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Best Visa Credit Cards of June 2020

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Visa is a credit card network that’s been around for over 60 years, but it wasn’t always called Visa. The company was originally known as BankAmericard, after Bank of America’s first credit card launched in 1958, and it didn’t become Visa until 1976.

Today, Visa provides the infrastructure to process transactions between merchants and card issuers and backs credit cards from dozens of issuers, notably Bank of America, Capital One and Chase.

Visa cards are grouped into one of three tiers — Traditional, Signature and Infinite — and the tier determines the benefits you receive. Typically, the higher the card’s annual fee, the higher the tier. All Visa cardholders receive standard perks, such as $0 liability protection, while higher tiers can also enjoy purchase protection and travel insurance.

Depending on the card you have, you also can benefit from lucrative rewards programs, introductory interest-free financing and more, just by having a Visa card.

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the best Visa credit cards in six categories so you can choose the best card for your needs.

Best Visa credit cards

Best no-annual-fee Visa card

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a $5 minimum. After, 5% ($5 minimum).

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Long intro 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select categories upon activation

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • Cash-back program limits 5% cash-back earnings to $1,500 a quarter
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $539
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,894

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Who’s this for? If you’re looking to avoid an annual fee and maximize cash-back in a variety of rotating categories, the Chase Freedom® credit card is a great choice. This card has no annual fee and provides 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The cash-back calendar changes quarterly and currently includes grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart), select streaming services, gym memberships and fitness clubs from April to June. (Learn how Chase classifies bonus category purchases.)

This card can also be a resource for financing new purchases or getting out of debt. There’s a competitive 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable APR).

The Freedom card also offers Lyft and DoorDash benefits, including 5% cash back on Lyft purchases through March 2022 and a complimentary three months of DashPass (free delivery on DoorDash orders over $12 and lower service fees), plus 50% off for the next nine months when you activate by December 31, 2021.

Best cash-back Visa card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Information about the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    2.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $250 in cash back rewards per billing cycle)

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

    $99, waived the first year

  • Intro APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Regular APR

    12.24% to 22.24% variable

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 2.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $250 in cash back rewards per billing cycle)
  • Annual fee is waived the first year
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn’t require activation or spending caps
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $99 annual fee after the first year
  • No welcome bonus
  • No special financing offers
  • Estimated cash back earned after 1 year: $553
  • Estimated cash back earned after 5 years: $2,370

Who’s this for? The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card offers an industry-leading 2.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $250 in cash back rewards per billing cycle), which is ideal for anyone looking for a high-earning, yet easy-to-use card. There are no bonus categories to keep track of so you can easily maximize cash back on everyday purchases.

While this card has a strong cash-back program, it does come with a $99 annual fee, waived the first year. This is considered average compared to other rewards cards, but you can find cash-back cards with no annual fees, such as the Chase Freedom® card mentioned above.

In order to qualify for this card, you’ll need to be a member of Alliant Credit Union and open an Alliant bank account. If you don’t qualify for membership based on location, job or family member, you can join Alliant for free by supporting Alliant’s partner charity, Foster Care to Success, since Alliant pays the $5 membership fee on your behalf.

Best travel Visa card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site

  • Rewards

    10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide, 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    16.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit for travel purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access at 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Free DashPass subscription for a minimum of a year when you activate by December 31, 2021
  • $60 DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership

Cons

  • High $550 annual fee, but it can be offset by taking advantage of all the card’s perks
  • No introductory APR
  • Relatively high balance transfer fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,231
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,755

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who’s this for? The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a standout travel card with unique rewards and luxury perks. Most notably, points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 redeemed toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Cardholders earn points at a rate of 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X on dining at restaurants worldwide and 1X point per $1 on all other purchases. Plus 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Additional Lyft and DoorDash perks include a complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership, which provides 15% off car rides, priority airport pickups and more, as well as an annual $60 credit for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021, plus a free DashPass subscription when you activate by December 31, 2021.

This card also comes with an annual $300 travel credit, which can cover everything from airfare and hotels to parking and tolls. Chase also expanded eligible purchases to include gas station and grocery store purchases made now through December 31, 2020.

