Valerian fighting to stay alive with a heavy chain around his neck and no one helped him

If you have bad credit, you are far from alone. Job loss, medical expenses, divorce and other factors can affect many people and drag down their credit scores. If you have been working to get back on the right path so that you can invest in a home, your bad credit does not necessarily have to hold you back from your dreams.

Work on Improving Your Credit
Look over your FICO score and your credit reports to see which areas you can improve most quickly. For instance, eliminating inaccurate negatives and ensuring that all of your accounts that are in good standing are on your report can increase your score without you having to do a thing. Consolidating loans or opening new lines of credit can help or hurt, depending on your situation. Talk to a credit repair professional for advice.

Look for a Lease to Own Agreement
In a lease to own agreement, part of your rent payment each month goes toward the purchase of the property. Many landlords are more willing to work with people with so-so credit than banks are. The leasing period usually lasts about three years; during this time, work to increase your credit score so that you qualify for a regular loan when the time comes.

Make a Large Down Payment
With a sizable down payment, you can often get more attractive terms. If you have an inheritance, a relative willing to help with the funds or another way of getting 20% of the cost or more, see if this can help you get a loan.

Look for Owner Financing
An individual homeowner may be willing to overlook a poor credit history if you can demonstrate that you have improved your spending habits. Usually, these arrangements involve a higher rate of interest; this can work well as an investment for the current owner while giving you access to homeownership.

Another alternative is to see if you can find a seller willing to take back a mortgage. This would, like the arrangement above, make them your lender. It is often easier to get an arrangement like this with poor credit than it is to work directly with a bank.

No matter which of the above strategies you employ, continue to work to improve your credit score. Pay every bill on time every month. Open new revolving and installment credit so that you can build a new history of on-time payments. Pay down any loans so that you can improve your debt to income ratio. Once your credit rating improves, you will get opportunities to refinance at better rates, keeping more of your money in your pocket. Remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint. While there are ways to get a mortgage now with bad credit, working to improve your situation means a better deal for you over time.

One of the more popular financial devices available around is the reverse mortgage. Often available for seniors who need a bit of an income boost and who can be classified as "house rich, cash poor", reverse mortgages have been around for a long time-as long as fifty years in the UK and twenty years in the US. In Canada, it has been around for more than ten years and is rising in popularity among senior homeowners.

Generally, a reverse mortgage is just what it sounds like. It works like a traditional mortgage, except in reverse. Whereas having a traditional mortgage means paying the lender each month, a reverse mortgage means that the lender pays you through guaranteed monthly payments, a lump sum, or a combination of both. The amount will not be due until the borrower passes away, moves from the residence or sells the home.

Often, it is available for those who are at least sixty two years old and is based on a number of factors, such as the age, interest rates, and the market value of the home. The senior homeowner gets to retain the ownership of the home; however, there will be a lien against the property.

The Inextricable Effect of a Reverse Mortgage on Estate Planning

To be sure, this type of lending is anything but free money. It is a debt which will have to be repaid once the mentioned conditions are fulfilled. One important downside is how it will affect your estate. Getting a reverse mortgage almost always means a decrease in the equity of your home. When sold, there might not even be any equity left. It bears noting that aside from the principal amount, and there other costs involved, such as the interest fees, the loan origination fee, mortgage insurance fee, title insurance fee, appraisal fee, and other various costs-all of which are considerably higher than a conventional mortgage and can be as high as $30,000 to $40,000. These are costs all tacked to the principal amount of loan, and it's therefore a real possibility to have nothing left in the equity.

Because of this, the government requires several layers of counseling and safeguards. Seniors must be prudent when taking a reverse mortgage: loved ones who will be left behind must be consulted in order to ensure that this is the best option not only for their welfare, but also for the senior homeowners.

Update on Valerian
Another very sad story for a very deserving dog
We have learned that for weeks Valerian was running the streets of South Texas with a heavy chain around his neck and no one helped him
Finally a Good Samaritan saw him and took him to her house and called us and of course we immediately agreed to help

Valerian is in horrific medical condition but he’s fighting to stay alive
He’s got a long uphill battle ahead , he’s heart worm positive , he has scarpoctic mange which is contagious , he will need Entropion surgery for his eyes and he has every tick borne disease known

His teeth are non existent and worn down to the gums , how did this happen to him !!!
This is beyond upsetting and heartbreaking

Valerian will need surgery on his eyes when he’s stronger and he will need weeks of medical care costing thousands of $
So far we have raised $500 which we are grateful for but sadly we MUST raise more to cover Valerians medical

FB threat here
Purchasing a new home is an exciting prospect. But that excitement may soon start to turn into a bit of stress once you begin the process of looking for and acquiring a mortgage. If you have the luxury of taking a bit of time to shop around for the best mortgage, you'll probably discover that all banks offer different types of mortgages, and may also give you a mortgage at slightly different interest rates. It pays to become knowledgeable about the different mortgages available, so that you can make the most informed decision and secure a mortgage that best fits your needs.

