Finance, Loan, Debt and Credit.

January 31, 2013

Making Life Easier With Home Loan Refinance

Filed under: Loan — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm

Investing to make it work

Paying off the mortgage was always thought to be one of those defining moments. As it turns out it is defining. Unfortunately, the moment is not the one you may have thought about originally. Paying off your mortgage means that you let the bank take advantage of your money. Instead, think about home loan refinance and saving some money meant for the bank. This option lets you use your money to fullest advantage instead of letting the bank use it to theirs. Home loan refinance can make your life easier to deal with by paying down all those high interest rates.

Pulling it all together

One way or the other that roof is going to need to be upgraded. There is little that can be done about that. Junior needs to go to college somehow. Costs are a killer but somehow he needs to get there through a series of scholarships, matches, loans and what not. Mom’s care needs to be addressed as well, in one form or another. The bills are and will be coming from everywhere. A home loan refinance program may be just the ticket to pull everything together. A home loan refinance program would mean lower or nonexistent bills.

Is now the time

Whether you opt for a home loan refinance option at this point in time is really a life and regional choice. If your plans entail staying in the same home for the longer term it is the perfect time to consider a home loan refinance option. Rates are being reset so a solid indication of where they will be for an extended period is available.

Prices have begun to fall on homes but they have yet to go anywhere near where they could have gone considering the situation. If you are sticking around for a while the values will come back in a few years, so a home loan refinance program should be ok at this point.

Everything ages

Home loan refinance is one way of looking at the aging process of your home and life, everything ages. You bought your home with old dollars. The roof with aging wood and the child is just like you some time ago. At some point they all need to go to the health club for a reshaping, something to get them back on, or continuing on a healthy track. New dollars can get them to the next step and moving forward. Everything needs a booster now and again to pull it all together. A refinance program is just that.

Tax Facts

Filed under: Tax — Tags: — admin @ 12:53 am

With the due date for filing individual income tax returns having recently passed, this seems like a good time to reflect on the annual ritual of self-flagellation that Americans are forced to endure at this time of the year.  The April deadline has become a sort of rite of passage for citizenship, although as things stand today almost half of all workers don’t pay any income tax at all.

Following are some random facts (in no particular order) about our income tax laws, who pays and who doesn’t, and the impacts our system of taxation has on the nation’s productivity.

 

It’s worth noting, I think, that when I started practicing public accounting in the early 1960s, the filing deadline was March 15, not April 15, and only one 90-day extension was permitted.  Today, the first filing date is April 15, and it is possible to obtain a six-month extension – to October 15 – all because of the increased difficulty of obtaining the necessary information and the complexity of preparing and filing tax returns.

Many societies view taxation as a contest between tax collectors and citizens, with payment or avoiding payment of taxes as the prize.  But we are different we are told, because Americans voluntarily, that is, willingly, file tax returns and pay their taxes.

Baloney! If that’s true, why do we hear so much about taxes not being paid by people who work or do business in the “underground economy”?  Would you file a tax return if you were not afraid of the consequences of not filing?

Putting aside the government’s hype and PR initiatives, the reason our income tax system is so successful is FEAR.  Fear of being audited, fear of being assessed, fear of tactics employed to collect unpaid taxes, fear of intrusion into our personal affairs, fear of not being able to defend ourselves against the unlimited power of government in general and the IRS in particular.

I believe the IRS has carefully cultivated this image over a period of many years.  Who can say that they don’t have a sudden, albeit perhaps brief, fearful reaction when they find a letter or notice from the IRS in their mail?  I know I do, and I’m a retired CPA.  I don’t want to hear from them, ever!  When I do get some sort of communication from my friendly tax agency (federal or state), I just know it’s going to cost me time, money and aggravation.  Perhaps you’ve noticed over the years that around tax time it’s common to see a spate of media stories about prosecutions for tax fraud.  In my opinion, that’s no accident.

One of Ronald Reagan’s many sage observations, “The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination,” seems to sum up the situation rather neatly.  For my part, I believe Americans are over-taxed and under served by their government, while our politicians are constantly looking for ways to impose new taxes under the radar of public scrutiny and awareness.  Will it ever end?  Probably not, until we have taxed ourselves into near or complete oblivion.

