Tag Archive | "loan"

Simple Trick: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage in Half the Time? Comparing 15-Year Mortgages and 30-Year Mortgages.

Simple Trick: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage in Half the Time? Comparing 15-Year Mortgages and 30-Year Mortgages.

Pros of a 30-Year Fixed Mortgage

With interest rates at a historical lows, consumers are racing to refinance their homes. In many cases consumers reach for the traditional 30-year mortgage. This loan locks in the incredibly low rates we see today for thirty years and in most cases gives the consumer a much lower payment than they had before. This sounds great because with rate where they are there is not much lower they can go and certainly over the next 30 years we should expect rates to rise perhaps even dramatically if inflation were to rear its head. It certainly sounds like the 30 year fix mortgage is a great alternative to any adjustable rate loan offer that will most likely result in higher payments and interest to consumers in the future.

Wow! Look at the Interest You Pay over 30 years

What many consumers don’t realize is just how much they pay in interest over the term of their loan. Let’s take a $100,000 loan at 4.25% interest rate (Interest rates will vary based on credit and other factors). Over the 30 year term you pay $77,098 in interest on top of the $100,000 you borrowed. That is a 77% premium to your original loan amount. If we take a bigger loan say $625,000 you end up paying a whopping $481,250 in interest which is the same 77% premium to your original loan amount.

The 15-Year Fixed Mortgage – A Simple Trick

Now if you don’t like the idea of paying your bank all that interest here’s a simple solution. Consider a 15 year fixed mortgage. There are two big advantages to a 15 year fixed mortgage. First, the term is half as long so you will pay less interest because of this time element. Second, many lenders offer lower rates on 15 year fixed mortgages so you will pay less interest because of the lower rate.  Let’s go back to our examples. The $100,000 loan for 15 years now has an interest rate of 3.4% (Again interest rates will vary based on credit and other factors but for many lenders you will see a nice difference). In this case over the 15 year term you pay $27,797 in interest, a $49,302 savings in interest. If we take the bigger $625,000 loan the interest you pay is now $173,730, a $307,520 saving in interest.

The Price you Pay to Pay off your Loan in Half the Time

The 15-Year fixed mortgage is a great way to reduce the interest you pay to banks but is still is not for everyone. There is a price you pay to reduce the interest you pay and to have your home free and clear in half the time. One of the down sides to a 15 year mortgage is that your payments will be larger on a monthly basis then the 30 year mortgage because you are paying the loan down in 15 years vs 30 years. So in our $100,000 example you pay $492 per month with the 30 year mortgage and $218 more a month or $710 with the 15 year mortgage. In our $625,000 example you pay $3,074 per month with the 30 year mortgage and $1,363 more a month or $4,437 with the 15 year mortgage.

 Simple Trick: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage in Half the Time? Comparing 15 Year Mortgages and 30 Year Mortgages.

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Tips to Get Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt

Tips to Get Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt

200px Smartcard2 Tips to Get Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt
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OVERVIEW
Do you have too much credit card debt? It will take commitment and discipline, but here are some tips to get yourself out of credit card debt.

Do you have too much credit card debt? Many people are embarrassed or ashamed of how much credit card debt they have or how they got to that point in their lives. If you have too much credit card debt, admitting that is the first step toward getting yourself out. It will take commitment and discipline, but here are some tips to get yourself out of credit card debt:

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Stop Using Your Credit Card
Stopping your credit card usage can be the toughest step of all, but it’s the most important. If you are aware you have too much credit card debt, you need to stop using the cards. Not incurring more credit card debt is the best way to digging yourself out of further problems.

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Find Small Ways to Save
Take a good, hard look at where your money goes every day. The latte you grab on the way into work and the $10.00 sandwich are expenses that add up if you incur them every day. Take a look at your cell phone plan, your cable bill, and any other subscription services you have that could be trimmed or entirely cut out. Seemingly small savings of $50-100 can make a big difference when paying down your credit card debt.

