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Best Home Loan Down Payment Assistance Options Available In Loan Love’s New Article

SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 31, 2014 /Emag.co.uk/ — LoanLove.com is a borrower advice website that strives to empower home loan borrowers with first class information, valuable resources and connections to top rated industry professionals. Their articles offer in-depth knowledge in an easy to understand package which has quickly turned the website into a trusted destination for current news and expert loan advice. Down payment can be hard to come by for home buyers, and the experts at Loan Love know this. In their latest featured article, titled “Home Loan Down Payment Assistance (Know Your Options)” Loan Love offers to readers only the best home loan down payment assistance options among other financial advice tips.

A home down payment is nothing to scoff at, as the article states: “Pulling together a sizable stash of cash can sometimes stop a prospective homebuyer in his or her tracks. Unless you qualify for certain loan programs that require little money down, you’ve probably found coming up with your down payment to be the biggest challenge standing between you and home ownership. But there are several avenues to consider for home loan down payment assistance.”

The article goes on to say that before a home buyer searches for home down payment assistance, they must consider their options carefully. Specifically, ome buyers must first ask themselves the following four questions:

  1. “Are you able to verify beyond any doubt that the source of your down payment is legal and not a scam?
  2. Has your bank lender or mortgage broker confirmed that your potential source is an approved one, according to the rules of your particular loan program?
  3. Have you reviewed your plan with a certified public accountant to determine impacts on your taxes and/or retirement account, as applicable?
  4. Are you prepared to keep a detailed paper trail of any transactions for both your lender and for tax purposes?”

With that in mind, there are many low-risk options when it comes to down payment, home owners only need to know where to look first. The article shows a number of ways home buyers can get a down payment on a home which includes:

“Investigate state and local housing incentives. Depending on your location and situation, there may be state and local housing incentives, grants or special loan programs available to you. These change frequently, but your real estate agent is an excellent source for this type of information. Maximize your savings. The traditional route for coming up with a down payment is to save a specific amount each month until you’ve got enough to get financing. Automatic deposits into your savings account out of each paycheck is a convenient way to grow your savings. Liquidate unnecessary assets. Do you have a boat, jet ski, cycle or other toys? Now is the time to consider sacrificing a few of these goodies in the short-term to make your longer-term dream of home ownership come true. Sell off other investments. If you have stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other taxable investments, sell these before you consider sources that carry tax penalties, like dipping into your 401(k).”

Other opportunities are also available for easing a down payment. An example of this is borrowing from a 401(k). Other opportunities include negotiating with the seller of the home. These are just a few ways to make the home down payment process easier. To learn more on what are some the best home down payment assistance options available, please visit LoanLove.com for the complete article.

Media Contact: Kevin Blue, LoanLove.com, 949-292-8401, contact@loanlove.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: Emag.co.uk.com/” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>https://ireach.Emag.co.uk.com

SOURCE LoanLove.com

http://loanlove.com/home-loan-down-payment-assistance-know-your-options/

[…]

Twin Cities Cash Homebuyers Hold a Steady Advantage for Over 2 Years

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Twin Cities Cash Home Sales

“Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the advantage to investors and other cash buyers in this housing market.” ~ Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Minneapolis, Twin Cities Minnesota (PRWEB) May 30, 2014

All-cash home sales have generously doubled in the last 12 months, rising from a 19.1 slice of all home sales nationwide in quarter 1 of 2013 to 42.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to RealtyTrac’s latest housing data.

Minneapolis home buyers facing tight inventory and who are determined to win a bidding war are pulling cash out of other reserves to own a buyer’s advantage and the keys to the home”, says Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination. “Even qualified homebuyers who typically finance their home buys with a loan are opting to put in all-cash offers for a edge over other bidders.”

The swell in all-cash home sales mystifies housing experts who note the drop in investors who are renowned for house flipping cash purchases, or who buy for rental income. According to USA Today’s summary of the report, there is a notable increase in “retirees who can tap into their retirement accounts also are paying cash for second homes”. Economists offer the explanation that recession produced stricter mortgage regulations and a shortage of homes for sale has culminated in a more competitive housing market for younger buyers.

