Seeking Out Mortgage Advice 4 Simple Steps To Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out The Key Features And Advantages Of Advanta Life Of Balance Credit Card
Whether you are a first-time-buyer purchasing your first home or an existing home owner looking for a remortgage product, it is important to seek out expert mortgage advice to ensure you secure the right home loan for your personal circumstances.
Evolution of the UK Mortgage Market
The UK is often referred to as having the most sophisticated mortgage market in the world. A wide variety of mortgage products are now available from dozens of lenders where only a few lenders existed before.
Mortgages are now available to people with all kinds of credit histories and employment situations and are also available to purchase property for investment purposes. This situation is vastly different to several years ago when only a few lenders offered prime mortgage products to people with stable employment.
The UK home loan market has therefore evolved considerably in only a few short years and the need for expert mortgage advice has never been greater. Advice on mortgages is no longer the sole domain of overbearing bank managers and because of this the financial intermediary industry has flourished.
Mortgage Advice Providers
Because of the increased sophistication of the mortgage market it is wise to seek advice from either an independent mortgage broker or financial adviser when searching for your next home loan.
Independent mortgage brokers have specialist software that can scan the entire mortgage market in minutes, helping them to provide quality mortgage advice that will help you choose the right product for your individual circumstances. The right mortgage advice can help you save money over the term of the loan, whether it is for a buy-to-let property or your own home.
Likewise, independent financial advisers (IFAs) can sometimes provide advice on mortgages as well as ancillary finance products such as insurance and pensions. Often these products go hand in hand with mortgages so it can be a good idea to receive mortgage advice from an IFA if you have one already.
If, for example, you are looking to purchase or remortgage a buy-to-let property your IFA may be able to provide you with advice on which mortgage products to apply for in addition to any investment advice they may provide to you.
If you are seeking a mortgage for your own home your IFA may be suitable for providing you advice on both your home loan and your home and contents insurance. You may also use the opportunity to receive advice on life assurance product or mortgage and income protection insurance.
Where to Seek Mortgage Advice
Finding a mortgage broker or IFA who can offer you mortgage advice has never been easier. There are thousands of registered mortgage brokers and IFAs in the UK, many of whom advertise on the internet and in the local press. There is also a wide range of online and offline directories which contain listings of mortgage brokers in most local areas. However, with the ease of communicating over long distances these days, it is not always necessary to receive mortgage advice from a local mortgage broker.
You may also seek out referrals from friends of relatives. Mortgage advisers and IFAs sometimes specialise in different fields of financial advice which means that not all advisers will be suited to providing you with information on the specific issues you are seeking advice on. A positive referral from a friend or relative may therefore save you the time and hassle of finding an adviser yourself and reduce the risk of inappropriate advice.
Step One: Plan for the Unexpected Big Time Bill
The first step arises from debt from a one-time large expense – something that is too large to be paid for with your monthly paycheck, or by saving for a few months.
Many of these debts are investments in either an asset that will appreciate over time, or a income stream that will be greater over time. The most common example is the purchase of a home. Very few people are able to save enough money to purchase their home outright, or pay for their entire home out of a few paychecks. We use a mortgage to pay for the home after-the-fact, and to enjoy home ownership in the meanwhile. Another example is investment in education. Many people cannot afford to pay for college tuition outright – so we take out loans, planning that our future income stream will enable us to be able to afford to pay for the education after-the-fact.
The more insidious type of one-time large expense is the expense that is not an investment. The emergency, unexpected, unplanned-for bill – extreme medical bills, disability, failure of a business, a lawsuit judgment, or long-time unemployment. These bills can put a family under – forcing them to either sell assets, move out of their home, or declare bankruptcy, because they will never be able to pay off the debt with their income.
One way to combat this danger is to set aside three to six months of your living expenses in a special savings account – an Emergency Fund — to be used for the emergency, unexpected expense. This money is sacred, only for a family emergency. The Emergency Fund will save your family from potential tragedy and help you create a secure future.
Action Step #1: Open a special savings account to be your Emergency Fund. Set aside money each paycheck or month to fund this account.
Step Two: Think Out of the Budget Box
Instead of worrying about budgets, this step is the flip side of cash flow problems – income.
We know when we have a debt problem. We may stop opening bills, stop answering the phone. We may even try to create budgets, reduce our expenses, cancel cable, live at the basic minimum, to try to stop the bleeding.
But sometimes, overspending is not the problem. It is underearning.
You may just not earn enough to afford to live your life. I’m not talking about living an extravagant lifestyle, or even a “nice” lifestyle – but the basic necessities of life – housing, automobile, phone, insurance, groceries, gas, clothing – may add up to too much, given your income. This is especially common in expensive places to live, like the Silicon Valley.
The first step in dealing with this problem is to stop feeling guilty. You are not a bad person, who spends irresponsibly. You are someone who needs to acknowledge that you need, want, and deserve more income.
Instead of being frozen in guilt, start to take action on creating more income. You may not need to do something radical – you may just need to ramp up what you are already doing, or look for hidden treasure already in your life.
