UFREETV - FINANCIAL SECTION INFORMATION TO HELP YOU MAKE CRITICAL FINANCIAL DECISIONS
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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REVERSE MORTGAGE AND A HOME EQUITY LOAN? Difference Between a Reverse Mortgage and a Home Equity Loan Generally a home equity loan, a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) have strict requirements for income and creditworthiness. Also, with other traditional loans the homeowner must still make monthly payments to repay the loans. A reverse mortgage generally has no credit score requirements and instead of making monthly mortgage payments, the homeowner receives cash from the lender.
With a reverse mortgage the amount that can be borrowed is determined by an FHA formula that considers age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of the home. Typically, the more valuable the home, the higher the loan amount will be, subject to lending limits.
A reverse mortgage gives over part of your homes equity to a lender and they in turn give you a monthly payment (reverse of a normal mortgage) but you need to either own the home completely or have a very low balance and it is only for people over the age of 62. You don't have to pay the money back the balance you received is simply given back to the bank when the home is sold or property rights transferred. A equity loan is basically a second mortgage on a home, the property is used as collateral the bank gives you a certain amount either as a lump sum or line of credit and you make regular monthly payments.
To summarize the key differences, with traditional loans the homeowner is still required to make monthly payments, but with a reverse mortgage the loan is typically not due as long as the homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence and continues to meet all loan obligations. With a reverse mortgage no monthly mortgage payments are required, however the homeowner is still responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
A reverse mortgage is a form of equity release (or lifetime mortgage). It is a loan available to home owners of retirement age, enabling them to access a portion of their home's equity. The home owners can draw the mortgage principal in a lump sum, by receiving monthly payments over a specified term or over their (joint) lifetimes, as a revolving line of credit, or some combination thereof.
In a conventional mortgage the homeowner makes a monthly amortized payment to the lender; after each payment the equity increases by the amount of the principal included in the payment, and when the mortgage has been paid in full the property is released from the mortgage. In a reverse mortgage, the home owner is under no obligation to make payments, but is free to do so with no pre-payment penalties. The line of credit portion operates like a revolving credit line, so a payment in reduction of a line of credit increases the available credit by the same amount. Interest that accrues is added to the mortgage balance.
Title to the property remains in the name of the homeowners, to be disposed of as they wish, encumbered only by the amount owing under the mortgage.
If a property has increased in value after a reverse mortgage is taken out, it is possible to acquire a second (or third) reverse mortgage over the increased equity in the home in some areas. However most lenders do not like to take a second or third lien position behind a reverse mortgage because its balance increases with time. It is rare to find reverse mortgages with subordinate liens behind them as a result. A reverse mortgage may be refinanced if enough equity is present in the home, and in some cases may qualify for a streamline refinance if the interest rate is reduced.
A reverse mortgage line is often recorded at a higher dollar amount than the amount of money actually disbursed at the loan closing. This recorded lien is at times misunderstood by some borrowers as being the payoff amount of the mortgage. The recorded lien works in similar fashion to a home equity line of credit where the lien represents the maximum lending limit, but the payoff is calculated based on actual disbursements plus interest owing.
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TAXES: In the United States, a tax is imposed on income by the federal, most states, and many local governments. The income tax is determined by applying a tax rate, which may increase as income increases, to taxable income as defined. Individuals and corporations are directly taxable, and estates and trusts may be taxable on undistributed income.
Partnerships are not taxed, but their partners are taxed on their shares of partnership income. Residents and citizens are taxed on worldwide income, while nonresidents are taxed only on income within the jurisdiction. Several types of credits reduce tax, and some types of credits may exceed tax before credits. An alternative tax applies at the federal and some state levels.
Taxable income is total income less allowable deductions. Income is broadly defined. Most business expenses are deductible. Individuals may also deduct a personal allowance (exemption) and certain personal expenses, including home mortgage interest, state taxes, contributions to charity, and some other items. Some deductions are subject to limits.
Capital gains are taxable, and capital losses reduce taxable income only to the extent of gains (plus, in certain cases, $3,000 or $1,500 of ordinary income). Individuals currently pay a lower rate of tax on capital gains and certain corporate dividends.
