Banking / Loans: Most Popular Articles
Maybe it's your first time, or maybe it's been a long time. If you want to see an example of how to write a check you're in the right place.
Loan Amortization Calculator A Loan Amortization Calculator For Any Purpose The loan amortization calculator
Need a money order but not sure where to get one? In most places, you have plenty of choices. You can get money orders at post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions. Find out where you can get money orders and how to choose.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 5.
Cashier's checks are secure forms of payment (when they're not part of a scam). These bank-issued checks assure sellers that they'll get paid quickly.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 4.
When you've been paid with a money order, how do you spend that money? You can cash money orders or deposit them just like checks. Learn how to cash a money order and where to do it.
Question: What's the difference between a money order and a cashier's check? Money orders are similar to cashier's checks. They're documents you can use to make payments, and they're guaranteed by somebody. They even look alike. However, there are a few differences.
When a document is notarized, it has been signed in front of somebody who verified that the signature is valid, and presumably the signer truly intended to sign (and understood the significance of that signature). Learn more about notarized documents and where to get them.
Learn about the American Bankers Association (ABA) number, which makes it possible to transfer funds from bank to bank.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) helps you compare loans and understand costs. It won't give you a perfect answer, but it's as close as you can get to an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders. Find out how APR works and how it's calculated.
A tutorial showing how to write a check. See each step, find out how to keep your account safe while you use checks, and look at alternatives to writing checks.
You may need to void a check when you provide your banking information to somebody. How do you do that? It’s easy -- especially if you have a book of checks. Find out how to void a check correctly, and learn what to do if you’re having trouble.
For your first home purchase, you might benefit from a first time home buyer loan. But there are always strings attached. Learn how these programs work and whether or not they make sense for you.
Emergency cash can come from a variety of places. Ideally you'd borrow from yourself (your emergency fund), but if you need to get a loan, you've got a few choices.
A letter of credit is a promise to pay. Banks issue these documents to help sellers (and sometimes buyers) ensure that they'll get paid or be compensated for deals that fall through. LOCs are common in international trade, but can also be used for domestic transactions.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 2.
This APR calculator helps you figure out the annual percentage rate (APR) on a mortgage (or other type
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 6.
Home equity loans let you borrow against your home's value. They can be used for any purpose, they come with relatively low interest rates, and they may offer tax benefits. Learn more about how home equity loans work.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 3.
When you need to send money fast, a bank wire transfer is often your best choice. Bank wire transfers are immediate, safe, and reliable. Learn the basics on how they work and how to start using them.
Use this letter to have your bank account officially closed.
It's hard to get a loan with bad credit. Options are limited, and borrowing is more expensive. Find out how to avoid expensive traps, and how to improve your chances.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 7.
Money orders are used for making payments. When it's not safe or acceptable to use a check or cash, money orders come in handy. Learn how to use them and what to watch out for.
FHA loans are appealing for several reasons, but they're not perfect. These loans allow you to buy with a small down payment, and they're easier to qualify for. Find out how they work.
Learn where to find the account number on a check, along with other important numbers needed for linking your bank account.
Find out how to open a bank account. 7 steps that will get your account up and running quickly.
You may want to calculate loan interest costs as you evaluate loans. Different interest rates, loan terms, and fees can affect your total cost, so it’s important to pick the right loan. You can calculate loan interest with an online calculator or you can do the math yourself.
Personal financial advice via four online forums. Places to help you save time and money.
So you need to deposit a check. It may be the first time, or it may have been so long that you forgot how to deposit checks. Make sure you know your options, including where to go, where not to go, and how technology makes it easier to deposit checks.
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Sometimes you need to send money quickly and securely. If so, you might use a bank wire to get the job done. The process is fairly easy. Learn how bank wires work and how to send one.
Cashier's check fraud is one of the most popular crimes in the internet age. Once thought to be safe, these checks now require extra attention. Learn the red flags.
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Is it possible to sell a car with a loan outstanding? Yes, but it's tricky. Find out what you can do when you're ready to get rid of a financed auto.
Payday loans are short term loans you can use to get through a rough spot. Before you use one, make sure you understand the costs and risks. This page gives you a quick overview of how payday loans work, and ideas on how to avoid them.
