Tapping into Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Everybody loves being an entrepreneur. The thrill of starting a new project after executing a well conceived plan is certainly something to talk about. In addition, the respect and adulations that one could receive when one’s ideas fructify into well-run businesses can be truly rewarding. What is unfortunate is that even though many entrepreneurial opportunities exist, few seem to find the right opportunity.

Finding a right business to start can always be a different ball game. It is not easy to put one’s ideas into practice and the time and effort that one needs to execute a carefully thought out plan into a well planned action takes time, effort, money and experience. IN addition to the planning stage, there are many skills that one may need in order to run a successful business. For example, other than the basic entrepreneurial acumen, one also needs to have some soft skills that would allow one to put one’s ideas into practice.

For example, one needs to have a skill to conceptualise an idea. This will be needful when one finds a need and comes up with an idea to cater to the need. Often entrepreneurs miss out on identifying a need or may identify the wrong need thereby making a business initiative less effective. Therefore one would need some imagination on how a need may be converted into an actual solution.

Finding a suitable market once the product has been designed is also another need. A product can be successful only if it has a good market. Without a good market, the best of ideas may be transformed into ineffectual business ventures.

Finally one needs a capacity to take calculated risks because without taking risks, a business does not flourish, at least in the initial stages. When one gives due consideration to all these factors, then one may be able to come up with a brilliantly executed plan of action than transforms into a long-standing business of high value. Therefore it is necessary to keep one’s eyes open and capitalise on the first chance that comes one’s way.

Secrets of Sometimes Unscrupulous Entrepreneurial Success

Historically, companies were started and run with the idea that they would endure, grow and create an everlasting stream of prosperity for the founders. Today, a ‘successful’ business idea can run its entire lifespan in a year.

No physical store is required, no ‘tight’ profit margins and, ideally, no employees outside your own family. Entrepreneurial success awaits you.

With this in mind, following the principles listed below, it is possible for many people who have an idea that their friends think is ridiculous, to develop it and make money from it – until people realize that they really didn’t need whatever it is after all.

This foolproof system has been used by thousands. You can see examples for it any day on television or in “As Seen On TV” ads in the magazine section of your local Sunday paper (where advertising, by the way, can be very reasonably priced.)

Fuller Brushes at $100 each or $1,000 Kirby vacuum cleaners are high end examples of successful, “I know you don’t think you need this but you really do” businesses over time. A plethora of less expensive kitchen and other household gadgets have been promoted, sold and collect dust in millions of American homes.

The secrets of entrepreneurial success are not secret at all. They are these:

  1. Create a product or service that people seem to be doing quite satisfactorily without.
  1. Persuade people, through advertising, media interest, etc. that they actually need it.
  1. Produce it for no more than 5% of the planned retail price.
  1. Write a clear sounding but functionally invalid warranty, one that sounds airtight but would leak like a sieve in Court.
  1. Ship by U.S. mail or UPS Ground and quadruple your actual shipping and handling costs in the price of the item(s.)
  1. Rent a Post Office Box to receive orders and/or put up an inexpensive Web page that the item or service can be ordered and paid for through. Low cost 800 phone numbers are also available for this purpose.
  1. Do all of the business from your own home. Retail floor space is a waste of money for all but devout ‘hands-on’ retailers.

The hardest step is #2: Convincing enough people they need whatever you want to sell them that you can make enough of them at a low enough cost to make a LOT of money from each and every order.

f course, it does take a tad of compromise in the scruples department to develop a plan to convince potential customers that they need the thing it is you have to sell.

This activity is called ‘Marketing” and is actually a highly regarded and often well compensated business specialty. Unless it is scruples you have to sell, you can leave them to the side. They likely may interfere with your entrepreneurial success.

Micro Lending Makes Grameen and Microfinance Last Hope of American Working Poor

Microfinance giant Grameen Bank offers microcredit to would-be entrepreneurs. Mostly women avail themselves of micro lending organizations, but any small business owner is welcome. Could micro finance make your business dream come true?

What is Microfinance and why is Micro Lending in the News?

As compared to the billion dollar loans currently being written in Washington, microfinance is concerned with loans that are measured in hundreds of dollars, not millions or billions. Perhaps the most famous example of micro lending is Grameen Bank, a financial organization that offers microcredit for the poor.