“Buyers are finding creative ways to come up with the cash,” said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist. “We hear a lot about folks using their IRAs to buy properties with cash because they know cash will get them to the front of the line. If they have the ability to, homebuyers will put up cash bids.”

As a trusted real estate research firm, RealtyTrac’s assessment that current levels of all-cash home purchases may be tapering off. Blomquist predicts the nation will see a greater percentage of homebuyers coming to the closing table with financing in the second half of 2014. “There is a finite pool of people who can pay cash,” he said.

According to RealtyTrac, the average sales price of an all-cash transaction in Q1 of 2014 was $207,668, that is 13 percent under the average estimated full-market value of the sold homes involved. This represents the power all-cash buyers have when the sellers wants to walk away without the strings of a mortgage involved.

In the 13-county Twin Cities region, buyers often change the actual dollar amount of what they put down in cash and what they finance, according to the Minnesota Association of Realtors

On April 23, MinnPost published an article titled Go Figure: 25% of Twin Cities home buyers paid in cash. It stated that “25.1 percent of buyers in March paid in cash. In fact, that share has held steady for the last two years, up from about 5 percent in 2006”.

All-cash buyers may be ousting their competition. “We find that some first-time home buyers in the Twin Cities, who are dependent on obtaining a home loan, may have to bid on more than one home,” adds Thuening. Lenders’ tightened lending requirements impact buyers who must borrow and find it challenging to compete with cash buyers. Millennials looking to buy a first home often find that student loan debt becomes a barrier.

Contact Home Destination at 612-396-7832 if you are a Twin Cities real estate buyer


[…]

TitleBucks Offers Additional Short-Term Cash Option in Texas

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Getting a title loan with TitleBucks means you can get the cash you need while maintaining the use of your vehicle.

Fort Worth, TX (PRWEB) May 29, 2014

TitleBucks, one of the country’s premier title loan companies, opened its third location in Fort Worth, TX, and its 8th in the Greater Dallas Area on Friday, May 23, 2014. This new location, along with TitleBucks stores across the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West, offer individuals with little, no, or even bad credit the opportunity to get a cash loan based on collateral, not credit history.

The new store is located just south of W. Long Avenue, across the street from Cost Plus Supermarket at 3209 N. Main St., Suite 101, Fort Worth, TX 76106. Store hours are Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and can be reached by calling (817) 317-8912.

“Getting a title loan with TitleBucks means you can get the cash you need while maintaining the use of your vehicle,” said Otto Bielss, Senior Vice President of Operations for TMX Finance. “We encourage individuals who may be in need of instant cash loans to contact the friendly team at our new Fort Worth branch.”

About Car Title Loans

A car title loan is a quick way for individuals to obtain the cash they need using their car title, not their credit history. To secure a car title loan with TitleBucks in the state of Texas, an individual must have a clear, or lien-free, car title and a government-issued ID. With these items an individual can obtain a car title loan up to $10,000 while still being able to drive their vehicle. Vehicle insurance is not required, there are no credit checks and most loans can be processed in as little as 30 minutes.

About TitleBucks

TitleBucks, a subsidiary of TMX Finance, provides financial products to people without access to traditional credit alternatives. TitleBucks has been a trusted consumer lender for over 14 years, helping thousands of people in getting cash when they need it. Since its inception in 1998, TitleBucks has grown to 180 stores, spanning 9 states across the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West, and provides car title loans to hundreds of people each day.

Please visit http://www.titlebucks.com for more information on car title loans and how TitleBucks can be of service.


[…]

Fitch Rates Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-1

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Fitch Ratings has assigned ratings to Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-1 as follows:

–$216,000,000 floating rate class A-1 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$101,000,000 floating rate class A-2 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$350,000,000 floating rate class A-3 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$60,000,000 floating rate class A-4 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$20,000,000 floating rate class B notes ‘A+sf’; Outlook Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

High Collateral Quality: The trust collateral consists of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans with guaranties provided by eligible guarantors and reinsurance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for at least 97% of principal and accrued interest.

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Cash flow scenarios for class A and B notes were satisfactory under Fitch’s stresses. At closing, total parity is expected to be 100.90% and senior parity is expected to be 103.68%. Total credit enhancement (CE) is provided by overcollateralization (OC; about $6.759 million at closing), excess spread and, in the case of class A notes, 2.68% subordination provided by the class B notes.

