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Pay Tuition with Credit Card for Point & Minimum Spend
Added on : Tuesday April 22nd 2014 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gaf2255
Views: 20 Replies: 0 I am taking classes in the Summer semester and have accepted student loans. From what I have been reading it states that the funds will be disbursed directly to the university and and overage will be paid to the student via check. What I would like to do is use my credit card to pay my tuition to get the points, and also hit minimum spend requirements, then take the loan funds and pay off the credit cards. Does anybody have experience with this? I was thinking about paying the university directly with my credit card prior to the loan getting disbursed and then waiting for a check from them returning the full amount since it has already been paid.
New User Question Deals
Need living expenses without withdrawing from 401k. Advice?
Added on : Monday April 21st 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: casual34
Views: 141 Replies: 5 I'm in between jobs and want to have $8-10K to cover living expenses as I deal with car issues and look for my next job. My emergency fund is running dangerously low and I have $80k in a 401K. Obviously I don't want to withdraw from that account as I'll probably only get 50 cents on the dollar after taxes and penalties. What are my options at this point? Should I open a 0% APR credit card, transfer my balance there and put everything on that for the next few months? If so, what features should I be looking for? I've only had a few credit cards in my life and have always just paid them off in full so I'm pretty inexperienced. I could ask parents or friends for a loan but I really don't want to do that because I've always been self-sufficient and would rather not involve others, plus the humiliation factor. I'm embarrassingly ignorant about personal finance (probably why I'm in this position to begin with), so any advice or comments would be really appreciated.
New User Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: st4rdust
Views: 162 Replies: 0 Best Buy has a Nokia Lumia 520 GoPhone Windows 8 Smartphone(No-Contract AT&T) for $49.99 with free shipping.4.5/5 stars based on 106 customer reviews.

Windows 8 OS
4-in. Touchscreen
5MP Camera

You pay for the minutes you use with no annual contract. Refill via Internet or prepay cards. These also work in lieu of "loaner phones" - I know people that have broken their AT&T phone before their upgrade, so they used a GoPhone with their old SIM card in the meantime.
Cell Phones Deals

Best Buy Coupons
In my 20s, how diversified do you think I should be in my stocks?
Added on : Saturday April 19th 2014 06:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: guy4167
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I have always been interested in the stock market and went to college for economics. I had a lot of student loan debt after graduation, which I have since paid off. I have gotten raises and a promotion since starting work and just recently started to have some true excess money to play around with. Since there's not a ton, I will just give you my entire stock history:

- Bought AMD at 5.41 (nov 2011), sold at $6.22 (feb 2012).
- Bought NVIDIA at $12 (Jan 2013), sold at $14.56 (Aug 2013) (dividend in the low 2%s)
- Bought DMND at $14.55 (Apr 2013), still hold it ($31.70)
- Bought CLI at $20.93 (Aug 2013) and $20.31 (Nov 2013). Currently at $20.28 (6% effective dividend).
- Bought CTL at $28.48 (Jan 2014), currently at $34.43 (7.5% effective dividend)
- Bought SODA at $50.52 (Dec 2013), $37.02 (Jan 2014), and $38.02 (April 2014). Currently at $39.99
- Bought VLY at $9.60 (Feb 2014), sold at $10.36 (Mar 2014)
- Bought WTW at $20.37 (Mar 2014), currently trading at $20.69 (3.6% dividend, currently suspended)
- Bought ADT at $29.21 (Mar 2014), currently trading at $30.22 (2.75% effective dividend)

Feel like I have done pretty well so far. Sodastream is the only loser out of the bunch, but I do think they have a good business and are ripe for a buy out.

Do you think I should try to diversify more? Its challenging to find stocks that are good values in today's market, but only being involved in 6 stocks is not ideal either. Obviously buying opportunities will eventually present themselves, but do you think I should make a conscious effort to diversify immediately?
Investment Advise
Added on : Saturday April 19th 2014 06:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nubie8791
Views: 36 Replies: 0 I have close to $175K just sitting in my bank account for the past couple of years, was too scared to put into Mutual funds or stocks.I have no auto or home loans and pay off my CCs every month in full. I have never needed to take a loan and have a 779 credit score from Experian.

I plan to break this up and invest 30% in mutual funds, 20% in stocks, 30% in CDs and 20% in cash.I plan to take a home loan after 1-2 years at which point I will need to liquidate all investments. Looking for advise if this plan sounds good and/or if there is any specific advise on mutual funds & stocks management accounts.

Question Deals
Help with budget
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elektroshok
Views: 213 Replies: 2 Hello -

Once again, new to the forums but am already getting great info from perusing.

I'll be starting residency in July (one year somewhere then 5 somewhere else) and really want to start off right with the budgeting and saving.

Student loans as follows:
160k unsub at 6.8
17k sub at 6.8
13k private at 7.9

I plan, during residency, to do income based repayment which puts my monthly loan payments (on the govt loans) at 350/mo going up to about 440/mo at the end of residency.

My plan for the first year is as follows:
3188/mo post tax
Per month:
-100 utilities
-700 rent
-460 roth
-500 (for jul-nov to get $2500 tax deduction on loans)
-500 for private loan

This will leave me (on average since I'm paying the 2500 in the first five months) ~$1200/mo for spending/saving/other.

Trying to be realistic and still be able to have fun, I think all in all I could probably spend 5-700 per month on food/fun. I had planned to just save the rest in a savings or no fee mutual fund or something.

For the next 4 years I'll be in a different city with higher rent (since I think I have been convinced to rent instead of buy by everyone here).
This program will have 403b starting right away, after 1 year they match 1:1 up to 6% and after four years there I would be vested 60% of their contributions.
Also, those four years there will be increased income beyond what I have budgeted below from moonlighting but it wont be consistent so I did not include it in the budget yet

My plan here is as follows (My income will go up around 3k per year for these four years - this is just the first year for this example):
3526/mo post tax
Per month:
-1000 rent
-100 utilities
-500 loans (IBR payment and difference directly to principal)
-460 roth
-465 401k (10%)
-~150 (in lieu of SS tax)

This leaves me with about 800 or so a month for spending/saving. My plan was to use what I could to finish paying of the private loan until that is gone.

As far as any extra money from moonlighting - my initial plan was to just dump all this into principal of the loan. Does that seem like a good idea?
I know there is the 10 year public loan forgiveness thing, for which I'm going to do the paperwork every year for but my plan is to not work at a public institution after I'm finished which is why I'm going to try to pay a little more each month to principal beyond the IBR payments I need to make.

Any thoughts/changes/comments are much appreciated as I really want to start off on the right foot and not be even more behind than I am now with regards to savings and retirement.


Personal Finance Deals
unsolicited check/loan - can i just change the terms on the back?
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 08:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Ma171aC
Views: 124 Replies: 2 Strictly curious here, I don't need this, want it, etc.. But whats stopping someone from just changing the terms on the back of this check and cashing/depositing into some random temp account, etc.. What if someone grabbed my mail or it got delivered to the wrong place and someone cashed it somehow.


Also I'm stuck at home and bored, soo sorry if this is a stupid post.

Discussion Deals
Navy FCU $50 for New Members
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 07:00:11 AM
g: 1 Posted By: misterspaghetti
Views: 158 Replies: 0 Looks like Navy FCU is offering $50 for new members through referral from existing members. They have some fairly stringent requirements, but if you qualify, NFCU has some of the best rates on home and car loans. Definitely worth considering.

Personal Finance Deals
Real Estate Financial Advice Needed
Added on : Wednesday April 16th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Komrade
Views: 175 Replies: 0 Three is a property next to my vacation property for sale that has a current income of $1000/mo.
There is a store and garage that have a potential income of $1000 in rent (trailer park)... although the potential of the garage is less clear to me (it's not easily visible from the road).
So even w/o the garage the yield of the property would be ~9% ((1000+500(store)x12)/200K.. We think it has potential (it's along the river, and used to be a campground, plus the wife would actually run the store)
I own my vacation property and it's worth 250K
I rent my primary residence.
I own a piece of land next to my primary residence that is worth 125K or so (planned to built primary residence on it)
The owners want about 200K for the property.
My credit currently is not that great (40k in CC debt, 20K in car loans, 10K in RV (going away), credit cards are all 0%.. creditkarma estimates my rating around 700
My bank account has 10K, and I have another 15K in stocks.
My discretionary income is 4K/mo.
If we buy the property, my discretionary income goes up to 6k/mo (move out of rental).
The credit card debt is some vacation built related (thought I'd built for cash, but ended up using 0% credit cards towards the end.. so it is temporary)

Do I
a) put a 10% down payment from funds I have (I have some other hard assets for real emergencies, but I do not favor this option).. would I even be able to buy it with 10% down these days?
b) take out a loan from 401K (not sure if they'd let me for a property like this, also not too much there, but enough to fill the gap for a 20% down payment)
c) mortgage my vacation property (15 year lower rate?)
d) get a home equity line (should pay it off as soon as I sell the land, due to credit risk)?
e) sell my current property

I personally think (e) is my best option, but I am not sure it could be sold as quickly as I need.
100K from it could be used as down payment, wipe out my CC dept, and leave some money to invest into the property (wife would run the store the first year or two)

What would you do to minimize bank fees and interest rates?

Also, the property is not on the market. How do I find a good property inspector (w/o necessarily using bank's)

Real Estate Deals
Best Strategy to pay future wife's student loan debt
Added on : Wednesday April 16th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sullim4
Views: 63 Replies: 1 Basic situation:

Age 29
2013 AGI: $165k (software engineer)
Only debt is a 15 yr fixed mortgage @ 2.875%, 231k remaining balance, 14 yrs left
$40k in company stock, dividends are roughly 3% per year
$65k in liquid savings
$162k in 401(k) (78% or so is Roth)

Age 27
2013 AGI: $58k (civil engineer)
Student Loan Debt: $6k private loan @ 6.5%; $22k consolidated sub Stafford @ 6.1%; $26kconsolidatedunsub Stafford @ 6.1%; $12k Perkins @ 2.8%; $3k Perkins @ 2.5%; $7k parent PLUS loan that dad is responsible for, but she's paying on @ 5%. She is on IBR right now.
$10k in liquid savings
No other debt
$10k in 401(k) (0% is Roth)

We are getting married at the end of May. We will be combining finances at that time; due to mutual religious beliefs we currently live separately. Her parents didn't help her out at all with her education and so she's saddled with a ton of student loan debt. I want to figure out the best way to pay down this debt and I have a few ideas that I'm throwing around, and would like advice on what the best strategy might be. When we marry, obviously the student loan deduction goes out the window (she's currently taking the full $2500 per year). We plan on lopping $10k off of the loans via her liquid savings once we get married.

Option 1:
Live off my salary, and use her salary to exclusively pay off the loans in order of highest to lowestinterest rate. This would amount to payments around $3200 per month, and by my calculations, would pay off the loans in a little over 2 years. The con to this one is that I'd like to max out her 401(k), her company match is 15% of all contribution... andfollowing thisoptionwould take a big chunk out of what we could put towards loans.

Option 2:
Combination of selling stock and taking money out of savings, pay off loans now, and simply pay my savings back over a 2-3 year period. This puts our liquid cash fairly low and I'd rather hold onto the money, but that is hard to justify given the paltry interest rates I'm earning and what the loans cost to hold.

Option 3:
Take out a loan against my 401(k) to pay off her loans, and then pay it back with interest, probably throwing more than the minimum at it. I think the market is headed down this year, so I might be sheltering my money against a correction by doing this. I feel secure in my job, so I don't think it is likely that I will need to pay the balance immediately in the case of a layoff.

Option 4:
Jump on some 0% APR bandwagons, balance transfer the student loans over to the cards, pay off remaining balances with stock/savings, and pay cards off by the time the 0% expires. The con here seems to be BT fees, though the Chase Slate seems like an appealing option here.

Any other thoughts?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 189 Replies: 2 "Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has challenged the assumption that borrowers always have a moral responsibility to pay back their loans.

Debt repayment is not a "moral absolute", he said, because banks and lenders have themselves failed to accept the moral responsibility for their lending.

Dr Williams said the global financial system has repeatedly ignored and sidelined in every possible way the principles on which much of the Western world's moral code is based."


FWIW, I think the padre is walking a very very fine line ...
General Economics Deals
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 171 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081KRP8Q

4.5 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)

Former mortgage brokers James L. Paris and Robert G. Yetman, Jr. detail exactly how credit scores are calculated and how a consumer can quickly raise their score. Check out our YouTube video which gives an overview of what is in the book -

The book is based on years of working with individual clients with credit situations as difficult as recent bankruptcies, foreclosures, and even IRS tax liens. Includes letters that can be used to dispute inaccurate information from a credit bureau report. Step by step information on what you need to do if you are currently attempting to get approved for a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage. Includes sources of no qualifying credit accounts that can be used to rebuild credit.

Why You Are Dead Broke! Make Money Your Best Friend and Get Out of Debt FOREVER!

4.5 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)

Getting into debt is the seems like the easiest thing to do today. Jeremy Jacobson's book is about preventing and getting out of debt forever. In this book you will learn and find out:
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Clear. Concise. Straight forward. Why You Are Dead Broke is a must read for anyone with financial pressures and looking to brighten their financial future.

Find Money Every Day

4.7 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)

Can you really find money every day? Yes! There are three ways.
1. Increase your income.
2. Decrease your expenses.
3. Manifest it.
Oh, good. Youre still here. Sometimes, I say, manifest it to people and their reaction is to roll their eyes, cover their ears, and sing la, la, la. (Actually, no one has sang la, la, la yet.)
The first time I tried to manifest it I found money every day for 46 days in a row even though I only used the techniques for 30 days. Usually, I found dimes, quarters, ones, and twenties. However, on day 34, I found $213.34.
You can learn how to do this. In fact, if you your mind to these ideas, youll start finding money immediately.
Here is something interesting. I can read minds (maybe). When I mentioned manifesting money, did you think, Yeah, yeah, yeah, if I dont spend a dollar, its like making a dollar? Thats true but it isnt manifesting. As youll see when you read my story, it is possible to make money appear. It is not magic.
In this book, you learn some obvious things that you should know, some not very obvious things that you probably dont know, and some things that just arent obvious so you probably dont know them. Whew, thats a mouthful!
You are a sensible, reasonable person. You know money doesnt grow on trees. Its just made out of trees. You also know that money doesnt just appear out of nowhere. Or, does it? Let me tell you my story.
Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jackstone
Views: 92 Replies: 0 I am not certain if I will get red for this question but to me it is a rather difficult one to assess. Would appreciate your help on this and am happy to provide additional relevant info.

Getting a severance package from my current job (for a lump sum) and already have another one lined up, so not worried about job security for the present. A nice problem to have admittedly.

Quick disclosure, I already have 3 rental properties but they each have loans on them. The business model is working and I have no major issues with property management.

Ultimate question - use severance package to pay off student loans in full and still have some severance package cash lying around, or use an FW strategy to maximize long term net worth and earning power to offset student loan cashflow by purchasing rental property in full?

The question the wife and I are debating: We have about 56K in student loans combined between us, with an average interest rate of about 4.75% - a few are above 6% so I could see some arguments to pay at least those ones off. The monthly cost for our student loans is about $750 which I agree is ridiculously large. I could use this severance to vanquish the loans and eliminate the albatross of student debt once and for all. I would still then have close to enough cash lying around to possibly pursue a rental property downpayment and have a 4th mortgaged property, or could just throw it into a global stock index fund.

But all else equal, I am rather confident that I could locate a property that if purchased with cash, would offset the student loan cash flow completely, because the rental properties I already have (with loans on them) rent for higher than that monthly loan outflow, even after adjusting for property management fees, maintenance, etc; of course I have to pay mortgage expenses on the current 3 properties, so this would only work if I could find a property that I could FULLY pay - understand that some FWs might tell me to triple down and get three more mortgage properties instead of a single cash one. I will seriously consider taking money out of the cash paid for house after the rent and monthly expense situation is steady (let's say a year in) and then use it to buy another house with cash. The depreciation offset will also help in a big way until the student loans are due to be paid off - currently a mix of expiry, with most ending in 2019. Obviously once the student loans are paid off my cashflow situation dramatically improves - so 5 years out or so except for 1 of the loans (about 1/3 of the outstanding debt but at 3.5%) expiring in 2029.

Other considerations:

We always max out our Roth IRAs - may start to become inelgibile for Roth within the next year or two.
I have maxed out my 401k for two straight years and should be able to for the forseeable future. Wife's story a bit different but hope to at least come close to maxing by 2015.
Have another partnership that owns one triplex in a different geographic area, that has been a bit more challenging than the 3 rental properties I currently have - point is I have somewhat high exposure to real estate, though spread across 3 geographies.
Have a (what I will call) middle sized liquid stock portfolio, as well as auto monthly DRIP with 4 companies.
We will be moving, and there are often start up costs associated with that, but my new job's compensation should cover the difference in cost of living.
We have an infant daughter, and we will definitely need to start planning for school soon!

Thank you very much!
Personal Finance Deals
Combined ARM and Fixed
Added on : Saturday April 12th 2014 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: JDdoc
Views: 118 Replies: 0 Looking for some help / feedback / direction on whether a combination of a 30 year fixed, ARM mortgage is available from lenders.

If the loan amounts are relevant I'm looking at approximately 2.75M purchase price with 20-30% down.

My reason for asking might be relevant to many. I could probably pay off about 1M in the 3-5 year period so about 1M in the ARM would be nice to take advantage of about 2% rates for that. Even with rates coming up through 2016, I should be able to save about 50-100k by putting the 1M in an ARM

On the other hand, for the remainder (about 800-1.2M), keeping that in a fixed rate would give security in case the LIBOR comes up and the ARM rates become closer to the historic rates.

Does anyone know if any lenders out there would offer this kind of piggybacking?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Compeek
Views: 47 Replies: 0 I bought a used car from a dealer two weeks ago for $6,300 out the door. I paid $1,000 down and financed the rest.I am 22 and have good credit (Discover said 773 last month), but still limited credit history obviously, so they gave me a loan with a 10% interest rate. My payments are $150.70 for 42 months. The loanisthrough Wells Fargo Dealer Services.

Now, I already had two other cars worth around $3,000 each that I am currently selling. The new car replaces both of them, so all of the money I get from selling those two can go to pay off the new car. I should easily get the $5,300 back from selling them and would be able to pay off the loan.The only reason I financed the car in the first place was because I wouldn't have the cash to pay for the new car until I sold both of the current cars.

(I'm sure I could have gotten a better rate at my own bank, etc., but my intention was to pay off the loan in the first month or two anyway, so I didn't care that much, and doing it through the dealer was easiest.)

My question is: Once I sell the other two cars and have the $5,300 (plus any accrued interest), should I pay off the loan in full, or should I pay it mostly off, but keep a small balance on it so that the loan stays on my credit and [potentially] helps my score for a while?

This is my first auto loan, so I don't know all of the intricacies, but I assume if I pay off all of the principal except, say, $100, I can just make very small payments for a while, and the loan will stay on my credit and bring my overall utilization down. Correct me if I'm wrong on that, though. And even if I'm right, maybe it's not worth the hassle, and I should just pay it off and be done with it.

Any input is appreciated!
Question Deals
Should I care about TransUnion? Too few accounts?
Added on : Friday April 11th 2014 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: doublePie
Views: 91 Replies: 0 Last year, my husband and I refinanced our home from a 30 fixed 6.25% FHA to 15 fixed 3.25% conventional. The monthly payment only increased about $50 and $23 of that is PMI will drop off in August (I've confirmed). At that time, both of us had a credit score with each of the big three within 20 points either way of 800.

A year later, my husband applied for a Sallie Mae Mastercard and the score they used to issue it was 732 from TransUnion.


Number of accounts with delinquency
Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts too high
Too few accounts currently paid as agreed
Proportion of balances to credit limits too high on revolving accts

Gross income was $71,000 last year, which has been steadily rising for the past 7 years. Net take home is $4050 (after 401K, health insurance, HSA, United Way).
The mortgage was $103,000 on a $123,000 property.
Card 1: CreditFirst (Firestone): We have it for the discounts and promotions. Paid off every month with the exception of one month in 2011 when we forgot about it and it went 30 days over. D'OH.
Card 2: Brand new Sallie Mae card with a $12,500 limit.
Card 3: Very vanilla VISA through our credit union. $13,500. Paid off every month, no exceptions. Averages about $1500/month. It is used for pretty much everything -- gas, groceries, cellphone bill, internet, home improvement stuff, restaurants. According to TransUnion, it had a high water mark of just over $7000 at one point in 2011, but even then I believe it was paid off the same month from savings.
New car loan of $16,300. The first payment is due at the end of this month. $4000 down payment. 2.6% for 60 months (2013 model didn't qualify for promotional rates)
Mortgage is $872 total with principle, escrow, and interest. If you haven't gathered from the fact that it's a $123K house... we have no HOA fees.

(EDIT: I should add that my own credit union VISA runs about $800 per month, just to give a fairer idea of the total household picture. That's the only thing i have in just my name).

I have no significant income and that will not change for several years. I'm just home with the babies right now.

Our proportion of loan balances to loan amounts will fall off as soon as our brand new loans have shrunk with time and payment and the one delinquent payment we've ever made just is what it is. So is the answer to actually open up another credit card or two, pay on the loans as scheduled, and work to get the number back up OR is it to just not worry about TransUnion since we're not using credit for anything in the near future anyway and 732 isn't really bad?

Meanwhile, my score from Equifax was 832 (husband's was 794) and I haven't had any income not reported on a 1099-MISC in about three years.

And since I've typed all of this out anyway, any general advice on handing our current cash flow and debt? We have an emergency fund but haven't set up college savings for the kids yet, in part because once I go back to work, we will have an entire extra income of about $35,000 net to put towards education and retirement.

Investing Deals
5/1 ARM 2.875%
Added on : Friday April 11th 2014 02:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: JDdoc
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Not sure if there's a forum this belongs in as I'm an avid FW'er but not so much FWF

Refi or purchase rate available from Hudson City Savings Bank - 5/1 ARM 2.875% with up to 80% LTV with no premium charged for cash out up to 80% LTV.

I think this is better than most rates in terms of the LTV / cash out option.

They will do a CIMA internally.

If you're selling your home soon / are at a higher rate with >20% equity in your home, etc this is pretty cheap money IMHO.

Chase private client offered to match this (even down to 2.625) with approx $1000 closing credit and 1% annually back on the payments if paid with auto bill pay from Chase account, but they have a markup for cash out and have notoriously low appraisals for your home. My loan was already with HCSB so doing the internal CIMA will also save me some legal fees.

Hope this saves someone some $. My refi from 4.75% on a 15 year fixed will save me about $1500 in interest payments per month...

Deposits Deals
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 100 Replies: 0 I am self employed as a consultant. I fly to various states throughout the year, some of which, like California, have high state income tax. I'm toying with the idea of creating a series of entities for my consulting to maximize profit by minimizing state income tax burden. I don't have a solid plan, just some ideas to hash out and hear thoughts on.

The general idea would be to use a different entity for clients in different states. For example, suppose I make $20k from California and $180k combined from various other states. I could do consulting in California as a Sole Prop and do the business in other states through an S-Corp. That would let me specify that my $17.5k Individual 401k Employee contribution could come from the California income, reducing the state tax burden.

The alternative would be doing all consulting under a single entity (whether it be sole prop or S-corp or whatever), and the $17.5k 401k contribution gets equally deducted (allocated) from all income. It doesn't make sense to deduct the contribution from income derived from states with zero or low state income tax if I can specify that it came from California income. The only way I can think to do that would be separate entities.

I'm also looking at the possibility of S-Corp with me being a W2 for some of my income because California, and perhaps other states, appear to count W2 income earned differently. For example, as a non-resident of California, if I earn $20k in Cali and $180k externally, if I can segregate the $20k of Cali income, perhaps through a sole prop from the $180k which perhaps goes through an S-Corp that pays me as a W2, then I can more easily show my W2 income was derived entirely from non-California sources and if I can count my 401k contribution to the sole prop income, I can really get my Cali income low. I'm using Cali as an example of my idea and hoping it could be used in other ways.

Another idea is to S-Corp and make me a W2 for partial parts of the year (I have flexibility in my consulting gigs so I can structure each one however I want). Being a W2 might afford me some possible tax benefits such as contributing $3250 to my HSA, from the S-Corp itself, to avoid SE Taxes, as opposed to contributing to my HSA as a sole prop where there's no SE tax deduction. I wouldn't necessarily want to be a W2 through my own S-Corp for the whole year due to overhead costs of payroll, but I could potentially do it for one month, contribute the full annual HSA amount, and then be sole prop for the other 11 months.

I've also heard if I'm an S-Corp I can pay for non-reimbursable medical expenses on a pre-(SE)-tax basis. With high deductible insurance, little is covered, so maybe I could drive my annual $1k or $2k of out-of-pocket expenses to come from my S-corp and save more taxes. Not sure how this works exactly, I only read someone allude to it in another thread.

Finally, as an S-Corp, I should be able to save on SE-Taxes because right now I earn $200k as a sole prop but there's consulting firms who do the same work as me who offered me $120k as a W2 (plus benefits). I think I could take that offer letter for $120k and make a justification to the IRS that if my S-Corp earns $200k, I only have to pass $120k down to myself, pay SE Taxes on $120k, and pass through the other $80k as dividends. However, since the "FICA cap" is around $120k, maybe that won't really do anything to save taxes.

My biggest concern with this is the possible need to register as a foreign corporation in each state I do business as an S-Corp. As a sole prop, I'm free to go wherever and do consulting work. As an S-Corp, I probably have to drop up to a few hundred dollars to register my S-Corp as a foreign entity in each state I work.

Not sure if there's any benefit to having one or more of the S-Corps used this way to be taxed as a C-corp, perhaps to keep AGI down for things like Student Loan income-based repayment or to push AGI down below a threshold for a phase out. Obviously you will be double taxed on the money, but you can defer that second tax until much later, keeping your AGI down right now, which might be useful.

There may be a possibility to bypass the equal quarterly tax withholding payment rule by becoming an S-Corp as a W2 for the last few months of the year. You could maybe pay $0 in quarterly estimated payments and then as a W2 in November/December, you could withhold your entire W2 paycheck to taxes. Since W2 income tax doesn't need to be withheld equally throughout the year. Not sure if this would work or if the penalty would still apply but I have heard of married couples where the husband is self-employed, pays nothing in quarterly tax payments and the wife modifies her W4 to withhold her entire paycheck to taxes the last 2 or 3 months of the year. That might work as a single person if you can make yourself a W2 the last few months of the year.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: eskimo5079
Views: 168 Replies: 3 I am currently facing a very serious issue as it relates to my student loans. More specifically, I have a private student loan consolidation with Sallie Mae. Due to the very high interest rates, I was currently on what Sallie Mae has termed a rate reduction program. This program was set to end this month and I was planning to try to renegotiate an extension to this rate reduction program due to the regular interest rate causing the payments to be so high that I cannot afford them. When I called in to renegotiate, I was informed that my cosigner had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and that the loan was placed on a bankruptcy forbearance. I was also told that when in this status, Sallie Mae will not negotiate any offers.

Since, I have talked to my cosigner to try to determine exactly what was going on as they have never paid anything to the loan and I have been paying with it totally current. The cosigner has explained that the bankruptcy forbearance as a result of their filing will be in affect for 5 years and that they are unwilling to remove this account from their filling. I am very confused as to how my loan can be locked as I am the primary account holder. In summary, it seems that at the end of this month my interest rate will return to the original interest rate for the loan which is not something I can afford, which will therefore cause interest to accrue and at the end of the forbearance will obviously capitalize and thus end up costing me a significant sum of money.

Any help on getting this issue solved would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to better understand several things. First, can Sallie Mae legally change the status of my loan due to a cosigner and prevent me from continuing business as usually? Can I legally protect myself from the damages that will be incurred due to this? Also, any other help and advice on getting through this would be greatly appreciated. A preemptive thank you to anyone that can help.
Personal Finance Deals
Cancer Diagnosis -- Financial Impact
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 11:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elrp
Views: 127 Replies: 4 Long time member with a new name.

I am female, 49, don't drink, don't smoke, in good shape, healthy diet. Please don't ask for pictures (I am very attractive for my age though). Up until a few days was very healthy. Had some abdominal pain, thought maybe I was having gallbladder issues. Turns out instead I have a tumor which is 99.99999% a freakishly rare form of liver cancer. Still being evaluated, do not know prognosis, could have months, could pull through this albeit with a reduced life expectancy. I assume people will be sympathetic - thanks, but please let's try to keep this strictly to the financial end of things.

Would appreciate help thinking over the financial part of things. I am the financial person in our household, married, one kid on his own, one still in college with 2 years to go.

Owe $120k on our ~$300k house, 8 years to go at 2.5% fixed
Life insurance on me $200k through insurance company, another $80k through work.
$30k loan on 2014 car. 4 other cars paid off.
About $6k left on PLUS loan for kid #1
No other debt
$20k liquid savings
$350k in 401k
$112k lump sum pension
Spouse has own 401k, around $200k there
$5k or so in HSA
Good health insurance
90 day short term disability at full pay for me, long term is 60% of pay

Kid #2 has $100k 4 year scholarship, our expected cost for him to complete college is $24k (housing, fees, travel, food, etc) which we have been paying from income and savings.

Income me $80k, spouse $40k (should increase to $56k in the next year)

While I would really like to have more life insurance on me, other than that I think H should be o.k. should I not survive this. Agree?

What if anything should I be doing now financially? I know I will have to record all our accounts and passwords for the H who is completely financially challenged. What else?

What am I missing?

Personal Finance Deals
Should I refinance my loan from 30Yr FHA @ 4.5% to a 5/5 ARM @ 2.75%?
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 05:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: goofydragon1
Views: 78 Replies: 1 I am not sure if this question was every addressed in the forum. I would like to communities POV on refinancing my mortgage. Here are the facts:

Loan Type: 30Yr FHA
Interest Rate: 4.5%
Original Loan Amt: $282500
Current Amt: $265489
PMI: $257.19 (Until ~ 6/2021)
P&I: 1432.12
Current Mortgage (includes: P+I, Home Insurance, PMI, County Tax, and Shortage): $2082.01

Refinancing options with Belvoir Federal Credit Union are below. Closing charges are $3089.30 and $3140.39 in reserves totaling 6229.69 that I will finance back into the loan.

New Loan Options
Loan Type: 5/5 Yr ARM,
Points: 0
Initial Interest Rate: 2.75%
Periodic Cap: 2%
Lifetime Cap: 5%
APR: 2.894%
Fully Index Rate: 2.87%
Requested Loan Amt: $273000
Current Amt: $265489
PMI: $0
P&I: $1114.50
Proposed Mortgage (P+I, Home Insurance, Tax): 1524.60

We plan to move with five years which this loan will make it a now brainier, however, if loans goes up like analyst may suggest we'll probably state in the home much longer. History shows that ARMs have always been lower that 15 and 30 Year fixed rates. The fact I do do know is that our LTV is under 80% but in my current FHA the LTV is 93%. BelvoirFCU also have a a 30 Yr fixed rate @ 4.25% (4.412% APR) w/ 0 points.

Personal Finance Deals
In Need of Tax Shelters - Time to Update 2005 Post!
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 05:00:10 AM
g: 1 Posted By: ProfitNinja
Views: 43 Replies: 2 This post from 2005 has some great ideas but I couldn't find anything more recent (http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/447023 /) and as I went through the list I found that most of it did not apply to me for a variety of reasons. For some background, my income is currently at 300k and expected to grow annually by about 10% for the foreseeable next few years. I am in desperate need of some sort of tax shelter as the taxation problem will only grow worse over time. Any "outside the box" ideas?

Long-Term Savings:

401k (earn gains on pre-tax $; taxed when withdrawn at retirement) (link) -Already contribute the annual max
IRA (earn gains on pre-tax $; taxed when withdrawn at retirement) - Income limits, can't contribute
Roth IRA (pay no tax on earnings -- invest taxed income) (link) - Income limits, can't contribute
I-Bonds or EE (post 1989) (use towards education and pay no tax on earnings) (link) - Need to look into this to see if viable.

Personal Tax Credits:

Educational Credits (Hope/Life) (link) - Income too high, no go
Adoption (link)
Earned Income Credit (link) - Income too high, no go
Child Care Credit (link) - Income too high, no go
Child Tax Credit (link) - Income too high, no go

Personal Tax Write-offs:

Morgage Interest
College Loan Interest (link) - Income too high, no go
College Tuition and Fee's (link) - Income too high, no go
Donations to Charity (or fair market value of items donated) - Already do this
Moving Expenses (Job related move) (link) - not applicable
Educator Expense Deduction (link) - Income too high, no go
Alimony Paid (link) - not applicable


Incorporating your small business in Nevada and other state-tax free states (to shelter some income from state taxes)
Business Expenses (ex: Eligible Business Travel Expenses) (link)


Flexible Spending Account (link) - Not applicable, I contribute the max to a Health Savings Account - This is probably the best thing since 401k.
Governement Employee 457 account (link)Not applicable.

The only other beneficial tax deduction was for daycare services but my youngest child will turn 13 next year in January so that won't exist anymore!
Tax Deals
correspondence with Department of Education
Added on : Tuesday April 08th 2014 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dave042
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Sorry for the long post but though it is required to put this in context.

Initial email for rate reduction on student loan sent9/10/13:
I just read I can get 0% interest. Attached is my deployment orders toa hostile area.I also read I may be eligible for Military Service Deferment andpostpone federal student loan repayment during certain periods ofactive duty, such as during war, other military operation, or nationalemergency, and immediately following active duty.Am I eligible for both?Thanks. [orders attached]

DOE Response 9/10/13:
This is an automated response to confirm that we have received your correspondence and will respond to your inquiry within 3 to 5 business days. We encourage you to take advantage of other self-serve options available online atwww.edfinancial.com. Thank you,EdfinancialServices Customer Care

DOE Response 9/12/13:
Thank you for contactingEdfinancialServices,
We have received your email attachment(s). The document(s) will be forwarded to the appropriate department and completed within 5 to 7 business days.
Have a wonderful day. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact a representative at 1-800-337-6884 or you may visit our website atwww.edfinancial.com.
Thank you,Loan ServicingEdfinancialServices

DOE Response 9/13/13:
Thank you for contactingEdfinancialServices,
In order to qualify for the 0.00% interest rate, we would need orders stating that you are serving in an area of hostilities qualifying for special pay. Once received, we would be able to apply both benefits to your account. At this time, we will only be able to apply the military deferment and an interest rate cap of 6.00% on your loan. Please allow 5-7 business days to process.If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact a representative at 1-855-337-6884 or e-mail us atwww.edfinancial.com/contactus/dlcontactHave a great day!Thank you,ClaireLoan ServicingEdfinancialServices

My Response 9/13/13:
I have orders show me serving in Kabul, Afghanistan but does notsaying anything about special pay for hostilities. My "leave andearnings statement" does reflect me receiving hostile fire pay.I would need to know which document you would need.

DOE Response 9/16/13:
Thank you for contactingEdfinancialServices,
You would need to send a copy of your orders. Without processing your paperwork, I am unable to know what you would qualify for.Have a wonderful day. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact a representative at 1-855-337-6884 or e-mail us atwww.edfinancial.com/contact.Thank you,MaggieLoan Servicing

My Response 9/16/13:
Find attached my orders. [orders sent a second time]

DOE Response 9/19/13:
Thank you for contactingEdfinancialServices,
If you can submit your leave and earnings statement that reflects that you are receiving hostile pay, then we will be able to consider you for the benefit.If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact a representative at 1-855-337-6884 or e-mail us atwww.edfinancial.com/contactus/dlcontactHave a great day!Thank you,Claire
Loan ServicingEdfinancialServices

My Response 9/19/13:
Attached is my LES. Line E is the hostile fire pay (HFP).

DOE Response 9/24/13:
Thank you for contactingEdfinancialServices,
You are ineligible for the Hostile Duty interest rate reduction. This is because you have underlying loans in your Consolidation loan that were disbursed before 10/01/08.If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact a representative at 1-855-337-6884 or e-mail us atwww.edfinancial.com/contact.Thank you,Ellen
Customer CareEdfinancialServices

So I spent 14 days dealing withClaire, Maggie, and Ellen only for them to tell me I was really not eligible for the rate reduction which they could have told me in the initial email. Nowhere on the website am I told about the 10/01/08 restriction.
g: 0 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 18 Replies: 0 Sallie Mae agreed to postpone my payments on non-federal student loans for 3 months, which would have saved me about $2000 in the short term. I contacted them because my online account was still reading "past due" weeks later. Customer service told me that they just changed their minds. That plus a $2000 tax bill has me in financial turmoil.

I doubt there's anything I can do about Sallie Mae not honoring their verbal agreement. In was wondering if there's anything I can do in the future to make sure Sallie Mae honors their future agreements with me, should there be any? Or at least to protect myself if they do this again? (I might have to deal with them again since I'm planning to go to medical school.)

My thoughts: Maybe I could also tell them I'm recording the phone call and do so. Maybe that would allow me to sue if they lie again? And maybe they wouldn't offer me anything under those circumstances...
Tax liabilty question
Added on : Monday April 07th 2014 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jacobhorne
Views: 52 Replies: 0 I started a new job this year as w2 employee. I work about 300 miles away from permanent residence (2 weeks on 1 week off). I have to buy my own tools and vehicle. My question is, I bought two cars. One to commute back and forth, and one to work while on the clock.

What can I write off in this situation? both vehicles by depreciation? miles?

What are some other ways lower my tax liability? Single male. monthly salary ~6k, ~65k-70k yearly. I own my primary residence outright. I have some student loan interest but very minimal.

Would it be tax savvy to start an IRA?

Parents' large assets to Roth best transfer options?
Added on : Monday April 07th 2014 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: derfderf1984
Views: 81 Replies: 0 Question: What should my parents do to reduce cost (Tax) and increase amount in Roth or fringe benefits?

- Dad is fixated/bitter to the fact that he worked hard and was responsible, but will have his assets depleted before most assistance programs kick in while those not lucky enough to get a pension buyout will get the government aid free sooner.
- Generousparents want to get the funds to a ROTH IRA so that my brother and I can inherit the funds andkeep them in non-taxable accounts only taking mandatory withdraws.
- They want to keep the taxes they pay on the transfer to a minimum or receive a benefit that makes up for the tax hit. Today comfortable with staying in the 25% tax bracket.
- Parents are 65ish
- The first world problem is, the stock market gains are more than the amount they can roll over to a ROTH every year thus they will never be able to roll over the whole amount into a non-taxable account.

My thoughts on options:
1) Just stick to the plan the tax hit is not justified until I loose one of my parents. (Pro: keep taxes low Con: may incur taxes later, might not accomplish their goal.)
2) Take more of a hit to get to the point of no reportable income. Then apply for aid programs that do not have means tests to determine eligibility. (Pro: goal complete,minor benefits poor people get Con: lost flexibility in accomplishing goal, feel like deadbeats)
3) Is there a way to take a loan fromyour traditionalIRA secured by some note that the traditional keeps while you fund the Roth with the loan money so it is not income just loan money? (Don't know if doable because it is loan money not earned money going into ROTH)
Investing Deals
Timing of applications for credit cards / auto loan
Added on : Sunday April 06th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrBison
Views: 133 Replies: 0 Hi,

I'd appreciate some informed advice. I've been urging my girlfriend for years to get a credit card and she hasn't followed through. She's relied heavily on her Visa debit card and hasn't grasped the importance of the differences between credit and debit cards. There was a period where she had a Macy's card that was also a credit card (as far as I know), but that was a source of a lot of confusion and in any case the card expired. She hasn't used much credit. She has been and still is paying a student loan and at some point she had a Care Credit account (don't know the status). I think that's about it.

I'm insisting that she get a proper credit card now. I think she should get at least 2 cards now while her finances are pretty good and she should be able to get them. The plan will be to pay in full every month. There's a possibility that she'll need an auto loan for a used car in the near future. And her finances need to get oriented around being able to get a mortgage in the next few years.

If she applies for 2-3 credit cards, what timing makes sense? Does applying for 2-3 cards on the same day have any particular advantages / disadvantages? How about same week? Month? Should she get one and wait a few months to apply for another? How would these applications affect applying for an auto loan?

I've described her credit utilization. I don't know what her credit score is. She doesn't have any defaults. No medical debt. At the moment she has good income.

If people want to recommend specific cards too, that's fine. I'll recommend to her to get something pretty straightforward. First and foremost I'll recommend that she get a Visa card. I'm thinking maybe the second card should be another kind.
Question Deals
Student loan provider screws up account balances. Recourse options?
Added on : Sunday April 06th 2014 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ricksreck
Views: 14 Replies: 0 Hi FWF, this one is painful as it is quite a pickle.

My student loan provider, "mygreatlakes.org", had a "system glitch" (as the customer support manager called it) sometime between February 10th and March 10th. The glitch was blamed by the support manager for the incorrect account balances displayed on multiple loan holder accounts. In my case, the total account balance for all of my loans was not manipulated, but the individual tokens (the different accounts with different interest rates that make up my total account balance) was. Here are the details:

1) I made a payment on January 27 to pay off the entire balance of my higher interest rate loan. 100% of this payment should have been applied to my higher interest loan because:
i) I am already ahead on my payments until January of 2017.
ii) and I already made a payment earlier in the month of January (so the requirement of applying a portion of your monthly payment to the other tokens in your account does not apply here --That was done for the earlier payment in January).

2) On February 10th I logged into my account to see that the transaction was properly processed. I found only 85% of my payment went to the higher interest loan, and the other 15% went to the lower interest loan. (instead of the entire 100% to the higher interest loan.

3) I immediately took screenshots of the transaction details for reference. I have details showing:
i) the transaction amount is equal to the balance of the higher interest loan balance (before the Jan 27 transaction)
ii) both my higher and lower interest loan balances before the transaction
iii) the loan balances after the transactions

Now the situation gets juicy!

4) I called to dispute the facts. The customer service rep apologized and said the account would be corrected within 10 business days.

5) I called back in 10 days because the new balance on my higher interest loan was over $1000!!! they actually added to my net account balance. Customer service apologized and said the account would be corrected within 10 business days.

6) I called back in 10 days. The balance was still not $0, in fact, it was even higher than the 15% left over from my Jan 27 payment (reference point 2 above -only 85% of my payment went to my higher interest loan I am trying to pay off). Now the transaction had been re-re-adjusted so that only 75% of my payment went to the higher interest loan. It only got worse... ughhhh!

7) I called back. The first time they said they would fix it and to check back in 10 days. 10 days later it still was not fixed.

8) I called back. This time the customer service rep did not believe me that my account should be at 0% for the high interest loan (problem #1), nor did she believe that my higher interest loan balance was previously at 15% of my January 27 payment (problem #2).

9) good thing I took screenshots... I emailed her the screenshots of the original transaction details.

10) She called me back four times over the course of two weeks; either to tell me they are still looking into it or to ask me questions. by the third week of her investigation I had not heard back from her.

11) ...So I called back... I got a new manager. This one blamed the balance issues on a "system glitch" which affected many different borrower accounts.
i) I asked her why I had not been informed of this upon its discovery. She said there was no need because it was quickly fixed. I became furious, but held my temper best I could.
ii) I asked her details about the glitch: how it happened? what did it do, exactly, to my account? I asked her to explain how the old 15% balance was figured before this hypothetical "glitch". ...She only started claiming facts off the top of her head which made me even more furious, but I still held my temper best I could.
iii) I requested all account history since my grace period ended (which was less than 6 months ago, so not very difficult). ...she couldn't even get that right because she only sent me history for the higher loan loan. Also, please not that the "history" information she provided me was generatedonly afterthis mysterious glitch. So, even though they may reflect the payment history as their system notes it is to date, there is no way of telling if this "glitch - correction" didn't modify my payment history distributions to individual tokens as well. This is what scares me, because if there was a glitch to begin with, how can one be sure that the system didn't glitch again in what they call their "glitch - correction". [Unfortuately, I am not lucky to have full account transaction history screenshots to accompany my Jan 27 transaction].

That said, Is there any recourse to this? mygreatlakes.org offered to backtrack the interest to my Jan 27 payment (just wipe it out), which is a nice gesture, but they will not re-re-re-adjust the account (put the account back to the way I saw it when I took screenshots --problem #2.

Do I have a right to not pay any loans until they can prove that this was actually a glitch, AND that the current balance is actually correct. They haven't been able to do either of these things. I don't believe I should be obligated to make payments again until they can show me exactly WHERE and HOW this happened, and that it is in fact fixed. I had been following the old account history (prior to the glitch) and making multiple payments a month. I never noticed any incorrect calculations for any of those transactions. Please note: I am not saying i shouldn't pay my loans, I am saying I shouldn't be obligated to make payments or be charged interest until this issue is truly corrected... don't forget, they also failed to inform me in any way that my account had been "glitched" and manually manipulated to "correct" the glitch.

As forproblem #1--higher interest loan balance should be 0%-- that is just a whole other can of worms. I'll save that for a different day... maybe another thread.

Thanks guys!
Is there anyway to get a short term loan with 0 interest rate
Added on : Friday April 04th 2014 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ammoun
Views: 163 Replies: 4 Hello,

I'm buying a used car and I'm $7k short. The car costs about $30,000 and I'm paying the rest in cash.

Is there anyway I can take a loan with 0 interest? I don't care if it will be 6 or 12 months but it has to be exactly 0. Do you have any recommendations?

New User Question Deals
New graduate starting a business
Added on : Thursday April 03rd 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BloodyInsane
Views: 114 Replies: 0 This is my first time posting in FWF.
The gist of it:
I'm graduating with $19,000 in student loan debt and have a 6 month grace period I want to take advantage of. I have enough savings live and pay interest during the 6 months. So, during the grace period, I want to start multiple tech business, some with partners, some without. Good idea? Bad? Best course of action? General advice?

As far as personal finances go, I think I'm a little ignorant, but as far as business finances go, I know I'm pretty much in the dark. I'm graduating in May with a computer science degree from UC Berkeley. At the time of graduation, I will have accrued about $19,000 (principal+interest) in student loan debt, $11,000 of which is unsubsidized at 6.8% and $8,000 of which is subsidized at 3.4% with a 6 month grace period after graduation. It's not a trivial amount of debt but it's also not a mountain of debt either, and I have more than enough savings to live and pay off interest during the 6 month grace period before repayment starts. I have family and friends in the software industry, and currently have job offers on the table. Let's assume employment is not a problem.

I figured, during the 6 month grace period, it would be as good a time as any to pursue my multiple side projects more seriously and try to develop them into viable businesses. Once I start working a regular job and repayment kicks in, it doesn't seem like I will never get this opportunity again, especially if I work for a company with an Intellectual Property clause and anything I do becomes theirs anyway. For two of my projects, I have partners, so we would eventually form an LLC (or possibly an S corp). For my personal software projects, I am the sole developer and will likely outsource some non-coding work to independent contractors. As such, it seems like a sole proprietorship is the way to go until I bring in long-term partners and incorporate. I also occasionally develop games on the side, and would like to form a business through which I can publish those games, also likely to be a sole proprietorship, but it's not a rush. I can't get into details about the projects, but from a development standpoint, they require little to no capital, however, they are time-sensitive ideas that need to be executed ASAP (like anything else in tech) or we risk obsoletion/being beat to the punch.

From a high-level view, does the general plan make sense? I understand it's risky, and I've hung around FatWallet enough to know that there's probably a thousand things I'm overlooking. I'm just looking for general advice and to maybe get pointed in the right direction as far as looking for legal and financial advice, or to be told it's a terrible idea and to just get a job.

Discussion Deals
Timing Student Loan and Credit Cards
Added on : Wednesday April 02nd 2014 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: InANutshell
Views: 142 Replies: 0 Hello:

I've read through the FAQs, guidelines, and some other helpful posts as well as searching the forum, but I did not find something directly answering my question.

I am planning on opening two credit cards (by August, one hopefully in the next week or so but can wait on the other). I am in grad school and thus will also be applying for a student loan in the next few months.

I am curious as to the timing of these requests. It seems best to apply for the student loan (since the interest directly relates to my credit score), then the cards. I read on the FAQ (I believe it was there) that you recommend trying to obtain all new credit on the same day, but then in another part of the stickied posts, there is a recommendation to wait at least a few weeks or months between new credit cards.

Would it be more advisable for my to apply for a student loan and both cards in one day or to space it out in some other manner? I am also hesitant about applying for a private loan so early when the federal rates have not come out, but I usually have a high enough credit score that my private rate is lower (plus no origination fee and graduation forgiveness) - but that's another matter.

Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
Would you loan money to a friend?
Added on : Wednesday April 02nd 2014 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 27 Replies: 1 Yes, I know the rule of thumb is to never loan money to your friends. But hear me out.

A long time friend who operates a 500 acre farm called me and asked if I'd be interested in loaning him money for 6 months. He's looking for $20k to buy fertilizer. The bank will lend him money at 10%, but he wanted to see if I am interested in beating the 10%. I could probably loan it to him at 8%, and yes, I do have the money in a savings account earning .9% right now. In exchange, he is willing to put up a 1970 Chevelle SS as collateral. We would do a proper contract that would be enforceable in a court of law. I'm very tempted, it could be an easy way for me make $800 basically.

Would you go for this?
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage - Circular Private Lending from Oneself
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 08:00:07 PM
g: -1 Posted By: Rowgue
Views: 71 Replies: 0 After reading through many dutch sandwich schemes, I was thinking ways to maximize mortgage interest deduction to reduce the taxable income.

Not sure, if this is possible, but if it is, I would ask the people here of their views, pros and cons on this. If this arrangement is possible do people already do this, if not why have they not done this?

The arrangement is like this:
1.Have some or lot of equity in your primary residence
2. Borrow your own money from a creatively structured way at a high interest say 7.5% or 10%
3.The new lender files the lien with the county on your property
4.Pay or say you pay interest/principle or what ever per contract monthly (a private transaction)
5.Claim more more mortgage interest deduction, points etc when itemizing reducing taxable income

For Step 2: You can do one of the following
-Set up and fund a company that does private loans and you will be the 1st customer
-Make your trusted relative (with less income) as the lender who collects the PI - I really mean trusted relative like mom or dad
-OR any other creative way you can suggest- please do suggest

-On the company route-as its a relatively small company the expenses and cost of doing business might negate the profits from the interest collection in a given year which might reduce/negate taxes
-On the relative route-the lender who has low income might not get taxed at all (for the interest income) or might get taxed at a lower rate. Even if they get taxed at a lower rate fix your interest rate such that the net tax savings from your taxes and the lenders taxes are in positive territory.

Did I make it clear to understand?

Is this technically possible? Leave alone ethics etc...


Discussion Deals
Another IRS Audit Risk Reduction Puzzle
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ToddC
Views: 52 Replies: 1 If IRS owes me, let's say $10K, because I overpaid my tax estimates, would it reduce Audit Risk in general if I applied this to my 2014 taxes as credit (as a lump-sum advance payment for 2014 tax estimate payments) rather than requesting a refund due to its large amount, or it "absolutely" does not make any difference? I guess IRS would be happier if I extend them a free loan (although still this would be my lump-sum tax estimate payment for 2014 instead of paying them in quarterly installments).
Tax Deals
Advice needed: Financing a new home before selling the existing
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: clouser
Views: 108 Replies: 0 I am looking for some guidance on how to purchase a new (used) home before selling our existing property. We have significant equity in our home, but with the market conditions, I expect we will need to forgo a selling contingency on the existing home to get an offer accepted on the new home. The new location is a much hotter market, and properties are selling within 24-48 hrs of listing. Our area is a good market also, but I could see it taking a couple months.

Does it make sense to apply for a large HELOC against the existing home, and use that as a down payment on the new home? Would us having an existing first and now second mortgage on the first home effect our ability to apply for a new mortgage? If we apply for the new mortgage first, would it effect our ability to get a large HELOC/HEL? Any other ideas how to best handle this?

Some numbers (all approx)

Combined income: Approx $225,000
Value of existing home: $500,000
Remaining loan on existing home: $200,000
Equity in existing home: $300,000
Existing mortgage+escrow payment is $2,800 a month (we had refi'd down to a 10 year mortgage with plans to have it paid off quickly, we had not been intending to move at the time)
New home price: $400,000 - $450,000 range

We have no dept at all other than our home. Cars are paid off, we have credit cards but carry no balances.

Personal Finance Deals
To Buy or not to buy a house?
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rodge
Views: 156 Replies: 0 I'm a long time lurker when it comes to FWF, but am hoping that I can lean on the wisdom of you all to give us some thoughts on the decision making.

My wife (34) and I (38) are currently planning/debating to buy a house in summer 2014 to give our kids the benefit of a better school district. We are somewhat confident but also scared about that decision.
We live in MD and currently live in a town-home we purchased in 2006 for $390,000 which is worth about $330K now with about $257K left in Mortgage. Loan is at 3%, 15 yr Fixed. Have 2 girls 6 & 2. Planning to rent this property for about $2200/mo and pay the difference for the 15 yr loan. (I could convert it to a 30 yr loan, but want to build some equity as long as we can do it)

Household Income:
I work as a contractor in the Federal Govt while my wife works in the Energy Industry as a Financial Analyst. I bill about $97/hr through my Incorporated company, my wife makes 100K as an employee. I have been averaging about $90+ an hour for 5 years now with three diff clients. If I ever loose my current gig or need to find a job quickly, I'd be able to get a 100-115K job quickly instead of waiting for a high paying job like I usually do.

Wife & I take home: $14,000/mo after taxes
Expenses: Mortgage & Escrow: $2,550/mo
All Other Family Expenses: $3,500
(Groceries, Gas, Kids classes, clothing etc)

FICO score: 787 & 798.

Savings (Cash): $85,000
Savings (Stock, Bonds): $128,000
401(K): $212,000 Combined ($60 K Wife's)
No Student or Auto Loans or Credit Card Debt

Assets which I won't use for buying house:
Condo in Asia: $100K (Gift to dad from me; might inherit it someday)
Cash Fixed Deposits abroad for parents maintenance: $100,000

The New Home Budget: $700K (upto 800K if required)

Question: If we pay 20% down which is what we'd like to do ideally to avoid PMI's, we will be down to about 30K left for emergencies after accommodating for closing costs, moving expenses, prepping existing house for renting.

Is there any way to avoid paying PMI and pay only 10-15% in down payment? We are targeting to be in a new house by July giving us some more time to build more cushion (emergency fund).

While we'd like to postpone by one more year, possible mortgage rate increases worries me. Or I read about banks giving Jumbo loans on 15% down payment and waiving the PMI if the collateral is an Investment or Money Market account.

Or Should we even buy a house this year? Or wait for another year? (We'd like to move to a school district which has better GT, Honors, AP, AAP courses down the line)
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post and offer some insight.
Question Deals
Looking to Refinance a Private Student Loan
Added on : Friday March 28th 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hurricanedarby
Views: 147 Replies: 0 I have a private student loan of about $18,000. I'm with AES right now on a 15 year plan with 5% interest. Not a bad deal but I started reading some articles regarding some portion of the government asking banks to open up their channels again to refinancing private student loans. I would like to drop that interest rate down to 3% (I guess that variable rates are around there right now if not a little lower). Since it is just coming back I'm only finding random banks here and there that will refinance. Does anyone have any suggestions as to who could do it? I know Wells Fargo will (but their rates are a lot higher than the smaller banks) and I am familiar with Sofi and Charter One. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: BRIANW001
Views: 91 Replies: 2 Please dont flame I have searched forums and I have searched the internet and only found one posting on negative income due to NOLs

Hello Fatwallet group,I am seeking advice or insight on how to improve my chances for a First Time Home Purchase. Previously I was turned down to use large NOLs from a previous LLC. The LLC is now closed but my CPA says I must take the NOL write downs. NOL are due to run out in 2014 taxes which would be in mid 2015.I was previous denied a loan with 30% down FICO 800+ and 170k in annual dual income. Bank said I was a solid candidate but when the underwriters received the paper work theyjust kept stringing me along. My CPA said after talking with lender that bank does not want to make the loan. CPA said instead of denying you they will just keep asking for more paper work. I only applied to one bank and it was heartbreaking. With interest rates low this may be my last chance to purchase a home with a good fixed rate in an area I want my kids to grow up in.My Mortgage specifics.
Northern California Home estimated 650K loan 350k Down(yes this is the going rate for a home in this area)

Offering 30% - 35% down (seems like the banks dont care about this number as long as it is above 20%)
Fico 800+
Wife and my income 180K a year

Wife employed outside of family business (no gaps in work history)

I am employed by our family business for over 15 years (no gaps in work history)

Last year withdrew from all LLC membership. I am ona salary work with no ties to business doing the same work.
LLC are owned by siblings who live in another state
Income has been stable over past 3 years

Since all NOLs (Net Operating Losses) are now passive what are my chances of getting a loan?
I have found that the loan officers do not speak to the underwriters as a security measure.

Does this mean my chances are determined by which underwrite I am assigned? My CPA says it is amazing how little underwriters know about actual finance and that NOLs actually provide refunds going forward on taxes.

Is there a way I can structure my information better, or talk to someone else at the bank I am trying to get the mortgage from?

I talked with mortgage bankers that say they talk to their underwriters is this a red flag? I heard this is not how the system works.

If anyone hashad asimilarexperiencesplease share them with me. It seems that theMortgageBankersstill so not knowexactly what the underwriters want,also some of themortgagebankers seem like they don'twant to spend time on mymortgagewhen they have easiermortgagesto originate. I hope now thatrefinancinghave droppedsignificantlythat they are more willing to work with more complexmortgages.

Thanks so much for any constructive advice.
Tax Deals
Pay off zero percent interest loan, or invest? What would you do
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: unkinected
Views: 248 Replies: 10 This is similar to this thread but not specifically regarding credit score.

I have a zero percent interest loan, that through automatic payments is scheduled to be paid off in 6-7 months. But I have cash to pay this off now. The question is should I pay off the loan now, which frees up the monthly income to spend/invest elsewhere, or just wait for it to be paid off in 7 months, and take that extra cash and invest it somewhere?

Investmentmath tells me that I would come out ahead (slightly) by investing the money now rather than later. Inflationary math also says wait to pay it off. Not sure if there's any kind of math that says pay it off now.

Curious how the gang here would approach this.

Personal Finance Deals
Anyone know a good place to get private student loans for grad school?
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rza1
Views: 141 Replies: 0 I'm currently looking to get a loan from either Charter One bank (https://www.trufitstudentloan.com)or from Discover (https://www.discover.com/student-loans/graduate-student-loans.html)
They both have no origination fees and have competitive rates. The Charter One bank TruFit loan appears to have better terms, but I need to research more into it before I submit the loan application.

Are there any other good places to look at for private student loans? I'm looking for about $65K

Question Deals
15 year fixed or 30 year fixed
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 04:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: samandy
Views: 191 Replies: 2 For a home price of about 400-425K, which fixed mortgage will you prefer, assuming you can afford down payment for both 15 year or 30 years.Interest rate difference is about .8.
My calculation says for 15 year you will pay probably 25-30% more per month but for the duration of the loan you will pay 200K more in interest rates.
What are your thoughts? Am I missing something.

Welcome your input!
Real Estate Deals
Do we live frugally or excessively or normally?
Added on : Tuesday March 25th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: couponqueenabk
Views: 271 Replies: 16 Spouse and I are both 30, no kids. I make $80k-$88k/year depending on bonus awarded and my husband makes $70k. We each defer 8% into our respective 401ks. Two car loans totaling $750/month and mortgage payment (which includes escrow amts) totals $1,400/month. Student loan repayments = $1000/month (minimum payment is $350, but we are trying to get it paid off ASAP). No other debt. Credit cards are paid off in full each month. I FEEL we don't spend extravagantly - we take one vacation per year and go out to each 2-3 times per month. I feel like we collectivelymake a decent salary; but find it hard to keep up. I'm just curious if this spending seem excessive or frugal relative to others?
Personal Finance Deals
Need advice reg a College decision
Added on : Tuesday March 25th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Boochi
Views: 195 Replies: 4 I am here in US on a H1-B visa for the last 11 years, living in Ohio state and I don't know when will I get my greencard (in India-EB3 category) and my family is on H4 visa. This reg my son. He did all his schooling (from 2nd grade) here in USA and currently a high school senior. He is a bright kid with lot of AP courses completed in Math & Sciences with distinction and his ACT is 27. He has ADD issues (and little depression issues too, again not aggressive or violent), due to which his grades were not consistent in his high school and when it comes to languages he never made beyond C (there were Ds & Fs also in some quarters). He applied to 5 or 6 colleges locally, again due to our visa status, he had to apply as International student. But all the colleges have rejected him. Currently, I have the choice of only community college, but I wanted to give him the real undergrad college experience. Does anybody out there in my shoes? Does anybody have suggestions how do I go about? I can spend upto $20-25K per year for his college (and he won't get any loans, neither he can work part-time due to his Visa type).

Personal Finance Deals
Removing PMI - Wells Fargo is Evil :(
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: SaguratuS2
Views: 119 Replies: 2 Hey everyone,
I've run into my second major issue dealing with Wells Fargo on my mortgage (the first time, they 'lost' $10k worth of principal payments, which took nearly half a year to fix). I went to remove my PMI from my loan, and WF said I still had $20k to go. My loan-to-value is just below 80% at 151k, with the original appraisal being 189,000. I refinanced back in early 2012, and I discovered that they put the refi amount as the appraisal ($164,000). I've been fighting them for months on this issue, and I've gotten absolutely nowhere.

They said I could order another appraisal, but they won't consider it unless I've done something to the house to increase its value. Right now, I'd estimate it would appraise around $214,000 given the market, but I haven't made any notable improvements.

Am I SOL, or is there anything I can do?
Personal Finance Deals
Sell Real estate or Keep Student Loans.
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: branttucker
Views: 65 Replies: 1 =14pxI have $80,000 in school debt. I'm paying ~$1,000/month for 10 years. I have a condo (paid off; $120,000) that is bringing in $850/month. I also have a mortgage on condo I'm currently living in. I pay $650/month for 30 years. I just started a business and I hope to break even by the end of the year.
=14pxShould I sell the condo that I have renters in and pay off my school debt or keep it?
=14pxThanks, Rookie.
Personal Finance Deals
Refinance with negative points - How does this impact income tax?
Added on : Sunday March 23rd 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 1 Posted By: NorthStar2020
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I refinanced in 2013 for a mortgage loan with negative points. Since I'm doing my taxes with TurboTax, it only mentions scenarios where points were paid by owner. When a point is paid in refinance, the owner amortizes it over the life of the loan.
How does it work out when the home owner receives points ? We are talking here about 3K of negative points.
Real Estate Deals
g: 10 Posted By: remick
Views: 1325 Replies: 3 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CQGBXE

4.9 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)

Your credit history and the scores that go along with it serve as your passport to full participation in the U.S. economy. Your ability to take full advantage of numerous financial benefits will be limited, to whatever extent this passport is not in good standing.

Actually several books in one, The Newest Story of O is a concisely written and highly readable source of high-quality, how-to material, creatively connecting personal credit with debt minimization. It boldly goes where no such book has gone before, offering cutting-edge inside information, while exposing many commonly perpetuated and potentially harmful myths.

With this information at your fingertips, you will be able to convert your high-interest debt to low interest and even zero interest, paying it off in a fraction of the time. If your goal is to become debt-free or simply to improve your financial position, you wont want to miss out on what this book can teach you.

The ten-chapter framework is organized as follows: (1) How the Credit System Works, (2) How to Obtain and Understand Your Reports and Scores, (3) How to Repair Bad Credit, (4) How to Build Good Credit, (5) How to Play and Win the Credit Card Game, (6) Zero-Interest Balance Transfer Offers, (7) Low-Interest Loans and Peer-to-Peer Lending, (8) Fight and Win Against the Banks and Bureaus, (9) Tips for Making Money and Tips for Saving, (10) Ten Special Topic Area "Cheat Sheets": Bankruptcy, Credit and Marriage, Credit and Divorce, Credit Counseling, Debt Collection, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement Companies, Foreclosure, Home Loans and Identity Theft.

Highly accessible in its presentation of a rich font of valuable, practical knowledge, if you only buy one book on personal credit or debt reduction, this is clearly the one to get.
Totally Free Deals
USDA Rural Development Dept DEMAND FOR PAYMENT
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mesquite
Views: 8 Replies: 1 So I received a letter this week from the USDA Guaranteed Loan Branch demanding payment of $82,000 to reimburse them for paying off my defaulted mortgage.

This is a pretty scary deal as it appears that I've been fooled and gotten myself into a situation that is going to cost me some money....almost my entire savings and I'm 69. I have $101,000 with Ed Jones, Inc.

Some questions I have would be how to handle this. Will they offer a reduced amount or do they stick with the first number? If I let it go I'm told the Treasury Dept will garnish my social security check. But I've read several times that they will stop at 15% of your check.

I've read enough to know that this bunch will get their money....but if anyone has any advice I would certainly appreciate hearing it.
Real Estate Deals
Student loans vs. investing in employee stock purchasing programs
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 08:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rxgolfer
Views: 34 Replies: 0 Hello, to start it off I am a pharmacy student graduating in May.

What do you all think about paying minimum on my student loans and investing my extra money in my employee stock purchasing program?I know investing in the company you work for is a bad idea for the most part, but with Obamacare on the way, I would speculate the stock of pharmacies will be going up in the future (e.g. RAD from .20 cents to $7 in just a few years; CVS 20 - $80 in 4 years). On top of that, usually, you can buy company stocks at 10-15% discount (but you have to hold for a month to a year.) My average interest rate is 7%, crossing my fingers that my company stock doesn't dip and even possibly increase by a few percent, I could be making 2-7%+> in profit that I can contribute towards student loans later. I know this is risky and very speculative. What are your thoughts? Should I pay my loans off this way??
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 65 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CQGBXE

4.9 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)

Your credit history and the scores that go along with it serve as your passport to full participation in the U.S. economy. Your ability to take full advantage of numerous financial benefits will be limited, to whatever extent this passport is not in good standing.

Actually several books in one, The Newest Story of O is a concisely written and highly readable source of high-quality, how-to material, creatively connecting personal credit with debt minimization. It boldly goes where no such book has gone before, offering cutting-edge inside information, while exposing many commonly perpetuated and potentially harmful myths.

With this information at your fingertips, you will be able to convert your high-interest debt to low interest and even zero interest, paying it off in a fraction of the time. If your goal is to become debt-free or simply to improve your financial position, you wont want to miss out on what this book can teach you.

The ten-chapter framework is organized as follows: (1) How the Credit System Works, (2) How to Obtain and Understand Your Reports and Scores, (3) How to Repair Bad Credit, (4) How to Build Good Credit, (5) How to Play and Win the Credit Card Game, (6) Zero-Interest Balance Transfer Offers, (7) Low-Interest Loans and Peer-to-Peer Lending, (8) Fight and Win Against the Banks and Bureaus, (9) Tips for Making Money and Tips for Saving, (10) Ten Special Topic Area "Cheat Sheets": Bankruptcy, Credit and Marriage, Credit and Divorce, Credit Counseling, Debt Collection, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement Companies, Foreclosure, Home Loans and Identity Theft.

Highly accessible in its presentation of a rich font of valuable, practical knowledge, if you only buy one book on personal credit or debt reduction, this is clearly the one to get.
Totally Free Deals
MBA value/cost tradeoff
Added on : Tuesday March 18th 2014 01:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CAguyIP
Views: 53 Replies: 1 I have a few questions for fat wallet community
1) What are ya'll thoughts on doing a part time MBA from a UC (for an computer engineer with 5 years of work exp)? Total cost is about ~130k .. I plan on taking a loan of 70k with employer covering 50k.
2) Almost seems like if I can put that 130K in a REIT or a mutual fund I might be better off 5 years from now..
3) Is it worth taking a student loan?
Discussion Deals
How to hold title for home in Ca
Added on : Tuesday March 18th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: 07pilot4me
Views: 128 Replies: 1 searched for this in FW, did not really get a definitive answer.

what in your opinion is the best way to hold title in Ca

1) the loan will strictly be in my name (wife has athin credit file)
2) confused between the difference between community property with right of survivorship vs community property as far as the state of Ca is concerned
3) would like to consider tax implications and also protecting ourselves if unforseen circumstances arise

any help/feedback appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Financial Checkup - Full Disclosure
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 08:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: barsotti0
Views: 174 Replies: 2 I'm looking for some constructive criticism or feedback regarding my current savings/retirement state. I've been on FW for years, and continue to improve our situation but can always use another point of view.

32 years old, married (spouse is 29) with 3 month old baby
HHI = $110k
Spouse stays at home
Live in California East Bay

Home value - $425k (purchased in 2012)
2008 Nissan Altima - $11k
2012 GMC Yukon - $33k
401k - $85k
401k - $5k (spouse)
Savings - $85k
TOTAL - $644k

Mortgage - $238k at 2.75% (7/1 variable)
HELOC - $0k balance ($100K CL at 5.25%)
Car Loan - $24K loan at 1.99%
401K loan - $21k at 3.25% (used to purchase condo in 2012)
TOTAL - $283K

NET WORTH - $361k

Monthly Cash Flow:
Net income - $4,975 after 401k/benefits/taxes/fsa
10% into401k - $820 a month, with 5.5% additional employer match
Bonus net income - $700 a month after 401k/taxes
50% into 401k - $583 a month, with 5.5% additional employer match
TOTAL - $5,675

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage - $985.9
HOA - $240
RE Taxes - $267
Ins - $54
Car Loan - $375
401k Loan - $176
Life Ins - $85
Auto Ins - $140
Utilities - $134
Cable/internet - $140
Cell phones - $130
Grocery - $600
Gas - $350
Eat out (work) - $150
Eat out - $250
Dog - $40
Hair cut/dry cleaning - $45
TOTAL $4,162

My general question, given current net worth and monthly cash flow, are we currently putting sufficient money towards retirement. Also, we are debating the purchase of a new home (would sell current condo that is a 2/2) to accommodate another kid. Price range is somewhere around $600k.

Thanks in advance
Personal Finance Deals
Continuing Education for (Fun and) Profit?
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 02:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dus10
Views: 0 Replies: 0 While it is not good, I am sure that I am not alone in having student loan debt here on FWF. I am working to pay it down, however, and I have come up with a (likely unoriginal) strategy to reduce my interest payment.

A little background: I attended a private school for undergrad that was paid 50% through tuition reimbursement and then completed graduate studies that was paid for 80% by tuition reimbursement, though I took out some additional loans. All in all, I have about $60k in loans. About 50% of it originated as subsidized loans. Whenever they are set to "in-school deferment" they have subsidized interest, again. I thought that the previous rules for this were for up to 2 years... but my graduate school was just over two years... and that have been completed for over a year now and I am taking a course right now just because I want to... and it is in deferment again.

So, strategy... take a course here and there to get these subsidized loans back in deferment and keep making my payments but stick all of the money in the unsubsidized loans. That is the first item. Now, this course I am taking is out of pocket and not cheap... so it really isn't a good example, but community colleges offer courses that are much cheaper. Alternatively or correspondingly, one could use employer provided tuition reimbursement to pay for the course, then it is free (beyond any "repayment" commitment and time in school). For specific industry certifications, I have to do continuing education anyhow, and this makes that very easy for me.

This got me thinking, though, there are plenty of means for "students" to save money. How could one extrapolate this for maximum savings. So, here is my list so far:

1. In-school deferment of subsidized loans ($~200/month)
2. Amazon Prime Student with Upgrade to Full Prime (now $50/year or ~$4/month)
3. Mobile service discounts (if you don't have an employer discount... many universities have discounts ranging from 15-22%... savings, varies significantly)
4. Gym membership discounts - my local school district has a fitness facility that is open to the public (detached from the schools). Membership is $500/year for non-residents, $200/year for residents, and $80/year for adult students ($30/year for minor students) (savings varies based on what is available for you, $10/month for me).
5. Software discounts (varies) Many schools have discount programs available for students. Also, you may want to check with your employer for "home use" programs. For instance, my employer's home use program with Microsoft allows me to use MS Office for $10 on up to two home computers.
6. Various students discounts at restaurants
7. Special vehicle financing options - We are trading in our Chevy Traverse (at 0%) for a Volkswagen Passat TDI. Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Porsche) offers a grad program for that within six months of graduate or two years following graduation best terms financing plus first payment paid on vehicles. We will be getting 0.9%, but the gasoline models would get 0%. ~$500 for the first payment... $130/month (>$1500/year) in fuel savings over the Traverse after accounting for the slightly increased payment. Many automakers have similar programs.
8. Covered continuing education - many licensed professions and various certifications require some form of continuing education. Sometimes there are free options... sometimes they are a pain. Any schooling gets me a CPE per hour of weekly classroom work... for 3 cr hr course gets me 36 hours for the semester. I need 20CPE/year of specific and 40CPE/year overall... this will obviously vary greatly for folks
9. If you are paying out of pocket... you can do the lifetime learning credit on your taxes to "reduce" the expense of the course.
10. Ancestry.com - I think that some universities offer free access to students (mine does)... $20/month... but i would pay for it all of the time anyhow, so not really a savings.

What other options are out there? Things that you normally wouldn't use but the free/discounted rate makes it affordable for you? Things you already use that would become less expensive?
Help Me Refi
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FutureBillionaire
Views: 176 Replies: 2 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away:

I signed up for a terrible mortgage during the housing bubble. I have a 1st and 2nd mortgage that was sold to me as an 80/20 loan. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I was a bumbling fool when I purchased my house.

Fast forward a few years, and Bank of America has sold my first mortgage to Specialized Loan Servicing. They still have my second mortgage.

My question is, what is the best way of refinancing these loans? My credit scores were between 660 and 680 when I bought my house. Now, I'm in the 760-780 range. The rate on my second mortgage is much higher. Although my awareness of credit has improved, I'm still a noob when it comes to the housing market. Any advice or help is much appreciated. I bank with two credit unions, a few online banks, and a couple of national banks. I think I have established relationships that should help me get a good product somewhere.
Personal Finance Deals
Jaguar lease help for a newbie
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CatchEmAll
Views: 7 Replies: 0 Hey guys,
I've been a long time lurker on FW and in need of help with new lease I'm looking into.
I'm thinking of trading in my audi q5 for a new Jaguar F-type convertible.
The dealership is agreeing to payoff the loan amount on the audi around 23k.