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Check on Interest Rates
Contact your lenders and ask about lowering the interest rate they’re charging on your credit card debt. The credit market is very competitive and many companies are willing to work with you and not lose your business. Once you’ve gotten your interest rates lowered, prioritize your payments, paying off higher interest rate credit card debt first.

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Contact Your Creditors
If you find yourself in the position of having to miss a payment, contact your creditor and let them know about this. Try to set up a payment plan that you are sure you can meet. You don’t want to come back to them at a later date and try to renegotiate.

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Home Equity Loans
It’s possible to tap into your home equity for a secured loan to pay off your credit card debt. You can secure a lower interest rate, fixed monthly payments, and peace of mind. Be sure to only do this if you have kicked the credit card spending habit. Many people will pay off credit card debt with home equity, only to run up their bills again.

• Too Much Credit Card Debt? Debt Consolidation
Unsecured debt consolidation is a possible solution to your credit card debt problem. Finding a non-profit debt settlement company can help you get your credit card debt consolidated into one monthly payment that you can afford.

Credit card debt has become immensely popular these days, with every nearly every other person finding themselves in debt problems. The trick is, in knowing how to deal with your credit card debt situation and taking steps to rectify your problems.

 Tips to Get Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt

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Are You In Trouble With Debt?

Are You In Trouble With Debt?

OVERVIEW
People often don’t recognize that they are in trouble with debt until it is too late. Ask yourself these questions to see whether or not you are in trouble with debt.

People often don’t recognize that they are in trouble with debt until it is too late. Ask yourself these questions to see whether or not you are in trouble with debt.

1. In trouble with debt: Do you have a clear picture of your credit card debt?
Many people feel they have a credit card debt problem, but they refuse to acknowledge it. They avoid looking at their credit card balances. They still use their credit cards, even though they know they shouldn’t. They pay off one credit card with a check from another. They transfer credit card debt balances instead of making payments. These are all signs that your credit card debt could be getting out of control.
2. In trouble with debt: Do you pay only the minimum credit card payment every month?
Paying only the monthly minimum can get you into credit card debt trouble quickly. Paying the monthly minimum will cover the interest and fees associated with your credit card, but it will not begin to decrease the credit card debt you owe.
3. In trouble with debt: Do you make late payments? Have you missed payments entirely?
Making a late payment usually means you’re waiting for the money to come in. This means you’re behind already and you will have trouble catching up. Missing payments entirely just means you’re getting further behind on your credit card debt.
4. In trouble with debt: Are you using credit cards to buy things because you don’t have the money to pay for them at that time? You can get into trouble with debt quickly with credit cards if you’re using them to buy things you cannot afford. If you can’t afford an item this month, it’s likely you’ll not be able to afford it the next month either. If you continue to buy things you cannot afford, you will get into more credit card debt trouble.
5. In trouble with debt: Does your paycheck only your bills? If your paycheck is already spent before you get it, chances are you have trouble with debt.
6. In trouble with debt: Do you choose the longest terms for a new debt? If you buy a new car, do you choose to pay over 60 months or 36? If you consistently choose the longest loan period for a major purchase so that you can afford the payments along with all your other payments, you have a problem with the amount of debt you’re carrying.
7. In trouble with debt: Have you already gone through a home equity loan to pay down your debt? If you have and you’re still running up more debt, you have debt trouble.
8. In trouble with debt: How much monthly debt do you have every month when compared to your income? If your unsecured debt (not including mortgage or rent) is more than 20% of your paycheck, you are in trouble with debt.
9. In trouble with debt: Do you have savings for a rainy day? If you don’t have a fund for an emergency and you have debts, you are in trouble with debt.
10. In trouble with debt: Do you worry about money? If you spend more time worrying about your debts than you do paying them, chances are you are in trouble with debt.

 Are You In Trouble With Debt?

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Credit Bureaus: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

Credit Bureaus: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

OVERVIEW
A credit bureau collects information from different sources about credit and payment information and then provides that information in an organized fashion to lenders. The three primary credit bureaus in the United States are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Credit bureaus create credit reports for lenders that are basically a history of your borrowing and repayment habits. Companies who are trying to determine the creditworthiness of an individual typically request credit reports.

