• 5 Reasons to Refinance Today

    Higher prices on everyday goods and services are forcing households to reassess their finances and find new ways to save money. While eating out less and canceling unnecessary subscriptions are excellent ways to temper spending, another option might have an even greater impact on your budget — refinancing debts to a lower interest rate. When you refinance, a new loan is used to pay off existing debt.

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    5 Reasons to Refinance Today
  • Starting Your Financial Life? Here Are Tips For New College Graduates

    Starting Your Financial Life? Here Are Tips For New College Graduates

    Graduation is the end of one phase of your life — and the beginning of an exciting new one. You’re on your own. You’re ready to start your career (or take a stop-gap job until you find the right position in your field). And you’re poised to make your own financial decisions, maybe for the first time in your life.

    You have all the power here. But, as they say in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

    Here are some steps you can take to make responsible choices with your finances as you’re starting out.

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  • Home Buying Terms You Should Know

    Once you start speaking with mortgage lenders, realtors, and even friends about buying a home, you might feel like you’re swimming in an unfamiliar pool of abbreviations and terms you’ve never heard before. We’re defining some of the most common terms here, so you learn to tell your PMI from your DTI.

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    Home Buying Terms You Should Know
  • Mortgage Pre-qualification: What Is It and Why Does It Make Home Buying Easier?

    Mortgage Pre-qualification: What Is It and Why Does It Make Home Buying Easier?

    When you’re ready to buy a house, there is one step you need to take before you start looking at homes — get pre-qualified for a mortgage.

    Pre-qualification is the process of going over your finances, so you can see how much mortgage you qualify for. You’ll look at the factors that might affect your ability to get a mortgage, your estimated payments, and whether now is the right time to apply.

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  • Timeline of a Home Purchase

    Once you make an offer on a home, how long will it take before you can finally hire the movers and start your new life?

    Every situation is different, so we can’t tell you exactly how long it will be to the day, but we can give you some estimates for each part of the process, so you won’t be surprised at how long it takes. (And we know, if it’s taken you weeks or months just to find the right house, waiting even longer seems like a big hassle.)

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    Timeline of a Home Purchase
  • Stay Safe When Buying a Home: Common Scams Targeting Consumers

    Stay Safe When Buying a Home: Common Scams Targeting Consumers

    Because homes are a high-value purchase, shopping for one or looking for a refinance deal can bring scammers out of the woodwork. A little knowledge of some common scams will help you protect yourself. Here are the things to look out for.

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  • Why a Low-Interest Rate on a Home Loan Matters

    Preparing to buy a home while mortgage rates and real estate prices are on the rise can be nerve-racking. With each uptick in rates, you might wonder if delaying homeownership might be the better option. But trying to time the market by waiting until rates or home prices reverse course could result in missing out on an excellent buying opportunity.

     

    While rates are no longer at 2019 levels, they are still considered historically low. Plus, experts predict prices will continue to increase for homebuyers and renters due to the continued housing demand. Here's why securing a low-interest home loan approval is still a good idea — and how you can improve your chances of success.

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    Why a Low-Interest Rate on a Home Loan Matters
  • Tips for Finding Your Dream House in Today’s Market

    Tips for Finding Your Dream House in Today’s Market

    The housing market may be slightly slowing down, but sales are still moving fast, and sellers still have their pick among multiple offers. Here is what you need to know to find your new home.

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  • Buying a Multi-generational Home

    Is it time for your ohana to begin sharing a home? Maybe your parents need to move in to make it easier to ensure their safety as they age. Or maybe your adult kids need a place to live as they start their own families. Regardless of your situation, these are the features you should look for and the questions you need to ask as you merge your family into one home.

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    Buying a Multi-generational Home
  • Is it time to downsize?

    Is it time to downsize?

    When starting a family or moving from a starter home, you may have thought bigger was always better. But there are times in life when you may be considering a smaller home. Here are some questions to help you decide if downsizing your home is the right option.

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  • Easy Home Upgrades You Can Do Yourself

    Do you feel like you need a change? Sick of looking at everything in your house?

     

    With some creativity, you can make changes that will help you feel like you’re in a new home. And the bonus? They are projects you can tackle yourself — no waiting for a contractor or other professional to slot you into their packed schedule. Nonetheless, if you are renting, you may need to get permission from your property manager or landlord before undertaking some of these projects.

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    Easy Home Upgrades You Can Do Yourself
  • Are you Ready to Buy a Home?

    Are you Ready to Buy a Home?

    With low mortgage rates and rising rents, it certainly seems like all signs are pointing to buying a house. But are you ready? These questions will help you figure out if now is your time to buy.

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  • Steps in the Home Buying Process

    Buying a home is such an exciting milestone, but it can also feel overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start.

    You know you’ll be looking at houses, putting in offers, and securing a mortgage. But what else goes into buying a home? How long does it take? What do you need to know and do between house hunting and moving in?

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    Steps in the Home Buying Process
  • Financial Literacy FAQ

    Financial Literacy FAQ

    Money topics can spark lively online conversations. Whether shared in social media posts or website comment sections, much of the information can leave you feeling more confused than when you started. Whether due to incomplete answers or a failure to consider an individual's financial status, learning about personal finance can be a challenge.

     

    To help improve your financial literacy, we've gathered some of the most frequently asked questions (and the answers!) about credit, savings, making a major purchase, and retirement planning.

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  • DIY or Hire Out? How to Decide if You Should Do a Home Improvement Project Yourself

    You’ve watched HGTV and seen all the things that can go wrong when taking on a big home improvement project or repair, so you’re a total expert, right?