Although it's not easy to get a student loan without a cosigner, you can improve your chances. Learn what to watch for and what to do if lenders turn you away.
ATM deposits can make your life easier. Find out how to make a deposit, what you'll need, and what the potential problems are.
A second mortgage provides access to large amounts of money at relatively low rates. Read about the pros and cons of using a second mortgage.
A collateral loan is a loan secured by some asset you own. You promise to hand the asset over to the lender if you cannot repay the loan as agreed. By using a collateral loan, the lender takes less risk, and it may be easier for you to get funding. Make sure you know the essentials of collateral loans before you use one.
In 2007, the US economy entered a mortgage crisis that caused panic and triggered other financial problems. The mortgage crisis was a result of too much borrowing and flawed financial modeling, largely based on the assumption that home prices only go up. Greed and fraud also played important parts. Let’s review how the mortgage crisis unfolded.
An FHA 203k loan allows you to borrow enough to finance a home and make improvements. What's the drawback? FHA 203k loans bring additional costs and requirements.
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Question: How much does a money order cost? Answer: It depends where you get it and how much you need. In most cases, money orders cost around a dollar (or even less). You can get money orders at a variety of places.
Paying to cash is a way to write a check without including the recipient's name. A check that says
Learn what it takes to get a loan: the borrowing process from start to finish.
If you apply for a loan and don't qualify, you may need a co-signer. Adding that person's strong credit or income may help you get approved.
Some checks are made payable to multiple people. For example, a check may be written to a husband and wife. The right way to endorse these checks depends on how they're written.
ACH payments are electronic payments made through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. Electronic payments can help reduce errors, speed things up, and save resources. Learn how businesses and consumers benefit from ACH payments.
You may hear of different types of banks: investment banks, retail banks, commercial banks, online banks, and others. What do all the words mean? Different types of banks specialize in different lines of business. See the basics on each type of bank.
Before you print your own checks, make sure you know how to do it correctly. You can save a lot of time and money, but simple mistakes can ruin all of your gains. This page will show you how to successfully print your own checks and avoid hassles.
Credit union loans are among the most competitive loans available. How can you get one? You just need to join a credit union (if you're not already a member) and apply.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are one of the safest investment options available. Find out how they work and how you can maximize your earnings at the bank.
When you need money and you can’t get anybody to vouch for you, you’ll have to get a loan without a cosigner. This means you’re the only one responsible for the loan, and you have to convince the bank you’re good for the money. Figure out what lenders want so you can get loans without cosigners.
Does the money need to be in your account after you write a check? It's a really good idea to have it there. The check may be deposited faster than you think.
Question: I’m figuring out my budget, and need to calculate monthly interest. I want to know how much I lose every month in interest. Answer: Interest rates are often quoted as annual rates. In addition, your loan balance may change every month. As a result, you really need to calculate monthly interest charges to accurately understand where your money goes.
It may be time to switch banks for any number of reasons. Where to you start? Use this process to change from one bank to another without missing anything.
Unsecured personal loans can be used for almost anything. Learn what the options are and find out how to get one of these loans.
Have to make a payment with a money order? Rest assured -- the process is easy. If you don’t know how to use a money order you’ll be an expert in just a few minutes.
Can you verify funds on a check somebody writes you? It may be helpful to know if the check will bounce ahead of time. You can avoid bank fees if you verify funds, and you can start taking steps to collect a valid payment from the person.
So you need a loan or a new account, and you’re not sure where to go. Both banks and credit unions can probably help you, but one may be better. What can you expect from banks vs. credit unions and why does it matter?
Savings bonds used to be a major offering at banks and credit unions. Now, you can still redeem bonds at the bank, but you can't buy them there anymore. What are savings bonds all about? This page takes you through the basics, how they’re used, and how you can get detailed information about savings bonds. We'll cover the advantages and disadvantages of savings bonds, and how you can buy them.
Start up business loans are difficult to come by. If you’re not having luck with other sources, let’s dig in and start the process of winning a start up business loan.
Question: I keep seeing advertisements that say President Obama’s refinancing program can save me money. Are these ads for real? Answer: The advertisements may or may not deliver what they promise, but it is true that the Obama Administration created several refinancing programs for struggling homeowners.
