When you’re looking for car credit finance, you might find it confusing. The terms and prerequisites that include loans are crammed with jargon that isn’t at all times explained clearly and APR could possibly be misleading when you don’t know what you may be looking at More »
A home’s points of entry can become a fast exit for energy and end up costing a small fortune on utility bills. To avoid being shortchanged by windows, doors and the garage, home energy experts recommend making a few simple modifications.
Seal The Envelope Before Sending the Bill
Homeowners should seal windows and doors “like an envelope” -or otherwise risk air-conditioning the entire neighborhood. In fact, it’s estimated a full 50 percent of annual utility costs stem from homes’ heating and cooling systems. To check that doors and windows aren’t drafty, look for light under or around the door and condensation around the windowpane, which is an indication of cooling loss. Also, check the attic to make sure it’s properly insulated and not letting air escape.
• Install thick, durable weather-stripping under your garage door to reduce this common energy leak. Polyurethane insulation or fiberglass duct wrap are both good options.
• Weather-strip and caulk all cracks between the wall and the window trim. Replace broken glass and putty any loose window- panes to help secure the windows for harsh wind.
• An inexpensive solution to drafty windows is the Shrink & Seal Window Kit, available at Lowe’s stores and lowes.com. It fits standard windows and is installed with a hair dryer that literally shrinks and seals a crystal-clear film over the window.
• Upgrade that old refrigerator to the only ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator engineered specifically for the garage: Gladiator GarageWorks’ Chillerator, by Whirlpool Corporation. It’s 15 percent more energy efficient than current federal energy standards, saving an average of $487 in energy costs over its lifespan.
“One of the simplest ways to save on utilities is to make wise appliance upgrade decisions,” said Richard Karney, Manager of Energy Star at the Department of Energy (DOE). “Most people cannot imagine the energy drain associated with older appliances.” ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances are part of a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOE to help consumers save money and the environment.
According to a survey by Whirlpool, 42 percent of Americans have an old refrigerator in the garage. Studies show that a 10- to 15-year-old refrigerator costs an average of $82 more a year in utilities compared to an ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator purchased today.
Managing your finances may be easier than you think. That’s because online banking offers the same services found at bricks-and-mortar institutions-plus many others.
For example, through online banking, customers can check their account balances, transfer funds, pay bills and more. And because of the convenience, online banking can make it easier to get your finances in order. Here’s how:
• Eliminate clutter and help save the environment-Pay (and receive) your bills online and you can get rid of unnecessary paper, envelopes and stamps. You can also view images of your paid checks and account statements online.
• Simplify your Web life- Instead of bouncing from site to site to view and pay your bills, you can do it all through your bank’s Web site-and save yourself the trouble of multiple log-ins and passwords while you’re at it.
• Easily monitor your accounts-You can choose to receive e-mail alerts when checks are paid, deposits clear, bills are due, your account reaches a certain limit and more. Alerts also help you stay on top of recent account activity so you can detect and prevent fraud.
• Reduce your chances of fraud-A study released in January 2006 by Javelin Strategy & Research shows that Internet-related fraud incidences are less severe, less costly, and less prevalent than theft detected offline due to online account monitoring.
• Manage your investments-Invest and build your portfolio using helpful tools and resources online. You can also watch your retirement savings grow and decide how to invest your money.
Some banking sites take customer service even further-even if you’re not a customer. That’s because these sites serve as valuable “at your fingertips” resources for everything from current interest rates to protecting your accounts to retirement tips.
One Web site, wellsfargo.com, offers an added benefit for its customers called My Spending Report. This expense management tool gives customers a “big picture” view of their spending, combining payments and purchases from credit cards, check cards, checking accounts and online bill payments in one convenient place. My Spending Report automatically organizes these expenses into 19 categories, including gas, groceries, health care and entertainment.
Low Interest Rate Car Loan Put Your Good Credit To Work
If you are in the market for a new vehicle, you will want to find a low interest rate car loan. One of the first things to do before starting your search for a new car is to obtain a copy of your credit report. You will want to make sure you have a good credit standing before applying for a new car loan.
One of the first things car dealers do after you fill out an application it to run a credit check. It is not a pleasant experience to find out that your credit is not as good as you thought or that you have errors on your report when you are already at the car dealer. This can be both embarrassing and harmful to your credit. You want to try to avoid having to go from dealer to dealer to obtain a low interest rate car loan. Another tip to remember is that every time a dealer runs a check on your credit, it can affect your credit rating. If you already have a problem with your credit, you do not want to further lower your credit score, even if it is only by a few points. On the other hand, you can request your personal credit report as often as you like without it having any effect on your credit rating.
High Credit Score Low Risk
Having a high credit score rating is your best bet in obtaining a low interest rate car loan. Many consumers are lured into shopping for a new car by advertisements that promise very low interest rates, sometimes zero-percent financing. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for this low of a rate. Only customers with excellent or above average credit will be offered deals like these. This is why it is so important to clean up your credit report as much as possible before applying for a car loan.
Improve Your Credit Score
If you currently do not qualify for a low interest car rate loan there are steps you can take to improve your credit score rating. If the problem is simply an error on your credit report, you can contact the credit rating agency to have the problem resolved. Even though it is their error, they will most often ask for documentation if necessary to back up your claim. For example, if you have already paid off an account and your report shows the balance is $2,500, they will want a copy of the account being paid in full.
By paying your bills on time, you can also improve your score and get a lower interest rate on a car loan. Even if you have had late payments in the past, if your current records show that you are making timely payments, lenders will view your record more favorably.
Your debt to income ratio is also an important factor when trying to obtain a low interest rate car loan. You should try to keep your credit card limits well below the maximum amount allowed. Also, if you have paid off accounts in the past, you should not close the accounts out. Open accounts with a zero balance will help your debt to income ratio score.
Practically everyone has refinanced or thought about it at one point in time. We’ve seen the dozens of commercials that urge us to do it. With rates at record lows over the past few years, refinancing has helped many borrowers lower their monthly payments.
Refinancing your mortgage can be a very hard and confusing experience. When you’re making your decision, there are several things to keep in mind.
First, even a small rate cut can pay off quickly.
Second, if you are planning to stay in your home for at least three to five years, it may make sense to pay “points” (a point equals 1% of the loan amount) and closing costs to get the lowest available rate.
And third, you can avoid a cash layout and still get a low rate by adding the fees and closing costs to your new mortgage. This does not mean shouldering a lot of extra debt. If you’ve had your current mortgage for at least three years, you’ve probably reduced your balance by several thousand dollars. So you may be able to tack your closing costs onto your new loan, lock in at a lower rate and still end up with a mortgage amount that’s less than your original one. More importantly, a lower monthly payment.
Another factor to consider is how long you expect to stay in your home? If your planning to move in the next few years, the monthly savings may never add up to the costs that are involved in refinancing.
You may have bought your home with a finance company mortgage, or took out a second mortgage to pay for central heating or furniture. Your payments are probably very high because some finance companies charge interest rates of up to 50 per cent. It is advisable that you look carefully at the small print to find the true ratemost mortgage refinancing loans are over a fairly short term, about 15 years at most.
HOMEOWNERS Please get the very BEST financing rates available today