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Applying for a Mortgage? Mind These 3 Things

by Admin - on Jul 26th 2016 - Comments Off on Applying for a Mortgage? Mind These 3 Things

Applying for a MortgageWhen applying for a mortgage, your lender will consider your down payment, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. If your numbers look good, it is most likely that you will qualify for a mortgage and therefore pursue your dream of buying a home. The amount of loan you can borrow, of course, will depend on individual circumstances, but it may also exceed the amount you can afford comfortably.

Down Payment

If you don’t have a good credit history, paying a sizable down payment can be a great help. The more money you can pay, the less risk your lender will have to take on. You will no longer have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you can afford 20% down payment. This will then add a few hundred dollars to your monthly loan payment. Down payment ranges from 0% to 20%, but the ideal is 15% to 20%.

Credit Score

Most lenders are all about credit scores today. You can get your free credit score from one of the credit or consumer report agencies. FICO is a commonly used agency, giving scores between 300 and 850. If you want your lender to be flexible, you should aim for a high score (at least 700). says that the higher your score, the more you can qualify for quality mortgage rates.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

It is common for lenders to follow the 28/36 rule, which means that no more 28% of your income should go to loan payment, and taxes and insurance, with debt payments no more than 36% of your salary. There will be no problem if you have to no other debt, as you can dedicate a portion of your income to the mortgage payment. For an FHA-backed loan, you may apply for as much as 41% of your income to debt.

Mortgages are easier to get this year, benefitting all types of buyers including retirees and those looking for a home in expensive markets. While the new rules help buyers, it still important to maintain a good credit score, eliminate debt, and save for a sizable down payment.

Pointers to Help Cut Down on Currency Exchange Costs

by Admin - on Jul 11th 2016 - Comments Off on Pointers to Help Cut Down on Currency Exchange Costs

Travelling in New ZealandWhen travelling to New Zealand you would want to make the most out of your local currency’s exchange rates since it is practical and economical. However, one of the biggest currency exchange issues are the large fees applied during the transaction.

Here are a few suggestions that can help reduce add-ons to your exchange rates:

Check Rates Beforehand – Research on the money exchange rates of NZ, as most of your decisions will be based on that information. No.1 Currency says it’s important to keep yourself updated during your travels. There are many online sites that offer this info and electronic currency exchange services as well. You can also try their services out at the same time and see if it’s a more convenient option for you. Just make sure you are aware of whatever fees they might add to your online transactions.

Check for Reputable Exchange Centres – You may want to consider buying their currency from your local bank but check for hidden fees if there are any. Check if your bank has international partners to facilitate money exchanges so you can take advantage of the same rates while in New Zealand. There are New Zealand currency exchange companies that offer slightly lower rates but don’t add extra fees so you may want to try that option too.

Check for Other Means Of Payment – Other than cash, you can use traveller’s cheques, credit cards, debit cards and even the cash passport card. Out of the three, the most recommended would be the cash passport card since the exchange rate and whatever fees added on are locked in for months at a time. The credit card is also a good option since it offers standard interest rates whatever country you might be in. Travellers checks and debit cards usually may have a lot of hidden fees but they are also a safer option than carrying cash.

Once you’ve made your choices, settle in and enjoy your holiday. Money, after all, is just a means to an end, which is to enjoy yourself. Remember, that’s why you’ve travelled to New Zealand in the first place.

Roof Replacement: When is the Ideal Time?

by Admin - on Jul 8th 2016 - Comments Off on Roof Replacement: When is the Ideal Time?

Roof Replacement In NapervilleNow that you've finally decided to have your roof replaced—whether due to numerous repairs or old age—and you’ve chosen the specific roofing materials and specs, the next thing to decide on is when to start the project.

Is your contractor busy during specific months?

Roofing contractors say that the busiest seasons for them are early in the fall or during late in the summertime, and prices will be relatively higher than off-season. If you have budget constraints and your chosen roofing contractor is available during winter, then schedule the job for winter. Take note that weather conditions can affect the entire project depending on the roofing material you’ve chosen. It's best to consult your roofing contractor in Naperville if a winter installation is viable.

When is the right time to hire professionals?

