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I like economists and math PhD.’s but there is some truth that “experts” have picked 8 of the last 4 recessions. While the U.S. economy is considered to be broadly healthy, as shown by yesterday’s GDP data, at some point they’ll be right, right? Experts point to banks appearing to tighten criteria for commercial and industrial loans, the number of new consumer credit accounts has fallen 6% from its 2016 peak, a University of Michigan survey shows consumer confidence dropping, orders for capital goods are falling , a slowdown in the sale of business equipment continues, and the National Association of Realtors has reported sales of existing homes fell last month to the lowest level since November 2015. Lender Products and Services ISGN Solutions, a premier provider…(read more)

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If you are a Native American and have trouble getting home loan financing, there could be help with the Section 184 Home Loan program. This HUD program helps Native Americans afford home ownership by allowing low down payments and low interest rates. HUD guarantees the Section 184 Loans 100%, which means they work in much the same way that other government-backed programs, such as the FHA loan work.

Compare Offers from Several Mortgage Lenders.

Finding a Bank

HUD sets the guidelines for the Section 184 Loans and even guarantees them, but they don’t underwrite them. Instead, the funding bank does it. The banks have the final say in which loans get approved and which don’t.

It’s the lender’s job to make sure that the loan meets the Section 184 guidelines at a minimum. Lenders can add their own rules or overlays on top of it, but at a minimum they must follow the Section 184 guidelines. It’s often easier to use lenders that other tribe members have used and you may even find an approved list of lenders from your tribe.

How to Qualify

Qualifying for the Section 184 Loan means that you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a member of a Federally recognized tribe
  • You don’t need a certain credit score; the bank decides if you are a good risk or not
  • You will need a debt ratio that doesn’t exceed 41%, but there are exceptions to the rule, especially if you have a strong financial record
  • You must live in one of the approved Section 184 states
  • You should have a two-year employment history
  • You can be either a first-time or repeat home buyer
  • The home must be for your primary residence

Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates.

The Benefits of the Section 184 Loan

If you are part of a Native American tribe, you have a low credit score, and low income, it can seem impossible to find a loan. That’s where the Section 184 loan steps in and helps. Aside from being a loan that can help Native Americans in this situation, it provides the following benefits:

  • You may only need to put down 1.25% on the loan if you borrow $50,000 or less. If you borrow more than $50,000, you must make a 2.25% down payment.
  • You can still qualify for the Section 184 Loan if you have bad credit. The loan program isn’t based on credit score. Lenders look at each loan individually in order to make a lending decision.
  • You can buy single-family properties or 1-4 unit properties as long as you live in a unit as your primary residence.
  • You can use the loan to help you pay for home renovations or rehabilitation; it isn’t just to buy a home.
  • You can use the loan to build a new home or to refinance your current home.
  • You can only get a fixed rate loan – adjustable rate loans aren’t allowed.

Paying Mortgage Insurance

Like most government-backed loans, you will need to pay mortgage insurance on a Section 184 Loan. First, you pay 1.5% of the loan amount at the closing. If you don’t have the money to pay the fee at closing, you can opt to roll it into your loan amount.

If you borrow more than 78% of the home’s value, you will pay monthly mortgage insurance equal to 0.25% of the loan amount. This amount changes as you pay your mortgage principal down, though. For example, if you borrow $100,000, you would pay $20 per month. As you pay the principal down, the premium you pay would decrease even further.

The Section 184 Loan is a great way to help Native Americans with poor credit and low-income get a loan. It’s a great way to get flexible financing with low, affordable interest rates. As with any loan program, make sure you shop around to find the deal that is just right for you.

Click Here to Get Matched With a Lender.

Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»

The post Understanding the Section 184 Home Loan for Native Americans appeared first on Blown Mortgage.

such a great post

If you are a Native American and have trouble getting home loan financing, there could be help with the Section 184 Home Loan program. This HUD program helps Native Americans afford home ownership by allowing low down payments and low interest rates. HUD guarantees the Section 184 Loans 100%, which means they work in much the same way that other government-backed programs, such as the FHA loan work.

Compare Offers from Several Mortgage Lenders.

Finding a Bank

HUD sets the guidelines for the Section 184 Loans and even guarantees them, but they don’t underwrite them. Instead, the funding bank does it. The banks have the final say in which loans get approved and which don’t.

It’s the lender’s job to make sure that the loan meets the Section 184 guidelines at a minimum. Lenders can add their own rules or overlays on top of it, but at a minimum they must follow the Section 184 guidelines. It’s often easier to use lenders that other tribe members have used and you may even find an approved list of lenders from your tribe.

