Hammock App Review | Up to $200 Short Term Loans

Payday loans in Australia - what a mess. Establishment fees, don’t get me started. High interest fees. Credit checks. Slow service. Limited storefront hours. Tha payday loan industry has been taking advantage of Australians with short term loans that take money that is rightfully earned away from them. That’s why Hammock is launching. Hammock is a simple concept, the Hammock app gives $200 short term payday loans for Australians, for a flat rate $10 a month.

It’s that simple. Get up to $200 of your paycheck early. Absolutely no interest. Establishment fees isn’t a word in our vocabulary. The price to use the app is a flat rate monthly fee. Think of it like an HBO subscription. $10 flat rate, every month. 

Short Term Loans

Once you take a short term cash advance with Hammock, we track your next payday and automatically back the $200 on your next payday. No need to worry about losing track or about late fees (not that we have late fees!).

So how does the app work? First, download the Hammock app on the Australian Play Store or Apple App Store. Once you’ve downloaded the app, Hammock asks you to connect your bank account. Hammock works will your bank to establish a connection. The app connects to all major Australian Banks (National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) as well as local and regional banks like Heritage bank and CUA.

After your bank connection is established, following Consumer Data Standards, the app gives you our best guess of who you work for and how often you’re paid. We might say “Looks like you work for AGL and get paid twice a month on the 1st and the 15th. Or, we might say, “Looks like you work for the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association and get paid fortnightly, every second Thursday”. If our prediction is incorrect, you can fix it in the app.

After who you work for and your pay cycle is settled, you select how much money you need for your short term loan. Hammock is completely flexible around what your money needs are. Need a $50 short term cash loan? Select $50, and we’ll send it to your bank account. Need $75, because you have an expense that is exactly $75. Go for it! We’ll send it to you right away!

The Hammock app’s short term cash loans are flexible and built to bridge the gap between paydays because we know just how tricky managing expenses can get.

What Things You Should Know About Forex Currency Trading Systems

Forex trading techniques are about getting investment funds into international markets. Forex markets will be abbreviated to get known as Forex. The worldwide trading of stocks and options in corporations and in items happen on the Forex trading program. There are over the trillion dollars exchanged on forex every day. It is possible to learn to graph and follow market segments in the Forex trading world by yourself, or it is possible to rely on a brokerage as you'll in the brand new York stock market. The Forex currency trading systems are comparable in technique, but each is really a proven approach to steps to make money, how exactly to learn about organizations and how exactly to follow the proceedings with the amount of money you are buying the Forex currency trading markets. 

 Forex Currency

You can reside all over the world and trade companies and investment funds in the firms that are mixed up in Forex markets. You can find no limits to the amount of money you may make, or the amount of money you can reduce. The Forex marketplaces could be tapped into online, over the cellphone, or by contacting a brokerage in person. If you're interested in earning money, you are able to do it on forex, and never have to have employees, or perhaps a Vantage Australian Forex Broker to get this done. You may get involved in studying the ventures in the Forex marketplaces, and undertake the responsibility on your own money, and producing your own funds. Many are starting up their own companies using their knowledge and feel on forex to make cash. 

Forex is one which is worldwide. Consequently, there is absolute to be something appealing to just about anybody that really wants to expand their purchases and increase their studying profit the worldwide market segments. There are lots of experts within the Forex marketplaces, and utilizing the Forex trading method that you are feeling preferred with, you will be a Currency markets expert as well. 

You can find no move between, such as for example large financial institutions or such if you are mixed up in Forex market. You can find no dependence on fees and business deal fees once you do your personal trading around the Forex markets. It is possible to learn the Forex currency trading system that ideally suits your mastering needs, and abide by it to chart firms, chart growths, also to invest in corporations that have a good future. You can find companies and market segments across the world you could invest with, to improve your wealth as well as your investment portfolio.

Forex experts declare that robots today have become sophisticated enough to create their own selections and even study from them. When one deal goes downhill, it'll be able to study from that, rather than make exactly the same trade again beneath the same circumstances. They will have even come as far as to be undetectable to agents who think forex robots certainly are shady training. When considering tools to create trading more regular, you should go through the historical profits and deficits of the technique you are considering.

Logo Design Tips for Financial Institutions

Are you planning to put up a financial company? Could you be in charge of your company’s branding efforts? Are you thinking of redesigning your logos and other brand identity materials?

If you are aiming to accomplish any of these, then read on and learn some useful tips when creating your all-important company logo.

Money Matters

People may not readily think about advertising, marketing, or communications when talking about finance and financial institutions. However, a financial company is a brand to its own target market. Therefore, it has its own branding and communication goals that must be realized, adhered to, and cared for.

