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What You Need To Know About Mortgage Brokers

What You Need To Know About Mortgage Brokers

For those who are completely new to the mortgage field, this article covers the basics. A mortgage occurs when a property is charged by a creditor as debt security.  Mortgages are popular in the banking industry today and they influence interest rates because of their importance. Mortgages are paid off over a long period of time, in many cases over a thirty-year period. Despite the fact that they are paid over a long period, mortgage charges take up a significant part of the monthly salaries of most people.

What is a mortgage broker?

Having established the ideology of what a mortgage is about, it’s important to know what mortgage brokers are. A mortgage broker is an intermediary that negotiates mortgage loans for individuals, groups, and business organizations. A mortgage broker may either work on behalf of a bank or lending institution, or be independent. In many cases after mortgage brokers working on behalf of institutions have obtained vast experience in the field, they move on to become independent mortgage brokers, otherwise known as private mortgage brokers.

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How are mortgage brokers paid?

Although mortgage brokers can be paid in a variety of ways, in most cases they are paid by the lenders. Consequently, this implies that they offer services free of charge to their clients. While many brokers are paid by their lenders, other brokers charge clients a small fee for their services. It’s important to understand that private brokers can freely set their service prices and preferred mode of payment since they operate independently. When dealing with mortgage brokers, it is important to know if you’re dealing with a broker who works with an institution or with an independent broker. Before hiring the services of a mortgage broker, ask questions about fees and payment mode. This is especially important if you’re transacting with a private broker.

Like other businesses, there are some downsides to note when transacting with corporate mortgage brokers. The major downside is that they do not have access to funds being requested as fast as possible, especially in cases of emergencies. They have large numbers of clients to process funds on their behalf and may not be able to process loan requests within a short amount of time. Mortgage brokers working for financial institutions typically have less experience. Conversely, independent mortgage brokers have acquired vast experience and can process loan requests much more speedily. This experience helps them bypass undue hierarchies, prepare paper work, and present loan requests to the right bank official directly and get prompt response after the loan request.

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What advantages do independent mortgage brokers have over corporate mortgage brokers?

Independent mortgage brokers have a very unique edge that makes them very proficient in service delivery. One advantage of using independent brokers is the array of information and deals to which they have access. Because they transact with multiple lenders, they are well connected and have in-depth knowledge about the ins and outs of brokerage service. It is safe to say that the independent broker is connected to a large number of lenders; some are connected to over twenty lenders. This variance gives you alternatives and the ability to make choices that suit your best interests.

This makes the services of an independent service unique and worth potentially several thousand dollars depending on the property value for which a mortgage is being sought. For example, a mortgage of $100,000 at about 1% lower interest rate over a thirty year period saves $30,000 depending on when interest on the principle amount is recalculated.

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In the mortgage industry, mortgage fraud is a cause for concern and there’s need to determine credibility before transacting with a mortgage broker. In the United States for example, the credibility of a mortgage broker can be easily ascertained by checking with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB provides business ratings so you can get detailed information about the proficiency, history, and other important business accreditations of a mortgage broker. In other countries similar organizations provide similar services and you can look up information on any mortgage broker of your choice and even read reviews about them if they have functioning websites.

Things a Mortgage Broker Does for You that a corporate broker cannot:

  1. Wide scope of honest advice

Trained corporate brokers are limited compared with independent brokers, and corporate brokers only have knowledge about the institution they represent. An independent broker has vast experience and offers varieties of options that best meet your interests.

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  1. In-depth education

Your mortgage broker’s job is to help you understand the different mortgage products that are available for your credit and income level. Your broker can help you develop an action plan so that even if you don’t qualify for a better mortgage now, you’ll be able to get a better rate after implementing the plan.

  1. Help negotiate preferential transactions

Corporate brokers are not hinged on fixed rates; they can help you look into your financial records and help determine the right lender and rates to apply for. A corporate broker may help you in securing lower rates, but you don’t have valid guarantees that these reductions won’t be cancelled out by hidden fees. Independent brokers know the loop holes, can identify pitfalls and hidden clauses in paper work, and help you save lots of money in the long run.

Featured photo credit: Sherissehume via sherissehume.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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