Learning Basic Accounting Principles

Accounting has been defined as, by Professor of Accounting at the University of Michigan William A Paton as having one basic function: “facilitating the administration of economic activity. This function has two closely related phases: 1) measuring and arraying economic data; and 2) communicating the results of this process to interested parties.”

As an example, a company’s accountants periodically measure the profit and loss for a month, a quarter or a fiscal year and publish these results in a statement of profit and loss that’s called an income statement. These statements include elements such as accounts receivable (what’s owed to the company) and accounts payable (what the company owes). It can also get pretty complicated with subjects like retained earnings and accelerated depreciation. This at the higher levels of accounting and in the organization.

Much of accounting though, is also concerned with basic bookkeeping. This is the process that records every transaction; every bill paid, every dime owed, every dollar and cent spent and accumulated.

But the owners of the company, which can be individual owners or millions of shareholders are most concerned with the summaries of these transactions, contained in the financial statement. The financial statement summarizes a company’s assets. A value of an asset is what it cost when it was first acquired. The financial statement also records what the sources of the assets were. Some assets are in the form of loans that have to be paid back. Profits are also an asset of the business.

In what’s called double-entry bookkeeping, the liabilities are also summarized. Obviously, a company wants to show a higher amount of assets to offset the liabilities and show a profit. The management of these two elements is the essence of accounting.

There is a system for doing this; not every company or individual can devise their own systems for accounting; the result would be chaos!

Top Ten Things to Know if You’re Interested in a

Top Ten Things to Know if You’re Interested in a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgages are becoming popular in America. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created one of the first. HUD’s Reverse Mortgage is a federally-insured private loan, and it’s a safe plan that can give older Americans greater financial security. Many seniors use it to supplement social security, meet unexpected medical expenses, make home improvements, and more. You can receive free information about reverse mortgages by calling AARP at: 1-800-209-8085, toll-free. Since your home is probably your largest single investment, it’s smart to know more about reverse mortgages, and decide if one is right for you!

1. What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert a portion of the equity in his or her home into cash. The equity built up over years of home mortgage payments can be paid to you. But unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, no repayment is required until the borrower(s) no longer use the home as their principal residence. HUD’s reverse mortgage provides these benefits, and it is federally-insured as well.
2. Can I qualify for a HUD reverse mortgage?
To be eligible for a HUD reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires that the borrower is a homeowner, 62 years of age or older; own your home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at the closing with proceeds from the reverse loan; and must live in the home. You are further required to receive consumer information from HUD-approved counseling sources prior to obtaining the loan. You can contact the Housing Counseling Clearinghouse on 1-800-569-4287 to obtain the name and telephone number of a HUD-approved counseling agency and a list of FHA approved lenders within your area.

3. Can I apply if I didn’t buy my present house with FHA mortgage insurance?
Yes. While your property must meet HUD minimum property standards, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t buy it with an FHA-insured mortgage. Your new HUD reverse mortgage will be a new FHA-insured mortgage loan.

4. What types of homes are eligible?
Your home must be a single family dwelling or a two-to-four unit property that you own and occupy. Townhouses, detached homes, units in condominiums and some manufactured homes are eligible. Condominiums must be FHA-approved. It is possible for condominiums to qualify under the Spot Loan program. The home must be in reasonable condition, and must meet HUD minimum property standards. In some cases, home repairs can be made after the closing of a reverse mortgage.

5. What’s the difference between a reverse mortgage and a bank home equity loan?
With a traditional second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, you must have sufficient income versus debt ratio to qualify for the loan, and you are required to make monthly mortgage payments. The reverse mortgage is different in that it pays you, and is available regardless of your current income. The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, other loan fees, and the appraised value of your home or FHA’s mortgage limits for your area, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow. You don’t make payments, because the loan is not due as long as the house is your principal residence. Like all homeowners, you still are required to pay your real estate taxes and other conventional payments like utilities, but with an FHA-insured HUD Reverse Mortgage, you cannot be foreclosed or forced to vacate your house because you “missed your mortgage payment.”

6. Can the lender take my home away if I outlive the loan?
No! Nor is the loan due. You do not need to repay the loan as long as you or one of the borrowers continues to live in the house and keeps the taxes and insurance current. You can never owe more than your home’s value.

7. Will I still have an estate that I can leave to my heirs?
When you sell your home or no longer use it for your primary residence, you or your estate will repay the cash you received from the reverse mortgage, plus interest and other fees, to the lender. The remaining equity in your home, if any, belongs to you or to your heirs. None of your other assets will be affected by HUD’s reverse mortgage loan. This debt will never be passed along to the estate or heirs.

8. How much money can I get from my home?
The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, other loan fees and the appraised value of your home or FHA’s mortgage limits for your area, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow.

9. Should I use an estate planning service to find a reverse mortgage?
I’ve been contacted by a firm that will give me the name of a lender for a “small percentage” of the loan? HUD does NOT recommend using an estate planning service, or any service that charges a fee just for referring a borrower to a lender! HUD provides this information without cost, and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available for free, or at minimal cost, to provide information, counseling, and free referral to a list of HUD-approved lenders. Before you agree to pay a fee for a simple referral, call 1-800-569-4287, toll-free, for the name and location of a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you.

