Get the Facts Before You Borrow

Get the Facts Before You Borrow

In the current economic climate, alternative means of obtaining money to make ends meet are becoming increasingly necessary. Some alternatives include borrowing money from friends/relatives; cash advances from employers; pawning personal effects and payday loans. Also known as a check/cash advance loan or deferred deposit check loan, the payday loan is the most popular among these. As payday loans grown in popularity, more and more people want to know just what a payday loan is, and if it is the right solution for their situation.

SO, WHAT IS A PAYDAY LOAN?

A payday loan is an unsecured, short-term loan of anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as fifteen hundred dollars in some instances. A borrower generally secures the loan by post-dating a personal check for a specific amount of money to be posted against their account on their next pay period. Payday loans are designed to help out in situations when you need quick cash to cover an unexpected bill or an emergency situation until your cash comes through or is made available.

A payday loan is NOT a revolving line of credit. It is short-term and that is a key factor in this type of loan. The idea is to take out the loan to cover a small bump in the road or to smooth out any rough financial edges until your next payday. If you are thinking of the payday loan as way to repair a much bigger financial problem, the advice is to STOP! A payday loan can create bigger problems down the road when used as part of an overall troubled cash flow situation.

SO, WHAT IS A PAYDAY LOAN?

The most important thing to remember about payday loans is that they must be repaid on time in order to avoid paying insane fees that could potentially equal or surpass the amount of the loan itself! It is the renewing of the loan and failing to repay it on time that can create a major financial dilemma for the borrower.

Most loans have a repayment period of four to eighteen days depending upon the terms negotiated with the lender. The repayment schedule and the method of repayment is arranged at the time the loan is disbursed. More often than not, the borrower will agree to pay the loan in full with cash on or before the due date. Additionally, some lenders may opt to collect on the loan by depositing the borrower’s post-dated check against his/her bank account on a mutually agreed upon date.

With payday loans, there is a fixed rate fee calculated into repayment on each loan disbursed. The average rate is $15.00 to $20.00 dollars per $100.00 dollars borrowed. Due to the nature of the quick turn-around time of payday loans, the annual percentage rate or (APR) is generally very high. It is not uncommon for the (APR) to be 100%, 200% or even as high as 400% in some cases.

If a borrower is unable to repay a loan at the scheduled time, the lending institution may agree to rollover the loan allowing more time for repayment. The drawback to rolling a loan over is that additional fees are added to your account. For example, if the fee to borrow $100.00 is $15.00 and the borrower rolled over the loan three times, then the new fee would be $60.00. That is the original $15.00 fee plus three times that fee itself added to each $100.00 borrowed.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A PAYDAY LOAN?

Generally, the only major requirement for a payday loan is that you have a job. Your job is your assurance that you will be able to repay the loan. It is expected that you will be receiving a paycheck, and therefore, the money to cover the loan. Good credit isn’t necessary or even required for the payday loan to be approved. The lending institution only wants to see that you are employed and have a steady income. In essence, your job is your collateral

Getting a payday loan is actually a simple procedure. You apply, and if approved, sign paperwork that indicates your promise to repay the loan on the lender’s terms. Be sure to take the time to carefully read the terms of the loan and do not be afraid to ask questions about what those terms mean. Often, these kinds of contracts are written in a legalized, financial jargon that is not easily understood by the average consumer.

BORROWER BEWARE!

If you feel the lender’s representative is not able to fully answer your questions, please say so! If the terms of the loan are not clear to you, do not take the loan until you fully understand them. Teachers always say that the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. This is true! Again, if you do not understand all the terms of the loan, do not sign paperwork until those terms have been fully explained to you. Otherwise, you are legally bound by those terms that could prove disastrous for you if you fail to act in accordance with the terms of the loan. We would like to think that everyone is above board, but not all lenders are. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous lenders out there who intend to make a profit at your expense.

It has been noted by the NAACP and the Department of Defense that payday loan offices have strategically opened offices near military bases and in socio-economically disenfranchised areas where the demographic is largely African American and Hispanic. Many reputable financial institutions, consumer groups, and civil organizations are doing all they can to shut down payday loan offices, but their efforts to date have been largely unsuccessful.

BORROW IF YOU NEED TO, BUT BE SMART ABOUT IT!