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Who is a Credit Bureau?
A credit bureau collects information from different sources about credit and payment information and then provides that information in an organized fashion to lenders. The three primary credit bureaus in the United States are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

What Information Do Credit Bureaus Collect?
Credit bureaus create credit reports for lenders that are basically a history of your borrowing and repayment habits. On these credit reports, you’ll find your personal information, information about your credit accounts, including your mortgage and your credit cards, any public information about negative events in your history, such as bankruptcies and tax liens, and inquiries that have been made about your credit history, by yourself and others.

Credit bureaus such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion take in credit information from companies called data furnishers. These data furnishers are usually lenders and creditors, utilities, debt collection agencies and the courts. Data furnishers report their data to the credit bureaus voluntarily. They might not report all data to all three bureaus, and some lending or credit companies might not report your data at all.

The information collected by the credit bureaus gets collected and stored in their files and databases. This information is then accessed when a credit report or credit assessment is created for an individual. Companies who are trying to determine the creditworthiness of an individual typically request credit reports.

How Do Credit Bureaus Create Credit Scores?
Credit bureaus collect information from data furnishers and they then create a credit score for their customers based on the information they have collected. The credit bureaus create these scores using a mathematical formula that calculates the likelihood that you’ll repay a loan based on comparing your information to others in a similar situation. This credit score helps lenders evaluate the risk associated with lending you money and helps them to assess interest rate on the money they may be willing to lend.

The three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, do not all use the same scoring system and they do not have exactly the same data from the data furnishers. All three credit reports may contain different information. These bureaus are for-profit businesses and are not affiliated with the government, although they are subject to government rules and regulations. These credit bureaus, also known as consumer reporting agencies (CRA’s), are required to provide to consumers a free copy of each of their credit reports every 12 months.

 Credit Bureaus: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

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How to Read Your Credit Report

How to Read Your Credit Report

OVERVIEW
A credit report contains four basic parts: identifying information, credit history, public records, and inquiries. It’s important to look closely at each section to determine whether or not the information contained in the credit report is correct.

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A credit report contains four basic parts: identifying information, credit history, public records, and inquiries. It’s important to look closely at each section to determine whether or not the information contained in the credit report is correct.

Checking your credit report at least once a year is not only a good idea, but crucial to supporting your financial health. Checking your credit report is similar to getting an annual physical at the doctor’s office. Checking your credit report helps ensure that you don’t find yourself in trouble with your credit bureau before it’s too late.

You can get one copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com from each of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Each of those credit reports may contain different information so it’s important to obtain a credit report from each credit bureau. Creditors voluntarily give information to the credit bureaus and they don’t necessarily report to all three. Getting a credit report from each of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) will enable you to compare and evaluate the credit reports side by side.

Identifying Information
The identifying information on your credit report is your personal information, including birth date, present and previous addresses, social security numbers, phone numbers, and employer information. Individuals reporting to the credit bureaus enter this information, so it’s not unusual to have mild variations on the spelling of your name or your phone number. If there are slight variations on the credit report, it’s best to just leave them. If there are gross errors on the credit report, those need to be corrected.

Credit History
Each credit report will contain information about the credit accounts you have had or currently have. Each individual credit account listed on your credit report is called a trade line. Each credit account will have the name of the creditor and your credit account number. The credit account numbers may be scrambled to keep that information secure. As part of the information about each credit account, you’ll find the name or names on the credit account, the date you opened the credit account, the type of credit (mortgage, car loan, revolving credit, etc), the amount of the loan or the credit limit, the payment amount or how much you still owe, the status of the account (open, closed, inactive, etc), and how well you’ve paid on the account. On Experian’s credit report, you’ll find these items written out in a straightforward manner. On the other credit bureau’s reports, you’ll find payment codes you’ll have to use a key to figure out.