© 2008 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved

NOTE: Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at “opinionfest.com.”

 

 

January 30, 2013

Legitimate Credit Card Debt Settlement Companies Can Help To Those Buried In Debt

The high rates of interest and assorted traps and fees inherent in the ownership and use of a credit card are enough to trap even the most responsible person in a giant pit of debt. Making minimum payments, it is often somewhere between difficult and impossible to pay a credit card off in full within a reasonable amount of time.

For this reason, many people turn to credit card debt settlement companies. These companies are trained to serve as an intermediary between the credit card company and the debtor, allowing for the cardholder to pay off as much of what they owe as possible while avoiding bankruptcy. While it isn’t possible for every person to negotiate their way out of debt, it is often possible to negotiate or use alternative loan programs to pay off the debt.

Hector Milla Editor of the “Credit Card Debt Counseling” website — http://www.CreditCardDebtCounseling.biz — pointed out;

“…It is important for persons looking to solve their debt problems to only go to legitimate credit card debt settlement companies and organizations. Many charlatans and confidence tricksters have tried to take advantage of the collapsing credit market to cheat people out of their money by offering to fix their credit and doing nothing but taking their money. It is therefore key for anyone looking into debt settlement to ask questions and read online reviews of the company they intend to hire. Simply asking for satisfied customers or for proof that they have successfully negotiated down net debt in the past is usually enough to separate the frauds from the genuinely helpful…”

True debt settlement companies will want to know as much as is possible to know about an individual’s finances, so that they can determine what is owed and what can be paid. The primary objective of most of these companies is to find a payment that is big enough for the credit card companies to settle for, yet small enough to be affordable for the borrower.

“…This may be done through debt consolidation, or it may simply be done through negotiation of terms. In any event, it does not absolve the borrower of the debt but it does make it more manageable, and may in fact give them lower interest rates. Debt settlement companies have the added benefit of helping a borrower to retain a strong credit rating. This enables a credit card debtor to get back on their feet and make purchases or be deemed suitable for rents and leases as soon as the negotiations are over, and prevents the embarrassment and inconvenience of bankruptcy…” added H. Milla.

Further information about trusted and reputable companies for credit card debt settlement by visiting; http://www.CreditCardDebtCounseling.biz

Online Tax Return Preparation For A Hassle-Free Business

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am

Tax return preparation involves calculating the income taxes. The process is quite long and tedious if done by the tax filer himself. The help of a CPA or any other third party may be needed during the course. Nowadays, individuals or business establishments have other option on this. You can buy tax preparation software or there are many internet sites in the web where you can choose from which even offers their software for free and you can also do online tax return preparation.But for a business owner filing income tax returns could be a daunting task. Sometimes accountants and accounting clerks need to render overtime just to make sure that the preparation for the said documents and files are organized and done efficiently. For some, because of the large workload would need to temporarily hire someone who could work with the accountants. This would entail a considerable amount of money in overhead and staff costs.Tax returns in the United States maybe filed with the state or local agency or the Internal Revenue Services. They are reports of the individual or incorporators liabilities and payments and other financial information which are used in the computation of tax. They are usually filed using forms generally prescribed by the IRS or other authorized taxing authority. When online tax return preparation is used to file, Form 1040 plus its series of schedules is used. The use of the various schedules depends on whether the tax return is simple or complicated.The RequirementsPreparing tax returns online needs data like:- Personal information: The date of birth, marital status, number of dependents, permanent mailing address and social security number.- Sources of income: Investments, interests, salary, wages, tips, and any other resources.- Tax credit and deductions: home, education, cars, medical expenses, charitable donations, retirement investment, taxes paid, and employment expenses.The Next MoveOnline tax return preparation now can push through upon satisfying the data needed. With the information gathered, and with the help of the program, calculations will now start. After which, the prepared tax return will be reviewed by you for any data you wish to omit or add. Editing the output will be a wise move since you will have the option to either itemize the tax deductions or follow the standard deduction. It does not include deciding on your behalf which option to choose. It remains the filer’s final decision.The Advantages- It frees you from the dutiful functions of filling up tax filing forms and data entry, more so, savings are bailed out to other core planning strategies.- You actually hire people who are well versed in tax softwares and are more knowledgeable on financial processes.- It becomes costly advantageous as compared to exactly hiring an in-house staff. You are expected to cut tax preparation costs by almost 60 percent.- It also lessens the need for hiring an in-house staff to help out during the peak season of tax filing.- Security is ensured because security policies are observed. Online services are highly secured from accessing data.- Turnaround time is practically improved since the client is served in just one to two days.- With enhanced technology, workflow and processes are surpassed for a better and dependable tax preparation.- An internal cost of each tax return is significantly reduced.- Services offered are flexible to their clientele’s requirements.The benefits you actually gain through online tax return preparation are valuable. Diminutions in expenses reap better profit ratio causing material benefits to the company. It may seem grand but to think that these are professionals who are working on your taxes, and that is not a thing to be ignored. You are free from the worry of being audited and that cannot be measured. The horrors of audit cannot pay the price of peace of mind.

