Saturday, February 04, 2006

Refinance Benefits - Refinancing Could Save You Money

Bwalya Mwaba

The most common reason most people refinance is to save money, but many people refinance for various other reasons.

1. Refinancing to Lower Your Monthly Payment for an Existing Loan.
You can refinance your existing loan at a lower interest rate thus reducing your monthly loan payments. With interest rates at their lowest for years, you can find some excellent rates - sometimes far much lower than what you're paying for your current loan or mortgage. Refinancing your mortgage or loan when rates are down could save you hundreds of pounds every month and thousands over the life of your loan.

2. Refinancing to Consolidate Debts.
You may choose to refinance in order to consolidate debts and replace high-interest loans with a low-rate loan. The loans being consolidated may include higher purchase loans, student loans and credit cards. You can clear all your existing credit cards, loans and other debts and replace them all with one low cost cheaper monthly payment. On a £12,000 loan some homeowners can save in excess of £250 a month which is a considerable saving. A debt consolidation loan is a smart solution for anyone who has many outgoing monthly payments. A Refinance loan allows you to repay existing loans from the proceeds of a new loan - the loan is usually secured on property or your home.

3. Refinancing to Reduce the Term of the Loan.
Reducing the term of your loan can help you save money over the life of the loan. For example, refinancing from a 7-year loan to a 3-year loan might result in higher monthly payments, but the total of the payments (or total cost of the loan) made during the life of the loan can be reduced significantly. You'll also be able to build up your equity faster. Use this free loan calculator (
) to see how the total cost of the loan reduces when the repayment period is shortened. A refinance loan can save you thousands in interest charges over the life of your loan.

4. Refinancing to Switch From Variable to Fixed Rates.
You can also refinance in order to switch from a variable rate loan to a fixed rate loan. The main reason behind this type of refinance is to obtain the stability and the security of a fixed loan. Fixed loans are very popular when interest rates are low, whereas variable rate loans tend to be more popular when rates are higher. When rates are low, you can refinance to lock in low rates. When rates are high, you may prefer the short term discounted variable rate loans to obtain lower payments. A major benefit to refinance is the ability to lock in a low interest rate for the duration of your loan.

5. Refinancing to Switch from One Lender to Another.
Some lenders offer better mortgage or loan deals than others. They may offer better customer support services, more flexible loan repayment terms or just a service that is more suitable for your needs. Refinancing your loan can allow you to drop your current lender and switch to a new one with a better loan or mortgage package.

You should carefully consider the savings you can make by refinancing against the costs and penalties. Any homeowner can refinance, but the point is to find a deal that will improve on your existing mortgage or loan. You can read more articles about refinancing at:

© Copyright 2005, Bwalya Mwaba writes for the The Commercial Mortgage Guide. Visit our website for mortgage related news, articles, tools and more: This article may be reprinted as long as all the above links are active and clickable and this author box (byline) is not edited.
Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
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United States

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Refinance After Bankruptcy

Carrie Reeder

Refinancing your mortgage after bankruptcy is actually the same as replacing it with an entirely new mortgage. The most common reason for refinancing your mortgage after bankruptcy is to get a lower interest rate and save money over the length of your mortgage. It is possible for you to lower your payments and save money each month and there has never been a better time to refinance. Mortgage lenders will consider refinancing your mortgage after bankruptcy because the risks involved in refinancing an existing mortgage are extremely low.

You can receive quotes from multiple lenders who are competing for your business, even if you have filed bankruptcy in the past. A quick online application will put you in touch with lenders who are experts in refinancing mortgages after bankruptcy. You can be pre-qualified in just minutes and the application is quick and easy. Refinancing your home, even after bankruptcy, can lower your payments and even give you extra cash for that well-deserved vacation, to consolidate bills, or to fund your child's college education.

If you thought refinancing your mortgage after bankruptcy was impossible, you will be pleased to learn that you can refinance and dramatically lower your monthly payments with one short online application. Lenders who are anxious to help you find the best refinancing package available for your special circumstances will contact you within as little as 24 hours after receipt of your application. A bankruptcy does not have to mean you are stuck with a high interest rate and less than desirable mortgage terms. Mortgage lenders have hundreds of loan programs that will help you meet your financial goals.