Adequate Liquidity Support: Liquidity support for the Navient SLT 2014-1 notes is provided by a $4,867,795 reserve account (0.65% of initial student loan balance) and funded at closing. The required reserve account balance for any distribution dates prior to June 25, 2015 is 0.65% of the current student loan balance; then on and after the stepdown date (June 25, 2015), the greater of 0.25% of the current student loan balance, 0.10% of the initial student loan balance or $748,891.

Targeted OC Level: CE must build to the greater of 1.25% of the adjusted pool balance, or $2.5 million before excess cash may be released from the trust.

Acceptable Servicing Capabilities: Navient Solutions, Inc. (formerly known as Sallie Mae, Inc.), as servicer, will be responsible for servicing the portfolio. Fitch has reviewed the servicing operations of Navient Solutions and believes it to be acceptable servicer of FFELP student loans.

RATING SENSITIVITY

Since FFELP student loan ABS rely on the U.S. government to reimburse defaults, ‘AAAsf’ FFELP ABS ratings will likely move in tandem with the ‘AAA’ U.S. sovereign rating. Aside from the U.S. sovereign rating, defaults and basis risk account for the majority of the risk embedded in FFELP student loan transactions. Additional defaults and basis shock beyond Fitch’s published stresses could result in future downgrades. Likewise, a buildup of credit enhancement driven by positive excess spread given favorable basis factor conditions could lead to future upgrades.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the pre-sale report titled Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-1′, dated May 14, 2014, available on www.fitchratings.com.

Additional information is available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (May 20, 2014);

–‘Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria’ (May 17, 2013);

–‘Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-1’ (May 14, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=748821

Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=708795

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-1 (US Student Loans)

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=748396

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=832175

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Security Upgrades & DowngradesFinanceFitch Ratings Contact:

Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst

Emily Lee

Director

+1-212-908-0667

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

33 Whitehall

New York, NY 10004

or

Secondary Analyst

Charlene Davis

Director

+1-212-908-0213

or

Committee Chairperson

Steven Stubbs

Senior Director

+1-212-908-0676

or

Media Relations:

Sandro Scenga, +1-212-908-0278 (New York)

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com […]

Home Loan Down Payment Strategies Discussed At LoanLove.com


Home Loan Down Payment Strategies Discussed At LoanLove.com

A new guide to home loan down payment assistance helps borrowers find the best ways to finance their homes.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 28, 2014

LoanLove.com is a borrower advice website dedicated to helping home buyers to find loans that they will love. One of the first things that those seeking to buy a home will have to contend with is gathering enough cash to put down a down payment on their home, unless of course they were able to qualify for a no or low-down payment loan program, such as the VA provides for example. While getting off scot-free when it comes to down payment on a home is a possibility for some home buyers, the fact is most home buyers will need to look into what home loan down payment strategies are available to them, in order to be able to afford their house without suffering too much financially in other ways. A new article from Loan Love takes a look at some home buyer down payment assistance strategies that can help home buyers find their best options.

The new guide, titled “Home Loan Down Payment Assistance (Know Your Options)” explains that coming up with the money for a down payment can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a home. However, before potential home buyers jump at any chance to get their hands on that money, the Loan Love guide suggests that they ask these four questions: “1. Are you able to verify beyond any doubt that the source of your down payment is legal and not a scam? 2. Has your bank lender or mortgage broker confirmed that your potential source is an approved one, according to the rules of your particular loan program? 3. Have you reviewed your plan with a certified public accountant to determine impacts on your taxes and/or retirement account, as applicable? 4. Are you prepared to keep a detailed paper trail of any transactions for both your lender and for tax purposes?”

Loan Love then suggests that those who are seeking home loan down payment assistance try one or more of the following low risk options:

“Investigate state and local housing incentives. Ask friends and family. Maximize your savings. Liquidate unnecessary assets. Sell any stock options. Sell off other investments. Cash in a life insurance policy. Check with your employer.”

Some other options that home buyers can check into if the above suggestions do not yield results are also discussed. These home loan down payment assistance options do carry a bit more risk, or are more heavily taxable etc. but they can be good options for those who are prepared to take on the responsibility. For those who are, Loan Love suggests to:

“Ask your lender. Negotiate with your seller. Bank with your seller. Tap your IRA. Borrow from your 401(k). Time a job change.”

