Do You Qualify for a VA Loan?

We all know that most of us need a mortgage in order to buy a house. We go to a lender and complete all necessary paperwork and then we can purchase the house, paying back the mortgage money that was leant to us in monthly installments.

A VA loan, then is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the US government and for the use of American vets, military members, currently serving members and select surviving spouses of members. Veterans can then use this mortgage to purchase a single family home or a condominium, multi unit properties, manufactured homes or a new construction property.

While it the office of Veterans Affairs that financially guarantees the loans that qualify and who set the rules for who can qualify and when, and makes the guidelines the money does actually come from the government, but instead from any qualifying lender (bank or other financial institution).

The intention of these VA Loans is to supply funding for a home for service members and their families without the worry of having to come up with a down payment like you do with other mortgages. If you don't have to come up with a down payment, then more of your money can go towards paying back the mortgage and that's the idea of ​​the loan.

The original act passed Congress back in 1944, after World War II and since then over 20 million VA home loans have been issued. After a few amendments over the years, the scheme has been expanded and increased to allow more service members to qualify and include more housing options for those members.

If you qualify for a VA loan, you are allowed 103.3% financing without private mortgage insurance which is a huge savings over a traditional mortgage. You can also get 20% for a second mortgage and up to $ 6000 for energy efficient improvements for your home. Furthermore, a VA funding fee of between 0 and 3.3% can be added on, again, a lot better than a traditional mortgage.

Being in the military is not an easy job, and it's nice to know that once you are a veteran there is help out there for financing your property. Whether you are still serving, are a proud vet of the spouse of a fallen hero, the government has you covered with perks when it comes to financing your home.

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Payday Loan Providers: Keep Options Open

Governments continue with their attempts to clamp down on payday loan regulations. In several countries, lawmakers are trying to make it more difficult for the average person to obtain a fast cash loan. Their motives are based on protecting citizens from falling further in debt. On the other hand, their methods are not as accepted. Clamping down on safe payday loan providers services and limiting access to emergency help has not proven overly successful. In fact, for many borrowers, it has made their situation worse.

It is true that payday loans are not a good solution for many people in a budget crunch. The interest is high and the payoff term is fast. People who continuously struggle with money issues are less successful with this type of money help. The 'cycle of debt' skyrockets once a short-term loan enters in. The root of the borrower's financial problems is masked by the end result. There are major contributing factors to a household's budget demise. Why the debt problems for lower income individuals are left to hang on the heads of a direct lender remains a conundrum.

Frequent payday loans are signs of ongoing struggles. For the most part, when a person has a functioning budget, the only interaction they have with payday loan direct lenders is reading about them in the news. These folks have been able to manage their income well or at least controlled the damage from too much outstanding debt. The balance between earning and spending evens out by the end of month.

When debt becomes out of control and people lose their ability to use credit cards, many opt for easy cash. Best payday loan providers approve applicants who are not creditworthy. There are other alternative fast cash opportunities but these unsecured loans fair well. If the direct lender is using fair business practices and has competitive prices their services are used successfully by many borrowers. Yes, they are more expensive options than credit cards or personal loans, but it is the nature of the beast. There are some predatory lenders that do try to take advantage of an applicant's vulnerable position. They do not account for all lenders despite what the papers say.

Government officials need to find ways to promote money management education, regulate credit card debt before it becomes destructive and regulate alternative lenders in order to keep the fraudulent ones out. Taking away choices altogether will send those in need on a desperate search for any company that has a solution. When safe direct payday providers are shut down or overly regulated, those that are not will receive applications instead. This is not helping. Laws are pushing desperate people into the hands of predatory lenders. The chances for debt cycles to explode are there. Unregulated companies will often have higher fees, poor service and bad collecting policies. Financial woes will multiply.

Borrowers that are credit challenged have already sunk into unmanageable financial trouble. It is going to take lots of hard work to …

Loan Modification Program – Mistakes You Must Avoid to Get a Modification and Avoid Foreclosure

For a homeowner who is going through a financially difficult time, getting behind in your monthly mortgage payments is something you do not want to do. This is why the process of loan modification has become so popular and in many cases is vital, so that a home owner can keep their home. Filling out all the paperwork and providing all of the information the bank requests can be a bit confusing though.

Mistakes made here can be the difference between ownership and foreclosure. The government and banks have said recently incorrectly filled forms are the number one reason for failure to be accepted by over a third of applications Take the time and read about some of the most common mistake people make when filing their loan modification paperwork.

