Category Archives: Personal Finance

4 Ways Refinancing High Interest Loans Equal Financial Freedom

High interest debt can be one of the most common reasons that people find themselves in a never ending cycle of loan payments. When you make a loan payment, you should be making progress on your principle balance, right?

With some high interest loans, the minimum payments simply cover the interest accrued without helping you move toward being debt free.

These loans often lead people to look for other solutions and one of the most common solutions to free you from high interest loans is refinancing. This is the act of acquiring a new interest rate, term, and payment schedule on a loan.

Here are some reasons why refinancing a high interest loan may be the right option for you.

1. Lock In an Affordable Rate

Loans either offer variable or fixed rates. Variable rate loans have interest rates that can change over time and fixed rate loans will remain the same over the term of the loan.

A variable rate loan might look attractive at first but soon turn into a loan that becomes unmanageable. Locking in a more affordable fixed rate and lowering your payments is a great reason to refinance.

Best of all, you can see variable and fixed rates from a number of different lenders all in one place, which allows you to comparison shop and find the best loan for you.

2. Get More Favorable Repayment Terms

Some high interest loans like payday loans have repayment plans designed to keep you in debt longer than you initially expected to be. In fact, a lot of people spend almost an entire year paying back payday loans that began as a single two-week loan.

Refinancing a loan can allow you to find a more manageable repayment schedule for your loan. You could amortize payments over a longer period to reduce the amounts of your payments and allow you to build a better budget while still managing debt.

3. Start Investing in Yourself

Once you have secured a lower interest rate and a more manageable repayment schedule then you can begin thinking about more than just your debt.

Investing in yourself is an important step to financial freedom. For most people, this means setting aside money for long term savings like retirement. As you save more, freedom will feel closer than ever before.

4. More Budget Flexibility

Once you have refinanced your high interest loans then you may find you have more flexibility when creating your monthly budget.

This newfound flexibility is not a license to go wild with your spending. Instead, you should look for ways to budget your money in ways that will help you reduce debt and increase savings. Dedicate extra funds to credit card payments or start setting aside more for special purchases and long term goals.

Embrace Your New Financial Freedom

Escaping high interest loans can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It’s up to you to ensure you make the most of this opportunity and enjoy the financial freedom you have been given. Save money, invest in yourself, and avoid the types of loans that put you in this situation originally.

Finding the Right Investment Manager

The ever-changing financial landscape makes it a challenge for investors and their advisors to differentiate between investment managers and companies. It is highly advisable to gather as much information as possible when assessing prospective investment managers. You should ensure the data you have is relevant to future outcomes and not past returns since the selection process is really more of a test of consistency and not talent. Ask yourself: “Will this asset manager still be yielding the same results in 10 years time?” This means you have to evaluate an investment manager’s incentives, business structure, team stability, breadth, experience and temperament. This allows you to focus on future performance without anchoring yourself to past performance. We can extend our thinking even further by viewing a fund as an underlying business with a team and a process.

What information should you look for?

The required information can be categorized into two columns: The first is the information a manager releases to the world. Obtaining this data is quite easy and is usually available on request, via the website or a newsletter. The second requires you to find data to evaluate whether the manager actually delivered what was promised. Accessing this information can be done a few ways: Evaluate their portfolio turnover and investment holding period by looking at the frequency with which their top 10 holdings or portfolios rotate. Are they responsive to short-term events or are they long-term investors? Check if the top 10 holdings align with the index. This gives you some insight into their investment style. Look at team changes since stable teams generally translate into investment consistency. The core team information is often available in the website, which allows you to track them in order to gauge their experience.

What are the key criteria?

A proper evaluation involves examining all the data and the team, which usually takes a number of rounds to complete. There are, however, a few “big picture” key criteria to help you with the initial evaluation of a prospective investment manager.

