Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Down payment strategies for first-time buyers. Also in the news: How businesses succeed serving the “bottom of the pyramid,” 3 simple ways to save on Father’s Day, and how easy it is to switch to a credit union.

Down Payment Strategies for First-Time Home Buyers
Taking a big step.

How Businesses Succeed Serving ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’
Serving a need.

3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Save on Father’s Day
Good things for Dad.

Here’s How Easy It Is to Switch to a Credit Union
Simple.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The No-Drama approach to personal finance. Also in the news: Hiking your savings rate, how to find the right credit card the right way, and why you should beware of mortgage companies offering to double your down payment.

The No-Drama Approach to Personal Finance
There’s no crying in personal finance.

If the Fed Can, So Can You: Hike Your Savings Rate
Finding a high-yield account.

Sean Talks Money: Find the Right Credit Card the Right Way
Be selective.

This company will double your down payment. What’s the catch?
It’s a big one.

Q&A: The new reverse mortgage is safer but still expensive

Dear Liz: If you have never written about the new reverse mortgages, please consider it. I’m nearly 90 and this Home Equity Conversion Mortgage sounds too good to be true. Is it? I’ve talked to a broker and a direct lender and attended a two-hour seminar on the subject.

Answer: Reverse mortgages once deserved their bad reputation, but changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s HECM program in recent years have made them safer and less expensive. They’re still not a cheap way to borrow, though, because of significant upfront costs. Using a home equity loan or line of credit is often a better option if you can make the payments.

A reverse mortgage may be an option if you can’t make payments. These loans allow you to tap the equity in your home if you’re 62 or older. The amount you borrow plus interest compounds over time and is paid off when you die, sell or permanently move out. You can get the money as a lump sum, in a series of monthly checks or as a line of credit you can tap.

The older you get, the more you can receive from your home — but you can’t get the money all at once, as you could in the past. If you choose the lump sum option, you can only access 60% of your loan amount the first year. This restriction was put in place to keep you from blowing through your equity too fast.

While reverse mortgages have improved, some of the people touting them have not. Investment salespeople and scam artists sometimes try to push older people into reverse mortgages as a way to come up with cash to invest in their schemes.

You’re required to get counseling from someone approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to discuss how reverse mortgages work and how much one may cost you. In addition, consider hiring a fee-only financial planner to give you advice.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Determining the best way to do your taxes. Also in the news: Refinancing an FHA loan, what’s next for the stock market, and why now is the time to hunt for higher rates on your bank accounts.

Determining the Best Way to Do Your Taxes
Finding the way that works best for you.

FHA Streamline Refinance: 5 Strict Conditions
Meeting the tough requirements.

Trump’s in, Dow Hits 20,000: What’s Next for the Market?
Looking at the market under a new administration.

Now’s the time: Hunt for higher rates on your bank accounts
It’s a year of rising interest rates.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

financial-toolboxToday’s top story: 7 ways to improve your finances in 2017. Also in the news: How to help your kid graduate from college debt-free, how rising home values can boost your mortgage refinance, and why Americans are blowing it when it comes to personal finance.

7 Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2017
Making the most of the new year.

Help Your Kid Graduate From College Debt-Free
The greatest graduation gift of them all.

Rising Home Values Can Boost Your Mortgage Refinance
You could be able to tap your home equity.

Americans are blowing it on personal finance
Making financial literacy one of your goals.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

mortgageToday’s top story: How to know you’re mortgage pre-approval worthy. Also in the news: AmEx doubles your rewards at small businesses until the end of the year, where the savviest shoppers live, and the most common money schemes people still fall for.

How to Know You’re Mortgage Preapproval Worthy
Don’t be caught by surprise.

AmEx Doubles Rewards at Small Businesses Till End of 2016
A win-win all around.

Study Finds Where the Savviest Shoppers Live and What They’re Buying
What’s happening in your area?

The Most Common Money Schemes People Still Fall For
Don’t get duped.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Why your bank may not be giving you the best interest rate. Also in the news: How to manage the variable costs in your budget, how to avoid bank fees, and the highest paying college majors.

Why Your Bank May Not Be Giving You the Best Mortgage Rate
Two ways to tilt the odds in your favor.

5 Tips to Manage the Variable Costs in Your Budget
Expecting the unexpected.

Americans spent $11 billion in bank fees in 2015 — here’s how to avoid them
Stop paying for access to your money.

These Are the Highest Paying College Majors
Where does yours rank?

Monday’s need-to-know money news

best-emv-chip-credit-cardsToday’s top story: How your credit score affects your mortgage rate. Also in the news: Why free shipping isn’t always free, how people are feeling about chip credit cards, and the four personal finance questions you need to ask yourself before retiring.

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage Rate
Borrowing at higher rates.

Why Free Shipping Isn’t Always Free
Building the price into your purchase.

How much do people really hate chip cards?
Not as much as you may think.

4 Personal Finance Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Retiring
Answers you need before taking the big step.

Q&A: Removing a quit-claim house mortgage from your credit

Dear Liz: I recently divorced and quit-claimed my house over to my ex-wife. She has been making all the payments on time but the mortgage still shows up on my credit. Because of this, I can’t borrow as it is considered my indebtedness still. Do you know of anyway of having it expunged from my credit reports?

Answer: She will have to refinance the mortgage in her own name to get you off the loan. The contract you signed with the lender otherwise remains in force and isn’t affected by the divorce agreement.

It’s good that she’s making payments on time, since a single skipped payment could trash your credit scores.

It’s unfortunate your attorney didn’t advise you of the consequences of quit-claiming the property while remaining on the mortgage. It’s rarely a good idea to give up an asset while keeping the liability. A better approach is to separate your credit before the divorce is final. That means closing all joint accounts and transferring the debt to separate accounts in the name of the person who will be responsible for the payments. If your ex wasn’t able to get approved for a refinance, the house could have been sold so that you wouldn’t be on the hook indefinitely.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 ways you’re sabotaging your mortgage preapproval. Also in the news: the top 10 car buying apps, how to keep from going broke when you get divorced, and your financial to-do list for September.

Stop! 6 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Mortgage Preapproval
Stop it!

10 Top Car-Buying Apps
Savings at your fingertips.

6 ways to keep from going broke when you get divorced
Protecting your finances during a difficult time.

Your September Financial To-Do List
New season, new tasks.