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First-Time Home Buyers: Read This Before You Start Looking!




Find out what you need to know before you buy a house!

Are you a first-time home buyer searching for advice? You’re not alone! Buying a new home can be an overwhelming and confusing process – with so much to learn, it can seem like an impossible task!

But don’t worry! With some preparation and research. You’ll be ready to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. And we can help first-time home buyers in this post!

So, in this blog post, we’ll tell you all about the journey ahead; from understanding mortgages to choosing a real estate agent, we’ve got tips on everything and anything you need to know before looking at property.

Therefore, take a read and get ready – soon enough, you’ll find yourself in front of your dream home!

First-time home buyers mistakes

Some first-time home buyers make common mistakes when planning to get their home. Here is a short list with some of them for you to be prepared before buying a home:

1- Getting a house that’s out of your budget

Don’t go house-looking until you’ve taken a long, hard look at your budget. Find out how much you can save each month to shop in an affordable price range that won’t stress you out.

2- Not understanding preapproval and prequalification

When a lender pre qualified or pre approves you for a mortgage, they give you an estimate of how much they might grant you.

A prequalification is a fantastic place to start when figuring out how much money you can spend. Also, prequalification is useful in getting a loan but does not ensure acceptance.

In the preapproval process, the underwriter will examine the information you give about your income and credit history to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the loan.

Also, you need to make sure you can obtain a preapproval letter from a mortgage underwriter who has verified your employment and income.

3- Not inspecting the house before buying

Some first-time buyers may not understand the significance of a home inspection, and those who don’t may think they can safely proceed without one.

The house has been seen, and it meets your approval. However, a professional house inspection would certainly notice issues you missed, making this step essential for any homeowner.

What are the requirements for first-time home buyers?

Buying a property for the first time can qualify you for grants and low-interest loans that seasoned purchasers might not qualify for.

Those who have not been homeowners within the past three years are eligible for first-time homebuyer programs.

But obviously, that’s not all we need. There will also be minimal requirements set forth by your mortgage lender and the lending program.

Programs for first-time homebuyers at the state level often assist with grants or forgivable loans to those with lower and middle incomes.

Eligibility for a certain program and geographical region may be based on both the household’s income and the home’s sale price.

Tips for first-time homebuyers

1- Always check your credit score

Before you decide to buy a home, you’ll need to understand your credit score. This happens because when people buy a home, they usually need to get a mortgage. And lenders will consider your credit history during the application.

Moreover, you may need to raise your credit score and improve your finances a bit before you start the process of buying a house for the first time.

2- Consider your budget

When calculating your budget for a home purchase, it’s important to consider not only the initial outlay of money needed for a down payment and closing costs.

However, you’ll also need to consider the monthly mortgage and utility bills that will start coming due after you take the title.

In addition to the monthly payments for the mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, a small amount should be set aside regularly to cover maintenance and unexpected repairs.

3- Consider pre approval before signing the contract

If this is your first time moving out on your own, or if you’re in a rush to do so, it can be tempting to get straight to the fun part of house hunting.

But you should get preapproved for a mortgage before you start looking at different residences. So, as we mentioned before, you’ll need to look for lenders and a mortgage before closing the deal!

4- Consider savings for down payments

The principal goal of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is to assist low- and moderate-income individuals in purchasing their first houses by insuring their loans and providing down payment funds to those who qualify.

Moreover, in some states, the Federal Housing Administration offers first-time buyers tax credits, down-payment assistance programs, and other incentives (FHA).

If you don’t qualify for these options, you may want to save some money for a down payment through savings accounts or investments.

5- Get a real estate agent

Don’t forget to get help from professionals to help you find the best home of your dreams. Also, they can help you negotiate the amount, decide on the prices and places, and much more!

Bonus tip: Get help from a home inspector

To protect your investment, it’s smart to have a professional check on a home before you buy it. An inspection is not the same as a lender-required appraisal.

In an appraisal, a third-party professional uses a comp set of similar homes in the region to arrive at a rough estimate of your home’s value (comps).

During the inspection, a professional will look over your home and give you a detailed report of any problems they detect.

