Operating a business is challenging enough without having your cash flow cramped by huge loan payments. If paying your lender is becoming a struggle, refinancing your small business loan may bring welcome relief.

WHY REFINANCE?

There are many good reasons to refinance a small-business loan, provided you’re a good candidate. The major appeal generally is a reduced interest rate, which can result in significantly lower monthly payments. But this isn’t the only potential benefit. Refinancing also may give you the opportunity to get additional cash out to help with company expansion and new expenses. It also could let you extend or improve loan terms or dodge a massive upcoming balloon payment.

IS REFINANCING RIGHT FOR MY BUSINESS?

As tempting as small-business refinancing sounds, it’s not for everyone. Refinancing may be a good choice for your business if:

Rates have come down at least one point since you originally financed: Do the math to ensure your payment will go down enough to put you ahead after closing costs and fees.

Prepayment penalties won’t derail you: Expensive prepayment penalties for your current loan could defeat the whole purpose of refinancing.

You plan to keep your business long term: It takes time to recoup refinancing expenses like points and fees.

Your current payments are mostly interest: Early in a loan, you’ve barely begun chipping away at your balance. Refinancing at a lower rate during this time really cuts a chunk from your overall interest burden. By the time you’re paying mostly principal, the savings won’t be as substantial.

You have equity: While you don’t want to wait too long to refinance, having built some equity in your business helps you qualify for lower interest rates.

You have good credit: To qualify for attractive annual percentage rates, you need solid credit.

You’re unhappy with your current loan: You may be suffering from exceptionally high rates, a looming balloon payment, oppressive late fees or other terms and conditions that are dragging your business down.

Your business is eligible for SBA refinancing: While you have lots of refinancing choices, the Small Business Administration offers some of the best rates and terms. It refinances loans from other lenders and even its own older loans under certain conditions: Your business must be SBA-eligible; the current debt terms must be unreasonable; the current creditor must not be at risk for loss; and your business must stand to truly benefit from the refinance.

HOW CAN I REFINANCE MY SMALL BUSINESS LOAN?

If you’re considering a refinance, start by exploring all the new types of small-business loans available through respectable, responsible lenders. Compare rates and terms carefully to make sure moving ahead is cost-effective. Some important questions to ask include:

Is collateral required?
What is the APR and how much will my payment go down?
What closing costs and fees are involved?
How long will I have to repay this loan?
Do prepayment penalties or late fees apply?

Once you’ve determined that refinancing is worthwhile and chosen a loan option, the application process will be much like that of your original financing. Expect a credit check and evaluation of your income, business history and business plan. As soon as you’re approved, you’ll be on your way toward a lasting improvement in your business’s cash flow and financial health.

© Copyright 2017 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Are you a small-business owner who’s not getting the love you need from lenders? Are suppliers insisting on terms you find downright unfriendly?

The common denominator may be a poor business credit score. Here are some steps you can take to fix it.

WHAT GOES INTO YOUR BUSINESS CREDIT SCORE?

Just like a personal credit score, a business credit score measures the level of risk you pose for a lender. Unlike personal credit scores, most of which adhere to the FICO model, business credit scores don’t follow an industry standard.

The three major bureaus — Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian — use different methods to compile and monitor business credit scores. Each calculates its scores according to different criteria and uses different number ranges. Here’s an overview:

Dun & Bradstreet uses a proprietary Paydex score that is based on payment data. You can develop a respectable score by establishing credit with suppliers you are likely to have an ongoing relationship with. That way, you can build and maintain credit, assuming you pay your suppliers on time — and the earlier the better, as the highest rating is reserved for businesses that pay 30 days earlier than terms demand.

Equifax uses three assessments to rate businesses: a payment index examines your payment history, a credit risk score evaluates the likelihood your business will become severely delinquent, and a business failure score measures the chance your business will close.

In addition to examining credit history, Experian calculates its score by checking public records for liens, judgments and bankruptcies. It also considers demographic information, including how long you’ve been in business, the kind of business you’re in and the size of your business.

Unlike a personal credit report, which you can get for free, you have to pay between $35 and $100 to see your company’s credit report. It’s worth it, though, to see if you need to take steps to improve your score.

MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS CREDIT SCORE

Regardless of a particular bureau’s approach, you can take steps to beef up your business’s score.

Establish a business credit history. You probably had to start your business using personal funds and credit. As soon as you can, separate your business expenses from your personal finances. Open a commercial bank account and put your company’s bills and account in the company’s name.

Pay your bills on time. This is the most important thing you can do to boost your score. It’s the best way to prove you are not a risk to lenders or vendors.

Understand all the factors in your score. Payment history is not all that matters. Much more is involved, including the age, size and type of the business and how close to your credit limit you are.

Make sure the information in the credit reports is accurate. Monitor your reports, checking for and addressing errors and updating information as your business develops, because changes in things such as your company’s location, staff size and revenue can affect your score.

Examine the credit of your customers and vendors. The more creditworthy the people you do business with, the more smoothly your business will run and the less likely some problem with an account will ripple through and end up dinging your score.

Taking steps now to improve your business credit score is a smart idea. The better your company’s credit, the more favorable terms you’re likely to get from vendors and lenders. And should you face hard times, it can be tough to get small-business loans with bad credit.

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It takes more than a great idea and entrepreneurial spirit to be your own boss. But if you follow the right path, that dream can be within reach.

Here’s what you need to do to start a small business.

CREATE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

A solid business plan helps you organize your ideas and attract potential lenders and investors. It doesn’t need to be a dissertation. Ideally, it should be about a page long and include your business’s:

  • Mission and vision.
  • Relevant copyright or patent information.
  • Target market and related research.
  • Estimated expenses and financing needs.
  • Organization and management structure.
  • Goals and objectives, along with an action plan.

GET SOMEONE IN YOUR CORNER

All entrepreneurs should have mentors, and there are many free and low-cost options. SCORE, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers business counseling, as do SBA Small Business Development Centers. And the SBA has a wealth of free online training tools.

Other government-backed mentoring options include Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and the Minority Business Development Agency. Local trade associations may also provide advice and support.

PICK YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE

Your business’s structure will affect your personal and tax liability, so devote some time to researching your options:

Sole proprietorship.
Limited liability company, or LLC.
C corporation.
S corporation.

Ask your mentor for help choosing and navigating the setup process. Once you’ve settled on a structure, register your business and apply for a tax ID number.

ORGANIZE YOUR BUSINESS FINANCES

It’s crucial to establish business finances separate from your personal ones. Open a business checking account, set a budget, and determine how you’ll pay for startup costs, such as property, materials, equipment, advertising and payroll.

BUILD YOUR TEAM

Unless you’re a one-person operation, you’ll need to recruit the right people. Network in person and online with potential employees and consultants.

REGISTER FOR PERMITS AND LICENSES

Apply for any required permits and licenses as well as workers compensation insurance, if applicable. Taking care of these details now could help you avoid hefty fines later.

GET THE WORD OUT

Your business can only succeed if people know about it, so launch a marketing campaign. Establish an online presence with a website and regular social media posts. Consider investing in professional advertising to help you target the right markets and separate your business from the competition.

It takes work and planning to start a new business, but the rewards of pursuing your passion can be well worth the effort.

© Copyright 2017 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a business is choosing the right accounts. As an entrepreneur, you’ll want to make sure you don’t mix your personal finances with your business money: If your cash isn’t kept separate, it could be hard to meet IRS recordkeeping requirements, and that could lead to tax penalties. Opening new accounts in your company’s name is typically a better practice.

Having separate bank accounts could also help limit your personal liability. Say someone were to sue your company; your business assets might be at risk, but your personal assets would likely be protected from legal action.

Here’s a look at three common types of accounts to consider for your company.

BUSINESS CHECKING

For entrepreneurs, opening a business checking account means you don’t have to ask customers to write checks to you personally. Some customers could view checks written out to individuals as unprofessional, and that could hurt sales. With a business account, checks are made out to the company name.

Many banks offer business checking accounts for a minimal fee. Some even offer free business checking, though your company may need to agree to limit deposits and withdrawals to a set number or agree to keep a certain minimum balance.  At Northeast Community Credit Union, your account is free and there are no minimum balance requirements or transaction maximums.  Also free are our mobile apps, home banking, and most other services.

