Understanding Student Loans

Understanding Student Loans

Students who opt for higher studies often find that they lack the required capital to fund their anticipated study program stretching perhaps to several years. Fortunately, there are many institutions that a student can turn to for assistance for financing his education program. Except in the case of grants and scholarships, all other loans taken have to be re-paid; and unfortunately this fact does not strike the borrower forcefully enough at the time of obtaining loans. The obvious reason for same is since many repayments start only on graduation; and due to a feeling of satisfaction for the time being at finding the funds to cover more and more of the direct education costs and other education related expenses.

There is a cost attached to every loan that you take and it is very important that you educate yourself first on the types of loans available, which carry fixed as well as variable rates of interest during the lifetime of the loan. Even at fixed rates, the rates attached to different types of loans differ, as does the repayment periods, deferment options etc. It is also pertinent to visit websites of different lenders and do an in-depth study of the diverse packages on offer and / or negotiable, incorporating varying concessions on credit terms with regard to rate of interest, repayment period, deferment options etc; so that you can select the type and lender that best suits the circumstances on a case by case basis.

For purposes of college education, it is the Student Loans (except for limited Perkins Loans) that carry the most favorable all-round terms than any other general financial loans, and as such your search should mainly be confined to all types of student loans only.

1. Student Loans may be classified broadly under 2 categories:

(a) Federal Loans

Government sponsored loans executed via the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and generally carry fixed, low interest rates; Perkins and Stafford Subsidized loans are need based while Stafford Unsubsidized and PLUS loans are not need based; but do not generally cover related costs of education such as tuition, books, computers, board and living expenses etc. Multiple options for re-payments and deferments may be available. Can be obtained through schools, banks and other student loans lending institutions

(b) Private Loans

Granted by private lenders and are obviously at higher interest rates than federal loans, but you do not have to show financial need for the amount of the loan and there is also no maximum limit, but have to show a good credit score. Deferment options may be obtainable (though at a price). Credit terms obtainable can be further improved by getting a good cosigner to support your loan application. A parent can apply on behalf of a student as a co-borrower to take advantage of his / her good credit score, but the responsibility for the loan lies with student as well as co-borrower parent.

2. Federal Loans comprise mainly of 3 types of loans:

(a) Perkins Loans

To qualify, have to establish “need” for exceptional financial aid, and be enrolled in school at least half time. Carries a Government subsidized fixed interest rate of 5%. Borrowing is limited to $ 4,000 for undergraduates and $ 6,000 for graduates.

(b) Stafford Loans

General conditions applicable for all types of Stafford Loans

To qualify, have to be already enrolled in a college at least half time or planning to be enrolled at least half time in a school participating in the FFELP Scheme, sometimes trade and business schools also may be considered; but those attending full time could obtain enhanced loans than those attending half time. Interest rate is currently fixed at 6.8%.

The applicant has to show the need for financial aid in respect of Stafford Subsidized Loans, (although it is not necessary to show need for financial aid to get a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan). No credit check is required; loans are low interest bearing at a standard fixed rate. Stafford Loans come in three types with prefix “Subsidized”, “Unsubsidized” and “Additional Unsubsidized”.

Essential differences between Subsidized & Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

The meaning of “subsidized” in the context of these loans is that the federal government guarantees the loan and also pays the interest component of the loan while the student remains at school as well as in the case of any and every occasion a deferment of payments is allowed to the student on request. In the case of unsubsidized loans the student undertakes to pay the interest as well and although deferments may be allowed, the consequent accrued interest also has to be paid by the student, thereby adding to the total cost of the loan.

Stafford Subsidized Loan

Log term, low interest, need based which has to be shown by filling a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but no credit check is required;, Loan guaranteed by federal government and interest too paid by government, postponement of payments possible in some cases and if allowed, accrued interest thereon too will be paid by the government.

Stafford Unsubsidized Loans

Log term, low interest, not need based, no credit check, interest is paid by the student; postponement of payments is possible in some cases, but accrued interest thereon is payable by the student. More suitable for those who don’t qualify for other loans or those who still need additional funding for their education.

Stafford Additional Unsubsidized Loan

Federal guidelines classify certain students as “Independent Students”. Another branch of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans known as Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are generally reserved for borrowers from this Independent Students category.

To change your status from eligibility for a subsidized loan from an initial eligibility for only an unsubsidized loan.

Although a student may initially not qualify for a subsidized loan because of his lesser need in virtue of his part time work or other income, if he now quits his work / employment, he can fill a fresh application form showing his changed financial status and the new need for additional financial aid which may qualify him for a subsidized loan on the second occasion.

If this succeeds, it would make a very big difference to your total cost ultimately payable as an unsubsidized loan ends up very much costlier than a subsidized loan to repay, for obvious reasons.

Students may defer interest payments until graduation or up to when school attendance ends. When repayments start, a student may find himself owing anything between $ 20,000 – $ 100,000 or even more. Loan Repayment re-scheduling is not always negotiable and Stafford Loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

(c) PLUS Loans (Parent Loan Undergraduate Students).

Parents do not have to show financial need to apply. The only federal loan where a credit check is required (although not a full scale check), however, parents should have not have had any adverse credit experience / records of default or bankruptcy; interest rate is currently fixed at 8.5%. This type of loan is disbursed to parents of undergrad dependent children who are enrolled in school at least halftime. (independent children are not eligible). Can borrow up to total cost of entire education of a dependent child undergraduate less: any grants, scholarships received. Repayments start after 60 – 90 days from the full disbursement of the loan; or after the student graduates.

3. Private Loans

These are also known as Alternative Education Loans and are offered by private lenders. There are no federal forms to be filled and these loans are not need based. Eligibility will depend on a good credit score. The rate of interest is (obviously) higher than in the case of federal loans and variable. Maximum amount that can be borrowed as well as a reduction in the interest rate are dependent on how good your credit score is. If your credit score is not good enough for the lender, to service your maximum requirements, getting a cosigner of high credit standing to support your application may achieve those extra benefits for you. These loans are generally taken as a supplement to federal loans to bridge the gap between the borrower’s actual requirement of financial aid and the limited amount that can be borrowed under federal loans programs; or when they need more flexible repayment options.

4. Conclusion:

We have given above concise and yet sufficient details in order to get an all round basic idea of all types of student loans available for the funding of educational programs. We have not tried to overload this article with comprehensive details and facts pertaining to these loans since we have already posted 2 separate and more comprehensive articles on Federal Loans and Private Loans under the captions of Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans respectively.

Understanding Student Loans

Best Commercial Loans For Business Owners

Discover the “Forgotten” SBA Program Worthy of another Look

Much has been written on these pages in the past two years about a little understood and even less used commercial real estate loan program called the 504. As our lending firm was the first and is still the only nationwide commercial lender to exclusively focus on only this loan product, I’d like to succinctly put to rest some of the more common misconceptions about this terrific loan product. Rather than waste anymore ink, let’s get right to issue at hand . . .

Who Uses It?

The 504 loan is for commercial property owner-users. It is not an investment real estate loan product per se. Borrowers of 504 loans must occupy at least a simple majority (or no less than 51%) of the commercial property within the next year in order to qualify. Two operating companies can come together to form an Eligible Passive Concern (EPC) (otherwise known as a Real Estate Holding Company, typically as an LLC or LP), however, to take title to the commercial property. In other words, a 504 loan doesn’t have to be just one small business owner purchasing his commercial property. It could be a physician and an accountant each utilizing 3,000 square feet in a 10,000 square feet office building (at 6,000 total square feet in their LLC, they would occupy 60% and be eligible) for example. Additionally, at least 51% of the total ownership of the Operating company(ies) and EPC must be comprised of U.S. citizens or resident legal aliens (those considered to be Legal Permanent Residents) to qualify.

There are no revenue restrictions or ceilings for 504 loans, but there are three financial eligibility standards unique to them: operating company(ies’) tangible business net worth cannot exceed $7 million; operating company(ies’) net income cannot average more than $2.5 million during the previous two calendar years; and the guarantors/principals’ personal, non-retirement, unencumbered liquid assets cannot exceed the proposed project size. These three criteria usually do not disqualify the typical, privately-held small to mid-sized business owner; only the absolute largest ones get tripped-up on these. Last fiscal year (October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005), nearly 8,000 business owners used 504 loans for over $11 billion in total project costs representing a recent five-year growth rate in the program of 22% year-over-year.

Why Use It?

These loans are structured with a conventional mortgage (or first trust-deed) for 50 percent of the total project costs (inclusive of: land and existing building; hard construction/renovation costs; furniture, fixtures and equipment [FF&E]; soft costs; and closing costs) combined with a government-guaranteed bond for 40 percent. The remaining 10 percent is the borrowers’ equity and is usually a third to half as much as traditional lenders require. This lower equity requirement lowers the risk for small business owners as opposed to lowering a lender’s risk profile with more capital injected into the project like with ordinary commercial lending. It also allows the small business owner to better utilize their hard-earned capital, while still getting all of the wealth-creating benefits commercial property ownership provides.

Unlike most commercial bank deals, these loans are meant to finance total project costs as opposed to a percentage of the appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less. The first mortgage (or trust-deed) is typically a fully amortizing, 25-year term at market rates, while the second mortgage (or trust-deed) is a 20-year term, but with the interest rate fixed for the entire time at below-market rates. The second mortgage (trust-deed) on 504 loans is guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is, contrary to popular belief about SBA loan programs, the cheapest money available for typical small business owners. For most of the past two years, the SBA bond rate hovered near six percent fixed for 20 years, which is an incredible deal for any small to mid-sized business owner and very tough to beat. Not only do these loans provide better cash flow for borrowers (by borrowing at better rates and terms), but they also provide the highest cash-on-cash return available in the commercial-mortgage industry which is a financial metric used by most successful real estate investors. Furthermore, these loans are assumable should borrowers decide to sell their property in the future, but a better strategy for most small business owners would be to sell their operating company while keeping their EPC and cashing rent checks long into their retirement.

