What Is Insolvency And How Can You Help Yourself?

Insolvency is a term see when you are unable to pay off any debts you have and therefore fall into a void where you are trapped without means of getting out. It can be a life changing thing for many people and makes things incredibly difficult for many.

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When you end up in this rut it can be difficult to think of finding a way back out; but it is important to remember that absolutely anything is possible if you simply start creating better habits in your life. If you feel as if you need help with insolvency this year, here are some of the ways you can prevent it from happening again and also dig yourself out of the rut.

Stop Borrowing

The most important thing you need to remember is that borrowing money will  only lead you to have to pay it back. It means that if you are already in debt and to borrow more money, you land yourself deeper in debt. The trick to staying financially stable and digging yourself out of this hole is to stop borrowing money and instead focus on getting rid of your current debt. It might sound very obvious to you, however it is something many people don’t think about. It is often all too easy to keep on borrowing when you are used to borrowing money.

Budget

Budgeting is something which you need to do if you want to stay afloat and keep your finances stable throughout the year. It is important to set yourself a budget for every aspect of your life because it will enable you to spend money while also not worrying about getting into debt. For example for your food shopping each week let’s say you set yourself a budget of $100. This will be a goal to stick to and will mean you have extra money left over for savings or to use in your lifestyle. Understanding how to budget and making a conscious effort is crucial for better financial health.

Focus on Needs

When you are trying to get yourself out of debt, make sure you always focus on the things you actually need rather than what you want. Sure, it’s great getting a takeaway when you don’t want to cook or popping out to the cinema, but when you are in debt these are things you need to cut down on a lot, if not completely. Save the money you would have spent on these activities and use it to pay off your existing debts.

Talk to your Creditors

If you keep quiet as you begin to have problems with laying off your debts each month, you won’t get the help that you need to get back on track and be able to pay them off. The best thing you can do if you find yourself in trouble is talk to your creditors and ask them for advice on what to do. They will be able to set up a meeting with you to discuss how much you are able to pay every month, and this will mean that you pay off less each month for a longer period.

Check Interest Rates

If you have multiple debts to your name at the moment you will want to prioritise which debts you focus on paying back first. Always focus on the highest interest rates first because this is where a lump sum will build up much quicker for you to pay off. If you can pay off these debts first, it means that you have more time to focus on the lower interest rates because they won’t build up as quickly for you, therefore they will be easier to handle.

Consolidation

Debt consolidation isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone out there, but it might be just the thing you need to make paying off your debts and getting back on track with your finances easier. Debt consolidation involves you taking all of your existing debts and merging them into one large lump sum with monthly payments which are higher. It will usually mean that your payment term is longer than the single debt, but it will make things less complicated for you and will mean you only have one interest rate to worry about. It should make paying off your debts easier in the long term and get you back on track with your money.

Financing Home Renovations For A Better Retirement

Couples nearing retirement may be considering upping sticks and relocating to be closer to family or to explore a new country. According to a Merrill Lynch study, 64% of retirees move home during retirement. Therefore, increasing your property’s value in the years leading up to your retirement is the perfect way to ensure a good return when the time comes to sell. Everyone knows that preparing for your retirement is essential, so if you’re one of the ones looking to move home, what are your finance options?

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Remortgage your home

One of the easiest and quickest ways to free up some cash in order to install a new kitchen, undertake a loft conversion or add an additional bedroom to your home is to remortgage your property. This means borrowing a sum larger than your existing mortgage so that you can use the additional funds to complete your renovations. Once you’ve retired and have bought a new home, you might be wanting to complete home improvements on that too. Taking out a reverse mortgage can be an ideal solution for those aged 62 or over who are looking to free up some spare cash.

 Take in a lodger

As a couple nearing retirement age it’s likely that your children have moved on and in their place are large empty bedrooms, gathering dust. Taking in a lodger is the ideal way of increasing your bank balance each month. Most lodgers are very little hassle and choose to spend most of their time in their rooms, so you’ll barely notice the additional body in your home. The extra income will be a welcome bonus, too. Just remember to make any potential lodger aware of the renovations you’re planning.

Turn your home into a business

If you’re after something a little more lucrative than a lodger, consider transforming your home into a bed and breakfast. American B&Bs can be very profitable businesses with the average daily rate being $150 and average revenue per room hitting $58. When you decide it’s time to retire, you’ll have two valuable products to sell; your home and your business, which can result in a nice return for you to rely on during your retirement.

