Today’s Mortgage Rates: 30-Year Jumbo, VA and FHA Mortgage Rates at US …

Two major US lenders, US Bank (NYSE:USB) and Quicken Loans updated their mortgage interest rates for November 15, 2014. The mortgage interest rates supplied below, except federally insured FHA and VA loan rates, assume that the borrower has strong credit standing. For information on the lenders’ borrowing terms and conditions, please check their websites. The updated mortgage interest rates for today are listed below.

At this bank the long-term 30-year FRM is up for grabs at a rate of 4.125% and an annual percentage rate of 4.197% completes the package. The 15-year fixed counterpart demands 3.500% in interest, whilst the APR is set at 3.625%.

Moving on to FHA mortgage packages, which come with smaller down payment conditions compared to standard conventional loans, the long-term 30-year fixed FHA loan has a daily low at 3.875%. As far as the annual percentage rate is concerned, it stands at 5.432%.

Switching to VA loans, the long-term 30-year fixed VA mortgage could be interesting for certain borrowers, as it can be locked in a rate of 4.000% and has an APR variable of 4.343%.

The list of the bank’s non-conforming home loans includes the 30-year fixed jumbo mortgage, which is on the books at 4.375%. The loan’s APR stands at 4.448%. The 15-year jumbo loan could also be appealing to certain mortgage shoppers, as it’s published at 4.000%, whilst the APR is coming out at 4.127%.

Looking at the lender’s adjustable rate loans, the 5-year ARM home loan can be secured at a rate of 3.000% and an APR figure of 2.986% completes the package. As for the 3-year version of this type of loan, it demands 3.000% in interest. The corresponding APR is set at 2.970%.

American lender, Quicken Loans is the biggest online retail home loan provider in the United States. Amongst the financial institution’s loan products borrowers can find home purchase and refinance mortgages as well. Currently, Quicken Loans advertises the benchmark 30-year FRM at a rate of 3.99% and the package bears an annual percentage rate of 4.252%. The 15-year fixed refinance loan looks attractive as well, with the interest rate hovering at 3.125% and the APR is coming out at 3.58%.

Just like at US Bank, individuals can find a number of FHA loans on offer at Quicken Loans. The 15-year fixed FHA mortgage is advertised at a rate of 2.99%. The accompanying annual percentage rate is 4.004%.

Now, turning focus to the latest adjustable rate loan options, Quicken Loans advertises the 7/1 ARM at a rate of 3.25%. The corresponding annual percentage rate is coming out at 3.297%.

Detailed information on US Bank’s and Quicken Loans current mortgage interest rates and borrowing terms and conditions, can be found on their websites.

The hidden costs of buying a home

I recently went to New York City and while I spent many hours wandering around the famous streets, eating delicious meals and seeing an endless parade of interesting people; I also shopped. Can you blame me?

It was at the cash register on the fourth floor of Barneys in Manhattan that the inspiration for this article came to me. I passed my new pair of sought-after ruby red heels to the sales clerk, dug out my wallet then was shocked when she read the total for my purchase; it was the same amount on the price tag and not one penny more (they actually still have pennies in America). There were no just-because-we-can fees, no taxes added to the price, no hidden costs anywhere! How refreshing.

If only buying the cost of buying a house could be as straightforward as my Barneys shopping excursion. If the list price on a house says $250,000, then $250,000 is all you pay. Of course, veteran homeowners everywhere are smiling because they already know buying a new home comes with the full gamut of additional costs. But for many first-time homebuyers the unexpected costs over and above the purchase price can be inauspiciously shocking and fairly disheartening. Luckily, I have prepared a list of the most common expenses buyers should anticipate when purchasing a home in Canada.

Investing a priority for Africa’s youth

“The Barclays Africa Prosper Report shows that people work hard for their money and want their money to work hard for them,” said Barclays Africa group executive of marketing, communications, citizenship and public affairs, Bobby Malabie.

“What is particularly encouraging is that when questioned further, the youth of Africa would rather invest their money to fund further education than to spend it on flashy consumer goods.”

(READ MORE: Young people should invest like Buffett)

The report, which is based on a survey, was conducted online with 7,000 respondents from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. 

Around 78 per cent of the respondents were between 18 and 35 years of age, which represents a significant portion of the ‘youth bulge’.

According to Barclays, the report showed that while Africa is experiencing exponential economic growth, Africans equate prosperity to achieving financial freedom.

This would include having enough personal wealth to live without having to actively work to pay for basic necessities.

“Investment, education and savings are seen by Africans as the main drivers of prosperity to open the doors to economic growth,” Malabie said.