Why You May Not Know Much about These Loans?

Many bankers and brokers don’t like to offer 504’s because they fundamentally are smaller loan amounts for the bank (typically only 50% first mortgages or trust-deeds versus the common 80%), which means a banker has to work that much harder to bring in more assets and the smaller loan amounts also hit the typical commercial loan officer right in the pocketbook. They would rather discuss the SBA’s more notorious 7(a) loan program, which has a well-established, if not egregiously well-paying secondary market (due to Prime-based, floating rate pricing) already in place, when the issue of low down-payment commercial loans comes up. When you couple those two reasons with the fact that these 504 loans take more effort and skill only on the part of the lender, it’s no wonder this loan product has only recently started to catch fire in the marketplace.

So what are Some Common Questions about These Loans?

Isn’t There Tons of Paperwork Involved?

This was certainly the case years ago, but it is no more. With the advent of more and more specialty lenders and the recent focus on streamlining the SBA application process, 504 loans are no more involved than most ordinary commercial loans. While the documentation is specific and detailed, most small business owners are ably organized and prepared when the alternative is to pay two to three points higher in interest rates with no documentation or stated income commercial loans.

Aren’t There Extra Fees Involved?

When all closing costs are considered, 504 loans usually average about 25 to 50 basis points more in total loan fees on an average sized transaction. With stronger borrowers (i.e. better debt service coverage ratios [DSCR], higher personal liquidity, and/or better personal credit scores), these fees can usually be negotiated lower. Most small business owners utilizing 504 loans are willing to pay slightly higher fees, however, in order to receive longer-term, below-market fixed interest rates on nearly half of their deal, while receiving the highest cash-on-cash return from their property. This is exactly the reason my business partner and I chose a 504 loan when plenty of alternatives were available to us. That’s right – we actually have a 504 loan and have been in the shoes of 504 loan borrowers, so I have first-hand experience of using the loan product that we offer.

Don’t These Loans Take 3 or 4 Months to Close?

This is another old relic of the past regarding these SBA loans. Our quickest 504 loan to date took only 35 days from the first phone call to the closing table, and the commercial appraiser ate-up most of those days while we waited. We’ve done countless others in much less than the typical 60 day commercial real estate contract. If a lender claims they need nearly four months to fund a 504 loan, then perhaps you should look elsewhere. Twenty-four to forty-eight hour pre-approvals and four or five-day commitments are becoming the norm with most specialized SBA lenders.

Aren’t These Loans for Start-ups or Low DSCR Borrowers?

Plenty of 504 loans are approved with start-up borrowers and/or borrowers that don’t have DSCR’s greater than 1.25 times. While it is true that most 504 loans are for more credit-worthy (usually bankable) borrowers, this is not a necessary condition. Frequently, 504 loan borrowers with lots of experience in a given industry, but no actual ownership experience, will have an easier time securing a 504 loan than a conventional bank loan. Projections-based deals and franchised deals are often great candidates for 504 loans when the project involves commercial property. There are other SBA loan programs that may be a better fit for pure start-ups, as 504 loans do not allow for the financing of working capital, but those other SBA loans can often be used in conjunction with SBA 504 loans.

Doesn’t a Borrower have to Pledge their House as Collateral?

Only some lenders require this for 504 loans, and it is increasingly rare. Other SBA loans, on the other hand, must be “fully collateralized” in order to maintain their government-guarantee which is where this generalization comes from. Most 504 loans only secure the commercial property and/or equipment that are financed as part of the 504 loan project.

What if a Borrower has a “Checkered Past”?

Misdemeanors and/or felonies are not in and of themselves, reasons to disqualify someone from getting a 504 loan. There is an added process that often lengthens the time to closing, but the SBA usually approves borrowers with misdemeanors or borrowers with felonies that occurred in the distant past. Defaulting on previous government-guaranteed financing, however, will preclude someone from securing a 504 loan or any other SBA loan. Personal bankruptcies that occurred more than seven years ago usually will not prevent a 504 loan approval, assuming the present-day underwriting variables look promising, but more current bankruptcies are examined subjectively and frequently won’t be approved.

How do you determine who to Call for a 504 Loan?

If you visit a lender’s website to do some due diligence on them, make sure they at least list and/or mention 504 loans, as a means by which you might gauge their competency with these loans. Any lender can say they do 504 loans, but it is far better to work with those that can demonstrate their past experiences with the product, as well as detail their commitment to it on a go-forward basis. Like most things delivered better by specialists, it isn’t usually a question of if a regular lender can provide a 504 loan; it is a question of how well they can provide it. Choose wisely.

SBA Program Worthy of another Look

Private Loans – The Alternative Education Loan For Students in Need of Additional Financial Aid

One of Uncle Sam’s greatest gifts to the American student is the Federal student loan program which makes it possible for millions of young Americans to pursue higher education. But Federal student loans may not always cover tuition and expenses 100%. That’s why so many parents and students turn to private student loans to fill in the gap.

Private student loans — not just for tuition!

All the talk these days is about the higher costs of college tuition. But what often gets overlooked are all of the other college expenses that can make going to college more financially crushing.

However, that may not be a problem for you since most private loans can cover virtually all college expenses, including: o Room and board o Off-campus housing o Registration fees o Text books o Laptop/Internet access o Travel expenses to get to and from classes

How can you qualify for a private loan?

Because private loans are made by private institutions such as a bank or other private lending institution, your ability to get a loan will be based on merit, specifically good credit, essentially, a high enough credit score. The availability of a co-signer with good credit is even better from the lender’s perspective because taking into account a co-signer’s good credit, your combined probability of repaying the loan is higher. So, the lender can be more likely to approve you for a private loan.

If you think about it, most consumer loans require collateral, such as a house or a car. If a borrower doesn’t repay the loan, then lender can repossess your property, so it can sell it to recoup the money it had loaned out.

In the case of education loans, there really is no collateral; i.e., how can a lender repossess your education? It can’t. That’s why lenders rely on a good credit record, since that is a strong indicator that you and/or your co-signer have a proven track record of repaying on your credit cards or other loans in a timely and responsible manner.

Co-signers with good credit can help you qualify for a private loan, lower your borrowing costs and improve your own credit score!

Because private loans are based on merit, the rate you receive is based on your credit history and income. If you don’t have one or the other or both, having a creditworthy co-signer can be invaluable. In fact, a co-signer with good credit can help you obtain a private loan with a lower interest rate, saving you a ton of money over the life of the loan.

Another added benefit of a creditworthy co-signer is “guilt by association but in a good way.” This means that the timely, responsible repayment of your private loan under a co-signer arrangement will be a positive way to build up your own credit record.

Take advantage of private loan benefits

Of course the primary purpose of obtaining a student loan is to help you obtain a sound education so you can realize your career aspirations. And using credit wisely is important. That’s why you’re encouraged to seek out as much Federal student aid, grants and scholarships first before applying for a private loan.

Private loan application process — get pre-approved in minutes if you qualify!

However, once you determine that a private student loan can be a viable alternative funding source to cover your education finance gap, you could be pre-approved for a private loan within minutes of applying! Many times the application process is very simple and can, with most lenders, even be handled over the phone or online.

Longer pre-payment terms and no pre-payment penalties can help you better manage your cash flow after college

When it comes to paying back your private loans, many lenders give you up to 20 or 25 years to do so. The absence of pre-payment penalties means that as long as you make your minimum monthly payment, you can pay off your loans as fast or as slow as you want within your repayment term.

Interest rate discounts can help lower your cost of private loan borrowing even more!

Many private loan lenders would like to have your business. So be sure to shop around, and make sure to ask each lender about these and other private loan “borrower benefits” such as:

o An interest rate discount for automatic payment from a savings or checking account

o An interest rate discount for simply making on-time payments.

o Little or no origination fees, if you or your co-signer has good credit

Who is eligible for a Private Loan?

Keep in mind that each private loan lender has certain eligibility requirements. For most private student loans, you must meet the following criteria:

– Must be creditworthy applicant or have a creditworthy co-borrower

– Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or international student with a qualified U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident co-signer

– Must be within age of majority by your state of residence (typically 18 years of age)

– May be a full time, half time, or less than half time (including continuing education) student

Types of Private loans

What’s great about private loans is that many lenders have a variety of loans that is tailored to fit your specific course of study. The loan name, minimum and maximum loan amounts, and the loan repayment terms are all tailored around the typical needs of the course of study you have chosen to pursue.

Undergraduate Private Loans – Just as the name implies, apply for an undergraduate private loan if you’re a college undergraduate, or are attending a career, technical, and trade school in the U.S., at least half-time. Continuing Education Private Loans – This private loan is right for you if you are completing a degree, a certification program or taking classes to further your career or for personal development. A continuing education private loan is available to you if you attend an eligible school at least part-time (less than half-time). Graduate/Professional Private loan – If you have decided to pursue an advanced degree at participating colleges and universities, and planning to attend at least half-time, then this private loan can get you the funds you need to achieve your educational goals. K-12 Education Private loan – If you are a parents or other adult sponsor (relative or friend) of children who attend participating non-public elementary schools, many lenders provide these loans to help cover the expenses. Most lenders provide K-12 education private loans for students who attend private, religious, preparatory, and military or special education schools.

Private Student Loans Or Alternative Education Loans Can Fill The Gap To Pay For College

Private loans, also known as alternative or private student loans, are providing a growing number of college students with much-needed education funds to cover college-related expenses that may not be covered by award caps, Federal student loans, scholarships and grants. As long as proof of enrollment is provided to your lender, and you qualify, you could use a private loan to pay for almost any of your educational expenses. Some private loan lenders even let you borrow to pay for previous school fees.