Invest your savings

You’re probably keeping your savings back to use once you retire. However, investing them to boost the value of your home is a great way of seeing a larger profit when you decide to sell up and retire. It’s not advisable to splurge all your savings on your project, but, taking a chunk of them to cover the cost of the work and to, ultimately, increase the value of your home is a practical way of financing your home renovations.

Finding suitable ways to finance home renovations when you plan on moving home during your retirement is the perfect way to ensure it’s a prosperous and healthy one.

Home Loans: Your Options for Purchasing a Property

The vast majority of homebuyers in the UK will require some type of home loan to fund their property purchase. Yet many aren’t aware of how many loan options are available to them. Buyers don’t have to just rely on a mortgage from a high street lender if they wish to buy a home. There are a number of different loan types and government back schemes that can augment or completely replace the need for a mortgage. This guide will explore all of the different options available to you so that you’re in the best position possible when it comes to finding finance.

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A private mortgage

For many, a mortgage will be the only loan they use to buy a home. Individuals can rarely pay for a house in cash, so banks and high street lenders will typically loan up to 95% of the cost of the home. In return, the mortgage provider will charge interest on the loan, which the homeowner must pay every month. Failure to keep up with payments will result in losing the home. Mortgages usually last 25 years, but they can be shortened to any length of time. Mortgages are the most common form of home loan, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. Banks have become increasingly cautious since the recession and it is much harder for people with small deposits, low incomes or bad credit histories to secure a mortgage.

Help to buy equity loan

First-time buyers have been hit particularly hard by high property prices, which have made it almost impossible for many young people to get on the property ladder. In response, the Government launched the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to help first timers get a foot on the ladder. With a 5% deposit, first-time buyers can secure a 20% loan from the Government on the cost of a newly built home meaning they will only need a mortgage of 75% to complete the purchase. This will result in much more affordable repayments. The Government’s loan is interest free for five years and then charged at 1.75%, rising annually by any increase in the Retail Price Index plus 1%. To qualify you must be a first-time buyer, use the property as your permanent residence and be buying a home that costs under £600,000.

Shared ownership

Another Government-backed initiative is the Shared Ownership scheme. Rather than buy the entire property outright, this allows buyers to buy a share of the property and then pay rent on the remainder. As a result, you pay the mortgage payments you can afford to start off with, and then buy the remainder of the property over time as your finances allow. There are strict criteria that you must meet to become eligible for this scheme, however.

  • Your household income must be less than £80,000 (or £90,000 if you live in London)
  • You can’t own any other property
  • You can’t have outstanding credit issues

Only specific properties are available to buy under this scheme, too. They will typically be new builds and will be purchased from a Housing Association.

Right to buy

A final Government-backed initiative to help people get on the property ladder is the Right to Buy scheme. If you are council tenant who has been living at your property for at least five years, you could be eligible to purchase the property at a discount. Discounts can be as large as £104,900 in London and £78,600 outside of the capital. Not everyone is eligible, however, and you will need to check the Government website to confirm your eligibility.

Bridging loans

The problem with mortgages is that they can take up to six months to get approved. For many buyers, this delay can mean missing out on the property of their dreams. In cases where time is of the essence, a bridging mortgage specialist like Top 10 Finance Bridging Loans can help you find finance that’s an excellent alternative to traditional mortgages. A bridging loan is a short-term loan that aims to “bridge the gap” until more secure funding is obtained whereupon the loan is repaid in full with interest. A common scenario where a bridging loan is useful is where a family want to purchase a new home before their current property has sold. Getting a mortgage will take too long but a bridging loan can be approved in a fraction of the time. The bridging loan is used to buy the new home and is repaid when the previous family home has been sold. Bridging loans aren’t for everyone so it will be important to speak to a bridging mortgage specialist to decide if this is the right solution for you.

So there you have it, there are all of the types of funding available to you. But don’t forget to speak to a specialist before you apply for a home loan or government scheme.

The Best And Worst Reasons To Sell Your House

Selling your house and moving is a big step and a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s going to cost you a lot of money in legal fees and if you’re moving into a larger place, you’ll be putting more strain on your monthly budget. Sometimes, moving house is absolutely the right thing to do. But in some cases, people move for the wrong reasons and end up regretting it afterwards. Before you make any drastic decisions, you should think about why you actually want to move house and if those reasons are good enough to make this huge lifestyle change. To help you work out whether it’s the right move or not, these are some of the best, and worst reasons to move house.