If you have been through bankruptcy and are wondering if it is possible to refinance your mortgage, complete a short online application today and learn how much money you can save each month and over the entire length of your mortgage. The difference could mean thousands of dollars in your bank account over time. Get the information you need and learn how you can lower your monthly payments and get the cash you need for bills or unexpected expenses. Refinancing your home is the best way to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in many years.

Refinancing your mortgage after bankruptcy is not impossible. Get free quotes today from multiple lenders with one simple online application. You have nothing to lose and you will find that mortgage lenders are prepared to offer you better terms than you thought possible. Lowering your mortgage payments and consolidating bills can make all the difference in your financial situation. You can be on your way to financial freedom when you contact mortgage lenders who will give you expert advice and offer you numerous choices in refinancing your home, even after bankruptcy.

To view our list of recommended refinance lenders online who specialize in bad
credit mortgage loans, visit this page:
Refinance Lenders for People With Bad Credit or Bankruptcy

About the Author

Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan Guide, an informational loan website with articles and the latest news about various types of loans.

Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Personal Finance Worries?

John Q. Miller

Are you nervous about your personal finances? The irrational exuberance of the 90s that led to double-digit gains for almost any investment portfolio is over. Now, you might consider yourself fortunate if your investments are losing less than the S&P 500. Add investment worry to the regular personal finance worries of meeting your monthly budget, slaying the debt dragon, and starting/building that elusive emergency fund. Will your savings and investments be able to meet your retirement, children's college funds, and other goals? Although no one can see the future, there are things that you can do to reduce your worries.

Knowledge Is Power

Learn and become more skilled in financial matters. The best way to improve your financial education is to read personal-finance magazines, books, and even newspapers. The educational materials sent out by mutual-fund companies and brokerages are also valuable. You may come across conflicting information and advice, but if you read widely, you will eventually get a better idea of how to manage your money.

Do-it-yourselfers are not the only people who can benefit from learning more. If you use a financial planner and yet are knowledgeable about investments, insurance, etc., you are more likely to end up with a solid financial plan. If you find yourself teamed up with a inadequate or unethical adviser, and you have a good understanding of investing, you are more likely to recognize bad advice.

Fear Creates Worry

"Greed is good!" says Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street. Recent investment losses, corporate scandals, and a stagnant economy refute that statement. Instead, a warning is emerging in personal finance forums as we search and hope for indications that relief is in sight. Fear is bad! Fear has driven many investors either to dump stocks and load up on bonds, certificates of deposit and other conservative investments or, even worse, to stop saving and investing. This creates new problems. People will be incapable of achieving their long-term financial goals because their portfolio may now be so conservative that it won't deliver the returns needed to retire in comfort, or they are simply saving too little.
Faced with this fear and uncertainty, financial knowledge is more important than ever. Instead of reacting to the market's ups and downs, learn more about the characteristics of stocks, bonds, and other investments; as well as the broad array of personal finance and money management topics.

About The Author

This review is courtesy of John Q. Miller at where you can find out how to create your own (no writing required) newsletter and earn multiple streams of Internet income.


About the Author


Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Personal Finance 101

David Berky

The subject of personal finance is very broad, but as a
beginning, I would like to discuss what I consider the
foundation of personal finance: security.


Security to me means that I am prepared for the "hit by a
bus" scenario.

I have life insurance to provide for my wife and children.
Health, disability, auto and home insurance policies also
provide me additional protection in their respective areas.
I also have a list of where these policies are, who my
agents are, phone numbers and basic policy information
(#s, amounts, costs, etc.) I keep this information both in a
file at my house and in a safety deposit box at the bank (a
friends home will also work - think: "house burns down"
scenario). Also my wife and my brother and sister-in-law
who live nearby also know where these things are.