Some homeowners are averse to the idea of investing a new roof—mainly because of the cost—so they delay reroofing as long as they can. They only act until the roofing situation is completely dire, which then forces them to make rash decisions. Homeowners should definitely avoid going this extreme route. If you wait until a major damage is present, it’s highly likely that this damage will extend to other components of your home and you’ll probably end up paying for a whole lot more repairs aside from your roof.

Planning in advance and having your roof replaced on time will enable you to make more informed decisions. Don't take this lightly because it’s a substantially a huge investment that will affect your home’s exterior aesthetic and the efficiency and comfort levels inside your home. So what's the ideal time to replace your roof? When it's time for replacement (old age or early signs of damage), not after it’s in dire need of it.

Mind Blown: Art Installations and Exhibitions that Caused Controversy

by Admin - on Jun 3rd 2016 - Comments Off on Mind Blown: Art Installations and Exhibitions that Caused Controversy

Art InstallationsArt has been with humanity since the beginning of time. It’s an innate passion and talent. This is the reason companies such as Clocate designed an online directory for both organizers and participants to search for various events near their area.

However, some artists took their passion and freedom of expression to a level that caused controversies worldwide.

Brownnosing by David Černý

In 2003, at the Futura Gallery in Prague, David Černý, a famous sculptor known for carving odd and lurid pieces, showcased his work Brownnosing. This large-scale installation features the bottom half of a person bent forward, with videos portraying a local politician and artist feeding each other. This artwork comes with Queen’s song titled “We Are The Champions” playing in the background.

The proper way to view the piece is to climb a ladder attached to the backside of the sculpture and look into it.

All by Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan, an art provocateur, debuted his art collection called “All” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, on display from November 2011 until January 2012. He presented his art from the ceiling, on platforms, instead of the usual manner.

According to the New York Times, it was one of the oddest and most audacious presentations they have witnessed in over half a century. They said he hung several thousand pounds worth of premium quality art collected globally. He used cables to suspend the pieces and fastened them to heavy-duty aluminum truss. Installed 90 feet in the air, the artworks were located just below the glass dome of the museum.

La Nona Ora was one of the infamous pieces. This is a wax sculpture of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteor.

Art exhibitions and installations had the capacity to break norms over the course of history. These art pieces, no matter how controversial they are, still offer a unique experience for everybody.

When Personal Loans Actually Make Sense

by Admin - on May 26th 2016 - Comments Off on When Personal Loans Actually Make Sense

Personal LoanPeople usually have a love-hate relationship with personal loans. On one hand, these allows them to get their hands on fast cash to cover unforeseen expenses (i.e. medical bills and the like). On the other, it’s still what it is: debt. It’s money lent by someone who expects the sum to be paid back. 

There are certain times, however, when you're looking for quick loans and Rapid Loans and other similar lending institutions become valuable allies for those looking for a quick source of money.

It’s Just Business

Putting up a business and keeping it afloat is financially draining. Every entrepreneur wants to ensure a smooth cash flow and would resort to every feasible measure to do so. Not a lot would consider personal loans, however, when it may technically be a life-saver.

It’s a good idea to take out a personal loan when the amount needed is not that big. Banks are typically reluctant to lend small amounts because it gives back little in terms of interest. For instance, a loan under $25,000 is typically outside a traditional term-based loan’s range, and such a small, term-based loan often requires a strict acceptance procedure. Lower rates and higher chances of approval come with a personal loan.

Consolidating Maxed Out Credit Cards

It can be tough to handle maxed out credit cards. A personal loan can be used to consolidate credit card debt into one monthly payment. Perhaps the best thing about this situation is that the personal loan’s interest rate can be lower, considering how credit card APRs (annual percentage rates) go.

Credit Score Improvement

Numerous term-based loans (i.e. mortgages) essentially require borrowers to have good credit scores. Lenders consider applicants with sub-par scores as risks; thus, refusing to lend them an amount for a major purchase. Payment history comprises about 35% of one’s credit scoring, with 30% of it affected by credit utilisation.

Personal loans have fixed interest rates, so these have the tendency to offer good monthly repayment schemes. This will allow anyone to plan budgets well and keep track of monthly obligations. So, it’s easy to stay on top of paying debts off. 

From a Borrower to a First-Time Mortgager: Yes, You’ll Need Tons of Documents

by Admin - on May 25th 2016 - Comments Off on From a Borrower to a First-Time Mortgager: Yes, You’ll Need Tons of Documents

First-Time MortgagerIf you’re not much of a document keeper, you might be surprised that there are actually tons of documents you never knew existed.