How to Qualify

Qualifying for the Section 184 Loan means that you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a member of a Federally recognized tribe
  • You don’t need a certain credit score; the bank decides if you are a good risk or not
  • You will need a debt ratio that doesn’t exceed 41%, but there are exceptions to the rule, especially if you have a strong financial record
  • You must live in one of the approved Section 184 states
  • You should have a two-year employment history
  • You can be either a first-time or repeat home buyer
  • The home must be for your primary residence

Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates.

The Benefits of the Section 184 Loan

If you are part of a Native American tribe, you have a low credit score, and low income, it can seem impossible to find a loan. That’s where the Section 184 loan steps in and helps. Aside from being a loan that can help Native Americans in this situation, it provides the following benefits:

  • You may only need to put down 1.25% on the loan if you borrow $50,000 or less. If you borrow more than $50,000, you must make a 2.25% down payment.
  • You can still qualify for the Section 184 Loan if you have bad credit. The loan program isn’t based on credit score. Lenders look at each loan individually in order to make a lending decision.
  • You can buy single-family properties or 1-4 unit properties as long as you live in a unit as your primary residence.
  • You can use the loan to help you pay for home renovations or rehabilitation; it isn’t just to buy a home.
  • You can use the loan to build a new home or to refinance your current home.
  • You can only get a fixed rate loan – adjustable rate loans aren’t allowed.

Paying Mortgage Insurance

Like most government-backed loans, you will need to pay mortgage insurance on a Section 184 Loan. First, you pay 1.5% of the loan amount at the closing. If you don’t have the money to pay the fee at closing, you can opt to roll it into your loan amount.

If you borrow more than 78% of the home’s value, you will pay monthly mortgage insurance equal to 0.25% of the loan amount. This amount changes as you pay your mortgage principal down, though. For example, if you borrow $100,000, you would pay $20 per month. As you pay the principal down, the premium you pay would decrease even further.

The Section 184 Loan is a great way to help Native Americans with poor credit and low-income get a loan. It’s a great way to get flexible financing with low, affordable interest rates. As with any loan program, make sure you shop around to find the deal that is just right for you.

Click Here to Get Matched With a Lender.

Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»

The post Understanding the Section 184 Home Loan for Native Americans appeared first on Blown Mortgage.

Spring is typically the hottest homebuying season of the year. But in 2019, that trend might not hold true. With mortgage rates near one-year lows, home sales down and showings on a steep downturn, spring is shaping up to be a pretty good time to buy a home.

Important Info

The supply of homes for sale is finally rising, but fewer buyers are able to afford these homes, and that could result in a much slower spring market.

At one point today, there were three apparently important events dominating the newswires simultaneously.  These included the Fed Chair’s congressional testimony, the Cohen congressional testimony, and–you guessed it–congressional testimony from Lighthizer on US/China trade policy.  Mortgage rates are determined by the bond market, and the bond market could make a case for caring about any of these three events.  Interestingly enough, almost all of the day’s bond market movement arrived BEFORE any of the testimonies.

Unfortunately, the movement in question was bad for rates, but the damage was fairly minimal.  The average lender is still able to quote the same rates as yesterday, but the upfront costs would be slightly higher.

…(read more)

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Important Info

It’s hard to manage your finances, let alone in two countries – ask any snowbird or Canadian who regularly crosses the border for shopping sprees down south. You need two of almost everything, from chequing accounts to credit cards.

Opening an account at a US bank is an option, but you might not be able to get a US credit card because you don’t have a US credit history. It’s also a hassle to get cash into those accounts because you either need a money order or have to cross the border, find a bank branch and deposit the cash.

If you’re a Canadian snowbird, your credit card choices come down to the following options:

  • Canadian-issued credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees;
  • US dollar credit card issued by a Canadian bank; or
  • a US dollar credit card issued by a US bank.

No foreign transaction fee credit cards

Trips to the US and abroad also means dealing with foreign currency. You might think your credit card provider is doing you a favour by converting your foreign purchases back into Canadian dollars, but think again. Foreign currency conversion fees are often hidden within your credit card statement – blended in with the exchange rate so you don’t even notice you’re paying extra on your purchases.

Every major Canadian financial institution charges around a 2.5% fee for foreign currency conversions on credit card transactions, a stiff penalty that cancels out any rewards you might have earned for using your credit card for purchases while travelling.