Logo Design

Logos are a big part of any branding strategy. It is a visual representation of a company, one that is readily seen by everyone. It is what people associate the company with. A reputable and experienced branding agency would tell you that a company’s logo is a hardworking tool that can drive interest in the company. 

However, if it is incorrectly created, it can be easily ignored — and its use, drastically simplified.

To ensure that your logo works for your company, it should be a purposeful magnet that will draw your target audience in. Here are some tips that can guide you when creating an effective finance company logo:

1. Represent your brand.

Your logo would normally be the first thing that your target audience sees. It should thus be arresting enough to pique their interest. Your logo should be able to draw people in, inspire them to ask questions, and encourage them to learn more about who you are as a company, as people, and as a culture.

In the finance industry, there are three characteristics that are held in high regard: trust, reliability, and success. Your logo must be able to embody all these, so great care must be taken in its design. Research and creativity must come together to result in a logo that will convey these qualities. 

While there may not be much leeway for out-of-the-box designs (since some financial institutions still lean toward conservatism), it does not mean that your logo should be staid, bland, and boring.

2. Maintain simplicity.

While you want to embody the company’s brand in a logo, you would not want to end up drawing a set of hieroglyphs. Logos that are clean, precise, and simple usually work best for finance corporations. A logo should be uncluttered and free from confusing symbols that could only bring too much visual noise.

Instead, aim to use psychological tricks and associations that will best convey your brand identity. Do not cram the logo with the full brand narrative of your company. Think how an apple or a swoosh can immediately tell people that it’s a product from Apple or Nike.

3. Mind your shapes and sizes.

The shape and size of your logo should matter. Whatever the design that you come up with, consider its clarity in whatever size adaptation or orientation it will be.

At the same time, try to use psychological and emotional associations again when thinking of a shape. Round shapes usually signify community, unity, and perfection, or layers of protection. Squares or rectangles can suggest strength, solidity, and stability. Triangles can mean innovation, energy, or the peak of success.

4. Create with color.

The psychology of color also plays a significant role in creating logos. The color of money may be used as a guide, although most financial institutions go for either blue or red.

American Express, Morgan Stanley, and Citibank are some of the institutions that use blue for their logo. This is because in color psychology, blue stands for competence, dependability, serenity, and trust. Other companies, such as Wells Fargo, Mastercard, and HSBC use red since it conveys qualities like action, energy, and vitality.

5. Establish an emotional link.

Financial company logos should also be created with the customers in mind. Since finance firms are usually seen as cold and distant, a well-thought-out logo can humanize the brand and strike a chord in their target audience’s hearts.

Establishing and maintaining strong emotional connections with customers is essential for any brand. A logo that speaks with warmth can also be used to create a certain level of trust, reliability, and stability.

At the same time, a well-crafted logo shows the quality of service that clients can expect from the company. Who would want to do entrust their money to companies who have a shabbily designed or tacky logo?

Logos Go a Long Way

Logos are not mere icons meant to differentiate one company from another. They are also a symbol of what the company stands for and what it can do for their customers. A well-designed logo will incorporate thoughtful consideration into the brand identity of a financial organization and convey an emotional connection to create lasting relationships with its intended audience.

5 Strategies To Ensure You Get Top Prices When Selling Your Home

So, you've finally decided to put your home on the market, which can be quite an emotional experience, especially if you have lived there for many years, and in order to get a good price for your property, here are a few tips.

1. Consider Renovation

Generally speaking, the investment you make for a few minor renovations can be returned when you sell, and in some cases, you can actually make a profit. The first thing to do is take an honest look at the frontal elevation of your home and ask yourself, “Would I want to view this property?” Resurfacing the driveway and trimming the hedges could be the difference between a view and a sale, and with any improvement, you need to find out whether or not the renovation is a selling point.

Selling Your Home

2. Find a Good Conveyancing Lawyer

An experienced conveyancing lawyer can offer invaluable advice when it comes to selling your property, and with local Brisbane conveyancing from an established firm, you won’t have far to look to find the best legal advice. The conveyancing lawyer is on your side, and he or she will act in your best interests at all times, ensuring that you are happy with the outcome.

3. Rejecting an Offer

Of course, a lot depends on whether you desperately need the sale, and by taking note of a potential viewer’s body language, you can gauge their level of interest, and if that is high, rejecting their initial offer will more than likely result in them making a better offer. Of course, there is an element of risk in rejecting an offer, as it may be the only chance you have of making the sale.

4. Fix Minor Issues

Light bulbs that don’t work and leaking taps should all be repaired prior to putting the property on the market, as should anything that the potential buyer is likely to spot. Small issues give the buyer extra leverage, so try to minimise these, as this will help you get a fair price for the property. 