Especially if you’re a first-time borrower with no experience whatsoever, it can be overwhelming. But, according to, lenders would usually ask for documents concerning your financial life. This includes your income, debts, assets, and other related items. So, in a sense, you can anticipate what papers to bring and retrieve.

Below is a list of documents that you need when applying for a mortgage loan.

W-2 Forms

This is your tax statement where lenders can see how much you earn and pay in taxes. Typically, they will ask for the statement for the last two years. It’s best to ask this from your company or local office in advance since it can be hard to rush the release of this document.

1099 Forms

If you own a business, the lenders also look at this. The IRS Form 1099 highlights your year over year profit and loss. When your business doesn’t show much profit, it can already say a lot about your ability to pay back. Provide the latest report of your 1099 forms for a better assessment.

Paycheck Verification Stubs

To show that you’re earning monthly, provide your one-month paycheck stub. Just like W-2, this shows your earnings and other payables.

Tax Returns

To prevent fraud, lenders also get your transcripts directly from the IRS. What they do is they match your submitted tax return pages to the file with the IRS. A good tax return habit is the same as having an excellent credit score.

List of Debts

Refinance mortgages aren’t exactly a bad thing. But, if the lender found that you don’t have the ability to manage your debts, your application will not pass through.

Always keep all vital documents close. This saves you the time and future trouble of rushing things that you need.

The Funny Motivational Speaker: Bringing a Humorous Edge to Your Company Event

by Admin - on Jan 20th 2016 - Comments Off on The Funny Motivational Speaker: Bringing a Humorous Edge to Your Company Event

Motivational SpeakerFunny motivational speakers can be an effective addition to a corporate event. Companies should keep in mind, however, that there are events where their approach are more effective due to the events’ nature. 

Here are some of those employee enrichment events that can maximize the use of a humorous speaker.

Team Building Events

It is important for employees to be able to work together despite their differences. Team building events are essential for creating connection and cooperation between staff and departments and having a funny motivational presenter would be the best way to start everything off. They can lighten everyone’s mood while encouraging all participants to open up to each other. When humor is involved, employees will be more likely to have a more positive attitude jiving with their workmates.

Improvement Seminars

If your seminar is boring, no matter how interesting your topic is, you will find it hard to enliven the audience to listen or participate heartily. This is why, Montgomery Presents explains, a humorous motivational lecturer can start the ball rolling for you and your seminar participants. They are experienced at perking the audience and keeping their attention at maximum level. Not only will employees open up to learning, they will also be motivated to apply what they’ve learned after your event.

Appreciation Ceremonies and Tributes

Company awarding ceremonies that reward exceptional employees is an event that most look forward to These events raise morale and give employees who have done their best during the past year a sense of worth and belonging. However, there will be those who would feel robbed of their reward. Hiring a funny speaker can soothe those wounded egos while encouraging them to do better next time.

Your company runs on people, and all individuals need a spark of entertainment and humor every now and then. If hiring a humorous speaker can get to your staff’s minds and hearts then you are investing well in your lecturer. Don’t forget to join your staff so you can enjoy your lecturer’s humor and lessons as well.

Fun Fittings: Improving Employee Morale with the Right Furniture

by Admin - on Dec 7th 2015 - Comments Off on Fun Fittings: Improving Employee Morale with the Right Furniture

Employee Workplace As a business owner, the single greatest challenge you’ll probably have to face is finding creating ways to improve your employee’s morale and productivity. Fun and games are usually not enough, so you need to take the subtle approach in terms of improving their mood.

What most people don’t consider is that an employee’s workspace is as instrumental in boosting their morale and productivity as their pay checks. After all, what’s the use of a respectable wage when your working conditions aren’t great?

Private Employee Spaces

Many interior designers and experts, such as Bishop Interiors, note that ample personal space is crucial to improve both employee mood and morale, as well as increase their productivity. It’s no secret that every employee wants to have their own private area where they can focus on work, which is why partitions are among the first things you should secure when creating or remodelling your office space.

Take note though that there’s thin line between creating personal space for your employees, and making them feel like cogs in a machine. While partitions are great to keep the workspace from looking like an assembly line, the kind of partitions you should get shouldn’t be boring to look at.