 

BUSINESS SAVINGS

You don’t have to put all your company’s cash in a checking account. It may make sense to place money you don’t need to spend right away into a business savings account, where it may earn a better rate of return.

A business savings account could also serve as an emergency fund to help pay for business operations if your company goes through a sales slump. And, as with personal accounts, your money would be protected with federal insurance up to $250,000 per depositor.

BUSINESS CREDIT CARD

Opening a credit card in your company’s name gives your business a chance to establish credit. When you first sign up, you may need to personally guarantee the debt because your company won’t have an established financial history. But your company will soon show a track record of payment as you put the card to use.

Opening bank accounts for your business can be an important step in establishing your company’s financials. By opening a separate checking account, savings account and credit card for your business, you’ll avoid the headaches that mingling personal and business money can create and you’ll make your company’s recordkeeping easier and more robust for the future.

 

“Over the hill” surprise birthday parties can be fun. But one shock you don’t want in your 50s is the realization that you’ve completely overlooked retirement or are significantly behind where you need to be.

No matter why you’re falling short, if you are, it’s time for a retirement offensive. Here are a few things to consider as you try to re-energize your savings game.

1. FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH YOU NEED

A healthy nest egg is anywhere from six to 20 times your ending salary at the time of retirement, depending on your age when you retire and the proportion of your working income you want to have available each year. If you can, include an extra cushion for emergency expenses. Research shows most Americans don’t save anywhere near enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in their later years.

2. SPEND ONLY WHAT YOU MUST

If you’re over 50 and your retirement fund is in the hole or nonexistent, you can’t afford a flashy new car, a boat or a vacation hideaway. Focus instead on saving by cutting unnecessary expenses such as pricey coffee drinks, restaurant meals, expensive entertainment or big-ticket vacations.

3. BEEF UP YOUR 401(K) CONTRIBUTION

Particularly if your employer matches a portion of your 401(k) contribution, put in as much as possible. Remember, time is money. The longer the money has to earn returns, most likely the better off you’ll be. Even if you start late, tacking on a few extra years of saving can make a difference.

4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CATCH-UP PROVISIONS

Federal law limits how much you can put into a tax-advantaged retirement account each year. After reaching 50 years old, you can make annual catch-up contributions. For 2016 and 2017, the annual catch-up contribution is up to $6,000 in a 401(k) and $1,000 in a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Put in as much as you can.

5. WAIT TO TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY

Holding off before starting to collect Social Security payments can make a significant difference in how much you collect. Although you can start collecting benefits at 62, your benefit can increase up to 30% if you wait to receive benefits until you’re 67.

6. REFRAME THE IDEA OF ‘RETIREMENT’

Getting a later start on saving significant cash for retirement means you might need to rethink what those years will be like. You might need to move to a smaller home, sell a car or keep working at least part-time just to stay afloat.

Depending on how little you’ve already saved compared with where you need to be, you might feel like you’re speeding toward a cliff. Don’t let that keep you from starting now to get serious and save. Every bit you put aside now will make a difference later.

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When faced with two big financial priorities, such as paying off old debt and saving for retirement, it can be easier to focus on just one. For people repaying student loans for themselves or their children, for example, 38% weren’t able to put money away for retirement, according to a 2015 survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and NerdWallet. But there are ways you can contribute to retirement savings even while paying off student or other debt.

Neglecting either one can be a losing proposition. If you focus just on repaying debts, you can lose out on potential investment returns from money placed in a retirement account. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay more interest on debt than you need to. So here are a some steps to help you save while reducing what you owe.

STEP 1: PAY AT LEAST THE MINIMUM ON DEBTS CONSISTENTLY

Missing a loan or credit card payment can cost you in extra interest, fees and a dip in your credit score, so make sure to pay at least the minimum required amount each month to avoid this. That said, don’t go overboard in paying at this point. If you rush to erase the debt as fast as you can, you might miss out on potential long-term gains from investing your money now.