5. Advertise in All the Right Places

The more people see your listing, the better the chances of a sale, and if you have half a dozen people booked in for a viewing, you can afford to stick to your guns regarding price. There are many online real estate websites, where you can post the details of your property, and make sure that a professional photographer takes the shots, as they know how to present a property in its best light.

If you happen to be living in Australia, there are many properties on the market in both Brisbane and Sydney.Before selling your home, make sure that you have an accurate assessment of both the value and the condition of your property as this will give you the knowledge you need to decide whether or not to renovate.

The Top Three Things You Can Do to Plan for Life’s Big Events

You've probably heard the term “adulting” thrown around on social media. It’s a way of talking about the real world responsibilities that no one finds fun but that we all have to do. Besides those day-to-day tasks, “adulting” also includes planning for the bigger events in life. Whether it’s the fun ones like getting married or the hard ones like handling unexpected changes, we all need a solid plan to protect our futures and our families.

#1  Expect the Unexpected

If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to unexpected life events, it’s that you can’t control everything. Having a smart plan for the future should include strategies to manage those things we don’t see coming. What if one spouse loses their job, or what if one spouse passes away unexpectedly? These aren't circumstances we want to think about, but you need a contingency plan for getting through the “what-if” scenarios.

Life’s Big Events

One of the best things you can do is estate planning. According to Investopedia, in addition to setting up a will or trust, estate planning should also include establishing a durable power of attorney, designating beneficiaries, creating a letter of intent to the executor of your will, designating a healthcare power of attorney, and choosing a guardian for your children. 

Now is also a good time to start making arrangements for your funeral. Though this may be an uncomfortable topic, planning in advance can help your family through the grieving process, since they’ll have a better understanding of your wishes for burial and service. Planning for these arrangements should also include paying in advance, so that your family can save money on funeral expenses. There are several ways to put aside money for your funeral, such as setting up a joint bank account with family members, purchasing burial insurance, and signing up for “pre-need” insurance through a funeral home. Whichever option you choose, be sure to have a gentle conversation about it with your family, and let them know the specific arrangements you have in mind.

Along with these steps to make sure your wishes are carried out and that your assets are protected, it’s also important to think about your family’s needs, especially their financial future. The best way to protect them is by purchasing life insurance. One of the most popular options is a 30-year term life insurance policy. These policies are best for people who can anticipate their loved ones having expenses for a length of about 30 years, such as paying off a mortgage, replacing the income of a primary breadwinner, or caring for a family member with special needs.

#2  Set Life Goals

Thinking about life goals sounds like an overwhelming prospect, but it really is simpler than you think. Look at the big picture, and consider how your overall wants and needs fit in with your financial goals. Do you have kids, or do you plan to? Do you plan on one partner being a stay-at-home parent? What about saving for college? Laying out these goals is the first step toward making sure you have the right financial plan. Then, you can take steps like opening a college savings account or paying down debt.

#3  Stay Proactive

Even if you have a solid plan for the future, whenever you have major life changes, you may need to reevaluate your financial plan. According to Discover, the primary changes that warrant a second look at your finances are marriage, the birth of a baby, and having a child start college. Of course, smaller life events can impact your financial plan too.

When these events happen, you don’t have to change everything you’re doing, and you should never make rash decisions. You just need to assess your situation and decide what (if any) changes make sense. For example, Nerdwallet lays out the financial steps you should take when a baby is on the way. But with all the new things you should do, don’t forget your long-term goals, like contributing to retirement accounts. Part of staying proactive also means taking smart risks. The word “risk” may sound negative, but taking smart risks can payoff. 

You should also keep communication about money open with family members. Talking to family about money isn’t easy, but there are certain conversations you need to have not just with your spouse, but also with aging parents. 

Having these conversations about finances will ensure you’re on the same page with those close family members. This is just one way to be proactive about meeting your financial goals. Make a priority to do all of these steps, and you can be confident that you and your family will be protected for the long term.

Kenneth Rogoff’s war on cash: is he right to call cash a "curse"?

Economist Kenneth Rogoff published in 2016 a book, named “The curse of cash”, pointing at the numerous societal woes he attributes to hard currency, and praising its disappearance in favor of digital money. Despite an obvious desire to adopt a balanced and reasonable stance, several of the points made within the pamphlet reveal links to the partisan war on cash and misrepresent the role of cash in our societies.

war on cash

In Rogoff’s defense, several good points are made in his new book, “The curse of cash”. The Yale economist assesses, for instance, the Indian cash ban as brutal in its implementation and disastrous in its effects, a point of view shared by just about every observer in the world, save prime minister Narendra Modi, who made the decision. But, all in all, Kenneth Rogoff doesn’t beat around the bush in revealing his opinion: cash is evil and should be replaced. In his introduction, he writes “Cash is becoming increasingly marginalized in the legal economy, but there is a record amount of it in circulation—$1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills—and most of it is used to finance tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.” Also, he concedes that a total destruction of cash currency would have massive and irreversible consequences on the individual freedoms and civil rights, giving unlimited monitoring power to governments who wish to track their citizens. Here again, a vast majority of observers around the world agree with him, as a simple Google search on cashless societies will result in hundreds of bells, alarms and flags warning of the dystopian and Orwellian society which would arise.

