Getting A Mortgage – Top Advice

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy your first home. Congratulations! Owning a home can be a stressful experience, but it can also be an extremely fulfilling and satisfying one. When you’re a homeowner, your property is your oyster; you can fill it with as much decoration as you like, as well as carrying out renovations and DIY projects whenever you want to.

Taking out a mortgage is pretty much the most common way people buy homes. Most people don’t have the cash to pay for the property upfront, so they negotiate a long-term loan with a bank or building society in order to pay off the cost of the house (plus interest, usually) over time. It can be pretty daunting applying for your first mortgage, so we’ve gathered together a list of handy tips for you to consider when you’re about to apply.

One quick tip before we start: don’t be afraid to take out a second mortgage once you’re comfortably into your first one. Second mortgages can be great for DIY projects, renovations, family planning and many other aspects of life. Check out StepOneFinance’s second mortgage loans to get you started.

Pay off as much initially as you can

Of course, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have anywhere near the requisite amount of money to pay off the entire value of the property immediately – otherwise, why take out a mortgage? With that said, it’s definitely advantageous for you to pay off as much as you can outright. The reason is twofold. First off, you’ll obviously have less to pay on the mortgage over time if you pay more initially, or you’ll be able to negotiate a shorter term. Secondly, many mortgage providers offer lower interest rates to those who are able to put down larger deposits; if you’re able to provide around 40% of the property’s overall value, then you can look forward to lower interest rates in the future.

Thoroughly research the property

The last thing you want as you move into your new property is to discover something ugly or unwanted about it that you didn’t know when you moved in. Estate agents are just doing a job, but it’s in their best interests to cover up or circumvent potentially problematic aspects of the property in order to secure a sale. Make sure that you visit the property as many times as possible before you buy; in addition, see if you can find anything out on the Internet in terms of the area in which the property is located. There’s nothing worse than moving in to what looks like your dream home, only to find out that it’s a crime hotspot or there’s a local source of unbearable noise day in, day out.

Find out your credit score

If you want to get a seriously good mortgage deal for yourself, you’ll need a good credit rating. Failing to pay back loans, accruing big credit card balances and holding multiple credit accounts at once can all negatively impact your credit score, which in turn can be a big blow to your ability to get a mortgage. A low credit score isn’t necessarily a complete barrier to getting a mortgage, but the better deals require a higher score. You can use services like Experian and Noddle to check your credit score, which you should do prior to beginning any mortgage proceedings; coming armed with that sort of knowledge can save you a lot of time and hassle further down the line.

Self-employed? Have documents to hand

Most mortgage providers will require your latest payslip to prove your income, and in some cases they’ll want to see a bank statement to prove the income is regular. That’s if you’re in regular employment. If you’re self-employed, getting a mortgage can become a real headache. Self-employment is a difficult prospect for lenders, because it can be hard to understand how being one’s own boss translates into a regular, dependable income. You’ll need to collect proof of your earnings over the last 2-3 years to show to your lender, whether this is via an official HMRC form or your own meticulously kept records. If you don’t keep records, you should absolutely start doing so if you want a mortgage.

Settle as many debts as possible

Mortgage lenders don’t like outstanding debts, as they look like a good indicator of your inability to pay a mortgage. One top tip offered by Your Mortgage Solutions, based in Rugeley; Examine your income and expenditure closely and see where you can pay off debts you’ve accrued. Outstanding credit card debts, unsecured loans and unused accounts can all contribute towards mortgage lenders passing you over, so get your affairs in order before applying.

These are just a few tips to get you started on the road to your first mortgage. Owning a home is an arduous process; there’s paperwork to be filled out and a thorough assessment of your finances to go through. Once that’s done, though, it’s an unmatched adventure.

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6 Ways to Save for a Wedding

The happiest day of your life will be an occasion to remember. Unfortunately, it costs money to hold the biggest party of your life. Saving for a wedding can be a struggle if you’re starting from ground zero.

But we’re going to show you some of the tricks you can use to save for a wedding. Let’s take a look at some of the secret saving tips that can get you ready for your big day.

