Categories
Taxes

Home Rule Versus Consolidation

The Joint Legislative Committee on Government Consolidation and Shared Services held its first meeting on 8/806. Senator Robert Smith the Committee’s Co-Chairman said “home rule has lead to New Jersey having the highest property tax burden of any State in the United States”. However, he said that their is no single silver bullet to solve New Jersey’s excessive property tax burden. Nevertheless, the committee is charged with coming up with a legislative action plan to be submitted to the Legislature.

Senator Smith believes New Jersey should look to states that rely on county school districts, instead of the local administration in New Jersey that has produced more school districts than towns. He called it the most inefficient system in the country. In an August 9, 2006 Asbury Park Press article called “Sharing Services May Not Pay Off”a New Jersey School Board Association spokesman said the current law provides that if school districts merge, the larger district’s union contract is to be the one used — even if its salaries are more generous and there fore costlier to taxpayers.

Testimony before the committee reported that the State has 1,389 different entities that can levy property taxes, including municipalities school districts and fire districts. What struck me after listening to the testimony given to the committee about the history of consolidation in New Jersey is the disjointed, fragmented, locally driven parochial measures that have dragged the State into its current State of law and practice regulating consolidation.

Ultimately, I believe there is not enough political courage, legislators realize that forcing consolidation will likely cause them to lose their job, This is especially true if the State uses the stick approach and forces consolidations that at best “over time” saves only 10% to 20% in costs and therefore reduces property taxes by a like amount. What is worse is that consolidation in some cases could wind up costing more!

I am waiting for the discussion to commence on which local municipal services are essential local government functions and at what cost. Further, if they do not belong at the municipal government level then which government level should fund them? I believe New Jersey will shift certain local government and school functions to a higher level of government in the State and establish appropriate cost and service levels. District schools consolidated at the county level, the prosecutor’s office, county jails, county school superintendents, moved to the State level. But, this represents a very daunting task for a legislative committee to assemble into a legislative action plan by November 15, 2006.

Why do New Jersey residents cling to the concept of home rule? It is because they like their local school whose teachers and principal they know. They like knowing the people who serve on their local planning and zoning boards, they like their local recreation programs and fear that under consolidation they might be spirited off to some other venue if local control was lost. Some residents in small towns have built up a report with their local public works staff to get their roads plowed first … so that their husband can get to work on the midnight shift. Other like the patrol car coming by once a day, or the fact that the local police are the first to arrive when there is the need to call an ambulance.

These are the items that build character into a community that people want to retain. I believe that generally people do not care who the business administrator is, or who the assessor is, what office handles the collection of taxes (but lets not have to drive to the county seat to pay our quarterly property tax bill). I do not believe people generally care about whether their town has civil service or not. I would venture to guess most residents do not even know which departments in their town are governed by civil service rules. Home rule has its virtues but at what cost will property taxpayers say the hell with home rule. At some point coercion to consolidate is not coercion if it is the will of the people said Senator Smith of the committee. Has the property tax burden on home owners in New Jersey reached the breaking point so that New Jersey legislators and the governor will favor the big stick approach of mandatory consolidation?

Basically, property taxpayers want services they can afford, service levels that will maintain the character of their towns that support the values incorporated in their homes which is their largest source of wealth in most cases. People also want their services delivered in the most economical way possible. Senator Smith said to reduce New Jersey’s average property tax on home owners to the national average will take a very big vision answer.

Tom Hester in an Asbury Park Press article on 7/3/06 called “Some In N.J. May Be Big Loser”said a 2003 Rutgers University study found that reducing the New Jersey’s 616 school districts by half would save $365 million after four years, doing little to cut the $20 billion collected annually in the New Jersey property tax. Hester went on to quip that the State has set aside $600 million in the current year’s State budget to cut property taxes, but it would have to cut property taxes by $6 billion to put itself at the national property tax average for the average home owner.

Senator Joseph Kyrilos, Jr. noted at the committee meeting that in New Jersey 50,000 people have ben added to the government payroll over the last five years while 120,000 business jobs have been lost. I think his point was you have to be careful about trying to extract more taxes from the business community. Others at the committee meeting noted that property taxes in New Jersey have risen three times faster than personal income in New Jersey over the last five years.

