Home Improvement Financing Blog
   

Contractors realizing the benefits of fast and free financing from AMS Financial

Posted on January 2, 2013 by Brandon Perry | Leave a comment

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Home improvement contractors all over the country are realizing the benefits to their bottom line by utilizing the best in class financing programs offered by AMS Financial Solutions. HVAC, Plumbing, swimming pool, roofing, window and siding contractors all see that it is not necessary to pay the high “discount” fees that other financing firms charge them to be able to offer 0% financing to their customers that want to finance their purchases and projects. By offering 0% for up to 18 months and instant credit decisions generated on the www.instantloanoffer.com loan portal it is providing much needed service to customers that want top tier financing without all of the hassles. AMS has been offering financing to the home improvement trade since 2004 and services more than 20,000 contractors in all 50 states.

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How to choose the best financing program for your project

Posted on October 10, 2012 by Brandon Perry | 1 Comment

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I am often asked which is the best home improvement loan product to choose for your home improvement project. Since there are many options that we offer including 0% card products , unsecured home improvement loans, secured home improvement loans and even equity based mortgage programs I will break down each one and when it is best used and why it could be the best option for that scenario. First the card products. The 0% home improvement cards all have promotional rates that go anywhere from 6 months to 18 months at the time of this writing. Even though the majority of the cards we offer have credit limits up to $25,000 we see that the sweet spot for these cards is for projects and jobs that are below $15,000 and sometimes even less depending on the capacity to repay or the borrower’s gross income. If you think that you can pay off the balance this is an excellent product for you since you will incur no interest to borrow the money. Even if you do not pay it in full by the end of the promotional period, you will usually have a pretty decent market rate for the remaining time you will pay the balance to zero.

The next category is unsecured loans.  These loans are based on personal credit and have the ability to go out to 3 to 5 years or  even longer in some cases. The benefits to these loans is the longer term and the fixed payment and rate that it affords. Generally there is no prepayment penalty on these programs so if you should want to pay it off early you can. We see that these programs are best for larger projects and some of these loans go up to $35,000 an even higher. These loans are based on personal credit and income and some allow a co-borrower. In addition these programs are available to customers with a lower credit score in many cases.

The next category is secured loans. These loans are often secured by some sort of collateral such as a piece of land, a home, a boat etc. Often these are loans that are presented when the credit is not strong enough to warrant an unsecured loan so the collateral lessens the risk factor for the lender and they make the loan available with the collateral being secured. If you have lower credit scores this may be your best and only option.

The final category and one that was much more widely used in past years is equity based first and second mortgages. What used to be a much bigger piece of the market has dwindled as underwriting guidelines have been slashed and property values came crashing down. Typically these days you must have much more than 20-30% equity in your home to even consider an equity based loan. Often the high closing costs and the extended time to complete the transaction make it an option that most won’t even consider. Should you have a lot of equity, time to wait for your funding and a compelling reason to refinance it may make sense to do a rate and or term reduction as part of the grand scheme. Home equity loans are also options but many don’t qualify simply because their loan to value ( equity) is not enough based on current home values.

As you can see there are many options available to the homeowner who wants to finance their project and it comes down to matching the best program to your current situation, what’s available and your goals. I hope this has helped shed some light on how one might choose the perfect home improvement loan program.

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Get armed with financing as a successful selling weapon

Posted on October 3, 2012 by Brandon Perry | 5 Comments

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Home improvement projects are an important investment for every homeowner. The undertaken changes are caused by a variety of factors including a necessity to maintain or ensure home’s safety. Customers search for the right service and prices for their particular needs and regardless of your suitability as a contractor, lack of financing options may result in the loss of a  client for your company.  You should never assume customers have enough cash to cover the cost of the project and offering competitive and homeowner friendly financing can secure your job.

According to market data and input from home improvement contractors, 75% of home improvement projects over $2500 are financed in one way or the other including using personal credit cards, refinancing mortgage or taking a home equity loan.

Personal credit cards are preferred to be left in case of emergency and eligibility for home equity loans are dependent of a variety of factors and not always adequate, homeowners are forced to search for unsecured loans providers in order to fund necessary home repairs and many prefer to seek contractors who offers financing as a service to their customers.

Presenting customers with an opportunity for a loan that covers the full cost of the project with simple application process can help the selling process. Giving them the option of monthly installments as low as for instance $80 a month makes better impression on the client then surprising them with a high total of the necessary repairs they may be facing reluctantly enough as it is.