Try adding a little colour to your office’s partitioning. If there’s already too much grey in the room, look for blue or green office partitioning. The colour blue is naturally soothing to look at, and can potentially lower heart rates and blood pressure. Green, on the other hand, is relaxing and can help reduce anxiety.

When Furniture Meets Fun

The kind of furniture you fill your workspace also affects employee mood and productivity. It may seem trivial, but boring looking furniture can actually make employees lazier and even more irritable as the mountains of work keep piling in. Again, this has something to do with the way they perceive their personal space – if their chairs and seats not only look but also feel uncomfortable, their mood and productivity will deteriorate.

To address this, consider more creative or unusual looking furniture pieces. It doesn’t have to look weird; for example, instead of the standard rectangular desk, get a circular one or one with a bit of asymmetry in it.

Start thinking outside the box if you’re still deciding how your workspace looks like. Not only will you make your office more engaging and employee friendly, you’ll also be boosting their morale and productivity.

Good Customer Service: Why the Philippines Has the Best Call Centers

by Admin - on Nov 30th 2015 - Comments Off on Good Customer Service: Why the Philippines Has the Best Call Centers

AgentNo matter how good your company is at business, there will always be the need to ask customers if they are satisfied with their service. Many companies from all over the world entrust their phone and online customer service transactions to call centers in the Philippines.

Here are three reasons the Philippines has become a call center hub:

Neutral Accent

Call center agents in the Philippines sport a neutral accent when speaking in English. In fact, agents undergo extensive training to sound as native speakers. In some cases, you would not even realize you are talking to an agent from an outsourcing company because they sound as a natural speaker of the English language.


They get it when you say an idiomatic phrase or quote a line from your favorite movie. That is because you watch the same TV shows, eat the same fast food, and sing the same songs. Most of the call center agencies in the Philippines have been soaking up American culture for decades. They are also knowledgeable about American lingo, which makes customer interaction seamless on both sides.

Fluency in English

The Philippines use the English language as part of their education and everyday life. Most academic subjects use English as the medium of instruction, which is why many Filipinos have exposure to the language early on. When Philippine call centers hire the best graduates and professionals, it is no longer a surprise that they can speak English fluently.

These are only three reasons, but the Philippines have already taken over the contact center industry worldwide. This gives you and your company all the more reason to consider contacting a Philippine call center company today.

Understanding the Differences Between Conforming and Nonconforming Loans

by Admin - on Nov 19th 2015 - Comments Off on Understanding the Differences Between Conforming and Nonconforming Loans

home financingThere is indeed no place like home. Finding your dream house may not be hard, but owning one is never easy. Usually, the reason is not having enough savings to pay for a new house. This circumstance is probably the motivation on how mortgage was developed.

Say you already found a lender or a broker; the next step is to check what type of loan you will get. If conforming and non-conforming loans are vague knowledge to you, take time to learn their basics so that you will be rightfully led to the one you want to take advantage of.

Conforming Loans

Conforming loans are mortgages that meet the guidelines set by home loan market drivers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The most critical condition for a loan to be considered conforming is the size. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) fixed the limit or the maximum size of a conforming loan at $417,000. Loans below that figure are conforming fixed and anything above that are considered non-conforming. In areas with greater demand for housing, limits may be higher.

Nonconforming Loans

If you are buying a luxury primary residence, you might need a jumbo loan or a non-conforming loan. This type of mortgage exceeds the set loan limit. But, borrowers who take out mortgages below the limit can still be disqualified from getting a conforming loan when other guidelines are not met such as:

Low credit score or poor credit history
Bankruptcy within the previous two years
High debt with respect to income
Documentation Issues

For Borrowers and Lenders

Conforming loans are appealing for most borrowers because they are paired with lower interest rates and fees. Furthermore, lenders find conforming loans attractive because they can put these types of mortgage on the secondary market, free up capital, and then provide more loans. On the contrary, jumbo loans are hard to sell. As less funds become available, fewer loans are offered too. Lending companies offset this financial risk by charging the borrowers higher interest rates and greater fees and insurance requirements.

Getting a mortgage is a sensible way of fulfilling your dream to own a new home. Both conforming and non-conforming loans may be decent, but choosing one that fits your needs is a surefire measure not to mess up with your dues until the entire loan is settled.