Know Where You Stand

The first step to saving money for a wedding is to know where you stand. In other words, you need to be aware of how much you need to save and how much you already have saved.

Use an app like Mint to track this. It aggregates all of your bank accounts so you know exactly how much you have. You can also use it to track your expenses.

Whenever you manage money online, make sure you install a VPN for extra security. For help with this, use a guide from Troypoint and they will show you how to get started.

Garnish Your Own Paycheck

Always pay yourself first. Instruct your bank to send a portion of your paycheck to your savings account so you don’t run into any problems with saving.

Most banks have this facility available. Use the previous step to know how much you can safely garnish from your paycheck and still cover your daily expenses.

Be Careful Where You Spend

Saving money for your wedding shouldn’t be confined to pure saving. It should also include saving money ON your wedding. Don’t think you have to have a huge wedding in order to have a great day.

Get married on the right day, choose an affordable venue, and don’t worry about not splurging on the little accessories nobody ever notices anyway.

See how you can keep your wedding costs down when planning your wedding and your savings journey will be a much easier one.

See What You Can Get from Others

The chances are you already know people who have got married. Use this to your advantage. See if they have anything from their weddings that they would let you borrow.

One quick tip is to take an old bridal wedding gown and have it tailored according to your tastes. This is much cheaper than spending thousands on a brand new dress.

Ask for Help Instead of Wedding Gifts

Request that your family and friends chip in with help, either through their time or through helping out with the cost in lieu of a wedding gift.

Most people would rather help with setting things up instead of agonizing over which wedding gift to buy. A wedding organized by your family and friends is always that much more special.

Hold the Wedding and Reception in the Same Place

Want to know how to cut your savings goal by thousands with one decision?

Just hold the wedding and the reception in the same place. It’s becoming increasingly trendy to rent one venue instead of two. This will save you thousands because you don’t have to worry about preparing two different venues.

Unless you’re a rabid traditionalist, this won’t affect the outcome of your day.

Last Word – Saving Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare

These tips will not only help you to save money for your wedding but they’ll help you to save money on your wedding. You don’t have to live like a monk in order to get the money together.

And you certainly don’t have to take out loans to enjoy your big day.

Do you have any other tips for saving for your big day?

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How TD Ameritrade Can Help You Make Money

When you are looking for an online broker that will help your reach your goals as a trader and an investor, you should be looking at TD Ameritrade. It is a long time brokerage house that got into the online game in the mid to late 1990s, making it one of the most lasting institutions in online brokers and Internet trading.

In the late 1980s, TD Ameritrade began a quote and order entry system over the phone, which established the companies bonafides with modern technology. Then in 1996, TD Ameritrade merged with TransTerra, which owned Accutrade, which was one of the first online brokers in the very early days of the World Wide Web. That knowledge of the industry and early entry into the world of online investing makes TD Ameritrade a great place to start investing online.

When you take control of your financial future, you take control of your freedom. You can create a whole new reality for yourself, when you take money that you make and put it to work making more money for you. The way that capitalism works is that the ones that control the capital can create new worlds for themselves, where they don’t have to answer to the old way of doing things.

But to become a successful investor, you need to stay disciplined and smart. You need to be able to read the market and understand how to move from one trade to another with the company’s fundamentals in mind. Doing your research is very important when you need to be on top of your investments. TD Ameritrade has third party research and in-depth tools that help you make sense of the market.

For more frequent traders, TD Ameritrade offers a platform called thinkorswim that allows traders to make lightening fast trades on their desktop or their mobile devices. There are chat rooms where you can interact with other traders and swap tips or advice. For beginning traders, there are a plethora of learning tools that allow you to learn about the market while you are in the platform, trying out trades and learning as you go.

TD Ameritrade also offers great educational videos and CNBC streaming news that allow you to stay on top of the market throughout the day. Watching breaking news is very important when you want to be an effective frequent trader. There is no substitute for staying informed about the market. And then there is the paperMoney feature.

