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This Is How A Millennial Can Buy A Home Before Their 30s

This Is How A Millennial Can Buy A Home Before Their 30s

They say millennials can’t afford a house. They say you have to rent. They say you have to be married to own a home. What they don’t say is, there is another way!

You can buy your own place, even if you’re a debt-burdened millennial and even if you are single. Because 20-somethings are seen as mostly unable to secure a good paying job, the general opinion is they can’t afford to buy a home. Public opinion seems to go with the flow as there are many articles on how millennials are changing the real estate market. While it’s true that many millennials value the laid back, carefree lifestyle that comes with renting, there is a way to own your own home before turning 30. You just have to stick to a set of strong rules and make sure nothing changes your mind. I know this because I’ve seen it. My cousin is lucky enough to have her own place and she’s 5 years younger than I am, earning only $38,000 per year!

1. Figure out what you want

The first step is to figure out what you want. Most millennials are fleeing towards NY or some other high-end city, in the pursuit of better jobs. This is great, but do you really want to live in that city? Would you prefer being closer to home? Or, maybe you’d like to find a whole new place to live.

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Figuring out what you want is an important step in the quest for home ownership, as owning means having to stick to a place for a long period of time, like 5-10 years.

At the same time, make sure the job you have is the job you want. If you’re planning to change careers, put your plans of owning a home on pause until you’ve decided what your perfect job is.

2. Pay attention to your credit

Most millennials have low or no credit score, which makes it difficult to get a mortgage. Before you apply for a mortgage you need to take care of this issue. If you have no credit, open a credit card and set a low limit, then pay it each month to build your score. If you already have a credit card keep the balances below 30% or below the credit limit. This will increase your credit score.

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3. Learn how much you can afford

Getting a mortgage means you’ll have extra expenses and before you take the step you have to be able to afford it. Spend time with an online mortgage calculator and check how different monthly payments affect your interest rate and down payment. Also, research different types of mortgages and loans to make sure you are making the best choice.

When you know how much can you spend and which program is right for you, get your mortgage pre-approved. You can do this online and it will help you secure the mortgage loan.

4. Research down payment assistance and other helpers

There are many great down payment assistance programs out there that can be supportive when buying your first house. However, you need to research them to the core! There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out but in the end, you might walk away with a good amount of money. For example, in Atlanta, you can get around $15,000 in down payment assistance with the right qualifiers.

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Research other options that might help you, such as a reverse mortgage, lowering your PMI in the future or challenging the tax assessment. All these can help you lower your payments in the future, or even right after you purchase the house. The key is to be informed!

5. Start saving for the down payment

The next step is saving as much as possible. My cousin set her initial target at 30% of her already small revenue, then modified it to 25% and managed to stick with the plan, mostly. You will be amazed at how much money we spend on useless things and how much we can save! If you can stack some cash from a side activity like a blog, a skill or a hobby, do it! Save for at least a year before you apply for the mortgage. This money will become your down payment and the more you have, the better.

6. Research the house

Another critical step of buying a house at a young age is researching the building before making the purchase. Visit the house you want multiple times, at different times of the day, attend community meetings, and familiarize yourself with the neighborhood.

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Never buy a house you can’t afford, this will result in failure. Research the taxes on the house you want to buy, along with any fees or liens, and do your calculations before making the final step. Good, in-depth research ensures you won’t end up with an unwanted surprise after the buy.

Don’t aim for the highest limits of your approved mortgage. If you can find a house you love for less money, go for it!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.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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