Also, a home inspection’s results can inform your discussions about necessary repairs with the seller and give you insight into the home’s overall condition.

However, if major issues are found during the home inspection, you can cancel the purchase and keep the earnest money deposit, as stated in the letter requesting the deposit.

Now that you know more about the factors that you need to consider before buying a home for the first time, you’ll be able to make a wise decision and get the house of your dreams while still having a good financial life!

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Finance Community-Based Organizations as an Alternative to Payday Loans Online





Payday loans may provide a quick fix for cash shortages, but they come with a high price tag. The real trouble begins when it comes time to repay the loan, which can lead users to getting caught in a cycle of debt.

Instead of trying to fix the problem, it is often better to prevent it from happening in the first place, and community-based organizations (CBOs) can play a vital role in this regard. They are a viable alternative to payday loans online, and by reading this article, you will learn why. We will delve into how these communities operate and the advantages they offer as a replacement for payday loans. So, let’s begin!

What CBOs Are and How They Work (With Examples)

As its name implies, community-based cooperatives are nonprofit groups that aim to enhance the well-being of individuals in a particular community. They offer a variety of services, including financial education, credit counseling, and small-dollar loan programs. 

These cooperatives are usually manned by volunteers and are financed through a mix of grants, donations, and service charges. They also collaborate with other groups to offer additional support to their clients. Listed below are some examples of well-known organizations in America.


Community, Economic Development and Credit Unions (CDCU) is an exemplary form of financial product, as it is a non-profit cooperative that serves low-income communities. They offer a great variety of financing options, including savings and checking accounts, credit, and education.

What is more, CDCUs typically have more lenient underwriting standards compared to traditional financial institutions, making it easier for low-income users to access the cash and pay off their unexpected expenses.


Another example of community-based cooperatives is microfinance institutions, which provide small loans, savings and insurance to low-income households, particularly in developing countries.

Similar to CDCUs, these institutions also provide education and training, helping customers to better manage their finances and create a more stable financial ground.

How CBOs Differ from Online Payday Loans

At first glance, payday loans and CBOs may appear to be similar as they both offer fast access to cash. However, there are a few distinct differences between the two. 

Online payday loans are typically high-interest, small-dollar sources of financing that are expected to be repaid in a short period of time (typically in two or four weeks). On the other hand, CBOs may provide a few hundred bucks at lower APRs and with a more flexible repayment timeline.

In addition to providing small credits, these communities often offer financial education and credit counseling to assist users in effectively managing their finances and improving their financial knowledge.

Summary: Added Benefits of Using a CBO

Apart from the financial products that non-profit groups offer, they can also provide several extra advantages for those in need of short-term credit, such as online payday loans.

Credit Building

Many of these organizations are dedicated to helping users improve their credit scores and access traditional sources of financing. As a result, they may provide assistance with credit file disputes and loan applications.


In addition, CBOs can advocate for policies that safeguard consumers from predatory lending practices, such as setting limits on interest rates and fees, and mandating that lenders provide clear and detailed info about the terms of their loans.

Community Development

These financial services may also have a significant impact on community development through their services and support. For instance, they can contribute to job creation by providing employment opportunities within the organization or beyond it.

In addition, they are able to promote economic growth by providing access to credit and other products that aid individuals and businesses in expanding. Finally, some cooperatives support local businesses through microloans and technical assistance, helping them grow.

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How You Can Take a Free Credit Score Check Yourself?





A credit score is a three-digit number that depicts an individual’s creditworthiness. It ranges from 300 to 900 and summarises a credit user’s credit history, rating, and report. Credit information bureaus calculate credit scores based on factors like repayment history, new debt, credit utilisation ratio, credit mix, etc. When someone applies for a loan, the credit score marks their credit discipline, based on which lending institutions determine their loan eligibility, amount, interest rate, and other terms and conditions.

You can check your credit score for free on the websites of top lending institutions from time to time to stay on track and take the necessary steps at the right time. The higher the credit score, the better the chances of loan approval. Online lending institutions typically consider a credit score of 630 or above for Personal Loan approvals. Want to check your credit score for free? Here, you will know how doing that is possible. 