So, what’s a traveller to do? Luckily, there are a few no foreign transaction fee credit cards for Canadians looking to save money on foreign travel as well as on items purchased online through foreign retailers.

Home Trust – a subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., which is known for its line of secured credit cards – charges no foreign transaction fee on its Home Trust Preferred Visa Card. That means customers using this card will save the 2.5% foreign transaction fee when making purchases in a non-Canadian currency.

The Home Trust Preferred Visa also offers 1% cash back per dollar on all purchases (include those made abroad), charges no annual fee and includes a built-in roadside assistance membership – a major perk for cardholders who also own a car. It’s worth noting that for all the card’s benefits, you are limited to a maximum of ten transactions per day. If you plan on using a mix of cash and credit or don’t intend on using plastic frequently while abroad, this card is an ideal choice.

Home Trust Preferred Visa


  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee charged on purchases abroad
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, with no limit on the amount you can earn
  • Not available to residents of Quebec

A premium alternative to the Home Trust Preferred Visa, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is a no foreign transaction fee credit card that is catered to frequent travellers and comes with a lucrative 25,000 point bonus, free airport lounge access through Priority Pass and a $139 annual fee. Plus, this card offers 2X the points on restaurants, groceries and daily commuting expenses such as taxis and public transit. Points can be redeemed for flights and other travel-oriented rewards.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite


  • Annual fee: $139
  • Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 bonus points (value: $250) when you make $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fee charged on purchases abroad
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per dollar on groceries, restaurants, entertainment, and travel
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Enjoy complimentary Priority Pass membership, plus 6 free visits per year from the date of enrolment.

There are a handful of other credit card choices that allow Canadians to save on foreign transaction fees. The Rogers Platinum and Rogers World Elite MasterCards offset foreign transaction fees by offering a higher cash back return of 3% and 4% per dollar on foreign purchases respectively, while Brim Financial waives foreign transaction fees on their portfolio of credit cards.

Best suited for: Frequent travellers to the US and abroad who want to avoid the 2.5% foreign transaction fee that most major credit card issuers charge and who pay off their balance in Canadian dollars.

US Dollar credit cards issued by Canadian banks

Most Canadian banks and credit unions offer some form of US dollar accounts. Some offer US dollar credit cards as well, which allow you to sidestep conversion rates and currency exchange service charges.

A US dollar credit card is suitable for frequent travellers, cross-border shoppers, snowbirds, and online shoppers – basically, anyone who makes purchases in US dollars on a regular basis. Any Canadian resident can apply, as the requirements for obtaining a US dollar credit card are the same as for any other Canadian credit product. Customers avoid the foreign transaction fee (the extra 2.5% tacked onto regular exchange rates) as well since they can pay off their card in USD or CAD.

It’s important to note that if you choose to pay off the balance on your US dollar credit card with Canadian dollars, you’ll first have to convert your money to US dollars – which comes at a cost. That means this option may not be ideal for Canadians who don’t earn any income in US dollars or don’t regularly have US cash in a bank account.

U.S Dollar Credit Card Annual Fee
BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard $35 USD (waived if $1,000 is spent on the card annually)
Scotiabank US Dollar Visa Card $35
Meridian VISA US Dollar Card $65 (waived for 1st year)
CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa Card $35 (waived for 1st year)
RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold $65
TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card $39

Best suited for: Individuals or small business owners who want to keep US purchases and statements separate from their day-to-day banking in Canada or who carry US dollars.

US credit cards issued by US banks

A US credit card issued by a US bank is a great way to ensure you can make purchases, pay bills, and get access to your money when you need it most. You can also avoid foreign transaction fees in the US when you make spend and pay bills in the same currency.

In order to apply for a US domicile card, Canadian residents must have an American address. These credit cards are issued based on the applicant’s credit history in the US.

Both RBC and TD Canada Trust now offer accounts that overcome these hurdles, pairing them with a U.S. dollar credit card. They let you pay U.S. bills online, use American ATMs without access fees (PNC Bank ATMs in the case of RBC and 1,300 ATM locations in the East Coast for TD) and make it easy to transfer money among the accounts. Dealing with banks with operations on both sides of the border is an advantage because they’ll help you leverage your Canadian credit history to obtain a credit card, mortgage loan, or line of credit in the US.

If you plan on moving south for the long term, having a US credit card issued by a US bank is an excellent way to begin building your US credit history.

Best suited for: Snowbirds, or those with broader ties to the US, who want to build and maintain a US credit history.

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Flickr: GotCredit