Evaluate Your Home Improvement Financing Options

Although as the saying goes,”There is definitely no place like home!”, the time will come that your home could use some renovations, upgrades or improvements. Does your kitchen need more cabinets? Do you need more space in the living room? How long have you had the crack in the bathroom tile floor? When was the last time you had your roof repaired or replaced? If any of these situations give you reason to pause, it could be time for some home improvements.

If money is a concern, you should first evaluate your home improvement financing options. A home improvement loan can help finance the project or projects of your choice without paying for the whole project in one large chunk. The terms of a home improvement loan vary with each lender and also with the credit score of the borrower. Home improvement financing can be broken down into monthly or quarterly payments just like other types of loans. These loans can be extended for 5 to 10 years, but bear in mind that the longer the repayment period is, the higher the interest rate is likely to be.

Why should you bother to evaluate your home improvement financing options if you can make the repairs yourself? There are some home improvements that should not be done by non-professional persons and having your home improvement financed can ensure that trained professionals can be hired and enough money exists to get the job done properly. A home improvement project properly executed by trained professionals will greatly increase the value of your home.

A word of caution for you, financing professional home improvement projects isn’t cheap. There is, however, a value to financing your home improvements in this manner. The plus side is that you have the opportunity to stay in a home you always dreamed of and you have the ability to pay off the loan on more flexible terms.

As you begin to evaluate your home improvement financing options, look for home improvement financing interest rates that are lower than others on the market. Consider the value of your property, also called the equity. The more equity your have in your home the better your starting position. You can find home improvement financing in such places as your local bank, loan brokers, and society co-ops.

There are requirements for home improvement financing you must meet. You should be prepared to answer all of the following questions. Most places will ask if you have financial issues. Do you have existing credit loans from other companies? What is the status of those existing credit loans? What is the current status of your house mortgage? Do you have a regular income? Every company has its own rules and regulations. Those are just a few areas to consider begin the application process. The more preparation you can do beforehand, the better off you will be during the loan application and approval period.

Taking the time to evaluate your home improvement financing options can eliminate a lot of confusion. Do as much comparison shopping as possible and pick the lender that offers an affordable loan rate and legal credibility.

Creative Financing Options For Small Business

Think “finance needed”… think “bank loan.” It’s a pretty traditional model that probably far too many of us were brought up with but in these far from traditional times, the options are vast… aren’t they?

Today’s success stories so often seem to be born of genuine creative genius, particularly with outstanding marketing, innovative product lines, and irresistible customer services packages – surely financing solutions can be equally creative?

Getting outside (i.e. somebody else’s) money to finance a business can be done in only two ways…

(1) borrow it or
(2) sell something (like shares).

Then depending on a number of variables, whether you are selling debt or equity, you may need to consider technical obligations created by state and federal securities laws (because you are selling an investment in your business). There are already an extremely broad array of techniques and methods by which both debt and equity financing is structured. You should speak with a transactional (corporate) securities lawyer in your jurisdiction to get an idea of the universe of financing options.

For business loans that range between $25-$100k that are unsecured you can go to Professional Funding.com and they’ll put together credit card lines of finance. It costs $500 to apply (you get it back if they can’t do it) plus around 8% of the amount you’re borrowing. Its unusual but it works. Be aware that you have to have a credit score of 700+ for this to work.

There are lots of creative alternatives to traditional financing (debt and angel/VC equity) such as:

– Get customers to pay sooner, including sometimes 1 year in advance, rather than just in arrears

– Locate a business partner who finds your product/service strategic, and get their money (either in equity or revenue)

– Bootstrap

– spend little money

– Grants

– Donations (see kickstarter.com)

– Revenue

– Find creative ways to quickly generate revenue to cut your cash burn rate, even if the revenue isn’t in your core business

Also consider strategic relationships with mutually beneficial businesses that will consider injecting capital into the business in return for equity or profit share.

Alternative financing is creative and “no” it is not just factoring, purchase order, or equipment leasing.

Asset based lenders can create a line of credit against assets. For example, a company has inventory, AR, machinery or equipment, these can be used as collateral for a line of credit. Also, for real estate there are products such as hard money loans or bridge loans.

