Category Archives: Personal Finance

How To Begin The Process of Buying A Home

78% of non-owners believe home ownership is a smart financial decision. However, buying a home isn’t an easy feat. There are complicated steps that may leave you feeling overwhelmed. The good news is that millions of others have been down this road before and made it. By conducting extensive research, preparing yourself adequately, and partnering with the right people, there is no doubt that you will find a home that suits your needs and budget. Here are some steps for first-time homebuyers.

Review Your Financial Health

Your financial health is what will determine whether you are ready to own a home. Homeownership comes with extra costs in almost every department, from maintenance, energy bills to water. Before actively entering the search for a perfect home, make sure your finances are in order. Ideally, you should clear all debts and build an emergency kitty that can support you for up to six months.

Save the Down Payment

Buying a home requires a mortgage. Here, you borrow money from a lender and then pay the remaining amount over a given period. However, you also need to save money in order to make a down payment. A downpayment of at least 20% of the home’s sale price will increase your chances of getting a mortgage loan approval, and it will also trim the overall cost of the loan. To save the down payment, you can:

  • Lower your expenses
  • Pause your retirement savings
  • Borrow from a relative or your retirement plan
  • Sell some of your investments
  • Skip vacationing for a year

Meet with Lenders

If you don’t have the entire amount to buy a home in cash, which few ever have, you need to find a suitable lender. The lender will determine whether you meet the criteria to get a loan and how much you qualify to borrow. This process is referred to as prequalification. They will review your financial situation and determine how much you can spend and what amount you can realistically afford per month.

This procedure ensures you don’t take out an amount that is too expensive to repay, as such a figure can force you to default. They check your credit, debt, income, and assets. Pre-approval is a more complicated process compared to getting pre-qualified. For a pre-approval, the lender requests substantial paperwork. Before giving you the nod, they verify your financial documents and history to ensure you are creditworthy.

Find the Best Loan Type

There are many loan types available today. Even if you have been pre-approved by one lender, it doesn’t mean your hands are tied. Shop around and look at what other lenders are offering. Through research, you will be surprised to find companies that offer better repayment options. Just be careful to read through the lines of the terms to avoid hurting yourself financially in the long term. A qualified mortgage broker can help you through these processes, and they can help you identify companies or banks that offer competitive rates and terms.

Find a Real Estate Agent

Once the lender tells you how much you can borrow, it’s time to scout for a home that matches that amount. No one does this job better than a real estate agent. These professionals have access to information that isn’t readily available to the public, making them an invaluable asset when it comes to a home search.

They do all the research, find the homes that meet your description, negotiate on your behalf, and make a deal that you will be happy with. Even if you have partnered with an experienced agent, make sure to discuss your expectations with them. Some of the things you should talk about include:

  • The type of neighborhood you want
  • The facilities and amenities you are looking for e.g., schools, healthcare centers, public transport, and recreational centers
  • The distance from your workplace
  • The size and design of the home you want

Get a Home Inspection

To learn whether the home you want to buy is worth the price tag, get a home inspector. These are specialists who examine the condition of your home and provide a report. They inspect structural components and systems such as foundation, plumbing, roofing, HVAC, and electrical. They uncover hidden problems and determine the extent of the damage. If the house needs repairs, you can negotiate a lower price or look for another option.

Make The Offer and Secure the Mortgage

Your real estate agent will be instrumental in this phase. They will help you come up with an offer that is based on recent home sales in the area. Once the owner accepts, your agent will then draft a document that includes the offer and any other agreed terms. You will then need to apply for a mortgage. The lender will arrange an independent inspection of the home to determine if the price is fair. They will also verify if the seller is the real owner.

 Close and Move In

The closing process brings together all parties involved, including the seller, buyer, and mortgage lenders. You pay the down payment and closing fees to process your loan. There is a lot of paperwork that you need to sign, and it can take a few days to be processed. Once the seller receives the amount from your lender, you are free to move into your new house.

Title Loan Requirements and Benefits During an Emergency

You can find plenty of ways to find fast cash when you need it, but not all of them are good ideas. However, in an emergency, you might not have a lot of time to pursue multiple options to get cash in hand right away.

Have you heard of a title loan? If you need some money that you can repay in a stipulated period of time, a title loan is a good option in an emergency cash situation. 

Keep reading to learn more about title loan requirements for quick emergency cash. 

What is a Title Loan?

A title loan uses your car, motorcycle, truck or any vehicle title as collateral for cash. It’s faster than selling your vehicle or other property to come up with some quick funds.