Take note that this card has a steep $550 annual fee, but all the card’s added credits and benefits can help offset the cost. If you’re not willing to pay that much for a card, consider the lower-cost Chase Sapphire Preferred®, which has a $95 annual fee (see how the Reserve and Preferred cards compare).

The Sapphire Reserve card is one of few Visa Infinite credit cards, which provide access to premium perks, such as Priority Pass™ Lounge membership and discounts on car rentals, compared to Visa Signature cards. 

Best balance transfer Visa card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Information about the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 20 months of no interest on balance transfers and purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone protection plan

Cons

  • No rewards program
  • 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Balances must be transferred within 60 days from account opening
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred within 60 days from account opening
  • Estimated total fees and interest on debt repayment: $388

Who’s this for? The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers the longest 0% APR intro period for a Visa card at 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases (then a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR). This is a longer than average intro period for a balance transfer card and can provide you with a low-cost way to finance large purchases.

The balance transfer fee is 3% (minimum $5). That can be a worthwhile expense when you calculate how much you’ll save on interest. However, there are no-fee balance transfer cards that can save you more money, such as the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. But these cards often come with less time to pay off your balance at 0% interest. The Amex EveryDay Credit Card offers 15 months, which is five less than the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card. (After the Amex EveryDay intro period ends, there’s a 12.99% to 23.99% variable APR.) See rates and fees.

Keep in mind that you’ll have 60 days to complete your balance transfer, starting from the day you open your account, so it’s a good idea to transfer it as soon as possible.

While this card doesn’t have a rewards program or welcome bonus, you can benefit from no annual fee and cell phone protection against damage or theft.

Best student Visa card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Information about the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Access a higher credit limit in as little as 6 months

Cons

  • 26.99% variable APR
  • No special financing offers

Who’s this for? The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a good choice for college students who are learning to use credit for the first time. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases, which is increased to 1.25% for every billing cycle that your account is in good standing (meaning you’ve made at least your minimum payment on time). This is a great incentive to keep up with your monthly payments, which is important for having a good credit score.

Upon account opening, you’ll receive a minimum credit limit of $300, which can automatically increase in as little as six months when you use your card responsibly. This card also has no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and more.

While most college student credit cards require you to be a student, the Journey Student Rewards card doesn’t. However, you’ll need to show that you meet the income requirements. 

Best Visa card for bad credit

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

Information about the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 13.00% variable APR

Cons

  • $500 minimum security deposit, which is higher than average
  • Credit union membership required, which may cost a minimum of $10 if you don’t qualify
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program
  • No clear timeline to upgrade to an unsecured card

Who’s this for? Many credit cards for bad credit charge high fees, but the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is an exception. There’s no annual fee and a reasonable 13.00% variable APR (though you should aim to pay your bill in full every month).

While there are low fees, you’ll be required to make a higher-than-average $500 minimum security deposit to receive an equivalent credit limit. That’s compared to other secured cards that typically require $200 deposits. You can use this card to make purchases just like a traditional card and by making on time-payments, you can build or rebuild your credit score and work your way toward qualifying for the best cards for fair/average or good credit.

This card does offer some helpful perks, including travel insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty protection. 

Since this card is issued by a credit union, membership to the Digital Federal Credit Union is required. However, anyone can join in one of several ways: if you’re a friend or family member of a DCU member, live in select communities, work for select employers or make a one-time contribution (as low as $10) to a participating organization.

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed popular Visa credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to the average American’s spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay Credit Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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How to get rid of medical debt without damaging your credit

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Medical debt is piling up for Americans – but how do you handle it without ruining your credit? (iStock)

No doubt about it, Americans are drowning in medical debt.

One recent study indicated that 137 million Americans were battling onerous medical debt – and that was just before the coronavirus pandemic rolled into the U.S. Another more recent study from Freedom Debt Relief noted the problem is only growing more severe, as 75% of these individuals say they have accumulated more medical debt since March 2020.