Got bad credit, no credit? That’s not a huge obstacle – as you will find out, using a qualified co-signer when applying for a private loan can mean a greater chance to get approved for your loan, a lower interest rate and a higher loan award!

Private student loans – Pay for just about all your college-related expenses, not just tuition

It’s important to take advantage of Federal student loans first, because they usually offer the lowest student loan interest rates.

To apply for Federal student loans, just complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA Form). However, Federal student loans may not be enough to pay for your tuition, not to mention other costs of attending college.

What’s especially valuable about private loans is that you may use them to pay for practically all your college-related expenses, including:

Tuition and fees
Books and supplies
Computer/laptop
Room and board
Transportation
Living expenses
Private student loans help you get you the education funding money you need
Unlike Federal student loans, private loans distribution amounts are not solely based on predetermined need – you can apply to borrow as much or as little as you feel you need to cover any of your educational expenses. Just be sure not to over borrow to keep your student loan debt at a manageable level.

Depending on the type of private loan you are seeking, many private loan lenders offer qualified borrowers private student loans as little as $500 or as much as $40,000 or more per year to cover your cost of attendance, less other aid you may receive (such as grants, scholarships or Federal student loans).

Applying for a private student loan could get you the money you need EASIER and FASTER

While approval for Federal student loans requires time and the need for financial aid forms, you could be pre-approved for a private loan within minutes of applying and your funds could be sent to you within just days of final approval! Many times the private loan application process is very simple and can even be done either over the phone or online.

Not a full-time student? You can still apply for a private student loan!

Even if you’re taking just a couple courses, you could still be eligible to receive a private student loan to cover the expenses. Most private loan lenders will give you a loan whether you’re attending college full-time, part-time or half-time.

Unlike Federal student loan awards that are based on an individual’s financial need and EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) amount, private loans allow you to apply for as much money as you think you’ll need to cover your educational expenses. Even International students with an eligible U.S. co-signer are eligible for private loans. Most private loan lenders have just a few criteria for an individual to be eligible to apply for a private loan, such as:

Must be creditworthy applicant or have a creditworthy co-borrower;
Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or international student with qualified U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident co-signer;
Must be within the age of majority by your state (typically 18 years of age);
Other qualifications, such as employment status and history, enrollment verification and attendance at a qualified school, and income verification are often required by most private loan lenders.
A plethora of private loan types available
Many private loan lenders have private loan products tailored specifically for your student status, including:

Undergraduate students;
Graduate students;
Medical students;
Law students (Law School and Bar Study Loans) and other professional degree seekers;
Continuing education students;
Kindergarten through high school, especially for private schools (also known as K-12 private loans)
Getting a private student loan or alternative student loan is based on your own creditworthiness
Because private loans are made by private institutions rather than the government, your ability to get a loan is based on your credit history, ability to repay a loan, employment history, debt-to-income ratio and other criteria. As a student, you may not have had the opportunity to build up a solid credit history. That’s why having a co-signer can be in your best interest (no pun intended!).

Got bad credit or no credit? No worries, having a co-signer can help you get a private loan!

Since the loan amount and your interest rate will be based on several criteria of merit, often a credit-worthy co-signer could not only increase your chance of getting approved but also help you obtain the loan amount you’ve requested along with a lower interest rate. In addition, using a co-signer can help improve your own creditworthiness.

Unless you’re employed full-time, have excellent credit and a decent annual income, it is often recommended to include a creditworthy co-signer when you apply for your private loans to increase the chance of qualifying for one. Your co-signer can be a parent, relative or other creditworthy adult.

Many private student loan or alternative loan lenders give you various repayment terms and options for greater flexibility and manageability of your private loan balance

Most private loan lenders will defer your payments while you’re in college (length of time determined by the type of program you studied) and give you a grace period of 6 months before you are required to start repayment to give you time to get financially situated after college. To make things even more convenient, many private loan lenders will give you a choice of repayment terms, including:

Immediate payment of principle and interest; or,
Immediate repayment of interest only; or,
In-school deferred repayment of principle and interest until leaving college.
Forbearance options may also be available during repayment should you experience economic hardship.
When it comes to paying back your private loans, many lenders give you up to 20 or 25 years based on your original loan balance and type of private loan.

No pre-payment penalties mean that so long as you make your minimum payment, you can pay off your loans as quickly as you want, without any additional costs or fees!

Many lenders offer their private loan borrowers valuable money-saving benefits. So take advantage of such savings, including: An interest rate discount for automatic payment from a savings or checking account; An interest rate discount for simply making on-time payments. Little or no origination fees, if you or your co-signer has good credit

Private Student Loans

Best School Loan Consolidation Options

School loan consolidation provides you an opportunity to merge all your loans and pay only once for all of them. There are a number of options catering to almost everyone’s needs. These options are divided into the following two major categories:

Federal loan consolidation
Private loan consolidation
1. Federal:
This type of school loan consolidation provides financial help to those who are enrolled at schools that participate in federal aid programs. By school we mean a two-year or four-year degree awarding public or private college, university or trade school.

Consolidation can help reduce your student loan debt by fixing and reducing the interest rate on your loans. This loan option will also combine your separate loan debts into one package thus managing your debt paying options.

Eligibility for federal loan:

In order to qualify for federal consolidation, one should check out the following things before applying for it.

The candidate should no longer be enrolled in school (defined as being enrolled less than half-time)
You must be in the ‘grace period’ of the loan or must be actively repaying your loan.
Most consolidation companies require a minimum loan amount i.e. $10,000 is typical.
Types of Federal Loan:

Federal Family Education Loan Program: These are public-private loans aimed to deliver and administer guaranteed educational loans to parents and students. It provides the following types of loan for post-secondary education:
Stafford Loan: Stafford loan consolidation is a fixed-rate refinancing program that combines all your existing federal loans into one new loan.
PLUS Loan: PLUS loan consolidation is another form of federal school loan that allows you to pack all your PLUS loans previously taken to finance your kid’s education, into a single loan with a lower monthly payment.
Graduate Stafford Loan Consolidation: Graduate Stafford loan consolidation is a great financial tool for those who have recently graduated and are trying to pay off their graduate Stafford loans.
Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: Federal direct loan consolidation is a practical repayment tool that enables you to combine all your Federal Direct student loans into a single loan. Federal Direct loan offers the following consolidation options:
· Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines federal student loans eligible for interest subsidies, such as subsidized FFELP, Direct Loans and Federal Perkins Loans.

· Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines federal student loans not eligible for interest subsidies. If any one of the loans to be consolidated is unsubsidized, then you are eligible for Unsubsidized Direct Consolidation Loan.

· Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans: Thiscombines FFELP PLUS and Direct PLUS loans.

Benefits of Federal Loan:

Various benefits can be availed if you opt for federal program. Some of them are stated below:

Reduces monthly payments
Provides fixed interest rates
Requires only one payment every month
Improves credit rating
Offers flexible payment options
No pre-payment penalties
Disadvantages of Federal Loan Consolidation:

If compared to the benefits, consolidation has lesser disadvantages, which are mentioned below:

Takes long to pay back
Increases the total amount of loan
Locked interest rates i.e. if interest rates go down, your rate will not decrease/change
Lose benefits (if any) from previous loans
2. Private loan :

The purpose of private loan consolidation is more or less the same as that of federal loan consolidation but the procedure and features differ. It combines only your outstanding private education loans into one package. Private loans cover educational expenses like tuition, accommodation or any other educational expenses.

Eligibility for private loan consolidation:

As there are few eligibility rules to qualify for federal loan consolidation, similarly the private loan levies some regulations on every application that it receives for necessary approval. These criteria are mentioned below:

The candidate should be atleast half-time enrolled in a degree or technical/diploma program
Have a minimum of $10,000 in private educational loans
Is in repayment status of private education loans at the time of application
Have good credit standing
Have proof of accommodation and present income
Benefits of private loan:

Improves the payment history and credit score
Gives competitive interest rate against non-government loans
Provides a way to consolidate virtually all private and non-federal educational loans
Allows you to consolidate education-related debt as well as education-related credit card debt
Enable you to write fewer checks and may also lower down the monthly installments
Longer repayment term (up to 30 years in some cases)
Lower monthly payment
Federal loan versus Private – The Difference:

Federal loan consolidation is a tool to refinance federal education loan only while Private loan consolidation is a way to refinance private education loan only. The main difference is that a federal loan consolidation comes with a fixed interest rate while private loan consolidation comes with a market rate that may be fixed or variable.

If you consolidate both federal and private loans, you should make sure to keep them separate, i.e. refinancing a federal loan with a private loan will most likely result in a much higher interest charge, if compared to the amount you would pay by keeping them separately.

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Different Loan Types – Get To Know Them All

Searching online for a loan can be really stressing, there are many different types and it can often get confusing. Which one is the loan for me? Should I apply for an unsecured loan or for a secured loan? I am sure those are questions that have roamed your mind more than once. Do not feel alone, there are hundreds out there like you. With this easy guide to personal loans, you will find those questions addressed instantly.

Secured Loans

When applying for this type of loan, you put a collateral against it, for example, a property, a car or any valuable asset. This guarantees the lender that the loan will be repaid. In case you fail to pay when the loan is due, the lender has a right to seize the collateral and take possession of it. Secured loans offer better loan conditions than unsecured loans as the lender runs fewer risks.

Unsecured Loans

This type of loan carries no collaterals. It is very flexible and many non-homeowners or people who do not want to run the risk of using any assets as collaterals decide to apply for it. The downside is that as the lender does not have any guarantee that the loan will be repaid, the interest rates are usually higher and the loan terms are less favorable than in a secured loan.

