Buying a house can be an expensive endeavor – particularly if you don’t have a plan. But thankfully, there are plenty of tactics you can use to slash the price and avoid running through all of your cash savings in one fell swoop. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Carefully Consider Interest Rates
If you’re going strictly by interest rates, there’s never been a better time to buy a house than now. As a result of the pandemic and other related factors, interest rates have plummeted to near-record lows and paved the way for a new level of affordability. But even with low rates, you need to shop around and see what your options are.
“The interest rate is arguably the most important thing in a home loan, as a lower interest rate can save you thousands (tens of thousands even) of dollars over the course of the mortgage,” Savings.com.au explains. “While getting the lowest home loan interest rate you can is important, it isn’t the be-all-end-all, as it’s very possible a mortgage with a slightly higher interest rate might be more suitable to your needs.”
All factors must be taken into account when selecting a loan. The good news is that every lender is required to give you a standardized form so that you can quickly compare apples to apples.
- Consider a Shorter Repayment Schedule
While a 30-year loan comes with a lower monthly payment, you can pay off your balance faster with a 15-year loan. As a result, you end up paying far less in interest.
Let’s say, for example, that you borrow $200,000 from the bank to buy a house. The bank offers you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage with a rate of 3 percent, or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.2 percent. While the 30-year loan is roughly $700 less per month, you end up paying a total of $139,938 in interest over the life of the loan. With the 15-year loan, you pay just $60,761. That’s nearly $80,000 in savings!
If you can afford to swing the larger payments, you’ll come out way better with shorter loan terms.
- Shop Around for Insurance Rates
Shopping for home insurance is one of those tasks that you have to do. It’s not fun, but it’s a requirement (by the lender) and should be taken seriously.
The tricky part about home insurance is that there are so many different providers, products, and terms. If you don’t shop around, you can overpay by a significant margin – potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
If you want to save on insurance, you should get multiple quotes from multiple companies. You also need to ask about different types of policies and deductibles. A higher deductible will save you more money (though you’ll have to make a larger payment to get coverage when something happens).
- Choose Location Wisely
Location is the most important factor in the value of a property. A builder could build the same house in Los Angeles and a small town in Mississippi and the first house could be worth $1 million, while the latter house is worth just $200,000. But it’s not just state lines that matter. Locations within an individual city or neighborhood can dramatically influence value.
One way to save money is to expand your search by one mile. If you’re willing to move just one mile further away from the desirable area that you were originally planning, you could see prices drop by 10 to 25 percent. And guess what? You’re still just a few minutes from the action.
- Be Smart About Moving Expenses
Moving can be expensive. Whether it’s across the country or across town, you can easily pay thousands of dollars just to have someone load up a few furniture pieces and move them into your new space. As with other items on this list, get multiple quotes and negotiate for the best rates.
Save Big on Your Home Purchase
A home purchase is not something you can afford to take lightly. Whether it’s the first home you’ve ever purchased, or you’ve been through the process more times than you can count, a real estate transaction can have a significant impact on your net worth and must be addressed with purpose and intentionality.
By taking these tips and techniques into account, you can save thousands of dollars and give yourself a little breathing room with your finances.
How Conventional Scores Are Stopping Most Millennials From Accessing Credit and How One Company Is Changing That
Credit scores are a barrier to entry for just about everything for millennials. Trust Science® is taking new metrics into account to expand access to credit with Credit Bureau 2.0®
What’s Keeping Millennials From Accessing Credit?
The concept behind a credit score seems simple enough. It tracks your credit history to see if you’re someone that a bank or lender can trust to pay back a loan. However, conventional credit scores just don’t account for the way that millennials and Gen Z handle their finances.
Even where a person would be fully capable and reliable in paying back a loan, the lack of an established credit score can prevent them from accessing credit, or at least from getting as much as they should be able to. That leaves millennials without an on-ramp into the modern economy and it can also jeopardize access to other “credit gated” necessities like housing.
The way that conventional credit scores are calculated is complex but boils down to 5 essential metrics:
- Payment history
- Amount owed
- Length of credit history
- Credit mix
- Hard credit inquiries
You can start to see the issue for millennials when you look at what data goes into their credit scores. For one thing, younger people don’t have a long credit history. Even without other factors, simply being young and only having had so much time to build credit puts them at a disadvantage. However, millennials have also been tending to establish credit later in life compared with previous generations, putting them at a further disadvantage.
The most significant issue here is the credit mix. Different types of credit affect credit scores differently, and millennials generally don’t have a favorable mix. While they might have a credit card or two, they generally don’t have mortgages. These are the most beneficial type of credit to have on your credit report, and millennials really have that going against them.
The student loan crisis also plays a big role. Young people today have much higher student loan debts than previous generations, meaning they have a great amount of credit owed. Not only that, but many can begin to fall behind on payments and see that amount grow. This can quickly send a credit score spiraling out of control.
Student loans aren’t the only threat. When young, some people make poor decisions. They could find themselves making credit mistakes very early on and suffering the fact that those mistakes can haunt their score for seven years in general. That means someone at 25 is still paying for a mistake made at the age of 18, even if they’ve been on the up and up ever since.
It’s clear that conventional credit scores weren’t designed with the current landscape in mind and that young people are being negatively affected. But what exactly can be done about this? One company is changing the way that lenders look at creditworthiness to make it possible for millennials to mitigate these issues.
How Credit Bureau 2.0 Fixes Those Problems
Trust Science is an innovative fintech company that has developed Credit Bureau 2.0, a scoring service that acts as an antidote for lenders, offsetting the problems posed by conventional credit scores. Instead of seeing a lack of credit history, a few negative issues from years ago, or a poor credit mix and ending any credit application, Credit Bureau 2.0 considers a wealth of additional data to generate a more accurate credit score.
Credit Bureau 2.0 expands the data used to calculate credit scores, getting the borrower’s consented, permissioned data and/or acquiring Alternative Data in order to reach a more accurate credit score. For example, those applying for credit can use Trust Science’s Smart Consent™ app to divulge their information safely and confidently to Trust Science, which is working on behalf of the lender that is trying to reach a decision about the borrower. By doing so, young people or other people without a credit history in-country can let prudent financial decisions in other areas of their lives demonstrate that they’re trustworthy for greater credit.
The service is available to a wide variety of lenders, including auto lenders, installment lenders, and single-repayment lenders. It’s in their best interest to find more reliable, deserving borrowers to give loans to, so Credit Bureau 2.0 benefits both sides of the transaction.
Trust Science CEO Evan Chrapko says that “Credit Bureau 2.0 isn’t just about giving borrowers access to more credit than they would have had otherwise. It’s about recontextualizing financial data to give both sides–lenders and borrowers–a more accurate and reliable way to enter into loans in the modern economy.”
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