IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is the vehicle that started the entire hybrid vehicle craze. It continues to dominate the market and the IRS has announced the tax credits for this year. IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius In an effort to promote energy efficiency, the federal government has instituted an energy program that provides financial … Continue reading IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is the vehicle that started the entire hybrid vehicle craze. It continues to dominate the market and the IRS has announced the tax credits for this year.

IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

In an effort to promote energy efficiency, the federal government has instituted an energy program that provides financial rewards for energy efficient products. The government realizes prodding us with words is not going to work. As such, it has decided to issue tax credits to motivate us to conform our activities to the desired goal. In this case, reducing our oil dependency is the key.

The Toyota Prius was the first mass production hybrid vehicle. It was such a hit that Toyota could not come close to filling orders the first few years. This is still the case to some extent, a reflection of our rising environmental consciousness and high gas prices. The tax credit you get with a purchase provides another reason to buy this peppy little vehicle.

The IRS issues tax credit amounts for hybrid cars that meet its standards. Various manufactures have been approved including Ford, Lexus, Honda, Mercury and, of course, Toyota. In this case, the tax credit is $3,150. You must purchase the car new from a dealer to qualify for the credit and the sooner, the better. The tax credit is graduated, which means it gets reduced as more cars are sold through the year. The full credit is only available through the quarter of the fiscal calendar of the year after which Toyota sells the 60,000 car. If you buy in the following two fiscal quarters, you can only claim half of the tax credit. The subsequent two quarters see a reduction to 25 percent of the tax credit. After that, you cannot claim any of the credit.

It is important to understand the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction. A tax deduction is taken from your adjusted gross income, which helps a bit. A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of the amount of tax you owe. In this case, the tax credit could be used to reduce a 10,000 tax bill by $3,150 to $6,850. That is a huge savings any way you cut it.

Obviously, hybrid vehicles are hot sellers and make sense on a lot of fronts given outrageous gas prices. The tax credits that come with each purchase certainly adds to their popularity.

5 Ways To Try And Reduce Your Debts And Outgoings

5 Ways To Try And Reduce Your Debts And Outgoings

Anyone that has a high level of debt or a number of creditors to pay off each month will know how stressful and difficult financial management can be. However, for those crippling themselves with monthly outgoing as a result of high debt levels there are some steps that could help to reduce the amount that you have to pay out each month, as well as reducing overall interest paid on your debts.

1. See where you can make cutback’s on your outgoing’s. Look at cutting back on little luxuries such as eating out at lunch each day rather than taking sandwiches to work with you. Also cut out any unnecessary expenditure, such as subscriptions and memberships that may no longer be of much use to you. It is surprising how much you can claw back through a number of small savings each month, and this can then be applied towards your smaller debts such as credit and store cards in order to clear them more quickly.

2. Make sure that you are aware of exactly what is coming in and going out of your account each month. Trying to manage your finances and prioritize on paying off debt is impossible if you don’t keep a proper track of your income and outgoing’s. List down every little payment that goes out of your account so you know exactly how much you can afford to spend or put towards clearing your debts a little faster.

3. Consider consolidating your debts. By consolidating smaller debts with one larger loan you can reduce the number of repayments you have to make each month, cut back on the number of creditors to whom you have to pay interest, and dramatically reduce the amount that you pay out each month. For homeowners, a secured loan could be the ideal solution, as this can be spread over a longer period and this helps to keep monthly repayments down. You should be aware though, that by taking finance over a longer period, this would mean you pay back interest for longer. However, if the interest rate is lass than what you currently pay, and lower monthly payments means that you have more disposable income to spend, it would serve to prevent it from being necessary that you need to take on extra borrowing as you will have spare money each month to either build up savings and be able to afford things which you made want to purchase, with out borrowing additional money.

4. Try and clear your overdraft. If you have an overdraft with your bank, and you find yourself reaching the limit every month, one small transaction is all it will take to push you over the limit and of course this means hefty bank charges being added to your account. By ensuring that you keep your overdraft at a sensible level rather than teetering at the brink of exceeding the limit you can avoid these hefty charges.

