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Pros and Cons of Refinancing Your Home Loan During COVID-19

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Nobody could tell when will this pandemic end. Thus, everyone’s lives have been drastically affected by this health crisis. Everything is uncertain including mortgage rate. The market’s volatility these days makes it difficult for a lot of people to decide on whether to get a home loan refinancing or not. 

Is this the right time to refinance a home or condo loan? Everybody should spot the pros and cons of refinancing homes amidst COVID-19. Are you torn between the idea of refinancing your home loan or not? These bits of knowledge can be of help to you. 

As Coronavirus hits the economy, millions of people suffer from loss of job and income loss. As such, the interest rates for mortgages have shrunk by more than a hundred percent as compared to the previous year. 

For this reason, many homeowners would love to take advantage of home loan refinancing at an interestingly low-interest rate. Lenders have put themselves on their customers’’ shoes. They know how difficult it is for homeowners to pay their monthly dues most especially during these trying times. 

Surely, refinancing is a good way of managing monthly payments in the face of COVID. Below are significant truths that can help you decide on this matter. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Home Loan Refinancing? 

Home loan refinancing provides a lower monthly payment. 

After paying your home loan for a couple of years, refinancing can reduce your monthly payment because you are reconstructing your loan balance into another 30-year term. It allows you to manage other financial goals you have on your list as you free up some room in your monthly budget. 

However, home loan refinancing incurs a lot bigger total interest since your home loan resets for another 30 years. You are starting your loan from scratch. 

Home loan refinancing lets you pay the loan at a shorter time and a smaller incurred total interest. 

You can pay off your loan sooner if you reduce the loan term from 30 years to 20 or lower. This is perfect if you have paid it for many years now and that you are financially capable of paying more monthly. The shorter loan term means a smaller interest rate. That having said, refinancing saves you hundreds or thousands of dollars from interest. As a bonus, you can call your home your “own” sooner when you get this option. I tell you- this refinancing idea is clever. 

On the contrary, a shorter home loan term means a bigger monthly payment. If you think that you are not that financially-capable of paying a bigger home loan amount monthly as a result of job loss, don’t give it a go. Home refinancing is not for you. 

Home loan refinancing gets you a big chunk of money to settle other debts and bills.       

Cash-out refinancing is an alternative that lets you to cash-out the portion of your loan. You will be able to obtain a big amount of money to pay your bills, school fees, and other important purchases. You can also spend it on making home repairs and even start up a small business. 

But, cash-out refinancing resets your loan back to the term of payment you have signed up for. Expect to pay a much larger total interest. 

Here’s a final note. 

If you aren’t lucky enough to sustain a job or source of income because of coronavirus, yet you don’t prefer getting a home loan refinancing, you can reduce your loan payment through mortgage forbearance. This is designed for people who experience personal and financial hardships. Forbearance gives you the benefit of trimming down your monthly payment or even suspending them for a couple of months. If you find this idea practical, go ahead and give your lender a call.  

With COVID-19 around, the economy is struggling so as the people. Bear in mind that home loan refinancing can be helpful or harmful to your financial wellbeing. So, weigh things carefully. That’s the rule of the thumb.  

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Finances

3 Ways To Put A Stop on Financial Arguments with Your Partner

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People argue mostly about money and it has been recorded that in a relationship or marriage a third of it is because of finances. When you’ve committed to being someone’s life partner, it comes with a lot of responsibility and the way that you handle things like finances will likely change. 

Money issues can be so troublesome and put a huge strain on a relationship. According to research, 22% of all divorces are due to money issues. What a couple should know that these fights are not really caused by the lack of money, it is the lack of respect and open communication when discussing finances.

In this article, we will give you tips you should consider so you and your partner can stay together and happy and most importantly, prevent money from destroying your relationship.

Discover Each Other’s Money Personalities

We already know that a couple’s relationship is shaped by love and mutual understanding. This includes handling money as well. Learning your partner’s money personality will give you a clear picture so both of you can hopefully reach a compromise. Is your partner a spender, hoarder, money worrier, money avoiders, money monks, money amassers, risk-takers, and avoiders? Knowing this will help you communicate and empathize with your partner and when you openly communicate what you dislike about them, it gives you the chance to strategize and think of solutions that will benefit both parties and this will result in accepting the behavior as part of your partner’s money personality. Communication is key! 

Schedule A Money Date

Have you ever had a money date with your partner? No matter how in sync you and your partner in other aspects of your lives, it can be challenging to get on the same page when it comes to finances. A money date is a way for you and your partner to talk about money in a calm way and without hostility. This is the time where the couple should assess their financial status and really talk over your financial goals. What you really want and how do you envision them and making it happen are just a few of the things that need to be discussed. 

How do you do your money date? You can treat it the same as going on a regular date with your partner. You can have them once a week, once a month, twice a year, etc  

Both Should Assume the CFO Role and Take Turns

It doesn’t matter if you have a one-income household or both wage earners. Working out a detailed budget together will result to less fights or arguments on your finances. Prioritize the bills and agree on out of budget purchases. One way to do this is by using a budgeting or financial app or for some couples, a monthly budget or allowance for each are set. Come up with an arrangement you can both live with, and revisit it every few months.

While setting your finances straight, it is also a great time to learn to save for the future as well. Talk it out with your partner about your financial goals for the next few years, whether it ba having a miscellaneous section for you to splurge on and pampering yourself, investing in stocks, building up your emergency fund, etc.

The bottom line is if we keep open communication and respect each other’s needs to have control over their money, arguments like this will be reduced. 

Considering the above-mentioned tips can certainly help you if you are struggling and can help you avoid arguments over finances. 