While difficult, it is possible to get an unsecured loan even if you have bad credit. Learn what your options are and how attractive each one is.
When getting a loan, it helps to calculate loan payments and costs. Use that information to compare loans and determine which one fits your needs. You can calculate loans yourself using formulas, or use an online calculator. Learn your options and how to calculate loan specifics.
How long should you wait after you deposit a check -- especially if you think the check might bounce? Is it safe to spend the money immediately?
You've got a check to deposit. Do you need to endorse checks before they go to the bank? Learn how to endorse checks - if you even need to - and how to minimize risks.
Peer to peer lending allows you to skip the bank and borrow from individuals. You can borrow from complete strangers or just use peer to peer lending services to structure loans between friends and family. This page covers how peer to peer lending works, the major services, and how you can take advantage of it.
Question: How do you fill out a money order? I bought one for a purchase online but am not sure what to do next. Answer: Filling out a money order is similar to writing a check. The specifics depend on where you buy your money order, but these instructions will help you get almost any money order filled out.
How do you get access money when somebody writes you a check? You need to know how to cash a check or deposit it. It’s important to avoid risk and fees when you cash a check, so let’s go over your options.
So you’ve got some cash, and you’d like to deposit it to a bank account. What are the options? Find out how to deposit cash, along with some helpful tips.
With a private mortgage, you don’t borrow from a bank. Instead, you borrow from another person or business. Whether it’s your only option, or one of many, you should understand how a private mortgage works. Find out what it takes to successfully use a private mortgage.
When banks clear checks, the money is taken from a checking account and sent to the check recipient's account. However, there is a lot of confusion about how quickly banks clear checks and your risks when you deposit a check.
Annual percentage yield (APY) tells you how much you're earning at the bank - or how much it costs you to borrow. Learn how it works, how to calculate it, and how APY is different from APR.
Building credit helps you show lenders that it’s a good decision to approve your loan. If they don’t have any information on you (or if the information is not flattering), you need to build credit. Find out how.
Get educated on how to get a student loan. If you need to borrow, you have a lot of options. Make sure that student loans are right for you, and find out where to start.
When you borrow money, it’s important to know how loans work. With more information, you can save money and make better decisions about debt - including when to avoid it. Learn how loans work before you start borrowing.
Learn about using a debit card for PayPal transactions. What are the requirements, and how do you do it?
Learn how simple interest works and how to calculate it - with and without the help of calculators.
When you purchase with plastic you’re often asked if you’d like to make it a debit or credit transaction. What’s the difference? The choice you make determines how your purchase is processed, who pays the bill for that processing, how long it takes, and what your rights are. See how interchange fees work and just how important your choice is.
Amortization is the elimination of a debt over time. With an amortization schedule, you can see how payments are applied to principal and interest. This page explains amortization, and then you can generate an amortization schedule with our free online calculator.
It is important to balance checking accounts regularly. You'll reduce the chance of bouncing checks, you'll pay less in fees, and you'll know if somebody is stealing your identity. How do you balance checking accounts? See our simple step-by-step process on balancing the books.
A returned check is a check that the bank does not honor. If you wrote the check, your bank will not pay the person or business that deposited it. If you received the check, it won't be paid (at least on the first try).
When you need money, an IRA loan may come to mind. Although it's not possible to borrow from your IRA, you can do a few things that look like an IRA loan for quick cash. Learn what your options are.
Home equity is your share of your home's value. It is what you truly own after accounting for any loans against the house.
Does your bank place a hold on your funds? It’s important to know how a hold works, what can cause it, and what your bank’s rules are. Most importantly, you need to know how to keep your bank from freezing your entire account.
Running numbers is easy with an Excel loan calculator. Microsoft Excel includes built-in tools and formulas so you can get information quickly. See all the details about your loan and figure out how to repay it early.
Debit cards are similar to credit cards, except debit cards pull money out of your checking account. Debit cards do not create or increase a loan like credit cards do.
Student loans are a way to pay for higher education. Whether you love debt or you hate it, student loans are an investment in your future. They can make an education possible when there is no other way. This page covers the basics of student loans and points you towards additional resources.
