have determined which best suits your needs, consult with your personal bank to determine fees and deposit requirements. Most banks will provide you with a chart comparing the different account types.

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