Taxpayers generally must self assess income tax by filing tax returns. Advance payments of tax are required in the form of withholding tax or estimated tax payments. Taxes are determined separately by each jurisdiction imposing tax. Due dates and other administrative procedures vary by jurisdiction. April 15 following the tax year is the last day for individuals to file tax returns for federal and many state and local returns. Tax as determined by the taxpayer may be adjusted by the taxing jurisdiction.
A tax is imposed on net taxable income in the United States by the federal, most state, and some local governments. Income tax is imposed on individuals, corporations, estates, and trusts. The definition of net taxable income for most sub-federal jurisdictions mostly follows the federal definition.
The rate of tax at the federal level is graduated; that is, the tax rates of higher amounts of income are higher than on lower amounts. The lower rate on lower income was phased out at higher incomes prior to 2010.[clarification needed] Some states and localities impose an income tax at a graduated rate, and some at a flat rate on all taxable income. federal tax rates in 2009 varied from 10% to 35%.
From 2003 through 2011, individuals were eligible for a reduced rate of federal income tax on capital gains and qualifying dividends. The tax rate and some deductions are different for individuals depending on filing status. Married individuals may compute tax as a couple or separately. Single individuals may be eligible for reduced tax rates if they are head of a household in which they live with a dependent.
Taxable income: is defined in a comprehensive manner in the Internal Revenue Code and regulations issued by the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. Taxable income is gross income as adjusted minus tax deductions. Most states and localities follow this definition at least in part, though some make adjustments to determine income taxed in that jurisdiction. Taxable income for a company or business may not be the same as its book income.
Gross income: includes all income earned or received from whatever source. This includes salaries and wages, tips, pensions, fees earned for services, price of goods sold, other business income, gains on sale of other property, rents received, interest and dividends received, alimony received, proceeds from selling crops, and many other types of income. Some income, however, is exempt from income tax. This includes interest on municipal bonds.
Adjustments: (usually reductions) to gross income of individuals are made for alimony paid, contributions to many types of retirement or health savings plans, certain student loan interest, half of self-employment tax, and a few other items. The cost of goods sold in a business is a direct reduction of gross income.
Business deductions: Taxable income of all taxpayers is reduced by tax deductions for expenses related to their business. These include salaries, rent, and other business expenses paid or accrued, as well as allowances for depreciation. The deduction of expenses may result in a loss. Generally, such loss can reduce other taxable income, subject to some limits.
Personal deductions: Individuals are allowed several nonbusiness deductions. A flat amount per person is allowed as a deduction for personal exemptions. For 2012 this amount is $3,800. Taxpayers are allowed one such deduction for themselves and one for each person they support.
Standard deduction: In addition, individuals get a deduction from taxable income for certain personal expenses. Alternatively, the individual may claim a standard deduction. For 2012, the standard deduction is $5,950 for single individuals, $11,900 for a married couple, and $8,700 for a head of household.
Itemized deductions: Those who choose to claim actual itemized deductions may deduct the following, subject to many conditions and limitations: Medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income, State, local, and foreign taxes, Home mortgage interest, Contributions to charities, Losses on nonbusiness property due to casualty, and Deductions for expenses incurred in the production of income in excess of 2% of adjusted gross income. Capital gains: and qualified dividends may be taxed as part of taxable income. However, the tax is limited to a lower tax rate. Capital gains include gains on selling stocks and bonds, real estate, and other capital assets. The gain is the excess of the proceeds over the adjusted basis (cost less depreciation deductions allowed) of the property. This limit on tax also applies to dividends from U.S. corporations and many foreign corporations. There are limits on how much net capital loss may reduce other taxable income.
Tax credits: All taxpayers are allowed a tax credit for foreign taxes and for a percentage of certain types of business expenses. Individuals are also allowed credits related to education expenses, retirement savings, child care expenses, and a credit for each child. Each of the credits is subject to specific rules and limitations. Some credits are treated as refundable payments.
Alternative Minimum Tax: All taxpayers are also subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax if their income exceeds certain exclusion amounts. This tax applies only if it exceeds regular income tax, and is reduced by some credits.
Tax returns: Individuals must file income tax returns in each year their income exceeds the standard deduction plus one personal exemption, or if any tax is due. Other taxpayers must file income tax returns each year. These returns may be filed electronically. Generally, an individual's tax return covers the calendar year. Corporations may elect a different tax year. Most states and localities follow the federal tax year, and require separate returns.
