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Understanding The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

Understanding The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is entirely opposite to a home loan. You mortgage the house to the bank or a lender and in return get periodic payments. Eventually, the house is owned by a bank and they can sell it to recover the loan money along with the interest. It is for senior citizens, specifically for those who lack any constant stream of income. People over sixty are eligible for the reverse mortgage.

The ads given by reverse mortgage companies are very attractive. The ads show it as a means of great fortune. For several people, it is an excellent way of increasing their financial profile after retirement. It can have positive effects on their life quality. But it is important to look at both pros and cons of this mortgage before investing in it.

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Disadvantages of reverse mortgage:

Here are some of the drawbacks of this type of mortgage.

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  1. High fees: The upfront cost which includes insurance, closing and origination cost is very high. It is considered slightly greater than the cost that is charged for refinancing.
  2. Accumulating interests: There are no monthly payments in it, so the amount that you have to pay eventually increases. It grows over the time. With each passing month, the amount of interest increases.
  3. Not enough money to tap in: If there is a lot of home equity, it does not mean that you can use all of it. The reverse mortgage only allows you to use a limited sum of that money. The actual loan payment is calculated by using the appraised value of the home, the amount you owe on the home, current interest rates, and age.
  4. Complicated procedure: It is a mortgage, but in reverse. Some people find it difficult to understand the concept. In the traditional mortgage, money is borrowed up front and loan is paid back in installments over a period of time. It is just the opposite of that. You collect credit over time, and you pay it all back when you leave the house. Any equity that remains at the time of ownership is given to the heirs. Several people find the process complicated and difficult to understand.

Advantages of reverse mortgage:

The biggest benefit of this mortgage is that it saves you the trouble of paying traditional mortgage payments. It also eliminates the access to equity while you are still living in the house. If the circumstances are ideal, then it can the best way of earning financial security and increasing the power of spending.

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The main benefits of this type of mortgage are:

  1. Flexibility: It is highly flexible and can be utilized in several different ways. Its versatility makes it perfect for various types of borrowers. A household which is in need of finances can use the product to decrease their financial stress. Households which have stable finances can use it as a tool for future financial planning.
  2. Improving finances while staying home: The best thing about it is that it allows you to stay in your home for as long as you want. You can live in your house without making any monthly mortgage payments. You can also access a particular amount of money in case of any financial emergency. The lenders do not have any claim on your assets or income in this mortgage.
  3. No downside: With this mortgage you will only owe according to the value of your house at the time loan is paid. It is an enormous advantage because you will get the amount of money according to the value of a home that time, even if the value of the house drops afterward. This feature offers excellent financial security.
  4. Flexibility in options for payment: The options of payment depend on the type of loan you choose. You can receive the loan money in the credit line, annuity, lump sum or a combination of these three options.

Featured photo credit: www.kiplinger.com via kiplinger.com

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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