“It is also clear that Africa’s emerging youth presents the continent with an unprecedented opportunity to deepen our human capital, and with the right tools, tomorrow’s decision makers can unlock Africa’s potential.”

The report further stated that if given 100 US dollars to help them prosper, 49 per cent of respondents would invest it, with computers and books topping the list in terms of items that would be purchased to help them prosper.

Professor Monde Makiwane of the Human Sciences Research Council believes that it is Africa’s young emerging middle class that hold the key to accelerated economic growth and transformation in Africa.

(WATCH VIDEO: The emergence of the middle class as a driver of Africa’s economic growth)

“It [the report] addresses critical issues of financial behaviour and prosperity that have either been missed or poorly measured by previous social and financial surveys in Africa,” he said.

“Encouragingly, one of the most significant findings from this African survey is the high level of savings and investments reported by participants.  Almost 50 per cent of respondents would save or invest to help them prosper financially, a powerful statistic if viewed in the context of the Asian savings boom.”

The Asian continent supposedly took advantage of this by creating employment opportunities and mobilising the youth to save, which then fuelled wealth creation in the region.

Judge Denies Amanda Bynes’s Temporary Conservatorship Bid

Amanda Bynes declared on Twitter her intent to fight the courts decision to grant temporary conservatorship, but it looks like the judge in the case isnt willing to budge. According to People, Amanda was denied her attempt to take control of her life away from her mother.

Art Santiago, a lawyer for Amanda, appeared in court Friday to contest the temporary conservatorship. (The action placed down by the judge gives Amandas mother Lynn control over her medical and financial decisions until February 2015.)

The judge sided against Amanda and her lawyer after ruling that Santiago would not technically represent Amanda since he wasnt her court-appointed attorney. For now, Lynn will continue to have control of Amandas legal and financial freedom, but not her psychiatric treatment.

Five Best Credit Unions

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union is one of (if not the) largest credit unions in the United States, both in terms of membership and asset size, with over 5 million members. To be eligible, you have to be an active duty or reservist in any branch of the US armed forces, a civilian employee of the US Department of Defense, a government employee working at a DoD installation or a DoD contractor, or an immediate family member or household member of anyone who fits that criteria (You can read more
on their Wikipedia page). Membership may be controlled, but its open enough that tons of people have rushed to take advantage of Navy Federals low rates on car loans, mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards. They offer great, low-or-no-fee savings and checking accounts, IRAs and CDs for your savings, and exceptional customer service. It helps that the credit union is also recognized as a great place to work, where employees can also become members, and theyve never had layoffs–something the corner bank probably cant say. Navy Federal boasts 223 branches and 450 ATMs, and its a partner in the CO-OP, MoneyPass, VisaPlus, and a few other ATM networks.

Those of you who nominated Navy Federal praised their customer service first and foremost, and then discussed their great rates on loans and other financial products, not to mention their low-interest/high-benefit credit cards. You also noted that while many credit unions dont put a lot of energy or effort into the web or app presence, Navy Federals site and mobile apps have been recently updated, modernized, and are much more useful. 24/7 live customer support doesnt hurt much either. You can read more
in their nomination thread here.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is another large credit union with members spread out all over the country. While traditionally its only open to members of the armed services, civilian DoD employees, and their families (much like Navy Federal), you can also open an account with a one-time donation to either Voices for Americas Troops or the National Military Family Association, and once youre a member youre a member for life. Membership is a little looser here–their
Wikipedia page lists all of the eligable groups. Membership gets you access to incredible customer service, exceptionally low rates on auto and personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards that are considered some of the best rewards cards you can get. Pentagon Federal Credit Union sports about 1.4 million members, and offers low-or-no fee checking and savings accounts, investment vehicles for retirement or wealth management if youre not interested in their loan or mortgage products. PFCU has 26 branches worldwide and thanks to its partnership with the AllPoint ATM network, offers ATM services of its own in each of its branches and at thousands more worldwide.

Full disclosure, I nominated PFCU–Im a customer (a happy one at that)–and I nominated it because of its great customer service (thats always been there for me, been flexible with me, and willing to work with me), amazing rates on everything from car loans to personal loans to mortgages (of which the former two Ive taken advantage of personally), and their great rates on credit cards. A number of you agreed, citing that PFCU often has better rates than their competition (primarily Navy Federal), and while they may not have the same 24/7 customer service, their caliber of service is still exceptionally high. You can read more
in its nomination thread here.

