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Investment Apps and Websites

Your Comprehensive Guide In Managing Family Finances

Managing family finances has all sorts of challenges — from budgeting to savings goals, loans, debt management, and more. However, with the right knowledge, you will surely get through it.

Guide in Managing Family Finances

According to a consumer survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, it was found that 59% of the 300 adult respondents (aged 35 to 65 years old) do not track their spending, while two out of five never had a budget.

Meanwhile, in a Gallup poll, it was found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

Furthermore, the same poll revealed that only 30% of Americans prepare a long-term financial plan outlining their savings and investment goals in detail, while the 2020 ‘Financial Planning’ Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha reported that 49% of Americans expect to live paycheck to paycheck in 2020.

In another study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation entitled, “The 2018 National Financial Capability Study,” it was found that over 53% of American adults feel anxious thinking about their financial situation. Forty-four percent even find it stressful discussing their finances.

The above-mentioned surveys and studies are just some of the many that are available out there.

Unfortunately, all of these show how badly Americans (particularly adults) are when it comes to their personal finances, which, in effect also affects how they handle their family finances.

However, this does not mean American people cannot change when it comes to how they handle their money – be it their personal, business, or the family’s money.

We believe that while change does not happen overnight, it will, eventually, for as long as there is a will.

Also, apart from that, proper knowledge, understanding, and guidance by experts are also essential to there can be a shift in how the American people handle their money.

With that said, in the next few sections, we are going to share with you some of the most important information you need to know when it comes to handling family finances.

From personal finance management to savings goals, loans, debt management, etc. – we got you covered.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • About Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Online Trading
  • Life Insurance
  • Investment Platforms
  • Loans
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Online Fund Transfer
  • Personal Finance Management Tools

ABOUT BANKING

Generally, banking refers to the act of accepting as well as safeguarding money owned by individuals, group of people, or entities, and then lending it out to make a profit or to cover operating expenses.

Banking also refers to the industry that handles cash, credit, as well as other financial transactions.

Banks refers to the physical structure that provides a safe place to store both cash and credit.

Banks offer a number of products and services, which include savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit. Some banks also offer loan products and services.

In the U.S. economy, banking plays a very important role. In fact, it is one of the key drivers that keep the economy going.

When it comes to handling your personal finances or family finances for that matter, it is important to know and understand what banking is all about, the available products and services offered, how banking actually works, and how it will help you in your financial journey.

Banking is basic yet the most essential aspect of your financial journey. Needless to say, it is the most convenient and most accessible way to keep your money.

To help you understand better what banking is all about, and it is important in your overall financial journey, here are some references that you may check out:

MOBILE BANKING

Investopedia defines mobile banking as “the act of making financial transactions on a mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.)”.

Banking has never been so easy, simple, convenient, and accessible with the rise of the mobile banking industry.

In today’s digital age, it is not surprising that more and more banks (both old and new) are offering online services. After all, the number of people using online or mobile banking is impressively increasing over time.

With mobile banking, you can deposit a check, pay for merchandise, as well as transfer funds to a family member or a friend anytime and anywhere for as long as there is a secure internet connection.

Indeed, mobile banking has changed the way banking works.

If you want to know more about what mobile banking is all about, check out the blog posts below:

Mobile Banks for Personal Use

There are a lot of mobile banks out there, and choosing one can get a little challenging especially if you are new to mobile banking.

To help you choose the one that fits your needs and preferences, you may check out these mobile bank reviews:

Mobile Banks for Students

Meanwhile, if you are a student who wants to start early when it comes to financial management, or you are a parent who wishes to teach your kid about financial management through banking, here are some blog references for you:

Mobile Banks for Businesses

Mobile banks are not only available for personal use. In fact, even businesses can take advantage of what mobile banks have to offer.

There are a few mobile banks for businesses out there, and NorthOne is one of them. Know more about this mobile bank and what it offers in the blog below:

ONLINE TRADING

NerdWallet defines trading as the act of buying and selling stocks regularly in an attempt to time the market.

Furthermore, the website explains that the goal of traders is to “capitalize on short-term market events to sell stocks for a profit, or buy stocks at a low. Some stock traders are day traders, which means they buy and sell several times throughout the day“.

Meanwhile, online trading refers to trading stocks using an online platform. Online trading has become increasingly popular among traders because it’s timely, convenient, and easy.

There are a lot of online trading platforms out there, and one of them is eToro. Know more about what this online trading platform has to offer in the blog post below:

LIFE INSURANCE

According to Forbes Advisor, life insurance refers to “a contract between you and an insurance company. Essentially, in exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company will pay a lump sum known as a death benefit to your beneficiaries after your death.”

Generally speaking, life insurance is essential especially if you have dependents (which normally refers to your spouse and child/children). It helps protect your dependents and allows you to leave them a non-taxable amount at the time of your death. Apart from that, life insurance can also be used to cover existing mortgages as well as personal loans.

There are a lot of life insurance companies out there to choose from. These days, life insurance companies can also be easily found online.

Over time, insurance companies have adapted to the changes brought by technology and the internet. So, yeah, if you are looking for life insurance company options, we recommend you check these blog posts below:

INVESTMENT PLATFORMS

Investing is an essential way to help keep your family finances on a positive note.

An investment platform refers to an online service that allows consumers to buy, sell, as well as hold funds.

Most investment platforms are on a non-advised basis, which allows you, the consumer to do everything on your own. However, there are also those that are on an advised basis wherein the consumer has the option to use a financial adviser who will invest on his or her behalf.

Online investment platforms have become very popular among consumers over recent years as it can be a tax-efficient way to hold investments.

With its gaining popularity comes a lot of choices. Yes, there are many online investment platforms out there for you to choose from.

