October 30, 2014 · Getting A Mortgage · (No comments)

Your ability to purchase a home with a mortgage depends on how much net income you have after all monthly debts. If your debt payments absorb your income, particularly credit card payments, you may have to put the brakes on the mortgage application.

Most homebuyers realize in order to purchase a home they need at least good credit, and that a better credit score means a better chance of qualifying. One of the ways to build and maintain a healthy credit score is the ability to use and manage credit over a period of time. Using three to five credit cards actively, paying them off in full each month is a fantastic way to support a good credit score, a benchmark factor in qualifying for the prize. However, credit cards are not something to be taken lightly, and you should exercise caution with them, especially if they are not paid off in full every month.

When it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, its not what you owe in total that counts, its what you pay each month. Most lenders allow a maximum debt-to-income ratio of about 45%, meaning they allow up to 45% of your monthly pretax income for a proposed new mortgage payment and any other debts. Lets take a look at the various credit card scenarios and what you can do to help your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

1. Spreading out your debt

When it comes to getting a mortgage, the key with carrying a balance on any one credit card is the monthly payment. In most circumstances, the larger the balance on any one credit card, the larger the monthly payment. The higher the monthly payment on any individual card, the more likely you will not be able to purchase as much house. (You can see how much house you can afford here.) Lets say you owe $10,000 on a credit card and the monthly payment associated with the obligation is $200 per month. To maintain your ability to qualify, a lender would require $400 per month of additional income to offset that debt.

However, if this balance could be spread out over, say, two or three credit cards with lower interest rates that would result in lower payments totaling less than $200 per month, you come out ahead.

2. Credit card payoff

If youre looking to attack your credit card debt and pay it down (you can use the credit card payoff calculator to see how long it will take you) in preparation for qualifying for a mortgage, you might wonder which of your cards you should target.

If youre trying to buy a home, paying off the higher-rate credit cards first might be a good move if the monthly payment is higher than the cards you have that are 0%. In other words, for buying a house, youll want to pay down the cards that have the highest monthly payment regardless of the interest rate, because those are the ones that will affect your qualifying ability the most.

So which card should you focus on paying down? Lets say you have a 0% interest credit card with a $2,000 balance and a $150 monthly payment. You also have a 6% interest credit card with a $5,000 balance and a $50 monthly payment. Youll get a bigger bang for your buck paying off the credit card with the higher payment despite the fact that its 0%. The idea here is that youll want to cherry-pick the cards with the higher monthly payment in order of priority to maximize your buying potential. A good mortgage lender can assist you tremendously with this task.

(As a good rule of thumb for financial planning, it does make sense to tackle the higher interest rate credit cards first because of the additional interest expense youll pay over time, but that is not necessarily the case when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage.)

3. Consolidating your cards

Lets face it, people carry credit card debt because they dont have the cash to make the purchase outright. Consolidating any 0% interest credit cards or even other credit cards into one credit account containing a total new lower payment can help you qualify to buy a home. Why? It has to do specifically with the minimum monthly payment. Even if you choose to make a pre-payment each month in an effort to accelerate the debt payoff, its about the minimum obligation per credit card the lender will use in determining whether or not youll be able to buy that house, so consolidating may help.

If you have the cash, or are trying to decide whether to use the cash for the down payment or paying off debt, talk to a lender. If you do plan to pay off the credit cards to qualify, this can be accomplished as a special lender exception (not all lenders allow paying off debt to qualify). For example, if youre in contract to buy a home and your loan gets rejected by the underwriter because your debt-to-income ratio is too high, one way to reduce the ratio to get your loan approved is to pay off your credit card balances in full. This route entails one additional step in order to remove the obligation: You would have to pay off the credit card in full and close the credit account.

In most cases, closing credit card accounts can adversely affect your credit score. However, a new mortgage loan in your name, paid on time every month, can also be instrumental in building a good credit rating. You can find out how your debts affect your credit scores by checking them for free on Credit.com.

More from Credit.com

How much house can you afford?
Why you should check your credit before buying a home
How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

Credit.com is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

October 30, 2014 · Manage Debt · (No comments)

Child benefit is payable to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age, or under 18 years of age if the child is in full-time education.

Some PIPS, who are authorised to manage debt settlement and insolvency arrangements on behalf of struggling debtors, were including child benefit payments as monthly income for the purpose of proposing debt deals to banks and other creditors.

This months Budget increased the rate of Child Benefit by EUR5 to EUR135 per month for each child from January 2015.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) has written to PIPs to tell them that child benefit can not be used as part of any debt repayment plan. The ISI has told PIPs that child benefit is already deducted from the living expenses of a child under its guidelines on reasonable standards of living and expenses.