1. Getting in contact with your bank too late. That’s right, getting a loan modification program can be a home saver, but if you wait too long to contact your bank and start the process you may find that your home goes into foreclosure before your able to make it through the whole application process. Do not be frightened by the situation and simply dismiss it. Take action as soon as you realize that your home is going to be in danger.

2. Not knowing what you are doing. As with anything, the amount of paperwork you need to fill out and the information requested such as monthly expenses, proof of income and proof of hardship have to all be taken into account and gotten together. Plus you need to be aware of your banks guidelines as well as the governments guidelines in this situation. Get help if you are not sure.

3. Falsifying information on your loan modification application. This may be done intentionally or unintentionally. Either way the result will end up the same, no loan modification for you. You need to be aware of exactly what the bank is wanting you to provide. Double check everything for mistakes.

4. Getting in contact with the wrong department at your bank. If you are already behind on payments, then more than likely there are calls coming in from the collection department wanting to know when you can make payment. Realize that in order to go through with a loan modification you need to speak to the correct department at your bank. It can get frustrating having to constantly change who you are talking to, but once you get the process rolling you should only have one, maybe two reps that you will speak with so that they actually know what is going on.

These are just a few things you can avoid when going through with a loan modification program that will help you to get through the process successfully. It would probably be in your best interest for you to contact a agency or company that acts like a intermediary for you and the bank. That way they can better explain to you what you need as well …

Student Loan Debt Clock Is Ticking Away At 1.57 Trillion Dollars On Election Day 2016

The academic bubble is ready to burst, all the while academics in their infinite wisdom tell us they know best how to run our society and civilization – don't you find that odd? It seems they haven't gotten their own house in order, and yet, want our entire country to run like a giant college campus – interesting indeed. These same academics want to tell us how to vote, re-distribute wealth, and how to think – well, I think their day of reckoning is right around the corner – and I fear what's to come will not be pretty. No, I don't want to be the one to say; "I told you so." Surely, there are others with more social media followers who see the reality of the situation to spread that in-your-face slap when the time comes. Okay so, let's talk shall we?

40% of the student loans are in technical default (90-days in the rears with no further agreement to catch up on payments). That is 583 Billion Dollars in defaulted loans that we may never see payment of. Trust me when I tell you that the College Loan Bubble has burst and is extreme crisis. Why is this allowed to continue? Well, if it stops it will collapse academia, become a huge problem for our Federal Government, add over 1/2 Trillion to our $ 20 Trillion National Debt, and cause the angst of millennials who the Democrats have all but promised "Free College For All "during the 2016 Presidential Election.

Still, by the time the election is over the Student Loan debt will be 1.57 Trillion Dollars, even though the official figures claim it only 1.2 Trillion which was actually the figure before the start of the 2015 Academic Year.

If you don't see the enormity of the problem, let's talk about the auto industry right now. It turns out that the number of "Subprime" auto loan defaults are at another all-time high of 4.5% – Subprime meaning loans made to those without proof of ability to pay or marginal credit ratings, perhaps coming from low-socioeconomic borrowers. Last time this happened the auto industry crashed and needed a big bailout, and we are reaching those same numbers now – and realize this is only 4.5% not 40-50% like the student loan problem.

Scared Yet? Well, it is Halloween 2016 today, and I am, and no, there won't be any good witches flying in on their brooms to win the next election to use hocus pocus to make this problem go away – indeed, both presidential candidates are likely to see the auto loan problem get worse, as well as the student loan debt problem – not to mention our stock market breaking all-time highs with PE Ratios and major stock market indices records.

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Loan Modifications 101

A traditional loan modification is an agreement between you and your mortgage company to change the original terms of your mortgage. For example, a loan modification might allow you to add past due payments to the balance of the loan, lower your monthly payment, lower your interest rate, change your interest rate from a variable rate to a fixed rate, and / or extend the number of years you have to repay your mortgage. Modifying your loan with new, more favorable terms, can save you thousands over the life of your loan. If you are facing a hardship, and you need help, a loan modification might be just the solution you're looking for.

Benefits of a Loan Modification

Modifying your mortgage has several substantial benefits. The main benefits of a loan modification are:

  1. Avoid Foreclosure. A modification helps you avoid foreclosure and stay in your home by resolving your delinquency and bringing your mortgage current again.
  2. Lower Mortgage Payment. With a loan modification, you can modify the terms of your original mortgage, often lowering your monthly payment amount, so that your mortgage is more affordable and sustainable.
  3. Lower Interest Rate. With a loan modification, you can take advantage of today's historically low interest rates, saving yourself thousands over the life of your loan.
  4. Fixed Interest Rate. If you currently have an adjustable interest rate, a loan modification can give you a fixed interest rate at today's low rates, potentially saving you thousands over the life of your loan.
  5. Principal Forgiveness. Under a loan modification, your mortgage company may be willing to actually lower the amount you owe on your mortgage to help lower your payments so that you can afford to keep paying your mortgage.
  6. Rebuild Your Credit. A loan modification is much less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure and resolves any existing mortgage delinquency so that your credit can start rebuilding immediately.

