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New Combi Boiler Installation – 14 Steps to Avoid For The Cowboys!

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There is lots to consider when you are considering a new boiler installation. This guide will take you through the process from start to finish. This is quite a difficult task describing in words what a Gas Safe engineer does every day. Not all of the points will be relevant to your particular installation but this guide will at least give you an idea of what to expect from your new boiler and what to expect from an installer coming to your house.

Things to consider:

– Your budget – grants, loans and other schemes

– Finding an installer – getting 3 quotes

– The current water pressure of your system

– Your current system – layout/design and condition, boiler siting

– Your hot water demand – bathrooms, ensuites etc

– Choosing a boiler

– Upgrading your pipework – gas and water pipework

– Adding a MagnaClean

– Adding thermostatic radiator valves/room thermostat

– Adding additional radiators

– Powerflusing your system or flushing your system

– Commissioning your system

– Filling in the benchmark/notifying building control

– Advising the customer on how to get the best efficiency from their boiler

– Installers working to best practice

Your budget – grants, loans and other schemes

There are lots of schemes available depending on your circumstances. The new Boiler Scrappage Scheme is available to all households in England who have a G rated boiler in their home. It gives £400 towards the cost of a new boiler installation. There is also a scheme called the Warm Front Scheme which provides upto £3500 towards home heating and insulation improvements. To be eligible you must be on some sort of benefit or be a low income household. It is normally a bad idea to finance your boiler installation using a credit card or bank loan. Although there are cost benefits to be gained by having a new condensing boiler these will be eaten up by repaying the loan. If your current boiler is in good working order and you are worried about it breaking down then a British Gas homecare agreement is advisable at around £19 per month. An Npower agreement which offers less benefits is also available at around £7.99 per month.

Finding an installer – getting 3 quotes

You should aim for 3 quotes. This is more than adequate to get a good idea of what you want. Each individual engineer will give you different ideas on how best to go forward. They will also have their own favourite boilers and methods of working. It is a good idea to bounce ideas and questions around to ascertain whether the engineer is actually competent in the field he will be required to work within. Unfortunately there are lots of newly qualified plumbers and gas engineers in this industry and although they are perfectly safe and ‘passed off’ to work they may not be a) able to advise you of the most efficient method going forward, b) advise you completely wrongly or c) not actually have an answer. Sometimes it may be difficult to find someone you trust; after all, this will be a huge investment.

Often using the yellow pages can be a bad idea. So can using someone who posts leaflets through the door. The best and trusted method will always be by personal recommendation. Asking the engineer lots of questions can also give you some degree of confidence. Checking their Gas Safe registration should also be a priority. Unfortunately there are lots of illegal gas engineers operating and these people are putting lives at risk. Checking someones gas safe registration is very easy. Ask to see a Gas Safe registration card. Every engineer carries a card and it amazes me that 99.5% of customers do not ask for ID. Every engineer should be proud of their qualifications and love to show them off. Do not be shy and in future make a point of it.

Once you have got your 3 quotes you need to analyse what you are getting. Quotes should be broken down as much as possible. This will give you an idea of what exactly you are paying. I don’t understand how companies can justify listing a load of materials and specifications and then adding a figure. Costs should be fixed price costs whether you are a millionnaire or on a very low budget;)

It is best to get a written contract for your own benefit. If the company doesn’t offer one then you can easily draw one up. This will protect against faults that might develop later on after the system has been installed. If installed to best practice and following all manufacturers instructions then a central heating system will only rarely breakdown due to a manufacturer component fault. That is why respected installers offer a personal guarantee on all their work, this can be upto 5 years but 3 years is normal. This is alongside normal manufacturer guarantees which can be upto 5 years parts and labour. Other ways of finding an installer can be the internet however personal recommendation is always the best method.

The current water pressure of your system

Its very important to measure your mains water pressure to ascertain whether a combi will actually work. You might not have enough pressure for a combi system to work so this will need to be measured. A competent engineer will make sure that this is one of the first things he does. If you do have low pressure then your installation options will be limited. One example is when a mains pressure of 0.8bar from a customers property is measured. A certain Vaillant boiler which gives their full hot water output at just 0.5bar would be recommended by any competent engineer. This means that this boiler would be one of a very few boilers that could be considered for this customers property. It could have been a costly mistake not testing the mains water pressure and this is one reason why this should be done as standard. Having said all of the above, problems are very very rare. Your water company can advise on what your water pressure is likely to be if you are concerned. If for say you live on a very big hill you may have reasons for concern.