January 29, 2013

Direct Student Loan Consolidation Could be the Best of the Lot

Filed under: Loan — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:46 pm

When in order to reduce your existing loan burden you decide to opt for the student loan consolidation, you will have to decide the plan that is most suitable for you. Direct student loan consolidation is considered best for many experts owing to its unique features.

The traditional advantages derived are flexible plans of repayment of your loans and reduction in the interest rates, and lowering of premium by 53%. However the feature that makes such direct student loan consolidation process unique is the deferment and forbearance options that you get.

Types of direct student loan consolidation

Like others there are also various types of direct student loan consolidation plans. These are –

* The Stafford and PLUS loan consolidation plans.

* Direct Stafford and PLUS loan consolidation plans.

* Direct loan consolidation plans.

* Obtaining loan bills from the Center for direct loan servicing.

* Ford Federal program for direct loan consolidation.

* Direct lending school loan consolidation program.

The uses of the direct student loan consolidation

Obviously when you opt for the direct loan consolidation plan or any such student loan consolidation plan you will be concerned about the interest to be paid. Internet has solved the problem of getting the required information altogether. You can have all the information on student loan consolidation interest rates on line using the Internet.

Two methods of obtaining the information to learn about the benefits of the direct student loan consolidation plan are requesting for the free information packet or going through the step by step tutorials provide by many consolidators on line. There are also independent reviews available reading which you can form your opinion.

Apply online for direct student loan consolidation

Good news for you is that neither you will have to run to the federal or private provider’s offices nor you have to go for a mediator who will perform all tasks for you. You can simply log on to the website of the consolidator and get the required information, apply online, and get approved also online.

Of course you may have doubts and it is better to have them cleared instead of suffering at the end of it landing with wrong choice. This can be effectively achieved by going through the frequently asked questions sections of the website where you have logged on for online application and approval.

Direct Student Loan Consolidation benefits

Traditional benefits available in respect of all other student loan consolidation plans like lowering the premium, extending the repayment period up to 30 years, and reducing the overall payments are available in direct student loan consolidation plan.

You will however have to fulfill certain requirements to be eligible for the direct student loan consolidation. For example you must have federal student loan worth $10,000 and must not have defaulted at any time.

Student loan consolidation process with lower rate of interest would be a great relief for the otherwise financially constrained family. They will now have more savings to look after divergent interests of the family members. That is why lowering the student loan consolidation rates are extremely essential to save your economy from disaster.

Mistakes to Avoid With Home Loan Refinance

Filed under: Loan — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:48 am

The decision to get a home loan refinance entails a process which can be overwhelming and stressful at first. Though the entire process is not as overwhelming as getting a first mortgage, you still need to go through a couple of processes which will need a great deal of effort on your part.

On the other hand, home loan refinance is a major decision that should never be taken lightly. The Internet has provided a useful means to shop around for refinancing offers and deals. It may now seem easy to get some refinancing in as easy as 1-2-3. Unfortunately, the risks involved with refinancing have not decreased with time. The mistakes that you can make have instead increased with the advancement of the technology and the processes involved. Thus, it is most important now to exercise extreme caution when taking on a home loan refinance. What common mistakes do you need to watch out for? Here are some of them:

Not choosing the best lender. People most often look only into rates without checking on the lenders providing them. The Internet is now an easy resource for you to shop around for the best lender, so make sure you make a good choice. While most lenders in the Internet are reliable, there are not as much lenders who are willing to give you the best service that you truly deserve. So, choose well.