That is TD Ameritrade’s paper trading platform, which allows you to trade virtual currency  and learn how to trade without risking any real money. That is one of the more valuable tools for day traders that are just starting out. It allows you to game out trades in real time and project what they might start to do without risking real cash. Paper trading is a great way to get good at trading before you start really risking real actual money.

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Should You Give up on Gold and Invest through Your Bitcoin Wallet Android App Instead?

Did you think that gold is a dead commodity that you shouldn’t invest in anymore? If so, you would be wrong. In 2013, Germany started to repatriate gold to it, and at least 50% of it is now stored in Frankfurt. Other parts are stored in Paris and in New York and around 13% is stored in London. But what does this have to do with the bitcoin wallet android app?

The Bitcoin Wallet Android App and Other Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies and digital cash services are becoming increasingly popular. What this also means is that gold seems a bit archaic nowadays. However, gold has a status that it will never be able to lose, and it will always be valuable simply because people want to have it. No other fiat currency, not the Euro, not the Dollar, has this type of security.

The Link between Gold and Bitcoin

You cannot get away from bitcoin and cryptocurrency anymore, but gold isn’t going anywhere either. Both also see quite significant price fluctuations, but they are rising overall and rising a lot. Then, there is the fact that other forms of economy, such as stocks and bonds, are problematic, not in the least because they are so strongly affected by geopolitical events. Consider:

  • There has been an overvaluation of stocks. So much so, in fact, that they must come crashing down soon.
  • President Trump is causing major ripples around the world, and no matter how much he would like to call every negative report about him and his policies “fake news”, the reality is that the world is not happy with his administration.
  • Europe is in turmoil. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU, a process known as “Brexit”, and other countries are seeing a popular opinion swaying towards the same thing. Meanwhile, there is a serious swing towards right-winged politics in almost every European country.
  • Nobody can keep track of derivatives anymore, which is precisely what the five biggest banks in this country have tied their interests to, making it very dangerous.
  • The Federal Reserve has now agreed to start rising interest rates again, which has a significant impact on people’s disposable income.

Gold isn’t impacted by this, nor is cryptocurrency. That is because both are available in finite amounts. Both are also tied to supply and demand, with demand rising significantly. One of the key things about bitcoin, however, is that it is decentralized. This means it is not owned by a country or a bank, but rather by its users, which is known as “open source”.

All financial experts agree, all investment portfolios have to be diversified in order to retain their value. They also all agree that precious metals should be an integral part of an investment portfolio. So why not double protect yourself, and purchase precious metals like gold by using bitcoin? Could it be possible that the two investment underdogs are actually the strongest of them all?

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How to Finance Your Honeymoon Expenses

Your wedding is probably one of the most memorable experiences in your life. You and your partner have planned for this event for so long and you’re about to spend a lot of money.

Although weddings will always make us happy; it is the honeymoon that will increase that happiness manifold.

Now, weddings are already expensive and during the honeymoon, you will also need to spend some money as well.

Fortunately, there are ways to finance your honeymoon expenses. Here are some tips:

1.    Wedding Loans

Wedding loans- or personal loans that are used for wedding expenses- is a great way to finance your honeymoon.

In this type of loan, you can borrow as much as $35,000, provided that you have a good credit score. Typically, you can get the money within 3-5 days after applying for the loan.

Just remember to pay it promptly since there are financial institutions which have high interest rates.

2.    Crowdfunding

Another great way to earn money for your honeymoon expenses is through crowdfunding. Although some people might not agree with this, most people that do crowdfunding for their weddings actually do not mind. In fact, there are some people who are willing to donate some money for such a momentous event.

When you’re planning for the wedding, you’re also planning for the honeymoon. The money that you can get from crowdfunding can be used for all of the expenses; including your honeymoon vacation.

3.    Credit Card Perks

If you own a credit card, you can make use of the perks. There are some credit card companies that offer frequent flyer miles or points that you can use for travel.

There are also some perks that make use of points in exchange for cash or other things including food, clothing, etc.

4.    Cash Advance Schemes

There are some cash advance methods you can apply for. Cash advance is a way to get some money, especially for your honeymoon.

