Why is a Credit Score Important? 5 Key Reasons

The average credit score varies significantly from state to state. Those living in Minnesota enjoy the highest at 709, while those living in Mississippi have some of the country’s lowest with an average of 647.

You may ask yourself, why is a credit score important? Most people tell you that having a good score can help you secure favorable loan terms. But your credit score influences so much more than that.

Here are five ways your credit score can affect your life.

1. Living Options

Whether your renting or looking to purchase, a strong credit score will help you secure your most desired housing. Mortgage lenders will pull your credit score when determining your application for a mortgage. Landlords will also pull your credit when considering your tenant application.

Have a poor credit score, and you may get turned down as a tenant for the most desirable rental options. Your poor credit score can also prevent you from getting approved for a large enough mortgage to buy your dream home.

2. Employment Applications

Having a good credit score is important because many employers these days will run a credit check for job applicants. While employers pull your credit report and not your specific score, if you’re score is low, it means your report has some questionable things in it.

Employers may think twice about hiring someone who hasn’t demonstrated financial responsibility. They may feel that your debt is too high for the salary they are offering. Or the position could be for a financial position, and your less than stellar credit report shows you lack the skills for the job.

3. Loan Terms

This is the one benefit that everyone knows. The better your score and report are, the more favorable terms you can get.

Lenders want to see that they will get their money back. A strong credit report shows that you consistently repay your debts.

4. Utility Applications

Some utility companies will run a credit check and check for their ideal credit score before approving your services application. This also includes cell phone companies.

You may find that your poor credit profile disqualifies you from the best promotional offers. If your score is especially poor, the company may require you to pay a deposit before services are rendered.

5. Car Insurance Rates

Many people don’t realize it, but your credit score and report can affect your car insurance rates. Those with lower scores will be asked to pay more than those with excellent credit scores. This can result in hundreds of dollars in fees saved for improving and maintaining an excellent credit score.

Sarah Minter from Money Trumpet says that one of the best ways to improve your credit score is to not use more than 30% of your available credit

Why Is a Credit Score Important? Now You Know

You should no longer be asking, why is a credit score important? As you can see, having a high credit score means that your life will be more affordable and more comfortable.

If your score isn’t great, focus on reducing your spending and paying off your debts. This will improve your payment history and reduce your debt to income ratio.

Browse our blog for more posts that are full of helpful financial advice.   

What You Need to Know Before You Apply for FHA Cash-Out Refinance

As per the mortgage data analytics reports, the average American homeowner has $130,000 in drawable equity. With cash-out refinances, you have the option to pay off your existing debt and draw higher equity you’ve built in your home.

An FHA cash out refinance pays off your existing FHA loan and allows you to take the rest of the balance in cash. This remainder can be up to 80% of your home’s value. This program is a good option for those who require funds for strategies like home improvements and credit card payoff. Below listed are some of the factors about the FHA-cash out program that you must know before you apply for it.


To qualify for this cash-out refinance program, you need to:

  • Be the owner and reside in your principal home for the past year.
  • Have the current title against your name, in case you have an existing FHA loan.
  • Make timely debt payments for the past year.

In certain circumstances, there can be additional rules. You need to consult your lender for guidance on the requirements that apply to your case.


In the cash-out refinance program, you get a new FHA debt for an amount that is higher than your existing debt. The gap between your mortgage balance and current home value constitutes the cash-out.

You can use the home equity created from the cash-out refinances to strengthen your financial stance. Strategies like high-interest mortgage consolidation are the best fit for utilizing tapped home equity.

Maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio for FHA cash-out

As of Sep. 1, 2019, homeowners can avail of a maximum LTV ratio of 80% for an FHA cash-out. It implies, till you have at least 20% in equity, you are eligible to borrow a maximum of 80% of your home value.

Lenders calculate your LTV considering components like your original mortgage and refinances, along with other loans, guaranteed by your home loan. The total debt can not exceed the FHA loan limit. Further, this loan limit varies with every county in the country.

Closing Cost

The closing cost of an FHA cash-out refinance includes the FHA appraisal payments. Though you may have an existing FHA loan, yet you will require a new appraisal.

Furthermore, you will have to pay an FHA mortgage insurance premium, which is 1.75% of the loan amount. In case you opt for refinancing an FHA loan that is hardly three years old, you can claim a refund on the part of the new premium.


The credit score requirements for the FHA cash-out refinancing programs are lesser, with a required minimum score of 500, as compared to the conventional programs.

