Posts tagged with "credit"

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Music Business Article for 360 MAGAZINE

VEVA Sound X Quansic

VEVA Sound announced Tuesday that users of its platform are now able to register for an ISNI number for free.

An ISNI is an International Standard Name Identifier, a number uniquely identifying an individual in the music industry.

VEVA Sound verifies archived projects for clients. By partnering with Quansic, a leader in ISNI services, to facilitate registrations, it is now easier for creators to get credit and payment for their work.

FX Nuttall, the founder of Quansic, said the partnership made perfect sense for the company, as both Quansic and VEVA Sound share a vision that creators should be able to be identified easily and early in the creative process.

“As this partnership continues into the future, we are enthusiastic about introducing VEVA Collect’s users to our products — starting with ISNI registration before addressing the allocation of ISRC for Recordings and BOWI for Works,” Nuttall said. “We at Quansic are focused on enabling 100% identifier coverage for all, and our friends at VEVA provide an unprecedented opportunity for the independent creative community to do just that.”

President of VEVA Sound Deborah Fairchild said she is excited about the partnership and for the new opportunities for artists and creators who use VEVA Collect for payment for their work.

“FX Nuttall is widely respected in our industry, and we are proud to avail his expertise to our users through Quansic,” Fairchild says. “We believe it is imperative that we empower creatives with every resource available to receive authenticated credit for their work.

VEVA Sound was founded in 2002 and works to spearhead the movement to define, create and implement the standards for how sound is preserved and monetized. They now have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and London where they work with clients to verify and archive audio and metadata.

To learn more about VEVA Sound, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about Quansic by clicking right here.

Realestate image by Rita Azar for 360 magazine

Property Liens 101: What Are Your Options When Selling a Home?

Sometimes, getting from under debt can mean selling your home. However, how can you relieve yourself of mortgage debt if your property has a lien attached?

More than likely, a property sale will bring any related legal problems to light. A property lien is a serious issue that you must deal with before you can close the sale. Property liens give a creditor the right to possession of your property until you pay any debts.

To learn more about your options when selling a home with a lien, continue reading.

What Are Liens?

A credit error can prove problematic if you’re trying to buy a home. Likewise, a property lien will cause similar grief if you want to sell your property.

A property lien will most often show up when a bank or potential buyer does a title search. A title search is a legal check on the ownership of your property.

If there’s a problem with your title search, it will more often than not delay the closing. For this reason, you need to deal with the lien before you can sell your property.

A lien on a house is a legally binding claim that another party has on your property. It allows them to access your property if you do not pay your debts.

A creditor must file a property lien with the county clerk’s office or a state agency. Next, the appropriate office will approve or deny the claim.

The office that records the claim will then deliver notice to you with the terms of the lien. In short, the notice will explain that a creditor has taken action against your property.

A creditor can place liens against property for tangible items such as your car or boat. However, they can also file for a property lien against your home.

For instance, a bank would file for a property lien if you fall behind on your mortgage payments. Usually, a property lien is a last resort action to recover a debt.

Who Can File a Lien Claim?

The courts will award a property lien after a creditor has made numerous attempts to collect payment. For example, the creditor may have hired a collection agency to recover the debt.

A property lien is a very effective way for a creditor to recover a debt. However, it’s also particularly stressful for debtors.

With a bank loan, for instance, a lender can file for a first-order property lien. A bank may apply for this kind of lien after you’ve missed several mortgage payments.

A lender has specific rights regarding how they can use a property as collateral against a mortgage. For this reason, it’s quite easy for a bank to obtain a property lien for delinquent mortgage payments.

Can You Sell a House With a Lien?

In short, yes. You can sell your home if a creditor has placed a lien on it.

You could try to close a sale without help. However, the process is long and complex. It’s also stressful and financially draining.

Various types of creditors may place a lien on a house. For instance, you may have an outstanding debt with a bank, homeowner’s association, or the state or federal government. These parties all have the power to prevent you from selling your home if the courts have awarded a lien.

However, creditors don’t want your home. They want their agreed-on payment. To that end, a property lien gives them the right to sell your home to recover the delinquent debt.

Once you pay the debt, the creditor will issue a Letter of Satisfaction. However, creditors take advantage of the fact that most homeowners don’t know their rights when it comes to property liens. The typical homeowner doesn’t understand the options that they can use to resolve a lien.

If you’re trying to sell your home, this fact adds to the problem. If a creditor knows that you want to sell your home, they’ll use that fact as leverage to collect the debt. Often, a homeowner will end up with more problems from debtors that use circumstances to their advantage.

For these reasons, it’s beneficial to seek financial help when you’re trying to sell a property that’s under a lien. An experienced lawyer, for example, can help you to navigate the process.