Your current system – layout/design and condition, boiler siting

Your current situation could have a large affect on cost of installation. Moving a boiler can add considerable expense as routing pipework can often be very tricky. Moving a boiler nearer the gas meter can sometimes cost the same as a straight swap. This is because the gas meter pipework upgrade will require less materials and less labour. Although some re-routing of water pipes will be required. If you need to upgrade from a system to a combi boiler this will be the costliest combi boiler installation. The system layout and pipework will need altering. The hot water cylinder and tanks in the loft will need removing. If you have a back boiler this will add time and expense on as well.

This can sometimes be difficult to remove as may cause the chimney to weaken. Your installer would be able to advise whether the removal of the back boiler is best left to a contracted a builder. If there is going to be new pipework in your property then it is desirable to have this under the floorboards and out of site. It makes for a better, cleaner job. Beware of companies wishing to take shortcuts or indeed charging more for lifting carpets and floorboards. There are strict rules governing where pipes are laid in joists. The size of notches can weaken joists and limits are set for this reason. It is simply unacceptable to hang pipes loose – even pipes containing water. Floorboards should be screwed back into place and not nailed as this will just cause the floorboard to loosen over time. Carpets and other fittings should be left as found. It is normally the customers responsibility to move furniture and other items that are in the way. This is due to responsibility issues. Common sense should always prevail of course.

If you have concrete floors then this can add a lot of expense as digging into the floor can be costly. The pipes will then need to be wrapped to ensure the concrete does not perforate them and this ultimately causes a leak under your floor. Fixing this leak will mean you having to re-dig the concrete and replacing the pipework. If done correctly and in accordance with manufacturers instructions its a very simple task. An engineer who is not in the know as regards to regulations can cause severe problems. Boiler siting can also cause problems sometimes. New condensing boilers may cause pluming issues and this can cross neighbour boundaries. Pluming kits are available and can eradicate this problem. Boiler flue terminal positions can also be a problem but these will be rare. The terminal needs to be a minimum 30cm away from window or door openings to stop products of combustion re-entering the property. If there is no other alternative than to put your boiler next to a window that is not in use then it will either need blocking up, ie cementing and bricking up or it will need screws put in so that it cannot open. Although the latter method is within the scope of the regulations it would be recommended better bricking it up.

Your hot water demand – bathrooms, ensuites etc

Even the lowest output of boiler (eg a 24KW) can, if installed correctly, cope with up to 14 radiators. When determining which boiler will suit your needs you should do some research on boiler hot water output capacities. Some smaller output boilers will deliver in the region of say 9 litres of water per minute at a certain temperature. Bigger models will produce 16 litres and more. This difference will be the difference between an OK shower or a very powerful shower. It will also affect how long a bath takes to fill up. You will also see an impact if you have two bathrooms ie a main bathroom and an ensuite bathroom. Larger sized boilers will just be able to cope with two showers used simultaneously. Smaller boilers will definitely not. You need to consider how this will affect you. Further advice can be given by your chosen installer.

Choosing a boiler

Choosing a boiler can be difficult. There are so many boilers out there that only an expert can guide you through your needs and match them up with a suitable boiler. The better makes of boiler are Viessmann, Worcester and Valliant although some of the models from these manufacturers have been horrendous. These will be the earlier models and any expert will know which models to steer well clear of. The Viessmann 100 model (earlier model) has teething problems but everything has been resolved now and this is one of the leading models on the market if not the best. Of course every engineer will have his/her own preferences but if you go to any forum in the UK and ask if the Viessmann boilers are any good I will guarantee you wont get an expert saying anything against them.

Boilers can typically range in price from £400 (B&Q) to £1400 (top Vaillant model) Although the £400 one will last for years and years if installed properly it is open to debate whether this boiler will last 10 years and even if it does, how much money you will have to spend on repairs? A great budget boiler is the Glowworm Betacom 24KW. For the price it represents very good value. It will depend on your budget and what you feel comfortable. It is always advisable to get quotes for different boilers and you can see for yourself prices differences. The price of the boiler will include all guarantees and if there are any issues with faulty manufacturer parts etc your installer will be responsible for this. Buying your own boiler and getting an installer to fit it can present many problems.

