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How to Finance a Snowmobile

December 7, 2017

A man rides his snowmobile, financed through First Source, across a snowy field
Start with these helpful steps

If you want to get your first snowmobile—or upgrade to a newer model—and your credit isn’t ideal, can you still get financing? And just as important: should you finance? It might be best to plan and save first. Whether you want new or used snowmobile financing, we offer smart, sensible ways to help guide you in what’s best for getting what you want, while still keeping your finances in check. 

Know Your Options
We recommend that you sit with us first to discuss your options before considering financing solutions. Our Member Representatives can look at your options, and the effects a loan may have on your credit and financial standing.

Determine What You Want to Spend

  • Determine the type of snowmobile that will fit the kind of riding you want to do; ask your friends who ride for their help

  • Decide if you want a new sled, or are willing to consider a used one

  • Do some initial research into pricing—both new and used—for the sled you want

  • Include other relevant costs in your total: insurance, typical maintenance and repairs, a trailer, storage, trail fees, clothing and accessories, etc.

  • Arrive at a total for your initial costs and ongoing monthly expenses

Evaluate Your Financial Standing
While your First Source representative will help you determine your current financial standing, you can do some of your own research, including checking:

  • Your credit standing

  • Your cash flow (monthly income and spending)

  • Your current savings

You can check your own credit before an appointment, and we’ll take a look during the loan process. The kinds of factors that can affect your credit standing:

  • Have you always (or almost always) made loan payments on time?

  • Do you keep your credit within practical limits (avoid over-extending yourself)?

  • Do you have a limited number of loans you are currently paying?

  • Do you have high balances on any credit cards?

How Much Can You Afford?
Before you apply for financing, look at your household budget for a rough idea of how much you can afford every month. You don’t want to stretch yourself thin so that you can’t make your loan payments for any reason. Consider how much you have left over each month, how much you have saved, and how long you believe you can pay off a loan. We can work with you to determine what you can afford.

Live smarter by making an appointment today to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives about snowmobile financing. Don’t keep those trails waiting!

5 Reasons for a Holiday Loan

November 16, 2017

Children open a present as their parents watch, enjoying a holiday assisted by Holiday Loan financing
A smarter way to cover holiday expenses

Why Consider a Holiday Loan?
As we approach the holiday season—from Christmas to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and more—we take advantage of the many sales and discounts offered by retailers. We also tend to have more family feasts and gatherings, or plan holiday travel. Our best intentions can temporarily exceed our bank balance, and paying off credit card debt all at once or at credit card interest rates can become costly come January. A smarter approach: financing these expenses with a lower-interest loan that can be paid back over a longer period. That’s where a First Source Holiday Loan comes in.

Funds from a Holiday Loan can be used to pay for qualifying expenses that could include travel, gifts, food and groceries, or entertaining. We encourage all our Members to save over the course of the year for these year-end expenses, but our actions don’t always live up to our best-laid plans. Having a financial buffer can relieve some of that stress. Do you think you need a Holiday Loan? Here are 5 possible reasons to apply.

1. You Can Plan Ahead
If your funds for holiday shopping and expenses traditionally run low before the holidays are over, you may be miscalculating for your seasonal budget. A Holiday Loan can help you to plan a holiday budget and follow it as closely as possible. While unexpected expenses always come up (and those unexpected sales often catch us by surprise), armed with a budget, we’re much more likely to stay on track.

2. Your Budget Will Thank You
The Holiday Loan is currently at 6% APR, coming in at a rate significantly lower than most credit cards, and the terms allow payment in known monthly amounts. Resorting to credit cards with high interest rates to cover gift purchases and unexpected expenses can wreak havoc with a household budget. A Holiday Loan makes payments predictable and manageable.

3. You’ll Know What You Can Spend
While the funds from a Holiday Loan are there to help you get through a busy financial period, we help you make sure you can handle the payments before finalizing your loan. If your monthly budget can’t handle the additional amount, you may have to adjust your gift list, shopping plans, social calendar, or travel details. We can help you work out the details so you can pay off your loan in a year (or less), and be ready for next year!

4. You’ll Gain Resolve
Speaking of those unexpected sales and promotions, a Holiday Loan forces you to evaluate your financial standing, strengthen your resolve before the shopping season starts, and limit your purchases to only what you need. If you don’t have the funds, it’s easier to say no to added debt or expense.

