How We Made Our Down Payments (Infographic)

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You may not need to make a down payment of 20% but putting together the down payment is still one of the most challenging steps in buying a home. Check out our infographic above to see what obstacles other recent homebuyers faced in trying to save for their down payments.

The smaller the down payment you can afford, the better your credit needs to be to secure your mortgage. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

Part two in our Keys to Homeownership series revealed what made Americans fall in love with the homes they bought. Part four will focus on how homebuyers paid for their ho…

Employers Offer to Help Pay Student Loans

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It’s not uncommon for companies to help with tuition payments for their employees who are continuing their education, especially if they are working toward a professional degree that will help them in their job or with future advancements in the firm. Such a program can be a great recruiting tool.

Unfortunately, these programs do not help a company’s recent hires who have already absorbed huge student loan debts on the way to graduation. Gradifi, a start-up technology company based in Boston, has addressed this problem by setting up a platform that allows employers to make direct contributions toward their employees’ student loan debts in a secure fashion. Tim DeMello, Founder and CEO of Gradifi and a trustee at nearby Babson College, got the idea for Gradifi in 2014, after a presentation at Babson showing the incredible increases in student debt.

Gradifi’s first high-profile client was the massive accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), whic…

Video: Considering Borrowing From Your Retirement To Pay Off Debt? Don’t!

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Let’s say you’re tempted to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) plan to pay off some debts. You can always catch up by paying that money back into your retirement savings later, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Don’t rob your future to pay for your past! Watch Bankrate.com Senior VP and Chief Analyst Greg McBride explain how a decision like that will affect your retirement outlook over the long term in our exclusive video above. Let the free Retirement Planner by MoneyTips help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle.

If your credit is good, you may be better getting a loan to pay off your debts. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using

Income Share Agreements

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America’s total student loan balance has topped $1.5 trillion, according to recent Federal Reserve data. Default rates on student loans are at 11%. While the job market has improved for recent graduates, many are struggling with excessive debt (over $39,000 at graduation on average) and entry-level jobs that make repayment difficult.

Enter an alternative approach to paying for college – the Income Share Agreement (ISA). Schools that offer an ISA program provide the funding to get your degree in return for a percentage of your post-graduation income over a set number of years. In essence, the school is investing in you and expecting that return to pay off in a direct income stream – bypassing the student loan system entirely.

The repayment percentage varies depending on the chosen major/profession and starting salaries, following the advice of Adam Carroll, Founder …

Is Trump Making It Easier To Get Out From Student Loan Debt?

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According to the G.19 Consumer Credit Report recently released by the Federal Reserve, America’s total student loan debt has topped $1.5 billion – and we are having trouble paying off that debt. At of the end of 2017, a whopping 11% of student loans were either ninety days delinquent or in default.

The Department of Education offers several avenues to help federal student loan borrowers deal with their debt. Options include income based-repayment plans that scale payments to discretionary income, consolidation loans that can lower monthly payments by extending terms, Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, deferment, and forbearance. Borrowers with private loans have fewer options outside of r…

Home Prices Outpace Pay Increases

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Affordable Housing? What Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is increasingly hard to find in today’s market. According to data from Trulia, America’s inventory of starter homes has decreased by almost half compared to six years ago while prices rose by almost 58%.

As consumers recovered from the housing crisis and Great Recession, more people became financially able to own a home. The existing supply was quickly consumed, leading to the current imbalance.

Recent polls suggest that affordable housing woes will continue through 2018 and beyond. According to a Reuters poll of property market analysts, home prices are expected to increase at almost double the rate of wages through 2018. Home prices are predicted to gain 5.7% more over the course of the year, while average annual earnings growth is predicted to be 2.8% – slightly above the predicted inflation rate of 2.5%.

At least inflation is expected to stay more in line with wages, hel…

Top 5 Student Debt Warnings

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As a nation, America’s student debt load is reaching crisis proportions. The New York Federal Reserve puts the total student loan debt at over $1.52 trillion, with the delinquency rate over 11%.

Is your personal student loan situation nearing a similar crisis? Consider these five warning signs to assess whether you are handling your student loans responsibly or are on the road to potential default.

1. Apathy/Denial

This may be the most dangerous sign of all – refusing to realize the consequences of defaulting on a student loan. Adam Carroll, Founder and Chief Education Officer of National Financial Educators, likens student loans to “the worst weed to have in your yard because if it goes unchecked, it will grow to massive proportions.”

You can’t just wave a magic wand and make your student loan debt go away, nor can you pretend there aren’t serious con…

4 Out Of 5 Young Borrowers Blame Student Loan Debt For Not Owning A Home

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A student loan can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. It can lead to an advanced degree that leads to a better job with higher pay and superior benefits. It can also be a millstone of debt keeping you from fulfilling other life goals – such as owning a home.

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows how pervasive the effects of student loans can be. According to the survey, 83% of millennials (age 22-35) who don’t currently own a home blame the delay on student loan burdens. The average delay in purchasing a home is seven years. Federal Reserve data shows that for every 10% increase in student loan debt, the odds of successful home ownership in the first five years beyond school drops by 1 to 2 percentage points. Given the $1.52 trillion total student loan debt reported b…

How We Chose Our Homes (Infographic)

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Is your home bigger than average? What made you fall in love with your home?

This infographic in our Keys to Homeownership series explores the factors that American homebuyers considered when choosing their homes. If you’re shopping for a home, or want to take cash out of your existing home, MoneyTips is happy to help you get free mortgage and refinance quotes from top lenders.

Last week’s infographic examined how Americans searched for their homes. Our next installment will focus on the challenges homebuyers face and how they finance their down payments. If you’re thinking about getting a mortgage, you should check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using