MyProjectLoan works with contractors providing a variety of financing options that best match customers’ needs. For more dealer information check our website http://www.myprojectloan.com/dealers.html

Your competitors are already in the financing game. Get armed and watch your sales increase.

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Don’t let your roof cave. Repair or replace?

Posted on August 29, 2012 by Brandon Perry | 9 Comments

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Roofs wear off and sooner or later they need replacing. However, it is an expensive investment and if you regularly check the condition of your roof, you might be able to avoid the replacement by making necessary repairs to extend your roof’s life.

Each year check for early signs of wear and tear which inside include: peeling paint on the underside of the roof overhangs, dark areas on the ceilings, damp spots alongside fireplaces and water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace. Also, leaks can very often be repaired without replacing the roof. They are usually caused by flashing problems at the intersection of two roof components such as roof and the wall, roof and chimney etc.

Outside signs include bucking shingles, rust spots, cracked caulk, curling, blistering and worn parts of chimney, pipes and skylights. Also, check your gutter for grit from asphalt roof tiles and if you find it, be warned as the roof shingles protect the roof from UV which causes them to brittle.

You can hire an inspector who will do it for you and advise you on the steps you have to take.

If new roof is your only option at this stage, it will guarantee material integrity for another 20 years, which makes an investment worthwhile. You also might have an option of applying a new roofing layer on the top of the old one if your existing roof is one layer thick and it is in good condition. It will serve you for around 15 years. Consider both option if you plan to stay in the house while it is being re-roofed. Contractor will help you make the right choice.

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Renovation Loans and Remodel Loans – Unsecured and Secured Home Improvement Loans – It’s All In A Name

Posted on May 9, 2011 by Brandon Perry | Leave a comment

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There are many words that describe the act of fixing up your home and the loans that go with them. Renovation loans, remodel Loans, home improvement loans and so on. These can encompass many different sub categories as well such as kitchen remodel loans, bathroom remodel loans, walk in tub loans, basement finishing loans, waterproofing loans, roofing loans, window loans, siding loans, decking loans, landscaping loans, pool loans, spa loans, and many more.

The important thing to know about these types of loans no matter what the specific name is that they usually fall into two major types of home improvement loan categories.

Secured loans mean that the loan is secured by some sort of collateral whether that is the home itself or the product being financed. Secured loans typically have a longer payback term such as 10 years, 15 years and more. Equity is usually the deciding factor in whether or not you have the option to consider a secured loan for your home improvement project.

Unsecured loans are generally underwritten by analyzing the credit, income and debt ratio of the person borrowing the money and there is no collateral involved in this process. Credit requirements are usually more strict since no collateral is involved and in the case of borrower default there is nothing for the lender to take back. In addition it is more common to see shorter term loans for unsecured home improvement loans.

If you are looking to finance any type of home improvement project you can consider both types of loans to depending on your situation.

Happy home improvements!

 

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Selling More Home Improvements with Dealer/Contractor Financing Programs

Posted on April 5, 2011 by Brandon Perry | 2 Comments

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We have been providing home improvement financing services for over 15 years and our staff has over 60 years experience in the banking business. During this time we have served over 12,000 independent home improvement contractors and home improvement dealers with their financing needs for their customers.

Many contractor financing programs have come and gone such as Key Bank, Amerifirst, and First Mutual, and some of the remaining big players such as GE Money have cut back sharply on their loan volume and have tightened up their underwriting guidelines. Throughout all of these changes we made the commitment from the beginning to make sure that the programs that we make available to our dealer network are the best in the business.

Our commitment to offer the best secured and unsecured home improvement loan programs that have competitive rates and terms so that home improvement dealers are able to offer the very best programs to their clients. I have heard various figures from research studies about how much more home improvements a dealer can sell when financing is offered in conjunction with the sale. These figures range from 20-50% or more depending on the size of the project and the type of home improvement being done.

I think that it is hard to put an exact figure on this increase in business but I can tell you without fail that sales will increase if you have financing available to your clients. You may also see that you gain a competitive advantage over your local competition by offering financing for home improvements. All things being equal you will sell more product and secure more clients with home improvement financing for dealers.

Happy Remodeling!

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Can You Get A Home Improvement Loan With Bad Credit?

Posted on April 3, 2011 by Brandon Perry | 26 Comments

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Our customers and dealers often ask if we provide bad credit home improvement loans. The short answer is, “Yes, we do.”

Credit scoring models and data that carries weight on scores has changed a lot in recent years. What used to be beneficial to your credit often will have little or no effect on scores such as a co-signer on a credit card that has outstanding credit. This used to be a loop hole in the scoring model that has since been closed by the 3 major repositories. Medical collections are often looked at as having no effect on credit to some lenders.

