Low Interest Rate Courage Facts Of Life Insurance What Is Foreclosure And How Can I Avoid It How To Get The Best Rates On Health Insurance In New Jersey

Approximately 2 million homeowners, a majority being in minority neighborhoods, are at risk of losing their homes, either through default or by foreclosure.

The housing bubble encouraged homeowners to apply for Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM’s). New homeowners were able to purchase “zero dollar down” properties, whilst existing homeowners re-financed, either to upgrade their homes, or spend the cash on luxury items.

However, a majority of those homeowners with poor credit signed up for adjustable rate sub-prime loans (a higher cost loan), now those loans have been reset to higher rates of interest, and it is proving incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for those homeowners to meet their payment schedules.

The housing market turmoil is affecting the financial markets, and the broader economy. Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, has stated that he did not realize the potential damage sub-prime mortgage lending to borrowers with poor credit could do to harm the U.S. economy.

How could the head of America’s central bank (the Federal Reserve), the most powerful economic planner in the world for almost 20 years, not have realized that cold, hard fact? Why the Chairman would have had the responsibility (twice a year) to raise, lower, or keep the level of U.S. interest rates the same is an interesting question, considering that we have a market economy that is supposed to do that!

Lowering interest rates makes the future more valuable relative to the present; raising interest rates makes the future less valuable. More people in the economy focus on the future when it is seen as being more valuable, thus more action is taken that affects the future: construction, research funding, and the building of factories to produce more goods. When the interest rate is lowered it shifts the economic attention and focus from the present to the future.

Low interest rates encouraged the housing boom; helped the faltering U.S. economy function. Unfortunately, those low interest rates fostered hope in borrowers with poor credit, spurning a high driven sub-prime market.

Could the Federal Reserve’s (mis)management of the housing boom been handled any differently? Perhaps interest rates were left too low for too long, and lending practices were not regulated efficiently?

Now it’s time for lenders to help borrowers restructure their mortgages, not an easy fix, but necessary in order to prevent a downward spiral.

“Your” Money Matters by Carl Hampton

From the Author of “From Credit Despair To Credit Millionaire.”

Purchasing life insurance is an important decision and a major commitment. Before you sign the dotted light and buy your policy, get the facts and find answers to any and all questions. To get the best coverage for your hard-earned dollar, here are ten important things that you need to know about life insurance:

* Don’t put it off. You know that you will need life insurance sooner or later, and now is the best time to buy. Purchasing early in life lets you choose from the best policies possible, and allows you to save money on premiums.

* Shop around. Before signing the dotted line, take the time to browse the market. Learn about the various insurance companies, review the different policies available and compare rates. The Internet is an excellent source of up to date information. Do a little homework today; you’ll save money and be confident in making a wise decision when it’s time to buy.

* Stay strong. People with healthy bodies and smart lifestyles pay the lowest premiums. People who smoke, drink, take drugs, suffer obesity or even have poor driving records will pay a great deal more for life insurance.

* Find the right amount. Some people make the mistake of buying more insurance than they need, and ultimately paying a higher premium. On the other hand, others may underinsure by choosing a policy that is too small. Try to find the happy medium and find the insurance plan that best suits your individual needs.

* Save money with more coverage. If you can afford to, consider increasing your coverage, as premiums tend to get cheaper as coverage amounts increase.

* Review your plan. It’s important to review your policies whenever you undergo a life changing experience. If you have a child, or if your children are entering college, take a look at how your policy may be affected. Periodic reviews help you ensure that you continue to have the coverage that you need, and that you are paying the right premium.

* Don’t pay unnecessary commissions. Many insurance companies charge high premiums that include the commission of the agent and/or broker. Seek out a ‘No Load’ policy that contains none of those hidden costs. You pay only for the policy that you’ve purchased.

* Don’t count solely on your employer. Group life insurance is a nice benefit, but it may not be enough to meet your needs. Additionally, most group life insurance policies are terminated should the employee choose to leave the company. The most reliable long-term coverage you can have is an insurance policy that you’ve purchased yourself.

* Choose annual payments. If you pay your life insurance monthly, you will pay a higher premium. In order to save money, change your plan to half-yearly or annual payments.

* Tell the truth. Never lie or hide information when applying for life insurance. If you are found guilty of hiding the facts, such as trying to cover up a smoking habit, the company has the right to terminate your policy at any time.

Choosing a life insurance company and buying a policy are important decisions, and there’s no such thing as too much information. Find out all you can and make sure you’re receiving the best coverage available before you commit to your new life insurance purchase.

Foreclosure takes place when home owners do not pay their payments to the lender. It really is that simple. The reason for why home owners may not be able to make the payments, however, can be anything but simple.