Public Record
This section of your credit report contains any matters of financial public record. It will contain records of bankruptcies, tax liens, or judgments. The things listed in this part of your credit report are very important because they can have a very negative impact on your credit rating.

Inquiries
This part of the credit report lists anyone who has asked to look at your credit history. Inquiries are listed as two types – hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Hard inquiries on your credit report are ones you initiate by filling out a credit application. Soft inquiries are inquiries from companies looking to send out promotional information to a “pre-qualified” group of people.

 How to Read Your Credit Report

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How and Why to Get Your Free Credit Report Every Year

How and Why to Get Your Free Credit Report Every Year

200px Smartcard2 How and Why to Get Your Free Credit Report Every Year
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Overview
Learn how to get a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus every year and why it is important that you review your credit report on an annual basis.

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Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) every 12 months.

As a responsible consumer, it’s important to review your credit report on a yearly basis. When you review your credit report, look for any derogatory information listed. Checking the information on your credit report on a regular basis can help in two ways. First, it can alert you to any fraudulent activity that has been taking place with your name or your accounts. Second, it can alert you to any mistakes that might have been made that need to be corrected. There are ways to work with the credit bureaus to correct any mistakes that might turn up on your credit report.

Agencies specializing in credit reports keep information about the borrowing and repayment habits of millions of Americans. The credit bureaus provide this information in a credit report to lenders who are trying to evaluate customer’s strengths and weaknesses. These credit bureaus, such as Experian and Equifax, provide information about the type of credit you use, and how long you’ve had each account. The credit bureaus will also provide information about your payment history.

When a lender looks at your credit report from a credit bureau such as Experian or Equifax, the lender will look at your credit score. Each credit bureau creates a unique credit score. Those credit scores are determined by looking at the information on your credit report, such as your payment history, the amount of credit you have available, and the amount of debt you currently have. A lender will look at your credit report to determine whether or not you are an acceptable credit risk.

To obtain the credit reports each year, you need to do the following:

1. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the official site to help consumers obtain their credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
2. Or call 1-877-322-8228. You can request your free credit report over the phone.
3. Or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request Form, which can be found at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/requestformfinal.pdf, and mail the credit report to the address listed on the form.

You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three bureaus each year. There are no hidden costs. If you are asked to pay for a credit report or join a subscription service, you are dealing with a fraudulent provider. There is no need to provide personal information to legitimately obtain any of these free credit reports.
You can obtain all three credit reports at the same time when you request them using the methods listed above. You can also request one credit report from each credit bureau at a time. A good way to monitor your credit report every few months is to request a credit report from Equifax and then request a credit report from Experian a few months later, followed in another few months by a credit report from TransUnion. This way, you can be assured that your credit information is correct and secure.

 How and Why to Get Your Free Credit Report Every Year

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Debt Consolidation: How To and Pros and Cons

Debt Consolidation: How To and Pros and Cons

202px smartcard2 Debt Consolidation: How To and Pros and Cons

Overview
Are you unsure of how to consolidate your debt and whether debt consolidation is the right approach for you? When you consolidate your debt, you take out a loan to pay off several other debts. This allows you to consolidate the money you owe into one payment and manage your debt more effectively.

Although credit is much harder to come by during these challenging economic times, there are still a number of ways that you can potentially consolidate your debt, such as:

• Credit cards debt consolidation: If you can pay off the balance during the introductory rate period, consolidating your credit cards makes a lot of sense. Make sure to read the fine print carefully before you take any action. Sometimes there are fees associated with the transfer. Also make sure you know when those promotional interest rates end.

• Home equity loans: If you are a homeowner with some equity established in the property, a home equity loan may be the perfect solution for you to consolidate your debt. While they are not as easy to obtain as before, the terms of a home equity loan are very favorable from lenders, with payments that are usually tax deductible. The terms of the line are variable or fixed and can often extend for 30 years. The only clear downside to consolidating your debt in this manner is that your collateral against the loan is the property you own.

