Check Into Cash Blog

From tax tips to money-saving tricks, the Check Into Cash blog is your one stop for money talk. Here you’ll find ideas that you can use to save money, time, and energy. Check back for new content every week. If you like a post, be sure to share it with a friend! After all, everyone could use a little extra cash in their pocket.

Hard Money Loans: A Good Alternative

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When financing through a bank is not an option, hard money loans are a good alternative. Considering a hard money loan is a multi-tiered process. And like with all kinds of loans, there are requirements and risks to know about before considering getting started with one. Since hard money loans are a little different from traditional bank or credit union loans, it’s important to know the key discrepancies in order to make the wisest decision for your loan.

What exactly is a hard money loan?

Hard money loans are privately-funded loans secured by real estate. Contrary to loans provided by conventional lenders, hard money loan amounts are based on the value of the subject property. The term usually lasts about 12 months, but can be extended for a couple of years, with required monthly interest payments. Since hard money loans are primarily concerned with the property’s value, borrowers can still have a chance of being approved despite a foreclosure or short sale if they have sufficient equity in their collateral property.

Who should consider hard money loans?

Real estate developers and house flippers usually use hard money loans when they plan on renovating a property and reselling it for profit. An investor who’s been rejected a loan by a bank, whether because of insufficient income history, foreclosures, credit issues or other concerns will opt for a hard money loan, which brings us to the next question.

What are the requirements for hard money loans?

Almost any type of property can suffice to receive a hard money loan, including multi or single-family residential’s, land, industrial and commercial.  Credit score isn’t much of a concern for the lenders,  so long as the buyer has the capital to pay off the interest.

Lenders focus on the “after repair value,” or ARV, when considering whether to make the loan. This is an estimate of what the property’s value will be after it’s been renovated or repaired.

What are the risks in hard money loans?

With every loan there comes a risk. Since hard money lenders actually take on more risk than conventional lenders, there is also more risk on the buyer’s side. Interest rate is one of these, with the average rates rating from 12 – 18% depending on the lender and region, roughly 10% higher than conventional loans. Since hard money loans are so convenient, their origination and loan-servicing fees, along with closing costs are likely to be higher as well. Hard money loans also feature much shorter repayment periods, which is why it’s important to make an accurate estimate for how long it’ll take the property to become profitable.

What are the benefits in using hard money loans?

Hard money loans are sometimes referred to as “last-resort” loans. This is because they almost completely eliminate the massive time consumption that comes with applying for a regular mortgage. Contrary to conventional loans, which can take months to close on and puts investors at risk, hard money loans can be funded within a week and the application process generally takes a day or two. This is especially convenient for investors who are trying to acquire a property with several competing bids. Hard money loans are also more flexible than conventional ones. Since they’re provided by private lenders, borrowers can often tailor the terms to their needs, such as the repayment schedule and other fees.

The last word

If you’re a real estate investor who’s trying to get a seller’s attention and set their offer apart on a property with many competing bids, hard money is the way to go. By making sure you have the equity to pay the interest rates, making an accurate estimate of your property’s ARV and working with a reputable hard money lender, you’ll be fully equipped to fund your real estate deals with a hard money loan.

Looking for Ways to Finance Your Wedding With Loans?

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Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life, and unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive days of your life. Most young couples do not have the funds to have the wedding that they want without help from their family. If a couple’s family is unable to help them, there are other options that they can look into to finance the wedding day.

With the average cost of a wedding in today’s prices is over $31,000.00, taking out a loan is something to consider. Today’s young couples have a lot of things to consider when it comes to planning a wedding, and it all begins with a budget so that they have a general idea of the costs involved with the big day. Once the wedding date is set, it’s time to figure out how you are going to pay for it.

Wedding Loans

Some banks offer wedding loans, which allows a couple to borrow as much as $25,000.00 for their wedding—as long as they qualify for the loan. Interest rates for these types of loans are usually quite high, with longer terms, and the money can be used for any purpose that the couple chooses. Many couples are concerned about money and how they will have enough to plan a wedding, so getting a loan for a wedding can help to alleviate stress and worry.

The one disadvantage of taking a loan out for your wedding is that it could cost substantially more once you have paid all of the interest on the money that you borrow. Using credit cards can be even more expensive, adding up to 20% in interest on the end cost, which is why loans are more attractive with lower interest rates.

Crowdfunding

Since many couples tend to live together first before getting married, they may have a lot of the items that make great traditional wedding gifts. Today’s couple can set up a registry of sorts through crowd funding where their relatives and friends can opt to pay for some event or portion of the wedding or the honeymoon.  Registries online allow invited guests to choose something and pay for, such as a room upgrade, a dinner out, surfing lessons, or anything the couple chooses.