They're quoting me $789 per month on a 39 month lease, 10k miles per year with 7104 down at signing (with tax, title, ect)
MSRP 75000
cap cost - 71800
residual 42775
money factor - somewhere near '0..0016' is what the sales person said

I reviewed couple threads and a good post by mikef07 and ran the numbers.
Overall, it seems like a decent deal for a latest model jaguar.

I was hoping to have some feedback about the lease before I call the salesman tomorrow
in case I need to negotiate something more.

Appreciate the help!

Personal Finance Deals
Savings/Retirement checkup
Added on : Friday March 14th 2014 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gr99gt
Views: 115 Replies: 0 I'm looking for some constructive criticism or feedback regarding my current savings/retirement state. I've been on FW for years, but did create a new ID for this post. My apologies, but my existing username makes it pretty easy to identify me once I post the info in this thread.

31 years old, married with 2 kids.
HHI = $155k
Mortgage of ~270k at 3.625% (30 year fixed) with home value about $375k.
Wife has student loans totaling about $30k. $10k at 1.625%, and 20k at3.5%. Both fixed.
I own my car outright, hers is a lease ~500/month.
No other debts.

Current state:
My 401k = ~120k
Roth IRA recently started = ~3k. Contributing$200/month.
529's for kids = $10k. Contributing $200/month
Cash savings = $15k

I put 10% into 401k, plus get additional 4% from employer match.
I amalso vested in apension plan at my work.
Wife is a teacher, so will get pension from state.

I guess my general question, given current balances combined with pensions,how does 10+4% into 401k and 200/month into the Roth look? We're currently putting the rest of our extra monthly income (about $1k/month) into a savings account to go towards an addition on our home. Debating if we shoulddirect more or less money into the additionfund in the near term.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: bighitter
Views: 12 Replies: 0 The background: A friend of a co-worker needs a short term (12 month) $100,000 second trust deed loan that he is willing to secure with his primary residence in California. His home, which he has owned for several years, is conservatively worth $1.3 million. His existing first mortgage balance is $525,000. He has been told that he has insufficient income to meet bank's new lending requirements under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations (described: here) that requires the lender to verify the consumer's ability to repay the loan.

If we, as a private party, were willing to make the loan (at a rate of 7%), is there any exemption that could get around the onerous lender penalties described in the Consumer Financial Protection act? I've been looking online but so far can't find an exemption that would make the loan safe from a private party lender's perspective. We are familiar with the borrower and the property. We wouldn't hesitate to make the loan except for the penalties described in the linked article.

Any information would be appreciated.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: miniaustinliu
Views: 70 Replies: 0 Hi everyone!

I just applied for a re-fi on our house at this rate with my broker... they have the lowest rates anywhere that I have shopped on the shorter end of the loan spectrum. We personally just did a cash out and is using the cash on another investment property. Credit needs to be good or else there is a .15% bump on top. He is in the Southern California region but can do nationwide loans for clients.

Penfed's loan is STILL higher than this and only approves 80% LTV, whereas you can only put 10% down with MS.


You cannot sign up ONLINE for this - reach out to a local broker or inquire with me for mine.

You do NOT need a brokerage account with Morgan Stanley either - and require NO bringing in of investment assets. This is a completely different arm of their firm that does LOANS only.

This was my breakdown of costs:

MS Processing fee: $815
Appraisal: $600
Escrow: $475
Title: $300
Notary: $150
Recording: $150
Wire: $15
Courier: $30

I didn't write a check for the costs - I rolled it all into the equity of my condo.
Personal Finance Deals
Judgement appearing on credit history
Added on : Monday March 10th 2014 09:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: CheapBustard
Views: 159 Replies: 1 Hi all. Newish landlord here. My first ever tenant took me to conciliation court over security deposit after I had not extended the lease . She did a lot of damage to the property so we did not want to re-sign. I was pretty confident that I made my case and was surprised when the judge played it safe and split the difference, awarding her $500. Knowing what I know now I should have appealed. At the time however, I just wanted to be done with the whole thing and did not want to waste another day in court. The way I read the court's letter I thought I had 20 days to appeal, after which the judgement is effective. So I paid the judgement within a week after the 20-day period. Now it shows up on my credit report and TransUnion score dropped by about 80 points (as seen via CreditKarma). I don't see anything saying "satisfied". I read that the judgement will stay on the credit report for 7 years. Is the score supposed to go back up if/when it gets updated as "satisfied"? Should I try to get credit bureaus update the record with "satisfied" or should I try to remove the judgment altogether asking for verification? I've been watching my credit score, pacing my CC applications and rental properties loans so this is definitely a big blow. Any and all advice would be highly appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
What type of tenants have you had the best luck with?
Added on : Monday March 10th 2014 07:00:09 AM
g: 1 Posted By: tedteddy
Views: 121 Replies: 2 I this thread we will discuss different types of tenants who tend to be better than average.

I personally have had the best luck with tenants in medical-type graduate programs. Dental/Pharmacy/Med grad students have a VERY reliable income from loans. They seem to study so much that they don't have time to party or mess up your place. They also tend to be clean people in general.

Who have you had the best luck with?
Real Estate Deals
new to heloc. suggestions needed
Added on : Sunday March 09th 2014 06:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: megaawells
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Hello i just found this great site !

Here is my current situation as im looking for suggestions.

I make about 72 k base with some overtime. Married 5 kids.

Current mortgage is 195k with the house appraising for 300k.

We are looking to add a pool and complete our backyard.

I have been looking at helocs as my wife makes commission on her side job and could throw large sums 3 to 4 k at a time at the loan.

We would also like to make some renovations in the kitchen but are not in a hurry to do such.

What should i be looking at in terms of finding the right heloc for me.

All credit cards paid off and only debt is wife school loans mortgage and two vehicles in my name soley.

We have a credit union througj her work which shows prime plus an interest % of 5 which i beleive would make the rate 8.25.

Where else should i look?

I beleive at 80 ltv i could take out 45000 but i would not like to use that in full.

Discussion Deals
2% Balance Transfer Fees for Existing Cardmembers
Added on : Sunday March 09th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kay11
Views: 72 Replies: 0 I think this is my first new thread here.
Many of us carry a balance and do not want to open a new account just for a Balance Transfer and get dinged on credit score.

I have noticed many card issuers have gone beyond the proverbial 3% BT Fee (1 year or more)for existing cardmembers.
I am happy to notice that the whole industry is moving towards 2% or less. There is a chase for receivables.
From newpapers I read, CC Debt has gone from $975B to $622B. Big banks have seen pathetic loan growth, big dip down in receivables. All of this is an effort to prop it up.
Stocks have gone up a lot, but revenues are a struggle as people are not borrowing more.

Some of these might be targeted or just applied generally to all good standing accounts. If you have a low credit score you might not see them.
I will keep updating the list as I see good offers.

Bank of America World Mastercard - 2% Fee - 0% until Jun 2015 (15 Months)
Chase Freedom - 2% Fee - 0% until Jun 2015 (15 Months)
Capital One Venture- 2% Fee - 0% for 12 Months

Citi Dividend - No go, they would not match Chase or BofA offer.
US Bank, Discover IT, Barclays- 3% Fee
Credit Deals
Home Owner's Insurance Options
Added on : Saturday March 08th 2014 03:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jimates
Views: 81 Replies: 0 My sister talked me into this deal.She took out a bridge loan to buy a second house in another community. I am buying her old house in a rent to own agreement.
Her insurance company said changing the status of the property to rental would increase the insurance rate from <$400 to >$800. Reducing the coverage by >50% would only save $182 a year so not a good option. I could get my own insurance but that would not satisfy her loan requirements.

Any viable options out there for insurance coverage at great rates.

State of PA
Changed from Allstate to Erie for super savings after Katrina (all major carriers had significant increases).
House appraised at $77k
Insurance coverage of $175k (replacement costs)
Reducing to $80k would only save $182 a year
Real Estate Deals
Float Money - new credit service?
Added on : Saturday March 08th 2014 02:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nomadwfs
Views: 25 Replies: 0 Has anyone tried out this new service?

the website said: A new way to borrow that puts you first.

Float is an alternative to the traditional consumer loan system. We are not a bank. We are a new type of company that is both a lender and a shopping club. We can make loans without interest or fees because we get paid by the stores when you shop. Our mission is simple - to improve the financial health of all of our members.

It looks to me like the site makes money by encouraging its users to buy gift cards to vendors which it can probably do in volume at a discount, and passes a portion of the profit on to the users in the form of a variable credit line tied to the amount of gift cards you buy per month.

It looks to be that their Target market is people with little credit or bad credit as a means to build a credit file. Based on some quick calculations of the amount of credit you can obtain using the service, it seems quite paltry compared to credit lines offered by big banks on credit cards. For that reason, it may not be of particular interest to the churning/MS community, but it looks like the credit available functions as a bank line of credit, allowing you to ACH it directly into your bank account for any purpose at no fee, as opposed to the methods/fees involved in extracting funds from a credit cardinto a bank account. That is an interesting feature.

Any thoughts?
Personal Finance Deals
Blowing the whistle on your employer for fun and profit
Added on : Friday March 07th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 70 Replies: 0 from Politico --

Keith Edwards, a former JPMorgan Chase employee, will be paid nearly $63.9 million for tipping off federal investigators about problems with how the bank was writing government-insured home loans, according to a court filingtoday.

The case led to a $614 million settlement between JPMorgan and federal prosecutors.

Evidence showed JPMorgan knew some loans it wrote that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans' Affairs did not meet agency guidelines. The bank also admitted to ignoring internal reviews that flagged issues with the mortgages.

The payment to Edwards is a share of the settlement amounts due to the government agencies. Edwards receives roughly $56.4 million of the $564.6 million due to FHA, and gets another $7.4 million from the $49.4 million due to the VA loan program, according to the filing.

Edwards had originally sued the bank for defrauding taxpayers, and the Justice Department joined his case.
Personal Finance Deals
$51k in bank, 24 years young... time to buy my own pad?
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tol835
Views: 209 Replies: 6 I have been racking my brain about the idea of buying my own place... please read on if you are also pondering this or have something to contribute!

I live in Chester County in Pennsylvania. I have 51k in savings, 7k in other fairly liquid assets (Also it is stuff I could part with) not including my car, and 12.5k in my 401k (current total contribution is 10%). My monthly take home is $3,106. I am currently paying $600 a month for a small room in a nice 2,000 sq. ft. three story townhouse worth about $260,000 with 2 other roommates that I tolerate but don't enjoy living with all that much. The one guy owns the place. EVERYTHING is included for the $600 and I am NOT in any type of contract. The house is 2 miles from the office which is the biggest benefit of living here. I have no other financial obligations besides my car and renter's insurance.I have a 2 year specialized technology degree and have been working full time in my career for 4 years at the same company.

I have looked at a few houses, and am considering purchasing a townhouse for around 160k, putting 20% down making the loan $128,000. In addition to annual property taxes of around 2-3k, I would likely have a monthly HOA fee of $125-$215.

I am very independent and like being in control and living with 2 roommates is starting to get very taxing on me. If I get lonely at my own place (Im not sure if this would happen or not) I could always rent out a room and also pay the mortgage off faster. Also, living with only one other person in the house who I can choose myself shouldnt be too bad if I vet and choose the right person.

Having said all that the obviously other choice is to rent a one (maybe two) bedroom studio apartment for around $800-$1,000 a month plus utilities so maybe $1,200ish. Thats double what Im paying now but would likely still be within 5-7 miles of where I work. The other big downside to this choice would be that I would be in a contract, so purchasing a house wouldnt be as easy when the time came. However, I would try to get a lease with an out provided I give the landlord a 3 month or so heads up.

Thoughts from the older and wiser would be much appreciated!
Real Estate Deals
Select Christian DVDs - 49 Cents @ Christianbook.com
Added on : Wednesday March 05th 2014 03:00:04 PM
g: 1 Posted By: mmax
Views: 172 Replies: 0 Really cheap DVDs up to 98% off from Christianbook.com, all the ones I listed are only 49 Cents! Shipping for me added $3.99 but I am looking for a free shipping code, will post it if I find it.

The Da Vinci Delusion -Was $25.00

The Public Life of Sissy Pike: New Girl in Town, DVD - Was $14.99

William Sloan Coffin: An American Prophet on DVD - Was $15.00

An Intimate Interview With Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn - Was $9.99
DVD Deals
g: 0 Posted By: LeonWhite38
Views: 221 Replies: 6 Im asking this for my mom so Ill try to explain her situation the best that I can. My mother owns her home outright, but she lets my brother and his family live there rent free while her and her husband rent a small basement apartment in town. I know thats extremely ignorant, but it is what it is. With that being said, shes about $20,000-$25,000 in debt right now and behind on her rent as well. Garnishments from a ghetto loan company called Springleaf Financial nearly wipes out each of her paychecks which just makes this whole mess that much harder on her.

She talked to a bankruptcy attorney and he told her that if she filed a chapter 7 she would lose her home as it would be sold to pay off her debts. She asked if she could put the home in one of her kids name and then file, but he said no as the bankruptcy court sees that as fraud and would instantly deny the bankruptcy. Her other option the attorney said would be to file under chapter 13 which is where her debt would be cut in half and she would be put on a payment plan through the court to pay back the rest of the debt.

The plus side obviously being that she would keep her home going this route. She asked me what I thought about her taking out a home equity lone or line of credit and I told her that Ive always heard that you NEVER EVER borrow money against your home for ANY REASON if its paid off. What do you guys think? To me going the chapter 13 route makes the most sense for her, but I wanted to get your opinions first. She's really hurting here folks and the rest of my family (I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters) really couldn't give a damn.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: stopsignhank
Views: 239 Replies: 5 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nj-teen-sues-parents-claims-they-kic...
MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. -- A bitter family battle was playing out in a New Jersey courtroom Monday, as an 18-year-old student has sued her parents claiming they kicked her out and demanded she pay for her own college education.
As CBS New York's Christine Sloan reported,Rachel Canning's parents could not believe it."We're being sued by our child," said Sean Canning, a former police chief in Lincoln Park, N.J.

"I'm dumbfounded, so is my wife, so are my other daughters.

"Rachel Canning is a cheerleader and an honor student at Morris Catholic High School in nearby Denville.In court papers, she alleged her parents abandoned her when she turned 18 and have now refused to pay for her to go to college - even though she has received acceptance letters from several universities.

But her father told a different story."I know Rachel is a) a good kid, b) an incredibly rebellious teen, and she's getting some terrible information," Sean Canning said.He claimed Rachel ran away from home in November because she did not want to follow house rules."Living in our house, there's rules," he said. "There's minor chores. There's curfews - when I say curfew, it's usually after 11 o'clock at night."

Rachel did not want to be interviewed Monday.

She is staying with the family of her best friend - which includes attorney John Inglesino.Inglesino is funding the lawsuit, telling CBS New York it is the only way the bright and focused teen will be able to go to a college appropriate for her to become a biomedical engineer.

Rachel, who has a $20,000 scholarship, said the University of Vermont is her first choice.

But Sean Canning said he is not refusing to pay for her college education."I reject the whole question on that -- the whole premise," he said. "We have a college fund that's available to her - there's no doubt about that.

But it's the equivalent ... of going shopping at a high-end store and sending somebody the bill."

Rachel has said she did not run away, but was given the option of dumping her boyfriend or getting out.

"Me and my wife are distraught," Sean Canning said.Both sides will be in court Tuesday.

Rachel Canning wants the court not to emancipate her, because under the law, a parent has an obligation to support any child who cannot stand on his or her own financially.Rachel also said every piece of financial paperwork she fills out asks her that question and shows she clearly doesn't have the means to support herself.

Inglesino said he has spent more than $12,000 on the lawsuit because he wants Rachel to have a great future.Sean Canning said Inglesino is just butting in where he shouldn't and is influencing Rachel inappropriately.
Discussion Deals
Real Estate: Selling current home and buying another?
Added on : Monday March 03rd 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mailvips
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Here's our scenario:

We live in a decent townhome and are thinking about living in a single family house with yard etc in same area (South Bay in SFO Bay Area).
The houses which we like (went to couple of open houses) and the area where we want to live are pretty expensive (1.0 to 1.4m) and hence the dilemma.
The current home has a 400K mortgage at 3.5% 30 years fixed and
Zillow's Zestimate of it is about 1m.
We can do20-25% of down payment for the future home
Renting may not work as it will not be cash flow positive and hence the taxdepreciation will be passive loss and will not offset my active/portfolio income. Due to our income levels wecan not avail the 25K deduction either
Although we can afford the jumbo mortgage for a loan of 1m, we would generally like to keep that to a lower amount (sounds like oxymoron)
Other info:Our credit scores are >800 and I have a IT consulting business where both me and my wife are employed

So the questions are:

Am I missing any ways to keep the current home and its low rate and pay down more towards new one?
What would be the FW way to move to what we think (which is totally subjective evaluation) to a better home?
Also isthis a good time to do this move from a real estate market perspective where valuations are all time high in this area
How good are Zillow Zestimates?
How does one go about buying and selling at the same time?


Personal Finance Deals
Sallie Mae overcharge
Added on : Sunday March 02nd 2014 06:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Genetics
Views: 60 Replies: 0 I have been managing my wife's student loans and was able to get a loan on her car title for a much lower fixed rate than her Sallie Mae variable private loans (she still has loans through the department of education). Last month I payed off most of her private loans, but left a small balance because of the accruing interest until they got the check. I made the last payment through the website and distributed the money across the loans. Something weird happened and some accounts went negative while others had a balance, I called and they assured me it would be worked out within a month and the loans were paid. On 2/21/14 Sallie Mae took more money from my wife's checking account as part of the auto debit. I called, they apologized said it was their mistake but could not fix it until my wife called in and even then we would have to wait a month to get her money back or she would have to send them a bank statement showing the withdrawal (even though it is credited and all accounts are negative on their site). I mentioned to her that I made them aware of the situation and my wife will not be calling it was their mistake and they are aware that they have our money, and I mentioned that we would charge interest on the money that they took from us... I also wrote them a nice note on their facebook page..

question is... I know we will probably not get that interest, but I'm pretty ticked off at their practices not to mention how they never forgot to charge her interest... Should I pursue this to make a point or just let it go?

as of today we still do not have the money back in our account.
Personal Finance Deals
Getting a Loan
Added on : Sunday March 02nd 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Newyorker1905
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Hi guys.

I am an expat living in USA. I would like to buy a house in my home country so that my father can live in it while he is alive. God forbid, something happens to him, I will rent it out.

That said, I require around 100K USD. I am not able to get a mortgage from a US Bank as they can't foreclose the property in my home country. At the same time, I don't want to get a loan from my home country because the rates are insanely high (20% annual rate for 10 years).

Is there a way to secure this amount from a US Financial institution as a regular loan?

I am working at a Consumer Goods company which is in Fortune 200 globally. I am also a US citizen and my credit score at the moment is 788.

After all my expenses, I can comfortably pay back the loan if the 10 year interest rate is around 8% annually. Any suggestions?

Personal Finance Deals
loan against car
Added on : Saturday March 01st 2014 02:00:07 AM
g: -2 Posted By: stevemadden
Views: 59 Replies: 1 Any person who has bad credit in the market have to face many problems for taking loans from banks or other money lending financial companies but he can get logbook loans very easily.
Personal Finance Deals
LightStream Loan - Unsecured AnythingLoan
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Rewdog
Views: 96 Replies: 0 They are claiming an Unsecured AnythingLoan which has different rates based on the loan purpose. As low as 1.99% for a new auto, 4.99% for home improvement, etc; generally things that are secured loans. Your credit needs to be excellent, otherwise they will offer you a secured product instead.


Anyone have any experience with these guys?
General Economics Deals
Student loans .25% interest rate reduction with Auto Debit
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: stils
Views: 140 Replies: 5 I had a question I was hoping someone here could help with. I have $250k in student loans at all different interest rates (about half at 4.7%, a quarter at 6.8%, and some at around 8%). I see that if I do the monthly automatic debit my interest rate will be dropped by .25%. I prefer sending the payments in manually but if there is a substantial savings then I can definitely tough it out and do the auto-debit. I am not sure how to calculate the amount of money this will save me. Any ideas?
I searched for other threads but found one from 3-4 years ago that I couldn't reply to.
Personal Finance Deals
OFFER OVER Free app for android - 10bii Financial Calculator
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 01:00:04 AM
g: 4 Posted By: remick
Views: 487 Replies: 1 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W41SQK

Finally a Financial Calculator for everyone! Whether you are a seasoned investor or you just have questions about paying off your credit card, refinancing your home, or planning your 401(k) contributions, the 10bii Financial Calculator has the answers to YOUR financial questions!

Users love this app! Read what a couple of them have said:

"Amazing app! Wonderful for calculating investments and other financial decisions. Great response on suggestions. True In A Day Development."

"Hands down best financial calculator. No learning curve, works and looks just like the HP but better. Nexus One."

At times, users will post reviews saying the calculations are wrong, but please understand the calculations ARE CORRECT. The issue comes down to proper use of the calculator and almost always has to do with the Payments per Year setting. If you believe you are having any issues with your calculations, email us and we'll generally reply within the hour and can help resolve the issue. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

The 10bii Financial Calculator is a versatile and powerful financial calculator which features more than 105 different functions for financial analysis, business, statistics, and general mathematics. Modeled after the extremely popular 10bII Financial Calculator by Hewlett Packard, the 10bii Financial Calculator combines precise mathematics, intuitive display, and ease-of-use in one compact package. It allows you to easily calculate loan payments, interest rates, amortization, time value of money, investment value, and more using a combination of powerful and intuitive equation-writing functionality and helpful worksheets.

By expanding on HP's traditional presentation, the 10bii Financial Calculator allows quick and intuitive building and visualization of TVM (Time Value of Money) calculations and Uneven Cash Flow scenarios and lets you type in whole equations for easy review and one-touch evaluation.

With the 10bii Financial Calculator, you can:

Calculate Time Value of Money (Length of Term, Present Value, Nominal Interest, Loan Payments, Future Value) and see the cash flow diagram produced for you via the Graph TVM key. Values for N, PV, I, PMT, and FV are displayed right above their keys for easy reference.

Easily enter Uneven Cash Flows, including rapid calculation of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return. A dedicated interface makes adding, editing, deleting, and reordering uneven cash flows a breeze.

Switch between Nominal and Effective interest rates with the simple touch of a button.

Enter and analyze statistical data points. Includes standard calculations such as standard deviation, mean, and linear regression forecasting.

Never has using a financial calculator been so easy or intuitive. The 10bii Financial Calculator is truly powerful enough for the professional but accessible enough for everyone. It is an ideal tool for teaching the power of compounding interest, analyzing potential deals or business ventures, or just doing math problems, and sharing the results of your work with others.
Free Apps Deals
Lenders who are Self-Employment Friendly
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tembenite
Views: 99 Replies: 0 I started my own business in October and its going really well, but I'd like to purchase a house.

Based on my research, most lenders require 2 years of self-employment history before they allow you to borrow. I of course do not have this.

I have found one mortgage broker who states that they only require 1 year of employment history, if you're still in the same field as you were before you were self-employed (Which I am).In talking with him, he indicated that "1-year" means 1 tax year, not one full annual year, so since I was in business Oct-Dec 2013 I've been in business "one year". As a result I might have found one lender that might loan me something.

However, I was curious if anyone else on Fatwallet had experience with different lenders that were self-employment friendly, or "maybe" if there are any more "stated income" loans still out there.
Real Estate Deals
Which debt to pay down first?
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 01:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 190 Replies: 6 I have two debts that are screwing me now that I need to address. I'm paying PMI on my home and 9.5% interest on an unsecured pool loan. I'm thinking it makes more sense to try and remove PMI. I would feel comfortable throwing $30k at something. Here are the numbers:

Conventional home loan:

$327,000 purchase price (4/13), 5% down, original loan value $310,650 @ 3.625% interest rate
Current remaining balance $305,085
Monthly PMI: $173.45
Appraisal fee $385
I estimate the value at $370k.
PMI is scheduled to be removed at 78% LTV of the $327k purchase, so 10/21 when the mortgage is roughly $255k. I want it gone long before that

Pool loan:

$30,000 @ 9.5% for 60 months started 7/25/13.
Remaining balance $23,414, pay off is $24,322
I made one-time $5k payment to knock it down a bit

I'm thinking I pay the $385 to do the appraisal, and if the home comes in at $360k for example. I'd need to pay $17k to get to 288k and remove PMI...BUT I was thinking perhaps pay the full $30k and get it to $275k owed on a $360k property, and see if I could do a HELOC to pay the pool down? Or would it make more sense to just pay the minimum to remove PMI and the remainder to the pool loan?

For those curious, the reason I took on PMI and a 9.5% interest loan is because I was able to get 2-3 roommates bringing in $1250-1850 cash off the books...so it covered those expenses easily.
Personal Finance Deals
Free app for android - 10bii Financial Calculator
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 57 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W41SQK

Finally a Financial Calculator for everyone! Whether you are a seasoned investor or you just have questions about paying off your credit card, refinancing your home, or planning your 401(k) contributions, the 10bii Financial Calculator has the answers to YOUR financial questions!

Users love this app! Read what a couple of them have said:

"Amazing app! Wonderful for calculating investments and other financial decisions. Great response on suggestions. True In A Day Development."

"Hands down best financial calculator. No learning curve, works and looks just like the HP but better. Nexus One."

At times, users will post reviews saying the calculations are wrong, but please understand the calculations ARE CORRECT. The issue comes down to proper use of the calculator and almost always has to do with the Payments per Year setting. If you believe you are having any issues with your calculations, email us and we'll generally reply within the hour and can help resolve the issue. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

The 10bii Financial Calculator is a versatile and powerful financial calculator which features more than 105 different functions for financial analysis, business, statistics, and general mathematics. Modeled after the extremely popular 10bII Financial Calculator by Hewlett Packard, the 10bii Financial Calculator combines precise mathematics, intuitive display, and ease-of-use in one compact package. It allows you to easily calculate loan payments, interest rates, amortization, time value of money, investment value, and more using a combination of powerful and intuitive equation-writing functionality and helpful worksheets.

By expanding on HP's traditional presentation, the 10bii Financial Calculator allows quick and intuitive building and visualization of TVM (Time Value of Money) calculations and Uneven Cash Flow scenarios and lets you type in whole equations for easy review and one-touch evaluation.

With the 10bii Financial Calculator, you can:

Calculate Time Value of Money (Length of Term, Present Value, Nominal Interest, Loan Payments, Future Value) and see the cash flow diagram produced for you via the Graph TVM key. Values for N, PV, I, PMT, and FV are displayed right above their keys for easy reference.

Easily enter Uneven Cash Flows, including rapid calculation of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return. A dedicated interface makes adding, editing, deleting, and reordering uneven cash flows a breeze.

Switch between Nominal and Effective interest rates with the simple touch of a button.

Enter and analyze statistical data points. Includes standard calculations such as standard deviation, mean, and linear regression forecasting.

Never has using a financial calculator been so easy or intuitive. The 10bii Financial Calculator is truly powerful enough for the professional but accessible enough for everyone. It is an ideal tool for teaching the power of compounding interest, analyzing potential deals or business ventures, or just doing math problems, and sharing the results of your work with others.
Free Apps Deals
g: 0 Posted By: swampwiz
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I have a number of accounts @ TD Ameritrade, so as to do a carefully structured set of IRA disributions & rollovers (i.e., to act as de facto loan.) It seems that a mutual fund I am in, from the Rydex family, a family whose funds are NO TRANSACTION FEE, NO LOAD, has gone through a split, and because of it, I have been charged a $38 fee in each account, for a total of $380!

It seems that such fund "reorganization" should be considered at the very most simply an exchange from the old fund to the new fund - something that has no fee associated with it.

Is this really just a niggling charge that TD Ameritrade hopes will just fly under the radar, springing a "gotcha" moment for the customer? I feel like I've been ripped off! I am so angry!
need an advice
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rmishka07
Views: 19 Replies: 0 We'd like to do some renovations in our house, but do not have the cash. I'd estimate about 30k worth. should we refinance the house with cash out. we currently have 15 year fixed 4.25 interest or get a line of credit or any other loans? I don't need all the money up front since the contractor want's to get paid weekly.

need to make a decision ASAP.

thanks in advance.
Question about American Opportunity Tax Credit (finance related right?)
Added on : Wednesday February 26th 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: beardeus
Views: 112 Replies: 2 Hi,
I actually tried to register at some financial aid/ college forums but both forums I tried aren't allowing me to apply. Something isn't working correctly.

Anyways here is my scenario. My wife finished school Spring 2013. The school billed her for those expenses December 2012 but it is clear she had tuition expense for 2013 but the college is not stating that she did. I know, from the horses mouth regarding ANOTHER scenario (IRS), that schools don't always report tuition expenses on the 1098 form correctly. The tuition expense were paid through student loans.

My question, is my wife's schooling in 2013 eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit? She meets all the other requirements.

Thank you so very much!
Tax Deals
Putting INFINITE Money Into Roth Accounts For Fun And Profit
Added on : Wednesday February 26th 2014 04:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 29 Replies: 0 ETrade offers Individual (Solo) 401ks in both Traditional and Roth flavors. The terms of the 401k are in this PDF below:


Page 11 lists the rules for a loan. The employer (which is yourself) gets to determine the interest rate for the loan. Which means you can squeeze an infinite amount of money into your Roth 401k. For the people who's head's didn't explode when they read the underlined sentence, I'll explain:

Step 1) Set a ridiculously high interest rate on the 401k Loan.
Step 2) Allow the 401k plan to offer Roth 401k Loans with no limitations.
Step 3) Take out a Roth loan
Step 4) Pay back the Roth Loan plus the exorbitantly high interest rate
Step 5) All of the interest is paid back into your 401k, which is yours to keep

Which one of us will be first to test out the string value limitations of the interest rate in ETrade's coding system? Perhaps as a design limitation in the coding they limit the interest rate to 99% or 999% We'll need to get that fixed.

Investing Deals
Solo 401k with no business income
Added on : Tuesday February 25th 2014 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: xxjt
Views: 110 Replies: 2 Hi there,

Is it possible to open a solo 401k with no business income? (In order roll over a number of old IRA's into.)

I would like to do this for two reasons:

1. Potential for 401k loan
2. Potential for backdoor Roth
3. To clean up many old IRA's

Is this possible? Or should I buy and sell some stuff to generate a nominal income?

In the backdoor roth thread it is implied that some people have done this - but I would like to get some more specifics. Fidelity or E*Trade both seem to be okay for roll over without contribution.

Investing Deals
Q: re: mortgage service transfer and account age
Added on : Tuesday February 25th 2014 08:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: moneypyts
Views: 98 Replies: 0 I have a mortgage that originated in July, 2005. In July 2012 the loan servicer, Aurora Bank, was purchased by Nationstar, and I made subsequent payments to Nationstar rather than Aurora.

Initially, Nationstar reported the "date opened" as July 2005, but in Jan, 2014 they changed their reporting to all 3 credit bureaus and reported the "date opened" as July 2012. This erased 6 years of credit history from my reports. It seems to me that there is no justification for this, as Nationstar purchased the assets of Aurora, which included my loan, but in no way did their transaction affect the loan itself. (edited)

Does anyone know if there is an "industry standard" for loans transferring? Other loans I've had in the past always reported the original "date opened" after transferring.

And, when I call Nationstar to ask if they can re-age the account, what department do I ask for?

Thanks for any help or suggestions,
Personal Finance Deals
Comparing loan APR to Investment returns: Have to use CAGR?
Added on : Saturday February 22nd 2014 03:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RunToday
Views: 39 Replies: 0 The total US stock market gets about 8-10% average return historically, but the CAGR is more like 5-6%. Does CAGR better reflect the long-term opposite of loan APR?
Investing Deals
I am terrible at math and projections: should I pay my rental or invest?
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: maxandsam
Views: 176 Replies: 1 I have about 100k extra sitting around doing nothing except losing value b/c interest rates are low. I am going to withdraw this to pay off a loan or invest. However I am terrible at math and do not know which scenario is better.

Should I:

1. pay down the note of a rental house that I own and owe 190k on. 30 year fixed at 3.625%. Rentals during the year cover my entire mortgage. (I owe more on my primary residency, but due to laws, it would be the hardest thing for me to lose so that payment is last).

2. invest the money into mutual funds. I have about 400k in mutual funds already and my goal is to get to 1 million by age 40. I'm 33 rt now. That's my goal b/c firecalc.com says at 1 million, by retirement age, I should have plenty to do nothing if I want.

If I add more to funds and get average market return, due to compounding and interest and growth, will I get more value out of investing my 100k or will paying down the rental house note (and the interest saved with prepayment) exceed investing? Let's say I think 10 years out, will my 100k investing, grow and far exceed the savings of prepayment of loan? Thanks to all you math wizzes. and PS, I could spend it on hookers and blow and crown vics, but I like German cars and don't want the herps nor a bloody nose so no H&B.
Personal Finance Deals
Take loan for credit score purposes
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: -1 Posted By: Birdman0494
Views: 142 Replies: 3 Hi everyone I'm new to fw been reading the forums for a while.
my fico has ranged from 760- 705 due to my latest AOR

I've used discover, credit karma, credit sesame to track my score. I have about 20k plus in cl from
CCs. All my reports say not having installment loans are hurting my credit due to a lack of diversity.
All ccs are paid in full

what do you guys think of taking out and paying a small loan just for credit score purposes ? I'm sorry if this topics already been covered.
Personal Finance Deals
Serve offering $20 for tax refund direct deposit
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Shufflindoh
Views: 47 Replies: 0 Swerve

Fine Print;
To receive the $20 credit from American Express Serve, you must (i) successfully sign up for new American Express Serve Account, (ii) activate your American Express Serve Card, (iii) select and successfully enroll in Direct Deposit for your 2013 1040 federal income tax refund with your American Express Serve Account information, (iv) file your 2013 federal 1040 income tax return by April 15, 2014 and (v) receive your 2013 1040 federal income tax refund by Direct Deposit into your American Express Serve Account by May 31, 2014. A qualifying Direct Deposit is defined as an electronic deposit of a 2013 1040 income tax refund by the United States Treasury into your American Express Serve Account. Refund anticipation loans or other similar providers and products do not qualify for the promotion. Transfers or loads into your American Express Serve Account from any other funding source (including P2P, credit or debit card, ACH, remote deposit, cash) whether or not such load or transfer includes all or a portion of an income tax refund check, monies or other any form of income tax refund, do not qualify for this promotion. Funds transferred via Direct Deposit generally post on the day that American Express Serve receives the transfer from your payor. However, in some instance it may take several days for American Express Serve to receive your payor's transfer, so please allow sufficient time for that process to occur. American Express Serve is not responsible for income tax return or refund processing or direct deposit requests that are not honored or otherwise erroneously processed by the Internal Revenue Service, United States Treasury or their agents. Statement credit will be posted to your American Express Serve Account within thirty (30) days of satisfying the above requirements. Limit one (1) $20 credit per American Express Serve Account. Subaccount holders are not eligible to earn a credit. Offer subject to change or cancellation at any time and cannot be combined with any other offer(s).

I'm not a new customer but I'm giving it a go...
Deal Deals
Need advice on current debt situation!!
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 10:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dlight1
Views: 50 Replies: 2 These type's of threads always get loaded with RED towards the OP, however I'm asking the community here on any advice to help the situation.

Home Equity Loan: $34,200 @ 5.25%
Student Loan: $5,100 @ ($4,500 @ 3.4% and $600 @ 4.5% consolidated)
Chase Credit Card: $0 @ 17.99%

Net Annual Pay: $22,000
Bank accounts: $3,072
401k: $22,000

Basically in a nutshell, the Home Equity is $224/mo for the next 19 years and the Student Loan started as 12,000, but is now just sitting in forbearance for the past year and a half. Forbearance is due to expire in October, but chances are I'll ask for an extension. The student loan offers auto-pay which reduces the interest by 0.25%, but obviously carries a $53/mo bill to stay on track, or $33/mo if extended to a 15yr term (10 original term). The Chase card has a low credit line of just over $2,000, but its sole purpose is to be used to earn 1% CashBack paying monthly bills (yeah trying every avenue to help... net CashBack is roughly $240/year), such as electric, water, and sewer bills. Based on the past 2yrs of bills, etc... In around August or early September, we no longer will be able to make payments on the monthly expenses.

Basically, I just would like to know of any other sources/ideas to eliminate this debt or at least stay steady and make it by on current income.

The next possibility to help things would be to lower health and dental plans. Currently paying around $3,276 annually from employer. Tapping into the 401k seems tempting, but would like to stay away from that option as well (unless it would actually help matters). As of right now, the only chance of hope is to get a raise in July, otherwise somethings got to give somewhere.
Question Deals
Using Roth+Traditional IRA to pay graduate school tuition?
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: -2 Posted By: imexish
Views: 106 Replies: 6 I am returning to graduate school this year and it will cost me $110K (tuition+all living expenses).I can take out $20.5K using Stafford loan at 6.8% with a 1% origination fee and use GradPlus Loans at 7.9% with 4% origination fee for the remaining balance.

However, I have $13K in my IRA and $38K in my Roth IRA. I read that I can borrow or take funds out from here without any penalty as long as they're used for tuition. I am considering using all of this $50K to lessen the GradPlus loan amount. Is this a good idea?

Personal Finance Deals
Adding an addition onto my house - Questions. Am I going about this right?
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 03:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 104 Replies: 4 I own a 1300 sqft 3 bedroom, 1 bath house.

I would like to add an extra bathroom onto the master bedroom.

2 reasons - I am sick of walking downstairs in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Also, we would like to move to a larger house closer to my job in 3-4 years or so (waiting for wife to finish college and get a secure job). I have been watching the houses for sale in my area for the last several years, and its seems like the houses that sit on the market and never sell have 2 things in common - single bathrooms and tired, old looking kitchens. I've updated my kitchen with tile floors, new appliances and new counter tops.

My house has 2 floors. The second story is not the full width (front to back) as the 1st floor. The only thing upstairs is my office and our master bedroom. These are over top of my living room and kids' room. I would like to add a 2nd floor over the back part of my house (dining room and kitchen).

I originally was going to just do a 15 foot wide dormer, however I have had a General Contractor come out to give me an estimate, and said it would be much easier and cheaper to build the addition to the existing corners of the back of the house, as it would not require as much reinforcing if he used the existing corners. This would not just give me a bathroom, but if we go this route, it would give me enough space for a small 4th bedroom, master bath and walk in closet. This would easily increase the value of my house by 25%.

So, here is where I am at -
I have several GC's coming to give me estimates on framing in the addition, putting a roof on it, and siding the outside. That is all I want. I can do everything on the inside. I have drywalled several other rooms (used to be plaster), I have experience doing electrical work, and I have a friend that is a plumber that said he would help me with adding the drain and water lines. In my county I do not have to get permits. I know this is weird, but they only require permits for anything that is a 3 family building or larger (eg, apartment). I've confirmed this by calling the courthouse and asking.

I went to Menards and priced everything I would need for the bathroom. It came to right around $1000 for a shower stall (I want a 3/4 bath), toilet, sink, plumbing materials, etc. I don't plan on making this super upscale, just using contractor grade materials, as in my area there isn't enough market demand for these items. Drywall and electrical materials will run me around $400. Insulation about $150.

I had an HVAC unit installed 6 years ago, and to be honest, I got kinda screwed. Its not powerful enough. When it gets in the upper 90s, it can only keep the house around 75, and the 2nd floor gets into the 80s, so we use a window AC in the master bedroom. I plan to reroute the return that goes to the 2nd floor to pull from my living room, and the forced air line to a bedroom that currently doesn't have a forced air line. I'll install a 2-ton Mitsubishi mini-split HVAC unit to cool and heat the 2nd floor. These run around $700.

I plan to take these numbers (after I sort through everything and make a nice spreadsheet) along with 3 estimates from different contractors on framing in the addition to my bank, to attempt to refinance my house and get a home equity loan to pay for the addition.

I paid $75k for the house in 2008.
I currently owe $66k on a 30 year mortgage.

Since I purchased the home, I have put about 20k into upgrades (laminate floors, HVAC - it only had electric baseboards when I moved in, split up a massive 15x20 laundry room to make a small utility hallway and a 3rd bedroom, etc)

I would like to get the house re-appraised to take the upgrades I've done into account, however I will have to pay for it because the bank will only do drive-by appraisals, not one where the guy comes in.

Should I pay for the appraisal before or after I talk to the bank?

Basically I want to go to the bank and say:
I owe 66k
The house is worth $X (somewhere in the mid $80s most likely, based on what my neighbor who is a Realtor says)
I want to do the following upgrades that will cost $Y and afterwards the house will be worth $Z.

So, how does this work? How can I get a loan on the equity between what I owe and what the house is worth?

What is the best way to go about this?

I would appreciate any advice that will get me moving in the right diection.

Thanks guys!

TL;DR - Want to build an addition on my house. Talk to me about how to best approach a home equity loan.
Question Deals
First Time Homebuyer- Newbie Mortgage Question. ARM or Fixed?
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 03:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: saavyfw
Views: 130 Replies: 5 Pre-approved for $175K, 30 year fixed @5.5% 100% financing with Navy Federal and plan on staying in the home 5 years or less. I am exploring all options and don't know too much about mortgage rates and options so looking for some advice. I have excellent credit.

My question is which loan type is best for me? I never really considered the ARM but would this be the best option in my case? If so, what type of ARM and should I go with Navy Fed or Pen Fed? I think Navy Fed has a slightly better 5/5 ARM rate as of this posting. Thanks!

Real Estate Deals
First Time HomeBuyer looking for Mortgage advice
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: risic
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I'm a veteran looking for advice on whether to take points or not on my mortgage. I bank with Navy Federal Credit Union.I have about $25K saved. I plan on appplying for a VA Loan which requires no down payment & no PMI, but a funding fee of 1.75-2.15%. The asking price for a home I like is $240K. Here are the interest rates, associated points,and a 1% origination fee for a 30 YR VA loan:

3.375%@ 3pt
3.5% @ 2.5pt
3.625% @ 2pt
3.75% @ 0pt
4.0% @ 0pt (no 1% origination fee)

I don't know which way to go. Should I take the loan with the most points to have a low interest rate and save $30K in interest payment(paying about $15K total in points & fees) or pay no points at all?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Personal Finance Deals
Tax implications of repaying a gift from relatives?
Added on : Saturday February 15th 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: moxie
Views: 117 Replies: 0 When my husband and I were looking for a house last year, we found a good fit and had an accepted offer within less than 24 hours after we saw the house.My (awesome and generous) folks offered to gift us part of our down payment, but when we were applying for a loan in November they surprised us by wiring over twice the amount they had offered. This amount was well over the $52K annual exclusion amount. I wanted to give it back but they insisted that we take it as an interest free loan with no due date.

After consideration, my husband and I decided to hang on to it for a few months. My parents were right-- the extra sum sitting in our account made the bank loan go through smoothly. They saved us from having to break our laddered CDs or dip into our Roth IRAs. The house buying process turned out to have a lot of unexpected expenses too so things would have been very tight without their help.

At any rate, three months later all our money is now liquid, I got paid for some major contracts which had been outstanding in 2013, we got back rebates on our closing fees, points, agent fees, and reimbursed for moving expenses (thanks to Redfin, PenFed, and husband's employer), and we can now pay my parents back. We want to do this ASAP so that we don't get spendy with what is probably a large chunk of their retirement savings.

My question is:
What is the best way to deal with this tax-wise? Do they have to file a gift return for 2013 and will we have to file a gift return for 2014? Should we treat this as a loan (though when applying for our housing loan, they wrote us a gift letter)? I don't expect that either of us will ever approach the lifetime gift-tax exemption of $5.25 million, so is there anything to worry about at all?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice!
Tax Deals
Fannie May Post Valentine/President's Day Sale up to 50% off + free S/H
Added on : Saturday February 15th 2014 11:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SNakian
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Time to mail out post Valentine Day chocolates to those who are not picky Valentiners
Use code 33667 for free shipping on all orders over $39. Side note: free shipping code doesn't usually work together with sale prices, but it did for me. Hope it's not a one time use code.And NO, Fannie May doesn't give student loans
Fannie May Sale
Hold rental home or sell now Fw advice requested
Added on : Saturday February 15th 2014 01:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fljeremy
Views: 80 Replies: 0 Dear FW community,

I purchased a home in 2003 and moved to another home in 2007 and have been renting out my original home. With last years nice appreciation and rates looking like they might start to rise my current tenant (a mortgage broker) wants to buy with a USDA loan. He gave me a pretty good offer 230k zillow currently says it's 197 but we all know they run low. In speaking with a real estate agent last October said it should go for about 220. So I am torn should I sell now which has the advantages of no listing commission as it's a deal between him and I. Or hold for maybe 3 more years or more. Currently I am getting below market rent of 1400 market rents are now 1550 so if I sell I also lose an income stream. And based on my research property values will continue to climb for at least next 3 years, 5-6% a year? I am in North Florida , holding out could mean a much bigger payday down the road.

In addition if I had some cash in hand from the sale I could refinance my primary and lower the rate by at least 1 percentage point and lower my monthly payment by 1000 a month but also taking out another 30 year mortgage. Currently I have 25 left on primary and 20 left of rental. Hmmm options options. help me out with your knowledge please. Thank you in advance
Question Deals
Balancing Student Loans, Retirement Funds, and life's expenses
Added on : Friday February 14th 2014 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: itslikepaper
Views: 49 Replies: 0 Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any and all advice. I've been reading and learning quite a bit on FWF for a long time now, but this is my first time posting. FYI - I wish I knew about this forum before I took out these damn student loans.

Main Question: How should I allocate my income in order to responsibly pay off my student loans while still saving for retirement and other life expenses?

26 years old
Employed, Full-Time, earning $48,000 per year - company does not match 401(k)
Married (26 years old, earning $25,000 per year)

$27,718 - 6.8% Unsubsidized
$4,357 - 5.6% Subsidized
$5,512 - 6.0% Subsidized
$22,202 - 6.8% Subsidized
$2,627 - 2.35% Subsidized

Other expenses:
Rent & Utilities $1,100/month
No credit card debt
No auto loans

$11,000 in Savings Account

Here's my two lines of thinking

1. Max out Roth IRA as an emergency fund up to $11k (2014 & 2015)
2. Keep $3k in Savings, but put the remaining $2,500 (11k - 5.5k Roth contr - 3k savings) into the 6.8% Unsub student loan.
3. Pay minimum on lower interest rate loans while throwing everything else at the 6.8% Unsub loan.
5. An option (please give your opinion) is to enroll in an online course at a local Comm College to postpone interest on Subsidized loans.
6. Work hard and earn more money.

Fastest way to pay off student loans.
Simplicity (no BTs and no crossing fingers for some kind of student loan bailout)

No room to save on down payment for house
No retirement savings


1. Max out 401(k) to lower our AGI
2. Pay minimum on student loans
3. Get a job in the public sector (and probably a pay cut) to take advantage of PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness - forgives all loans after 120 monthly payments)
4. Continue to keep AGI as low as possible using 401(k).

Paying min on student loans gives me more flexibility with my money
Significant retirement savings

PSLF, like anything else the government does, is not guaranteed to be around in 10 years
Taking a pay cut
I'm sure there are more cons, but drawing a blank right now

So, it feels like to me that these are my only two options and that they are mutually exclusive i.e. I can't really do a hybrid of both options to take advantage of the PROS. Any other ideas and suggestions are appreciated!

Thank you all again for any advice you can contribute!!!!!!

Personal Finance Deals
Earn up to xxx miles with a loan through prosper (targeted, YMMV)
Added on : Friday February 14th 2014 03:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrDubious
Views: 68 Replies: 0 Got this targeted offer in my email today:

Earn up to 18,000 miles with a loan throughProsper

Get closer to your next flight with every dollar you borrow.Whether youre ready to pay down high-interest-rate balances, pay expenses for your small business or looking to finance a significant purchase, Prosper can help you save thousands of dollars each month. You can borrow up to $35,000 and earn thousands of award miles.
The online application is simple, fast and secure. There are no prepayment penalties or hidden fees. And with great low rates, you could save thousands of dollars.*

The fine print indicates that there are several different ratios of miles to dollars borrowed depending on the specific offer sent.
There is also mention of how Prosper can disqualify anyone from the offer at any time.
Details of the loan itself are pretty lacking however, and it appears that the only way to get them is to actually enter data which would effectively constitute applying for the loan.

So all that said, does anyone have experience with this promotion or similar ones in the past?

At first glance it looks like it has potential for pretty easy miles, for the cost of a few days' interest, although I have no idea how active they would be about revoking miles for quick turnaround.

Deal Deals
New home construction the FWF way
Added on : Thursday February 13th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 1 Posted By: adamc
Views: 224 Replies: 1 Hi all,

I am about to embark on the construction of a new home. I want to apply FWF strategies to accomplish two major goals: First, and most obviously, I want to reduce the cost. Second, I want to extract cash out of the process to end up with no net money down.

My GC is willing to run the job until the house is under roof and weather tight and then let me take over as GC. If I get in over my head or have problems with a specific sub, he will help out. He will also allow me to get his discounts with suppliers. The reason for this strategy is two-fold. The lender wants a 1.5 point additional origination fee if I do true owner-builder, and the foundation and framing are aspects of the job that are outside my comfort zone. All of the rest of the jobs are things that I am comfortable either working with the subs or doing myself.

My primary cost savings strategies:

Sweat equity. As described above, I will do a lot of the GC work and a lot of jobs myself.
Shop hard. Take advantage of outlets, sales, rebates, etc. on appliances, cabinets, flooring, etc.
Gift cards for CC rewards and fuel points wherever possible.
Choose energy efficiency features that will reduce the overall cost of ownership (extra insulation, air sealing, etc.)

Extracting Cash Back out of the project is where I need a little more advice. My basic plan is to set up a business entity for the project. No, I don't want to try this. My goal would basically be to loan the money to the business for the down payment, and then have the GC sub completion of the job to my business. The business would then repay me for the loan with the "profit" from my sweat equity. At the end of the project, the business would have no net profit or loss after repayment of the loan.

In order for this to work, the house will have to appraise high enough to keep me below 20% LTV.

Outside of opening a bank account and possibly getting some contractors insurance, what snags does anyone see?


Personal Finance Deals
How much house should we buy? Several variables here...
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dougletw
Views: 54 Replies: 1 Just the data:
Two wage earners, one at $85K and one at $40K. Additional income of $500/mo from disability pension.
Analyst at $85K depositing 8% into a 401K with a match of 10% of salary plus .75 of contributions up to 6%. Age of employee is 40. Current 401K balance of $70K. Vested defined benefit to pay out $800/mo at age 65. Projected retirement income of $90K a year seems about right.
Teacher at $40K has a defined benefit plan with a pension that allows full retirement if age plus years of service equals 80. Age of employee is 37.
First home completely paid off. Resale value of $150K. Rental rate of $1200/mo.
Two children, ages 5 and 6. $500/mo deposited into college savings plan. Current balance is approximately $15K.
No debts period. $80K in cash on hand for a down payment. VA loan terms available.
Prequalified for $521,250.00 with a 20% down payment.
Goals--1) Pay for most of kids' college (don't want to pay for everything to incent scholarship)
2) Feel secure about retirement
3) Buy a new house

What SHOULD we pay for a new house? I feel like we may be too thrifty here because my wife is culturally averse to debt, even for mortgages.
Real Estate Deals
Penfed 15/15 Adjustable Rate Mortgage
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: discoganya
Views: 23 Replies: 0 Penfed now offers an interesting product: 15/15 ARM (i.e. a 30 year mortgage that resets only once midway)


For Purchases & Refinances
Primary Residence & Second Homes (Investment properties are not eligible)
Loan amounts up to $750,000
1% origination fee

On 2/12/2014 Rate is 3.75%

An interesting alternative to a traditional 30-year fixed.
My Time to Refinance? Help wanted.
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 09:00:22 AM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 47 Replies: 0 Hello folks,

I'm new to the mortgage game. I came into a relationship with my fiancee having a home already, so forgive me for some questions. I know some things might be able to be addressed in the sticky topics, but I don't feel comfortable with everything yet (including terms).

Current Information:
Yearly Income Combined (Untaxed): ~$130k
Original Mortgage Amount: $140,000
Current Mortgage Remaining: $111,000 (Just over 20% threshold?)
Mortgage APR: 5.00%
Loan Type: FHA. So we currently pay PMI until the end of this year. Refinancing would save us a little here.

We Currently pay our Mortgage + $600 - $1000 additional principal every month (depends on how good we did for the month).

My issue's are:

1) What fee's can I typically expect? A lot of people mention "Don't worry, they can roll the fee's into the loan"... I don't care, a fee is a fee, a debt is a debt. I want as least fee's as possible. I want as much equity as possible.
2) What is the best way to Refinance? I am thinking given how much additional principle we do, a 15-year at today's rates (~3.3% according to Yahoo Finance) makes the most sense.
3) As I understand, the disadvantage to refinancing is our mortgage returns to Day 1. So the majority of the beginning of the loan payments will go to Interest instead of principle. Is this true? If so, should I stick to my current 30-year?
4) Who should I refinance with? Most bang for my buck, least amount of fee's? I hear PenFed and Lending Tree from time to time here, but I'm still unsure. Any help is appreciated given my circumstances.
Credit union violating laws in regards to credit life insurance
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 09:00:22 AM
g: 0 Posted By: superdrew
Views: 157 Replies: 1 My wife went to get a loan yesterday on a vehicle, and had everything all approved and set. However when signing, they presented her with a life insurance option that they said was required (after the hard sell on gap, disability etc) She told them nicely to shove their loan paperwork up their ass, and left as they refused to give her a loan without the life insurance. I contacted a branch manager today, whom said the same thing, and I asked for it in writing, as I was quite sure that it was against the law. She then transferred me to someone else who said that it is not required, but couldn't explain to me why my wife was told that it was, and why they wouldn't issue the loan without it.

We have other options, so I don't really care about getting the loan from them, however the fact that they do this to less financially educated people is infuriating to me. I want to do something to change their practice.

I've contacted and filed a complaint with the NCUA, and my state insurance commission, but considering this is a medium sized credit union with thousands of members that they have pulled this crap on, I'm wondering if finding a class action attorney might be in order, and if so, how would I go about finding the best one in Michigan.
Personal Finance Deals
Need advice re student loan/mortage refi with cash available
Added on : Monday February 10th 2014 08:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: throwaway2001
Views: 83 Replies: 0 So my wife and I have collectively about 300K in student loans and a $350K mortgage (house is valued at $300K currently in a yearly arm after having a 7/1 expire). We have $200k in liquid assets. My wife is a stay at home mom for now, but when full time employed, pulls in six figures as I am doing now. Okay those are the deets- now to my considerations-

1. I am in a position to perform a HARP 2.0 at any time (I haven't refi'ed yet since purchasing the house)- however, I'm concerned of having to have a higher apr due to the program- I'm also concerned about being locked into the HARP 2.0 terms- I've read that I can't refinance if I'm in the HARP2.0 program (definitely not again with another HARP 2.0 but am unsure if after paying down principle that I would be able to refi through another bank for an ARM or 30y in the next 3-5 years after having done a HARP 2.0.) I would then continue to invest as I have been doing eventually paying everything down at some point before I die.

2. With our liquid assets- my other consideration was paying down the mortgage- then refinance with a 5/5 or 30yr. basically invest $150k from assets and have $50k in case of emergency- then chip away at student loans and mortgage until I die.

3. Paying off a majority of student loans- I'm getting no benefit from student loan interest through taxes due to my earned income- paying off those loans seems premature when my house is underwater- nonetheless- eventually paying off my student loans would provide more money to pay down my mortgage until I die.

My thought was basically do #2 (pay down the house and refi)- assuming housing continues to recover- potentially refi again later on and pull some money out of the house to pay off some of the student loans- by that time, I would have made a pretty good dent in the loans to potentially pay it all off- this would be at the cost of still owing a vast majority on my house and maybe getting dinged with higher rates later on- but I'd benefit from taxes from the mortgage all the while.

Any advice into how to handle this debt load with my available assets would be greatly appreciated.

Personal Finance Deals
Fiancee has large amt of Student debt. How to shield assests?
Added on : Monday February 10th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Playarrz
Views: 141 Replies: 6 Hello,
My fiancee and I are tying The Knot
later this year. She has an excessive amt of student debt(>$300K), but she's a physician so maybe in 10 years we will be debt free. I wanted some advice on how I should shield my assests(i'm currently employed mid-career professional).
Specifically, if I open up a joint account with her in a non-community property state, I might be liable for her debts also. Can anyone shed light into this? How do I protect my assests aside from a pre-nup? I don't want to be responsible for her student loan debt.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 92 Replies: 1 I had $6k of SE income in 2013 as my sole source of income due to burning off a non-compete and taking a large chunk of vacation time. I expect to have $200k of SE income in 2014. However, that $200k is not guaranteed. It's on a contract with provisions that allow the client to terminate my services without cause at any time.

My concern is that I'll make $50k in the first quarter of 2014 and then make $0 for the rest of the year. I don't want to pay $20k in estimated quarterly taxes on April 15th 2014 on my $50k annual income.

I'd much prefer paying a larger estimated quarterly tax payment in Q3 and/or Q4 when I know my income more precisely. May I use my $6k figure from 2013 as my expected income for 2014? I imagine the IRS will scoff at that if I wind up making 30x that amount.

Any suggestions? I'm reading through IRS Pub 505 and 1040-ES this morning and it's not really clear. I do plan on maxing out an IRA and Individual 401k this year, so that makes things stickier. If I wind up only making $50k in Q1 and $0 the rest of the year, I'll owe almost nothing in taxes since I can do a Traditional IRA, I-401k plus employer contribution, standard deduction/personal exemption. I can't afford to give the IRS an interest-free loan of $20k for 1 year if my contracts fall through after Q1 because I'll need that money for living expenses the rest of the year.
Tax Deals
VA IRRRL lenders. How to find the right one...
Added on : Saturday February 08th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bucsox
Views: 79 Replies: 1 Ive been thinking about trying to find a lender to refinance my current VA loan. I get countless number of offers in the mail, but just about all of them seem hokey and come from no name places. I don't know exactly how to find a reputable, good lender and get a good deal. Google searches turn up a lot of sketchy places.

Can anyone recommend on a few I can inquire to about an IRRRL?
Investing Deals
PenFed - How long until you hear from them for a 5 Yr. ARM refi. app?
Added on : Friday February 07th 2014 10:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nitesbane
Views: 106 Replies: 0 Aside from reading that it takes a long time to close, couldn't get an answer on the forums to the question in the message title. I did the online application a week ago, got approved (80% LTV, no debt, > 680 credit score, great debt-to-income ratio, etc.), waited the two days, which was Tuesday, to hear something, and received no phone call. Waited two MORE days, nothing.

I called today early this afternoon to find out who my loan app is assigned to and found out that ithadn't even been touched yetby the loan officer. Is this normal? I don't see why a company would advertise a 24 to 48 business hour callback and not even have a person look at the loan by five days after that. Fine, you don't count Saturday or Sunday (even though oftentimes loan officers work on Saturday), three days after that.

It seems to me like it's not a good start if the process is held up so early on after an approval.
General Economics Deals
Spec Home Financing
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dallastyme
Views: 138 Replies: 0 I'm looking for some financing ideas to fund a spec home. I already own the lot outright and have some cash to contribute but need $100,000. A construction loan is out of the question because banks are not currently offering loans forspec homes. I'm a newly licensed contractor and do not have a financial record to become an approved contractor by the bank. Homes in my area are currently selling fast and I believe I can realistically build and sell a home in under 12 months.

My current ideas are;

-Applying for credit cards with 12 month 0 percent interest and using cash advance, checks, or paying my construction company via paypal and paying the fee.
-Leveraging my automobiles (no equity in my home).
-Unsecured line of credit or personal loan from bank.
-Small business loan.

Has anyone been down this road or have any input?
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: latashiaholley
Views: 23 Replies: 0 Here is my situation...I make $75K per year. I have $38K in the bank and an equal $38K in student loans. I don't have any other debt, a minimal car payment and cell phone bill. Trying to consider how much to spend on a place as I am looking for a new apartment, too. I am currently contributing the max my employer will match in the 401k (they match 37% on the max 8% that I contribute). I hate having all this money sitting in the bank making absolutely NOTHING! Should I pay off student loans, invest, or are there other options I should consider? I am completely clueless on finances.

Additional Details:
I should probably have mentioned that my student loans are 6-7%. I am leasing my car so there is no loan/interest there.
Personal Finance Deals
How long is too long to live in your parents basement?
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 05:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 54 Replies: 1 Banking about $1400 a month right now on average. All debt is paid off except $11,000 in student loans ($150 a month).

I have a younger brother who lives at the house anyways (he is in college) so its not like I am really burdening them. All I really cost them is a home cooked meal every day. I will obviously move on if there was a girl or some other compelling reason to get my own place. But there is not at this point. When do you think is the right time to move on? I just turned 27.
Personal Finance Deals
Financing Rural Land (with New Construction Housing On It)
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 11:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ltcm
Views: 152 Replies: 4 I'm considering buying a piece of property and building a house on it. I've narrowed down the area (within 15 minutes of where I currently live, about 45-50 minutes from the downtown of a major city), but have not picked out a specific lot yet. The properties I'm looking at range from $150-$300K for 35-70 acres, with the more expensive properties including wells, power to the property already, etc. The main thing I'm interested in is how to finance this project. I've read about construction loans and land loans, but wonder whether something like this might not fit either category exactly. My questions are:

1. What type of loan should I be looking for in this situation? How much of an increased interest rate/increased down payment should I expect?
2. What if I don't build a house right away? One idea I've been investigating is to buy the land and build a nice barn with an apartment above it first, while saving to build a "main" house within 2-3 years. If I spent $100K on the barn/apartment, would I be able to get a loan for the full land amount + barn, or would the appraisal process/lack of a main structure kill this idea? The barn + apartment is definitely part of the plan in the long-term anyway due to family members who will likely live there one day, so it wouldn't be an unnecessary expense, just a reversal in the typical order of building.
3. Finally, what about just financing the land and putting a trailer on there for 1-2 years until I save up more money for the house? I'm not too familiar with loans for raw land, so I'd love to hear people's experiences about that as well.

And just general thoughts that will provide me additional avenues to research -- thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Private Student Loans: Best Way to Consolidate?
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 08:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sbdywinski
Views: 114 Replies: 2 My Federal student loans just kicked in and paying both those and my private loans per month are near impossible to manage. I have approx $30,273 in federal loans, and $41,685 in private loans. Yeah I know, not the best situation and it is something I am regretting, but I am trying!

Student Loan Provider Loan Type Payment Plan Balance Interest Total (per provider) Payment Amt. Payment Amt Per Mo. Due Date Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan Unknown Unknown $4904 9.63% $160 9th Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan Unknown Unknown $2017 9.63% $6921 $66 $226 9th Discover Bank - Student Loan Unknown Unknown $19449 11.25% $19449 $207 $207 13th CitiBank CitiAssist Undergrad Loan Unknown Unknown $9730 6.25% $74 13th CitiBank CitiAssist Undergrad Loan Unknown Unknown $6215 3.13% $15945 $37 $111 13th Nelnet - Group A Subsidized Standard $4500 6.5% $53.11 14th Nelnet - Group B Subsidized Standard $4500 6% $51.18 14th Nelnet - Group C Subsidized Standard $5500 5.6% $61.4 14th Nelnet - Group D Subsidized Standard $5500 4.5% $20000 $58.28 $223.97 14th Nelnet - Group E Unsubsidized Standard $3476.55 6.8% $46.61 14th Nelnet - Group F Unsubsidized Standard $2406.47 6.8% $32.26 14th Nelnet - Group G Unsubsidized Standard $2262.49 6.8% $30.33 14th Nelnet - Group H Unsubsidized Standard $2128.21 6.8% $10273.72 $28.53 $137.73 14th
Note: I HAVE NOT switched my federal loans to be on the income repayment plan yet, as my first payment isn't until the 14th (Happy Valentine's Day to me!). Once that is done, that payment is about $183 per month for the federal loans combined.I have every interest in paying down my credit cards ASAP so that I can apply those costs to my highest interest student loans.

Some facts about me:

Monthly income after taxes taken out: ~$1720
Credit Score: Currently 640 (working on decreasing CC utilization by getting approved for more cards)
Credit Card Debt: $6,333 (was under-employed for FAR too long)
Overall Credit Availability: $9220 (Was just approved for a 1000 credit card, reflected in total)
I am in my mid 20's, don't own a house so no collateral for personal loans. Car is worth approx $3.5k but I dont want to part with it (grad gift from mom before passing, only car that hasn't EVER had breakdowns. Costly repairs on a cheaper car don't seem like a better option in the long run).
No cosigner possibilities

Questions about private loan consolidation:

Is there a particular lender which tends to give the best rates?
If I, for example, go to CUStudentLoans.com and check what kind of rates they can give me, is that going to do a hard/soft credit inquiry? I know it is good to shop around with this sort of thing, but I am wary of heavy hits this may cause.
One of my CitiAssist student loans has a VERY low rate of 3.13%.. should I consolidate this with the others? Seems like a good one to hang onto, but it could also lower the overall interest rate I would be approved forif it was averaged with the other loans.
Is there a good "tactic" as far as getting a good rate? My boyfriend and I thought about the possibility of balance transferring my credit card debt to one of his cards to bring up my credit score pretty good and THEN apply for the consolidation.. then transfer back to me (with cards with balance transfer deals, of course)
Is there a particular credit score I should strive for before applying to consolidate?
Are there any key things I should avoid in their consolidation terms and conditions? Variable,Fixed,25 yr length,etc.

As I am sure it is apparent, I am pretty clueless about what the best option here is. I appreciate any words of wisdom you might have with this subject!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: IL352010
Views: 217 Replies: 2 First, thank you for your ideas and suggestions. This truly means a lot to me. I have searched and read through the required materials on this board. Again, I genuinely thank you for your time. I have tried to include the most pertinent information below.

My question is: How much should I invest in my 401k v. how quickly should I pay off my student debt.

I am 26 years old. Graduated with a professional degree in mid-2013, passed my professional licensing exam and started working at a Fortune 500 company in early January 2014.

I managed to get out of undergrad with no student loans (working during the year + summers and earning grants and scholarships). I graduated from law school with $62,000 of debt and allocated it by percentage below. (All Federal Loans).

Direct unsub. Stafford- $33,000 (6.8%)
Direct Sub. Stafford- $17,000 (6.8%)
Direct Student Plus- $12,000 (7.9%)

I've been paying off interest as it comes due throughout law school and have no other debt whatsoever. That said- my savings are nearly 0. (I will be receiving my second paycheck this week).

My starting salary is $75,000 even. I expect to hopefully be able to increase that in the near future. Truthfully, in my industry, I'm fortunate to have a job right now. That said, once I gain a few years of experience I believe I will be able to increase that figure dramatically.

My company offers a 6% 401k matching plan, which vests on a graded scale. Meaning- they will match my first 6% fully, however, after my first full year of employment 33% of their match will vest and be mine if I leave the company. After two years- 66% will vest and then after 3 years 100% of their match will vest. This worries me a bit because it is not uncommon to find or be offered a higher paying job within that time span. I suppose I'll have to decide how big a pay jump and whether it's worth it at the time.

Also my employer is a public traded company and they offer a ESPP. They will match the first 3% of contributions, after-tax, to that program.

I've also started a Roth IRA- although I have only put a few hundred dollars in it so far. I live in Chicago with a roommate and pay about $1,000/month total for rent, utilities, etc. I picked this living arrangement so that I could not have a car and walk about 4 blocks to work each day. If I need a car for a particular day for work- my employer will pick up the zipcar tab- which is great. My goal is to stay in this specific living situation for about 2-3 years. I eventually hope to save to buy a modest 1 or 2 bedroom condo.

Back to my question- Any advice on the strategy of repaying my loans and saving for retirement would be incredibly helpful. Again, thank you for your time and consideration.

Personal Finance Deals
Sell or Keep this Rental Property
Added on : Monday February 03rd 2014 11:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: callthedr
Views: 83 Replies: 4 I know there are similar threads to this but when it comes to deciding whether to keep or sell a rental property, I figure each situation is unique and I wanted to see what advice people had for this situation:

We bought a condo in 2001 for $170,000, which we lived in until 2007 when we moved to another house. We now owe around $224,000 (we took equity out of it in order to get a down payment on the house we currently live in). We just did a refi eight months ago for 15 years at 3.0% so we'll have it paid off in a little less than 15 years. However, we lose around $5,000 to $6,000 a year in cash flow (although that could be lowered a bit if we keep it since we'll be able to raise the rent as the current tenant is moving out and the rent is kind of low now). And that's with having the same good tenant in there for seven years now and never having to re-paint or find a new tenant, etc. and deal with those extra costs. They were only selling for around $260,000 a few years ago but now a few have sold in the $340,000 range or even higher. Ours is not fixed up as much as some of the condos in the complex so perhaps a $330,000 selling price might be a best guess. I figure that after a few fix-ups on the place, realtor commission, taxes, etc., we could maybe walk way with $30,000 or so in cash after it's all said and done.

Our income is steady and pretty decent so we are able to absorb the cash losses without much trouble but I'm not sure it's the best thing to have a negative cash flow for 14+ more years before finally paying it off and making money off the thing. We do pay off more than $1,000 of principal each month since our interest rate is low and it's a 15 year loan, so I guess technically we're coming out ahead each year as far as net worth goes but not cash-wise.

The condo is in a nice area of Southern California, about 4 miles from the beach, so it's an area where rents and prices of houses are likely to rise over the years.

Finally, I don't want to regret getting rid of it if it doesn't make financial sense. But I'm not too fond of being a landlord and if financially, either decision is justifiable, I'd rather just not have the headache of being a landlord and have the extra savings to pay off my wife's school debt, save for kids college, etc. Any advice that people have would be appreciated. We talked to a professional advisor that we trust. I think he kind of favored keeping it but he more or less said it comes down to the question of whether or not you want to be a landlord or not. He thought if we didn't want to be a landlord, it's fine to sell since he knows we'll do something useful with the money and not just waste it. Thanks.

Real Estate Deals
Why would someone with 720 FICO score pay 20% interest for a loan?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I was looking at lending club.com for investment. See below for the page


I see several people with high FICO scores and yet they are willing to pay %20 for a loan.

I am not understanding. Maybe I am missing something
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: orelsie
Views: 93 Replies: 0 I have a checking account with USBank and they were offering a good loan rate for a used car (1.9% APR). When I went in to sign the closing documents, it said "If you prepay the loan you (may/will not) have to pay a penalty." The box next to "may" was checked. On the front page of the loan note, it had a section about early loan closure. The box next to that section was not checked and the line specifying the early closure fee was blank.

When I asked about the prepayment penalty, I was given the runaround:

The bank employees told me since the box on page 1 wasn't checked and the lines weren't filled in, there was no prepayment penalty. I pointed out that was inconsistent with "may" being checked, and I was unwilling to sign a loan giving them a blank check for an undisclosed fee. They said they couldn't change the loan document, and I left, planning to call the branch manager the next day.
That evening, I called the loan department of USBank. The employee there told me company policy says there is always a prepayment penalty, ranging from $50-1% of the loan. He advised talking with the branch manager the next day.
The next day, I talked to the branch manager. At first, she agreed with her employees from the night before, saying that blank lines on page 1 meant there was no prepayment penalty. I told her I wanted it in writing. She called back 20 minutes later after talking to the underwriting department. They told her there is a glitch in the software that generates loan documents and the early closure fee was not being printed as it should be. They are aware of the issue but are only informing bank employees/branch managers on a need-to-know basis. They also said that everyone who signed a loan before the glitch was fixed would receive an addendum in the mail informing them of the prepayment penalty! I told her it was a completely unethical business practice, and if they could change that fee, what was stopping them from changing my APR or any other loan amount. She said she would talk to her manager and get back to me, but she also said she would not let anyone else sign a loan at her branch until this matter was corrected.

USBank is knowingly letting people sign loan documents that do not accurately represent the loan terms. They are not making a good faith effort to inform their employees about the issue so customers can be informed of the actual loan terms, and they intend to retroactively apply changes to the loan documents. Although this is dishonest and unethical, there is a section in the terms that says they have a right to correct "errors and omissions" in the document, so it's probably not technically illegal. Buyer beware.

I've attached some pictures. Sorry for the scribbling, I was trying to explain to the bank employees what I wanted them to change.
Personal Finance Deals
Interactive Brokers margin loan for real estate purchase?
Added on : Wednesday January 29th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jkbrennan77
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I'm looking to build a new home and don't want to sell stock to do it. Interactive Brokers (IB) margin rates are 1.57% on the first $100k and 1.07% on the next $900k. I currently pay 2.875% on my mortgage and would expect to pay more on a new loan in particular if it was a construction loan. A Schwab Pledged Asset Line seems to be over 3.5% (1-month LIBOR plus 3.4+%).

I expect to borrow around $400k for the new home. Why wouldn't I just transfer ~$1.2 million worth of stock into an IB account and use margin to pay for the new home? (For tax purposes I would be taking separate cash out and using the margin to pay for the stocks).

I understand there is market risk and if the stock portfolio fell below $600k (?) I would risk a margin call. I would use mid and large cap US stocks and ETFs that presumably have low margin requirements (long holdings, no shorts, no options, etc.).

I also understand there is margin rate risk that the margin rate could go up over what I could get in a traditional mortgage. I don't believe the fed funds rate is going up to 2.5%+ in my time frame of the next 5 years. Also, I will likely sell my current home once the new one is complete (within 6-12 months of starting construction/initiating the margin loan) and could use the money from that to pay off the margin loan if rates go up.

They mention a $10 minimum trade commissions per month but a.) that's trivial compared to the interest savings b.) based on their fees I might do that anyway and c.) that seems to be waived for accounts over $100k. Will they throw me out if I just let the account sit there and just make a trade or two each month?

