Collection Agencies: Know your Rights

If you've ever had an unpaid bill go to a collections agency, you know what a hassle they can be. These… [more]

Collection Agencies: Know your Rights Collection Agencies: Know your Rights

Is Your Mortgage Moveable?

Amidst the excitement of buying your first home, you may not realize the repercussions the mortgage choices… [more]

Is Your Mortgage Moveable? Is Your Mortgage Moveable?

Fixed or Variable? That is the question

This is probably one of the most common questions asked by potential and existing homeowners. With so… [more]

Fixed or Variable?  That is the question Fixed or Variable?  That is the question

Fixed vs. Variable Rate?

The following are some things you will want to consider when evaluating your options between fixed and variable rate mortgage products.

Can you afford to take a variable rate mortgage?

There is some risk associated with a variable rate mortgage; you need to assess your ability to service the mortgage in the event that rates do rise. One of the things you can do to mitigate the risk of rising rates is to fix your payment at a set amount higher than the minimum requirement. For example, setting your payments based on the current five year fixed rate will allow you to provide a buffer in the event that rates rise. Setting your payments higher will also allow you to further take advantage of the lower variable rate by allocating more of your payment to pay down the principal.

Does a variable rate mortgage fit your risk profile?

Once you have decided you can afford a variable rate mortgage the next thing you will want to assess is if a variable rate mortgage fits your personality, lifestyle and comfort zone. If you are the type that can’t sleep at night knowing that your rate may change by .25% then a variable rate mortgage may not be the best option for you. Many studies suggest that from a historical perspective a variable rate is a good bet. Just keep in mind that no one can predict where rates are going to be with any certainty and none of the economists who make the predictions will be making your mortgage payments.

What should I look for when choosing a Variable Rate Mortgage?

Payment frequency

Make sure you are aware of the options available before deciding. Some lenders may not allow certain variations of payment frequency.

Conversion to fixed rate

Does the lender allow the mortgage to be converted to a fixed rate mortgage at any time? If so what rate are you guaranteed on conversion? Will you get their best-discounted rate or their posted rates? Remember, if you are in a closed mortgage you will not have any negotiating power.

 

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Collection Agencies: Know your Rights

If you've ever had an unpaid bill go to a collections agency, you know what a hassle they can be. These companies are paid according to the bills that they collect on - and they'll often go extreme lengths to make that money. As an example, I heard of one person who received a call from a debt collection agency who had the right name - but the client's wrong address. The client had actually never lived at the address in question, or anything even close to that address. So he told the collection agency that they had the wrong person. The … [Read More...]

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Calculating Your Debt Service ratios

With all the talk about debt that’s been in the news lately, you may be tempted to see where you stand financially – especially with the looming threat of increasing interest rates. An easy way to do this is by calculating your debt-service ratio – the same calculation that banks use to determine whether you’re a prime candidate for a mortgage. Simply calculate all your monthly debt payments – including your mortgage, minimum credit card payments, car loans, student loans, leases and any other form of loan. Next, calculate your … [Read More...]

Is Your Mortgage Moveable?

Amidst the excitement of buying your first home, you may not realize the repercussions the mortgage choices you make today will have on your future relocation flexibility. Many banks and lenders charge some hefty fees for mortgage agreements that are broken before the allotted term is up. If you'd like to get into the housing market today, but aren't sure whether you're going to stay in one residence for the next five years, pay close attention to the following mortgage options: Term A five-year term isn't the only available option out … [Read More...]

Fixed or Variable? That is the question

This is probably one of the most common questions asked by potential and existing homeowners. With so many factors to consider - from personal finances to the economy - the answer can change from year to year, and mortgage to mortgage. Right now, if you're looking at a 5-year mortgage, chances are if you go variable, you're likely going to see some rate increases in the coming years. That being said, the global economy can shift at any given second, and something unexpected could occur that would force the government to stand pat when it comes … [Read More...]

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