NASA Federal Credit Union

NASA Federal Credit Union has over 80,000 members nationwide, and has branches mostly in the Washington DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area, although they participate in the CO-OP Network, which means NFCU services can be accessed from thousands of partner credit union locations around the country. That network also expands access to ATMS beyond the local labeled ones to thousands more additional no-fee ATMs around the globe. Traditionally membership at NFCU is limited to NASA personnel and their families, but membership in a number of scientific institutions and organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Space Society, or the American Association for the Advancement of Science also open the doors to membership. You can read more about qualifying organizations and academies
on their membership page. Once you are a member however, you get access to world class customer service, incredible rates on home loans and mortgages, low-interest credit cards, interest yielding investment vehicles like personal checking and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs and money market accounts, and more.

Those of you who nominated the NASA Federal Credit Union did so primarily because hey, you get those credit cards with space shuttles on them and thats pretty awesome. Still, thats not to discount their competitive rates that often outperform banks, their dedicated customer service (although because their membership is smaller, their hours are more limited), and the credit unions attention to the details and needs of its customers. One of you cited NFCUs cash back program, which offers 1% on first $1000, 1.5% on $s 1001-2000, and 2% on every dollar spent above $2000 and unlimited redemption–its not the best plan you could possibly find, but it comes without strings and conditions attached, which is always good to hear. Read more
in their nomination thread here.

Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union is another credit union with physical branches in the gulf-coastal Florida area (its headquartered in Tampa), but with partner ATMs and branches around the country. Its the largest credit union in Florida, with over 580,000 members and over 50 branches. Unfortunately membership is largely limited to family members of existing members and teachers and school employees in Florida, or just about anyone who lives and works in the counties in Florida where the credit union operates. Membership has been slowly expanding however, and the credit union invites prospective members to call and see if theyre eligible through some other means. Beyond that however, Suncoast members are happy to wax rhapsodic about how much they love their credit union and would recommend it to others, and their extremely competitive rates–sometimes so low you wonder how they could possibly make money on something like a sub-2% new auto loan, for example. Like most other credit unions, Suncoast offers a wealth of investment properties, checking and savings accounts that yield interest, low-rate loans and mortgages, and insurance and wealth management products to help you create and sustain your portfolio over the long term. If youre a business owner, Suncoast also offers business checking or savings accounts, commercial loans, and business credit cards as well.

Those of you who nominated Suncoast noted its eligibility requirements involve geographic region, but noted that their interest rates and customer service make it well worth considering if you can find some way to become a member. One of you highlighted that specific car loan we mentioned above – a 1.74% interest loan on a used car, along with a $200 check back on closing – something you probably wont find in most other credit unions, much less banks. Read more
in its nomination thread here.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant is one of the countrys largest credit unions, with over 280,000 members worldwide. Its headquartered in Chicago, although it has over a dozen branches and dozens of thousands of no-fee ATMs nationwide. Membership in the credit union is restricted to employees, retirees, or members of any qualifying company or organization and their relatives, spouses, and domestic partners (you can see what companies or organizations qualify
on their membership page here) or anyone who lives and works in a Chicagoland community or any member of Foster Care to Success. The credit union started out serving employees of United Airlines, and has subsequently broadened its support for other organizations, aviation companies, and merged with other airline credit unions, like the old Continental Federal Credit Union and US Airways Federal Credit Union. Even if youre not a member of a participating organization, a donation to a Chicago-based charity will get you in the door. Once youre a member, you enjoy the customer service that credit unions are known for, as well as competitive rates on auto and home loans, no-fee checking and savings accounts, high-interest retirement and investment accounts, education savings accounts, and low-interest credit cards. Alliants mobile apps help you stay on top of your accounts on the go, complete with mobile deposit and other services only a few of the other contenders here offer.

Alliant earned praise in the nomination thread for their fast, human customer service–even via email–and their especially consumer friendly interest rates. Alliants cards come with the more-secure Chip and Pin technology, which is a huge bonus in the wake of recent retailer hacks, monthly free credit reports, and a super huge ATM network. Dont just take my word for it though, read all of the highlights, point-by-point, in
its nomination thread here.

Now that youve seen the top five, lets put them to an all out vote to determine the community favorite:

Nearly 400000 Cubans Take Out Personal Loans as Part of New Banking Laws

Cubas central bank has extended 3.23 billion pesos ($135 million) in personal loans since lending to individuals began in December 2011, Communist Party daily Granma said Thursday.

The total of borrowers stood at 378,011 as of Sept. 30, Granma said, citing bank Vice President Francisco Mayobre.

President Raul Castros administration authorized lending to individuals as part of a package of reforms aimed at modernizing Cubas socialist economic model.