10. How do I receive my payments?
You have five options:
Tenure – equal monthly payments as long as at least one borrower lives and continues to occupy the property as a principal residence.
Term – equal monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected.
Line of Credit – unscheduled payments or in installments, at times and in amounts of borrower’s choosing until the line of credit is exhausted.
Modified Tenure – combination of line of credit with monthly payments for as long as the borrower remains in the home.
Modified Term – combination of line of credit with monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected by the borrower.

Consolidate Debt With Home Equity as Security

In these days, hard to find a person with zero debt and most people have more than one debt. You may have high interest credit card debts, loans and mortgages. If every month you find hardship to clear the needed repayment or you need to borrow from someone else in order to meet the monthly repayment, which is yet creates another debt, you are having financial difficulties. These are the signs of financial crisis and you need to react fast to find a solution to handle your debts in order for you to prevent trapping into financial crisis. One of the solutions for this problem is debt consolidation.

Debt consolidation is simply the process of combining all accumulated debt from all the various creditors into one smaller, more manageable payment. If you own a home, you can get a debt consolidation home equity loan. With your home as the collateral, you could apply for a home equity loan and consolidate all your debts into one inexpensive and affordable monthly payment with low interest rate. A debt consolidation home equity loan is a secured loan where your property will be security against the loan. These home equity loan in general will have much lower interest rate and it has various repayment period to choose from. You can choose the package with repayment period that have monthly payment that meet your financial affordability so it won't burden you. The lender will have a lien on your house until you pay off the home equity loan in full and because of this, the equity loan is easy to be approved. While you will continue to own your home as loan collateral, the debt consolidation loan will keep the creditors away and keep you out of bankruptcy. Using your home as collateral to get the debt consolidation home equity loan is a security to the lender. But you need to aware that at any time if you can't afford to make payment to your home equity loan, you may lose you home. Hence, after consolidate your debt with the home equity loan, the first thing you need to do is to control your current and future expenses especially your credit cards, it is advisable that you don't use any of them in times of temptation. This is because once you consolidate all your debts with home equity loan, you credit cards will back the maximum credit allowance for you to swipe again and if you continue using it without a control, it will thereby increasing your debt again and put you right back into the hot water.

Beside the low interest rate, longer repayment period and easier to be approved, a home equity loan is tax deductible. Normally, if you add your first mortgage to a new debt consolidation loan, and the total does not exceed 100% of the appraised value of your property, the interest you pay will be fully deductible. You can consult a tax consultant for further information on this matter.

In Summary

Don't let your high interest debts drag you into financial crisis. If you own a home, you may utilize the benefit of a home equity loan and consolidate all you debts into one smaller and more manageable payment under this home equity loan.

Instant Approval Credit Cards – The New Plastic Cash

Instant approval credit cards are plastic cash resources, which are difficult to resist. The instant approval credit cards are marketed very well by their respective card issuers, yet once the card is in hand, cardholders can sometimes find it difficult to manage their debt. Few people understand how to manage payments. The cardholders will utilize the cards to make payments while meeting the grace period payoff date. Meeting the grace period deadline enables the cardholder to take full advantage of the card, since additional interest and fees are not applicable.

Credit Cards differ from loans, i.e. collateral is unnecessary. Still, if you fail to repay the debts incurred, fees higher interest is the result. Nowadays, we all need credit cards, since many businesses will not accept checks anymore. The advantages are that you can utilize most credit cards almost anywhere in the world. In addition, the cards come with monthly statements, which enable you to keep track of your expenses. If the debts are paid in full before the grace period ends, rates of interest and fees are minimal. Furthermore, the credit cards are convenient, since you are essentially taking out what amounts to a payday loan without going through paperwork.

Associated Charges on Credit Cards

It depends on the credit card, but most have a number of associated charges. The instant approval cards, e.g. may include annual percentage rates (APR), interest rates, late fees, fees on cash advances, and so forth. The annual fees are often waived providing the potential cardholder does not have credit issues. The card providers waive the fees up to fifteen months in some instances. Interest rates vary, however the rates increase if the grace period payoff date is not met, yet some card providers will allow flexibility on payments. The APR on some cards are a fixed rate, while others are variable. Fixed rates differ, therefore read the terms & conditions carefully while considering instant approval credit cards. The grace period is always important, since if you do not pay debts by the grace periods end, you will pay higher charges. Therefore, check the grace period on the cards, since some providers will allow 21 days on instant approval credit cards, while others will allow 25 days. Other fees might include charges on cash advances, late fees, etc.

Instant approval credit cards are designed mostly for people with excellent credit. So if you have the required credit score, there’s a good chance that you’ll get approved for the card instantly, however if your credit presents a risk, expect a delay. If your credit meets the cards stipulations on particular credit cards, the lender likely will give you a chance, however if your credit is bad, dont expect an instant credit card.

Your best chances of understanding and applying for credit cards is to research them thoroughly. Utilize the internet where you can rapidly compare and research offers and to locate card providers, instant approval credit cards and more!