Four Ways to Help you get Out of Debt in 2019

Four Ways to Help you get Out of Debt in 2019

Dealing with debt can be overwhelming and straining on your finances. If it is your goal to be debt free in 2019, take a look at our top tips.

  1. Set a Firm Budget – First and foremost, evaluate your income, debt and expenses, then set a firm budget using those numbers. This is a great way to figure out exactly how you’re currently spending your money, and where you are being frivolous, to help know where to make adjustments. If your income doesn’t cover your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means and focus on paying off debt.
  2. Use the “Debt Snowball” Method – If you haven’t heard of this debt reduction strategy, the debt snowball method presented by money management expert Dave Ramsey provides a plan to pay off debts in order of smallest to largest, then as debts are paid, rolling that money into the next smallest balance. Here’s Ramsey’s process:
  • Step 1: List your debts from smallest to largest.
  • Step 2: Make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.
  • Step 3: Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt.
  • Step 4: Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
  1. Streamline & Simplify – Create an “automated budget” by setting up auto-payments for each paycheck to cover your bills and add to your savings account. This helps avoid spending income on non-essentials because you’ve spent the money before it even gets into your “spending” account. You can also simplify your lifestyle by cutting out unnecessary spending and putting daily practices into place, like making your coffee at home or packing your lunch for work. While this step can be one the hardest of all – we all love our Starbucks — remember that this is only temporary but is necessary to help give you financial freedom to do even more in the future.
  2. Consider a Refi – if you’re a homeowner, there’s a chance you’re paying a higher interest rate than today’s rates. By refinancing to lower your interest rate, you can save money on your monthly mortgage payments that frees up cash to help pay down debt. Or, depending on how much equity you have, you could even do a cash-out refinance to pay off credit card debt, car loans, personal loans, school loans, etc.

To learn how the right mortgage can help you reduce debt, click here to contact your local Inlanta officer today!

Inlanta Mortgage Named Top Mortgage Company By National Mortgage News

Inlanta Mortgage Named Top Mortgage Company By National Mortgage News

Inlanta Mortgage is kicking off 2019 in a big way!

Just announced at the start of the New Year, Inlanta has been recognized as a top 20 mortgage companies to work for 2019 by National Mortgage News.

The company was pleased to receive news of the award following a survey program sent via National Mortgage News to all Inlanta employees encouraging feedback regarding the company’s culture, benefits, policies, and more.

“This is a testament to our incredible employees and how they do business every day,” said Paul Buege, Inlanta President/COO. “We are so honored for this recognition and grateful to our employees for making this happen through their hard work, dedication, and commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience every day.  We are one of the best mortgage lenders in our industry, wonderful seeing our company-wide success being recognized on a national level”

As a top mortgage lender, we consistently strive to invest time and resources into our Managers and Loan Officers to help increase sales, grow business, and build relationships year after year.

If you’re looking for a company with solid tenure, strong support, and outstanding culture, we’d love to talk to you about your 2019 goals today!

Please click here to visit our website to fill out a form for us to contact you or, you may contact our branch recruitment division at 262-439-4260 or email partners@inlanta.com.

We are looking to grow with you!

Check out our latest company reviews on SocialSurveyGlassdoor, and Indeed.

PMI vs. MIP – What’s the Difference?

It’s no secret that purchasing a home, especially for the very first time, can feel overwhelming and intimidating. With all of the mortgage and real estate lingo, and the sometimes-overwhelming processes and procedures, it’s no wonder buyers often find themselves confused and with lots of questions. One of the most common ones we hear is, “What is mortgage insurance, and why do I need it?”

What is Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is typically required of home buyers when their down payments are less than 20 percent for their home loans. Note that mortgage insurance is designed to help protect lenders and guarantee agencies when borrowers don’t have enough equity in their homes, and is not intended to protect the borrowers. There are two types of mortgage insurance – PMI & MIP.

PMI & MIP

Although the concept of insurance protection is similar, there are distinct differences between private mortgage insurance (PMI) and FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) that should be considered when deciding which loan program best suits your financial needs.