If you have medical debt and want to make sure it’s not hurting your credit, Credible can help. To ensure you’re staying up-to-date with your credit status, enroll in a credit monitoring service. Credible can help you get started.

How to best pay off medical debt

Tackling high medical debt isn’t easy, but it is doable. Financial experts advise that an eye for detail and a disciplined research campaign yields the best result. These strategies may work best.

1. Review EOBs

Some experts estimate that 80% of medical bills contain errors or inflated charges said Sean Fox, president of Freedom Debt Relief in San Mateo, Cal. If you want to deal with medical bills, make sure you’re staying on top of what’s actually in them. “Go back and review the bill in question from your health care insurer, known as an explanation of benefits (EOB),” Fox said. “If you see an issue or have a question, call the provider’s (or insurance company’s) billing department who can solve the problem.”

2. Contact providers 

Be upfront about your situation. “If you’re unable to work and make money to pay your bills (because of your medical state), contact providers’ billing offices and explain,” Fox added. “Ask about any options they can offer to you.”

3. Negotiate payments

Call your providers’ billing offices and ask about payment deferral or other plans. “They may be especially open to working with patients now, during the pandemic,” Fox said. “If you had to visit an out-of-network provider, or if you do not have medical insurance, ask for a cash-payer price. In certain situations, some providers may also charge the discounted Medicare or Medicaid fee.”

4. Get a personal loan

Consider a consolidation loan that covers all your current debt. “The biggest positive impact here is that you end up with just one monthly payment rather than several,” said Matthew Alden, Debt Relief and Bankruptcy Attorney in Cleveland, Oh.

Explore your personal loan options by ​visiting Credible ​to compare rates with multiple lenders – all within minutes.

Improve your credit health

Once you’re on the path to paying off your medical debt, focus on repairing any damage to your credit health.

“One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to simply be consistent over time,” said Daniel Joseph, founder of CoupleWealth.com, a digital platform that helps couples achieve financial stability. “Consistently pay off your balance, avoid making late payments, and ask for credit line increases periodically. Credit scores are heavily influenced by time, so the longer you can consistently have good habits, the better your score will be.”

Multiple factors affect your credit scores, however, and paying your bills and credit accounts on time is typically the most significant factor. An unpaid medical bill can cause serious issues.

Not sure where you fit on the credit score spectrum? Then you should start using a credit monitoring service to track changes to your credit score. Credible can get you set up with a free service today.

“Also, maintain a low credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you have on revolving credit accounts (such as credit cards and lines of credit) compared to your credit limits,” said Laura Adams, the host of the Money Girl podcast. “In general, a utilization ratio of 20 percent or less is best to maintain good credit or improve your scores.

You can also visit Credible.com and use its personal loan calculator to find the best personal loan rates to help pay down medical debt.

Problems tied to medical debt

1. Severe money troubles

According to Michael Broughton, co-founder of Get Perch, a credit building mobile app platform, often people have to go to great financial lengths to dig out of medical debt. “Often this financial hardship has led people to have to tap into their 401(k) accounts, personal savings, or even file for bankruptcy,” Broughton said.

2. Declining credit score issues

If medical debt is not taken care of in a timely fashion, the medical provider or hospital can turn it over to a collection agency who can then report it to the bureaus. “If this happens, the medical debt can negatively impact your credit score,” Broughton added. “However, hospitals or medical providers rarely ever report the debt directly to credit bureaus.”

In the event a medical debt does go to a collection agency, there is some relatively good news

“On the bright side, if it is taken to the collection agency, the three bureaus treat medical debt delinquencies less critically than other debts in that they offer some relief to medical debt holders,” Broughton said. Here’s what they offer:

  • 180-day grace period before showing the debt on your credit report.
  • Removal of the debt from your credit report once it is paid or resolved

Whether you currently have outstanding medical debt or just want to stay on top of your credit, Credible can help. From bad credit to fair credit to excellent credit, to improve your score you first need to know what it is. To see where you fit in, turn to a credit monitoring service. Credible’s partners can help you find your credit score, history, alert you to potential fraud, and more.