To help you choose the right online investment platform, and to know more about investing, check these reviews and references:

LOANS

Investopedia refers to the term loan as “a type of credit vehicle in which a sum of money is lent to another party in exchange for future repayment of the value or principal amount”.

If you want to have a better understanding of what a loan is all about, we recommend you check these references:

There are different types of loan out there, but some of the most commonly offered by banks and lending companies are:

  • Auto Loan – Also known as a car loan, this allows you to acquire a vehicle. Normally, car loans or auto loans are collateral loans, which means the vehicle automatically serves as collateral in case the borrower fails to pay off the loan.
  • Business Loan – This type of loan is specifically intended for business purposes. You can use it to open a new business or for expansion of an existing one.
  • Home Loan/Mortgage – This allows the borrower to purchase his or her dream home. Home loans usually consist of an adjustable or fixed interest rate and payment terms.
  • Payday Loan – This refers to a short-term loan that can help cover your immediate need for cash. This usually comes with a higher interest rate.
  • Personal Loan – This is the most common type of loan out there. A personal loan can be used for almost any type of purchase — especially big ones. It usually comes with a lower interest rate as compared to credit cards.
  • Students Loan – This type of loan is specifically designed to help students pay for their education as well as other school fees and charges. It can also be used to pay for books and school supplies.

Know more about these types of loan in the blog posts below:

Personal Loan

Auto Loan

Business Loan

Home Loan/Mortgage

Student Loan

Payday Loan

Other Types of Loan

Apart from the above-mentioned loan types, there are less commonly known types of loans, which include:

Dental Loan

Emergency Loan

Point of Sale Financing

Tax Refund Advance Loan

Boat Financing

Loan Marketplaces

Loan marketplaces are online sites or platforms where you can easily find a lender for your loan needs.

While there are a lot of them out there, here are some of them:

CREDIT MONITORING

In this day and age, there are a lot of products and services that will help keep you on track of your family finances – one of them is credit monitoring.

According to an article published by CNBC, credit monitoring basically refers to what the name suggests — it monitors your credit.

These services help track your credit history as shown on your credit report and send alerts via email, SMS, or phone call in case changes transpire. This helps hinder potential fraud, should there be any.

Furthermore, the article says, “credit monitoring services provide an automated and faster way to track changes to your comprehensive credit file”.

There are a lot of credit monitoring services out there, and each of them has its respective list of activities. However, some of the common activities among them are as follows:

  • New accounts opened under your name
  • Hard inquiries on your credit report
  • Balances and payments
  • Name changes and/or new address
  • Public records like bankruptcies
  • Personal information like your social security number, email address, and password

While credit monitoring services are helpful in spotting potential signs of fraud, please note that it is not as comprehensive and does not provide a holistic approach to prevent identity theft or unauthorized transactions.

As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of existing credit monitoring tools out there, which include Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Know more about these services in these blogs below:

ONLINE FUND TRANSFER

As obvious as it is, online fund transfer refers to the act of transferring funds through an online platform. Normally, freelance workers or work from home workers use online fund transfer platforms to receive payments from their clients.

However, over time, these platforms have also been used to transfer money within families – especially those who are far from one another.

While there are many available options out there, TransferWise and Xoom are some of the most popularly used online fund transfer platforms these days. Know more about them in the following reviews:

PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Personal finance management tools refer to a platform or software that helps individuals or families in handling their money.

A personal finance management tool is very helpful especially in handling family finances. This helps ensure that all funds are directed to where they should be.

There are a lot of personal finance management platforms out there, and to be honest, it’s just about choosing the one that suits your and your family’s needs.

To know more about what’s out there, check the blog posts below:

FINAL THOUGHTS ON FAMILY FINANCES

Handling family finances may be quite a challenge back in the days, but in this era, it is made easier. Thanks to technological advancements, today, there are various tools and platforms (mostly available online) that can help you in managing your personal, business, and most of all, your family’s money.

Are you now excited to manage your and your family’s money?

As mentioned, keep in mind that with existing finance tools and platforms, handling your family finances should be a breeze.

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Investment Apps and Websites

OneMain Financial Loans Review: Why Choose It Over Other Lenders?

If you are looking for a quick source for funds but you have less-than-perfect credit, then OneMain Financial might just be the one you are looking for. In this OneMain Financial loans review, we are going to provide you with significant information before you head on to its website and apply for a loan.

OneMain Financial Loans Review

In a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it says that the current total outstanding personal loan debt in the United States is estimated at $143 billion, while there are 21.1 million outstanding personal loans in the country to date.

Furthermore, in the said report, it says that the average interest rates for personal loans range from 10% up to 28% — depending on the borrower’s credit score. Generally, the better your credit score is, the lower the interest rates would be. Unfortunately, those with not-so-good credit score may have to deal with higher interest rates.

Personal loans, particularly the unsecured ones are very popular among borrowers. It’s in fact every borrower’s go-to loan type. It’s easy to apply, and the funds are usually made available in just a matter of time.

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With everything that is happening around, it wouldn’t be surprising if there’d be a surge in personal loan (or any loan for that matter) applications. People need to thrive and with the recession just around the corner because of the pandemic, lending companies will surely have a lot of work to do.

Speaking of lending companies, there are a lot of financial institutions out there where people can borrow money from. There are banks, credit unions, as well as online lenders. With a lot of options available, it’s really just about choosing the right one.

One of the choices is OneMain Financial. Today, we are going to specifically talk about this company – what it is, what it offers and what it does, and of course, we are going to find out if it’s worth dealing with.

For your reference, here are the questions that we are going to answer to help you know more about OneMain Financial, and eventually, help you make an informed decision:

  • Who is OneMain Financial?
  • What are the different types of personal loans offered by OneMain Financial?
  • What are the features of OneMain Financial personal loans?
  • What do you need to know about OneMain Financial loans?
  • Who qualifies for OneMain Financial personal loans?
  • How to apply for OneMain Financial personal loans?
  • What are the pros and cons of OneMain Financial?

