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Wells Fargo Will Pay $2billion for Mortgage Fraud + How to Ask the Right Questions as a First-Time Home Buyer



They say what is done in the dark will always come to light and while we applaud Wells Fargo for trying to clean up its act, by launching a new “Earning Back Your Trust” Campaign, they are still paying for some of their past mistakes. Recently, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $2.09 billion to settle charges by the Justice Department that it knowingly sold residential-mortgage loans to investors containing false income information. These loans which are dubbed “crisis-era loans,” which tens of thousands defaulted, “did not meet the quality that Wells Fargo represented,” said the DOJ. The bank has been no stranger to scandals over sales practices, including them, infamously opening millions of fake accounts that resulted in Federal Reserve sanctions. While Wells Fargo can afford to pay these sanctions many first-time home buyers save for their whole lives in order to afford their purchase, so caution needs to be taken before you sign on the dotted line. The questions that a first-time home buyer should ask and understand before starting the process are one of the most important parts of the process. No question is too dumb, and all questions should be asked as they come up. Here are eight questions  you should ask:

1) Am I ready to buy a home?

If you’ve had a stable job for a couple of years and you like the area you live in and do not think you will want to move for at least five years, then purchasing a home might be a good idea. You also need to be ready for the additional responsibilities such as yard care, fixing broken appliances, and other maintenance needs. Homes will not keep their value if these aren’t kept up.

2) What’s my first step to buy a home?

When you think you are ready to buy a house, it’s important to consider what your credit rating is like, and what your debt to income ratio is. If you have a lot of debt, it’s time to get it paid down. You want a couple of years of on-time payments, with no late payments for at least two years.

3) What’s better or worse about buying over renting?

When you rent, your entire payment is just gone. But when you purchase you are building equity in your home, and you will get either more than you have paid into the house back, or you’ll get something back when you sell the house. When you rent, you will get nothing but perhaps your deposit back, if you’re lucky. But, as a homeowner you will have the responsibility of upkeep so if you are alone or travel a lot, you’ll need to consider the added expense of someone to maintain your home.

4) How do I find a mortgage broker?

The best way to find a mortgage broker is to ask your friends. But, if you plan to buy new construction go to the sample house, and ask for a list of pre-approved mortgage brokers.

5) How do I find a real estate agent?

The best way to find a real estate agent is to ask your friends, again, and find someone who has been around for a while in your community. You want someone who really knows the inventory and understands what you want. Usually, you’ll enter into a contract with the realtor, and you cannot use anyone else until you find a home except under extreme circumstances.

6) How can I research communities I’d like to live in?

There are wonderful ways to research communities now. Use, or to help you find houses in the area you want to live, and the links provided will show you facts and stats about that area. You can also drive around in the area to see how it feels to you.

7) What should I pay particular attention to during walk throughs?

Other than the items you want on your wish list, look for rotted wood around windows, black stuff on the roof (usually mold), the size of the bedrooms, kitchen, and yard. Ask yourself if you like the floor plan. What needs to be replaced? Carpet, appliances, anything else? Make a note of these things because if you like the house, those can be points of negotiation.

8) What’s the best way to keep track of the houses I look at?

Before you start looking, create a list or check sheet to take with you listing all the things you would like in the house. Each checklist should also list the address. Your realtor should have a copy of that as well before he or she even finds places for you to view. As you go through, take a picture of the address of the house, then the house, and later attach it to the checklist so that you can easily go back to see what you liked and did not like about the house.

Finding the right home is an emotional, stressful while exciting process. Once it’s over and done, you’ll be glad you did your due diligence. Do not worry if those around you try to talk you into anything, or talk you out of anything. It’s going to be your house, and you have to be happy with it, not them. But again do your due diligence so you can have longevity in your investment.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?



Job openings in the U.S. continue to exceed the number of unemployed people, with 1 million more positions available in October than those Americans actively seeking work, per the Labor Department. The information, real estate, and education industries were seeking the most help. Until March of this year, job openings never exceeded the number of those looking for work in the 17 years since record-keeping began. This leads to the question: Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?

The truth of the matter is that a 9-5 can be taxing on anyone especially those trying to raise a family.  There are a lot of people who believe that it is far better to be an entrepreneur than to work under someone, as an employee. This is mainly because of the flexibility as well as the ability to create your own schedule. Being an entrepreneur allows you to plan your work around your life’s needs, so you can have your cake and eat it.

In the past, it was much more difficult to run a business and have a good quality of life, but because of technological advances, it has become easier to manage both. And this isn’t only small local ventures; the internet has made the world a smaller place, so many entrepreneurs are running global businesses.