5. If you do intend to take out another loan this should be by way of consolidation rather than an addition to your existing finance, as consolidating all your existing credit may help to ease the financial strain and reduce outgoing’s, whereas another added loan will increase both. It may sound obvious but try avoid taking out a loan as an easy solution, as this will only suffice for the short term and you may soon find yourself struggling to keep up with all of your previous debts plus a new loan.

Mortgage Loan Understanding FICO Scores

Apply for a mortgage loan and youll soon become familiar with FICO scores. Heres a primer on the infamous FICO scoring process.

FICO scores are merely a mathematical representation of your credit record. Credit records are simply a recording of your debts and assets. Credit card balances, for instance, are a debt that appears on your credit record, as do late payments, bounced checks and so on. Credit, of course, is a huge consideration in the mortgage loan process.

A credit score is a figure that represents an overall valuation of how you handle credit and the risk level associated with giving you more credit, to wit, a mortgage loan. The loan underwriter will review your credit report for items such as payment history on debts, debt balances and types of credit you already have. A summary of this information is represented by a figure known as you FICO score.


You may be surprised to learn that FICO doesnt stand for any credit-related terms. Instead, it stands for Fair, Isaac and Company. This company developed the mathematical formula that produces the much loved or hated FICO scores. The FICO score assigned to you determines whether you love or hate the formula.

FICO scores come in a range of three digit numbers. The lowest FICO score you can get is 350. The highest FICO score is 850, a score for which bankers will bow at your feet. The higher your score, the better your credit situation and the more likely a bank is to provide you with a mortgage loan.

Most people do not have perfect credit. To this end, we find most people have FICO scores ranging from the low 600s to the high 700s. Mortgage applications typically are not rejected because of a few late payments.

If youre considering purchasing a house, you should always try to pre-qualify for a mortgage loan. Getting a reading of your FICO score should be one of the first steps.

Mortgage Terms and Definitions

The mortgage process can be a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with the terms used in the process. To help you out, here is a list of terms with corresponding mortgage definitions.

Broker: An independent mortgage professional that oversees the entire home loan process.

Lender: The business entity providing and funding the home loan.

Processor: Prepares your loan for underwriting. The processor makes certain your income is properly documented and verified, the appraisal is being performed, and title and escrow are opened.

Escrow: Works with title to certify payoff demands for all existing liens. Escrow is an independent group which disburses monies to all parties in the loan transaction and ensures full payment.

Title: Ensures both the borrower and the lender have a clean title on the home, guaranteeing to both parties there are no mistaken liens and that all existing liens on the home are scheduled to be paid and removed.

Underwriters: Make the decision to approve or deny the loan. Hired by the lender, their job is to review all aspects of the loan based on the lender’s approval guidelines.

Automated Underwriting: A computer generated loan approval. This automated process only takes minutes and is the quickest path to approval.

ARM: Adjustable Rate Mortgage. An ARM has a fixed rate for a specified amount of time. After the initial term, the loan becomes adjustable and the rate can fluctuate depending on market conditions. ARM payments are initially lower than fixed rate payments. This is an excellent option for people with damaged credit, those who plan to sell their homes short term or who simply want to save money on their monthly payment.

DTI: Debt to Income Ratio or your total monthly debt in relation to your gross monthly income. For example if you have $2,500 in total monthly debts with a total income of $5,000, your DTI is 50%. The higher the DTI, the higher the lender’s risk and 50% is typically the maximum allowable DTI.

Equity — The amount of vested or owned interest in your property. Subtract the total balance owed on the property from the appraised value to determine your equity.

FICO Scores: Most lenders use the FICO scoring system to qualify borrowers. The FICO score is a number assigned from each of the three main credit repositories (Experian, Trans-Union, and Equifax). This number is calculated based on your complete credit profile and takes into account late payments, balances on trade lines, inquiries for additional credit, judgments, bankruptcies, total debt, length of credit history, and more. The lower the FICO score, the higher the lender’s risk.

LTV: Loan to Value Ratio. For example: a loan amount of $75,000 on a home valued at $100,000 equals an LTV of 75%. Your equity would equal $25,000, or 25%. The higher the LTV ratio, the higher the lender’s risk.