Most of the borrowers have been people wanting to build or renovate homes and small farmers, Mayobre said, acknowledging that borrowing by would-be entrepreneurs to start businesses has fallen short of expectations.

Surveys have been done and it has become clear that self-employed workers have a lot of doubts and dissatisfaction about the work of the banks, he said.

The central bank said it has taken steps to make the process more flexible for borrowers, such as simplifying requirements for documentation and repayment guarantees and introducing variable interest rates and terms.

The bank is struggling to meet demand for services and may open new branches in Havana and provincial capitals, Mayobre said.

Debt Consolidation USA Explains Credit Counseling

Debt Consolidation USA recently shared in an article published October 20, 2014 how consumers can check if credit counseling is the right program for them. The article gives consumers questions to ask themselves in order to verify if credit counseling will work for them .

Dallas. TX (PRWEB) October 22, 2014

Debt Consolidation USA recently shared in an article published October 20, 2014 how consumers can check if credit counseling is the right program for them. The article titled “8 Important Questions Before Opting For Credit Counseling” gives consumers questions to ask themselves in order to verify if credit counseling will work for them .

The article starts off by explaining how debt cripples the finances of consumers and that everyone is looking for a way out. With this, there are a lot of options for consumers to look into to get out of debt. But the problem is that the lack of understanding of these options could actually lead to getting deeper in debt.

Credit counseling is one of these options that consumers are growing fond of. But that should not be the only basis to take up the program. The article explains that credit counseling agencies will help consumers negotiate with their creditors, so they will be allowed to make lower payments. Then, these agencies will help debtors send those payments over to the creditors based on the money that consumers will send them.

But before taking up credit counseling, there are a few questions that can help the consumer understand if the program is for them. The first one is to ask themselves is they can do the task on their own. This needs negotiation skills on the part of the consumer when talking to their lenders and a great understanding of the details of their debt.

The article also points out that the consumer needs to understand their debt relief options other than credit counseling. There are a few more programs such as debt consolidation loan, balance transfer, debt settlement that has different advantages and disadvantages for the consumer in their effort to get out of debt. To read the rest of the article, click on this link:

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Debunking Myths Indians Have About Personal Loans

Lets admit, we Indians hate personal loans. Before you demonise it with a set of Dracula teeth and evil horns, think again. Personal loan is not always a bad option and comes with some benefits too. In this article, we debunk myths or say misconceptions that you have about personal loans, and suggest how a personal loan can be beneficial:

Save money: Before you jump to conclusion that it does not help in saving money, let me first clear the air. In some cases it does help. Consider a situation: You badly need funds and are considering a credit card withdrawal or looking to swipe your credit cards still doubtful if you will able to pay up the entire amount in the coming billing cycle. In this situation, check with your bank if you are eligible for a personal loan as some banks offer pre-approved personal loans to their good customers. Credit cards and personal loans are both unsecured loans and comparatively easy to avail – however, personal loans are way cheaper. You will pay at least 36 per cent on your credit card as compared to 14-16 per cent on a personal loan. Also, Indian economy is witnessing risk-based lending. To put it in simple words, if you have a higher CIBIL credit score, you stand a chance to get loans at a lower interest rate CIBIL stand a better chance to negotiate better credit terms and conditions. Many banks and credit institutions offer added benefits like waiver in processing fee and speedier access to credit for consumers with a CIBIL score above 750 (ranges between 300-900).

Break the debt cycle: Have you ever paid the minimum amount due on your credit card bill thinking that you will pay off the remaining amount next month entirely and find that you are still carrying the debt months after that? If you take a close look at your statements and calculate the amount you paid as interest on this amount and compare it with the amount you would have had to pay as interest on the personal loan, which can be availed by doing a balance transfer of your credit, the latter would have worked out cheaper. Credit card dues attract an interest rate of 36 – 48 per cent, where as if you do a balance transfer of your credit, which will be treated as a personal loan against credit card, you stand to get it at the rate of 18 per cent interest per annum – little more expensive then taking a fresh personal loan, but still cheaper. This repayment can be made in EMIs, which is an added benefit. So, be a smart person, avail a balance transfer on your credit card to a personal loan to break high interest choking cycle and become debt-free.

Boost your CIBIL score: Your CIBIL score is calculated on the basis of many factors such as regular bill payments, credit usage, number of enquiries, age and a good credit mix. We always advice our customers have a good mix of credit. So, if you have only credit card and just because you take a personal loan, your score wont dip. In fact, if you take a personal loan and repay it on time, it will improve your CIBIL score.
Image: economic times

Rajiv Raj is the Director and Co-Founder of