What Steps You Should Take Once You Pay Off Your Mortgage

Paying off your mortgage is definitely a joyous time in your life. You now have one less major financial obligation and you now own your home free and clear. Of course you still have obligations as a home owner such as property taxes, maintenance, repairs, and of course home owners insurance must still be maintained. After you close out your mortgage you should of course notify your county that you own your home free and clear now. There are several other things to consider once your mortgage is finally paid off, which I will outline below.

paying off your home mortgage

paying off your home mortgage

Satisfaction of mortgage statement:

This should be the first thing on your to do list. You should receive this automatically after you have paid off your mortgage but there are cases where this does not happen. Your bank or lender should also provide you a copy of your mortgage note. If three to four weeks have passed and you have not received this important paper work do call your lender to inquire as to when you will receive them.

Make sure your mortgage papers are filed with the county:
While most lenders will file the satisfaction of mortgage statement with the county you live in some will not do so, in which case you will need to do so yourself. These papers should be filed with your counties register of deeds office or recorder of deeds office as it is sometimes called in some parts of the country. You should ask your lender when you close out your mortgage if they will be doing this on your behalf or if you need to do it yourself.

Escrow balance:
Most people have paid into an escrow account to cover their property taxes and homeowners insurance. It is very common for people to still have a positive balance at the close of their mortgage. You should contact your lender and inquire if you still have a positive balance and if so when you will be expecting the check to arrive in the mail.


If your mortgage was set to auto-pay do make sure that the bank has shut this option down, mistakes have happened in the past where this was left on. Needless to say this can cause quite a few problems.

Homeowners Insurance and property taxes:
Most people have these rolled into their mortgage. Now that your mortgage is free and clear you will be responsible for this. You will now need to contact the county and make sure they know to send you the property tax bill directly to you. You also need to contact your homeowners insurance company to have them directly bill you. You should also factor these both into your new budget. You cannot avoid property tax, although technically you can skip out on homeowners insurance I would not recommend that. Be aware that rates and taxes do have hikes so make sure you have about 10% more than this total cost in your savings account to adjust for any rate hikes.

Cheaper homeowners coverage:

Your bank may have required a higher policy than you actually need. This is often the case so you should contact your homeowners insurance company to discuss your current policy and what other options you have. Be sure to ask the specifics as to what any new plan may or may not cover then make an informed choice.

New budget:

Now that your mortgage is paid off you will have substantially more care cash flow. You will need to figure out what you plan to do with your new found cash flow. I often advise clients to start investing this money and making this money work for you in what I like to call “putting dollars to work”. I also advise clients to put a portion of this money away into a rainy day fund for home repairs and the like. If you start spending it right away you may never break yourself from the habit, so I recommended starting to save some of it right away.

How To Consolidate Debts By Using Peer to Peer Loan Lending

Today’s Lending Alternative

The lending practices at work in today’s banking systems are less than ideal for borrowers. Additionally, the volatility of the today’s economy makes investing and lending anything but stable once you begin to consider interest rates and the value of the dollar. In order to avoid the risks and pitfalls that exist, people are turning towards peer-to-peer lending as a safer alternative to traditional banking and investing. These borrowing and investing systems are allowing people to consolidate debt and pay off loans and credit card bills using completely revolutionary methods.

Unlike the traditional avenues of financing for paying off loans and consolidating debt, peer-to-peer lending allows families and individuals to receive money without having to meet unrealistic financial qualifications. These practices are being carried out using online resources such as Lending Club, Zopa, and Prosper. Using these websites, borrowers can secure lower-interest loans through social media at a critical time. Despite the unorthodox approach to borrowing, people still have to abide by some general rules for lending.

Peer-to-peer lending generally takes the form of a three-year loan and is still subject to the credit score of the individuals applying for the loan. On average, these loans range anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 per lender. Depending on factors such as credit history and the size of the loan, the interest rate can be as little as 7 percent or as high as 20 percent for each loan. However, there is always one distinct advantage for borrowers. The interest rate on the loan is always lower that that being offered on the loan that they are planning to consolidate. The result is a financial transaction in which the borrower almost always saves money.

