How Much House Can You Afford?

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You can use the Affordability Calculator to see how much your maximum purchase price should be for a house.  You input your gross income and other numbers to come up with this calculation.  See below:

http://knowyouroptions.com/find-resources/information-and-tools/financial-calculators/afford-calculator


HELOC

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A HELOC is a home equity line of credit.  A HELOC is actually not a loan, but a line of credit that is secured by your home.  You have to have enough equity in your home to get a HELOC.  The bank will look at the value of your home and how much you already owe on your mortgage.


Stay in Your Home

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If you have a mortgage and you have some financial problems, start exploring your options before you miss a mortgage payment.  Here are some options to avoid foreclosure:

Refinance

Repayment Plan

Forbearance

Modification

https://www.knowyouroptions.com/avoid-foreclosure/options-stay-your-home/overview


Paying with a Credit Card Makes You Spend More Money

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If you pay with a credit card and not with cash, you will be willing to pay more.  The reason is that with credit cards, people look at a product’s benefits, and with cash, people look at a product’s cost.  When you use cash, you have to think about each bill.  When you use a card, you just swipe and you can think about the amount later.

https://curiosity.com/topics/paying-with-a-credit-card-makes-you-spend-more-money-curiosity/

 


Balance Transfer Credit Card

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A balance transfer can help you pay down your credit card debt faster. You will want a 0% APR for at least 18 months. During that introductory time period, try to pay down the balance while you have 0% interest. Make sure you understand the agreement. After the intro period, you will be charged a credit card interest rate, which can be higher than 25%.


Mobile Banking

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Mobile banking can help you manage your bank accounts and make better decisions.  You can get text messages from your bank and check your account balance.  50% of the people in a recent FDIC survey decided not to buy something at a store because of their bank account balance on their phone.

 

 


Ability to Pay

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For certain types of loans, such as payday loans, a lender is required to verify your ability to pay.  They will ask about your income, monthly debt, and housing costs.  Consumers have been getting themselves into trouble by getting into roll over loans, where they roll over the old loan into a new loan, and keep paying fees.  To read more, copy and paste this address into your browser:

http://www.lenderlawwatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/201710_cfpb_final-rule_payday-loans-rule.pdf

 


Unbanked People

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Unbanked consumers are people who do not have a checking or savings account.  Many banks ignore these people because they have poor credit and will not deposit much money into the bank.  More and more Americans are choosing check-cashers over traditional banks.


Local Housing Counselors

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If you are planning on buying a house in the near future or even just thinking about it, you can get valuable information by speaking with a housing counselor.  Check out the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership at this website:

https://www.inhp.org/


When to Cancel a Credit Card and When Not To

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If you pay an annual fee, and you don’t use the credit card, you are losing money on this credit card.  Don’t keep this card to build your credit score, it is a net loss.  Do you have a credit card that is your only credit card?  Then, don’t cancel this card.  Have at least one credit card for your credit file.


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