Last updated 14 days ago
The holidays are upon us. That wonderful time of the year when we spend time with friends and family; we gather around the dinner table for festive meals, watch football, relax and enjoy one each other’s company. But first we have to get there.
The holidays mean packed roads, crowded airports, and weary travels who have forgotten that this is the time of the year to be merry. Over 43 Million people will travel 50 miles or more this thanksgiving according to the American Automobile Association. Keep your spirits bright this season with these tips for holiday travel.
Don’t travel with the crowd . Avoid the rush by not driving or flying on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Dec. 24, traditionally the heaviest days for holiday travel. Consider leaving extra early on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day if you can. The actual holidays tend to be the cheapest days to fly.
Take in the sights. Plan alternative routes if traffic makes your open road feel like a mall parking lot. Is there a scenic drive that might be longer but have less traffic? Break up a long drive by finding a few places to stop that will get the kids more excited than a truck rest stop.]
Lighten your load. Mail your gifts ahead of time. This adds room to your car and can save you money on luggage fees when flying.
Stay Healthy. Pack sanitized wipes or hand sanitizer to disinfect steering wheels, airline trays and plane armrests. No one wants to get sick during the happiest time of the year.
Eat Something. The feast may be later in the day, but when your tummy growls, your mind can’t think straight. Pack snacks and drinks, so you and your family will be fueled up for a road. This will also keep you from stopping along the road for fast food and delaying your arrival any more than traffic already has. A properly fed traveler is a happy traveler.
Breathe. Remember you’ll get to your destination eventually. It wouldn’t be the holidays without at least one travel horror story. You can also take comfort in knowing that even though SharePlus will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, access to your money won’t be. With Mobile Banking* you’ll be able to access your accounts anytime, anywhere. And, with Mobile Deposit you can deposit Great Aunt Martha’s check directly from the dinner table.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
*Message and data rates may apply to mobile banking and mobile deposit.
Last updated 21 days ago
So it’s time for a new car. You need more space for your growing family, your current ride is spending more time at the mechanic than it is in your garage, or maybe it’s just time for a change. No matter why you need it, buying a new car is a major financial commitment.
So when is the best time to buy a new car to maximize your budget? The end of the year. Every dealership has annual quotas and salespeople are trying to maximize their annual bonus. Not to mention if the car you are looking to buy has a new model arriving in the new year, dealerships may have incentives to make room for the newer models. These incentives and quotas can potentially save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
A few more helpful hints
Know what you want before you get to the lot.
Don’t pay extra for something you don’t want.
Avoid the weekends, aim for a day when the dealership is less busy and salespeople are more willing to make a deal.
Get hassle-free financing before you start shopping so you can find the right vehicle to fit your budget.
If you’re ready for that new car smell, give us a call at (800) 352-8257 or start the process online at shareplus.com.
A New Car, We’ll Get You There.
Last updated 1 month ago
Taking the step into home ownership is one of the most important financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime. There are many factors to consider when embarking on this venture. Literally hundreds of loan programs are available, and it is important to find the one that best fits your personal long-term goals.
First and foremost, you must have a mortgage consultant in your corner that is willing to take the time to know what your long-term goals are. Communication is the key factor here.
Curious prospective home buyers sometimes turn to Internet-based services just to see what current interest rates are. But a faceless web site will not take the prospect’s future financial planning into consideration or guide the potential borrower through the many nuances of the loan process. When shopping for a home loan, be wary of web-based services that offer programs to reel prospects in with attractive rates that are based upon unrealistic time frames.
If a lender is offering a terrific rate based on a 10-day lock-in period, it is unlikely that the potential home owner would actually be able to find their dream home, get through the negotiation process and win approval from a lender within such a short period of time. This is called short-pricing, and when it comes time to close the transaction, the rate that was originally offered is simply no longer available. As a result, the unfortunate prospect is bulldozed into a loan program with a higher interest rate.
It is highly unlikely that a qualified loan originator whose business is based upon referrals will use unscrupulous tactics such as this to get new customers in the door!
Once you have found a mortgage consultant that you feel comfortable working with, lay your goals out on the table because it will have a tremendous impact on choosing a loan program that meets your specific needs. One of the most important factors to consider is how long you wish to borrow the money for. For example, if you know you will only be in the home for five years, it wouldn’t make sense to opt for a 30-year loan program or pay points up front to secure a lower interest rate. You would not be in the home long enough to benefit from such action.