For example, is the boiler you are buying relatively new? It may look new, ie unopened packaging etc but it may have been sitting in a garage for 2 years. If a boiler is not installed within one year of its manufacture date it will void any warranty. Also, if any components are missing from your boiler then you will be ultimately responsible for lost time and expense. Most installers will not work this way for the above reasons as they simply do not know the history of the boiler and if a component fails after the boiler has been fitted it could cause significant problems.

Your installer will match your needs to a suitable boiler

Upgrading your pipework – gas and water pipework

Gas pipework used to be run in 15mm from the meter to the boiler. There are new rules which mean that pipework must be upgraded to 22mm as new condensing boilers are required to run on 22mm copper pipework. If the routing is simple then this can be a simple job. Sometimes carpets need to be lifted and pipework will go under floorboards. A lot of companies have fixed prices for pipework alterations and this includes fittings to give you an idea of price and labour charges.

All pipework should be clipped, there are regulations governing clipping distances for gas pipework. Pipework should always be secured and must be sleeved if passing through a cavity wall. One end must be sealed also. Your installer will bring you up to speed if you do have any concerns. If you are going from a system boiler to a combi boiler there will be lots of extra work including altering pipework and removing tanks and cylinders. This will mean more space in your airing cupboard and loft space.

Adding a MagnaClean

Some companies will not fit and guarantee their work if you do not agree to having a MagnaClean fitted. This additional work can be carried out for a very reasonable price as they would be already carrying out work in the property. More information can be found by clicking on the MagnaClean website. Unfortunately new condensing boiler have very weak heat exchangers and the MagnaClean will save them from getting damaged. This is why most companies insist on every customer having one installed.

Adding thermostatic radiator valves/room thermostat

Adding thermostatic radiator valves can significantly reduce your heating bills. It allows each radiator to be controlled individually. Why have the heat on in the whole house when you only need it in one? It is recommend not turning a valve completely off but setting it to 1. Adding TRV’s will in the long run save you lots of money and can be very cheap to install. Some companies will have offers when supplying and fitting these. Energy efficiency should be promoted whenever.

A room stat or a programmable room stat is a legal requirement. Your installer will advise what the best option for you is. A wireless stat will be more expensive but there is the advantage of no visible wiring.

Adding additional radiators

If you need to add additional radiators it is best to add these while having a new boiler installed. It will more than likely be cheaper. Some of your radiators may be undersized or very old and you should consider upgrading these.

Powerflusing your system or flushing your system

There is a huge difference between powerflushing your central heating system or just flushing your system. Powerflusing involves higher pressure and circulates fresh water and special chemicals around your system. It is normally needed on older systems as sludge and dirt builds up over years and years. This will mean that you either have cold spots or not very hot radiators. Having fresh water in a system means water can be heated up to the maximum pressure the boiler will allow and will mean hotter radiatiors which in turn means more efficiency. A powerflush is not a legal requirement when replacing your boiler but it is advisable. When a powerflush is taken with a boiler installation discounts can be given.

Normal cold and hot water flushing is a requirement when a boiler is installed. Cleanser and inhibitor is added. A hot and cold flush must be done in order to work to best practice. New boilers do not like any dirt in the system, heat exchangers can get very ‘clogged’ up and the cost of replacement can be very great.

Commissioning your system

Things that should be included in your installation and are considered best practise:

1. Flushing with Fernox or Sentinel product/filling with inhibitor from same

2. Roomstat/programmer, TRV’s (best practise, recommended)

3. Balancing and commissioning according to manufacturers instructions, important so as not to invalidate warranty.

4. Decommisioning of old boiler, tanks and all waste materials associated with installation

5. Making good eg. new and old flue openings

6. Completion of Benchmark log book, important.

7. Notification of new boiler to Building Control

8. At least 3 years guaranteed on pipework and associated fitting (the boiler manufacturer will have their own guarantees.)

The above should be in writing to protect your expensive new purchase.

