How to Compare Secured Loans


Below is a guest post.

If you are looking for secured loans, the best piece of advice you will ever receive is that you must compare the market. There are so many different loans out there, secured on so many different things, that it may take you some time to find the one is right for you. At the end of the day, you need to find the one that will give you the most and cost you the least.

Educate Yourself

Take the time to teach yourself all there is to know about secured loans. The internet is full of useful information in terms of what the different factors to consider are, how circumstances influence your loan and more. Hopefully, the following 10 tips will also help you in your search to find the right loan for you.

10 Important Tips

  1. The best secured personal loans California has to offer are secured against your home. This means that if you don’t keep up the repayments, you will lose your home. However, the interest will be lower than an unsecured loan, so that is certainly interesting.
  2. Do not borrow more than what you need. The higher your loan is, the more you will pay in interest. The longer the term of your loan, the more you will pay in interest. Hence, keep it low and keep it short.
  3. The interest rate tends to be fixed. This is great to help you budget easily. If you do pick a variable loan, be aware of the fact that your payments could shoot up.
  4. Do not compare loans based on APR alone, but really look at all the different fees and rates.
  5. The “typical APR” will usually be far lower than what you will actually be offered. 67% of people do have to get this rate offered in order for a lender to be allowed to call it “typical”, but chances obviously are that you are part of the 33%.
  6. Compare by looking at Total Amount Repayable. This will tell you your loan principal and all the fees and charges. This will truly tell you which loan is the cheapest overall.
  7. The golden rule is that you get the best deal if you shop around. When it comes to loans, this could literally save you thousands.
  8. If your credit is reasonable, always try to go to your bank first. These tend to offer the best possible rates.
  9. Be wary of any type of payment protection on loans. Often, this is simply a way to get more money out of you for something you will never need and that will not protect you in any way.
  10. Try to find a loan that you can pay back early without being charged any fees. Some lenders can charge as much as two months in interest if you do want to pay back before the end of your term. Paying off early is always a good idea, but not if it will end up costing you more overall.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

2015-03 What is a reverse mortgage - family money

What this article is all about:

  • More About Reverse Mortgages
  • Criteria to Get a Reverse Mortgage
  • Testimonials

There are many common definitions of reverse mortgages. According to Wikipedia, reverse mortgages are home loans that provide “cash payments based on home equity”. Educational investment site Investopedia explains it as a type of mortgage in which homeowners can “borrow money against the value of his or her home”. Leading reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group (AAG) describes it as a strategic retirement planning financial tool. Finally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines the loan as a way to “convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash.” However one may define it, many seniors across the nation are discovering an amazing financial product that can help them gain access to the equity their home is holding.

More About Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages have proven helpful to senior homeowners primarily because of its unique features of providing the borrower non-taxed cash without the requirement of a monthly mortgage payment and without the borrower having to leave the home. In the past, the only ways to access the cash from a home’s equity would be to sell the home or take out a second mortgage. With these options however, the borrower would have to leave the home or pay a monthly mortgage payment in order to access the home’s equity. But with a reverse mortgage the borrower will find that they are no longer required to do either in order to receive the helpful allotment of cash pulled from their home’s equity.

In addition, borrowers of reverse mortgages enjoy not only the many benefits this loan offers, but strong protections as well. Insured by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as a non-recourse loan, borrowers are protected if their loan balance ever exceeds their home value. Even if this happens, borrowers will only owe the value of the home when sold at loan maturity. Borrowers will never owe more than the value of the home because any excess will be covered by federal insurance. In addition, the only collateral that a lender can expect to repay the loan is the home. All other borrower assets are protected.

When the reverse mortgage reaches loan maturity, a borrower or their heirs can decide to keep the home instead of using it to pay back the loan. To keep the home, the borrower or heirs may repay the loan in another way, such as refinancing the loan into a traditional mortgage loan.

Criteria to Get a Reverse Mortgage

According to HUD, there are a few criteria that must be met for a borrower to qualify for a reverse mortgage. First off, borrowers must be homeowners ages 62 years and older occupying their home as the primary residence. The original mortgage must be paid off or paid down considerably, so that there is enough equity to access. In addition, HUD requires fulfillment of other criteria including:

  • Borrowers must be clear of delinquency on any federal debt.
  • Borrowers must have the financial means to continue paying property charges such as taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.
  • The property must be either a single family home, a 2-4 unit home with the borrower occupying one unit, or a HUD-approved condominium project or manufactured home that meets FHA guidelines.
  • Verified income, assets, and credit history.

Borrowers must also comply with all loan terms such as continuing to pay all taxes and insurance.


On their website, top reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group shares that senior homeowners decide they need or want a reverse mortgage for many different reasons. Some borrowers want a reverse mortgage in order to use the line of credit option to essentially freeze their equity in place for possible future use. Others need a reverse mortgage to pay off credit card debts and free up other income sources that used to pay for those monthly credit card debts. Whatever the use, the one thing these borrowers have in common is that their reverse mortgage loan helps them achieve some degree of financial freedom.

Across the nation every day, reverse mortgages are helping more and more seniors tap into some of the equity sitting in their homes. Equity that may have normally remained sitting in a home is now being used to pay off credit card debts or existing mortgages, and to strategically plan for a financially comfortable retirement. Senior homeowners of today have choices if they would like to access their home equity, and the government-insured reverse mortgage joins the ranks as one of the best potential options.


Blinds On A Budget: How Can You Compromise?

Below is a guest post.  Blinds can be expensive, so anytime you can save money on them you can use it for other purposes!


They can save us significant amounts of money, but get your buying choices wrong and blinds can cost a fortune to start with. Fortunately, compromises can be made and this is the direction this article is going to head in.

We’re by no means suggesting that you should go out and buy the cheapest set of blinds. While that particular product might serve a purpose for some homes, you should still look to get as much as you can from your money by shopping around for the features that suit you. Therefore, we’ve quashed the article into three ways which you can compromise by spending less on your blinds, but still getting plenty of functionality in the process. Continue reading

Stand Up for Independence!


The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Continue reading

Mutual Funds Capital Gains Distributions – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

How would you like to get a December bonus of ten or 20 thousand dollars? It can happen. It happened to us.

When you get your December broker statement showing the end of year dividends and capital gains – after years of saving and investing – it can be a real treat. Typically, the amount generated from the same funds or stocks year to year is fairly consistent, but there can be exceptional years. This year was one of those years.

Big capital gains payouts can be a good thing, a bad thing or an ugly thing. But first, lets level the playing field and explain a bit about mutual fund cap gain distributions. Continue reading