What Are My Options Regarding Property Liens?

If you decide to resolve the issue independently, you’ll need to start by evaluating the lien. In other words, you’ll need to figure out what kind of liens and judgments creditors have against your property.

The procedure for different liens varies. Some liens on a property are nonnegotiable. However, you can settle other kinds of liens with little or no money.

Next, you’ll need to find someone willing to purchase a house with a lien. Most often, buyers and realtors view a lien is a major problem.

No buyer or agent wants to deal with a stubborn creditor. For this reason, they won’t pursue a property purchase until you’ve paid all debts in full.

Instead of going it on your own, it makes sense to hire an experienced real estate attorney. An expert attorney can make a big difference in your ability to sell your home that’s under a lien.

A knowledgeable real estate attorney can make sure that you say the right things to creditors. For instance, it’s a good idea not to tell a creditor you’re trying to sell your home. As soon as you give them this information, they’ll use it to pressure you.

In other cases, the creditor will lie in wait for your settlement payment. Once you receive it, they’ll claim the funds. If they win, a judge might award them compensation directly out of the closing proceeds.

It can prove difficult knowing what to say when talking to creditors. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this kind of minefield. To learn more about working with a professional real estate attorney, take a look at this article by Fernald Law Group.

Mulling Over a Lien Sale

If you need to sell your home and there’s a lien on it, it’s in your best interest to work with a professional real estate lawyer. There are a lot of nuances when it comes to liens on property.

For example, each state has different rules about the statute of limitations for liens. Even if a lien expires, however, a creditor can refile a lien and extend it in most states.

For this reason, it’s important to have an experienced professional on your side. A professional understands how to overcome the challenges of selling a house with a lien. More importantly, a creditor is more likely to negotiate with an expert who understands lien laws.

Learn More, Know More, Do More

Now that you know more about property liens, you can hopefully make a more informed decision about what you’ll do next.

Life has its challenges. Navigating some of life’s challenges, such as liens against property, can prove downright perplexing. Fortunately, there’s help.

With the right information, you can make it through the toughest obstacles that come your way. Check out our blog for more insightful news and tips for help navigating business, pleasure, and life.



The Millennial’s Financial Guide to Homebuying

Around 4.8 million millennials are turning 30 in 2020. This is the largest age bracket among millennials, according to CNBC. Many of them have families and are looking to buy their first home.

Compared to older generations, saving for a house hasn’t been easy for millennials. In 2017, millennials who bought homes paid around 39 percent more than baby boomers who bought houses in the 80s. With higher costs of living and rising student debt, it takes millennials longer to afford a home. Now, considering the economic impact of COVID-19, it’s tougher for people to make major life purchases.

But don’t fret. Knowing your mortgage options and proper financial planning will make a difference. If you commit to a budget now and work on your savings, it’s possible to purchase a house in the near future. Here are essential financial tips you need to know before buying a home.

When to Consider Buying a House

Before taking a mortgage, improve your credit score. Give yourself time to improve your credit. Make sure to pay your loans and credit card on time. If you have large outstanding debts, be sure to pay them down. Check your credit report and see if there’s any inaccurate information. Disputing errors like unrecorded payments can help improve your credit score.

Most conventional lenders usually approve a credit score of 680 and above, and some may approve 620. Conventional loans are offered by lenders that are not sponsored by the government. You can get them from banks, credit unions, and non-bank mortgage companies.

If you have an excellent credit rating, you’re eligible for lower interest rates. This makes your monthly mortgage more affordable. It will help you save on total interest costs throughout the life of your loan. Make sure to shop around for loans and choose the lowest interest rate.

Know how much house you can afford.

Compare real estate listings to know what price range you can manage. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t buy property beyond your means. How do you know if your dream home fits your budget? You must understand your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

DTI ratio compares your gross income with how much debt you owe. If your DTI ratio is too high, your loan will not be granted. A low DTI ratio makes it more manageable to make monthly mortgage payments. This decreases your risk of defaulting on your loan and losing your house to foreclosure. Once you’re perceived as a low-risk borrower, lenders are more likely to approve your mortgage.

Lenders check these two important DTI ratios before approving a loan:

  • Front-end DTI ratio – The percentage of your income that pays for mortgage-related costs. It includes monthly mortgage payments, property insurance, and association dues. Your front-end DTI must not exceed 28 percent. This is the standard requirement for conventional mortgages which are not federally backed by the government.
  • Back-end DTI ratio – The percentage of your income that pays for your mortgage-related costs along with your other debts. This includes auto loans, credit cards, student loans, etc. Your back-end DTI ratio must not exceed 36 percent. But for federally backed government mortgages such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the DTI limit is 43 percent.