Considering that the war on cash has a better chance of succeeding by being waged discreetly, Rogoff advocates for a stealthy, divisional approach; a strategy shared with most of the anti-cash lobby: mainly banks and governments. Investigative reporter Brett Scott writes for the Guardian: “we see an alignment between government and financial institutions. The Treasury recently held a public consultation on cash and digital payments in the new economy. It presented itself as attempting to strike a balance, noting that cash was still important. But years of subtle lobbying by the financial industry have clearly paid off. The call for evidence repeatedly notes the negative elements of cash – associating it with crime and tax evasion – but barely mentions the negative implications of digital payments.” Banks are generally favorable to Rogoff’s views, because cash represents the least convenient form of money for them, and also because cash can leave the banking circuit through withdrawals. If societies were to become cashless, the entire economy would be trapped within the banking world. Banks, like any other business, wish to keep the money close, hence their support of Rogoff. Governments, also, support these views, for two main purposes. The first is to tighten their grip on their own economies. When macro-economic decisions are made, central banks and survey institutes can accurately measure results through banking movements - whereas the cash portion of the economy is much harder to track and assess. Also, governments tend to hate cash because they consider it a preferred means for criminals, traffickers and, of course, tax evaders - although ample evidence shows that the crime world has long moved on from the “dollar suitcase era” and invaded the digital world.

Indeed, financial analyst Stephen Platt writes: “Unlike suitcases full of cash, credit and charge cards are mobile. They cross borders without arousing suspicion. They can be utilised anywhere in the world not only in financial institutions but in retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, travel agents, and money service businesses. In short, armed with a credit card you can pretty well go wherever you want and provided the credit limit is high enough, do whatever you please”, revealing that cash was abandoned in large part by the mob when mobile and digital solutions offered a far safer alternative. While one might imagine indeed that criminals would make substantially larger incomes than regular citizens, it is hard to take the volumes involved by Rogoff at face value and admit that dollars are now owned by criminals instead of honest citizens. According to his assessments, and that of the US government, virtually every single dollar in circulation in the United States would be in criminal coffers and used to finance criminal transactions. It is far more realistic to consider that each bill is used for a hundred legitimate reasons between each unlawful payment. Gainsayers of Mr Rogoff consider cash, not a curse, but the most valuable form of money: flexible, environmentally friendly, safe, symbolic of national unity, socially inclusive, technologically immune and, most of all, private - that last quality gets double points from the civil liberties watch dogs who have been blowing whistles for years.

The thoroughness of the work provided by Kenneth Rogoff can hardly be called into question. As a Yale graduate, and one of the few economists to focus on the war on cash, his data-crunching and analysis is respected, and respectable. However, a clearly biased, anti-cash, pro-bank and pro-government drift can be sensed in the “curse of cash”, if only in the title. The figures used, namely, to size the underground economy, come from… the IRS. Until now, banks and governments have been slowly putting the squeeze on cash while assuring that they are not. Ken Rogoff lending the movement his voice marks a new turn in the war on cash.

Quick Tips for Getting Out of Debt Faster

When you're struggling to make ends meet from one payday to another, money can start to become a stressful topic for you and your family. If you're careful, you might be able to plan how you're going to use every penny you earn from your income in advance. However, usually, this means that you'll need to compromise on a lot of things, including how much you can devote to your debt repayments.

Even if you compared your loan providers before taking out a cash advance and made sure that you were getting a deal from the company with the best interest rates, you might find it challenging to give the lender more than the "minimum" at the end of each month.

Getting Out of Debt

Fortunately, if you're looking to get out of debt as quickly as possible, and start thriving financially, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success.

1. Find Out What your Biggest Issue Is

If you've chosen the best possible lender for your needs, then your issues with debt come from one of two sources. Either you don't make enough money each month to deal with everything you have to pay for, or your budget isn't up to snuff. Some people suffer with a little of both issues. 

If your issue is that you're not earning enough, you can start applying for extra jobs on the side to upgrade the amount of money you earn. There are plenty of freelance positions available today that allow you to earn money online on a schedule that suits you. If your problem is with your budget, then you need to sit down as a family and figure out where you can reduce your outgoing costs.