Who Calculates the Credit Score?

Four credit bureaus in India are authorised to calculate credit scores: Experian, CIBIL TransUnion, CRIF High Mark, and Equifax. Lending institutions and NBFCs rely on the 3-figure scores these agencies compute to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness.

Factors Considered While Calculating Credit Scores

The bureaus compute credit scores based on several factors, and each parameter impacts the score differently. These are the most important factors that they look at and their weightage:

  1. Payment History (35%): The payment history defines the consistency of making due payments on time. It is the most significant contributor while calculating credit scores.
  2. Owed Amounts (30%): The owed amount is the outstanding debt an individual currently owes. The lower the due amount, the higher their credit scores.
  3. Length of Credit History (15%): A person’s credit history largely depends on the period they have had credit accounts open in their name. Those who have had a credit account open for a long must retain it to maintain a good credit score and keep its credit limit. A long credit history with responsible credit behaviour can help achieve a high credit score.
  4. New Credit Application (10%): Alsoknown as a credit inquiry, each new application negatively affects the credit score due to the hard inquiry the creditor pulls on the credit report. Multiple loan applications within a short period project the individuals as credit hungry and reduce their chance of approval.
  5. Types of Credit Used (10%): Individuals can increase their credit score if they responsibly use different credit types, such as revolving credit and instalment loans. That is why credit bureaus assign higher credit scores to people with diversified credit portfolios.

Importance of Checking the Credit Score Regularly

Checking credit scores regularly gives more control over credit in an individual’s financial life. Here, we will discuss a few reasons why checking the credit score is important:

Understand Financial Standing: Just like regular health check-ups are necessary to keep physical health in order, checking the credit score also helps maintain good financial well-being. Whether good or bad, checking the credit score regularly is better to get an idea of where the credit stands. Those with a good credit score should follow the right financial behaviour to maintain it. If the score is low, they can take remedial measures in time to improve it.

Maintain Credit Score in Good Shape: Many students pass the exam with a week-long study rather than studying throughout the year. However, the credit score does not work that way. If an individual needs a loan for an emergency, they cannot improve their score in just a couple of days. They must maintain good credit behaviour for years to build and maintain it in good shape. Thus, monitoring the scores regularly gives control over the credit and keeps it at its best.

Ensure Accurate Credit Information: The credit score reflects the information in the credit report. So, checking it regularly helps determine whether it is accurate or not. If the score is lower than expected, there are chances that the report contains errors that one must bring to the credit bureau’s notice.

Get Useful Insights of the Credit Score: Do you want to know how the credit score models work? Look at the credit report and know all the secrets. The report shows different parameters that influence an individual’s credit score. Regular checking allows one to study these parameters and understand what they are doing right and what not. So, analysing the score helps focus on areas that are pulling the score down.

Notice the Changes Whenever They Happen: Checking the credit score online keeps an individual informed about any changes in their credit scores. If they notice a fall, they must figure out what caused it and take the necessary steps to recover the loss.

Know Eligibility for Better Offers: As the score improves, the chances of getting easy loan approvals also improve. For instance, when the score reaches 630, an individual’s personal loan eligibility improves, and they qualify for better rates and deals.

Steps to Check Free Credit Score Online

Here is how one can check credit score for free online:

  • Visit the website of the credit bureau or a reputed NBFC
  • Select ‘Get Your Free Credit Score’
  • Enter details like your name, date of birth, email ID, PIN code, phone number, etc.
  • Attach ID proofs like PAN card, Aadhaar card, voter ID, or passport
  • Accept the terms and conditions and continue
  • Enter the OTP received on your registered mobile number and continue
  • Go to Dashboard and check the credit score

Each credit bureau provides one annual credit report for free. So, users can get four credit reports, one from each credit bureau, without paying any charges. However, those requiring more credit reports in a year can do so by paying additional fees.


Checking the credit score regularly helps maintain it at the desired level and take the necessary steps at the right time. Use the steps mentioned here to check your credit score for free online and enjoy the benefits.

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Need Help Selling a House? Follow These Tips for Some Guidance





The housing market has drastically changed in the past few years, particularly after this whole Covid-19 thing. Home prices literally escalated and were some high that many people thought they would never be able to buy a house.