Women are also starting to lead the charge; they comprise of about 10.6 million women all over the world and produce 2.5 trillion dollars in sales annually! It takes a lot of patience being an entrepreneur because it is a tough job to take care of other responsibilities while running a business at the same time. You must learn how to keep your cool during stressful times and be able to put out fires simultaneously. Overall, entrepreneurship is a great option in today’s day and age but always remember… Quality of life first!

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The Daily Digm (News)

Amazon Battling Against Scammers + Why Do Scammers Exist in the First Place



Amazon is battling a torrent of seller scams on its website and has sacked a handful of employees it alleges took bribes and fed inside information to independent merchants, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company has fired some workers from the U.S. and India as well as purging several thousand dubious customer reviews. It’s also curtailed seller access to internal data and worked to curb techniques allowing sellers to game the site’s search results to their benefit.

 These dishonest sellers and employees make things difficult for those who are trying to do the right thing. But why do scammers exist in the first place? The truth of the matter is that money is an important aspect of life and many believe that cheating the system is the way they know how to get ahead. Money started as a simple concept then it became complicated.

Bartering became was a system of economics for centuries. A fisherman would exchange his catch with the carpenter for a table. Cattle, clothes and other necessities were traded without cash tender. The introduction of money changed that system making it of greater influence in our lives. So, why is money so darn important?

Global Exchange. Money is important mainly because it’s a tool for global exchange. Simply put, it’s important because we have made it important. Giving up other systems to heavily depend on cash and its many forms. You may not provide a product or service needed by a person who creates a need of yours. You’d use money as a medium of exchange used to obtain wants and needs.

Time. Money in some ways buys time. The key is making money work for you by creating passive income – monies earned which a person is not actively involved. Examples of passive income are royalties from intellectual properties, rental properties, or a business you don’t have to physically operate to earn a profit. Passive income equals more time to other things you love such as traveling with family, volunteering, or working for fun (not out of necessity).

Allows You to Make a Larger Difference. More money can multiply you. Volunteering at the local Girls and Boys Club requires your presence. Being able to donate financially to multiple local Boys & Girls Clubs makes an even bigger difference. Your reach increases with the amount of money you possess.

While money isn’t the most important thing in the world, it does effect the things that are. Using your money strategically will afford you more time, expand your reach, and pay for some pretty cool experiences.  And ultimately managing our money responsibly will assure that we don’t fail. Face it we are too important!

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The Daily Digm (News)

NYC Introduces Minimum Wage for Drivers + How to Slowly Crawl Your Way into Wealth



Living in a big city may not be what it’s cracked up to be.  The cost of living seems to be going up while wages are going down. Well thankfully for cab drivers they may be getting some relief. New York City is introducing a minimum pay rate for drivers working for app-based services such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers must now be paid a minimum of $27.86 per hour, or $17.22 after expenses, which city officials say translates to a yearly increase of roughly $10,000. The new pay rates, which will be implemented in 20 days, were criticized by the ride-sharing services. The changes will likely lead to fare hikes for riders, said Uber but drivers are at least happy. But what about another worker?

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder report, 78% of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck. And while the cost of living continues to climb there are ways to get out of this slow crawl to wealth. Here are four tips on getting out of living paycheck to paycheck and live life more abundantly. 

Live below your means. The more we earn, the more we seem to spend. Think about it when you made less than what you make now, you survived. And then when a raise came along or some random lump sum of money like your tax refund you either made a purchase that increased your long-term expenses or wasted it on things that didn’t shift your lifestyle in a financially positive way. Start living below your means. This may look like downsizing your phone plan or apartment. Pretend you have $100 to 500 dollars less than what you make on a monthly basis.

Set Financial Goals. If your money doesn’t have an aim, it will land anywhere. When you have a financial vision, you are more likely to end up where you’d like to be. You are careful enough to put aside tax money, mortgage payments, and other necessities; take the same approach to build wealth.

Aggressively Save. Think of a number that you don’t want to go below when it comes to your savings account. Let’s say you want to have no less than 10,000 dollars in your account. Save until you get there without spending unnecessarily. Remember put aside an amount that you feel comfortable with but an amount that will also get you to your goal in a comfortable amount of time. Once you have arrived, don’t go below it.

Change your words. Words are powerful. Chances are if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you aren’t able to do things you like. And that can cause stress and discomfort. And you may have the tendency to complain. STOP. Your words have the ability to build up and tear down. Choose to build up with money affirmations such as “I have an endless supply of cash,” “money is flowing to me,” and “I place no limits on the amount of money I can make.” (IG: @paradigmmoney). Before you know it, you’ll be financially free and loving it.

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