Either way, you'll need to look at your bills and incoming cash and start by figuring out where the bulk of your problems lie.

2. Look for Ways to Reduce Spending

Even if you're struggling with a low income, reducing spending is always a good way to get yourself out of debt faster. Most people focus all of their attention on cutting luxury items out of their budget. However, there are other big costs that you might be able to reduce too. 

For instance, if you're spending too much on your car, could you sell your vehicle and use public transport instead? If your insurance provider is costing you a fortune, would it be a good idea to switch to another company?

Depending on how severe your situation is, you might even decide that it's time to move to a smaller apartment or start sharing your home with a room-mate. 

3. Make Being Frugal Part of your Personality

Usually, when people are facing financial problems, they assume that only huge changes can make a difference to their future. However, the truth is that you can accomplish a great deal by taking small, frugal steps every day. For instance, whenever you go out grocery shopping, make sure that you take a list with you that will guide you to only buying the things that you need. This will reduce your chances of impulse spending. 

Additionally, when you're buying something new, make sure that you take the time to compare the prices you can get from other stores and providers online before you commit to anything. This simple extra step could save you a fortune over time. 

4. Make An Emergency Fund a Priority

While your main focus right now might be getting out of debt as quickly as possible, that doesn't mean that you should open yourself up to disaster whenever something unexpected happens in your life. An emergency fund is a great way to make sure that you're not going to end up in more debt when you're living from paycheck to paycheck. 

At first, it's going to be difficult to put any money aside each month. However, even if you can only spare $10 a month, you'll have a small amount of cash that you can tap into when something happens that you haven't planned for - like a flat tire or a broken dishwasher. 

5. Keep Adapting and Evolving

Finally, once you've finished working on your budget, and you think you're placing as much of your available cash into paying off your debts as possible, don't just forget about your spending for another year. Every couple of months, come back to your financial plan and ask yourself if there's anything you can do differently. 

Your budget and finances will change all of the time. Make sure you're not missing out on any useful opportunities to save more money. 

Electronic payment solutions – How they help your business flourish?

Are you a small business owner? If answered yes, you will most likely find technology to be both a curse and a blessing. It is indeed frustrating to upgrade software and change programs as it take lot of technical know-how and mental energy to keep up with everything. Till now, you must have held off the thought of accepting online payments but did you know that electronic payment solutions like HPS Worldwide can give you valuable and effective insights on how you could grow and flourish your business. 

Electronic payment solutions

These days, consumers are always watching out for convenience and this is one of the biggest reasons behind the gaining momentum of online shopping. E-commerce is increasing by 25% every year and the young generation spend a total of 6 hours per week in shopping online. So, if you want to know how your business will benefit by allowing electronic payments, here are few things to take note of. 

Your company gets a wider reach

When your company accepts electronic payments, it gives your company an expanded reach. Though you may be a local business, yet accepting online payments can be appealing to people who would rather wish to pay online. The clients who have heard about your business through the social media will patronize your business. Especially those companies which have niche products will find a huge gain in momentum throughout the globe.

Consumer’s security expectations are met

The customers these days expect a minimum security level while providing you with their credit or debit card details during a purchase. You have to keep in mind that security shouldn’t be an obstacle while buying something. Although the customers are aware of the rules that are in place yet they don’t prefer going to dozen steps before making a small purchase. This is when you should cater to the needs and wants of your customers by investing in the smartest electronic payment solution. 

Subscription and loyalty programs count

When you have an electronic payment system in your company, this might also help you when you implement subscription and loyalty programs. Due to the fact that you have enabled electronic payment, you can auto-charge the customer for a service that continues every month. Not only that, you can even gather data which gives insight into the ways in which you can expand your business. As you get electronic payment data at hand, you’re also able to promote packaged deals and other programs which can be promoted to various groups of people. 

User-friendly in nature

We know that each service is designed keeping in mind a wide reach of audience and hence it has got the most understandable UI or User Interface. Moreover, you also get a chance to ask your queries to the support team which works throughout the day. You can keep checking the forums for the answers. 

Therefore, now that you know the benefits of electronic payment solutions, what are you waiting for? Visit your nearest bank and get one for your company to reap the above benefits.

Credit Card Debt: Proven Ways to Prevent It

Having a credit card is good for you since it is very convenient on top of boosting your credit score when managed well. People who have more than one credit card may be in an even better position. Alternatively, credit cards can be a pain if they are not managed well. Credit card debt can start piling high, which could cause difficulties when paying bills. So, you need to prevent this from happening by following the tips below.