With the often strict guidelines used by reputable lenders, many people are getting caught up in the cycle of payday loans because of their immediate benefits. When emergencies occur and cash is needed, payday loan companies offer fast, hassle free cash. More often than not, most have no minimum credit requirements and do not perform background checks. In most cases, all that is needed to secure a payday loan is a recent pay stub and proof of a checking account. In these regards, payday loans and cash advances do offer consumers financial options in emergencies. On the other hand, more and more people are getting caught up in this vicious cycle of borrowing which can lead to financial ruin. This is not good, especially considering that the loan was probably taken out to avert a financial disaster in the first place. With pros and cons like these, it would seem that the best advice would be to borrow if you absolutely must, but do so with extreme caution.

Being proactive is probably the best strategy or, as conventional wisdom holds, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. Take an honest look at your family finances and come up with creative ways to not have to borrow. Consider trimming the fat out of your budget, pledging to save a little money from each paycheck, and reducing credit card and revolving debt.

A little effort on your part can make a huge difference not only in your financial situation, but in your quality of life as well. Nevertheless, if you must take out a payday loan, remember the following key points:

– Payday loans are NOT revolving lines of credit

– Repay your loan on time!

– Do not plan on rolling your loan over. Plan, instead, to pay it off

– The only “stupid” question is the one you don’t ask

– Payday loans have terms & conditions of repayment. Know and abide by them

– Payday loans can ruin your finances and jeopardize your job if you are not careful

– An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure

Understanding Student Loans

Understanding Student Loans

Understanding Student Loans

Students who opt for higher studies often find that they lack the required capital to fund their anticipated study program stretching perhaps to several years. Fortunately, there are many institutions that a student can turn to for assistance for financing his education program. Except in the case of grants and scholarships, all other loans taken have to be re-paid; and unfortunately this fact does not strike the borrower forcefully enough at the time of obtaining loans. The obvious reason for same is since many repayments start only on graduation; and due to a feeling of satisfaction for the time being at finding the funds to cover more and more of the direct education costs and other education related expenses.

There is a cost attached to every loan that you take and it is very important that you educate yourself first on the types of loans available, which carry fixed as well as variable rates of interest during the lifetime of the loan. Even at fixed rates, the rates attached to different types of loans differ, as does the repayment periods, deferment options etc. It is also pertinent to visit websites of different lenders and do an in-depth study of the diverse packages on offer and / or negotiable, incorporating varying concessions on credit terms with regard to rate of interest, repayment period, deferment options etc; so that you can select the type and lender that best suits the circumstances on a case by case basis.

For purposes of college education, it is the Student Loans (except for limited Perkins Loans) that carry the most favorable all-round terms than any other general financial loans, and as such your search should mainly be confined to all types of student loans only.

1. Student Loans may be classified broadly under 2 categories:

(a) Federal Loans

Government sponsored loans executed via the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and generally carry fixed, low interest rates; Perkins and Stafford Subsidized loans are need based while Stafford Unsubsidized and PLUS loans are not need based; but do not generally cover related costs of education such as tuition, books, computers, board and living expenses etc. Multiple options for re-payments and deferments may be available. Can be obtained through schools, banks and other student loans lending institutions

(b) Private Loans

Granted by private lenders and are obviously at higher interest rates than federal loans, but you do not have to show financial need for the amount of the loan and there is also no maximum limit, but have to show a good credit score. Deferment options may be obtainable (though at a price). Credit terms obtainable can be further improved by getting a good cosigner to support your loan application. A parent can apply on behalf of a student as a co-borrower to take advantage of his / her good credit score, but the responsibility for the loan lies with student as well as co-borrower parent.

2. Federal Loans comprise mainly of 3 types of loans:

(a) Perkins Loans

To qualify, have to establish “need” for exceptional financial aid, and be enrolled in school at least half time. Carries a Government subsidized fixed interest rate of 5%. Borrowing is limited to $ 4,000 for undergraduates and $ 6,000 for graduates.

(b) Stafford Loans

General conditions applicable for all types of Stafford Loans

To qualify, have to be already enrolled in a college at least half time or planning to be enrolled at least half time in a school participating in the FFELP Scheme, sometimes trade and business schools also may be considered; but those attending full time could obtain enhanced loans than those attending half time. Interest rate is currently fixed at 6.8%.

The applicant has to show the need for financial aid in respect of Stafford Subsidized Loans, (although it is not necessary to show need for financial aid to get a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan). No credit check is required; loans are low interest bearing at a standard fixed rate. Stafford Loans come in three types with prefix “Subsidized”, “Unsubsidized” and “Additional Unsubsidized”.

