A great way to buy a home when you do not have sufficient credit is to rent to own. How does this work? How do you know if rent to own is right for you? And how do you get started? First a little background info about rent to own.
What Is Rent to Own?
Rent to own is also called rental-purchase. It is a type of legally documented transaction in which tangible property, such as furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances or a home is leased in exchange for a weekly or monthly payment, with the option to purchase at some point during the agreement.
A rent to own transaction is different from a traditional lease because the person can purchase the leased item at any time during the agreement. Rent to Own is also different from a hire purchase/installment plan because the lessee can terminate the agreement by simply returning the property.
Rent to own agreements began in the United Kingdom and Europe, and first were used in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. While rent to own terminology is most commonly associated with consumer goods transactions, the term is sometimes used in connection with real estate transactions. That is what we are talking about here when we look at rent to own agreements.
Why Would You Rent to Own?
Maybe you are not sure how long your company will keep you at your present location. If you may move very soon you may choose to simply rent. But if there is a chance that you may be in your current city for years you may choose to rent to own. And, if you have had credit problems you may have a poor credit score and find it hard to qualify for traditional mortgage. If you have a low credit score you will be able live in a home while you take the steps necessary to fix your credit and secure a mortgage. Most Lease Purchase Agreements allow you to lock in a market rate when you sign the contract.
Rent to Own Drawbacks
The contract period for rent to own is crucial if you are trying to repair your credit. The down side to not being able to fix your credit and move to a regular mortgage is that you will have to walk away from the rent to own contract and lose any equity that you have built up. On the other hand if you simply had rented you also would have had no equity when you moved.
Terms and Conditions to Rent to Own
In a rent to own transaction you live in property and pay towards purchasing the property at a fixed price within a specific period of time. This is ordinarily between one and three years. There is often a nonrefundable deposit included at a down payment at the end of the lease. There is also a rent credit that is escrowed and eventually added to the deposit if your transition to buying is successful. The renter holds the legal right to purchase the property ahead of all others up until the end of the rent to own contract period. However, if he does not keep up on payments this may not be the case and if at the end of the contract period he is unable to make the transition and make the purchase the owner may seek other buyers.
Mesothelioma is a devastating disease. Not only is it eventually fatal but the disease can take a terrible toll on the family of the person with the disease. Much can be learned from those who have traveled the same path that you are on. Here are several suggestions for coping with mesothelioma.
Coping with Stress
At times the most difficult thing is not the disease but the stress that is visited on the patient and family. Here are a few tips for coping with the stress of mesothelioma from Asbestos.com. Their suggestion is to start by researching details about the cancer.
You may have never of even heard of mesothelioma before your diagnosis. The doctor may have given you some information, but you will have lots of questions. New patients should compile a list of honest questions they want answered. Some common questions:
What caused my cancer?
Can mesothelioma be passed on to my children?
Where is the cancer located?
How do you treat it?
What are my treatment options?
What are the pros/cons of my treatment options?
How much time will treatments give me?
In addition Asbestos.com suggests writing about what you know and writing down your thoughts and feelings. Then find a support group specifically for mesothelioma patients and/or families or for patients with cancer and/or their families. Staying active and involved is also a useful way to deal with stress.
Dealing with Physical and Financial Issues
Mesothelioma-aid.org takes a practical approach. Deal with physical and financial issues as best you can and it will you deal with the stress of coping with mesothelioma.
Many people think of coping as only an emotional process, but dealing with treatment regimens and their potential side effects, as well as quality of life concerns must also be addressed. While you can’t control the fact that you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can learn to minimize its effects on your health and wellness.
Serious illnesses like mesothelioma can deplete your life savings quickly. Most cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be costly, and because of the rarity of mesothelioma, you may feel you want to travel to a specialist for a second opinion or for treatments not available in your local area. By being aware of the financial resources available, including compensation from the asbestos industry, you can help ease the stress on yourself and your family and, therefore, maintain control over your life.
The more accurate information you have the easier coping mesothelioma is. If you have mesothelioma you need to see a specialist and you need to understand everything the he or she say to do. Do not be afraid to ask questions and ask again to be sure that you fully understand what to do and when. The financial burden of this disease can be very worrying. Make sure just what your insurance covers. If you served in the US military find out about care at a veteran’s hospital. If you need more help from the government go and ask for it. And make sure that you fully understand the pros and cons of any treatment or procedure before giving informed consent.
You can find more information in our previous two articles about mesothelioma. Please feel free to read them.