Tax payment: Taxpayers must pay income tax due without waiting for an assessment. Many taxpayers are subject to withholding taxes when they receive income. To the extent withholding taxes do not cover all taxes due, all taxpayers must make estimated tax payments.
Tax penalties: Failing to make payments on time, or failing to file returns, can result in substantial penalties. Certain intentional failures may result in jail time.
Tax returns may be examined and adjusted by tax authorities. Taxpayers have rights to appeal any change to tax, and these rights vary by jurisdiction. Taxpayers may also go to court to contest tax changes. Tax authorities may not make changes after a certain period of time (generally 3 years).
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CREDIT CARD 101 The Credit card - You can use a credit card to buy things and pay for them over time. But remember, buying with credit is a loan - you have to pay the money back. And some issuers charge an annual fee for their cards. Some credit card issuers also provide “courtesy” checks to their customers. You can use these checks in place of your card, but they’re not a gift - they’re also a loan that you must pay back. And if you don’t pay your bill on time or in full when it’s due, you will owe a finance charge - the dollar amount you pay to use credit. The finance charge depends in part on your outstanding balance and the annual percentage rate (APR).
Charge card - If you use a charge card, you must pay the balance in full each time you get your statement.
Debit card - This card allows you to make purchases in real-time by accessing the money in your checking or savings account electronically.
The Fine Print When applying for credit cards, it’s important to shop around. Fees, interest rates, finance charges, and benefits can vary greatly. And, in some cases, credit cards might seem like great deals until you read the fine print and disclosures. When you’re trying to find the credit card that’s right for you, look at the:
Annual percentage rate (APR) - The APR is a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly interest rate. It must be disclosed before your account can be activated, and it must appear on your account statements. The card issuer also must disclose the “periodic rate” - the rate applied to your outstanding balance to figure the finance charge for each billing period.
Some credit card plans allow the issuer to change your APR when interest rates or other economic indicators - called indexes - change. Because the rate change is linked to the index’s performance, these plans are called “variable rate” programs. Rate changes raise or lower the finance charge on your account. If you’re considering a variable rate card, the issuer also must tell you that the rate may change and how the rate is determined.
Before you become obligated on the account, you also must receive information about any limits on how much and how often your rate may change.
Grace period - The grace period is the number of days you have to pay your bill in full without triggering a finance charge. For example, the credit card company may say that you have 25 days from the statement date, provided you paid your previous balance in full by the due date. The statement date is on the bill.
The grace period usually applies only to new purchases. Most credit cards do not give a grace period for cash advances and balance transfers. Instead, interest charges start right away. If your card includes a grace period, the issuer must mail your bill at least 14 days before the due date so you’ll have enough time to pay.
Annual fees - Many issuers charge annual membership or participation fees.Some card issuers assess the fee in monthly installments.
Transaction fees and other charges - Some issuers charge a fee if you use the card to get a cash advance, make a late payment, or exceed your credit limit. Some charge a monthly fee if you use the card - or if you don't.
Customer service - Customer service is something most people don’t consider, or appreciate, until there’s a problem. Look for a 24-hour toll-free telephone number.
Unauthorized charges - If your card is used without your permission, you can be held responsible for up to $50 per card. If you report the loss before the card is used, you can’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges. To minimize your liability, report the loss as soon as possible. Some issuers have 24-hour toll-free telephone numbers to accept emergency information. It’s a good idea to follow-up with a letter to the issuer - include your account number, the date you noticed your card missing, and the date you reported the loss.Keep a record - in a safe place separate from your cards - of your account numbers, expiration dates, and the telephone numbers of each card issuer so you can report a loss quickly.
CREDIT REPORT FACTS: Since the slightest financial mistake can affect how much credit you qualify for, and the interest rates you will have to pay on your loan, times like these should make you want to monitor your credit more closely. And there are a number of companies out there that offer this service. You can get your credit report from - Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®.
Here are some examples of the information credit monitoring services provide that you won’t get on a free credit report: Making sense of reports. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies issue reports in different ways. They can be difficult to understand if you don't have a lot of experience reading credit reports. A monitoring service can help you synthesize that information in a way that's easy to read and decipher.
Access to all agencies in a single report. Not only do each of the major reporting agencies not compile reports in the same way, they also don't necessarily share data. So, while you might not have a blemish on one agency's report, one may appear in a report from a different agency. A credit monitoring service allows you access to reports based on data from all three agencies, so you can check them all for discrepancies. Because of the lack of formatting in the free credit reports, it can be difficult to impossible to compare and contrast the credit reports you receive from the different agencies.
