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Top rated loans and lending tips from 2020

Do you know how the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate affects the cost of borrowing money? Are you thinking of refinancing your home? How much equity do you currently have in your home? The more informed you are about the specifics of lending, the better borrowing choices you’ll make in the future. Check out our most popular articles about loans and lending from 2020.

Wall Street Journal Prime Rate and why it matters

The WSJ Prime Rate is essentially the base interest rate that banks are charging borrowers, and it’s referenced by lenders and borrowers alike. It’s published each day by the Wall Street Journal, and it is an important method for people to keep track of the interest rates that banks are charging for loans and credit lines.

Read more details on WSJ Prime Rate and how it affects your financial life. 

Considering Refinancing? Ask these questions before you do.

In 2020, mortgage interest rates have continued to fall prompting many homeowners to consider refinancing their current mortgage. If you’re still looking to take advantage of low interest rates, ask yourself these 4 questions before refinancing.

  • What is your goal for refinancing?
  • How much will a home refinance cost you?
  • How long do you plan to stay in the home?
  • Can you qualify to refinance?

Check out more tips and things to consider as you begin the refinancing process.

How to Calculate Your Home Equity

The equity in your home is the difference between the current appraised value of your home and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. The equity in your home can be your most powerful tool to help you pay for things, from home renovations to a college degree.

Learn how to calculate the equity in your home.

How to create good debt (and steer clear of bad debt)

What is the difference between “good debt" and “bad debt?" The answer depends in part on your own personal approach to managing your debt payments. In general, there are a few rules of thumb for understanding which debts can help move your life forward, and which debts can damage your financial future.

Here are some examples of "good debts":

  • Student loans can be “good debt" if they help you earn a degree and launch you into a well-paying career.
  • Home mortgage debt. If you have good credit, your home mortgage interest rate might be the lowest-interest debt you’ll ever have. Ideally, this debt can help you you gain wealth from building equity in your home.
  • Small business debt. Borrowing to invest in a small business is generally considered “good debt" if it helps you make more money and build a successful business.

Here are some examples of “bad debts”:

  • Credit card debt. While they offer convenience, credit cards typically charge high interest rates and their fees can quickly add up.
  • Payday loans. These services are often a last resort for borrowers. These services often charge astronomical interest rates that can leave you in dire financial trouble.
  • Predatory loans. Predatory loans are targeted to consumers who don’t have any legitimate loan alternatives and take an offer with sky-high interest rates, confusing pay down terms and penalty-based charges. In general, beware of these types of loans.

Learn more about managing and creating good debt.

What does it mean when your mortgage is sold?

In general, as a mortgage holder, you are not greatly affected when a lender sells your loan. You will owe the same amount each month, and you will have the loan for the same length of time.

Follow these tips to help you when your mortgage is sold:

  • When you get your first statement from the new lender, review it carefully to verify the loan information and payment amounts are correct.
  • If you were in the middle of a loan modification–for example, refinancing to get a better interest rate–you probably won’t need to start over, but check with the new institution to be sure. questions.

Read more about what it means for you when your mortgage loan is sold. 

If you master these lending terms and strategies, you’ll be able to make better and more informed decisions in the future.

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