Not shopping around for better rates. In reality, lenders who provide home loan refinance offer rates that vary widely from one to another. Each mortgage company, lender, credit institution and bank has its own criteria for setting their rates. In the same way, these lenders have different ways for determining your credit. So, it is always best to do your research and shop around for the best rate that you can find.

Waiting for a better, lower rate. Conversely, many people get discouraged by the high unpredictability of the home loan refinance market. Rates drop and rise based on factors what are beyond our control. Instead of sitting and waiting around for a lower rate to finally set in, why not invest your time in looking for a lender which can provide you with the lowest rate possible?

Assuming that lower rates are the only indication of a good home loan refinance deal. Remember that interest rates should never be the sole factor that should affect your decision. You have other considerations such as the mortgage terms, monthly payments and so on to think about. For instance, you can refinance to a shorter period, say 10 years, and get better rates.

Not choosing the most responsive loan. There are a good number of home mortgage refinance options that you can choose from. There is a loan that is best suited for your financial circumstances and your goals. You need to assess your current situation, and determine which loan will give you the best deal. For example, if you have the means, why not go for a 15-year loan with lower interest than go for a 30-year loan where you will end up paying more?

January 28, 2013

The Tax Lady Roni Deutch Analyzes the Tax Views of Sen. Barack Obama

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:48 pm

Higher Taxes on Top Earning AmericansSenator Obama is a big believer in our progressive tax system – and he is not afraid to hide that. So one of the first things Obama is set to do is letting President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to selectively expire. He also advocates increasing the income cap on payroll taxes. This would essentially be a huge tax increase for taxpayers earning between $97,000.00 and $250,000.00, which goes against Obama’s prior commitment to not raise taxes on individuals making less than $250,000.00. Although higher taxes on the rich is a popular thought for many liberals, you cannot expect to only tax the rich and cut taxes for the poor. The American public is not likely to support unbalanced tax increases and this could harm his chances in the general election.Close Corporate Loop-HolesAnother major component of Obama’s tax plan is to close hundreds of corporate “loop-holes” that allow massive corporations to questionably reduce their tax liability. “Instead of having all of us pay our fair share, we’ve got over $1 trillion worth of loopholes in the corporate tax code,” he claimed. “This isn’t the invisible hand of the market at work. It’s the successful work of special interests.” This plan would be highly efficient at creating new revenue for the federal government, but at what cost? Huge corporations are already moving factories and offices to countries with cheaper labor and more favorable corporate taxes. If the tax rates increase too much, then more corporations would likely move out of the country and it could result in thousands of lost jobs.Senior Citizen Tax BreaksAlthough it seems like an attempt to get the attention of the “senior voters” and the AARP, Obama is hoping to provide relief to millions of seniors struggling to make ends meet. His plan would eliminate federal taxes on seniors making less then $50,000.00 per year, which would account for $7 million dollars in total relief. It seems quite unlikely that the country would get behind this tax plan. I also have my own reservations – what about single mothers making less than $50,000 per year – that I expressed in a previous entry.Make Work Pay Tax CreditWith his Make Work Pay tax credit, Obama is hoping to encourage Americans to take control of their lives, while providing tax relief to both low and middle income taxes. “I’d reward work by providing an income tax cut of up to $500 per person – or $1,000 for each working family – to offset the payroll tax that they’re already paying,” claimed Obama. “Because this credit would be greater than their income tax bill, my proposal would effectively eliminate all income taxes for 10 million working Americans.”Capital Gain Tax IncreaseObama’s desire to increase the Capital Gains rate is probably the biggest actual increase of his tax plan. The current tax rate on Capital Gains is 15%, and Obama hopes to raise it to 28%. But although the Capital Gains tax rate is much lower today than it was a decade ago, it is being levied on a lot more people. Investing is not only for the rich, as there are millions of middle income Americans investing in stocks, retirement accounts, and mutual funds. In a time of a looming economic recession, we should be encouraging sound investment and savings strategies. Raising the capital gains rate is not going to do that.Mortgage Relief for Homeowners”Ten of the country’s largest mortgage lenders spent $185 million lobbying Washington so they could keep engaging in destructive practices,” claimed Obama. “And they got what they paid for. To help fix this problem Obama wants to create more accountability in the mortgage industry. In addition, he intends to pursue more tax breaks for current homeowners. Specifically, Obama announced intentions to “create a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide homeowners who do not itemize tax relief.”Because it is a credit, individuals claiming the standard deduction would have access to it. Currently, mortgage interest is a deduction that can only be claimed by itemizing your deductions on your tax return. The credit would provide about $500 to 10 million homeowners in this country, mainly for individuals making less than $50,000 per year.Revamp the AMTAlthough Obama voted “nay” on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), he does support a revamp of the tax. The specific details of his plan are a bit hazy, but Obama has claimed he would like to index the tax according to inflation so that it does not affect middle-income Americans. However, with dozens of social plans that cost billions of dollars to operate, the idea of reducing a tax that generates so much revenue for the government seems unlikely.American Opportunity Tax CreditOne of Obama’s more popular tax views is to help make higher education more affordable for Americans by creating a credit to reimburse taxpayers for the costs of obtaining a college education. According to his plan, the credit would reimburse taxpayers on the first $4,000.00 they spend on a college education, and will cover two-thirds of the cost of attending a public college or university.Immigration Reform and Undocumented Immigrant TaxesObama wants to reform the way the federal government deals with undocumented immigrants. Obama’s plan does have tax consequences, as it would not only require illegal aliens to file tax returns and pay income taxes, but would also require them to pay back taxes and the associated penalties and interest. If this idea became reality, it could account for millions of dollars in additional federal revenue. And, by not including tax amnesty in his immigration reform, Obama preemptively “plucks” a feather from the anti-immigration reform movement. It also preemptively stops American citizens from lobbying for similar treatment for their own unfiled tax returns and IRS back taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Loan Consolidation

