Hope for your financial life and beyond

Should I Borrow Money to Get What I Want?

There is no denying it. Credit is available everywhere. Our cultures screams “Have It Now!” to us at every turn. “Borrow money now to get what you want!” people say.

We expect fast food within 5 miborrow moneynutes or less in the drive-thru.  We want to make quick money for as little work as possible. And we are first in line for the newest technology gadget the day it is released. Simply put, most of the time we can’t wait. We gotta have it.

This “Have It Now” culture has skewed our reasoning ability, in that it has masterfully helped us change our “wants” into “needs.” Our brains have reclassified the things that we desire to have into things that are priorities. And in some cases, our wants are taking precedence over issues that are needs.

So why don’t we just go ahead and borrow the money to get the things we want? Seems like a logical step. However, blindly borrowing money to satisfy all your needs can cause great damage to finances, as well as your mental and emotional life.

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What is a Line of Credit and How Does it Work?

From time to time, you might find yourself in need of additional money to fund a project, pay a medical bill or cover for an emergency. It can be hard determining where to get access to the cash you need. It may be that a line of credit is just the thing to get you by.

A line of credit (LOC) is an agreement between a bank and an individual that is geared towards establishing the maximum amount of money a customer can borrow. Once agreed upon, the customer is allowed to access the borrowed funds from the financial institution through their bank accounts. They are then required to make repayments on the loans per the terms established with the bank.

Here is how a line of credit works.

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The 3 Main Advantages of a Debit Card

advantages of a debit card

Are there advantages of a debit card that makes them better than using a credit card?

Debate rages sometimes in the personal finance world over which one of these payment options is better. I see how both can be used responsibly to assist people with their money management. The key word in that last sentence though was “responsibly.” Of these two options, credit cards by far have the most potential for abuse.

Advantages of a Debit Card

Banks and other financial institutions issue debit cards as a way for customers to access their accounts to pay for goods and services. The card links to your checking account at the bank. When you swipe it at a business, the amount of the transaction is withdrawn from your account to pay the merchant.

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Why Online Loan Applications Can Boost Your Financials

It doesn’t matter how hardworking and frugal you are, life is going to throw you a sudden curveball. An instance like that can change your financial security immediately. Be it some illness, the need for a vehicle, a house renovation or something else, it is not uncommon for such needs to arise.

Oddly enough, they seem to happen exactly when your bank balance is slim. That can leave you scrambling to figure out how to pay for it. If you don’t have an emergency fund set up, you may not have many other options than to see help elsewhere.

And for decades now, the solution to such problems would be a loan.

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Emergency Fund Basics: The Step On Which All Other Success Is Built

If you are just getting started with the “getting-my-financial-act-together” bit, you might not know where to begin. Have I got good news for you. It’s time to cut through all the clutter and for you to realize one important truth. The first step to success in all other areas of personal finance is creating an emergency fund of cash. Then you need to save it for a crisis.

emergency fundThat may seem like a bold statement. I can attest though, from personal experience, having money set aside strictly for emergencies is the #1 strategy that has propelled my wife and I forward in paying off debt, saving for retirement and college and investing in the stock market.

Why is that you ask?

Because it’s a fact – emergency situations in life are going to come. We cannot escape them. So it just makes sense that we learn how to manage through a crisis.

If we don’t have cash that is easily accessible to take care of the emergency the moment it hits our door, then we are really only faced with one alternative – going into debt to deal with the situation. And it’s this constant accumulation of debt that hinders our ability to accumulate great wealth over time.

You must break the going-into-debt-to-solve-the-emergency cycle.

In this article, I’ll outline the basics of having an emergency fund. You’ll learn when to start one, what to use it for, how much to save and the best ways to fund it.

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Getting the Best Deal on a Personal Loan

It’s important to learn a few things about loans and the lending industry before taking out your first loan. Many people think that two loans that provide the same amount of money are completely identical. But this isn’t the case at all.

A lender might lead you to believe that if you can afford a monthly payment then you can afford a loan. In reality, this is only half of the story. You have to look at the big picture to understand if a loan is good for your situation. You may need to do some reading or get some outside advice.

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Why You Should and Shouldn’t Refinance Student Debt

If you have student debt, you may be wondering whether or not it is a good idea for you to refinance the loan. To be honest, it depends on your situation and several important factors. But make no mistake, you do have to pay them back. If you don’t, you risk defaulting on your loan, which could lead to other drastic consequences.

Not everyone will benefit from refinancing their student loans. So it is important that you take some time to think about it before you jump in feet first. Below, are some of the reasons why and why you should not refinance your student debt.

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The Hidden College Debt Statistics You Never Hear About

The cost of college continues to expand with each passing year. With it, so does the amount of student loans being processed. It’s leading to an alarming amount of college debt that is hamstringing the life of graduates.

college debtBy now I’m sure you’ve heard the alarming student loan statistics. Americans now owe over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. For the class of 2016, the average borrower will owe just over $37,000, a figure that is up 6% from last year.

But those are just your basic top line college debt statistics. They are the most visible numbers but they don’t tell the whole story. There are some hidden statistics (i.e. not usually reported) that highlight what this college debt is doing to students later in life. They show that virtually every decision in life can be impacted by college debt.

How College Debt Impacts Your Life

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How to Make Sure You Never Need a Car Loan

My wife and I have recently bought a new car. It was used but new to us. The best part about the whole deal was that we didn’t have to take out a car loan.

We paid cash.

car loanNow, we are both in our forties and well established financially. So you might think this purchase was a piece of cake. On the contrary, it wasn’t. It took us two years of preparation to be able to buy this vehicle. But it was worth the effort to avoid needing a car loan.

How did we do it? I’ll share that in a minute and show you the steps to take to never need a car loan again. But first, let’s look at the reasons why people feel the need to take out a car loan in the first place.

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Why It’s Worth Your Time to Learn About Credit

Credit is one of the most poorly understood financial structures in the life of the average American. Everybody knows that most people have credit scores. They also know that wise spending and paying off your credit bill make a score go up. That’s about where most people stop.

Instead of learning how it really works, people rely on their guts for day-to-day decision making. They hope that everything will turn out all right in the end. Unfortunately, debt and poor behaviors come together fast. People with little understanding and strategy get weighed down financially, often in ways that they don’t even notice.

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4 Ways to Fund That Extra Mortgage Payment

For most people making one monthly mortgage payment is challenging enough. Why in the world would you want to make an additional one? Seems like that extra mortgage payment would be pushing the monthly budget a bit too far.

extra mortgage paymentWell, if you can see the bigger picture, the money you put towards an extra mortgage payment now can have significant impact on your long-term financial health. The more you pay and the earlier you pay it will reduce the amount of interest you owe over the life of the loan. You could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars saved in the long run.

If you don’t believe me, run your own numbers on any online mortgage calculator. You’ll be amazed on how much you can save.

Making an extra mortgage payment each month (or even a partial payment) takes a strategy. More importantly, it takes extra money. That’s where the real problem lies. When you look at your monthly budget you may be left scratching your head wondering where that extra money is going to come from.

Back when my wife and I decided to pay off our mortgage early, we faced the same problem. Here are the ways we came up with to free up some money to make that extra mortgage payment.

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