Stated Income: Your own statement of income on the application versus income that can be independently verified. Use of stated income is an excellent option for self-employed individuals or those with hard to prove income.

Getting a mortgage for a home purchase can be stressful. If you understand the lingo being used, you will find it less so.

Why Credit Bureaus Are Ripping You OffAnd How to Beat

Why Credit Bureaus Are Ripping You OffAnd How to Beat Them

When you pay your credit card bills, your loan balance, or your medical bills, this information is recorded and sent to credit reporting agencies, or credit bureaus. It is their job to keep track of your credit history and other information about your life, such as where you have lived, where you work, your marital status, and any legal action taken against you. Today, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to know what is on your credit report.

There are three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Each agency has a slightly different report on you because not every credit card company, retail store, or hospital reports your payment history to the same agency. This can be a tricky part of managing your finances, so its important to know about three areas where you might get ripped off.

1. Charging for credit reports
The FCRA has established a yearly rule about free credit reports. You are eligible for a free report from any and all of the three major credit bureaus every twelve months. However, if you go directly to the agency, you may be charged for the report. Instead, search for free credit report online and get your copies at the secure website provided.

2. Posting inaccurate information
It is very important for you to know what is on your credit reports. The fact is that this information has a great deal of influence on your standard of living. Because each agency gets its information from different sources, each report may contain different inaccuracies about your total debt, your payment history, or even your legal name. So get a copy and protect yourself from these errors.

3. Concealing sources of information
In some cases, a special report called an investigative consumer report is ordered to evaluate your standing in the community, get personal recommendations, and professional recommendations. You will always be notified when one of these reports is ordered from a potential employer or financial institution. However, once the report is completed, you may or may not have access to the sources of the information, so be cautious in authorizing this type of investigation.

Meet Financial Needs at Low Cost through Personal Secured Loan

Meet Financial Needs at Low Cost through Personal Secured Loan

You require a fund for various purposes but to get loan at easier terms and conditions that suit your budget becomes a tough task due to different reasons. Yet financial needs have to be met. For these borrowers personal secured loan turns out as the best option because of lower interest rate and low cost attached to it. Lenders provide personal secured loan for whatever purpose the borrower wishes to put it.

Being essentially secured loan, to avail personal secured loan, the borrower has to place any of his property as collateral with the lender. Home, vehicle, jewelry, valuable papers etc serves well purpose of collateral. While deciding on collateral, one should bear in mind that loan amount and interest rate depends a lot on the equity in collateral. Equity is market value of the property minus debts of the borrower. Lenders first arrive at the equity in the collateral if the borrower asks for a greater than normal range of loan. So in case of larger loan, high equity collateral like home should be offered to the lender.

Lenders usually provide personal secured loan in the range of 3000 to 75000 which meets financial needs of an average borrower. The biggest advantage of opting for personal secured loan is lower interest rate which is way lower then any unsecured loan. Loan providers in fact are willing to reduce interest rate on personal secured loan to win the costumer. But again, high equity collateral and sound financial standing of the borrower enables him in bargaining for cheaper interest rate. Moreover, if one takes advantage of cut throat competition in the loan market, the loan can be availed at reduced interest rate.

Another advantage with personal secured loan is that borrower can repay the loan in the repayment term of their choice. The loan is provided for repayment term of 5 to 25 years. This larger duration is blessing in disguise especially for people with average repaying capacity. Opting for larger repayment term, they can reduce monthly outgo in installments and save money for other expenses.

Even if you are labeled as bad credit, personal secured loan is equally available. As the loan is well secured against property of the borrower, lenders can ignore bad credit of the borrower. However, it would be wise if easy debts are cleared and thus some improvement shows up in credibility of the borrower before rushing for the loan.

Applying part of the loan availing is important. Prefer applying online for personal secured loan as this way you are offered number of loan packages by as many loan providers. This enables you in picking suitable loan offer having lower interest rate and easier terms-conditions. Moreover, online applying reduces cost of the loan as lenders charge no fee for giving information or processing application.

Personal secured loan meets monetary needs of people coming from different financial backgrounds. The loan helps in restoring credibility and financial health, in case borrower is going through bad phase. Make sure that you pay back the loan in time to avoid debt accumulation.