WHO IS ONEMAIN FINANCIAL?

One thing that struck us about OneMain Financial is the fact that it sees every customer as one of a kind. The company believes that every borrower deserves not just any financial solution, but something that would work for him or her.

OneMain Financial, also known as Onemain Holdings, Inc. is an American financial services provider. Having been in the industry since 1912, it is not surprising that OneMain Financial has become the country’s largest lending-exclusive financial company.

Over the years in service, OneMain Financial has already served more than 10 million customers — provided them with personal loan options that come with the fast and easy application process. The company provides loan options that are usually used for home improvement, debt consolidation, major purchases, and many more.

Although headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, OneMain Financial has more than 1,500 branches across 44 states.

Before we move on with our own OneMain Financial loans review, we thought you might want to check the below review as well by ProudMoney. It’s an informative one, and definitely worth watching for.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PERSONAL LOANS OFFERED BY ONEMAIN FINANCIAL?

Now that you already know who OneMain Financial is, needless to say, what it does, at this point, let us talk about the different types of personal loans offered by the company.

As mentioned earlier, OneMain Financial aims to provide financial services to its customers in a unique way — meaning, depending on the needs of the person. That is why it is not surprising that the lending company provides borrowers personal loan options intended for different reasons.

Although OneMain Financial does not let borrowers apply for a loan intended for post-secondary education or business expenses, it allows borrowers to use the money borrowed for a number of purposes, which include the following (and even more):

  • Home improvement
  • Debt consolidation
  • Recreational loans
  • Life events (such as emergency loans, medical expenses, weddings, etc.)

In addition, OneMain Financial also offers auto loans for purchases, refinances, as well as repairs.

WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF ONEMAIN FINANCIAL PERSONAL LOANS?

In this OneMain Financial loans review, we are also going to share with you the different features that you will find in OneMain Financial personal loans.

Some of the features of OneMain Financial’s personal loans are very much appealing to borrowers. This includes:

  • A soft initial credit inquiry
  • Free VantageScore credit score
  • Joint applications
  • Rewards

Let’s take a look at each of these features —

Soft Initial Credit Inquiry

One of the features of OneMain Financial personal loans is that it conducts a soft initial credit inquiry. With OneMain, you can check to see if you are prequalified for a personal loan, and you can do this online.

Just so you know a soft credit inquiry means it will not affect your credit score negatively. However, if you decide to move forward, and formally apply for a loan, a full hard credit inquiry will be done. This process can impact your credit score.

Free VantageScore Credit Score

For primary borrowers, you can log in to your account and get a free copy of your VantageScore credit score every quarter.

Joint Applications

There are borrowers who prefer adding a cosigner. Unlike other lending companies, OneMain Financial allows joint personal loan applications.

By having a cosigner, a borrower may qualify for a larger amount of loan. This, however, requires that a cosigner must have a good or excellent credit history.

While having a cosigner may sound appealing to a lot of people, as a borrower, it is important to know and understand that having a cosigner can be risky. The cosigner is equally liable for the loan, which means if the primary borrower fails to pay his or her financial obligations on the loan, the cosigner will have to take over.

In addition, both the primary borrower and the cosigner’s credit score may be affected, which means it could affect future loan attempts.

Rewards

OneMain Financial does have a rewards system. Borrowers could earn rewards in different ways like when you do the following:

  • Sign up for direct pay
  • Make on-time payments every month
  • Connect to Facebook
  • Choose paperless statements

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONEMAIN FINANCIAL LOANS?

Apart from what we have already discussed in this OneMain Financial loans review, there are a few more important details that you need to know before making a loan application. These are as follows:

  • Loan Amounts
  • Loan Terms
  • Annual Percentage Rate
  • Fees
  • Funding

Loan Amounts

As a borrower, it is important to know up to how much money a lender allows to borrow. This is one way to help you decide whether the company is the right one for you.

With OneMain Financial, the lending company offers personal loans amounting from $1,500 up to $20,000. The minimum or maximum loan amount varies depending on the state where you reside, which is why it is important to check the nearest OneMain Financial or call them.

Anyway, as per OneMain Financial, the company made it clear that not all borrowers qualify for big loan amounts.

In addition, OneMain Financial requires collateral for borrowers who will qualify for large loan amounts. The collateral comes in the form of a lien on a motor vehicle under your name. The vehicle must also be 10 years or newer, and that it must have valid insurance coverage.

Loan Terms

Just like most lending companies, OneMain Financial provides flexible repayment terms. They come in four options, which are as follows:

  • 24 months
  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months

If you are looking for a lender that allows you to pay for the loan for a long period of time, then, OneMain Financial may just be it.

Annual Percentage Rate

Unlike other lending companies that offer both fixed-rate and variable-rate APR, OneMain Financial only offers one — that is fixed-rate loans.

At OneMain Financial, fixed-rate loans’ annual percentage rate (APR) range from 18% up to 35.99%.

Although the company does not offer a variable rate, it does offer both secured and unsecured loan options.

Similar to any other secured loan, if you borrow money without collateral, that automatically falls under an unsecured loan, which means, you are likely to pay a higher APR. Secured loans do always have lower APR compared to unsecured ones.

Fees

Probably one of the downfalls of OneMain Financial is the fact that the lending company charges high amounts compared to other lending companies.

Take note that as a borrower, you must also look into the fees a lender charges. You have to factor that in when making an informed decision.