Eligibility Requirements to Receive a Loan Modification

Requirements for receiving a loan modification vary from lender to lender. In general, you must be experiencing a financial hardship that has caused you, or will soon cause you, to fall behind on your mortgage. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to already be behind your mortgage to qualify for a loan modification.

You will also be required to fill out an application that will take into account your income, assets, and expenses. The lender will evaluate your application to determine if they are able to offer you a loan modification. If you're not eligible for a loan modification, don't worry, there are other mortgage assistance programs that you may qualify for.

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Recent Obama Changes Favor Student Loan Borrowers More Than Ever

Federal student loans are backed by U.S. Government. They are not based on credit histories of borrowers, since most people applying for and receiving them come right out of high school and do not have a credit history yet. They feature lower interest rates that result in smaller monthly payments. While government student loans may not be sufficient to cover the entire cost of education alone, they offer a great money-saving opportunity to fund college education, since they currently have an interest rate cap of 8.25%, with factual rates way lower than that.

Student Loan Consolidation Is Also Available With Help of Federal Government

U.S. Government, besides lending money to students, also offers loan consolidation services. Many students find it overwhelming to service the amount of debt they have accumulated through school years, especially without securing a stable employment in their field of education. While it may take some time and effort to work on student loan consolidation, the benefit is great, allowing a student to get one lower monthly payment instead of many. The interest rates are low, usually way less than you may get from private lending institutions, and many incentives are offered to those making timely payments. With a wide variety of options available from Federal Government it is important to research all of them, ensuring the right terms for your individual needs.

Student Lending Is Being Modified With More Changes on the Way

There have been many changes in the way student loans are handled in recent years. Federal Government is serving as the largest student loan vendor, repurchasing loan notes from banks and other lenders. The Obama administration has made these changes to make higher education more affordable during turbulent times in economy, ensuring more people would be able to get college education, since many private lenders had cut their student lending activities during recession. The government has exercised massive student loan repurchasing activities to keep the banking system from falling apart. While this was only projected as a short-term temporary activity, it had enabled many people to obtain cheaper student loans.

With more changes in student lending on the way enforced by government, an uncertainty rises whether those would benefit the ability of students to get financial aid. Obviously, if government will continue to pump money into failing banking system, obtaining financing for college education may be a way harder task to accomplish. Today, however, with favorable changes for students, it is a good time to consider getting a student loan or refinancing existing obligations.

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Where’s the Promised Government Loan Money (HARP) for Distressed Homeowners?


Since 2007, when the American housing bubble burst, untold numbers of homeowners have found themselves in the dire dilemma of seeing the value of their homes sink below the amount they owe on their mortgages, putting them “under water” in mortgage jargon. With most mortgage lenders requiring a loan to value ratio (LTV) of 80% or less on refinancing (not requiring private mortgage insurance [PMI]), these homeowners have been basically locked out from taking advantage of the record low interest rates. Seeking solutions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) introduced the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in March 2009 thus began the history of HARP.


HARP was designed to help homeowners obtain refinancing when the value of their home exceeded 80% LTV without having to pay the additional PMI costs. Originally, this program was intended for homeowners with 105% LTV mortgages or less. This cap was subsequently lifted to 125% LTV later that year (2009), and subsequently, in October 2011, the cap was eliminated altogether, probably in response to the fact that home prices all over the country were still on a downward path. The 2011 HARP update was also designed to increase the number of Americans that will qualify for the government loan money.

However, the following conditions listed below still have to be met in order for you, a homeowner to qualify for a HARP refinance:

  • Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This is a big source of confusion for many homeowners since neither lending agency deals directly with the public. If in doubt whether your particular qualifies, you can visit the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac websites and use their Loan Lookup Tools.
  • Your mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • Your mortgage also had to have been secured on or before March 31, 2009. The reasoning behind this being that after this date mortgages already had lower interest rates.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio on your mortgage must be greater than 80%.
  • You must be current on your mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
  • Only individual homeowners can qualify for HARP, as this program does not extend to companies or any other legal entities.
  • Homeowners also must benefitfrom HARP either by (1) receiving lower monthly mortgage payments or (2) by switching to a more stable mortgage (i.e., from an adjustable rate mortgage to fixed rate mortgage).