PMI, provided by private companies, is typically available in a variety of premium plans and offers payment options that can usually be tailored to the borrower’s needs. There are a number of private mortgage insurance providers and each structure their offerings a bit differently.

MIP is the government-administered mortgage insurance program for the FHA. Since FHA loans offer reduced down payment options, MIP is required to offset the risk of borrowers defaulting on their loans.

Major Differences Between MIP & PMI

Major differences between these insurance programs include:

  • No upfront mortgage premium required with PMI, while an upfront MIP is required
  • Cancellation
    • PMI can be canceled after a stated LTV (loan-to-value) is achieved and favorable payment history has been established
    • MIP is paid for the life of the loan regardless of LTV. In order to remove MIP, borrowers must refinance their FHA mortgage loans, and meet minimum down payment and credit requirements

Contact an Inlanta Mortgage loan professional to discuss your options and ensure that you select the program that is right for you! Click here to find a licensed mortgage loan professional near you or apply online today.

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud, or the broad term describing wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain is, unfortunately, something that happens everywhere, every day, negatively affecting the lives of many.

Fortunately, there are ways one can prevent falling victim to fraudulent acts, starting with educating oneself on the types of dangerous fraud schemes out there as well as what to watch out for.

Mortgage Fraud:

Mortgage fraud happens which is why it is crucial to work with a lender you can trust. According to stopfraud.gov, traditional mortgage fraud involves homebuyers and/or lenders falsifying information in order to obtain a home loan. Struggling homeowners are also often affected by “foreclosure rescue firms” claiming they can help these struggling individuals obtain home loans ultimately leaving them in more debt and distress. The first thing to watch out for in these situations is requests for all cash payments and to work only with credible lenders, real estate agents, and appraisers.

Other Types of Fraud:

According to FindLaw, there are many types of fraud offenses individuals can be duped by (often unknowingly) that include:

Click here to learn more and educate yourself on popular scams occurring today.

Preventing Fraud – What to Watch out for:

Some warning signs of fraud are more obvious, such as the telemarketing or internet schemes that ask you to “send money immediately” to receive an offer, or, those asking directly for your social security number.

Others can be more tricky and deceptive, even imitating people you know personally or professionally asking for help or money via email, false charity organizations asking for donations, or, pyramid schemes that offer big rewards for a “work from home” position.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to fraud:

  • New forms of fraud pop up every day. Educate yourself on the common scams happening presently
  • Keep your personal information confidential. Never give out personal information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone, through email, or over the internet unless the contact is verified.
  • Update your passwords and PIN numbers monthly to ensure your information is secure. Make sure to use a password that is strong in security and includes letter, numbers, and symbols.
  • Check your statements and online banking records regularly to ensure there are no unusual transactions.

If you think you or someone you know has been affected by fraud, begin by reporting the issue immediately to your local police department. Otherwise, take these steps from USA.gov:

 

Inlanta Mortgage Promotes Paul Buege to President

 Original press release from PR Web

Inlanta Mortgage Chairman, John Knowlton, announced the promotion of Mr. Paul Buege to the role of President.

Mr. Buege is currently the Chief Operating Officer and will continue those responsibilities. Nicholas DelTorto will remain as CEO. “I am proud to announce Paul’s promotion to President. It has been a privilege to work with and get to know him over the past five years. Paul and his team have developed a premier service platform for our loan originators and consumers. He is dedicated to Inlanta and the continued growth and success of our company,” Knowlton said in a company statement announcing the move.

“Our senior management team has positioned us for a solid future. We have worked together for many years and that continuity in leadership translates into a consistent focus on improving our platform, performance for the branches, and highest level of progressive services and technology for our referral partners and consumers,” said DelTorto.

“Paul has done outstanding work in developing a sales and service accountability culture at Inlanta. Our ‘mortgage banking for grown-ups’ approach allows the true mortgage professional to operate using their personally developed skills to build on their success,” Knowlton adds.

Inlanta announces this move as they celebrate 25 years in the mortgage business. “We are very proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. In a business where so many have come and gone, Inlanta is looking forward to serving our customers and referral partners for many years to come,” Knowlton said.