Cash Advance Loans

You may want to apply for a loan like this in case of an emergency. PayDay loans are short-term loans which generally last two weeks and carry very high interest rates. Up to $1500 can be borrowed and approval is extremely fast, you will have the money wired to your bank account within hours of applying.

Business Loans and Business Lines Of Credit

As the name very well points out, these loans are specially tailored for businesses. They can be either secured or unsecured and normally provide large sums of money. Most often than not, this type of loan is for businesses which are already running, but venture capital for businesses which are just starting can also be obtained. A line of credit is a commercial loan which is more flexible as it lets you withdraw money, pay it back and then withdraw again.

Home Loans

Banks or financial institutions will lend the borrower money to acquire a property. There are two types of home loans, the fixed rate loan and the variable rate loan. In the first one, the loan is secured at a specific rate and will not vary throughout the life of the loan. In the second one, the loan varies according to the fluctuating economy and the total debt owed may raise. Fixed rate loans provide a more stable situation for the lender as he knows the monthly payments will not change.

Student Loans

Loans granted to students to assist them in paying their course of studies. These loans are offered both by private institutions and the government and they can be granted to parents or to the students themselves. Often if the loan is secured to the parents, the sums offered are higher.

Other Financial Products

There are many other types of loans in the market, we have just discussed the most common ones. You will also find vehicle loans, military loans, fresh start loans, and even Christmas loans. As you can see, there is a loan out there which will cover all of your financial needs.

Are Some Student Loans Better Than Others?

At times it becomes difficult to finance education from your own pocket or via scholarships. For that purpose you must go for student loans. There could be many choices of getting a student loan, depending upon your status and type of education. So, you should check all options available and to choose the best one.

Student loans are of three main types:

o Federal student loans

o Private student loans

o Consolidation student loans

Federal loans are the main source for educational loans. Private financial institutes provide these loans. They are better than private loans, due to their assurance from government and their lowest interest rate.

Credit scores are not accountable for this so almost all students can apply for them before going for any other loan. You can make delay payments, flexible credit requirements and they have longer refund terms. Federal loan is further divided in three major types. i.e.

o Federal Stafford loans

o Federal Perkins loans

o Federal Parent PLUS loans

o Federal Graduate PLUS loans

In further categorization of Federal loans Perkins are better than Stafford due to their lowest interest rate (i.e. 5% interest rate). Federal Perkins loans are only for those who are facing acute financial crises. They have no fee, a lengthy grace period.

On the other hand Federal Stafford loans are more suitable if you need college loan. It has six month grace period and flexible repayments with no fine. You should be declared poor from your school.

Stafford loan can be taken in case you already owe an educational fund. Its interest rate is 6.8%.There is classification of Stafford loan, i.e. if you need a long term and need based loan, and you want government to pay your interest during the school time or you want to request a grace period. In such a case Stafford loan will be term as subsidized federal Stafford loan.

In another case if you need long term and you don’t fall under need based, with low interest rate, or you want additional financial support, then unsubsidized federal Stafford loan is best for you. Here interest will be paid by you. And if you are independent student then you should go for Additional unsubsidized federal Stafford loan.

There is another kind of federal loan termed as federal parent plus loans, they are better for the parents of undergraduate students, who depend on their parents and parents of independent students can’t apply. For this kind of loans it necessary to check credits, they have flexible repayment options and can be used for saving money during repayments of another loan. Prepayment fine is not charged, no wages or security required, repayments can be postpone till 60 months along with the school time period of your dependent child.

For graduates and professional students Federal Graduate plus loans is a best selection and these loans are better than Stafford loans and Private loans for them. You can borrow complete cost of education, but credits are checked, they offer flexible repayments, no prepayment fine is charged, interest could be tax deductible. They could also be helpful to save money for repayments and could be taken with Stafford loans. You can borrow full educational expenses, until you receive some other aid. Fee is charged but you could get help from lenders and sponsors.

If you are attending a community college or a 4 – 5 year college and you are heading for your degree with adequate credits, then you can go for Signature Student Loan. In this type of loan interest rate and fee is variable depending upon the student credits, standard repayment duration is 15 years but can be extended up to 30years.

Now if you have good credits and you are a parent or working adult, graduate or even undergraduate and you own a social security numbers then you are suitable for Tuition Student Loan. You should give the poof that you are already registered as student at licensed institute.

In case your need is not fulfilled by federal Stafford loan or any other aid or scholarship then Signature Student Loan for Community colleges could help you. These loans have a variable interest rate, no prepayment fine and a grace period of six months.

If you are part time student looking forward for degree or postsecondary student and not looking forward for degree, then Continuing Education loan is best for you. In this loan repayments can be done up to 15 years, interest rates are variable and change every month.

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Secured and unsecured loans in bankruptcy

When it comes to taking out a loan, you should know they are not all the same. There are many types of loans and the terms and conditions of a loan can vary greatly. Different types of loans each have their own benefits and risks. The terms of a secured loan can be stricter than an unsecured loan. One of the main differences between these two types of loans is how debt collection efforts are handled in the event you default on your loan payments. Your debt repayment options may be managed differently in a secured loan than an unsecured loan. In the event of an extended financial hardship, you may not be eligible to have certain types of loans eliminated through bankruptcy.

Secured Loans

Most major loan purchases, such as your home or car, are called secured loans. They are called secured loans because the debts acquired under this type of loan are secured against collateral. A mortgage loan is considered a secured loan. In a mortgage loan, the lender has the right to repossess the home if you default on your payments. Defaulting on a mortgage loan can lead to foreclosure, whereby the lender takes over the rights to the home and may sell the home in order to satisfy the debts owed. Loans for car purchases are also secured loans. The lender can repossess your car and sell it to recover the loan amount. If the sale of the asset does not satisfy the full amount of the debt that is owed, you may still be held liable for repaying the remaining amount owed on the debt.

A personal secured loan is one in which you are using your home or car as collateral, but the money received in the loan is used to purchase other items. An example of a personal secured loan is a payday loan, in which you put the title to your car as collateral against the loan. Even though the loan is not used for the purchase of the car, the lender has the right to repossess the car if you default on repaying the loan. If your car is repossessed during a payday loan, you are still liable for any debts still owed on your car loan through the originating lender. This can lead to further financial trouble and more debt.

Secured Loans And Bankruptcy

Secured loans can be more difficult to manage when if you find yourself in financial trouble. A secured loan may not be eligible for elimination if you file for bankruptcy. In some cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate the debt owed on a secured loan, but you may risk losing the property to the lender. Legally, lenders are allowed to seize and liquidate some of your assets in order to fulfill the debt payments of a secured loan. However, there are many states whose bankruptcy laws may offer exemptions for some of your assets. Bankruptcy exemptions may allow for your home and car can be protected from liquidation during bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can protect your assets from liquidation through a Chapter 13 repayment plan. The repayment plan allows for you to keep your assets while you make payments towards the loan over the course of 3 to 5 years. Once you complete the repayment plan, you will be relieved of your loan debt and own the rights to the property.

The most important thing to remember about defaulting on a secured loan, is that time is crucial for protecting your assets. Once you realize you may not be able to make your payment, contact your lender and discuss negotiating a modified repayment plan. Many lenders prefer to modify a repayment plan that better suits your budget, than risk losing money through selling the property through foreclosure or repossession. If your lender is not willing to negotiate, seek counsel from a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are loans that do not have any collateral used against the loan. The loan is unsecured because it is based on your promise to repay the debt. In an unsecured loan, the lender is not given any rights to seize or liquidate a specific asset. If you default on the loan, the lender may make debt collection efforts but are not afforded the right to reclaim any of your property.

The most common type of unsecured loan is a credit card. Defaulting on a credit card may lead to collection efforts, but creditors cannot take your assets to pay for the debt. Some personal loans are considered unsecured loans if you did not put up any of your property as collateral for the loan. Defaulting on unsecured loan payments can lead to negative consequences such as damage to your credit, harsh collection attempts and legal action. Another example of an unsecured loan is a student loan. Generally, student loans are treated seriously by the lending institution and defaulting on such loans can lead to significant consequences. Federal bankruptcy laws do not protect borrowers that default on a student loan payment and you risk having your wages garnished for purposes of paying the debt owed.

Unsecured Loans And Bankruptcy

Unsecured loans are much easier to have discharged through bankruptcy than a secured loan. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate most of your unsecured debt. In some cases, the bankruptcy court may decide to allow for some of your assets to be liquidated to fulfill debt payments. However, bankruptcy laws offer exemptions to protect most of your assets in bankruptcy. As in a secured loan, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will protect your assets as you make payments towards the debt.

New Student Loan Program Pays 100% of Loans Back

Once the Department of Education completes the evaluation of the applicant’s FAFSA, and determines the Financial Need amount available to an applicant, a Student Aid Report, or SAR, is issued to the applicant. The SAR contains the EFC. There are options for requesting a review of the Financial Need determination.

Once the applicant has qualified for a student loan, the student and his/her family must decide on what type of loan is best for their situation. Loans are differentiated by amounts, whether interest payments are subsidized or not, and the funding source of the loan. Loan amounts must also be evaluated in terms of what other financial assistance is available to the applicant.

Direct Loans are student loans made directly by The Department of Education (“DOE”) to students and the parents of students. No banks or financial institutions are involved. There are four types of direct loans offered by DOE:

Subsidized Stafford loans eliminate interest payments while the student is enrolled in school and during the six-month grace period following graduation before re-payment of the loan begins. These are available only to Independent Students.

Unsubsidized Stafford loans charge interest on the loan principle from the day the loan is issued. Repayment of the loan doesn’t start until six months after the student has either graduated or left college. But like a credit card balance left unpaid, the interest adds up each and every day the student attends school.

PLUS loans are available to students in graduate or professional school or to the parents of undergraduates.

The amount of money available through Stafford loans varies with each year of college.