Filling in the benchmark/notifying building control

Filling in the benchmark and notifying building control is part of commissioning process and a legal requirement. Pressures and temperatures need to be taken to ensure the system is correctly configured. Not filling out the benchmark and not notifying building control may cause problems if you ever decide to sell your property as proof the boiler was installed by a competent person will be required.

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Mortgage Post Closing Services: Describing What They Entail

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Could you be interested in mortgage post closing services? They entail strict reviews and audits to ensure compliance and completeness of documents. It is only after total confirmation of documents that the lender can fund the loan. The service provider selected by your company must be very experienced and good at their work. They must know how to correct documents from various origination stages and review them. The only documents that providers of mortgage post closing services could correct are those that have been signed and funded. The work of hired professionals also is to review legal, loan processing and other documentation for regulatory conformity.

They follow origination and underwriting rules to the letter, making sure missing information, if any, is retrieved. Mortgage closing services also entails data integrity checks so as to generate quality control reports. While doing integrity checks on loan information, service providers also state any possible exceptions. Basically their major activities entail the following. Tracking all documents (trailing document retrieval) associated with the mortgage post-closing is the first critical step. The documents that need to be trailed include assignments, assumption agreements, judgments, tax records, trust deeds, modifications, and UCC (Uniform commercial code) among others.

After the completion of this, issuance of final title policy, lien and assignment take place. The second activity offered during delivery of Mortgage closing services is the assembly of post closing loan package. What this entails is compilation of all loan documents that are usually submitted during the whole origination process. It means therefore that the provider of mortgage post closing services will work together with underwriters, loan officers, loan processors, mortgage brokers, home appraisers, property sellers and any other involved parties. The assembling work is rather tiresome and lengthy and that is why you want it to be done by a big company with many employees.

Another activity includes post closing data integrity audit as aforementioned. The main reason why this audit is done is to tackle possible home loan deficiencies. They verify and address red flags that were raised during the underwriting process. After this, all loans that have been fully approved are registered with a given mortgagee system. This whole process of registering approved loans prevents future assignments on loans. It also saves lenders from incurring future correction and tracking costs or facing document penalties among others. This step of mortgage post closing services also ensures faster execution of loans, zero errors on documentation and an easy closing process.

Mortgage quality control audit is also part of mortgage post closing services. There are automated audit systems used for this task. The service you will be offered in this step include pre-funding, post-closing, servicing, compliance, foreclosure loans, fraud investigation, preparation of the QC plan, cancel or reject, and commercial loans audit among others. It is imperative to make sure that the provider of the post closing service can audit and review the loans you normally process. Many outsourced companies deal with FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac among other home loans. Their basic auditing process entails file document review, evaluation of underwriting process, credit risk analysis and third party verification.

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All You Want To Know About Mortgage

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A mortgage is a kind of agreement. This allows the lender to take away the property if the person fails to pay the cash. Generally, a house or such a costly property is given out in exchange for a loan. The home is the security which is signed for a contract. The borrower is bound to give away the mortgaged item if he fails to make the repayments of the loan. By taking your property the lender will sell it to someone and collect the cash or whatever was due to be paid.

There are several types of mortgages. Some of them are discussed here for you –

Fixed-rate mortgages- These are actually the most simple type of loan. The payments of the loan will be exactly the same for the whole term. This helps to clear the debt fast as the borrowers are made to pay more than they should. Such a loan lasts for a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years.

Adjustable rate mortgages- This type of loan is quite similar to the earlier one. The only point of difference is that the interest rates might change after a certain period of time. Thus, the monthly payment of the debtor also changes. These kinds of loans are very risky and you will not be sure that how much the rate fluctuation shall be and how the payments might change in the coming years.

Second mortgages- These kinds of mortgage allows you to add another property as a mortgage to borrow some more money. The lender of the second mortgage, in this case, gets paid if there is any money left after repaying the first lender. These kinds of loans are taken for home improvements, higher education, and other such things.

Reverse mortgages- This one is quite interesting. It provides income to the people who are generally over 62 years of age and are having enough equity in their home. The retired people sometimes make use of this kind of loan or mortgage to generate income out of it. They are paid back huge amounts of the money they have spent on the homes years back.

Thus, we hope that you are able to understand the different kinds of mortgages that this article deals with. The idea of mortgage is quite simple- one has to keep something valuable as security to the money lender in exchange for getting or building some valuable thing.