Credit Card Debt

Have a Financial Goal

Being led by a goal is the beginning of responsible financial management. Ensure that you have a monthly budget to guide you. The big question to ask is whether or not a purchase is necessary. The good thing with a financial goal is the ability to scrape off the unnecessary expenditures. Some can wait anyway. Therefore, the credit card debt will not be as high as it would have been without the financial goal.

Always Check the Credit Card Balance

One thing to know is that the credit card balance is different from the limit. People focus on the limit and continue spending in a given month. If you go this way, you will always find yourself stopping just before the limit. But if you check the balance, you will know the amount that you have spent, which will reduce your spending if it is going beyond your financial goal. The credit card limit may not change, but the balance should change depending on the budget.

Buy Only What Is Necessary

It is tempting to pay anything using a credit card if you still have available credit. But this habit is highly discouraged by financial advisors. If you read tips from Boostcredit101, they encourage all people to use credit cards on things that are necessary. If you had planned to purchase something with a credit card, then this is fine. But all things that were not planned purchases should be discouraged. This is the only way to succeed in avoiding unnecessary debt on your credit card.

Multiple Credit Cards Can Encourage Spending

If you have more than one credit card, there is a lot of money you can spend before reaching their credit limits. Each card is an opportunity to purchase. Research has shown that people with multiple credit cards spend more than those with one. However, this will pile on the debt at the end of the month. This can be avoided by using these cards carefully. Make use of the tips that we have discussed above to manage credit cards well. The good news is that multiple credit cards play a role in building a better credit score if they are handled responsibly.

Take Advantage of Promotions and Discounts

When purchasing, always look for different promotions and discounts. This means that you will pay less for the same items. If this becomes a habit, your credit card debt will significantly decrease. Make sure that all the items bought are necessary and would have been purchased anyway.

Managing Finances When Money is Tight

The way a person manages their household finances can have a deep impact on their life. Unfortunately, money managing skills are not something that most people are taught as they grow up. Managing money is less a matter of mastering paperwork and numbers and more about psychology. It has to do with the mindset a person has toward money. This mindset is what allows a person to successfully manage their household finances, even when money is tight. The following are a few tips that could make managing a tight budget easier. 

Take Advantage of Available Resources 

Going into debt temporarily may be less expensive in the long run than giving up equity. This means that managing household finances could involve temporarily borrowing money to be able to keep up with car payments, mortgage payments, or cover small business expenses. 

Managing money

Short-term quick personal loans are a useful resource that allows borrowers to cover immediate household expenses and allow some breathing room to make better long-term decisions. In many cases, these loans are preferable to racking up credit card debt.

Other available resources could include friends and family members who are able to provide temporary financial assistance. Another option is looking at programs offered by governmental agencies to provide temporary financial assistance to help cover living expenses. 

The Importance of Setting Goals 

When finances are tight, thinking about setting financial goals may be the farthest thing from your mind. However, if you do not have goals, you will never go anywhere. When going through financial difficulties, it is especially important to set short-term goals as well as long-term goals. Short-term goals may mean determining which items are considered necessities and which ones are luxuries. You can then prioritize your financial decisions based on this. 

Likely, your most pressing financial goal is to cover your current expenses. This would include things like your mortgage or rent, your car payment, your food, your cell phone, and household supplies. Long-range goals would include things like paying off debt, retirement savings, investments, and charitable donations. 

Make Small Cuts Across the Board for a Large Impact 

You know you need to cut expenses from your budget if you’re going to be able to stay afloat. During a financial crisis, you've likely gotten rid of your cable television, your gym membership, and extra entertainment. But there’s still more that you can do. 

Look at the items that you have budgeted as essential, such as food, gasoline, and utilities. It is likely that you can shave off between $5 and $10 off of each category per month. At the grocery store, it can be something as simple as taking one item out of your cart. With your car, it may mean conserving fuel and driving one or two fewer places. With your utilities, it could be something as simple as slightly lowering the temperature on the thermostat. Doing this could mean saving between $15 and $30 a month. Put this money into your savings or invest it. You will be surprised at how big of an impact the small cuts will have over a longer period of time. 

Get a Side Hustle 

Maybe you have cut every which way you can and just can’t cut out anymore. Still, it seems like you can’t make ends meet. Now might be the time for you to join the gig economy. Start a side hustle for a source of income outside of your primary job. 

A lot of side gigs can be performed at home in your spare time. Think about the type of employment you’re already doing. Think about your hobbies and the things that you enjoy doing. Now ask yourself, how can I monetize these? Some popular forms of gig employment include data entry, graphic design, and freelance writing. 

Managing your household finances, especially when money is tight, is a challenge, but it can be done. It is imperative that you identify your priorities and then use those priorities to create a value-based spending plan and a value-based savings plan. This will make you savvier with how you spend your money and will allow you to save more.