This is done on the basis that child benefit payments are intended to be spent on a child, said the ISI in a circular.

Failure to disregard child benefit payments from income of the debtor when preparing a proposal will effectively result in overstating the amount the debtor has available from which to make payments to creditors; the debtor will appear to have income despite the fact that this money has already been factored into the calculations of the expenses per child.

The ISI, which recently launched a new website, backontrack.ie – aimed at people who are struggling with debt – said that some creditors are dissatisfied at the level of prudent verification being carried out by PIPs in relation to financial information provided by debtors in the early stages of the process.

PIPs have been told to question debtors more as to the veracity and accuracy of their financial documents to avoid debt proposals being rejected by banks.

The ISI has also advised that where a debtor and their family leaves their home, also known as the principal private residence (PPR), the family home should be recategorised as an investment property with a comment entered to reflect the true position.

Irish Independent

Follow @Independent_ie

October 29, 2014 · Getting A Mortgage · (No comments)

Your ability to purchase a home with a mortgage depends on how much net income you have after all monthly debts. If your debt payments absorb your income, particularly credit card payments, you may have to put the brakes on the mortgage application.

Most homebuyers realize in order to purchase a home they need at least good credit, and that a better credit score means a better chance of qualifying. One of the ways to build and maintain a healthy credit score is the ability to use and manage credit over a period of time. Using three to five credit cards actively, paying them off in full each month is a fantastic way to support a good credit score, a benchmark factor in qualifying for the prize. However, credit cards are not something to be taken lightly, and you should exercise caution with them, especially if they are not paid off in full every month.

When it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, its not what you owe in total that counts, its what you pay each month. Most lenders allow a maximum debt-to-income ratio of approximately 45%, meaning they allow up to 45% of your monthly pretax income for a proposed new mortgage payment and any other debts. Lets take a look at the various credit card scenarios and what you can do to help your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

1. Spreading Out Your Debt

When it comes to getting a mortgage, the key with carrying a balance on any one credit card is the monthly payment. In most circumstances, the larger the balance on any one credit card, the larger the monthly payment. The higher the monthly payment on any individual card, the more likely you will not be able to purchase as much house. (You can see how much house you can afford here.) Lets say you owe $10,000 on a credit card and the monthly payment associated with the obligation is $200 per month. To maintain your ability to qualify, a lender would require $400 per month of additional income to offset that debt.

However, if this balance could be spread out over, say, two or three credit cards with lower interest rates that would result in lower payments totaling less than $200 per month, you come out ahead.

See Latest Mortgage RatesFind out the current mortgage rates in your city. Compare rates for fixed adjustable rate mortgages.
See Current Rates Now. gt;gt;gt;
2. Credit Card Payoff

If you’re looking to attack your credit card debt and pay it down (you can use the credit card payoff calculator to see how long it will take you) in preparation for qualifying for a mortgage, you might wonder which of your cards you should target.

If youre trying to buy a home, paying off the higher-rate credit cards first might be a good move if the monthly payment is higher than the cards you have that are 0%. In other words, for buying a house, youll want to pay down the cards that have the highest monthly payment regardless of the interest rate, because those are the ones that will affect your qualifying ability the most.

So which card should you focus on paying down? Let’s say you have a 0% interest credit card with a $2,000 balance and a $150 monthly payment. You also have a 6% interest credit card with a $5,000 balance and a $50 monthly payment. Youll get a bigger bang for your buck paying off the credit card with the higher payment despite the fact that it’s 0%. The idea here is that youll want to cherry-pick the cards with the higher monthly payment in order of priority to maximize your buying potential. A good mortgage lender can assist you tremendously with this task.

*As a good rule of thumb for financial planning, it does make sense to tackle the higher interest rate credit cards first because of the additional interest expense youll pay over time, but that is not necessarily the case when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage.

3. Consolidating Your Cards

Lets face it, people carry credit card debt because they dont have the cash to make the purchase outright. Consolidating any 0% interest credit cards or even other credit cards into one credit account containing a total new lower payment can help you qualify to buy a home. Why? It has to do specifically with the minimum monthly payment. Even if you choose to make a pre-payment each month in an effort to accelerate the debt payoff, its about the minimum obligation per credit card the lender will use in determining whether or not youll be able to buy that house, so consolidating may help.

If you have the cash, or are trying to decide whether to use the cash for the down payment or paying off debt, talk to a lender. If you do plan to pay off the credit cards to qualify, this can be accomplished as a special lender exception (not all lenders allow paying off debt to qualify). For example, if youre in contract to buy a home and your loan gets rejected by the underwriter because your debt-to-income ratio is too high, one way to reduce the ratio to get your loan approved is to pay off your credit card balances in full. This route entails one additional step in order to remove the obligation: You would have to pay off the credit card in full and close the credit account.