Borrow From Your Home Equity

If you own a home, you may have enough equity to borrow against for a loan for a wedding.    Many modern couples are getting married for a second time and already own a home, so they have the equity necessary to finance their wedding. You can borrow as much as $35,000.00 against your home, and the interest rates are much better than a traditional loan. In some cases, the couple is moving into a single home and may wish to sell an extra home and use that money to pay off bills or for wedding loans.

Personal Loan

If you have already looked at a variety of wedding financing options and are out of ideas, then you have the option of taking out a personal loan. Personal loans are a great option to take the stress out of your wedding planning. You get a reasonable interest rate, the amount that you need, and a payment plan so that you can repay the loan over several years once you are settled into married life.

Tips for Getting a Wedding Loan

If you are wondering to yourself how to get financing for my wedding, then we have some tips for you.

Create a Budget

Start off with a bare list that you can find from any wedding site online. Your list should include items like the cake, a photographer, the meal, a DJ for music, and a venue to start off with.  Determine how much you want to spend on each item, come up with a total and then, with the bottom line, apply for your loan.

Banks want to see your plan, laid out on paper before the can approve any amount of money for wedding loans. Your budget is what the bank will use to decide on the amount of money that they will loan to you. Once you have the money funded to you by your bank, you can proceed with hiring vendors and giving deposits to secure those vendors.

Decide what you Want

Decide what it is you want—including the style and location of your wedding. Then, start to plan based on the size of the wedding. Once you have your budget sketched out, you should be able to have a good idea of how much money you need.

Conclusion

The wedding of your dreams is within your reach, but you must remember to keep your dreams realistic. The most important thing to remember is to keep on track of your budget and avoid cost overruns.   

4 Ways To Build Credit with Loans

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Are you looking for more ways to improve your credit score? Building credit can be difficult for some, especially after financial difficulties like bankruptcy. Thankfully, there many ways to help this process along, with credit building loans being one of them.

Credit building loans are nothing new, but they aren’t widely advertised since banks can’t profit from them. With these loans, however, you can kick start the credit building process.
You don’t need excellent credit to be approved for these loans, so long as you can make repayments on top of your existing monthly expenses.

How Do Loans Help My Credit?

credit building by paying loans

Borrowing money and paying it back in a timely manner is reflected on your credit reports, reports made by financial institutions you interact with. This, in turn, makes you look reliable to future lenders. When your credit takes a hit, however, it can be difficult to finance larger purchases. Your credit score can impact everything from getting a job to buying a house, so it’s important to keep your credit in shape by paying things back on time. Defaulting and having bills end up in collections negatively effects your credit, so it’s best to only borrow amounts that you can afford to make payments on.

Loans That Build Credit

building your credit with loans

There are different types of credit building loans available when it comes to building credit. These are a few of the more common options:

1. Passbook or CD Loans

cd used as loan collateral

A CD (certificate of deposit) is similar to a savings account in that your money is insured by the bank, making it a relatively risk free investment. Your bank may allow a CD to be used as loan collateral, though you may only be allowed to borrow up to a certain percentage of the money in your CD account. There are some banks that will allow 100% of your CD or savings to be used for this purpose.

2. Credit Builder Loan

This type of loan is great regardless of the type of credit you have because you will be approved. The reason that you will be approved is because you must pay all the money that you borrow into a designated savings account. You are not able to have any access to that money at all until you have paid the full amount of the loan.

3. Secured Installment Loans

secured installment loans

A secured installment loan allows you to borrow as much as 98% of the balance of your savings deposit. It is the usual policy of most banks that the least amount of the money borrowed is $1,000.00.

There are generally no costs or fees associated with this type of loan, and the borrower does not need to confirm their employment status or income.

You are borrowing money against the money you have on deposit at the bank, and this allows you to continue earning interest on those funds. These types of loans offer lower interest rates than traditional loans or credit cards.

4. Credit-Builder Loans

credit builder loan

These loans are a good tool for someone with bad credit to have the opportunity to build their credit from the ground up. The main reason that loans are necessary for credit building is because the progress and timing of payments are constantly being reported to the credit bureau which establishes a credit rating for the borrower.

Conclusion

Credit building loans are a great tool for people to use when they need to rebuild their credit or if they do not have any credit history. Taking out a loan is a better option than credit cards because the interest is a lot less and the payments are fixed.

When you are trying to rebuild credit using a credit card there is the temptation to use the room that you have on the card by racking the balance back up again.

This is harmful because balances should be kept at 30% of the limit. If you are a person that is not disciplined with credit then you should avoid credit cards altogether.