  1. Shareholders and a business that understands asset management. What is the intent of the shareholders? Do they overload the investment team with many offerings? How do they measure themselves and are they supportive of portfolio managers when they underperform?
  2. Consists of one or two people who love investing and drive the entire process. These people are often averse to marketing.
  3. The team has the proper resources and has significant experience with specific asset classes. Specifically, is the ration of investment ideas to people appropriate? A single analyst cannot properly research more than 15 ideas.
  4. A team with low staff turnover. How can you trust a team’s record if the team is always different? If new people do join, then what is their experience and do they have any peer endorsements?
  5. A clear and intuitive investment process that is the cornerstone of the team.
  6. They follow through on their promises. Look at their portfolio to assess whether past actions are consistent with the information they provide you.
  7. Are the incentives appropriate? Are the fees appropriate? Are they invested along with the client? A typical red flag is an investment company, which views financial rewards as the key determinant of culture and behavior.

Ultimately, selecting an investment manager is always going to be a judgment call. While there is no perfect solution, we can still evaluate them according to their consistency. A consistent manager is more likely to deliver on their promises.

Due diligence can take some time so if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed then consider consulting a good independent financial manager who can help you formulate a plan and portfolio according to your risk appetite.

How Can I Calculate My VA Jumbo Loan Down Payment & Interest Rate


Many people, particularly veterans, wonder nowadays about a VA JUMBO loan. Let me tell you that this loan type is more than the conforming limit of Fannie Mae loan, which is $453,100. However, like every other loan, this loan type too comes with limits, which are set as per the county. In some counties, such as the Orange County, CA, the maximum value of the VA loan can even go up till $1,094,625.

There are many types of VA loans, amongst which one is VA jumbo loans. The main attractive point of VA home loans is that they do not necessitate a down payment. Nonetheless, in case a borrower wants to put down some money, they have the option to do so as well. However, the guidelines pertaining to VA jumbo loans are quite complicated and detailed as opposed to the regular Fannie Mae VA loan, which is below $453,100.

VA jumbo loan requirements

When it comes to a VA jumbo loan, there are some requirements that applicants need to follow. These include:

  • You must have liquid asset reserves or cash reserves
  • You must have an attuned credit vetting procedure

Fees on VA jumbo loans

Just like other VA loans, VA jumbo loans have funding fees of 2.15% (for the first time) of the purchase price or loan amount, which you can finance in the loan itself. For instance, if you require a loan worth $600,000, then the funding fees would equate $12,900. This means that the total loan would be of $612,900. However, you must note that the funding fees on VA loans can differ as per the disability status and the number of times you make use of the VA loan.

Calculating your VA jumbo loan payments

You can make use of a VA jumbo loan in order to purchase a huge property. However, you still have to do some calculation before you go for it so that you can know about your VA jumbo loan down payment and interest rates. Here, you must remember that the VA guarantees a maximum of 25% of the total limit of $453,100.

So, let us explain to you how you can calculate your VA jumbo loan down payment and interest rates with an example. If you want to buy a home worth $500,000, you need to bring in 25% of the amount on top of $453,100. This means you need to get 25% of 46,900 ($500,000 minus $453,100), which is $11,725.

This gives you a down payment of 2.30% from the borrower, which is very much less than a traditional loan. In a conventional jumbo loan, you need to pay a minimum of 10% down payment, in addition to private mortgage insurance, which substantially increases the monthly payment and cash from the veteran.

Get the right VA jumbo loan

There are a lot of VA loan lenders in the market, which is why you need to search for the one that fits you the best according to your needs and preferences. Different VA loan lenders put different prices on their VA jumbo loans. Moreover, interest rates can be somewhat higher than others.

Nevertheless, even if the interest rates on VA home loans are high, they’re very much lesser than a traditional jumbo mortgage, which requires a down payment of 10%. Therefore, it’s advised that you do your homework and get the best VA jumbo loan for yourself from a reputed VA mortgage firm.

If you’re the one who is shopping for high-end houses and want to benefit from a VA home loan, then this undiscovered loan program is actually matchless for veterans with higher income who want to put a lesser amount of down payment on their h