5. You’ll Have Less Stress!
If you apply and receive approval, we’ll put a payment plan in place. Once your funds are secured, you can follow your plan, and not stress so much. You can cover your holiday expenses, and not have to worry about that enormous January bill.

This seasonal loan is only available through December 20th, 2017, and requires application and approval time, so make an appointment to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives as soon as possible to see if you qualify for a Holiday Loan. Then enjoy your holidays with peace of mind!

How to Finance an RV, Camper, or Trailer

July 12, 2017

Financed camper set up with chairs and a lantern at a campground.

When you’re ready to buy your recreational vehicle

Sales of recreational vehicles (RVs), campers, and trailers are growing every year as more and more people find adventure in camping and road trips. If you’re ready to find your new path, or looking to upgrade to something a little more comfortable, you’ll most likely need financing. Here are some simple steps for how to finance an RV, camper, or trailer without breaking your budget.

Buying one of these large vehicles for temporary living isn’t just about the purchase price. You’ll need to plan ahead for monthly payments with interest, fees and warranties, monthly and yearly maintenance costs, insurance, storage in the off season, and all the expenses that come with traveling, including fuel, campground fees, and perhaps a new vehicle for towing!

1. Figure Out How Much You Can Afford

This first step seems obvious, but you don’t want to start by shopping for and choosing your dream vehicle until you’ve checked your budget. Start with your income and future financial plans and expectations, and see how much you can handle monthly or yearly for this purchase. Remember to include your plan for retirement (whether it’s your present or in your near future), and the financial changes that brings.

2. Shop in Your Price Range

Many RV prices are inflated on the lot, so people often don’t pay sticker price. Dealers will negotiate the price with you, and there are many online resources to help in your search, and pricing strategy. So even though you can start with asking prices a little above your range, we like to recommend looking in your established range. That way, if you negotiate a lower price, consider the difference a savings, or even a bonus to add to your maintenance budget. Another great strategy is to start smaller, and if you like it—or if your family grows—plan to upgrade later.

3. Check Your Credit Rating

As with any significant loan, your credit will affect whether you are approved for a loan, as well as the rate you secure. A lower score, among other factors, can result in a higher interest rate. If your rating is low, ask how we can help you improve it before you apply for a loan. You can check your own credit score ahead of time, and we’ll also check it during the loan approval or pre-approval process. A small difference in your interest rate can make a big difference in what you pay over the life of the loan.

4. Save for a Down Payment

Saving cash to put down can help in a number of ways. You’re in a stronger negotiating position on the purchase price, you reduce your loan amount, and you’ll owe less on your vehicle over time, a big help when you’re looking to trade up or sell. Not sure how you can manage your budget to save? Ask us for advice!

5. Apply for a Recreational Loan

Among your many financing options, a Recreational Loan could be your smartest choice, depending on your wants and needs. Make an appointment to talk with us, and bring your questions. We’ll talk about your financial standing, budget, expectations, and plans, and cover the loan options and terms available to you. There are different rates for different length payoff terms (1-7 years), and your credit standing can make a difference. We can help with budget suggestions as well, and make sure you’re planning for all the expenses involved.

Want to know how a Recreation Loan for an RV or Camper works? 
 

Posted in: camper, finance, loan, rates, RV

5 Steps to Affording Your Vacation

July 11, 2017

Man enjoying a beautiful view on vacation he financed
Plan ahead for worry-free vacation financing

When you’ve been planning a dream vacation and you’re ready to find financing to make it happen, follow these 5 simple steps to making your adventure possible.

1. Plan Your Trip

You’ll need to know where you’re going, for how long, where you plan to stay, and at least an idea of the kinds of activities you plan to pursue while you’re there. All of these will figure into your travel and accommodations expenses, as well as entertainment expenses, how much meals and incidentals will cost, and more. Once you have your trip plan outlined, you can move on to figuring out your budget.

2. Estimate Your Expenses

With your trip plan in hand, make your best estimates for the costs of each part of your trip: travel getting to and from your destination (flights, cruise, etc.), any travel expenses while there (car rental, public transportation, ride sharing services), accommodations (hotels/motels/other), and daily expenses, including souvenirs, parks or attractions, and meals. If you’re traveling overseas, remember to factor in currency exchange rates. We also suggest adding in a little extra, say 10% more, for anything you’ve missed, or unexpected expenses. Every trip has them!