Last week we asked, what is mesothelioma, and looked at some facts and figures about the disease. Despite the fact that we know that exposure to asbestos fibers causes this disease, mesothelioma cases continue to surface. As an example, asbestos.com reports new mesothelioma cases from the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota.
Nearly two dozen newly diagnosed cases of malignant mesothelioma among taconite workers in northeastern Minnesota’s Iron Range region is sounding alarm bells among the state’s health officials.
The 21 new cases of the deadly asbestos-related cancer bring the total number of diagnosed cases to 101. Only three men from all confirmed cases are alive.
“We know this is a horrible disease. We have always expected to see additional cases as time went by,” state Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in conference call with reporters. “We expect to see still more cases going forward.” All these cases are part of a Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota study involving 69,000 iron ore mine workers that researchers have been observing since the late 1990s.
Currently, there are more than 4,000 workers today employed in Minnesota’s iron mine industry. Only those miners employed before 1982 are involved in the study. The state’s cancer tracking system provided data for the investigation. “These are newly identified people whose disease, after many years, came to a point where it could be clinically diagnosed,” Ehlinger said. “This is the continuation of what we normally would do.”
Although many people with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos in industry we would expect the cases of mesothelioma from such sources to dwindle and go away as companies are forced to comply with measures to prevent exposure. However, some types of work as with the iron ore workers in the taconite industry in the Minnesota Arrowhead region continue at risk. The question is, for workers in such industries how can one prevent the disease and what sort of monitoring is useful?
Mesothelioma prevention is tied to asbestos avoidance. The ultimate way to prevent this disease is to ban the use of asbestos in industry and in jobs where it is unavoidable such as in taconite mining, to demand effective precautions such as mask and respirators. Watch dog organizations such as the ADAO are constantly working toward these goals.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced the speakers scheduled to present at the upcoming 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference, “Where Knowledge and Action Unite” , April 17-19 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington, VA. ADAO also will be celebrating its 11th year of asbestos awareness success since the organization’s inception in 2004. ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated to preventing and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.
Collaborating with organizations around the world for a global asbestos ban since its inception in 2004, ADAO has become a leader in social media advocacy and community outreach for asbestos victims, their families, and loved ones to share support, resources, and provide hope. ADAO has shifted education and awareness activities into high gear – with an unparalleled effort to educate the public and medical community about asbestos-related diseases and preventing exposure. Responsible for three Surgeon General asbestos warnings and ten Senate Resolutions designating April as Asbestos Awareness Week each year, ADAO is recognized as one of the largest organizations fighting for justice on behalf of asbestos victims in the US and abroad.
The price of a mesothelioma free world is constant vigilance. Next week we will talk more about advanced forms treatment.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the chest cavity, heart or abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause and risk factor leading to mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos related diseases.
How Does a Person Get Mesothelioma?
This is a rare disease as there are between 2,000 to 3,000 cases diagnosed each year in the USA. (By comparison there are a 1,500,000 cases of diabetes diagnosed each year.) You get mesothelioma as a late effect of working around asbestos fibers. Shipyard workers, drywall tapers, electricians, firefighters and auto mechanics are commonly exposed to asbestos to varying degrees. The disease, however, does not appear until decades after the person has been exposed. This fact can make it hard for people to make the connection between the work that they once did and the disease that they now have.
How Do I Know That I Have Mesothelioma?
According to the Mayo Clinic pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung cavity) causes symptoms like these:
- Chest pain under the rib cage
- Painful cough
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual lumps on the chest (under the skin)
- Unexplained weight loss
If the mesothelioma involves the lining of the abdominal cavity these symptoms may be present:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Lumps on the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms will commonly lead the doctor to order a chest x-ray or scan of the chest which will often show the tumor or tumors. There are also blood tests that may be used but the definitive test is a biopsy of one or more of the cancerous lumps.
How Is Mesothelioma Treated?
There is no cure for malignant mesothelioma. Treatment is based on the cell type found on biopsy. These types are epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic. And treatment is based on how far the disease has progressed. There are four stages, I through IV. If you have this disease you will be referred to a specialist who will recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery. There are clinical trials for new treatments which you may be referred to if your case matches the required criteria such as type and stage.
What Is My Outlook if I Have This Disease?
Malignant mesothelioma is a fatal disease. With expert care and when the disease is diagnosed early life expectancy may be many years. When the disease diagnosed late life expectancy is commonly no more than four years, although with new treatments this number is expected to increase.
Can I Catch This Disease from Others?
None of the forms of mesothelioma are contagious. This is a disease that is caused by repeated and prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. It is not a germ and is not passed from person to person. However, people who are being treated for mesothelioma with chemotherapy may be more susceptible to catching and getting sick from common infections because their immune system is compromised by the chemo.