At OneMain Financial, borrowers may expect the following potential costs:

  • Origination Fee – OneMain Financial charges origination that could go as low as 1% and as high as 10%. It could also be a flat fee that ranges between $25 and $400. Please note that the actual fee will be based on certain factors like your state of residence.
  • Late Payment Fee – OneMain Financial do offer a grace period but that depends on the state where you reside though. However, once payments are not done after the grace period, the company will automatically charge the borrower up to 15% of the delinquent balance or a flat fee between $5 and $30. Again, the actual fee varied on the borrower’s state of residence.
  • Government Fees – OneMain Financial may charge borrowers for placing a lien on their vehicle’s title. That is of course if the borrower opt for a secured loan, and that the state where the person resides allows it. Usually, the fees are charged by the state or country to the lender, and then the lender will pass the fee along to the borrower at cost.
  • Non-Sufficient Funds Fee – If in case of an insufficient fund in your account, certain states may charge a fee of $10 up to $50 when your payment is returned.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, OneMain Financial does not charge prepayment penalties. Thus, if you wish to pay off the loan earlier than scheduled, you may do definitely do so without having to worry about getting charged.

Funding

In terms of funding, once your personal loan application is approved, you may be able to pick up your check as soon as the same day of your application.

Meanwhile, if you choose to receive the loan via Automated Clearing House (ACH), you may have to wait for one to two business days depending on the time of your loan closing.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR ONEMAIN FINANCIAL PERSONAL LOANS?

Other important details to note are the qualification details set by OneMain Financial.

Fortunately, OneMain Financial is accessible to most people regardless of financial background. The company has not set any minimum or maximum credit score for example, which makes it a good choice for those with not-so-perfect credit history.

Similar to most lenders, however, the rule is, if you have a better credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. Otherwise, you have to face a high APR.

Moving on, OneMain Financial requirements are as basic as it can be. Of course, you will be required to provide personal information (such as your address, your Social Security number, etc.), as well as your employment information.

You must also be of legal age to be qualified for the loan, and a resident of the various states where OneMain Financial operates.

HOW TO APPLY FOR ONEMAIN FINANCIAL PERSONAL LOANS?

At this point in our OneMain Financial loans review, we are going to discuss the application process.

Once you have been approved online, you then have to visit an OneMain Financial branch near you for an in-person interview with a loan specialist. This process is done to help verify your identity, as well as your financial information before signing off on the loan is finalized.

Also, if you opt for a secured loan, you will have to present the documents of the collateral.

To make the application process at OneMain Financial smooth, all you have to do is follow the following steps:

STEP 1: Apply online. Go to OneMain Financial website and do an online application. You will be asked to provide basic personal information.

STEP 2: Indicate the desired loan amount, purpose, your net monthly income, as well as your employment information. You will also have to include information if you own a property or not and if you have an existing bank account.

STEP 3: Wait for a response. OneMain Financial provides an almost-instant response. It also sends an email that contains more detailed information regarding the loan application.

STEP 4: Schedule an in-person interview. An in-person interview with a loan specialist, as mentioned earlier, is required to verify both your personal and financial information, as well as in closing the loan.

STEP 5: During the interview, present all the necessary documents to the loan officer. These documents may include your proof of identity, income, and employment details, as well as documents of the collateral.

STEP 6: Expect for a hard credit check. Like most lenders, OneMain Financial will conduct a hard credit check, which could adversely affect your credit score.

STEP 7: Sign the loan agreement. Once you have reviewed the loan terms and conditions, and you agree with everything, all you need to do is sign the loan agreement to seal the deal.

Given the above-mentioned process, expect that it could take an average of two to three business days. Although it seems long, it is possible for OneMain to make your check available the same day you apply or the next business day after approval has been served.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ONEMAIN FINANCIAL?

Our OneMain Financial loans review will not be complete without listing down the pros and cons that we found.

Similar to all the other lending companies out there, OneMain Financial has its share of good and bad, and this includes the following:

PROS

  • It does not have a minimum credit requirement. OneMain Financial does not disclose the company’s minimum credit requirements. However, most reports indicate that the lending company is open to worth with borrowers who have challenging credit history.
  • It does have a number of branches across the country. As mentioned earlier, OneMain Financial does have over 1,500 physical branches across 44 states.
  • It provides a soft initial credit inquiry. By going through soft credit inquiries that do not affect your credit score, you get to find out if you prequalify for a personal loan or not. Also, by doing so, it’s easier to rate shop and compare deals among other lenders.
  • The company accepts joint applications. Unlike other lenders, OneMain Financial allows multiple borrowers on a loan.
  • The company offers rewards. As mentioned earlier, OneMain Financial does have a few perks that customers can eventually enjoy.

CONS

  • The loan amount is only limited for up to $20,000. If you are planning to borrow more than that, then you may have to look for another lender.
  • It has a high starting APR. Compared to other subprime lenders out there, OneMain does have a higher starting APR at 18%.
  • It does charge certain fees. Although it does not charge a prepayment fee, OneMain Financial does charge origination fees, late fees, and more. It is safe to say that if you are a responsible borrower, you can definitely get rid of certain fees.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ONEMAIN FINANCIAL LOANS REVIEW

As mentioned, OneMain Financial is a good option for people with challenging credit history. Although it comes with certain fees and charges, the company does not charge prepayment terms for those who would want to pay off their loans earlier than scheduled.

Just like most lenders, OneMain Financial has its share of limitations – including loan amounts and higher APR as compared to its competitors.

However, overall, based on the information we gathered for this OneMain Financial loans review, we got to say that this lender is definitely a promising one and that it is worth dealing with.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Acima Credit Retail Financing Review: Is It Worth It?

If you are looking for a lender that provides point-of-sale financing for lease-to-own purchases of various merchandise, then this Acima Credit retail financing review is perfect for you. This will provide you essential information about how to avail financing to be able to buy any furniture, electronics, auto parts, or appliances.