I also try to maintain an emergency fund of cash in a bank
account or money market account (with checks) so that I am
prepared for a financial disaster, layoff, or natural
disaster. It took several years to build up this cash fund.
I started with a goal to have enough cash for 6 months of my
normal financial needs (mortgage, food, insurance,
transportation, etc.). Now I am trying for 12 months'
worth. I do this by saving a little each month, and
"investing" a portion of all "found" money (gifts,
inheritances, tax returns, anything unexpected).

I have a will and update it each year around New Year's to
reflect any changes in my life during the past year (new
children, new home or business, etc.). Most people don't
need an extensive will, the forms you buy at your office
supply store will do. But in some states if you die without
one, watch out. What happens to your money and even your
children could be entirely up to some state or court
appointed official.


The next level of personal finance is stability.

Stability to me means that first of all I live within my
means. I don't spend more than I earn. Otherwise I am
spending my savings, investments, emergency money, or
getting into debt. I have a lot of debt, but most of it is
real estate which is producing some income. I try to avoid
credit card debt and purchase everything with money I
already have. I don't buy things expecting that next month
I will have more money or I will get a big raise or
promotion. You can't sell me a car based on a monthly
payment amount; I want to know the final price!

In order to make sure that I am living within my means, I
created a simple budget and I track my expenses using Simple
Joe's Expense Tracker. I can tell how much I have spent in
each budget category and I know when to keep a closer eye on
certain types of expenses, or when and where I can cut
expenses and what I can live without in order to stay within
my budget. Counting pennies is pretty tedious, but tracking
where the dollars go can be eye-opening.

Another aspect of stability is avoiding or eliminating debt.
Debt in itself is a form of stability; you always have to
make those payments until it is all paid off.

Some recent reports show that the average American is $7,000
- $20,000 in debt. Most of it is consumer debt: credit
cards, store accounts, rent-to-own, auto loans, etc. And
those types of consumer debt usually charge a higher
interest rate than any savings account, CD, or money market
account; even more than most high-flying risky investments.

This means that $1,000 in debt at 18% is costing you 9 times
what your $1,000 savings account at 2% is producing.
Consumer debt is a dangerous spiral that is very hard to get
out of.

The first problem is, as mentioned before, living within
your means. Don't get further into debt to support an
extravagant lifestyle. Or even if you are frugal, if you
are using credit cards and debt to finance your purchases,
you either need to stop purchasing luxury items or find a
way to increase your income to support these

You may even have to lower your standard-of-living because
you have racked up considerable debt and need to free up
some money to pay it down. But don't wait to start. Those
minimum payments are often designed to keep you paying 18%
interest for 40 years! That's longer than most home loans.
You could even end up paying more than 10 times the original
cost of the item just in interest payments. Is that new
stereo really worth that much?

To help people get themselves out of debt we created the
"Pay Off My Debts" tool in Simple Joe's Money Tools. It is
also available as a stand-alone product called Simple Joe's
Debt Eraser. These tools help you create a Rapid Debt
Reduction Plan which shows you how much to pay on each debt
each month in order to save as much on interest charges as
possible and pay off your debts as soon as possible.

These tools can help you systematically eliminate your debts
whether you owe $1,000 or $100,000. The key is to start
living below your means and start focusing on paying off
your debt.

It doesn't make much sense to be worried about whether or
not your 401k earns 8 or 9% this year, if you are paying 21%
on your credit card debt.

A third aspect that starts in the stability category and
transcends to the next personal finance level, growth, is
the concept of investing in yourself. By this I mean
spending time to educate yourself in personal finance
matters, as you are doing right now and spending time
gaining more knowledge and improving your skills or even
developing new ones.

As an employee, this can have a direct relation to who gets
laid off during the next round of cutbacks. If you have
some skills or have demonstrated some abilities that are not
possessed by your co-workers and these skills make you a
more valuable employee, you are less likely to get the

Also while you are making yourself more valuable to your
current employer, you are also making yourself worth more to
future employers. It is much easier to land a job if you
have some special skills that are in high demand or even if
you bring some special knowledge or experience that you
fellow job-seekers may have overlooked or failed to invest

Being in the computer industry, I have to spend hours each
week reading trade magazines, exploring web sites, and
reading emailed newsletters to keep abreast of what is new
in my field. If I stopped learning just five years ago, I
would have missed out on the Internet revolution, email, web
sites and the majority of the income I now enjoy.