The US economy is improving and there are more jobs. But not everyone who wants a job has found one yet. Could you use help finding a job? The days when you could walk down the street and apply when you saw a help wanted sign are gone. And the days when booming US industry was hiring huge numbers of people are gone as well. So, if you could use help finding a job what can you do? Here are a few thoughts on the subject and a suggestion or two.
What Kind of Job Are You Looking For?
When times are good people look for a job that fits their highest skill set, a job that pays the best and a job with great benefits. And when times are tough, like they have been, it is often enough to just find a job that pays the bills. Remember, when you go out to find a job, that what you commonly want is a career. So, even when times are bad, look for work that can lead to advancement, better pay and a comfortable life style.
Getting the Word Out
A first and easy step is to look to see what is available where you live. Go to any and all businesses and introduce yourself. Hand your resume to the person in Human Resources. In short, make yourself available. And, do not hide the fact that you need work from your friends, especially your social media friends. This is an easy to use extension of talking to friends and family. If you are the king or queen of Facebook, Twitter or WhatsUp use these services to let your friends know that you need work. They can tell their friends who will tell their friends, and so forth. In this case your need to find a job will pass quickly out of the realm of friendship so you will need to add a couple of specifics about what you are looking for and what sort of skills you can bring to the job. This can be a quick way to get leads about work.
Almost all employment services have an online presence these days. So, your first place to look is online. If you do not know which service to approach, we ran across an online service that might help. Click here for help finding a job. And before you contact anyone try to put together a resume. This is a list of when you have done and what you can do. Add references from people with and for whom you have worked and provide your phone number, physical address and email address so that they can contact you. When you deal with an employment service look to see what jobs they are trying to fill. These are the easiest to get providing that your skill set and experience are a match to what the employer wants. And never forget that courtesy and a smile are door openers in all aspects of life. Many companies will hire an energetic person who gets along well with coworkers before hiring a highly skilled worker with a negative attitude.
Tired of carrying around a wad of cash? Prepaid credit cards let you pay bills and make purchases efficiently. Can’t get a regular credit card because of a poor credit rating? You can use prepaid credit cards the same way you would use a VISA or MasterCard and improve your credit score as you go.
Denied Credit and What to Do
If you have been rejected after filling out a credit card application you are not alone. Poor credit is often the cause. The problem is, a major credit card is commonly necessary for hotel or airline reservations or placing an order online. And, simply having a credit card makes it easier to function than by carrying around the cash that you need. But, how do prepaid credit cards fit into this picture?
A prepaid credit card is a card issued by a financial institution and is preloaded with funds so it can be used like a regular credit card. However, a prepaid card works opposite the way a regular credit card works. Instead of buying paying with borrowed funds you pay with money funds that you have already deposited with the institution. With a prepaid card your credit limit is determined by how much money you deposited into an open checking or savings account. Fund the account with a required amount and you get a prepaid credit card that can be used anywhere that you could use a regular credit card. If overspending and running up debts is what got you into credit trouble in the first place, this does not happen with prepaid credit cards because your account needs to be replenished in order for you to use the card.
And, get the right prepaid card and your institution reports you card history to the major credit bureaus. This allows you to rebuild your credit by using prepaid credit cards.
Where Do I Get Prepaid Credit Cards?
Many banks offer prepaid credit cards. You can also find them online. In fact, while researching this article we found a good place to check out prepaid credit cards. Take a look and see if this is what you need.
Checking Your Credit Score
If you have been denied credit and are thinking of prepaid credit cards it is also useful to have an idea about how credit scores are calculated and how to find out your score. A credit score is a number based on credit data and calculated using statistical techniques. The end result is a number that correlates with how well a person will do in paying off his debts. A credit score is meant to predict how likely it is that a person will go 90 days past due on his bills, or worse, within the next twenty-four months. The information to calculate credit scores comes from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax which are the big three credit bureaus. Credit scores are typically reported in what is called the FICO system and range from 300 to 850. A score in the low 700s is average. Higher score mean a better credit rating and lower scores mean you will be less likely to remain current on paying your debts. You can get a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. But this is not a free credit score! It will cost you $7.95 to get a credit score. If you get a free credit report and find a mistake you can dispute that mistake and the credit bureaus have 45 days to respond.
Good luck in fixing your credit and in the meantime think of prepaid credit cards.