Acima Credit Retail Financing Review

According to Business Insider, point-of-sale (POS) financing solutions enable customers to break payments up into installments. POS has in fact surged back into popularity in recent years especially since the recession.

In a report by Forbes online, it mentioned a study conducted by Forrester Research wherein they found that “companies that implemented an online POS financing option experienced a 32% increase in sales.”

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Point-of-sale or POS financing comes in various forms. There are credit cards, unsecured loans, as well as credit lines. While there are cheaper financing options out there, POS makes a good choice for people who has less than perfect credit scores.

Are you wondering why we are talking about POS? Well, we are doing so because Acima Credit is a POS company, and we are going to know more about how they do things as we move along with this Acima Credit retail financing review.

For your reference though, here are the key points that we are going to talk about in this review:

  • Who is Acima Credit?
  • What makes Acima Credit retail financing different?
  • What are the payment options available at Acima Credit?
  • Who qualifies for an Acima Credit retail financing?
  • How to apply for Acima Credit retail financing?
  • Other important things you need to know about Acima Credit
  • What are the pros and cons of Acima Credit financing?

AT A GLANCE

Before we proceed to talk about what Acima Credit is all about, and all the other important information we need to know about its retail financing program, you may want to take a look at the below table first. This provides you an overview of the Acima Credit retain financing.

Feature Details
Loan amount range $500 – $5,000
Funding time Not indicated on the company website. But, most point-of-sale funding decisions are usually made right away at the merchant store or online.
Repayment options and fees $10 fee plus invoice price of the item if paid within 90 days

75% of remaining lease payments paid in a lump sum after 90 days since purchase, but before 12 months

No fees, but borrower needs to pay twice the invoice price if paid over a 12-month term
Credit reporting Reports to Experian

WHO IS ACIMA CREDIT?

Founded in 2013, Acima Credit an alternative lender that provides point-of-sale financing for lease-to-own purchases of a variety of merchandise, which include electronics, auto parts, furniture, and appliances.

Initially named Simple Finance, Acima Credit is an innovative FinTech startup company that is ideal for people who do not have a good credit score.

Acima Credit provides POS financing that comes with instant approval. Borrowers under its lease-to-own financing can apply either through the company’s online platform or in-store through participating merchants.

While Acima Credit is one of the best options for people without good credit standing, borrowers who are unable to pay off their loan soonest should consider looking for another lender because Acima costs rise quickly throughout the whole financing term.

Borrowers can take up to 12 months to pay for any purchases made. However, finance charged is quite significant that if you are a borrower, you better be sure before signing up.

Later on, we are going to discuss further amount Acima Credit retail financing so you get to learn and understand fully how things work when it comes to loaning money from this lender.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn about how Acima Credit works with merchants, you may check the video below by the company itself to know more:

WHAT MAKES ACIMA CREDIT RETAIL FINANCING DIFFERENT?

Unlike other forms of financing such as credit cards, Acima is different as it does not rely primarily on the borrower’s credit score to determine your qualification for the financing. Acima Credit retail financing is open for anyone — both for borrowers with good and/or bad credit score (although the latter benefits from it more).

Also, another thing that makes it different from other forms of financing is the fact that borrowers are given a particular repayment period, which is 12 months, to adhere to.

Now, perhaps you are wondering how then Acima Credit determines if a borrower is qualified for financing?

Well, Acima Credit take into account other factors such as the employment history of the borrower, the amount of money deposited into his or her checking account every month, as well as by checking if the borrower does have a lot of overdrafts.

If you happen to have a less-ideal credit, but you are employed, with few or no overdrafts at all, and deposits a good amount of money in your checking account on a monthly basis, then Acima Credit is a good choice.

Furthermore, Acima Credit is also an ideal option for borrowers who want a way to build a credit history.

WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT ACIMA CREDIT?

At this point in our Acima Credit retail financing review, we are going to share with you another important detail if you are planning to avail of this form of financing — the payment options available.

Acima Credit offers a lease model wherein the borrower gets to own the merchandise at the end of either 12, 18, or 24 months. Customers may opt to request one or two early-purchase options to help lower the amount of money they owe:

  • Repay within 90 days – This means the borrower pays the price of the item including a $10 payment processing fee, as well as a $40 rental agreement fee. This option is widely used by Acima Credit’s customers — more than one-third of them, according to the company.
  • Repay after 90 days, but before 12 months – This option means the borrower will have to pay an amount that is less than the remaining payments he or she owes Acima. By opting for this type of payment scheme, borrowers get to save 25% or more on outstanding payments. However, this depends on the payoff date, as well as the lease laws in the state you live in.

If you wish to set up an early-purchase option, you may do so by getting in touch with Acima Credit through its online customer portal or by contacting the company’s customer service department.

Meanwhile, here are other important details you need to know about Acima retail financing related to payments and purchases:

Lease Example – According to Acima, this is how it goes — for instance, you purchase an appliance that costs $1,000 and then sign a lease where it says that you agree to pay $2,000 over 12 months. If you opt to pay off the lease though, in the sixth month, the total estimated cost would be around $1,500.

Returns – If by any chance you find the item not unnecessary or that there’s something wrong with it, Acima Credit allows you to return the item anytime without incurring a penalty. However, you have to make payments during the time you have the leased item with you.

Customer Complaints – If you find something wrong with Acima Credit and its processes, you may file a complaint anytime at the Better Business Bureau. To date, Acima does have over 380 complaints with the BBB, and the majority has something to do with billing and collections. According to the company, its legal team is the one responding to these complaints at the BBB.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN ACIMA CREDIT RETAIL FINANCING?

Unlike other financial institutions or lending companies, applying for retail financing at Acima Credit is a fairly straightforward process.

