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Are you asking yourself, “How much house can I afford?” The answer will depend on your current debt-to-income ratio (DTI), down payment and other factors. Choosing a home is only one part of the homeownership journey. You also need to be sure that you can afford the monthly mortgage when it comes knocking on your
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Whether you’ve served on a ship, on an overseas base or in the field, if you’re a military veteran, you’ve probably spent a lot of time away from home. Maybe that’s why more than 75% of veteran households are homeowners, compared to just over 60% of the general population. Despite this, many eligible military borrowers
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If you’re a homeowner, congrats! You survived the mortgage process once already, giving you a good baseline for what to expect when it comes to refinancing your home loan. Maybe interest rates are low and home values are up. So, it’s no surprise that you’re asking yourself if you should refinance your mortgage. Makes sense
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We’re often told that one of the biggest reasons to become a homeowner is to pay yourself and not give away our hard-earned money to a landlord. Now that you’re a homeowner, you may be wondering how to access all that money you’ve kept from a landlord – without selling your home. The answer: Tap
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It would be awesome if finding the right mortgage lender were as simple as swiping right on an app (#lender, anyone?). But you can’t choose a mortgage lender that way because there are too many moving parts. Your finances and your lender’s terms and services must match to make it work. Taking shortcuts when it
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Have you missed one or more mortgage payments and can’t refinance your mortgage? In that case, you may be eligible for a mortgage loan modification. While this type of mortgage modification program is normally used as a last resort, after all other refinancing avenues have been exhausted, a modified mortgage loan can help you stay
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Did you decide to save money this year by driving to your summer vacation destination, thus avoiding airfares and car rental charges? You’re in luck! With some effort and forethought, you can save even more money as you drive. Consider these tips for increased savings: Auto Maintenance – A well-maintained car runs more efficiently
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Even though retiring is the furthest thing from the minds of most twenty-somethings, you need to invest sooner, rather than later for one reason – you have an advantage over everyone else: time. Time to let your money grow exponentially. There is a reason Albert Einstein is credited with calling compound interest “the 8th wonder
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As you shop for vacation destinations, be on the lookout for costly resort fees. Resort fees are separate fees added on top of your nightly rate to cover certain amenities that the hotel provides. Resort fees are typically automatically added onto your bill, whether or not you use the amenities that the resort fee covers.
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Are you considering bypassing the hotel or resort experience for your summer vacation and opting for a summer home rental instead? Home rental networks are on the rise and have never been easier to use, thanks to the increased web presence and sites like VacationHomeRentals.com, Airbnb, VRBO, and VacationRentals.com. However, just because travel agents and
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 gave most Americans a break on their upcoming taxes – but you don’t need legislation to cut your taxes even further with sound investment strategies that focus on tax optimization. Here are a few ways to help yourself at Uncle Sam’s expense. 1. Shift Toward Capital
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With businesses and individuals taking steps to return to normal living, there’s a lot of pent up consumer demand to spend. The new term “revenge shopping” implies that consumers will be making up for lost time with a boom in products and experiences they couldn’t purchase during the lockdown. The National Retail Federation estimates that
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Failure to plan is planning to fail. That phrase applies to many aspects of life, including taxes. Avoid tax-time failure with adequate planning while watching out for these twelve pitfalls. 1. Disorganization – If you have the stereotypical shoebox full of wadded-up receipts — or worse, if you don’t keep track of receipts and tax
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By Andrea Woroch More Americans than ever are buying homes. In fact, a report from Zillow estimates 6.9 million existing home sales this year, the most since 2005, and projects a nearly 22% one-year gain in sales, the largest jump since the early 1980s. If you are among the millions hunting for a home, it’s
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These days, you probably want to file your taxes as early as possible to prevent identity thieves from filing a false return in your name — but that requires you to have the necessary forms in hand, including W-2 forms. The W-2 form is one of the most critical tax forms, since it is the
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Are you ready to cut your tax bill as much as possible? Consider these thirteen ways to keep your contributions to Uncle Sam as low as possible. 1. Filing Status – Are you filing under the correct status? It’s usually best for couples to file jointly, but married couples filing separate returns could
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limited itemized deductions and doubled the standard deduction to entice more taxpayers to skip itemizing – but money-saving deductions still remain for eligible taxpayers. Do you qualify for any of the following nineteen deductions? 1. Charitable Donations – Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security
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The pandemic is far from over, but Americans aren’t letting it get in the way of celebrating that special someone this Valentine’s Day. In fact, the National Retail Federation released a new survey that found over half of all U.S. consumers are still planning to celebrate this year’s love day, with spending expected to reach
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By Andrea Woroch Money is a top concern for most Americans these days and, with so much uncertainty still ahead, it’s important to create financial security for yourself and your family as we enter into this new year. Improving your finances may seem like a daunting process, but getting started is half the battle. Here
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Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it’s time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information. The 2021 Tax Season Begins on January The IRS has announced that the 2021 tax season has begin in January. The beginning of tax
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Some people swipe credit cards haphazardly during the holidays and accrue debt with little thought to the aftermath. It is also common for folks to blow their year-end bonuses on big ticket items before ever receiving them. People get swept up in the emotions of the holidays without considering the financial ramifications. In an effort
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Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there? This is a great time to look further ahead and tackle your 2021 budget. Lay out your calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever method you use and
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The holiday season is full of plans and activities that make December incredibly hectic. If you are the average American, tax considerations and financial adjustments are pretty low on your holiday to-do list. However, you are not the average American — you enjoy saving money, are diligent in seeking ways to save, and excellent at
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Spending during the holiday season goes into overdrive and controlling your budget is harder than usual given the endless sales and impulse purchase temptations. In fact, a new survey found that 46 percent of millennials, 46 percent of parents with children under 18, and nearly half of those who are already in credit card debt
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