Are there other costs/risks to the IB accounts or margin loans I'm not accounting for?

Are there better alternatives I should be considering? Where better would be still sub-2% interest rate but with lower interest rate risk or market risk and without paying high closing costs or points. I'm willing to put up as much as $1.5 million in equities and the house worth $600k as collateral.
Investing Deals
Income going up SIX fold - changes to expect?
Added on : Tuesday January 28th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: -1 Posted By: ChelseaMD
Views: 221 Replies: 5 Hi guys,

I made a new username for this topic - I have been a member here for a while, but wanted to have a different username as my old one is tied to many accounts that could make my identity known, which for some reason, I would like to keep private for this topic.

I am currently a chief resident in a surgical sub-specialty at a terrific institution. While residency comes with great training, the pay is less than stellar. My average for the last five years was about 50k a year. I have had the benefit of being married to an attorney who makes a nice amount of income, about double my salary for the last two years. So we have not, by any means, had any complaints of living under poor circumstances and are very grateful to be in our position.

Through my 5 years of residency, I maxed out my Roth IRA each year, and my wife contributed the max to her TSP to have any equal match by her employer. Our retirement is on track with what we wanted to do, especially since after this year, we will not be able to give to a Roth any more. She was blessed to come out of college and law school with ZERO debt and no student loans. I came out of college with no debt, but have roughly 120k of medical school loans to pay back still. About half are locked into a 3.5-4% rate while the rest are at 6.3%.

We have rented the last 3 years (in a big city) and have a car that is fully paid. No credit card debt at all, all bills paid for 100% every month.

I just signed a contract with a private employer to start next year back near our hometown. The starting salary is roughly 6x what I made in residency with a bonus structure that takes it even beyond that. I was lucky enough to be offered a partnership position from day 1, with no associate years/trial years to decrease my flow of income if I work hard. Basically it is an assured salary with a bonus structure that pays me 100% for every cent I make over my salary floor. It also came with a signing bonus worth about 1/2 of my yearly resident salary and moving expenses to get us moved in to our new location with no cost to us. A true sweetheart deal that I cannot be more thankful for.

Now, my wife will have to leave her job, with no way to transfer as there is no government branch there to transfer to. The cost of living will be lower, so we have that to look forward to as well.

But now comes the great unknown, and I am unsure about a lot of things - I am 30, she is 29. We currently have no children, but plan on having them in the next year or two. We want to buy a place - either a condo or house close to the beach I will be working on. We will need new cars, new health insurance, new retirement planning, new child planning, etc. I assume a lot of our benefits will be done through my employer as I have started to look through it.

However, I ask the awesome FW community - what should I expect? Besides higher taxes, what should I do now that my net worth, etc is worth more than it ever has - and by a long margin. Are there important things I must do now? A will? Life insurance? All these things I am trying to learn about, but I cant seem to shake the fact that I am forgetting many things.

I thank you all ahead of time for whatever advice you can give.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Waffles
Views: 75 Replies: 0 Santander Bank is offering a 0% 3 month business term loan for amounts from $10k to $500k. Origination fees are waived if you have a qualifying checking account.
website said: For a limited time, on business term loans between $10,000 and $500,000, approved term loan applicants will receive a promotional introductory fixed interest rate of 0.00% for the first three months following the date of the term loan closing. This promotional rate cannot be combined with any other rate discounts. This offer is not available for business term loans (i) that were applied for prior to or are in existence as of January 4th, 2014, or (ii) that would require a guarantee from the U.S. Small Business Administration. After the three month promotional period has ended, the interest rate will be based on a fixed rate set forth in the document your business will sign evidencing the term loan credit facility. The applicable rate, including but not limited to the promotional fixed rate for business term loans, is at all times subject to the terms and conditions of the loan documents. Completed and signed application must be received by Santander Bank by 3/31/2014.

website also said: For approved business applicants, Santander Bank will waive the one-time up-front origination fee of $250 on a new business lines of credit between $10,000 and $500,000 if the customer either has or opens at time of line of credit closing, a Santander Bank Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account, and waiver availability and criteria is subject to change at any time at Santander Bank's sole discretion. This fee waiver does not apply to business customers with approved business credit applications that require the guarantee of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and is not available for business lines of credit that were applied for prior to or are in existence as of 1/4/2014. Additional fees, terms, and conditions may apply. Please see your local branch representative for details. Completed and signed application must be received by Santander Bank by 3/31/2014.

Deal Deals
Going with online lender vs local lender, what am I missing??
Added on : Monday January 27th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Charles1
Views: 90 Replies: 1 We are buying our first home and picking the right loan is becoming very frustrating. We plan on moving again in 6-10 years (when our then children are of school age) and we would like to save $$ on interest right now.
Our lowest middle credit score is 692.

We were quoted 3.625% for the 7/1 ARM by both lenders. Buyer pays PMI, monthly, and those numbers are within $10 of each other.

We have a quote from a local lender who is affiliated with our buyer's agent:
Origination fee $700
Appraisal $450
Title insurance - lender coverage - $275
Title insurance (seller pays) owner's coverage $850
Closing/Escrow/ Settlement $325
Recording fee $100

I called a company similar to AIMLoan (US Wide Financial) and they told me they do not charge any origination fee. Their interest rate and monthly payment breakdown are identical (+/-$20) as the local lender. I told them our credit info, house price, etc and he said they can do all the paperwork now and lock it in, sounds like the same deal but $700 cheaper.

Am I missing something? Our buyer's agent told us most realtors "frown" on internet lenders like AIM Loan especially when they are used for pre approval letters.

Personal Finance Deals
Student Loan Repayment Question
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 05:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: scott3084
Views: 138 Replies: 2 My wife currently has around $60k in student loan debt, with 1/3 being subsidized and 2/3 unsubsidized, both loans are at 6.5% and currently accruing interest. We have an aggressive payoff schedule, paying around $3100 a month. My wife currently started another graduate program (she's going for free) at 6 hours a semester. We can now qualify to put the subsidized portion of the loans back in limbo so that they no longer accrue interest while she's back in school. This sounds good, but we want to continue throwing the $3100 at the unsubsidized loan. Does anyone know if the gov't allows this? I know we're allowed to at least pay off the interest on the unsubsidized loan, but I can't seem to get a straight answer on paying off principal.
Personal Finance Deals
12 unit MF purchase decision
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 04:00:08 AM
g: 1 Posted By: fattie88
Views: 36 Replies: 1 Hi everyone. Could use some advice. I've located what I think is an excellent investment property.

12 units. Average rental $550/month. Total revenue approximately 77k/year (includes 6% vacancy but also other income, e.g. washer, dryers)
Approximately$37k a year in expenses.
NOI is around $39k yearly.

Purchase price around $530k. Negotiations in progress.


1) I have 3 other investment properties, a single condo, a duplex and a triplex (Pennsylvania and Virginia). Should I consider an LLC or stick with an umbrella liability policy? I read through much of this thread and I see that an umbrella is good for a few properties, but since I will own a relatively large number of units, would an LLC be more appropriate now?
2) I am 70 years old and have a large 401k position, $250,000 in an HELOC, and around a $500,000 stock portfolio. How should I structure the sale? Pulling the entire amount from my 401k will incur hefty taxes. Another option is I can obtain an investment loan for around 4.5%. OR, should I fund this from a new loan along with some HELOC from my primary residence? ... just by writing this, I realize I have about $175k I can pull out of my condo and another $100k from my duplex... should I structure the purchase based on all this equity or go for a new loan?

Thanks everyone in advance for your help!

Personal Finance Deals
HSBC Restricts Large Cash Withdrawals
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 39 Replies: 0 "Some HSBC customers have been prevented from withdrawing large amounts of cash because they could not provide evidence of why they wanted it, the BBC has learnt.Listeners have told Radio 4's Money Box they were stopped from withdrawing amounts ranging from 5,000 to 10,000.HSBC admitted it has not informed customers of the change in policy, which was implemented in November.The bank says it has now changed its guidance to staff.New rulesStephen Cotton went to his local HSBC branch this month to withdraw 7,000 from his instant access savings account to pay back a loan from his mother.A year before, he had withdrawn a larger sum in cash from HSBC without a problem.But this time it was different, as he told Money Box: "When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for. They wanted a letter from the person involved."Mr Cotton says the staff refused to tell him how much he could have: "So I wrote out a few slips. I said, 'Can I have 5,000?' They said no. I said, 'Can I have 4,000?' They said no. And then I wrote one out for 3,000 and they said, 'OK, we'll give you that.' "He asked if he could return later that day to withdraw another 3,000, but he was told he could not do the same thing twice in one day.HSBC customer letterHe wrote to complain to HSBC about the new rules and also that he had not been informed of any change.The bank said it did not have to tell him. "As this was not a change to the Terms and Conditions of your bank account, we had no need to pre-notify customers of the change," HSBC wrote. Frustrated customersMr Cotton cannot understand HSBC's attitude: "I've been banking in that bank for 28 years. They all know me in there. You shouldn't have to explain to your bank why you want that money. It's not theirs, it's yours."Peter from Wiltshire, who wanted his surname withheld, had a similar experience.He wanted to take out 10 000 cash from HSBC, some to pay to his sons and some to fund his long-haul travel plans.Peter phoned up the day before to give HSBC notice and everything seemed to be fine.The next day he got a call from his local branch asking him to pay his sons via a bank payment and to provide booking receipts for his holidays. Peter did not have any booking receipts to show.The following day he spoke to HSBC again and this time, having examined his account, it said he could withdraw the 10,000.Belinda Bell is another customer who was initially denied her cash, in her case to pay her builder. She told Money Box she had to provide the builder's quote. Customer protectionHSBC has said that following customer feedback, it was changing its policy: "We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for.""The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We are writing to apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced."
In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent
Money Box asked other banks what their policy is on large cash withdrawals.They all said they reserved the right to ask questions about large cash withdrawals.But none of them said they would require evidence of what the money was being used for before paying out.Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, is alarmed by the new HSBC policy: "All these regulations which have been imposed on banks allow enormous interpretation. It basically infantilises the customer. In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent."t.""

Also http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hsbc-under-fire-after-stopp...
Personal Finance Deals
Path to buying a house.
Added on : Saturday January 25th 2014 06:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: e0zdk3sgna7l0
Views: 106 Replies: 0 I want to buy a house in the near future which I want to buy to rent out. To secure a downpayment quicker, should I pay my student loans off on a monthly basis even when I have the ability to pay all of it all at once. I would love any advice you guys might have about this or in general. fyi houses around the area I want to buy are about $450 starting.

A little about myself. I am 23 years old and just got out of college.I just started my job which pays me 100k/yr. I have around $10k in savings with another $8k after takes coming from my company in the form of a relocation stipend. I recently started a lease on an apartment which I will be paying $1k a month for my room and my roommate will be paying the rest. My car is totally paid for and I don't have any other monthly payments that I have to tend to or worry about. Credit karma is reporting my credit score in the 790s. The total debt on all my credit cards sit around $2k and i plan on paying all of them off when its closer to the due date. I have around $19k in student loans and the interest on them dont start for another month or two. (I'd get more info on my loans for you guys right now but the website is down.)

Salary: 100k/yr
Savings: 18k
Rent: 1k
Credit Score: ~790
Credit Card Debt: 2k (will be paid when due)
Real Estate Deals
Prosper Class Action - Summary Notice of Class Action
Added on : Saturday January 25th 2014 01:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Greatness
Views: 42 Replies: 0 NOTICE TO CLASS MEMBERS
Hellum et al. v. Prosper Marketplace, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 482329



If you purchased a Note sold by Prosper during the Class Period, you could get a payment from a class action settlement (the Settlement). The Settlement website is www.ProsperClassAction.com.

Attached to this email is a copy of the Notice to Class Members, which details your legal rights and options in this settlement. Please read this Notice carefully. You can also view a copy of this notice on the settlement website www.ProsperClassAction.com.

For more information please visit our website www.ProsperClassAction.com or call 1-866-274-4004.
Official 2013 tax filing Federal/State submission and acceptance.
Added on : Friday January 24th 2014 08:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: CptSavAHo
Views: 172 Replies: 0 Last year was shenanigans with tax filings. A lot of delays. Last year I submitted on Jan 28, Federal delay notice on Feb 2. accepted on Mar. 3. Holdup was a $50 home energy credit for high eff hot water heater. So for this year;

1. Date of filing
2. Federal forms or lack of
3. State
4. Response date

For me;

1. Jan 17th. I used loan statements from Dec for interest paid on student loans and mortgage, and SSI withholding to calculate taxable income from pay stub.
2. Filed with house, student loans, dependent and itemized deductions.
3. Colorado
4. Federal accepted 1/24.

And a note;

As part of controlled IRS testing, a small number of federal returns will be transmitted to the IRS between January 22 and January 30, 2014. This is before processing officially begins on January 31. If you receive an acknowledgement during this timeframe, your return has been accepted by the IRS but your refund will not be processed early.
Tax Deals
Variable Universal Life
Added on : Thursday January 23rd 2014 06:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: PF2014
Views: 35 Replies: 0 Hi FW...I posted another thread about my PF and the community was SO helpful...I now humbly come to you once again for your help. I'm not really familiar with Life Insurance and have done some research, but it's a hard concept to wrap my head around with all the different options/choices out there....My wife's family started funding a VUL for her when she was 17 and later on, she took ownership/responsibility of the funding. After we got married, I took a look at her statement. She contributes $70 a month and looks like there's a $30 charge deduction monthly.

I did some quick research and it seemed for the most part, VULs are not too favorable. She is 32 years old and we don't have any kids but are planning next year.Since she's contributed for 15 years now, is it worth it to continue or should we look somewhere else?

App Signed Date:04/01/1999
Maturity Date:04/01/2077

Financial Freedom Builder - WFG

Specified Amount:$250,000.00
Death Benefit Option:Inc Graded

Financial Values As Of:01/22/2014

Cash Value:$14,231.91
Surrender Value:$14,176.41

Loan Values

Loan Balance:$0.00
Loan Reserve:$0.00
Max Loan Amt Avail:$12,753.22

Withdrawal Values

W/D Anniv To Date:$184.82*
Total Withdrawals:$937.70*
Max W/D Amt Avail:$1,417.64*

Looks like this is the prospectus:https://www.westernreserve.com/site/newwrl/media/public/PDF/performance/MPRWRL005.pdf

Thank you!!
Personal Finance Deals
Evolve Money Billpay: Use debit card to pay billers
Added on : Wednesday January 22nd 2014 01:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: larryc
Views: 226 Replies: 2 Just came across this: Evolve Moneyis a free bill paying service that lets you use the following to pay over 10,000 billers that don't normally accept credit/debit cards:

Visa or MC Debit cards
Visa or MC Gift Cards
Reloadit cards
Evolve Paybucks

Billers seem to include common utilities (electric, gas, water, cable, etc), mortgages, loans, and insurance co's. No, before you ask, you can't use it to pay other credit cards. (Darn!)

If you have a debit card that gives CashBack, this seems like a great opportunity to earn Cash Back that otherwise wouldn't be available. Also seems like a nice way to cash out those rebate gift cards for small amounts.

Couple of negatives though:
- I don't see any way to schedule future payments. You pay a bill; they send it in two days (a few billers offer express pay, which is same day). But there's no way to schedule
- After the recent Target data breach, we should all be wary of sharing our debit card information. Think carefully about which (if any) debit card you want to share with this service

PR release here.

Discussion Deals
bankruptcy is dismissed but credit score is shot
Added on : Tuesday January 21st 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nam9684
Views: 126 Replies: 2 Long story short, my fiance owned a property that was underwater. She began the bankruptcy process, however this was avoided with a bank re-modification program and the bankruptcy was dismissed. Because she initiated the bankruptcy process, her credit score is how <700, although we never follow through with the bankruptcy and was dismissed. Since the loan re-modification (2 years) ago she has had no miss payments and her account is in good standing. She has no other debt other than student loans and the mortgage. What can we do to improve her credit score? Is it possible to get the bankruptcy remove from credit report?
Personal Finance Deals
First Time Home Buyer- looking for advise
Added on : Tuesday January 21st 2014 04:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: saavyfw
Views: 184 Replies: 5 Looking to apply for a home loan for the first timeand want to know who you guys recommend fora lender. I am thinking of Navy Fed or Pen Fed.

-household income- $50K-$60K yearly gross
-excellent credit (780)
-very low debt to income ratio
-looking to buy in northern va (purchase price less than $200K)

Does it matter who I go with? I should mention I am employed with one of them if that makes any difference. Who would you recommend? Or are there better lenders? Couldn't find a recent thread about this. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Financial Advice After Insurance Settlement
Added on : Monday January 20th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tylerAlwaysAdvancing
Views: 83 Replies: 1 First off, thanks for taking the time to read this and respond with any advice. I am a 23 year old recent college graduate. I am engaged and work as a region rep for my fathers small business he started 14 years ago. I rent an apartment with hopes of buying a home in Summer 14.

Recently I was involved in an wheeler accident with zero fault on my part. I suffered back injuries, nothing major but still very much so significant. I am expecting anywhere from 300k-600k in a settlement. I have a top attorney doing his job, all the information has been provided its in their hands.

I am wanting advice on options for me and my soon to be family here in the near future. I have zero college loans or credit debt. I own my current car (after the accident took mine and left me with cash to buy another). I currently have no investments, savings, retirement funds or anything. I have roughly 10k in the bank and my fiance is a school teacher making a living while having no expenses all through hs/college/and young profession other than a car payment. (scholarship, no school debt) she has a nice sum in her bank. I will make around 50k this year and should increase 15-20% a year after that.

The #1 thing to do is purchase my first home. I believe it is in my best interest to purchase my home by paying cash without worrying about mortgages. My budget we will say is 250k.
After that I am running laps around my head trying to figure out what to do first; insurance, retirement, investments, kids college funds etc. and how much to really dive into that right away.

Obviously I need money set aside if my back injury takes a bad turn later down the road.. I will eventually own my fathers company and insurance won't be easy to come by (fiance dreams of stay a home mom) I want to be as prepared as possible going into this.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
where to get money for downpayment.. 401k or Stock
Added on : Sunday January 19th 2014 01:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mrrino002
Views: 18 Replies: 0 I'm in the process of purchasing a home... I have a few options that I've been thinking about... First I need $25,000 dollars for a downpayment... I have roughly 75k in my 401k and 100k in company stock that pays a decent dividend and offers ownership incentives during bonus time... I'm 33 years old and have roughly 24 years of working, if everything goes smooth... My question is do I take a hardship loan of the 25k from my 401k, repaying it back over 15 years through a payment plan through payroll deduction, with 4.25% that I repay to myself. Or do I sell the stock, pay the capital gains tax, lose the dividend and ownership incentives, but don't have to worry about a repayment coming out my paycheck?

I was leaning more towards borrowing against my 401k cause you could only borrow from there during a few things and first time home purchase is one... If anything were to happen.. I could always sell the stock and repay the 401k loan..

the other question is... 25K is only 10% of the mortgage loan.. so Im paying PMI insurance of roughly $85 dollars a month for minimum of 3-5 years.. or do I put 50k down, dont have a pmi, but again lose a lot of my life savings and lose out on the dividends and ownership incentives plus the capital gains taxes?.. but have no pmi and $200 dollars less a month mortgage payment?

thanks any help would be great
Personal Finance Deals
taxes for a first time landlord
Added on : Saturday January 18th 2014 06:00:12 PM
g: 1 Posted By: psychtobe
Views: 210 Replies: 3 Savvy FWF real estate investors,

Can you provide any general corrections to my rudimentary understanding based on internet research and a quick book skim?

Property: a second home purchased as a rental/investment property in July 2013, $26,500 down and $160,000 borrowed (documented loan from a family member, 12 years 3.25%). We have a property manager who charges $399 to place a tenant and $100 per month. The property was rented at the end of August 2013.

Expenses and Income (I tried to group by category):

$3000 improvements (new shower/bathroom update)
$3000 repairs
$400 insurance
$1000 taxes
$1800 interest
$600 pre-purchase inspections
$500 settlement charges

$400 pre-rental cleaning, etc
$800 property management fees

$5300 total rent

This is what I believe I understand:
1. I cannot deduct any passive income against my personal income because I am not an active property manager nor a real estate professional; and also because my income is greater than $150k.
2. I can deduct depreciation of the property structure (but not the land) as part of my expenses. I can also deduct the cost of the $3000 improvement but must do so on a depreciation schedule. If I do either of these then I will have to pay tax on the lower cost basis when I sell the property.
3. All of the costs I've listed above are deductible against any income I've received, obviously excepting the purchase price (down payment and principal payment) of the property. I can also deduct mileage for travel to/from the property.

1. Obviously I have more expenses than income in 2013. Am I able to carry forward some or all of those unused expenses for 2014 and later? The internets says I can.
2. Am I correct in understanding that I cannot count any of these excess losses against my personal income for the reasons stated above?
3. Can I carry forward losses to use against future price appreciation of the property such that when I sell it, if it has risen in price, I can mitigate any taxes owed?
4. Are any of the expenses I've listed above 'not acceptable' for the purposes of calculating my losses?
5. If I do depreciate the structure and/or the improvements, and then I move into the property for at least 2 of the previous 5 years before selling it in the future, have I just completely avoided paying tax (because of the capital gains exemption for a primary residence of $500k for a married couple)?
6. Is TaxAct Deluxe going to adequately walk me through my scenario? What are my alternatives? I'm not too interested in finding a good CPA.

thank you!

Tax Deals
Thoughts on significant other staying in school for masters degree?
Added on : Saturday January 18th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 21 Replies: 0 My wife will be graduating from Penn State World Campus (online college, but same degree as if she went to Penn State in person) with a B.S. in Human Resources.

We have twin girls who turn 3 in March.

She is debating about staying in school for another 2-3 semesters to finish a Masters program in Human Resources / Employee Relations.

The cost would be about 20k, which would have to go on student loans.

She would finish her Masters. She's worried if she stops now, she may not want to go back.
We wouldn't have to pay for a babysitter, she can do the degree online and stay home with the kids. When she graduates is about when the kids would be going into kindergarten, so daycare cost would go from $250 a week to $100-$150.
Better job prospects and more money when she graduates.
Kids have a mom at home, instead of spending all day at a daycare.

More student loans.
She could potentially find a job where they pay for her degree, but it could be a long ways off, and she would have to work + go to school. Doing it without working means she could keep her GPA higher.
We stay a single income family. I have a very stable job with a well known company, and am not worried about a layoff. But, shit happens.

I don't believe we could pay for the school out of pocket, but I will be picking up book costs, etc. For her BS, books cost around $500 a semester, it hurt pretty bad.

What are your thoughts / opinions?
Do it now and get it out of the way and have a longer higher standard of living?
Or make due with the BS? She has friends with BS degrees that make as low as $15 an hour that are all suggesting she just get the masters over with because she could come out of it and land a job right out of school making 50-60k a year.

Personal Finance Deals
CURealty - Earn cash back on real estate purchase/sale transactions
Added on : Friday January 17th 2014 04:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mistadeal
Views: 85 Replies: 0 Text

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can earn a cash rebate back in the amount of 20% of your real estate agent's commission when you start your real estate search with a participating credit union. It is pretty simple actually - here's how I did it:

1. Visited my local credit union when looking for a mortgage to purchase a home. They told me about this program, which they participate in, and they referred me to a participating agent.
2. My agent filled out a form or two for me to sign, and he sent it in to CU Realty for processing at closing.
3. Purchased a home, waited 60 days, and received a rebate check for 0.6% of the purchase price (20% of my agent's 3% commission).
4. Sold my home, waited 60 days, received another rebate check for 0.6% of the sale price.

Overall I received a cash rebate of about $2,500.

-To find participating realtors in the area, you can fill out the enroll form on the site or chat with a live representative during regular business hours.
- This is obviously YMMV based on participation - From the site text, it seems like you might not even need to belong a credit union and can possibly directly be linked to the participating realtors. But since it is CU realty, I feel like you might need to link to a participating CU to be considered, at least initially.
- Iended up actually using PenFed CU for my loan since my local CU could not match their 5/5 ARM terms. PenFed does not participate in this program, but since I started my real estate search with a CURealty participating credit union and considered their mortgage products before choosing PenFed, the rebate was still allowed.
- The CU had a list of participating realtors, I just happened to choose the first one referred to me because he came highly recommended. You can probably be more selective and interview some before you decide on a particular one. I learned to appreciate my realtor during the process because I came across some really flaky ones while looking at open houses.
- I'm not sure about tax implications, I will post a reply once I hear back from them about whether this rebate is taxable income.

Site text:
Our Realtors = Rebate.CU Realty has partnered with some of the top real estate professionals in your area to provide members with an outstanding opportunity to work with a trusted Realtor and earn a substantial rebate all at the same time.

How does it work?Its really quite simple. When you use any agent in our network to buy or sell your home, youll earn a cash rebate equal to 20% of the agents commission. That money is yoursapply it towards closing costs, agent commissions or take the cash outright! Its your choice.*

How much can you save?Use the chart to the right to estimate your savings. The rebate is based on the total home price, not the amount mortgaged.
HomeAdvantageis an exclusive service provided by your Credit Union in partnership with CU Realty Services, the nations leading provider of real estate services for credit union members. Best of all, the program isabsolutely free!To take advantage, simplyenrolltoday. Once youve enrolled, youll have access to all the tools and expertise youll need.
Sample Average CU Realty Home Rebates Home Sale Price Rebate to Member* $200,000 $1,200 $400,000 $2,400 $600,000 $3,600 $800,000 $4,800
*Rebates are awarded to buyers and sellers registered in the CU Realty program before they begin their home search or sale and who use a REALTOR from the Approved Agent network. Examples of rebate amounts shown here are based on 3% commission rate; your agents commission rate may differ. Terms of receiving the rebate vary by state and credit union. Please check with your credit union for specifics on their program.
Real Estate Deals
Penfed 5/5 Arm Refi Help - What to do?
Added on : Wednesday January 15th 2014 08:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ffactoryxxx
Views: 14 Replies: 0 I am in the process of refi'ing with Penfed and my appraisal came in lower than expected. What would you do?

Appraisal: 225K
Loan Amount Left: $191K
Need 80% LTV

Might be out of here in 3 years

Current Rate - 5.25% - $1,167/mo - 25-26 years left (originally 30 year).

Locked in Penfed - 2.75%

$10,000 Cash to bring down LTV
Monthly Payments = $734
Savings = $433 month

WITH PMI At Current Loan Amount
Monthly Payments = $782
PMI = ~100/mo
Savings = $285 month
PMI Falls off when LTV hits 78%
Personal Finance Deals
First time home buyer/Morgaage questions
Added on : Wednesday January 15th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NewAtFinance
Views: 96 Replies: 0 Hi everyone, here is my situation:

25k in checking account
40k in house account
53k in Retirement
Age 27
116k yearly salary
No Debts
Credit Score around 780

Lots of student loans
62k salary
~5k in CC dept, working to help her budget better
4k in the bank
No other debt
640 credit score

The first question is, will getting a mortgage with my wife hurt at all given her low credit score and her debts? Credit Karma says if she pays off the card, it will go up. I think she should be able to do this within the next 2 months based on the budget we have her on. Credit karma says she has paid on time about 99.9% of the time. I think the low credit score is mostly because of high utilization, lack of history, and lack of credit.

Is it worth touching my retirement for a house? This will be in the Boston market. Right now we live on the subway, so a ~1000 sq Condo within walking distance to the subway is between 350-400k. We are considering moving out of the suburbs, which would get us almost double the amount of inside space for another 50-100k. I am wondering if its worth touching any of that money to get something nicer.
Personal Finance Deals
Home Equity... How soon
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 148 Replies: 0 I bought my property last June. The LTV (from purchase price) is 76, but with home price appreciation should be 70..

I'm looking for a 75k home equity loan to purchase a commercial property (as a CMBS loan is hard to get for such a small amount)

-Is someone who bought so recently eligible?
-How does a home equity work, if I exceed 80 LTV, so I have to pay mortgage insurance etc?

Real Estate Deals
qualifying for mortage with low income but lots of cash
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 01:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: creamade
Views: 184 Replies: 3 long time reader, first time poster. I hope you wise folks can help advise with my situation!
I am recently married and we are looking to buy a home by mid-2015, earlier if possible. We are in a high COLA in the Northeast where home prices we are looking at are in the 600-700k + range. While these homes still will need more money for renovating, this is a hot neighborhood due to excellent school district. We only want to buy once, buy right, and buy before prices get too high.
The gist is, I am a w2 employee grossing $35k annually. Short 2 year credit history, scores about 720. My wife grosses $55k, excellent 10+ year credit history.
She has a 401k, I have a Roth IRA. We have combined cash assets of $120k+, and currently do not pay rent (live with parents). Only expense other than the usual cellphone/groceries is a car lease.
In addition to my income, I also pick up a lot of odd jobs, tips, eBay/craigslist flips, etc. and earn an additional $30k cash a year.

The concern is, although we have enough to put 20% downpayment, we would still need to borrow at least $500k. We fear that our combined income will not qualify us for this amount at a good rate!
What are some options / obstacles we should consider?
-Do I pay the tax on the extra cash earned under the tables, as a 1099? However, research seems to show that a) a 2-year history of 1099 is needed, and b) alternate sources of income don't count anyways.
-Do we put more money down and borrow less? How much more? 25% is probably pushing our comfort limit assuming a $600k home. (And honestly, a $600k home here is in ugly condition.) This will be presumably difficult to still secure a good loan at a good rate, not to mention cough up all our savings. I think we would still need to keep at least a few months worth of Emergency funds, right?
-Find a lender that will accept my lower income, but pay more in points / higher rate?? Refi later on? We are not very comfortable with this option, as it is possible these lenders/banks may be shady and more expensive in the long run.
-Get our parents to co-sign?
- ???

Real Estate Deals
Need help pursuing home loan - cash rich, credit poor
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 11:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Jconnell
Views: 185 Replies: 2 I would like to purchase my first home as soon as possible. As a student, I've wasted too much money on renting for too long. I've started reviewing homes in my prospective market and have gotten an idea of what I can afford, how much it will cost me, and ways to reduce the total amount paid over the life of the loan. I've also research local federal, state and municipal payment assistance programs, just to see if I could qualify.

I had some trouble the first year or so out of school and my student loans went into default. I have since paid them off in full but I still have my credit score to show for it. I'm hovering above and below the 600 mark right now. However, I have 20% to put down on a loan of about $180k.

Most of the lenders I've contacted are really looking for a 620 cut off. Admittedly, I haven't looked into a great deal of lenders. I've reenrolled in school and I spend time on this when I can.

Does anyone have some suggestions or tips? I would like to stop wasting my income on rent. I think now is a great time to take advantage of this.
Personal Finance Deals
Need some help for 55 year old
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 10:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brucesprings
Views: 43 Replies: 0 Here is my situation I just received a cashpay out of $15,000 and I need help how to proceed. I currently live by myself in a single family home with no mortgage, but I had to pay off my ex-wife her half of the home so I took out a HELOC 3 years ago for $165,000 (2.99%)to do that. Since then I have paid down the loan to about $146,000 after taking on a part time job along with my full time job. I would like to get a real mortgage but I do like the low interest rate on my current pay off but I know that rate will go up in the near future. Need some good ideas on what the experts would do.
Personal Finance Deals
New Home Mortgage
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 05:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bobaldie
Views: 94 Replies: 0 Wrote a contract for my first new construction home which to be delivered in July. I thought i can apply loan in Mar - April and will have time to get my finances in order but to my surprise the builder said during signing that i need to get a loan commitment with in 30 days. Hmm not sure if that could put me in fix.

1) --> Spouse is W2 employee so income verification is easy, hmm wait spouse current job ending and new job starting Feb 1st (right about the time we might start loan application process). Actually its nothing but re-badge at same work place but with different company. How to handle it during application process?
2) --> I am W2 in our company(S Corp) which is held 100% in my spouse name, I am an IT consultant and i have two others i placed at client so that is the revenue to our company. Now while applying .. do I mention as self employed or W2?
3) --> I draw 75k salary so if i say I am W2 my income shows only that. But having paycheck coming from company with same address as my home address would raise questions? And again if they ask for HR reference what should i do .. give my spouse name ?
4) --> Probably both the W2s put together mayn't be sufficient for the home loan so we may have to put forward the company income for consideration. I heard from many that showing income from business would complicate things by large and one should avoid .. but if we have to show that income .. what to expect? Just additional documentation or its going to be gruesome grilling? What documentation would they ask?

5) While my company is established in 2008, income generation came , after i converted to independent, since 2011. Would that be sufficient history?

6) I had to transfer big chunk from business to personal account and that could definitely raise quires hence we will be forced to disclose business. If business income is considered, plenty of cushion for approval.

Twist 2) I have 2 rentals in my name and spouse has one rental and one primary. Plan to convert this primary into rental when we move.
This new house will be held in both our names - first time. Any issues in obtaining a fifth loan altogether?Any pointers on how to approach.

Am bit unclear on how they treat our rentals during loan qualification process...any pointers? all 3 are occupied with 1 coming for renewal next month and other two in following 2 months. Our current primary will be rented only after we move out. so how all these will be treated for financial burden calculations..

Real Estate Deals
Tax Help - Complicated
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: roboaflower
Views: 145 Replies: 0 I will be contacting a professional soon, but wanted to hear your opinion first regarding this situation

I have an IRA account and I recently bought 200 shares of "GOOG" (stock GOOG as an example)

I have a non retirement brokerage account which already have 200 shares of the same "GOOG"

I wanted some cash, but did not want to cash out from my IRA account but I also do not want to pay capital gain tax by selling shares from non retirement account and incur capital gain tax.

If I roll over 200 GOOG from IRA account to my non-retirement account (technically a distribution, but more of a short term loan), move the original 200 shares of GOOG from non-retirement account to IRA account (in the process reversed the rollback within 60 days in the IRA account), sell 200 GOOG I just moved from IRA account and cash out ( with recent purchase date in IRA brokerage account and have almost no stock appreciation). Can I save capital gain tax ? Or does it fall under "wash rule" ?

Tax Deals
Paying off mortgage and change of credit score
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ArmchairQB
Views: 195 Replies: 1 A few years back I rolled my mortgage in to a PenFed 5 year home equity loan for the lower rate and to accelerate paying it down. I recently paid off the loan to Penfed. I have been using CreditKarma since last summer to keep an eye on the scores that they present. I had expected with the payoff that I might get a bump in the scores. To my surprise when I logged on yesterday, the first day that CreditKarma reflected the payoff, my VantageScore dropped 61 points! This is far lower than my score has ever been. The payoff was the only change on the site. They do list one account reported as closed, which is the PenFed one that was paid off.

Anybody else ever have this happen to them?

Personal Finance Deals
Financing a car and a house this year. In which order?
Added on : Sunday January 12th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: EvilPuppy
Views: 76 Replies: 0 I'm looking into getting an used car which I may qualify for a pretty attractive rate through the manufacturer. But I'm also getting a house in a few months. If I get the car first, would the home mortgage loaner see the car loan on my credit report and think I'm a bigger risk thereby give me a higher rate? Or does it even matter?

Car Loan Amount: $15,000
Car Down Payment: $3,000

Home Loan Amount: About $500k
Home Down Payment: $200k
Personal Finance Deals
Confused - do I need a will and/or estate planning?
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 04:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: guraaf
Views: 30 Replies: 1 Hi all,

I am a US permanent resident (green card holder) who moved to the US about 9 years back. I have two kids less than 10 years of age. I am trying to understand whether we need estate planning and/or a will. Right now, I manage all the finances, taxes etc. myself but recently discussed with two certified planners and the said that I absolutely need a will and should get an estate made.

The idea is that if my wife or I were to die then our assets will either go to the state or our kids will have a huge problem and a tax burden. Is that really the case here? I can't seem to tell for sure. We have:
- bank checking accounts
- brokerage accounts
- house that is paid off (no mortgage)
- no other loans
- 401k accounts for both
- Roth IRA for both

All my accounts are joint owner with rights of survivorship and my two sons are 50% each beneficiaries. So why do I need a will if I don't want to give money to relatives or charity? I live in Texas, BTW. The two cases that I am interested are: a) my wife or I die, b) my wife and I both die. Wouldn't the money be simply available to the surviving spouse or the kids as the beneficiaries? Will there be a tax impact? Why? The savings are already taxed.

Thanks for any help and insight.
Personal Finance Deals
Planning for temporary loss of income
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RedCelicaGT
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I'm a 29 year old student. I also work full time and have no debt other than my mortgage. Through employment, Igross 88K annually including overtime.

For certification reasons, I need to take a 2 yearunpaid training after I finish school. At the end of my training, my income will be 120K-140K with 10 year potential to 190K...So the incentive to do this is clear.

I have managed to avoid student loan debt through employer tuition reimbursement. At the end of my classroom education and research I will be "employed" in a 2 year unpaid training/residency. It's good I have some time to prepare for a loss of income, but at the same time a bit nervewrecking to know I have a family to take care of while not having any income. With small children, my wife as a school teacher will not net enough money to warrant working and offset daycare. Children must come soon. Medically speaking that is the only choice. Right now we have an infant. I'm currently saving about $900/month including matched 401K contributions.My mortgage PITI is $1380 with $400 going to principal so that's kind of like sending the money to savings at this point.So far, here are my assets and liabilities:
Asset Value Loan Balance House 250K 216K 401K 56K NA Liquid 25K NA Car 1 12K NA Car 2 10K NA Total 345K 216K Net 149K
Here are my planned expenses during training:
Expense Amount Rent 700 Car/health Insurance 400 Utilities 100 Food/Baby 600 Gas 150 Life 500 Monthly Total 2450 2 year total 58800
I'd prefer to not burn through my life's savings in two years. I will sell the house which will net about 25K after expenses. Liquid+house proceeds can almost carry us through the whole time. I really don't want to dip into 401K. I can sell the cars and drive an old beater if necessary but I'd prefer to keep the cars and have reliable transportation.I don't feel bad taking some government assistance if I qualify during this time period since I've been paying taxes and have not been getting government assistance while in school. I'm considering moving all my liquid over the next few years to roth IRAs so we can qualify for WIC/SNAP and pay for most everything from the IRA.

What would you do if you were me to prepare for the loss of income? Is it unethical to plan in such a way to be able to qualify for government assistance while having a substantial amount in retirement accounts?
Personal Finance Deals
High interest loan
Added on : Wednesday January 08th 2014 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tjtjking
Views: 136 Replies: 1 Hi, I had a friend showed me a website a few years ago, it's like you can put the money there and someone will loan you money, the interest rate is like 20%-30% yearly.

Anyone had this kind of experience? I am also thinking what if someone doesnt return the money back to u, i know you'll put a bad credit on them, but are you going to lose that money permanently?

Question Deals
Questions for the AOR / CC churner pros
Added on : Wednesday January 08th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Mattattack
Views: 57 Replies: 0 Please bear with me, I am new at this. I learned everything I know about AORs by reading FWF up until this point.

Old CCs (will keep for account age)
Statefarm CC (25k limit) (opened 2009)
Penfed platinum rewards (7.8k limit) (opened 2010)
Chase Freedom (5k limit) (opened 2010)

New CCs (I already have these and I have received or am in the process of receiving the bonuses)
Chase Southwest visa (8.5k limit) (received 50k bonus + companion pass back in September) (opened May2013)
Chase Southwest business visa (5k limit) (recently closed - see below) (received 50k bonus back in September) (opened May2013)
Amex blue cash preferred (7.8k limit) (opened May2013)
Discover IT (6.5k limit) (Opened November 2013) ($150 sign up)
Capital one Quicksilver (7.5k limit) (will keep for 1.5% on everything) (Opened November 2013) ($100 sign up)
Citi thank you preferred (6.5k limit) (Opened November 2013) (30k TY point sign up)
Citi dividend (4.2k limit) (Opened December 2013) ($100 sign up + the $300 from the first quarter categories)

Total Credit line 78.8k

Just got a mortgage March 2013 (30yr fixed 3.625%) and dont anticipate needing a loan anytime soon. (Was told by my mortgage broker I had a 745 at the time)Credit Karma currently has me at a 687. I havent otherwise pulled my own credit.


1. Long story short a payment was missed on my chase south west business visa. Im 99% sure I requested the payment to be made and the money was just never taken from my checking. They waved the late fee but, the CSR said the late payment was most likely already reported to credit agencies. In the moment I had them cancel the card because I already had the bonus and didnt think I needed it anymore. This is my first missed payment on a CC. Is this a big deal? My plan is to get my free credit reports in a month or two, see if it appears, and then dispute it. It hasnt shown up on credit karma yet.I probably should have kept this card to transfer the line to a different business card (chase ink) but, its too late now.

2. Is there any reason to keep my personal chase southwest visa? Do I cancel and request they move the credit line to my chase freedom? So, I can churn the card again in the future? I had the personal and business plus cards. When my companion pass runs out I could get the premier cards in 2015. Then eventually get the plus cards again in the distant future? (assuming any 50k point offers come up in the future)

3. It there any reason to keep the citi thank you preferred card after I get the bonus? Ive only received 10k of the 30k points so far. I took the first 10k points as a $100 Staples GC to try to monetize it buying free after rebate items but, I have yet to find a free after rebate item in stock. (Im a Staples noob)

4. Is there any way to get the annual fee on the amex BCP waived? Do I keep it just to get the $285 each year? (6% x $6000 = $360 - $75 AF = $285)

5. Any advice on how long I should wait until I do another AOR? (I know the two Ive done were only 3 cards each and were weak but, I have yet to be denied a credit card)

Any other comments, tips, suggestions would be appreciated.
Discussion Deals
PSA: Qualified Mortgage Requirements effective January 10, 2014
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: boxerbrief
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I did a search and no one has posted this yet. Some major changes are happening in the mortgage industry, and I just thought the community here should be aware. Effective January 10, 2014, the CFPB will be implementing the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Standards under TILA (Regulation Z). While most lenders may still originate loans that don't meet the standards, those who originate QM loans will have Safe Harbor legal protections meaning a borrower who got a loan and defaulted can not sue the lender for originating a bad loan (example: the borrower in a QM loan can not claim the income was not sufficient to cover the expenses so the loan should not have been originated in the first place). Some of the new rules for QM I pasted below, but you should go straight to the CFPB website for the actual laws and how it may impact you if you are looking to get a mortgage loan in the near future. Note that a 43% debt-to-income ratio is the new ceiling in the law as I know that is a common question on the forum about qualifying for a loan. It is hard to predict how different lenders will react to this, but I know that one particular lender will only originate QM loans as of January 10th and added on additional reserves and residual income criteria (not part of the law) in response to this law since lenders can now get sued for bad loans. I know a lot of you will be surprised that they actually have to make a law for the ability to repay aspect, which I agree should be something every lender should be doing already in the first place.


Mandatory product feature requirements for all QMs Points and fees are less than or equal to 3% of the loan amount (for loan amounts less than $100k, higher percentage thresholds are allowed); No risky features like negative amortization, interest-only, or balloon loans (BUT NOTE: balloon loans originated until January 10, 2016 that meet the other product features are QMs if originated and held in portfolio by small creditors); Maximum loan term is less than or equal to 30 years.

=11.5ptAbility-to-Repay Determinations=11.5pt. The final rule describes certain minimum requirements for creditors making ability-to-repay determinations, but does not dictate that they follow particular underwriting models. At a minimum, creditors generally must consider eight underwriting factors: (1) current or reasonably expected income or assets; (2) current employment status; (3) the monthly payment on the covered transaction; (4) the monthly payment on any simultaneous loan; (5) the monthly payment for mortgage-related obligations; (6) current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (7) the monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income; and (8) credit history. Creditors must generally use reasonably reliable third-party records to verify the information they use to evaluate the factors.
PenFed Now Offering Rate Reset Protection on Select Mortgages
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 10:00:17 AM
g: 2 Posted By: desikid
Views: 246 Replies: 1
Up to five rate "borrower selected" rate resets over the life of the loan mortgage
No fee to reset the rate
Provides an alternative to the refinance process
Loan maturity date remains the sameno new 30-year amortization required


General Economics Deals
Nine West Sloane Pull-On Bootie $49.99 FS @ Ninewest Via Ebay
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: iLetTheDogsOut
Views: 231 Replies: 1 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nine-West-Sloane-Pull-On-Bootie/25138445...
Shoes Deals

eBay Coupons
Mortgage loan advice 120K Gross 20K down pay
Added on : Monday January 06th 2014 03:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tips40
Views: 189 Replies: 0 Hi All,

Currently I make around 120k (Gross), with previous Gross salary 105K on W2, I have good credit score too.
what are my options for mortgage around 450 K with 20k down payment , I don't have any loan apart from
2 -- 3k of revolving credit on credit cards. residing 20171 Virginia, looking for Town home / Single family around this area.
Appreciate your suggestion and help.

Thanks in advance..
Real Estate Deals
$194.25 ($548, 65% off) Kate Spade chambers street sloan
Added on : Sunday January 05th 2014 04:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hensonharry
Views: 176 Replies: 0 kate spade offers the kate spade chambers street sloan for $194.25 via code DECEMBER25 with free shipping
Purse Deals

Kate Spade Coupons
Refi 2nd mortgage only - any lenders willing?
Added on : Sunday January 05th 2014 12:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: finalpendragon
Views: 1 Replies: 0 Are there any lenders who would be willing to do a refi on a second mortgage, or maybe do an HE loan that would pay off the original 2nd? Okay, I know the obvious question is "Why not just refi both loans together?". You see my second mortgage has a rate of 8.25% while my first mortgage was refi'd last year at 3.5%. With the current market rates being about 4.5%, and the second mortgage being so much smaller than the first, it doesn't offer me any advantage to combine the two into a higher rate. Here are the numbers:
first mortgage (3.5%) $330k second mortgage (8.25%) $48k LTV 75%
Because the LTV is less than 80%, it seems plausible to think that I can refi or use an HE to pay off the second lien. But is it? I went through the interview process with one lender already this week only to be turned down. It's a pretty time-consuming process! So I'm wondering if it's worth trying again with other lenders or if I'd just be wasting my time. The few other threads that touched on this subject were very old. Does anyone know of a lender who's willing to refi a second in the current market?
Paying for grad school with credit card?
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: brfitzp
Views: 98 Replies: 1 Hi, I just wanted to get some opinions on this.
I want to get my masters degree and the school i want to go to costs 3250 per 6 month term, a flat fee

I was considering getting a 0% for 18 months card like the citi simplicity in order to pay for school and pay about 542 a month for the next 18 months and walk away from school with a degree that's paid for without any interest.

I work a full time job and shouldn't have much of a problem paying that much per month, my idea is even if i don't pay the full 542 but instead pay 442, that would leave me with 1800 left to pay with intrest which wouldn't amount to much if i continued paying for another three or four months.

It seems like a much simpler and possibly cheaper method than paying for a student loan. Any input on this?
Credit Deals
Whats Better: Dealership Financing or PenFed (same rate)
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sbrickman29
Views: 23 Replies: 1 Searched and could not find any existing threads on this topic.

I'm looking to purchase a vehicle and was wondering if there are any known pros/cons for going with the dealership/manufacturer financing or PenFed if they are both the same exact offer (apr of 0.9% 60 months, etc). Have never had an auto loan from PenFed so don't know if there are good things or bad things about using them instead.

Appreciate any insight. Thank you!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: FWpep
Views: 158 Replies: 4 So if you read a financial article today, whether it is bullish on the market or bearish on the market you will see a gazillion comments in the comment section of the articles each making the opposite case. Since I think most would agree that people here in the FW Finance forum are typically smarter (financially speaking) than most, I thought the folks in this community could put forth their thoughts on this subject.

I recently watched some youtube videos of the financial coverage about a week before the crash in 2008 (Sept. 14-19 2008), this was just before the huge slide down. I found it to be a good exercise because I had already forgotten just how bad it got even before the huge slide down. You could actually hear the fear in the tone of the usually very optimistic anchors and analysts. I had mistakenly thought that they remained optimistic up until the point the market plummeted but that was not the case at all. They were talking financial armageddon days before the huge slide really got underway.

So in hindsight it is easy to see that the housing market down turn, bad loans, and perhaps most importantly the crisis in confidence with bad ratings on the mortgage backed securities would end badly. A whole cascade of bad things happened when that began to unwind. That is the short version of course.

It seems today that we are in much better shape. The economy is supposedly fairly strong, and headed in the right direction albeit slower than hoped and the stock market is hitting new highs every other day. However, stock markets cannot go up forever. Not asking for a prediction of when (but you can include if you'd like) but more of a big picture look knowing all we know about the Fed's monetary policy and general economic conditions and trends. I would have thought that we would have widespread inflation right now, but that is not the case and I don't really know why there isn't massive and widespread inflation. So,

1. What do you THINK will cause the next downturn?

2. Do you think it will be a mild and orderly downturn OR a major downturn?

3. What are you doing to protect/hedge your entire financial portfolio?

Investing Deals
Get a parent loan or stop maxing out 401K?
Added on : Thursday January 02nd 2014 05:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: helloagain
Views: 72 Replies: 4 My son is going to college this fall and the estimated family contribution is over $40K. My wife and I are currently max out on our 401K ($17.5K each). I do not see how I can afford $40+K per year without either getting a Federal parent loan or stop maxing out the 401K. Any recommendations?
Personal Finance Deals
Mortgage loan ?
Added on : Monday December 30th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: georgeojungle
Views: 104 Replies: 0 My wife and I live in West TN and are in process of receiving our first mortgage. TN is a spousal state, so we applied for the loan in just my wife's name. My wife was approved w/ conditions. It is my understanding that all debt in my name would not be included in her DTI. I refied our cars in my name to eliminate any debt in her name, but now the underwriter wants to see the sourced funds for the payoffs. I explained to the mortgage consultant what I did and why, but he seems to think that this will be included in her DTI which would screw us. I cannot be on the loan with such a short work history. Anyone have experience or knowledge in this situation?
Personal Finance Deals
Getting Married- Merging Finances... tips?
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 05:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FFGuru
Views: 183 Replies: 5 This year I'm excited to be getting married! When it comes time to merge the finances though, we want to do it smartly & make sure we don't do anything that could hurt hour credit or ability to open our own business. Looking for tips & tricks from fellow FW'ers before we get married.

She: Credit in the low 700's, but a ton of student loan debt from med school, slight credit card debt, but no bad marks. Student loan repayments are income based, and the principle will be forgiven in 20 years.
Me: Credit in the high 700's, very little debt aside from an above-water mortgage. Eventually I'd like to open my own business, which will require more loans.

Based on her loans, we plan to file taxes married filing separately--- in effort to maximize the benefit of the loan forgiveness.

We want to maximize our ability to start our own businesses, get loans in the future, and to not do damage to my credit. Are we safe to add each other to bank, & CC accounts, and loans without hurting my credit? Or should we keep our finances separate?

Any other tips about merging our finances?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: EatenByGrue
Views: 182 Replies: 4 I am curious if, given my situation, there may be more options open to me than an average first-time home buyer.

- I'm 40 years old, never owned a home, am debt free, and I live in the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- I have $150k+ in cash, $2.2M+ in non-retirement investment accounts, and $600k+ in retirement investment accounts (401ks, Rollovers, SEPs, and a Roth).
- My three FICO credit scores are all over 800.

I recently attempted to buy a first home -- my offer was not accepted, but I did have my "eyes opened" (partially) to the process of getting a mortgage by going through a rigorous (some might say proctological) pre-approval process.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around a mortgage's "closing costs" (in my case it was $16k+ for a $625k conforming-for-high-cost-area 30 year fixed loan. I was planning to put 25% down on an $850k house).

A few of the closing cost charges seem reasonable, but things like "loan origination fees" for processing paperwork seem excessive to me.

My mainreason for "borrowing" instead of "paying cash" is to take advantage of the "home mortgage interest deduction" to reduce my annual taxable income. A close second reason for not wanting to pay cash is to avoid creating taxable events by selling $500k+ worth of stock (I rarely sell stocks or funds, I tend to only buy them... So I'd have to sell a lot more to pay capital gains). Lastly, "Opportunity cost" doesn't mean much to me (but I'd take advantage of it for money not tied up in a house).

As I see it, I'm offering to borrow money from a company at 4+% -- seems like a good deal for them. I'm willing to "secure" that loan by using the rest of my nest egg.

If possible, I'd like to avoid paying for "the privilege" of loaning "a great credit risk" like me money. Am I being out-of-touch and unrealistic here?

I've heard of "no closing cost mortgages" where the lender eats their costs to maintain a relationship with the borrower. How do I go about developing one of these relationships?

Real Estate Deals
Underwater Mortgage Options
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Benjamin75
Views: 56 Replies: 0 General info.

1st mortgage with PNC bank
balance $55,472
payment $742.74 (including tax/insurance)

2nd with Huntington bank
balance $33,311.51
payment 359.58

owe 88,784.12
payments 1,102.32

house is a duplex, built in 1922 in Ohio.
the county for tax purposes had valued the house for $97,800 before the market collapse, then the value dropped to $78,000. In 2012 the county raised it back to $98,700

i would like to move, my neighborhood has declined, and quite frankly, I don't like where I live. I could have a nicer apartment for half of what I pay now.

Currently, i bring home JUST enough to pay the mortgages and other debts (minimum payments) to be one of the working poor. Just barely enough left after bills for food & gas. Anything extra, or unexpected ends up on a credit card.

i was approached by PNC and told my mortgage was eligible for a HARP refinance, since the loan was owned my Freddie Mack. When they ran the numbers, I was told if I paid close to $700 up front, I could reduce my interest rate and lower my monthly payment by about $100. Since I didn't have $700 laying around! and it would take 7 months to even break even, I did not go further with it.

i approached Huntington about refinancing my loan with them. It has an interest rate of 10% and I had to have my mother co-sign for it. I was hoping to get her name off, and possibly a lower rate. Huntington surprised me, by telling me I may be able to get one new mortgage from them, that payed off both of my loans, put it all in my name alone, and would save me $100-$300 per month depending on the interest rate.

Huntington paid for an appraisal, and it came back at $60,000.
Huntington isn't offering to do anything for me now.

from what I've read, I'm not eligible for any of the modification programs because Huntington isn't a participating bank of HAMP, and because I have a co-signer.

so do I have any options?

Short sale: doubtful Huntington would agree to take what little money was left after PNC took their money. Seems they'd rather go after my retired mother.

Walk Away/Foreclosure: ruin my credit, Huntington still pursue me; ruin my mothers credit and have her pursued also.

Real Estate Deals
Best Car Loans
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 10:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cameron2003
Views: 138 Replies: 1 I'm surprised there is not a thread on this. I recently bought a car with a 2% loan, and then found out Alliant has a 1.49% loan. (Thanks Polaris).

New car rate
Used car rate
Date Checked
Alliant Credit Union

General Economics Deals
Grad Student Goes to Extreme to Pay off Stu Loan Debt
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 06:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tolamapS
Views: 97 Replies: 0 From yahoo:


Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived in a Van to Avoid Debt.

- undergraduate major in History and English, racks up $30K in debt,
- upon graduation, gets rejected from 25 paid internships,
- has a stint pushing carts at $8 / hour at HomeDepot; gets depressed,
- goes to Alaska to work in an environment with no stores within 250 miles, no cell service, no place to spend money, and room / board paid; saves everything earned, and uses to pay off stu debt,
- enrolls in grad school at Duke, but lives in a van to avoid taking additional debt.

Read the rest of the story to see play-by-play of how he managed to live in the van.

"Kudos" to Duke University for "worrying" that he might hurt himself once they found out he lived in a van. Hence, they asked him to sign a waiver that if he got hurt, he won't sue the University. Nicely done, Duke University!
Discussion Deals
Applying for different mortgages at once?
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nickboats
Views: 7 Replies: 0 My Brother seems to think he can get two different mortgages on two different properties at the same time without telling each lender up front. He's going to get one mortgage for a primary residence (which he is going to live in) and a second investment property. He is going to put down 25% on the IP. He seems to think he can submit the applications on different properties with different lenders on the same day and because of the lag in credit reports, MERS and public records that he can close on a couple of them at once. I've tried to tell him this could be mortgage fraud since he is not telling each lender about the other loan applications. He thinks because the mortgages are on different properties, not one, there's no problem. I guess he figures if he tells them upfront it may affect his score, his qualification or his DTI (he makes plenty). If asked about multiple inquires he claims he'll just explain he's shopping for the best rate. I keep telling him to just put all the honest info on the all the applications, that's he's buying different properties at once. Aren't the lenders going to find out some how that he's trying to do multiple mortgages and didn't disclose it on his applications? If one property closes and another closes 5 days later isn't there a way for the second lender to figure out he just got a mortgage on another property and deny him?

Real Estate Deals
car loan strategy
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cameron2003
Views: 86 Replies: 3 I have a $40,000 car loan at 2% over 7 years. Its a simple interest loan. I know I can pay bi-weekly and save money, but that is partially (or maybe mostly) because I am paying more annually.

I am interested in saving money on interest payments, while at the same time not increasing my annual outlays to my lender.

I know it must save on interest just to split the monthly due down the middle and paytwice a month (not bi-weekly) since interest is compounded daily. Or even do the same thing 4 times a month (if my lender can stand it).

I cannot find a calculator or any source to help me figure out what the savings would be, or if there was another strategy that was better and basically did not cost extra, or cost much. Adding $20 to my monthly payment is another way to do it on the cheap.

Anyone ever do this?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CptSavAHo
Views: 120 Replies: 4 I'll start by saying I already gave the employee the 'you need to lawyer up' advice, and the employee is working on finding a qualified attorney. I'll do bullet points to make this easy.

-Employee went into default on his house
-Primary mortgage at 80% got a modification program to forgive past due principle and reduce interest rate. Employee has been current on it since the modification over 6 months ago
-Secondary mortgage at 20% went into default, foreclosure, and was sold at auction (I have no idea how this happened, if employee ignored notices or it was supposed to be covered by PMI, or why it wasn't bundled into the loan modification)
-Ruthless company now owns the secondary note and is trying to force him out of his house. It will be easy profit for them as the property has appreciated in value.
-Ruthless company gave employee written notice today to be out by the 29th. After speaking with them they extended it until Friday, the 3rd, and then they will pursue court eviction.
-Ruthless company is trying to force him to sign over payoff information for the primary note. They claim to have the deed for the property and that the court will foreclose on the primary note and give them title.
-This is Denver County, Denver CO.

I have no idea if or how the secondary note sold at auction can force foreclosure and eviction. It sounds to me like they are trying high pressure scare tactics to convince employee to sign over the primary note so they can pay it off and then take the property. This is way more complicated than I am familiar with.

The way I see it employee has 3 options
1-Cooperate and possibly lose the house to scumbags but keep his credit and public record clean.
2-Try some kind of cash fire sale on the property, using whatever attorney to cash out on the increased value.
3-Retain a lawyer, fight it tooth and nail, and be hounded by the scumbags.

I encouraged employee to go route #3. Have someone home at all times, don't answer the door, and install some serious heavy duty locks.

Personal Finance Deals
Quicken Versions 1/2 Off - Deluxe $37.50 FS thru 12/30
Added on : Thursday December 26th 2013 08:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gelatinouscube
Views: 225 Replies: 0 Link

Deluxe - $37.50
Premier - $52.50
Home & Business - $57.50 ($47 @ Amazon Link to thread)
Rental Property Manager - $82.50

Tax Software Deals

Quicken Loans Coupons
HELOC for new construction??
Added on : Thursday December 26th 2013 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: palongee1
Views: 47 Replies: 0 Hi everyone, ive searched hi and low for some answers pertaining to my situation and so far have found little help, hopefully someone here can give me some direction, here goes
I own a property outright, several acres zoned agricultural. The property was appraised for 500k in 2009.The property has a old home and outbuildings (barns, shops, etc) The old home was built in the 1880's whichwas apparent once I started taking a hard look at the structure underneath the home.From the exterior and interior it looks fine. My original plan was a complete rennovation but the costs are so excessive that im leaning toward building new on the same parcel then removing the old house once the new home is finished. I have looked into a construction loan which requires a contractor and a pretty shorttimline. I have access to all the sub contractors I would need to contract the build myself as well as doing some of the work myself. My concerrns are if I were approved for a heloc and built the new house then removed the old house could I potentially be in a trouble with the bank? The new home would obviously be bigger and worth much more then the existing structure, im just concerned that I could be insome kind of violation of the loan?My reasons for wanting to build this way are 1, I dont want to pay a contractor to do what I can do. Also,my definition of "good enough" is much different then what some of these contractors ideas are. 2, I dont want to be on a stringent timeline to complete the build, I have certain guys I would like to use for certain subs as well as I would like to do some of the work on my own. My biggest issue is financing. Im looking to use some cash but id need to borrow appx 165k to get the project done. Its a unique situation i know, any help anyone could give me would be much appreciated! Thanks for your time! Mike
Personal Finance Deals
Tax Benefits on investment outside country
Added on : Tuesday December 24th 2013 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: FWFfollower
Views: 22 Replies: 0 I want to make investment in real estate (construction) for my first home. It will be outside US. This will be from my savings and am not planning to take a loan. What tax deductions can I make use of?
I am guessing energy saver investments and property taxes are straightforward. What other things can I use? I also see home improvement in publication 936. Could this be used in any way?

Question Deals
Financial (Debt) Advice for a New Home Owner
Added on : Tuesday December 24th 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dbess2013
Views: 60 Replies: 0 Hi all,

I am a long-time lurker, first-time poster; love your advice on this part of the forum and after lurking for quite awhile, I figured I would post and see what ideas I can get about my financial situation which has been a little hairy since my house purchase. The basic story here is that I purchased a foreclosure home that was "too good of a deal" to pass up. Indeed, it still is a great deal but I was burned by the bank in regards to obtaining "fixer-upper" funds. I was told by my originator that upon purchase, I would be able to borrow under a second mortgage right out of the gate which turned out to be entirely untrue due to the grant I received which will be forgiven in two years. Lesson learned.

The home upon purchase was listed for $50k at auction, I placed a bid at $45k with theseller paying closing costs (truly paying, not rolling into the loan).I was then able to obtain a 10k state grant for downpayment assistance since it was a vacant home which leaves me with a total mortgage of about 34k. The first valuation came in at 78k prior to my repairs. Judging by the area and what I've been told by a couple realtor friends, they believe it would fetch about 120-125k in today's market.

The good side is that its a great place with a huge yard in a city which doesn't usually have both of those attributes. It's an up and coming area so the value will likely rise pending on the market. The bad side is that since I was unable to get a second mortgage for repairs, I now am saddled with some debt that came from necessary repairs to make it liveable.

Current Debt:
Credit Card: 5k @ 15.9%.
Lowes Credit Card: 6k @ 5.99%
401K Loan: 6K @ 2% or so(to myself)

I've always been an anti-debt kind of person and I would really like to jump out of this hole ASAP. It was a seize the moment type purchase which may or may not have been a good idea given my hate of debt. My current plan is to try for a balance transfer card with 0% for 18 months and then add a second mortgage after the grant is forgiven in 07/2015 or the Penfed Promise for the 3.9% for life balance transfer and forget the mortgage. I'm unsure if I'll be approved for the Penfed as my credit score after all this house buying and whatnot is at about 730 (previously 770).

Of course, the ideal situation would have been to have cash to do these repairs and I am half-way kicking myself for doing it. On the flipside, I'm paying far less even with the high interest debt than I was renting.

Anyone have any other ideas for paying less interest with what I have going on?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vnuts21
Views: 87 Replies: 0 Pardon the lengthy post, but I wanted to get some general advice on how best to prepare for buying our first home in the next few years. Ages: 26 (Me), 27 (Her).

We will be married in September, 2014.

Me - $78k/yr
Her - $76k/yr
Average take home pay: ~7200/mo
Other income: Credit Card/MS shenanigans - ~$500/mo

~5000/mo (includes rent, student loan payments, Roth IRA contributions, food, traveletc) (high cost of living area)

Currently not maxing retirement savings- only contributing max Roth IRA (5500 each) and minimum to get company match. This will change once student loans are paid off (~9 months)

$40k in 401k
$26k in Roth IRA
$5k Liquid

$35k in 401k
$10k in Roth IRA
$9k Liquid

Me - $40k in student loans (3.5%)(being generously paid off by my brother at $14k/year, and by me at a rate of $4k/yr) - will bepaid offin ~2.5 years
Her - $10k in student loans (5% average) (will be paid off in 1 year)

I will most likely be taking a temporary new job in the DC area for 1 yearwhich will greatly increase our savings ability. The job covers all living expenses and provides a daily food stipend, allowing us to live rent, utilityand food-free (will end up saving ~30k extra over 1 year) (this assumes my fiancee will be able to find a job in DC at the same time). Paying off the student loans over the next year or so would also free up almost1000/mo.

Job prospects:
Overall good - we are both ambitious engineers

Me: BS (high ranked private university), MS in Mechanical engineering (no-name state school). Currently working for US Government (decent job security, but will most likely be leaving after the DC position in search of something higher paying and more challenging).
Her - BS in Manufacturing Engineering (high ranked private university), MBA (decently ranked private university) in May 2014. Currently working for amedical instrumentcompany (decent job security, but overall underpaid given her position, experience level). Will most likely be looking for a new job coinciding with my DC position.

2-3 year goals:
-Live in DC for 1 year
-Live in California for 1-2 years
-Settle down in northern east coast (NY, PA, VA, MD etc)(near family) in ~2017 and purchase a home (~300-350k range). I'd like to be able to put 20% down onthe house. This would require 60k, which is easy to do even now (if saving for a few months and tapping into Roth IRA), but I'd prefer not to touch the Roth accounts to do so.

Here's my questions:
- How to handle manufactured spending/credit card sign ups in the 2-3 years leading up to buying a house? Our credit scores are excellent, and we have leveraged those scores into great vacations, and a lot of extra income from manufactured spending techniques. When should we stop the spending, so that lenders do not ask questions and are not put off by the ~20 open credit cards per person?
- How to best stagger the accounts to get approved for a mortgage? I know the lenders want to see an account capable of paying off the mortgage and will scrutinize every transaction dating back almost a full year. Would opening a joint account and having the paychecks deposited into it be ok? I would keep all other accounts (rewards checking, bluebird, etc) separate. This would be our only joint account from the time we are married until the time we buy a house.
- Any other words of wisdom, advice on how to improve our financial situation?

Discussion Deals
Yet another Mortgage vs. HELOC question
Added on : Monday December 23rd 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: panmet69
Views: 529 Replies: 14 So I'm thinking about purchasing a house within the next ~1-3 months. I have enough for the 20% down no problem. I've been doing a lot of reading on the Mortgage vs. HELOC question and it seems very time sensitive (what advice everyone gave 12 months ago might not apply today...hence I'm asking the question) My income is 93,000/year. I am currently renting an apt for $1700 a month (with the girlfriend, each pay $850). Single (no head of household, no kids , no divorced wife, crazy uncle, etc. etc.) Girlfriend will be living in the house with me , she will pay rent (House in my name, no gf money included / needed for this).

My max purchase price is probably 300,000. I have access to a personal loan where I could pay "cash" and then obtain some type of loan on the house to pay the personal loan back. For arguments sake, lets say I can put %25 (75k) down. I have comfortable emergency funds, etc. etc. Do I...

1. Ignore the personal loan, take out a regular mortgage (with 20% down)
2. Pay cash , obtain a HELOC , pay person back.
3. Pay cash, obtain line of credit
4. Pay cash, obtain regular mortgage

I like the idea of #2, (take out 225,000 heloc) with the penfed 5/5 ...0 closing costs. If rates start skyrocketing I think I can just get a regular mortgage...right?

I'm worried I'm missing something (like need 12 months of payment for HELOC, can't convert HELOC / LOE to mortgage if needed. Crazy fee's somewhere.. or not being able to deduct HELOC interest on the taxes)

No pics of GF...unless you provide incredibly insightful advice that saves me thousands of dollars...
Real Estate Deals
Yet another Mortgage vs. HELOC / LOE question
Added on : Sunday December 22nd 2013 05:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: panmet69
Views: 2 Replies: 0 So I'm thinking about purchasing a house within the next ~1-3 months. I have enough for the 20% down no problem. I've been doing a lot of reading on the Mortgage vs. HELOC question and it seems very time sensitive (what advice everyone gave 12 months ago might not apply today...hence I'm asking the question) My income is 93,000/year. I am currently renting an apt for $1700 a month (with the girlfriend, each pay $850). Single (no head of household, no kids , no divorced wife, crazy uncle, etc. etc.) Girlfriend will be living in the house with me , she will pay rent (House in my name, no gf money included / needed for this).

My max purchase price is probably 300,000. I have access to a personal loan where I could pay "cash" and then obtain some type of loan on the house to pay the personal loan back. For arguments sake, lets say I can put %25 (75k) down. I have comfortable emergency funds, etc. etc. Do I...

1. Ignore the personal loan, take out a regular mortgage (with 20% down)
2. Pay cash , obtain a HELOC , pay person back.
3. Pay cash, obtain line of credit
4. Pay cash, obtain regular mortgage

I like the idea of #2, (take out 225,000 heloc) with the penfed 5/5 ...0 closing costs. If rates start skyrocketing I think I can just get a regular mortgage...right?

I'm worried I'm missing something (like need 12 months of payment for HELOC, can't convert HELOC / LOE to mortgage if needed. Crazy fee's somewhere.. or not being able to deduct HELOC interest on the taxes)

No pics of GF...unless you provide incredibly insightful advice that saves me thousands of dollars...
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: badsister
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I've been calling doctors and hospitals confirming network status for United Healthcare's on-exchange plans.
Several doctors noted on the list informed me that they are not, in fact, participating in the exchange plans.
I would follow up by calling United with what the doctors told me and they would do nothing more than simply go the the xny site (which obviously i didnt need their help for) to confirm or negate a provider's network status according to what was noted online.

One of the hospitals i phoned was Sloan Kettering, as they were on the list (while though i heard that they were not participating).
They told me that they had negotiated a contract, but decided not to sign it. they are, therefore, officially not participating.

So i called United once again, and the rep i spoke to told me (sit down for this), that the list of providers on xny.com is their CURRENT list of providers and has nothing to do with the exchange plans.
I'm pretty sick over this, as if we want a United plan (with what is 'supposed to be' the largest network) we are buying completely blind as to who is in-network.
Is this not major fraud?

Bofa dinged my credit score for 8$ late payment
Added on : Saturday December 21st 2013 08:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jba
Views: 4 Replies: 0 Dear FW members,

I am about to apply for a loan so I pulled my credit report and shocked to see 720 down from 808.

The negative report was from Bofa CC for a 8$ late payment. I called Bofa, explaining how long I have been with them and they reported for a one time late payment and that total was 8$. They said nothing can be done now.

I have set auto pay on all CC except this.

is there any option to correct the late payment report? Please let me know.

Thank you and happy holidays.
Personal Finance Deals
Hypothetically speaking, need tax advice
Added on : Friday December 20th 2013 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: chrislk1986
Views: 117 Replies: 2 If our household was expecting to bring in about $41-$44K this year, then during the last two weeks was informed they would be recieving $40,000 in additional income (but no date is given). If additional income is received in 2013, will there be any way to reduce taxes? What is the going tax rate on $84k?

Married, filing jointly. 2 Kids. Don't own a home. Zero debt/no loans...

If the money is received in 2014, I already have a plan.

I'm terrible at speaking in hypothetical.
Personal Finance Deals
Boost credit by adding joint account owner?
Added on : Friday December 20th 2013 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dahmn
Views: 142 Replies: 2 I have excellent credit, and my wife has bad credit due to a foreclosure/bankruptcy. Research tells me that if i add her as a joint account holder that she will gain all of my excellent account history, and it will hot have any effect on my credit (she has excellent spending habits, and the plan is to never have the card leave the filing cabinet).

Will my credit score be calculated differently since the account is changing from a single holder to jointly owned?

Will HER credit report appear as if she owned the account when i opened it years ago?

I make significantly more money than she does, and I make all possible purchases through some of the credit cards for Cash Backrewards. Would her credit score be negatively impacted due to my spending on the card and her significantly lower annual income? What about eligibility for a car loan, or do they only factor in minimum amounts due?

Personal Finance Deals
FHA loan vs. Conventional loan--which one is better?
Added on : Friday December 20th 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dyslexiateechur
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I posted awhile back about owning several smaller rental houses but having issues getting financed for a larger house, due to medical collections. I was advised at that time to put it off for awhile, pay off my collections, and wait for my credit to improve on its on. I've done that and my credit is now high enough to qualify me for a mortgage.

We have found a house that we think we can pick up at a very good price that would fit our family's needs. I've turned in the paperwork, and now it's time to decide which route we want to go.

The house is listed at $159K, but we think we can get it between $120K and $130K. Our household income will be around in the $150K's for this next year.

Choice A:
FHA mortgage at 4.3% interest with $171 mortgage insurance required for the life of the loan. 3.5% down

Choice B:
Conventional Mortgage at 5.3% interest with $114 mortgage insurance required until we pay it 80% of the way down. 5% down.

We've got enough saved for the down payment, so that's not an issue.

I'm really thinking about going with B and paying it down to 80% right away. My husband thinks we can pay the house off completely within 3 years if we are aggressive, but with the fed getting ready to up interest rates, I'm not sure how wise that is.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Need help with my finances.
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sanaam
Views: 350 Replies: 16 Hello to all and happy holidays. I'm looking into a personal loan from a private lender or a bank but the problem is I have credit score of 530! the loan amount I'm looking for is $2500 for few credit cards that i have with really high interest rates, as much as I try to pay them it never goes down. I do have a job and I make 3200 a month but with other bills and expenses I could never pay these credit cards off one time Shot. I rather pay one loan amount then few credit cards and different high interest rates. if there's anybody out there that could help or know where I could go please let me know thanks.
Personal Finance Deals
Personal loan!
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sanaam
Views: 179 Replies: 8 Hello to all and happy holidays. I'm looking into a personal loan from a private lender or a bank but the problem is I have credit score of 530! the loan amount I'm looking for is $2500 for few credit cards that i have with really high interest rates, as much as I try to pay them it never goes down. I do have a job and I make 3200 a month but with other bills and expenses I could never pay these credit cards off one time Shot. I rather pay one loan amount then few credit cards and different high interest rates. if there's anybody out there that could help or know where I could go please let me know thanks.
Personal Finance Deals
Paying Off Vehicle with Credit Card Prior to Selling
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: e90m3
Views: 78 Replies: 1 I recently purchased a vehicle to replace my existing car. I did not do a trade-in since I can get $2,000-$3,000 more selling privately. My existing car is currently financed:

Amount Owed: $24,000
Realistic Sale Price: $22,000

I did not put any money down since the APR was low.