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What Insurances Can I Have With My Mortgage?

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Life Cover

Life Cover provides a lump sum if you die during the policy term. This can be used to pay off your mortgage so your family do not have to worry about making any further repayments.

Critical Illness Cover

Critical Illness Cover is designed to insure against critical illnesses which could have a severe impact on your ability to earn a living. It should pay out if you are diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses or disabilities listed on the policy. You could then use the lump sum to repay your mortgage or help pay expensive medical costs. Some policies pay out on death during the period of cover if you are eligible to claim.

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment Cover

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment Cover is a short-term income-protection policy. It pays you a tax-free monthly sum for up to 12 months if you are unable to work due to an accident or sickness or if you become unemployed through no fault of your own. Policies are available that protect you against all of these events or just cover you for accident and sickness only, or unemployment only.

This type of insurance is expensive so to reduce the cost you can choose to have a ‘deferred period’. Then, in the event of a claim, you will not receive any benefit for a period of time at the beginning. This deferment could be for 30, 60 or 90 days for all three types of claims. You can also have a longer deferred period of 180 days for accident and sickness cover. To help you decide which deferred period is best you should take into consideration such things as any savings you may have and any sick pay you get from your employer.

You can choose the amount of monthly benefit you wish to receive up to 65% of your gross monthly income. Gross income is your wages before deductions have been taken such as income tax and National Insurance contributions. Of course the higher the benefit you require the higher the cost of the insurance. Cover provided by some companies may be limited due to individual circumstances.

Just as an example, Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover typically costs £4.71 a month for every £100 of monthly benefit. This is based on a 36-year-old customer choosing £850 of accident, sickness and unemployment monthly benefit with claims paid after a 30-day deferred period.

The cost of this insurance depends on a number of factors including your age, your occupation and where you live.

A number of companies offer short-term income protection and other products designed to protect you against loss of income.

Buildings Insurance

This covers the structure of the home such as the roof, walls, windows and permanent fittings.

Contents Insurance

This covers household goods, personal possessions and valuables within the home.

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Tips to Choosing a Mortgage Broker

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When you’re searching for a new home, you go through a number of properties to find that perfect match for you and your family. Once the excitement settles, it’s time to secure your financing.

You have two choices, you can approach your bank and hope that they are offering loans right now or you can approach a mortgage broker, someone who specializes in property financing and works with a host of leading banks, financial institutions and credit unions to secure you the best deal available to meet your budget.

When you first start looking for someone to help you secure the financing you need, it’s advisable to speak to family and friends that have recently purchased property in the area. They may be able to recommend an experienced broker that they dealt with, who secured them their financing. Word of mouth is usually the best way to find the best of the best.

Another option is to search online. You will be welcomed by hundreds of mortgage brokers who all want to assist you in getting the finance you need to secure your new home. If you choose online, there is some additional research you will have to do to ensure you will be working with someone who has experience and knowledge in the industry and has a good reputation with their customers.

There are a number of different brokers out there, some will be tied to certain estate agencies, some will work independently and some will work for large lending centers that are working closely with a number of the leading lenders in the country. Try and steer clear of the first two, rather go with the one that can work alongside a large number of banks and financial institutions to find you the money you need in the shortest period of time.

The mortgage broker should be focused on finding you the best possible deal. They may present you with a number of offers, enabling you to choose the one you feel meets your specific requirements.

One of the most important considerations is that they have extensive industry experience and an excellent reputation. You want your mortgage broker to work for you, they should provide you with all the information and advice you need, also providing you with outstanding customer service. This is so important as a first time buyer when you are unsure about the processes that lie ahead.

Determine if they charge any upfront fees. Some mortgage brokers will charge fees for their efforts. Ensure you are aware of the percentage they charge and how the payment is to be made. Is it upfront? Do you have to pay it straight away? This may reduce your down payment slightly, so take this into consideration.

Always do your own research as well, don’t rely on what they tell you. Even if you have chosen to use a mortgage broker because they can secure the best deals, approach the banks and find out what they are offering right now. Don’t settle for the first offer that comes you way, by doing some research, you can ensure you find the best mortgage with the best interest and terms to suit your budget.