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More Space

This one comes under both categories, depending on your current situation. You might think that you need more space, but you might not be right. If you’re starting a family and you’re living in a fairly small house, you’ll struggle where you are right now. It’s not too much of an issue with a new baby but as soon as they start walking, you’ll need to move into a bigger house with more rooms. However, a lot of people think that they need more space because the house is feeling cramped, but there’s a different problem. They just have too much clutter around the house. Have a clear out and see if that makes a difference, you might find that you don’t need to move after all. If you think that you need more rooms in the house, ask yourself what you’d actually use them for. Unless you can come up with a solid reason why you need a bigger house, you probably don’t, in which case, there’s no point increasing your mortgage just yet.

The Markets Are Good

When you’re in two minds about whether to sell up or not, the state of the markets can help you to decide. If they’re bad, you risk making a loss on your house which is obviously never a good move. But if the markets are good and the value of your house has increased way past what you paid for it, it might be a good time to take that opportunity and make a profit while you can. You can put the extra money towards a deposit on a bigger house. Even if you don’t necessarily need the space, you should consider it an investment for the future.

Moving For Work

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Moving for work is another reason that could be good or could be bad. If you’re offered a new position that’s miles away from where you are now and there’s no way you could commute from your current house, it’s worth considering. However, you need to weigh up whether the job is really worth uprooting your life and moving house. You might be able to speak to your employer and see whether there is a similar position going at your current company and go for that instead. If you do take the new job, you might not actually have to move. If it isn’t that far away and you could reasonably commute there from where you are now, and you like the house, it’s probably better to just stay put and save yourself the hassle and expense of moving somewhere new.

Divorce

When your marriage breaks down and you decide to get a divorce, the house can be a real issue. There may be disputes about who gets to stay in the house if you decide not to sell it which causes a lot of complications and makes the whole process harder than it needs to be. The simplest thing to do is sell up and split the money, then you can both start again fresh. Click to find out more about selling your house after a divorce. The first thing to do is agree on how you’re going to handle mortgage payments until the house sale goes through, especially if it’s your name on the mortgage. If you don’t sort it out right away, you might find yourself liable for all of the debt if your name is on the agreement.

Climbing The First-Time Buyer Property Ladder On The Right Foot

The number of first-time property buyers in U.K is set to hit a 10-year high in 2018. Property is one of the surest avenues to creating wealth. When we are young, thinking about making future investments is not always at the top of our priorities. For young adults who want to invest early, getting into property can help you achieve your dreams. If you are wondering how to get successful and make profits in home-buying, the tips below can prepare you for a bright future.

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Photo by Lian Jonkman on Unsplash

Start Small and Start Now

At first, venturing into property can seem intimidating due to the talk of big money. However, you don’t need to have massive financial muscle to buy your first home. As a young person, all you need is to start saving that extra coin today. Be accountable, create a budget and educate yourself on how to manage what you have. When you finally save up enough and reach the minimum amount for a startup, it’s always best not to wait as there is no right time to start investing.

With whatever you have, you can first buy a single property and then increase gradually. It’s worth noting that when you start small, you gain valuable experience along the way, and you minimise risks if things get out of hand. When you invest today, your property will start appreciating and gift you with the money needed to expand your business.

Increase The Value of The Property

For your property to fetch a tidy sum and sell fast in the market, you need to be creative. Think of ways that you can increase its value. One of the proven steps to selling your home quickly and for top dollar is by improving its appeal. Create a good first impression by adding a fresh coat of paint, changing old fixtures, installing new lighting and keeping it clean at all times. Also, brighten up the outdoor area as the kerb appeal is what makes your property more inviting. Before making improvements, always do some research to determine what potential buyers will be looking for. With this, you will maximise returns and steer clear of making wrong financial decisions.

Surround Yourself With The Right Team

As a newcomer to the property world, you will frequently be faced with critical decisions. To make the correct choices, you need to surround yourself with people who can nurture you and feed you the right information. Step by step, build close relationships with qualified, certified, and trustworthy property inspectors, agents, contractors, mortgage brokers, and accountants. Due to their knowledge of market dynamics, professionals are well placed to offer guidance, give correct facts, protect your interests, and ensure you make correct decisions in future. With the right team, your investment is set to flourish.

Don’t Sell Too Quickly

Most young property investors tend to quickly sell their accommodation when they feel an opportunity has surfaced. After purchasing a home, resist the urge for quick money, and hold on to it a little bit longer. The longer you wait, the sweeter the deal. Always keep close tabs on the market trends as it will be easier to determine the right time to cash in. In the meantime, you can even make a decent income by renting the property out to a tenant.

For your young business to thrive, always conduct extensive research instead of relying on speculation. With this approach, you are assured of steady profits regardless of the money you invest. Do some background checks on the location, analyse the growth potential of the area, and consider your future needs. By being smart and staying informed, you are set to be a property genius regardless of how young you are.