Fortunately for you, getting money from this method is easier than ever. Aside from your local lenders, you can also apply on the internet as there are cash advance programs online.

If you borrow money from cash advance programs, make sure that the lender you’re going to get money from has a license to operate. This is to ensure your safety when transacting with them.

5.    Book in Advance

This is not financing, per se, but you can save more money when you book your honeymoon plans beforehand.

There are some packages out there that give you amazing discounts if you book way ahead of time.

Furthermore, booking in advance will ensure that you will get a reservation, especially when you’re going to a place where there are a lot of people.

Conclusion

Financing your honeymoon expenses is actually quite easy. You can book in advance so that you can avail of certain discounts.

If you own a credit card, you can make use of the points or avail of the perks. There are also cash advance programs as well. The options you have are limitless.

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How Did I Miss That Trade?

Are you a Forex trader? Are you “in it to win it?  Are you looking for profits wherever possible? That means you will be examining the results of the trades that you take and learning from both your successes and your failures. But what about “the ones that got away”, the trades that for one reason or another never happened and nearly always would have turned up trumps.

Why do we miss out on trades, especially the ones that will cause us so much heartache subsequently? There are of course loads of different reasons. You could have chosen to “sit this one out” having had a couple of losing trades just previously.  You could have been too preoccupied with another trade or considered that it just didn’t fit into your preconceived trading pattern. You may have had enough for the day having met your daily target or you might not have had enough balance to proceed.

Now these are all good reasons, but the fact remains that a missed opportunity is a missed opportunity which will cost you in the fullness of time.  You might not realise how much money you are actually losing by not taking up those missing trades and all the potential profits that have vanished unless you are honest enough to track everything in a journal.

If you are a mechanical trader, you can well find that your performance will be down and you will not get a full idea of whether the system is working for you.

If you get into the habit of missing trades, especially after a losing streak, you must treat that as a really bad one.  You have to accept losses as an integral part of trading and you shouldn’t have the baggage of previous failure over-influencing your decisions.

Perhaps the most hazardous result of when you miss out on a trade is that your psyche says “hey we made a big error there, let’s make up for it”. This is what is called “looking for revenge” – you go into something that’s a long way short of ideal and trade it aggressively. You lose control of your emotions and at the same time, lose a good deal of money as well.

Missing trades therefore is a bad place to be in. So what can you do to avoid all that?  Firstly you could log all your missing trades which would be an incentive to sticking to your trading plan.  Secondly set your trading style alarm clock – you could fix price alerts or use entry orders; perhaps even design a mechanical system for your platform. We know you can’t be everywhere but you can help yourself!

Are you missing trades through lack of confidence, worried about the dangers that could affect your funds? If you decrease your position size, you will ease up on a great deal of pressure.

Finally if you focus on the process you will accept loss, take care of it but have the courage to carry on trading sensibly and methodically and in the end you will make a lot of money.

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Do You Know How to Spot a Deal?

Are you someone who can spot a deal a mile away? If not, has the time has come for you to start doing so, yes?

For many consumers, getting a good deal is part and parcel of their life.

When many watch their dollars, finding some good specials can make the difference.

With that being the case, will you sharpen your skills when it comes to spotting a deal moving forward?

Internet is Great Starting Point

One of the best places to begin your quest to find deals is the Internet.

That said too many consumers don’t take advantage of all the worldwide web can offer them. As a result, they miss out on keeping more money in their wallets and purses.

Are you someone who focuses on finding discounted tickets for Universal Studios? If so, you can locate them much easier than you might first think.

With the right online search, you can get deals for Universal Studios and other venues. Once you have your deal, the fun is about to begin.

Keep in mind many companies in the theme park business and similar venues are active online. In fact, their websites are oftentimes tended to on a daily basis.

Among the important areas of interest many of them cover on a regular basis online:

· Blog posts about respective attractions

· Specials and when to collect on them

· Customer testimonials

You should also look for the locations of interest for you and yours on social media.

Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are popular with countless business.