Never assume your loan is secure. Ensure everything is provided to you in writing. This should be the offer from the lending institution, the mortgage broker’s fees and anything else imperative to your decision.

With everything in writing, you are set to go ahead and place an offer on your new dream home with the confidence that your financing should be approved within the shortest period of time.

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STAR Servicer – Total Achievement and Rewards Program for Mortgage Servicers

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As the fall out continues with the countrywide 50 state investigations, lending servicers who are responsible for bill collection of mortgage payments and other aspects of mortgage servicing for investors, it has come to the attention of the government how badly these companies are run. Fourteen companies have been under review and all of them have been found to violate foreclosure laws. Fannie Mae and other government agencies have been discussing how to best improve our mortgage servicing and lending here in the United States. Fannie Mae has come up with a performance program to help assist mortgage servicers’ to get it right and to stay within the boundaries of the law. This ultimately will help ensure the health of our housing economy and help support the housing recovery.

Not only will servicers be facing no procedures, they will also be facing harsh fines as a group entity. These fees could total over 20 million; however, this is just an estimation of what they could be paying for violating foreclosure laws.

Fannie Mae on Wednesday announced the STAR (Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards); the program is designed to better assist and will help examine how the servicers help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The goal of this new program is to set clear expectations and specific measurements to help Fannie Mae and servicers increase focus on avoiding foreclosure.

As more and more news comes out about how servicers’ have violated foreclosure laws, this program is an ongoing effort to hold servicers accountable. So how will this work? Each servicer will be given a servicer performance scorecard, which in turn will provide feedback on a monthly basis. With this program it should help servicers see where they need improvement and overall performance. Top ranking servicer’s will become eligible to receive monthly incentive awards and recognition. Also, top ranking servicer’s performance will be made public in an annual scorecard. Many believe this program will help gear better customer service to home owners, help with the housing recovery, and keep the servicers on the right track.

This will also help the federal government to set guidelines and regulations in place for the mortgage servicing industry. As the mortgage industry and bank industry is reviewed by the government to find a solution and to prevent another financial crises,it seems many changes are going to happen over the next few months and years. As we wait and see if the HAMP program and other federal programs will stick around, it is good to know servicers will now be regulated better in hopes of making the homeowner ship experience safer for everyone.

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Foreign National Mortgages: Things To Keep In Mind

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A foreign national mortgage refers to a loan for non-us residents. Even the government can issue loans to non-residents of the States. Let’s find out more.

First of all, if you are in the States legally, you can apply for the loan. However, for illegal residents, there are zero chances of success. The reason is that main lenders always require ID before reviewing an applicant. And these requirements include visas, work permits, green cards and social security numbers as well.

Rules for the resident foreigners

Generally, it’s not difficult for non-us residents to look for a mortgage. There are two primary categories that they fall in:

1. Permanent residents: they have green cards and the rights to live in the States with all the long-term residency rights

2. Non-permanent residents: Generally, your residency rights are based on your employment.

Regardless of which category you fall in, you can apply for a mortgage. However, you may need to put in a little more effort if you are not a permanent resident.

Permanent vs non-permanent

If you are a non-permanent resident, you may have to show a proof that you will live in the country for at least another three years. If your visa or work permit has fewer than 12 months of expiry date, your lender can find out how likely you may be to stay.

FHA loans are designed for non-permanent residents. According to the rules, if you have a renewed visa or work permit, you can be a good candidate for approval.

Refugees or those in the asylum

If you have been in the asylum or have the refugee status, we have good news for you. With this status, you have the right to work, and you have greater chances of getting a mortgage approval. So, this is important to keep in mind.

Non-resident foreign buyers

If you have no right to live in the USA, you may still be eligible for the loan. However, you may have credit score problems to face. Actually, lenders have concerns as how they can enforce a debt in case of these non-residents.

So, you can’t get the type of deals a resident or citizen can get. In fact, you may have to make a down payment up to 50% to get this type of loan. Aside from this, the mortgage rate can be quite higher unlike the rate charged to a resident.

Welcome to the States

Immigrants were the founders of the States. Therefore, American has always been quite welcoming to immigrants.

Typically, lenders make their lending decisions based on the risk factors, such as the financial resources, down payment size, and creditworthiness of the borrower. As far as determining the best deal is concerned, you can be on the level playing field irrespective of the citizenship status you may have.

