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Now browsing: Hometown News > Business Columns > Daniel Poulos

Daniel Poulos
This Week | Archive

It's not too late to consolidate bills
Rating: 2.63 / 5 (193 votes)  
Posted: 2006 Feb 16 - 21:07

daniel poulous

Financial columnist

Here's the recipe for credit crunch soup:

Top 10 credit card issuers have raised their minimum payment requirements in 2006.

Home Equity Lines of Credit that were at 4.25 percent less than two years ago are now as high as 9.5 percent.

You had a very happy holiday on credit.

Talk about being in hot soup!

The $10,000 in credit card debt that used to cost you $200 per month could now cost you $400 per month.

Granted, the higher minimum payments means it won't take 58 years to pay off your living room furniture, but the extra $200 each month has to come from somewhere.

Maybe you paid off a load of debt with a home equity line of credit for the tax advantages and to lower your monthly payments. Chances are your HELOC is tied into the prime rate, which has gone up 75 percent since June 2004. That means that even if you are making interest-only payments, your manageable $200 payment on your $60,000 HELOC may now be $375, or much worse if your margin also went up after the first year.

After 14 interest rate hikes in 20 months and gasoline up 25 percent over the same period, is the worse yet to come?

Where can today's family find shelter from this cash flow time bomb?

Here's the surprising good news. Long-term mortgage rates haven't changed much at all in the last two years! In fact, now you can even extend your term to 40 years. Combine that with interest-only options on fixed rates or deferred interest arms, based on a 1 percent start rate, and you can.

Send that credit crunch soup back to the kitchen.

Consider consolidating all your debts with a new first mortgage or fixed rate second mortgage. Don't let your situation deteriorate to the point where your credit scores are affected or your options will be limited and unattractive. Meet with a mortgage professional now, before you miss your last chance to lock in long- term payments that fit your budget comfortably.

If you would like to enjoy the confidence of knowing that the best mortgage specialists in the business are serving your best interests call (561) 575-5626 in Jupiter or (772) 335-5556 in Port St Lucie, and make an appointment for a free mortgage planning session.

Also please visit us at www.elitelending.biz.

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