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Best Cash-Out Refinance Lenders In 2021

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Tapping into your home’s equity can be a smart move, whether it’s to lower high-interest debt, fund a home renovation, pay for college tuition or make progress toward another financial goal. One way you can accomplish this is through a cash-out refinance, in which you refinance your mortgage for more than what you owe and take the difference out in cash.

Many mortgage lenders offer cash-out refinancing, and Bankrate evaluated several to determine the best ones to consider. Here is our guide to the best cash-out refinance lenders in 2021.

Best cash-out refinance lenders

LoanDepot

LoanDepot has refinanced $179 billion in mortgages since its founding in 2010, with more than 200 branch locations across the U.S. serving borrowers in-person, online and by phone. For borrowers interested in accessing their home’s equity in cash, the lender’s cash-out refinance options include:

  • Conventional and jumbo cash-out refi
  • FHA cash-out refi
  • VA cash-out refi

When working with LoanDepot on a cash-out refinance, you can count on the lender’s “no steering” policy to get the best refinancing option for your needs. In addition, if you come back for a second refinance, you won’t have to pay any lender fees, and the lender will reimburse the appraisal fee as part of its “Lifetime Guarantee.”

Refinancing through LoanDepot can take 45 to 60 days, according to the lender’s website, and in a cash-out refinance, you’ll receive the funds one to three days after closing.

On the downside, LoanDepot doesn’t readily provide cash-out refinance rates through its website, so you’ll need to contact the lender to compare your options. The lender doesn’t offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans, either, which could be alternatives to a cash-out refi.

PennyMac

Founded in 2008, PennyMac has a range of loan options for borrowers, including cash-out refinancing for those interested in leveraging their home’s equity. The lender’s cash-out refi products include:

  • Conventional cash-out refi
  • FHA cash-out refi
  • VA cash-out refi

Both the FHA and VA cash-out refinancing options also apply to a non-FHA or non-VA loan if you’re interested in refinancing into an FHA or VA loan, according to the lender’s website.

Among its upsides, PennyMac advertises low cash-out refinance rates, which can make it easy for you to do side-by-side comparisons with other lenders. You can also take advantage of the lender’s refinance calculators and a home value estimator to get a better idea of how much equity you have.

While PennyMac already boasts competitive cash-out refinance rates, its “better rate promise” rewards you with a $250 gift card if you find a better offer from another lender. You’ll also benefit from the lender’s closing guarantee, which rewards you a $500 gift card if the lender causes the closing to be delayed.

PennyMac has no brick-and-mortar locations, however, which can be a disadvantage if you’re looking for an in-person experience.

Better.com

Better.com is touted for its 100-percent online process and speedy service. It has somewhat limited loan options compared to other lenders — no VA or USDA loans, for example — but its cash-out refinancing options include:

  • Conventional cash-out refi
  • FHA cash-out refi

What helps set Better.com apart is the ability to review current cash-out refinance rates on the lender’s website by simply inputting information about your home and your desired cash out. The lender also doesn’t charge lender fees, which can further save you money when you refinance.

Better.com was also named one of Bankrate’s best mortgage lenders overall and best online mortgage lenders in 2021, with fast preapprovals (in as little as three minutes), rate locks (in as little as 30 minutes) and closings sooner than the industry average, according to the lender.

Some drawbacks, however: Better.com isn’t available in every state, so refinancing through this lender might not be an option for some. There are also no branch locations.

Bank of America

If you’re looking for a more traditional lender for your cash-out refinance, consider Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the U.S. with thousands of branches throughout the country. In addition to other types of home loans and refinancing, Bank of America offers borrowers:

  • Conventional cash-out refi
  • FHA cash-out refi
  • VA cash-out refi

The bank was also named one of Bankrate’s best mortgage refinance lenders overall in 2021.

Current Bank of America customers enjoy some perks that others might not have access to. FHA and VA refinancing options are only available to current mortgage customers, for example, and customers enrolled in the bank’s Preferred Rewards could be eligible for an origination fee discount up to $600.