College Year Amount of loan available

Freshman $ 3,500.00

Sophomore 4,500.00

Junior 5,500.00

Senior 5,500.00

All of the above amounts are for Dependent Students. The amounts for Independent Students are greater, but since very few applicants qualify for Independent Student status they are not included.

Interest rates and loan fees charged on Direct Student Loans are set by Congress. Interest rates are adjusted once a year, on July 31st. Current Stafford loan rates are 6.8% and loan fees are 4%.

The PLUS Program, or Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students, is a distinct and separate type of educational loan, which can be used to finance an undergraduate education. Because Stafford loans have limits that fall below the needs of many students, Stafford loans may need to be supplemented by PLUS loans obtained by their parents. Parents may apply for Direct PLUS loans from the DOE or from a second source of loans guaranteed by the DOE but funded by private banks and financial institutions. These loans are labeled FFEL or Federal Family Educational Loan Program.

PLUS loans carry a higher interest rate, currently 7.9% if the loan is a Direct loan from the DOE, and 8.5% for FFEL PLUS loans made by private banks or financial institutions. PLUS loans require separate applications available from the financial aid office of the student’s school. PLUS loans require good credit ratings and are subject to a more rigorous financial scrutiny than Stafford loans. PLUS loans carry origination fees like every other type of consumer loan. PLUS loans allow parents to borrow up to the complete cost of their child’s four years of college, less any other Direct loans or financial aid received.

Direct Plus loans are fairly straightforward. FFEL PLUS loans are made with private lenders. FFEL loans are guaranteed by the government, which means that the government agrees to, in effect, co-sign the loan. For this reason just about every type of financial institution offers PLUS loans. Most of these institutions are legitimate, but there are some predatory lenders. Caution must be exercised when choosing a lender. The Financial Aid Office of your child’s school should, in theory, be able to guide you to an honest lender. But there have been some scandals involving conflict of interest on the part of school financial aid departments, so independent investigation of lenders is a good idea.

Investigating PLUS loan lenders is much like investigating credit card offers. Some cards offer a low introductory rate, but the fine print shows that even one late or missed payment results in a skyrocketing interest rate. Other fine print reveals that a late or missed payment, even for a different credit card, can cause massive interest increases and penalties. For the period 2005 – 2006 student loans of all types amounted to over four hundred billion dollars. After home mortgages and credit cards, student loans are the larger source of business for the personal finance industry.

Loan Modification Vs FHA – Hope For Homeowners Program – Comparative Analysis

Current Housing Market Status:

In the last 3 or 4 years, a large number of homeowners have been trying to complete a “loan workout” with their current mortgage lender to lower the interest rate and improve the terms of their loan. Many lenders have chosen not to accept any new terms, rather, let the property go into foreclosure.

Because lenders have an overwhelming number of properties in foreclosure, they are starting to accept loan modifications via their loss mitigation departments. The time is ripe for consumers (who own homes) to take action and request that their loans be modified towards better terms and a lower interest rate they can afford, if they have high interest rate sub-prime loans or are at risk for foreclosure.

Since, the rate of foreclosures is increasing, everyday, the federal government, congress and the president have approved and signed a new bill which will allow homeowners to take advantage of a new “FHA – Hope for Homeowners Program” designed to save more than 400,000 homeowners from foreclosure. This program will go “live” on October 1st, 2008.

The new FHA loan program will assist homeowners who are currently in foreclosure, close to foreclosure or those who have high interest rate mortgage loans like those called sub-prime loans. The program is different than a loan modification in several ways.

The following is a bulleted layout of the deference’s between completing a loan modification and getting approved to do a FHA -Hope for Homeowners program.

Loan Modification:

1. You can recast your current loan into different terms, with the hope to benefit from a lower interest rate, which is fixed rather than an adjustable interest rate.

2. The costs of the loan modification are rolled on the “back-end” of the loan, which will increase the amount of money you owe.

3. The loss mitigation department may choose to keep the amount (that you own on your loan) higher than your current home value. Or they may choose to lower that amount, some, but not as much as it could be to make your new payment comfortable in the long term. This could mean that you may be in financial jeopardy, in the future.

4. It’s a fact, what cause your current lender to be interested in keeping your loan on their books are the servicing rights. They make money servicing your loan over the term of the amortization schedule. The problem is that many lenders have filed for bankruptcy or just got out of the business (due to poor credits markets) and the servicing rights have been sold to other investors. This often causes a strain, since; the servicer does not actually have your loan documents at their facility, so they rely on others to get your original loan information to them for review. This process can cause the loan modification workout to be slow, in many cases. Timing is very important, since, homeowners are not knowledgeable in the process and they often wait to late to get the loan modification process started. It is important to communicate with your current lender and get the loan modification process stated, months before your home goes to foreclosure sale.

5. If your request for a loan modification is rejected, you may want to try it again in a few months, since; some lenders don’t document the loan modification attempt you made. They are often motivated by changes in the housing market and their intent changes as more and more loans go into default. It does not hurt to try again. It is smart to work with a loan modification specialist, a seasoned loan officer or an attorney who specializes in real estate, mortgage lending and loan modifications. They understand how to speak to loss mitigation department, personnel and can get a general idea of the mood and trends of your lenders loss mitigation department.

6. Many loan modification specialist work together with attorney firms to get the loss mitigation departments to act in a timely manner. Those same attorney firms work with the loan modification specialist to make sure the original loan documents are not fraud ridden. This is a good approach, yet it can cost the homeowner additional money, since both the loan modification specialist and the attorney need to be paid for their services.

7. Homeowners are required to pay the loan modification specialists and attorneys for the services, provided. Many homeowners think that the cost will be included in the new loan amount, but this is not the case. Logically, lenders are already losing money when they agree to modify the loan terms and conditions for the homeowner, so, you can bet that they will not agree to “package” the costs of doing the loan modification into the new loan. That cost is paid by the homeowner, directly to the loan modification specialist and/or the attorney. The cost can range between $995.00 and $, 5000.00; as an average. Many loan modification specialist, senior loan officers and attorney firms can work out a payment plan, yet, many require at least 1/2 upfront before they start the loan workout. Understand, there is no guarantee that your loan modification or loan workout will be accepted. You will still have to pay your representation your agreed amount. A large percentage of loan modifications and workouts are accepted. So, it’s a good bet, since, most people do not want to loose their homes to foreclosure.

8. Loss mitigation representatives, (most often) do not require you to pay for a new appraisal. Instead, they have your representative provide census track data, a BPO (broker price opinion) or a print out of valuation from title company market sales data. 9. If you are in foreclosure and costs have been incurred from posting your foreclosure sales data, attorney fees, title costs or other costs; you could be liable for those costs, if our current lender requires it (as a requirement to the loan modification).

10. Loss mitigation departments may choose to approve you for a new loan which is (another adjustable or tiered -fixed loan). Be careful. Do your homework or “talk-it-over” with your representation.

FHA- Hope for Homeowners Program:

1. The federal housing administration (FHA) has required that all homeowners who become approved for this program accept a 30 year fixed rate program. No other loan types will be accepted. You can only qualify for this program.

2. FHA will loan up to 90% of the current value of your property. This means that if you purchased your property for a higher purchase price and currently have a loan amount higher than what the value of the property is presently, you can become approved to do a loan amount at 90% of what your current house is worth.

3. If you have more than a 1st trust deed lien (subordinate liens) on your property and your property value has severely, diminished; your current lenders may take the loss when you get approved under the “Hope for Homeowners Program”. Usually, the subordinate lenders loose, unless they purchase the primary lien. Most do not purchase the 1st trust deed lien. So, the subordinate lender takes a loose on their investment.

4. FHA’s goal is to keep as many homeowners in their homes. They understand that it would be better to do a loan for a homeowner rather than have that property go into foreclosure, be place into the retail real estate marketplace, causing a further degrading of the housing market.

5. The FHA underwriting guidelines are currently more liberal than any other loan guidelines in the current market. FHA is more forgiving in their approach to mortgage lending.

6. The FHA underwriting guidelines have not been disclosed. As October, 1st, 2008 approaches, lenders, processors and underwriters will have a more clear idea as to what is required to get a loan approval.

7. Homeowners will (probably) be required to pay for a new FHA appraisal, as a condition for loan approval and closing. Underwriting guidelines will determine if this is true. The average costs for an FHA appraisal is ranges, $300 – $450.

8. Income to debt ratios will be determined and posted in the underwriting guidelines. Consult your loan modification specialist or loan officer.

9. The loan servicing companies that service, sub-prime loans will (probably) be more inclined to accept a loan modification, since they will want to transfer the lien to FHA, rather than keep it on their books. They have taken huge losses and have an overwhelming desire to get rid if their current problems. Have patience with these lenders, since, they do not keep your actual loan documents at their facilities. They will have to request them. Many loss mitigation personnel are stressed and will want to make a determination as to your file, fast. This is an advantage to you! Work closely with your loan officer to get the items needed for loan submission.

10. If you live in a heavily populated area like Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Miami, etc., you will more than likely have a higher percentage of success with a loss mitigation department. This is because there are more homes in foreclosure in concentrated housing areas.

11. Even though we have not seen the FHA underwriter guidelines, (since they have not been delivered to the underwriters) they will be available on or before October, 1st, 2008. We can expect that the guidelines will probably focus on a person ability to make the new housing payment and not the persons credit score. We call this “ability to pay”!

12. If you’re, FHA -“Hope for Homeowners Program” loan application is accepted by FHA; your current lender will still have to accept the condition which FHA places on the loan. This means that your current lender may to take a loss in equity by accepting the FHA loan buyout, offered.