Daily monitoring. Whenever you request a free report, the information you get back reflects your financial situation as it stands at the time of your request. So, where a one-time free credit report provides a snapshot in time of your credit history, credit monitoring gives you a more complete, moving picture. As you work toward improving your credit rating in order to make a major purchase, you can keep track of your progress and apply for financing when you feel most comfortable.
Alerts. In addition to giving you daily updates on your credit, you can and should pick a credit monitoring service that will alert you if certain changes are detected in your credit report. That way, if you become a victim of identity theft or other related fraud, you have the ability to deal with it immediately and keep your credit in good standing.
The bottom line is that by spending a few dollars to monitor your credit, you may end up saving yourself a significant amount of money in the long run because you'll be able to get a better interest rate on a mortgage or large loan. You also will have the added benefit of knowing when your credit has been compromised.
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DO YOU KNOW THE THREE C'S OF CREDIT EVALUATION? CAPACITY This refers to the amount of debt you can realistically pay given your income. Creditors look at how long you’ve been on your job, your income, and the likelihood that it will increase over time. They also look to see that you’re in a stable job or at least a stable industry. So when you fill out a credit application, make your job sound as stable and high-level as you honestly can. Are you a secretary, or are you an “executive assistant” or “office manager”? Present yourself in the best possible light, but don’t mislead or lie. Because employment history and income may not be included in your credit report, creditors may get that information from you, your records, and your employer.
Creditors do use your credit report to examine your existing credit relationships, such as credit cards, bank loans, and mortgages. They want to know your credit limits (you may be denied additional credit if you already have a lot of open credit lines), your current credit balances, how long you’ve had each account, and your payment history-whether you pay late or on time.
COLLATERAL Creditors like to see that you have assets they can take if you don’t pay your debt. Owning a home or liquid assets such as a mutual fund may offer considerable comfort to a creditor reviewing an application. This is especially true if your credit report has negative notations in it, such as late payments. A credit report won’t tell a creditor what assets you own. Of course, if your mortgage payments are reported, the creditor will know that you own a home and how much you owe on the mortgage.
CHARACTER Creditors develop a feeling of your financial character through objective factors that show stability. These include the length of your residency, the length of your employment, whether you rent or own your home (you’re more likely to stay put if you own), and whether you have checking and savings accounts. Credit reports will tell creditors how long you have maintained credit accounts and how long you have lived at your current address, and they may have employment information. Some specialty credit reporting agencies include information on whether you have bounced checks.
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UFREETV.COM™ encourages you to learn all the details of your financial contracts before signing any documents or making any decisions.
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, the number 3 having no real meaning other than to distinguish it from BBC One, BBC Two and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned as televisions would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, the other stations being allocated to that of the number their name contained.
For over 50 years of Independent Television, the homegrown programmes have become the best loved and remembered as well as being extremely successful. Before the 1990s, nearly all of the content for the channel was produced by the fifteen franchise licensees: the regional companies.
However, in the last decade, and following legislation in the Broadcasting Act 1990 imposing a 25% quota for commissioning of independent productions, the number of programmes from independent production companies not connected to the traditional ITV Network, has increased rapidly. Notable examples include Talkback Thames (one half of which, Thames Television, was itself a former ITV franchisee), producers of The Bill and co-producers of The X Factor, and 2waytraffic (previously Celador), producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
From the late 1990s, ITV's long-standing commitment to strong current affairs and documentary programming began to diminish with the ending of productions such as World in Action (Granada), This Week (Rediffusion/Thames), First Tuesday (Yorkshire Television), Network First, Survival (Anglia Television), and Weekend World (LWT) and their replacement with populist shows such as Tonight. News at Ten was also axed in 1999, although it was reinstated in 2008. In December 2009, the final edition of ITV's long-running arts programme, The South Bank Show was broadcast. The broadcaster has announced that it intends to cease funding regional news on the ITV Network by 2012.
Increasingly ITV's primetime schedules are dominated by its soap operas, such as the flagship Coronation Street and Emmerdale. At the start of the 21st century, Independent Television faced criticism for including a large amount of "reality TV" programmes in the schedule, such as Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Wrestling and Love Island. In its defence, ITV does continue to show its major strengths in the fields of sports coverage and drama productions, and it continues to schedule national news in primetime.
