I was having lunch with a group of girlfriends recently and we were joking about a ridiculously expensive purchase. “Ah, who needs money?” joked Sammi. Every hand at the table went up.
It seems we can all use a little extra now and then. Girlfriend Guru and financial expert MIATA EDOGA shares great advice for taking advantage of current interest rates to find some additional cash.
You’ve heard on the radio and television that interest rates are low right now. If you’re wondering “how does this affect me,” let me first show you the opportunity. Take a look at this chart, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, that shows the opportunity for 15 year loans (specifically this shows Freddie Mac insured rates in the middle of the country, but we won’t need to go into that today….):
For once, commercials aren’t overstating the opportunity. You should be looking to take advantage of this…but how?
Check Your Credit Report
Hey, not so fast! Don’t ever jump into any loan agreement without first checking your credit report. According to ABC News, over 90 percent of all credit reports have mistakes in them! Try annualcreditreport.com or one of the free credit sites.
Refinance Your Mortgage
If you own a home and haven’t refinanced since before 2010, this should be a no-brainer. If you’ve refinanced more recently, talk to a professional. Don’t make the mistake of comparing only lender interest rates. Ask for all of the fees ahead of time. You shouldn’t be surprised to find that many of the institutions offering the lowest rates have the highest fees.
I prefer mortgage brokers and reputable online sites over banks because they can shop many banks for a mortgage instead of only offering one rate. However, be warned: mortgage brokers aren’t all created equal. If you have a money-savvy friend who knows a good one, start there.
Refinance Auto and Personal Loans
Generally speaking, the puppet strings that drive mortgage rates aren’t the same that change auto loans, personal loans, and credit cards. There’s good news today, though: in this case, rates are low for these loans, too.
Visit your credit union or bank and find out if the rate offered is lower than your current rate. You may be pleasantly surprised that you can score a lower rate on other debt, as well.
I mentioned credit card rates above. Those may be lower, too, but the best strategy with a credit card is to never have a balance. My advice to my girlfriends is to forget interest rates with credit cards…instead pay them off so you never have to worry about rates again.
MIATA EDOGA is the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, a 10-year old company committed to utilizing humor, inspiration, and lots of love to give individuals around the world the necessary tools to thrive financially, while keeping focus on the things they treasure most. Visit the Abundance Bound Facebook Page for your free copy of Financial Success for the Creative Soul!
Thanks Miata and thanks for being one of our Girlfriend Gurus!
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