My options now are:

Pull $24,000 out of savings, pay off the car, and have the bonus selling point of having a title in-hand
Sell the car and take the buyer to the bank for the title transfer process. Pull $2,000 out to pay off the remainder of my loan above the selling price.
Use a Chase Southwest card with 0% interest on purchases till July to pay off vehicle. Pay off most of balance after sale and the remainder before July.

Option 1 would be simple, but I would prefer to not have to deal with paying capital gains taxes on $24,000 when I'll be depositing $22,000 right back into the account after the sale. Option 2 would make the selling process more complicated and turn off some buyers. Option 3 is the most desirable since I don't have to touch my personal savings, I get the title in my hands, and I earn points.

What are the drawbacks or negative consequences of doing this? I know that holding a large revolving balance can be bad for my credit score. I do want to refinance the new vehicle within the next few months for a better APR. Although I'll have the balance paid off on the credit card prior to refinancing, could this negatively effect the APR that I qualify for?

Any input is helpful. I used to pay cash for everything, but I'm trying to use good credit to my advantage.
Personal Finance Deals
Tax implications - When is debt considered cancelled in a Deed In Lieu?
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BocephusSTL
Views: 112 Replies: 0 My brother is going through a Deed-In-Lieu with BOA, and he is concerned about the potential tax liability if it's not completed by Dec. 31, because of the expiring Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA). They told him it's in the final stages of completion (post-closing dept.), but that it probably won't be fully completed for a couple of months. I'm hoping someone here might have relevant experience to determine when a DIL is considered complete for tax purposes.

The facts as he relayed them to me are:

His file is in the Post-Closing Dept. at BOA
The Warranty Deed where he signed the property back to BOA, and BOA's Deed of Release, have both been recorded with the county.
The post-closer said his incentive check is on the way.
He called the IRS, and was told that the determining factor for meeting the Dec. 31 deadline of the MFDRA expiration is that the debt must be cancelled by that date.
Post-closer told him she "thinks" the Deed of Release is the point at which the debt is considered cancelled, but she's not certain.
BOA still has to transfer the property to HUD, clear things off their books, report to CRAs, etc, which could take another couple of months.

The person at IRS told him that it's completely up to the bank as to when they consider the debt cancelled. The post-closer from the bank told him she "thinks" the recording date of the Deed of Release is what would be considered the date of debt cancellation in his case, but she wasn't sure. He is worried they won't consider it cancelled until it's fully off their books and reported to the CRAs. If that's after Dec. 31, the cancelled debt will be subject to taxes, which he can't pay so is obviously trying to avoid that situation.

Another question that came up when he talked to the IRS, could potentially make all of this moot. The IRS person told him that because it's an FHA loan,there technically won't be any cancelled debt because the mortgage insurance claim that will be paid to BOA effectively makes them whole. As a result, my brother won't be subject to income tax of the "cancelled debt". This kind of makes sense, but then again, it sounds too good to be true.

Any tax or legal experts here who can be any more definitive about these questions? I wore out my Google-Fu trying to get answers, but the only information I could find wasn't specific to these details.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: limitsc
Views: 217 Replies: 1 I know this type of thing has been discussed at length on here and I have read a lot of it out of general interest (I am a new loan officer and try to learn when I can).

Still I am not 100% how to go about this situation, because I guess I thought when it came to stuff like this, the debt in collections was usually either valid where prior notice was given, or completely invalid (where the advice was usually to dispute and request validation).

In my case, I got a new job. Had insurance at old job, new job insurance didn't kick in for like 1.5 months. I take a prescription med, refilled monthly. A little over a month after starting my new job, it came time to get a refill. Honestly, I had no clue whether my old insurance was still active. I did ask several people, and was told that I would be notified when it was cut off. Still not 100% sure, I went to my pharmacy and spoke to them about the issue and whether I would have to pay out of pocket that month, which would have been fine...we are talking probably ~$200 vs the crappy $60 copay for that previous insurance. They said they would just submit it in their system and see, and once they did that they confirmed it was covered, no problem. I thought it was that simple, anyway. That was on 7/15/13.

Never heard anything else about it. By the next month (August), my new insurance had started. Also, I was on the phone with my old insurance several times around this time because I had to get a cert. of credible coverage. I am pretty sure I remember them saying they had not received notice of my cancellation and were going to do it at that point (because I had told them).

Fast forward to last Friday (12/13/13), I get a letter in the mail from RMS, what appears to be a collection agency. It states the INS company has placed my account for collection (for $130) due to overpayment on prescription drug coverage. It also says "They have sent you previous notice(s) on this account requesting payment." It also has a blank and asks me to furnish my phone number. So I am pretty upset at this, because I am 27 and started my credit when I was 18. I still have that first credit card that started with $250 CL and now is just south of $20K. I have over 35 accounts on my report without a single negative. Also, I would very much like to buy a house, hopefully in the next year. Also, I am pretty certain the INS company NEVER sent anything notifying me of this. The phone number they had on file was my parents' home number where I no longer reside, however I am certain that if they had ever called then my parents would have told me. I stop by weekly to pick up mail that still gets sent there also.

The only thing I have done so far is contact the original INS company today. The lady said that accoridng to her record, my coverage ended on 6/30, however they weren't notified until 7/28 which must have been why they approved the prescription on 7/15. She said I should have received notices, and could not explain why I did not and all she could do was apologize and tell me to call the collection agency. I don't care about the $130....if my coverage had ended then that's fine. My main concern is a collection account showing on my CR, but I feel like if I go ahead and pay the collector it will show up anyway. Does anyone have suggestions on how to proceed?
Question Deals
LFS (toyota finanical) confusion on prepayment
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 06:01:01 AM
g: 0 Posted By: danis21
Views: 124 Replies: 3 Hi Guys

So Lexus has a December sales event in which one can either take 0.9% APR or $2000 (with standard APR) rebate on RX350, if the car is financed through Lexus/Toyota Financial Services.
I took the $2000 rebate offer as the sales person told me that I just need to finance 10k for minimum of 4 payments. When it was time to finalize everything with the finance guy, he said, the 'minimum is 22k and for 6 months'. So, at the end, they made me take a loan of 22k @ 4.24%.
I know I can do better and the contract basically has no prepayment penalty.
The dealer said "there is nothing in the contract, but if you pre-pay before 6 months, LFS will send you a bill for 2k rebate".

So - my question to FW finance gurus is - if there is nothing in the contract, and the contract specifically says "no per-payment penalty" - would you keep the loan for 6 months or pay it off early?

Also, if I pay it off within a couple of weeks (as soon as I get the account number), will it affect my credit history really bad?

Thanks for the help.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 218 Replies: 1 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
Taxes on sale of family home
Added on : Friday December 13th 2013 07:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: linuspb
Views: 76 Replies: 0 We recently closed on the sale of our deceased parents family home. The proceeds were split between 4 siblings and the checks were written to us by the bank that financed the sale for the buyer. I realize there may be capital gain taxes due (depends on how we calculate the basis) but who reports our payment to the IRS. Is it the bank that made the loan or some other agency. and will I get a form next Jan or Feb like a 10-99. We are only talking about $12,500 to each sibling.

Real Estate Deals
Anyone been able to get a PenFed 5/5 refi done while being self employed?
Added on : Thursday December 12th 2013 06:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mulanijem
Views: 59 Replies: 1 I have been workingon a 1099 basis for about15 months making very good money, and have plenty of cash reserves and excellent credit.However after looking around on the net it looks like
you can't get approved unlessyou work off a W2, or have 2 years of 1099 history even if you have cash in bank to pay the loan off if needed.Anyone been able to get a 5/5 donewhile being self employed?
I know I should have researched this before hand, I assumed they would look at my financial data and see no risk, as there really isn't any. I feel like they should just state up front if your are self employed don't bother applying if it is not doable...

Personal Finance Deals
40 and almost broke - need advice
Added on : Wednesday December 11th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Eagle357
Views: 370 Replies: 11 hello everyone, new guy here looking for some financial advice. this site was the first result from a google search for 'finance forum'.

anyway, story is that i am 40 yrs old with 3 kids. i seem to live paycheck by paycheck, and barely have anything left to save at the end of the month. i have been at my job for 10 yrs, but am thinking about quitting to pull out my retirement and start all over.

right now i have the following:
-$7500 in savings
-$130,000 in retirement
-$100,000 life insurance policy at current job

my debt:
-$10,000 credit card
-$4200 car1 ($270/mo. @ 6.8%)
-$12000 car2 ($330/mo. @ 4.5%)
-$15000 home equity loan ($220/mo.@ 8.8%)
-$123,000 mortgage ($1500/mo. inc. tax/ins. @ 3.8%, 10 yrs left, est. appraisal $160k)

i make enough to live decent, but i am not saving anything towards college education, emergencies, or anything. i have the option of staying at current job and paying down house and bills. or i can sell house and take out retirement. the 2nd option will allow me to pay off all bills, car notes, and be debt free completely and have about $105,000 left. i would have to reolcate and find another job though.

what would you do? i should say that i'm pretty thankful for what i have, but i feel i wasted 15+ years squandering money, a lot of which i had no control over and due to unexpected circumstances. thanks for listening.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice on job opportunity, financial planning...
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 02:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: peteron
Views: 386 Replies: 3 Hello FWers, my phd program is coming to an end, and I was recently awarded a postdoc fellowship at a govt research center located at mountainview, or silicon valley. The job will start in next April. Before accepting this offer, I have some concerns on financial arrangements. I was awarded a stipend of $64k, which I believe is non-taxable. My wife and 20 month son will relocate with me. Family insurance is shared between me and the research institute. I need to pay $167.55 monthly out of pocket. The insurance does NOT cover dental or vision.
About this job, I consider it a good opportunity - only the living cost is a concern to me. My phd program mostly produces scientists and professors. We donot earn 120k+bonuses like other new grads in the silicon valley tech companies.So this is not a discussion of 'why dont you find a better pay or go to industry?'. I mostly want to know how likely it is to maximize our living at (around) moutainview at my salary level.
My financials are: $20k in saving account. No student loans. No significant credit card debts. Car loan of $16800 with APR 0.71% (monthly payment is around $389). Car insurance of $472 for six months (Geico).We are not big spenders and always pay in full credit cards. I am thinking of starting to invest in stock in near future. My questions are, Is it like to rent a 2-bedroom or a big-size 1-bedroom at 1500-1800/month near the area? I will avoid the expensive places and a radius of 15-20 miles should be acceptable. Is public transit conveneient, so I can commute to save on gas? I will have to buy full coverage on the car since it is not paid off. I donot know how much would that be in MV. We usually go to Asian market to save on grocery, and I suspect this can be done at MV, am I right? Also I probably need to purchase dental and vision insurance by ourselves. Finally, there will be day care needs for my son... We are trying to save as much as we can, so we can start to own our own place once we settled down. Please give me advice or tips on how to arrange my finance at this new place.