When you add money to your bank account you have to fill out a deposit slip. This tells the bank what to do with the funds, and helps create a paper trail for the transaction. Learn how to fill out a deposit slip so you can sail through the teller line and get everything done correctly.
Learn all of the parts on a check, and what they're used for. Find out what those numbers on your check mean, and how best to fill in a blank check.
Learn more about the Big 4 banks. Which banks make up the Big 4 in the US?
Choosing the best bank for your needs is easy. First, you have to figure out exactly what you need from a bank. Once you know what to look for, you can quickly evaluate the competition and end up with the best bank account out there. See how to choose the right bank for your needs, and get some ideas for starting your checklist.
You can use a debit card online, but there are reasons you might not want to. Find out about your choices and how to limit your risk.
From time to time you have to wire money to somebody. What does it mean to wire money? A wire transfer happens when you send money to somebody electronically. Let’s review the basics of how you wire money and what your options are.
Learn how to get preapproved for a loan. You’ll know how much you can spend, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate, and you’ll understand the costs of your loan before pulling the trigger.
Mortgage loan calculators help you understand your loan. This page covers several mortgage loan calculators for different types of mortgages, and different pieces of your mortgage. By running the numbers yourself, you can understand what you’re getting into. Use these mortgage loan calculators to educate yourself, save time, and get the best deal.
If you're considering a home purchase in the near future - or within a few years - you should brush up on your mortgage knowledge. Learn what to do before applying for a mortgage, what to watch for during the process, and how to use a mortgage after you've bought your home.
You may see loans advertised as 'no closing cost loans'. While it may be a good deal, there is always a tradeoff (and you're always paying for the loan - one way or another). Find out how to make these loans work and when to avoid them.
Online bank accounts are great. They typically offer high rates for web-savvy saver. However, the high returns come at a cost. Here are a few reasons NOT to use online bank accounts.
POS Fees are point-of-sale fees. Banks charge POS fees when…
A joint loan is a loan you get with another person. It may be easier to qualify by applying jointly, but there are some pitfalls to be aware of. Learn how these loans work and the challenges that come with them.
How much will you have to pay for a loan? A loan payment calculation gives you the answer you need. If you just want the answer, use our free online calculator. If you’d rather run the numbers yourself, this loan payment calculation formula shows you how.
If you're buying a car and short on cash, you'll need an auto loan. Be prepared before you head out to the lot. To save yourself thousands, use these 6 keys to a great auto loan. Then you can ride around knowing you got the best deal.
Direct deposit is a great way to move money electronically. You don't have to mail or sign any checks over to the bank, and your money tends to move more quickly when you use direct deposit. Read on for more information about direct deposit and setting up direct deposit for your accounts.
Experts suggest that you get preapproved for a loan before making a purchase. But what does that mean, and why is it important?
The U.S. government provides access to free credit reports to all consumers. Find out where and how to get yours. Every year, you're entitled to one copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency. Don't pay fees when you don't need to.
The FHA 203k loan allows you to borrow money for home improvement and home ownership in one loan. The loan is guaranteed by the FHA, which can help keep your interest rate low. Learn about the pros and cons of FHA 203k loans and see if they’re right for you.
Money orders can be useful tools. They allow you to make payments without the risks of sending cash or using a check. However, they are not perfect for every situation. Find out where money orders come up short.
You may hear that a check you deposited has cleared, but what does that mean? The bank may tell you that the check has
A line of credit is a pool of available money that you can borrow from. Find out how they work and how they differ from other loans.
Money order scams are common when selling items online. Before handing over merchandise, be sure you're dealing with a legitimate buyer. Be especially careful if you're asked to send money after receiving a money order.
Prosper.com is a social lending site. Instead of borrowing from a bank, you borrow money from other individuals. One or more people may offer to lend you money, and they may even compete with each other to get you a better rate. This page covers the basics of Prosper.com, and gives you resources for more information.
If you've lost a debit card, it's best to act fast. The amount you're responsible for depends on how quickly you act.
Working with banks on small business loans can be easy or difficult – it just depends on how prepared you are. Follow this formula for obtaining small business loans and you can move on to the more important things.
