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Apple Federal Credit Union is a great credit union to use as a secondary credit union. I also have an account at Navy Federal which I am very happy with, but I would compare Apple federal credit as a close second. They give you $5 to sign up and as a student they give you great benefits. They came to my school and had a prize wheel that you could spin if you created an account and I made my account in under 3 minutes. I still use it today and think it is a great credit union if you are considering switching from a bank.
The Mango Prepaid Card has great benefits like live customer support, MasterCard Zero liability protection for fraud charges, and my favorite plus about the card is that I don't need to have a traditional bank card or checking account, which is really convenient for me. I used to have a Journey Student Rewards card because I'm in college but ever since the switch to this card I've saved a lot of time and rebuild a little bit of my credit. 4 stars.
Credit scores are one of many factors that you need to take into account before purchasing a home, but the minimum credit score that is required to get a down payment is around the 650 mark, but a score of around 720 or above will get you the lowest interest rates possible. Here are some things you might want to know about credit scores that can help you when purchasing a home.
The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rates. If you have a high credit score, then you will be getting the best and lowest deals on interest rates on your new home purchase. On some sites such as bankrate.com, you are required to have a credit score of 760 or above in order to get the lowest rate possible. If you have a credit score ranging from anywhere between 660-759, then you are still able to qualify for above average interest rates but aren't able to achieve the best ones. If your score is anywhere below 660, count on seeing a sharp hike in interest rates, and if your score is below 580, It is almost guaranteed that the interest rate will go up by at least 4 percentage points.
Another factor you need to take into account is whether or not you are going to purchase an FHA loan, as your credit score will affect this. The purchase of these loans brings along advantages such as the 3.5 percent down payment and the ability to qualify for a loan with a past bankruptcy or foreclosure. You must have a credit score of 580 or above if you want to qualify for one of these loans. Otherwise, you will be submitting a down payment of 10% or more and will be paying much more costs than anyone with a credit score at or above 580.
To sum it up, you need a score of about 650 in order to get a mortgage and a score between 660-759 to get an above average and favorable interest rate. The most favorable interest rates you can get go to the people with credit scores of 720 or above, and the lowest go to scores that are lower than 660. I would advise you to consider all of these factors and use them to your advantage before purchasing a home. Good luck with your decision!
While mortgage brokers do cause a lot of hassle and there are downsides, there are a lot of potential upsides that outweigh the disadvantages if you take the time to find the right broker. Here are a couple advantages and disadvantages to consider when thinking whether to hire a mortgage broker.
Connections. It's all about who you know these days, and by hiring a mortgage broker you can gain access to a plethora of lenders that you would never have had to contact and deal with on your own. You would have to compare mortgage rates and terms by yourself and hiring an advisor certainly takes away the headache of doing so. Another bonus is that the advisor may help you steer clear of lenders who impose burdensome costs or fees that are hidden away in their terms of payment. Some mortgage lenders even work with and have regular contact with mortgage brokers, which is mutually beneficial to both parties. The lender gets a reliable customer from the brokers and the brokers may be able to get special rates or discounts for their customers which is normally lower than you can get on your own. These rates and discounts can also include the waiving of fees such as application fees, appraisal fees, and origination fees, which can save you hundreds of dollars. Brokers can also help clients who are looking to refinance in the future lock in a lower rate and can also shorten the life span of their loan term.
The biggest disadvantage of opting to hire a mortgage broker is the cost. Brokers cost money, and they are going to get their money one way or another. Sometimes it is through finder's fees from the lender and other times they are awarded with a certain percentage of the mortgage. Another thing to consider is that banks don't give out discounts when you choose to hire a broker and you will most likely be paying the broker's fee as well as the additional cost of the loan. Consider that mortgage brokers get paid based on commission. This means that they are driven by the incentive to make more money for themselves and not to necessarily find you the best deal available. Find out how honest a mortgage broker is through references or close friends because dealing in mortgages can be a devious business. Another thing to contemplate is the readily available plethora of resources on the Internet. People today have access to vast resources which can link them directly to lenders and this eliminates the need for mortgage brokers.
Overall I would advise to weigh these options based on your financial situation and to do a little research on the lenders near you to see if you can do all of the work without hiring a broker. If you do choose to hire a broker, make sure he or she is reliable and honest so that he or she will get you the best deal possible. Good Luck!
Although, the amount you should put down on a down payment for a house varies based on location, the most common number is anywhere equal to or under 20% of the total cost of the home. States such as New York or California typically have higher percent average down payments (around 19-20%) because the price of homes is relatively steep. On the other hand, the average percent in states such as Mississippi or Wisconsin is around 12-14% of the total cost of the home. I would advise not to pay more than 20% because you may end up paying more for your home altogether. This is because interest rates and the price of housing is rising and your nominal value will be the same but the real value of the home, which is adjusted for inflation, will be much higher and you will actually end up paying a lot more money.
You also have to take into account the value of the home in the future when deciding how big your down payment should be. If you know that the value of the home will rise faster or equally to the pace of the market, then it is okay to put down 20% of the cost of the home because you won't be losing any money and will most likely get a solid return on your equity. If the value of the property is not able to keep up with the overall housing market, then you will end up losing money on the value of your home due to inflation and interest rates. Inflation is a general increase in prices and the general falling of the purchasing value of money. Interest rates are the proportion of the loan that is charged as interest to the buyer. So by taking these two variables into account you can make a more educated decision when making a down payment on a home.
Also think about the future when making a decision on your down payment because a higher percent down payment means less monthly payments in the future as well as potentially better loan opportunities in the future and possibly not having to purchase mortgage insurance.
My advice would be to talk to lenders about the types of loans you can get on a home you are looking at and compare them to get the best value for your money.
Well, Jessica, there are many different factors that contribute to how much you should be spending on rent. The first is comparing your income to the amount of rent you would be paying. Generally, the amount you should be spending is around 25-30% of your income. That being said, you want to base the 25-30% off of your actual pay rather than your salary because you need to account for taxes and withholdings that are taken from your account. You also need to take into account renter’s insurance payments and utilities (expect about 4-5% of your income) when deciding how much of your income you should distribute towards your rent. Consider if you are going to be paying for utilities or if the landlord is going to be covering the cost of them. Also contemplate living with a roommate or roommates as this could half or even have you paying a third of the price for rent. Think about things like if the place comes with cable TV or free Wi-Fi or if the place is furnished and comes with amenities like a working dishwasher. Sometimes there are extra fees for parking, storage, or garbage collection. Some places even require you to do routine repairs such as lawn maintenance or notifying the landlord of repairs. Things like this can save you a lot of money if you find the right place with the right landlord who can work with you.
The next factor you should consider when choosing a place to rent is the location. If you live in a highly rural area, you are probably going to be paying a lot for transportation as opposed to living in a city such as New York City where you'll be paying a higher rent, but you'll be saving money on the cost of transportation. But also consider if the landlord makes you pay a certain percentage of your pre-tax income, like some of the landlords in New York City do, and the brokerage fee, if there is one. Locations that have Colleges or Universities near them tend to have a lower rent because most people renting there are students, so if you are on a budget this is a good option.
Negotiation is a key factor in deciding how much to pay for rent. Talk about things like getting a free month or two or ask if you can make any additions to the house. Sometimes they accept your deals and sometimes they meet you halfway, but you have nothing to lose when asking.
The last thing you want to take into account when purchasing a home is the timing. Some homes, like ones near college campuses, can only be bought during a certain time of year because the lease may only start in August, which coincides with the start of the school year.
Good luck on finding a place to rent!