13. The good news is that your current lender (already) understands that they will take a loss in equity, if the property goes into foreclosure. If they don’t accept the FHA buyout, they may have to place your foreclosed property into the retail sales marketplace. This means that they may have to pay a Realtor up to 6% commission, wait for the property to be purchased, incur additional holding cost, pay a gardener, electricity and water bills. All the while, they realize that the property will probably be reduced in value even more as additional foreclosure properties come on to the marketplace. This is not a rosy situation for them, so, most will realize that it would be better to sell the loan to FHA and take less of a financial loss.

14. The main benefit to your current lender in accepting the terms of a FHA buyout is that under the FHA guidelines, they can benefit from a portion of any equity gain in the property for up to 5 years, at the time FHA buys the loan. If the homeowner chooses to sell the home within the 5 year period after the close of the new FHA loan; the lender can participate in a percentage of any equity gain. This single condition will cause many lenders to accept the FHA loan buyout. Ask your loan officer for information regarding lender participation in an equity gains.

15. Many lenders are fully; “FHA approved lenders” and will require that your loan be recast within the FHA loan department of your current lender. Therefore, ask your loan officer if your current lender (note holder) is FHA licensed. This will save you time and headaches, since; many loan officers will try to do the loan on your behalf without determining if your current lender wants the new FHA loan on their own books. This may be a condition for an FHA loan approval, by your current lender. If our current lender is already an approved lender, they might as well sell the loan to FHA, direct, correct?

16. Third party cost like, attorney fees, loss mitigation fees, foreclosure posting fees, etc., will be absorbed by your current lender under the FHA – Hope for Homeowners Program. You will not incur these fees under the program. The lender will take this loss, too.

17. As part of the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, 1st time homebuyers are encouraged to purchase homes between April, 2008 and July 2009. They can receive up to $7500 dollars in tax credits from the federal government. This program has been established to speed up the housing recovery by getting people to purchase homes. Additionally, it will cause home sellers to purchase homes, as well, since they are often “move up” buyers. This program is part of the overall attempt to correct the bad housing market.

18. Credit Score vs. Your Ability to Make the Payment: These two factors will be outlined in the underwriting guidelines. I would expect that the ability to pay will override the credit score issue, since, most people having problems making their housing payments, already, have degraded credit scores. Consult your loan officer for details.

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Personal Loans – All You Wanted to Know

The main features are:
It is a unsecured loan suitable for any purpose Like:

– Education
– Marriage
– Medical purpose
– Purchase of Property or Assets
– Repay old loans
– Investments
– Holidays
– Gifts…etc.

It is hassle free. No guarantors or security /collateral required. Loans to salaried & self-employed. Special offers for Professionals like Doctors, Chartered accountants, Engineers, Architects, Company secretaries, MBA’s etc. Loans are available from Rs. 50, 000/- to Rs. 20 lakh. Repayment options from 12 to 60 months in easy EMI’s. Loans available against surrogate income of any auto, personal or home loan.

Minimum documentation & fast approval. What are the Various types of personal loans available? Personal loans can be broadly divided into income based and non income based. Income based loans are given on the basis of income per month/per year for salaried and self employed respectively. Non income based loans also know as surrogate loans are given based on repayment track records of existing personal loans, car loans, home loans and Credit cards from approved banks. Minimum instalments paid/Months on books required is 9-12 months.

WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIAS?
The eligibility criteria for salaried and self employed are:

SALARIED:
Applicant should be Indian citizens working and residing in Mumbai.
Minimum age required is 21 years and Maximum 58/60 years.
Minimum Work Experience-1 month in current company and 3 years overall.
Minimum Net Take Home – Rs. 20, 000/- per month.
Residence-either Owned, rented or company provided.
Telephone/mobile mandatory at residence.
Currently most of the banks are providing unsecured personal loans only to employees of Private Ltd , Limited and multinational companies.

SELF EMPLOYED:
Applicant should be Indian Citizens Working and residing in Mumbai.
Minimum age required is 23/25 years and Maximum 65 years.
Minimum 3 years experience in same business.
Minimum income Rs. 2. 50 lakh per anum.
Residence/Office -either Owned, rented or company provided. Either residence or office should be self owned.
Telephone/mobile mandatory at residence and office.
Partnership firms , Private Ltd. companies and deemed Limited companies are eligible.

HOW IS ELIGIBILITY CALCULATED?

Different banks have different ways of calculating the eligibility. In the case of Salaried generally most of the banks would calculate eligibility to be 1/1. 5 times of annual income. Factors such as existing loan liabilities , average bank balance, track record on existing loans , company profile & loan tenure also plays a part in deciding eligibility.
In the case of Self Employed’s the eligibility would depend on the turnover, existing track record, net profit, cash credit /overdraft limit enjoyed, line of business, cash flow, bank statement, existing loan liability amongst other things. Generally the loan amount is limited at 1. 25 to 4 times of cash profit generated less existing liabilities or a certain percentage of turnover less existing liabilities.

WHAT IS THE LOAN TENURE?

Loan tenure is the period within which the applicant wants to repay the loan. Loans can be repaid from 1 year to 5 years. The rule of the thumb being longer the tenure higher would be the loan eligibility and vice versa. The age of the applicant along with period of service left also influences the loan tenure.

WHAT ARE SERVICE CHARGES?

Service charges, loan processing charges , bank charges are various ways of describing the fees which the bank charges for processing and disbursing loans. It is deducted directly from the loan amount and is generally restricted to 2% to 3 % of the loan amount. It is a one time fee.

WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED?

SALARIED:

– Photograph.
– Pan card copy.
– Current residence proof.
– Salary slips for 3 months.
– Bank statement for 6 months.
– Appointment letter and proof of work experience.
– Sanction letters of existing/closed loans.

SELF EMPLOYED:

– Photograph.
– Pan card copy.
– Residence and office address proof(Either residence or
– Office should be self owned).
– IT Returns – CA certified copies for 2 years complete set.
– Business continuity/existence proof 3 years old.
– Business banking 6 months.
– All existing loan sanction letters.
– Qualification proof for professionals.

WHAT IS THE LOAN PROCESS?

One can apply for a personal loan any time in anticipation of a quick, hassle free and unsecured finance for any purpose. The verification process at residence and office is physically done within 2/3 days on submission of all documents required. There is a simultaneous credit check done to find out the credit history of the applicant in the bank applied as also other banks. If all the checks are positive the credit officer normally has either a telephonic or physical discussion with the applicant at his office/place of work.

Subject to the discussion being positive the applicant has to sign an agreement and also hand over PDC’c(Post Dated Checks) or authorization for ECS(Electronic Clearing System). The applicant generally gets either a direct credit in his/her account or receives a Draft within 2/3 working days after executing the agreement. The entire Process may take 5/7 working days.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Salaried individuals and Self employed individuals, Partnership firms, Pvt. Ltd. and Deemed Ltd. companies can apply.

What are the Income Criterias for Salaried?
A Salaried Individual needs to have Minimum NTH(Net Take Home Salary) Of Rs. 20000/- pm.

What are the income criteria for self employed?
Minimum Income of Rs. 2. 5 to Rs. 3 lakh per annum is the accepted norm.

What is the minimum and maximum loan amount?
The minimum loan amount for salaried is Rs. 50, 000/- and maximum Rs. 15 lakhs. For Self employed the minimum loan is Rs. 1 lakh and maximum 20 lakh.

WHAT ARE THE AGE CRITERIAS?
For salaried the minimum age is 21 years and maximum 60 years.
For Self employed’s the Minimum age required is 25 years and maximum 65 years.

Is a no income Proof loan available?
Yes, salaried individuals and self employed’s can apply on the basis of existing personal loan, auto loan & home loan tracks on which minimum 9/12 EMI’s have been paid.

WHAT IS THE LOAN TENURE?
The minimum loan tenure is 1 year and maximum 5 years.

Is securities or guarantors required for a personal loan?
No security, hypothecation, guarantors or mortgages is required in a personal Loan.

Can a person staying on rent apply?
Yes, applicants staying either on owned, rented or company provided accommodation can apply. Permanent residence address proof may be required in case of rented/leased, company provided accommodation.

WHAT ARE THE INTEREST CHARGES?
Interest charges depends on various factors like the Loan Amount, Company profile, qualification & Income etc. It could vary from 16 % to 26% on a monthly reducing basis.

CAN THE LOAN BE PREPAID?
Yes, the loan can be prepaid after paying 6 installment.

ARE THERE PREPAYMENT CHARGES?
Generally all banks charge 4% to 5% of the principle outstanding as prepayment charges.

New Repayment Break on Student Loans Begins July 1

It’s not an easy time to be graduating from college with student loans. With the unemployment rate soaring toward 10 percent and the average starting salary for college graduates down 2.2 percent this year, student loan borrowers – whose average debt from student loans tops $22,000 – are now having an even tougher time affording their student loan payments.

The good news? Starting July 1, 2009, graduates with federal college loans may be able to qualify for a new government program that can reduce the monthly payments on their student loans based on their income.

Income-Based Repayment for Federal Student Loans

The income-based repayment program, created by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, will cap a borrower’s monthly student loan payments at a percentage of her or his income, when the borrower’s income is at least 50 percent higher than the current federal poverty line for the borrower’s family size.

These income-based student loan payments will be calculated as 15 percent of the amount by which a borrower’s adjusted gross income exceeds 150 percent of the poverty line.

(For individuals, the 2009 poverty line is $10,830 in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. The complete federal poverty guidelines for 2009 are available on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

For example: 150 percent of the current individual poverty line of $10,830 is $16,245. If a borrower’s annual adjusted gross income is $25,000, the monthly payments on her or his eligible student loans would be capped at $109.44 – 15 percent of the difference between $25,000 and $16,245, divided by 12 months. If a borrower’s annual adjusted gross income is $40,000, the monthly payments on any eligible student loans would be capped at $296.94 ($40,000 – $16,245, multiplied by 15 percent, divided by 12).