For a fuller explanation on the bullet points listed here, read the full home loan down payment assistance guide at LoanLove.com.


[…]

All-cash deals change the game in US real estate

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Traditionally about a quarter of US home sales, cash purchases have soared to about 40 per cent nationwide.

Wealthy people, foreigners and retirees are transforming markets across the United States with all-cash deals. Photo / Thinkstock

A growing number of home buyers in the US are bringing an unusual tactic to the negotiating table: an all-cash offer.

Cash purchases traditionally make up about a quarter of home sales, but they’ve soared to about 40 per cent nationwide, according to the research firm CoreLogic.

And more of these buyers are individuals, not the institutional investors who plunged into the housing market when it collapsed, then pulled back when home prices rose.

Wealthy people, foreigners and retirees are transforming markets across the United States with these all-cash deals, helping make up for an alarming shortage of first-time buyers who are struggling to save for a down payment or qualify for a loan, a cause of grave concern about the long-term health of the market and its prospects for a true recovery.

“It’s the investor and the wealthy individual that’s keeping the market alive,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“The wealthy buyers in particular are fully engaged now. The stock market is up and times are good for them.”

Tatyana Baytler, a real estate agent at Lagert Real Estate in Rockville, Maryland, said foreign buyers tend to offer cash in part because they’re wealthy, but also because they have not lived in the country and built the credit history needed to secure a mortgage.

“Every fourth client I have now is an all-cash purchaser,” said Baytler, a Russian speaker. “I had a client from Russia in February who purchased a house in Washington, DC, for $850,000 all cash. They want to leave [Russia] because of political unrest.”

John Denninger, a business owner in New York, didn’t want to plunk down that kind of cash when he bought a vacation home not far from West Palm Beach, Florida. But he didn’t want a mortgage, either, now that he has paid off the loan on his primary residence.

“I’ve invested wisely all my life and I have a pretty good job, so paying cash for a condominium didn’t seem like a stretch,” said Denninger, 55, who bought the condo three years ago for $70,000 and sank an additional $30,000 into upgrades. “I use it quite a bit now, and I never, ever rent it. I keep it to myself.”

The potential yield from rents is what attracted investors to the housing sector once the market hit bottom in late 2011. In areas where home prices plunged, investors began snapping up foreclosures and other deeply discounted properties, betting they could rent them for a tidy profit.

The buying frenzy helped clear the excess supply of homes on the market and boost prices. It also frustrated first-time buyers who could not compete because their offers included financing contingencies, appraisals and inspections.

That still happens, said Richard Bridges, a real estate agent at ERA Blue Diamond Realty in Woodbridge, Virginia. Two weeks ago, Bridges listed a condominium in Woodbridge for a client. Four offers immediately rolled in, all at or above the $160,000 asking price. One was from an investor.

“My client took the cash offer, even though it was lower than the others, to ensure it would close quickly and without problems,” Bridges said.

But with prices on the rise and the foreclosure supply shrinking, investors are starting to retrench. Rental income does not necessarily go up when housing values rise. The largest institutional investors, some of whom bid on hundreds of homes a day, purchased about $400 million worth of homes a month in the first three months of the year, down from $520 million in the same period a year ago, according to a Morgan Stanley report.

Read also:
Foreclosure sale may set record for exclusive Hamptons
$100m homes smash price records

Blackstone Group, which has invested $8.6 billion to buy 45,000 homes in the past two years, scaled back its purchases by about 70 per cent since last summer, the company said in a statement. It now buys $30 million to $40 million worth of homes a week.

“Since the supply of distressed properties has thinned out, we expected the all-cash sales would be falling, but that’s not the case,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, which recently released a survey showing the share of investors has dropped from 24 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent last year and the first quarter of this year. “It implies that there’s plenty of cash sloshing around.”

Yun says seniors who have a lot of equity in their homes are probably helping sustain the all-cash market. CoreLogic data show that the share of cash sales remains high among non-distressed properties, which are not popular among investors.