Essential differences between Subsidized & Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

The meaning of “subsidized” in the context of these loans is that the federal government guarantees the loan and also pays the interest component of the loan while the student remains at school as well as in the case of any and every occasion a deferment of payments is allowed to the student on request. In the case of unsubsidized loans the student undertakes to pay the interest as well and although deferments may be allowed, the consequent accrued interest also has to be paid by the student, thereby adding to the total cost of the loan.

Stafford Subsidized Loan

Log term, low interest, need based which has to be shown by filling a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but no credit check is required;, Loan guaranteed by federal government and interest too paid by government, postponement of payments possible in some cases and if allowed, accrued interest thereon too will be paid by the government.

Stafford Unsubsidized Loans

Log term, low interest, not need based, no credit check, interest is paid by the student; postponement of payments is possible in some cases, but accrued interest thereon is payable by the student. More suitable for those who don’t qualify for other loans or those who still need additional funding for their education.

Stafford Additional Unsubsidized Loan

Federal guidelines classify certain students as “Independent Students”. Another branch of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans known as Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are generally reserved for borrowers from this Independent Students category.

To change your status from eligibility for a subsidized loan from an initial eligibility for only an unsubsidized loan.

Although a student may initially not qualify for a subsidized loan because of his lesser need in virtue of his part time work or other income, if he now quits his work / employment, he can fill a fresh application form showing his changed financial status and the new need for additional financial aid which may qualify him for a subsidized loan on the second occasion.

If this succeeds, it would make a very big difference to your total cost ultimately payable as an unsubsidized loan ends up very much costlier than a subsidized loan to repay, for obvious reasons.

Students may defer interest payments until graduation or up to when school attendance ends. When repayments start, a student may find himself owing anything between $ 20,000 – $ 100,000 or even more. Loan Repayment re-scheduling is not always negotiable and Stafford Loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

(c) PLUS Loans (Parent Loan Undergraduate Students).

Parents do not have to show financial need to apply. The only federal loan where a credit check is required (although not a full scale check), however, parents should have not have had any adverse credit experience / records of default or bankruptcy; interest rate is currently fixed at 8.5%. This type of loan is disbursed to parents of undergrad dependent children who are enrolled in school at least halftime. (independent children are not eligible). Can borrow up to total cost of entire education of a dependent child undergraduate less: any grants, scholarships received. Repayments start after 60 – 90 days from the full disbursement of the loan; or after the student graduates.

3. Private Loans

These are also known as Alternative Education Loans and are offered by private lenders. There are no federal forms to be filled and these loans are not need based. Eligibility will depend on a good credit score. The rate of interest is (obviously) higher than in the case of federal loans and variable. Maximum amount that can be borrowed as well as a reduction in the interest rate are dependent on how good your credit score is. If your credit score is not good enough for the lender, to service your maximum requirements, getting a cosigner of high credit standing to support your application may achieve those extra benefits for you. These loans are generally taken as a supplement to federal loans to bridge the gap between the borrower’s actual requirement of financial aid and the limited amount that can be borrowed under federal loans programs; or when they need more flexible repayment options.

4. Conclusion:

We have given above concise and yet sufficient details in order to get an all round basic idea of all types of student loans available for the funding of educational programs. We have not tried to overload this article with comprehensive details and facts pertaining to these loans since we have already posted 2 separate and more comprehensive articles on Federal Loans and Private Loans under the captions of Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans respectively.

Home Equity Loans in Texas

Home Equity Loans in Texas

A few notes of importance:

This only applies to a homestead property, that is the customers primary residence
LTV refers to Loan to Value, meaning the loan amount as compared to the value of the home. As an example, a loan of $75,000 on a home valued at $100,000 would be a loan at 75% LTV.
These specifics only apply to Texas cash out loans in the State of Texas – obvious, but I had to put it in here.
Although the actual Texas Cash Out Laws in Texas have not had any “major” modifications in the last few years, there have been minor adjustments made, that does not mean that future changes will not occur.