Testimony at the committee hearing from administrators in the front line of consolidating local government services said that consolidation is not the panacea to New Jersey’s excessive property tax burden. Those administrators said after 30 years of attempting various consolidation laws, consolidation is just a finger in the dam. Further testimony at the hearing reported that New Zealand went through a government upheaval and accomplished a 20% reduction in local government employees and reduced their over 600 government units to 80. Apparently the lesson from New Zealand is to go after the big buck items. If consolidation is just done on the margin then it will represent nothing but a castle of sand — a lot of work undone in a moment with the next wave of property tax increases.

Categories
Student Loans

The Four Secrets of Student Loan Consolidation

Consolidating student loans can be confusing, this guide will show you four key secrets to consolidating a large loan into a much more manageable payment.

1. Financial aid officers may not give you the information that will help you most. In fact, many financial offices have a standard private provider they pre-choose for their loan process, while it never hurts to consullt a loan officer, be aware that theyre choice of loan companies may not be the best choice for you.

2. Loan companies offering all of the following are your best bet:

Private Student Loans

PLUS Loans

Federal Stafford Loans

Student Loan Consolidation

Private Consolidation Loans

Check with the company you plan to use to see which of these services they offer, remember, the more diversity, the better.

3. Always try to go for a fixed rate instead of a changing rate, without a fixed rate your interest will fluxuate up or down, which ultimately is a big gamble. With a fixed rate you can calculate your loan rate instead of being subjected to changing rates.

4. Avoid loan consolidation if your student loan is almost paid off, consolidating loans later on can mean “resetting” the loan process, meaning you’ll pay more interest.

Now you know the four main secrets of student loan consolidation, with this knowledge you should be able to reduce your student loan payments to a more sizeable amount.

Categories
Student Loans

Student Loan Consolidation – How It Works?

Student loan consolidation packages promise to ease out all your worries regarding student loans. You may be curious to know just how this works. Well, firstly you need to apply for the process upon satisfying the eligibility criteria. The process of student loan consolidation is not really very complicated. Applications have a page’s length wherein you as borrower need to provide basic demographic information, list current student loans and sign the document. The rest is taken care of by the lender offering the package.

The eligibility criteria for student loans consolidation may vary depending on the loan consolidation concern. In case of the federal students loan consolidation you need to have over $10,000 outstanding federal student loans. Again you may be eligible to consolidate your loans if you are no longer enrolled more than half time in school or you are in repayment or in a loan grace period (i.e. 6 months after leaving school, in general). It is also necessary that you have had not previously consolidated your loans. There are also certain specific loan classes which may be eligible for federal student loan consolidation process.

Upon consideration of your application the loan consolidation program will lower your monthly payments by lengthening the term of your loans. The loans to be consolidated may have been of different types and may even have been offered by different lenders. Depending on the kinds of loans being consolidated by you a subsidized or an unsubsidized consolidation loan will be provided.

The rates of interest to be set are determined. This is usually not more than the weighted average of all the loans consolidated by you. The lower the fixed rates of interest guaranteed the more lucrative is the offer. Besides, other borrower benefits may be provided too. In case of federal student loan consolidation which is a part of the family loans that have been made available by Federal Family Education Loan Program (F.F.E.L.P.) of the federal government it is the U.S. government which guarantees the loans. These loans have certain favorable terms and conditions like fixed and reasonable rates of interest and term periods extending even to 30 years which are a cut above the rest.

While processing your loans the loan consolidation concern works with the lenders presently holding your (existing) student loans to set up the consolidated product for you. Alongside the consolidated student loan package notification on how to make payments is also provided by your loan service provider. Thus the student loan consolidation process works towards making your student loans more manageable and help you in securing better repayment terms.

Categories
Student Loans

Student Loans – FAQ’s for Loan Consolidation

With student loans, there always seems to be a few unanswered questions. There are many questions that students need to ask and we will answer some of the more important ones here.

The thing to remember, before you commit to any type of loan consolidation is to make sure to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can.

One of the first places you should try are the councilors at your educational institution, they will have all the latest local knowledge about loans and consolidation as it applies to their school in particular.

The second place to get more answers is a simple web search, the trick to remember here is that the more questions you ask, the more answers you will get.

Obtain a small notebook and write all your information down in one place, keep the front of the book for your answers and use the back of the book to list your questions as you think of them. Small notebooks are very handy to keep with you at all times because you never know when a question will pop into your head.

Q 1. Why? Why is there a need to consolidate?

A. You will greatly reduce the monthly repayment amount, reduce the principal of the loan and possibly pay your loans off a lot quicker.

Q2. When? When is the best time to get a consolidation loan?

  1. To get the most benefit you should consider consolidating straight after your graduation. You will be able to take advantage of the grace period and therefore you may be able to get the best possible interest rate.