Put together a proposal for your boss, to describe how the company would be better if you got a raise. Create a new information product to generate passive income for your business. Search your basement for items you can auction on e-bay. Teach a class on scrapbooking, or changing the oil in your car. Have a garage sale to generate some quick cash, and reduce the clutter in your life.
Whatever you do, the important idea is to start today.
Action Step #2: Brainstorm 5 ways you will earn more income now – such as – ask for a raise, look for a new job, start a small business, sell a new product, auction old items on e-bay, rent out a room, teach a skill, or have a garage sale.
Step Three: Planning for the Big Stuff
This step is about the debts that sneak up on us. You may be able to pay for your bills and regular expenses each month — but what happens if the car breaks down? The property tax bill arrives? Your quarterly’s are due? Christmas? Baby announcement? Wedding invite? The family or high school reunion? The big family vacation you all deserve?
Are you able to pay for those non-monthly expenses out of your paycheck or your small business profits? Or, do those items go on a credit card?
Automobile repair, gifts, taxes, and travel are all examples of expenses that are non-monthly, but are expected. We know they are coming, but not necessarily when, or how much. These expenses should not be going on a credit card – you should save for them ahead of time, so you do not pay a bank 10-20+% a year for the privilege of paying for your expenses after-the-fact.
Go through your bills, receipts, and cards for the last year, or the last few years, and figure out how much you spend on each of these categories each year, on average. If you don’t have those records, make a realistic estimate. Divide that annual amount by 12. That’s how much you should set aside each month for your irregular expenses.
Action Step #3: Open a special savings account for at least one non-regular expense: either auto repairs, taxes, travel, or gifts. Save a fixed amount each month in that savings account, so when bills are due, you already have the money!
Step Four: Plug The Holes
Step four is about how to prevent your family from going into debt, by planning for your expenses ahead of time. This step we come to the most insidious problem, and the most difficult to conquer – overspending.
Do you know where your money goes each month? How much are all of your bills? How much are you spending on Dining Out? Drinks Out? Gas? Target & Costco? Clothes? Personal care (i.e., massage, pedicures)? Recreation – movies, golf, Netflix? Toys (both for the kids, and for yourselves)? Do you really know?
Do you spend your money in accordance to your values and priorities? Is there one, or more areas, where you are spending money not because you particularly need, or even enjoy, that product or service – but because you are not paying attention, or because you are compensating for another problem in your life by habitually spending money in that area?
Commonly, we see this in clothes, toys for kids, recreation, high-tech gadgets, and dining out – easy for relatively small expenditures, made each day or week, to add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each month. Spending without thinking will derail you from ever being able to achieve your most important life goals. Especially if you are spending more than your income, month after month.
Instead of being frozen in guilt, do something about it. Look over your habits for the last few months, and pick the most obvious problem area, where you “go” when you are stressed, bored, or unhappy. Do you buy CDs? Shop online? Get a new pair of shoes? Start in one category, and create good habits and rules for yourself in that area – then carry those personal rules over to the rest of your expenses.
Action Step #4: Create a Cash-Only account for your problem category. Withdraw your budgeted monthly amount in cash on the first day of the month, and place the cash in an envelope – when the envelope is empty, you’re done!
The Advanta is well known for its innovative, individualized and utility-based financial services to the huge client-base spread all over the world. Eyeing the best benefits for the customers, the Advanta Life of Balance Card offers great cash rebates, side-by-side serving its main aim of helping the cardholders with organizing their finances. As such, you can now consolidate your existing cash card debts and save money on your purchases with the Advanta Life of Balance Card.
Before learning about the myriad benefits offered by the credit card, it will be worthwhile to know about the features of the card.
The Key Features of the Credit Card
The card charges a fixed APR of 2.99 percent for life on balance transfers provided the transfer is made within the first 3 months of being approved for the credit line. The regular annual percentage rate is 9.99 percent. There is no annual fee applicable and the grace period is for 20 days.
The best thing about the card is that it has no maximum credit limit; therefore, you can get the deserving reward. The card also promises a 0 percent fraud liability. The interest rate on purchases, i.e., 9.99% is quite reasonable especially when considered along with the rewards program. Nevertheless, to avail the benefit of this card, you must have excellent credit history.
Besides these apt features of the Advanta Business Card, it also offers large number of advantages, which are truly very beneficial.
The Rewards Program
The Advanta Life of Balance Card lets the cardholders to earn up to 6 percent in cash rebates. You can receive nearly 6 percent rebate on computer equipment and office supplies, which is an ideal way of saving money for the business owners. If you are a frequent traveler, then you can get back 6 percent cash on gasoline and fuel and also earn 2 percent back on other purchases.
Each time your earned rebate points reach the 50-mark, you will be issued a $50 rebate check. The most interesting part is that there is no limit to the number of rebate-points you can earn. But you should keep in mind that the rebate percent earned is based on a sliding scale.
The business platinum card also enables you to have your name placed right on the card and also receive free personalized and matching business checks.
You can also have prompt access to your online Internet account. You can download statements and information from the Internet and track purchases, expenses, payments over a period and can use it to enhance your knowledge and give your business a better standing.
Equipped with this platinum card, you can avail discounts on products and services from those merchants and retailers who are a part of the Advanta network..
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