Word-of-Mouth

If you have a sizable group of family, friends, and even co-workers that you communicate with, lean on them too.

An example of word-of-mouth marketing is designating people to stay on top of deals for venues.

If you have someone in the group who can’t get enough of amusement parks, let them alert others with a love for such. The same is true for someone who loves sports. Let him or her alert others via text or email about deals on ballgames etc.

Traditional Marketing

Even with the web and word-of-mouth leading the way, traditional marketing is there too.

Do you get your fair share of specials in the regular mail for various activities in and outside of town? If so, do you take advantage of them?

While many such marketing pieces end up in the garbage, others have more shelf life.

Don’t always be so quick to throw those pieces of mail out. You may in fact end up finding some great deals right at your fingertips.

When it comes to spotting the best deal out there, how good is your eyesight?

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How Forex Makes You Better at Making Money

Forex is an interesting way to make money, but it also gives you money making skills that transfer into other financial endeavors. To understand that, you have to understand how Forex works. We’ll start with a simple explanation.

Forex terms can get a little complicated, so a free trial with a brokerage source like ETX Capital is really the best way to go. When you get there, you’ll see a lot of different currency pairs. The first currency listed in the pair (if you were to bet money on it) is the currency that you think will gain value relative to the other listed currency, over a specific amount of time.

Forex trading allows you to leverage your trades, sometimes as much as 200:1. This was, you might be able to effectively trade one hundred thousand pounds, for example, while only being required to deposit a thousand or so.

The finer points of Forex (and its cousin, spread betting, also available through ETX Capital) are best learned through experience, so try out free accounts with reputable brokers to learn the ropes. Alternately, you can watch plenty of Youtube videos about Forex trading, which use images to convey concepts which are harder to grasp through words alone.

How Forex Gives You Money Making Skills in All Disciplines

Now that you understand more or less what Forex trading is, it’s time to explain how trading Forex will give you transferable money making skills for all kinds of purposes.

At its core, this form of trading is all about exploiting opportunities. You’ll quickly learn when you make an account of your own that you won’t have much success if you’re simply guessing about value behaviors. There are so many complexities that influence the relative value fluctuations of global currencies. In order to make money regularly, you’ll have to do some homework. Fortunately, this will yield an education that can make you a very sophisticated investor in disciplines outside of the world of Forex.

Let’s say you do really well at Forex trading and earn $100,000 in your first year. You want to use some of this money in the traditional stock market so that you can earn excellent returns without having to make regular trades as you do in your fast-paced Forex account. Your knowledge of the United States Dollar gives you the inside scoop on companies like Coca-Cola, who are being challenged globally by the strength of the US Dollar.

You knowledge of currency would tell you that because the dollar is so strong, money that Coca-Cola makes outside of the United States (an international market which the soda giant is actively trying to increase its market share within), loses value every time it is brought back into the United States where Coca-Cola does its banking.

You would expect, therefore, that the international brand would be having revenue difficulties in the present (they are), and that any time the Dollar starts to lose some steam, that revenue for Coca-Cola would increase (it will).

Then you hear that President Donald Trump is announcing measures to slow down the progress of the too-strong Dollar, as a way of preventing another market bubble. We’re not recommending that you take action on this hypothetical scenario, but just as an example, what would you do next?

If you thought that Coca-Cola stock would be a good bet based on that information, a lot of investors would agree with you. And you made this insightful decision based solely on your knowledge of the power that global currencies have over consumer brands. This is knowledge that the average investor lacks, and you got it just by trading Forex. Forex is a great way to make money on its own, but it’ll also prepare you for all kinds of other opportunities.

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How to Prepare for Funeral Costs

It is something that very few of us want to think about or even consider preparing for but the truth of life is that we all must die some day and as much as we can fight this inevitable fact, it is still a fact. After a friend or loved one passes away you will naturally want to give them the best possible send off and give them a funeral that they would be happy with, this can often mean high expenditure and tough decisions in a time of great grief.

It is for these reasons that you ought to start thinking about how you can prepare for your own funeral costs and planning how it will take place. It will certainly check one’s morality to think of such things but should you do so now, you can make the lives of your friends and loved ones much easier after you have passed away. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can prepare.