To get a loan, you may be required to use collateral. Learn more as we define collateral, see why it’s helpful, and examine how it’s used with loans.
Learn how a standby letter of credit offers protection. Get paid when something fails to happen.
Debt consolidation programs are usually just a big loan that pays off other smaller loans. They can be very beneficial to borrowers, but these programs also have their pitfalls. Read up on how you should use debt consolidation programs and how to find the best deal.
Compound Interest Calculator Calculate Interest Earnings This compound interest calculator tells you
Question: I was paid with a check, but I’m not exactly confident with the person who wrote the check. I’d like to find out if the check is going to bounce before I deposit it (my bank charges a fee for bad checks). Is there any way to check the check out and find out if it’s bad - without depositing it and waiting to find out?
It's not easy to remove somebody from a mortgage. Lenders don't want to let anybody off the hook, so success is rare. Find out why, and what you can do when getting a name off the mortgage won't work.
Opening an account at a credit union is fairly easy. This page covers the three basic steps required to open a credit union account.
Most people never notice the differences between credit unions and banks. However, as an educated consumer looking to get the best deals (that is you, right?) you should know how the institutions differ. By reading these fast facts about credit unions, you’ll know what to expect.
The loan to value ratio (LTV) tells you how much of a property is being financed...
Online bill pay can help you manage your bills without having to worry about paper bills and checks. This FAQ covers the various types of online bill pay and how you can set up online bill pay quickly and easily.
Readers ask if it’s possible to get a private loan with bad credit. It depends who you borrow from. If you do a private loan with somebody you know, the answer is yes - as long as they’ll lend to you. If you’re looking for private student loans and you have bad credit, it’s not as easy.
When you check on your bank account, you may find that you have an
What should you do about debt if you're getting divorced? Loans may last for years after the marriage, causing additional heartache and costing you money. It's important to handle them correctly. Find out what to do about debt in divorce.
The amount of a check should be written two ways to avoid confusion. First, the amount is entered using numerical digits. Next, the amount is written out using words. What happens when these amounts don't match? You've got a problem.
Calculating interest on savings is fairly straightforward with a few pieces of information. Before doing the math, you'll need to know what type of interest you’re dealing with. Learn how to calculate interest and keep tabs on your money.
If you really want to analyze the nuts and bolts of a loan, you can use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. If you're an Excel whiz, you can set up a spreadsheet that allows you to change the inputs and calculate mortgage payments under several
A review of Credit.com, one of the most popular websites for learning about your credit. Learn about the quality and people of Credit.com.
Can you transfer a mortgage? There may come a time when you want to stop making payments, and you're lucky enough to have somebody willing to take your place. It may be ideal to transfer the mortgage into their name. However, it can be difficult or impossible to transfer mortgages.
Rent to own transactions allow a buyer and seller to do a deal at some point in the future. Find out how they work and what to watch out for.
Lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI) has advantages and disadvantages. Learn about them here.
Shopping for an auto is complex. Here are several reasons why preapproved auto loans make your life easier. With your finances lined up ahead of time, you can focus on your next auto’s features, benefits, and price -- instead of the deal.
Money market funds are a popular cash management tool. Before you use money market funds, make sure you know what they are, how they work, and what risks you might be taking. We'll also cover some of the best places to find money market funds.
When you don't repay a loan, you take a risk. With recourse loans, lenders can try to collect money from you in a variety of ways. With non-recourse loans, lenders can only take property that you've agreed to let them take -- such as your home in foreclosure.
Need to send money quickly and securely? If so, you’ll want to know how wire transfers work and how to set one up. The process is fairly easy. Learn how to wire transfer money.
Second mortgages give you access to a large amount of money. However, there are some common pitfalls to watch for, and fees are always an issue.
Learn how a letter of credit works with a visual step by step tutorial.
CDs are great savings vehicles for some. However, the most commonly overlooked drawback to CDs is the early withdrawal penalty. Read all about CD penalties, how they work, and how you might be able to avoid paying a penalty.
Find out how to reorder checks, where you can do it, and how to be safe.
When you owe money, creditors may use a bank levy to collect. They can’t get you to pay, but they can try to take money from your accounts. By using a bank levy, creditors have your assets frozen and paid to them so you can’t spend the money.