And these are just the primary eligibility requirements. There are others. Therefore, it is imperative that homeowners seek the help of professionals who are well versed in the demanding and fairly complicated HARP loan process.

As you can see, the history of HARP is still evolving and subject to future changes. For now, …

Foreclosure Solutions – Mortgage Loan Modification – Does It Really Work?

First let me answer a question you may have and that is exactly what is a Mortgage Loan Modification? A Mortgage Loan Modification is a fixed alteration to the terms of a Mortgagor's loan, it permits the loan to be reinstated, and the end result is generally a lowered monthly payment the Mortgagor can afford. This sounds like a good answer when looking for foreclosure solutions.

A short while ago in a hearing, convened by the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, which had been given the duty of keeping track of the government foreclosure bailout programs, the panel members hammered the Treasury Department regarding the flaws in its mortgage loan mod procedures. This hearing came only days after a report published from the inspector general showed the agency's efforts failed to have apparent benchmarks and fell horribly short of its original goals and objectives. This program was hoped to be one of the foreclosure solutions that would benefit millions of Americans that are facing foreclosure.

Despite early expectations that the Home Affordable Modification Program would help out millions of stressed US citizens rework their mortgages and retain their homes, the modification program thus far has resulted in fewer than 500,000 permanent loan mods. Even though this is large, it pales as compared to the more than 7 million households facing foreclosure. So, as for one of the many foreclosure solutions out there, thus far it has not panned out anywhere near the forecasted expectations.

Modification Program – Falling Painfully Short Of Expected Results, 2 panel members expressed their frustration of the governments foreclosure solutions.

Panel member Richard Neiman, superintendent of banks for the state of New York, pronounced the loan program has dropped significantly short of their initial hopes. J. Mark McWatters, another panel member, an attorney and accountant, said the Obama administration had failed to supply meaningful relief to distressed families and that its projections had created unrealistic hopes and anticipations that the loan modification program would likely help a great deal more families .

Phyllis Caldwell, head of the Treasury Department's homeownership preservation office, defended the Obama administration goals, saying that the impact of its foreclosure mitigation programs should not be evaluated by the volume of permanent loan modifications exclusively.

She stated a trial loan modification that is made up of three months of lowered mortgage payments have given individuals and their families desperately needed time and space, even if they don't end up being fixed permanently. She also said the Treasury Department is beginning to change and is expanding the loan mod programs hoping get to more distressed families.

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Small Business Loan Update – Stimulus Bill Helps Bailout Businesses If They Cannot Pay Loans

As we continue to sift dutifully through the over 1,000 pages of the stimulus bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), there is one provision that is not getting much attention, but could be very helpful to small businesses. If you are a small business and have received an SBA loan from your local banker, but are having trouble making payments, you can get a "stabilization loan". That's right; Finally some bailout money goes into the hands of the small business owner, instead of going down the proverbial deep hole of the stock market or large banks. But don't get too excited. It is limited to very specific instances and is not available for vast majority of business owners.

There are some news articles that boldly claim the SBA will now provide relief if you have an existing business loan and are having trouble making the payments. This is not a true statement and needs to be clarified. As seen in more detail in this article, this is wrong because it applies to troubled loans made in the future, not existing ones.

Here is how it works. Assume you were one of the lucky few that find a bank to make a SBA loan. You proceed on your merry way but run into tough economic times and find it hard to repay. Remember these are not conventional loans but loans from an SBA licensed lender that are guaranteed for default by the US government through the SBA (depending upon the loan, between 50% and 90%). Under the new stimulus bill, the SBA might come to your rescue. You will be able to get a new loan which will pay-off the existing balance on extremely favorable terms, buying more time to revitalize your business and get back in the saddle. Sound too good to be true? Well, you be the judge. Here are some of the features:

1. Does not apply to SBA loans taken out before the stimulus bill. As to non-SBA loans, they can be before or after the bill's enactment.

2. Does it apply to SBA guaranteed loans or non-SBA conventional loans as well? We don't know for sure. This statute simply says it applies to a "small business concern that meets the eligibility standards and section 7 (a) of the Small Business Act" (Section 506 (c) of the new Act). That contains pages and pages of requirements which could apply to both types of loans. Based on some of the preliminary reports from the SBA, it appears it applies to both SBA and non-SBA loans.

3. These monies are subject to availability in the funding of Congress. Some think the way we are going with our Federal bailout, we are going be out of money before the economy we are trying to save.

4. You don't get these monies unless you are a viable business. Boy, you can drive a truck through that phrase. Our friends at the SBA will determine if you are "viable" (imagine …