STEP 2: SAVE IN A 401(K) UP TO ANY MATCH, OR SET UP AN ALTERNATIVE

If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar retirement savings plan and will match part of your contributions, put in at least enough to gain the maximum matching amount. Also see how you can invest the money. For example, $10,000 invested to produce an 8% annual return — the average over the past decade for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of large U.S. stocks — would grow to more than $100,000 over 30 years. If you’re young enough, you can let your money compound for decades.

If you don’t have access to a 401(k), consider setting up a Roth IRA. The annual maximum you can put in is $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. A Roth IRA lets your money grow tax-free.

STEP 3: FOCUS ON PAYING OFF DEBT

Once you have started setting aside some money for retirement, you can turn your attention back to reducing your loans or credit card balances. By paying off more than the minimum each month, you eliminate your debts faster and cut the interest you end up paying.

As you manage these two goals, remember to build an emergency fund as well, so that you have ready cash to cover unanticipated expenses. If you don’t, you might end up back in debt or draining your savings.

By following these steps, you can avoid having to choose between your retirement goals and paying off debt. Taking advantage of the opportunity to save money now and to reduce debt can help you improve your financial life for years to come.

© Copyright 2017 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

It’s never too early to start putting away money for your future. If you’ve ever wondered how to save for retirement when you’re also dealing with day-to-day expenses, these easy tips can help.

1. GET A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF RETIREMENT EXPENSES

It may seem difficult to know how much money you’ll need in retirement, especially if it’s several decades away. Experts say that to keep your same standard of living, you’ll probably need at least 70% of your pre-retirement income.

The reason you probably won’t need 100 percent is because some costs, such as commuting expenses or child care, probably won’t be necessary in retirement. If you already have a budget for your current expenses, then it’s probably easy to get a rough idea of what you may need when you retire.

2. DECIDE ON A SAVINGS TARGET

Say you’re 25 years old and your living expenses are about $50,000 a year. Take 70% of that, and it means you’d probably need about $35,000 to retire comfortably, assuming your income remains the same until retirement. So you’d want a nest egg that provides about $35,000 annually.

Many financial experts suggest that you withdraw only about 4% of your retirement savings each year to help ensure that it lasts. That means to get $35,000 in income, you’d need a savings target of about $875,000.

It’s a lot of money, but by using a retirement calculator, you could find that there’s a good chance you could reach your goal by age 61 if you start saving 10% of your income each year. This number assumes your savings earn 7% annually. If your income increases before retirement, you’d probably also need to increase your savings target.

If you can’t quite put away 10% — or whatever your goal percentage is — while also keeping up with your regular expenses, consider starting with a smaller amount and gradually increasing the percentage of income you save until you reach your goal.

You may also have other income sources in retirement, such as Social Security or a pension plan. Look at the Social Security calculator to get an idea of what your monthly benefits might be when you retire and add that to your retirement calculations.

Bear in mind that an income of $35,000 will probably have much less spending power in 40 years than it does today because of inflation, so it’s smart to consider cost-of-living increases in your savings target. It may be a good idea to make an appointment with a certified financial planner to help you weigh your options.

3. CONTRIBUTE TO A TAX-ADVANTAGED RETIREMENT PLAN

In addition to knowing what percentage of income you should save each year, you’ll also want to decide where to put your money. If your employer offers a traditional or Roth 401(k), consider enrolling. This is especially important if your company offers an employer match, because a match is like adding free money to your retirement savings. You could also contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

With traditional retirement plans, you receive an upfront tax deduction for the money you contribute. You then let that savings grow and allow the interest to compound. You’d pay income tax on any money you withdraw, and you’d also have additional early withdrawal penalties if you take money out before age 59½.

With Roth plans, you pay tax on your contributions, but you don’t have to pay tax on your withdrawals if you retire after age 59½.

When you put your money in a retirement savings plan, you’ll have a number of different investment options to consider, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

4. PUT YOUR SAVINGS ON AUTOPILOT

Once you’ve established your retirement plan, consider setting up automatic withdrawals from your paycheck or bank account. It would be much easier to meet your savings goals when your money has a chance to grow uninterrupted over a period of years.

Learning how to save for retirement is important, but it doesn’t have to be hard. By coming up with a savings goal and contributing regularly to a retirement account, you can help make sure you’ll be able to meet your financial goals for the long term.