In most cases, closing credit card accounts can adversely affect your credit score. However, a new mortgage loan in your name, paid on time every month, can also be instrumental in building a good credit rating. You can find out how your debts affect your credit scores by checking them for free on Credit.com.

More on Mortgages and Homebuying:

  • Why You Should Check Your Credit Before Buying a Home
  • How to Get a Loan Fully Approved
  • How to Search for Your Next Home

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October 29, 2014 · Small Business Loans · (No comments)

October 29, 2014 · Getting A Mortgage · Comments Off

Comments(0)

Advertisement Feature

In our younger adult years many of us take little notice of our credit history; it simply isnt top priority. It is only when we start trying to take loans, buy a car on finance, and even get a contract mobile phone, that credit history comes into play.

A mortgage is a secured loan from a lender, be it a bank or building society. When they lend to you, these institutions will want to know that you are a safe investment, and therefore will check your credit history to ensure that you have a good history of paying off what you borrow.

A poor credit history with a missed mobile payment here or a forgotten utility bill there could impede your ability to get a mortgage, or mean you having to take higher interest rates and pay bigger deposits.

As your deposit gets bigger, say 25% of the value of your intended property, you are likely to qualify for better mortgage rates because you have the security of the deposit on the property, meaning the lender is less likely to lose out if you default on payments. With a smaller deposit, the rates on offer may be less appealing.

In order to get a good credit history you first need to get some credit. Having no credit can actually have the same effect as having a bad credit history for some lenders. If a lender cannot see that you have been able to manage your finances adequately, through the use of credit facilities, they may not have any confidence that you can maintain your mortgage payments.

If you have a credit card, perhaps a small loan, and maybe have your mobile phones on contract, and you maintain the repayments for these credit commitments every month, you will be showing to the lender that you are financially aware, stable and responsible. You will represent a lower risk as candidate for a mortgage, and are more likely to have your application approved.

Lenders will also look at your address history as a part of their decision. If you are on the voters roll at your current address, and have been there for several years, you are likely to be a lower risk candidate for the mortgage. Essentially, lenders are looking for capacity and stability in your financial circumstances.

Different lenders, such as TSB, use different aspects of your credit history and you therefore need to ensure that you go to a lender that is appropriate for your personal and financial circumstances.

If you have good credit history, with payments up to date, having never missed a payment, you are more likely to qualify for a mortgage. Approval of the mortgage will then depend on several factors, such as the requisite deposit and your regular income.

Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Overs 18s only.

ANY PROPERTY USED AS SECURITY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE YOUR HOME, MAY BE REPOSSESSED. IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2YB. Registered in Scotland No. 90312.

October 29, 2014 · Manage Debt · Comments Off
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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by Credit.com News Advice as a service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each persons situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. FTC Disclosure: Credit.com has financial relationships with some companies mentioned on this site, and may be compensated if consumers choose to apply for or purchase products via links in our content. However, whether or not we are compensated does not determine which products we mention or result in preferential treatment in our editorial pieces.

Note: Its important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertisers responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

October 29, 2014 · Financial Partners · Comments Off

(RTTNews.com) – Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. ( PNFP ) will host a conference call at 9:30 AM ET on October 22, 2014, to discuss Q3 14 earnings results.

October 29, 2014 · Manage Debt · Comments Off
Find out where you stand.
Get your FREE personalized credit report card.
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copy; 2014 Credit.com. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by Credit.com News Advice as a service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each persons situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. FTC Disclosure: Credit.com has financial relationships with some companies mentioned on this site, and may be compensated if consumers choose to apply for or purchase products via links in our content. However, whether or not we are compensated does not determine which products we mention or result in preferential treatment in our editorial pieces.

Note: Its important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertisers responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

October 29, 2014 · Manage Debt · Comments Off

West Otago sheep and beef farmers Nelson and Fiona Hancox
want farmers to stand up and be counted and take charge of
their futures.

The couple, who are both passionate about the red meat
industry and are involved with various groups and industry
bodies, believe it is time for farmers to take control.

Mrs Hancox was nominated to attend the 2014 Rabobank Global
Farmers Master Class in Australia next month, where she would
have been joining farmers from around the world.

But her commitments to the Agri-Womens Development Trusts
Escalator governance and leadership course meant she was
unable to attend.

Her husband was now going to Australia, with

other New Zealand farmers Michael Horgan (Southland), Jane
Nugent-OLeary (Manawatu), Mark Townshend (Hauraki Plains)
and Dan Jex-Blake (Gisborne).