Keeping myself informed and up to date takes time and
resources, but it helps me protect my current income and
expand my skills to help me earn income in other areas.
This increases my stability by allowing me to not have to
rely on one client, employer or source of income. A chair
with four legs will always be more stable than a stool with
only three.


The next level of personal finance, as I alluded to before,
is growth.

Once you are secure and stable, you can begin to think about
building your wealth. Not that you have to figure out how
to become the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. But you
have to start building the "nest-egg" that you will rely on
when you retire.

And don't think that Social Security has you covered, or
that your 401k will grow back to what it was a couple years
ago. Or that your current employer is going to re-institute
the generous pension plans of yesteryear. 401ks are much
cheaper to administer and you, the employee, take the hit
when the market goes down, not the employer.

My father is nearing retirement age and I think he has a
good plan. He has done some research and estimated what his
expenses are going to be when he is retired. He then took a
look at his potential sources of income during his

He figured that Social Security would cover about a third of
what he wanted to live on. Only a third! And he has worked
his entire life. Would you like to instantly have to live
on only one third of what you currently make? Retirement is
suppose to be the golden years, so where's the gold?

Luckily throughout his career, my father has worked for
companies that have had pension plans and he had worked long
enough at each company to be eligible for some pension
money. This is rare these days because today the average
worker will change jobs and companies at least five times
during his/her career. Also, as I mentioned before,
companies are switching to lower cost 401k plans that do not
guarantee you any fixed payments.

In my father's situation, his pension money would cover
another third of the retirement income he wanted. So now he
had to either figure out where the last third was going to
come from, or start cutting out expenses during retirement,
like not visiting his children so much. None of us liked
the sound of that.

So my father started learning about the stock market and
investing in stocks and mutual funds. He made a plan for
growing his wealth and then educated himself as to how he
could accomplish his plan.

I wish I could say that he is doing better than he is, but
luckily he has some time still to put his plan into action
and ride out any market downturns. (He can do this because
he has the security of insurance and emergency money, and
the stability of little debt and a strong set of skills.)

By learning about how stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index
funds, options, futures, commodities, real estate and other
financial tools work you lay the foundation for growing your
wealth. You may start with just $100 in a bank CD, but as
you learn more and become more sophisticated, you can invest
in more and more opportunities.

You will learn about how risk and reward are related, that
as the risk increases so does the size of the potential
reward. Just like at the race track, you'll make more on
the long shot, but the odds are against it. Also you can
learn how to tilt the odds in your favor and protect
yourself against risk.

For those who are just starting out in the growth phase or
who want to dabble a bit before completing the other levels
of personal finance, my suggestion would be to look into
index mutual funds. Especially no-load index funds (no
initial/sales fee).

These funds are made up of the same stocks that make up the
popular market indexes like the Dow Jones, S&P and
NASDAQ100. The costs are low because management is simple
and as a mutual fund you can invest a little at a time.
Also they are easy to follow since you see them on all the
news shows and in the newspaper.

Protection and Management

The final level of personal finance is the protection and
management of your wealth. Most people never develop wealth
enough to need this level. But some of the concepts can be
applied to any amount of wealth you possess, $10,000 to

Part of the protection harks back to your will as we
discussed on the first personal finance level: security.

With any significant wealth or valuable asset (your home,
car, heirlooms, 401k, IRA, business, etc.) you will want
some way of disposing of that asset upon your death.
Whether it is go to go your family, favorite charity, or
local church, if no one knows about it, "it ain't gonna

As you start to accumulate wealth in excess of $350,000, you
may want to consult an attorney about creating a trust. A
trust is an entity that can own property and pass that
property to anyone you name in your will. Usually the trust
is designed to provide income to children from the assets
that are placed in the trust.

The trust can survive you so that your assets and income may
be passed on to your children or next-of-kin without
excessive taxation and legal entanglements. Some states
will take up to 55% of your assets as taxes when you pass

Protection also relates back to insurance. Now it may be
time to look at a multi-million dollar umbrella policy that
will protect you from lawsuits designed to part you and your
wealth. You may now be a bigger target, so purchase a suit
of armor.