How Can You Obtain a Low Down Payment Home Loan?

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest milestones in your life. Unfortunately, it can take years to save up for the required down payment – experts suggest that you have at least 20% of your home’s purchase price prior to beginning your house search. This number is inaccessible to many people, especially a first-time home buyer or return buyers still paying off the mortgage on their current home. Soaring home prices across the country also make it difficult for prospective homeowners to meet the 20% mark.

Home Loan

Despite these conditions, there is hope for prospective homeowners throughout Washington. Many mortgage providers offer options with low down payments for first-time and return buyers. Mortgages with low down payments can give home buyers a bit of wiggle room when they are saving up for their first or second home mortgage.

What Is a Down Payment?

If you are a first-time home buyer, you may not be familiar with how down payments work in the housing market. Simply put, a down payment is the cash money you will need to pay to the home seller to secure your purchase. Mortgage loans will pay for the remaining cash needed to cover the entire purchase price.

Mortgage lenders calculate down payments as a percentage of the entire house price. Generally, the higher the down payment you make, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. However, the standard 20% down payment that many housing experts recommend is not attainable for many homeowners.

For a $900,000 home, which is the average home price in Bellevue, Washington, that means you will need to save $180,000 before beginning the house search. This amount can take years to save and is not as accessible as a 5% or even 10% down payment. In contrast, you will only have to save $90,000 for a 10% down payment and $45,000 for a 5% down payment.

Down payments are important. They show the seller that you have the funds to purchase a home and show the mortgage lender that you have a significant investment in the property. In addition, the down payment also determines the “loan-to-value” ratio of your home. This ratio impacts the mortgage lender’s decision to give you a loan. Lenders calculate this ratio by dividing the mortgage loan amount by the value of the home.

For example, if you make an $80,000 down payment on an $800,000 home, the amount you will borrow will be $720,000. Your loan-to-value ratio will be 90%.

Understanding Mortgage Basics

Before we discuss the low down payment options for home buyers, we first need to understand the basics of choosing a mortgage. Selecting a mortgage that works best for you, your family, and your wallet is key to securing a low down payment.

The first decision you will have to make in choosing a mortgage is the decision between a fixed-rate loan and an adjustable-rate loan. These terms refer to the interest rate you will pay on your mortgage over time.
  • Fixed-rate mortgages have the same interest rate for the entire repayment period. Each month, your mortgage payment will remain the same. If you are secure with your payment amounts and do not anticipate any drastic changes in income, a fixed-rate mortgage would work best for you.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages have interest rates that adjust after a certain period of time. Usually, you will retain a fixed interest rate for a short period of time. Often, the fixed period lasts a few years. After this period is over, the mortgage provider will usually adjust the interest rate annually. If you cannot afford the fixed-rate payment now but could in the future, an adjustable-rate mortgage would work best for you.
Next, you will have to choose between a conventional and government-insured loan. Conventional loans are not insured or guaranteed by the government; instead, private entities control these loans. Government-insured loans receive funding from various government agencies, including the Federal Housing Authority and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Finally, you will have to choose between a jumbo loan or a conforming loan. Government-controlled corporations called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac determine the size guidelines for your mortgage. Jumbo loans exceed the limits established by these agencies, while conforming loans fall within their requirements. Jumbo loans typically have higher interest rates than conforming loans due to their size.

Mortgage Options with Low Down Payments

Many conventional and government-controlled loans have options for low down payments. Government-controlled loans can have down payments as low as 3.5%. Conventional bank loans can provide down payments as low as 5%. Additional programs from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae may also offer low down payment mortgage options. Sammamish Mortgage can pair you with a mortgage option that works best for you.
  • The Piggy-Back Mortgage allows you to combine two mortgages to borrow up to 90% of a home’s purchase price. You provide a 10% down payment and receive two mortgages to avoid mortgage insurance costs. You receive one conventional loan and a home equity line of credit.
  • Fannie Mae offers the HomeReady Mortgage, which allows for a 3% down payment. However, you must own a home in one of the approved areas, which are usually low-income, have a high minority population, or are affected by natural disasters.
  • Freddie Mac offers the Home Possible mortgage, offering a 3% down payment option for those in certain areas similar to the HomeReady mortgage. 
  • Conventional 97 loans offer a 3% down payment under the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This mortgage amount can only be as high as $484,350.
  • Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans provide 3.5% down payments for prospective home buyers with lower credit scores. An FHA loan is government-controlled. You will have to pay additional insurance premiums if you opt for this mortgage option.
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs also offers loan options. You must meet eligibility criteria to receive a VA loan.
Risks of Government-Controlled Loans

Some of the lowest down payments in the mortgage market are available through government-controlled loans. These low down payments can easily sway prospective homeowners. As a result, these buyers do not critically examine the drawbacks of government-controlled mortgage options.