© Copyright 2017 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Your 20s may seem like an odd time to think of saving for retirement, but it’s actually the perfect moment to start planning for your later years. That’s because the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow.

Savers who begin setting aside 10% of their earnings at 25, for example, could amass significantly more by retirement age than those who wait just five more years to start saving. You can use a retirement calculator to see how much you should start saving now to reach your retirement goal.

Building a nest egg on a starter salary and a shoestring budget can seem daunting, though. Focusing on the incremental savings, rather than the goal, can help your savings objectives feel more manageable.

HOW MUCH TO SAVE FOR RETIREMENT

For those earning around $25,000 a year, the median income for 20 to 24 year olds in 2015, saving the recommended sum of 10% amounts to a little more than $200 a month.

It may seem like a reach, but consider this: If you start saving $100 a month at age 25 and invest it to return 7.7% a year — the average total return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks over the past decade — you’ll have more than $378,000 available at retirement age. And it could be tax-free.

If you wait until you’re 30 to start and save the same monthly amount at the same rate of return, you’ll wind up with less than $253,000.

Several vehicles can help you build a retirement fund. A 401(k) plan, typically offered by your employer, is often the most convenient and easily accessible of these. Contributions you make usually aren’t taxed, which helps reduce your income tax liability.

Pre-tax 401(k) accounts make up around 80% of retirement plans offered by employers, according to the American Benefits Council. Roth 401(k) accounts are another option, though these are less widely available, and money contributed to a Roth 401(k) account goes in after it’s taxed. Money withdrawn from this type of account — including earnings — is usually tax-free.

Companies that offer a 401(k) plan often match employee contributions, up to a certain percentage. This is essentially free money toward your retirement.

If your employer will match your contributions, try to take full advantage and commit a large enough percentage to get the full benefit.

Beyond a 401(k), individual retirement accounts, commonly referred to as IRAs, offer another solid option. There are two types: traditional and Roth.

Money put into a traditional account is tax-deferred, similar to funds put in a traditional 401(k) plan. That means those funds aren’t taxed until they’re taken out. But typically any earnings you make with the money are also subject to income taxes on withdrawal.

Money put into a Roth IRA has already been taxed when you earn it, so there’s no immediate tax benefit. When it’s time to withdraw the cash, however, you usually don’t pay taxes on it. And anything the money earns also can be taken out tax-free.

Contributions to both types of IRAs are currently capped at $5,500 a year for those under age 50, and $6,500 for older workers.

HOW MUCH TO SAVE FOR EMERGENCIES

In addition to retirement, it’s also wise to save for a rainy day. Ideally, your emergency fund should be enough to cover three to six months of living expenses.

Some experts suggest setting aside even more for savings and investments: 20%. That’s roughly $415 a month on an annual income of $25,000.

That’s not always feasible, especially if a big chunk of your monthly income goes to student loan and credit card payments. Consider saving what you can, even if it’s just $10 a month.

Making a habit of saving now could serve you well down the road. And, as your income increases, the percentage you save can as well.

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The tallest hurdle to buying your first home will be saving for the down payment. To avoid having to purchase private mortgage insurance, you’ll likely need to put down at least 20% of the purchase price, which will probably mean tens of thousands of dollars.

As a young adult, saving this much money may seem impossible — like climbing a mountain. When you climb a mountain, it looks huge from afar. But if you take one step, then another, pretty soon you’ve reached the top, and the view is great.

Figure out how much you need to save

No matter the amount you have to save, approach it as a challenge. First, figure out exactly how much house you can really afford with the help of a home loan calculator. The calculator uses your inputs (income, expenses, debt) along with local tax data to recommend how much home you can afford — and how much of a down payment you’ll need.

Figure out what you spend now

If you don’t know exactly what your monthly expenses are, track all your spending for a month and analyze it to see where you can cut back. Think realistically about what you can sacrifice each month to reach your savings goal.

Cut out the small stuff

By now you’ve probably heard you should skip the daily latte and brown-bag your lunch, but those are savings cliches for a reason: They really do add up.

Something else that can add up: using coupons for your grocery shopping. Get familiar with the BOGO (buy one, get one) days at your local stores. With smartphone apps, you no longer need to clip and save paper coupons to present at checkout.