Q3. What? What if you are not eligible for a consolidation loan?

  1. There may be some conditions that will make you ineligible to receive a consolidation plan. These can be such things like:

· You have had a previous consolidation

· The amount of your loan is less than $20,000

· If your debt is only to one organization.

If this is the case, then you can consider the following solutions…

· Look into a private consolidation plan.

· Look at liquefying any assets you may have.

· Think about obtaining a loan from another institution

Think Outside The Box

If all else fails then there are still some options open to you, remember the old saying

‘when one door closes… another door opens’

Think about raising funds through some passive income solutions, you will find hundreds, if not thousands of ideas for income generation on the internet.

Not all of these will be useful and in fact, some will be a bit shady, but there are a lot more genuine ways you can make some honest money. The trick here is to ask the right questions so you get the right answers.

I hope these student loan ideas have been helpful, good luck with your studies.

Categories
Student Loans

3 Great Benefits of Student Loan Consolidation

Some times with student loans some people can sometimes be of the opinion that loan consolidation seems like too much hard work, so they sometimes leave all their existing loans as they are and try to cope with all those payments.

In actual fact, consolidating your existing student loans is not hard at all. It just takes some careful research, to find the right lender that will help you save the maximum amount you can save.

Of course the benefits of consolidating your debts can be significant. Consolidating can save you many hundreds of dollars.

Benefit 1: Less Worry & Stress

Consider the amount of bills you are paying month in and month out. How many of them are from different loan institutions? Like many other people, you may not like keeping track of all your bills that always seem to arrive at many different times throughout the month. Consolidating your loans will solve this for you – you only have to make one payment each month.

Benefit 2: Your Payments will be considerably less.

Bearing in mind that your consolidation rate is usually calculated to be the average overall rate of your existing loans, the resulting consolidation rate can be usually a little less. Which means that your monthly payments will be lower.

Many students and younger graduates often try to compare many different financial institutions with the hope of finding the best rate. But in fact all these lenders must offer you the same interest rate as the Federal Family Education Loan Program. However, most lenders offer more benefits on top of this as well.

Many lenders will tend to reward you with a higher reduction of interest when you setup a direct bank withdrawal. Remember to always pay on time – you can often get a further reduction of up to 1 percent on your existing interest rate when you pay before the due date. This will mean that you will benefit from substantial savings.

Benefit 3: Improved credit rating

Trying to pay off many loans at once can sometimes lead to you missing one of the payments. This will lead to tarnishing your current credit rating. And, if you have poor credit rating, it will be harder to get new credit in the future. However if you consolidate your existing loans and pay just one bill and you do that on time you will start to build a better credit rating.

So, with student loans there is every reason for you to consolidate them. Another thing to bear in mind is that you must choose your new lender carefully. Because often times consolidating loans is usually only allowed once. Sometimes there can be a couple of exceptions to this:

1.You decide to take another loan to study more

2. Some of all your debt was not included in the first loan consolidation.

Just because you may see a better offer further down the road you may not be able to make further changes. This is the reason that you should look at the small print so there will be no speed bumps later.

A few lenders can offer more attractive benefits (or so it may seem), but they may come at the expense of more fees.

Of course, another thing to consider is that you also look at alternative methods for raising capital so you can pay of your loans even quicker than normal. You can often find many methods available online, such as:

1.Start an online business (you can often set up some of these at no cost to you, using free methods)

2. Consider a Crowdfunding venture. (you may be surprised at how many strangers will help your cause)

You must take the time to consider your student loan consolidation very carefully to take advantage of all the systems in place to help you.

Categories
Mortgage

How to Obtain Mortgage Refinance and Debt Consolidation Loan?

Mortgage refinance helps the creditor by putting him in a relatively secured position where he is only required to pay one monthly installment. The amount that you borrow from the consolidation company is taken against your home mortgage. Always remember to be careful while taking a loan against your home and read and understand all intricacies involved.

