Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Best Personal Finance Software - Look Before You Leap

In any purchasing decision you make in life you must match your needs with the features of the product you are purchasing in order to make the best decision. This also applies when you are investing in personal finance software. You don't want to invest in a package that is too complex for your needs or has functions that you will never need to use in the future.

Having gone on line to research the best software packages on a well known UK retail site I analysed two categories in the following categories

Software >business and office>personal finance and tax

Software >Home computing>personal finance and tax

I then looked at the best sellers and in my mind I was going to review software packages about personal finance. However when the product features mentioned "creating invoices" and "tracking sales" I suddenly realised that this was not the software that I was seeking. This software was very much geared to accounting or book keeping. Therefore the category above business and office does not seem the appropriate category. I would regard business and office as pertaining to stand alone office building remote from one's own home.

I then decided to go back to basics and look up the definition of personal finance which is "the application of the principles of finance to the monetary decisions of an individual or family unit. Tracking sales and creating invoices would be associated with a small business carried out by a sole trader or a partnership perhaps. Because "and tax" was added to the personal finance category meant that accounting and self assessment software would be included in this category.

Therefore it is very important to check thoroughly your needs before investing in personal finance software. You don't want to invest in a package that is too complex for your needs or has functions that you will never need to use in the future. You should take the following steps.

1 List down the reasons why you need the software.

The following hypothetical list is an example.

-Keeping track of bank accounts, credit cards and loans and savings.

-Keeping track of investments i.e. stock market, bonds and mutual funds

-Keeping track of insurance, i.e. life insurance and health insurance.

-Monitoring of individual or company based retirement plans.

-Income tax management.

-Monitoring standing orders and direct debits

-Budgeting for future spending

2 Cross check the list in 1 above with what the various software packages have to offer and come up with a best fit.

3 Read reviews on the products that you have chosen in 2 above and chose one package based on the best ratings.

If you follow the points above you will end up buying a personal finance software package that is specifically tailored to your needs and more than likely give you value for money. Therefore you must look before you leap.

Choosing the best personal finance software can give you great peace of mind when it comes to sorting out your personal finances. You can find out about the top three Personal Finance software packages here :

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Can Be a Coapplicant For a Home Loan?
When it comes to home loans, the amount borrowed is usually quite large in value. This is the reason why in most situations, a joint applicant along with the primary borrower is often recommended. This has the following benefits:

    When both the applicants' income is pooled, the eligibility to avail a higher loan amount increases.
    When the co-owners of the property apply with the applicant, it makes for a stronger application.

One thing to always be kept in mind is that although all co-owners of a property are advised to be co-applicants, it is not a necessity that every co-applicant needs to be the co-owner of the property. Also, note that a minor will not be considered as a co-applicant. Although, co-applicants are encouraged, there are certain prerequisites that need to be fulfilled so that they may be considered for the loan application. Let us take a look at some of the conditions:

    The co-applicant must have a regular source of income (if income needs to be considered for higher loan amount)
    Friends or relatives cannot act as co-applicants.
    The credit history i.e. the repayment record of the joint applicant will be reviewed at the time of application.

There are certain preset relationships which will only be considered for joint eligibility. These include

i) Husband-wife

ii) father-son (or sons),

iii) father-daughter (provided daughter is unmarried and property is in daughter's name and father's income is not considered),

iv) mother-son (or sons),

v) brothers

Is it advantageous to have a co-applicant?

Yes, it is an advantage to the applicant if he or she applies along with a suitable co-applicant. Should the primary borrower default in paying the installments, it will become the responsibility of the co-applicant to repay the loan without having to forgo on the property.

Although, it is advisable to encourage co-applicants, it is not a legal requirement for everybody whilst they apply for a housing loan.

Note that, sisters or daughters cannot act as co-applicants with their brother or father or among themselves either. It is to avoid future disputes during the tenure of the home loan. As long as the preset conditions are met by the joint applicant, it would prove to be an advantage while applying for a home loan.

Also, if the secondary borrower's income is going to be considered, then his or her credit score as well as credit history will also be reviewed prior to loan approval.