The worst thing home owners can do when they cannot make their home loan payments is to ignore the problem and to ignore the lender. In many cases, lenders will be more eager to help you through the problem than to foreclose on your home. The truth is most lenders do not want to take your home from you. Foreclosure is a cost to them and it reduces the profits they can realize from a home loan.

It cannot be said enough: If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, do not ignore the problem. The more payments you miss the harder it will be for the lender to work with you. There will come a time (should you ignore the lender for too long) when foreclosure will be the only remedy.

Once you know that you cannot make a payment contact the lender. As mentioned above, most lenders do not want your home. Most lenders have programs available to help you out if you contact them soon enough, but many of these programs are time sensitive and must be triggered before certain cutoff dates arrive.

If you have missed a payment do not ignore the mail that you get from lender. You might be surprised at how many people simply do not open their mail when they know they have missed a payment. Ignoring the mail will not make the situation any better.

In many cases, the first notices you receive from the lender will offer information on payment options and foreclosure prevention options. If you ignore these and do not contact the lender you will begin to get the more demanding mails which may include important notices of pending legal actions. Not opening your mail will not be a legitimate excuse in foreclosure court.

Another important thing to do is to understand your mortgage rights. You should find your loan papers and read them to learn exactly what the contract states, along with timelines. You can also learn more about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state. Keep in mind that every state is different so be sure you read the laws for your state.

You can also contact a HUD-approved housing counselor to help you understand your circumstances. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. These counselors can assist you to better understand the law and your options. They can help you organize your budget and finances and may even be able to represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this level of assistance. You can find a HUD-approved housing counselor by calling (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.

There are many options for those who find themselves in financial trouble but it is up to you to take the actions that will help prevent foreclosure on your home. Home owners may be surprised at how many programs are available to help them as they get through this trying period of time, but they should keep in mind that ignoring the problem will only make it worse. One of the best ways to prevent foreclosure is to get to work with the lender as quickly as possible.

Almost 17% of all New Jersey residents do not have health insurance coverage and of those who do have coverage, fully 50% admit that their monthly premium payment is a severe financial burden. As more and more businesses drop their group health plans the situation can only get worse.

Fortunately there are things that you can do right now to help lower the monthly cost of your health insurance.

First, if you have children 18 or younger who cannot get health coverage you may be eligible for the low-cost state-sponsored New Jersey Family Care program. In addition to minor children some adults can also qualify for this health care coverage.

Next, if you smoke you need to stop. Now. Today. Smokers (and people who use chew) pay considerably more for health insurance than do non-tobacco users. That’s simply a fact of life. You cannot get the best rates on health insurance in New Jersey or anywhere else if you use tobacco products.

If you are overweight – and who isn’t? – you need to shed a few pounds. Health insurance premiums are based, in part, on your Body Mass Index, or BMI. If you can lose even a few pounds you might slip down a rung on the BMI scale and that could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in premium payments over the next few years.

If you already have other insurance policies grouping them together from one insurance company can save you money through a Multi-Policy Discount. Also, if you’ve had a health insurance policy with the same insurance company for at least 5 years ask about a Long-Term Discount.

If you routinely participate in extreme sports or you have a dangerous hobby it’s time to quit – at least if you want the best rates on health insurance. Regular participation in dangerous activities will insure that you do not get the best health insurance rates available.

What is the percentage you pay on your co-pay when you visit your doctor’s office? If you are currently paying less than a 50% co-pay consider increasing your co-pay. It means you’ll have to come up with more cash every time you visit your doctor’s office, but paying a 50% co-pay also means you’ll pay less for your insurance each month. If you only see your doctor a few times each year this can be a real money-saver for you.

Along those same lines would be your yearly deductible. Again, you have to think long and hard about your deductible because this is cash money you have to spend out of your own pocket for your health care each year before your insurance will even thinking of paying anything – but the fact of the matter is, the larger your deductible the smaller your monthly premium payment.

In fact, some people are now purchasing low-cost super-high-deductible health insurance policies. These are policies with a deductible of $2,000 or even more. These policies are not designed to help pay your normal medical bills – they are designed to protect your home and other major assets if you should have a catastrophic accident or illness which unexpectedly leaves you with medical bills in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That’s it. It’s now time for you to take the suggestions in this article and create a low-cost health insurance plan that’s right for you. Once you’ve done that then you need to go online and find a minimum of 3 websites that specialize in comparing the prices of health insurance plans among the different insurance companies.

Compare the plan you’ve come up with on at least 3 different websites so that you will be certain to see the prices from as many different insurance companies as possible. Once you’ve done that you just have to grab the lowest price you can find and you’re done – you’ve now done everything you can in order to get the best rates on health insurance in New Jersey.

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