Finance

A mortgage is the biggest financial commitment that most people will make in their lifetime. Because of this, it’s important to understand how a loan works. Reducing the cost of financing your home is an important factor when deciding which mortgage you should choose. Understanding loan structure and its impact on monthly payments can help you make the right decision for you and your budget. There are two primary types of mortgages: fixed rate and variable rate loans.

The covenantal accountability movement has come a long way in the last decade. Today, we are seeing more and more churches begin to adopt formal codes of conduct that outline the expectations for membership. These codes often contain stipulations pertaining to adherence to doctrinal standards, regular participation in church services and practices, and abstinence from certain behaviors.

Refinancing your mortgage can be a great way to get access to cash from your home equity and put it to work for you. Refinancing can also be an opportunity to get a lower interest rate, extend the term of your loan, or both. Refinancing may not be right for everyone, but if you’re among the majority of homeowners who could benefit from doing it, it pays to know all the different ways you can do so.

In accounting, there are specific rules for reporting costs and profits. In economics, it’s more about the general theories around profit and costs to help companies grow. Both are critically important, but they serve a different purpose. Understanding the difference between accounting vs economic profit is a key part of understanding how businesses work. There is a lot of information out there about business profits and costs. Unfortunately, much of it is not clear or direct.

Your credit score may be the culprit. While it’s not an exact measurement of your financial responsibility, a credit score can reveal how you handle money and other risk factors that lenders use to determine whether or not you’re a safe bet. In the United States, almost all lenders use the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) score as their primary measure of your creditworthiness.

In the past, if you wanted to buy a home with an initial deposit of less than 20 percent, you'd need to take out a high-ratio loan. These mortgages have high interest rates - generally around 9% - and that's because they're riskier for lenders. If the value of their collateral drops below the loan amount, lenders can lose more money than they originally invested. Fortunately, in this post-2008 world, stricter regulations on banks mean that getting a high-ratio loan is no longer as risky as it once was. It’s still important to understand what these loans entail before taking one out or extending them to your own potential buyers.