The first step is to contact a bank that you deal with or hold accounts at. Speak to someone about loans that improve credit scores and rebuilding credit. You should be able to get access to a loan that can help you set up a new and positive credit history.

Financial Tips Month To Month

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Have you checked in on your money calendar lately? Compare your financial habits with these tips to help you stay on track through the rest of the year.

Check Into Cash Launches #CheckIntoPink Campaign For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Check Into Cash Launches #CheckIntoPink Campaign For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Check Into Cash, a national leader in alternative financial services, launches its #CheckIntoPink social campaign today to help spread knowledge about breast cancer. This is the third year in a row that Check Into Cash has participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise support for women’s health. The campaign, which will run throughout October, will lead the audience to CheckIntoCash.com/GoPink, an informational page featuring tips and other educational resources.

“We are proud to join the global community in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Check Into Cash President Steve Scoggins. “By going pink and actively sharing information, we hope to help people understand the importance of breast cancer prevention and annual screenings.”

The #CheckIntoPink campaign uses social media, email, and mobile app channels to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourage others to show their support by going pink. The focal point of the campaign is the Go Pink informational webpage with helpful links and resources about getting involved and learning more. Visitors are encouraged to share the campaign resources on social media to help spread awareness.

“We encourage businesses and individuals alike to join us by going pink in support of breast cancer awareness,” said Scoggins. “When we educate ourselves about breast cancer and share our knowledge with others, we move one step closer to a cure.”

To learn more about Check Into Cash and the services they offer, visit CheckIntoCash.com. For information about breast cancer risk, prevention, and treatment, visit CheckIntoCash.com/GoPink and NationalBreastCancer.org.

 

10 Ways to Do Winter For Less

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As the colder months approach, you may have to start rethinking ways to save on fun activities. Avoid the winter blues with these fun things to do while saving cash.

High school seniors can use downtime between semesters to reflect on their academic interests and learn more about their college choices.

The True Story Behind Labor Day

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Do you know the true story behind Labor Day? Check it out:
http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Deduction for Higher Education

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We all know that college is expensive, but did you know that you can deduct certain higher education fees from your taxes? Find out what expenses are qualified deductions so you can better plan for tax season 2017.

When can I take this deduction?

You can deduct qualifying expenses paid in the tax year for:

  • Education during in the year, or
  • Education that begins during the year, or
  • Education that begins during the first three months of the following year.

Which expenses qualify?

Qualifying expenses include what you pay in tuition and mandatory enrollment fees to attend any accredited public or private institution above the high school level.

You cannot take a deduction for:

  • Room and board, optional fees (such as for student health insurance), transportation, or other similar personal expenses.
  • Course-related books and supplies, unless you are required to buy them directly from the school.
  • Any course involving sports, games or hobbies, unless it’s part of the degree program.

What if I receive grants or scholarships?

You have to subtract any scholarships, educational assistance, or other nontaxable income spent for educational purposes (other than gifts or inheritances). For example, if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement plan as a fringe benefit that pays $1,000 of the cost of a $1,500 course, only the remaining $500 would count for purposes of this deduction.

Who qualifies?

Qualified expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse or your dependents are eligible for the deduction.

Exceptions:

  • If you can be claimed as a dependent on your parents’ or someone else’s tax return, you cannot claim the higher education deduction.
  • If you are married and choose the married filing separately tax status, you cannot take this deduction.

How much can I deduct?

The deduction is $0, $2,000 or $4,000 depending on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI).

  • $4,000 deduction for MAGI of $65,000 or less ($130,000 or less for joint returns).
  • $2,000 deduction for MAGI between $65,001 and $80,000 (between $130,001 and $160,000 for joint returns).
  • $0 if your MAGI exceeds these limits.

No double-dipping

You can’t deduct or take a credit for the same expense twice.

If you deduct these expenses under some other provision of the tax code, such as for employee or business expenses, you cannot also deduct the expenses for the Tuition and Fees Deduction.

Also, you can’t deduct expenses paid with tax-favored money including:

  • Tax-free interest from savings bonds
  • Tax-free earnings from qualified state tuition program (Section 529 Plans)
  • Tax-free earnings from Coverdell Education Savings Account

The Tuition and Fees Deduction cannot be combined with the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning credits for any single student in a single tax year.

 

 

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for payday loans varies in each state and depends on the advance amount, fees, and terms of the transaction. The APR for a $100 single-payment payday loan may range from 260.71% to 782.14% on 14 day terms. As a member of CFSA, Check Into Cash abides by the spirit of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as applicable to collect past due accounts. Delinquent accounts may be turned over to a third party collection agency which may adversely affect your credit score. Non-sufficient funds and late fees may apply. Automatic renewals are not available. Renewing a loan will result in additional finance charges and fees.