Mr and Mrs Hancox have grown their farming operation at
Tapanui from 2500 stock units in 1993 to 27,000.

It is made up of three farms, with the focus on sheep and
beef breeding and fattening.

The couple have won several farming accolades over the years,
including the Rabobank Lincoln University Foundation South
Island Farmer of the Year award, Clutha district farmer of
the year award and the national ewe hogget competition.

They wanted to continue to grow their business and could see
a real future for the industry.

But they were also prepared to stand up and say that things
going on in the industry and inefficiencies were costing
farmers, Mrs Hancox said. Until those issues were resolved,
sheep and beef farms and people involved in the industry
would continue to be lost to alternatives, she said.

Restructuring and consolidation of the industry was needed
and the only way to start that was through what farmers owned
– the co-operatives – and other players needed to be
encouraged to join, she said.

Mrs Hancox is an executive member of Meat Industry Excellence
which has been seeking industry reform. She is also a farmer
representative on the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Southern
South Island Farmer Council.

New Zealand was still the worlds number one producer of
lamb and venison and fifth for beef.

There was huge global demand for protein and safe food and
that was something New Zealand did very well, she said, also
citing the nutritional benefits of grass-raised red meat.

Farmer ownership was very important for farmers to get the
returns they needed.

There also needed to be a change of attitude and it should
not be an us and them battle between farmers and
processors. Instead, both should work together to get maximum
returns.

Its going to have to be a better team effort, with two-way
communication so both businesses are profitable, she said.

That would then mean processors could invest in their
businesses and farmers could do the same with theirs.

The first step was the upcoming co-operative director
elections. People were needed around the board table who
would promote those discussions, she said.

There were sheep and beef farmers struggling to make ends
meet, let alone think of succession, an important priority
for Mr and Mrs Hancox, who have four children.

A trip to Europe and the UK in the mid-2000s, after winning
the South Island Farmer of the Year competition, proved to be
a turning point for Mr Hancox.

Farmers were getting out of sheep and beef and going into
dairying. He thought that was a reason to expand his familys
sheep and beef operation and it had basically doubled since
then.

He started farming during the tough times of the early 1980s
and learned to dig deep, along with learning how to
manage debt.

The Hancox farming operation had always made a profit during
those 30 years.

He was looking forward to the trip to Australia, saying it
was about networking with others and finding out about the
issues they were facing.

Im just interested to see what the rest of the world is
doing, he said.

October 28, 2014 · Small Business Loans · Comments Off

U.K Small Business Loans Fall Down ~$600 million

Thought the Great Recession is passing into the remembered past instead of the active present, small businesses in the UK are continuing to feel the sting of tightened lending standards that leaving many up and coming enterprises starved of dollars.  The latest Trends in Lending report, released by the Bank of England (BoE) , indicates that net lending to small and medium sized enterprises funded through the Government’s Funding for Lending (FLS) program as fallen again in the second quarter of 2014, this time contracting by £400m (around $600 million). The FLS was launched to help banks release loans cheaply, particularly loans to small and medium sized business.

Large firms are also being hurt by falling loans via the FLS–lending dropped £3.9 billion (about $6 billion) to large corporations between the start of June and the end of August 2014.

On the upside, Q2’s drop was less severe than it has been in the recent past.  For example, Q1 2014 saw the loans to British small businesses fall off by around £700m (or around $1 billion), but the continued patter of contraction in lending to small businesses continue to highlight a sector that is not recovering when it comes to available dollars for financing.

Compounding those difficulties at the bank, credit availability for small and medium sized firms in the United Kingdom has also been on the decline.  The Guardian reports that according to the latest Credit Conditions survey, the demand for credit has begun rapidly outstripping its local supply.  Moreover, a recent report released by the Federation for Small Business indicates that around half of all small business owners polled nationwide report that credit is simply to expensive to make meaningful use of, which a majority, 52 percent, rate the availability of credit to their business as “poor” or “very poor.”

“Net lending to small businesses is still falling, which is disappointing given their immense importance to the economy, commented Samir Desai, founder of Funding Circle. Traditional banks are hamstrung by legacy issues, limiting their capacity to lend.

With limited lending and traditional credit channels available for the British mom and pop (mum and pop?) businesses, increasingly SMEs across the pond are looking to alternative lenders to fill in those funding gaps.  Peer-to-peer lending services such as Funding Circle have seen their business increase as traditional loan dollars are leaking out of the system. In the first half of 2014, loans from P2P serves climbed to £300m (~$450 million).

“Government initiatives – such as the SME lending referral process – need to be pushed to the top of the agenda to ensure that UK businesses ripe for growth don’t suffer due to lack of funding,” he said.