These kinds of loans also vary from traditional loans in that there are fewer restrictions on the money. Borrowers can use the money for a huge number of enterprises that extend well beyond debt consolidation. Borrowers have turned to peer-to-peer lending for everything from new businesses to medical bills. If the need is legitimate, then there is a way that the financing can be made available on some level. However, the vast amount of loans being made are given to families who are in the process of paying down credit-card debt. This fact remains consistent with all three of the social-lending sites mentioned above.

People apply for the loans by first creating a profile and posting a range of personal information that includes financial data. Individual lenders can then browse the online profiles and choose which loans they would wish to finance. The lender can also fund the loan in whatever amount and increment that they desire. Lenders can contribute the entire amount of the loan or provide a minimum of funding at $50 per month.

Avoid Bank Fees With Helpful Tips and Advice Thats Easy To Follow

If you have a checking account that has lots of fees you are not alone. Millions of Americans are feeling the burden of checking account fees. Take, for example, non-bank ATM fees, which can actually hit you twice – one from the ATM’s company and another from your bank. It is not uncommon to face fees of 6 dollars or more for using an ATM that is not part of your bank’s network. About three out of four banks charge this fee. Another fee some banks charge is for every check written in excess of 10 checks a month. Then of course there are overdraft fees, which have greatly subsidized the bank’s cost for offering those free checking accounts so many take advantage of. Did you know that overdrafts ended up costing Americans over $24 billion in 2013? Some banks also charge a small fee every time you use your debit card. Every fee you pay is less money in your checking account. Even if the fees are small, they add up quickly, and by the end of the year it can be a hefty chunk of money. That money is better spent or saved elsewhere than it is helping to increase your banker’s profit margin.

Some people think that an interest-bearing checking account will earn them money, but they neglect to consider the cost of owning these types of accounts. While not every bank has costs associated with them, most do. For example, interest bearing accounts tend to have high minimum balance requirements to them (generally in excess of $5000), and if you should happen to dip below that minimum most banks will assess you a fee. The average monthly service charge for these accounts is around $12.00, so unless you are sure you can always maintain a high balance, you will likely lose money on an interest bearing account. You could opt to sign up with an online bank, which generally do not charge fees, but you may still be required to carry a high balance. The fees for interest-bearing accounts can be quite high and offset the paltry interest you will gain, which is typically around 0.01% to 0.05% for brick and mortar banks and between 0.50% and 0.25% for online checking accounts such as through Bank5 Connect.

Banks tend to offer a few options when it comes to checking accounts, so you should visit the bank’s websites to compare the various checking accounts they offer, and the associated fees and perks for each account type. Some accounts might, for example, offer free checks, but have a fee for keeping the account open. If you are like many of us who tend to pay bills online, it may be cheaper for you to simply buy a pack of checks from a check company or your bank directly. Some banks waive certain fees if you agree to go with paperless account statements. Make sure the bank you choose provides the services you require without a fee, or if there is a fee, that it is set at a reasonable amount. Some banks charge for things such as duplicate statements, a cashier’s check, and stop payment requests.

Free checking accounts are a good option, but should be aware that most free checking accounts are not really free, and in some way you are technically paying for the account. Paying for that account could be as simple as you maintaining several accounts with the bank in question, such as Certificate of Deposits (CDs) and a line of credit, such as a credit card issued by your bank. Free checking accounts might also have a minimum balance requirement, which means you are giving the bank a free loan with your money since the account will not be paying you interest. You also need to be aware that free doesn’t mean there can’t be other fees associated with the account. The bottom line is read all the fine print and choose the best account for you with the lowest possible fees.


Here are some tips for avoiding fees with a free checking account:

• Using only Bank ATMs and ATMs within your bank’s network.
• Go with paperless account statements, as this often waives certain account fees
• Avoid accounts with maintenance fees and service fees
• Avoid over-drafting your account or bouncing any checks resulting in a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee
• Set up overdraft protection by linking your account to a saving account, a credit card, or a line of credit with your bank to avoid any overdrafts.
• Going with an online bank’s free checking account. Most online banks carry little (if any) fees outside of NSF fees which are avoidable.
• Avoid banks that add a fee for every debit purchase, as many banks are now adding these small fees to make up loss of other fee income due to law changes.
• Consider opening a checking account with a credit union or a community bank, as these banks tend to have very little in the way of fees.