Long story short, if you are non-resident in the United States, you can still apply for a mortgage but you need to meet the requirements set by the lender. Hope this helps.

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Tips To Choose a Mortgage Lender

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No matter how rich you are emergency situations can crop up at any time. Thus, you have to consider taking a loan either from an individual or from a financing company or a bank. Most of the people of now like to opt for the latter options rather than going for the first option. This is because the financing companies or banks are more reliable than a person. But the high interests that are charged on the loans are really a burden. So, a better alternative that you can look for is mortgaging your property against the loan you take. This will relief you from being taxed with high charges and you can pay the loan amount at your convenience within the time limit that the company has offered you. To choose a proper loan lender you can follow some of the tips that we have provided in this article.

Prepare a List

While you consider risking your personal property, why plan everything in haste. Some companies would try to persuade you to take quicker decisions by offering attractive rates but let them be as they are and take your time to take your decision. Research well and make a list of the companies that you find.

Check the Terms and Conditions

Not only choosing the company but knowing the terms and conditions through which the loan to be completed are important. Remember that you are risking your property for money and the slightest carelessness in this respect can cause you to lose your money.

How Quickly They Respond

The next thing that should be your determining factor is that how quickly they respond to your queries. Emergency situations don’t give you a lifetime opportunity. A delay can make the problems to increase. So, instead, you should go for the ones that respond quickly to your needs.

Compare and Choose

After you check with several companies you can compare the interest rates and also the time period they are allowing you to make the repayments. You also have to ensure that the company that you are thinking of dealing with should have a good reputation in the market. Check their client reviews and the years the company has been in the market. If you find that the company is a genuine one then you should go ahead with finalizing the deal with the company.

We hope that just by reading this article you have got an idea about choosing the mortgage provider. This will help you in choosing a better lender for your needs.

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Credit Card Processing: How the System Works

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Establishing a merchant account for your business enterprise is the wisest financial decision you will ever make for the growth, expansion and success of your business. Once you’ve set up a merchant account, you can accept credit and debit cards payments from your clients for your products and / or services. You can also arrange to accept online and mobile banking payments for your products and / or services.

A merchant account opens up new avenues for your business; therefore, giving your business many more opportunities to flourish. But, have you ever understood how the credit card processing system works? Have you tried to perceive the complexities of the players involved in the process and the intricacies of the system?

While it is not entirely essential for you to know the inside and outside of the card processing system because your Merchant Service Provider will do the needful for you; it is good for you to acquaint yourself with the system on a general basis.

The Participants Involved in a Card Transaction

A typical credit or debit card transaction involves the following players:

• The customer

• The merchant

• The payment gateway

• The customer’s credit card issuer

• The credit card interchange

• The processor at the acquiring bank

• The merchant’s acquiring bank

The Route the Money Takes from the Customer to the Merchant

Let’s take an example to understand how the card processing system works.

Suppose that a customer walks into a clothing store and she finds a bag that catches her eye. She immediately proceeds to the payment counter and makes a payment of $100 towards her purchase with her cards.

The cashier at the merchant’s store accepts the cards and uses a card swiping machine to set the process into motion.

• The $100 amount makes its first stop at the payment gateway where the payment is first authorized with a minor deduction in the amount.

• Now, $99 travels to the appropriate processor and after a minor deduction is submitted to the card interchange as $98.5.

• Once the transaction gets a clear at the interchange, it moves on to the issuing bank with a further deduction where the issuing bank verifies the availability of funds in the customer’s credit / debit card.

If the transaction is declined, it makes its journey back to the customer from here.

• If the transaction is approved, $98 reaches the processor at the acquiring bank, just one step closer to the merchant account.

• Once authorized, $97.5 gets deposited into the merchant’s account, which is now at the merchant’s disposal.

(The figures and fees involved in card processing are based on the number of players in the process, merchant type, card type and risk factors)

In the present age, quite a number of payments are made electronically, especially with the extensive use of credit and debit cards and online funds transfer. Although typical card processing takes seven participants, the entire transaction amazing takes a maximum of five seconds for approval.

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5 Tips to Consider When Refinancing Your Mortgage

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Here are 5 tips to consider when refinancing your mortgage.