The lender takes your vehicle’s title like your car’s title which will serve as collateral in exchange and lends you some cash, mainly on the value of your vehicle. Most title loans have a 30-day repayment policy. However, the title loan requirements widely from state to state and lender to lender. This makes it important to be well-versed with the terms of a lender and then apply for the loan.

What’s the Benefit? 

When your car carries some value, many lenders are open to offering a car title loan. There are plenty of benefits to you and your lender with this type of loan.

  • You don’t need to go through a typical loan application process. A title loan doesn’t require the amount of paperwork or credit history needed for some types of personal loans. With your car as collateral, lenders have an instant guarantee of a property if you fail to repay the loan.
  • You can receive quick approval. Most title loans happen quickly. Show your lender that you have proof of income and the car’s title, then you both agree on the terms of the loan. In many cases, you can walk away with the cash you need in a matter of minutes.
  • You get to use your car. It’s hard to repay a loan if you can’t get to work! While the lender keeps your car title, you’re still free to use your car.
  • You won’t deal with a high-interest rate. Other types of emergency cash can come with high-interest rates. You’ll repay a lot more money on a cash advance than you will for a car title loan with a lower interest rate. 

Keep in mind: if you fail to repay the loan, the lender can repossess your car. Be sure you can repay the money you borrow within the agreed timeframe before you consider a title loan.

What Do I Need?

You don’t need much! In most cases, you can receive a title loan with a personal vehicle and proof of income. A car title loan is a hassle-free way to get some quick cash then pay off the loan.

The title loan lenders are more interested in knowing the value and condition of your vehicle than your credit score. Hence, your score won’t affect approval for a loan using your car’s title much.

Repayment is easy with a schedule from your lender. But again, if you cannot pay back the loan, the title loan lender may have full right to take possession of your vehicle and even sell it to recover the outstanding amount.

It’s Easy to Qualify for Title Loan Requirements!

Don’t let a rough financial month get you down or put you further into debt. With simple title loan requirements, you can quickly and easily qualify for the cash you need. If you found this article helpful, be sure you check out some of our other finance articles!

Talking About Financial Issues in Therapy

Many people have issues with money, and therapy is an excellent place to discuss various financial issues. Whether you’re dealing with impulsive or compulsive urges to spend or you’re trying to start a new business and are experiencing stress, talking to a therapist can help you. In therapy, you can start to understand your financial habits and work toward developing a good relationship with money and a financial plan. Here are some issues you might consider discussing with a counselor or therapist.

Compulsive spending

If you’re having trouble controlling your urges when it comes to money, it could be helpful to discuss compulsive spending with a therapist. This could be a barrier to you starting or sustaining a business, and it can impact your life and mental health significantly. That’s why a therapist is there to help you understand why you’re spending money and start developing other coping skills so that you don’t hurt yourself by buying things that you don’t need. Many times, money and emotional issues are connected. You might not realize why you’re draining your bank account. A therapist can provide you with emotional insight and assist you in developing strategies to start using your funds wisely.

Saving money

Many individuals want to save money for their future, whether it’s for retirement funding, buying a house, or starting college bank accounts for your kids. Saving comes easily to some, but it can be a challenge for others even if they have the resources. When you talk with your therapist about your struggles with money, you can get to the core issues regarding what stops you from saving. Maybe, you didn’t learn how to manage money as a young adult because your parents didn’t teach you. Perhaps, you’re unable to save because you’re living paycheck to paycheck and feel the pressure as you struggle to survive. A therapist can support you as you develop a plan to save and help you through the emotional roadblocks that might come up along the way. Once you know what your concerns and barriers are, you can build a saving plan for both the short-term and the long-term. You might feel helpless and like saving isn’t a possibility, but therapists understand these challenges and can help you work through them.

Starting a business

Maybe, you’re an entrepreneur and want to start a business or corporation. That’s a daunting task, and there are a lot of financial matters that come with it. It’s important to develop a comprehensive business plan. A large part of that plan will be related to money, which can be stressful. When you talk to a therapist, you can start to plan out what your dreams are and tackle the financial side after that. It’s important to understand why you’re starting this business before you make a financial plan. Once you think about the reason behind your passion, you can start mapping out what you need to start that business and maintain it. A therapist will be there to support you throughout this process. They can also help you with the social anxiety that might come with making business connections.

Financial issues don’t have to be roadblocks

When you talk about financial issues with a licensed therapist, you can start overcoming them and learn about why you’re doing the things you do with money. You can start developing constructive patterns rather than destructive ones. First, a therapist will first help you understand your stress and worry surrounding money, and then they’ll help you develop positive coping skills as opposed to maladaptive issues. If you’re struggling with financial issues, know that it will be okay. A licensed mental health professional can help you work through struggles with money and a wide array of other issues that might arise in your life.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.