Further, this program can be helpful to refinance any loan. The program, unlike other mortgage programs, does not apply restrictions on the geographical location of the property. Besides, due to leniency in credit score, first-time homebuyers can explore more options across the country. Also, the person buying the home from you can take over the loan at the refinancing rate.

Federal Housing Administration insures the FHA cash-out refinancing program. The relaxed qualification requirements make FHA cash-out programs an attractive option for borrowers not eligible for a conventional loan.

Four Reasons To Use Personal Tax Services In Abbotsford

Spring and summer are just around the corner. The smell of grass, the song of birds… Hmm, you could almost enjoy it all, were it not for the nightmare called taxes. It takes away all the joy of this beautiful season. Everything is coming alive, while you seem to be losing your will to live. Because – what’s due in spring? Or is it summer in Abbotsford? Tax returns!

Check it out: https://www.abbotsford.ca/city_services/property_taxes/your_current_tax_notice.htm

Does It Ever Get Easier?

Well, who told you that you have to worry that much? Sure, tax returns can be quite a pain in the neck, especially if you decide to do them on your own. But, that’s just it. You don’t have to do them on your own. Therein lies the magic of this process.

Instead of losing sleep over this, how about you let a professional do the work for you? Isn’t it nicer to enjoy your sunny days with, say, a cup of coffee and a nice book, rather than spending them on this boring task? Plus, there is a fair chance that you won’t do everything the right way and then you’ll have a problem.

Since, this job might be boring for you, but we cannot deny its complexity and importance. And that’s not all. The tax codes are constantly changing and, as an average taxpayer, you are bound to miss a few new rules and regulations. Do you know who would never miss that? A professional preparer, naturally.

So, to answer the above question… Yes, it can get a lot easier. You can see how by checking out Numbers Unlimited: personal tax services and taking a look at all the services that you can get from a professional preparation company. If you decide to stick to your old ways and do this alone, then I must be completely honest. It will never get easier that way.

Why Use These Services

Other than the fact that tax preparation professionals can take a big burden off your chest, are there any more reasons to use these services? Well, sure there are, and a lot! Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why going for this option is the right thing to do.

Saves Time

Do I really need to explain how long it can take for you to prepare the returns on your own? I guess you have tried it already. Tell me, did you enjoy the experience? Or did it seem like a never-ending ordeal? Not to mention when you discover some mistakes and then have to check everything once again.

When you hire an expert in this field, you will not only be released of certain duties, but the whole process will be finished before you even know it. Could you imagine this? No stress, no little panic attacks whenever you start feeling you won’t be able to do it properly… Just pure peace of mind and a guarantee that everything will be done on time and in a professional manner.

Provides Error-Free Work

Speaking of stress, it can be quite frustrating when you don’t manage to lodge your returns on your first try. At that very moment, you just want to send everything where the sun doesn’t shine and give up, am I right? I don’t know about you, but I would definitely feel this way.

Luckily, I don’t ever have to feel that way. Because I have an expert by my side. Not until you hire one on your own will you realize how much stress this whole process used to cause you. Emphasis on the “used to”, since an expert will now be there to make sure that your returns are completely error-free. Additional info.

Makes Everything In Compliance With The Law

As I have already mentioned above, tax laws in Abbotsford are bound to change from time to time. That’s just the way it is and you cannot do anything about it. If you are not interested very much in learning this year after year, then you must find this rather irritating. And I get it. If you don’t actually practice the law, then you don’t need to know everything about it.

Fortunately for you, there are those who need to know everything about it. They are the people who prepare your taxes and their job is to stay up to date with all the laws. So, while you might find all of this difficult to comprehend, tax experts have everything right there in their pocket. That’s another necessary condition for successfully lodging your returns.

Lets You Focus On More Important Matters

This is the right option for you when you have some more pressing issues to take care of and cannot exactly focus on doing your taxes. Plus, when you are not focused, then it is definitely impossible to do a good job in the first place. And we all know that doing a poor job leads to further stress. Consequently, you end up wasting even more time.

With professional services, you can take your mind off this necessity that is often, and rightfully, thought of as nuisance. That way, you can focus on anything that is more important to you at that moment. Of course, if you have nothing better to do and want to learn a few things about this process, then your tax preparer can answer any questions you might have.

How to Make Retirement Goals: The Ultimate Planning Guide

You’re planning your retirement? Congrats!