Grameen Bank, which is very active in Bangladesh, extends microcredit to those who need a $600, $900 or $2,000 loan to start or expand their small, home based businesses. This could be a door to door cosmetics sales business, a bakery, a dog grooming business, or anything else a microfinance applicant desires to engage in.

Microcredit in the United States

Although banks are receiving copious bailouts, lending to small business owners has come to a virtual halt. Moreover, some home based businesses are so small that they would not qualify for a loan. A good many home based business entrepreneurs at or below the poverty line also lack the credit needed to apply for – and receive – an ordinary loan. With microcredit, such loans are made possible.

In New York City, Grameen affiliated Project Enterprise offers microcredit ranging from $750 to $12,000 to local residents without collateral and bad credit. In Dallas, there is the Plan Fund that provides microfinance loans and also business training for recipients of the loans.

n Philadelphia, creditworthy Jewish members of the community are invited to participate in a program from the Hebrew Free Loan Society. This is a form of micro lending that does rely heavily on creditworthiness, but it allows for loans up to $5,000 that are interest free and may be used for adoption expenses, medical bills, unemployment related costs, and also first home down payments.

These forms of micro finance fill a much needed void in the microcredit market that thus far provided a niche for the prohibitively priced payday lending operations.

Micro Lending versus Payday Loans

Payday loans have carved a niche business out of micro lending. Their small loans carry interest rates that make the microcredit so expensive that borrowers usually have to take out another loan just to cover the impact its expenses have on their weekly or monthly budgets. As a matter of fact, criticism about Grameen also abounds in India where Web India published a scathing criticism of the microfinance organization as perpetuating poverty with its high interest rates, lumping it into the same category as payday lenders and usurers.

There is, however, a serious difference between for profit payday loan institutions and microfinance organizations, such as Grameen: microcredit from Grameen and its allied organizations comes with education, information, and also a hand up on how to make the most use of the micro loan. Another aspect overlooked by the critics is the generous repayment time of usually one to two years. Micro lending with payday loan providers comes with the threat of a ruined credit profile and a repayment time measured in weeks, not necessarily months.

As the global economy continues to be plagued by bank failures and unwillingness to part with funds to poverty stricken entrepreneurs, micro lending may be the next best thing for aspiring home based business owners who are underserved by the existing lending institutions.

Investment Tips for Children

During this Holiday season I saw a commercial produced by a company that reminded me of how quickly life goes by. The scheme was a man pushing a small boy that looked to be about 7 years old on a swing in the back yard; he pushes the young boy and the boy and the swing go out of frame and when the swing comes back the boy now looks to be a 200 pound adolescent and knocks the wind out of the man pushing the swing. The tag line says “Life comes at you fast”.

The other day, I received a Christmas card from a good friend of mine in Virginia and inside the card was a picture of her two beautiful children ages 9 and 12. I have been residing in another state for 5 years now and I haven’t seen them for sometime and only remember the youngest as a baby lying in his bouncy chair. My friend wrote me a little note in the card to tell me that her oldest was in the 7th grade and the youngest in the 4th. I thought to myself “wow, where does the time go?”.

Since we are all aware that time is our greatest commodity, it’s time to prepare for the coming New Year and make some plans regarding finances. This month I am going to give you some investment tips for children, Parents and Empty Nesters in order to better prepare yourself for the future. Today, we will focus on the children and give you some investment ideas for them.

  1. Open a savings account for your children to begin putting all of the money they receive from Birthday’s, Holiday’s or chores and let them make a deposit each month. When you allow children to go to the bank and make deposits themselves, it will give them a sense of ownership as well as train them for the future in learning how to save on a consistent basis. (If you have issues with your credit or you have your own poor savings habits, please find a responsible, trustworthy relative that will take on this task and set up an account for them to begin saving).
  2. Have your children follow the 10-10-80 plan. (Some people refer to it as the 80-10-10 rule, but I believe that you have to give first, save second and live on the rest). Make sure that the first 10% of your gifts or earnings go to a charity or your local church for your tithes. The next 10% should be put into a savings account or invested and the remaining 80% can be used at your discretion (I.e. buy that toy or game you always wanted)
  3. Research the internet with your children to find out information on company’s where you can purchase stock for your children. When you get children involved in the process even when they aren’t making decisions, it makes them feel valuable. There are a lot of company’s that have been in business for years and have very stable stock that will slowing give you a return on your investment. If you start your child at the age of 5, by the time they turn 18, I dare to say you should have a nice little nest egg awaiting for them.
  4. Get your children involved in Collecting; by putting their money into things that will give them a return in the future (I.e. bonds, gold, coins) Collecting and investing will empower your children and when they are older they will learn to make sound decisions. I know tweens and teens are really into material things such as clothing and shoes, but try to get them to understand the power of the dollar and what it can do for them in the future.
  5. Let your children begin to think about investing in themselves by becoming entrepreneurs. Whether it’s opening up a lemonade stand outside the home and selling cool drinks in the summer or mowing the neighbors lawns or shoveling snow or maybe your child has musical talent, let them expound on that by selling their music at school or putting on a talent show in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter what they do, it only matters that you encourage them to do something with the gift that they have been given.