“It’s truly a national phenomenon,” said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s deputy chief economist. “The share of cash sales is higher than normal in many parts of the country that never had a housing bust, like the rural heartland states of Oklahoma or Missouri.”

Fran Kormann, a real estate agent who specialises in selling homes at the Potomac Green senior community in Ashburn, Virginia, said every transaction she has handled recently has been a cash deal, perhaps because she is working with an older demographic than usual, buyers who are 65 or older and have accumulated more savings than clients in their 50s.

“I thought the all-cash deals would have stopped because the prices went up to $600,000, but they didn’t,” said Kormann, an agent with Keller Williams Realty. “I just sold a property to a lady in Boston who is coming here to be near her family. She’s paying all cash, and she’s keeping the home in Boston and renting it out.”

But all-cash deals do not necessarily mean all cash, even if they’re registered that way in the public record. Buyers sometimes tap into alternate forms of financing that count as cash, which is what Lori Pearce did to purchase a condominium in downtown Seattle.

Pearce, a retiree, already owns a more spacious condo nearby that she’s selling. She said she’s borrowing against her stock holdings to finance the purchase of the new condo, and she will pay off the loan with the proceeds of the sale from the old unit.

Since the start-up she joined went public in the mid-1990s, Pearce said she has never taken out a mortgage to finance a home, including a place in Hawaii where she spends part of the year.

Her real estate agent, Kirk Russell of John L. Scott Real Estate, said it’s rare that buyers have all the cash they need on hand. Instead, they leverage their assets to buy second homes for themselves or starter homes for their children, who may not have the credit scores or down payment needed to qualify for a loan.

“If you don’t have to get a loan, then don’t get one,” Pearce said. “But this must be incredibly hard for most buyers.”

– Washington Post

[…]

Report: 128K people took out 1M payday loans in SC

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‘).find(‘a’).click(function() { if($(document).data(‘first’)) { $(document).data(‘second’, true); } var ts = Math.round((new Date()).getTime() / 1000); g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.dfp = {adtag:’http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×480&iu=/301721715/WRDW&ciu_szs&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&ad_rule=1&unviewed_position_start=1&correlator=’+ts+’&cmsid=3635&vid=ANV_GRTV_’+video.id}; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.canonical_url=”http://www.wrdw.com/video?videoid=”+video.id; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].loadVideo(video.id,68, ‘GRTV’); $(‘.playlist_list’).removeClass(‘current’); $(‘.pl-‘+video.id).addClass(‘current’); $(‘.rec-‘+video.id).addClass(‘current’); }) ) ); } else { var ts = Math.round((new Date()).getTime() / 1000); g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.dfp = {adtag:’http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×480&iu=/301721715/WRDW&ciu_szs&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&ad_rule=1&unviewed_position_start=1&correlator=’+ts+’&cmsid=3635&vid=ANV_GRTV_’+initVideo}; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.canonical_url=”http://www.wrdw.com/video?videoid=”+video.id; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].loadVideo(video.id,68, ‘GRTV’); $(‘#playlist’).addClass(‘hidePlaylist’); }; }; }); $(‘.pl-‘+id+’ a’).click(); $(document).data(‘first’, true); var ts = Math.round((new Date()).getTime() / 1000); g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.dfp = {adtag:’http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×480&iu=/301721715/WRDW&ciu_szs&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&ad_rule=1&unviewed_position_start=1&correlator=’+ts+’&cmsid=3635&vid=ANV_GRTV_’+initVideo}; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].config.canonical_url=”http://www.wrdw.com/video?videoid=”+initVideo; g_anvato_objects[‘playlistembed’].loadVideo(initVideo,68, ‘GRTV’); $(‘.playlist_list’).removeClass(‘current’); $(‘.pl-‘+initVideo).addClass(‘current’); $(‘.rec-‘+initVideo).addClass(‘current’); } function change_video(vidid,playerid,mcpid) { g_anvato_objects[‘playerembed’].loadVideo(vidid,playerid,mcpid); }

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Community Calendar

Thursday May 29

AccuStaff Job Expo Evans Towne Farmers Market

Friday May 30

Movies on the Common Aiken Family Expo / Taste of Home Cooking School / Community Yard Sale

Saturday May 31

Kids Count Learning Center Job Fair BRANW Community Craft and Yard Sale Youth Group Car-Wash Fundraiser Super Happy Block Party Aiken Family Expo / Taste of Home Cooking School / Community Yard Sale

Sunday June 1

Children’s Miracle Network Telethon Civil Rights Movement Exhibition

Monday June 2

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[…]

Square Offers Small Biz Cash Advances

Mobile payments processor Square today announced Square Capital, a merchant cash advance service for small businesses.