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Finances

Things to Avoid to Achieve Financial Freedom

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It is every person’s dream to be financially liberated. Everybody wants to have enough cash and savings at hand to pay for the kind of life his family deserves. Similarly with others, you also work very hard to grow a nest egg to be used for retirement or to pursue a desired career. No one ever dreams to worry about limited annual income forever.    

Sorry to say, many think of financial freedom as no more than just an unreachable dream. They got stuck on increasing debts rather than savings. They are burdened with reckless spending rather than investing in a good financial future. The worst part is that there exists a pandemic which left many people jobless and empty-handed. 

No one can escape from all these things. To tell you, planning and preparation aren’t sufficient when it comes to seeking personal financial freedom. Doing the right practices and having the right habits are major leaps to get there. 

On a sad note, many people don’t recognize the problem until it becomes out of control. Below are the things that we should avoid to achieve financial freedom. 

Things that Ruin Your Financial Freedom

Multiple Credit Card Accounts

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Credit cards indeed give you the convenience of making cashless payments and settling unexpected expenses. But then, owning multiple credit card accounts makes you more susceptible to overspending. You are spending money that you aren’t earning yet. On top of it are the fees and interest that you should recompense after making a payment transaction using a credit card. Indeed, credit cards can be a gateway to extra debts. 

Expenses

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Living in a more expensive home and sending children to a more pricey school are signs that you are on your way to a ruined financial future. As early as now, cut back your expenses. Downsize your transportation expenses. Pay low fares by missing out on the traffic. Wake up early or find a home a few blocks away from your workplace.

Debts 

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Loans are dangerous to wealth building and savings. Both low-interest and high-interest loans can clutter up your financial freedom. Failure to pay a loan balance on time and in full can pile up interests and late payment fees. 

Save for your financial future. Pay off your debts as soon as possible. Have it listed as your main priority. Debt consolidation is a good thing to start with. This works by having one loan to pay for all other loans you have. To lessen the burden, consider debt restructuring too. This works by negotiating for a reduced monthly loan payment from the companies where you borrowed money. With a lesser amount due to pay each month, you have a chance to manage your finances better.    

For the final note, read on.

Having financial freedom means living a happy life. Start by creating financial goals. These goals will help you determine how much to put aside each month. This gives you the advantage of being financially-free in the years to come. Also, make the most of your talent on the side to improve your income. Lastly, avoid the things that I listed above. 

I know that it takes a lot of courage and discipline to get these things done. However, keeping an eye to your desired financial destination can keep you going. 

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Finances

Strengths and Low Points of Using Contactless Credit or Debit Cards

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Convenience is the logic behind contactless payment.

Contactless payment has sought its way to a younger generation’s way of life. The number of people who prefer contactless payment over pulling out cash is increasing. No surprise that everybody in the coming years will be waving their card at payment terminals to set a payment. Popular brands like Apple, Android, Starbucks, and Walmart have joined the mission of improving customer experience through this innovative payment technology.  

On a different note, not everyone prefers contactless payment. Few people prefer handing in cash or swiping a credit card through a device to manage their bills and purchases. To know where to stand on this matter, let us take a closer look at how contactless payment looks like. Knowing its benefits and drawbacks is perfect. 

Things that You Should Know about Contactless Payment 

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How does it work?

E-payment apps are accessible through a payment terminal that has a near-field communication chip in place. This technology uses short-range radio waves to allow smartphones to receive and send data necessary to set a payment. 

What are its benefits?

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Convenience

Contactless payment gives you the comfort of not bringing a wallet full of cards and cash to manage your purchases. Simply grab your smartphone and you are good to go. If you opt to use your card to manage your transactions, the contactless payment system saves you from the hassle of keying a PIN and signing receipts to complete the transaction. Various contactless payment mediums are made available for you. You can have it straight to your smartphone, vehicles, key fobs, or in any mobile system.

Secured payment

Frauds have become a major problem among credit card or debit card users all across the country. Contactless payment ensures that important data are protected from hackers. The fact that your card does not need to come in contact with a less secured device makes it a trusted payment system. The near-field communication technology to which this payment system is rooted in encrypts data perfectly in a way that there is no chance for hackers to steal it. It is powered by a user-configured pin-protection system too.   

Time Efficiency

For average customers, tapping to pay is more time-efficient than being on a long waiting queue at the cashier. Contactless payment saves you time by allowing you to pay in transit venues. This means more time to complete the day’s tasks ahead of you.

What are the downsides of contactless payment?

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Confusion and hesitation

Although few businesses have started accommodating contactless payment, many customers do not have an idea on how to utilize the technology. These people might have heard about it through social media, but they are hesitant about giving it a try. 

Risk of spyware or malware attack

Mentioned earlier, a contactless payment app is made available on smartphone devices. Such a device is at risk of spyware or malware attack. Despite how strong the data encryption security is for this payment technology, hackers might as well reinvent their ways to get through it. In the next couple of years or months maybe, they could steal your valuable information. For these people, everything is possible for the money. 

Ease of unauthorized use

Losing your card can be a big threat. Until your card is blocked, someone can make contactless payment using your card simply because he doesn’t need to sign a receipt or key in a personal identification number. That being said, you are up for big trouble. 

In the face of its shortcomings, contactless payment technology has brought us to a new face of tomorrow. It opens up an opportunity for future innovations. For now, the best thing we can do to make this payment technology achievable is learning how to do it appropriately and cautiously. In most times, education creates a difference. 

Learn to embrace the fact that we are geared towards a digital age. So having a technology like this in place, expect that breakthroughs are coming our way.  

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