3. Start Saving

With this target number in mind, figure out how much you can reasonably set aside each week or month in advance of your trip, and how much total you’ll have saved by the time your departure date arrives. This may not necessarily match your target expenses for the trip. That’s where a loan comes in…

4. Apply for a Loan to Make Up the Difference

Start with how much cash you can save for the trip, subtract that from your total expenses, and you’ll have your target loan amount. So if your trip will cost $5,000, and you can save $2,000, you’ll need to borrow the difference ($3,000). Sit down with one of our loan officers early in the process, and we’ll help you figure out the best loan option for you. How do you start the financing process for a vacation? Learn more here.

5. Enjoy Your Adventure

Once you’re approved, congratulations—you’re going on an adventure! If you want to consider a larger loan amount or different terms next time around, just ask how we can help. We can suggest steps to get you better prepared for future loans. We want to make your vacation a reality!

Learn More

Visit our vacation financing page to learn more about how financing will work, then set up an appointment with one of our friendly representatives to discuss your needs.

Different Types of Mortgages

March 8, 2017

Live Smarter by knowing the types and differences

The most common mortgage loan types are Conventional, FHA, VA, and Home Possible. All have flexible rates and terms available, to include fixed or adjustable rate structures.

Conventional Loan
This type of mortgage allows you to finance up to 95% of the purchase price (or appraised value), can possibly have a shorter processing time, and same-day qualification if you are “credit qualified”. Flexible rates and terms are available.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan
An FHA Loan is a great choice for first-time home buyers, shoppers who need a low down payment, or those with less than perfect credit. This type of loan allows the seller to contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available.

VA Loan
This type of mortgage is available to Veterans and their surviving spouses, and is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The mortgage company works directly with the VA, since each loan is unique to a veteran’s individual situation. A VA Loan allows for 100% financing of the purchase price or appraised value, for owner-occupied properties with one to two units. The applicant must be an eligible veteran. Similar to the FHA Loan, the seller can contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available.

Home Possible
Through our partnership with Homeowners Advantage, we offer this unique program. Home Possible allows low and moderate income borrowers to finance a home with low down payments, and flexible sources of funds. Members must qualify by income and other factors.

The Mortgage Process

Preapproval
Before you shop for a home, it’s a good idea to find out how much you can afford to spend, an estimate of your closing costs and pre-paids, and your estimated monthly payment.

Our preapproval process is quick and easy. It can either be over the phone, or in person. Call us at 315-735-8571. We can “crunch the numbers” and help you find an affordable mortgage solution that meets your needs.

Once you are preapproved, we will give you a preapproval letter which you can use to make your purchase offer. This gives you negotiating power!

Buying Your Home
Once you chose the house you’d like to buy, you and your realtor will prepare a purchase contract. Once all parties agree on a purchase price and a contract is signed by all involved parties, you’ll complete a formal mortgage application. An application will be the start of the mortgage process, which will include the order of your appraisal, meeting all conditions, and more. We’ll help you every step of the way.

Commitment Letter
When your loan is approved, you will receive a commitment letter. At this stage, you will be required to buy an insurance policy on your new home. You will need to purchase this policy prior to your closing. Proof of this purchase is called an “insurance binder”, and will be necessary to provide before scheduling your closing.

Common Mortgage Questions

What is the difference between types of Mortgages?
There are many different types of Mortgages to choose from, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The best option for you will be based on a number of factors, including your experience with home-ownership, the amount you have saved for a down payment, the location and condition of the home, your credit score, and your income. The best way to find what’s right for you is by talking to one of our knowledgeable Originators.

How much money will I need to buy a home?
The amount of cash that is necessary depends on a number of items. Generally speaking, though, you will need to supply:

  • Earnest Money - The deposit that is required when you make an offer on the house
  • Down payment - A percentage of the cost of the home that is due at closing
  • Closing costs - Costs associated with processing the purchase or refinance of a house
  • Prepaid-Escrow set up for real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Our friendly and helpful staff can prepare an estimate to meet your particular situation.

What is PMI?
In the event you do not have a 20% down payment, lenders will allow a smaller down payment, as low as 3%. Without a 20% down payment, borrowers are required to carry private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI. This premium will be added to your monthly payment (or you can choose to pay it up front).

What are “points” on a Mortgage?
A point is a fee that may be assessed at closing by the lender to obtain a more favorable interest rate. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount (e.g. two points on a $100,000 mortgage would equate to $2,000). Generally speaking, the longer you plan to remain in the property, the more advantageous it is to purchase points. There is no requirement to pay discount points.

We can answer other mortgage questions you may have, and make your mortgage process easier.



 

 

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