To save money on entertainment, rent movies through a subscription service such as Netflix or, even better, check out movies from your library. Libraries also frequently offer lectures, book groups and kids’ programs. Look for other free community events at your local parks and take advantage of free-admission days at museums.

Find a high-yield savings account

Earning as much interest as possible will help ignite your savings. You can find high-yield savings accounts at internet banks, credit unions or community banks. When you open the account, add an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck so you won’t be tempted to spend money earmarked for the down-payment fund.

Sell what you don’t need

You might want to declutter before you move into your first home, so why not start by selling stuff you don’t want or need? If your neighborhood puts on a community garage sale, join in. Or sell your unwanted stuff on eBay, Craigslist or via a Facebook “virtual garage sale” page for your area.

Enlist family and friends

No, don’t ask your friends to give you money. Instead, let them know that saving for the down payment is your No. 1 priority. If your friends want to go out for dinner, suggest you get together for homemade pizza or a potluck at home. Chances are you’ll have a much more memorable evening.

The bottom line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a high mountain to climb, but if you look at it as a challenge, it can also be fun. And just imagine the feeling of accomplishment when you’re relaxing someday in a home of your own.

The down payment. Cue the dramatic, fear-filled suspense music. Yeah, it’s scary. Coming up with enough cash to put down when buying a house is the single biggest roadblock for most hopeful homebuyers. But how much do you really need?

A standard down payment

Most lenders are looking for 20% down payments. That’s $60,000 on a $300,000 home. (There’s that scary music again.) With 20% down, lenders will love you more. First off, you’ll have a better chance of getting approved for a loan. And you’ll earn a better mortgage interest rate. There are all sorts of other benefits too:

  • Lower upfront fees (we’ll talk more about that in a second)
  • Lower ongoing fees (more on that too)
  • More equity in your home right off the bat
  • A lower monthly payment

Of course there is one big, juicy caveat: The down payment is not the only upfront money you have to deal with. There are loan closing costs and earnest money to consider as well. Before the dramatic music returns, let’s explore some lower down payment options.

Getting in for less

You can actually buy a home with as little as 3% down. Why did we wait so long to give you that good news? Well, let’s provide the details first before we weigh the pros and cons.

The Federal Housing Administration is a government agency charged with helping home buyers — especially first timers — get approved. The FHA assists mortgage lenders to make loans by guaranteeing a portion of the balance. That’s how you can put less money down — in fact, as little as 3.5%. And FHA loan rates are among some of the lowest you’ll find.

Plus, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that drive the residential mortgage credit market, have announced 3% down payments on home loans. Some major commercial lenders are also offering low down payments — and even no down payments — as incentives to spur loan demand.

And if you’re an active or retired service member, or live in a rural area, you may have access to zero down payment programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. It’s always a good idea to ask a lender about down payment options when you’re shopping for a mortgage.

Or is it more?

So, which is it: Do you want to put $60,000 or $9,000 down on that $300,000 home? Or does zero down make you spring into a happy dance? Sounds like a pretty easy decision, right? But you knew there would be fine print.

A lower down payment makes you a bigger risk in the eyes of the lender. That’s why it will look for help from one of those government programs to guarantee a portion of the loan. The thing is, you pay for the guarantee. It’s called mortgage insurance. There will be an upfront fee and likely an ongoing charge built into your monthly payment.

Some of the programs don’t require mortgage insurance, but will charge an “upfront guarantee fee” or “funding fee.” Whatever you call it, a fee is a fee. And as a “higher risk,” you’ll likely pay a higher interest rate for the life of the loan in addition to the other fees.

Making the right move

It’s tempting to go with the lowest all-in upfront charges when trying to buy a home. But the key to building net worth is to buy smart, especially when it comes to such a large purchase as a house.

Lenders are required to disclose all fees and it’s always a good idea to shop around with multiple mortgage providers to get your best deal. Plus, the more you explore your options, the more you’ll learn about the process. Taking time to compare the fees from different lenders can save you thousands of dollars over the long haul.

The down payment is just the first financial hurdle. The monthly payments last a lot longer. Let’s get out of here before that spooky music comes back.

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