Once you make children understand that money is something that can work against you if you spend it unwisely or it can work for you if you learn to invest wisely; they will have the information they need in order to succeed in life. I believe every child should invest in themselves first and then get involved in the market. Remember before you do anything, make sure that you research, research and research some more because there are a lot of scams out there waiting for the uninformed.

Since we are moving into a brand new year, 2007, I am believing that this year will bring perfection and completion in your lives. Pray first, Listen and then Act Accordingly. Have a fantastic New Year!

Top Credible Resources Online for Money and Finance

The world of finance is a dynamic ecological system. The investor, money manager and equities analyst must have a grasp of world current events, an understanding of economics, discerning senses of smell and sight, incisive research and interrogation abilities, abject honesty and a level head to blend and separate fact from fiction. This a very tall order and that is why many financial advisors specialize in one area like the banking, technology, bond or commodities markets and currency sectors.

So, what does the average investor do when unlike the experts has a day job, but wants to intelligently invest their money. The uninformed investor is a fool. If you do not have time to know the what, where, why and how of the money you invest, you would be well advised to take your hard earned money and place it on the nose of the dark horse running in the eighth race at Aqueduct.

I guarantee you will be just as likely to lose all your money in the financial markets as you are at the race track. You will also be the loudest and most pathetic loser to scream foul to Elliot Spitzer, or his counter part somewhere.

The best rule of thumb is that money seeks safe harbors. Money is the life cell in the Petrie dish. If the cell sees an invading bacterium that is threatening, it will react. The cells of life, and its antibodies, the rules of the game, work in harmony with the sole purpose of survival. Money is the energy of the cell.

In the world of money, the big players are few and the smaller players are easily trampled in the flight to safe positions. In recent history it is always good to remember that before the U.S.S.R. fell, the money of the soviet republic was already safely tucked away in London, New York, Paris and Zurich accounts accumulating interest before any public ballyhoo of the momentous event was announced.

It should also be reassuring to you that despite what some blogger or servant of divine messages may tell you, in the world of money and finance there is not going to be an Armageddon or repeat of the crash of 1929. Not even a handful of international maniacal terrorists could disrupt in any meaningful way the financial well being of the hub of international finance in attacking New York City in 2001. Today, security and back up systems around the world will not allow any significant disruption of the United States or anywhere else.

So, if you are not already intimidated by the concept of investing and wish to explore the possibilities of growing your money at a healthy rate of better than a pass book account rate of three to five per cent per year, this list of information services will increase your chances of success. This is not meant as a substitute for hiring an estate planner or stock advisor broker, but as a compliment so that you as an investor have the ability to ask the question and the knowledge to know if the answer you receive is adequate.

Additionally, do not feel that all of your worries are dispensed if you should decide to invest in mutual funds or baskets of sector stocks because the smart investor always wants to pay attention to the managers’ savvy and the fees and recurring expenses they charge, as well as the viability of the members of the basket.

This is not a definite list of resources, but a beginning point. The first thing you should invest in is a good dictionary of finance. I suggest the latest edition of Webster’s New World Finance and Investment Dictionary and Barron’s Dictionary of Business Terms, both cost around $10 on Amazon.

International Herald Tribune: http://www.iht.com

The International Herald Tribune emanates from Paris, Francis. The news service has international news events effecting economic markets including, equities, currency and commodities. The business section has topical articles on all phases of business on a world wide basis, seven days per week.

Scotsman: http://www.scotsman.com

The Scotsman web site has good information on international banking and breaking news about events in the world wide financial markets. The information is generally credible and due to the difference in time zones the alert and updates come in before U.S. commercial news services. The Scotsman has good researchers and does not sanitize stories.