Your mortgage consultant should be able to narrow down a selection of programs based on the information that you have provided, and present you with an easy-to-read spreadsheet that clearly defines viable options for your interest rate and amortization schedule, monthly payment and any potential savings you may realize by paying points up front.
Moreover, a reputable loan originator will not hesitate to share this information with your tax consultant or financial planner so they may offer additional feedback on your behalf.
Home ownership imparts a rewarding vehicle for building wealth and a strong financial future. The mortgage consultant that you choose should be there not only when your loan closes, but should also provide you with ongoing service to assist you in managing that debt over time.
If you are thinking about buying a new home or are interested in refinancing to make sure you are getting the most out of your mortgage, give our experienced SharePlus mortgage team a call. They’ll walk you through the entire process and help you find the program that works best for you.
Call us today to get started at (800)387-1091
or visit us online at shareplus.com
Last updated 1 month ago
If you’ve been watching the economic news, you’ve probably noticed that market experts and traders have been keeping a close eye on the Commerce Department’s Personal Spending and Personal Income reports. Obviously, those reports provide insight into the health of our economy, but did you know they also influence home loan rates? That’s right, personal spending can actually influence the interest rates that are available when you purchase or refinance a home.
Here's why. It has to do with something called the velocity of money. Even though the government keeps pumping money into the system, nothing happens until that money is spent or lent – and passes from one hand to another or one business to another. The speed at which this money passes between parties is called the velocity of money.
With the job market still very sluggish, consumers aren't spending much money these days, and businesses are still reluctant to spend money to make investments in their business. With the present velocity at low levels, inflation remains subdued and that's good for home loan rates. That's because rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds and inflation is the archenemy of Bonds, so low inflation is good for Bonds and rates. However, once velocity increases, the excess money in the system will cause inflation – which is bad for rates, since even the slightest scent of inflation can cause home loan rates to worsen.
While we certainly want to see better economic recovery news in the near future, we have to remember that there's an inverse relationship between good economic news and Bonds and home loan rates. Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, which helps Bonds and home loan rates improve. Strong economic news, on the other hand, normally has the opposite result.
Currently, home loan rates are at a historically low level, but that situation won’t last forever. That means now is an ideal time to purchase a home or refinance before the velocity of money – and rates – change. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about the current economic situation and how to take advantage of historically low home loan rates, then contact one of our Mortgage Lending Professionals or call our mortgage hotline at 800.387.109.
Last updated 2 months ago
It may only be October, but there are less than 2 months left before the holiday season is upon us.
Every year it seems you hear friends commenting that they are never prepared financially for the holiday onslaught of buying gifts and traveling to see family. The holidays are full of joy and happiness but the financial stress can be crushing, but it can easily be avoided with a little planning.
Most people don’t save year-round for the holidays. Instead they wait until Halloween is over to start checking their bank accounts and wondering how much they can spend on holiday travel, entertainment and gifts. The holiday budget can be overwhelming when attempted in a single month. With a little planning holiday expenses can be extremely manageable.
Open a Holiday Savings Account
So, what can you do to be better prepared for the holiday season? Open a Holiday Savings Account and set up Direct Deposit to put a small portion of your paycheck into funding your holiday festivities. $50 a month will yield $600 at the end of the year for a very happy holiday. You can choose from a Holiday Club account that allows you to withdraw only during the holiday season to make sure you don’t dip into savings early. Or you can choose a traditional Savings Account that gives you more flexibility.
Don’t Give Up On This Year
There is still time for a happy holiday this year as well! If you are starting to think about holiday spending now, which hopefully you are since you are reading this, you are ahead of the game. With a little saving 101 you can make easy cuts for a little holiday green that won’t leave you in the red. Cut out your weekday morning coffee run for a $3 savings per day up to $120 in savings over the next two months. With a few more simple cuts you can still make up for lost time.
Once you have this year’s funds taken care off, start preparing for next year. With a direct deposit into a holiday savings account you will be saving year round and avoid the holiday blues.
Want to set up a holiday savings account? Give SharePlus a call today at 800.352.8257 or get started online and start saving!