Income-based monthly payments will be adjusted annually, based on a borrower’s federal tax return from the previous year. As a borrower’s income rises, the income-based repayment cap will also go up. If the income-based repayment cap reaches a level higher than what a borrower’s monthly payment would be under a standard 10-year student loan repayment plan, the borrower will no longer qualify for income-based repayment for her or his student loans.

Borrowers whose adjusted gross income falls below 150 percent of the poverty threshold won’t be required to make any payments on those student loans that qualify for income-based repayment.

Even if no payments are due, however, interest will continue to accrue on those college loans . Unpaid interest will also accrue if a borrower’s income-based monthly payments aren’t sufficient to cover the full monthly interest on the qualifying college loans. Any accrued unpaid interest will be added to the student loan principal and capitalized when the borrower no longer qualifies for income-based repayment.

Subsidized Interest and Student Loan Forgiveness

For those borrowers who hold subsidized student loans or a federal consolidation loan that included subsidized Stafford loans or Perkins loans, the government will cover any unpaid interest on those subsidized loans (or on that portion of a student loan consolidation that’s comprised of subsidized loans) for the first three years that a borrower is in income-based repayment.

The longest that a borrower can remain on the income-based repayment plan is 25 years. After 25 years of income-based payments, the government will forgive any remaining principal and unpaid interest – although borrowers should note that under current tax law, this forgiven student loan debt would be taxable.

Borrowers who are employed full-time in qualifying jobs in the public service sector may have their remaining student loan debt forgiven after just 10 years in the income-based repayment program, and this forgiveness would be tax-free, thanks to a ruling from the U.S. Treasury last year.

Qualifying for Income-Based Repayment

To find out if you qualify for income-based repayment on your federal college loans, you’ll need to contact your lender and provide information about your financial situation – you’ll need to demonstrate “partial financial hardship,” as defined by federal regulations.

Only federal Stafford and Grad PLUS student loans in good standing, along with consolidations of these college loans, are eligible for income-based repayment. Federal Perkins loans are eligible only if they’ve been included in a federal student loan consolidation. Other college loans are ineligible:

Private student loans. The income-based repayment program applies only to federal student loans. If you’re having problems meeting the monthly payments on your private student loans , you should contact the lenders to see if they’re willing to work out more affordable repayment plans for you. Keep in mind, though, that private student loans typically have less flexible repayment options than federal student loans.

Federal PLUS loans. If your parents took out PLUS parent loans to help you pay for college, they won’t be able to take advantage of income-based repayment on their PLUS loans. Consolidation loans that included PLUS parent loans are also excluded from income-based repayment. Any Grad PLUS loans you took out as a graduate student, however, as well as consolidations of Grad PLUS loans, are eligible.

Defaulted student loans. Your student loans don’t have to be new to be eligible – even long-time graduates may be able to qualify for income-based repayment on college loans taken out years ago. But you can’t be in default on your loans. To qualify for an income-based repayment plan, any federal college loans you have in default will need to be rehabilitated first.

The PayDay Loan Web – Don’t Be a Needy Fly That Gets Caught in This Web

my personal payday loan story that can help you

the term payday loan starts with the letter “p” which is the same letter that starts off the words pain, penalty, poor and poverty. Both the internet and the physical world are full of places where you can get a loan with bad credit, no credit check, and no employment verification but what these modern day loan sharks don’t tell you is that their interest rates are so high that one day you may end up with the payday loan mafia coming after you!

Sure, these loans look very attractive to those in financial need that are unable to get a loan by conventional means but when the facts are presented what you have to pay back just isn’t worth it. This fictional character that we all refer to as “guido” which is the person that comes to break your arms and legs when you don’t pay a loan shark back is in existence in a different way when it comes to payday loans. Instead of your arms and legs the payday loan guido comes after your heart, soul and peace of mind.

Payday loan places make their offerings look so attractive but it is all an illusion because who can really see when they are desperate? What you don’t want to happen is for what appears to be a temporary solution to become a long term problem and many times that is exactly what happens.

I’ve been caught in the payday loan otherwise known as payday advance web many times. Sometimes life’s circumstances leave us very few choices and we decide to do what we feel like we have to do to buy gas and put food on the table. Like I said, i’ve been there before and as a survivor of payday loan debt I have knowledge that can help you.

I want you to ask yourself a question which is, “if you don’t have enough money to get by what makes you think you can payoff a loan with 300%- 700% interest?” You might as well sell your first born child. Payday loans may seem good in the short run and you may get instant gratification and even a rush when you hold that cash in your hands or see it in your bank account but in the long run it is a race that many can’t win.

My story, like many, was that I obtained payday loans to cover immediate expenses I needed cash for but didn’t have money to pay the loans back so I got extension after extension paying out ungodly amounts of money. Before long I was getting new payday loans just to pay the other payday loans I had received. I was trapped in a vicious cycle with no way out and a ton of stress upon me. I became a needy fly caught in the payday loan web, especially since most of my loans were online loans; I was literally in a virtual web. The payday loan spider sucked the life blood out of my bank accounts and I didn’t know what to do.

Please understand that you can’t solve a problem with a problem and you can’t come out debt by creating more debt. The solution to your debt starts with gaining additional income sources and paying off existing debt little by little so you can be free. In my own personal payday loan crisis I got up to almost $7, 000 worth of payday loans and when renewal payment time came my entire paycheck was gone. This is a miserable experience that I pray you can avoid. You might already be at this state but even if you are I have some suggestions for you that will offer hope.

The first thing you have to do is to make a conscious decision to get out of this situation. Decide to change and become a butterfly rather than a fly caught up in the payday loan web. When a caterpillar is going through the metamorphosis in the cocoon in order to become a butterfly there is a struggle. The struggle is in fact what makes the butterfly great because the struggle to get out of the cocoon transformed actually pushes fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings so that it can emerge in beautiful flight. This process may be a little painful but it will help you fly and be what you were made to be.

One thing that I did was to become an affiliate for payday loan companies so that I could get paid from other people acquiring payday loans. Some people are just going to get them so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get paid from the process that made you pay so much. The second thing I did is what really helped me which was to get a payday loan consolidation company to take on my debt at a reduced amount and pay the payday loans back for me on my behalf. It was one of the best choices I ever made and it was a way out of the payday loan web.

You can do a Google search to find companies that will represent you in this way but do your research and make sure that the company you choose is credible. I used pdl assistance, inc. They require an upfront fee to take your case but they will work with you on paying it and it is around $200. Next you set up a plan to pay them a monthly amount on your payday loan debt and they pay your debtors directly. They will give you different term options to pay the debt off and they will deal with the payday loan companies for you. Doing this took a huge weight off of me. I got a 12 month term to repay my payday loan debt at 35% of what I owed the payday loan companies. The $400 a month I was paying on this plan was much better than the $700 plus every two weeks I was paying for all the loans I had.

One important thing to know when you start a payday loan consolidation program is that the payday loan companies are going to call you to collect. When they call just give them the information for the company that is representing you and let them know that the debt is going to be repaid to them as part of a loan/debt consolidation program you have initiated. I obtained the fax numbers to my payday loan companies and sent them notification on who to contact regarding the repayment of my loans. If you do this make sure to include your account number and social security number so they can properly locate your account.

Some companies will continue to try and collect from you in spite of this so I have another suggestion if this happens. If you get numerous collection calls after you have informed them about your debt consolidation you need to fax and/or send them a cease and desist letter. You can get a template off the internet and submitting this letter will stop the collection calls while your debt consolidation program is in the works.

Another tip is to close the bank account you have the loan fees being deducted from if possible. You will want to start a new account before you close your existing account and under no circumstances get payday loans under the new account. You have to treat the payday loan habit like an addiction. If you are going to stop it then stop it because replicating the mistake will only make things worse for you.

If you need money then get bad credit credit cards and pay them on time to build your credit. Pay more than the minimum payment and use them to pay bills so you can pay what you need to pay while building your credit. No debt consolidation company can legally advise you to close your account but sometimes it is the only way to keep the payments from being processed and causing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in overdraft fees. For me this was the easiest way because I had so many loans and it would have cost me a $25 fee for every stop payment processed plus the bank could have missed some.

I also want you to know that the cease and desist letter can be used for any type of debt collection and not just payday loans. It is important to know your rights and you can find them out online at the federal trade commission’s website where you can learn about the fair debt collection act. You will learn what creditors can and cannot do regarding the collection of your debts and how to stop inconvenient and harassing behavior.

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Payday Loans But Were Afraid to Ask

A payday loan is a small short term loan you can use to cover expenditure until your next payday. You can apply online and the decision to loan you the money is made almost straight away. In most cases the whole application can be completed online and the money loaned can be credited into your bank account on the same day as you make your application.

A payday loan is an unsecured loan, so it is not dependent on collateral, such as you owning a house or car etc.

Generally when you make your first application you can borrow any amount up to £300, depending on your take home pay. You are more likely to be approved the less you want to borrow, so it is advisable to borrow only what you need. Once you have successfully repaid loans with one particular company they may then offer to lend you anything up to about £750 in subsequent loans.

Payday loans can provide a useful solution for short term cash flow problems.

Who can apply for a Payday loan?

In order to be eligible for a payday loan you must be over 18 years old and in employment with a take home wage of at least £750 per month. You must also have a bank account with a valid debit card.

Even if you have bad credit history you should still be able to obtain a payday loan as long as you fulfil the above criteria.

How do you get a Payday loan?

The majority of payday loans are available online, so there is no delay with faxing or posting of documents. The application process is quick and easy to complete. You will be asked for your name, address, details about your monthly income and employment, when your next payday is, along with the amount you wish to borrow and your bank account details.

Once you have submitted your application you should hear back from the payday loan provider within minutes. They will email you with their decision to the email address you have registered with your application.