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com

The breadth of Bloomberg’s news service and financial reports of international markets and the world wide economy is well laid out on its web site. If you have inquiries into the various currencies or markets, Bloomberg has an easily navigable web site. There is also a good reference section.

Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/home/us

Financial Times offers a good view of the world economic issues. The Financial Times provides a United States version of its London-based publication. The articles are informative and their news is up to the minute in matters of finance and equity markets. They feature interesting articles on the sometimes omitted details of current conflicts and transactions around the globe.

The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com

The Wall Street Journal has good articles on the world wide markets. The articles are generally very informative. Their on-line full service requires a subscription fee. There is public access to the site and some articles are free. Most of these articles end up being quoted in popular financial reporting services or on cable news outlets in morning programming segments.

Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com.

This financial news information site is read by money managers and experts every day. I am particularly impressed with this news provider because they provide articles from all of the top financial news advisory services. The story I was looking for on the treasury bond was originally written for the Wall Street Journal. It was easily discovered by typing in the search term,bond inquiry,and the article, UBS, Credit Suisse Under SEC Investigation for Bonds Trading Irregularities took about two seconds.

The owner of the site is David Jackson, a former technology research analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York. The on-line information site is organized exceptionally well in part because the platform is geared for financial information and data. Dion Almaer is the site’s infrastructure brains. Articles from more than 200 contributors are tagged, edited for clarity and categorized for Seeking Alpha’s dissemination.

Morningstar: http://www.morningstar.com

Morningstar provides general investing advice, but it excels at providing assessments of Mutual Funds. Morningstar breaks down the best funds and provides detailed information about the money managers, fees, loads and a variety of useful information for anyone considering entrance into the mutual fund arena. It is a must read before deciding on any specific mutual fund plan.

MSN Money Central: http://moneycentral.msn.com

Money Central is run by Microsoft, but the articles are from all sorts of news services. The web site allows you to personalize your favorite equities and other investments. It has some good business stories about investing, banking, insurance and estate planning issues. The site also provides the latest news about real estate mortgages and critiques about mortgage lending services. It is an informative site.

CNBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN:

All of these financial web sites are compliments to the existing cable television network. All of these network programs provide investor disclaimers regarding their advice.

Some of the financial forecasters and analysts have years in the field not as news commentator, but as stock investors or financial advisors for brokerage houses or exchanges. Do not be fooled by their shenanigans and stage presence. They are seasoned veterans. A prime example is Jim Cramer. He is entertaining, but the gentleman made a whole lot of money in the markets and a whole load of money for other people. In this category I leave it up to the individual to decide whom they like getting information. The primary wire services these cable outlets rely on are Associated Press, UPI and Reuters.

The Motley Fool: http://www.fool.com

The Motley Fool is nobodys’ fool. This site has some of the more interesting stories about emerging markets, creation of wealth and down to earth advice about your finances. A recent article, Unbelievable Growth Is Just the Beginning, is a great assessment of the new emerging middle class in heretofore impoverished countries. Their in depth data of emerging markets is quite good. They have recently launched a service called the Motley Fool Global Gains that promises to provide first rate information on the emerging markets investment potential.

In summary, don’t let your lack of a formal education get in the way of making money. Some people just have an uncanny knack for investing. Play some no cost investing games. Try making some fantasy stock and investments picks and see how you do. If you have an interest in tangible items like metals, oranges, sugar, cattle, hogs and wheat, there is always the commodities exchange which is an article in and of itself.

If you have a flare for this type of investing and you have a stomach lined in steel there are great opportunities for this area. Some of the best investors I have met in this area are farmers who seem to instinctively play the market exceptionally well. You can also play the currencies, but again this area requires skill and nerves of steel.

How Credit Card Companies Make Their Money

Everyone knows the banks can be quite profitable companies, and that one of their most profitable products that they create is the credit card. They know that consumers will leave balances on their cards and that they will make a great amount of money in interest. This is why they send out six billion credit card offers every year, and that number is rising! Credit card companies actually make their money in a number of different ways, continue reading to learn about fees and charges that some credit card companies charge to you and merchants.