Know how much you can borrow.

To know this, get pre-approved for a mortgage. Speaking to a lender determines the specific amount you can borrow. It’s one of the best ways to know how much home you can afford. To do this, you must authorize your lender to review your credit report. Getting pre-approval does not require you to borrow from the lender. But once you’re ready to make an offer, you can choose one with the best rates and terms. Lowermybills.com mentions that “Like all things connected to home buying and mortgage rates, do your research.” Furthermore, they state that “If you find a rate you are comfortable with, and it gets you the mortgage payment in your price range, it might be a good idea to decide to lock in the interest rate.”

Know when and where house prices are low.

A year before buying, research local market conditions in your preferred area. Check common house prices and pay attention to big price shifts. There are periods when real estate prices are depressed or generally low. In other times, they can be awfully expensive. It also pays to check houses in low-cost locations such as less crowded suburbs. Homes in busy metropolitan areas and coastal states usually have expensive price tags.

How Much Down Payment Should You Save?

Ideally, homebuyers should make a down payment that’s 20 percent of the home’s value. For instance, if you’re buying a $250,000 house, your down payment should be $50,000. These days, you might notice buyers making a smaller down payment. This has its drawbacks, which come in the form of mortgage insurance costs.

Conventional loans come with an annual private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy, which is 0.25 percent to 2 percent of your loan amount. It’s typically required if your down payment is less than 20 percent. PMI is usually rolled into your monthly payments and is canceled once your mortgage balance reaches 78 percent.

Meanwhile, federally backed mortgages such as FHA loans come with mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). If your down payment is less than 20 percent, MIP is required. It’s paid both as an upfront fee (1.75 percent of the loan amount) and an annual insurance fee (0.85 percent of the loan amount). MIP is usually paid for the entire life of the loan, which makes it a lot costlier in the long run.

How do you save for your down payment?

Start gathering funds as early as you can. Saving your tax refund is a great source. As of 2020, the average tax refund is $3,100, which is a large amount that can bolster your down payment. You can also use work and holiday bonuses you get from your employer. Save cash gifts during birthdays, as well as windfall inheritance funds from relatives. To earn extra income, work overtime hours or get a freelance job on the side. This will take time. So the earlier you save, the better.

Low Down Payment Options for First-Time Homebuyers

More often, people do not usually have enough time to save for a higher down payment. They need to relocate because of a new job or a growing family. When this happens, you can opt for low-cost mortgages options. If you need a loan with low down payment and relaxed credit requirements, consider government-sponsored mortgages. These are loans meant for low to moderate income families who need assistance in buying a home.

FHA Loans
You can qualify for an FHA loan if your credit score is between 500 to 580. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent if your credit score is 580 and above. If your credit score is below 580, your down payment must be at least 10 percent. All FHA loans require MIP regardless of your down payment amount.

USDA Loan
The U.S. Department of Agricultural approves home loans if your credit score is 640. Down payment is not required but is definitely an option. To get a USDA loan, you must purchase a house in a USDA-approved rural area. This includes many suburbs and around 97 percent of land mass in the U.S. Moreover, your household income must not be over 115 percent of the median income of your area. USDA loans come with a guarantee fee, which is paid as an upfront fee and an annual fee rolled into your monthly payments.

VA Loans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers special loans to active military members, veterans, and qualified military spouses. VA loans are flexible with credit scores, but it’s better if your credit score is at least 620. Down payment is also not required but is an option. However, instead of a mortgage insurance premium or guarantee fee, VA loans require a VA funding fee. Paying at least 5 percent down payment helps reduced this added cost.

Worried about poor credit? There are local housing agencies per state that can help you. Your state agency can assist you in looking for housing options that can accommodate your low credit score. They can also provide down payment assistance for mortgages. Just get in touch with your state housing agency soon.

The Importance of Saving a 20 Percent Down Payment

Making a 20 percent down payments eliminates private mortgage insurance costs. This reduces the amount you need to borrow, which effectively lowers your monthly mortgage payment. The higher payment also decreases your loan-to-value ratio, which is the amount of your loan compared to your home’s value. It also allows you to secure a much lower mortgage rate.

To give you a better idea how it affects your mortgage payments, let’s see the table below. It compares the same mortgage. One made an 8 percent down payment, while the other made a 20 percent down payment.