     

    Maybe. There are some projects that the average homeowner can definitely tackle. But there are others that will benefit from a professional.

     

    Here are some tips to help you decide when to go it alone.

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    DIY or Hire Out? How to Decide if You Should Do a Home Improvement Project Yourself
  • Home improvements that add value

    Home improvements that add value

    Smart Home Improvements That Increase Your Value — and Those That Don’t

     

    Home improvements should serve two purposes. First, they should make you happier in your home. And second, they should add to the value of your home. But many improvement projects are undertaken without regard to whether they improve the value. And if they aren’t a home-run in your enjoyment, then do you even need to do them?

     

    Here are some ideas of home improvements that add value — and some common ones that don’t — so you can decide whether a project is worth it for your home and family.

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  • When does an Interest-Only HELOC Make Sense

    When an Interest-Only HELOC Makes Sense

     

    When faced with an extensive home repair or improvement project (new roof, anyone?), it can seem like saving up enough money to pay for it is impossible.

     

    But a home equity loan can be a smart choice. Yes, you’re borrowing against your home’s value. But you may be using that money for something that will only increase the overall value of your home. And with home values on the rise, you may have more equity than you imagined, so the overall debt burden on your home can remain reasonable.

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    When does an Interest-Only HELOC Make Sense
  • Financial Literacy Quiz

    Financial Literacy Quiz

    According to a National Financial Capability Study, financial literacy rates among Americans have decreased from 42% to 34% since 2009 — yet 71% of Americans believe they know more about personal finance than the data suggests. This has real-world implications for how people manage money today and prepare for their financial futures. How financially savvy are you?

     

    Complete this quiz to gauge your financial literacy IQ.

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  • Should you consolidate high-interest rate debt?

    Debt payments can put the squeeze on your financial goals. They often shoehorn themselves into your monthly budget, leaving little cash to put toward savings. Multiple sources of high-interest rate debt can make it seem impossible to gain control of your finances.

    But don't despair! Whether your cash squeeze is due to a job loss, unexpected expenses, or the pandemic, it's possible to relieve the financial pressure in a few simple steps. And if you're a homeowner, you have even more options than you think.

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    Should you consolidate high-interest rate debt?
  • 5 Things to know before you start a home renovation

    5 Things to know before you start a home renovation

    Whether you're planning a room addition to welcome a new family member or exploring ways to boost the market value of your home, a renovation can be a wise investment. While home improvement TV shows, blogs, and magazines provide inspiration, few of them share some of the most important aspects of renovation to consider before starting your project. Here are five things to know before tearing down your first wall.

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  • Can your home help pay for college?

    If your child recently received a college acceptance letter from their first-choice school, you both have reason to celebrate. But the letters that soon followed were likely a real party pooper. Is the gap between your child's college tuition bill and their financial aid award package larger than you expected? Even after adding in scholarships, grants, and federal assistance, the balance due before the start of the semester may be more than you have in your savings account.

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    Can your home help pay for college?
  • Paying for unexpected expenses

    Paying for unexpected expenses

    Both the best and worst surprises in life can come as unexpected costs you weren’t able to plan for. There’s nothing we can do to stop these surprises from coming in the door, but we can work to find ways to cope with them once they do.

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  • Got a debt hangover? How to pay it down

    At one time or another, we have all overspent during the holidays. Now that the holidays are over, many of us enter the new year with a bit of dread. If you set a holiday budget and you stuck to it, you're probably feeling pretty good. But what if you let the holiday season sweep you up? You might be wincing every time you open your email as you wait for those statements to come in. If you've got a debt hangover from the holidays, we can help.

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    Got a debt hangover? How to pay it down
  • Funding your next chapter

    Funding your next chapter

    If there’s one thing you can always count on in life, it’s change. Some changes are little; some are big. Some are “lose-a-week-of-sleep” big. Some changes are as simple as picking out a new color of carpet, while others are as complex as picking who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with – living on that carpet.

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  • 2 Ways to take control of your debt - without extra payments

    Paying off debt tops most lists of New Year's resolutions. But many households are experiencing financial hardship and are not in a position to make extra payments. Hundreds of thousands are finding it difficult to even make ends meet, which can result in feelings of helplessness about their financial circumstances. If this sounds like you, there's good news! You have options.

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    2 Ways to take control of your debt - without extra payments
  • Three things to know about credit scores

    Three things to know about credit scores

    Applying what you learn here can not only improve your financial health but can put you on the path to achieving your financial goals.

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  • Do's and don'ts of living on less

    Whether it be a temporary setback or permanent lifestyle adjustment, you will get through this

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    Do's and don'ts of living on less
  • Your first mortgage

    Your first mortgage

    As the single largest purchasing decision in most people’s lives, it’s worth taking some time to understand the mortgage process.

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  • 5 simple steps to planning your wedding

    To help you focus on what matters (you and your soon forever-to-be), here are some general guidelines.

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    5 simple steps to planning your wedding
  • Auto buying myths that can cost you

    Auto buying myths that can cost you

    While uncovering the best car deal can seem like a battle of wills (you versus the car salesperson), it doesn’t have to be.

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  • 4 myths about mortgage loan approvals that keep you renting

    Four myths about mortgage loan approvals that prevent renters from becoming homeowners.

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    4 myths about mortgage loan approvals that keep you renting
  • Drive akamai

    Drive akamai

    Everyone has their ideal dream car, but is your dream car the right car for you?

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