I am sure the stipend is not taxable, and should not have withholding.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice on job opportunity
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: peteron
Views: 48 Replies: 0 Hello FWers, my phd program is coming to an end, and I was recently awarded a postdoc fellowship at a govt research center located at mountainview, or silicon valley. The job will start in next April. Before accepting this offer, I have some concerns on financial arrangements. I was awarded a stipend of $64k, which I believe is non-taxable. My wife and 20 month son will relocate with me. Family insurance is shared between me and the research institute. I need to pay $167.55 monthly out of pocket. The insurance does NOT cover dental or vision.
About this job, I consider it a good opportunity - only the living cost is a concern to me. My phd program mostly produces scientists and professors. We donot earn 120k+bonuses like other new grads in the silicon valley tech companies.So this is not a discussion of 'why dont you find a better pay or go to industry?'. I mostly want to know how likely it is to maximize our living at (around) moutainview at my salary level.
My financials are: $20k in saving account. No student loans. No significant credit card debts. Car loan of $16800 with APR 0.71% (monthly payment is around $389). Car insurance of $472 for six months (Geico).We are not big spenders and always pay in full credit cards. I am thinking of starting to invest in stock in near future. My questions are, Is it like to rent a 2-bedroom at 1500/month near the area? I will avoid the expensive places and a radius of 15-20 miles should be acceptable. Is public transit conveneient, so I can commute to save on gas? I will have to buy full coverage on the car since it is not paid off. I donot know how much would that be in MV. We usually go to Asian market to save on grocery, and I suspect this can be done at MV, am I right? Finally, I probably need to purchase dental and vision insurance by ourselves. We are trying to save as much as we can, so we can start to own our own place once we settled down. Please give me advice or tips on how to arrange my finance at this new place.
Personal Finance Deals
SunTrust Access 3 Equity Line 1.99% through 1/2015
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fatwallet21
Views: 0 Replies: 0 ~~Save with a SunTrust Access 3 Equity Line
No application fees, and as long as your account is kept open for at least three years, we will advance most, if not all, closing costs on your behalf.2
Interest may be tax-deductible3
Interest rate reductions for qualified SunTrust account holders4============ Gotchas========
- LOC has to remain open for 3 years
- Closing costs on $100K comes to ~$1K
- After Jan 2015, the interest rate goes up to 5.00 plus (it is prime plus margin and their margin is pretty higher) This is where the existing suntrust clients discounts come into picture
~~~~More savings for SunTrust clients
Existing SunTrust clients are eligible for up to 0.75% interest rate reduction off our standard rates for new and refinanced equity lines4. Discounts include:
0.25% interest rate reduction if you maintain a qualified SunTrust deposit account
0.25% interest rate reduction if you have a qualifying mortgage from SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.
0.25% interest rate reduction if payments on your equity loan are automatically deducted from a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account using SurePaySMhttps://www.suntrust.com/PersonalBanking/Loans/EquityLinesOfCreditAndLoans/EquityLineOfCredit
HELP! NYC Monthly Budget Planning
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jessicalf
Views: 165 Replies: 4 This is my first post so please be gentle

I just moved back to the US from London and was lucky enough to score a job in NYC paying me $85k. I'm trying to get my head around what is realistic for out goings. In reality, as rent will be my largest outgoing, I'm wondering how much I can afford for a place without feeling strapped financially. I'm between two options at the moment, with a big price difference, among others..

Monthly Budget Option A:
Net Income: about $4500
Rent option a.) 1,033
Utilities: $170 with TV etc
Travel: $130
Groceries: $400
Dry cleaning: $100
Student loans: $150
Gym: $100

Leaves about $2,417 for discretionary money. (My work pays for my cell phone bill.)

Monthly Budget Option B:
Net Income: about $4500
Rentoption b.)1,830
Utilities: $170 with TV etc
Travel: $130
Groceries: $400
Dry cleaning: $100
Student loans: $150
Gym: $100

Leaves $1,620for discretionary money.

I realize that's a pretty big difference, but the rent of $1.830 is in a two story 2/2 and is much larger and downtown. For the other place I'm getting a shoe box on the UES sharing a bathroom with two others. I'm not all that fussy, but worried about savings, discretionary spending etc versus having a significantly nicer place... Wondering what other people's experiences have been in NYC. I don't want to get into a situation where I'm tied into a lease I feel I can't afford. I tend to go out on weekends and am sure I can definitely spend quite a bit of money experiencing all the great things NYC has to offer..

Any helpful insight would be much appreciated Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Question on Refinance, help please.
Added on : Sunday December 08th 2013 09:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 165 Replies: 0 I thought I might ask these questions here in this forums as many members are familiar with the Penfed 5/5 ARM mortgage.

Just to be sure I understood the loan, the 5/5 mortgage with a 2.625% starting rate, correct me if I am wrong:

1. for 1st five years the rate is 2.625%
2.the rate adjusts once every 5 years ONLY
3.The maximum rate adjustments up or down ONCE every 5 years in 2% ONLY (so my 6th year might be 4.625% or 0.625%)?
4.The total rate adjustment cannot be more than 5% which means, my rate will be NEVER more than 7.625% probably in year 15 not before that?(if rates are going up)

Now, my situation:
I closed on a 30 yr conforming loan 2 months ago (with Wells Fargo) after which I applied to 3 credit cards to buy appliances, furniture and also get some 0% APR offer. ~3k Debt@0% APR
My LTV ratio is about 75%, which means my home is worth 25% more than my loan as per the purchase price/appraisal 2 months ago.

1.Can I apply for a Penfed 5/5 ARM now just after 2 months of closing? Will they even consider my mortgage application?
2.Will Penfed closing cost offer cover all my closing fees? I read that it does not cover Owners Policy, do I need a new owners policy when I refinance?
3.How does the process work?, should we pay for appraisal and other fees to start with before closing or will penfed pay everything to start with?
4.Their website says that they might have a origination fee which can be waived with a 0.25% rate increase, any experience with that?

All your help appreciated...
New User Question Deals
Question about Car Salesman Inflating Tradin Value
Added on : Saturday December 07th 2013 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BondGamer
Views: 72 Replies: 2 A family member is buying a car and they wanted me to look over the figures for them. The dealer originally offered $2000 for their existing car and the car price was $16000. The salesman came back and said it will look better if they make it so the tradin value is $4000 and raise the car price to $18000.

I tried to research if this is some type of tactic to squeeze more money out, but I don't see anything about it in the standard car salesman tactic guides. Anyone know if this is a bad deal or how it would cost more money to do it this way?

Financing is being done through the dealer. I think it was 2.48% at 72 months. The loan amount is $15000.
Question Deals
Taking advantage of a car loan to improve credit history/score
Added on : Friday December 06th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: luciusd
Views: 4 Replies: 0 I want to purchase a new 2014 car, already have model/options worked out. I have the cash to pay for the entire thing. What I want to do is take advantage of a reasonable car loan on my credit history to help improve said history/score.

The problem is I currently do not have a job or any credit history whatsoever. I'm a recent immigrant and only received my SS number a few months ago.I have a close relative with a stable, high-paying job and excellent credit score/history. She is willing to co-sign with me. I've talked to a dealer and was told I can't be on the loan if I don't have a job.

I know a loan on my credit history will help improve it in the long run, as I eventually want to purchase a house. I want to take advantage of this while I can. The various dealerships that carry my car are even doing a 0.9% APR for 60 months, which I'm sure my relative will be approved for.

Does Fatwallethave any advice on how I can go about doing this?
Getting ready for 3rd AOR - how does this look?
Added on : Wednesday December 04th 2013 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Hi all,

I'm getting ready to do my 3rd AOR.

My main focus is to BT as much of my current 0% APR debt ($25k) as possible. The remainder I will pay off or do another AOR around the middle of next year for the remaining balance.

Last AOR was pretty successful. I was able to invest over $20k in mutual funds while making minimum payments which have done very well, along with ~$600 in sign on bonuses and Cash Back.


Good credit score (above 700, most likely below 800 - last I checked a few months ago it was around 750).
5/1 ARM on condo, not resetting for another 3 years. Car paid off, so not looking for new loans on either of these.
May possibly do a HELOC early next year on my property as a mutual fund investment vehicle if I can find a rate that makes sense.
About 50% utilization on all cards, with 0% on sock-drawered ones and 90%+ on ones still going at 0% APR.
About $25k CC debt all at 0% APR.
Promo APR will expire between April-July 2014 on current cards.

Current cards:

AMEX Costco
AMEX Blue EveryDay
Chase Freedom
Chase Slate
Citi Dividends Platinum
Citi Simplicity
Citi Forward
Discover (regular)
BoA Cash Rewards

I've had bad luck with CapOne, they always deny me. Don't think it's worth it to apply with them anymore. I think I'm maxed out on Chase cards, as I've had 3x Freedom cards consolidated into the Slate card for a total CL of 14k.

I do have a pre-qualified offer from Citi for a 0% APR 18 months/3% fee BT card, so I may do that one, but it has no sign-on bonuses. I also have an offer from Citi to transfer a balance to one of my unused cards which has a 7k CL for 3%.

That said, here are the cards I'm considering applying for:

Discover IT - 3% BT fee, 0% APR for 14 cycles, no bonus
Citi Diamond Preferred - 3% BT, 0% APR for 18 cycles, no bonus - downside: already have a bunch of Citi Cards and 2 prequal offers, so may not want to do this one too
Citi Thank You Preferred - 3% BT, 0% APR for 15 cycles, no bonus- downside: already have a bunch of Citi Cards and 2 prequal offers, so may not want to do this one too
Barclay Rewards MC - 3% BT, 0% APR for 12 cycles, $100 Cash Back if spending $1000 in 3 months
US Bank Platinum Visa - 3% BT, 0% APR for 15 cycles, no bonus
Various 3% BT, 0% APR for 12-15 cycle cards found athttp://www.nerdwallet.com/balance-transfer-credit-cardsincluding Hancock Bank, Union Bank, Bremer Bank, First National Omaha, Citizens Bank, etc - are these any good? Never heard of these banks before.

Suggestions on which cards I should focus on/what I should avoid/what I'm missing?

Lastly (but most importantly) should I apply for the pre-qualified offers from Citi and awaiting a response BEFORE doing this AOR? That is, can they deny me my 'pre-qualification' on account of too many inquiries with other applications?


Personal Finance Deals
Using balance transfer to pay off student loan
Added on : Wednesday December 04th 2013 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jkk4life
Views: 15 Replies: 0 I have done a google search and haven't found a definative answer to how to do this. What I am trying to accomplish isto transfer 10K from my student loans to my wife's Chase Slate card she was just approved for. The problem is that on the site itonly allows you to balance transfer to a credit card. I am assuming if she calls Chasethey won't allow it since it's not her loan and it's not a credit card and from what I read Chase does not give out balance transfer checks.

So, the option I think we need to go with is to do a balance transfer to one of her other credit cards and get a refund check from that company. From what I read this is a simple process from CITI, but she does not have any Citi Cards.

So ifyou are still with meafter that long intro, what I am asking for is some advice on how to best accomplish this and if anyone has any luck and/or issues with the following credit card companies in doing a large refund check. The other problem is the only big limit cards she has are from Chase which won't work.

Discover (only 2K limit )
Barclays (1500 limit)
AMEX Gold (no reallimit since its a charge card)
AMEX Blue (2700)
DCU (1500)
US Bank (11,800 was just approved and haven't even gotten the card yet. Don't think this would look good on a branch new card/relationship)

Another optionwould be to ask DCU for a CLI increase then do a cash advance for the $10k (which is no fee from them) and then do the balance transfer to pay it off immediately. We would just end up with a week or so of interest to pay. Any thoughts on if they might not like that and close her account? I'm thinking taking a 10K cash advance right after an increase would be highly suspicious looking.Or some other options on how to accomplish this?

Personal Finance Deals
Ocwen Mortgage Error - Automatic Payment Debited Twice
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jmw11
Views: 136 Replies: 0 Better check your bank account if you let Ocwen automatically debit your monthly mortgage payment. They debited my monthly payment twice.


Subject: Automatic Draft Information

We recently identified a discrepancy with the automatic payment received on December 2, 2013. Your account was incorrectly debited for this payment twice. To resolve this situation, we reversed the entry credited to your account in error and have returned the funds to your financial institution. Every effort was made to return the funds as quickly as possible. If this transaction caused a fee to be assessed by your financial institution, please forward evidence of this charge to our office by fax to 1-319-236-7479 or by mail to Electronic Payments, PO Box 780, Waterloo IA 50704.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you experienced because of this situation, and expect no further issues on a go-forward basis. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-800-766-4622 weekdays from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturdays 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sundays from 8:00 AM to 8:00PM, Central Time.

Customer Care
Loan Servicing
Real Estate Deals
Caliber Home Loans Mortgage
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sharpie13
Views: 112 Replies: 3 My mortgage loan servicing rights were recently transferred to Caliber from Flagstar Bank, who were very professional. Caliber is a totally different animal. My mortgage is in good standing, yet these scum-bags insist on printing the mini miranda warning: "THIS IS AN ATTEMPT BY A DEBT COLLECTOR TO COLLECT A CONSUMER DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. I called to ask what the deal was and they seemed to be adamant that this was a consumer debt and they had the right to print this warning. I filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency who seemed equally baffled and took up the mater with the bank. I received a nice letter from Caliber saying that my loan was in good standing; however it was their policy to print the mini Miranda warning on all their loan correspondence. The CPA hasn't followed up yet, but before I go and start something, does anyone have the same Miranda printout on their mortgage billing statement? If so are you OK with it? Thanks in advance for your input.
Real Estate Deals
deduction of bad debt
Added on : Sunday December 01st 2013 07:00:25 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ptiemann
Views: 98 Replies: 2 I have loaned money to people, not sure if I should use the word friends. One guy owes me $5000 since 2012, made 3 payments in 2012 totaling $300 (of which $100 was actually not cash but some labor), and I could get ahold of him this year. Almost no written documentation of debt. This person has no money.

Another friend, I gave $15k, I got 3 times $500 paid in 6 months intervals. The loan was supposedly for 4 months only, as it became obvious that it would take longer, there was talk about 10%. I thought it meant 10% interest. Now that I write it, it seems it meant 'you will receive 10% as repayment'.
Not responsive to phone calls; this person does have money and (irregular) income. I do have documentation in form of digital images of the 3 cashed checks, in the memo field on the check the debt is referenced.

I don't want to go the small claims route. The first guy has no money and will never have anything, the 2nd one has proven his character, even if I would get a judgment, I would be in a long line.

Question is, is there any way how I can use this on my tax return? No, I don't have the SS # of either one and I don't think they would volunteer it, even if I would officially forgive their debt (I think I could 1099 them then).

Serious answers and no loan requests, please.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ecstatica
Views: 291 Replies: 1 360Checking: Open a fee-free checking account and earn $125. 360Savings: Sign up for a savings account and get a $75 bonus. Refer A Friend: Refer 2 friends and get a $100 bonus. Home Loans: Get $1,000 off closing costs and a $250 Amazon gift card.
CapitalOne ShareBuilder: Get a $150 bonus when you open an account and make 3 trades. CapitalOne ShareBuilder IRA: Fund a new IRA and get up to $1,000.

Just got this email from Capital one 360. Just signing up for checking and savings accounts will score you a free $200
Not sure why the formatting is all messed up! Link
Offer expires tomorrow 12/2/133
This has to be your first 360 Savings account and it needs a $500 initial minimum deposit. The bonus starts earning interest on day 1, but you cant take it out for at least 30 days. The variable APY is 0.75%, effective 11/29/13.

Services Deals
please evaluate financial situation and advise?
Added on : Sunday December 01st 2013 03:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: snsmith877
Views: 28 Replies: 0 Hi. I just joined this and want to ask you smart people for financial advice.
I'm 26, work in healthcare, 2 jobs, make about 50k. Have 9k in retirement savings, 1500 in emergency savings, I know that's not great but I paid off all my student loans a couple months ago. Since then I've been putting 17% in 401k. Emergency savings also was more but I had surgery last week and had complications, e.r. visit, hospitalization.. have no debt except for 3k in no interest medical debt from before I had insurance. I own my car.
I live with my boyfriend, the only bill I pay is water. I buy groceries a lot and gas in the car for work and whatever else. Boyfriend is kinda eccentric, saves money in a safe in his house. He makes way more than I do, has no health insurance, no debt, rents apartment, owns his own business and can never figure out how much taxes he has to pay. I've tried to b.s. him into marrying me so I can put him on my insurance but even I can't figure out if being married would save money or cost more in taxes etc. I did finally manage to convince him to get a credit card to start building a credit history.
Mainly I'm wondering if there's some kind of personal finance website for self employed people that you guys could recommend, and also what kind of retirement account he can get so he can get more return on investment than sitting in the safe. Right now the best plan I can come up with is to build my emergency fund back up and then just start saving twice as much money in my retirement account to make up for his lack of one.
I want to try to encourage him to manage his finances better but I don't feel like I have the knowledge to even give him good advice.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice on paying down student loans vs. 401k contributions
Added on : Friday November 29th 2013 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: br435
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Hi,

Here is our (my fiance and I) situation:

401k account: 50k (currently maxing out contributions and getting some company match)
Roth IRA: 8k
Cash (savings+checking) assets: 90k @ 1%
Debt: None
Income: Approximately 110k per year right now (20% of that being bonus)

Cash assets: 10k
Debt: 137k (Some @ 5% and some @ 6.8%)
Income: 55k per year, probably going up to something around 120-140k in 1.5 years when she finishes residency

My question:
We are getting married in a few months and I think there are a couple of things we can do to benefit significantly financially. One is for her to max out her 403b contributions (to get the tax benefits). The other is to pay down her loans to reduce the interest. The question is which to do first?They are to some extent mutually exclusive (at least till her income increases) because we do not have the savings to pay down her loan in its entirety at the moment. So would we derive more benefit in the long term from the tax benefits in the 403b on in the benefits of paying down the high interest loan?

Any and all input welcome. To speed things up I have already considered the financial implications of marriage in general and have decided to take my chances as far as that goes.
Personal Finance Deals
$749 WFG Title Refund check
Added on : Wednesday November 27th 2013 04:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: psychtobe
Views: 154 Replies: 0 Just got a check for $749 from WFG Natinoal Title Company.

I refinanced with Loan Depot in June. We paid $1179 for title insurance at that time (lender only).

Is it normal to get a check for 2/3 of the amount of the initial title? The net amount we have now been charged ($1179-$749 = $430) seems very cheap.

I'm happy to cash the check if this is correct. Happy Thanksgiving to me!
Question Deals
Who Reports to CRAs, and When?
Added on : Tuesday November 26th 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: NeoMayhem
Views: 68 Replies: 0 I have seen a lot of posts on FWF about when delinquent accounts can be reported, and if a SSN is needed or not. It seems there are three types of accounts when it comes to negative credit reporting:

1. Shows up on CR immediately after 30 days late.
-Credit Cards, Car Loans, Student Loans, Mortgages, others that report monthly
2. May show up on CR after 30-90 days late depending on company. They usually try to get payment first.
-Utilities, Cable, Cell Phones, Internet, others who ask for SSN at sign up, but do not report regularly.
3. Must go to collections before it hits report. These companies do not generally report to CRAs directly.
-Medical Bills, Home/Car Maintenance, Landlords, PayPal, others who do not normally view/report to CRAs.

Does this seem accurate. Anything I am missing?
Discussion Deals
Starting a retirement account - TSP or IRA?
Added on : Sunday November 24th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: FYGMO
Views: 42 Replies: 0 I'll try to keep this concise, thanks in advance for the advice. I've been lurking here for quite some time but haven't posted yet.

Debt free (paid off 60K in student/personal loans over the past three years), 25 years old, married with one child, income is 5K after taxes, monthly expenses about $3K. 25K cash on hand not earning interest - just pulled out of other interest bearing accounts etc/it's newly accumulated. Access to TSP(no matching) and USAA member FWIW.

Originally was going to put the max for me/wife in a vanguard roth IRA market fund (22K contribution incl next year), maintain 5-8K 'emergency fund', and open a mutual fund for the rest of the savings accumulated(to meet mid term goals). After reading about the TSP I realize that I can mirror the market with some of their holdings and put up to 17.5K/yr using the roth TSP option. Pros to the TSP are much lower fees, but I want to be able to access the contributions without penalty should I need to supplement a house down payment some day, start a business, etc. Can I convert the TSP to a roth IRA while still employed and withdraw contributions that way? Is there a break even point after which time penalties would be covered by the lower fees for a reasonable withdrawal? The government resources are kind of cryptic but it looks like there is a 10% early withdrawal fee for the earnings when using the roth option and the contributions are withdrawn proportionately with the earnings rather than contributions being withdrawn prior to earnings(edit).

What do you suggest that I do? Long term plan is approximately ROTH IRA max annual retirement contributions(11K) and roughly equal savings investment (to cover major purchases, house down payment in a decade, etc). I expect my expenses to roughly increase with my income over the next several years.
Tax Deals
Help: Issues with a Mechanic
Added on : Friday November 22nd 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fongo61
Views: 172 Replies: 0 Hey FatWallet I need your help in figuring out my next step I was recently in the market to purchase a car. I asked my friend who's knowledgeable about cars for help and he recommended a guy that his coworker deals with. The coworker has purchased several cars from him in the past and continues to do business with him.

The mechanic basically buys cars at an auction and repairs them. Being highly recommended I found a car and put down $3,000 (cashiers check) to have him fix the car. He wrote out the contract for the car stating that he would sell it for $10,500. We verbally agreed that I can have the car looked at by a second opinion and he would fix any issues. I checked on the car 2 weeks later and he completed some of the work and paid him another $1,000 and got preapproved for a loan for the remainder. He said that the car would be done in two weeks. I go to the shop on that date and he said that his kid was sick and he had to take care of him/her. So I gave him a few weeks and proceeded to follow up with him.

He said that the car would be complete last week. I told him I would take the day off of work to get the car looked at, and pay him the remainder of the balance. So I called him up that morning at 9am and 10am and he didnt reply and went to the shop to check to see if he was there. When I arrived at the shop he wasnt there and the car was in the same shape it had been the last time I visited him. I told his workers to let him know I came and called him (he didnt pick up).

In total Ive been without a car for about 10 weeks; I dont really need one, but I want to get this thing squared away. Right now Im looking at legal options and trying to figure out my next step. If you can help in any way I would greatly appreciate it.

Edit: Right now I'm looking at small claims court. I was given wrong information and thought that the amount was over the needed amount for small claims cout.

Paid $4,000 (paid in cashiers check) to a mechanic to fix a car
Drafted a crude document stating the terms(price, car, vin, company name)
Mechanic is not being responsive
Need suggestions on next step
Personal Finance Deals
Bank offered Mortgage Refi - But now its not as it seemed
Added on : Friday November 22nd 2013 03:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 134 Replies: 2 I was at my bank about a week ago to withdraw some money for a potential purchase I was going to make on craigslist.

The lady processing my transaction was the branch loan officer. She noticed I had a home loan while looking at my account, and asked if I'd considered refinancing.

I looked into it about 2 years ago, but it was going to cost me several grand out of pocket, and since we don't plan on living there more than another few years, it didn't seem worth it.

She explained that the process had changed, and they can now do refinancing without closing costs or other costs. She said it would not cost me for the refinance, did some calculations, and showed me they could drop my mortgage from a 30 year to a 20 year with a better interest rate and that my monthly would stay the same.

My thinking was - I could pay the same monthly and when I go to sell I have more of it payed down, so more money in my pocket when we sell.

I email her copies of my W2s and pay stubs.

Yesterday I get some paperwork in the mail. Including paperwork for a home equity loan, which I did not ask for, paperwork advising me that I should pay $80 for a lawyer through the bank to help with this process, and a Good Faith Estimate showing me the refi will cost me $700 in settlement charges.

I'm quite pissed off right now. This is not what the loan officer said it was. I did not want an equity loan, nor would I pay $700 out of pocket. I don't have $700 to fork over on this right now.

At this point, I'm going to call her and tell her to shove this new loan up her ass.

But, before I do, do I have any other options? Can I haggle into getting the settlement charges dropped (as they had said there would not be any to begin with).
Or, should I just drop this whole thing?

Edit - Just got off the phone with the bank. Loan officer is going to give me a call in an hour after she's off a conference call.
The person I spoke with explained that the "Settlement charges" were not a cost to me, it was something the bank pays, but they had to disclose it to me.
And, that the refi loan actually IS a home equity loan, for the cost of the house.

Still a bit unsure about this. I want to go through the paperwork with the loan officer and have it all explained to me first.
Question Deals
buying home in the SF area
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 05:00:16 PM
g: 0 Posted By: proflin
Views: 269 Replies: 5 Hi, I really could use some help here -- My wife and I have been looking around in the bay area and I've been trying to run numbers on what we can afford. Between the two of us, we'd be making about 200k and the homes are around the 1 Million range.

We plan to stay in the area for the long term and are trying to decide if this is a time to buy a place or not. Current rents would be around 3K.

I'm also wondering if it makes sense to put more money down (my parents are willing to help and we can put as much as 40% without too much stress). So, with a 600K loan, my estimates work out to monthly:
3K (Principal/Interest), 400 (Homeowners Insurance), 300 (maintenance/utilities), 1K (property tax) .. so that's about $4700 per month. We take home about 9,500 / mo with our current deductions. Is our housing payment too much? Our agent is saying we should factor in our tax deduction (33% federal, 15% california) making our monthly payment ~2400.

This is a lot lower than a comparable 3K rent. Am I missing something with this calculation?

My main concern is if one of us loses our jobs, will we be able to still live comfortably? I don't want to be stressed about cash flow...
Real Estate Deals
Sitting on cash with a student loan decision to make...
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 05:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jd2010
Views: 161 Replies: 0 Time for another installment of "pay your student loans, deadbeat."

Backstory: Over the past 2.5 years my financial picture has gone like this:
Then Now IRA 0 15000 401k 0 30000 Cash 0 25000 CC Debt -20000 0 Student Loans -140000 -125000
I am juggling a lot of variables and want to rely on the wisdom of FWF to help me make the best decision. There are multiple issues at play making the right call here murky (at least in my opinion)

As of today, all student loans are consolidated on Income Based Repayment (IBR) at a weighted 7.2%. My monthly payment is around $900, which covers interest but makes near 0 dent in principal.

1) Employment - Employment and promotion prospects are murky due to bureaucracy and being under the sales dept umbrella at Fortune 500 employer. I could be out on my ass in a month if we miss #s and mgmt wants the stock to go up a penny or two. Job is also semi unique and am not sure how easily I could find similar employment at a similar comp level. Changing comp changes my monthly loan payment, and thus, the entire game if something should happen to jobby.

2) House - I missed the bottom by a lot and am not in any rush to buy now, but I'd like the liquidity to take advantage of the next crash when helicopter ben runs out of steam, along with any other FWF shenanigans that require some capital to scale.

3)Car - Has several issues and the carfax is ugly to where I am probably best served driving it into the ground. I may need to make a vehicle purchase in next year or in 5 years, depending on how long bubblegum and duct tape holds it together.

4)Bailout possibilities/point of no return- I have been hesitant to start going hard at my loans so far. I am at the income and loan amount combination, where if I don't see a jump in pay, I am probably better off doing the status quo for a while and seeing what comes down the chute from govt. Once I commit $ to loans I am basically opting out of whatever bailout may come in the future because my debt/income will likely be too low to benefit. If I get a promotion I'll likely be making enough to where I can knock them out in 5 years or so and procrastinating won't make sense. But as it is now I feel stuck.

Wildcard: GF will be graduating with 200k in debt in 1.5 years and taking job in health sector, with potentially much more lenient student loan forgiveness terms. We have no plans of getting married or having kids. However, we would consider a paper marriage should it behoove us from a student loan perspective where my loans may be able to be shell-gamed in combination with hers to maximize forgiveness benefits and start attacking the ones that make the most sense jointly.

As I see my options, they fall into varying degrees of the following two scenarios...

Continue to stockpile cash and pay the IBR minimums, which will cover interest and wait for the house of cards to fall and pray for free $.
1) Will be in good shape if I get canned
2) if my car takes a dump
3) if at some point I want to do a house
4) Most notably, am positioning myself as well as I can to take advantage of apotential wide-reaching student loan bailout when the whole higher ed bubble goes boom.

1) Passing onrisk-free guaranteed 7+% return (assuming no bailout)

Throw most of the 25k at student loans
1)7% return and I am a responsible FWF citizen who PHBDB.

1) Shoots all liquidity to hell, limited ability to do house or car for foreseeable future
2) Once I go down the path of actually paying back my loans, my loan total will shrink to where I will be far less likely to qualify for any govt cheddar. It is basically a 10 year decision if I decide to start paying them down.

Would appreciate outsider input as to whether Im overcomplicating this. If I do keep stockpiling, how aggressively do I then invest it ranging from 1% CD to putting it all on black in vegas?
Personal Finance Deals
Steinfeld v. Discover settlement
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: flwsoldier
Views: 14 Replies: 0 An e-mail came to my spam folder today about a Discover card settlement with estimated payouts between $20 and $40.
It doesn't look like it's possible to file the claim form online yet. "This functionality will be available at a later date."

I was lucky enough to get several hundred dollars in the Chase Payment Protector settlement, I'm not hopeful that will happen here, but ever since then I always join the class actions
You may be entitled to a payment under a proposed class action settlement. In the lawsuit entitled Andrew Steinfeld v. Discover Financial Services, et al., U.S.D.C., Northern District of California Case No. 3:12-cv-01118-JSW (the Action), Plaintiffs claim that Discover Financial Services or related parties (including Discover Bank, The Student Loan Corporation and Discover Home Loans) (Discover) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 227, et seq. (the TCPA), by placing calls on or after November 30, 2007 to cellular telephones through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice without the prior express consent of Plaintiffs and the putative class members. Discover denies these claims and denies any claim of wrongdoing. The Court has not decided who is right. However, in settlement of the Action, Discover has agreed to implement practice changes and establish a settlement fund of $8.7 million. This notice is only a summary. Details of the settlement, including information on how to file a claim, are available at www.SteinfeldTCPASettlement.com or by writing to or calling the Claims Administrator at the address or toll-free number below.

Discovers records indicate that you may be a member of the Settlement Class because Discover may have placed a call to your cellular telephone number using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice at some time between November 30, 2007 and September 10, 2013. Settlement Class Members may (1) submit Revocation Request Forms requesting that Discover cease making calls to their cellular telephone numbers using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, (2) submit Claim Forms requesting money from the settlement in the form of a check or in the form of a one-time credit against the balance of their Discover credit card account, (3) exclude themselves from the settlement, (4) object to the settlement, and/or (5) do nothing. Class Counsel estimate that settlement payments or credits will be between $20 and $40, but could be more or less based on factors including the number of claims submitted.

You cannot receive a payment unless your claim is received by February 25, 2014. In addition to payments to the Settlement Class Members, the settlement provides for not more than $2,175,000 in attorneys fees and costs and $2,000 in service awards for the two representative plaintiffs to be sought from the Court by counsel for the Settlement Class. In the event that there are any remaining monies from uncashed checks totaling $50,000 or less, such monies will be paid to charity.

If you do not want to be legally bound by the settlement, you may opt out of the settlement by sending a request for exclusion to the Claims Administrator postmarked no later than January 13, 2014. If you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will not receive any money or other benefits from the settlement. If you stay in the settlement (i.e. do not exclude yourself from the settlement), you may object to the settlement by explaining in writing why you do not like the settlement postmarked no later than January 13, 2014. You will be bound by the settlement if your objection is rejected. If you do nothing (i.e. submit no claim or request for exclusion) you will not receive any benefits from the settlement but will nevertheless be bound by the settlement. All Settlement Class Members who do not exclude themselves will be bound by any judgment approving the settlement and will give up any right to sue Discover or related parties for any known or unknown claims relating to calls made to their cellular telephone numbers, including alleged violations of the TCPA.


Credit Deals
New hard credit check
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: -1 Posted By: balor124
Views: 124 Replies: 3 I bought a home June 1 and took out a loan with Everhome mortgage. Today, nearly 6mo later, I just got a hard inquiry on my report from Fannie Mae. Should I be concerned about that? It knocked my credit score down by 3 points (according to CreditKarma) but its still pretty high.
Credit Deals
I need software that will preform an audit on any type of loan
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rianosaurus
Views: 127 Replies: 2 =16.0ptI have been searching for software for my job to assist us in preforming audits on our customers loans. I need it to handle various types of loans ranging from a fixed rate mortgage to a credit card / auto loan. I need it to be able to take in account that biweekly payments are being made. If you have knowledge of any such software that can assist with what I need can you please post the link to where I can find them.
Credit Deals
JP Morgan agrees to $1.5 billion reduction of principal on mortgages
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bighitter
Views: 0 Replies: 0 As part of today's announcedgovernment settlement of charges with JP Morgan Chase,$4 billion in aid to homeowners is required. At least $1.5 billion of the settlement is to be directed to borrowers who owe more than their property is worth (to reduce their loan balance). An additional $300 - $500 million must be used to make homeowner's monthly housing expense more affordable, such as reducing a homeowner's monthly mortgage payment. According to the wall street journal, an independent monitor will oversee the $4 billion in consumer relief to ensure it is completed by the end of 2016.

I haven't seen anything reported yet on the details of "who" or "how" the recipients will be chosen. Stay tuned.

Discussion Deals
Leveraged Investing - HELOC @ 3.25%, have questions
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 134 Replies: 4 Hi,

I'm considering leveraging some of my equity for investing purposes. I have approximately 40k equity in my condo.

I found a HELOC with 3.25% interest and these terms:

No closing costs, prepayment penalties or minimum draw requirements
Deduct 100% interest from taxes

I'll be using this money to invest into a couple dividend focused mutual funds. I know, it's risky, etc etc. I have some questions, none of which are about risk:

1) Are the payments really tax deductible?
2) Are there any stipulations on what the money can be used for? I assume not, but a lot of places do ask what the purpose for the loan is, so just wondering. I've had a HELOC before briefly, but didn't really look into it (I had it for 3 months to avoid PMI so I could hit 80% LTV).
3) Are there any fixed rate loans out there? I'm looking at Bankrate and it doesn't disclose if it's fixed or variable. From what I know most loans are variable. If the max APR is too high, it's not worth it.
4) I'm going to be doing another AOR in January for 0% APR/BT. Should I do this before or after? Credit score is somewhere between 700-750.
Question Deals
Fannie Mae hard inquiry seven months after refi?
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 07:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sullim4
Views: 68 Replies: 0 I closed on a refi in April of this year with Box. My loan was sold to Provident who then sold it to Fannie. As a result of this transaction I had a single hard inquiry on my credit report from Box.

Today I got a notification from TransUnion that Fannie initiated a hard pull on my credit yesterday. I certainly didn't request it nor did I apply for any new credit since I did my refi this past April. Are they allowed to initiate a hard pull like that, i.e. did I give them permission somewhere in the standard set of loan docs I signed? I am planning on disputing it based on the fact that I never got a hard pull from Fannie on any of my 2 prior mortgages, but I figured I'd ask the folks here if I'm being unreasonable or if this is a legitimate dispute. Thanks!
Discussion Deals
Gift of $7,000. Use it to pay down student loans or down payment?
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 144 Replies: 3 26 years old, $44,000 salary. I own a 2009 vehicle outright. Debts as follows:

Student Loan for $8235 at 6.8% ($110 monthly)
Student Loan for $6298 at 6.3% ($85 monthly)
Student Loan for $4985 at 5.3% ($64 monthly)
Student Loan for $1266 at 1.3% ($50 monthly)

I am contributing 6% of salary to my 401k. My company throws in another 4.5%. Monthly income from my job after taxes, health insurance, 401k, etc is about $2700. I also do side work with my buddy who owns a business and average about $300 a month from that.

This $7000 gift came from my elderly grandfather. Cut a check to all of his kids and grandkids, I don't want to know all the details, but they are basically giving away his money until it gets down below a certain level for tax planning purposes. Otherwise the government taxes it. He is in his late 80s, depression era guy who worked the same job for 45 years and retired with a good pension. Bought his (small) house for $6,000 in 1950, still lives there today.

I have some savings of my own, and with this gift, I am approaching $20,000 in money I could use for a down payment, Thinking I should just save up a little bit more and buy a place of my own. Target price range would be $120,000 to $160,000. The other option would be to just cut a check paying off my most expensive student loan ($110 savings a month). I am strongly leaning towards buying a place though.

What do you folks think my best option is?
Personal Finance Deals
HELOC with high LTV?
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: valueinvestor
Views: 124 Replies: 0 I have a property with a first mortgage of 60-70% LTV. Primary residence. I'd like to pull some out to buy a rental property cash (found a very good cash deal). I'm wondering if anyone is aware of lenders in Ohio that will do HELOCs with high loan to values on upper 600s credit? No recent derogatories. With the smaller loan amount, I'd prefer a higher APR with lower fees.
Real Estate Deals
Out of College Tax Help
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 07:00:05 AM
g: -1 Posted By: FalseKiva
Views: 51 Replies: 1 Hi,

I've just finished my first year at my first job out of college and take strides to be diligent with my personal finances (credit card churning, budgeting, etc all the FWF way). But, I'm new to taxes and want to know what is the best way to plan for this past year and future years to capitalize on deductions, etc.

Some details:
23 years old
120K annual salary
10K personal trading, mostly ST capital gains
maxed out 401K but did it through roth 401K (should I consider doing the regular next year to minimize taxes? My concern is if tax rates rise the roth is better)
Can I contribute to an IRA or Roth this year? Not sure how to best think about the MAGI and also not sure if I should contribute now or if I can wait until I do my taxes after 2013 ends
No mortgage so no deduction. No student loan so no deduction. I am filing as single household. Any other ways to claim deductions? Can I deduct transportation costs that were part of my job search?

Thanks in advance to the FWF community!

Tax Deals
g: 1 Posted By: Silverthunder
Views: 115 Replies: 0 This was a post (below) by dshibb from several months ago. I set off trying to take advantage of it several months ago. after web form contacting/ emailing about 15 places and not finding anything, I put the project on hold. is it worth it for me to keep searching?
Okay I've known about this for a very long time and I don't know why I haven't just come out and shared it with the FWF crowd this whole time.

The AOR happy crowd on here is always looking for good safe yield that they can drop short term money in right?

What if I told you that I was aware of a way to put down unlimited quantities of capital on something safer than a money market account that depending on your age paid out 2-3% guaranteed after a year and likely to yield 4%+ after a couple of years and didn't have any yield curve risk(like a MMA and deposit account)? This product also has cash available on about 2-5 weeks notice(if you're smart on how you handle it likely 2 weeks).

The low interest rate environment has created an anomaly in the single premium life insurance market. Interest crediting to permanent insurance policies is based on longer duration rates which are higher than short duration rates. There are numerous single premium products that back load their expenses allowing you to have a policy that turns positive almost immediately. You can abuse these vehicles as a short term place to drop cash and get higher yields than what you can get out of a deposit account. And this is all before taking into account that you also have a death benefit in case you pass away during the few years you're holding it.

Basically the game works like this. Due to interest rate environment strong early cash value products are getting interest rates associated with long term fixed income. You take out one of them drop in your cash and either when you need the money in the future or when short term rates(deposit rates) move up high enough to close the gap you surrender the contract and take your money out.

The counterintuitive part is that when you surrender assuming your under 59.5 you'll pay ordinary income taxes and 10% penalty *on the gain*. But if you were going to be putting money in a reward checking account, CD, etc. you would be paying ordinary income taxes anyway. Under this deal you get those deferred until surrender. So the key difference here is the 10% penalty, but since it only applies to earnings even after you account for that it's still a pretty good deal. If you're earning 3.5% on your money and surrender paying a 10% penalty the yield only drops from 3.5% to 3.15%. Still better than what you can get out of a normal deposit account. Furthermore unlike a deposit account the yield keeps on getting better year after year and is likely to be in excess of 4% after only a few years. If deposit rates stay low for a while that could result in some rather lucrative interest spreads over deposit rates.

Also, unlike a medium term bond fund you have no yield curve risk. If rates rise the bond fund falls. Instead the insurance carrier retains the yield curve risk on it's own balance sheet just like a deposit account and money market account.

For those of you asking 'Why don't I just take out policy loans instead of surrendering and paying taxes' the answer is that a single premium is practically guaranteed to be a MEC. That means that policy loans are still taxed as ordinary income. So since that is already baked in the smarter move is either surrender or combo of withdrawal and reduced death benefit. The small problem with the latter is that MECs are taxed on a LIFO basis which means that you would be withdrawing earnings first and basis would remain in the policy.

For those asking 'Why don't you take out a policy that has a long enough pay period to no longer be a MEC so you can get tax free loans?' well those things A) don't turn positive right away so you're taking a risk that short interest rates will rise canceling out the anomaly before you've had a chance to capitalize on it and B) If you use policy loans you have to keep rather large chunk in the contract long term to keep it in force; that weds you to holding it over the long term and if that's the case most people would be better off holding fixed income inside of qualified account negating any perceived benefit(hence why the usual advice to everybody is to only look at permanent insurance for what would have been fixed income holdings after you've maxed out all of your qualified accounts).

Few notes:
1) Make sure you don't take any product with surrender charges because you might be in and out within a few years.
2) The standard hold up for a surrender is that most carriers delay it and inform the agent of your intent to surrender allowing him to try to 'rescue' the policy by convincing you to not surrender if he wants. You can have that agent waive his right to hold up the surrender by a couple weeks. I'm not positive that every carrier will accept this, but when taking out a policy having a letter signed by the agent waiving his right to hold up the surrender should make the time period to withdraw your funds much shorter(a money market account holds up funds for a few days this would hold it up only for a couple weeks).
3) Particularly among products very competitive in the short term the commissions on doing this are very low. Usually it's in the 2-4% of lump sum amount and nothing recurring. That is low for any advisor used to either a lot more up front or an AUM fee that is paid out annually. You might notice agents not particularly that excited about doing this.
4) Increasingly insurance carriers have been increasing their commission 'clawback' periods. That means that an agent could have almost all of his commission clawed back if you surrender within a couple years meaning he now owes the insurance carrier. You may want to weigh whether it's worth it to inform the agent of your likely surrender down the road. If you're not it's likely you wont be able to ask for the letter I mentioned in #2, and just be stuck calling him to expedite the surrender down the road. Maybe you can work out some other arrangement so he isn't worried about doing all this work for you only to have his small commission clawed back in a couple years.

So essentially we're talking about arbitraging the interest rate market through a permanent insurance product. You get the risks of very short duration fixed income(like a money market account) while getting the yields more indicative of longer duration fixed income. The anomaly wont last forever; when interest rates rise the anomaly disappears and you surrender and move your money to something higher yielding.

Personal Finance Deals
Defaulting on Student Loans
Added on : Friday November 15th 2013 04:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: aiccdd
Views: 210 Replies: 5 I owe 34k in student loans and my husband owes $44k.

The monthly debt amount is ~$800/month.

My question is.... we already own a home and cars. What would really happen if we stopped paying on our student loans? I understand your credit gets shot, but we already have lines of credit with multiple credit cards, and already already live in our home. I understand when we purchase a car in a few years, the interest rate would probably be insanely high. But what other financial repercussions would occur?

Personal Finance Deals
Suggestions for Inheritance Windfall
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kainer
Views: 118 Replies: 6 Hi FW Financers,

I had a relative die, and my wife and I will be receiving a fairly significant inheritance ~ $35,000

I'm looking for suggestions as to what to do with the money. Wondering if I should pay down debt, invest, etc. I'd like to put some into an educational savings account for my newborn son. I'm really looking to get the best bang for my buck. I appreciate any advice.

Also, We have a 2 month old son and I'd like to be able to move to a house in a nicer school district by the time he is school age - ~ 5 years. Our house is unfortunately underwater, but we're current on payments, just Refinanced 1.5 years ago.

Current Debt:
1.5 years into a $150k mortgage (refi) at 4.0% APR - house currently worth $110k according to Zillow - Currently up to date on all payments (paying a little extra each month)
$7,843.91 Student Loan @ 4.0%
$10,779.10 Student Loan @ 4.25%
16,569.25 Car Loan @ 2.99% APR

Personal Finance Deals
Best Ways To Churn At this Point...
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 05:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 101 Replies: 2 Hello FWers. I'm looking for some advice from people. Namely, these questions:
1) Should I get more credit cards (Or will it hurt my credit too much?)
2) Which Credit Cards Should I get? (To Maximize churn, good starting bonus, etc)
3) Should I get any with annual fees that I have been avoiding like the plague?

I am looking for more ways to churn money as possible. As of right now, I have stuck with nothing but No annual fee, rotating 5% category credit cards. These have been incredibly lacking lately. Apparently they are playing a game for the last year called "Match what the other is doing!", thus making them insignificant to having multiple (aside from being able to put more into the category). I want to maximize as much different revenue from all categories as possible. At the same time, I don't wantrandom cards for 1 tiny category that I barely contribute anything to - especially if it has an annual fee tacked on to it. While I don't want to HURT my credit, I'm not at a point where I think I can hurt it too much either. I have 0 loans under my belt (including college), 0 mortgage, but ~4 years experience with credit cards and 0 late fees. I do not pay interest on anything.

The other day we decided to buy $2k for wooden flooring replacement. I had nothing to do other than get a measly 1% out of it. I felt bad getting so little out of that. We just got back from a trip where we had to spend on hotels, I feel we don't get enough CashBack out of trips as well... For that, I was thinking the Marriott with 70k points, but that is an annual fee card.

Current Credit Cards:

Discover - Rotating 5% Categories
Chase - Rotating 5% Categories
Citi - Rotating 5% Categories
American Express, Costco - 3% Off Gas (Not used), 2% Travel (Use this for flights/hotels), 1% Else. Mostly this card I use for risky transactions, AMX is known for being the most reliable in helping
Bank of America, Cash Rewards - 3% Off Gas (Use this), 2% Off Groceries (Use this), 1% Else
Bank of America, Better Balance Rewards - Free $ Churn

Personal Life:
I'm in my mid 20's. I'm about to get married, my fiance has a mortgage that is entirely under her name. We have a lot of expenses coming up with the wedding, honey moon, and more. While we want to move, there currently is just no means to with our job situation. We hate the town, but we have excellent opportunity with our career. It's a mixed bag.

Anythign else, feel free to ask
Credit Deals
Personal loan as investment vehicle - Thoughts?
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 30 Replies: 0 Hi,

I've been mulling over the idea of getting a personal loan and using it as an investment vehicle for a while now. I've been getting letters for personal loans from various places (probably due to my rotating 0% APR CC debt) with the latest coming from Lending Club, advertising up to $35k loan with APR starting at 6.78%. This is, of course, contingent on credit score as rates go as high as 30%.

I estimate ~20% yearly returns on my investments. This is based on custom asset allocation and I understand the risk associated with it.

My understanding is that personal loans are NOT treated as taxable income. Therefore I would only be taxed on income (profit) arising from these loans, correct?

Assuming the risk, if I can get a low enough interest rate I could make some decent cash off this. Financially, I've never had a problem juggling multiple accounts, credit lines, paying on time, etc.

On loan applications, it asks for the reason. I chose 'other'. Also, I haven't checked my credit in a few months, but it's above 700, most likely below 760 due to revolving debt, so I would qualify as 'good' credit. Since they do a hard pull, I'd like to know (if possible) what kind of interest rate I'd be eligible for prior to the pull, to know if it's even worth it.

Has anyone done this? Thoughts? Pros/cons? Any caveats?

Personal Finance Deals
'How a $2 debt almost turned into $90,000'
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 05:00:11 AM
g: -1 Posted By: kriskos4
Views: 126 Replies: 1 http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/13/pf/sheila-bair-store-cards.moneymag/index.html?iid=Lead

The cliffs are this lady applied for a store credit card because of a discount they were offering. She didn't pay the bill for a few months (forgot?), her credit got dinged, and her husband got a higher rate on a home loan because of that. Of course it's not her fault, she blames 'predatory' practices at stores trying to get people to open up credit cards.

General Economics Deals
Need advice on renting out my primary home (Updated)
Added on : Tuesday November 12th 2013 04:00:12 PM
g: -1 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 2820 Replies: 26 I'm the guy who is moving to Switzerland (http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1300987). I am looking for some advice on renting out my primary home. Here are the details:

-Purchased the house in August of 2009 for $165,000 and I received the $8,000 credit, essentially bringing my purchase price down to $157,000
-Current value of the house is around $200,000
-It is in a cookie cutter neighborhood, and it is among the largest and most expensive in the neighborhood.
-I have a HEL at 3.99% fixed, 83 months left on the loan. Current balance $87,xxx

Monthly expenses (current):
$1214 - HEL payment
$424 - property tax (pay in full at the end of the year, this is the yearly cost /12. It will also be higher next year due to no longer being owner occupied)
$96 - insurance (pay in full, yearly cost /12)
$54 - HOA (pay in full, yearly cost /12)
Total: $1788

Property management fee will be 7% on top of this. I would need to charge at least $1925/month for rent just to break-even from a cashflow perspective, and that's before I take maintenance/repairs and vacancies into consideration.

I've had a realtor from the property management company advertise the house on MLS for $2000/month for the past 4 weeks. I've had 3 showings so far, which the realtor says is very low. When we set the $2000/month price, the realtor did a market analysis and said that price was fine. A week ago, a house that's very close to mine came on the market for rent at $1800 a month. My house is a little nicer on the inside, I have tons of landscaping work, I allow for pets on a case-by-case basis, I'm including all appliances, so I am adding a little bit of value compared to the other house, but probably not much. The realtor wants me to drop the price to $1800 a month. That would leave me in a pretty bad position from a cashflow perspective. I really don't want to go this low.

I'd like to try adding a bonus for the renter's realtor. Normally they get half a month's rent as commission. What if I were to increase this by say $500? That's 50% more than what they would get normally. Is this worth a try? Any advice is appreciated. I have to move by the end of December, but the sooner I move, the better.

I've also tried advertising the house on Craigslist for $1800 a month, but I haven't had any interest. A refinance is basically not an option, I don't want to deal with the headache of refinancing when I'm moving.
Personal Finance Deals
Getting rid of the car I shouldn't have bought
Added on : Tuesday November 12th 2013 04:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sc9092
Views: 206 Replies: 10 I started a thread a few months ago about how I purchased a car I shouldn't have when I got out of college. Now I am just about upside down on a 72 month loan for a 2012 Dodge Challenger have about 25,500 left on the loan payments are around 400/month. I was looking to just sell the car outright and try to make my money back on it but I never had any luck doing that. So I have been looking for other cheaper vehicles I could buy and hopefully pay off within a few year instead of having this long term loan and maybe the dealer wouldn't hurt me too bad. Well after a few visits to dealerships I could never get a good offer for my car so i was going to just start paying extra towards the Challenger and maybe put a dent in the loan. Yesterday I found a 2008 ford explorer with about 60000 miles on it listed for 13800. I went and looked at it and it is a nice vehicle and they first offered me 22000 for my car and I declined because that would be financing about 18k which I do not want to do. So they came back and offered me what I owed on the car which was very tempting but I was still worried because I am not completely sold on the explorer(have never owned one). Got one more offer of 26,000 which would be about 500 more than what i owe on the car and I would be financing about 13. I could do the loan for 42 month and pay about 350/month or 36 and make the payment i was on the challenger. Either way I would pay more and try to get it paid off, it just looks better to tackle a 3 year 13k loan that a 72 month 25k loan. Any advice on this?
Personal Finance Deals
Basic Finance/Budgeting Help Needed
Added on : Saturday November 09th 2013 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: pteach
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Hi,
I just graduated and got a job with a technology consulting company in atlanta georgia. I have no idea how finance/tax works. I've pretty much had my taxes done by a family friend for the past few years and have not invested any money in stocks or ira or anything.
I want to get some advice on how to properly position my finances. (How much to save for taxes, rainy day, stocks/investing)

No student loans (worked during college)
Paid off my car (high yearly maintenance due to it being 10+ years old and 200,000+ miles)
Salary: $57,000
age; 25
Will be renting an apartment (See myself in the job for atleast 5 years at the same salary)

Personal/Food/Living/Car Maintenance: $20,000 - $22,000

I'm just an average joe with an average risk appetite in regards to the stock market investing. (I've followed the market for a little bit but never invested)

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Personal Finance Deals
Screwed myself with student loans. Now what?
Added on : Thursday November 07th 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mike2358
Views: 198 Replies: 1 So the 19 year old blissfully ignorant version of me decided it was a good idea to finance a $45k/year education 100% on private loans through Salle Mae.Years later my tab is up to about $250,000 and growing. Last time I checked the monthly payment they want from me is about $2000/mo which I obviously can't pay.I make enough money to live ok IF I didn't have that loan hanging over my head and right now the loans are completely in default. I've pretty much accepted that I can't pay them in their current state and I'm not sure what to do. I've seriously considered leaving the country and working on gaining citizenship elsewhere.I'm wondering what the options are for someone in my shoes. I'm assuming my credit is pretty much shot for life now and I'm scared to buy anything of value ever (car, house, ect) because it could be seized by my creditors no?I've heard stories of people forming companies and making the company the owner of their assets and use that as a shelter but I'm not too familiar with how that works.If anyone could share some insight into my situation I'd really appreciate it.Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Car Loan Credit Inquiries
Added on : Thursday November 07th 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Leaves82
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I just got a new car loan and I got notice from CreditKarma that I was hit with 7 hard credit inquiries onto my credit report. Is it typical to get this many when getting a car - and some of them are posted twice for the same reporting agency? I'm worried about the result it's going to have on my credit. I knew that getting a loan was going to affect my credit...but 7 hard inquiries just seems a little crazy!
1. BMO HARRIS B Bank Nov 5, 2013 Added 2. WILDE TOYOTA Automotive Nov 5, 2013 Added 3. TOYOTA MTR C Finance Nov 5, 2013 Added 4. BMO HARRIS B Bank Nov 5, 2013 Added 5. WFDS/WDS Credit Union Nov 5, 2013 Added 6. JPM CHASE Credit Union Nov 5, 2013 Added 7. LANDMARK CRU Credit Union Nov 5, 2013 Added
Home Equity Loan issue
Added on : Wednesday November 06th 2013 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: CollegeSavings
Views: 73 Replies: 0 I applied for HE loan for an investment property with the bank. Property is Single Family (Duplex). For legal description, it is considered Single Family. After 5 weeks of requesting all documents (more than normal loan), bank rejected loan funding because property is Duplex. On their website as well as on the loan application, no where it was written that they don't fund duplex type. On their website as well as application, they have clearly stated that they fund single family.
Only at the point of rejection, they advised me about this issue. Bank officer indicated that it is written in their 46 page internal document that they don't fund duplex.
Do I have any recourse here?
Real Estate Deals
Savings Question
Added on : Wednesday November 06th 2013 05:00:19 AM
g: 1 Posted By: historystudy
Views: 170 Replies: 2 I'm currently 25 and am anticipating that I'll at least be looking at going for an MBA in the next 2-3 years. My debate really boils down to whether I should deposit more into my 401k or keep it outside of that account knowing that I'll need it for school.

Salary: Made roughly $60k/year for the last 2 years, now making $70k
401k: ~$13k
Emergency fund: ~$20k
Brokerage account: ~$20k
Condo equity: ~$15k after 6% selling fees assuming no taxes

The school I'm interested in will run about $90k/year all-in (tuition, housing,medical expenses, travel home, etc.) and so a total of $180k. If I work another 2 years, then I will wind up with maybe $100k in my non-401k accounts plus the ~20-25k equity in my condo and ~$30k in my 401k.

Based on this scenario, I would leave my 401k alone, and use the ~$125k I have saved up for education. After the first year, I would likely get student loans for $60-70k.

Should I do that, or should I be funneling more into my 401k to get the tax benefits now? I can stash away the full deduction allowed each year, which helps with my taxes now. I could then loan myself the money needed for school at that point, but the only challenge is that loans like this require payments every other week and I won't be in an earning position until after I find a job after graduating.

So based on where I am now, any thoughts on whether I should continue saving money in my after-tax accounts or move to pre-tax accounts?
Personal Finance Deals
Trustee Real Estate Foreclosure Auction
Added on : Monday November 04th 2013 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: qlalani
Views: 103 Replies: 0 First time auction buyer and doing my homework. I see the following wording on some (but not all) of the foreclose notices:

"The deed of trust provides that it secures the payment of the
indebtednesses and obligations therein described (collectively, the "Obligations") including but
not limited to (a) the promissory note in the original principal amount of $78,498.46, executed by
[redacted borrower] , and payable to the order of [redacted lender]; (b) all
renewals and extensions of the note; and (c) any and all present and future indebtednesses of
[redacted borrower] to [redacted lender]. [Redacted lender] is the
current owner and holder of the Obligations and is the beneficiary under the deed of trust. "

Does this mean that I'd owe an additional $78K if I was the winning bidder (ie it's an encumbrance)? Or does this just say what the original loan was for?
Real Estate Deals
Wells Fargo Denies Student Loan and Offers $4k Payment?
Added on : Monday November 04th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: xSTRIKEx6864
Views: 49 Replies: 0 Has anyone ever heard of this happening? Wells Fargo denied a student loan application, then 6 months later sent a letter saying they made an error and offered either the loan at a lower interest rate or offered a courtesy payment of over $4,000.

I thought this was a scam, but the phone number on the letter to call verifies out as the phone number on Wells Fargo's website. They also asked only for verification of address (which was on the letter) and name to send out a payment by check.
General Economics Deals
33 year old - how am I doing, and how can I maximize what I have?
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: adirondak
Views: 193 Replies: 1 I am 33 years old, working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles - an industry known for not paying well - at least until you reach the upper echelons. I also own a tutoring company that is doing ok. I am struggling to save as much as possible and maximize the returns on the funds I do have. I'm curious to know how I'm doing financially in general and if there are any ways to leverage the money I have to make more that I may not be thinking of. Here are my details:

Salary: $52,000 w/ health benefits, no 401k
Earnings from Tutoring co.: approx $1-2k a month during school year
Tutoring co. expenses: About $850 a month
Savings: about $6000 (Make contributions whenever possible, usually from tutoring co. earnings)
Investments: $5000 (Monthly contribution of $200)
Retirement (Roth IRA): $31,000 (from old 401 ks) - contributing full amount this year to Roth
Credit Card debt: $5500 (about $2500 at 0%, 1500 at 4%, and the remainder at about 15%) - pay well over minimum each month, but use credit cards for nearly everything in order to get frequent flier points, which I have about 250,000 of
Car Payment: $310 / mo (2 more years until paid off)
Phone: $110 / mo. (need smartphone to run business)
Gym: $35/mo.
Rent: $840/mo.
Student Loans: $13,000 at 3.5% - pay minimum each month

Other: I live in a tiny apartment alone, for $840/mo. Own a 2010 Corolla (bought for $13,000 w 14,000 miles jan. 2013) 3 year loan. I drive a lot because in addition to owning the tutoring company, I tutor a lot of students as well. I put a lot of money into my tutoring company when I can in the hopes of growing it, adding to business. This year has been my worst ever, because with the horrible job market in LA, many people have turned to tutoring as a second job, so more competition. Also, people are willing to pay less this year for a tutor it seems.

I also often take classes in the hopes of expanding my knowledge base in entertainment. When possible, I've tried to audit. Sometimes, I've paid for the classes. Right now, I'm taking an entertainment finance class that I paid $777 for at UCLA extension. I find it very difficult to contribute everything to savings that I'd like to, but I still make contributions whenever I can.

How does it seem that I'm doing? Any advice?

Personal Finance Deals
Advice for a 24 year old - what to pay off and how much to save?
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 11:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ucb11
Views: 89 Replies: 0 Here's another "what should I do about my finance?" thread.
I'm looking to save enough to buy a condo/small house (hopefully in a year or two) and trying to position myself to get there, here's some info about me and what I'm currently doing. Any suggestions on savings/paying debt would be much appreciated!

- 24 years old
- Got a master's degree right after undergrad, work in banking/investments
- Moved back in with the parents
- Income of $40k base + approx $11k in commissions (not sure what raise/bonus will look like until next month, 401k matching and pension based on base salary only)
- Net take home pay is about $2,700/month (after insurance, 401k, ESPP)

- Contributing 8% toward Roth 401k, or $270/month, employer matches dollar for dollar up to 5%, but deposits to Trad 401k account (Current Value: $10k/ROTH, $10k/Trad)
- Employer also contributes 4% of base salary toward pension and earns 4.5% interest

- 18% of paycheck toward savings or about $475/month (Current Value: $11k)
- Invest $100/monthly into mutual funds (Current Value: $4k), $50/month into ESPP

- $220/month - cell phone for 5 lines, contract ends soon will switch plans to get it down to $150/month
- $90/month - auto insurance
- $150/month - gas
- $55/month - parking
- $400/month - auto loan ($8,800 remaining, 2.41%)
- $350/month - federal student loans, on the extended repayment plan (I budgeted for paying on the standard plan but like the idea of having a lower monthly minimum payment and can use the "difference" toward paying down individual loans instead of having it all allocated evenly
LOAN ORIG LOAN AMT CURRENT PRIN BAL RATE MONTHLY PMT 1 12,000 13,360 6.80 95 2 12,000 12,810 6.80 90 3 8,500 8,380 6.80 58 4 8,500 8,380 6.80 58 5 3,969 3,900 6.80 28 6 2,454 2,400 6.00 17

Student Loans: I know the smart thing to do would be pay down the student loans as quick as possible due to the higher rate. However, I was planning on using bonus/tax refund to pay down/off the auto loan in the next 6 months to free up cash flow. I would then use that extra cash flow and direct most/all of it toward paying down the student loans to knock them off one at a time. Otherwise I'd have about 22 months remaining on the auto loan. Is this a dumb idea?
Savings and Mutual Funds: more or less?
401k Contributions, should I switch to Trad or some combination of both? With employer matching, I end up getting roughly 50/50 into Roth/Traditional. I figure I'll switch to Trad later on as my income increases.

I could probably do much better about aggressively paying these loans off by cutting down my spending. I end up getting about $600-700 month into my "living and fun account" that is used for gas, food and pretty much what I want.Let me know if additional data points are needed.TYIA for any advice!
Personal Finance Deals
Does MBA make sense for me?
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 12:00:03 AM
g: 1 Posted By: underleveraged
Views: 11 Replies: 0 I'm age 28/29 so I'm starting to reach the point of no return. Either I go now or I'll be too old to go full-time from admission point of view. I can possibly do a 3 year dragged out part-time program while working but I'm not living near a good MBA school within commutable distance at the moment.

I graduated from a regular state university (no brand value) and I want to continue working in the financial services industry. I was able to pay off all debt (including student loans) and that was an amazing feeling. I have no outgoing payments toward any debt. What worries me about going for an MBA is the $100K debt from the top programs.

If I didn't go for my MBA, I think I could live a comfortable life just making normal salary. Probably would be able to afford a house purchase as well with a decent salary. If I went for my MBA, I would try to make a transition into a finance career in Asia as that's something I've been interested in doing lately. I believe there are tremendous opportunities there for someone like me who is bilingual, educated in the US, have good work experience, etc. It wouldn't make sense to go overseas with just my state university degree as the employment sectors in Asia care about your educational pedigree.

In summary, I have two choices:
1. Stay in the US working, save the money, and possibly do a PT later in my life as I work. I probably would never go overseas at that point.
2. Go for the MBA at a good school and pursue an international career.

Do you think the MBA debt from a FT program will be worth the long-term career benefits for someone in my situation?

Investing Deals
Best way to consolidate debt?
Added on : Saturday November 02nd 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: LeonWhite38
Views: 36 Replies: 0 This isnt for me its for my mom and I want to help her out the smartest way I can. Thats why I came to you guys. She has two different loans through two different loan companies and owes $5,000 for one and around $5,400 for the other. I dont know what the interest rates are, but I think it goes without saying that both are ridiculous.

Other than that, she has one credit card with roughly $1,500 on it and shes a little behind on her rent, electric and cable bills. Im guessing that puts her at around $15,000-$18,000 in debt. Ive looked into personal loans for her from banks and credit unions, but her credit isnt the best right now. Ive also heard to stay away from debt consolidation companies. What else can she do?
Personal Finance Deals
Who beats USAA for Insurance and Home Loans?
Added on : Saturday November 02nd 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fortezza
Views: 64 Replies: 1 I listen to personal finance podcasts daily, and they periodically advise "re-shop insurance and savings accounts often" . It bothers me because I'm very happy with the having my non-savings and non-investment accounts with USAA. So should I bother with shopping for new insurance when I already enjoy low rates and great customer service?

Short Term Savings: Ally Bank
Long Term: Large Investment Firm

I've heard that Amica Mutual is good for insurance, but not that they beat USAA.

What do you guys think?
Real Estate Deals
Need advice on renting out my primary home
Added on : Friday November 01st 2013 08:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 184 Replies: 6 I'm the guy who is moving to Switzerland (http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1300987). I am looking for some advice on renting out my primary home. Here are the details:

-Purchased the house in August of 2009 for $165,000 and I received the $8,000 credit, essentially bringing my purchase price down to $157,000
-Current value of the house is around $200,000
-It is in a cookie cutter neighborhood, and it is among the largest and most expensive in the neighborhood.
-I have a HEL at 3.99% fixed, 83 months left on the loan. Current balance $87,xxx

Monthly expenses (current):
$1214 - HEL payment
$424 - property tax (pay in full at the end of the year, this is the yearly cost /12. It will also be higher next year due to no longer being owner occupied)
$96 - insurance (pay in full, yearly cost /12)
$54 - HOA (pay in full, yearly cost /12)
Total: $1788

Property management fee will be 7% on top of this. I would need to charge at least $1925/month for rent just to break-even from a cashflow perspective, and that's before I take maintenance/repairs and vacancies into consideration.

I've had a realtor from the property management company advertise the house on MLS for $2000/month for the past 4 weeks. I've had 3 showings so far, which the realtor says is very low. When we set the $2000/month price, the realtor did a market analysis and said that price was fine. A week ago, a house that's very close to mine came on the market for rent at $1800 a month. My house is a little nicer on the inside, I have tons of landscaping work, I allow for pets on a case-by-case basis, I'm including all appliances, so I am adding a little bit of value compared to the other house, but probably not much. The realtor wants me to drop the price to $1800 a month. That would leave me in a pretty bad position from a cashflow perspective. I really don't want to go this low.

I'd like to try adding a bonus for the renter's realtor. Normally they get half a month's rent as commission. What if I were to increase this by say $500? That's 50% more than what they would get normally. Is this worth a try? Any advice is appreciated. I have to move by the end of December, but the sooner I move, the better.

I've also tried advertising the house on Craigslist for $1800 a month, but I haven't had any interest. A refinance is basically not an option, I don't want to deal with the headache of refinancing when I'm moving.
Personal Finance Deals
32 Years Old - Financial Advice
Added on : Thursday October 31st 2013 05:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: atca1999
Views: 138 Replies: 1 Hi Guys -

Figured id ask what the best things to do with my money is...besides buying my own place...

1) 32 Year Old male
2) 60k Income - probably 3-5 % raise per year - software company, I do market research - looking to leave.
3) Health Ins paid by employer
4) 4 % 401k match automatically (as long as put in 4 %), putting 10 % total in
5) 2002 Civic paid in cash in 2002 -105k miles
6) Savings 250k Cash, few grand in stock market , about 30k in 401k total
7) No girlfriend...
8) Live in Connecticut

$0 Car, $0 Rent, $62 Cell, , no student loans (Degree in MIS - do market research), spend approx $400 a month on food, leisure, etc in total.

Live with parents on separate floor of house, need to move out , pay $0 rent(should have long time ago before I get those comments).... Houses in area approximately 250-300k (2000 sq feet or so, obviously bigger for more and smaller for more in CT).. What should I put down on a house, do with rest of my money, etc...
Personal Finance Deals
Which settlement co's Penfed uses?
Added on : Thursday October 31st 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: finddeals2
Views: 103 Replies: 0 Hi:

I am considering going for the Penfed 5/5 program. It requires the use of their preferred title co for closings.
I am looking for homes in Phoenix metro area. While putting in the offer the Title/Closing Co is required to be stated in the offer contract as they will be holding the escrow.

Does anyone know who it might be in Phoenix metro area?

I called Penfed, and was told a closing agent is assigned when the loan is being processed.

Thanks in advance

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 162 Replies: 0 I'm 28, my wife is 25. We have twin daughters, 2.5 years old.
My wife will graduate from college in two semesters from Penn State World Campus with a B.S. degree in Human Resources.
She has not worked for over 5 years, since she moved in with me. She quit her job, and I've been the sole source of income.
She is currently a "stay at home mom" in addition to going to school online full-time.

I make roughly $80k a year.

I owe $70k in student loans.
My loans are on the income based repayment option.
Yes, I understand that I'm not even paying the interest. The plan is, once she graduates and gets a good job, to put all of her income (besides what it takes to pay for childcare) at paying everything off ASAP.
Right now, the goal is to just keep our heads above water. Obviously we did not expect twins, and it has incurred a lot more expense than expected when we decided to have a kid.
I am concerned, if she works, my payment goes up beyond the extra money she is bringing in (if any at all) after paying for childcare.

She is concerned about not having anything on her resume for 5 years, and has started applying at entry-level jobs, to beef her resume up.
She has an offer for $10 an hour to work as a "sample lady" at WalMart, for a contracting company. This would be roughly 30 hours a week, mostly during the afternoons.

This means, we will need to start paying for childcare. This would actually be good for my girls, because they are a bit behind speech wise, and it would be very good for them to be around other kids.

I have a couple of concerns. If she works 30 hours a week, she could potentially bring home up 15k a year. This could either raise my IBR payment, or totally knock me out of IBR, meaning my payments would almost triple.
However, if she does get the job, its just going to be barely enough to pay for childcare. She would be doing it only to get something recent on her resume, to get out of the house, and so that the kids can have some time around other kids. We've looked into playgroups, and there just aren't any in our area. We live in a rural farming area.

I found thishttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Things-to-Know-About-the-Child-and-Dependent-Care-Credit

"The credit can be up to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending upon your adjusted gross income."

So...I can only write off 35% of the child care costs? meaning, 65% of her income is still going to go towards our gross for the year.

Are there other child care tax reducing methods that I do not know off? Any advice?


Personal Finance Deals
Looking for ideas on using credit limits for fun (and profit)?
Added on : Sunday October 27th 2013 05:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mrand
Views: 169 Replies: 0 In the pursuit of miles and points, the wife-unit and I each have 4 credit cards that we've met the minimum spend on (on top of a few other credit cards that I hold to maintain some old credit line on our credit reports). Sum total we probably have 10 or so credit cards, each with a credit limit in the $15k to $20k range. After meeting the most recent minimum spend, I got to wondering what other reasonable risk things we could do other than just cancelling the cards and going on to the next set of offers. I'm aware of microloans, but from what I gather, the return isn't that great, although obviously I could use that to generate more mile/point activity. If the scheme involved the need for cash (or paying off a number of the credit cards), I could manage that as well. I've thought about buying expensive items (on credit card) and then turning around and reselling them for a profit, but don't have the space to be dealing cars. Considered jewels, but I don't have any first hand experience in that area, nor the time right now to become knowledgeable enough.

Anyone doing anything else along these lines? Thanks for any ideas!
Credit Deals
tax and insurance
Added on : Friday October 25th 2013 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jcastaneros
Views: 13 Replies: 0 Is it really necessary to put taxes on insurances? I was reading some stuff earlier

Tax Deals
US Mortgage for Expat
Added on : Friday October 25th 2013 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: aznshadoboy77
Views: 107 Replies: 2 Hi,
I'm looking at buying a new townhouse (closing a year from now, investment loan, 66% LTV). I currently live and work in the US (on a US payroll), and I've prequalified with my current income. However, I've been tentatively offered an opportunity by my company to move to somewhere in the Eurozone, where I would most likely be paid in Euros by the European branch of my company. It would also most likely involve a significant pay raise.

If I take this offer, I would most likely be moving before my mortgage close, so I assume that the final qualification before closing would have to be based on my European pay stubs - does anybody have any experience with this? My credit score is pretty decent (740+ FICO), and I plan on maintaining my US credit cards and also a place of residence (physical address). Will US mortgage companies qualify and close me on a loan based on international pay stubs?

I know I could ask the company that did my prequalification, but I don't want to raise any red flags for underwriting later.

Real Estate Deals
Planning to sell the house and travel 48 states for 2 years
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Free1As1A1Bird
Views: 61 Replies: 0 Hi FW friends!
My wife and I are planning to sell our house and travel the country for 2 years, startingnext year. Our youngestkid is starting college next year. We were hoping you could give us some pointers.
Our house is paid off, no other loans either. We have gathered a lot offurniture and stuffover the years. If we sell the house, we will need a place to store our belongings while we travel. I never used a public storage. Are those public storages safe? Whatabout paying a friend or relative to rent out their basement and store stuff?
We are planning to drive around the lower 48 states and stay in extended-stay type hotels/motels. I heard that people are renting their furnished houses on a weekly basis. Are these rental houses safe? Is there a reputable web site for short term personal property rentals other than Craigslist.com and the first 10 search results on Google?
Do you recommend a car or a SUV for the 2 year long road trip?
Discussion Deals
Let's end the week with a forehead slap
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DSJ
Views: 99 Replies: 0 A newly registered user wrote this today on Flyertalk:

I am a medical student who has saved enough student loan money to buy an engagement ring and have around $3,000 left to attempt a getaway over Christmas break to celebrate our engagement.

My fiance-to-be (I hope!) loves traveling as do I. She has been many more places than I and neither of us are the sit and relax type. We love seeing new sights and experiencing cultures in different lights and from different perspectives. I am torn in that I could use some help with destination recommendations for Dec 27 - Jan 1. Most of the places I have found have crazy expensive rates for those dates because of peak travel season. I can get to Europe for about the price it would cost to head to Florida during those dates.

I have looked everywhere from Paris to Puerto Vallarta to Curacao to Iceland without making much headway. Any interesting/romantic/adventurous trips or ideas would be very appreciated!

Discussion Deals
Should I put 0 or 1 on my w-4?
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muniee
Views: 186 Replies: 2 I'm 26, single, and own nothing. I have 50k in student loan debt, and have never filed my taxes before. I currently make $8/hr + commission, which option makes more sense 0, or 1?
Personal Finance Deals
High Mileage Auto Loan
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 1 Posted By: mwa423
Views: 169 Replies: 3 I feel odd asking a question that I really should know the answer to being that I used to work in auto lending, but this was a little different ball game than I used to work in.

I have a co-worker who got a promotion and now has to have a work truck. The company is now moving towards giving higher salaries in lieu of providing company vehicles and this position is being paid a higher salary but not getting a company truck. The company has offered to sell the company truck the prior person had, it's in fantastic condition and a good price. The problem is that the truck is a Diesel 2008 Ford F450 that has been well maintained, but it has 150,000 miles which is outside most lenders' underwriting guidelines. I've had the guy reach out to local banks/credit unions near our company headquarters and he's waiting to hear back but if anybody has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

tl;dr: Does anybody know any lenders who will offer car loans on high mileage collateral?
Personal Finance Deals
Applying for a mortgage but have a bank history issue
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: cap217
Views: 167 Replies: 1 Quick story...

Girlfriend and I have been looking for a house. She has a lot of student loan debt and in return credit to limit ratio is over extended. She has $120k in student loans. She makes $65,000 a year and receives some money from the HRSA program to repay for 2 years. This will get her to around $70k when that s done. I helped her with finance stuff and she is on the right track and has a credit score of 680. We have been saving but in her account mostly bc she makes more and when we want to buy a house, she will be the primary borrower.

I have only a car lease for debt. I think my AMEX and other cards might show a small revolving balance but I pay them off monthly. Sometimes it gets reported with a balance due to the billing cycle (I dont know)? Anyways, I dont make more than her and we couldnt afford anything nice in a house that I could purchase with my income.

Last week we found the perfect house in the perfect area that was underpriced. I talked to my agent and loan guy and I could qualify on my own. The house price is $99,000. Here is the general breakdown:

Income $18/hr @ 33 hr week= $30,888 year.
Monthly debt= $250
Checking $7,800

All that works out for me. I told my loan guy that I was going to deposit a check from my girlfriend for $9,000 and he said NO (her account has all our savings $40,000). Dont scar your bank account by doing that. I then realized that my previous bank statements show about $2,400 in ATM withdrawls. I buy and trade and sell guitars as a hobby. This amount of money comes in and out on a normal basis along with paypal deposits (selling on forums or eBay) and large AMEX bills (buying on forums usually) (that are 100% paid). He said this is going to be an issue.

This was a long post that is all over the place. What I want to know is; will my atm withdrawls, large AMEX payments, and paypal deposits to my checking account be an issue? How do I address this issue? If I would have known we were using my checking account and I was doing a loan on my own, I wouldnt have been doing this for the past few months. Has this hurt my chances for a loan?
Real Estate Deals
Wells Fargo Duplex Owner Occupied Mortgage .25 fee??
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: viprvette
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I applied for a mortgage on an owner occupied duplex conventional loan with 20% down. The broker is quoting me .25% on top of the normal rate saying that Wells Fargo charges that fee for multi-familiy houses. Does this sound right? I was under the impression that the rates would be the same as a single family owner occupied.
Corp-To-Corp vs 1099 and Unemployment Tax Issues
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I've recently started in the traveling IT consulting space. I want to avoid working as a W2 of an employer directly for several reasons:

1) No children, no family, so "Cadillac" health plans are wasted compensation.

2) I intend to max out retirement plans as much as possible. Many more options if not W2ed.

3) Opportunities to deduct several purchases such as new phones, laptops, etc. For my personal life I run a dirt-cheap crappy prepaid phone at 10 cents a minute. If I get a W2 job, they'll expect me to buy my own cell phone and pay for my own minutes, but I can't deduct that. As a 1099, I can buy a new phone, new phone plan, keep my existing 10cents a minute plan for personal use, and deduct the new phone/plan 100%.

I was dead set on 1099 until I learned about Corp-to-Corp, which seems like some staffing firms require that I would use in stead of a 1099. I've done some research on Corp-to-Corp but most of it seems to be tailored to the non-Fatwallet crowd who gives the federal government an interest free loan each year and is excited at tax return time to get "free money." Thus, I am proposing the question here about Corp-to-Corps because I imagine there's some high level operators doing some nifty things with them.

I do have a few specific questions and would like to open the floor to general comments on pros/cons.

1) If I'm the only person working through this corp, does it matter if I use S-Corp versus LLC?

2) Does my corp hire me as a W2 of the corp, or contract me as a 1099 of the corp, or is either allowed?

3) Are 1099s exempt from unemployment taxes (and subsequently, benefits if eligible?)

4) How does unemployment work on a corp-to-corp if I'm the sole W2 employee of my corp? From my research it appears I'll be on the hook for around $500 per year for state/federal UI insurance, at least for the first 2.5 years and then it may get cut in half or so. I ran the numbers on UI insurance, and assuming I was legally able to decide on W2 versus 1099 within my Corp-to-Corp, it seems like UI insurance is a good deal for me for several reasons:

a) You're only taxed up to the first $7k or so of income, but the maximum benefits of UI are not realized until around $40k of income. Thus, unlike social security where you're negatively penalized for making too much with respect to the ratio of payout, with UI, you're unfairly compensated for being a high earner. Since the tax stops at $7k but the benefits run until $40k or so, then if you're making $40k+, you're getting more than your payout relative to someone earning less than $40k.

b) As the owner of my S-Corp, I could decide not to take on a new Corp-to-Corp contract and make my sole employee (myself) be unemployed. And thus I have more control over my own unemployment. This is probably borderline fraud, but that also means it's borderline legitimate. So suppose the market for what I do dies down, there's no requirement for my S-Corp to take on a crappy contract I don't want when I can just terminate my own W2 within the corp and collect 6 months of unemployment.

c) The possibility exists of future federal extensions of UI benefits. This is effectively free money with regard to the cost/benefit analysis of UI insurance. The possibility exists that you pay the exact same amount ($500 annually) but get double or triple the payout in the event of unemployment. From a pure economics perspective, that has some form of value.

In summary, let's discuss the pros/cons of 1099 versus Corp-To-Corp and details of how Corp-to-Corp can work. Either in general or pick one of my topics above to comment on.

Personal Finance Deals
Fifth Third Mortgages - Careful with overpayment FYI
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 07:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: hcrossing
Views: 38 Replies: 0 I've been making additional principle payments to Fifth Third since mortgage inception and just recently cancelled the escrow from the payment. I kept the same payment but Fifth Third treated the additional amount of overpayment as a pre-payment versus applying the over payment to principle. The cs lady told me that autobill doesn't work directly with the mortgage department so autobill doesn't know to do anything different with the payment. Just be careful with Fifth Third when making autobill changes. In theory, applying payments as a pre-payment this way would cost you just as much as paying the minimum amount over the life of the loan.
General Economics Deals
$88k left in student loan debt - am I on the right path?
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Killy215
Views: 122 Replies: 4 Hi there! I am new to the forums and have been reading over other posters financial woes when it comes to their student loan debt. For the last 2 years, I have been working to get myself out of all of my debt. This is going to be long, but I want to give the whole picture! A little bit of background:

3 years ago, I moved from Jersey to Maryland to take a new job, paying a decent amount over what I was making. To be immediately frugal, I moved to a much cheaper town about 30-40 minutes away from my job with my partner. When we first moved, my partner didnt have a job so I paid the bulk of the expenses, while she paid for a small part. She ended up going to school and getting her CDL, and within a year got a job. So for our first year in the house, I wasnt able to put much extra towards any of my debt. Once my partner got the job, we worked out an agreement where she took on my portion of the rent for a year, and I got to work attacking my credit card debt, which was about $15,000. I began paying it off in January of 2012 and finished in March of 2013. Im really proud of myself for this.

Now I know its time to work on my student loan debt, which is just an enormous, crushing weight on my shoulders. I know I can pay it off much sooner than the payments have me set to do, so thats what Im going to try to do. I got a B.A. degree in Psychology that I dont even use, but it did help get me the job Im in today. When I graduated college in 2007, I had $98,000 in student loan debt, and I went to a public school. I made poor choices, taking out more money than school cost so that I could live/pay rent/groceries, etc. Also, it took me 7 years to finish instead of 4 for about 65% of that time I was working full time and going part time. I wish I understood the consequences of what I was doing more, or that someone was there to guide me a bit more/answer my questions, but unfortunately, that is not the case. I take full responsibility for the loans and taking them out, and it has certainly given me a great lesson in all of this. Bottom line is, I have this debt now and Ive got to get it out of here. My student loans are split between federal and private. Ive been paying on the loans for 5 years, since 2008. The balances Im giving you are what is current. Heres the breakdown:

Private: $55,247.13 at 6.2735% (These are multiple loans that have been consolidated into one). Their minimum payment per month is $406 over 30 years. Federal: Total is $33,293.38, breakdown below. 1. Consolidation Loan: Subsidized = $5,330.42 at 2.875% / Unsubsidized = $12,426.18 at 2.875% 2. Stafford Loans: Subsidized = $3,862.02 at 6.8% / Unsubsidized = $5,143.56 at 2.35% / Unsubsidized = $6,531.20 at 6.8%The federal loans are currently in deferment because Im going to graduate school (employer-paid), but I AM paying the accrued interest. I need to get rid of these loans, and I know I need to work on the private loan first. Here are is my total amount of monthly expenses, which I have in a budget spreadsheet and keep track of throughout every month:

Rent: $425/month (split, per person)
Car payment: $396 + $102 extra for principal (paying $500/mth so that I can have the car paid off in 3 more years, shaving 2 years off of the initial term). Interest is 1.9%.
Car insurance: $530 per year I make 1-3 bulk payments in December/January.
Cell phone: $77
Gas/Heat (home): $86
Gas (car): $240
Life insurance: $20
Water/sewer/trash: $60
Netflix: $7.99
Misc: $150
Private student loan: $455.03 (I put an extra $50 each month towards the principle, Ive been doing this for about 2 years)
Federal loans interest: $260
Savings account: $100
League dues (roller derby): $35

I bring home around $3,170 per month, which leaves me around $873 per month extra. I also put 3% towards my 401k, where my company matches 50% up to 6%. (Next year, my healthcare is going up about $30 per month, so thats a factor as well). I would like to commit to putting an extra $800 on my private student loan each month. My partner and I live a pretty frugal, simple life, so I do believe this is possible, save for any weird expenses that may come up (i.e., our renters insurance or my AAA membership, which I never take into consideration for monthly expenses).

Ive already started looking for a second job, which means I would have to quit playing roller derby (I cant do 2 jobs, plus grad school, plus derby). This disappoints me because its definitely a great outlet and a way for me to keep up my spirits and exercise, but I know a second job would really help chip away at this money. Next, I received a balance transfer offer for my credit cards at 0% for 12 months with a 2% fee. So last week, I took $8,000 from this offer and paid it towards my $55,000 private loan. I can get the $8,000 paid off in a year with payments of $666 per month towards the credit card. Then Ill take another $150 every month and add it to the student loan payments with my $455. After the $8k is paid off, I hope to use another offer of 0% and do it again.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? We dont have a lot of extras, and the ones we used to have have been cut when I started paying off my credit cards (i.e., cable). I recently looked into leaving my cell phone company, AT&T, as T-Mobile can get me a similar plan for about $20 less per month, however my cancellation fee of $260 does not make it worth it at this time. Maybe there is something Im missing with the cell phone situation that someone can give me information on. Also, Ive went through my house and pretty much sold all of my extra things on eBay and Craigslist. I have 1 or 2 other things that I might be able to get rid of. Otherwise, I take my breakfast and lunch to work every day except on Friday, where I splurge on an $8 lunch each week. This $32 is part of my $150 misc expenses.

Also, if you were me, where would you put any extra money you received (i.e., tax refund)? A part of me wants to put it on my car so I can get that paid off quicker (and thus freeing up $500 per month), but I also know it makes more sense to put it on the higher interest loan. Thoughts?

Ive really changed my outlook on money over the last few years, and Im trying to get to a better place. There are things I want to buy (like a house!) that I know I just cannot because I cant afford it. Id like to have kids, but they are going to have to wait because I cannot afford them at this time. I feel lucky to have landed such a good job and be in a place in my life where Im able to make this plan and actually execute it. Id really appreciate any insight, especially on things that Ive missed or could do better.

Thanks for listening.
New User Question Deals
Should I pay off mom's credit card?
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Marsavings
Views: 78 Replies: 3 My dad died in 2005. I am an only child and live 2 hours away. He had always handled all of the money in the family, so I was concerned about how my mother would deal with it. He left a couple of small life insurance policies (one thru MetLife and one thru his former employer where he retired at age 57 in 1985). She gets a small pension payment (half of the pension he used to receive when he was alive) from his former employer, along with SS. When my dad died I paid for the cremation myself and I also paid the remainder of their car loan off for my mom so she wouldn't have that to worry about. I believe she has spent all of the life insurance monies except a small amount (less than $2000) that is left in one account. She does not want to spend that money - I don't know if it's an emotional attachment to my dad, or if it's the security of having that money available. She claims it's because it earns a higher interest rate (maybe 6%??). After my dad died she opened a checking account (my dad didn't believe in checking accts or cc's - he paid for everything in cash unless he needed a car loan, etc.) as well as a Chase Freedom card that got 5% CashBack on Gas/Groceries/DrugStores at the time. They have since changed that program so the categories are revolving every quarter. I told my mom at that time the the only way she should get this credit card is if she pays it off in full every month. Otherwise the interest charges will eat up any CashBack she might get. She also has a Discover card that she uses (supposedly) just for her medication that she has to buy thru mail order. Over the years she has bought several things that I did not agree with, but when I said anything, she would say "I needed it" or "I've never had xxxx, I deserve it", etc. Examples are new carpeting, new linoleum in the kitchen/bath, new toilet, new stove, new bedroom suite, new couch. Some - like the toilet - were a necessity. But others like the flooring and furniture were just "I want it, I deserve it" situations. For about the past year she has made casual comments to me such as "I want to get that credit card paid down," etc. But I never asked, as I didn't want to butt in. If I made a comment about something she had purchased, she would get defensive and justify it. I figured if she needed help she would ask for it.

This weekend she called and asked for my opinion. She wanted to know what I thought of taking out a loan at the bank to pay off the credit card. She said the bank has 12 months interest-free and she would pay it off in that year. I kept telling her that didn't sound right as I've never heard of a bank that doesn't charge interest...credit card companies - yes. Stores - yes, 12 months interest-free. But never banks for a loan. I asked her how much is her credit card bill, that this "loan" would be for? She said about $5,000 (I was actually afraid it would be more, but still a daunting amount). So this morning I called my local brach of that same bank for clarification. I was told they have a bank CREDIT CARD with a balance transfer deal of 12 months interest free. But not loans. So I don't know if my mom realizes it or not, but she is looking at getting yet ANOTHER credit card to pay off the Chase with a balance transfer, etc.

I think at the very least, she should take the remaining money in that life insurance account and pay down her cc bill to at least reduce it. But she doesn't want to. But it makes no sense to earn some small amount of interest on a small remaining balance of life insurance money, when you have $5K in cc debt that is probably accruing close to 30% interest every month! And maybe then contact Chase and see if they will settle the account for a less amount. I know she would take a hit to her credit for doing that, but she probably doesn't have that high of a credit score to begin with anyway. She told me that her minimum payments to Chase are $150/month right now.

And to top it all off, I asked her if she'd ever cashed in any of her CashBack rebates from the Chase card, and she said no. !!! So for 7-8 years she has never contacted Chase to get any of her CashBack sent to her or credited from her bill. I don't for for sure, but I doubt ALL of the CashBack that she would have accrued during this time would still be available, as I know most of the time the points or CashBack rewards expire after a certain period of time. But I told her to contact Chase using the 1-800 number on the statement, and askabout her CashBack rebates status. She might even have CashBack money available from Discover too. I don't know which Discover card she has.

We are in good financial shape - no kids, no car payments, mortgage paid off, pay our credit cards in full every month. I am wondering if I should let her "live and learn", or should I pay off her credit card in full for her so she doesn't have to worry about it anymore, and have her cancel the account so she can't continue to use it.

I just don't know if I should bail her out or not. She is 77 years old and this time since my dad died has been the first time in her life, I think, that she has had total control of her own money. I helped her out right after he died by paying off the car and the cremation costs, and tried to pound it into her head about paying off the cc's every month. At first I thought she was doing alright because she would take the checkbook to the bank to have the teller help her balance it every month, and she assured me when I would ask that she was paying off the credit cards every month. But then she started getting all this other credit from Lowe's, and the furniture store, as she purchased bigger items, and she knew how I felt about that.

I know it's hard for her living on such a small fixed income. Her mortgage is paid off, but she still has to pay the taxes and all of the monthly bills plus medication costs,and I know she's not rolling in dough. I just don't want her to repeat this all over again if I come to the rescue and pay it off.
Personal Finance Deals