Benefits Of Consolidated Debt Loans

  • The mortgage loan helps to avoid filing of bankruptcy.
  • All creditor harassment automatically gets eradicated.
  • You would now only need to pay one monthly payment which would help make matters much easier for you.
  • This provision also helps abolish all late charges and other monthly expenses that you would have to pay for the various loan amounts.
  • Reasons Why One Should Refinance Their Mortgage

  • The trend of low mortgage rates does not last for long. So one should consider refinancing at the earliest. Mortgage refinance and consolidation loan proves ideal for those who are paying a mortgage rate that is higher than 8.5%. You could end up saving thousands of dollars on your mortgage amount with the help of refinance options.
  • Refinancing the mortgage would help in paying off all credit card loan amounts that have very high interest rates. It may look silly to consider refinancing your home to pay off small credit card debts. But do you know that you could take even years to pay the amount because of the high interest rates involved? And if you pay off these loans with the help of mortgage refinance to get a debt consolidation loan, then you could save a lot of money in the long run.
  • Refinancing the mortgage can also help you add value to your house. Besides helping you pay off all your debts, you can also go ahead with the numerous things that you might have planned for your home. You can add a new room, get it painted or buy nice wallpaper for the home or even construct the porch that you always wanted. This would help increase the footage of living space, thus increasing the value of your home.
  • One of the best reasons for mortgage refinance is putting the money that is left into an investment. People who have enough money left after they have paid off their other loans can easily purchase another smaller property. This would help you get some rent which can help in paying off the consolidated debt amount.
  • Mortgage refinance and debt consolidation loan go hand in hand. Try and compare a few quotes and deals before you refinance your home with a debt consolidation company.

    Categories
    Mortgage

    Second Mortgage Loans Are Cool for Debt Consolidation and Cash Out

    With the refinance boom officially over, second mortgage loans are cooler than ever. Many homeowners have been blessed with low interest rate first mortgage loans that they want to keep. The need for cash did not disappear with the refinance boom, so 2nd mortgages and home equity loans will be the loans of choice for the next few years. Anyone who has a 30-year fixed rate loan at under 6% should keep their existing loan in tact and take out a second loan on their home if they need cash. The Federal Reserve has hinted that there are more rate hikes coming, so if you are a mortgage broker or lender, it is time to brush up on your second mortgage product line, because people still need to access cash, and there is no better way to accomplish this.

    Home Equity Loans to 125%

    You don’t need any equity, and this loan program will actually allow you to exceed the value in your home up to 125%! These 2nd mortgages are typically offered with a fixed interest rate for 15, 20 or 25 year repayment terms. If you have credit card debt, or high rate loans, this is an excellent loan for eliminating compounding interest and saving money! IHE executive, Sandy Sarconi stated, “There is no better way for a hard-working family with no equity in their home to lower bill payments and get out of debt.”

    * Fixed Interest Rate 2nd Mortgage

    * No Mortgage Insurance Ever

    * No Equity Second Mortgage

    Stated Income Second Mortgages

    More and more people are seeking reduced documentation loans. More and more people have become self-employed, and many people simply like the streamlined process.

    * Stated Income Equity Loans

    * No Income No Asset 2nd Mortgages

    * No Income Verified Home Equity

    * No Doc Equity Refinance

    Second Mortgage Credit Lines

    Sure the interest rates are variable. Yes the Fed has increased the prime rate index eight times in the last few years, but people love low payments that interest only loans provide. People also love the flexibility of only having to pay interest on the money you access. Where else can you get money waiting for you without having to make payments until you use spend cash!

    * Interest Only Payments

    * Home Lines of Credit

    In 2006, the often bashful, second mortgage has emerged from the shadow of first mortgage, and evolved into the cool loan of choice.

    Categories
    PayDay Loans

    Payday Loan Consolidation – How It Works

    A payday loan can be a real life-saver when your monthly budget is hit by an uninformed roof leak or a medical emergency. There’s ready cash available to tide you over the immediate financial crisis. It is a high interest loan, but well, so long as things are taken care of till your next pay check arrives!

    The deadline for repayment is generally when your next salary is due. If you are unable to pay it, it is carried forward.

    The problem with payday loans is that it can be a vicious cycle. Before you realize you have signed up for multiple loans, making it very difficult for you to keep up with timely payments and fees. The ease with which you can obtain one is partly to blame.

    How do you pay off these loans?

    Payday loan consolidation is the solution for individuals who have accumulated huge debts. However, you need to first understand how it works.

    The counselor will first evaluate your financial situation. This includes validating loans and ensuring which ones are still active. The company pays off your outstanding debts; so all your loans are rolled into one against new terms. You are then only liable to one credit agency.

    A high interest rate is a distinctive feature of this type of loan. A company that works towards consolidation will first look for ways to reduce the rate of interest against which the amount that was loaned to you; thus, your loan is easier to pay back. It can also help you forgo additional charges and fees. To add, they give you sufficient time to payback your loan. So, at a lower rate and more time to pay up, your monthly installments are going to be smaller.