To be eligible though, you need to meet certain criteria, which include the following:

  • Must have a U.S. government-issued photo ID
  • Must be able to provide his or her Social Security number or ITIN number (for certain nonresident and resident aliens)
  • Must present three-months salary history from current employer
  • Makes deposits of at least $1,000 per month into a checking account open for at least 90 days
  • Must have no negative balances, excessive overdrafts or non-sufficient funds on your checking account

As mentioned earlier, Acima Credit does not rely on the borrower’s credit score. Rather, the company looks into other ways to be able to determine the qualification of a borrower.

While borrowers with good credit scores may also borrow money from Acima, those with not-so-good or no credit at all are the ones who can fully take advantage of what this lender has to offer.

HOW TO APPLY FOR ACIMA CREDIT RETAIL FINANCING?

Of course, our Acima Credit retail financing review will not be complete, if we are not going to tackle the application process.

As we have said earlier, the application process of Acima Credit is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill in the online application at the Acima Credit website.
  2. Input your personal information, government-issued ID, as well as your checking account history.
  3. Wait for notification regarding the status of your application, which usually takes in just a few seconds.
  4. Once approved, your approval for retail financing will last for 90 days.

For your reference, Acima Credit filter merchants into categories, which are as follows:

  • Furniture and mattress
  • Appliances
  • Home electronics
  • Mobile electronics
  • Car audio electronics
  • Auto wheel and tire
  • Outdoor goods
  • Eyewear
  • Power tools
  • Jewelry

OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACIMA CREDIT

Apart from what we have already discussed, there are a few more very important information that a borrower or a potential borrower at Acima Credit must know. These are:

  • Loan Amount
  • Loan Terms and Requirements
  • Fees
  • Ownership
  • Credit Reporting

Loan Amount

Acima Credit leasable items range from $500 up to $5,000, which means you can choose items within the range upon lease approval. Then, Acima Credit will be the one to purchase the item from the participating store.

Loan Terms and Requirements

Acima Credit allows its borrowers to pay off the lease-to-own agreement for up to 12 months. However, as much as possible, borrowers should avoid taking the full 12 months.

When borrowing money from Acima Credit, please bear in mind that once you extend payments more than the 12-month period, you will be charged about twice or doubled the invoice amount of your leased item. Generally, this does not equate to a good borrowing decision.

Earlier, we already shared with you repayment options to choose from that will definitely make you save a few bucks.

Meanwhile, if you wish to terminate the lease, you may do so anytime without having to worry about penalties.

Fees

Although you are not going to be charged for paying off the item earlier, Acima Credit is known for charging high fees and interest, which include a processing fee amounting to $10.

Ownership

As soon as you completed an early pay off option or you are done making your regularly scheduled payments for 12 months, the item or merchandise will be automatically transferred to your ownership, and Acima Credit will no longer have anything to do with it.

Credit Reporting

Earlier, we mentioned that getting retail financing at Acima Credit is ideal for those who are building a good credit history as every time you may a payment, the company will report it to Experian, which is one of the three major consumer credit bureaus. To be able to build a good credit history, you have to make sure you pay on time and according to the agreed terms.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ACIMA CREDIT FINANCING?

This Acima Credit retail financing review will not be complete if we are not going to share with you the benefits and drawbacks of getting retail financing with Acima Credit.

As a borrower, we thought it is important that you know both the good and the bad about the lending company you are eyeing for. At most, you would want to get associated with a lender that has been trusted by many and does have nothing but good record, especially among borrowers.

So, having said that, here are some of the pros and cons that we saw about Acima Credit:

PROS

  • The lending company provides flexible repayment schedules as well as an early-payoff discount.
  • It does not require a minimum credit score, which makes it ideal for borrowers with not-so-good and/or no credit history.
  • The company provides fast funding.
  • Acima Credit only does a soft credit check.
  • The application process is easy and straightforward.
  • It helps borrowers build a good credit history as the company reports your lease activity to Experian.

CONS

  • Acima Credit retail financing may be expensive if you do not pay off your loan within 90 days.
  • While your credit score does not matter, Acima Credit reviews a borrower’s checking account activity — must deposit on a regular basis.
  • It tends to have high fees and interest if you do not pay off within the supposed term.
  • There are quite a lot of customer complaints on the Better Business Bureau.
  • It requires a minimum of $1,000 of monthly income.
  • The borrower does not have ownership of the item or merchandise until full repayment of the loan is done.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCING OPTIONS

While Acima Credit may be an ideal option for people with poor or no credit, it could be a bad choice if you are unable to pay off the lease within less than 12 months. You would end up paying almost double the price of the same item you’ll find elsewhere.

So, if you have good credit, we highly recommend finding better financing deals. There are a lot of options out there like cash-back credit cards, rewards credit cards, or a personal loan. All of these are pretty easy to acquire for as long as you meet certain requirements, which usually involves a good credit score.

You may also consider saving up for the item you are eyeing for – that is if you do not need the item as soon as possible.

Another alternative financing option is borrowing money from family and friends. Ask around your loved ones. You will never know if they are willing to help or can lend you the amount you need if you won’t ask, right? Needless to say, when you borrow from your family and/or friends, you are likely to save yourself a lot, because usually, these people won’t charge any interest fee.

If you have good marketing or selling skills, consider selling online or within your network to be able to save up or gather the amount you need to pay for the item. Again, this idea will help save you a lot of money.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ACIMA CREDIT RETAIL FINANCING REVIEW

As mentioned earlier, point-of-sale (POS) financing has surged back in recent years, and with everything that’s happening around, we won’t be surprised if it continues to rise in the coming months. Good thing there are a lot of companies to choose from that offer POS — Acima Credit being one of them.

To think that Acima has only been around for just a few years, it’s nice knowing that there have been a couple of borrowers who chose to loan money from the company and were quite successful. While there are complaints here and there, we thought that’s pretty normal and that the company will surely learn from all these anyway and hopefully become better in this business.