Other types of financing are investors, angels, venture capitalists, and crowd funding or if you have securities, stock, life insurance or bonds, these can also be used for collateral for a loan.

If you have a banker, ask them if they have a reliable person that works in the alternative financing arena. There are options outside of banking, you just have to make sure that you are working with someone reliable.

There are options for every need you might have. All lenders want to get repaid – just like you want to get paid in your business. Thus, they look to some type of cash event for repayment. For standard business loans, they look to ongoing cash flow. For other types of financing they can look to financial assets like accounts receivables, credit card receipts, or purchase orders – all things that create future cash event to repay the loan or advance. There are also others that do bank statement loans or micro payment business loans.

There are specific loans for specific needs and general loans for general needs. Its not about getting creative in creating loans – the real challenge comes from being creative enough to take those funds and earn a solid return (more than they cost) from them.

Lastly, just like everything in business – you have to due your diligence or you will get ripped off. But, a little homework and you can find the money your small business needs – just know that you will not get something for nothing.

Financing Options For Your Next Car

Once you have negotiated the price for your vehicle, it is time to think about how you are going to pay for it. If the price is low enough that you can pay cash, it is the best way to go. Cash is always the cheapest way and usually dealers will give you a good deal on cash payment. But if you need to finance a car, there are several options. You can use a dealerships finance office to find you a bank, you can use dealerships (in house) financing or you can find your own bank.

Lets discuss them separately so you know what you are going to be dealing with. Car financing is a big business for the banks and the dealers. Usually a bank makes money on the interest and the dealer on every deal they make. We have seen the paychecks of the finance department managers and we know firsthand how they work.

Generally speaking, it is going to be more expensive to go through the dealers bank, since the dealer has to make money and the bank makes a profit; and you are the one that pays for it.

In house (dealer) financing may be cheap as far as the loan fees and charges are concerned, but interest is going to break your bank.

The best way other than cash is to find a bank that will finance your car. Go to your local bank where you do your everyday banking and ask them what options are available for you. Usually they are very good to their customers.

Assuming you have an above average credit score, you should be able to get a competitive rate. Banks know that once you go to the dealership, the finance department will try to get you a loan, so your local bank will keep the interest rate lower than a dealer might offer you.

As a common sense strategy, go to the websites like Kelly Bluebook and Cars.com, do the research about the current interest rates on car loans; it will give you more bargaining options and power to negotiate a successful loan term.

As far as the financial side of a loan is concerned, there might be a down payment required. If you make a down payment you should ask for a lower interest. Remember that you paid part of a loan and the bank gets your car as collateral.

The more cash you pay, the lesser the loss that bank is exposed to, so be tough, you are the customer, you can always go to the other bank or a dealer to get a better rate. Do not say it in their face but show that you are aware of the options you have.

Financing options are numerous and whichever you choose, try to be informed and have the knowledge of what the alternatives are before signing the papers. A well informed and thought through decision is always the best financial decision when it comes to the car financing.

On-Bill Financing Options

On-Bill Financing has been a buzzword that’s been popping up in a lot of conversations regarding the move towards new, clean energy alternatives and the efforts to increase environmental awareness and promote new and practical ways in which people can live greener and help conserve energy.

So, before we delve into the two main financing options for the on-bill, we should probably answer the question: What is on-bill financing, exactly?

The Basics of On-Bill Financing

Seeing the need for more environmentally friendly energy spending, many state regulators are implementing the concept of on-bill financing, which involves the following arrangement: When a customer upgrades a heating system, insulates his or her walls, installs a solar panel or takes some other measure to make sure his or her home is more energy-efficient, the utility pays for the upgrade and recoups the expense over time in the customer’s monthly energy bill.

This type of financing makes it so that the customer doesn’t have to absorb the financial shock of paying for the improvement all at once. It allows customers to save energy and reduce their monthly payments, which then, at least partially, offsets the increase in their monthly bill that comes as a result of having to gradually pay the utility company back for the initial upgrade financing.