Credit inquiries can be confusing to some consumers as there is a lot of people that think each one counts against your scores and this is not always the case. The bureaus let you have some leeway when you are shopping for a car , mortgage or home improvement loans. Multiple hits within a few weeks from the same category doesn’t count against you nearly as much as you think and sometimes not at all.

So yes, we finance a lot of home improvement loans for people with bad credit. It takes a trained eye and a skilled credit analyst to read between the lines and find creative ways to get the bad credit home improvement loans approved. We have seen loans with scores below 500 get approved and home improvement loans with foreclosures, previous bankruptcy, collections and liens get approved as well.

I would advise anyone that thinks that they have good, bad or questionable credit talk to a representative to see how your situation might allow us to get your loan approved and your new home improvement project or remodeling job started.

Happy Home improvements!

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What Happened To All Of The Home Improvement Lenders?

Posted on March 30, 2011 by Brandon Perry | 6 Comments

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I have been in the home improvement loan business for nearly 20 years. I have seen some tough times in the credit markets including the 1998 flight to quality and the big bank and mortgage implosions of 2007 -2008.

Many direct to consumer and dealer contractor home improvement loan programs that many in the trade were familiar with either change drastically or evaporated. Some of these companies that were big players in the home improvement loan space included Key Bank, Amerifirst Financial, and First mutual.

The credit markets have been good, bad and ugly during these times but the demand for home improvement loans has never waned. When home values fall, a lot of people are more likely to be locked into their homes because of the inability to sell or the uncertainty of the job market has made them want to hunker down.

With this mentality we have seen the consumer trend of improving the home you have instead of buying a new one. These major improvements include major kitchen and bathroom renovations, swimming pools, spas, sunrooms, energy efficient windows, siding and solar improvements. You may be in your home for a long time so you may as well enjoy it!

Happy home improvements!

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Should I Pay Off My Home Improvement Loan Early?

Posted on March 17, 2011 by Brandon Perry | Leave a comment

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We recommend many varieties of home improvement loans including real estate, secured and unsecured loans and even military loans to finance your dream project. One question that is often asked is, “Can I or should I prepay my loan off?” Most home improvement loans these days have no prepayment penalty so you do not have to worry about paying a fee or penalty to pay the loan off early.

In the case of an unsecured loan I often recommend that you prepay the home improvement loan note off as fast as possible without burdening your finances. Unsecured home improvement  loans have terms that range from 3-15 years or more and every year that you carry that note you are paying interest. If you were to prepay the note you are actually going to pay much less interest over time.

In the case of secured loans, these have the potential to give you a tax break by writing off the interest paid over the life of the loan. You should consult with a licensed CPA to determine if your loan would fall into this category. If in fact you have a tax break with this type of loan your CPA will advise you if it makes sense to prepay or just pay the minimum payment and carry the loan for the full term.

All things considered you may want to prepay your loan balance down if your finances can afford this or maybe just pay the minimum if you fall into a category where it makes sense.

Good luck with your home improvement project!

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Should I Get Pre-qualified For A Home Improvement loan?

Posted on March 10, 2011 by Brandon Perry | 11 Comments

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Pre-qualification for a swimming pool loan is a topic we are asked to address a lot and I will try to give both sides of the coin when I answer this. In the real estate world most realtors want you to have a pre-qualification letter in hand showing how much home you can afford. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to shopping for a home improvement loan.

Depending on the type, size and scope of your home improvement project you may want to consider how much you “think” you want to spend. To have a general idea of what you think your budget should cost will help the window, siding, kitchen, bath or roofing contractor know where to start the process of working up a bid. Home improvement loans come in all shapes and sizes just like the projects you want to build.

When To Get Pre-Qualified For A Home Improvement Loan

After you have a general idea about what you are looking for and an approximate budget (including down payment amount), now you should reach out to a reputable home improvement financing company. They will be able to steer you in the right direction and help you fine tune your budget and get you pre-qualified for that amount.

When you have a pre-qualification in hand is when it is time to start talking to home improvement dealers and builders. You want to interview the contractors and do your due diligence on their services. Compare the bids as well as the service and warranty that is offered. When you have finally made your decision it is go time. Sign the contract and with unsecured financing that is pre approved in place all you have to do is wait for your project to be completed and start years of enjoyment in your newly remodeled home that was financed fast and easy with unsecured home improvement financing.

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