How much of a mortgage can I afford?

This is a question you need to ask yourself right from the start, even while looking at houses. It doesn't pay to look at houses that are out of your price range; you would only be disappointing yourself if you saw a house you liked but then realized you can't afford it. Instead use a mortgage calculator tool to find out what your monthly payments would be on houses of various costs. If you know how much of a monthly payment you can comfortably handle, then you will have a good idea of the mortgage amount you would be able to afford.

Remember, with a house comes more responsibility and maintenance, and usually additional expenses. Factor that in when figuring out what size mortgage you will need so you can be certain you'll be able to make your monthly payments. Consider your income, your monthly expenses, and any additional expenses you will take on, such as lawn maintenance, HOA fees, heating, etc. Also consider that with a house, even a new one, there always seems to be some surprise expense that pops up from month to month, such as a plumbing repair needed or roofing maintenance.

Property taxes will also need to be factored into your expenses. Additionally, if you are not putting down 20% for your mortgage, you will likely have to pay mortgage insurance. Depending upon what type of mortgage you ultimately end up getting, the cost of mortgage insurance can add quite a bit extra to your monthly payment.

You should plan ahead for the unexpected as well, such as lost job or medical emergency. Having a savings built up that can carry you through 3-6 months of expenses may be sufficient enough for you to be able to find a new means of paying all your expenses without having to move or ruin your credit.

What Affects Your Mortgage Interest Rate?

When you visit banks or mortgage lenders to apply for a mortgage, they will view credit scores of you and anyone else who will be on the mortgage. Your credit score is usually a determining factor in not just whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage, but also what interest rate you may get. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to receive a mortgage with a lower interest rate, so it pays to ensure that your credit score is as high as possible.

Before seeking a mortgage, you might want to monitor your credit report. When you do this, you will be able to see how certain actions you take can affect your credit score positively or negatively. This will help you to possibly raise your credit score before applying for a mortgage. Additionally, there may be inaccuracies or incorrect information that should be removed from your credit report, also serving to raise your score.

Something else that may help you with your payments is the home mortgage interest deduction. Not everyone will qualify for this deduction on their taxes, but if you do, it could provide you with significant savings.

Refinancing

If you already have a mortgage but feel that you are paying too much, you should consider refinancing. If the mortgage rates have dropped, or you have a large amount of cash that you can apply towards your mortgage, you could significantly reduce your monthly payments. There are usually fees associated with refinancing, so you should speak with mortgage lenders about the costs before making any final decisions. You might also consider refinancing if your credit score has improved from what it was when you first acquired the mortgage.

It is important that you do thorough research before you buy a home. If you know what your options are, you will be able to make an informed decision. This is especially true about the type of mortgage you would want to opt for.

There are a few options, which included the interest only mortgage. It is important to understand how this mortgage works before you commit to it. It is essentially also not a stand-alone mortgage. It is often attached to a full mortgage for a number of years.

The Way it Works
There are two things to be aware of if you are going to commit to the interest only mortgage. These are the interest and the principal, or the capital.

The Interest

Any loan or debt has interest added to the capital or the principal. Whenever you take out a loan, you should be aware also that the interest becomes more with the number of years you choose for the loan.

The interest is therefore extra money that is added to the principal, and that results in a higher instalment. In terms of the interest only mortgage, the interest is paid off and not the capital, hence, you have smaller instalments. This is why it helps those who are starting out with buying a home.

With paying off the interest rate, you might also want to opt for a fixed interest rate. This could be to your advantage and your disadvantage. The advantage is that, should the rates rise you maintain the original repayment rate. The disadvantage is that, if the interest rate lowers you still have to pay the original rate and cannot take advantage of that.

The Principal

While you are paying off the interest, the principal stays as it is. You could however, pay any extra money you have, into the capital, to decrease it as you are paying off the interest. You should also remember that the interest payment is only for a short period and is not necessarily there for the full term of the mortgage.

It is for this reason that many are advised to take out an annuity or open a saving account, so that, when the period ends, you are able to start paying off the principal. You could also be in a position to either trade your home for a profit or pay of quite a chunk of the capital.

If you are new to the home market, this might be an option, but you do need to weigh the pros and cons carefully before you do so. It is also a good thing to take out an interest only mortgage especially f you are sure your income will have a steady increase. You could therefore, toward the future, pay off both the interest as well as the principal.

Bryan Collins is a life cover specialist, specializing in insurance for medical conditions and mortgage Insurance calculation.

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