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a first-time car buyer smiles from the driver's seat of her new vehicle

Planning Guide for a First-Time Car Buyer

access_time Posted on: September 11th, 2020

Buying a car for the first-time is a journey, and it can be a bit daunting. To make the process as easy to navigate as possible, consider following the pointers listed below. Before Car Shopping Before you begin shopping for a car, it’s worth taking the time to do some preparation. In particular, you’ll want to make sure you’re in a good financial situation to handle the cost. Determine your budget Your budget is the first item you should look at, particularly concerning how your monthly income compares with your existing financial obligations. Typically, it’s best to see that your car loan payments are no higher than 10% of your… read more »

keys to a new home on a calculator

How To Know It’s Worth It To Refinance Your Mortgage

access_time Posted on: July 9th, 2020

If you’ve been paying off your current mortgage for a while, it may be a good idea to refinance. By refinancing, you pay off your current loan and replace it with one that (ideally) has more favorable terms. However, it’s important to know whether it’s worth it to refinance your mortgage. During refinancing, you’ll go through the entire application and approval process over again, so it should at least balance out the costs in the end. The Best Times To Refinance A Mortgage Typically, the best times to refinance a mortgage are those that will net you large savings over the life of the loan. These circumstances include: Market rates… read more »

photo of first time home buyers

First Time Home Buyer Guide

access_time Posted on: July 8th, 2020

Purchasing your first home can feel like a rite of passage. It’s a part of the American dream that you might have always imagined as part of your future, so once you’re ready to make it a reality, you want to do it right.  There’s a lot that goes into buying a home, whether it’s your first, or you just haven’t owned a home in a while, but having the best resources and information will help you have a successful experience.  You can use this First Time Home Buyer Guide to help you through the process of purchasing your first home. Who is a First Time Home Buyer? When you… read more »

going through the mortgage loan process for buying a home

Mortgage Loan Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

access_time Posted on: May 12th, 2020

Qualifying for a mortgage can feel like a daunting task with all of the paperwork, documentation, and steps needed to go from pre-approval to closing. However, having an understanding of the mortgage loan process in advance can make the journey easier. Keep reading for a simple step-by-step guide to getting a home mortgage loan. Prepare Your Finances Before you ever apply for a mortgage, you want to prepare your finances for making this large purchase. To do so, here are a few steps you should take: Check your credit score Your credit score is a significant indicator of your ability to qualify for a mortgage. That’s why it’s essential to… read more »

Applying For An Auto Loan: 5 Factors To Consider

access_time Posted on: May 12th, 2020

There are more options now than ever for getting an auto loan. However, not all car loans are created equal.  When going through the process of applying for an auto loan and reviewing your options, you want to be sure that you find the best loan available to you. In doing so, there are certain factors you want to consider. Here are five things to look for when getting an auto loan: Interest Rates You want to score the lowest interest rate possible on an auto loan. Low-interest rates paired with other good loan terms will provide you with a better quality auto loan.  Your interest rate will vary based… read more »

couple making mortgage decisions

Types Of Mortgage Loans: A List Of Options

access_time Posted on: May 12th, 2020

Life situations differ wildly, so buying a home will look a little different for each person and family. As such, mortgage loans come in numerous types to accommodate many different scenarios. Fixed-Rate Mortgage The most common type of mortgage is a fixed-rate loan. Fixed-rate mortgages have an interest rate that remains consistent throughout the life of the loan, meaning monthly payments are predictable. When to choose a fixed-rate loan These mortgages are fairly standard, which means many home buyers opt for them. They tend to be best for buyers with good credit who buy when rates are low since they can lock in a solid rate early on. It’s worth… read more »

couple took out a home equity loan for home improvements

When Is a Home Equity Loan a Good Idea

access_time Posted on: March 23rd, 2020

As you pay off your home loan, you’ll build equity in your home. Equity is the value of your home that’s considered to be debt-free, or already paid for, and it can be used as collateral against a loan if you need it.  A home equity loan is one way to use the equity you’ve worked hard to build up to meet pressing financial needs. When A Home Equity Loan Makes Sense A home equity loan can be a great way to handle sudden expenses and meet other financial needs, but it needs to be used wisely. After all, you’re putting your home on the line when you borrow against… read more »

budgeting tips for developing your personal budget

6 Budgeting Tips To Bulk Up Your Savings

access_time Posted on: February 14th, 2020

Budgets can be used for many purposes in a personal finance framework, including paying off debt, managing wealth, and padding retirement accounts. However, many people find the process of creating or sticking to a budget difficult, frustrating, and perhaps a little annoying.  This is not an unusual sentiment. In fact, only two out of every three households choose to budget their income monthly. This percentage of use goes down as populations age, making budgets a highly suggested but infrequently implemented practice.  It is important to remember that the goal of a personal budget is not to restrain financial freedom, but to liberate consumers from the uncertainty surrounding their funds.   What… read more »

woman reads about credit card rewards points

Belco Podcast | Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

access_time Posted on: February 6th, 2020

Identify theft is increasing each year, and anyone can become a victim of identity theft – but is especially common among young adults and teens.  On this episode of the Belco podcast, Johnathan Miller, Marketing Intern, and Brian Smith, Belco Information Services Security Specialist, discuss ways to protect yourself from ID theft.   Tune in and learn from Brian, who holds a degree in Information Technology and specializes in security. He also holds certifications as an Ethical Banking Hacker and as a Banking Technology Security Professional, while also pursuing additional education in cyber security.  

couple researches how to get the best HELOC rate in 2020

How To Get The Best HELOC Rate In 2020

access_time Posted on: February 3rd, 2020

Are you considering getting a home equity line of credit, aka HELOC in 2020? If so, keep reading because we’re sharing some tips on how you can unlock the equity in your home at a low rate.  Whether you’re making home improvements, financing a life event, or consolidating debt, you want to secure the lowest interest rate possible to help you save on the amount you borrow. Here’s how to get the best HELOC rate in 2020.  Keep Up Your Credit Score As with any time you borrow money, your credit score will have a significant impact on your ability to qualify and the rate you get. To score the… read more »