• Retirement funds: Considered to be an option of last resort, the interest is rarely tax-deductible, though you are paying interest to yourself instead of the bank. If you are unable to pay it back to the fund within a specified period, you may incur taxes and penalties from the IRS.

• Whole life insurance: If you have a whole life policy that pays an annuity premium to you, you can borrow against its value. You have the option of paying or not paying it back, however if you do not repay the loan, it will be deducted from the total value, thereby of the premium, thereby lessening what those who inherit the value of your policy will receive.

• Credit union: Credit unions generally have lower fees and lower interest rates on loans. It is worthwhile to find out if you can join one.

• Nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency: “What they often will do is, rather than consolidating debt, you pay them a fixed amount and they pay it out to your creditors. It’s a kind of discipline that can be helpful. It’s enforcing a change in spending habits. For the person who is serious about getting out of debt, that’s a solution.”

• Primary lender: In the same way that you might approach your primary lender about a loan modification, you might also consider using the same tactics in this case to renegotiate the terms of your loan so that it is more favorable to you.

Should You Consolidate Debt?
Whether or not you choose to consolidate your debt is a personal decision that specifically depends on your financial situation. Debt consolidation offers many pros and cons:

Pros of Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation should potentially save you money through lower interest payments and the likelihood of fewer late fees due to the reduction in the number of payments to distinct lenders. Debt consolidation should also help you to rebuild your credit score if you can keep up with the monthly payments due under the revised terms. Debt consolidation should also make it easier for you to organize your finances.

A debt consolidation loan could be helpful if you ran up your credit cards while you were in business school, or if you have a number of high interest student or car installment loans. This will allow you to roll this high interest debt into one manageable payment.

Cons of Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation is not the right answer in every case. Debt consolidation does not provide a remedy for credit problems. You may have a difficult time finding a fair and reasonable interest rate. If the rate on your new loan is not any better than the rate you pay on your current loans, consolidating your debt would not make much sense.

It can also take longer to pay debts off. When you consolidate debt, you still end up owing the same amount of money. The main difference is usually the length of the term. This could leave you paying more in interest if the term is really long. The best way to combat additional interest payments is to pay down the principal on top of your monthly payments, but doing this may be beyond your means.

You should contact a financial advisor or accountant to evaluate the pros and cons of debt consolidation and whether the option is right for you.

 Debt Consolidation: How To and Pros and Cons

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What Can I Expect If I’m In Foreclosure?

What Can I Expect If I’m In Foreclosure?

foreclosure lg What Can I Expect If I’m In Foreclosure?If you are having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments and find yourself needing foreclosure help, you are not alone. Millions of homeowners have lost their homes due to foreclosure over the last few years. In 2008 alone, over three million foreclosures occurred in the United States. If you are in foreclosure now, what should you expect and how can you manage this stressful situation?

What is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure, also called default on a mortgage, occurs when a borrower fails to meet the terms of a mortgage secured by real estate. Usually, the first stage of default is delinquency caused by a late payment.

If a borrower continues a delinquency and fails to make the scheduled payment and subsequent payments, the mortgage company will begin the foreclosure process by filing a Notice of Default (NOD). This is a public notice filed in the home’s county recorder that describes the borrower’s default, as well as confirms the lender’s intention to foreclose on the home if the mortgage is not promptly brought up to date.

How Does the Foreclosure Process Unfold?

The process of foreclosure after the NOD is different from state to state. Some states have requirements that mortgage lenders give plenty of time for a borrower to redeem the mortgage and keep their home. This process can take up to a year and even up to two years from the beginning process of foreclosure until a defaulted homeowner is evicted and the house sold at auction. Some states, on the other hand, allow lenders to give little time for loan redemption, and the final foreclosure could occur in less than a year.

However, all homeowners in the foreclosure process can expect many letters from the lender and the lender’s attorney asking and demanding that the loan is paid, even while they are pursuing foreclosure. Once a homeowner fails to redeem their loan during the NOD timetable, the mortgage lender proceeds with asking for a judicial or non-judicial (depending on state laws) home sale and auction to recover their losses. As mentioned, a foreclosure auction sale could be months, even a year or more, after the first delinquency.