The first and most widely known about expenses is finance charges. Whenever you do not pay your balance off at the end of the month and carry a balance over on a credit card from the previous month, you will be charged a fee approximately one twelfth that of your annual percentage rate in your card holder agreement. Sometimes credit card companies use the twelfth root of your annual percentage rate, depending on how they calculate the fee. Each month you carry over a balance you will be charged a finance charge.

Another major method for credit card companies to make money is with what is called an interchange fee. Whenever a merchant accepts a credit card or debit card as payment, they pay a small percentage, usually about 2% or 3%. Of this fee, the majority of it goes to the card issuers bank, some of it goes to transaction processing network, and some of it goes to the card association (such as Visa or Mastercard). As part of the credit card companies overall income from a customer, interchange fees generally make up about 15% of the money they make off a customer. This number can be much higher if a customer uses their credit card to make numerous day to day expenses such as lunch or snacks.

Credit card companies also charge a number of fees to customers besides that of the finance charge. Whenever you are late on a payment, also known as in default, you will be charged a fee for not making your payment on time. Whenever you charge more than your credit line allows, you will be charged an “over the limit” fee. If you make use of a convenience check or a cash advance, there will also be an additional fee for using one of them. Whenever you make a transaction in a foreign currency, there is usually a conversion fee, which can be up to 3% of the purchase. Finally, there are membership fees to actually have the card on some credit cards and if you are enrolled in some sort of rewards program, chances are you are paying an annual fee to participate in that as well.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle

It is always a gamble when you agree to finance a vehicle for someone else’s purchase, which is called seller financing. When you finance through a dealership, they have more recourse and more resources when it comes to customers who do not pay their car notes, but when you are a private seller and you have to repossess, it can become more complicated. Below are some tips for repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Check Your Paperwork

Hopefully, you and the buyer of your vehicle signed a contract or agreement stating the terms of the vehicle financing. If not, you could find yourself in hot water. Look over your contract or agreement and make sure that you are legally entitled to repossess the vehicle. If not, you could go to jail for auto theft.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Send Notice

Most states require that you notify the buyer before you make any attempt to repossess the vehicle. This gives them the opportunity to either make a payment or to turn over the car. Some states require that notice be given at least twice before you make your first repossession attempt, so be sure to check with your state’s laws regarding repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Decide Who Does It

You have two choices when it comes to the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle: (1) Repossession it yourself; and (2) Hiring a repo company to do it for you. Most people choose the second option because repossession can be difficult and, if you aren’t trained in skip tracing, it can be next to impossible. Not only that, but you might unwittingly break a few laws.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Understand How it Works

Repossessing a vehicle means finding the vehicle where it is parked and retaking possession of it. This happens when a buyer defaults on the loan for the vehicle or otherwise violates his or her contract. When skip tracing and repossession firms repossess vehicles, they use several tools to find the car, and then employ various tactics in taking it back. It can be very dangerous work when buyers get angry, and might take an inordinate amount of finesse. And unless you have a set of keys to the vehicle, you will need a way to tow the vehicle away.

You cannot break any laws during the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle. This means that if the car is garaged at a private residence, you cannot break into the garage to take it away. This is called “breaching the peace” and could earn you a criminal charge. The best way to repossess a privately purchased vehicle is to hire a company to do it for you.

 

Top 10 Financial Experts You Should Be Following on Twitter

  1. @CrownUpdates (Crown Financial Ministries)

Crown Financial Ministries is a Christian ministry that teaches financial principles based on the Bible. Follow these tweets for biblically based financial advice.

  1. @theRealKiyosaki (Robert Kiyosaki)

Robert Kiyosaki is the bestselling author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. He is also an investor, entrepreneur, and financial education advocate. He tweets about financial advice and great quotes.

  1. @SuzeOrmanShow (Suze Orman)

Suze Orman is a financial advisor, motivational speaker, tv host, and bestselling author. She seems to respond to a lot of questions on Twitter.

  1. @CheapTweet (Cheap Tweet)

Cheap Tweet searches Twitter for deals and coupons and lists some of these deals in their Twitter feed. Their profile claims to have links to over 9 million deals on their website.

  1. @ramseyshow (Dave Ramsey Show)

Dave Ramsey is a Christian financial author, radio host, tv personality and motivational speaker. Follow this feed for financial updates from his show.

  1. @thomasjstanley (Thomas J. Stanley)

Thomas J. Stanley is the bestselling author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. His Twitter updates include links to current events in the financial world.

