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Did you know?
From 2001 to 2005, the average homeowner saw the value of his or her house jump by more than 50 percent.
Almost every person who goes through college ends up with some amount of student loans. I know this isn’t the time or place to criticize the system, even though you start off as a young adult with massive amounts of debt in a nearly impossible job market. But, the fact still stands that most people have it. Student loan debt can cause you to feel extreme amounts of stress, ruin your credit score, and even cause you to question the value of college at all. I know– I’ve been there. But, the important thing to remember is that education is an investment in yourself. Read this post by Sienna Kossman at the Credit Card blog for more tips on beating the blues:
-Keep working towards your goal: Your debt might temporarily slow you down, but don’t lose sight of what you went to school for in the first place.
-Maintain supportive relationships: I’ve found that it helps to talk about student loan debt with friends who can relate
-Make a plan to reduce stress and increase security: A structured plan will give you a way to measure your debt-elimination progress and budget accordingly.
It’s a seller’s market. Home inventories are low, and buyer demands are high. Bidding wars spring up on almost every property, and mortgage rates are lower than they’ve ever been. The housing market is certainly growing, but with the rise in customers comes a rise in people trying to rip the customers off. It pays to be aware of what these scams look like. General rule: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And always read the fine print. Read this post by Claudia Buck at RIS Media for more info:
Consumers facing mortgage troubles should always start by contacting their mortgage lender, not outside consultants who could potentially be scammers. If you can’t get satisfaction in modifying your mortgage terms or payments, seek out FREE help from HUD certified housing. Never give anyone money up front.
Just like your home needs constant cleanup and upkeep, so do your finances. It’s important to go through every once in a while and do a sweep of old documents and records. But what do you keep? What do you get rid of? For more info on financial cleanup, read this post by April Dykman at the Get Rich Slowly Blog:
Shred: Get rid of things you no longer need, including old documents. Also, for tax documents, check with IRS.gov to find out how long you need to hold on to recordsbefore shredding.
Change your passwords: change passwords with the change of every season. Choose strong passwords, include upper and lower case letters, as well as numerals and special characters
Clean out your wallet. Most of us know that you shouldn’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet. If you didn’t know that, get that thing out of your wallet! Ditto for passports, birth certificates, and anything with your Social Security number printed on it.
If you’re looking to buy a home, you probably already know the basics of getting a mortgage: pay off other debt, hold a steady job, don’t make large, sudden deposits or withdrawals to your accounts, get your credit score in order, etc. But what if you (seemingly) follow the rules, and still get denied? Can that even happen? Well, according to this article by Danielle Blundell at Yahoo Homes, the answer is yes. Check out these surprising reasons why some people were denied, and make sure you don’t repeat their mistakes (no matter how harmless they seem):
-$5 Late Credit Card Payment: it can actually lower your credit score and effect your mortgage application
-Giving Your Sister a Check for $100 on her Birthday: think twice about gifting or lending anyone money – no matter how small the amount. Why? Because if you need that money to be accounted in your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, this seemingly minor transaction could stall the application process.
-Getting a New Job: Employment stability is a key component in qualifying for a mortgage.
According to this post by Alexa Fiander at the Zillow blog, mortgage rates have crept up just a bit from last week. They’ve risen slightly from 4.03 percent to 4.08 percent. Of course, that’s for 30-year fixed rate mortages. 15 year mortgages are currently at 3.12 percent. As always, try to time applying for a mortgage right; it can be tricky, but if you follow the patterns, you should be fine. Another friendly reminder: mortgage rates are still lower now than they’ve been in years. Additionally, you should avoid picking a lender based solely on the interest rate. Do your research, and always be a smart home shopper!
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on renovations to get a fresh looking home makeover! There are tons of ways to update your home’s look, without eating into your savings. Check out this post by April at Money Saving Mom for quick, simple ways to revamp your home for free or next to nothing. These can be used as staging tips if you are trying to sell, or simply to change up your current space:
-Rearrange your furniture: move stuff around, switch items in different rooms, give new life to old pieces. This is the easiest way to make a room look like new!
-Clean your stuff: take forgotten pieces out of storage and use them to decorate. You’d be surprised what some elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint can accomplish.
-Simplify: Be brutally honest and get rid of everything you don’t love or need!
Unless you live somewhere oppressively hot, summer is perfect for going on dates with your significant other. There are plenty of outdoor activities to try, and summer nights are great for city dweller. The only thing I love more than saving money is spending time with my man– so why not combine the two? Summer offers so many adventures, and so many of them don’t cost a penny! Check out this post by Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations for ideas and inspiration:
-Walk and talk: You don’t have to have a destination, and you don’t have to power walk. Hold each others hands.
-Play a Board Game, Free Apps, or Crossword puzzles together on your front porch
-Watch a Sunset or a Sunrise together from your front or back porch
-Pack up a picnic and read together
-Take in a free summer community event: A concert in the park. A classic car show. A street festival. All great free activities to enjoy together.
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