The management aspect comes into play where you may start to
concern yourself with taxation, ownership, distribution of
income and possibly endowments to charities or other
non-profit institutions.

You may hire a person or company to manage your wealth, or
you may choose to do it yourself. Most people who have
earned their wealth through the "sweat of their brow" have
already become adept at managing their assets. Some
continue to personally manage their wealth because of the
enjoyment or challenge it gives them.

Others are ready to turn it over to a trustworthy manager
(who only gets paid a percentage of your increase) and
travel the world, or sit on a beach and count the waves.

Whatever your dreams for retirement (and why wait until you
are 65), understanding the different levels of personal
finance and spending the time and resources to educate
yourself will pay off whether you live next to Bill Gates or
Homer Simpson.

About the Author

© Simple Joe, Inc.
David Berky is president of Simple Joe. One of Simple Joe's best
selling products is Simple
Joe's Money Tools - a collection of 14 personal finance and
investment calculators. This article may be freely
distributed so long as the copyright, author's information
and an active link (where possible) are included.

Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pay Off Debt Now: 5 Steps To Getting Your Finances In Order

Drew Harris

In our world of dizzying change, nothing is more true than the time honored statement that circumstances always change.

No where is this more true than with financial issues.

Have you ever borrowed money, or charged up the VISA card at Christmas, all the while telling yourself that you would pay everything off with a coming tax refund or bonus?

Sound familiar. And then what happens when the bonus money arrives?

Let me guess - circumstances changed, the car needed brakes (or the kids needed braces, etc), and the VISA debt and interest charges keeps piling up.

Unless you have a plan, you will always be caught in the unpredictable grip of 'changing circumstances'.

This is a slippery slope that can very quickly become serious financial stress. Consider the fact that Americans are declaring bankruptcy at record rates. One in every 100 families is affected by a bankruptcy.

I was on this slope 10 years ago. Declaring personal bankruptcy and filing for divorce went hand in hand.

One of the most insightful moments of the process was preparing a written log for the trustee of all of our spending for the 5 years leading up to bankruptcy.

While all of the individual decisions made sense in the moments that they were made, they looked totally foolish in the context of the 'bigger picture'.

In other words, constantly changing circumstances drove us off our financial roadmap.

Consider this five step plan for getting on, and staying with, your financial roadmap.

Step No. 1: Make a list of what you owe & prioritize: Put all your bills in a pile. Then list your debts in order, starting with the largest balance first. Then prioritize your repayments (ie paying down the highest interest rate first).

Step No. 2: Eliminate credit cards and don't roll over balances. Once paid off, notify the company that you want to close the account.

Step No. 3: Make a spending plan. Change your free-spending ways. Track the money that's coming in and going out. Use a debit card instead of your credit card. Download your bank transactions into a computer program for easy categorizing.

Step No. 4: Be careful about the equity in your home. Billions of dollars worth of equity has been withdrawn from millions of homes in the last few years. But many people pay down credit cards only to charge them up again - and then you don't have the safety net of the equity in your home.

Step No. 5: Get help. For some people, the problem of overspending is a psychological one. Spending can become a habit that's as difficult to kick as alcohol, drugs or gambling. Sometimes, it's due to circumstances they truly could not avoid: medical bills or divorce or loss of a job.

You can talk with a credit counselor on a private basis. It only appears on your credit report if you enter their debt repayment program.

As you consider your finances, remember that Americans are now carrying $683 billion in revolving credit card debt. 47% of the people who paid less than the full amount on their credit card bills in a recent month, made only the minimum payment due.

The good news is that planning and professional help will definitely help you turn things around.

Case in point: I went from bankrupt with zero assets living in a boarding house, to gainfully employed, running my own home based business, with 2 houses and excellent re-established credit.

In other words, it can be done.

About The Author is run by Drew Harris and is a one-stop-shop web portal for those facing crushing debt issues. Multiple pages of resources, referrals and tools. Expert advice on credit cards, loans and avoiding bankruptcy.

Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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