Payday loan providers partly make their decision as whether to lend you money dependent on the amount you want to borrow compared to the amount you earn. Only borrow what you need, the less you borrow the more likely that your application will be accepted and the smaller the amount of interest you will accrue.

If your application is successful you will be sent, by email, your loan agreement showing the amount that will be lent to you, the repayment date and the amount of interest you will pay on the repayment date. Along with the loan agreement you should also be sent loan conditions. These loan conditions should outline your rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 along with details about repaying the loan, cancelling the loan and the use the personal information you supply when applying for the payday loan.

If you are happy to proceed you sign online by providing details of your name and answering a security question such as your mothers’ maiden name. Then, email this back to the loan provider and the money will be deposited into the bank account you registered at the application process. The money can be deposited in your bank account on the same day you make the application, so this is a very fast and efficient way of borrowing money short term.

How do I repay the loan?

You will need to repay the loan amount and the interest accrued on the repayment date as specified in the loan agreement. The repayment date is usually your payday, hence the name payday loan.

The repayment will be collected by the loan provider by debiting the bank account you registered at the application process, which is the bank account into which you get your wages paid.

Repayment over a longer period

Payday loans may be extended if you find yourself in a position to be unable to satisfy all or part of the amount due on the repayment date. If this happens it is recommended that you contact your payday loan provider as soon as possible and explain your circumstances to them. They will then be able to explain your options and how to go about extending your loan.

Even if you are not able to fully settle the repayment amount, it is advisable to pay off as much as possible on the repayment date. This will help to keep the amount of interest you owe to a minimum. Some companies may charge you additional fees for extending your loan, you should check if this is the case before you sign your loan agreement.

Regulation of Payday Loan Companies

Properly regulated payday loan companies must adhere to strict laws governing the finance industry.

As with any financial product you apply for it is always advisable to check that the company offering the loan is properly regulated. The payday loan company you are applying to should show its Consumer Credit Licence number within its loan conditions and it should also be authorised by the Office of Fair Trading. If you are in any doubt as to whether the payday loan company you are considering applying to is fully regulated then you are within your rights to contact either of these bodies for further information.

As long as the payday loan company you are applying to is properly regulated, there will be a recognised body to make any complaints you may have to and you can be assured that you will not be subject to any unfair practices.

What are the benefits of a Payday loan?

Fast

One of the main benefits of a payday loan is the speed at which the cash can be credited to you. The money you need can be available to you in your bank account on the same day that you make the application. This can provide valuable assistance if you have a short term cash flow problem and need money in an emergency.

Simple

The application process is very simple, it takes just minutes to apply for a payday loan and you do not have waste time posting or faxing documents to the payday loan provider, as you would with other more traditional high street loans.

Poor Credit History

Payday loans are available to people with a poor credit history. This is because payday loan companies do not solely make their decision to lend based on a persons credit history. As long as you fulfil the application criteria you have a good chance of obtaining a payday loan. For many people a payday loan may be the only way they are able to obtain credit, especially in the current financial climate where the majority of lenders are unwilling to provide loans altogether, never mind to a person with a poor credit history.

Use of the Loan Money

You do not have to tell the payday loan provider what you need the payday loan for. You can use the money for whatever you want. You may need money in an emergency which can not wait until payday for instance; emergency medical or dental treatment, to settle a bill quickly, extra spending money on holiday or even for a romantic weekend away. The choice is yours as long as you make the repayment due on the repayment date.

No Upfront Costs

There are no upfront costs associated with a payday loan. You do not pay anything back until the repayment date you have agreed to in the loan agreement.

Why does the APR appear high on payday loans?

The APR applied to payday loans appears at first glance to be high. This is very misleading, but there is a simple reason why this figure looks so high. APR is an Annual Percentage Rate, and as such is calculated over a whole year (365 days). However, a payday loan is taken usually only over a number of days or weeks.

The APR calculation was not designed to apply to very short term loans such as payday loans. It was designed to apply to long term loans in existence for a year or more. It is really a theoretical figure than enables people to compare similar longer term loan products, like mortgages or ongoing credit balances.

Rather than relying on the APR rate it is more advisable to look directly at the loan agreement to see exactly how much interest you will be charged for the period of your payday loan. Some companies have a standard interest charge for the amount you wish to borrow regardless of the duration of the loan. It is then up to you to decide whether you will be able to repay both the cash advance you receive initially and the interest amount on the repayment date.

Alternative Loan Options for Residential Real Estate Investment

How To Start A Non For Profit OrganizationConventional loans are typically the hardest to obtain for real estate investors. Some lenders don’t allow income from investment properties to be counted toward total income, which can make global underwriting a problem for certain investors, especially those who already have several existing conventional, conforming real estate loans reporting on their credit. In these cases, the investor must look outside conventional funding for their investments. Two of the more popular choices for alternative financing are portfolio loans and hard money loans.

Portfolio Loans

These loans are loans made by banks which do not sell the mortgage to other investors or mortgage companies. Portfolio loans are made with the intention of keeping them on the books until the loan is paid off or comes to term. Banks which make these kinds of loans are called portfolio lenders, and are usually smaller, more community focused operations.

Advantages of Portfolio Loans

Because these banks do not deal in volume or answer to huge boards like commercial banks, portfolio lenders can do loans that commercial banks wouldn’t touch, like the following:

smaller multifamily properties
properties in dis-repair
properties with an unrealized after-completed value
pre-stabilized commercial buildings
single tenant operations
special use buildings like churches, self-storage, or manufacturing spaces
construction and rehab projects
Another advantage of portfolio lenders is that they get involved with their community. Portfolio lenders like to lend on property they can go out and visit. They rarely lend outside of their region. This too gives the portfolio lender the ability to push guidelines when the numbers of a deal may not be stellar, but the lender can make a visit to the property and clearly see the value in the transaction. Rarely, if ever, will a banker at a commercial bank ever visit your property, or see more of it than what she can gather from the appraisal report.

Disadvantages of Portfolio Loans

There are only three downsides to portfolio loans, and in my opinion, they are worth the trade off to receive the services mentioned above:

shorter loan terms
higher interest rates
conventional underwriting
A portfolio loan typically has a shorter loan term than conventional, conforming loans. The loan will feature a standard 30 year amortization, but will have a balloon payment in 10 years or less, at which time you’ll need to payoff the loan in cash or refinance it.

Portfolio loans usually carry a slightly higher than market interest rate as well, usually around one half to one full percentage point higher than what you’d see from your large mortgage banker or retail commercial chain.

While portfolio lenders will sometimes go outside of guidelines for a great property, chances are you’ll have to qualify using conventional guidelines. That means acceptable income ratios, global underwriting, high debt service coverage ratios, better than average credit, and a good personal financial statement. Failing to meet any one of those criteria will knock your loan out of consideration with most conventional lenders. Two or more will likely knock you out of running for a portfolio loan.

If you find yourself in a situation where your qualifying criteria are suffering and can’t be approved for a conventional loan or a portfolio loan you’ll likely need to visit a local hard money lender.

Hard Money and Private Money Loans

Hard money loans are asset based loans, which means they are underwritten by considering primarily the value of the asset being pledged as collateral for the loan.

Advantages of Hard Money Loans

Rarely do hard money lenders consider credit score a factor in underwriting. If these lenders do run your credit report it’s most likely to make sure the borrower is not currently in bankruptcy, and doesn’t have open judgments or foreclosures. Most times, those things may not even knock a hard money loan out of underwriting, but they may force the lender to take a closer look at the documents.

If you are purchasing property at a steep discount you may be able to finance 100% of your cost using hard money. For example, if you are purchasing a $100,000 property owned by the bank for only $45,000 you could potentially obtain that entire amount from a hard money lender making a loan at a 50% loan-to-value ratio (LTV). That is something both conventional and portfolio lenders cannot do.

While private lenders do check the income producing ability of the property, they are more concerned with the as-is value of the property, defined as the value of the subject property as the property exists at the time of loan origination. Vacant properties with no rental income are rarely approved by conventional lenders but are favorite targets for private lenders.

The speed at which a hard money loan transaction can be completed is perhaps its most attractive quality. Speed of the loan is a huge advantage for many real estate investors, especially those buying property at auction, or as short sales or bank foreclosures which have short contract fuses.Hard money loans can close in as few as 24 hours. Most take between two weeks and 30 days, and even the longer hard money time lines are still less than most conventional underwriting periods.

Disadvantages of Hard Money and Private Money Loans

Typically, a private lender will make a loan of between 50 to 70 percent of the as-is value. Some private lenders use a more conservative as-is value called the “quick sale” value or the “30 day” value, both of which could be considerably less than a standard appraised value. Using a quick sale value is a way for the private lender to make a more conservative loan, or to protect their investment with a lower effective LTV ratio. For instance, you might be in contract on a property comparable to other single family homes that sold recently for $150,000 with an average marketing time of three to four months. Some hard money lenders m lend you 50% of that purchase price, citing it as value, and giving you $75,000 toward the purchase. Other private lenders may do a BPO and ask for a quick sale value with a marketing exposure time of only 30 days. That value might be as low as $80,000 to facilitate a quick sale to an all-cash buyer. Those lenders would therefore make a loan of only $40,000 (50% of $80,000 quick sale value) for an effective LTV of only 26%. This is most often a point of contention on deals that fall out in underwriting with hard money lenders. Since a hard money loan is being made at a much lower percentage of value, there is little room for error in estimating your property’s real worth.

The other obvious disadvantage to a hard money loans is the cost. Hard money loans will almost always carry a much higher than market interest rate, origination fees, equity fees, exit fees, and sometimes even higher attorney, insurance, and title fees. While some hard money lenders allow you to finance these fees and include them in the overall loan cost, it still means you net less when the loan closes.