So, the question now would be, would we recommend Acima Credit?

Well, as kept saying all throughout this Acima Retail financing review, this lending company is ideal for people with poor or no credit history at all. This will help them build their credit score because the company reports every payment made to Experian, which is one of the three major consumer credit bureaus in the country. Otherwise, you may consider dealing with a different lender.

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Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review: Your Ultimate Guide

If you are looking at getting a mortgage anytime soon, this Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review will provide you essential information that you need to be able to come up with an informed decision – whether this lending company is the way to go or not.

Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review

In a report published by Statista, it says that the “mortgage industry of the United States has gone through several distinct phases of evolution that have allowed it to reach its current status as the largest and most complex home-financing market all over the world.

Year after year, the numbers continue to rise, and in fact, there is no sign of a decrease in numbers. Mortgage loans have become (and would probably stay as it is) the country’s largest of debt among American consumers.

As of 2018, the total value of mortgage debt outstanding in the United States amounted to $15.4 trillion, and again, experts predict this number is set to rise even in the future.

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If you are eyeing to engage in mortgage debt anytime soon, the good news is, there are a lot of lending companies or financial institutions that offer such products and/or services.

You got a lot of options to choose from, and in fact, one of them is the Navy Federal Credit Union, which is what we are going to talk about today.

Through this Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review, we hope to provide you with all the information you need before you head on to the company and apply for a mortgage.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • Who is the Navy Federal Credit Union?
  • What are the Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage products available?
  • Who qualifies for a Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage?
  • How to apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage?
  • Important things you need to know about Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage
  • What are the pros and cons of the Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage?

WHO IS THE NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION?

Established in 1933, the Navy Federal Credit Union offers a number of financial services to particularly to its military members. The Navy Federal Credit Union serves over 9 million members of the military community across all 50 states.

All qualifying members may obtain mortgage products, which include Federal Housing Administration loans, Veterans Affairs loans, as well as conventional loans, and mortgage refinancing. 

As a member of the credit union, one may qualify to borrow money for up to $50,000. Meanwhile, Navy Federal’s maximum annual percentage rate (APR) for personal loans is 18%, which is considerably lower as compared to the maximum APR many other lenders out there.

Apart from military service members, Navy Federal Credit Union also opens its doors for membership among military members’ families. Thus, they too can get competitive loan rates and top-tier customer satisfaction.

WHAT ARE THE NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE?

As mentioned, the Navy Federal Credit Union provides a wide variety of products to choose from, which include mortgages with no- and low- downpayment requirements.

In particular, the credit union offers the following:

  • VA Loan – The VA loan is available exclusively to eligible service members, as well as veterans and their spouses.  VA Loans are supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs.              
  • Conventional Fixed Rate – This particular loan type is an ideal choice for buyers who want a stable monthly mortgage payment.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages – Unlike the other mortgage types, these loans start with a low fixed interest rate for the initial term and then adjust according to an index.

With a lot of adjustable-rate loan options, families who need to relocate every few years will definitely find it very useful.

But apart from current homes, Navy Federal also offers mortgages for investment properties as well as second homes.

If you want to know more about Navy Federal’s mortgage products, you may check below video from the credit union itself:

Now, if you are a member of the military or a family of a military member, you may take advantage of Navy Federal’s HomeBuyers Choice Mortgage and the Military Choice Mortgage, both are cornerstone loans that are specific to military members and their families.

Just to give you an idea, here’s a quick brief about the two loan products:

  • HomeBuyers Choice – This program is ideal for first-time homebuyers. The HomeBuyers Choice offers fixed-rate loans of 15 or 30 years with up to 100% financing. It also does not have any mortgage insurance premiums. While it does charge a 1.75% funding fee, it can be waived in favor of a higher interest rate. This also helps minimize the amount of money you need at the closing of the loan.
  • Military Choice – Meanwhile, although the Military Choice program has the same benefits as the HomeBuyers Choice, it does come with special pricing particularly on mortgage interest rates and origination fees for active-duty and veteran borrowers based on the lender. The credit union’s standard 1% loan origination fee may be rolled into the loan. It can also be waived in exchange for paying a higher mortgage rate, which may further reduce the amount of money you need to close the account. This particular mortgage product is an ideal choice for service members, reservists as well as veterans who have already used up their VA loan benefit.

Apart from these amazing options, the credit union also offers fixed-rate home equity loans with 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year terms. It also offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that comes with a variable interest rate. With this option, the good thing is that for the former option, the lenders do not charge the application or origination fee. As with the HELOC, it does not charge annual or inactivity fees like what other lending companies do.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE?

This Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review will not be complete if we are not going to provide you with the requirements in order to qualify for the mortgage.

Fortunately, the credit union did not set a minimum FICO credit score for members, which means, even if you do not have a good credit score, you may be able to loan money from them.

Furthermore, the credit union has no cap on its debt-to-income ratio.

Meanwhile, although some of Navy Federal’s loans do not require down payment, others do but the amount depends on the type of loan the borrower applies for.

Although it seems that borrowing money from Navy Federal is a breeze with its not so strict requirements, becoming a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union is a different story. Please note that to be able to apply for a mortgage debt with Navy Federal, you need to be a member of the credit union.

Navy Federal Credit Union does have strict membership requirements. To be able to qualify and join the credit union, you must either be:

  • an active member or a veteran of any branch of the military
  • a Department of Defense civilian employee
  • a contractor working at a DOD installation
  • a family member of a military member

So, if you belong to any of the above groups, you are definitely qualified to join and be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union.

Additionally, please take note that only active service members, veterans, and their spouses can qualify for a VA loan. If you are a member through your grandmother or your brother though, you will have to choose another loan offer from the credit union.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE?

As we have mentioned, to be able to apply for a mortgage, you need to be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union. Being a member makes the loan application process easier.