There are hard ways to get a government or foundation grant and easy ways. Our preference is to file for grants the easy way. We offer two examples of how to find a grant, find out if you qualify and apply. The first is to do all of the research yourself and the second is to find someone who does this all of the time and can help you get a grant the easy way. In this regard we have found an offer that will help you file for grants without spending hours, days and weeks doing research. And now here is a little information about going the long way around.
Grants dot Gov
The grants.gov government web site has a LOT of information. If you choose this route you will get to check out every possibility. The site will show you new grant opportunities, grants by categories, grants by agencies and grants by eligibility. For example:
Let us say that you know exactly what you are looking for. Then start with the categories tab. The number in parenthesis represents the number of available grants in the category.
- Agriculture (44)
- Arts (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA) (3)
- Business and Commerce (14)
- Community Development (32)
- Consumer Protection (9)
- Disaster Prevention and Relief (14)
- Education (476)
- Employment, Labor and Training (35)
- Energy (47)
- Environment (177)
- Food and Nutrition (130)
- Health (1075)
- Housing (7)
- Humanities (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA) (24)
- Income Security and Social Services (213)
- Information and Statistics (9)
- Law, Justice and Legal Services (68)
- Natural Resources (130)
- Other (see text field entitled “Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity” for clarification) (111)
- Recovery Act (5)
- Regional Development (19)
- Science and Technology and other Research and Development (454)
- Transportation (14)
Alternatively you can look under government agencies for a grant that fits your needs.
- Agency for International Development (77)
- Corporation for National and Community Service (2)
- Department of Agriculture (46)
- Department of Commerce (27)
- Department of Defense (73)
- Department of Education (27)
- Department of Energy (41)
- Department of Energy – Office of Science (7)
- Department of Health and Human Services (1039)
- Department of Homeland Security (19)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (3)
- Department of Justice (72)
- Department of Labor (12)
- Department of State (49)
- Department of the Interior (180)
- Department of Transportation (12)
- Department of Veterans Affairs (3)
- Environmental Protection Agency (18)
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (36)
- National Archives and Records Administration (7)
- National Council on Disability (1)
- National Endowment for the Arts (1)
- National Endowment for the Humanities (11)
- National Science Foundation (237)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2)
And if you are still puzzled about how to get a grant you can look under the eligibility section.
- City or township governments (884)
- County governments (890)
- For profit organizations other than small businesses (833)
- Independent school districts (796)
- Individuals (40)
- Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) (911)
- Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) (851)
- Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education (990)
- Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education (908)
- Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification) (1347)
- Private institutions of higher education (997)
- Public and State controlled institutions of higher education (1015)
- Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities (796)
- Small businesses (879)
- Special district governments (833)
- State governments (977)
- Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” (380)
That is the gist of how to start looking for a government grant. You can take the same approach for grants from private foundations but you will need to approach them one at a time. Or you can file for grants the easy way by clicking the link and taking advantage of the expertise of people who do this kind of work every day.
There are billions of dollars of grant money available from private foundations and the federal government. The keys are to know where to look and determining eligibility. You can set out on your own personal quest to get a grant for yourself or you can use a service that has organized the possibilities and can help you claim your grant money. In researching the article we found one such service aptly named ClaimYourGrantMoney.com. Follow the link to their site for more useful info. In the meantime here is a brief rundown of info about grants and how to get them.
Grants by Private Foundations
A good example of a large private foundation that offers grants is the Kresge Foundation.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grant making and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit.
Some of our programs accept applications on an ongoing basis. Others proactively invite or solicit applications. Visit the Apply for Funding page to learn about our open grant opportunities.
We award single and multi-year grants and – through our Social Investment Practice – make program-related investments that provide capital via loans, loan guarantees and other mechanisms. Taken together, our grantmaking and investing methods constitute our funding toolbox.
Our types of funding consist of:
Operating support grants
Project support grants
In collaboration with our grantees and partners, we seek to use these grant making and investing tools to create pathways for vulnerable people to improve their life circumstances and join the economic mainstream.
Learn more specifics about Kresge by going to their web site. Other large foundations include but are not limited to:
Wealthiest US Charitable Foundations and Endowments by Billions of US DollarsList limited to Those with Endowments in Excess of $5 Billion
|Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation||$43.3|
|Howard Hughes Medical Institute||$16.9|
|J. Paul Getty Trust||$10.5|
|Robert Wood Johnson Foundation||$9.53|
|William and Flora Hewlett Foundation||$8.7|
|W. K. Kellogg Foundation||$8.16|
|Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation||$6.4|
|David and Lucille Packard Foundation||$6.3|
|Andrew W. Mellon Foundation||$6.18|
|The Pew Charitable Trust||$5.6|
The point is that there are a lot of charitable foundations with a lot of money to hand out. Find out what these folks offer and claim your grant money.