News of Square Capital’s pilot program leaked earlier this year. While Square spokesperson Faryl Ury declined to share exact figures, she says the company has already extended “tens of millions of dollars” to thousands of Square customers.

Square Capital offers merchant cash advances, rather than traditional loans, according to the company. Ury says pilot program participants have used the cash advances to buy inventory and equipment, expand to a new location and hire new employees. One customer, Caroline Bell, says she used a cash advance to open a sixth location of her New York City coffee chain Café Grumpy. ;

Currently, Square Capital is only available to certain Square merchants. Square analyzes its customers’ financial history on the platform to assess which businesses are eligible for Square Capital. This history is also used to determine Square’s cash advance offer.

Unlike with a traditional loan, Ury says Square won’t charge interest on the amount of cash extended. Instead, Square proposes a set fee upfront. (In an example provided by the company, the fee was $1,000 for a $10,000 cash advance.) Then, Square deducts a set percentage of daily sales made through the Square platform until the cash advance and fee are paid back.

“There’s no set payback period, but we do create an offer that a business can typically pay back within 10 months,” says Ury. The upfront fee and the percentage of sales deducted are variable and are based on Square’s understanding of its customers’ financial profile.

Ury says the average advance during the pilot phase was “several thousand dollars,” but that the average could soon rise, as larger businesses start using the service. She adds that Square is looking to quickly extend hundreds of millions of dollars, as more merchants are notified of their eligibility for a Square Capital cash advance.

An Increasingly Crowded Field?

Since the financial crisis, the small business credit crunch has attracted a growing number of companies. Last September, PayPal started offering small business customers cash advances equal to up to 8% of their annual PayPal sales, with between 10% and 30% of daily sales deducted until the loan and set fee are paid back.

While the PayPal Working Capital program is just one of the many services PayPal offers business owners and consumers, a handful of startups have cropped up that are solely focusing on small business credit issues. Most lean heavily on data from online banking accounts, payment processors such as Square, accounting platforms and even social media networks to quickly approve traditional loans or cash advances.

“We have a unique twist. We provide a highly automated, low-pain opportunity for small businesses to obtain capital, and that remains our distinction in the marketplace,” says Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein.

Since 2011, Frowhein says Kabbage has deployed over $300 million in working capital to over 250,000 small businesses. The Atlanta-based startup has raised $106 million in equity and $350 million in debt, with the latter used to provide capital to its customers. Loans range from $500 to $100,000.

Other big players include CAN Capital and OnDeck Capital. This year, CAN Capital announced $33 million in funding co-led by Meritech Capital Partners and Accel Partners, bringing total funding to over $66 million, while OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow says his company has raised $180 million in equity. The data-driven approach to small business lending allows all three companies to advertise shorter approval timelines, ranging from one to three days.

“The average business owner spends 26 hours preparing a traditional loan application. OnDeck cuts it down to minutes,” says Breslow, who says OnDeck uses roughly 2,000 data points in its decision-making process.

Breslow says he’s not too concerned about Square’s entrance into the marketplace given OnDeck’s core demographic. He says OnDeck targets Main St. brick-and-mortar merchants with average annual revenue of $1 million. He says OnDeck has deployed over $1 billion to small businesses since its launch in 2007.

And younger startups such as Fundbox, which came out of stealth mode earlier this spring and announced $17.5 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures, are focusing on even smaller segments within the small business market. Fundbox, for example, is targeting the B2C business by clearing invoices for companies waiting to get paid by business clients.

Though the field may seem increasingly crowded, Kabbage investor and BlueRun Ventures general partner Jonathan Ebinger says the market can sustain a number of companies looking to alleviate the small business credit crunch. BlueRun Ventures, which led Kabbage’s Series A round, has invested $10 million in the startup according to Ebinger.