How can retirees secure a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday October 20th 2013 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: frognap
Views: 26 Replies: 0 My parents are in their late 60s, retired, with a great credit score, and healthy retirement accounts. We figured that getting a loan to move them into a 55+ community would be easy. (They will eventually sell their current home, but don't want to rush it.). At first, they were turned down completely because they don't have enough of an annual income. Well, duh! They are retired! Finally, we found someone with a clue who knew to annuitize their retirement accounts to consider how much they can pay monthly from their 401Ks on a 15 year loan. They were pre-approved for a 15 year loan with 20% down. Now the lender is coming back (because the closing has not yet been set because it is a new construction) with a "counter-offer" of 30% down because they are claiming underwriting won't approve a 20% down. Are they playing games with us? Anyone have experience and advice for securing a mortgage on retirement income? Thanks!
Real Estate Deals
Financing Car - Is this scenario possibe?
Added on : Sunday October 20th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mricu
Views: 29 Replies: 2 So hypothetical situation here.

Say I want to purchase a $30k car.

My credit card sends me balance transfer checks that have a promotiinal rate of 0% interest for 12 months (transfer fee of 3%).

If I have the 30k balance available on my credit card, can I theoretically put the entire purchase of the car on the balance transfer check (which is also good for making other purchases than transferring balances), and before the 12 months is up can I get a loan for the remainder of my balance from a bank?

If it is possible, would I still be asking for an auto loan 12 months down the line or a personal loan?

I figure 0% for 12 months is a good way to go even if the dealer is providing loans for 1-2%. Saves on a bit of interest. .. Unless the 3% transfer fee wipes out any advantage.
Tutorials & How-Tos Deals
Out of Wallet Questions and Credit Pull
Added on : Saturday October 19th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: billcard
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Recently I had to answer out of wallet questions to activate a credit card and a debit card online. These are the questions that are something along the lines of, "Which of the following counties have you lived in?" "Who do you make you mortgage payments to?", etc... Recently I did this for Bank of America, and again just now to get a miles debit card. For the Bank of America credit and debit card, it lit up Credit Karma and Credit Sesame as a hard pull. The hard pull only stayed on the report for 2 days though and was gone for my next refresh. Anyone else had this kind of phantom hard pull?

The questions seem to really be going downhill too. Each of the three times I have done this recently, one of the questions has been unanswerable. For example, "Which of these counties have you lived in?" Answers A&B will be counties I have lived in, C will be one I have not lived in and D will be None of the Above. Similar problems with "What is your Auto payment at X Bank?" when I have two auto loans there and both payments are in the multiple choices. These are driving me crazy. Should I just resign myself to calling in?
Personal Finance Deals
Take Out Unnecessary Student Loan to Boost Credit Score?
Added on : Thursday October 17th 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: km782
Views: 67 Replies: 0 I am looking for a way to boost my credit score. My score from Transunion is 747, which is ok but I don't really think it reflects my financial situation so I'd like to increase it. Two years ago it was over 780 but I decided to close my oldest credit card which began charging an annual fee and offered no rewards. I also opened a new account in its place and my score dropped 40 points as a result.

Right now I have 2 open credit card accounts. One is a Capital One card with a $15k limit and the other is a Citi card with a $31k limit. Citi recently increased my limit but Capital One refuses my requests. I have $170k in liquid assets (stocks, savings, etc.) so I am more than capable of paying off any bill that comes my way and have no other outstanding debt.

I am a part time student in grad school right now and have been paying the tuition bills out of pocket. Would taking out a student loan and then paying it off soon after that boost my credit score? My understanding is that it is helpful to have types of debt other than just credit card debt on your credit report. Id like to purchase a house in the next few years so even though I would pay a fee for the student loan I wonder if a lower interest rate on a mortgage would more than make up for it?
Personal Finance Deals
Best rates for auto loan refinance
Added on : Wednesday October 16th 2013 11:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ssr2
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I am looking to refinance my auto loan of 2.9%

1. Any suggestions with regard to lenders?
2. I live in the San Francisco bay area. Does the lender have to be local or could it be any lender anywhere in the country?

Question Deals
First time home purchase, please help select a lender
Added on : Tuesday October 15th 2013 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rjdoc74
Views: 129 Replies: 4 Hello everyone,

We just submitted an offer on a condo in CA. Any ideas what are the best lenders to shop for a jumbo home loan?

So far I have on my list:
Costco financing- closing costs capped at $600
Penfed- I heard the amount is capped in CA. Is this true?

Any other ideas?

Thanks so much!
Real Estate Deals
Federal Benefits for Graduate Students
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Aagiants
Views: 28 Replies: 2 I have a friend who resides in PA who is currently in graduate school. She is over 26 and is making <$5,000 a year and files taxes on her own.

I've been researching federal/state programs that she is eligible and it seems that their are quite a few since she is under the porverty level and has a negative net worth.

Here are a few that i've found
-Medicaid (With the expansion of AAC)
-Food Stamps (Also not intersted)
-Cash payments (Welfare- but she has no interest in this program)

She is not looking to game the system, but her premiums are more than she can afford without taking out more student loans. Is there anything that excludes her from such programs because she is a student?

Question Deals
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS - 2 Free Basketball Tickets - Ends December 2013
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BigBoyMichigan
Views: 93 Replies: 0 You can gettwo free Cleveland Cavaliers ticketsfor select November or December games. Use promo codeDRAFTand start thinking about next years team.


2013-14 Cavaliers - NBA Draft Party Offer11/4/2013 7:00 PM to 12/17/2013 7:00 PM
Quicken Loans Arena
One Center Court, Cleveland, OH 44115

Congratulations! You are eligible to receive up to two (2) complimentary tickets to one select Cleveland Cavaliers November/December game.

You can also get up to eight (8) additional tickets for a discounted rate!

Please note: Free tickets must be redeemed at the gate prior to the start of the second half. Go to any gate to redeem.

Children two years or older must have a ticket for admittance. Children under two must sit on a parent or guardian's lap.

Please be advised that any person exceeding the published ticket limit may have some or all their orders cancelled at the discretion of Quicken Loans Arena without notification. Multiple orders associated with the same name, account number, credit card, email and/or mailing address may be considered to be exceeding the ticket limit for this game.
Totally Free Deals
Student loans- In school defer subsidized loan repayment
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 05:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: cordgrass
Views: 77 Replies: 0 Does anyone know the laws that pertain to the repayment of unsubsidized loans. Here is my situation- Grad student with both subsidized and subsidized student loans. They are both currently in school defer. My loans where with direct student loans and are now with cornerstone loans. I have been making payments on these loans i just realized that the payments have been going to both my sub and unsub loan. I thought if you make payments while in school defer all payments go to the unsub loan. I called corner stone and i was told the two loans are now one. I am not sure if this is true because only the unsub is accruing interest. If i was trying to cover just the interest cornerstone still splits the payment no matter what i dont think is legal "i have been making well over the interest payment just an example". anyone have a similar situation or know where i can find the laws that deal with unsub loans.
Personal Finance Deals
Creative Student Loan Solution - Assistance Please
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ultrabrassman
Views: 202 Replies: 1 Good Afternoon FWF,

I have been trying to come up with a solution to my student loan situation, which isn't bad, i just know it could be better. I've tried a few ideas, which I'll list below, but they weren't successful. I read through some of the forum search results for "Student Loans" and found a few good ideas, which I'll mention below also. Here's the current situation:

Recently moved, still looking for work here.
Undergrad degree in Computer Engineering
MBA degree since 2011
MBA loans are @ 6.8% rate w/ $35K outstanding
Undergrad loans are @ 5.875% rate w/ $15K outstanding
Different Undergrad Loans are @ 4.5% rate w/ $18K outstanding
Credit score over 800+
$150K in invested equity investments
$18K in savings until employment situation is resolved (9 more months of expenses)

Other things specific to my situation:
I am making all my payments and have no issues there in terms of these loans.
The return on my investment portfolio is better than the cost of capital rate on these loans.
I don't like the idea of 6.8% rate since it's so much higher than the rest and the current market environment has such low interest rates.

My goal is to find a way to reduce the 6.8% rate to a lower level.

I have read through the forums for similar situations and I came across a few mentions of a PenFed Fixed Rate transfer Card and a Wells Fargo No Fee (loan or card?) idea also. Those may apply in this situation, but I'm unfamiliar with them. Specifically, how do I go from having a student loan balance with a company to getting that transferred to the card?

I have also tried at Bank of America to get a collateralized loan based on my investment portfolio at a lower rate, similar to that of a home or something they can reclaim easily if payments are missed, so that I could get a lower rate and reduce payments. They weren't helpful to say the least. I tried inquiring at my Scottrade office, about short-selling fixed rate treasuries/bonds and using the proceeds to withdraw and payoff the loans, and the difference would be paid into my account over time with the current student loan expenses each month. That was also not possible, and the alternative was a margin loan... which just was too high rate. Those are the two options I've looked at so far.

I'm open to ideas on how to find a solution to lowering the average rate of my loans outstanding. I'd greatly appreciate any constructive feedback and I hope something here may help others as well.

Thanks in advance for your help.

My Best,

Personal Finance Deals
Reverse Mortgage for fun and profit
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 9 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 793 Replies: 31 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. Until recently I didn't fully understand this program as I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house. Of course, the losers who made bad decisions didn't like this outcome and looked for ways to prevent it.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program (which is ridiculous).


Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender doesn't care if this happens as they won't lose a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed. Their goal is to just write as many of these smelly loans as possible.

In more extreme scenarios with a 62 year old male and a 45 year old wife that lives until 95... the payouts could hit $10 million. I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
General Economics Deals
Car Loan Help
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:13 AM
g: -1 Posted By: wmeadow
Views: 163 Replies: 5 Hi all,

I'll save you the story of how I got into this, but I am currently in an auto loan with a terrible interest rate. The principle is $17,500 at 17% for 72 months, giving me about a $400/month payment. $10,000 is an insane amount of interest to be paying, and I want to find out how what the best course of action is. I am getting $5,000 from my dad in 3 months, and after my monthly expenses (including the car payment) I have left with about $600. Is it better to just pay $400 each month, save my money and try to refinance when I have $7,000 in cash? Is it better to just pay more each month? How would you go about solving this?

Personal Finance Deals
Reverse Mortgage... a hot deal
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program.


Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender isn't on the hook for a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed.

I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
Pay off Dad's Line of Credit
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jschping
Views: 207 Replies: 5 My father took out a line of credit against his house and is currently 30K in the hole and he just retired.
My siblings and I want to get the debt off his books so they don't pay interest anymore. We are willing to loan them the money to pay off the 30K and let them pay us back with no interest.

What's the best way to do this? If we give Dad the money, won't it be flagged by the IRS and counted as income and then taxable? We want to obviously avoid any extra taxes, fees or interest.


Personal Finance Deals
Excessive amount owed on revolving accounts... WHAT?
Added on : Sunday October 13th 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: junkmail9572
Views: 150 Replies: 1 Just got denied trying to get a Fort Knox FCUcredit card for 5% gasCashBack capability due to Penfed now wanting either $26 yearly feesOR hold hostage some account money.

Anyway I pulled all 3 credit reports for the first time in my life. They are all excellent - no negatives. I have had several card number changes due to requests by the Credit Card companies as they detected fraud by companies I may have done business with (they didn't say who). Also Sallie Mae sold my account to Barclays and that number has changed.

I have also had a few occasions where I have had high balances of over $10,000 in a month but I have always paid in full on time.

My Risk Score New Empirica is 777. I am over 60 and have had a perfect credit history for all of my life andalways pay on time. I own my house and have no mortgage. I co-signed a $20,000 loan for my daughters car that she always paid on time and paid off in 3 years.

Why do I have "excessive amount owed", when I always paid it in full. Can I repair this damage? ....fix the unbroken? How do I fix "no negatives" and "all accounts in good standing"?

Is this just Fort Knox not wanting to give me a 5% gas CashBack card?
Credit Deals
Tax beyond exemption - need help
Added on : Saturday October 12th 2013 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: thewenson
Views: 85 Replies: 0 This a capital gain tax issue for helping my parent (California)

They bought a large house for $230K about 30 years ago
All children are grown up and moved out.
College costs of children exhausted most of parents savings
They are retiring in about 4 months with only $85K IRA and small emergency fund.

Learning from a retired relative lived on the rent of rental properties, parents hope to downsize and generate rental income with 3 small rental units using one for home themselves. However they dont want to move far away from all their friends around for30 years.

The house is now valued at $1.1M (by a realtor friend)
$90Kcostswill be sale commission (6%) and escrow stuffs (2%+)
Re-financed mortgage balance is ~$310K
Taxable capital gain of home sale = $370K (after $500K exemption)
Small rental units in our area are normally around $250K each
For producing income, all properties should have no loan.

Not only the 370K income would put them in high tax rates, but also the Capital Gain Tax could likely go over $110K!? Federal rate 20% and California State rate 10%+ (Google results so not sure). For less than $600K left, it seems unlikely to reach their 3 units goal.
Deferring the capital gain taxes would make a big difference here (if possible),
Any way to do it?
Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: PatrickM213
Views: 0 Replies: 0 My car is nearing the end of it's days on earth. Oil and coolant leak among other issues. My credit score is around 600. I have a few collections from 2008 that I am hoping to take care of this next year. Income is about to become more stable and increase.

I have about $2500 cash.

My credit union offers a secured loan @4.25 percent with up to 120 month terms. The bank rep said I could do multiple loans-- i.e. borrow $2500 against a deposit then deposit that loan back into the account and borrow a total of $5000.

In an effort to avoid buying a vehicle from a shady in house financing dealership, I could buy a car from a private party seller for around $5000 and help rebuild some positive payment history and build a better relationship with my CCU.

If I did 2 years on the initial loan and 5 years on the 2nd, my payment would be $200.65/month for the first 2 years and then $92.65 for the remaining 3(I would continue paying the $200 to pay off the loan faster).

Is this a decent plan? A terrible idea? Am I missing something? Thanks

401k or bank loan question, for some home improvments
Added on : Friday October 11th 2013 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: skh12
Views: 45 Replies: 2 hi folks,

my house needs a master bath remodel and will need a roof in the near future, i'm thinking $30k would cover it.
i have most of that in an emergency fund and want to leave it alone.

should i seek an equity line or some other conventional bank loan, or borrow $30k from my 401k
Real Estate Deals
Sale of rental property which was primary home
Added on : Thursday October 10th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nileshd
Views: 82 Replies: 0 Hi,

I'm considering selling my rental property before I hit 2 out of last 5 years test. I had purchased 2nd property on Nov-25-2010, meaning escrow was closed on that day and I got keys for the 2nd house. It needed some work, so after renovation we moved into this 2nd house ( new primary ) on Jan-7-2011.

Now I'm reaching my 2 out of last 5 years use as primary home on 1st home. I've a possible buyer and we are working on it. Buyer needs some more time and it may not be possible to close before Nov-25.
My question is, for the test of "2 out of last 5 years " which date does IRS looks at ? Closing of the new home loan or Use of the old house ?

If its 1st option, then it is not worthwhile for me to take the risk. if it's 2nd then I can give him some more time.
Everything I read so far, seems like "Use" is important, hence 2nd option. However it is still grey area for me to decide.
So, Looking for an answer/help....

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CowbellMaster
Views: 1 Replies: 0 First, a rant - I know several friends/family that subscribe to the theory of government savings plans through high withholdings. When filling out their federal and state payroll withholding forms, it's "0" all the way, so their paychecks are ravaged but come April they get this "awesome huge refund." No matter how much I try to explain that this is a 0% loan they're giving to their government, they love getting their annual 'bonus'. When my state had a funding issue and delayed refunds until the budget was straightened out, I tried to explain that not only were they get no interest on their 'investment' but as was just demonstrated, there is risk associated with these entities holding their money for them. Still no dice.

So anyways, at least I do what I can to minimize withholdings to the absolute minimum. I do this by roughly calculating my taxable income throughout the year, taking into account large deductions like property, school and state taxes, tax advantaged account contributions (401k, traditional ira, HSA), and various large credits. My primary goals are two-fold:

1) Make sure I pay as close to 90% of my expected tax liability via paycheck withholding (or 100% of last year's liability, if that is lower). I don't mind paying on 4/15, as long as it's not penalized, as that way it's a 0% loan to ME, from the government.
2) Try to adjust my taxable income to slide in under a relatively higher bracket. For me, I try to avoid the 25% bracket, meaning my taxable income for this year should optimally be under $72,500.

Every year around this time I try to gauge my trajectory and make adjustments as necessary. This time around, my taxable income is well into the $80k's (some slight early-year miscalculations on my part) so I've maxed out our HSA 401K contributions to get that level back down. I also miscalculated some credits I thought we were privy to, so I've added an additional few hundred dollars in withholding per paycheck to get me caught up. Luckily, I have enough emergency fund dry powder to get me through the next couple months which will feature extremely anemic paychecks. As every dollar I earn over $72,500 is culled by 25%, I believe it's a worthwhile exercise, even if it comes with some temporary discomfort.

I would like to hear other FWF strategies to zero in on financially optimal withholding? What do you do when unexpected or unaccounted-for income comes in, to keep you on track for that sweet spot of 90% of liability? I'm thinking of setting up a spreadsheet, with expected income to the dollar, and adjust it, and our withholdings, as necessary throughout the year. The goal is to prevent scrambling for major course adjustments at the end of the year.

someone pays for my HELOC. Advice?
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 07:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Cratos
Views: 24 Replies: 1 I find myself in a very interesting situation.
a few years ago we purchased a property, have a loan of approx. 180k on it,
once some equity appeared we took a HELOC out (another 60k) to buy a different property.
both 1st loan andHELOC are with WF. property is a rental.
they made us open a checking account and set up automatic transfers to pay for HELOC1st of the every month,
except for - they don't take money out of that account, because someone else deposits $ and makes these payments for us.
a few times a month, different amounts, some are designated interest, others principal, for a total of 3 months now someone
made over 2k of payments towards my heloc.

has anyone else had any such experience?
and yes, I checked all other accounts - no $ is missing.

Question Deals
Box Home Loans / New Millinnium Title refund check from refi
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bluegreenturtle
Views: 133 Replies: 1 I just got a check in from Fedex this am from "New Millinnium Title" and the company that says they took them over for $650 as a refund for "excess fees" charged during a refi in 2011. The refi was with Box Home Loans. Has anybody else gotten one of these, as I know quite a few people in this forum have used Box? It's a real check and doesn't seem to be a scam, has contact info. I didn't actually pay any fees during the refi (though understand that the lender did in exchange for a less favorable %).
Personal Finance Deals
Business Loan
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 10:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: msubramanianseo
Views: 77 Replies: 1 Who is provide best business loan in chennai ?
Personal Finance Deals
Any idea on these lenders?
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Hello people!

I need some help in choosing a lender for a SFR purchase.

1.I tried searching for companies through Zillow and got a bunch of them such as Round Point, Kansas State Bank, Box Loans etc.
2.They all provide good rates and their fees are also low. They are out of state and say they are licensed in my state and will have no issues closing.
3.They have bunch of reviews in Zillow.com, but not sure how legitimate those reviews are as anybody can write a review.
4.They are a tad lower than my local credit union who I can physically meet and follow through if something happens.
5.My mortgage should is very straight forward: 25%down, ultra-low DTI Ratio, W-2 etc.

My questions are:
1.Kansas State bank, Box Loans, Round Point Mortgage Anybody any experience? All are out of state
2. Any risks or things that I have to be careful when choosing an online vendor?
3.Valley West mortgage is local to me any experiences with them?

Any advice before I choose a lender is appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Buying a new car in cash vs loan to build credit score
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: crazee85
Views: 86 Replies: 3 I am planning to buy a new car right now.. 2014 Mazda3 Sedan or 2014 Honda Accord Coupe.. Both turn out to be almost the same price for the features that I want, and I might end up going for Accord..

I had heard about all these 0% APR loans, but now when I am in market, I just can't find them for some reason.. My savings account at Alliant gives me 0.7%, and I am a still newbie in putting my money in stocks..

So,I wanted to get an opinion on what would FWF'ers do while buying a new car if they have enough cash in hand, and have never taken a loan till now.. Would you just buy the car in cash because it turns out to be cheaper (savings interest rate is lesser than loan interest rate)? Or would you take the loan and just eat the extra cost to build your credit score?

Personal Finance Deals
New Arrivals: Valentino Garavani - My Own Code Leather clutch
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 09:00:05 AM
DIY has gone chic with the Valentino Garavani »My Own Code» clutch. Designed to be personalised with your initials, the bag is made of calfskin leather, leather strap on back of bag and features a double internal compartment. You can personalise your bag in one of the following Valentino boutiques worldwide: USA - Valentino Boutique New York City, Valentino Boutique Los Angeles. Europe � UK, Valentino Boutique London, Sloane Street. Hong Kong - Valentino Boutique Landmark, Valentino Boutique Ocean Center.
Government shutdown and loan contingencies
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mojoshtudd
Views: 110 Replies: 1 One unexpected issue stemming from the government shutdown is disbursement of home loans. The IRS office is shut down - this means lenders are not able to get the tax transcripts from them.It is now a requirement to get those transcripts before loans are actually disbursed. Any lender that is backed by Fannie May (which is almost all lenders) are in this mess.This will be true for almost all buyers who have loan contingencies. We already got emails from our loan agents to expect delays in closing. For example, see this.

Whats a good way to write offers so that delays due to this loan funding issue does not result in costly penalties beyond the scheduled closing date?

Discussion Deals
Getting a small windfall. Best way to use it?
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dynorodzilla
Views: 108 Replies: 5 Elderly grandparent on his last legs. Regular guy with a regular job but He has amassed a decent chunk of change over his life. They are trying to get under whatever the tax threshold is for tax reasons. I don't get involved, but I am getting a nice check every year.

It was $6500 last year (first time) and will be around there this year. I am gainfully employed and have no debt outside student loans.

$8300 at 6.8%. $110 monthly
6300 at 6.55%. $84 monthly
$4900 at 5.35% $66 monthly

Should I use it towards my loans? If so, how to allocate? Besides loan repayment, my only other issue on the horizon is buying a house
Personal Finance Deals
Loan to Liquor/Beer store
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: zimma13
Views: 211 Replies: 9 I know someone who owns 2 liquor/beer stores outright and 50% of a third store (no loans, mostly cash business). He is buying a 4th store. I can loan him $20,000 at 25% for 1 year secured by one of the existing stores (not the new one). Written up in a contract and paid in cash each month (no taxes). If we mutually agree, the loan can keep rolling in yearly increments. He lives in my neighborhood. I sometimes get free beer already.

1. Would you do it?
2. Anything I should look out for to include in the contract to protect myself?
3. He only wants a loan, not for me to own a % of the store. Note I will do nothing but lend the money. He is the one that does all the work.

The alternative is that I buy a rental property which won't have as good of a cash return (once rented)but is secured by real estate andI hope the value increases. This is in Florida so $20k can nearly be 20% down on a house.

Personal Finance Deals
Anyone borrow from their stockbroker to pay off their mortgage?
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: carl1864
Views: 149 Replies: 2 So I was just surfing the internet the other day, and stumbled upon a tidbit of info down in the comments section of an article which I had never heard of before.

Supposedly a couple people mentioned that if you own stocks, it is very quick and easy to get a 10 year loan from your investment company at really low interest rates like 2%, simply using your stocks as collateral. The way I understand it, say you get to a point where you only have 10 years go go on your mortgage anyways, and say you owe $80k at 4% interest, and you have 80K in stocks. It almost seems like a no brainer to take the loan from your broker, and pay off the house, cutting your interest rate in half.

Has anyone done this? I did more google searching I didn't find much on the topic, it doesn't seem to common. Are there any pitfalls to it, or inefficiencies? Perhaps any tax disadvangages or something? Or other more efficient things that can be done?

PS: The article, with the various comments at the bottom was herehttp://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-ways-to-compete-with-all-cash-buyers-122758502.html
Real Estate Deals
Used car value analysis
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 07:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: njdealguy
Views: 134 Replies: 4 Hey, have been doing some analysis for used car depreciation values and how it compares to leasing a new car, based on a Lexus ES 350, and selling it with 60k more miles after 3 years/36 months. Using edmunds appraisal for the car in good condition and private party value, found that a 2010 model of this with 40k miles would need be bought for $21388 + tax (which for NJ is 7%, making it 22885)

To figure out depreciation, I pulled the value for a 2007 E350 with 100k miles which came to $11821 which is what could sell it for 3 years later.
So its $22885 - $11821 = $11064, which is my net cost based on buying the 2010 car with 40k miles and then selling 3 years later with 100k miles
Over 36 months, that comes to 11064 / 36 = 307 per month cost to have

Lets say I only put in 30k miles in 3 years which is equal to a lease, the selling price of a 2007 E350 with 70k miles is $13203.
The math comes to 22885 - 13203 = 9682 cost to have which comes to 268 per month total cost.

Now I see deals to lease the brand new car for 10k miles per year for a 36 months lease at 319 per month with a down payment of $2995 which would mean a total cost of (36*319)+2995 = $14,479,
which makes for a difference of $4797 for the cost versus driving a 3 year older car as owned, and a difference of $3415 versus driving the used car and putting in twice as many (60k) miles.

The option of owning the used car is based on paying outright in cash (so not accounting for loan interest) and assuming that there will be no maintenance or warranty covered for repairs, whereas the lease is based on those being included.

Based on the values above, trying to understand what is better from a financial standpoint, and I'm only trying to compare these two ideas, so please dont come up with with other kinds of cars, crown vic, etc. Not planning to buy any of these, but just arbritraily looking to compare these from a financial standpoint, considering the cost difference, namely whether its worth buying a 3 year older used car intending to sell a few years later, vs leasing brand new, for this luxury car model.

General Economics Deals
Fannie Mae offers federal workers help during shutdown
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 71 Replies: 0 From Politico. Yeesh ...

FANNIE MAE OFFERS FEDERAL WORKS HELP IF HURT BY GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN: Taxpayer-owned mortgage-company Fannie Mae will allow federal workers to temporarily postpone making their home loan payments if they fall behind while the government is shut down, according to a letter sent to lenders today.

The policy only applies to loans owned by Fannie and borrowers would have to prove a financial hardship caused by the government closing in order to receive whats known as an unemployment forbearance plan, which would allow them to skip making payments for up to six months or until the government reopens. Federal employees who have been furloughed after closing on a new mortgage will still be eligible for financing through Fannie. Delays may occur as lenders wait to have a borrowers employment verified by a shuttered government agency, which is still required before Fannie will finance the loan.

The letter included other policy changes lenders could follow when running into problems writing loans after the government closed its doors today. For instance, Fannie will allow lenders to get IRS copies of tax returns or Social Security number validations later in the process because these requests may not go through while these agencies are closed, according to the letter.

Fannie said in the letter that the new policies assume the shutdown would be short and that it will issue new guidance if negotiations drag out for an extended period.

General Economics Deals
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 247 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BHVQV1S/

Struggling with debt? Get realistic help that's actually useful, from Liz Weston, one of the most popular and respected personal finance experts! Today, people struggling with debt have far fewer options: lenders are stingier, which makes it harder to avert disaster, or to recover from setbacks like foreclosure, short sales, or bankruptcy. (Meanwhile, people with good credit have more options than ever, including some of the lowest interest rates in decades.) You need an up-to-date guide that can help you assess options, find help, discover opportunities, and take action that works. Liz Weston's Deal with Your Debt, Updated and Revised Edition is that guide. Weston reveals why most "conventional wisdom" about debt is just dead wrong. For most people, it's simply impractical to pay off every dime of debt, and live forever debt free. In fact, doing that can leave you a lot poorer in the long run. You're more likely to give up, or pay off the wrong debts. You could leave yourself too little flexibility to survive a financial crisis. You could neglect saving for retirement. You might even wind up in bankruptcy -- just what you're trying to avoid! For most people, it's smarter to control and manage debt effectively. In this extensively updated guide, Weston shows how to do that. You'll learn which debts can actually help build wealth over time, and which are simply toxic. You'll find up-to-date, real-world strategies for assessing and paying off debt, money-saving insights on which debts to tackle first, and Crucial information about everything from debt consolidation loans to credit scores and credit counseling. Weston offers practical guidelines for assessing how much debt is safe -- and compassionate, realistic guidance if you've gone beyond the safety zone. If you've ever worried about debt, you'll find the new edition of Deal with Your Debt absolutely indispensable.
Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
PenFed 5/5 Arm
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: meadows6
Views: 35 Replies: 0 I have been looking to refinance with this loan. Last week it was at 2.75% and it went up to 2.85% today. My current mortgage is a 7/1 arm at 2.85% as well (2 years into that). Should I go ahead and submit the application at 2.85% with PenFed? It's less of a clear cut decision for me now that the rate went up to what I currently have. So it will be the same payment for the next 5 years, but the advantage with PenFed is that after that it can only go up 2% and stay there for 5 more years. Not sure how likely PenFed is to drop down to the 2.75% mark again.
General Economics Deals
Affordable Care Act penalty-tax avoidance
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 08:00:12 AM
g: -1 Posted By: okwiater
Views: 225 Replies: 15 There are some other threads already about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) specifically as it relates to healthcare premiums. However, the purpose of this thread is toexclusivelydiscuss strategies and considerations for avoidance of the penalty-tax that will be imposed for not complying with the new law. As someone who is facing monthly insurance premium increases from $483/month to over $1,200/month and a deductible increase from $5,000/year to $12,700/year, I am seriously considering not enrolling in a qualified health plan (QHP), incurring the penalty-tax, and simply managing my withholdings so as not to ever pay it.

My understanding is that the IRS's enforcement options are limited, as they can only withhold any amounts owed from future refunds. However, as we all know, refunds from the IRS are something we should be working to minimize or avoid altogether since they are essentially an interest-free loan to the government. Because of this, I am of the mindset that a diligent taxpayer could avoid the new mandate altogether by simply paying extra attention to the level of withholdings, and employing certain tax-generating strategies in the event that the taxpayer is over-withheld at the end of the year.

The strategy under consideration:

1. Manage my withholdings so that they barely exceed 90% of the total tax owed, so as to avoid any penalty for under-withholding. I will owe a check to the IRS at the end of the year.
2. In case I find myself with a larger-than-expected balance due, convert traditional 401(k) and IRA balancesto Roth, generating taxes that cancel out the balance.
3. Carefully monitor legislation that may affect IRS withholding options.

This strategy comes with risks, of course. For example, there is no way of knowing whether or not the penalty-taxes incurred during each year will ever be waived at some point in the future. It's also possible that the IRS will at some point in the future be granted increased powers to collect ACA-related balances due, perhaps even through liens or asset seizures. These powers may even be granted retroactively to any accumulated balances due. There may also be other implications, such as whether these balances would appear on a credit report or whether they need to be reported as a serious delinquency on job applications or other government forms.

Any feedback, thoughts, advice, or other considerations?
General Economics Deals
Free $25 KIVA credit to give out as micro-loan. Lets do this again!!
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 08:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jigsaw1975
Views: 216 Replies: 0 Note to FW Moderators: This is a charitable link. The person and I will both get $25 to loan out to poor needy folks. When the loan is paid back, it goes back to Kiva. We have nothing to gain from this.

The last time I posted this, a total of $3750 was loaned out to the needy. I have been a KIVA advocate for quite some time using my own personal money.

Lets try this again after the previous successful campaign.
Click here to give out FREE $25 to the needy through micro-financing.

*for new KIVA members
Totally Free Deals
Recommendations for Student Loan Rates
Added on : Saturday September 28th 2013 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nbk942m006
Views: 6 Replies: 0 I tried doing a search, but didn't see any on going threads for student loan rates. Are there any recommendations for which companies to go with for student loans? Specifically private loans. Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Request to have lender drop PMI on Short Sale?
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: MikeDaddy
Views: 106 Replies: 1 Purchased a Short Sale this past August for $235,000. Appraisal came in at $250,000. We put down 15% (we technically had the cash to do 20%, but I did not want us to be house rich and money poor). I make my first mortgage payment October 1st. My mortgage broker said I should try calling in about 4 months or so to see if Quicken Loans would drop the PMI (only about $50/month), seeing as how we're already at 20%, given the appraisal.

Personal Finance Deals
What drives/determines fixed home equity loan rates?
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SummerSoFar
Views: 65 Replies: 0 I can't seem to find a conclusive answer to this anywhere on the interwebs.

Government-backed first-lien mortgages are driven by MBS. HELOCs are driven by LIBOR and/or prime rate. What drives fixed-rate equity loans?

General Economics Deals
Builder Asking Us to Sign an Easement
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CyBaba
Views: 0 Replies: 0 All FWers;

We are currently building a house. During site development, the builder found out that sewer line for the existing house runs through our lot. He emailed me that he will re-route it and that I will need to sign and addendum for easement. We are currently under contract and closed with a construction loan.

My questions

1) What should I watch out for ?
2) any down side of having such easement on my property
3) Do i have any options ? Such as just saying no to signing and have him figure out how to re-route it around the property
4) if I have to sign the easement, I would like to get something in return like some upgrades. Is it possible ? If so, how do I go about it.
5) any other suggestions.

Thanks in advance !
Expatriating to Switzerland
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 10:00:05 AM
g: 1 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 203 Replies: 16 Little bit of background first. My gf is finishing up her PhD and will likely graduate early next year. In her field, it is very common, almost expected, to do a couple of years of post-doc after graduation. When we started dating, she always said that she wanted to do her post-doc in Europe because it would help her career tremendously. I've always been firm in wanting to stay in the US since I'm pretty well established here, I have a good paying job in a niche industry and I own a house.

In August my gf had a conference in Switzerland that she attended. I went with her the FWF way, paid for the flight with miles and stayed in her hotel room that her school paid for. The week before we left, I was browsing some forums when I came across a job posting in Switzerland, a job that I was qualified for. I sent the link to her just to show her what I found. I was never planning on applying, but she strongly encouraged me to do so and I did. I figured I had nothing to lose. The company was very interested in talking to me and they setup an interview for the following week. I met with them on a Tuesday, and the interview went very well, in fact they asked me to come back for a follow-up interview two days later. After the second interview they explained to me what's going on. They're very interested in me, I'm the perfect candidate for the position, however, I am a US Citizen. Since the IRS strong-armed their banks into turning over tax cheats, they don't like Americans very much. In fact, for every job opening they have, they have to first recruit in Switzerland, then the EU before they can even consider an American. The government will not approve work visas for Americans unless it is an absolute necessity. Fast forward a month and I receive a job offer.

The details:
Age: 26
Current Salary: low 100s. No bonus, no compensation for overtime, nothing extra. I'll be very lucky if I get a 3% raise next year.
Benefits: 2 weeks vacation, 1 week sick, 9 paid holidays, 4% match on 401(k) if you max it out
Job conditions: Terrible. There are 4 of us on the team who do the same thing as me. I have about 10 years experience with this product (yeah, I really started working in this industry at 16) and not to be tooting my own horn, but I'm an expert at what I do. There are 3 others on the team, and their experience ranges from literally fresh out of training to 3 years with the product. The guy who has the 3 years experience should be able to do a lot, but he's the most incompetent person that I've ever had to work with. Because of the inexperience/incompetence on the team, very basic changes need to be made in the middle of the night and I have a lot of changes to make. I am up very late at least once a week, sometimes more. I also put in a lot of time on the weekends, sometimes I even work 20+ hours in a single weekend. All this extra work I receive absolutely no compensation for. Additionally, the company as a whole is doing really badly, we're losing clients, laying off employees, etc. Things are bad now, but they will only get worse. There is a very real chance that I will get laid off in the next 12 months, especially if the others on the team gain more experience as they probably make a lot less than I do. I'm on-call 24/7.

The offer:
Base salary: $115k when converted to USD
Bonus: 15% or a little over $17k if 100% of targets are met (not quite sure what the targets will be)
Sign-on bonus: $5.5k for relocation assistance and they provide an apartment for a month while I get my own apartment
Benefits: 5 weeks vacation, pension contribution (I think around 4.5% of salary), overtime pay (or additional time off, but I'd take the money) for anything over 45 hours/week and the Swiss don't have "Exempt" classifications, company paid accident insurance (global), $100/week extra every week that you're on-call
Job conditions: employees are much more expensive to the company since they have to pay them more and they can't abuse them and treat them like slaves. That means that they're only hiring the best of the best, employees who can get a lot done in a short amount of time. All my coworkers would all be very smart (this was apparent in the interview), I wouldn't be constantly banging my head against the desk about what a stupid mistake someone made. The Swiss also have a very good work ethic, they don't browse Facebook, Youtube, FWF etc while they're at work. When you're at work, you're expected to work. There would also be an on-call rotation.


I get to try something new and exciting. I've lived in Texas for almost 5 years now. Texas will still be here even if I go overseas for 3 years. If I don't take this chance, I will always feel like I missed out because later on I will likely not be able to do something like this. It's just a lot harder when you have kids.
I get to see all of Europe in 3 years. Switzerland is in the dead center of Europe. Travel is really easy, you have all the cheap carriers like RyanAir and you have an awesome train system.
I'll get to visit extended family more often. My grandparents (as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)live in Eastern Europe. My grandparents aren't going to live forever...
Money. Yeah, I'll be making a little bit more money, but honestly it will be a wash because living in Switzerland is very expensive. Where the money really makes a huge difference will be with my gf. Pretty much all post-docs in the US pay $40-45k/year independent of location (basically no COL adjustment). In Switzerland, she would make $90-100k/year as a post-doc. If we lived together in Switzerland, that would certainly cut down on my living expenses.
Savings: My goal would be to save up $100k cash while living in Switzerland, probably 3 years. This would come from lower standard of living, going from a 3000 sq ft house to a 1 bedroom apartment, going from 2 cars to a bicycle.
Side income: If I quit my job, there is a very high chance that I'll get extra 1099 work from them at least in the short term, until they find someone to replace me. I work remotely now, and my employer doesn't care where I am working from currently. By the time I finish my work in Switzerland, they're just starting the day in the US, so the time-zone difference actually plays in my advantage
Career. While this job itself is essentially a lateral move for me from a responsibility perspective, gaining international experiencewill help my career in the future


The unknown
High cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the part of Switzerland that I would be about $2000/month. Food is at least twice as expensive as it is in the US. The Swiss are very healthy, all their food is organic and they've banned a bunch of chemicals that we eat every day. This means that you're essentially forced to buy all your groceries at Whole Foods. Any restaurant meal will be at least $30-40 a person.
Lower standard of living. I'd be going from living in a 3000 sq ft house to a 1 bedroom apartment. I'd go from driving everywhere to having to bike and use public transportation, etc.
I get stuck in Switzerland alone ifmy gf isn't able to find a post-doc.
Absentee landlord. I wouldn't sell my house, I'd rent it out. I'd have to deal with the headaches of being an absentee landlord. I'd also probably end up cash-flow negative on the house since my loan is for 10 years.
Miss out on retirement contributions. No 401(k), most likely no Roth IRA either (too much income), but I've already got a pretty good head start on retirement savings, so this isn't that big of a deal. I have close to $200k saved up for retirement already.

My thoughts at this point are that the salary that they're offering me is a little bit on the low side. I'd like to get at least another 10%. They obviously couldn't find someone qualified in Switzerland or the EU, if they could then they wouldn't have made me the offer. I think I can approach this from the angle of "I'm making almost that much today, but in a much lower cost of living area". What are everyone's thoughts? Should I do this or no? How should I handle the salary negotiation?
Personal Finance Deals
Any good suggestions for a small buisness loan or commercical property loan
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 05:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: skeer27
Views: 76 Replies: 2 I have never done either of these loans and looking for some useful tips and guidance.

Anybody have good experience with a bank?
Who has the best rates terms?
Any other tricks tips that would be useful?

I am in Ohio if that is useful information.


Personal Finance Deals
What to do with small windfall
Added on : Monday September 23rd 2013 02:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: protomenace
Views: 108 Replies: 4 I was pleasantly surprised recently to learn that I will be receiving a pretty nice income boost and a pretty decent sized one time payment. I'm not sure what exactly I should do with the money. I have some debt, but the interest rates are not that high for some of the debt. I'm basically weighing my options of paying off the debt vs investing the cash. I'm not exactly sure what the tax details of the one time payout will be, but I'm fairly certain it will be treated as regular income. What does FWF think?

Here are the details:

Monthly Income (post payroll deductions):
Currently: $4170
Soon to become: $5338

One time income (pre-tax): around $37500

Student loans:

10000 @ 6.549%
4200 @ 5.35%
5000 @ 4.25%
5000 @ 3.15%

Car loan:
15000 @ 1.5%

Liquid: $9500
Roth IRA: $8500
Other stocks: $3500

Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $895
Utilities: $150
Auto Insurance:$139
Food: $300
Roth IRA contributions:$458
Cell phone:$60
Total: $2252

Personal Finance Deals
Making extra house payments, any downside?
Added on : Monday September 23rd 2013 07:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: woowoo2
Views: 41 Replies: 0 Recently I have been given notice that my employer will be selling the business next spring.
At this point, my employment is unsure.

To create a little financial cushion, I have been making house payments every two weeks instead of monthly.
I am not making extra principal payments, just the regular house payments.

Are there any downsides to this?
Will this screw up my escrow account?

15 year VA mortgage with Navy federal.
Property tax and Insurance paid by escrow.
$408 payment, 3.2% interest rate, $35K left on the loan.
Next payment due in Feb. of next year.


Personal Finance Deals
When is it best to put down 20% to avoid PMI?
Added on : Thursday September 19th 2013 06:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jomarrod
Views: 10 Replies: 0 This is for a new house under construction in a new development. The 'deal' has had some changes from the time of agreement until now (close to completion). For instance, the rate on the GFE for a conventional loan went up from the quoted 3.75% to 4.80%. In addition, the developer increased the sale price of identical houses over the past 7 months by $30,000.00 - so, that's a $30K equity to start with.

House purchase price: $279,000
Down payment (10%): $27,900
Loam amount: $251,100
PMI: $100/mo (quoted at 3.75% - not sure how much more it will be with new rate)

Keeping that in mind, would it be best to put down 20% down to avoid PMI or leave is as is, and keep the money earning interest?
Budgeting effectively using multiple accounts and automatic transfers
Added on : Wednesday September 18th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: loheiman
Views: 81 Replies: 0 I'd like to create a discussion and see how savvy FWers setup their bank accounts, credit cards and automatic transfers for the purpose of effective budgeting.

I've never really been serious about this before but I'm 26 now have little savings and want to change that (have paid off my student loans tho!). I've used Mint and Yodlee for years to track transactions and have spent the last few months using Mint to budget but I feel it's not ideal for accounting for irregular expenses or saving for future goals etc.

My goals are to:
Create scarcity and properly account for future expenses/obligations so I know exactly how much money I can spendat any given time
Ensure that I "pay myself first" and properly save for the future
Create an easy way to save for goals/big purchases such as new laptop, phone, clothes etc

I got inspiration fromthis article on the 4 hour work week blog. I like the idea of automatic transfers and divvying up money into many sub accounts but am unsure how well this will really work with credit cards. Using debit/check cards would obviously simplify this but I can't get myself to do that because I don't want to give up 1) the layer of protection from fraud 2)Lack of liquidity due to large holds and 3) CashBack, miles, points etc

FYII get paid twice a month, on the 31st and 15th via direct deposit with no 401k plan available

31st of month:
100% of paycheck direct deposited into central checking account

2nd of month:
40% of paycheck transferred to Monthly Expenses account (used for rent, utilities, bills)
25% of paycheck transferred to Savings account (for retirement/future)
3% of paycheck transferred to Travel account (for travel/vacation)
1% of paycheck transferred to Irregular Expenses account (Misc expenses such as dr co-pays, contacts, renters insurance etc)
31% of paycheck transferred to Everyday Spending account (for food, entertainment, fun etc)

15th of month:
Same as 31st of month

17th of month:
Same as 2nd of month

My thinking here is to have a separate credit card for each type of expense (Monthly, Irregular, Travel etc) and pay each credit card off from its corresponding checking account.

Where I'm a bit stuck is how to pay for Everyday Spending:If i'm constantly using a credit card here, my "view" into how much I have to spend is clouded by two things: 1) The lag of credit card transactions posting to account and 2) Always having to do mental math of subtracting the credit card balance from my Everyday Spending account. Any ideas here? Cash only is not an option as I frequently purchase items online (Amazon prime addict here!)

I plan to use Alliant checking acounts for the bulk of my accounts because it transfers money very fast to/from external accounts and instantly between internal accounts
I'd also use Alliant checking for my Everyday Spending account but I've been spoiled by Schwab and the idea of searching for In-Network ATMs sounds terrible
I often open credit cards/checking accounts for miles/bonuses so it'd be nice if I could do that without tangling with my regular accounting

What do you do?
How well does it work?
Have any of you given up credit cards to simplify your system?
How do determine how much spending money you have at any given time and make guilt-free purchases?

Any and all feedback/input/advice is welcome. Thanks!

Personal Finance Deals
PNC $200 Opening Bank Account- Georgia only, ends 9/28
Added on : Tuesday September 17th 2013 04:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: leenga
Views: 116 Replies: 0 http://pnc.com/get200

Open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend in Georgia and get unlimited use of any ATM - PNC or not - for FREE. Plus, get $200* when you establish a qualifying direct deposit and make at least one payment with PNC Online Bill Pay.

* $200 offer not available in these counties: Dooly, Macon, Marion and Troup. See complete offer details below.

Hurry, $200 offer ends 09/28/2013!

Open any one of these accounts to make every ATM free and to get $200*:
Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend
Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
Performance Select

* New Performance, Performance Select Checking account, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select must be opened online via the "Apply Now" links on this web page or at a branch using the appropriate coupon between 09/08/13 and 09/28/13.

New checking account must be opened in the state of Georgia, excluding Dooly, Macon, Marion and Troup counties.

To qualify for the $200 reward, a qualifying Direct Deposit must be received, and 1 payment must be completed via PNC Online Bill Pay (from the Spend account for Virtual Wallet products) within 60 days of account opening. Your checking account must remain open in order for you to receive the $200 reward, which will be credited to the eligible account within 60 days after all conditions have been met and will be identified as "Cash Trans Promo Reward" on your monthly statement. A qualifying Direct Deposit is defined as a recurring Direct Deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into a Performance or Performance Select Checking Account, or the Spend Account of a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. The total amount of all qualifying Direct Deposits credited to your checking account must be at least $2,000. Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as Qualifying Direct Deposits. New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months. If multiple accounts are opened with the same signers, only one account will be eligible for the premium. For this offer, signing authority will be defined by the customer name(s) and social security number(s) registered on the account.

In the event that we determine in our sole discretion that your account does not meet the eligibility criteria or the activity on your account does not qualify as a Qualifying Direct Deposit, we will not be obligated to credit your account with the payout.

*New checking account must be opened in the state of Georgia. Subject to change at any time.

1.For Purchase Payback cash rewards, you must have an eligible checking account with a PNC Bank Visa Check Card, or a PNC CashBuilder Visa credit card, and online banking to participate. PNC Purchase Payback offers are available from participating merchants. Your personal banking information is not shared with the merchants participating in PNC Purchase Payback. Whether you receive offers may depend on using your PNC Visa Card, or where you use your PNC Visa card to make purchases. Not everyone will get the same offer.

2.For detailed information about bonus rewards, visit pnc.com/creditcards.

3.A qualifying direct deposit is a recurring electronic deposit made by an employer or an outside agency. Transfers made from one account to another or deposits made via a branch, ATM, online transfer, mobile device or the mail are not eligible to meet this requirement.

4.PNC deposit accounts include consumer checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit, and retirement certificate of deposit. PNC loan accounts include line of credit, auto or home equity installment loan, and mortgage loan. PNC linked investment balances include investment balances from a PNC Investments account including the value of any annuities if they are reflected on the PNC Investments account statement. Some accounts may not be eligible to be included in the combined average monthly balance requirement based on titling structure, product type or other constraints. A maximum of ten (10) linked PNC accounts, including this account, may be included in the combined average monthly balance relationship. Customer must request account be linked to receive relationship benefits. The outstanding balance on lines of credit, and the original principal amount on installment and mortgage loans, will be used to determine the combined average monthly balance

Deposits Deals
Loan options other than student loans?
Added on : Saturday September 14th 2013 07:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: latieungao
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Hi everybody,

I need loans (from a financial institution) to fund my education -about $15K every 3.5 months. It is out of the country, so federal loan is not an option. The only private loan company on my school's list lends out at a variable ~9.5%. They will install a fixed about every semester and repayments can be deferred until graduation. My sister, who is has very good credit, is very supportive and willing to take out loans for me (yes, in her name). I wonder if she can take an equity loan for a cheaper rate? (how do equity loans work?) Is there options other than the private student loan I mentioned?

I am 24 years old. Have good credit (always pay my credit card bills in full). I fortunately never had loans (I save and pay for stuff with cash), so I am clueless about loans.
My sister has good credit. She had 2 mortgages but recently sold off one.

Thank you!

Personal Finance Deals
How to get out of underwater car (lemon) loan?
Added on : Friday September 13th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: madfishmonger
Views: 107 Replies: 2 I have a 2007 Mini CooperS that has had catastrophic engine failure twice due to a defective part- the tensioner that supports the timing chain. For this reason it's in the shop again and after a lengthy process Mini is shouldering 50% of the cost- last time it was 80%. I'm looking at about $2-3k in repair after that deal- not something I have in the piggy bank. I still owe $10k on it w/ $400/mo payments, haven't driven it since December. I want out of the loan- everyone says let it be repo'd but I've put a lot of time into restoring my credit health (which isn't perfect enough to just finance something else outright- and, I'm a 1099 employee- last time I tried to trade in, rejected by all banks on that basis). I tried to trade it in once but as a 10-99 worker I couldn't get a loan, despite my income. I'm about to enter a 1-2mo. employment gap and need expedient, sound, and legal [as in within the law- YANML and I'm not asking for litigious help] advice. Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
Should I close my chase sapphire card?
Added on : Friday September 13th 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: IwantItCheaper
Views: 82 Replies: 1 It has been past a year since I used the card. I applied for the card mainly for the 50k points and for the reason of transferring all my chase freedom card points to SouthWest airline rapid rewards.
I have 70k pts left in my Chase Sapphire card now, and I already have about 80k points transferred to SW rapid rewards (SW RR). With SW RR, the points supposedly worth more if you spend it on tickets. I remember hearing something about they never expire.I plan to transfer all my points to SW RR and close the account. I have 10k limit on that card and 30k max with all my credit card combined. So, my new limit will not be only 20k. Just wondering if I should close it since there is $95 annual fee and I personally don't see the point of using the card now since I don't travel a lot (student now). I plan to apply for other credit card with Cash Back. Not on loan or anything and I wont be able to afford to buy a house until I graduate next year or so
The representative said that if I do international travel and have 20% saving on ticket. I will definitely benefit from it. Will this be the case? Will it be really the cheapest way to purchase ticket with the card (not sure if the ticket cost might be marked up first if we order it with them). I have like 5-6 other active credit cards (Freedom, Discover, and etc) that I can use to earn points on regular basis.
Need advise before I just close it down.Just want to make sure that I'm approaching it the right way.
Thank you all
where to shop for a car loan?
Added on : Thursday September 12th 2013 06:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dtzboy
Views: 64 Replies: 1 looking to buy a new car soon.

which bank offers the cheapest car loan?
or should i get the car loan from dealer?
Personal Finance Deals
Earn 20k or 40k TY points with new Citi checking
Added on : Wednesday September 11th 2013 05:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: prikindel
Views: 2117 Replies: 17 Basically, you have two choices:

open a Basic Banking Package with no minimum requirements and get 20k TY points
lock in $50k in aCitigold Account Package for about 4 months and get 40k TY points

In either case, you have to make 1 DD and 1 bill pay per month for 2 months, and also either use their mobile app or sign up for paperless statements.

promo link

Offer details:ThankYouPoints will be credited to your ThankYou Member Account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which you satisfy all offer requirements.

1. Qualifications:

To qualify for 30,000 bonus ThankYou Points, open a new Regular Checking account in The CitigoldAccount Package; or to qualify for 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points, open a new Regular Checking account in The CitibankAccount Package or Basic Banking Package.
Within 60 days after account opening, you must enroll the new checking account in Citi ThankYouRewards and; 1 qualifying direct deposit must be credited, and 1 qualifying bill payment must be posted, to the new checking account and such activities must also occur during a calendar month and the following calendar month.
Qualifying direct deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension, or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer or an outside agency. Qualifying bill payments are those made using CitibankOnline, Citi MobileSMor Citiphone Banking. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts of Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer.

2. To qualify for an additional 10,000 bonus ThankYouPoints:

You must satisfy the qualifications described above AND within 60 days after account opening complete one of the following digital services:
- Download the Citi MobileSMApp and use the app to sign on with the same User ID and Password you use to access your new checking account online;
- Or Enroll your new checking account in paperless statements.
Citibank Online registration is required before you can complete any of these digital services.
Important Tax Information: Enrollment in Citi ThankYou Rewards and this offer limited to customers who are either citizens or resident aliens of the United States (U.S.) with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. The value of the rewards from redeemed Points may be reported to the IRS as miscellaneous income on Form 1099-MISC in the year redeemed, if the value of the rewards plus other taxable miscellaneous income awards received from Citibank, N.A., is in the aggregate $600 or greater for a calendar year, as required by applicable law. Customer is responsible for any applicable taxes.Separate enrollment of eligible checking account in Citi ThankYouRewards required. Citi ThankYou Rewards enrollment and participation are subject to terms, conditions and restrictions. Visit thankyou.com to see the various rewards available in the Citi ThankYouProgram; ThankYou Rewards and the ThankYou Point levels for specific rewards are subject to change without notice. Customers must log in to their ThankYou Member Account to see specific rewards and redemption values available to them.Offer is for new checking customers only, 18 years or older. All accounts subject to approval and applicable terms and fees. Limit of one offer per customer and account. Offer expires 10/31/13, may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. If you have received a bonus reward for opening a new Citibank consumer checking account within the past two years you will not be eligible to receive a bonus associated with this offer. Your new Regular Checking account in The Citigold Account Package, The Citibank Account Package or the Basic Banking Package must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus ThankYou Points are posted to your ThankYou Member Account.

Information about Banking Products and services

3. Get cash, get information and transfer balances between eligible linked Citibank accounts with no ATM usage fee when you use your Citibank ATM or Debit Card at ATMs at Citibank branches and Citibank-branded ATMs at other locations. Not all ATMs are owned or operated by Citibank. Not all functions available at all ATMs.

4. Citibank does not charge you a fee for using Citi Mobile or for the Citibank for iPad app. However, charges from your wireless carrier may apply. Regular account charges apply.

5.Citigold Account Package- Monthly service fee is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 in deposits and retirement balances OR $100,000 in combined average monthly balances in deposits, retirement, investments, credit cards, and loans/lines of credit excluding first mortgage, otherwise a $30.00 monthly service fee is applied. Ask for details.

Citibank Account Package- Monthly service fee is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 in eligible linked products otherwise a monthly service fee of $20.00 is applied. Eligible linked products are linked deposits, loans, mortgages, credit cards, retirement and investment accounts. Ask for details.

Basic Banking Package- Monthly service fee is waived if the following transactions are completed: maintain a combined average monthly balance of $1,500 in either your Basic checking or your linked Basic Savings Account OR if One Qualifying Direct Deposit is credited to your Basic Checking account or to a linked Day-to-Day Savings in a Basic Banking Package AND One Qualifying Bill Payment is posted to your Basic Checking account. Otherwise a $10.00 monthly service fee is applied. Qualifying bill payments are those made using Citibank=9pxOnline, Citi MobileSMor CitiPhone Banking=9px. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts with Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer. Qualifying direct deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension, or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer or an outside agency. Ask for details.

This page contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by the Citigroup family of companies and is intended for use domestically in the U.S.

Deposits Deals
Should I do an extended mortgage rate lock?
Added on : Tuesday September 10th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: toddpublic
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of building a house that we will likely close on in February. I'm being offered by my lender a 6-month extended rate lock program with the following terms for a 30 year conventional fixed rate mortgage. I'm putting 25% down with excellent credit:

The one-time fee is $1,575 (0.5% of loan amount). The "base rate" will be 4.75% with a cap of 0.5% over the base rate, which is 5.25%. I also have the option to float down within 30 days of closing if the market rate is lower than my cap rate of 5.25%. So basically, I'm paying for a guarantee that I won't have a rate higher than 5.25%.

My question is simple, should I do it or hold out until I can do a regular (free) 60-day rate lock around December? What do people think will happen with the Fed and QE over the coming months? I'm also a little worried because we are still early in the build process (just starting framing this week) so there is the potential it could take longer than the 6 months to close, at which point I've wasted $1,575.

Personal Finance Deals
Help. Settling for less then Full for LiveBeat
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: 74ak
Views: 207 Replies: 2 While the post may be more suited for credit boards I am not a deadbeat and am looking to improve my yield

- Received a loan from my former employer ($22k, 1.88% fixed, 81months)
- A normal practice for my employer to sell the promissory note to a collection agency who services it
- I called the collection agency inquiring about buying the note out for less than par on the start of a repayment - the declined
- Got a offer in mail today with 5 days to respond to settle for 15% off ( ~$17.5k lump sum, currently ~ 77 months to go)
- I have no liquidity issues. Dont want to jump thru hoops of RCA and can settle, attractive IRR (imho) - 6-7% pretax
- Currently, the debt is not reported to any credit agencies
- Avg Fico Score 800
- Just completed my AOR, curtailed my mortgage to get rid of PMI and paid of a car loan - again in a quest for yield, not looking to refi or but might get a new car loan (0.75% fixed)


1) Should I counteroffer (a quick Google search showed they offer up to 50% off ...but to deadbeats - the lady on the phone indicated my "type" (I assume paying type) does not get this kind of offers) and request the new terms in writing while waiting for inflation?
2) IF I am to accept the above 15% off offer, how should approach it?
This particular collection agency is very nasty and I am worried:
a) they will play games with me by posting the payment after the deadline and thus ripping me off of low fixed rate loans - keeping the original amortization schedule/terms and simply curtailing it (opportunity cost, etc - I did accumulate low fixed interest loans on purpose - higher reinvestment rates in the future, inflation etc - and would not want to lose it)
b) suddenly reporting "settled for less than full" to credit bureaus and thus damaging my score (I estimate 40-100pts hit and could take it but rather not OR at least for more $ off - 10k would be fair ). Should I write on a check "payment in full" - does it have any power?

I appreciate any advice, guys.
Personal Finance Deals
Ft Belvoir 1% Cash back for personal loan
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 08:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Drnoside
Views: 263 Replies: 1 Found this while scouring the internet for credit union Cash Back deals.

"The 1% Cash Back applies to any personal loan that is new the credit union. 1% Cash Back is available on personal line of credit loans and will be based on the amount advanced at loan opening. Offer can not be combined with any other promotion special."

Loans up to $25,000, this could work for a quick $250. I don't know the details on how long you have to wait before paying off the loan to get the bonus.

Membership seems fairly wide open for retired military or for many organizations in the local area
Deal Deals
Ft Belvoir 1% Cash back for personal load
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Drnoside
Views: 8 Replies: 0 Found this while scouring the internet for credit union Cash Back deals.

"The 1% Cash Back applies to any personal loan that is new the credit union. 1% Cash Back is available on personal line of credit loans and will be based on the amount advanced at loan opening. Offer can not be combined with any other promotion special."

Loans up to $25,000, this could work for a quick $250. I don't know the details on how long you have to wait before paying off the loan to get the bonus.

Membership seems fairly wide open for retired military or for many organizations in the local area
Deal Deals
'Loan Size to Be Cut for Fannie, Freddie' (WSJ)
Added on : Sunday September 08th 2013 03:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 102 Replies: 0 WSJ reporting that GSEs' regulator may lower conformingloan limits. Link: http://online.wsj.com/article_ (possible paywall).


Federal officials are preparing to reduce the maximum size of home-mortgage loans eligible for backing byFannie MaeandFreddie Mac,a move that is likely to face resistance from some lawmakers in Congress and the real estate industry.The proposed move is designed to wean the mortgage market off government support and allow the market for non-government-guaranteed mortgages to take a bigger role. But critics argue that any such move will shrink the pool of eligible home buyers, stunting the nation's housing recovery.... Currently, Fannie and Freddie Mac can back mortgages that have balances as high as $417,000 in most parts of the country and up to $625,500 in expensive housing markets, including parts of California and New York, and as much as $721,050 in Hawaii. ...The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, hasn't announced how far it will drop the loan limits, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and a spokeswoman declined to elaborate on specifics. But in a statement, the agency said a "gradual reduction in loan limits is an appropriate and effective approach to reducing taxpayers' mortgage-risk exposureand expanding the role of private capital in mortgage finance."
Discussion Deals
Which loan to pay extra towards? Mortgage or Student Loan?
Added on : Sunday September 08th 2013 11:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fremirrific
Views: 89 Replies: 6 Hi FW Community,

I just purchased my first home, and I can afford to pay an extra $1,500 a month towards any of my loans. I heard it's great to pay extra on your mortgage at the beginning, but I also have student loans which are at higher interest rates.

I was wondering which loan should I pay the extra $1,500 a month towards?

I have a FHA loan and would like to have at least 20% of my house paid for by 2018 so that I will no longer have to pay PMI, which means i have to have my house down to $131,000 by 2018.

I have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in my savings account.

Here are my current numbers...

Mortgage: $159,000 at 3.25%, minimum about $980
Student loan 1: $4100 at 4.25%
Student loan 2: $5400 at 6.55%
Student loan 3: $4100 at 3.15%
Student loan 4: $2500 at 6.55%
Minimum for all Student loans combined is $236

I just can't figure out the smartest way to do this!

Thanks as always!

Personal Finance Deals
Small Business Loan Ideas
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 10:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SmBizJames
Views: 193 Replies: 1 My wife and I are going to undertake our first small business venture, a gas station c-store, and are looking for ways to get the necessary capital. We are going to purchase an existing station which is highly favorable to both us and the bank. We knew that we needed to put down 20% but news that we will most likely need to put down 30% is a serious downer. We dont have that kind of cash. We have excellent credit and zero debt accept for a mortgage we are current on. What are the best methods to get an additional loan or advance of about 30k-50k? Ideas we have been looking into are local credit union, second mortgage, home equity line, and credit card adv.

We plan on throwing as much business profit at the secondary loan as we can to pay it down in short order. What would be the best method in your opinion to help fund this business purchase in addition to a standard small business bank loan?
Personal Finance Deals
Second Home/Vacation Rental with a partner - seeking financing
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: 9c1Dave
Views: 0 Replies: 0 For several years I've vacationed in a resort community in FL and have been able to accrue data that supports resale stability, high weekly rental occupancy, and no signs of financial distress / abandonment of single family estates. I am considering purchase of a home in this community to use primarily as a cash flow neutral / tax deduction machine. I expect to visit the property within acceptable IRS guidelines as not to exceed usage that would reduce/remove use as a rental property.

Due to the cash requirements to purchase a second home in a resort community, I would like to purchase with the aid of a non-family member partner. We are currently trying understand how we can navigate structuring the right kind of situation to allow pass through of profit/loss to our personal income taxes, while limiting liability in event of issue with weekly renters. We are located in NJ. The initial thought was to purchase as an LLC, but we are finding that we cannot obtain favorable loans. Consequently, if one of us purchases the property as an individual, and then title to an LLC, the lender may be able to call the note in full, which is very adverse.

We have already completed the financial analysis that makes the property viable and we already have framework for a partnership agreement with exit that can be completed with an attorney. Where we are stumped or without further resource is how to acquire the property as an entity rather than as individuals with massive umbrella policies.

Thanks for any input or resources to further review.
Helping Data Brokers for Fun and Profit
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 12:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ThomasPaine
Views: 105 Replies: 0 I thought about titling this "Dancing with the Devil for Fun and Profit", but that would be too vague.

SoSlashdotand the NYT are writing about a marketing company called Acxiom opening up their database of publically collected info about individuals and allowing them to edit them....
The "beta" website is calledhttp://AboutTheData.com.. it allows you to both edit, and suppress info from being used for marketing.
Can it be selectively updated, to maximize the chance of preapproved BT cards? Probably, it says the data updates within a few months.

So I had a try... this is my review.

The NYT review said there were inaccuracies, and there were mine too.. it confused me with my father (same name), my race, and the mortgage info is from the previous owner.

They require last 4 SSN, email, address, DOB and and a lot of info people here will be leary of giving marketers..
They use the last four of your SSN as a password... WTF.
They are not a credit reporting agency under FCRA, but they do collect some financial information
You can get the very same info, read onlyfor$5 from their offlinedisclosure dept
The Terms of Use warn that it's not a credit repair shop,
You will see your changes on screen immediately. However, it may take anywhere from 90 to 120 days for the changes to be updated in all systems. Changes will be kept for 24 months from date of change.

I'm sure this will cause paranoia over confirming marketing data, and if you like, you can certainly opt-out.
That being said, I was curious what I would have the ability to edit, and learn about the accuracy of the data.

They divide their info into five categories

Characteristic Data (DOB,Age,Gender,Race,Ethinicy based on Surname,Martial Status,Presence of Children,# of Children,Political Party, andOccupation)
Home Data (Owner/Renter, Type of Ownership, (Investor,Homeowner, Homestead), Trust Owned, Dwelling Type, Property Type, Length of Residence, HO insurance expiration date, SQ, Value, Comparitive Home Market Value, Assessed Value, Purchase Date, Loan Amount, LTV, Conventional, Loan Date, Transaction type, Fixed/Variable, Loan Amount, Available Home Equity, Lendable Home Equity
Auto (Monthauto insurance renews)
Economic (Household Income, Active Investor, Presence of Credit Card, AMEX/VISA/MC (More below)
Shopping (More below)
Household Interests (Donate to Charity, more categories of hobbies)

Economic Info
It breaks down the actual number of purchases made with "X" in the last 2 years with selected retailers

Credit Card

Interestingly, under presence of credit card you can choose to select from the following options:

=13pxBank Card Holder
Gas/Department/Retail Card Holder
Travel and Entertainment Card Holder
Credit Card Holder - Unknown Type
Premium Card Holder
Upscale Card Holder

Under credit card types (AMEX/MC/VISA), you can check boxes for "Gold/Premium" or Regular
Under Shopping it goes into more detail, basically added more detail from Economic

Total # of purchases captured over last 2 years, and total $ spent
Offline Purchases by amounts, #, total dollar spent, Average spent
Online Purchases by amounts, #, total dollar spent, Average spent
Mail-order buyer/Purchaser, and purchase categories
A whole slew of interests

So it's a mixed bag.... As mentioned in Slashdot.. likely Lexus/Nexus has better info for skiptracing... and this is probably used for preapproval offers only.
That I gave a broker all sorts of data about me does worry me a bit, but I figure I can always opt out later..
General Economics Deals
Changes to Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
Added on : Wednesday September 04th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jdcthegreat
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I just got this email:
=12px=14pxSeptember 4, 2013=12pxPenFed frequently evaluates the cost effectiveness of our products so that we can continually offer incredibly low rates to all our members. This evaluation has resulted in a change to your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card and will be effective October 26, 2013.
=12pxThere will be a $25 annual fee assessed once a year on the anniversary date of your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Credit Card.=12pxHOW YOU CAN AVOID THESES CHANGES
To avoid an annual fee, you can obtain a qualifying PenFed product:

=12px=12pxActive checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
=12px=12pxMoney Market Certificate or IRA Certificate

=12px=12pxInstallment loan*
=12px=12pxEquity Loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance

=12pxCredit cards and unsecured lines of credit are not qualifying PenFed products. =12pxYOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT(S)
You can choose not to accept the changes in this notice by cancelling your account(s). Please call us at 800-247-5626, or send an email to https://dm2prd0211.outlook.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=b8pgRoe-h0u9Kc49nphp0LF3X11gfdAI3ek8tWhGhfPTXscwJ1W0lW15WIVxIEn4MnJlmfY0reY.&URL=mailto%3aosc%40omaha.penfed.org%3fSubject%3dPenFed+Cash+Cancellation with subject line: PenFed Cash Cancellation. You can also write, please include your full legal name, complete mailing address, and the last 4 digits of your credit card account number(s) and send the letter to:=12px =12pxPenFed Card Services
P.O. Box 456

=12pxYour card will no longer be available for use as the account(s) will be closed (if not already closed).
=12pxYou will still be responsible for paying any outstanding balances on your account(s)

Effective in your November statement, you will begin earning 3% Cash Back on gas purchases paid at the pump** and you will no longer earn 0.25% on all other purchases on your PenFed Platinum Cash Visa Card.=12pxHOW YOU CAN CONTINUE TO EARN 5% ON GAS PURCHASES
You may continue to enjoy 5% on gas purchases paid at the pump and avoid an annual fee by obtaining a qualifying PenFed product:

=12px=12pxActive checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
=12px=12pxMoney Market Certificate or IRA Certificate

=12px=12pxInstallment loan*
=12px=12pxEquity Loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance

=12pxCredit cards and unsecured lines of credit are not qualifying PenFed products. =12pxAccounts earning 3% on gas purchases will be evaluated monthly to determine if you have obtained a qualifying product. You will begin earning 5% back on gas purchases when you obtain a qualifying product. Please allow up to 90 days for this change. Please see summary chart below.=12px
=12px=12px=12px =12px=12px=12pxWithout Qualifying Product =12px=12px=12pxWith Qualifying Product =12px=12px=12pxGas Purchase at the Pump =12px=12px=12px3% Cash Back =12px=12px=12px5% Cash Back =12px=12px=12pxAll other purchases =12px=12px=12px0% Cash Back =12px=12px=12px0% Cash Back =12px=12px=12pxAnnual Fee =12px=12px=12px$25 =12px=12px=12pxNone =12px=12px=12pxForeign Transaction Fee =12px=12px=12pxNone =12px=12px=12pxNone

Credit Deals
Parting with House Down Payment
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 07:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 92 Replies: 1 Hello All,

We are in market for a SFR in Western USA (think, LA, Central Cal, Reno, Phoenix, Tucson etc). The RE market has gotten insane. Sellers were begging buyers in Jan 2013, now they show so much attitude!
We have about total 100k in savings (non-retirement) of which $30k is an emergency fund. We have about $150k in retirement savings (401ks, IRA, Roths etc) which I do not want to touch now.
We have saved every penny as much as possible in the last 1.5 years to make up this $70k as a couple.
We already own a small home with a very small mortgage and are very happy about it. We want to take advantage of this low interest environment before Fed tapering and get a mortgage for a second, bugger home (not sure how it will impact interest rate)

We are only liking/able get into contracts on houses that are worth 5 times our down payment (about ~$340k+..) (~20% down)... which are nice looking ones. Lower than that price houses are crappy

Whenever we think of parting with the $70k down payment, we feel terrible!That's all our savings (outside of retirement) we have. We do have a $20k student loan debt and a $16k car debt and no other debts.
With this 2nd house' mortgage and other debts our debt ratio will be 50% of income.

1. Should we wait to save more? Prices and interest rates are going up.. day by day.. (we have been doing this for about 6 months, but as the savings get bigger, its harder to part with it!)
2. Any suggestions to change the way we think that makes us feel comfortable in putting/parting away with that much cash down?
3. We always feel we will have a buyers remorse.. not sure how to overcome that.. any suggestions? - this is possibly because sellers are asking outrageous prices lately here..(we always have to waive appraisal and cover the difference, if not - no chance to get accepted)

I always appreciate the people in this forum..for their valuable comments and help.

Question Deals
Homeward Residential Refinance Fiasco - Advice?
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tetij1
Views: 65 Replies: 0 We were minding our own business when Homeward Residential called us and asked if we wanted to refinance our vacation property (rental) which is currently owned by them (I believe they are an arm of Ocwen who got this loan from GMAC). The rate they were offering, 3.75 for 15 years, was considerably better than the 6.75 that we are paying for the 23 remaining years of our 30 year loan so I agreed to proceed with the re-fi. Note: I have been hesitant to do this before because the condo is underwater. We have $88,000 remaining on a property that is worth, according to the appraisal, $72K. I told this to the Loan Officer up front and he said that it was not problem.

Anyway, we jump through all their hoops and we receive an email from underwriting on July 31st that the loan was conditionally approved and we needed the appraisal. Subsequently, we pay the $495 for the appraisal, the appraisal comes back at $72K (as expected), and last Friday we get an email from the underwriter saying that we have been denied the loan "due to the property being in a resort area that has nightly rentals and the square footage of the subject is under 400 sq ft". Today in the mail we received an official denial saying that it was based on the following reasons: "value or type of collateral not sufficient" and "unacceptable property".

My question is, if this property was "unacceptable" to begin with due to square footage or whatever else (which they should've known because they own the loan plus the loan officer and I talked about the type of property it is), I don't believe I should have to pay for the appraisal. I feel like it was all just an elaborate scam or, minimally, gross incompetence on the part of the loan officer.

Of course the loan officer has not called me back or returned my email. . .so, my questions are: Do you think there's any chance of my getting the appraisal costs refunded? If so, how? The appraisal did take place. Also, do you think this is something that Homeward does regularly and would be a class action suit (seems stupid on their part, but. . .)?

Thanks for any ideas/thoughts.

Sallie Mae's customer service: "Not sure how to limit info. sharing"
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 86 Replies: 0 So, my federal student loans just got transferred to Sallie Mae. I know this because I received a letter in the mail telling me this, and more importantly, telling me that if I don't want Sallie Mae to share my information with marketing companies, etc. that I would need to contact them within 30 days at the number provided. (So far nothing unusual.)

I do not want my information shared, so I called that number. An recorded message informed me that I could either choose to hold and that hold time was up to 2 hours (which I think is astounding), or I could choose a call back time. I did the later. The message continued, "You can choose any of the following times." The soonest was the following day. So, I finished scheduling that, and waited by my phone the next day.

A Sallie Mae customer service representative called me back as scheduled. The problem is that she wasn't sure how to keep my information from being shared with marketers, etc. Her proposed solution was to put a note in my account and she told me, "Call us back if you start to receive marketing material." I don't think that Sallie Mae is capable of taking back information once it's shared. Am I wrong? I tried calling Sallie Mae twice more and no one there seems to know how to stop info. sharing. What can I do? I think I'm going to write to them at their headquarters even though that's not an option provided on the letter.

General Economics Deals
Question on Student Loan Interest Reimbursement...
Added on : Monday September 02nd 2013 07:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hurricanedarby
Views: 134 Replies: 0 The year is quickly coming to an end and I'm on pace to make around $60,000. I have student loans that I pay on each month but I typically get some of that refunded in my tax return. My understanding though is that if I make over $57,000 that I can't get student loan interest back. My friend says that for the last few paychecks I can just elect to send a huge amount to my 401k and that would lower my taxable income to the point where I could claim student loan interest again. Is this true? Are my facts straight on everything else? Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: elfrozo
Views: 21 Replies: 0 Hi All,

I've posted a question on here before and got ripped to shreds but learned a lot so I'm going to do it again. I have worked at a few different universities over the last few years and have some ideas on how to get through quicker and cheaper that most students do not know of.

I am considering writing a book or e-book to compile all the different ideas I have. It would be titled something like "The Savvy Student's Guide to Completing College Faster and Cheaper". The book would have several different ideas like:

- Using AP and community colleges to get the first 60 credits (two years) cheaply
- Buying and selling books online and how to spend less than $50 each semester on books
- How to split up classes to get the maximum credits each semester without compromising grades
- How to build and utilize relationships with professors
-Various scholarship and financial aid tips and tricks. Other little know sources of money for students
- Cheap housing and obtaining jobs with campus housing to live for free
- How to take the maximum advantage of university resources
- How to keep food and transportation costs to a minimum
- Jobs that allow one to study while working and how to get them
- Identifying the best major for the job market. Which majors to get student loans for and which majors to either stay away from or make sure not to get loans for.

I have several other ideas that may be common sense to folks on here but may not be for the average student.

My questions are:

1. Do you think a book like this would be useful? I haven't really seen anything like this out there put together in one spot.
2. Is there anyway to make a little money off this without charging students too much to buy the book?
3. Would any company be interested in publishing something like this or is it better just to do an e-book?

Basically, I'm trying to figure out whether something like this might be worth spending my time on putting together or whether it's not really interesting or useful material.

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dynorodzilla
Views: 10 Replies: 0 I have been getting trained for a promotion, which is imminent. Doing some long term planning here, and I want to buy a townhouse on a 15 year mortgage which will cost me $1300 a month (including taxes and HOA).

Expecting the offer to be in the low 50s. Crunched the number and after taxes, 401k, health, dental, etc this is what I am looking at in terms of monthly cash at various salary levels:

45k-$2,739 per month
50k- $3,016 per month
55k-$3,252 per month
60k- $3,488 per month

Where number do you think I need to get to in order to be comfortable and buy this townhouse? I own my car and have no debts outside of 15k in student loans.

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How Soon Can You Refinance an Auto Loan After Purchase?
Added on : Saturday August 31st 2013 04:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jimmyrules712
Views: 151 Replies: 5 Just got home from purchasing a new vehicle from a dealer. Ford offered an extra $500 rebate for essentially financing through them for a terrible interest rate (6.2%). Being the cheapskate fatwalleter I am I went for it intending to refinance to a Penfed 1.99% loan ASAP. I'm told I should receive my paperwork for the car in 3 weeks. My first payment will be due 10/14. I'm guessing I won't be able to refinance until I receive the first bill in the mail? Or can it be done sooner?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: atohmc
Views: 23 Replies: 0 I just recently closed on a mortgage with Chase and wanted to share this promotion I found while I was shopping loans. It looks like this has been around for a little while, but I didn't see any posts about it:


12,500 points for any new Chase mortgage under $250,000
25,000 points for any new Chase mortgage between $250,000 and $500,000
50,000 points for any new Chase mortgage over $500,000

You need to call the number on the website or get preapproved using the link. Chase surprised me by being competitive -- I didn't post this when I found it because I fully expected to get a subpar offer (they have to recoup the cost of the points somehow, right?). I called maybe 12-15 lenders, and in the end, Chase's offer was the best: 4.125% APR jumbo mortgage with a $1,250 credit. I had one other bank who matched this, but with Chase I also received the 50,000 Southwest points and am ableto participate in the 1% mortgage CashBack program (up to $500/yearly), making Chase a clear winner here.

If you're shopping around for a mortgage, it's worth a shot. Worked for me
Credit Deals
Is a 75 month auto loan a good idea?
Added on : Friday August 30th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ivo09
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hey guys, need some advice. Basically, I am buying a vehicle (2014 Cadillac XTS) to be used as a limousine. The dealer told me I was approved for a 75 month loan at 4.09% APR with no down payment. I am not sure if this is a good deal. I will at most get 5-6 years out of the car before I have to retire it. My monthly payments come to $626.55. Is it smart to take the 75 month term and just pump more money to get it payed of faster or should I push for a 60 month deal. The car is being sold for $41,404.05.

I am 22 years old and have a very good credit profile (IMO). My score is perhaps around 750 or higher. Should I push for a 60 month dead instead? I know that the interest on 75 months comes out quite larger. Any experiences or anecdotes?

Summary of Deal Offered
Selling Price: $41,404.05
Lender: Bank of America
APR: 4.09%
Term: 75 months
Down Payment: $0
The floating ARM as a house asset?
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 08:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dmlavigne1
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I was wondering if the FWF community knew that ARM's are generally transferable? When my parents bought back in the early 80's you could assume the mortgage but I wasn't aware that it still existed until the closing agent said "ARM's are generally transferable." I was shocked at this and my mind started to immediately wonder.

We just purchased a new home with an insanely low rate on a 7 yr term and since that time the rates have gone up over a point. Frankly, if we sell the house within 7 years and the rates are up, and the buyer can come up with the cash ((loan - principal paid)+appreciation) why would it not be good to list the ARM on the MLS like another bedroom and use that text? At the current low rates that is about a 15% payment difference for the length of the ARM on our place.

Does anyone know any hangups? The loan officer said that the buyer has to be qualified which was a no brainier. Other than that if the FWF savvy are buying or selling a house, it might be beneficial to ask for the arm rate if buying or list the rate if selling.

REQ: AOR CC's w/ Bonus Point Suggestions
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Wineaux
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Lucky me needs around $7,000 in dental work done before the end of the year, and since I've got to spend the money I might as well make some money doing so. I can split the spend onto whatever cards I want at the dentists office, and I can do cards for both myself and my wife at the same time. My goal in all of this is to get as many points as possible that I can turn into GC's, link to my Amazon account, or just get cash in order to finance all/most of our Christmas shopping since it's just around the corner. The idea is to use the CC's to get an interest free loan for the next year, pay off balances before they start charging interest, and close most of the cards. Especially any that might have an annual fee that had been waived, unless it was really worth keeping the card for additional perks.

So what's out there right now? I've seen folks talking about cards they were applying for and associated bonus points, but I haven't really seen any links to the offers, and I've been digging around in the AOR thread, etc looking. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your links and suggestions.
Private college loans please help I've hid for too long
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dago84
Views: 231 Replies: 3 P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Hello I have some questions regarding my student loans. I know there are government loans and private loans. My government loans were garnished until a certain period of time, and then I proceeded to pay them off (on top of my garnishments). The private loans are held through Sallie Mae, and being that they're private they do not garnish. Instead, Sallie Mae has continued to hit me with very high interest rates at which are doubling and tripling my total amount due over the years. I can no longer run and hide, the more I hide the sooner my loans reach $100k mark. I am confused and not sure what to do, it seems if I start paying I will simply be paying the interest for years and years prior to even touching the principal amount due. Onto my question, and I have to ask because I don't know what to do. I have been told by many people that after 7 years and (3-4 months) private loans will fall off of my credit report. I am coming here to see if there is any truth to this and or what I should do to increase my score.I'm financially stable at this point and need to get the credit score addressed immediately for it is affecting many points in my life. If this means tackling the loans head on, then so be it. It will be a long while before they are paid, but if that's what needs done so be it.If you all tell me I should start paying them, will I see a increase in my score once I start making payments? Thanks all, sorry it's so brief but figured you didn't want a long read. Thank you all, if there is any information you need please let me know. Apprecaite any advice you can offer I'm simply looking for the most cost affective and best way to increase my score. Sadly I didn't even finish college due to a job offer at which I couldn't pass up and I am currently still employed with said company.
Thanks all
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: bluechapstick
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I have a car I bought in february, 2011 cruze eco manual transmission, because I commuted 80 miles round trip per day. I no longer need this mpg because I sold my house and move closer to work, the commute was killing me. I owe 16k on this car through my bank, Alliant Credit Union, at 1.99%. I am looking at a 2010 VW GTI because I want a fun car that still has decent gas mileage. I can pick one up for about 18k. If possible, I would like to roll over the remainder of my existing loan to the new loan because at that interest rate I'd rather save the cash but do have it available if this won't work.

Truth is this car is incredibly boring, while being a great car for a commuter it isn't for me.

Would this only be possible at a dealership with a trade in? KBB/Nada say trade is around 13k, so I would take a little hit. I have an apartment after selling my house and really can't have 2 cars. Street parking a second car would be a nightmare.

I kept my previous car(also bought used) for 8 years so I would plan on keeping the new one for years to come and not making a habit of replacing cars so quickly.

Would getting an offer at carmax be a good option?
HARP refinance?
Added on : Tuesday August 27th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RBirns
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Just got contacted by the holder of my mortgage. They are offering me a simplified refi under Obama's HARP program (so they say). I understand this program is supposed to help underwater folks refinance easily, but my loan is not underwater. Loan balance is about $168K, market value somewhere over $600K. Anyway, I'm halfway through a 20 year mortgage at 5.5%. They are offering a simplified refi to a new 10 year loan at 4%. Closing costs of about $3500 would be rolled into the loan so nothing out of pocket. My payment will go down $53 a month, ending at the same time as my existing loan. No documentation, just proof of insurance and verification that I'm currently employed. Is this a good idea?
Personal Finance Deals
Need New Federal Student Loans To Qualify For 10% IBR
Added on : Tuesday August 27th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 1 Posted By: perpetualstudent
Views: 139 Replies: 2 I went to grad school in 2009 to 2011 for an MBA and took out massive student loans. While things were not unexpected, basically everything went as badly as they could. (A) not qualifying for in-state tuition. (B) massive tuition increase between first and second year (C) not qualifying for an assistantship either year (D) not obtaining a paid internship and working for free over the summer.

While I did have a risk plan going in, every single risk occurred simultaneously and my mitigation strategy for this outcome was to use Income Based Repayment and qualify for forgiveness after 25 years. Had at least half of the things went right, I intended to pay back the student loans within 5 years. But everything possible went wrong and $150k of federal student loans at a weighted average of 7.4% interest is not something I can reasonably pay back. While this intro has nothing to do with the question in the post, I list it for background information.

The strategy now is to legally use the system in my favor and that will involve taking new federal student loans, because our president's student loan executive order in 2012 only helps people who have at least one student loan in 2012 or later, and who have no loans prior to 2008. If I get in that plan, then my IBR drops from 15% of my discretionary income down to 10% and the 25 year repayment period drops to 20 years.

I ran the numbers and it would make sense for me to stop working for a year and do one more year of school, in any program, it doesn't matter what, just so I can take out new federal students and thus put all $150k onto the new 10%/20 year plan. The new IBR rules apply retroactively to all previous loans, if you have at least one loan in 2012, not just to loans in 2012 and later.

The problem is only federal student loans work and certain criteria, of which I'm not certain of, must be met in order for federal loans to cover tuition. It's my understanding it must be some kind of "degree-seeking program." I don't think I can get a federal student loan to cover massage therapy school, for example.

Can anyone recommend how I might get a new federal student loan issued, considering I already have an MBA and a BA degree?

For anyone who thinks I'm a deadbeat, consider that anyone with student loans prior to 2009 got a variable rate, which in current terms is around 2%. When I got to school they just changed the rules to lock in at a fixed rate of 6.8% and 7.8%. And it took until 2012 for the President to realize that was insane and impossible to pay back and change the rules, but only for people who got loans in 2012 and later. So essentially, by being a student between that 2009 and 2011 period, I got significantly screwed (by not qualifying for the low variable rates of 2008 and earlier, and not qualifying for the more leniant IBR rates of 2012 and later). The only fix is to go back to school somehow, hopefully part-time and online, just anyway to qualify for at least $1 of a new federal student loan.
Personal Finance Deals
Creditworthiness of a new LLC.
Added on : Monday August 26th 2013 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: StevenColorado
Views: 110 Replies: 0 Situation - my stepson got laid off from his job as an exterminator, working for a local branch. He had been working for them for six months. When he was hired, he was doing bug-killing, but started selling extermination jobs as well. He consistently broke national sales records in the company, even competing against salesmen with ten years of experience, got along great with customers, and was being groomed for management. He was let go because of the company's "last hired, first let go" policy, and was told he will be eligible for rehire once things get busier in April. We both figure the local company branch won't be around by then.

The current plan is for him to go into business for himself. We need to first review the noncompete agreement he signed to see how enforceable it is. Assuming it won't stand up, then we plan to have him start working weekends and evenings on an extermination business during the slow season, and then go FT come January when things pick up. I figure the way to go is an LLC with a good umbrella policy.

He's broke. He is still recovering financially from a sickness that kept him out of work for a year, but he's recovered from it physically 100%. My gf has just declared bankruptcy and is rebuilding her financial life. So I'll be providing seed money for the business. The upside is tremendous and the downside would be a couple thousand bucks. It's a no-brainer.

My question: how do I structure this so the LLC looks as creditworthy as possible? Right now, I plan to just deposit the seed money in a CU account, and get chemicals (as well as licensing, etc.), and simply cosign a CU loan, to the LLC, for the vehicle. Is there a better way? My goal is that the LLC be able to go to a CU for any additional loans needed.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 2 Posted By: archena
