Between 15 - 20% of people in our country (UK) own there own businesses. This statistic is on the rise thanks to the incredible invention of the Internet. The staggering truth is that of these only 5% are genuinely financially free! You may well see lots of expensive cars driving on our roads and big houses inhabited by the seemingly wealthy, but these houses and cars are not yet paid for.
Never in our history has it been so easy to lend money. Banks and building societies are falling over backwards to lend us money. You can sign your life away to a 50-year mortgage these days if you choose! Banks and building societies are offering 125% mortgages to first time buyers and business is looking outwardly great.
The credit card companies also love today's economy. You can borrow enough money on a credit card nowadays to buy a brand-new car! The loan companies are also cashing in on ignorant and naive individuals and this really concerns me. The advertisement marketplace is going wild on media adverts for consolidation loans. You know the type? "We will help you to consolidate all of your existing loans into one affordable monthly payment" They call this type of loan a HOME OWNERS loan. Yes you can consolidate all of your existing debts into one affordable monthly loan, but what do you call affordable? People are consolidating their present debts into one huge debt and loaning the money to repay this new debt. To actually repay this debt in full will take these people years. What's more they've secured this loan on their one and only ASSET - their HOME!
These unfortunate people aren't thinking about the future and their long-term future plans, they're thinking about the immediate and present situation. In the meantime what happens when the interest rates begin to rise? The interest rates on a consolidation loan will take years to pay off and whilst you owe money to your lender you're not secure at all because your consolidation loan is secured on your home.
What does this mean?
If you cannot pay your loan the Loan Company will TAKE YOUR HOME as payment!
The reason it is so easy to lend money at present is because the interest rates are so low. At the time of writing this web page our present government has set the base rate of lending so low that people are dangerously getting themselves into debt through their own ignorance towards the economy. What is really happening will become all too apparent in the next few years when the tide turns and the interest rates begins to rise sharply. If you're not financially free or in control of your assets when the tide turns you will lose everything. History always repeats itself and sooner or later a recession will hit the world trading markets and all of those people who borrowed huge amounts of money to buy their big house and their BMW or Mercedes will be in big financial trouble.
Wait, it gets worse!
SHOCK ? HORROR!
Once the tide turns the interest rates will saw and if you're not secure your financial world will come crashing down. The mistake that people have made is to foolishly believe that their loan rates will remain the same, they won't. Let me explain in simple terms to you my theory by giving to you a simple example:
If you have a current 'interest only' mortgage of say ?100k and the interest rate applied is ?5% your monthly payment will increase with the interest rate. What happens if the interest rate climbs to 10%? Your mortgage could double. In 1989 the interest rate sawed to 15%. If this happens (and it could) your present mortgage payments could treble! How will you survive financially?
Your mortgage payments could increase by 300% inside 12 months and any other loans you may have will also require payment. If your wage doesn't allow sufficient funds to meet these demands than you will lose everything slowly and painfully. When the interest rates do begin to rise (and they will) the debt consolidation companies will cash in on you. Before you know it you could owe money for the rest of your life and if you can't pay what you owe than your lender will take your car your home and the clothes off your back to meet their demands.
SO WHAT'S THE ANSWER?
My advice to you is to pay off your existing debts as quickly as possible. If you are driving around in a car that is financed by a finance company pay this loan off as quickly as possible. Contact the finance company and ask them for a final settlement figure. This way you'll know exactly how much debt you're in. If you can afford to settle your finance early than take advantage of this and settle immediately. This way you'll own your car outright, you'll have paid less in interest and you'll have some equity if you need it. If you can't afford to settle the finance at the present than check what interest rate you are currently paying and search around on the Internet or in the high street for a lower rate of interest. Whatever you do, don't delay in taking control of your finances today.
Another mistake people make is to fall into the trap of 'false economy'. They begin with the right intentions by searching for a lower rate of interest for their mortgage. What this means is that their monthly payments become lower. The mistake they make is to think they've got more money in their pocket. In affect this is a false economy. Instead of settling for more money in your pocket and still enduring a 10 year (or whatever) term loan ,why not use this extra money to increase payment on the capital of your loan?
This simple technique is called 'Mortgage Acceleration' The Banks and Building Societies know all about Mortgage Acceleration they just don't mention it because it loses them lots of money in interest payments!
If you increase the capital payments of your mortgage every month you're paying off the entire loan quicker. If you can shave 2 years off your loan you've not only shortened your mortgage by 2 years you'll have saved yourself a packet in interest charges. A 25-year ?50k mortgage repaid 16 years early could save you over ?60k in interest! (dependant on the interest rate) Ask your Bank or Building Society about 'Mortgage Acceleration' and see the look of loss on their face!
Don't settle for a lower rate of interest and extend your loan payments thinking that you're saving money, you're not. You are only extending your debt! You need to pay off this loan as quickly as possible whilst the interest rates are low. The longer you take to pay off your mortgage the more interest rate the Bank or Building Society will take from you. Whilst the interest rate is currently around 5% accelerate payment NOW and save even more money! Take advantage of the fact that if the interest rates are currently low than the amount of interest that you pay on top of your loan will be also low. If you can afford to increase payment whilst the rates of interest are low than I urge you take advantage of this immediately. If there is any way that you can accelerate your loan and pay it off early than I would strongly advise you to begin your financial organisation here and organise this today. A simple increase of ?50 per month in mortgage payments will save you money in interest payments in the long run. Your first step to taking control of your financial world is to pay off all of your existing debts as quickly as possible. When you have no debts, you'll be financially free and you'll feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
POSITIVE PLAN OF ACTION:
Contact the bank or building society that you have your mortgage with. Ask for a final settlement figure on your mortgage and also enquire into the current interest rate that you are paying. Chances are that if you've not checked the interest rate you are currently paying in the past 12 months than you could save yourself money immediately by choosing a better deal. There are currently plenty of lenders all willing to offer you competitive deals on your mortgage and I would advise you to check them all out before you commit yourself to one. A simple saving of 1% in interest can save you pounds every month. With this saving in interest payments, use this extra money to increase your capital payments. If you only manage to shave a year off the length of your mortgage it will be one less year that you are in debt and one year sooner to becoming financially independent.
Talking of your mortgage, if you currently have an Endowment policy running alongside your mortgage than investigate this policy thoroughly. Most endowment policies are useless in today's interest market. What this means is that when your mortgage term ends there may be insufficient funds in your endowment policy to pay off what you owe to the lender. If this is true than your lender will be knocking on your door for this short fall. If you can't afford to pay than you could lose your home after 25 years or more of payments! Recently I read that some Endowment policies were running a short fall of up to ?13000! If this happens to you you'll owe your lender ?13k plus interest!
The smartest mortgage you can take is a straight 'repayment' mortgage. As well as paying the interest back to your lender you are also paying the capital off from the offset, therefore reducing the total amount you owe quicker. My advice is to accelerate your mortgage and pay it off as quickly as possible before the interest rates sky rocket and your payment doubles or even trebles. When the tide turns (and it will) you'll be smiling in the content that you own your home and you own your car and nothing can take these away from you.
About The Author
Jay Ball is a leading business psychologist in the UK who is deeply passionate about his purpose in life - to teach as many individuals as possible how to free themselves of debt, misery and worry! He is the author of '10 simple seeds to success' and 'Believe & Achieve' as well as the MD for SUCCESS ACADEMY in the UK. Check out his website: www.successacademy.co.uk