Essential Information

First, and foremost, I will highlight some of the most important points of Texas Cash Out loans:

A person can only have one homestead propety
Any Texas Cash Out loan is limited to a maximum of 80% LTV
Only one Texas Cash Out Loan may be given in any 12 month period
A 12 day “cooling off period” , known as the 12 day letter, is required on every transaction
A maximum of 3% of the loan amount can be charged to the customer which includes all closing costs
Once a Home Equity loan is taken on a persons homestead, all transactions following from that point on (with the exception of the sale of the property) are considered Texas Cash Out loans.
In regards to the last point, just to further clarify, even if you are refinancing the balance of a current Cash Out loan and not getting any new cash out, it is still considered a Texas Cash Out loan. The rule is quite simple, once a cash out, always a cash out loan.
Every owner of the property must given the HUD-1 settlement statement for review at least 24 hours prior to closing your loan

The Process

The process of obtaining a Texas Cash Out loan is really only slightly different than a home equity loan or refinance loan in any other state. Yes, the documentation and requirements are different, but the process itself is very similar.

Before applying to obtain a cash out loan in Texas, you have to realize that you are limited, by State Law, to a maximum of 80% LTV for the new loan. So, if your house is worth (appraised value) of $200,000, then the maximum loan you can get, including any/all closing costs involved is $160,000. So, if you currently owe more than $160k on your current mortgage on the house, you wiil not be able to obtain a home equity loan in Texas. I only say this to save you some time and effort if it is your desire to get cash out or obtain a debt consolidation loan on your homestead property. You can also use this figure to estimate as to how much cash will be available to you from your new loan as a maximum amount.

You can also expect that your options will be more limited than if you were looking to simply do a rate/term refinance (refinance the balance of an existing loan) or purchase a home. Your options are more limited because not all lenders will do Texas Cash Out loans. The reasons are a combination of them not willing to adjust to the more stringent documentation requirements of the Texas Home Equity loan, some are simply because they believe the documentation and legal restrictions are simply too much of an additional burden on them to offer these types of loans. Understand that while the process itself is not that different from the consumer stand point, from a lenders stand point the differences are more unique and do require the lenders to essentially have a separate set of documents and, most likely, additional staffing just to manage and keep up with any/all changes to Texas Law regarding these loans.

The application process will be essentially the same as any other mortgage loan. You contact your mortgage broker or one or more mortgage lenders, give them your information and you are on your way. Once your applciation and credit have been evaluated, you will, as in any other mortgage transaction, receive a Good Faith Estimate and Truth in Lending within 3 days of you giving your information on an application. This can be used to compare your offers and to help you make an educated decision as to which lender/broker to go with. Once you have made the decision as to which company you will use, you will then be sent a disclosure package which will contain initial RESPA disclosures, other state required forms, lender required forms, and a list of items that you will need to provide along with these documents in order to get your loan completed. I have another section for disclosures (posting to be completed shortly), so I won’t go into the specific disclosures other than the ones that apply strictly to Texas Cash Out loans.

You can expect your loan to take longer than a standard mortgage loan. The reason is that Texas Law requires a 12 day cooling off period, so, your transaction cannot take place for at least 12 days after you sign that document which essentially states your rights as a consumer. In most cases, the delay may only be a couple of days as during that time period the normal other items can be taken care of simultaneously, ie., the appraisal, preliminary title report, and the gathering of the required documents from you, the consumer. I am simply saying that if you are anticipating your loan to done inside of two weeks, then you know now, that it is simply not possible.

Once your documents are in the hands of the company you chose, and the appraisal and title work are done, then the loan is underwritten and final approval is given as in any other mortgage transaction. At this time, there may be some outstanding conditions, or other documentation that may be required to be provided due to individual circumstances and/or is something was simply left out or missing from your file. Once those documents are provided, and your loan is cleared of all pending conditions or documentation, then the closing time/date is set and your documents are sent to the title company which prepares the documents for closing.

One item of note here, Texas Cash Out loans are required to be closed at a title company location, they cannot be closed in the customer’s home as some mortgage transactions are. This is strictly forbidden by Texas Home Equity Lending Laws, so don’t expect anyone to come to your home out of convience for you to close your loan, it just won’t happen in Texas.

Additionally, once your closing is set, it is a requirement that each owner of the property be given the HUD-1 settlement statement at least 24 hours prior to closing the loan. If any changes are made to the settlement statement before closing, then another 24 hours must be allowed before closing the loan, again, this is not optional. The reality is, in my opinion, this is actually a very good thing and one of the better laws that Texas has pertaining to home equity lending.