By now you’re probably already dreaming about how you’ll spend your free time. Whether you plan on traveling or having more quality time with friends and family, it takes careful financial planning to make your dreams come true.

Studies show that in the United States, about 10,000 people reach retirement age every day. However, not everyone who qualifies for retirement is ready when the time comes.

For those who want to know how to set the right retirement goals, we can help! We’ve created a short, but complete, guide that can help you no matter what stage of your career you’re in.

Read on to find out everything you need to know to plan the perfect retirement.

Setting Retirement Goals

Setting retirement goals is a process that evolves. First, you’ll want to have a brainstorming session to think about what your ideal retirement would look like.

Here are a few questions that can help you figure out what you want:

  • Do you want to travel during your retirement?

  • At what age would you like to retire?

  • what financial responsibilities will you have when you retire?

  • Are you dealing with a lot of debt currently?

  • Do you plan on moving when you retire?

As you get ready to start your financial journey, keep in mind how much time you have before retirement. Next, begin looking into the different retirement accounts that will help you raise money for your future.

Instead of simply saving, you need to invest your money to help it grow. That’s why it’s always a good idea to start planning for your retirement as soon as possible. Younger investors can afford to take higher risks than those who are approaching the retirement horizon.

Save Regularly

No matter how close or far you are away from retirement, you’ll want to practice saving regularly. We suggest you save a portion of every paycheck you receive.

Even if there’s not a lot of money from your paycheck you can put towards retirement, make sure you’re putting some amount, no matter how small. As you begin to make more money or cut costs out of your life, you can increase the amount you’re saving each paycheck.

Maximize 401(k) Match

Another way you can consistently save is by participating in your company’s 401(k) program. When companies offer to match at high amounts it’s always a good idea to max out your contributions.

Let’s say for instance that the company you’re working for offers to match fifty cents for every dollar you contribute to your 401(k), with a 5% maximum.

In this scenario, you would want to make the maximum contribution (5% of your salary), so you can receive a 50% return on your money. Not only will you be making money from the company matching, but you’ll also be growing your 401(k) investments over time.

Catch up on Retirement Savings

Are you in the later stages of your career? If you currently don’t have a retirement plan, and you’re getting closer to your retirement horizon, you have a bit of catching up to do.

Consider Downsizing

First, look to your home to see if you have any equity available. If you have equity in your home, you can use it to support your retirement in several ways.

For instance, if you have extra space in the house that you don’t need, start looking for a less expensive, smaller house you could move into. Even if you only profit $50,000 from selling your house, that’s $50,000 you can put directly into your retirement account.

Of course, if you’re not interested in moving out of your house, then don’t force yourself to make a move you’ll regret.

Reverse Mortgages

If you don’t want to sell your home, look into getting a reverse mortgage with your bank. Reverse mortgages are government-backed loans. These loans give older homeowners a chance to turn some of their home equity into cold hard cash.

When you get a reverse mortgage, the bank will make payments directly to you. However, you won’t have to treat the payments like a typical loan. Instead of having to pay back the debt, the balance will be repaid to the bank when the surviving borrower dies, you move out, or sell your home.

Planning for Long-Term Care

Do you know how much it would cost you if you needed long-term care? Here are a few questions to help you determine what you should budget for:

  • Is there anyone in your life who would help care for you?

  • What type of care would you want?

  • Do you have expenses you could eliminate to offset the cost of long-term care?

  • Where do you plan on living in retirement?

It’s always a good idea to play it safe and plan for the cost of long-term care during retirement. Long-term services include assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and in-home assistance.

If you don’t plan on needing long term care, you might be hesitant to try saving for it. However, setting retirement goals is all about playing it safe.

It’s better to save for the care and not need it, than the other way around. Government support, through programs like Medicare, and Medicaid, won’t be enough to provide you with the type of care you need.

Instead, you’ll need to start designating a portion of your retirement savings to be set aside for long-term care use. We suggest using a Roth IRA or accumulation annuities to help save for long-term care expenses. You can also look into finding specialized health insurance plans that provide coverage for long-term care costs.

Have Everything You Want

There you have it! Some of the best advice for setting retirement goals that will work for you. What step will you take today to start planning for your future?

We hope our article was able to teach you at least one new thing as you begin your journey. For more ways to get where you want to be in life, read through a few more of our articles today!

9 Things You Should Consider Before Going Freelance

Have you long dreamed about being your own boss one day? Then going freelance might be a great option for you.