Views: 1780 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase.

Scientific Work and Creativity: Advice from the Masters [Kindle Edition] was $2.99

Print is $24.95

Citizen Scientists League (Author),

Reginald Smith (Editor)


Publication Date: July 26, 2012

Publisher: Citizen Scientists

1 Review ★★★★★

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Experiments, Instruments & Measurement > Methodology & Statistics

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Education > Research

How do the great discoverers of science really work? Biographers, psychologists, and philosophers have written much on the phenomenon of scientific creativity. This collection of essays takes you into the minds of some of the worlds greatest scientists. You can read in their own words how they worked, thought, and discovered Crucial insights. Hermann von Helmholtz, Hideki Yukawa, Ernst Mach, J.B.S. Haldane, Henri Poincar, Steven Weinberg, Peter Doherty, C.V. Raman, Sylvester James Gates, and many more deliver witty, irreverent, thoughtful, and profound advice to scientists of all kinds and abilities. Whether you are a science hobbyist, an undergraduate doing your first lab work, a postdoc, or a seasoned professional, these essays will help point you in the direction of insight and discovery.

Visit the Citizen Scientists League

About the Author
The Citizen Scientists League promotes responsible scientific observation, experimentation, discovery, and invention. We encourage active participation, networking and publishing by science enthusiasts at all levels of education and experience. Editor: Reginald Smith has been active in the amateur science community for over ten years with both the Society for Amateur Scientists and the Citizen Scientists League. His research focus over the years has been mainly in physics including plasma physics, complex networks, and the physics of complex systems such as the Internet, finance, and biology. He has published over 12 peer reviewed scientific papers and wrote extensively on amateur science topics. He studied physics at the University of Virginia and business at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Escrow removal - appraisal required?
Added on : Saturday August 24th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: datatransfer
Views: 28 Replies: 0 I made an extra payment to drop to 79.xx% LTV on my house. My crummy loan servicer is saying now I have to get an appraisal to make sure the value of my house hasn't dropped since it was appraised two years ago. Can they do this?? Seems pretty sleezy. For one, the zestimate on my house is about 50 grand more than it was appraised for two years ago. How can they keep making me pay PMI based on a moving target?
g: 0 Posted By: archena
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase.

Scientific Work and Creativity: Advice from the Masters [Kindle Edition] was $2.99

Print is $24.95

Citizen Scientists League (Author),

Reginald Smith (Editor)


Publication Date: July 26, 2012

Publisher: Citizen Scientists

1 Review ★★★★★

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Experiments, Instruments & Measurement > Methodology & Statistics

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Education > Research

How do the great discoverers of science really work? Biographers, psychologists, and philosophers have written much on the phenomenon of scientific creativity. This collection of essays takes you into the minds of some of the worlds greatest scientists. You can read in their own words how they worked, thought, and discovered Crucial insights. Hermann von Helmholtz, Hideki Yukawa, Ernst Mach, J.B.S. Haldane, Henri Poincar, Steven Weinberg, Peter Doherty, C.V. Raman, Sylvester James Gates, and many more deliver witty, irreverent, thoughtful, and profound advice to scientists of all kinds and abilities. Whether you are a science hobbyist, an undergraduate doing your first lab work, a postdoc, or a seasoned professional, these essays will help point you in the direction of insight and discovery.

Visit the Citizen Scientists League

About the Author
The Citizen Scientists League promotes responsible scientific observation, experimentation, discovery, and invention. We encourage active participation, networking and publishing by science enthusiasts at all levels of education and experience. Editor: Reginald Smith has been active in the amateur science community for over ten years with both the Society for Amateur Scientists and the Citizen Scientists League. His research focus over the years has been mainly in physics including plasma physics, complex networks, and the physics of complex systems such as the Internet, finance, and biology. He has published over 12 peer reviewed scientific papers and wrote extensively on amateur science topics. He studied physics at the University of Virginia and business at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Lodge CRS12 (12") Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet $29.30 AMAZON
Added on : Thursday August 22nd 2013 10:00:04 AM
g: 2 Posted By: berkeleyman
Views: 311 Replies: 0 This is the bestprice ever for this skillet according to camelcamelcamel. Great reviews! Good choice for those looking for non-stick without tefloan coating.

Foundry Seasoned and ready to use
Takes high heat for best browning/searing
12 gauge carbon steel
Use on all heat sources except microwave ovens
Made in the USA

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Amazon Coupons
Clever gift giving in mortgage process
Added on : Sunday August 18th 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: brotherchaos
Views: 73 Replies: 0 Question related to gift-giving when applying for a mortgage:I know that the only gifts you can receive are ones from family members and they must be verified to be gifts and not loans. However, I've thought of a (possibly) sneaky way to have anyone give you a gift without the lender noticing, but I'm wondering if anyone here has heard of it before.The reason I'm doing this is not to buy a home that I can't afford, but because someone (family friend) actually wants to give me a gift to help pay for other costs that may come up around the house-buying period and I have to tell them they can't.The way you could do it is simply have that person pay off your credit card debt from their own bank account. Since mortgage lenders only look at YOUR bank statements, they wouldn't notice any weird transactions and so it would basically be a sneaky way to receive a gift without anyone noticing.Does anyone see a problem with this?
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: trauma233
Views: 182 Replies: 6 So I just got my first after college job and before taxes my salary is $57,000. I wanted to ask people for any feedback regarding how to handle the money considering my situation at the moment:
I currently live with my parents but have a long commute so will be moving out on my own in a couple of months.
My fiancee is going to school full time this year and he will have ~$40K of loans at the end of the year. However, if all goes well, the minimum salary for those who have graduated in the past few years from the program has been $85K so we are hopeful. Next year we'll be moving in together.So I have a bunch of questions considering that I am not in a stable living situation and my fiancee currently has no income.
1) What should my exemption be? Right now I have put in 0 for exemption, 0 for allowance and am receiving about 70% of my pretax salary. 2) I need your opinion on how to best handle my money, what accounts to open etc.
I only have $2000 on a checking account right now.
- I have $3.5K student loans that I need to pay back. I am still in the grace period though. Should I pay this off first and then start putting money aside?
- I can open a Roth IRA through my company, I can have a 401K and company matches up to 6.2%. Should I pursue either of these.
- Should I open a savings account or keep everything in a checking account so I can use them whenever needed?
- Credit card - I have a Discover with 1% CashBack on everything and 5% on selected items, no annual fee. I have never missed a payment in the last 3 years that I have had had it so my credit should be good to very good. Is there a credit card with better rewards?
Any feedback from your experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
Personal Finance Deals
IBR/PSLF, Roth or Traditional with Conversion
Added on : Sunday August 18th 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Shaudius
Views: 46 Replies: 0 I'm 30 years old with just south of 100k in federal loan debt. Also have about 40k in private student loan debt, about a third of which is at 8%, the rest is between 4.75 and 5%. I converted about 14k of private debt to 4.99% life of loan penfed credit card debt(which even at APY is still 3% lower than the 8%.) I have a government job making about 75k a year. I'm 3 years into IBR/PSLF. I don't want to have a discussion about whether or not PSLF/IBR will still be around in 7 years, I'm pretty much committed to that at this point to my own wheel or woe.I have about 20k in my retirement right now(I know I am way behind.)Since every dollar I put into a tax deferred account saves me 15% in student loan payments I've developed the following plan, which seems to beat the interest rates of all my debt. Contribute the max to the TSP(fed 401k), max to a traditional IRA, and max to a HSA. I'm not in a HDHP this year so the latter won't be done til next year. The plan is to then do this for the next 6 years and then in the 10th year convert the traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and pay the taxes then, still having saved the 15% for the 6 years. Since the majority of my contribution is in the 25% bracket now, and will be taxes as same likely in 6 years(I don't forsee being higher than 25% in 6 years, although maybe the tax rate will be higher by then?)I realize that there is phase out for the traditional IRA and I may hit in the next 6 years depending on income growth, even contributing the max to my TSP and HSA, so that only some of these years there will be a choice between traditional IRA deduction and Roth IRA(obviously if I reach the phase out or completely not being able to the calculation would change.)1) Do people think making traditional IRA contributions and then converting them to Roth later is the right move? Should I skip this step and contribute directly to the Roth IRA now. Obviously it won't help with the IBR but the earnings won't get hit with income tax either in 6 years or in the future either. 2) I do also have the option of placing some or all of my contributions to the TSP in a Roth version. Should I switch some of the traditional to Roth in the TSP. Obviously since I'm behind right now(even with a pension that may or may not exist, and social security that may or may not exist.) Is tax treatment diversification worth the hit I'd take to my IBR payment?3) I can take a loan out against my TSP of up to 10k in order to pay off my private student loans, but obviously that money wouldn't garner earnings. It is paid back at a rate of 2.25% or so right which goes back into my account(can be paid back over 5 years.)4) Municipal bonds aren't taxed on the federal level as I understand it. I do have state income tax in my state, Maryland, do they make more sense because of the IBR than other investments outside of my retirement account because of this or am I better off with other investment vehicles. As far as other questions wrt marriage(I am single) and homeownership, I am currently undecided on both. Right now all my income goes to rent(about $750 a month) and student loans(about $1500 a month, so should be paid off in a little under 3 years if I don't do the above with the TSP loan, less if I do but then I'd have the TSP loan.)I realize this post has a lot of different topics, but I'd appreciate any insight anyone has.
Question Deals
Buying a $700,000 house...I know it's crazy, but is it even possible?
Added on : Saturday August 17th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: -2 Posted By: Thrwaway1234569
Views: 202 Replies: 9 I understand that this is crazy I am not looking for "pay your bills" and "you are irresponsible" advice. I fully understand that this would be spending way above our means, but theoretically, I just want to go through the exercise and see if the loans even exist to buy a house with our financial situation.I want to know if my wife and I can buy a $700,000 house with our financials, and if so, what kind of loan we could get to accomplish this. I already know that a conventional mortgage loan is more than likely out of the question.Wife and I have $100,000 cash and gross about $137,000/year. In two years my wife's salary will jump and hopefully we will be around $240,000/year (She is a medical resident). We have zero debt. Cars, student loans etc...all paid off. My question is simple...Is it possible to get a loan to buy a $700,000-$730,000 house, and if so, what kind of loan would it be? I am envisioning a zero percent down loan and use the cash to pay for the first couple years until we see a jump in our salary. Do any loans like this exist?
Personal Finance Deals
Whole Life Policies
Added on : Friday August 16th 2013 01:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: HooDoo23
Views: 207 Replies: 2 I don't have a good understanding of whole life insurance policies other than recently searching about whole life and coming to realize I probably made a bad decision in purchasing them. I have 2 polices with Northwestern Mutual. A 50K whole life policy purchased 8-10 years ago:
Net Death Benefit $50,307
Net Cash Value $3,048.05
Total Loans $0.00
Available for Loan $3,024.15
Loan Interest Rate 8%
Monthly Premium $62.07
2013 Dividend $41.152nd is a 300K policy listed as a 65 life policy which I'm guessing is also whole life, purchased 3 or 4 years ago:
Net Death Benefit $307,523
Net Cash Value $1,862.27
Total Loans $0.00
Available for Loan $1,758.12
Loan Interest Rate 8%
Monthly Premium $517.80
2013 Dividend $518.25I also have 650K of term life in place.I am 38, married, 3 kids. I am a business owner, no 401K, around 20K in an IRA. My business has started to do well the past few years and I have been able to pay off credit cards and most loans from starting the company. My income was around 200K last year. This year income will be around the same amount. I haven't been putting additional money into an IRA but now that I am close to paying off my debt, I would like to max the IRA's out for my wife and myself by the end of the year. I also put money into a 529 education plan for my kids each month. My question is what should I do regarding the whole life policies? Cash them out and put that 5K cash value I would get into an IRA? Am I too far into it and just need to hold on to them now? I hate the thought of how much money I have paid on these policies and only getting 5K back but from what I have read it sounds like that might be the better option. Thanks for any advice in advance.
Discussion Deals
ARM Question - when rate resets -
Added on : Friday August 16th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: prozario
Views: 88 Replies: 0 ARM Question - when rate resets. I understand rate will reset based on the index in your agreement & based on max rate it can go up per year. My question is how is the monthly payment computed. Is it based on the loan balance remaining at that point?Meaning if i say start with $400K loan, and 7 year ARM - after 7 year say my loan balance has been paid down to $380K ...and new rate is 4%. Now would they calculate monthly payment as a 23 year loan (30-7) with 4% rate? The reason i'm asking, my current rate is $2.65% for 7 year. If the rates go up, and i've extra cash available, would it bring down montly payment (hence reduce interest cost), if I pay down say $100K principal on year it rate is going to reset?
Question Deals
NFCU Auto Loan charging interest before I get the check
Added on : Friday August 16th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kb2120
Views: 115 Replies: 1 Applied for refinance of an auto loan with Navy Federal CU. They have started charging interested as soon as they approved the application. They still have to send me a check in the mail and I think have to sign the check and mail it into the current lienholder. So I could see that whole process taking upwards of 2, maybe 3 weeks. Is this typical, I would have expected the interest changes to begin once the check is cashed by the current lienholder.
Personal Finance Deals
collateral on personal loan
Added on : Thursday August 15th 2013 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rtlguru
Views: 149 Replies: 5 I'm thinking of loaning a friend 100k to purchase a house at auction. In exchange, he is willing to put up his house as collateral. He has about 300k in equity and is going to apply for a heloc to pay me back in a month or two. He also has an excellent job and makes good money. Is there any risk that I'm missing? Or am I safe with this collateral? In other words, how hard would it be for me to use the collateral to get my money back if he was unable to pay me back for whatever reason?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: johnqsmith
Views: 33 Replies: 0 I'm a first time home buyer. Comparing FHA and conventional.I hate the idea of pissing away the PMI. However, I am a business owner and could use the capital saved from not putting 20% down. I'm actually trying to take out a line of credit currently as I could use all the capital I can get.
For a 250,000 house (for example) I have calculated the following is my cost of doing FHA instead of conventional. I am not sure of the *exact* interest rate numbers because we haven't actually done the pre-approval process, but was given rough numbers.FHA - ~4.950% , 3.5% down, pay PMI
Conventional - 5.150%, 20% down, no PMIThe difference in cash outlay is 16.5% of 250k, or $41,250.The difference in "wasted money" PMI + interest rate (saving a little interest but paying PMI) is $230 (PMI) + savings of $30 slightly lower interest rate. OR $200 more per month in "wasted" funds if I go with an FHA loan.
In other words, by taking an FHA loan over conventional, I'd essentially be taking out a loan of $41,250 at 5.85% annual interest.Given that I'm trying to keep / add as much cash as possible in my business, I would happily take a loan or line of credit from a bank for my business for 5.85%Is this a no-brainer?Am I missing anything with regards to FHA vs conventional costs?
New User Question Deals
Need help on my financial situation, should i refinance?
Added on : Wednesday August 14th 2013 08:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elinvicible
Views: 44 Replies: 1 FW Members - I have seen many questions on here get fantastic answers and was hoping you do the same for me Current situation:

3 family house with two loans (bought it in 2005)
1s loan $440,000 with a 4.75% fixed rate
2nd loan $239,000 is a HELOC with variable rate, current rate is 3.5%

Refinance offer:

A 30 yrs. fixed loan for $681,500 at 4.625 with $15,998.00 closing costs to replace the existing two loans.

My primary concern in my current situation is having a 2nd loan with a variable rate, I cant find anyone to refinance just the 2nd loan.

If I refinance, I'll go back to a 30 yrs. loan, I really dont want to do that.

Let me know if any additional information is needed and Id appreciate some useful advice.

Any help would be great. Thank you
Personal Finance Deals
Student Loan Advice needed
Added on : Wednesday August 14th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: LoveRebates
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Facts
1) Grad school 2 year program - total cost $105000
2) Employer Contribution - $30000 (after end of first semester with good grades), No other contribution available
3) Credit score 800+
4) FAFSA options for fall and spring:
$20500 at 5.41% FIXED APR and 1.051% origination (Deferment of payment post graduation)
$26440 at 6.41% FIXED APR and 4.204% origination ( Deferment of payment option available)5) NASAFCU student loans and PENFED loans are variable interest, though NASAFCU seems to be lower + LIBOR rateI'd really appreciate it, if anyone can offer insight on what the best course of action would be? Are there other options available? I might have to buy another house within the shorter term, so I am a bit afraid of taking a hit on my score as well. I do have a 15k$ car loan.Thanks for any input. I dont have cash for this, I wish I did.
Love rebates
Leaving Employer & 401k Loan Penalty Questions
Added on : Tuesday August 13th 2013 09:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Winded
Views: 239 Replies: 10 This is my first question in the finance forum but being I am definitely not educated in this area and know there are some great finance guru's here I figured i'd ask this here. Long story short, I have been with the same employer for 7 years and (for many reasons) have decided to leave this employer. I landed a job with a new employer where I will start in two weeks. The new employer offers a 403B option with matching (immediate) while my current employer has offered a 401k plan w/ matching since I've been with them and which I've been a part of. Last year I purchased a house but didn't have enough down payment saved so I had no other option but to tap into my 401k plan where I withdrew 9k. I've been paying this money back with each paycheck and paid down roughly 2k over the last year. I still owe about 7k. As mentioned, i'm leaving my current employer and the HR director stated there are 3 options.1) To pay back the loan in full with my own money (which I don't have) within 90 days.
2) To fill out a 1099 at the end of the year and have this remaining loan amount of ~7k taxed as income
3) To have John Hancock deduct the 7k from my 401k balanceOption 1 isn't an option as I don't have the money. Option 2 would be a possibility and option 3 (if i'm understanding correctly) would seem to be completely idiotic. I understand it was a loan I took but it was a loan from money I had already earned in my 401k. Money is extremely tight right now so of the 3 options I was given option 2 is the only one that would work for me. I guess my question is whether i'd have ANY other options that weren't mentioned to me which would be more beneficial for me? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice/help. Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Buying Certified Used Car and Auto Loan - Penfed?
Added on : Monday August 12th 2013 06:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ffactoryxxx
Views: 1 Replies: 0 So I was looking to trade in my Acura TL and get a certified Pre Owned BMW. I have good credit and plan to put my TL Trade in towards the purchase.A good friend of mine who is into cars mentioned to never go through the dealer for financing and to go somewhere like Penfed.What type of rates would one expect on a 60 month loan through Penfed vs dealer with 720-750 Score? By going through the dealer, are their advantages? When I speak to the dealer rep, do i mention I am getting financed through another company?Any general info would help.
Vehicle Warranty information - Route 66 through PENFED?
Added on : Monday August 12th 2013 06:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JuNooNi
Views: 107 Replies: 0 I am in the market for used Lexus ES 350 and we are almost finalizing the vehicle. I am looking into 2007 ES 350 (with all options including Nav e.t.c). The vehicle has only 20K miles, I know it's crazy low for almost 7 year old vehicle but I already checked out the carfax report and talked to the ownser and it all seems fine. I am also trying to take advantage of PenFed car loan buying services and hence probably apply for their loan. One of the offer that was popped up during the application process is the this route 66 warranty information.https://www.penfed.org/Route-66-Extended-Warranty/Now I am wondering if anyone has experience in using this warranty as compared to manufacture extended warranties. Also I am not sure, if we can get the manufacture extended warranty on this 2007 vehicle at this point. I think the time limit was 4 years or 50K miles. Thanks for reading and any suggestions!
Personal Finance Deals
Horrible Bosses Question
Added on : Friday August 09th 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Table83
Views: 0 Replies: 0 A couple months ago I posted on my boss denying me tuition assistance.
http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1268937/?start=40Basically my boss was denying me tuition assistance. Worth 5k a year. Last year I only took one class and couldn't afford more. This year am fully enrolled in an accounting masters program on loans.You advised me not to go to HR, but to look for a new job. I did so and expect an offer at a great company in a similar role early next week. You also advised me to start taking notes, which I have done. My boss is clearly doing illegal things and I have notes of her doing everything from threatening me with an action plan for simply disagreeing with her, to yelling at me, to the me relying on her word for tuition assistance and then denying me. Honestly I want to just leave and be done with this place, but my co-workers are suffering from her wrath too. She currently has 8 employees and has at least two on 90 day last chance agreement and another one on an action plan. (I expect that she would have put me on an action plan at the end of this month during my mid year review.)I don't want to take any action against her that could hurt my career down the road.What would you do?A) Let it go. I'm done with her and am glad!B) report it to HR on my exit interview?C) take legal action for the tuition assistance and bullying?D) file a complaint with some government agency? Which one?
I am honestly leaning towards A because that puts me in the safest situation, but if someone would have spoken up before I got in this position she would never have been allowed to stay in management. All advice is greatly appreciated.
g: 0 Posted By: gacobacov
Views: 192 Replies: 2 I was out yesterday visiting dealerships in Southern California to get quotes on a specific new vehicle I am looking to purchase. I found it very bizarre that two of them were pressuring me to fill out a loan application form even when I was telling them I just wanted a quote at that time and would be paying all cash if I decided to buy from them.I was able to fully resist at the first dealership, but at the second I filled out my name, address, and date of birth on that form. They were saying this would speed up the process when I return and am ready to actually purchase the car. What bothers me now is that the guy at the second dealership also asked me to sign at the bottom of the form and I did it without thinking.The form currently sporting my signature is largely incomplete (I left many other things like SSN# blank), but I am not sure if I could still be in some kind of trouble if I decide not to purchase from that dealership. Since I put my signature in the bottom, could they claim I somehow made a commitment to buy? Or could they get a loan in my name, steal my identity, etc.?
Personal Finance Deals
First time home buyer - newly constructed home
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: AltidinVA
Views: 92 Replies: 1 We just got news that the builder (MI Homes) has accepted our offer ($650k) for a new home which should be completed by end of October this year. Specific financial details:
Location: Northern Virginia
Total income: $115k
FICO: around 750
Existing car loan: $16k (about $404 a month @ 0.9% APR)
Existing credit card debt: $20k (about $210 a month @ 0.9% APR - till November this year)Anticipated down payment: $130k (20% of home so I can get rid of PMI) + closing costs of about $18k
Anticipated Mortgage: $2,598/mo (@ 4.381% - for now, lets assume this is the rate when we close)
Anticipated HOA + Insurance + Taxes: $820/mo
Thus total expenditure is $4,032/mo (incl Mortgage, HOA, taxes, car payment & credit cards) - this works out to a debt-income ratio of 42%.I expect to "roll" over the credit card debt only *AFTER* closing on the home (even if that means paying a slightly higher minimum on the credit card for a month or 2)As an alternate to the 20% down, I could put only 10% down, and use the remaining cash to pay of the car loan & the credit card debt. This results in my monthly payment going up by $65. I do save $27k upfront from the lower down payment, but end up paying $51.9k extra in interest over the 30-yr loan. I understand that the PMI can be deducted from my taxes, where as the credit card & car loan interest is not deductible.Q1. Would you put 20% down & not deal with PMI, or put 10% down + PMI, get a bigger tax deduction, but then have to deal with requesting PMI to be waived once 20% equity has been built?Q2. How easy or hard is to get PMI waived off? Do I need to pay for another appraisal or other fees at that time?Q3. Would you get "title insurance" (in case any of the contractors sue the builder for non payment)? This is about $2k, but for a brand-new home with a clear title, I am not sure if its worth it or not.Q4. Anything else? Having never owned a home before, I am hoping to get collective insight into experiences (positive & negative) that you people can share.Thanks for your time.
Real Estate Deals
Tuition and Fee Expense
Added on : Sunday August 04th 2013 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rksaigal
Views: 150 Replies: 1 I am going in for a part-time MBA. I wanted to see if I could deduct the cost of tuition on my tax return. What I found was that I don't meet the requirements since our Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) crosses the income limit. Same goes for Lifetime Learning and American Hope. We are double income family. The MAGI is greater than that required by IRS to deduct the tuition fee as a line item on tax return form. Although I have been offered Federal Loan. But due to interest rate I have not accepted it. Also for the fact that it is does not help me on my tax form (because of MAGI). The approach I am thinking about is to take a dip in my 401k - No penalty and 4.5% interest (which I pay to myself). At the same time I will increase my 401k contribution which will also help me on my taxes.

Would like your comment if it makes sense or I am missing anything.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: gfratian
Views: 9 Replies: 0 Hello,
This is the scenario (somewhat simplified):
- have a rental house that's worth approx. $500k, with a loan of ~$380k @ 4.75% (original price was $233k more than 11 years ago; used as rental for less than 18 months).
Based on my calculations using The relevant IRS worksheets, if I sell now I'll have to pay roughly $11k in capital tax gainsAlso, based on my calculations, if I keep it for another 5 years and it only appreciates with $40k more, I'll be even with selling it now and buying something else. Of course, if the real estate goes up more, the capital gains tax implications will be unfavorable (if I keep the current house).So, my question is if there are any other implications that I'm not thinking about when deciding to sell the current house, thus maximizing the tax benefits now (and buying a new house).
Or - just forget the hassle and keep the current house...Thanks for any feedback!
Personal Finance Deals
Question about selling home with loan to family that cannot pay in full
Added on : Saturday August 03rd 2013 09:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: RagingBull
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I have a question. I have a home with a $200k loan and I am selling the home to my wife's family for $400k (the same price I paid for the home back in 2007). But the problem is my wife family cannot afford to pay for the home with the $400k price tag right now. My wife's family agreed to take care of the monthly payment for the home now but I cannot transfer the loan to their name. Is there a way the escrow company can make a agreement where the home will remain mine until the family pays off the loan completely and pay me for the rest of the money for the home before the home changes title?
Personal Finance Deals
Student loan refinance/consolidation?
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 08:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: BecomeFreedom
Views: 161 Replies: 2 I am up to my eyeballs in student loan debt. Approximately $101k left to pay spread among 5 loans as followsFederal Government loans:
$4,582.74 5.6%
$6,414.12 6.8%Sallie Mae loans:
$29,402.84 4.5%
$34,386.97 11.5%
$26,148.92 13.25%I dropped out of school as a result of a messed up situation and treatment by the university. They outright lied about tuition costs, fraudulently charged my student loans directly for about $14k in which I was not attending school and they would not let me take classes, cancelled classes and had such limited offerings it was impossible to take a full course load or complete a degree in a normal time frame, charged me full time tuition for part time enrollment during several quarters, and wanted to charge me $42k to take one quarter worth of classes to finish the degree. Just an overview of why I did not finish. I was not willing to pay their extortionate tuition, particularly after all the bad experiences, lies, and stolen money. Sallie Mae would do nothing about the fraudulent charges, the university had no interest in resolving the issues or refunding me the stolen money. They also would not give me a transcript to transfer elsewhere even if I had the money to do so or was willing to take out any more loans for it.I would like to refinance and consolidate the two high interest Sallie Mae loans into a lower interest loans if possible but am unable to find a bank that will do so. There seem to be quite a few banks that will do student loan consolidation but none that I've found aside from Wells Fargo will even look at your financials or consider it if you don't have a degree. Wells Fargo was impossible to work with so far as what they required and contacting work to verify employment and such so I gave up on them. I'm considering a credit union I can join through work but it looks like they will only do unsecured loans up to $10k.Does anyone know of any other options for refinancing approximately $60k in student loans while I have no degree? Credit score is ~770, gross $75k or up to a few thousand more depending on overtime and bonus, same employer for over 6 years, no cc debt/car loans/etc.. Looking for some way to reduce the amount I'm paying in interest so I can put more towards principle and be done with these loans.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice on loan repayment please
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 07:00:10 AM
g: -1 Posted By: mfeldman6
Views: 43 Replies: 2 Ok so I recently got a very good job and started making a lot more money. Right now I have 2 open loans and was wondering what my best repayment method would be:1st loan 3 years $5000 total (4000 balance left) $150 a month (6% interest)
2nd loan 5 years $16500 (full balance left) total $300 a month (2.5% interest)Total of payments $450 a month. I have budgeted myself $600-$800 a month accelerated repayment.
Which loan should I pay off faster, or how should I split any extra money in regards to repayment.
Personal Finance Deals
Prepayment Date Recorded Incorrectly, What are next steps?
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 03:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: welookgoodcom
Views: 26 Replies: 0 Got a 15 yr mortgage with first payment date as Aug 1, 2013. Made the initial payment with extra principal(calculated what I need to do to make it a 12 yr mtg) included and instructions on how to apply.The first payment was not to the bank (who officially took over loan on Aug 1st) but to broker. The broker acted as an agent of the bank. What broker did is separated my payment and prepayment, recording the payment as of 7/24 and the prepayment won't be recorded till sometime in August(so still not as of yet!). The bank (Sovereign) said till they receive payment from broker even if they cashed check, nothing is recorded.Spoke to Sovereign CS where the rep kept on telling me the interest accrued doesn't change regardless of prepayment. I understand I need to pay the same amount each month. But asking if hypothetically I paid down the balance by 50%, my interest accrued would be much less and more applied to principal. Both rep and supervisor said no..So they are clueless and I need to get someone higher up

My concern is this action will increase my interest charge since the principal balance is higher. While it's a few $$$, if you add it up to many customers. And who knows what other shadyness this will bring.This posting is to ask for advice on who to contact to get the mortgage service to act properly for issues such as this. BBB, Federal Reserve, etc when such a servicing issue comes up on a mortgage. I had issues with my student loans before (had a low fixed rate with IDAPP, new company, AES bought it and changed rate, needed federal agency to get them to fix it), so it looks like I need to be prepared with the mortgage as well.
Personal Finance Deals
Merit Scholarships/Grants for Adult College Students
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: zhelder
Views: 0 Replies: 0 After many years, my brother decided to return to college a few years ago with the goal of obtaining a bachelor's degree in medical informatics. He began the program at a community college, and he just received the associate's degree in the field with a 3.9 GPA. He now wants to attend a public four year technical college to complete the bachelor's degree. The problem is, the cost per class are about triple what they were at the community college. He has a full-time job, but his salary certainly wouldn't light the boards up here, and the tuition reimbursement is meager. He squeezed out enough money to pay for one class, but he's likely not going to be able to pay for many more classes on his own.Does anyone know of any merit based scholarships or grants for adult students? Almost all of the information online is focused on high school students. He is trying to avoid taking out loans, because he's afraid of getting stuck in a position where he has to pay back a ton of money and might not have a job that pays enough to do so. Thanks for any tips or information.
g: 0 Posted By: SSG
Views: 64 Replies: 0 Navy Federal SpecialsNo BT offers or CDs on this go around, but its something.small print:1 Limited-time offer. This offer may not be combined with any other new-member offers at the time of account opening. Eligible members include Coast Guard, all Department of Defense uniformed personnel, reservists, Active Duty, retired, Army and Air National Guard, DoD civilian employees, contractors, and family members. Recruiters are not eligible to refer recruits.
$5 minimum balance to open and maintain savings account and to obtain bonus. Annual Percentage Yield 0.25%, effective 7/15/2013. Bonus deposited within seven business days of account opening. Referrals may only be made by members in good standing. Program must be mentioned at time of joining for accounts to be credited. Fees may reduce earnings, and rates may change. Limit 5 referrals per member. Navy Federal employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in this program.2 Members who join via RTC or Parris Island are not eligible. A minimum Direct Deposit of Net Pay of $300 must be posted...primary checking account. Limit one per member. If Direct Deposit of Net Pay stops within one year, Navy Federal reserves the right to reclaim the incentive. No minimum balance to open account, earn advertised APY, or obtain the $100. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for checking accounts varies depending on the type of account. Active Duty Checking is 0.05%, Campus Checking is 0.05%, e-Checking is 0.05%, EveryDay Checking is 0.05%, Flagship Checking ($0.00 to $9,999) is 0.35%, Flagship Checking ($25,000 and over) is 0.45%. Rates effective July 26,2013. Rates subject to change. Fees may reduce earnings on account.3 Existing Navy Federal loans not eligible for this offer. You must make your first scheduled payment in order to receive the offer. $250 will be credited to the primary applicant's savings account between 61 and 65 days of the loan origination date. If the auto refinance loan is canceled in the first 60 days, the $250 offer will become invalid. Offer may end at any time.
Deal Deals
any former gmac users to ocwen loans : Getting account closed message?
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: megafinanceguru
Views: 89 Replies: 0 my loan from gmac was sold to ocwen.
I logged into gmac mortgage to make a pyament to my ocwen loan. I am 2 months late but the account says "closed." I made the May payment before and am trying to pay June and July today. Anyone getting this? I called them but they tell me to call each other #s. HELP!
General Economics Deals
Is it true that mortgage lender has to charge everyone the same fee?
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mikedan
Views: 85 Replies: 0 I am looking for a mortgage. One loan officer refuses to negotiate the fee by claiming that the law requires her to charge everyone the same fee. According to her email, "I cannot waive any of my lender fees due to Federal Lending / Fair Act Laws." Is this true?
General Economics Deals
Please advise on credit card situation
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: unknownroad
Views: 119 Replies: 1 Question for the credit gurus, I have read the FAQ but I am not sure it specifically addresses my situation.I have had the same capital one platinum credit card ($8k limit) for 10+ years and it has been my only card. Yesterday I signed up for the PenFed Cash Rewards card and the Capital One Quicksilver card. I was approved for the Quicksilver card ($10k limit) but have not heard back yet about the PenFed card ($5k limit). My credit score is 780-800, I pay my balance off every month, and carry no debt.1. My existing platinum card charges me $5 per month membership fees, which I have tried to have waived to no avail. If my existing card was a no fee card I would just keep it open, but I was planning on closing it since from my research has shown closing an account does not affect your credit score that significantly and I will also be doubling my available credit anyway with the 2 new cards. HOWEVER, I just learned that age of credit line can be very important. Since this has been my ONLY and OLDEST account, should I bite the bullet on $60 in fees a year just to keep it open? If so for how long? I have heard people being declined loans due to available credit lines not being old enough. I may be applying for my first home mortgage within a year or two.2. I read that your account histories stay on your credit report for 7-10 years even after being closed, which I thought would allow me to close my old account while still taking advantage of having 10+ years of excellent history. But I have heard of someone being declined a loan because their EXISTING lines of credit were not old enough despite having an closed older line of credit still showing on their overall credit history... So does your oldest line of credit need to still be OPEN when it is being taken into account when seeking a loan?3. Since one of my new cards is also from Capital One, will/can my account history/age be "rolled over" into my new account? Or will this be looked at as essentially a brand new line of credit with no history attached to it despite it being from the same company I have over 10 years of excellent history with?I was trying to get away from this $60 a year in membership fees while also getting some good Cash Back rewards with the new cards, but I am not sure what I should do now with my old card... Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
relative needs $8K for a certification program
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rza1
Views: 60 Replies: 2 This relative has poor credit and is bad with money. She also has over 150k in student loan debt for BS + MS. Unfortunately, she wants to go through a certification program which she says will help her career. With bad credit, very high student loan debt, and other consumer debt, is it possible for this person to get a loan from a bank or somewhere? Since it can be considered educational costs, what are some options for someone in her situation?
General Economics Deals
Should I refinance?
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: LTLrkr
Views: 81 Replies: 3 Found FW on a random search and been reading a lot for the last 2 months. Thought I might ask for some feedback.Cliff notes since some people like it this way :
Bought condo in Dec 2011 @ 255K and 3.75% interest rate and FHA MIP ~$230/month
Condo appreciated close to 100% - $500k.
Currently owe $240k
Should I refinance @ 4.25% to remove MIP?Long story:
I bought my condo in Dec 2011 for $255k @3.75% with FHA loan (I know big mistake) and only 3% down. Didn't know I could get conventional @ 10% (I had 15% to put down). Anyways fast forward to today, my condo has appreciated a lot, ~90-100% going by the 4 other units sold in the complex in the last 2 months. No I do not want to sell it yet. Currently owe $240kI was wondering if it would be a good idea to refinance the condo. I do not see living there for more than 5 years and my plan is to rent it out when I move (current rates are $2200-2500). I have already paid $13.7k in interest to date and interest rates have gone up. I think I should be able to get 4-4.25% without paying for points and minimum OOP expenses. I guess the only thing I would be saving here is the MIP (~$230/month) for the next 3.5 years but is it really worth saving in the long run if the interest rates go up?I think I know the answer but need a sanity check.
Personal Finance Deals
How to actually get pre-approved for a commercial loan?
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: valueinvestor
Views: 39 Replies: 0 I am looking to buy an investment property. I recently had a deal fall through due to sheer incompetence on the part of a loan officer, and he took so damn long to be incompetent that I was not able to find another lender before the deal fell out of contract. What I'm wondering is if there is a way to actually get pre-approved for a commercial loan. I don't mean "here's your pre-approval letter that we give to every schmuck that walks through the door" I mean "as soon as you get in contract, we will send this away for an appraisal". Is there a way to expedite this process up front? Can I go talk to a loan officer, bring my credit report, monthly income statement, etc. and make it so that I can move faster? Is this just a question of finding a loan officer who isn't a moron?
Personal Finance Deals
2 Questions: Student Loan Payoff and Mortgage Refi
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 08:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: xkilldozer
Views: 18 Replies: 0 Here's the scenario:I have a $25K student loan at 4.95% variable.
Payments are about $160 a month.
I have $35K in my emergency fund.
Should I pay it all off right now and be done with it?My current mortgage is an FHA loan from 2010 at 4.5% and I'm paying $101 per month for insurance.
Property values have increased so if I refi it will be conventional.
Does it make sense to refi the mortgage to conventional, even at 4.5%, and save the $101 per month?
I expect my out of pocket to be around $1500 for the refi.If I do refi, are there any drawbacks if rates continue to drop and I try to refi again a year from now? Would it even be possible?Thanks!
Buying a house, still have the old house, qualifiying for mortgage?
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 02:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bluegreenturtle
Views: 235 Replies: 6 So, this question has indeed been asked a bunch of different ways before but I thought I'd ask again, folks seem enjoy analyzing these situations:Current house: Paid $220k, have $139k left on mortgage, 15 year, 13 years left @ 3.75%, appraised at $400k, I think $360-380k is probably realistic. Monthly payment is $1500 including taxes and insurance (P/I is $1000). Could rent probably for $1800-2200 (rentals in our neighborhood are rare and sought after, there's something down the street that is considerably worse and are asking $2000, it's currently rented). Looking at new house: Asking price is $470k, I think we could get them down a bit as it's been on the market for a few months and has some weird features to it. That said it's a cool house and in a very good area for us, more walkable than our current. So a new 30 year on it with 20% down ($95k) would be about $2250 a month with taxes and insurance). We were thinking about trying to rent the house for a while - a year or 2 and then see about selling it. I honestly don't think I'm up to fixing it up to try to sell it in the next 6 months, and since it should easily rent for more than it costs including taxes, it seems like a "safe" way to make the move. We have about $120k in cash available, though I still owe taxes (next april) on about half that. We are both self-employed, but I have a good income stream for the next 2 years. We are expecting a second baby in Nov, so wife's income is going away for a year, but again, my income is going to be pretty good for a while, about $90k each year at least. We have about $250k in various investments, some of which are in an IRA and some of which are in a taxable account and I wouldn't shed a tear about selling to come up with more cash. So what's the question and problem you might ask? Well, we're self employed. While this year and the next 2 are really good, last year our AGI was probably about $45k. This wasn't a problem, our living expenses including mortgage are about $4k a month currently, and we have good savings, but it probably doesn't look too good to a lender. We qualified for refi's twice as self employed people without issue, but I'm assuming if you have another mortgage on file they are going to look a little more sternly at you. What are our options? I really don't want to try to sell the house before the baby comes. If my parents co-signed the new loan (they are retired and have no debts) would that solve the issue? What do people do who want to move but really need to buy the new house before selling the old?
Personal Finance Deals
Auto Loan Residual?
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 06:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: worldaven
Views: 68 Replies: 0 Hello,I recently applied and was approved for an auto loan for $19,000 at a rate of 1.74% for 60 months. The KBB Trade In Value for the car I'm interested in is $13,630. The lender said I could keep the residual amount, which after taxes, registration and fees would leave me with about $4400 that I could use to pay other bills, maybe invest in a mutual fund. If I took gap insurance from my auto insurance at $22/yr. and my car gets totaled in 60 months they would cover value of the car and any "upside down" balance on my loan.If I don't get any accident in 60 months and put that $4400 in mutual like Capital Appreciation Fund where I have already $6000 invested and current YTD earnings are at 14%, and I could generate maybe another $4000 in 60 months...I have no credit card debt, but a student loan payment of $200 for the next 21 years...Using the auto loan calculators, the interest of for $19,000 loan at 1.74% would be around $750.Is this a good idea, or should I just use the loan for just the car. It seems like with the GAP insurance, it's a safe and smart risk... or am I doing some "fuzzy math"?
Personal Finance Deals
Pay Off The Mortgage Or Invest? The $500K Question...
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: IrateConsumer
Views: 168 Replies: 5 My cousin John called and asked a financial question I thought Id get opinions on from fellow fatwalleteers before answering. It is kind of an interesting conundrum. John owes approximately $500,000 on a $650,000 house he purchased a few years ago. The home has appreciated in value to $750,000. The current mortgage rate on the residence is 5.25%. The monthly mortgage payment is $3,722.64.John has repeated tried to refinance to a lower rate, but due to a few mortgage late pays and being unemployed, no one will refinance his mortgage. Here is the twist one where I thought getting opinions from fatwalleteers might prove helpful. John sold his business a few years ago and is sitting on $750,000 cash - in the bank. I think hes like 52 or 53 years old. John asked if I thought it would be wise to pay off his $500,000 mortgage entirely. That way he would save the 5.25% compounding interest rate. Frankly, I didnt have a great answer.There is of course the ability to make money in the market with his savings. However, would the return exceed the 5.25% compounding interest on $500,000 John is currently paying? John is slightly risk adverse, preferring to invest in his own businesses, hes owned a few though for now, hes been taking time off for a couple years. Ive never been in Johns position; but I think that the mortgage interest deduction won't be beneficial for him, as John is not receiving an income. John is divorced without alimony or children.My natural inclination is to advise John to get into an income property then I realized - oh yeah John is not be able to get a loan given his circumstances. So, now I am leaning towards telling John to pay off his residential mortgage. Yes, his liquid assets would be reduced to $250,000 but absent the mortgage, he would save heartily on expenses. Any ideas? Kind of an interesting dilemma; what do you think?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vins0010
Views: 42 Replies: 0 Hi,So, in July 2011, my wife and I took out a second mortgage (for 24,000) as part of a piggybacked 80-10-10 loan to buy our primary residence. Since, then, we've been paying back the second mortgage at about $400 total (so, covering interest and extra principal payments each month). This month, our principal owed was around 4400 dollars, so, we just decided to pay thing off and be done with it - but still keep the line of credit open. My wife stopped by the bank to do this, and she paid the $4400, but they said there was an additional $500 or so due in "interest" (their words). So, they wanted about $4900 to pay it off. Unfortunately, my wife did not ask questions and just wrote a check. This struck me as a big extra amount to pay, over 10%, of what remained of the principal. So, I'm suspicious about the transaction. I plan on following up with the bank, but want to see if this sounds normal? I couldn't find anything about this when I tried searching the web, but, at the same time, I might be missing some critical terms or language to describe the situation. Thanks...
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CinderellaMan
Views: 49 Replies: 2 So I start medical school in a few weeks. Its going to be 4 years and its going to be intense in terms of time, effort, commitment.Went to undergrad and then graduate school and graduated with a Masters degree in 2006.Laid off from industry I was employed in in 2010.After brutal analysis, decided to switch professions and pursue medical school, so I had to go back to undergrad and basically redo 3 years of it in the sciences. Its been brutal but I got in.Now, just getting in was difficult enough. I need to start out on the right foot of course. Student loan trouble is going to drain me of time/ effort/ brain space I do not have to waste.At this point I have ~80k in gov student loans and ~22k in private loans. The ~22k in private loans is all from earning my Masters back in 2006.Discover Loans bought out Citibank recently. They are the ones I owe 22k. Got off the phone with them yesterday and they say they can no longer defer the loans and payments are due starting now. I am already robbing Peter to Pay Paul to get through med school (~300K in tutition and fees and living expenses these days). Ideas for dealing with this moving forward?Also, will the gov keep my loans in deferment for the next four years while I am in medical school full time?
Question Deals
Possible to get another credit card?
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nanotech2
Views: 86 Replies: 2 I have about $150k income, $150k student loan debt, $18k car loan, no mortgage and about a $30k balance spread over 6 different credit cards. Only missed one payment before but that was 10yrs ago and I don't think it's even showing on my report anymore, the only new accounts are student loan accounts posted last year when I finished grad school (but there are 7 different accounts, don't know why they did it like that and they seem to be classified as "consumer finance accounts."I am trying to get in on these sweet credit card deals for free flights and 0% bal transfers but I'm afraid I might not get it because of the student loan accounts, my overall debt levels and the fact that the $30k balance is about 60% of my total available credit both overall and per card. I don't want to put a "hard inquiry" on my credit report if there is a reasonable chance for a rejection. I haven't applied for a card since 2008 and I feel they may have gotten much stricter on who they approve and how much they approve for. I'm looking for maybe $20k in new credit with the two card applications....my current cards all have around a $10k limit.Do you think I could get the Southwest credit card, for example?Thanks for your input!
Personal Finance Deals
Getting out of CC Debt (My plan)
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ftroyalty
Views: 173 Replies: 4 Thanks in advance to all who reply. Any advice is appreciated as my wife and I begin to tackle our credit card debt.My wife and I have about $13,000 in credit card debt that we need to get under control. We thought we were in a manageable position, but our 3 1/2 son has autism, and we incurred some additional expenses, mainly paying about $500 out-of-pocket for therapy. This expense began toward the beginning of this year.Quick details about our income, expenses, and debts.
Monthly income after taxes: $4,976
***Expenses*** - 2520
Daycare: 135/week so about 540/month
Autism therapy: 120/week so about 480/month
Cars: 300 (Insurance is 100/month, and 200/month of gas and routine maintenance. I take care of what I can, so far just the scheduled maintenance)
*Both cars are paid off
Food: 500 (We do most of our own cooking and rarely eat out. Pizza or take-out barbecue one night on the weekends)
Utilities: 500
My cell: 30/month (just switched to prepaid)
Wife cell: 100/month (she will be switching to prepaid soon but her contract goes through October. Haven't done the math on EFT yet)
Gas: about 50-60 in winter
Water: about 50-60 per month
Internet: 50/month
Electric: between 200-300/month in the summer and about 100-50/winter
Pets (Two cats and a lab): 100/month
Gym: 100/month *This one is important to my wife, so I told her we would budget for it. I'd rather not debate the pros and cons.
***Debt*** - 1842
Mortgage: 1462/month
VISA: Balance of 10,151 @ 14.9 APR, minimun is 216/month
AmEx: Balance of 2,268 @ 16.9 APR, minimum is 52/month
My student loan: 66.50/month with 280 left
Wife student loan: 112/month with 13,000 left
***Savings*** - 200/month
***Leftover*** - 414/monthNote: I tutor over the summer (I'm a teacher), so I'll have a paycheck coming for a few hundred dollars at the end of the month. I'll use this to pay off my student loan and free up the 66.50 to put toward credit card debt.Wife and I went to our bank yesterday (Wells Fargo) and spoke with a personal banker about our options. We narrowed down to two options: open a HELOC or take out a personal loan. (Note: Credit score is 784 from the pull at Wells Fargo. I don't know which bureau)
HELOC details: 5-6% APR, 20,000 minimum, .5%/origination fee, $75/annual fee, line is good for 10 years, must be open for 3 years
*We bought the house a little over a year ago. It appraised at 250k, we paid 220k, remaining loan is 210k
Personal Loan for 13k details: 319/month, 48/months @ 8.25 *No prepayment penalties for either loan
403/month, 36/months @ 7.25 *Of these two, we are more comfortable with the 4 yr loan.My starting point toward debt reduction: 216 (Visa Min) + 52 (Am Ex min) + 66.50 (former student loan payment) = 334.50/month
Even with our budget above, we will save any money we can to pay down our debt. 334.50 is the minimum we will pay each month, hopefully more.Questions for FWF: Which sounds like a better option: the HELOC or personal loan? We understand the risk of tapping home equity, but the lower rate is appealing. Plus, having the HELOC sounds like a nice thing to have in the long run (10 years) should we need it. (Note: I know that statement sounds like we haven't learned our lesson, but we have. Wife and I are both committed to getting our debt under control. Credit cards and any HELOC checks/cards are going in a box). However, I've also read moving unsecured debt to secured should be avoided in case anything were to happen. We are both stable in our jobs and not looking to move, but you never know these days. Also, are there options I'm not considering?Again, thanks for reading and any advice offered.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Echo5Zulu
Views: 90 Replies: 5 All,After having read the FAQ and done a diligent search of the forums, I have not found anything that can satisfy a somewhat unique inquiry. That being said, I'll dip my toes in the FW water and see if my diligence was adequate enough (go easy on me!).I'll make this as brief as possible. First time home buyer. I'm a veteran and used my VA home loan to purchase a 170k house. Not having to put anything down (VA guaranteed loan terms) allowed me to not dip in to my emergency / savings accounts, and still have enough capital left to purchase appliances, paint the interior, make the house our "home", etc. After a home inspector gave us a positive report of the home, I was confident that very little work was required on my part with the home. Without going in to the absolutely crazy details, it turns out that this log home has significant log rot, water intrusion, drainage issues, dangerous chimney problems, and black mold infestation. The reason these things weren't detectable by myself was because the previous owner used log chinking to reshape rotted logs on the exterior of the home. On the interior, they installed dry wall over the log rot, mold, and termite damage. The drainage issues appear only after a hard rain. The chimney had a crack, but I was told it was a minor stress crack... turns out it's a thermal crack, rendering the chimney / fireplace useless. The roof leaks, among other things. While much of the damage and problems with the home were concealed intentionally by the previous owner (this is not assumption on my part... I actually found mold treatment products and scraps from the building material used to cover the damage in a locked shed on the property), the insurance claims adjuster told me that there are tell tale signs of issues with the home that the inspector should have caught and annotated in his report (which he didn't).Long story short; I haven't been in the house 2 months (haven't even made my first mortgage payment) and there is no way I can afford the repairs to the home. I've gotten a lawyer (an expensive one), filed a lawsuit, paid the legal fees upfront, and informed the Department of Veterans Affairs. I filed a claim with my lender (who told me to go pound sand), and got estimates for all of the repairs that need to be made to the home. The previous owner is being sued for breach of contract, intent to misrepresent the condition of real estate, and some other legalities. The inspector is being sued for negligence. The lawsuit could take a year. I have my third child on the way... due in 6 weeks. The house is not safe for my family, but the codes office will not condemn it without a positive lab test of the toxic variety of mold (which I cannot afford at the rate of 3 thousand dollars). I have already spent my emergency money and savings trying to make the house at least livable for the duration of the lawsuit, but I'm at the end of my money and there is still about 7 thousand dollars worth of work to be done before the baby gets here. I haven't even begun to purchase baby stuff for the "thirdling" yet. /sigh/Keeping the home is not an option. I cannot bring a baby back from the hospital into these conditions. If I get the things done needed to make the home livable, I will be so far in debt, that much of what I may or may not win in the lawsuit will go just to recouping those losses during this year waiting period. In the meantime, my house will still have giant holes straight through the rotted logs, moist conditions perfect for regrowth of mold, slowly worsening condition of the overall structure, making damages more costly by waiting.Don't get me wrong here... I am all about personal accountability as an investor. I made a contract with my lender, and under normal circumstances, I would hold my self to this obligation come hell or high water out of principle. However, I feel I did my due diligence in ensuring the home was to standard. I had a report from two inspectors / appraisers agreeing with the condition / value of the home. What was done by the previous owner was criminal. The inspector I originally hired was negligent in his job. The lender has told me that they cannot help out unless I legally prove breach of contract (essentially... "go through the lawsuit, then we may or may not help). The VA told me I'm not only out of luck with them, but that I'm screwed out of the VA Home Loan benefit now because the difference between the purchase price and actual value with the damage will come out of any future guarantee I try to get with them (basically, my benefit that I fought in Iraq for... is gone). Nobody wants a piece of this. I'm being told "tough stuff" anywhere I go, and now, I'm thinking my only option is to give the house back to the bank and foreclose on the house. The lender will most likely come after me for the difference in value versus the purchase price, which I will be trying to get out of the previous owner and original home inspector in the lawsuit.Am I missing something here? I've been researching every possible avenue from here, and it looks like I'm just up a creek. I've budgeted for every possible outcome and there is simply no way to keep the home and not pay a ton of money up front without the risk of losing the home anyway (because I cannot afford it). The urgency comes from the house being unsafe, not being able to run the air conditioner (mold in the unit / ducts / basement /etc.) while my pregnant wife and children are in this Southern July heat, and a baby making landing in 6 weeks... with no money left over... period. I'm still active duty military, but just found out I'm being medically discharged. So on a relatively crummy paycheck (compared to what I was making in the civilian world), with potential loss of employment... am I overlooking a way around / out of this? I've researched the laws and contract front to back, top to bottom. My lawyer gets back in town in a few days, but when I approach him with the idea of walking out on the home, I want to be armed with sound FINANCIAL advice so that I can consider the legal stuff and make good decisions based on both aspects of this issue.Please no patronizing or flaming... I'm really looking for any sort of realistic analysis from money smart, experienced folks... and I'm already having a hard enough time with this. Your time in reviewing this ridiculously long post is GREATLY appreciated and of the utmost value to me. Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Pay off the mortgage?
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: GreatestGambler
Views: 142 Replies: 3 I am trying to decide if it would be a wise decision for me to pay of my mortgage.
Mortgage Payoff amount $570K (@ 3.5% for 30 year loan)
Car loan 18K @ 1.5%
Cash: 300K
Stocks: 200K
Other investment: 40K in 401K
Single income, around 200K/year (+ around 50K from stocks)
The cash is sitting in my brokerage account earning almost no interest. Stocks are doing ok, around 8 to 10% up and earning some dividend.No other investment or loan.
Age 40. Have one kid, will go to college in 8 years. No separate collage fund setup yet. But I want to pay for his college (my parents paid for mine).It may not be the best financial decision to pay the mortgage off as much as possible. But I have worked hard for this cash and dont want to risk it with wrong investment decision.After seeing all the greed in financial and banking sector over past several years, I am not very trusting on their investment advice. Thats why I invest myself in stock and did ok. But it takes too much of my time and risky, so I started cashing it and have 300K in cash with tax paid off. I can cash in remaining 200K to pay off mortgage.I am looking for easy and safe way. I will lose all extra income from stocks once pay off mortgage, but it will reduce risk and give me more free time.
Or is there other safe investment where I can get more than 3.5% interest completely risk free?
Personal Finance Deals
Looking for new jumbo mortgage urgently - please help
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 06:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: asterix007
Views: 52 Replies: 0 DEAR Fatwallet Community,I'm a long time FW user. The community has helped me out numerous times and I've posted suggestions to help others. I'm looking for a new jumbo mortgage loan in California. Here is my situation:Primary home purchase in California.
Loan amount: 750K with 20% down.
Excellent creditCurrently inclined to take 5/5 ARM from PenFed at 3% O-points.1) Are there any other options for 5/5 ARM or 10/1 ARM at a cheaper interest rate with no points?
2) I would love to take 30years fixed at less than 4% with no points. Are there any such options available?I understand that I'm slightly late in the game.
Thanks so much. Appreciate all suggestions.
Personal Finance Deals
Mistake to get preapproval before shopping around?
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 05:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: moxie
Views: 147 Replies: 3 We're first time home buyers, so I've been learning the process as we go along. My knowledge is limited to what I've read in "Homebuying Kit for Dummies" and I'm also working my way through "Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers." We are trying to buy a home in the next few months, so we recently got preapproved for a loan with Chase, because they were aggressive and speedy, whilst our credit union is very slow. Our credit is excellent (above 800) and we are applying for a mortgage with payments well within our budget. From my reading of the mortgage book, it seems that Chase has a lot of unnecessary fees (Application Fee, Third Party Courier, Survey Fee) totaling to over $1000. I'm also confident that their rates are not competitive. But, they say we don't have to pay these fees until we sign a contract. We put together a short list of a couple of brokers recommended by friends and our agent, as well as our credit union. When we have an accepted offer on a house, we're going to call all on the same day so that we could compare rates and fees. However, as I learn more, it seems that we should have shopped around for Good Faith Estimates BEFORE getting the pre-approval, not afterward. Is this a problem? I'm worried about somehow getting locked in to a lender before we have had a chance to shop and negotiate.Thanks for any advice!
Personal Finance Deals
How to join Navy Federal Credit Union
Added on : Thursday July 25th 2013 08:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: asterix007
Views: 64 Replies: 2 Dear FatWallet Community,I'm trying to get a new mortgage and NFCU has excellent rates on jumbo loans. Unfortunately I've no association with Navy or military. Is there any way that I can join NFCU? For example, Pen Fed allows to join by making a small donation to National Military Family Association. Please understand I've excellent credit and will bring good business to NFCU. Appreciate any suggestions. If there are any Navy members on this forum, could they refer?
Personal Finance Deals
Comparing Mortgages
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Jobowoo
Views: 157 Replies: 2 I'm helping a friend look over various mortgage options for a home purchase. I did a quick perusal of the Mortgage Rates Thread. So far she's gotten quotes from two banks: Chase and Provident.I want to do an apples-to-apples comparison of her various options but am having a hard time comparing her options. Some of them include various rebates but have a higher interest rate. Here are the pertinent details:Loan Amount - $273,000
Home Value - $365,000
Credit Score - 760Chase
Closing Costs (inclusive of everything): $3,500
4.5% with $1,434 Rebate
4.625% with $3,829 Rebate
4.75% with $6,567 Rebate
Closing Costs (origination + appraisal): $1,579

3.750% with -$9,213 Rebate
3.875% with -$6,483 Rebate
4.000% with -$1,303 Rebate
4.125% with -$1,365 Rebate
4.25% with $682 Rebate
4.375% with $2,047 Rebate
4.500% with $3,753 Rebate
I'm assuming there's some formula for calculating the net present value but I don't have a background in finance so I'm a bit lost. What's the correct way to compare/think about these loan options. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Odds of student loan forgiveness someday?
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 08:00:20 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dougan778
Views: 140 Replies: 9 I have a 5.5% student loan (graduated 2008) that has about 10k left on it. I've thus far just made the minimum payments, even though I have been accumulating a lot in savings. Every time I start to think about paying it off, I hear about some politician getting support for student loan forgiveness programs, and these suggested programs usually include forgiving student loans after X years of repayment.If the rate was 2 points higher at 7.5, I'd have paid it off a long time ago, and if it was 2 points lower, i'd ride it out as long as I could. But at 5.5% I think I'm in a place where the burden of the interest rate might be worth it if I think there's a real chance that part of the loan will be forgiven in the future.So I'm looking for input on whether or not it's worth it to carry this loan in hopes part of it gets forgiven someday. Sorry to touch on a subject that's pretty political, but it's a big factor of my financial decision.Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Borro: expensive loans for foolish "rich" people
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: yeastbeast
Views: 10 Replies: 0 I came across this ridiculous "personal asset and consignment loan" service: www.borro.comIt appears to be an online pawn shop for luxury goods, charging truly ridiculous rates (2.99-3.99% flat monthly ---> 36%-48% noncompound annual) for hocking spendy stuff that no FWFer would accumulate. Who are the potential customers for this horrible service? --yeastbeast
Chase Slate - Help me pay off a $8K loan with 0% BT
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: a783783
Views: 104 Replies: 0 I have a loan for $8,000 at 8%.I have a Chase Slate with 0% and $10000 credit limit.Chase Slate, you are only allowed to BT to other credit cards.I have a Citi with a $4,000 credit limit and $0 balance. I also have a second Citi card with a $3,000 credit limit and $0 balance. From reading the forum, Citi is the most convenient way to get a refund check, but the posts seemed to mostly mention that one should overpay up to the credit limit, and did not offer advice on doing it to multiple cards.Thoughts?
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dmlavigne1
Views: 156 Replies: 4 So many people that preach and post here keep the 3-6 months emergency fund. I have a family member that does the same but for the financially savvy it is an absolute waste. Every time I hear of someone doing this I cringe because they are losing to inflation every year and losing out on stock market returns. I keep enough cash for a month tops. That's it. My effort has allowed me to maximize my investment return on all my funds. This process assumes that you are "good with money" and have decent credit. My strategy is simple, pay down what you owe. Use credit and retirement as your cushion.When I was young and broke, my emergency fund was: Roth IRA contributions, and HELOC. Why keep an emergency fund when you can withdraw Roth contributions without penalty? Why put off putting in your Roth for that perceived safety? Even if the market tanks 50% (worst case) you can still liquidate that and have it in three days. If you don't need it, you get market returns. If it is short term, draw on a HELOC (assuming you own a house with more than 80% ltv), that interest is deductible vs the car loan/cc that is not. Why keep an emergency fund when you have debt that is any percentage points higher than your savings? Honestly, in a worst case catastrophe (medical, being sued, etc) you want your funds in a Roth vs cash because retirement is protected by law. 20-50K cash is a lot easier to go after.Now I get that people do have debt, but it is silly to keep an emergency fund when you have credit. If I have 10K in credit at 9% potential interest and 10K in savings (1%) and 10K in student loans at 6%, why would I not use the funds to pay off the student loans and live paycheck to paycheck for a while while rebuilding my cash (but putting it in investments)? You are "earning" 4% after tax on your 10K monthly. When you have some savings: Stocks/MF's are liquid. I can sell whatever I want and have the money in hand in three days. Aside from a kidnapping this is plenty fast to accomplish anything in the real world. Again if I need cash, use the HELOC (find one with no fees) for the short term and everyone takes CC. I just don't get it, people will chase a 1/4 point on a mortgage @250K or 1/4 point on savings but will leave 50-100K in a savings/MM account earning 1% or less. With say 5% average market returns you are "losing" your entire mortgage interest deduction of 250K after chasing that 1/4 point.Figure with the rule of 7, the 25K that you have in an emergency fund is losing ~20K every 7 years. I'm not saying I do everything right, I paid off a 4.5% mortgage in 2009 for the "peace of mind" when I should have continues to float it on 0% and invest (or keep the 4.5% note and invest), but if you told me to keep the cash in a 1% account, I would rather just keep it under the bed and roll around in it once in a while. Use the tools that our system provides rather than listening to the archaic advice of the simpletons. Using the tools allows you to get ahead faster and cheaper.
Credit Deals
Pay down debt or invest?
Added on : Saturday July 20th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kzhswx11
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Need some help making a major financial decision. We have the saving to pay off all student debt, but is there a better alternative?Married, renting in Chicago age 33 and 28. We take advantage of the free events in the city (my job has museum entrance perks... etc), and we go out and have a good time once in a while.
I walk to work and the wife takes the bus (her income is net of these transportation costs)Income:
Me: $80K annually; Take home $4,100 monthly after 8% 401K (company match of 5%)and healthcare. I have about $100K in my 401K.
Wife: $63K annually; Take home of $3,200 after healthcare; works for state and pays into pension plan. No other retirement accounts.Monthly payments:
Rent: $1,450 (only bill we pay is electric; cable and internet is included)
Electricity: $40
Car insurance: $100
Gas: $100 (we have one car that is paid in full and both work in the city, so we rarely drive)
Rental Insurance: less than $20/month.
Cell phone: $100
Credit cards: No balance carryover from month to month.
Student loan 1: $121
Student loan 2: $502
grocery / restaurants / going out: $700Debt balances:
Student loan 1: $16,500 @ 1.75%
Student loan 2: $75,000 @ 6.25% (previous job wife would have qualified for a lump sum pay-down, however after horrendous working conditions, that is no longer an option.)Assets / Investments:
$140K in MMA @ 1%
$100K in 401K contributing 8% with 5% employer match.
$6K Roth IRA - started funding this year
$12K in wife retirement pension plan contributing 7% of income.Question: Should we use savings to pay off the 6.5% student loan? Any other tips / suggestions would be appreciated. Goals: we want to have money to put down 20% on a house in roughly 3-4 years.
g: 0 Posted By: RhizzleBop
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I thank you to those willing to read my story here. Sorry if its long but I feel its necessary to explain the deal.I have a BS in mechanical engineering from a major state university, not any type of elite school.
I worked in consulting HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection design for 6.5 years. It was a small 8 person firm with no upside. I became bored and tired of it so I left that.I then moved to a manufacturing company working as an applications engineer for now 2.5 years.
This role has a lot more going on.
In this job my duties are:
directly interact with customers who reach out to us for new designs. I design, price, quote, and sell sealing solutions for high performance high demand industries.
I also work with ouside sales guys who chase bigger customers and bring in bigger opportunities. I then design and sell them solutions as well.
For even bigger opportunities, heavy engineering gets involved for FEA analysis and development. In this cases I then have to manage the project along its path, and ultimately quote and sell, and be the middle man between the manufacturing team, and the outside sales guys/customers.
I have to deal with all departments in the building from purchasing, manufacturing, safety, EH&S, sales, operations, etc.
Also, when there are problems with making one of my designs I have to deal with, coordinate, and push people to resolve the problems internally.
When customers have a problem I have to work with them to resolve it, ranging from redesigning, to working through their usage and conditions to ensure they are using the products correctly.
We are tasked with ensuring we get proper margins on our pricing, winning the business, making everyone inside "Want" to work with me and help, and also making the outside guys happy and making them "want" to work with us.Its a LOT. I deal with customers in Europe, asia, all over the US, Canada, etc etc. My biggest strength is technical understanding and cmprehension, and I'm able to apply that in my work.My biggest weakness is that I'm not a brown noser, and sometimes I'm just not in the mood to "shoot the crap" with a customer, or smile and chat the customer up when I'm not happy. I mean by that, I'm just not an "always on" sales guy type.I like to be very realistic, and honest. I don't get off on designing something marginal because I dont want to fight a problem with it later, so when someone brings a questionable application, I get acused of being more of a "cannot" than a "yes" man.With that said, I'm pretty comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Doesn't really bother me cause I'm confident I know my subject. I'm interested in changing again. I'm thinking about jobs outside engineering as well.
However, I'm not sure what type of jobs to go after outside o engineering.I've read that finance companies and banks hire engineers but I'm not sure for what type of jobs to look at. These articals I've read that these types of businesses love the analytical strength of engineers, but I havn't read for what type of jobs they would hire me for.If its relavent, I'm very interested in building some web businesses, and I've been working to have two sites up over the last 10 months, however, I do not have time to really focus attention there as I need to. I've considered looking for a part time contract job draftsman if it pays well enough so that I could work 20-30 hours a week and then focus on my sites. (if that type job is possible).
I'm married now, and could join my wifes benefits, but I need to make significant money until we get her student loans and our cars paid off. So, not working to focus on my businesses is not an option yet.I've considered a 1 year program to become a "big data scientist", but not sure if I want to focus a year there, and not focus on my web projects, or to focus on web projects and just work somewhere now in engineering, or an alternate line of work. I live in the southeast, 2 hours from charlotte, and my wife just took a great job at a school here so I'm not looking to move right now.Thoughts are welcome here now.
unwelcome phone calls from a bank
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gettingthere
Views: 132 Replies: 2 Dear Sirs,I have been harassed for some months now about an auto loan for someone I've never heard of, at the Union Bank and Trust. I get at least two telephone calls a day, often early in the morning and it's always the same message. I haven't been able to talk to a person about the problem and have tried putting the number (800) 950 7618 onto the National Do Not Call Registry with only a short time success.This is the message: "You've made an invalid selection. Please try again. Hello, this is Union Bank and Trust calling with a message regarding your Union Bank and Trust auto loan. If you are XXXXXX, please press 1. If you are XXXXXX, please press 2. If either is available but needs a moment to come to the phone, please press 3. If neither person is available, please press 4 to repeat this menu, press the star key. We are not receiving the requested information and cannot complete this call. Thank you. Union Bank and Trust appreciate your business. Goodbye."
I have never had anything to do with Union Bank and never took a loan from any bank and don't even have a car.I've been told that there is a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that could act on a case like this and even pay up to $1,000 in compensation. Does the FDCPA apply? If so, what should I do? Thanks for any help you can give me.
Personal Finance Deals
TDBank Mortgage Debacle - How to proceed?
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 08:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 0 Replies: 0 -Applied for an investment property mortgage from TDBank approximately 40 days ago.
-All communications with my processor happen through email. She never calls, never returns calls.
-I quickly comply with all documentation requests.Closing is scheduled for Tuesday. I call closing attorney today to get final figure for amount of funds I need to deposit into escrow. Attorney tells me they don't have any closing docs from TDBank and TDBank needs the docs to be at attorney's office 2 business days before closing. I call TDBank, they say closing can't take place for at least 5 days, some 'things' need to happen first, which they won't disclose to me.I have a tenant moving into the property shortly after Tuesday closing. I have to close Tuesday, so I'm scrounging funds elsewhere and going to pay cash at closing and allow closing to happen on time on Tuesday.My main complaint: Why am I never told that closing can't happen until after *I* call TDBank. Noone from TDBank notifies me, the closing attorney, nor anyone else that closing can't take place on time.
I *finally* get a call from my loan processor (for the first time) today and she tells me she 'dropped the ball' on a certain form that I sent 2.5 weeks ago. I've already paid for an appraisal and been told their is a .5% fee (of my full loan amount) if I cancel the deal with TDBank.Question: I don't want to pay the .5% fee. I'd also like my appraisal cost refunded since I only got the appraisal b/c of the loan. How do I formally request these things?I think I can document fairly well that my processor gave me no service and really dropped the ball on my slam dunk loan.
g: 0 Posted By: bluebells2
Views: 12 Replies: 0 Navy Federal is Offering some Sequestration help if you have an account with them. It gives loan deferment or no penalty withdraw from CDs. May helps someone on furlough. Just an FYIhttps://www.navyfederal.org/about/sequestration-assistance.php?i...
g: 0 Posted By: raspino
Views: 160 Replies: 0 I have a rental property with about 37K Heloc @ 7.9%. I can't refinance because the rental property is under water. Meanwhile my recent residential property that I bought has appreciated to the point where I can get some equity line of credit from pretty soon if not earlier. Does it make business or financial sense to do this? My residential mortgage interest rate is 3.625% so I stand to gain some on a lower interest rate. However, I think I will be losing some on being able to potentially write off some of the loan in taxes towards depreciation. I guess a good option is for me to run the numbers but since this is my first year of renting, I haven't done the depreciation valuation in my tax returns before. Does anyone have experience with this and what I should look at before taking the plunge?
Personal Finance Deals
McDonald's budgeting demonstration and extreme savings
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 08:00:07 PM
McDonald's is putting together a module to help its employees budget better, which is getting pilloried all over the Internet for making unrealistic assumptions about minimum wage workers.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/16/that-...So the figures for heating and health insurance in the original Visa/McDonalds sample budget are hard to defend. But overall, it offers a reasonable picture of how a typical person in the lower half of the income spectrum spends his money.
And the reality is that these low-income Americans have to make the kind of hard choices that critics are deriding as ridiculous. They have to make do with a used car, live in a modest apartment with a roommate, get by with basic cable and a low-end cellular plan, and travel and go out to eat infrequently.
Gawker calls the budget just-shy-of-condescending, but budgeting is an important skill that isnt obvious to every young adult in America. Offering practical advice on how to live on a modest income is more constructive than ridiculing the choices required to do so.I don't want this to be a political thread but you need to look at this from the extreme retirement people, who create a zero based budget starting from the hierarchy of needs and moving up. So you need food and would pick a thrifty food plan with what's on sale at the market that week, housing would be a room in someone's home, you would bike to work or take the bus, and your entertainment would be something free like walking or going to the library. Even in Los Angeles, you can find rooms, utilities included, for $600 or less - go to Craigslist and search under rooms for "utilities included". Food would cost you $150 a month, a bus pass would cost you $80 a month, laundry and miscellaneous expenses $20, and a prepaid phone might cost you $50 a month - for $900 a month in baseline costs, against a CA minimum full time wage ($8 an hour, 40 hours a week, minus taxes) of about $1100. Add an individual studio apartment, entertainment, etc. accordingly to fill out the amount and increase the comfort level. Health insurance is an issue, but starting in 2014 with the ACA someone making minimum wage will have free insurance at the "bronze" level.The big issue is one time expenditures like clothing, security deposits, furniture, etc. and unexpected expenditures - which the minimum wage does not account for. A car would fall under this capital cost category. Many people run back to mommy and daddy for those things, but you would have to save over many months for the minimum subsistence wage to provide for this. If you didn't have someone to fund these one time expenditures you have to deal with the shady signature loan market, with accordingly high rates. But the point of a minimum wage is basically to allow one person to subsist and not starve or be without shelter.Looking at this in CA, monthly expenses only, capital costs excluded:
Room - $600 (including utilities)
Food - $150 (thrifty food plan)
Health care - $50 (subsidized clinic now, Bronze health insurance + co pays post-2014)
Transportation - $75 (bus pass)
Incidentals - $25 (laundry, etc.)
Phone - $40 (Page Plus, needed for shifts at work)
$940 totalIn other parts of the country I have seen furnished all utilities included rooms for under $300. In those areas you probably will need a car which will cost you about $300 a month in gas, car payment, and insurance (liability only) so it is a wash. I sometimes think about this should I get into a situation where I need to seriously conserve cash. While in my case my housing prices are higher due to PITI, I would consolidate my stuff and have someone stay in an extra room. What's the lowest you could spend a month and still survive?
Father in Debt - Question about Bankruptcy
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 04:00:14 PM
From what I've seen, you fatwalleters are pretty finance-savvy. I figured I would ask for advice on a particularly difficult decision I'm being forced to make. I'll try to keep this as concise as possible.My father went off the deep end and retired early. His spending habits quickly spiraled out of control, and before he knew it, he blew through his entire life savings and 401k. Over the last several years, he has managed to max out several credit cards and land himself in a huge pile of debt from which he can obviously not recover given his lack of financial sense and his childish level of responsibility.He has asked my brother for a $2,000 loan, which my brother gave him. My father was unable to pay him back. Now he is asking for $2,500 from me because my brother won't give him more money. Obviously, there is a financial and moral dilemma here. If I give him the money, I will never see it again, and my father will continue on his path digging his hole deeper and deeper. If I don't give him money, I feel like I would be acting like a really bad son.I wanted to explore the option of filing for bankruptcy for him rather than attempt to feed my money to a black hole. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do or on the implications of bankruptcy for an individual like himself?All constructive advice is greatly appreciated!
Starting a Credit Union
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 12:00:07 PM
Any room for a new Credit Union startup in the marketplace? High interest rates, low loan rates, high dividend bonuses.
paying car loan with balance transfer check
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 12:00:06 PM
I have a 15k car loan at 4%.I got an offer in the mail for a balance transfer at 0% until Oct 2014, with a 1% fee; I have $7k credit limit and would need to make monthly payments.I want to pay down the loan by 7k, thus saving myself 3% interest on that 7k. Is this too simple or am I overlooking something?
Personal Finance-Savings help
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 01:00:07 PM
Hi im a 23 year old with a job in tax, I make gross 1788 each pay period and im paid semi monthly. After taxes and deferred comp. HSA, ETC. i take home 1235. My monthly expenses including 300 rent to live at home is about $950. This includes my school loans, cell phone, and gym membership. My health expenses are approximately 2500 to 3000 for the year. I want to only use 1 of my semi monthly paychecks to pay for my bills and use the left over money to use for the month for anything else i want to do. Then i want to save my other semi monthly paycheck so every year I will save approximately $14,000. Do you think this is a realistic goal? Or do you think i should maybe save a little bit less like maybe only 800 a month, since I'm so young. Or do you think i should be this aggressive in my savings. There is no real reason why i want to save 14k a year, just to save i guess. plus ive read that almost 76% if americans live pay check to paycheck and i dont want to be one of those people.
Taking a loan from an Irrevocable Trust as a Mortgage?
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 07:00:08 AM
I did a search for this on Google and the forums with no luck. Makes me think this is either something so rare no one does it... or so stupid that no one does it.I am the Trustee and Beneficiary of an Irrevocable Trust. There are 7 figures in the trust. The trust contract allows investment in pretty much anything.I am looking to buy a home and starting a family. I have saved for many years living the Fatwallet way and have ample cash to make the down payment. Here are the pertinent details:Age: 31
State: MD
Current Net worth: $850k
House: $535k
Down payment: $200k
Annual income: $180k exclusive of trust income (Girlfriend makes about 55k as well making total income a bit higher)
This leaves $335k of mortgage. Though I have the funds to cover this amount in the trust, I would prefer to leave money there for future generations to use as I cannot add more to it - outside of investment income of the trust itself taxed at very high rates.Here is the question:
Should I take a mortgage loan from the Trust for the $335k?Rationale:
I would have the house in my name so I can claim the mortgage interest deduction and the interest the trust makes would be income. I could then distribute the interest income back to me to be taxed as income... effectively returning the principal back into the trust and leaving the interest returned back to me with an effective tax rate of 0.Am I thinking about this wrong? Is this even a possibility or am I waving a big red flag for a sure fire audit. Not sure how many folks have any experience with this but looking for some opinions.
Auto Loan / Payoff
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 06:00:07 AM
Ok here is the deal i graduated college and have a real job now and decided to go buy me a nice car 28k. I don't have any trouble making the payments on it, I just did not put any money down on it so I am around 1000-2000 upside down on it. What i am wanting to do is get a cheaper car that i can pay off and have liability and start paying extra on student loans. My question is should i go ahead and trade it in for a cheaper car with negative equity or wait till I catch up then trade it in? any advice appreciated
What if there were no mortgages?
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 01:00:06 PM
What if tomorrow, the government mandated that mortgage loans would be abolished?What would housing prices look like?Would the country be a better place? Keep in mind that the US is one of the easier places to borrow money to own a home. In other countries, you have people putting down up to 70% down payment.
House sale fell through -being sued -update
Added on : Saturday July 13th 2013 03:00:04 AM
I wanted to update those interested on what has happened so far. I had stopped posting, because I was worried the seller maybe also on this forum.
Archived topic:LINK
Original post:
A little background- (very long read)
I currently have a home with several mortgages due to (2) 100 year flood, national disasters (one right after another. Lucky me) My soon to be ex-husband is not on my primary mortgage, but is on the deed.
He was pre-approved for a loan and He went to buy a home, a short sale from BOA. The process started in dec 2011. He put 1500 down as good faith money with the normal contingencys that it would pass inspection and he could obtain financing.
in Jan the seller's still could not get written approval from BOA, he extended the contract. Come March BOA finally gave him approval and he order the house inspection. Due to the sellers not putting oil in the tank or winterizing , when the house inspection started the pipes burst from being frozen and the inspector found mold. He then extended the contract hoping they would fix the home. After his agent hassled the other one for weeks asking for info/ update etc, they finally decided to fix the home because BOA offered to pay the expenses. They fixed the pipes at the end of April(yes that long!) and my ex paid to have the house re-inspected. (about 1300 total) . The sellers did not fix the mold, hoping it would pass the assement and the mold could be mitigated later. My ex agreed because BOA closing deadline was getting close. It did not pass the assessment (about $500), so my ex again extended the contract while he awaited the mold to be fixed . BOA insisted that the house must close by the 15th of June. After hassling the sellers agent again, she finally had the mold mitigation done on Jun 11th. During this time he finds out through a friend at the town hall that the town is putting a lien on the house for an unpaid water bill. The agent contacts the sellers agent and they refuse to pay it and then proceed to call the town hall and try to see if they can stick him with the water bill
The mortgage broker ordered another assessment which was finished on the 14th ($75). The mortgage broker put in all the paperwork and tries to push in the closing for the 15th. It can't be done so they push the closing to the 18th with BOA approval. Come the 18th, my ex gets a call from his buyers agent, stating the loan did not go through because he is on 2 of the house mortgages, (due to the floods). These were found by the underwriters doing a deed search. He was not aware he was on the mortgages and because he was on the deed thought when he signed the forms he was just giving permission.( He is not on the main mortgage) In the beginning, He did bring this up to the finance guy when he was running his credit and asked if he was on the mortgages and the guy said no, and In fact they never show up on his credit report.
Now because of the debt, he no longer meets the ratio and the sale fell through. His agent called him in a panic and told him to release his good faith money or that the sellers agent was going to try and keep it and sue him for her out of pocket money. (unknown to him, the sellers agent had paid to put oil in the tank, and paid for all the repairs upfront) My ex tells her he will not release the funds because the contract clearly states he has to obtain financing, or the contract is void and he gets his money back. Plus he feels as though he got screwed out of money because he had to keep getting the inspectors to go back due to her procrastinating , but she tells him that the date of the contract was never extended past March. My husband feels that if the other agent hadnt procrastinated so long the loan people would have found the mortgages and we could have tried to fix it. As it is now Im filing a Quick Claim deed and will try and call the mortgages tomorrow to have a loan novation to have him taking off ( there is no way I can refinance) .
So several questions Does anyone know why these mortgages are not showing up on his credit? Should he release the funds ? The agent has been calling him all day and insisting that he will be sued and it will be expensive. UPDATE:
My ex-husband gave back the deposit. The prepaid lawyer told him that if he gave it back, and the seller accepted it, then the seller would technically give up all legal recourse. Unfortunately, no one explained this to the seller (whom is a lawyer), because he then took my ex-husband and the mortgage broker to small claims court. The seller lost in small claims but then brought it forth to superior court. Both my ex and the mortgage broker, at this point, hired separate lawyers. The seller represented himself, (probably not a good idea). The seller argued that he made the repairs because he was going to get reimbursed by the bank when the house sold. Since the house did not sell, he felt he was entitled to the repair money from my ex. My ex's lawyer argued that: the repairs would not have had to be made if the seller had kept the house in good repair ,(by purchasing oil in the winter), that the bank was supposed to reimburse the seller and that the seller did not have a contract signed by my ex stating he would assume financial responsibility for the repairs. The lawyer also argued that the bank would not have loaned the money without the repairs and that it was up to the sellers real estate agent to have had a contract with BOA for the repair money. After my ex's lawyer reviewed all the contracts, she found that in fact there was a contract that the seller signed stating that my ex would get his deposit back no matter what if the sale fell through. After my ex gets the decision from the court, the lawyer wants to sue the seller for lawyers fees and the deposit.
As far as the house.. the joke is, once it went into foreclosure , (several weeks after this deal fell through),a new relator took the house on and sold it in 5 days for $225,000 . My ex was going to buy it for $184,000. This helps prove my argument that this whole fiasco was the sellers realtors fault.
As far as a mortgage for my ex.. I did a quick claim deed the next day. SBA would not take my ex off the loans nor do a novation. (Dealing with the SBA was a whole 'nother horror show that could fill a forum!)Due to that, my ex could not get an FHA loan but was able to do a loan through TDBank through one of their other programs. He contracted with a new realtor (it was too awkward to use the old one), and he purchased a home , (oddly enough), directly in back of the one he is being sued over! The other ironic thing was this new house also needed some repairs and my ex's realtor had a contractor contract with the bank directly so the repairs were a separate transaction from the sale of the house. That way the contractor would be paid weather the house sold or not. (something the other relator should have done and supposedly she sells multi-million dollar homes!) When the decision from the court comes through, I will update.
How is Title Insurance through entitle cheaper
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 06:00:16 PM
We are in the process of purchasing some real estate and I have been asked by the lender to provide my title company contact. I am a newbie in the title insurance space so started doing some research, here is what I have found - Purchase Price - $350,000, loan amount $280,000
Local Title Company - $2,150 + other fees (I will post the HUD1 from the local company as soon as I have it.)Entitle -
Your Title Insurance Premium with Reissue Discount, Owners Policy $1,399
Closing Protection Letter:$75
Tax Certification Fee:$75
Outside Notary Fee:$225
Courier/Processing:$35I am in PA and have found that there are set rates for title insurance. Link to rates here The $2,150 matches the purchase price above.I came across some other FW threads debating title insurance and this one specifically on entitle, shows positive feedback but how are they able to make money by being ~$750 less. FW Thread on EntitleI know recording fees is not included above, but those should be standard with the county. Appreciate any insight.
FHA Mortgage Assumption
Added on : Thursday July 11th 2013 11:00:04 AM
I'm wondering if anyone has experience as a buyer or seller with assumable mortgages - VA or FHA. I refinanced my FHA mortgage last year at 3.25%. Since then, average interest rates have increased to about 4.5%. I can see interest rates increasing further in the next few years. I plan on selling in a couple of years when I begin a low paying medical physics residency. Would there be a premium paid on a home by a buyer if the assumable rate is 3.25% and the prevailing rate is somewhere around 5.5%? Would the average buyer even be interested?I see this as a major advantage by the borrower. The original 30 year loan will be at about 27 years which will reduce the overall interest paid by the new owner. The interest rate is much below market, and MIP will drop off in a couple of years. What am I missing? Is there some catch?
First home buyer - 30 yr fixed jumbo or 5/5 arm
Added on : Thursday July 11th 2013 02:00:04 AM
I'm first time buyer and buying a bigger home. I've sufficient finances and make 150-175k/year. Enough in 401k/roth/ira, emergency fund etc.My son goes to college in about 7 years. I plan to be in house for > 10 but may be less than 15 years. Home is $750k, taking 600k loan.1. I have option of paying upfront cash and take $417k conventional loan. I have convinced myself not to waste liquid cash.2. I get 30 yr fixed jumbo @4.375% interest with $3000k payout from Wells fargo. Or using famous penfed 5/5 arm with closing costs covered @8000$. There is difference of 1.375% difference between the two.
Is it better to take 30 yr fixed or arm? Thanks. Is it better to pay off in about 10-15 years or at least keep min. debt?
FHA for non-warrantable Condo?
Added on : Wednesday July 10th 2013 09:00:05 AM
Hi everyone, I am in need of a cash out loan from my condo that is a non-warrantable condo. Does anyone know if FHA do this? Please let me know and many thanks in advance. =)Best,
Bank Loan Funds
Added on : Wednesday July 10th 2013 08:00:08 AM
Bank Loan funds are funds investing in securitized products (repackaged loans)? otherwise I really don`t understand how can a Fund invests in bank loans.
Does Merchant Have Recourse after it loses a Credit Card Dispute?
Added on : Tuesday July 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
Hi all,Wasn't sure where else to look for this topic, so I thought I'd ask here.A few months ago, I submitted a dispute to my credit card company. Several weeks later, I was notified that the dispute was resolved in my favor because the merchant never submitted any documentation to refute my claims. The card issuer placed a chargeback to the merchant. The merchant contacted me several times (both via email and letter) trying to collect payment. I replied each time and have documentation to prove it. In my replies, I explained my grievances directly. My card issuer also informed me that the merchant is not permitted to seek recourse directly from me; the merchant may only seek recourse from the card issuer. I articulated this to the merchant and never heard back again, assuming this to be a done deal.Now I am receiving a notification from a collection agency for the disputed amount.My questions are these: Can they do this? What recourse do they have? It's hard to take it seriously unless they're going to report to the credit bureau. Obviously it'd be a bad tradeoff to lose my ~800 FICO score over this.For what it's worth, the charge in question is $375.00 for a home appraisal. There were numerous deviations from standard practice in this appraisal, and they include using comparison home sales that were too old (i.e. over 6 months) and using homes that were too far away. I submitted a formal challenge to the appraisal and included alternative comparison homes that sold more recently and were closer. All my suggested alternatives had areas within 10% of mine and had the same number of beds/baths. The appraisal company denied the challenge even refusing to use my suggested comparison home that was three doors down and had been sold less than a month prior. Ultimately the low value of the appraisal killed the loan deal. Now by itself, this would be a pretty weak case. BUT, I knew the appraisal was wrong, so I went with another lender and got a second appraisal conducted only two weeks after the first. The second appraisal was done properly and came in 26% higher than the first! Then the refinance came through just fine.I'm not trying to weasel out of valid charges here. It just seems wrong to pay for two appraisals when one is so clearly incorrect.Thanks all!
2013 vs 2014 Vehicle
Added on : Tuesday July 09th 2013 06:00:10 AM
I'm thinking of buying a new car and have a bunch of questions:1) It's obviously cheaper at this point to get a 2013 vehicle rather than a new 2014 since dealers probably want to get rid of "last year's" model. But does that mean I would be getting a car that's sitting on the lot rusting away? Or if I take delivery from the "factory" does that mean it's been sitting for months in some warehouse? Is that bad for the car to be sitting around not being driven? If I'm coughing up cash for a new vehicle, I want it to be in good shape and last many years.2) What are your thoughts on paying upfront and taking money from savings, vs getting a loan with low APR? I have very good credit so it would hopefully be around 1%. Sure, today that's a little more than my savings account, but in two years the interest might be higher. Or am I crazy to expect such a low APR on the loan?3) If I do go for the car loan, am I allowed to pay it back early like with a mortgage, or I can only make the regular monthly payments?4) Should I rather get a certified pre-owned from 2012 or so? I know that once I take a new car off the lot I lost about $2000 or more in value immediately. So perhaps it's wiser to just get a 2012 so that depreciation is not something I have to pay for.
Best Online Bill Pay - BoA, Fidelity, PenFed or ??
Added on : Tuesday July 09th 2013 03:00:09 AM
I searched, but could not find a recent topic on this. I've been with BoA pretty much forever, but their bill pay is annoying me a bit lately. It can't seem to pick up ebills from most of my other banks anymore. I'm also just wondering if there is something better out there.I have a Fidelity account I set up last year with the plan of moving things over, but never got that far. I do keep some money in it so I can use ATMs wherever and have fees reimbursed. I also just completed an auto loan with PenFed, so I now have a relationship with them too.My payments go to Citi, Chase, US Bank, BoA, Discover and AMEX - plus the local water dept, gas, electric. Which of these (or another possibly) would be the best to use to transfer my salary direct deposit to and set up all of my other bills with? I probably keep an average balance in my account of $2000, so interest is not a huge deal - but could not be worse than the one cent a month I average with BoA.