“It’s still as pressing as ever institutional banks and global money center banks have not moved back in to lending to small businesses. A typical response from a bank to a small business asking for a loan would be to get a credit card,” says Ebinger. He adds that many local banks and institutional banks are ill-equipped to analyze online-only businesses.

Ebinger says there may be a number of success stories within the small business financing field.

“The overall point is this is a huge underserved market with a few potential winners. Financial services is a huge field,” says Ebinger. “Wells Fargo and Bank of America can both be successful — this is not a winner-take-all situation at all.”

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol

[…]

Car Title Loan Company Tops 80th Store Location in Illinois

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Getting a title loan with TitleMax means you can get the cash you need while maintaining the use of your vehicle.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 28, 2014

TitleMax, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing car title loan companies, recently topped 80 store locations, opening two additional stores. These new TitleMax locations both opened Tuesday, May 20, 2014 and are located at the following addresses:

-398 Mannheim Road, Bellwood, IL 60104 | (708) 384-6107
-1002 W. Main St., Benton, IL 62812 | (618) 435-4390

Since opening its first Illinois location in May 2007, TitleMax has continued to expand its footprint and services throughout the state offering short-term cash in cities including Chicago, East Alton, Peoria, Plainfield, Springfield, and Waukegan, among others. Residents throughout these areas can visit any of these locations for all of their car title loan needs. To find a TitleMax closest to you, click here.

TitleMax offers individuals with little, no, or even bad credit the opportunity to get a cash loan up to $4,000 based on collateral, not credit history. Store hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“Getting a title loan with TitleMax means you can get the cash you need while maintaining the use of your vehicle,” said Otto Bielss, Senior Vice President of Operations for TMX Finance. “Individuals with bad credit can still qualify for a cash title loan with TitleMax.”

About Car Title Loans

A car title loan is a fast way for credit-challenged individuals to secure the short-term cash they need. To get a TitleMax car title loan in Illinois, an individual must have a clear, or lien-free, car title and a government-issued ID. With these items an individual can obtain a loan up to $4,000, while still maintaining the use of their vehicle. No insurance is required, there are no credit checks and most loans can be completed in as little as 30 minutes.

About TitleMax

TitleMax, a subsidiary of TMX Finance, provides financial products to people without access to traditional credit alternatives. TitleMax has been a trusted consumer lender for over 14 years, helping hundreds of thousands of people in getting cash when they need it. Since its inception in 1998, TitleMax has grown to over 1,350 stores, spanning 16 states and provides car title loans to over 2,500 people each day.

Please visit http://www.titlemax.com for more information on car title loans and how TitleMax can be of service.


[…]

Are workplace loans the new payday loans? – ktar.com

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Payday loans have never been the dandy of consumer advocates who say the short-term, high-interest loans can trap people in cycles of debt.

Defenders of the loans, however, say payday loans fulfill an essential need for a temporary financial need — such as a car repair.

But now there is a new type of loan surfacing across America. They are called workplace loans and some experts fear that they are just as bad as payday loans.

The Wall Street Journal, using industry-provided information, estimated that more than 100,000 employees in the United States have access to workplace loans — a number that could expand to more than 10 million employees in a few years. But while the types of payday loans do not have a lot of differences, workplace loans can be all over the spectrum.

“Workplace loans come in a lot of different varieties,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, a consumer advocacy group in Boston. “They run the gamut. Some are similar to payday loans with high interest rates and a short term. Others have lower rates with longer terms.”

Available to employees through their workplaces, the loans are offered by third parties — alternative lending companies that may be contracting with other lenders such as credit unions or banks. The employers tout the loans in the same way they might talk about a health and wellness program.

“It is pitched as part of a benefits package,” Saunders said. “And certainly employers know that their employees may struggle with expenses from time to time. And it may sound like a good thing, and some of them are. I don’t want to condemn them all.”

Like payday loans?

Employers offering financial products to employees is nothing new. In the early part of the 20th century, mining and other companies offered employees scrip or company “money” that could be used in the company store to purchase items. The high prices led some workers to feel like they sold their “soul to the company store,” as the song goes.

Technically, this “money” was similar to an advance on wages, a practice that many employers may give to workers who fall on hard times.