Paying Up In Advance

If you are in a position to do so then you can prepare and pay for your funeral whilst you are still alive, this will not only ensure that your relations and friends will not be faced with the sadness of planning your funeral, it will also give you the peace of mind that it will be done in the right way. You can decide if you want to be buried or cremated, you can decide on the songs at the service and you could even find yourself buying a headstone which will sit above your grave. This is an option with benefits but it isn’t a nice idea to plan your funeral whilst you are still alive.

Life Insurance

As you get older you should ensure that you are paying into a life insurance plan that will cover the costs of your funeral expenses. Not only will a strong policy give you and your family the money that they need to pay for the funeral, they will also receive either a lump sum or a monthly amount based on your policy.

Establish a Trust

Many banks offer things like Totten Trust which is essentially a savings account that can be controlled by a chosen person should you die. You can start putting money into this trust as early as you want and it will usually have a strong interest rate attached to it. In terms of the Totten Trusts which are available, you which receive a much better interest rate from your bank than from a funeral service and you will also have far more control over your cash such are the complexities of the rules regarding funeral services.

As we mentioned before, nobody wants to think about these kind of things but if you imagine yourself in the position of someone who is grieving and then consider making decisions on things like funerals and planning their costs. You will see that it is much easier for you to prepare now then allow your family to do it in the future.

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When You Should and Shouldn’t Take Out a Loan

There are many reasons why people apply for a loan. Sometimes people apply for loans out of necessity. Sometimes people apply for loans to buy products or services that are not really needed. It is important for people to understand the cost of taking a loan. There are many factors affecting the cost of getting a loan, such as your credit score, your assets and your job. The size of a loan varies from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. There are many reasons why someone should take a loan or should not take a loan.

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Why you should take a loan

1. Buying your first home

This is one of the good reasons for you to apply for a loan. A home loan allows you to own a home instead of renting an apartment. The loan can be repaid in 15 or 30 years and you will get the lowest interest rates if your credit history is good. A home loan also gives you tax benefits, and can be easily calculated with a no charge tax tool!.

2. Student loan

If you are a student, then applying for a student loan is a good choice, as it allows you to get a degree in an area that offers good job opportunities. The government backs most of the student loans and the payment terms are very generous. The loan offers a way of funding your future.

3. Loans for Investments

If you are financially independent and responsible, then you can take loans to fund your investments. For example, you can borrow money to buy investment properties. These kind of loans are not suitable for regular folks. You must have the necessary financial knowledge and assets to apply for such loans.

Why you should not take out a loan

1. Bad credit history

If your credit history is not good, then you will not get the best loan terms. You must work on increasing your credit score before you applying for a loan. Typically, banks and lenders will charge you higher rates if your credit is not good. If you are someone with a poor credit history, then you should refrain from taking a loan.

2. Purchasing assets that are depreciating

If you are planning to buy assets such as automobiles, which are depreciating over periods of time, then you should not consider taking a loan. It is always recommended to take a loan to purchase items such as a home, which are appreciating in value and act as a hedge against inflation. Most people are in the habit of purchasing depreciating assets such as furniture, TV, smart phones, and automobiles by taking high interest loans. This is not a good idea.

3. Private loans

There are many private loans available today. These are very expensive. You will end up paying very high interest rates. It is always recommended to get a loan from major banking institutions and lenders. If your credit is not good, then you may be tempted to get private loans. You should not consider this option unless it is for an emergency situation.

4. Borrowing from credit cards

Credit card companies offer balance transfers. However, after the initial period of lower interest rates, the interest rates will increase drastically. Your monthly payments will go up. Do not fall for high interest balance transfer offers from credit card companies.

There are many reasons why people take out loans. However, there are not many good reasons why people should take a loan or should not take a loan. Some of the reasons listed above are helpful if you are a would-be borrower planning to take a loan. Taking a loan is a financial burden and should be avoided unless it helps you to accumulate real assets, which are appreciating and lead to financial independence.

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