The On-Bill Financing Options

There are two main approaches to this type of financing: tariffs and loans. The loan option works in the same way that typical financing loans work. The customers takes the loan and is responsible for paying it back regardless of whether he remains in the home until the end of the payment period or not. The tariff approach, on the other hand, links the charge to the meter, which means that whoever the occupant of the house is remains responsible for the payment. If the initial customer moves, the new occupant picks up the charge.

The tariff option is good because it allows for longer payment terms, so the monthly costs are more spread out and therefore lower. It also gives renters an incentive to participate in the energy savings program, as they only pay for the energy-saving upgrade while they use it.

The State of On-Bill Financing

Despite the fact that on-bill financing makes logistical sense, right now many utility companies are reluctant to try the the approach. They see it as an experimental program that makes billing more complicated. Still, slowly, more and more states are jumping on board. Currently, Connecticut and California have the largest programs.

Look Out For Creative Financing Options For Your Next Home

A common hardship experienced by a large number of home buyers is not being backed up by a huge lump sum of money in order to purchase the home of their dreams. Buyers are required to show an attractive sum of money or at least give an enticing earnest money deposit. But not all buyers have such capacity. Thus they seek acquiring loans from traditional banks. And the difficulty is a notch higher as most banks today have stricter rules regarding approval of loan applications. What can the home buyer then resort to in this case of immediate financial assistance? Looking out for creative financing options can be the home buyer’s way to finally achieve his most wanted property.

An increasing number of home buyers are favoring these non-traditional financing options as the perks are clearly enticing. In most cases, the agencies that offer these creative financing options give the borrower opportunities to enjoy lower interest rates, better loan terms and even reduced paperwork. Below are a few of the most common creative financing options.

1. Seller Financing – This financing type comes in variations, but the bottom line is, as its name implies, the seller also serves as the lender. This is a great yet rare deal in most markets. It basically works when the seller arranges to fund the mortgages of the house so as to quickly yield profit from selling the house. You, the buyer, will directly pay to the seller. Some steps required in the traditional mortgage repayment process are omitted. Thus, the closing can then be relatively faster. Most sellers initiating this process allow the buyers to move in immediately even before the deal has been reached escrow.

This has three main types. The first one, full loan, pertains to a short term agreement wherein at the term’s end, you will owe a balloon payment for the home. The other one, lease-purchase or rent-to-own, requires you to put down a larger deposit. You would lease the home for two to three years. In this span of time, a fraction of your monthly payments would be directed to the price of the home. The last one is also referred to as the wrap around mortgage. The seller would offer you the second mortgage on the home that is usually at a better interest rate. A percentage of your payments to the seller, say, on a monthly basis will be attributed to paying for the first mortgage.

2. No Money Down Payment – This financing type comes in varied options as well. This will be mainly beneficial for first time home buyers. The Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, some federal and local financial assistance programs are the most common bodies that provide guaranteed loans. Also, there are HUD foreclosure homes that do not require down payments.

3. Fixer Upper – This option actually requires you to firstly purchase the home and treat as your investment to gain profit from later on. Such homes are sold at very low prices in most markets. This is because the home is in very poor condition. Once you have purchased it, you can start making the renovations and then rent it out. You can then accumulate income to serve as you funding for your next home purchase, which is most likely your dream house.

4. Other means to finance your home purchase endeavor can be done through peer-to-peer lending, online mortgage applications and other private transactions that mainly involve individuals who personal savings in cash and assets as sources of funding loans.

Meanwhile, there are a few risks attached to these apparently liberating financing options. Firstly, most borrowers have the tendency to misuse the borrowed funds. Misappropriations are a common problem for most private lenders and debtors as well. As carefree as such systems appear to be, you might have the tendency to borrow over and over again without thinking how the scheduling and budgeting of repayments will be done. It might be too late before you realize that you have owed hundreds of thousands of dollars already in a short span of time. Also, note that some attributes of these financing types are alike the traditional loan transactions. Once you, the buyer, falls short of your obligations, the seller or private lender has the right to terminate the deal contract as soon as possible.

Thinking out of the box still proves to be yet another effective way to get your hands at getting your desired home. But each option must be well pondered over before fully committing yourself in it. Home buying and borrowing are your privileges, thus, handling these tasks wisely is crucial.