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 01:00:08 PM
Received $1484.21 from the National Mortgage Settlement Fund because the devious BofA bat rastards only make home loans in order to screw their borrowers.BEWARE OF BANK OF AMERICAPropublica linkPropublica Article said: Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.....And then the foreclosure department was worse.
Reverse Bank Charge after gt; 60 days?
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 09:00:07 AM
I'll try to make this as short as possible:In early April one of my Federal student loan servicers told me that I would be eligible for the new Pay As you Earn student loan repayment plan if I paid off a $6500 student loan from 2008, that I took out to pay off two loans from 2002. The financial benefits of the plan and my amount of student loan debt ($180k) made this a no-brainer for me. I took out a credit card balance transfer to my bank for $6500 (0% interest for 12 months). It turns out, that was bad financial advice and it did NOT make me eligible for the Pay As you Earn plan, I am only eligible for the Income-Based Repayment plan.I spoke with the student loan servicer and asked if they would reverse the payment, they declined. I spoke with a Department of Education Ombudsman, who told me to call my bank and file a dispute. The payment occurred ~85 days ago, so my bank told me they couldn't do anything about it because it's past 60 days. I would like this payment reversed so I can consolidate it with the rest of my loans. Am I going to have to file a lawsuit against FedLoan for giving me bad financial advice, or is there any possible way to get this thing reversed?
Buying a used car and getting auto insurance & loan
Added on : Sunday July 07th 2013 01:00:08 PM
About a year ago, I posted here on whether or not I should get a car or just lease or rent and now I have decided to buy a used car due to recently lifestyle change, I will need to travel more. I am a newbie to buying cars, especially a used car and getting an auto loan and insurance. I know my insurance is not going to be cheap since I will be a new driver (getting my license in August) in New York. I have a license back in my own country but have not driven since I came to the states about 10 years ago. So my question is, how to buy a reliable used car and get auto loan? Do I need to first get my license before I can apply for the loan/insurance? Correct me if I am wrong, in NYS, if i'm buying a car with cash in full, I do not have to get a full coverage insurance. I don't plan on getting a full coverage though and anything over $500 for the insurance is too much for me. As for the auto loan, I am just getting it to boost up my credit score, I don't really need it, so my plan is to find something that offer 6 months without interest rate kinda loan. As for buying the used cars, I have seen in my neighborhood that there are people just selling their cars, but again I am not sure how reliable they are when it comes to giving me an honest history of the car knowing that not all history will be on carfax. Btw, I live in NY, Queens area if thats helpful. I just want to know where to start to speed up the process and I can just start driving once I have my license.
Firms Paying Back Millions on Military Auto Loans
Added on : Thursday July 04th 2013 06:00:07 AM
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/06/28/firms-paying-back-... Those who are active duty or have been since 2010, DOD is investigating "hidden" charges by lenders when you pay by military allotment. Those who used US Bank and its affiliates will get $100 on average from the case just wrapped up. There is a list of other lenders to be investigated.
Subsidized Student Loans Will Be Variable Rates Soon
Added on : Tuesday July 02nd 2013 07:00:05 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323393804578555143...I can usually tell how a bill will shake out just based on the leverage of different players and those that are lining up on different sides.The compromise legislation will probably be something like 10 year treasury +.5%. It's possible that either side could get the other side to go their way with treasury +1%(or higher) or treasury +0%, but the people trying to stop this or actually even decrease fixed rates even more will lose since not doing anything means that they shoot up to double the rate fixed. Thought this was material enough financial information to some people especially those looking at going to school or back to school to post.
P.S. I particularly laughed hard at the idiocy of Elizabeth Warren in this situation.
WSJ said:
If you think the federal student-loan program looks like a bad deal for taxpayers, imagine how it would look with honest accounting. And now you don't need to imagine thanks to a new report that's receiving far too little attention. Turns out that the official "savings" for taxpayers of $184 billion over the next decade really add up to $95 billion in losses.

Here's the scam: Lawmakers peddle what is a massive subsidy for universities while claiming that student loans generate a windfall for the taxpayer. This phony windfall is conjured by creative accounting that politicians mandated via the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990. Specifically, the law requires a deliberate under-counting of the cost of defaults.

This is partly how a Democratic Congress and President Obama managed to enact ObamaCare in 2010 while claiming that their big entitlement expansion would reduce costs. The health plan was paired with legislation that made the U.S. Department of Education the originator of roughly 90% of all student loans, which in turn generated billions in imaginary budget "savings."

To its credit, the Congressional Budget Office has noted on various occasions that while the law forces it to use this Beltway math, CBO knows it's not accurate under fair-value accounting. And in a new report on the costs of student loans made in the decade ending in 2023, CBO quantifies the size of this discrepancy at $279 billion. CBO adds with its typically wry understatement that Washington's mandated accounting method "does not consider some costs borne by the government."

That's for sure. Now keep in mind that the $95 billion net loss for taxpayers happens under current law. This includes Monday's doubling of rates that pushed subsidized Stafford loans for undergrads up to 6.8% from 3.4%. Politicians on both sides of the aisle say they don't want the rate increase to stick, and they are working on a bipartisan compromise that would be retroactive to July 1.

It's too much to hope that the politicians will swear off fraudulent accounting or try to reduce defaults. But one positive development is a growing bipartisan consensus that student-loan rates should rise as the government's own costs of borrowing rise.

The House has already passed a bill that would prevent student rates from doubling but would also protect taxpayers in the future by floating the rates at some spread above the 10-year Treasury note rate, depending on the type of loan.

Senate liberals like Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) came into the debate demanding that subsidized Stafford loans remain at a fixed 3.4%. Freshman Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) even introduced a plan to lend to kids at the Federal Reserve's discount window rate, currently 0.75%. Senator Warren claims to understand finance, by the way.

Refreshingly, someone at the White House budget office figured out that offering low fixed rates to students could be disastrous as the Treasury's own borrowing costs start to go north. Since Mr. Obama and Democrats have driven private firms almost entirely out of this market, the private lenders can't be squeezed anymore to pay for the next round of subsidies. So the President's budget also calls for tying rates to the 10-year Treasury note, though his plan is more taxpayer-unfriendly than the House bill.

The President's baby step toward fiscal sanity seems to have caught his liberal allies by surprise. Hence the recent hilarious spectacle of Ms. Warren, a Democrat, resisting a GOP effort to force a vote on the President's proposal.

Ms. Warren feared the vote because moderate Democrats increasingly accept that rates have to be tied to something resembling economic reality. Last week Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Tom Carper (D., Del.) joined Maine Independent Angus King and Republicans Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr and Tom Coburn to introduce a compromise plan that ties rates to the 10-year Treasury.

But bitter-enders including Majority Leader Harry Reid still want to gore the taxpayer with a fixed 3.4% rate, financed by tax increases. When Congress returns after this week's recess, expect Mr. Reid to force a vote on a one-year extension of his sweetheart rate for colleges. Fortunately for taxpayers, the Senate will also likely vote on the bipartisan plan that moves toward market rates.

If Mr. Reid wins, a $95 billion taxpayer hit will look like a lowball estimate. Either way, you can count on politicians like him to keep claiming they're saving you money.
Mortgage transferred from Flagstar to Caliber Home Loans..
Added on : Monday July 01st 2013 07:00:10 AM
Starting today, my mortgage has been transferred over to Caliber from Flagstar. So far I have had no issues with Flagstar ..wondering how Caliber is..anyone has any experience with them? So far I have not been enrolled online as Caliber mentioned my papers are still in process of being transferred.
What should I focus on?
Added on : Monday July 01st 2013 03:00:06 AM
I'm having a lot of trouble keeping track of my finances, and I'm not sure what I should be focusing on. A bit about my financial status:
- I'm engaged, living in NYC w/ my fiance.
- I'm in my mid-to-late 20's
- I have little to no family / friend support (financially)
- I own no valuable assets
- I earn ~$100k/yr salary
- I am the only income for the household
- My income balances with my spending each month (rent + credit cards)
- I essentially have $0 savings
- And I have $125k in student loansA bit about my goals:
- Have a fairly nice wedding in 1-2 years
- Have kids in ~5 years
- Get a dog sometime soon
- I'd really like to own property at some point, but I could rent forever (NYC)I'm trying my best to manage everything in Quicken, and though it offers good insight into my spending, I'm having trouble figuring out where to go next. Do I pay off debt as fast as possible? Do I start saving / investing?Thanks!
- Y
Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - A Global Call to Action [Kindle Edition] was $25.99Peter W. Navarro (Author), Greg Autry (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GXB41GPublication Date: May 5, 2011Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional119 Reviews ★★★★

This is the eBook version of the printed book.Bestselling author Peter Navarro (The Coming China Wars) and Greg Autry challenges the dominant paradigm of a "Chinese Miracle" - the one featuring a modernizing, progressive Chinese state heading toward political reform and driving global economic growth with its new found embrace of capitalism and freedom.
Tearing this delusion away, Death by China documents the myriad ways that a powerful, wealthy, and corrupt Chinese Communist Party emboldened by a growing nationalistic frenzy is becoming the biggest threat to global peace, prosperity, and health since Nazi Germany.
From currency manipulation and abusive trade policies, to slave labor and deadly consumer products, China's ruthless rulers threaten the livelihood of the citizens of every developed nation. These thugs have created a frightening amoral society ruled by a constant fear hidden to outsiders and bought off with the ill gotten profits of a myopic quest for economic advantage at any cost - social, environmental, or civil rights concerns be damned. Worse, as with everything else, China is scaling and exporting the model around this world, threatening their neighbors and exploiting developing nations across the globe with a new imperialism.
While America worries that Al Qaeda or Iran may get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction, China is using our Wal-Mart dollars to build them by the score; filling brand new nuclear submarines with missiles aimed at our heartland and building stealth planes designed to obliterate our friends in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
America's policy of appeasement and perpetual bending to Beijing's tacit threat to stop funding our unsustainable consumption based economy and deficit addicted government has left the Chinese people and the world in a frightening position while achieving absolutely nothing. With each new attempt at further "engagement" China simply rounds up more artists, writers, and political dissidents into its gulags and continues its policies of virtual genocide against the peoples of Tibet and the Uighars of East Turkestan. It tightens control over media and the Internet and expands its regional, territorial and resource claims. Laughing at our timidity, it becomes ever bolder in executing its plan to shutter every last manufacturing plant in the West.
Meanwhile, Western turncoat CEO's are content with pumping up one more quarterly report by driving every last high-value manufacturing jobs to Guangzhou or Chengdu. Congress is happy to be re-elected with contributions from those same corporations. Together they are happy to leave the rest of us with a future of low paying service and retail "careers" based on selling junk made in China to each other while accumulating a pile of Chinese debt and building a geopolitical time bomb of epic proportions.
For every American, European, Japanese or Korean reader who wonders where his job has gone and worries about the world his children will inherit, Death by China is a must read. The book features an inspiring Forward by Chinese Dissident, Baiqiao Tang and a brilliant Epilog by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.About the Author
Peter Navarro is a business professor at the University of California Irvine and a CNBC contributor. He is the author of several path-breaking books including The Coming China Wars, The Well-Timed Strategy, and Always a Winner as well as the bestselling investment book If It's Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks.
Peter's articles on economics, business, and China have appeared in a wide range of publications, from Business Week, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and wall street journal to Harvard Business Review, the Sloan Management Review, and the Journal of Business. He is a widely-sought after and gifted public speaker and appears frequently on Bloomberg TV and radio, CNN, CNBC, and NPR, as well as on allthree major network news shows.
Professor Navarro holds a Ph.D in economics from Harvard.
Greg Autry is an entrepreneur, writer, and educator. He has published extensively on business, economics, politics, space and China andassisted Professor Navarro in research and preparation for the revised edition of The Coming China Wars.
Greg holds a BA in history from Cal Poly Pomona and an MBA from the Merage School of Management at UC Irvine. As a lecturer, he's taught business strategy and macroeconomics at Merage where he is currently completing a Ph.D in the area of Economics and Policy. His dissertation is on the evolution of the private commercial space launch industry.
Need education on financing a new car
Added on : Sunday June 30th 2013 05:00:07 PM
I have never bought a car before with financing (just cash before) but I am considering doing it for the financing rebate, and pay off the loan after the first installment. Is that possible and advisable?I want to buy a new 2013 Honda Civic LX and was given a quotecar $16475
document fee $200
destination fee $790
Tax (0.6%) $1047
Total $18512
Title $287OTD price before rebate: $18799
- financing rebate: $500
final price: $18299
The salesman said that if I get a 0.9% APY 60 months financing plan, I can pay off everything after the first month, as there is no early payoff penalty. AND I get the $500 rebate. My understanding of that isLet's assume 20% down payment: $18512 * 0.20 = $3702.40
So my principal owed would be $14809.60Monthly payment using the auto loan calculator on bankrate.com gives me $252.51 / month at 0.9% APY over 60 month. Basically $341 total in interest over 60 months.So if I want to pay everything off as early as possible (since I have the cash for it), is my total liability just
14809.60 + ((252.51 * 60 - 14809.60) / 60) = 14809.60 + 5.68
= 14815.28
??Am I missing something here?
Can you walk me through my final HUD and escrow refund (refi)?
Added on : Sunday June 30th 2013 06:00:09 AM
I recently refinanced and have just received an escrow refund and final escrow disclosure statement from Wells Fargo, my old loan servicer. I want to make sure I received the correct amount but I'm not sure I know how to calculate that. I think I understand but want to be sure. Any help would be appreciated. The final HUD shows closed on 5/31 and disbursement listed as 6/11. The HUD actually calculated interest from 5/1-6/12, or $1239.00 at 2.875%, then the statement fee/recording fees of $92.00, so a total payoff of $375,811.88. That implies to me the HUD calculation was based on a payoff date of 6/13.Per WellsFargo, my principal balance on 5/1 was $374,480.88. Wells Fargo shows the loan was paid off on 6/10. Without any additional payments, I would have owed interest from 5/1-6/9, if I understand correctly.However, I also made my usual mortgage payment of $3356.25 on 6/5 (principal: $1800.08; interest: $897.19; escrow: $658.98). If that was credited as a payment as usual, then on 6/10 the payoff amount was used first to pay interest 6/1-6/9 (9 days at 2.875% on $372,680.80 = $264.19); then to payoff the principal balance of $372,680.80 from 6/1; then the recording and doc fees of $92.00; then the balance of ($375,811.88 - $372,680.80 - $264.19 - $92.00 = $2774.89 went to the escrow account? This is what the escrow account ledger shows.The escrow refund would then be the June 1 escrow account balance, plus the escrow amount in my 6/5 payment, plus the $2774.89 which was the excess payoff amount to Wells Fargo.Did I get this correct?
Late Wells Fargo Mortgage Payment
Added on : Saturday June 29th 2013 09:00:07 PM
I searched for late payment information regarding mortgages and nothing closely related showed up, just credit card stuff. Aside from the "pay your bills deadbeat" posts which I probably deserve, I'm definitely not a deadbeat. I have my 6 month savings and the rest of my finance in very healthy condition.I thought my Wells Fargo mortgage payment was on autopay and it wasn't. My credit is sparkling and I've been current for the life of this account, almost 3 years. This is definitely my fault. My account had a red notice at the top that said 29 days late. I immediately paid tonight but it won't be assessed til tomorrow, which will post on the 30 day delinquency date(this seems to be the big date of delinquency for when it gets serious).I see a late payment fee posted for $42, I don't care cause it's my fault. My concern is my credit score, I will be showing the house very soon(next week) and will be selling. I will be renting closer to work because my commute is killing me. Now I'm worried that my credit will get me rejected from renting apartments. I don't know my credit score but it should be upper 700's at the least. I see people talking about an immediate 100 point hit, ouch. I plan on calling WF on monday when the mortgage department opens to get details. Below is a recent thread I made regarding selling vs landlord, not important but it gives some numbers on my loan balance and likely listing price.Should I be concerned? Is there anything I should do to help this situation? I appreciate the help from the FWF community over the years and ask for your help/advice again.http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1274855/
Buying Car Out of State
Added on : Saturday June 29th 2013 11:00:06 AM
I am in process of buying a car from a private party in MD. I live in SC. The seller has the title in hand. I will be using a Penfed Auto Loan Draft. Every one of these posts I found when searching is confusing and is filled with opinions and experiences (e.g. well I got pulled over with no tags but the cop let me off so do it like this).Asides from getting insurance, going to a notary and getting a signing a bill of sale and title signed over, I'm lost. She will be taking the plates off the car. Here are my questions:1. Do I need a transit tag? If so which state should give it to me?
2. Do I need to go to the MD DMV for anything?
3. Do I need a "Notice of Security Interest Filing"?
4. Will I need to pay MD any state taxes?
5. Are there any other forms I'm missing?
Fancy Student Loan Forgiveness Footwork
Added on : Friday June 28th 2013 08:00:07 AM
tl;dr - Trying to formulate a plan to pay the least amount back for my student loans with the loan forgiveness program.I wanted to run this plan by the Fatwallet community to gather some thoughts. Also, if anybody knows who I could speak to about all this other than my alma mater's financial aid office that would be great. In my experience, they weren't really that helpful when I was in school. Maybe an accountant? I don't know. Do they even have accountants that specialize in student loans? And please keep your political views at a minimum. Chances are, if you're b***hing about something political here, I probably already agree but that's not going to stop me from taking advantage of the system if I qualify!


Just graduated and I owe about $160K
My AGI will be around 85-100K. It's pretty stable in my field with low potential for income growth. Actually, I just got hired for an entry-level government job that pays AGI $85K.
Payment Plans

Standard Repayment Plan

Pay 1800/month for 10 years
Total interest accumulated/paid within 10 years is $60K
Total paid back cumulatively is $216K at 10 years

Income Contingent Plan

Pay starts at $1200/month then gradually goes up to $2200/month

Not sure how they get to $2200 but I think that's only assuming my AGI increases. Tried to look for something like an amortization schedule with no luck.

Total payment time is 25 years then the rest is forgiven if there's anything left.
Interest is estimated $88K accumulated/paid at 25 years
Total estimated paid back cumulatively is $250K at 25 years

Loan Forgiveness: If I work for any government or non-profit for 10 years full time and I make the above monthly payments on time, the rest of my student loans are forgiven.

Under the Standard Repayment Plan, this doesn't matter cause the loan is already paid off in 10 years.
Under the Income Contingent Plan

Assuming my AGI stays relatively the same, I'll I keep paying $1200/month
After 10 years, I'd have paid $144K and the rest would be forgiven. This is a potential savings of AT LEAST $77K!

I want to pay with Income Contingent Plan schedule and get my loans forgiven after 10 years. My biggest concern is if the loan forgiveness program will still be in place within the next 10 years. If not, I'll have to pay more interest on the 25-year plan since I didn't do a 10-year plan.
I realize that this is a question about how CK works, but can't find the answer on their site. I'm wondering why it reports fewer hard inquiries from the last two years than should rightfully be there. I have something like 10 card applications in the last two years, of which 8 were approved, but it's only showing 3 hard inquiries for that same period. My guess is that they're only looking at one of the bureaus? But shouldn't inquiries eventually get reported to all three? Anyways, I'm curious to know (1) if this or something else accounts for the disparity and (2) if other people's CK accounts likewise report fewer inquiries than you'd expect to see.On their site, the closest I could get to a description of what I was looking at was this elementary blurb: "About This Factor: Hard credit inquiries are placed on your credit report whenever you apply for credit, like a credit card or loan. This number represents the number of hard inquiries reported on your credit over the last two years. Soft credit inquiries, like the kind used by Credit Karma, do not impact your credit score and are not included in this number."
My financials - share your expertise and tips
Added on : Thursday June 27th 2013 04:00:08 PM
Help a brotha out Credit cards:
$1000 - 20%
$6000 - 13%
$2100 - 15%
$7000 - 13%
$5000 - 0% (just did 1 yr BT)Accounts:
$8500 - 401k (8% contribution)
$5500 - IRA (rollover from past employer)
$5200 - Roth
$6500 - stocks
$1 - savingsMonthly:
$650 - rent
$110 - gas
$100 - phone
$80 - cable, internet
$250 - student loans
$400 - food (eating out mostly -- lunch, weekends)
$250-400 misc (mostly bar tabs)Take home:
$1800 every 2 weeks Thinking about selling my 2000 truck for $3500 or so and getting a moped or crown vicAny comments, tips appreciated, thanks
I just read on another forum someone that was considering doing the married filing separately to substantially reduce the IBR payment. With the public student loan forgiveness program it seems like this would be an ideal strategy.They then were thinking that every three years they could amend the previous three years returns, to be jointly filed and get the married filing together tax benefits and then rinse and repeat until the loans are forgiven after 10 years.We can keep her income very low by putting most all of it into retirement funds etc and live off of one income so not only would it benefit our Am I missing something in this or is this not the best way for a married couple to use the Public Loan Forgiveness Program?
Title Issue - what's the best way to resolve it ..
Added on : Thursday June 27th 2013 09:00:05 AM
We are facing this strange issue with a home refinance.. we did few refinances in past, never an issue. But latest one with Aim loan, they found a claim on deed from a old mortgage company from which we refinanced years back thru Principal Bank. They appear on deed, but not on our credit report (as they're paid off). That old bank was bought over few times, and final successor is captial one. Having bit of issue getting a person on CaptialOne to handle this. I got an email address for dept who is supposed to handle it. Their automated email states to provide them payoff statement. The problem is, that refinance was around 7-8 years back - we don't have the old documents. Bank that refinaced and paid off that old back was principal bank. Principal since then sold the mortage to Citi Bank & we paid off citi back with Heloc few years back. So trail of paperwork is bit of a mess.What is the best option to resolve this? Do we need a title lawyer? anything else we can do in meantime (looks like aim loans will not extend the lock).
Are student loans rip-offs?
Added on : Wednesday June 26th 2013 10:00:08 PM
People all over the internet complain about not being able to make their student loan payments. Some go out of the way to blame the creditors and simply refuse to pay. I never got student loans so I don't really understand the situations and thinking of such people. So I have 3 questions regarding student loans.1. Don't debtors understand that they signed a legal document, accepting the interest rates and all other terms?
2. Are student loans' interest rates unreasonable?
3. What happens to the people that default on student loans which cannot be discharged? Do they ever go to jail for owing money? Bonus question: apart from extending loans too readily, what else do student loan issuers do wrong that gives them such a bad rap?
New home buyer - questions about options and timeframe
Added on : Wednesday June 26th 2013 02:00:07 PM
I have already applied for a mortgage loan, which I had to do per the contract within 3 days, but my interest rate increased before I was locked in. I have to be out of the current house I am renting by July 31 and my closing date is set for July 29. Is it to late to look into another mortgage option like Quicken or AmeriSave? Or am I stuck with having to make a decision to buy points to lower my rate?Current options:30 yr fixed:
4.500% - .50 pts
4.625% - .00 pts lender will pay $200 towards closing
4.875% - 1.0 pts and no PMII am a first time home buyer and only plan to live her 5-6 yrs.
Here's the situation. I've got some fairly high interest private student loan debt, 8-9%, I have about 20k of it at that amount. I have the means to pay it off in a year to a year and half and would like to. At that rate I'm looking at a couple grand in interest in that time frame. While not a huge amount, that's still a pretty significant amount of money, so I've been looking at ways to cut the interest payment while I pay it off. That being said, I've seen that the Chase Slate card has a 0 fee 0% percent for 15 month balance transfer offer(I checked on Chase's website and I have a pre-approved offer for the card, for whatever that's worth.) I think that'd be perfect for my situation even if I can't fund the full 20k that way. On the application it asks if I plan on doing a balance transfer, and then asks for the credit card number and the amount. I currently have a Citi Forward card with a 10k credit limit. My plan is to transfer the balance to the Citi card and then request a check for the overpayment. I've read that this is very easy to do online for Citi Cards, although most of the posts describing it are old, there was one from a few months ago that reported success. Has anyone done this recently? My more important question though is what effect will disclosure of a desire to balance transfer this have on the credit limit I receive if I get the card. I looked around but couldn't find anywhere that discussed this. Does anyone know if Chase gives more credit limit if you disclose that you're going to use the card for a balance transfer of a large amount? Would they give less? Does it even factor in at all? Relatedly, I currently have 10k in available credit limits with a Chase Southwest Card. How easy it to transfer limits from one Chase card to another? Is there anything in particular I would say to the CSR when I do this about why I want to do it? Do they care? I've read that people who are put in a hold for a card have had successful transferring a balance from one card to another in order to get approval, but what if I'm instant approved? Thanks in advance.
New car - crashed at dealership before delivery
Added on : Tuesday June 25th 2013 08:00:13 AM
Alright, so I'm being a little dramatic. But I certainly didn't think I'd be the person posting a "car accident" post on FWF.Summary:Bought a new car (financing with the manufacturer)
After signing all the paperwork (except for inspection form), went out to inspect the car. Noticed that since I had toured/test drove the car, they scraped the rear bumper. Gauges in the plastic and not aligned (clips must have broken)
They wanted to just repair it (it would be "like new") - I didn't feel good about this since I paid a premium for a brand new car, not a brand new car that I knew had been damaged
They said don't worry about it and they would get me the exact same car in a few days
They said they would hold all the paperwork since it would have to be redone for the new vehicle
It took them a week (not just a few days days), and the one they got me had a different interior color (not acceptable to me)
After again trying to get me to allow them to repair the damage, the manager told the salesperson to unravel the deal. I think this is because I got a screaming deal - my out the door price (including taxes, etc) was less than invoice. It was better than the low end on TrueCar.
They have also reneged on a referral fee (friend referred me to the dealership, is supposed to get $150 fee). They said there isn't enough room in the deal for it.
In the end they have offered me $250 + tint.
I countered with $250 + tint + waive the $400 doc fee + pay the referral fee to my friend.I'm not very confident that I'll find the exact correct car (a dealership about 150 miles away supposedly has one). And with that said, I'm not sure I'll get the same deal. I haven't mentioned the other car to this dealership (in an attempt to get them to trade) because I'm waiting to see if they will cave.Questions:
Can they unravel the deal? I know if financing fell through they can. But they pushed through the loan docs an the manufacturer's finance arm confirmed my loan was activated last week.
Do I have any additional recourse beyond them just repairing the car? Should I just take the $250+tint (provided the repair is transparent)?If I allow them to repair, I will want to see them remove the bumper cover so I can see if any damage underneath. From getting under the car, I couldn't detect any damage beyond surface damage.Pics later today (they aren't impressive, it's mainly gauges in the plastic and the side of the cover doesn't align with the rear side panel.edited to add: Do I have any recourse for the credit check and loan that will show on my credit report (possibly bringing down my score)? I'm assuming when I go to buy another car (even from the same manufacturer, different dealer) they will have to run another credit check.
HELOC DTI impact + rolling in debt at closing
Added on : Tuesday June 25th 2013 06:00:15 AM
I'm planning to open a HELOC for some home repairs.My questions are:
1. How is the DTI impact of the new HELOC calculated? Is it 1% of the total available line? Is it the monthly payment at the current terms of the LOC (no interest, ~4%)? Is it the amortized payment (principal + interest @ 4% for 25 years)? Is there a standard formula? 2. Is it ever possible to roll other debts ( auto loan) into a HELOC such that my new DTI qualifies me for the higher LOC amount? I am envisioning something like when you refinance a loan, the bank ignores the existing DTI and focuses on what the new DTI will be.
401k loan for home purchase
Added on : Tuesday June 25th 2013 04:00:07 AM
I am considering using a 401k loan to supplement my down payment for a new home.Here are the details:If I were to stick to the current FHA loan I would pay roughly $9800 in prepaid MIP. I would also be charge roughly $570 per month for PMI until we hit 78% LTV (~109 months). With interest rate acting the way they are (thanks Bernanke), and the fact that I can take a $50K loan at 3.25% +$50 loan setup fee (3.27% APR), it seems like it would make sense for me to do it. The PMI savings alone would be $71,930. The plan would be to set up the loan as a 15 year loan, but pay it back in 118 months (almost 10 years maybe faster).Assuming an 8% YOY growth on the 50k, I would "lose ~$21.7k in 401k growth (8% on the 50k - 8% on the growing repayment of the loan), I would pay myself $2.6k in interest (understand that it is double taxed). Seems like spending roughly $30k to save almost $72k is worth it.FYI the PMI for me would not be tax deductible due to income limits, so that doesn't play a role in the decision. and the $50k loan is about 12.5% of my 401k balance and I am 37 years old.Am I missing anything?
Here's the situation. I've got some fairly high interest private student loan debt, 8-9%, I have about 20k of it at that amount. I have the means to pay it off in a year to a year and half and would like to. At that rate I'm looking at a couple grand in interest in that time frame. While not a huge amount, that's still a pretty significant amount of money, so I've been looking at ways to cut the interest payment while I pay it off. That being said, I've seen that the Chase Slate card has a 0 fee 0% percent for 15 month balance transfer offer(I checked on Chase's website and I have a pre-approved offer for the card, for whatever that's worth.) I think that'd be perfect for my situation even if I can't fund the full 20k that way. On the application it asks if I plan on doing a balance transfer, and then asks for the credit card number and the amount. I currently have a Citi Forward card with a 10k credit limit. My plan is to transfer the balance to the Citi card and then request a check for the overpayment. I've read that this is very easy to do online for Citi Cards, although most of the posts describing it are old, there was one from a few months ago that reported success. Has anyone done this recently? My more important question though is what effect will disclosure of a desire to balance transfer this have on the credit limit I receive if I get the card. I looked around but couldn't find anywhere that discussed this. Does anyone know if Chase gives more credit limit if you disclose that you're going to use the card for a balance transfer of a large amount? Would they give less? Does it even factor in at all? Relatedly, I currently have 10k in available credit limits with a Chase Southwest Card. How easy it to transfer limits from one Chase card to another? Is there anything in particular I would say to the CSR when I do this about why I want to do it? Do they care? I've read that people who are put in a hold for a card have had successful transferring a balance from one card to another in order to get approval, but what if I'm instant approved? Thanks in advance.
This is Only the Beginning in China
Added on : Monday June 24th 2013 10:00:09 AM
Anybody looking at their portfolios today or pulling up the financial news has seen the impact of China's interbank markets on world asset prices over the last couple of business days.Now there are times when problems show up, cause a small correction, and then seem to fade away. Then there are those rare risks that have the capacity of inflicting large amounts of damage over a period of time. The situation in China is in the latter category.Now just about every post I've made about the markets has come with a list of designated risk factors. Those were PIIGS + F, Japan, and China(and their primary suppliers Brazil and Australia). I always had my guess that China represented the highest likelihood of getting out of control because of the sheer quantity of new credit required to keep them from a large real estate crash and financial crisis. The other reason was that the Chinese were the only ones that seemed to be trying to poke the bubble, but then spooking when they saw the sheer size of the problem once they started that(it's created this jigsaw policy making of trying to cool things down, then not liking the view, and then reflating only to try to cool things down again several months later). The other countries dealing with different issues were primarily focused on just kicking the can down the road.Naive investors and commentators kept on talking about the Chinese ability to engineer a 'soft landing' where they seek to pop it and then support it's decline and then pop it again and support its decline. People that actually understood the scale of the problem knew that was impossible. Their society required massive new amounts of credit to just maintain status quo; most new debt goes to pay for old debt often times at exorbitant interest rates in the informal marketplace. Even if they just tried to stop the growth of credit(not letting new credit fall just halting its growth) many participants wouldn't be able to rollover their entire debt stock + expenses + interest for the year and they would be forced to default. So there is no slowly letting air out of this tire. It's either keep pumping it full of air or jam a hammer into it keep it from growing any larger.
So the key question that always remained was when would the Chinese stop playing this game and when would they realize that they just had to let it blow up and unwind.The announcement by the PBoC today was a huge change in the situation. They expressly stated that they will not be coming to the rescue and told their banks that they're on their own. Those that have been paying attention will know that the overnight SHIBOR hit 25% for a short period of time last week. It is largely believed that the PBoC engineered that intentionally. SHIBOR rates of 10% represents largely a shut down of the interbank markets in China. The entire SHIBOR rate regime is floating close to that number as we speak. This has coincided with major announcements of reform by the new leadership headed by Xi Jinping(I profiled the new leadership on here a couple of years ago). Xi appears to be targeting corruption, the state owned enterprises, and the excesses their massive credit expansion has created. Given these reforms and details being discussed it would make sense that he would behind a move to let blood out of the property and credit bubble of China. It also makes sense that he would do it so soon because he could blame it on his predecessor where as if he kept going for a while he would no longer enjoy that luxury.Personally, I'm growing a bigger and bigger fan of Xi. He appears to have the balls to tackle very painful problems in China today even with severe short term consequences.
So you have all the necessary conditions for the bubble to be popped. You have massive excesses in property markets(ghost cities, prices ~40 times average income, massive over supply), huge credit growth(50% of the new global money supply over the last few years has been from China they've 'printed' far more than the US has), there is realistically not much more policymakers could delay the inevitable, and finally(and in today's "No Lehman's world" the most important) what appears to be the final capitulation moment where policymakers are now content to let it happen.You get that mix and you have a recipe for serious market correction China. Now some believe that this is the PBoC just instigating a really harsh dosage of pain before injecting liquidity. Others believe they're in for the long haul. And even if they're are now in for the long haul they could spook again in the future. Non performing loans spike from 1% to 10% they could slam the market with more liquidity and lending to make the problem go away again(hell just in the last month several small banks have announced that their NPLs have spiked from 1% to 5% just in 1 months time). Last couple of thoughts here:
A) If this plays out bad there is no way Bernanke is tapering this year. That fickle SOB spooks easier than just about any other central banker on Earth. So that is definitely a mitigating factor.
B) There is some debate how much impact this would have on US markets. Due to capital controls in China US institutional investors have always had a hard time getting capital into China to even have at risk. Chinese have always had a hard time getting capital out of China to be worried about that capital leaving the US in the future. So the banking crisis likely wont spread that much outside of China's borders nor should the property markets. But on the other end many domestically traded companies have significant sales in China and many domestically traded companies have manufacturing in China. So there is impact.What I would do about this:
1) Too many factors to think about selling all equity holdings
2) But significant enough risk here to maybe review how much 'dry powder' you have. I think anybody 100% long equities here is pretty crazy, but I've been saying that for a little while now. Ultimately you just want to make sure that you a nice percentage(maybe 20-50% depending on your risk tolerance) dry that you would actually feel comfortable redeploying at cheaper stock prices down the road.
3) You can get dry powder via cash, near cash, or a systemic hedge(put option on maybe the S&P for a period of time).
Forward/Freedom/it/Amazon for a College Senior
Added on : Sunday June 23rd 2013 06:00:04 PM
Lurker here crawling out from under a rock...I'm trying to build a solid credit foundation and now looking to add one or more credit cards now that my existing paid-in-full accounts have aged for awhile. Most of my spending goes towards Amazon and restaurants, and I would like to maximize the rewards I can earn on those categories. I am an authorized user on my father's Chase card which has helped start my credit report, and I'm hoping now it can act as a foot in the door for individual Chase cards. I think the Citi Forward for college students has the best rewards, but I'm worried about redeeming the points at a decent rate (I have no loans/mortgages) and that Citi seems to be phasing out the Forward. Whichever cards I get now I plan to keep for as long as possible, while building a permanent relationship with the card's bank. What would you do in my shoes?
Posting this as a throwaway since I've got details I'd rather not link to my main account.Here's my situation:
+ Got married a few years ago and my wife had an investment account from her parents with ~$100k saved up. It's in a S&P 500 index fund at the time.
+ I've got quite a few student loans, most of which were subsidized, fortunately, so not a lot of interest has built up on those yet--they're at 6.8%.
+ I've just started my working career at an entry-level salary (40-50k), and my job offers a 401k, but no matching.
+ We are renting a place and do not own a home, but we own both of our cars outright.
+ No credit card debt.
+ Really not much of an emergency fund or extra in savings.My question is this: we've got full access to the investment account funds--would we be better suited to use those for something else right now? We don't really have much room in our budget for contributing to a Roth, but I figured it might make a good amount of sense for us to transfer some of those funds to max out Roth accounts for us (my tax bracket should definitely be going up by the time I retire). Should we also transfer some into a money market account for an emergency fund, or should we try to set up an emergency fund by slowly saving up with a percentage of my income?Should I just hire a financial advisor who would better be able to look at our specific details?Thanks!
Engineer to Finance Career Change: NEED ADVICE!!
Added on : Saturday June 22nd 2013 07:00:04 AM
I have been working as an engineer for 3.5 years. I have a BS and MS in structural engineering from Georgia Tech. I really don't like engineering and think that a career in finance would better suit me. I think jobs would be easier to find, and my career would be more stable in finance. My question is how do I get a job in Finance??I have heard from alot of people that I should take the plunge and get an MBA. I am heavily considering that and that may be the route I take. Getting an MBA also raises a number of questions in itself. Should I focus on getting a MBA from the best school I can get into? Should I go full-time? Should I go part-time? Should I get an MBA online?

Financing an MBA is also a major concern. I am currently still paying for student loans for grad school. I have thought maybe the best option is to move back in with my parents while getting an MBA and try to find a part-time job. If I moved back in with my parents, I would have to get a MBA from whatever college is in the same city as they are. So the selection would not be that impressive. But I could also just do an online MBA if that would even be a good idea. Ultimately, what I want is to be able to be self-employed to some extent. Would a finance MBA give me that option? Is there any concentration of an MBA program that would give me the option of being self-employed? Or atleast give me the option to moonlight? My ideal finance career would be something on the side of portfolio management, market analysis, trading/investing, and the like. I have basic programming knowledge. I have used mainly Matlab and some python. I am interested in algorithmic trading and have actually created a number of trading algorithms in which I am currently backtesting and optimizing. I have partnered with a friend of mine that is better equipped at coding (he has a M. Comp. Sci.). We are currently working on our own trading platform in which we would implement the trading algo. So, I would love to be able to work on that full-time. But its not to that point yet. In getting an MBA, I hope that would be beneficial for my side venture. In summation, I need advice on the following:
Do I definitely need to get an MBA to be able to switch from engineering to finance?
Will an MBA give me some skills that would enable me to become self-employed or be able to moonlight?
Would having an MBA be beneficial for my side venture of algorithmic trading?I'm sorry if my post seems to be rambled and jumbled thoughts. I truely need some direction, and these decisions are not easy for me to make. I am trying to make the best decision and am hoping to get some good responses.Thank you for your time.
How did you achieve a six figure salary?
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 08:00:15 AM
I've enjoyed reading the archived employment discussion thread and I'm curious how people have achieved a six figure salary. I'm in the camp that prefers to increase salary over increasing savings.

Do you run your own business or work "for the man"? Do you have multiple jobs or streams of income? What sort of education did you have to get? Is your high salary negated by being located in a high cost of living area or large student loan debt or working every waking hour? Was it just hard work climbing the corporate ladder?How old are you? Was there anything significant in your career that you feel has allowed you the ability to hit six figures? Or was it just dumb luck?
Myself, I'm in my mid 30s working as the Director of IT for a large nonprofit in Ohio. Didn't finish my college degree but worked in IT since college, working my way up from Help Desk. I'm currently attempting to finish my degree (online distance learning) and my salary is in the mid $80k range. I'm just trying to figure out how I might break into the six figure salary club and from the job postings I've seen I think at least my BS will help, but I often see MBA preferred listings. I'm not sure I'll go that route since the FWF consensus seems to be that the networking aspect of an MBA program is more important than the MBA itself and more than likely I'd lean toward an online MBA program (two kids and full time job make online more attractive). Anyone care to weigh in with their thoughts and opinions?
CC Compay: "We Want to See You Can Manage Large Balances"
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 06:00:12 AM
Hello all-I am seeking a bit of real world advice regarding building my credit profile. I have a limited credit history (~2.5 years), but have always used the credit I've been extended responsibly. Currently, my FICO is at 765. I have five cards with a total CL of $24,750. In addition to the revolving card accounts, I have three student loans that have been paid in full. I've always paid my cards in full each month and ba r no negative information on my credit report. Now to my question- how do many of the members here achieve such high credit limits? I understand some comes from automatic and requested increases from the issuer and income can also play a role. Besides maintaining a low credit utilization ratio (which I do anyway), there is no practical reason that I would need higher credit limits than I do now. It just feels good knowing a lender would trust me with higher limits. Yesterday I applied for the Barclaycard Arrival card in order to take advantage of the decent sign up bonus. I was approved instantly online for a $5k CL. Out of curiosity, I called the recon line to see if I could get a higher CL. The analyst was very polite and looked over my credit report. She said everything looked great and commended me for using credit wisely. When she began looking at the balances I carry, however, her attitude changed a bit. I really don't spend much on my cards, maybe $1200/mo. She said that although I had high credit limits with other lenders and no negative information, I had not demonstrated that I can actually manage a higher credit limit since I never post a balance near any of my limits. Has anyone ever heard of this? I recall that many individuals believe ~10% utilization is the "sweet spot", but can not using credit that has been made available to you hurt your chances of being offered more credit? If so, what can I do to overcome that? Would churning a card actually benefit someone on this situation? Thanks!
Stuck owning a 3 family, but not upside-down. What to do?
Added on : Wednesday June 19th 2013 06:00:07 PM
Seeking to improve my financial position, I bought a three family home using an FHA Rehab loan while the $8000 tax credit incentive existed in 2009. I had essentially no non-retirement assets at the time and had to do this in a highly leveraged fashion, using a credit card 0% on purchases offer and the US Mint deal to establish a reserve suitable for the down payment. The house is in a slightly run down area of a northeast US city where vacancy rates are running around 9%.The house was bought in foreclosure for ~120k in 2009 using an FHA rehab loan, with ~195k total owed after closing costs and rehabilitation costs were rolled in. It is now a turnkey property with all new heating systems, renovated rooms, flooring, etc. At present, I live in one unit which has a likely market value of $1000 per month, and the other two units rent for a combined $1600 / month (which is probably slightly below market. It's realistic that I could get $1800 in total, but would need to find new tenants for one of the units to do this.) Unfortunately, there were cost overruns with the rehabilitation, which was a situation I was prepared for, which required me to spend an additional $15k out of pocket, for a total effective basis of around $210k in the house. In addition, I had some difficulty finding tenants initially, which led to me running up around $30k of debt juggled with 0% balance transfer offers, which I have since retired to around $9000. My employer has a generous match, and I didn't want to miss out on any of that, or my ability to contribute to a roth IRA each year, and preferred the debt at an effective cost of 3-4% APY.The present mortgage payment, including property tax and insurance escrows, MIP, etc is around $1700, so the house is close to cash-flow neutral (barring repairs and common utilities), despite the fact that I'm occupying it and using 35% of its value or so - Overall, it's been a reasonable investment, but I'm still in a very cash poor position.I have an opportunity and a locked in rate to refinance the property to a new conventional 30 year loan at 3.75%, contingent upon an appraisal that allows me to do so. Because it is a three family property, I can only find reasonable deals at 75% LTV which will require me to bring up to 15k to the table to close a refinance depending on how the appraisal comes in. In the event that I can close the refinance, I plan to remain in the home for at least one year (though probably no more than two), so I qualify for an owner occupied mortgage for the re-fi, though eventually I plan to leave the region of the country I am currently living in for personal reasons. This refinance would bring my monthly payment down to around $1200-1250, which makes things considerably more affordable from a cash flow perspective, even if I continue to reside in the home. Obviously, I don't have $15k, but I can obtain it via a 401k loan with ease, and pay that off using credit card balance transfers, though I'm hesitant to carry significant sums of revolving debt. I am not aware of affordable HEL or HELOC products for this type of property at the LTV I'm talking about.Unfortunately, my job is not particularly highly paying relative to regional cost of living, and I don't have a lot of mobility at the moment with my current employer. In addition, it has become somewhat insecure lately, and I've become relatively burnt out on the industry and job function which I find under-challenging on a good day. In the event I were to lose my job, I would likely leave this region of the country almost immediately, and either sell the home or turn it into a straight rental property. The sale might end up being at significant loss when considering realtor fees and the relative illiquidity of homes that are "over-improved" for market conditions, (I feel that I'd have to hang onto the home for a long time to get the right price, or quick-sell it for around $200k), it would seem to be a more prudent option to be an absentee landlord and find a property manager in this eventuality. I don't feel particularly well suited to being a landlord, though I've done alright so far, I suppose, and though my overall net worth is pretty good compared to the income I've had, I feel as though I'm in a bit of a bind.What would FWF suggest that I do to maximize my long term financial health and peace of mind? Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions offered.
Age: 29 Single, no kids, no plans for kids, reasonably good healthIncome: ~$50k / yr gross, excluding the rental.Property:$200k assessment, probably $225k zestimate, probably worth $230-240k due to higher than standard level of interior improvements
$180k - Mortgage at 5.75% + FHA MIP for one more year, 26 years remainingAssets: $85k 401k, fully vested, about half roth and half traditional
$60k Roth IRA of which 24k are contributions
$10k HSA
~$3k mid 2000s sedan paid in fullLiquid Assets:$7k in the bankDebts:$9k - 0% BT Through June 2014 (debt is related to renovation of the home, and was about 10k higher 2 years ago)FICO around 780, approx ~$120k in available credit across several CC issuers, regular 0% promotions, though mostly with a 3-5% transfer fee.
(BTW, this is not an alt account, I have lurked here for a long time, maybe almost 10 years, and have gained a lot from the community, and though I haven't had an opportunity to register or contribute as of yet, the techniques here have allowed me to help friends and family and make a positive impact on the world in general, so thank you all).
Tenant in a Home to be Foreclosed Would Like to Buy It
Added on : Wednesday June 19th 2013 07:00:18 AM
I live in a home in SC that is about to be foreclosed. I am not the owner. I moved in after the owner moved out of state and let the home go into default over a year ago (with the owner's consent). Can I try to buy the home when it goes up for sale? It has an 80/20 loan. It is worth $100K. Will the primary bank try to get $100K for it or just the original loan of $80K? If I buy it, will I need to deal with the 20% bank or is that the old owner's issue? When is the best time to contact the bank's attorney? After the sale when they knock on my door to evict me or now? I am not paying rent. It was referred to the Master in Equity in March but so far has not come up for a hearing. What is the best way to negotiate with the bank that started the foreclosure? It needs major repairs so I don't want to pay more than $80K for it. Would I need to move out after the foreclosure, then try to buy it and then move back in or can it be done more informally? It would be hard to find a place to move for a few months only to move back in after the sale. Can I negoatiate with the bank and tell them I will make the repairs if they sell it as is? Do I buy it at the auction or from the bank after the auction? I would be getting an FHA loan so I don't have much cash to put down. I have been afraid to contact the foreclosing bank's attorney fearing that it will speed up the foreclosure or that they will want to charge me rent in the interim. The foreclosure was filed April of 2012 so I am not sure why it has taken so long to get to a hearing. The only thing I can think is maybe they are having trouble with the paperwork because it was 80/20 and the loans have been sold 3 times in 5 years. Both the 80 and the 20 loan originally came from Fremont. It was sold a few times and then Ocwen took over both loans and foreclosed. Now HSBC is bringing the foreclosure action. I am not sure how that works. Fremont is writing collection letters on the 20 loan to the owner. Fremont is also named as a Defendant. I am not sure if they are having trouble with the ownership and that is why it has not been scheduled for a hearing. But, I am looking at the hearing docket each month to see if it comes up for a hearing and am on standby to be evicted, which is tough with 4 kids to move on short notice. It would be great to be able to call the bank's attorney and get answers but I am not sure they would want to be helpful. What's the smartest way to proceed?
Advice/Help requested for personal finances
Added on : Tuesday June 18th 2013 11:00:07 AM
Hello, been a long time lurker on this board. Made a few posts, but mostly just reading. These posts come up frequently so I expect it to get overlooked, but I am posting it regardless. I have reached a point where I feel I have stopped growing in financial terms. I have a very conservative type of personality and the stock market is uncomfortable for me. Earn next to nothing on a checking/cd account. So I feel stuck. Any advice would be appreciated as this board is typically where I turn to for financial advice. Perhaps I just need to grow a pair and invest in equities.Stats
31 years old, married
No kids, but hopefully within the next year
Salary = 40k Wife 30k
401k= 120k (Very aggressive risk) wife=5k
rewards checking account earning 2.75% =48k
rewards checking earning 2%= 21k
Roth IRA 22k invested in all cash (yes dumb, should I just put this in a long term large cap etf?)
32k in Fidelity account in all cashPerhaps I should just dollar cost average into a S&P ETF? Go all in at once? I feel part of my problem is trying to "time" the market which I know is not possible. It just makes it difficult to invest when at an all time highDebt
Mortgage 104000 @3.25%
Student loan 18k @ 2.875Thanks for any help
When to refinance car to skip next month's payment
Added on : Tuesday June 18th 2013 08:00:11 AM
Bought a car last month. No payment until July. It was sort of spur of the moment and so I just used their financing. I usually use PenFed and intend to refi with them. Question is, when should I do this. Assuming payment is due on the first loan on July 10, can I refi now and will that get me an August payment, or should I wait a little while. (I know this is stupid, I just like "skipping" payments.)
New house or pay off existing?
Added on : Monday June 17th 2013 06:00:09 PM
Background Info:Recent addition to the family (twins) give us 3 kids and the need for a 4br sometime in the future. We would have been ready sooner, but the wife had to quit her job to stay home with them as it wasn't worth paying for daycare, and 3 was too many for a single person (family helps babysit). Age: 28Current house:
Loan: 89k left
3br 2 bath
est value ~125k
Monthly Payment $870
Interest portion $362
Had basement redone, upstairs could use a little work to make an easier sell.Finances:
Total savings (checking,savings,stocks,LC,etc) ~$75k
Income: ~90k GrossCould do with 3br for years longer if needed, at our current savings rate we would have enough to pay the current house off in ~18 months with some cushion. Could really put a lot towards savings, wait a few extra years and buy a house we could maybe live with forever, say ~$260k+ range.Other option would be to get a 4br sooner, something in the ~170k-190k range here is pretty good. Have enough cash+equity to put 20% down or more, and if closing dates don't mix we would just use our savings for it all and refill that with equity money. Probably end up wanting something else down the road, but this would do for a good while.I have a concern with the interest rates being so low right now, it seems to make sense to do something sooner rather than later as they cant stay this low forever. Even talks of QE slowing down already made rates jump up, though they have fallen back down a bit. Really leaning towards doing something in the next 6-8 months but its obviously a big decision so still a little hesitant.Thoughts on what you would do in my case?
Anyone know about the FHA 203k home renovation loan?
Added on : Monday June 17th 2013 12:00:07 PM
So we're looking at a house, it needs a couple things fixed, among them a couple outlets replaced, siding repainted, and a circuit breaker is double tapped...the door bell is the second wire going into one breaker. Seriously, I can paint stuff and loosen a screw to pull out a wire, this isn't rocket surgery. I've built motors, I work on cars in my free time, and I'm a maintenance person at work, it's kind of insulting being told that no, I can't slap some paint on a wall.The rules for the 203k loan say you can't supply any parts or labor...but...what if I do? Is it a slap on the wrist, a fine, a lecture and "don't let us catch you doing this again", or they just don't let you get the house? If it's lecturing, a little fine or whatever...it's totally worth it.
student loan advice
Added on : Monday June 17th 2013 11:00:08 AM
I have a student loan that was paid for by the guarantor due to me being totally disabled, the servicer says it is transfered or sold and permanently assigned to the government in the remarks on my credit report, the scoring models are scoring this as a default, there are no late payments on these loans, so now i cannot get approved for any credit, the remarks do not appear like that on experian and it is a 756 score, how can i get this fixed and possibly make money on it for a FCRA violation.
Free $25 KIVA credit to give out as micro-loan
Added on : Monday June 17th 2013 10:00:10 AM
Yes, Staff and other members, the link below is a referral link but it is for a good cause.
I have been doing micro-loans through KIVA for over 3 years now and it has been great.The referral below gets me no cash value, just a $25 bonus KIVA credit which I too can loan out but once the loan is recovered, it goes back to KIVA folks.
I have personally loaned out over $500 of my own money over the years to really small micro business around the world, US applicants included.It is for a very good cause. See image below for my personal loans made out to various applicants.Link here
School me about building a new vacation house
Added on : Saturday June 15th 2013 09:00:12 AM
Here's the relevant details:1. Purchased two plots in a vacation community I summer at regularly. The community is distant from where I live. Paid all cash for the land. Houses in the community can readily be rented out during the summer weeks, which I consider a plus, but the main reason I bought is that I enjoy the community and it is near to other family members I seldom see.2. So far I've talked to a modular builder and a stick builder, as well as a nationwide homebuilding company which I rejected offhand. I'll talk to another stick builder later next week. Both of the stick builders are long-time residents of the community and have a good history of houses and renovations there. The modular builder is perhaps an hour's drive away, but has also been in business a while with a decent reputation from what I can tell.3. Trust in the builder is key as I will NOT be present to watch or inspect the house as it is built over this winter. The community has mild architectural review requirements, and the local stick builders have an advantage in that they've dealt with the committee dozens of times are know quite well what would and would not work. 4. Despite being more distant, the modular builder has been very persistent to get my business, even travelling out to the lot to have a look and make recommendations. The modular man has been super fast to respond to my questions and emails, something I consider important. Questions --1. How much contract negotiations is typical with a modular builder? I don't have much basis for comparison but the quote the modular builder has given me seems rather high. But they seem open to negotiation, not unlike a car dealer.2. How many quotes do you typically get for this kind of a project? There is a finite amount of time I have. 3. Financing. I read with interest this post asking about financing with 0% credit cards and a 401K loan. I could do that; I don't have a lot of cash on hand but extensive retirement savings and a stable job. On the other hand, a bank construction loan would provide some outside verification that each stage of the construction has been completed and verify that subcontractors have been paid and no mechanic's liens on property. Any creative way to finance this or verify when work has been done?4. Any other words of advice, things to look for in a construction contract?Thanks.
My siblings are trying to steal my parents remaining inheritance.
Added on : Saturday June 15th 2013 02:00:05 AM
My parents gave each of their three children some real estate property because of estate planning purposes at the end of 2012. But two of the children were not happy with what was given to them and tried to make my parents gift one more of their properties to them by emailing the attorney to create a grant deed for my parents to sign. I caught it and stopped my parents from signing the deeds. On June 13th my siblings told us to sign this document to change our LLC so that one person signs for all financial documents for getting a new mortgaqe. So all of the members signed it. I thought the lender wanted us to do this to make it easier for us,but one person was always signing documents when we did loans in the past. now I believe they did this to get all of the signitures on one page so they can just erase the paragragh on the top of the page, or use a scissor and cut out the top portion of the page where the paragraphs are, and add their own language. Which means they can now control the LLC since the document is signed by all the owners of the property. I am going to talk to the lender monday.
Mortgage question - 401k loan, HELOC, Bridge, or wait
Added on : Friday June 14th 2013 03:00:05 PM
Would like advice on current situation. Current home was just paid off... We are looking to upgrade to about a 400-500k house. Have put majority of assets into our existing home, 401k, and 529s. Household income in upper 100s. Zero debt/loans/liabilities...Zero credit card debt FICO scores are ~800The dilemma - we want to buy the new house before selling the old one, and do it without a contingency contract for selling existing home (for a variety of reasons).While our networth is high (house which we own outright is worth ~200k, 500k in 401k, 80k in 529 plans), our readily available funds are only about 35k or so.I am thinking about taking out a 401k loan for both me and the wife (so we could borrow 100k) toward down payment (basically giving myself a bridge loan). The loan would be paid off in its entirety as soon as the existing house sells. Looking at bridge loans, this seems like a much better option, gets us out of PMI, overall cost to us is lower, etc. We are financially in a position where paying the 401k loan, along with new mortgage isn't a issue, and would continue to contribute to 401k to get that free company match (and would comfortably meet the standard debt to income ratios).Anyone have any experience doing this? We will be talking to loan officers in near future, and I am trying to educate myself ahead of time.Is a loan officer going to have a issue with me using that amount of money from a 401k plan as down payment? So long as I show the 401k loan payment as a liability and still meet typical debt/income ratios does it really matter?Advice/suggestions/experiencesThanks
Would I qualify for a mortgage if I am under 2 years at my job?
Added on : Thursday June 13th 2013 05:00:09 PM
26, second job out of college. I was making roughly $40,000 ever since April 2011. Switched jobs to align with long term career goals in Feb 2012. Been there since and I was recently promoted.
- $53,000 current salary (recently promoted)
- 680 credit score
- $19,000 student loans ($240 a month)
- Credit score was 680 last time I checked
- 2008 model car paid off (90,000 miles)
- Looking to buy in the $130,000 rangePaid off the car. Paid off $3000 or so of credit card debt I carried throughout college. I am putting 10.5% of salary into my 401k including employer match. Been saving up and I am getting close to the point where I am ready to buy. Feel like I am in a good financial situation to pull the trigger.
My question is, do I need to worry about qualifying for a mortgage? I have heard something about needing to be in my job for 2 years before being able to get one?
rejecting loan after approval due to closing costs?
Added on : Thursday June 13th 2013 03:00:08 PM

I took a five year, 1.99% equity loan with penfed, now I want to establish a heloc. I looked around and settled on hanscom as they seemed to have the lowest rate with no closing costs. They ordered an appraisal (they wouldn't take penfed's), and approved the loan at prime - .5% with no floor. But then they let me know I'd have to pay a 1% nys mortgage recording tax...$2500 for $250k. Looking over the penfed heloc product, it's prime + 0 with a floor of 3.75% but they pay the mortgage recording tax. I have absolutely no plan to use this line, we have strong savings, but it seems prudent to have the line in place. It seems to me the penfed program is better suited to our needs but I feel badly hanscom has gone out of pocket for the appraisal. I could take a smaller loan, but even $100k seems like it would just be throwing $1k down the drain. any ideas/thoughts?tia
Million dollar HH idea that didn't work
Added on : Thursday June 13th 2013 01:00:07 PM
First let me preface this by saying that anytime I say we or us I mean any and all members of my family. Multiple people worked on this and rather than confuse people I would rather just say we or us.I said that when the time was right I would be able to post about an idea that we came up with and ran with. In the end it did not work out for one reason which I will touch on later in the post. We are still working on something much better and bigger, but we did this a few years ago and at this point there is nor reason I can't discuss it.It all started when during the HARP and HAMP days when people were getting their loans modified and/or adjusted. WE would talk to so many people that had a loan done and we kept coming across information that did not make sense. In almost all of the closings people would talk about the various fees they were charged. They would be from the same lender, but almost every lender was doing the same thing. They were charging various amounts for the exact same thing. For example they would charge a fee of $40 for X to one person, the next person would be charged $55, the next $50, and so on and a lot of these fees were related to the truth in lending documentation. In almost every instance there were just random amounts depending on which way the wind blew. So we started collecting the data. WE then met with an attorney to file a class action lawsuit where we would get x%. We talked with a few very competent and very well regarded class action attorneys. It was amazing how many really wanted us to use them and would offer a higher and higher % if we would use them. Every single one that we met with told us we had a solid case and many made their case to accept the case. AS we were going down the road to start the process we found out one very important piece of information that derailed the whole ting. Class action lawsuits that involve truth in lending suits are limited to $500,000 per lender. Not $500,000 per infraction, but per lender. In the end it would have been worth $3M to $4m, but unfortunately after the lawyers paid their fees, etc there was simply not enough money for them to get involved and this idea went away as fast as it came.
The US Federal Reserve has tethered the Quantitative Easing measures to the recovery in job markets. If the jobless claims indicate a climb in the insurance filings, USD may trade down creating uptrend in gold and silver.The 'watch out time' is between 6.30 PM and 7.00 PM IST on Thursday if you are an investor in gold, silver, crude oil and base metals like copper on India's MCX. The futures would be moved by the following data releases from the other side of Atlantic for the day.US Core retail sales (y/y) and retail sales (m/m)Also known as pace indicator of the economy, core retail sales provide definitive indications on consumer spending in US, the biggest economy in the world. It measures the difference in the total value of sales at the retail level in US excluding automobiles.Core retail sales previous: -0.2%
Core retail sales forecast: 0.3%Meanwhile retail sales provide inflation adjusted sales at the retail level in US which also include automobile sales. This time around, with cheap loans available, Americans seem to have bought more number of cars. If that be the case, the retail sales data may effect positive sentiments in Dollar thereby pulling down gold and helping base metals to trade up.Retail sales previous: 0.1%
Core retail sales forecast: 0.4%US Initial jobless claimsInitital jobless claims measure the number of applicants for insurance claims for the first time in last week.Forecast:345K
Previous:346KThe US economy added 175000 jobs in May compared to just 149000 in April.US unemployment rate has climbed to 7.6% and private nonfarm pay rolls expanded just by 178000 compared to the forecast of 180000 in May.The US Federal Reserve has tethered the Quantitative Easing measures to the recovery in job markets. If the jobless claims indicate a climb in the insurance filings, USD may trade down creating uptrend in gold and silver.
Borrowing 401k funds for a home down payment
Added on : Tuesday June 11th 2013 07:00:05 PM
To get up over the 20% down barrier, I'm thinking about borrowing against my 401k (also have an IRA to borrow against but thought I'd borrow against the 401k). My main reason for doing this is to avoid MIP on the loan and to get into a house sooner. I have a home now that we own and my plan is to repay the 401k as soon as I sell this house and probably use the rest to put down against the principle of the new home (all of this after we've gotten into a new house).Anything 'watchouts' to going down this path? It 'seems' that it should work fairly flawlessly if it went as planned. If it worked the way I think it would, I'd only have the 401k loan for less than a year (perhaps only a few months). Appreciate any thoughts on the subject... TIA
NWFCU 3.99% for LIFE of the transferred balance, no BT fee.
Added on : Tuesday June 11th 2013 07:00:07 AM
3.99% APR* for LIFE of the transferred balance
No balance transfer feeBut youve got to hurry. This offer ends June 15, 2013. Complete our online balance transfer form today (not to exceed your current available limit). To request a credit limit increase, complete our online loan application. Dont yet carry a Northwest Federal credit card in your wallet?Apply today** to take advantage of this special balance transfer rate and all the other benefits that our credit cards have to offer.Applying is easy: Complete an online application or
Visit any branch or
Contact our Lending Center at 703-709-8921 (1-866-709-8921 toll-free)*Annual Percentage Rate for credit card balance transfers current as of 04/01/13. Balance transfer forms must be submitted online or postmarked by 06/15/13 in order to receive the 3.99% APR for the life of transferred balance. List your transfers in order of preference. You may transfer part/all of your balance from other creditors, up to your available credit limit. Continue to pay at least your minimum monthly payment until the transfer payments appear on your transferred account statements. Allow 14 business days for processing. Transfers are treated as cash advances; checks will be mailed to each creditor, and any overpayment must be refunded to you by that creditor. Finance charges will accrue from the day NWFCU initiates the balance transfer. Balance transfers may not be used for payment of NWFCU loans or other accounts. NWFCU Member Rewards MasterCard holders will not earn reward points on balance transfers.
This is my experience over the past few months of bidding at auctions in a few counties in CA. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. I make no warranties about the correctness or completeness of info provided, or about what you do with it. Some of it could be flat out wrong. Do your own due diligence. Auctions come with risk and you can lose everything you bid if you aren't careful.
First is information. Most bidders use foreclosureradar.com It's 50$ a month, but gives lots of info. To see properties at auction, you go daily auction schedule, pick the date and the county/state. It will show everything. If the date is a ways in the future, most properties will still be active. As the date approaches (and even on the date) most of the properties will either be canceled (sale is off) or postponed. The vast majority of properties shown will not actually go up for auction on that date. If there were originally 200 properties, the night before auction there will probably be 100 left. The morning of, maybe 60. And maybe 10 will actually go up for auction.So, you want to wait until as close as possible to the auction to do research on the properties, since you will waste less time.
You're going to need to do 4 main things for each property.1. Tax. Fairly straight forward. Put the APN into the county site and make sure there isn't a bunch of back taxes. Taxes are NOT wiped out in a foreclosure (at least in CA). I have seen 10 year old houses with $60k in back taxes and vacant lots with $100k+. Subtract this amount from your max bid2. Title. A bit trickier. A foreclosure auction will only wipe out liens junior to the one being foreclosed on. So you want to make sure the lien you are bidding on is the most senior lien on the property (or if it isn't you want to make sure you know how much is owed on the senior lien(s) as you will have to pay them off to get title). Foreclosure radar gives an "estimated loan position". Be aware of this obviously, but you want to look at the transaction history as FR isn't always right. The safest loan to bid on is a purchase money first. You can tell this by the document number in the transaction history section. The loan should have the next document number after the transfer. There is a lot to look into here, but your best bet if you are only bidding on a few properties is to talk with a title company and have them do a quick search. You also want to make sure the address listed matches the description in the deed as you are only bidding on what is listed in the deed of trust. That is why the criers (people who actually conduct the auctions) will always say "address is purported to be". It is not a guarantee. 3. Value. This is self explanatory. Figure out what your max bid is. I used redfin and looked at sold comps/pending/ currently listed. This depends on your intentions. If you plan to flip it, you are going to need to pay way less. If you want to rent it or live in it, you just want a good deal. Don't forget about $3k average in cash for keys (more if you are bidding on expensive properties). 4. Drive by. You really have to do this. If you don't you could be bidding on a house that burned down. The exception is for condos as you can't tell much from the outside and they carry communal fire ins anyway. I would grade them as good (add to max bid), average (no change) or bad (subtract from max bid). Although it's hard to tell from just driving by. If it doesn't look like anyones home, you can try and peek in the windows to see if it is vacant but 75%+ are occupied. If you want to do it like the big boys, pay someone a few bucks to drive by everything you're interested in the day before and take pictures. Then pay someone to go to the actual auction and call you when properties come up (almost all bidders are just bidding on behalf of people on the other end of a phone). Then when they come up do your research quickly. Next up
the auction
Guide to buying property at trustee sales (foreclosure auctions)
Added on : Monday June 10th 2013 12:00:11 PM
This is my experience over the past few months of bidding at auctions in a few counties in CA. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. I make no warranties about the correctness or completeness of info provided, or about what you do with it. Some of it could be flat out wrong. Do your own due diligence. Auctions come with risk and you can lose everything you bid if you aren't careful.
First is information. Most bidders use foreclosureradar.com It's 50$ a month, but gives lots of info. To see properties at auction, you go daily auction schedule, pick the date and the county/state. It will show everything. If the date is a ways in the future, most properties will still be active. As the date approaches (and even on the date) most of the properties will either be canceled (sale is off) or postponed. The vast majority of properties shown will not actually go up for auction on that date. If there were originally 200 properties, the night before auction there will probably be 100 left. The morning of, maybe 60. And maybe 10 will actually go up for auction.So, you want to wait until as close as possible to the auction to do research on the properties, since you will waste less time.
You're going to need to do 4 main things for each property.1. Tax. Fairly straight forward. Put the APN into the county site and make sure there isn't a bunch of back taxes. Taxes are NOT wiped out in a foreclosure (at least in CA). I have seen 10 year old houses with $60k in back taxes and vacant lots with $100k+. 2. Title. A bit trickier. A foreclosure auction will only wipe out liens junior to the one being foreclosed on. So you want to make sure the lien you are bidding on is the most senior lien on the property (or if it isn't you want to make sure you know how much is owed on the senior lien(s) as you will have to pay them off to get title). Foreclosure radar gives an "estimated loan position". Be aware of this obviously, but you want to look at the transaction history as FR isn't always right. The safest loan to bid on is a purchase money first. You can tell this by the document number in the transaction history section. The loan should have the next document number after the transfer. There is a lot to look into here, but your best bet if you are only bidding on a few properties is to talk with a title company and have them do a quick search. You also want to make sure the address listed matches the description in the deed as you are only bidding on what is listed in the deed of trust. That is why the criers (people who actually conduct the auctions) will always say "address is purported to be". It is not a guarantee. 3. Value. This is self explanatory. Figure out what your max bid is. I used redfin and looked at sold comps/pending/ currently listed. This depends on your intentions. If you plan to flip it, you are going to need to pay way less. If you want to rent it or live in it, you just want a good deal. Don't forget about $3k average in cash for keys (more if you are bidding on expensive properties). 4. Drive by. You really have to do this. If you don't you could be bidding on a house that burned down. The exception is for condos as you can't tell much from the outside and they carry communal fire ins anyway. I would grade them as good (add to max bid), average (no change) or bad (subtract from max bid). Although it's hard to tell from just driving by. If it doesn't look like anyones home, you can try and peek in the windows to see if it is vacant but 75%+ are occupied. Next up
the auction
1 BR close to work in a good area. Plan to live there for a while (until I move on to a new job or get married and have kids). Its in NJ, NYC metro. Complex allows rental units (which I intend to do eventually). Figure I could pay off the loan within 10 years and then just bank $600 a month off the condo for life. Any potential pitfalls to be aware of?
Investment Dillema
Added on : Friday June 07th 2013 03:00:08 PM
A good friend of mine who is a house builder. I trust him, but I am having dillema whether I want to invest or not with him because I don't want to run into any problems to ruin our friendship. The plan is I bought the lot and do construction loan under my name solely. He then would take care the rest as in estimate, materials, sub-contract, etc until the house is complete. Once the house is sold, he would like about 3-4k for his labor such as framing, tiling out of the profit, the rest split 50% each. OR, he acts as superintendent and oversees everything and pays subcontractors to do those tasks so that once the house is sold, we simply split the profit 50%. Does this sound fair? Basically, all I am giving out is finance and name on the loan, and he's either be superintendent or superintendent and charge for his labors as well. Thoughts?
Posting for a friend, I'll try to keep it simple. Here's the situation:- Bought townhouse in ~2007 for $280,000
- Have PMI and a 6.5% 30 year loan with 22 years remaining
- Still owe $240,000
- Townhouse is currently worth $120,000 on a good dayTechnically speaking the home would qualify for a Harp 2.0 refi. However I have been reading and it seems unlikely anyone will finance a 200% harp deal.The "unfortunate" circumstance is that said friend had a few great years at work, and actually has enough money in the bank to buy the townhouse outright. So technically there is an option to buy the place, cash, for $240,000. This feels like a terrible idea since the one right next door is for sale for $100,000. What is the right FW approach to this? Try to refi for as much as any lender will give? (125-150%?) That might mean bringing $100,000 to the table to close - which also seems insane. Has anyone successfully done a massively overblown LTV refi under HARP 2.0?
How soon after a refi can I apply for an investment home loan?
Added on : Friday June 07th 2013 11:00:03 AM
I closed on my refi 5/31 and the loan funded today. However, WellsFargo does not yet show the loan as paid off.How quickly can I apply for a loan for an investment property without taking any chances on the refi? How significantly will the recent refi impact my new application?Is 25% down the standard for an investment home loan? And do I just shop at bankrate.com or are there particular lenders known for being more competitive for investment properties?The second loan won't be an issue as far as debt to income ratios.
Dispute Flood Insurance?
Added on : Friday June 07th 2013 02:00:06 AM
I just refinanced a home loan on a rental property in ohio. I have a great rate and the payment is rather low so I'm happy with that. However, the home is in a flood zone which seems ridiculous to me. According to the insurance company, flood insurance is based on zones that were established 100 years ago. Normally I don't have much issue with insurances but the fact that I HAVE to get flood insurance when I don't think it needs flood insurance irritates me. To make matters worse it's $80of the $600 total monthly payment - that's 13%!So my question is...is there anyway to dispute flood insurance? I've always just accepted it as something I'm stuck with but maybe there's something I can do, or at least get the amount down?Thanks FWF!
This isn't the same farm subsidy posted by Single Papa here, but because Fatwalleters apparently weren't aware of the program, and seem to want the details, the following WSJ editorial offers a more detailed explanation of the program than the NY Times link I posted in Single Papa's thread.Excerpt: By JAMES BOVARD (WSJ) Are you a woman or a Hispanic who planted a backyard garden between 1981 and 2000? Did you ever dream of asking for a loan for help growing more? If so, you might be a victim of discrimination and entitled to a $50,000 payout from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Entire column can be read here: TextDisclosure to Fellow FWer's -- I like a good deal like everyone else here but I don't condone applying for this subsidy if you weren't actually attempting to farm. I didn't post it months ago when I became aware of the program because I thought some here might attempt to abuse it.
Hello everyone! I'm looking for some advice and guidance on a variety of issues. I'll try to make a long story short:I live in the state of Tennessee. I have a BS and an MBA. I lost my job in January and filed for unemployment. In March, the employer appealed my unemployment benefits stating that missing quota was considered "misconduct" and therefore disqualifies me from receiving benefits. In April, I attended a telephone hearing with the unemployment agency and surprisingly, the state went in favor of the employer, revoking my unemployment benefits and stating that I owe back everything I had recived up until that point. I've appealed to the next level without legal representation (due to cost) and am still awaiting a decision (should find out something on June 14).In the meantime, I purchased a private health insurance policy through Humana with a high deductible because I am a 29 year old healthy individual. I wanted something for a catastrophic event...and right on par with my luck, I had a case of "food poisoning" in February. My insurance did not take effect until March 1 so I went to Walgreen's Take Care Clinic instead of the ER. I had to pay 100% out of pocket for everything including Zofran and Promethazine. In the middle of April, I had the exact same sickness take over, uncontrollable vomiting for hours, abdominal pain on the right side. I went to the ER and was told I need to see a Gastro doc for a potentially bad gallbladder. Of course, I ended up with bills totaling almost $2,000 that I'm working on paying. Last week, I saw the gastro who ordered several tests that I'm having in the morning (HIDA scan and upper GI series). The hospital called today to get paperwork started and warned me of the cost because of my high deductible insurance plan. I should expect well over $1,000 for tomorrow's tests and at this point I don't know what to expect of the outcome, surgery, medication, dietary changes, etc. Whatever it is, I'm sure it'll cost a small fortune.Lastly, I am starting law school this fall. Thankfully, I've received a 75% academic scholarship but still will owe about $7,500 per year. As I'm sure you know, Stafford Loans (6.8% interest accruing while enrolled) and Grad Plus loans (7.9% interest) are ridiculous. I am a homeowner and have thought about a home equity or personal loan instead. I would love to just pay cash but I'm slowly running out of money at the rate I'm going with health issues. In order to receive the scholarship, I have to sign a waiver that I will not be employed within the 1st year of school and a maximum of 20 hours for the 2nd and 3rd year. So I also have to be concered about living expenses with no income for over 12 months.If anybody has any recommendations on how to handle any or all of these issues, I would greatly appreciate the advice!
Deceased homeowner, obligations of family to notify the bank?
Added on : Thursday June 06th 2013 01:00:07 PM
I am asking the following question for a friend, and will try and clarify anything I can. A recently deceased homeowner has children still living in the house. The house is currently underwater. What is the best course of action for the children? Notify the bank? Continue paying the mortgage as somewhere to live? Something else? Here is what I know:
1. Homeowner has owned the home since the mid-80s.
2. Home was purchased for ~$55K
3. Mortgage Loan was FHA insured and is in the Homeowner's name only.
4. Payments on the mortgage were very small (~$200-$300/month). I assume interest only, but I am told it was some arrangement because the homeowner had no job, only social security, etc. I don't know the details of this yet.
5. Outstanding balance on the home is ~$85K
6. Past due property tax on the home is ~$10K
7. Homeowners two children have been living in the home for the past 10 years and have no material assets or income.
8. Homeowner recently passed away
9. The state is California. I do not know the appraised value of the home, but I am told it is not worth more than the outstanding loan balance ($85K) and past due property tax ($10K). The children living in the home do not know what obligations they have regarding telling the bank the homeowner passed away. They have two different scenarios playing out in their minds:
1. They don't tell the bank, continue paying $200-$300/month to live in the house as long as possible. They have nowhere else to go, therefore $200-$300 per month is their best housing option.
2. They tell the bank, the bank decides to foreclose on the house and they stay until the sheriff kicks them out. Assuming for now the home is worth less than the outstanding liabilities, do they have any legal obligations to tell the bank the homeowner passed away? Also, can/should they continue to pay the amount due for the mortgage? Also, any suggestions or considerations they should think about?
What options do I have to get a mortgage out of transfer limbo?
Added on : Wednesday June 05th 2013 12:00:05 PM
A month back I was told by a Bank of America customer service representative that my mortgage had been purchased by another company -- Greentree Servicing -- and that I'd have the new information within one to two weeks. It's now a month after hearing that, and Greentree still has no record that my loan is coming nor can B of A give me a timeline on when it will be completed.Of course, none of this would be a big deal, but this particular mortgage has both a high interest rate and a loan-to-value ratio of approximately 85%, and I would like to refinance under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but neither company can touch it while it's in limbo.Are there ways that I can get them to do this quicker?I'm losing about $400 every month I don't refinance.
Tax Saving Strategy-Salaried
Added on : Tuesday June 04th 2013 09:00:05 PM
I am here to know more about tax saving strategies. We started working full-time few years ago, so not sure if we are using all strategies to save on taxes. Not able to discuss these topics with friends or relatives because it becomes too personal and uncomfortable to them not to me.We are 27 and 28 and luckily we work full time, making about $156,000 a year together. All income on W-2s.
Married filing joint
Luckily we are able to:
Both Max out 401k
Both Max out HSA
Both Max out Roth IRA
Student loan interest about $1500/year
Home mortgage interest about $4000/year
Live in a No State Income Tax State, so cannot take that deduction.
No Big ticket Purchases, so no big sales tax other than sales tax on regular expenses, can I include them? Save all receipts?
No kids yet, so no dependents
I Have a very small consulting trade gig in the side, can I take home-office deduction? Should the company make a lot of money or can I claim expenses more than revenue?
--Please suggest:1.Any basic tax saving strategy that we are missing or can include
2.Any more ideas/strategies to save more on taxes?
3.I believe we cannot contribute to IRA, can we do a backdoor roth in addition to directly contributing to roth?
4.Are we filing taxes in the correct status? Can filing with some other status minimize our taxes, if so what status is that?
5.Even if we do not get a lot of revenue from the small side consulting gig, can I contribute to a SEP IRA?
7.Can I set up some company to channel money to it, so that we can save on taxes? (legally, like AAPL does!)Though, I do not hate paying taxes, I welcome any and all suggestions to save on taxes. Thank You very very much!
Refinance - Worth it or Not? Which Companies are Reputable?
Added on : Tuesday June 04th 2013 05:00:08 PM
Hi everyone,We are in a situation where we have a home that depreciated a little in value - we got the house after the bubble burst in 2010. When we got the home we got an incentive to get our mortgage done with Bank of America sadly. Anyhow, I'm a newbie to this stuff - so bear with me please. We are receiving a lot of refinance ads in the mailbox from companies like Quicken Loans and MANY others.Our situation on the home:
-Home has depreciated in value a little since purchase (according to tax and neighborhood).
-We want to move to a different area (Switch/relocate jobs to somewhere else). However, this isn't viable at this point since I just started a new job here and I don't want to leave it.
-This home is very small $ on us. It's ~$140k home, and our combined income is $130k (untaxed). We both want a nicer home in a nicer area that doesn't depreciate.
-Current Mortgage Rate: Bank of America 5.00% APR
-We went to BOA to see/talk to them about it. She was pushing for a 15-Year at about 3.5%... I was scratching my head because I was under the impression that 30-year's are about that much, while a 15 Year is more along the lines of high 2%'s. The fee's they said we would be responsible if we went with them would be $1000 flat, and ~$800 in fees to assess the property value, etc..Questions:
1) What is the reputation of re-financing through the likes of Quicken Loans?
2) What are the likely fee's? All the ads say no fees - Will other companies like Quicken Loans really be fee-free or is that BS?
3) Should I try to re-fi through our current lender Bank of America? (Note: See above Result from our visit to BOA, approx $1800 in fees if we went through them).
4) Given our situation (wanting to move at some point) - is refinancing in our best interest at all? We honestly don't see ourselves moving in the next 2 years though, as much as we want to.
5) What APR Rate should I expect?
6) We are currently paying off our current 5% APR with $900 extra into principle. Should I keep a 30-year or is a 15-year be of more interest?'
Thanks for any help, sorry for me being a newbie to all of this.
Financing a new house build with partial 0% credit cards
Added on : Tuesday June 04th 2013 10:00:08 AM
I am looking to do a new build on a house later in the year. My friend is doing one now and got a build loan and he'll go with a different lender for the final mortgage after it is built. I have a good lender for the final mortgage that tells me the rate won't be different if I get a build loan or just self finance for the build time and then get a mortgage for the build. If I self finance I save on a couple of appraisals, one closing cost, and the higher interest on the build loan. I could self finance via cash on hand, 50k 1yr loan from my 401k, approx 50k on 0% credit cards, and a low interest rate loan from my parents. I could skip the 50k on credit cards and 401k and go all with the loan from my parents but I'd prefer to keep that as small as possible. Once built I'll get an appraisal and a cash out mortgage for probably 70-80% of the value, pay back the loans and get my Cash Back in hand. What I was wondering if anyone knew anything about is:1) Does that seem right that I'd get the same rate from the lender after for a cash out loan? I can't get a fix on the rate as they can't go out that far right now. I am going to another guy I know this week who has longer locks to see if they could do the same type of mortgage so I will know more on that later.
2) For the 0% credit cards, I've done App O Rama in the past so have a bunch of open credit lines, about 130k worth. I tried to get a couple of cards for specific points scenarios last year and was the first time I ever got denied, and they said I had too much open credit (either with them or in general, I'm not sure). Am I better off waiting for mailings from existing cards or calling and asking for 0% offers, or should I just close out the accounts I don't use, wait a month or 2, and apply for a bunch of 0% purchase cards? What I'm wondering is if the time between me closing current accounts and applying makes a difference.
3) I have a 401k with an old employer that doesn't allow loans anymore. Is there any vehicle I could roll that 401k into to get another 50k loan from that 401k account?I'd appreciate any advice or thoughts. On the credit cards I thought there might be a thread talking about this scenario of not being approved because of lots of cards and strategy to get back to getting approved for everything in the app o rama stuff but I didn't see it, so if it exists I apologize and would appreciate a link. My credit score is still over 750 according the the last pull.Regarding the low interest parent loan that would be less then 3% and very short term, they are fine with it and I'm not worried about paying back the value since I'll be mortgaging 70-80 once the build is complete so I'll be able to pay back all loans no problem probably within 6mo of making my first payments.
Bank of America lost my CEMA
Added on : Tuesday June 04th 2013 06:00:06 AM
I am doing refi now. Our property is at NY. BOA is my current loaner and lost my CEMA. My understanding is that we have to pay the mortgage tax in this case. Is this correct?thanks,
personal loan
Added on : Tuesday June 04th 2013 06:00:05 AM
Hey all,
I have an awesome classic car and don't want to sell it but I am in a financial position and need cash for a new business investment. Has anyone ever used a title loan company for quick cash? Doing some research online I came across http://www.autocashusa.com Has anyone used this resource before? Any information on personal loans or companies like this would help! Thanks!
Student Loan in ICR - How much is owed?
Added on : Sunday June 02nd 2013 09:00:07 PM
I have a family member with the following:Experian credit reports $39k student loan ($36k original amount).
Student loan balance $50k-something from edfinancial.
Monthly payments have been zero or near zero for 10 years under ICR. Balance doesn't change in edfinancial statements or in Experian.I think the ICR capitalization rules are in effect, but how to benefit from this? Is the PIF amount $39k or $50-something? It sounds like it would be pretty dumb to switch from ICR to any other repayment plan if the PIF is $39k.
Help with Term Life Insurance Laddering Strategies
Added on : Sunday June 02nd 2013 05:00:05 AM
FWF, I'm recently married and it's time for us to buy life insuranceAbout us:
- We're both 30 years old
- No kids (yet)
- Neither of us have health issues
- Each of us have 6 digits salaries and our liquid savings are more than 50% of combined gross pay
- Student loans will be paid off this year - then debt free
- We can comfortably afford all of the life insurance premiums we've been looking forGoals for Life Insurance:
- Buy long-term insurance while we're still young and healthy and premiums are low!
- Buy matching policy amounts for both myself and my wife
- Ladder (2) to (3) term life insurance policies over differencing maturities
- Prefer to have different LifeCo's for each ladder and that they are publicly traded/very large LifeCo's with at least name recognition
- Willing to pay premium to avoid risks mentioned abovePolicy Amount:
- Expect to increase savings materially
- Policies are approximately 10-20x current salary, but future wage growth is promising
- Determined premiums by backwards calculating annuity/investments rate payments for future living expenses
- Flexible on different strategies other than outlined below
- Work provided life insurance is 1x salary that we don't pay forPricing is from term4sale.com (Thanks SIS!)Current Strategy
Purchase (1) 20-year term life policy with $1.5M policy for each of us, takes us through age 50
Purchase (1) 35-year term life policy with $1.5M policy for each of us, takes us through age 65
Total Coverage for each of us: $3M each for first 20 years, then $1.5M policy for the last 15
Annual Costs combined: $3,580/year for the first 20 years and then $2,390 for the last 15 yearsDoes this sound like a reasonable plan? What am I missing? Where may I make a mistake?
Need Refi on Invest. Ppty - Short Sale 2.5 years ago, FICO 700
Added on : Friday May 31st 2013 03:00:07 PM
Okay, this is a pain. I've been close a couple of times, but so far nobody willing to give me a refi. Here's stats:investment property, four unit, LTV 70%,
FICO Transunion 700, others over 720
I have eight other real estate mortgages
short sale 2.5 years agoany suggestions? I had one guy willing to refi me, conventional, but the investor changed their guidelines to require 720 FICO on 4 units.I guess I keep waiting until my third year after short sale is up. Am paying almost nine percent on this loan, and my DTI is fine.
Places to read up about building credit
Added on : Friday May 31st 2013 10:00:06 AM
A buddy of mine has zero credit. He ran his credit reports and they came back with nothing. We followed up with a phone call and they looked him up and said he has zero history.Where are some places I can read up about the proper way to build him solid credit.I read http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/155093/ and I'd really like to get more in depth and find out what specific cards to recommend for him.He's around 26 and owns his own business. This would be for a personal credit card and future car loans, etc.I'd like FWF advice on some quality forums or places to read up on how to start properly.Thanks FWF
Putting down more than 20%, best option?
Added on : Wednesday May 29th 2013 07:00:15 AM
Those of you who put down more than 20% buying a home, do you think it's better to take out an 80/20 loan and make an immediate lump payment afterwards or put down the extra and take out a smaller 70/30 loan? For the purpose of comparison, consider the chances of getting both loans to be equivalent. The difference to consider here I think is how the payments apply going forward - how much to interest and how much to principal. Otherwise, the only other consideration I think is that making a large down payment could possibly move one between loan types ie jumbo to conforming.
Added on : Tuesday May 28th 2013 05:00:08 PM
I have no credit..I have 50k in the bank..I need a house..my dad said he would co-sign for me..the house im looking at its about 90k that would leave me with a 40k loan.
Can someone please tell me what my estimated monthly payments would be? Also where do I go to get the best interest rate? (I kinda want a 30year fixed mortgage) Thanks guys.
Buying a new home - who to list on title
Added on : Tuesday May 28th 2013 06:00:07 AM
Buying a new home in a few days. The loan is entirely under my name and based on my income alone. Should the title be under just my name or both my spouse and I? I'm wondering if there might be some legal advantages to putting it just under 1 name.
For all all you guys complaining about student loans you went to the wrong school. The article doesn't mention that you also get 6 months of vacation every year.http://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2013/05/27/forget-b-sch...
Advice needed in selecting title and settlement company in IL
Added on : Thursday May 23rd 2013 01:00:07 PM
I am in the process of purchasing my first home in IL and I am going with BOX home loans. Box prefers Linear title company but the seller wants to go with different title company. Seller chosen company, Prairie title, is three times more expensive than what Box estimated title costs ($2000 vs $700). Does any one know how Box handles closing on a new purchase? My RE lawyer is telling me that we need to do the settlement at a physical location. Neither Box nor Linear has any physical office in IL. I asked Box about this and they said it can be handled. I want to let the seller go with their company and I will go with Linear as it is much cheaper. Please offer me whatever suggestions you could.
Help! Should I buy this investment property?
Added on : Tuesday May 21st 2013 09:00:10 AM
Hi my fellow FWers: I am in search of investment properties. The bank has approved the shortsale. I need to decide whether this is a good investment option. I need to pay previous owner deliquent HOA and spend money repair and repaint. Below is the property cost & info. Property location: California, 94806
Purchase price $260,000
Appraisal Value $260,000
Zillow value $271,000Loan Amount $208,000
Down Payment(20%) $52,000Closing Cost: $4,000
pay delinquent HOA: $4,200
1-time Repair & Paint:$7,000Sum of down pay plus above cost: $67,200I will rent out the property. Monthly Income and expense breakdown:Potential Rent: $1,900Mortgage @4.25% $1,023
Taxes (2.1%) $498
Insurance: $65
HOA Fee: $100
Waste Mgmt: $35Total monthly cost: $1,721
Cash flow(Rent minus cost) $174I plan to collect rent for a period. And when the house value increase to a certain amount, I will sell it to make profit. In case of tenant vacancy, I have $10K saving set aside to cover expense.Can my fellow FWers advise whether this is a good investment decision?
Angel lender
Added on : Monday May 20th 2013 04:00:07 AM
Does anyone know how I can find an angel lender for a $180,000 first mortgage 2 year loan on a 9 lot residential subdivision in north central Connecticut to replace an expiring bank loan? 50% LTV.
Hi all:I am new to the forum, although i have done some reading on here (still an obvious newb):So my story is I have just graduated with my MBA and will be starting a job in july (salary 107k, 10-15% bonus). So, as a 26 year old, i htink its time i start actively planning my money and funds. I guess I'll start with my monthly fixed expenses
Rent+utilities = about 1000 a month
Student loans (40k total)=around 500/month
Car insurance 65/month
Phone 110/month So thats around 1700/month fixed expenses
I figure (due to paycheck calculators) getting around 3k per check (2 a month) for 6k a month. The way I'd like to do this is to keep it to spending one check for expenses (so add food/entertainment to the 1700, i dont see myself spending 1300 on that a month though hah).So that leaves me with about 3k a month With this i have a few goals.Create a 6 month emergency fund (fixed expenses x 6=10,200)
Max out my 401k (employer matches 4% of pay so I would have to come up with about 12k/ a year)
Invest whats left over in an index fund or mutual fund (any advice here? I was thinking index fund as i am pretty risk averse and would rather have a consistent 3-5% return type fund that i add to as much as i can...Was thinking about a vanguard fund)NOTE: Bonuses will go for the most part into investing as well (should have 10-15k bonus this year and on)Lastly youl want to kill me here, but I really wa