Whether you decide to be a freelance writer, a freelance marketer, or a freelance data entry specialist, there are so many freelance jobs to choose from. The only thing you’ll need to do is pick the right one for you.

You’ll also want to consider a few things before going freelance. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re ready to do it before diving headfirst into the world of freelancing.

Here are nine things you’ll want to think about before working freelance.

1. Do You Enjoy Working by Yourself?

One of the things that a lot of people are finding out right now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is that working at home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Not everyone is cut out to spend long hours working by themselves with no one else around.

Before going freelance, you should think about whether or not you fall into this category. You need to be able to work independently when you’re self-employed. Otherwise, you’re going to run right back to your current workplace in no time.

2. Are You Able to Motivate Yourself to Work?

In addition to working by yourself for the most part, you also need to motivate yourself when you’re self-employed. There isn’t going to be anyone around to tell you that you need to finish up a project or start generating leads for new clients.

It’ll be up to you to find ways to motivate yourself day in and day out. If you don’t think you’re cut out to do this, becoming self-employed is going to be the wrong move for you.

3. Is There Somewhere for You to Work in Your Home?

When you’re trying to figure out how to go freelance, one big thing you should think about is where you’re going to set up shop as a freelancer.

Yes, you can get away with freelancing out of a coffee shop for a certain amount of time. But if you’re going to freelance full-time for the foreseeable future, you’ll need a home office setup.

Make sure you have enough room to put a desk, a computer, and whatever else you’ll need to work in your home.

4. Can You Generate Enough Work?

While setting up as a freelancer, you’ll need to consider what services you actually want to provide to people and companies. You’ll also need to start drumming up work that you can do once you begin freelancing full-time.

Without enough work at your fingertips, you’re not going to make it for more than a month or two as a freelancer. It’s essential for you to turn over every stone in an effort to generate work for you to do.

5. Do You Have Some Savings Set Aside for Slower Months?

When you’re working for a company, you don’t have to worry about how much you’re going to bring in every month. You’ll get paid pretty much the same amount of money month in and month out.

This isn’t always the case for freelancers. Some months, you might make way more money than you’re making now. Other months, you might make next to nothing.

It’s good for freelancers to have cushioned savings accounts, if possible. This will make the slower months way more manageable than they would be otherwise.

6. Do You Need Health Insurance?

Almost 50% of U.S. workers get health insurance through their employers. This obviously won’t be an option for you if you don’t have an employer.

You might be able to obtain health insurance through your spouse if you have one. But if this isn’t a possibility, it’ll be up to you to get your hands on health insurance yourself.

You’ll need to find the best self employed health insurance policy you can and make sure it’s affordable since you’ll be footing the bill.

7. Are You Prepared to Pay Your Taxes on Your Own?

Those who work for companies typically ask their employers to take taxes out of their paychecks so that they’re not left with a big tax bill every April.

Since you won’t be able to do this, you’ll need to keep tabs on how much money you make as a freelancer and how much of it you need to set aside to cover your tax bill.

Freelancers can benefit from using the paystub generator here to make your life easier come tax time. You’ll also need to keep business-related receipts so that you can deduct the expenses you rack up as a freelancer on your taxes.

This can be too much work for some people to take on. There are also some people who don’t do a good job saving up tax money and struggle to foot their tax bills because of it. Make sure this isn’t going to be you.

8. Can You Save Up Enough Money for Retirement?

Outside of getting your own health insurance and taking care of your own taxes, you’ll also be on your own when it comes to saving money for retirement.

The good news is that you can start a retirement account yourself without an employer. But the bad news is that you won’t have an employer matching your retirement contributions along the way.

This could stop you from saving up enough money for retirement. It might make staying at your current job a better option than going freelance.

9. Is Going Freelance Going to Impact Other Areas of Your Life in a Negative Way?

The second you start freelancing, it’s going to be to you—and only you!—to keep your finances afloat. You’ll have to do whatever it takes to generate enough income to continue being your own boss.

You might have to make sacrifices in your personal life to ensure this happens. This could mean missing your child’s sporting events or spending less time with your spouse.

Think about ways in which starting self-employment might have a negative impact on your life. If they’re going to be too much to take, freelancing might not be in your best interests.

Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss by Going Freelance?

In the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, something tells us that more people than ever before are going to be going freelance. Will you be one of them?

Ask yourself the questions listed here to find out if freelance life is for you. They should help steer you in the right direction as you move forward with your career.

Want to learn more about freelancing and the benefits that come along with it? Browse through the informative articles on our blog.