Filed under: Loan — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am

A person who goes for the student loan consolidation may have a few questions in mind to ask about such consolidation process. You may be concerned about the student loan consolidation interest rates so that you can pick up the best among them.  Conversely you may be concerned with the payments you make while your loan consolidation is in process. The first question that comes to your mind always is why consolidate.  The answer is that you consolidate your student loans to reduce the monthly premiums, get the principal reduced, enhance your savings so that you could use the extra money fruitfully or repay the loans much earlier than the scheduled dates. Best time to go for consolidation student loansIf you can consolidate your student loans immediately after your graduation within the grace period you are likely to derive the maximum advantages out of such consolidation.  The basic advantage of consolidating loans in the grace period is that you can lock down the lowest interest rates payable. Such consolidation is one of the best options when you try to improve your monthly cash flow or extend the repayment time span.  The best part of it is that you can easily get some additional discount financially benefiting you in the process. You will however have to pay on your loan dues while your loan consolidation is in process. Normally the process of student loan consolidation can take time in the range of 30-90 days.  It is extremely important that you do not become a defaulter during this period which will render you ineligible for such loan consolidation. Effects of the time taken for student loan consolidationSince your consolidator will keep up to date track of your loan transactions the consolidation will be accordingly revised basing on the payments you have made since you submitted your application. The time span could be faster at 30-40 days or a bit delayed at 80-90 days.  Normally the period taken for processing and approval of your student loan consolidation application is dependent on the payoff statements and the response of your lenders.  The Loan Verification Certificates, also called the LVCs may take some time to come from these lenders.  However they will come and you will have your loan consolidated and previous accounts closed. There could even be some circumstances, though rare, where you could sell your loans to others.  What do you do in case you are ineligible for student loan consolidation?Under certain circumstances you may become ineligible for student loan consolidation.  Such situations are –•    When you have already consolidated your loans earlier.•    If your loan amount is less than $20,000.•    When you owe repayment to only one lender. If you are perturbed about the steps to be taken in such cases you may try one of the following options – •    You may consider some private student loan consolidation plan. •    You could refinance your home or some other properties to pay off the loan amount. •    Best student loan consolidation rate can give you income tax exemptions. •    You may obtain a personal loan from a bank or credit union.

January 27, 2013

Outsourcing Tax Return Preparation: Outsource Your Tax Return Burden

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 8:49 pm

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