Bank of America’s interest rates are posted on its website for quick comparisons, but the bank doesn’t list lender fees online. Like other lenders, it also has a home value estimator so you can get a sense of what your home might be worth and what your cash-out options are.

New American Funding

New American Funding has proven to be a trusted mortgage lender, with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and five out of five stars among Bankrate users. The lender’s cash-out refinancing options include:

  • Conventional and jumbo cash-out refi
  • FHA cash-out refi
  • VA cash-out refi

With a cash-out refinance through New American Funding, you can expect to receive your funds within three days of closing. Notably, the lender has flexibilities that some others don’t, making it an attractive option for bad credit borrowers. The lender was also named one of Bankrate’s best mortgage lenders for low credit borrowers in 2021.

New American Funding is available in all states with the exception of Hawaii, and brick-and-mortar branches can be found in many of them.

Fee information isn’t available on the lender’s website, but there are some rate offers advertised to the public. To initiate the cash-out refi process, you can call, request a quote online or apply in person.

Cash-out refinance requirements

To be eligible for a cash-out refi, you typically need to:

  • Have a minimum credit score of 620
  • Have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio below 50 percent
  • Maintain a minimum 20 percent equity in your home following the cash-out (depending on loan type)

Who is cash-out refinancing for?

A cash-out refinance is best when interest rates are low, and for borrowers who meet the previously mentioned requirements and have specific goals for the funds they’re withdrawing. This includes those seeking to consolidate high-interest debt, complete home renovations or fund a college education.

Cash-out refinance vs. rate-and-term refinance

A cash-out refinance is different from a rate-and-term refinance, in which you lower the rate on your mortgage, change the length of the loan term, or both. A cash-out refi can also lower your rate, but it primarily involves withdrawing a portion of your home’s equity in a lump sum, which adds to the amount of your loan and increases the interest you’ll pay. Those funds can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a major home renovation.

Cash-out refinance vs. HELOC

A cash-out refinance isn’t the only way to tap your home’s equity. You can also pursue a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

With a HELOC, your first mortgage remains intact, but you’ll have access to a revolving source of funds throughout the HELOC draw period, which can be up to 10 years. You are only obligated to pay interest on the funds you withdraw during this period. Once the draw period ends, any balance must be repaid, usually over 15 or 20 years.

The advantages of a HELOC are that you’re only responsible for paying what you use, you can access the funds at any time and you won’t incur interest on untapped funds. However, HELOCs come with variable interest rates, which mean they change, and they could be higher than what you’d get with a cash-out refi.

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Pima Supes address eviction protections

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TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Economic fallout from COVID has cranked up concerns about evictions as tenants have trouble paying. There are Federal protections to reduce evictions in the pandemic but Pima County Supervisors are concerned about evictions that could bypass those safeguards.

Federal restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control restrict evictions if they could increase health risks in general— or the risk of spreading COVID because someone is put out of a home. Those protections are based on whether someone has trouble paying the rent.

Landlords and their lawyers spoke at this week’s Supervisors meeting. They say compared to keeping a tenant, an eviction is a loss for everyone. They want county rental assistance programs to move much faster to channel Federal grants to help tenants pay rent and help landlords cover their expenses.

Steve Huffman of the Tucson Association of Realtors reminded Supervisors tenants will still have to pay back rent and if they can’t it could hurt them long term.

“Many of them have huge judgments that will be issued against them eventually they will owe back rent for the time that they have not been paying rent, those judgments will create bad credit, and will interfere with future housing opportunities, and also future job opportunities.”

Tenants who create other problems beside non-payment or rent can still be taken to court and evicted.

But Pima Supervisors are concerned about reports of people evicted over questionable claims like a car parked in the wrong space or a toilet clogged too many times.

Chairperson Sharon Bronson says these eviction issues are focused by COVID but call for a broader look at how people become homeless.

“We are addressing basically the pandemic issues right now, but this may be, you know, an opportunity to just began the discussion about the larger discussion about homelessness and addiction down the road.”

Supervisors agreed to ask an existing task force on evictions during COVID to take a fresh look at eviction issues, especially in light of possible policy changes under the Biden Administration.



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