FHA loans offer down payments as little as 3.5%. In addition, borrowers with a poor credit history can receive loans with FHA support. However, the low down payment can lead you to make a poor purchasing decision – while achieving a low down payment is ideal, you should not put a payment down on a home you cannot afford in the long run. Down payment rates that are too low can make your repayment plan longer and increase the amount of interest you pay over time.

The FHA’s low down payment will require you to pay upfront insurance each month. You may not have this amount in your budget and may be surprised with a higher upfront cost than you could receive with a conventional loan. FHA loans also come with certain regulations regarding the quality of your home – if the home is in poor condition, the FHA may not approve your mortgage application.

Many sellers hesitate when selling a home to potential buyers who have an FHA loan. These loans do not signal a strong credit history, and FHA loans often require sellers to meet very strict requirements. It may be a better decision to focus on building your credit history to qualify for a conventional loan with a low down payment than to rush into an FHA loan with higher payments and lower selling rates.

Tips for Obtaining a Low Down Payment

Obtaining a low down payment requires a good deal of outside research, a solid credit history, and an understanding of your financial limits. There are a few solid tips you can follow to increase your chance for mortgage approval and secure a lower down payment.
  • Build your credit history. If you do not have good credit, you will not receive a mortgage from a majority of lenders. Many private entities require a minimum credit score of 680. If you have a lower score, focus on building and strengthening your credit before you apply for a mortgage.
         Making on-time payments, lowering existing debt, and regularly checking your credit report to improve your credit score will increase the likelihood of you getting the loan you want.
  • Save as much cash as you can. While a 20% down payment is quite high, you should aim to save at least 8% of your potential home purchase price. You will also need to save additional cash for closing costs, inspections, application fees, and other unexpected expenses. For a $900,000 property, you should aim to save $72,000 or more prior to your house hunt.
  • Understand your budget. Evaluating your monthly expenses can help you come up with a down payment savings plan. In addition, you can assess how much you could comfortably afford for your monthly mortgage payment.
You will also need to factor in additional costs to your monthly budget if you are a first-time home buyer, such as insurance premiums and property taxes. This exercise will also keep you from a too-low down payment swaying you into purchasing a home you cannot afford.

Are you in the market for a second home mortgage? There are additional factors you may have to consider before applying for another loan. While you could obtain another low down payment, you will have to prepare for higher interest rates overall. You will need to focus on improving your credit history and prove to the banks that you can comfortably afford both of your mortgage payments each month.

Benefits of Paying a Higher Down Payment

While you may want to strive for a lower down payment, you should still attempt to save as much cash as you can. Paying a higher down payment upfront can help reduce your costs in the long run. While the 20% figure may not be possible for your budget, a 10% or 15% down payment can provide more benefits than a 3% or 5% payment could.
  • You will pay less for your home in the long run. A higher down payment upfront will reduce the amount you have to pay on your mortgage loan, along with your overall interest costs.
  • You may receive a lower interest rate with a higher down payment. Since a larger payment signals financial strength, banks are more willing to offer a lower interest option to you.
  • You will beat out other prospective buyers for your dream home. Home sellers prefer buyers who can make higher down payments because they signal financial strength and a high chance of mortgage approval. If you’re up against another buyer making a 5% down payment, a 10% down payment can give you an edge in negotiations.
Obtain the Services of a Mortgage Provider

To find the best mortgage rates and down payment options for your house search, obtain the services of a trusted mortgage lender. These services allow you to learn about different mortgage rates in your area, find a loan program that works best for your financial needs, and assess your financial situation to find the best mortgage for your budget. Mortgage lenders can guide you through the confusing loan process and help you make smart, measured decisions for your financial future.

Sammamish Mortgage is a family-owned and operated mortgage lender assisting Kirkland, Seattle, and Bellevue residents with the mortgage process since 1992. We strive to maintain transparency and ease of access to assist our clients with all their mortgage needs.

With Sammamish Mortgage service, you receive:
  • Free pre-approvals without any application fees
  • Custom, accurate, and timely mortgage quotes
  • Technology to help you price your own loan
  • The ability to track and compare mortgage rates
  • An online digital mortgage process for ultimate accessibility
  • A free home valuation report
  • The ability to refinance or purchase your dream home
Sammamish Mortgage is proud to provide mortgages for properties throughout Washington state. We also provide mortgage services in all of Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. Our award-winning professionals are ready to help you obtain the best mortgage for your financial situation.

Contact Sammamish Mortgage today to learn more about Sammamish Mortgage’s services and to receive your free mortgage quote.