What Are Alternatives To Foreclosure?

If a homeowner truly wants to keep their home, they should talk with their lender about alternate solutions. Here are some possibilities to avoid foreclosure:

  • Loan Modification – Negotiate with the lender to change the interest rate or other terms that can effectively lower a monthly mortgage payment to a more affordable level. You will have to detail your financial statements and present a hardship case and hardship letter to your bank.  Sometimes this may require the help from a professional mortgage modification specialist company.
  • Forbearance – In some cases, a mortgage lender may be willing to issue forbearance on payments for a limited time, usually three to six months, giving the borrower time to get caught up on his finances.
  • Short Sale – If a borrower cannot financially afford the mortgage any longer, he or she may be forced to sell the home in order to pay the mortgage in full. However, what if the final selling price is less than what is owed on the mortgage? A mortgage company may agree to a “short sale,” where they accept the market price for the home and write off the balance. This is a better alternative than foreclosure for both the lender and borrower.

Foreclosure is a last resort for a homeowner who can no longer afford a mortgage. The best practice to avoid this process is to constantly keep in contact with a lender and work out an agreement that avoids the hassle, expense and defeated humility of foreclosure.

 What Can I Expect If I’m In Foreclosure?

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The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

dos and dont of loan modification The Do’s and Don’t of Loan ModificationWhat is a Loan Modification?
Loan modification is a process whereby a homeowner’s mortgage is modified and both lender and homeowner are bound by the new terms.
A loan modification is a process where one or more of the characteristics of a loan and/or its terms are adjusted because the homeowner is unable to make payments under the original terms or because the value of the property is worth less than the borrower owes.
Great I know what a Loan Modification is. What are the things to watch out for?


The Do’s
• If you work with a loan modification service, Do MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THEM OUT. Go to the better business bureau site www.bbb.org and research the company. Also asking for references is a good idea.
• If you are going to attempt to do your loan modification yourself, Do make sure you have all of your documents collected prior to talking with the bank.
• If you are going to attempt to do your loan modification yourself, do make sure you understand the loan modification process prior to contacting your bank.
• Do make sure you spend the time to write a convincing Hardship Letter. See Tip on How to Write a Hardship Letter.
The Don’t
• Don’t contact your bank’s collection department. They are only interested in collecting payment not helping you with modifying your loan. You must contact the loss mitigation department in the bank.
• Don’t stop making payments on your loans even if a loan modification advises you to. A reputable company will tell you to continue to make payments for as long as possible.
• Don’t rush through your loan modification application. It is critical that you do not make errors and that all forms you submit are correct.

 The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

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Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

tip on loan modification Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan ModificationBefore you get started on the process of attempting to get your loan modified you must first understand that you will need a little patience. The typical time line for a loan modification is between 60 and 90 days.

The second thing you must understand is that you need to be very open in terms of your current financial and personal situation. Not disclosing information to your bank or third party negotiator will only lead to disappointment down the road for your loan modification.

Third, you must collect a number of documents. You should have them ready before you start the process so that the process can be expedited. You will need: Last years taxes, your original loan documentation, recent pay stubs, and recent bank statements. The information you provide for a loan modification is very similar information you provided when you received your loan in the first place.

Forth, you will need to write a hardship letter detailing why the bank should provide you a loan modification. For more information on hardships letters go to: Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter and Sample Hardship Letter.

Fifth, be clear on what you actually can pay when it comes to your loan modification. Understand what new terms for your loan you can live with. Getting your loan modified but not being able to afford the new terms of the modified loan does not help anyone.

Finally, decide if you want to go it alone on your loan midifcation and negotiate with your bank all by yourself or hire a professional negotiator or attorney who has done a significant number of loan modifications. The banks do not want to end up with your home if they can help it but they will have their own interest at heart rather than yours. If you do decide to go with a third party to help you make sure you check references and make sure that the operation is a legitimate one.

 Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

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