Is it the right move?

When conditions are right, financially and economically, you might be considering a refinance of your mortgage. Before you jump into what seems like a good idea, it’s best to know exactly what the refinancing process is, and just what it entails. You should know that when you are going to refinance, it involves starting the loan application process right from the start, as if you are buying a new home. Will you be taking the loan with a new lender, setting up a new deal, or should you shop around and see what’s on offer from other loan providers? The best person to lead you through what is now a veritable minefield of lenders, is your mortgage broker. They are far more up to date with what’s on offer than if you spent hours scouring the internet looking for the best deals.

Why Refinance?

What are your reasons for refinancing? There could be a variety of reasons. Lower interest rates on offer? A difference of a point or two in the rate may seem small when you look at it, but that couple of points can save you thousands over the years because your repayments will go on for 15 to 30 years for a typical mortgage.

Another reason some may decide to refinance is to get a shorter term, which also saves thousands of dollars. For example, things have never looked rosier personally, and both you and your partner are working, and your income is higher. So, a change in your financial situation can be used to save money on higher monthly payments. Conversely, you might be after a lower monthly payment or have that fixed rate changed to a variable rate, or vice versa.

Refinancing Costs

There are some obvious things to look at when considering refinancing. One of the first things is the actual cost of refinancing. Look at the fees you will be paying and divide it by the months of your mortgage and see whether there is a saving as a result of the refinancing. Sometimes you are ahead straight away, other times you might have to work out when you will hit the break-even point.

Penalties

Are there any penalties in your mortgage terms and conditions that apply if you pay out the mortgage early? Lenders do NOT like mortgages paid out early. Remember, when you refinance, you are paying off one loan and applying for another completely new loan. Add any penalties to your total costs for refinancing and calculate that break-even point again. Be certain that you are not losing money overall when you refinance.

Your Equity

An important factor in this whole process is to work out the equity you have in your home. A negative equity is when you owe more on the home than what the house is worth. If you have been in your home for a number of years, the annual increase in your home’s value will stand you in good stead. But if this is a refinance taken out after only a short time into your mortgage, price fluctuations may have worked against you. If your lender is offering less than the equity, you will not be able to get the refinance, unless, of course, you have the money to pay the difference. Current markets indicate an overall rise in prices, but there have been some downward movements as well over the year and that may have had a negative effect on your home’s value.

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Get Over from Your Credit! Credit Debt Management

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Credit arises when you spend without paying. And how it is done? Yes, you are right, it’s through credit cards. Here, we are going to discuss how can we control that small plastic card which can make us happy with its service and can lead us to bankruptcy if goes out of control. Credit debt management can suggest us the way to get back that control and maintain it.

Credit card handling tips which you can follow for efficient credit debt management:

o Use your credit cards wisely; this will help you build a good credit history.

o Reviewing of credit card bills helps you pay them on time simultaneously finding errors (if any) in the bill.

o Get your credit report and analyze it. Contact credit rating agencies if there is any mistake in the report regarding credit card or any other debts.

o If you are already having balances on your credit cards, don’t apply for more cards.

o Get your balance transferred to a card with lower interest rate, if you use more than one credit card.

o If you are late on payments to another creditor, your credit card company can raise your

interest rate. So, always pay your bills on time for all your debts.

o Special cards such as gas and petrol cards, departmental store cards or rewards cards carry higher rates as compared to normal cards, so avoid them

o If your credit debts are getting out of hands, contact credit debt management agencies for help.

Along with the measures specified above you can take the help of credit debt management companies. You can search among numerous credit debt management companies available online along with the services they offer. These services include credit counseling, credit card education and credit card debt consolidation services. Under a credit card debt consolidation service, you make a single monthly repayment to these agencies for all your credit card bills. Further, this agency pays your creditors from that amount at negotiated amounts. Yes for getting this service, you will be charged with a certain percentage of the total debt payment for credit cards.

You can enroll for a credit debt management agencies within 15 to 20 minutes. After the enrollment the consultants from these agencies will contact you with the services and credit debt management plan while discussing your credit card spending with you. The services of these agencies will continue till all your debts are in control or you have decided you withdraw voluntarily from this service. A credit debt management besides erasing your debts can also erase your stress due to credit cards.

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