30-year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
Home price: $350,000
Interest rate: 3% APR
Mortgage5% Down Payment20% Down PaymentDown payment$17,500$70,000Borrowed amount$332,500$280,000Monthly payment$1,401.83$1,180.49Total interest paid$172,160.03$144,976.87Loan-to-value ratio95%80%Total PMI cost$18,038.130

In the example above, making a 20 percent down payment reduces your borrowed amount to $280,000, while 5 percent only reduces it to $332,500. Your monthly mortgage payment will be $221.34 lower with a 20 percent down payment. As for interest cost, you save $27,183.16 more in total interest with a 20 percent down payment. Meanwhile, with a 5 percent down payment, you still need to pay $18,038.13 on top of interest charges. Basically, you’ll gain more saving in the long term if you make a higher down payment.

Need help with your mortgage budget? Use this mortgage payment calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payment, total interest, and PMI costs.

Here’s a tip: If you take an FHA loan for the low down payment, there is a way to remove MIP. If your credit score is at least 620, you have the option to refinance into a conventional mortgage after a few years. Refinancing is basically taking out a new loan to replace your existing one. You can refinance to a conventional loan with a lower rate. You may consider this option to get rid of costly MIP charges.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know your housing options and requirements, you can better prepare your finances. As early as now, start improving your credit score to qualify for a loan. Borrowers are offered lower interest rates when their credit score is high. It’s also ideal to save up for a 20 percent down payment.

Next, keep track of your debt-to-income ratio. As long as you don’t accumulate large debts, you should be eligible for a mortgage. Moreover, start checking home prices at low-cost areas. If you time your purchase when house prices are generally low, you can score a better deal.

If you can’t make the 20 percent down payment, there are low-cost mortgage options to choose from. Check out FHA loans and USDA loans. If you’re a veteran or military member, you’re qualified for VA loans. Just take note that government-backed loans come with extra costs, such as mortgage insurance premium for FHA loans. If you take advantage of these options and plan your finances, soon you can purchase your own house.

3 Top Tips on Buying Your First Car

As soon as you pass your driving test, all you want to do is get out on the roads in your very own car. As exciting as this time may be, however, it’s still highly beneficial to exercise a bit of caution and patience. When it comes to buying your first motor there’s nothing smart about rushing in — doing so will see you face more problems further down the road.

Exercising caution doesn’t mean being inactive when it comes to finding the perfect car for you, though. You should still be proactive at this time, and you should still try to set up your life as a driver in the most fruitful way possible. To find three top tips on how to buy your first car in the right way, read on.

1. Sort out the financial aspects of the venture

Before you do anything else in your car-buying venture, you need to work out your budget as well as how much you are willing to spend. This is essential because it’ll stop your spending from spiraling out of control, and it’ll help you to avoid paying too little and then having to face any buying regrets further down the line.

You also have to take future running costs into account. It’s no good just factoring the cost of the car into your financial plans. You also have to deliberate insuring the vehicle, getting it taxed, getting it tested, and then having work done to it to ensure it is roadworthy.

Something else that you must consider is how you are going to pay for your car. Are you able to buy the car outright, or will you be going down the financing route? Regarding the latter, if you wish to take out a car loan to cover your bill, then you should check out the best auto loans at Crediful.com. Doing so will help you to make the most informed decision on the matter possible.

2. Be scrupulous when it comes to checking your chosen car

You may think that you have found the perfect car for you, but that might not necessarily be the case. Any vehicle can be made to look and sound good on the outside, but you cannot commit to anything until you’ve meticulously checked that your chosen car is in good working order. This means checking to ensure that the quality of your car is in keeping with its age, its model, and the number of miles it has run; this means ensuring that the car can carry out all the functions and purposes expected of it; and this means it matches its description exactly. If you can’t perform these tests yourself, then have a trusted mechanic carry them out for you. Only then will any underlying problems with the car be unearthed, and only when these troubles are unearthed can you stop them from becoming actual headaches of yours.

If you want your first car to truly help you in your quest to grow as a driver, then it needs to be in full working order. Taking the above advice is the first step, but there is something else that you must do: take it for a spin. Only when you get behind the wheel yourself can you get a feel for the car’s capabilities. When you take it for a ride, you should test the clutch and the brakes to ensure they do not feel worn, you should head to a road where you can hit at least 60mph to ensure it is capable of high-speed driving, and you should make sure that the steering wheel does not vibrate while you drive.

3. Don’t trust everybody’s advice

As an inexperienced car owner, you will experience plenty of people sticking their nose into your car-buying business. The family members and friends of yours who own their own cars will try to give you an insight into car buying — their advice might come with the best of intentions, but they don’t know your situation quite like you do. There will even be car dealers out there who try to push you towards certain buys — the advice they give will be very much designed to sway you towards lining their pockets. This all means that the only person that you can really trust in this situation is yourself, and you’re the only one who can bring about the best results for you.

Your first car will always remain a favorite of yours, even after many years (and cars) have gone by. Be sure you invest in a car that’ll last for many years so that you do not have to worry about further expenses.