The twist is that workplace loans can be set up to take the money directly out of the borrower’s paycheck. There are other methods of paying back the loan, but this feature is the most troubling to Nasir N. Pasha, the managing attorney for Pasha Law, a law firm that specializes in workplace law in San Diego. “It doesn’t seem right to me,” he said. “It is like borrowing money against their future wages. That seems troublesome. It is getting close to being an indentured servant — it isn’t quite there, but on the spectrum of things it is moving closer to that.”

Pasha worries that employees in lower-paying jobs may be tempted to use the loans to meet everyday expenses. He also sees similarities between the loans and how some employees will occasionally ask for an advance on their wages.

“For an employee it is attractive to get a loan from an employer,” he said. “But that really changes the dynamic. It is like borrowing money from friends. You shouldn’t do that — especially if it is a long-term relationship.”

Handling debt

Richard W. Evans, an assistant professor of economics at Brigham Young University who did some consulting work for payday lenders back in 2009 and 2010, says the “smell test” for workplace loans is “if you see it tied to budgeting and helping consumers change their behavior … then it sounds altruistic.”

Less than one year ago, the Hyatt Regency hotel in New Orleans began offering workplace lending as part of a larger employee financial wellness program offered by Emerge Workplace Solutions Inc., based in Nashville, and funded by Liberty Bank in New Orleans.

La Tonya Hunter, the hotel’s human resources director, has seen employees take advantage of the unique lending program in the few months it has been available. “Emerge offers short-term lending with low interest rates for emergency situations, and about 20 to 30 employees have utilized Emerge services since its inception,” Hunter says. “However, the program is about more than lending. It also provides associates with education on planning and saving, at no cost.” Emerge Workplace Solutions’ financial planners also help hotel employees manage budgets, assess their current finances and discuss saving for retirement.

But Evans isn’t optimistic that workplace loans will solve the problems of debt for some people. For example, some people wouldn’t even have the option to borrow against a 401(k).

“There is something fundamental about some borrowers,” he said. “Some of us can’t handle debt.”

Finding solutions

To help somebody stuck in debt, he said, requires somebody to take a risk on that person — and, from a business perspective, often that person will not merit the risk, Evans said. “It is really a tricky problem,” he said. “It is hard to find market solutions to that problem.”

Bankruptcy is a government solution, he said. But other solutions may require charity.

Like Pasha, Saunders with the National Consumer Law Center doesn’t like the idea of workplace loans being used for everyday expenses. She said that it may be that employers could have a role to play in providing “low cost, safe loans for occasional use.” But she warns that the interest rates need to be lower, 36 percent or below. And the loans should not require budget-destroying lump sum payments, but smaller payments. She also advocates that the loans be restricted to once or twice a year.

Having the money taken directly out of the paycheck also bothers her. She said employees should be in control of how they pay.

“I have seen too many (workplace loans) that are very expensive, lead to a cycle of debt and skim the employees’ pay in a way that could make it difficult for them to meet necessities,” she said.

Evans, however, said that having the money come directly from the paycheck may be precisely the “collateral” that keeps the interest rates down.

Staying out of trouble

He also points out that one of the appeals of payday loans is that, for the most part, they are outside normal credit reporting. There is an anonymous aspect of taking out payday loans. Getting a workplace loan removes that secret aspect of the borrowing. “But if you are doing it at your workplace, it is almost like a signal that you are in trouble,” he said. “And that is a bad thing to signal to your employer, that you are in trouble.”

Staying out of trouble in the first place is the best solution, according to Saunders.

Like Evans, she gives some deference to workplace loans that are closely tied into financial well-being and budgeting programs at work. But the better route is for employers to take preventative measures to help employees.

“An employer is better off promoting savings programs than promoting loans,” Saunders said. “The workplace is a great place to promote savings programs.”

Instead of taking small payments over time to pay off a loan, workplaces could encourage employees to set up automatic payments into savings accounts — before a loan might be needed. Saunders points out that many so-called unexpected expenses are expected — such as an older car breaking down.

“Credit is not the answer,” Saunders said. “Taking on more debt is not the answer.”

Email: mdegroote@deseretnews.com Twitter: @degroote

[…]