    In payday loan consolidation too, you have two options:

    · Secured loan consolidation includes securing loans against some value property such as your house or car etc. The rate of interest is low; however, in event of failure to repay, you will lose the property held as a collateral security.

    · Unsecured loan consolidation which is offered without requiring a collateral security. The rate of interest is slightly higher than the first option but lower than that charged by payday loan lenders. It is a great option for one with a good credit score.

    You can consolidate the loans yourself or get payday loan debt help from companies that offer such services. If you choose the latter, they will handle everything for you right from handling communication with your lenders to paying off your loans.

    The bottom line is a payday loan consolidation company does not write off your debts. They work with you and your lender to create a payment plan that is affordable.

    Now if you want to get the best settlement soon, you need to choose your payday loan consolidation company with care. You need to make sure the company is registered. This step helps ensure the financial institution is authentic. Be clear about the fees you pay towards the settlement. Payday loan consolidation should be based on your financial situation. The company should not work with a one-size fits all approach. If they force you to accept the terms and conditions in place, avoid the company and look for another. If the company is trying to sell you stuff other than payday loan consolidation services, it is a red flag.

    So, if you’ve mounted debts and are unable to repay the loans, don’t get bogged down by the phone calls and repayment agents. Schedule a free counseling session with a payday loan consolidation company and end your stress.

    Categories
    Wealth Building

    Debt Consolidation the Key to Wealth Building

    While it’s true that there are many avenues of varying shapes and sizes to building wealth, there can be little argument that a lifestyle chalked full of overspending and high-interest credit card debt is the kiss of death when it comes to wealth building.

    Flush from the last decade of capital appreciation as a result of one of Canada’s longest running real estate booms, homeowners are taking advantage of their accumulated equity to complete debt consolidations at a record pace … or at least they should be.

    With mortgage rates down over 0.50% off of their recent peak, and expectations set for a further reduction in fixed rates and a future lowering of prime, it makes more sense than ever for those “over-indulgers” to engage in a debt consolidation and improve their overall cash flow positions.

    While most credit cards carry interest rates in the 10 – 24% range, comparable mortgage rates are in the 4 – 5% range at the moment. Unfortunately, far too many Canadian’s continue to spend beyond their means and accumulate ever-increasing monthly payments.

    Making only the minimum payment on one’s obligations is great to maintain a healthy credit score, but elongates the time in which it will take to pay off those debts. The more principle that can be applied to the payments, the lower the overall cost of borrowing and the higher the savings of interest in the long-term.

    When considered over the long term, a secured debt consolidation and the resulting cash flow improvements can be the key to building long-term wealth. With proper debt roll-down strategies and mortgage amortization tips, an educated consumer can take control of their financial future and begin to increase their overall wealth.

    Don’t forget that there is a difference between “good debt” and “bad debt”, with the former helping you to build wealth (eg: RRSP loans, investment property mortgages, etc …) and others holding you back (Credit cards, high-rate personal loans, etc …)

    Categories
    Debt Consolidation

    Debt Consolidation – Getting the Explanation You Need

    The number of people that have opted for debt consolidation has increased quite a bit in the last few years. There are a few reasons for this, first the US is a credit driven society. Secondly, the economy has been on such a downturn that people have been relying on credit cards for survival. This is a lethal combination that usually contributes to a situation that calls for considering debt consolidation as a way out.

    After mounting interest rates and credit cards that are maxed out, many people breathe a sigh of relief with debt consolidation. While this might not be a good option for everyone, if you have yourself in a financial predicament then you should at least explore your options.

    A good way to do this is with an online search. You will likely find that when you have several open and often overdue credit accounts that can be compounded into one loan with a more attractive interest rate, it is the best alternative. This might be the only option for you as a matter of fact if you want to climb out of debt. For many, it is the only hope.

    Debt consolidation allows people to get out from under those fluctuating and high interest rates and embrace a fixed and often lower interest rate. The other benefit is that you would only have to make one payment each month instead of one to each creditor.

    It is very important to always look around prior to deciding on a debt consolidation plan so that you are able to find the one that is most advantageous to you. These types of debts pose less risk to the lender and are usually eliminated from bankruptcy in the event that you should file before the debt consolidation is paid off.

    It is advised that you do proceed with caution before making a firm decision about which company you will give your business to. These companies know that people are approaching them while they are extremely vulnerable and desperate and have been known in the past to take advantage of certain situations. Make sure that you are armed with information and don't become one that is taken advantage of. When done correctly and when you are well informed then debt consolidation can be a wonderful and very helpful option for many people.