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JCL representative speaks at Rotary Club meeting, discussed ways to become a homeowner | News

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During the Jan. 13 Hazard Rotary Club meeting, David Brock, a representative of the JustChoice Lending (JCL) division of Fahe, spoke to club members about the products JCL offers that can help community members at any level of income become homeowners.

JustChoice Lending, said Brock, is a mortgage lender that matches clients to the loan that is right for them. JCL, he said, offers rates that are competitive with mainstream lenders and provides clients with the service and attention of a trusted partner. The program, said Brock, serves people of all income levels, but unlike many lenders, also has the resources, experience and knowledge to work with people from lower-income backgrounds.

JCL, said Brock, is able to apply for and receive state and federal grants that can be used for downpayments on houses. Every March, a $5,000 Welcome Home grant becomes available, said Brock. This particular grant, he said, helps clients with downpayments or closing costs on houses. That money, he said, is free if the clients stay in the house for at least five years. Additionally, he said, they have several other sources of help for people, including Project Reinvest, which allows JCL to offer clients a $10,500 interest free loan.

“We help people get financing to get houses, refinance houses,” said Brock. “The big loan that we do the most with, because most of our footprint is in Appalachia rural communities, is the U.S.D.A. Rural Housing Division. We do offer some loan programs that nobody else has access to, such as your local banks or your local mortgage companies, because of who we are.”

Brock said that mortgage rates are the lowest that they have been in more than 20 years, and this fact, along with JCL services, has helped many clients.

“Basically, we’re trying to help more of our communities become homeowners,” said Brock. “In these new times, a lot of area’s rents are getting as high as buying a house. A lot of my clients are actually buying houses now cheaper than they were paying rent. The main factor is the interest rates are better than they’ve ever been. I’ve been doing mortgage lending for 22 years and I remember my first house when I bought it in 1993 — it was a government backed loan, the interest rate was 8.75 percent. Right now we have them as low as 2-2.5 percent, 100 percent financing so a lot of people are taking advantage of that.”

In addition to serving low-income individuals and families, he said, no matter the income level, JCL representatives can also help clients with less-than-stellar credit improve their scores so they can find the home of their dreams.

“We help with credibility or credit repair at no cost to the borrower except for the initial credit report fee. What we do if they’re not quite credit ready, we take a look at what needs to be fixed. A lot of consumers just don’t know what’s on their credit report or they don’t know how to try and fix something on their credit report,” said Brock. He continued, “We’ll come up with a game plan and we’ll get you there. We take pride in that part of it. We’ve probably closed 20 loans a year that when the client first came to us they weren’t quite credit ready but they stuck with the credit game plan.”

Brock said that JustChoice Lending cares about helping clients benefit their selves, their families and their communities by becoming successful homeowners.

“We’re all about wanting our home buyers to be successful home buyers. We don’t want them to in three years end up in foreclosure for whatever reason,” said Brock. “We’re going to make sure they understand everything about the mortgage process, what they’re getting into, what they’re signing, that type of thing. We’re more customer-oriented, it’s not just about a number for our clients.

“When they become homeowners two things happen. They are building equity in their home, which is building their finance for the future, and number two, the more home owners that we have the more property taxes that they’re paying to help the communities with school districts and roads and everything that comes with that,” said Brock. “Truly becoming a home owner does help your community overall.”

If anyone is interested in JCL services, they can reach Brock by calling, (850) 228-2111, or emailing, david@justchoicelending.com. For more information, visit the website, https://www.justchoicelending.com/.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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