But on the flip side, for sellers, this was for sure great news. However, relatively recently I heard that house prices are starting to decline, which is one of the main reasons why so many homeowners are starting to panic and want to do whatever is possible to sell their houses fast.

If you’re one of them, and you’re currently “in a hurry” and would like to know how you can quickly sell your property, then take a look at the tips that I put together for you today! Let’s check them out together!

Let’s Begin with Decluttering

Many people think they need a magic wand or potion if they want to sell their home fast, but what they frequently forget is that at times, simple decluttering can get the job done. After all, who would ever want to obtain a house that’s messy and untidy?

But on the bright side, this is something that can be executed pretty quickly, if you organize yourself properly. So what are you supposed to do during this process? For starters:

  • Be sure to have a storage unit where you will put all of your belongings and huge furnishings that are making any area of your house look crowded and dirty.
  • And then it’s time to focus on the closets. Homebuyers that need that extra space, will surely cast their eyes on the closets, pantries, and storage areas. If they look jammed or cramped up, then that’s something that’s going to definitely deter them from taking your house into account. Keep in mind that a vast majority of buyers prioritize ample storage.
  • Things like family pictures, personal belongings, and other similar items shouldn’t be visible. How come? Well, that’s because (if that’s the case), a homebuyer won’t be able to imagine themselves in your house.
  • A deep clean is a must if you want to leave a great impression. Do not overlook kitchen cabinets, baseboards, carpets, and bathroom tile. Now, if you are currently very busy, then make sure to hire a professional to do these things for you.

Moving On to the Property Buyers

If you would like to get things done as soon as possible, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do your homework, so you can quickly find buyers who may potentially be interested in acquiring your house.

But where can you find one? First and foremost, you can’t do anything without listing your property on the sites that are intended for selling and buying homes online. What I do know is that in Arkansas, to be more precise in Little Rock, there are lots of property buyers. Therefore, if you would like to sell a house fast in Little Rock, then make sure to list it. As far as other states are concerned, I do not have any reliable info.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. If you list your home within the next few days, I am one hundred percent sure that you’ll be able to easily find a property buyer.

Do You Have a Real Estate Agent?

Another great way to speed up this entire process is by hiring a real estate agent. But how can you tell if someone is good enough for you? If you ask me, it has to be someone who is perfectly familiar with the local market and has a great sales record that showcases how skilled, experienced, and resourceful this person is.

In case you didn’t know, the seller is frequently the one who pays the commission for both the seller agent and the buyer. What’s so beneficial in having a real estate agent by your side? Bear in mind that that’s first and foremost, a person you can rely on.

Not only are they going to accelerate and streamline everything, but they will also supervise the professional photographer you’ve hired to take first-class pictures of your property. And that’s not everything.

An experienced and skilled real estate agent will also negotiate the best possible price for you. In addition, they will write up a real estate listing that sells and also host and schedule showings. These are not tasks that are generally that easy to execute, hence it’s always amazing if you have someone who will do them for you.

Consider the Price

This is one of the most common problems when it comes to this topic. Namely, a lot of sellers determine the price of their house without consulting anyone and then when they notice that no one is calling them to ask for the house, they start to wonder if they did something wrong.

But what they didn’t do right from the start is receive a home appraisal before listing their house. Why is this important? Well, precisely something like this is going to give them a glimpse of how valuable their house is.

And only then they’ll be able to determine the right price. Setting the price too low, or too high is only going to make things worse. Just because you are longing to sell your home as soon as possible, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should set a price that is extremely low.

I mean you can, no one can forbid that, but you will be losing out on the potential profit from your property. On the other hand, you should be cautious and not set a price that’s going to be too high.

Because if you do, you will most likely wait forever (unless you’re extremely lucky) until you stumble upon someone who is willing to give more than the house is worth. Pricing slightly higher is okay, but ensure not to overdo it.

In these types of situations, you need to be sure not to do things hastily, otherwise, you may potentially make some serious mistakes. But that’s why I compiled these tips above to help you prevent them.

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