National and international news Main article: ITV News Since the network started, Independent Television News Limited (ITN) has held the contract to produce news for the ITV Network, with 30 minute national news bulletins broadcast at 5:30am, 1:30pm, 6:30pm, and 10:00pm. These bulletins were broadcast under the ITN brand since the companys launch until 1999, and currently broadcasts under the ITV News brand. ITN has long been respected in the news industry as a source of reliable information and news, and as a result the service has won many awards for their programmes, the latest being in May 2011 when News at Ten was named best news programme by the Royal Television Society and BAFTA.
Regional news The regional ITV companies are required to provide local news as part of their franchise agreement, with the main local bulletin at 6pm and regional bulletins located after each national news programme. In addition to this, traditionally ITV companies would provide other regional programming based on current affairs, entertainment or drama. However, apart from a monthly political programme, most non-news regional programming in the English regions was dropped by ITV plc in 2009, with the practice continued in Wales and by STV, UTV and Channel.
]Weather Main article: ITV Weather The ITV National Weather forecast was first broadcast in 1989, using data supplied by the Met Office, and was presented by a number of weather forecasters. The forecasts are sponsored in which the sponsors message, as of 2011 The Co-operative Food, would appear prior to the forecast. The forecasts are made immediately after the main national news bulletins. Prior to the creation of the national forecast, regional forecast provided by each regional companies were shown in each region only. The regional forecasts today are incorporated into the main regional news bulletins, and in the ITV plc regions, includes a Pollen Count.
Sport Main article: ITV Sport ITV covers many popular sports. The channel emphasises coverage of football, with the channel holding the UK terrestrial rights to the UEFA Champions League and with the channel sharing coverage of international football events such as the World Cup with the BBC. On 30 March 2007 The Football Association confirmed that it had agreed a new four-year £425m television deal for ITV and Setanta Sports to show FA Cup and England home international matches (the Scottish regional broadcaster STV replaces these games with regular programming). The deal with the FA represented a 42% increase on the existing deal with BBC Sport and BSkyB.
In May 2009, ITV acquired the rights to broadcast live cricket from the Indian Premier League. The network also covers motorsport, rugby, and other sports.
Children's programming Main article: CITV The network broadcasts children's programming under the CITV (Children's ITV) strand. Children's programming is broadcast across the network on weekend mornings, during the ITV Breakfast broadcasting slot. In 2006, ITV plc launched their own Children's channel under the CITV brand, and all children's programming were relocated from the ITV line-up to the CITV channel in 2007, a move which was challenged by Ofcom in April 2007.
Teletext provider The Public Teletext Licence allows the holder to broadcast a text-based information service around the clock on Channel 3 (as well as Channel 4 and S4C) frequencies. Teletext on ITV was provided by ORACLE from 1974 until 1993 and from 1993 to 2010 by Teletext Ltd., whose news, sport and TV listings pages rivalled the BBC's offering, Ceefax on terrestrial and BBC Red Button on digital. Teletext Ltd. also provided digital teletext for the Channel 3 services, as well as the text output for both Channel 4 and S4C under the same licence and Channel 5. However, the licence was revoked by Ofcom on 29 January 2010 for failing to provide news and local non-news information on ITV and there is currently no teletext licence holder for ITV. Schools programming
Main article: ITV Schools Schools programming on the network began in 1957 in some regions and expanded as more regions began broadcasting. It is a contractual obligation for the ITV company to broadcast schools programming, and this was initially broadcast as part of the normal scheduling. The programmes were moved into a segment for broadcast during the day in the 1960s, under the banner Independent Television for Schools and Colleges and from 1987 were broadcast on Channel 4 in the ITV Schools on Channel 4 segment. In 1993, this segment became Channel 4 Schools and later in 2000 4Learning. These strands of programming consisted of schools programming from all the ITV companies or from independent sources. The schools strand itself is now defunct, with no particular branding segment used.
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT STONEHENGE?
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 2.0 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks. It is at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.
Archaeologists believe the stone monument was constructed anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, as described in the chronology below. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were erected in 2400-2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC.
The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury Henge monument. It is a national legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage, while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge could possibly have served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. The dating of cremated remains found on the site indicate that deposits contain human bone material from as early as 3000 BC, when the initial ditch and bank were first dug. Such deposits continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years.