Anyway, Navy Federal does have a digital application platform called HomeSquad. You can use this app to get a preapproval for a mortgage. Since it’s done online, there are cases when a borrower gets approved immediately.

The online application process is quite simple and easy. You can just upload documents, connect to your bank accounts when you need to very assets, as well as get notifications whenever you reach certain milestones, check the status of your loan, as well as get personalized help from Navy Federal’s representatives.

If an online application is not feasible, you may opt to start an application over the phone instead. Otherwise, you may visit any Navy Federal branch near you to apply in person.

Regardless if you apply online, over the phone, or in person, there is always a home loan advisor available to help you choose the right mortgage for you depending on your situation.

With Navy Federal’s underwriting model, it allows loan officers to evaluate your situation using alternative credit data instead of observing strictly to traditional credit scores. By taking the full financial picture into consideration, Navy Federal is able to evaluate a borrower’s risk.

Some of the things that a loan officer may look into is if the borrower pays rent and other bills on time, if he or she keeps a Federal banking account in good standing and if the borrower makes timely payments on other credit accounts. All these are taken into account to determine the qualification of a borrower for a loan.

IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE

At this point in our Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review, we are going to talk about other essential matters regarding the credit union’s mortgage. This includes the following:

  • Loan Amount
  • Loan Terms
  • Rates
  • Fees
  • Customer Service
  • Online Features

Let’s take a look at each of these items to know more –

Loan Amount

Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage loan amount is on a case to case basis. Meaning, it depends on entitlement, as well as your home location. That is why we highly recommend either calling or visiting a Navy Federal branch near you to know the specifics.

Loan Terms

Navy Federal mortgage terms range from 10 up to 30 years. The credit union will help determine the ideal terms for you depending on your qualifications. Again, it’s best to check with Navy Federal if you need more specific information.

Rates

Generally speaking, credit unions charge lower interest rates as compared to banks and other online lenders. With Navy Federal, the annual percentage rate gets to as low as 2.50%. The exact APR depends on a number of factors like the loan amount, the terms, as well as your overall qualification.

For your reference though, you may see below table. The data is coming straight from what’s stated on Navy Federal’s website:

Mortgage Interest Rate (as low as) APR (as low as)
VA Loan 2.750% 3.224%
Military Choice 3.875% 4.149%
Conventional Fixed Rate 2.250% 2.535%
HomeBuyers Choice 4.000% 4.276%  
Adjustable-Rate Mortgages 2.375% 2.500%

Fees

As a borrower or a potential borrower, it is important to be well-aware of the fees that the lender might charge you for. After all, you do not want to get surprised paying for something you do not know about, right?

So, with Navy Federal, the credit union charges an origination fee of 1%, plus a 1.75% funding fee. However, borrowers are given the option to skip the origination fee is they will agree to a 0.25% increase in their interest rate.

Meanwhile, if you will opt for the credit union’s home equity loan product, this particular product does not charge an application or origination fee. More so, its home equity line of credit does not charge origination, application, annual or inactivity fees as well.

As with closing costs, it varies depending on your interest rate.

In addition, Navy Federal does not charge fees for documents, underwriting, as well as for the application.

You can also get a 0.25% reduction on their interest rate if you opt to set up an automatic payment from a Navy Federal Credit Union account specifically for home equity products.

Customer Service

One thing that Navy Federal Credit Union can brag about is its customer service.

The credit union provides superb customer service. In fact, it is rated five out of five in the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, which makes the credit union one of the bests.

Unfortunately, though, Navy Federal is not rank eligible.

As with the Better Business Bureau, Navy Federal Credit Union has earned an A rating.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, they have received 90 mortgage-related complaints about Navy Federal Credit Union in 2018. All have been responded on a timely manner.

Online Features

As mentioned earlier, Navy Federal allows borrowers to apply for a mortgage online. At the same time, members of the union can also access and manage their accounts through its website.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF THE NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE?

While there are a number of things to like about the Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage, there are also things not to like about, and we are sharing them with you below.

PROS

  • The credit union offers a wide variety of affordable mortgage products, which are specifically designed for military members and their families.
  • Instead of relying on credit score, the credit union looks at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.
  • It provides an online channel where members can apply for a mortgage. Essentially, the credit union provides a preapproval process and is able to make quick decisions with regards to loan applications.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union offers loans without requiring down payment.
  • The credit union does not require private mortgage insurance on many of its loans.
  • The credit union allows members to loan money of up to 100% of their equity with a home equity loan.
  • The credit union’s website is user-friendly, informative, and allows you to shop for rates online.
  • Navy Federal offers a rate match guarantee and a flexible method to lock in low-interest rates.
  • When you use a recommended real estate agent, you can get a cash-back bonus in many states.

CONS

  • Navy Federal Credit Union loans are exclusive only to military members, veterans, qualifying civilian workers, and their families.
  • The Navy Federal does not support the U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.
  • It also does not offer FHA loans.
  • It does not have a prequalification feature, which means you must be a member of the credit union and complete an actual loan application to determine if you qualify for a loan type, and what rate and terms you will be offered for such loans.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE REVIEW

To put it simply, the Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage is an excellent choice for military members or their families who are looking for competitive rates, as well as high customer satisfaction, and more choices than other lending companies out there.

As mentioned, if you do not belong to a military family or not a member of the military though, you automatically disqualify to become a member of the credit union and enjoy its perks including competitive mortgage products.

There is honestly so much to like about the Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage products. It’s pretty much obvious as we have written so many benefits as compared to drawbacks.

If you are looking for a lending company to borrow money from, we highly recommend getting a mortgage debt from Navy Federal.

With all the information we have provided in this Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review, we definitely can say that this is one of the best options to get a loan from if you are a military member or a family of a member of the military.