Federal Grant Money
Federal grants can be broken down into categorical grants, block grants and earmark grants. Block grants are for very narrowly defined purposes. Block grants are channeled through state and local governments. Earmark grants are specific appropriations of congress. A good first step if you are interested in federal grants is to use the services of an agency that can help you find what you need, avoid spending excessive time and winding up at dead ends and help you claim your grant money in the most efficient way possible.
The New Year is a good time to get your finances in order. But, many times it is hard to find a lender, sort through different loan requirements and get the money that you need. What would be nice would be to get a loan in one easy step. With this thought in mind we did a little research and came across what is essentially a one click service to help you get a loan in one easy step, get the money that you need, and start putting your financial house in order. Take a look at this service, OneClickLoan, and see if it fits your need for cash now.
The Best Approach to Getting a Loan
There are a couple of best approaches to getting money when you need it. It depends on your situation. For example, in you have a student loan that is overwhelming there may be help. Take a look at our article, Student Loan Relief Solutions, and find out if you qualify for consolidation or loan forgiveness.
The average college grad has more than $26,000 in debt at graduation. More than thirty-seven million people have student loan debts which amount to roughly a trillion dollars owed. If you are having problems paying your student loans be aware that there are student loan forgiveness, cancellation and discharge opportunities available through the U.S. Department of Education.
Depending on your situation you may be able to have much of your loan written off or be able to consolidate several loans into one and reduce your interest rate along the way.
If you own a home you may be able to refinance your home and pull out cash to cover other expenses and debts. Take a look at our article, Home Loan Refinancing Help, for more info.
Do you need home loan refinancing help? When refinancing a home you are seeking to replace an existing debt with a newer one. There are several reasons why you may wish to do this but in the end you want better terms than you currently have. This can be a tedious and difficult process. Getting home loan refinancing help up front is always a good idea. Here are a few thoughts about home loan refinancing, where it is available and best ways to proceed.
The key to home refinancing is to be absolutely clear about the terms and conditions so that you come out better and not worse off on the other end!
Cash when You Need It
Almost everyone runs into situations at one time or another when they simply need cash and they need it now. Ideally one can find a lender who charges a reasonable interest rate and reasonable terms of repayment. This gets us back to where we started. It can be difficult and time consuming to find and evaluate several lenders. An ideal approach to get a loan in one easy step is to use a service like OneClickLoan that can connect you to a hundred or more lenders in one easy click.
The holidays have come and gone and now is the time for sales! We recently ran across a great offer that gets you a $25 Macy’s gift card just for filling out a shopping survey. If you would like to do a little shopping at one of the finest stores, take a look and pocket your gift card for shopping at Macy’s. Why Macy’s?
Macy’s has about 850 stores in the continental USA, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. Of course their flagship store, the world’s largest department store, is on Herald Square in New York City. Macy is also up to date with an online store if your home is unfortunately too far from one of the stores. Macy’s is the largest department store operation in the USA in terms of sales.
What You Can Get at Macy’s
The more appropriate question is what can you not get at Macy’s? Featured home brands include Waterford, Lenox, Home Collection, Fiesta an Charter Club. You can get home essentials and things for dining and entertaining. There are items for the kitchen and luggage for that winter getaway. Heaters are available for those in Northern climates and fans for those in the South. Home décor is featured as is outdoor furniture. You can get your gifts monogrammed as well.
After the Holidays Sales
Very commonly retailers offer deep discounts to shoppers in the days following the holidays rush. ABC News covers the yearly story.
Millions of less-than-satisfied gift receivers will look to return their presents, while millions more will put their gift card money to good use. This has proven good news for stores, which saw their best holiday sales growth in three years, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Analysts credit a number of factors for the strong consumer turnout, including strong economic and job growth along with falling gas prices.
This year’s after-Christmas sales are shaping up to offer some of the best deals of the year.
Especially if you were fortunate enough to receive gift cards for the holidays, the best time to use them is in the days following, when discounts are at their best. And, if you have a Macy’s winter gift card now is the time to use it!
The Beauty of Gift Cards
How many times have you given or received a well-intentioned gift that was simply not what your recipient or you wanted? When you give and receive gift cards you get to go shopping for the exact thing that you want, no questions asked and no apologies for poorly chosen gifts. Gift cards have been around for a couple of generations, taking over from gift certificates when the later became too easy to counterfeit. And the nice part about a gift card is that you can use it to make multiple purchases as the card balance is simply updated with each use. That having been said, check out the offer for a Macy’s winter gift card and go looking for post-holiday bargains!