The fact that the consumer gets to see the actual HUD-1 settlement statement a day before the loan closing gives them the opportunity to ask questions and to make certain that everything is correct OR as stated on their initial Good Faith Estimate. This means that there can be no surprises at the closing table. If it were up to me, all consumers would get the HUD-1 one day prior to closing, that way all questions can be eliminated and it would make the closing go that much smoother as you would already be aware of exactly what the settlement statement has on it before you get to the closing table – that is for another discussion.

After you sign the documents there is a 3 day right of recission, as on all mortgage refinance transactions on owner occupied homes. This means, quite simply that once you sign, you are given copies of all documents and given 3 business days (Saturdays count) to review all documents and make your final decision as to whether or not you want the loan. Keep in mind that the decision is YES, unless you decide to say no. So, if you sign documents on Monday, you are given until midnight of Thursday to cancel the transaction, you loan funds on Friday. Friday is too late to cancel. So, if you are going to cancel, make cetain that you notify the title company as soon as possible but you only have until Thursday to do it.

Once your loan funds and you are given your proceeds (cash or payoff sent off), then you are done. Keep in mind that you cannot complete another Texas Cash Out loan for 12 months (1 year) to the day of your loan funding, without exception. You can’t even sign the initial disclosures on a new loan until after that 1 year is up. The reason I mention this is so that you realize that you only get one shot a year to do a loan like this, make sure you get what you need the first time because it will be a long time before you can do it again.

Military Payday Loans

Military Payday Loans

What is a payday loan? This is a small short-term loan for employees who are categorically perceived as those belonging to the lower socio-demographic class because they have no other financial options except to apply for a cash advance payday loan. The borrowers apply payday loans to bridge the cash flow gap between their paydays. Or sometimes, advanced cash payday loan usually provides cash for occurrences of emergencies in time of cash flow problem. This type of loan is typically handed out to the borrower in the form of cash and secured only of the borrower’s postdated check which may amount to the original loan principal and as well as the accrued interest. Payment is processed through in the maturity date by a traditional check or through electronic withdrawal from the client’s checking account. A military payday loan is one very common type everywhere in the world.

Military payday loans are intended specifically for the military men and women. No matter what is the rank or grade, those who served the armed forces are eligible for the application of a military payday loan. If a military man needs cash but payday is still far, he can apply for an instant military payday loan. An advantage of military payday loans is that application can be obtained wherever a military man may be. Many countries have already contracted online services to make payday loan services more accessible. So that whenever a military man resides, he can go online and fill out necessary forms and then send the application. If approved, cash advance may be received through an electronic funds transfer. Instant military payday loans are quick and easy because funds were provided specially for the military men and women’s emergency financial needs. Online application is secured and protected so transactions are safe and kept in privacy.

Another advantage of payday loans for military is its lower rates than other types of cash advance loans. Also, the military are also given option for choosing repayment schedule. If they cannot afford to pay it with one payday check, they can always pay back the loan with the next paychecks. Military loan companies are everywhere. Most of them understand the needs of the military man/woman and families. They knew how can a military man or woman affords so they these military payday loan companies how to equate the interests for their cash advance loans. Other military loan companies offer kind of loans that will aid servicemen to acquire new home, cars, or other things that might require higher expense. These companies offer easy and affordable mortgage plans. Basically, instant payday loans will afford military men and families an easier and keep finances in order.

Application for an instant military loan is also offered through phone line and is directly assisted with military loan consultant. Most reputable and reliable military loan companies are available for the customers. Military cash loans are not only available for active military men. There are also military corporate consumers loans companies who offer this same service to the retired military men. Retired armed forces men normally want to apply for a fast cash loan when circumstances of sudden need of large amount of money is needed like unexpected bills. Like the aforementioned type of instant cash payday loans, retired military loans also do not discriminate the ranks and grades of the former servicemen. As long as they have served the country and meet other related requirements, these men are also eligible for an application. And, likewise, best military cash loans provide lower interest rates than any other type of cash lending companies.

A military profession is a job that has stable and security guarantees. They are typically given grants and greater benefits than other employee types but one disadvantage is that they are not well compensated much like other working class. That’s why loan companies have sprouted all over the world to answer financial difficulties a military man usually encounters. To alleviate these men from difficulties, they only need to provide lending institution the necessary papers like military ETS, personal information, and of course checking account number. After approval, cash would be in their hands to improve their financial condition.