  1. @wisebread (Wise Bread)

Wise Bread is a personal finance and frugal living portal. This Twitter account is updated frequently with advice on living frugally and on a small budget.

  1. @MoneyHappiness (Laura Rowley)

Laura Rowley is an author and journalist that writes a weekly column for Yahoo! Finance. Her Twitter feed includes links to her blog posts.

  1. @FortuneMagazine (Fortune Magazine)

Fortune Magazine is a global business magazine. Follow this Twitter account for real-time analysis from the best in the business.

  1. @Hip2Save (Collin/Hip2Save)

This Twitter account is a personal favorite. It is run by a young mother who links her tweets to updates on her website. You can find information about budgeting, frugal shopping, and more.

Tips on Paying for College

Going to college can be one of the most financially significant events in an individual’s life. While on the positive side it does wonders to increase the pay scale of your chosen career, on the negative it can stack up such a high debt that it will take a chunk out of many future checks. Because of the importance of going to college and the high cost, it is important to do everything you can to lower the cost of college so that the benefits stay just as good but the cost can be reduced.

Getting scholarships is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of college. There are scholarships that can be awarded to almost anyone. Scholarships are a great way for companies and schools to invest in the school and the country’s future. Scholarships are as simple as getting money taken off of your tuition or getting money in the bank for expenses. These don’t have to be paid back and should be pursued the hardest out of all the financial aids.

Cutting expenses is also a huge part of saving money to pay for college. You can really reduce the debt you accrue if you try to make the college life as simple as possible. Taking steps such as leaving your car off campus eliminate gas prices and can save a lot of money and reduce the debt the have after college. Shopping websites for books early, buying the bare minimum laptop and shopping for cell phone plans are all great ways to reduce the cost of college thus lowering debt.

It is most likely that going to college will require getting loans. There really isn’t very much you can do to get a better deal on loans, the only way to prevent paying a lot of interest is to get a smaller loan. This is where saving comes in of course, the more you save the less loan money you have to get. Having money from working during high school or even just the summer before college can prevent a lot of interest.

College can be very expensive but these tips can help you spend less and owe less. Cutting costs and increasing scholarships and grants can change your college loans from being a crippling debt for years to a small payment. Try and do everything you can to take some weight off of your future finances by cutting costs, and saving money.

Get the Best Mortgage Rate in Missouri

One way to get a good rate is to establish a bank account with a local bank. One local bank here in the Southeast area of Missouri is First State Community Bank, which is based in Farmington, MO. If you work with a local bank that knows you, when it comes down to buying a house or refinancing, you will get extra help from that bank. Small banks want to keep their customers and will give extra attention and spend more time walking you through getting the best rate and/or financial product. They will keep in mind your banking history and be more willing to give in house loans for smaller mortgages and work with you in providing you the best deal. In Missouri, one time to get a really good rate through a local bank is during the winter. This is a time when business tends to be down and people aren’t buying very many houses. Avoid the commonly moving time right before school time because the bank will be overwhelmed by mortgage applications. A local bank will have less time for you and personal attention is the most important aspect of getting a good loan from a local bank.

If you follow the advice given by the Missouri Division of Finance, a website of the Missouri State Government, then you need to shop for the best loan, and not the best bank. They also suggest avoiding mortgage brokers and go right to the source in terms of lenders. However, this website admits that the credibility of the bank does matter, no matter what terms they offer, especially in light of financial problems that occurred with risky loans in the last few years. An important question to ask when trying to get the best mortgage is what the best loan origination fees and closing costs will be. You need to figure this information against the proposed rate to make the best decision.

Another way you can get the best rate is through Bankrate.com. This site is touted by many business magazines as being objective and not just directing you to certain mortgage companies. It allows you to search by area, letting you compare the rates in your area-this can in fact be helpful information to bring to your local bank or to apply somewhere else. But remember when you are using this resource that there are many factors that are involved in getting a certain rate, including your credit history, your down payment, whether you are a first time home buyer, and what type of loan you qualify for. You also have to keep in mind that the overall mortgage rate might not mean as much practically as the monthly payment. Luckily, this site is a great resource for helping you calculate this and help you determine what the best loan is. Getting the best rate means having the best credit possible, so you have to be careful about getting your credit pulled when applying or looking into mortgages. Using this site helps you find background information without committing to an application and having your credit report blemished in the process.