About Inlanta Mortgage 
Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees. Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Their team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has also been recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Inlanta Mortgage continually seeks branch managers and loan officers who want to grow their business. To learn about growth opportunities, please contact Brian Jensen (Midwest) at brianjensen@inlanta.com or 630-927-0380; or Kevin Laffey (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska) at kevinlaffey@inlanta.com or 913-645-4647. To learn about opportunities in other locations, visit http://www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Debt

5 Steps to Reducing Debt

Do you feel like your debt is holding you back in life? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, we’ve got a step by step process for you to start taking control of your debt today!

Step 1: Evaluate your Debt – All of It

The first thing you must do to move forward with a plan to reduce your debt is sit down and take a hard look at your finances and just how much debt you owe. Once you’ve got the details down, evaluate where your debts lie and understand that not all debt is alike. Some of your debt may be causing more of a financial strain than others, like credit cards with high-interest rates, so taking time to dig into your debt and prioritize what needs to be paid off first will help you to gain some control of your financial strains and begin your journey to debt-free living.

Step 2: Understand your Bills and your Budget

Have you done the math? If not, step #2 of your debt reduction plan involves evaluating your income each month along with how much you are spending. This is a great time as well to truly gauge your expenses and figure out where you are being frivolous. If your income does not outweigh your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or, adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means in order to focus on paying off your debt.

Step 3: Set Timely and Attainable Goals

While we’d all love to have our debts paid off immediately, setting unattainable goals to have everything paid off as quickly as possible can leave you feeling drained and like living debt-free is next to impossible. After you’ve taken time to evaluate your debts, your income, and your spending, design a plan that works for you to help get you out of debt.

Step 4: Make a Plan to Achieve Them

Now that you have a plan, how will you put it into place? Whether it be that you begin setting up auto payments or you choose to completely alter your lifestyle to cut out unnecessary spending, putting daily practices in place to help you achieve your financial goals is crucial. If this step feels like the hardest of all, remember that this is only temporary and is necessary to help bring you to financial freedom.

Step 5: Seek Advice from a Mentor or Financial Professional

If you’re still struggling with debt and financial woes and it seems like any plan you put in place isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to speak to a personal mentor or financial professional. Seeking advice from an expert and having a peer or mentor periodically check in with you on where you’re at with your goals can be an effective route to help you become debt-free.

If you’d like to speak to one of our financial professionals regarding your situation, click here to contact your local Inlanta officer today!

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

2017 was an eventful year at Inlanta Mortgage. We accomplished a lot thanks to the amazing employees we have on our team, as well as our valued customers and business partners. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last year. While we look forward to all of the exciting things 2018 has in store for us, we’d like to take a moment to count our many blessings and reflect on our accomplishments from this last year:

 

Awards

In May 2017, Inlanta Mortgage was proud to be named a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. In the same month, Inlanta was also recognized as a 2016 Platinum U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Million Dollar Lender. Inlanta closed out the year being named the #1 WHEDA Lender for the second year in a row and was named the #1 Wisconsin Based Independent Mortgage Banker closing the highest number of (loans) units in the state of Wisconsin.

Several individuals were recognized for their achievements as well. Nicholas DelTorto (President/CEO) was awarded for his service as the Chair of Residential Loan Production Committee by the Mortgage Bankers Association and Cindy Laffey (branch partner in Overland Park, KS), Jim Snyder (branch manager in Pewaukee, WI), Rob Stettler (branch partner in Sarasota, FL), and Yvette Clermont (branch partner in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and Green Bay, WI) were recognized as Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 1% Mortgage Originators in America.

Cindy and Yvette were also recognized as MPA’s Elite Women in Mortgage alongside Jean Badciong (Chief Compliance Officer) and Katrina Cole (Business Development and Marketing in Grand Rapids, MI). Last, we had 3 members of our team recognized at the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association’s (WMBA) Best in Business Awards. Inlanta’s Production Services Manager, Rod Weis, was nominated as Best in Leadership for the Milwaukee Chapter, Branch Manager/Senior Mortgage Consultant for Inlanta Mortgage – Greenfield, Kip Warzon, was nominated as Best Loan Originator for the Milwaukee Chapter, and Inlanta Mortgage – Green Bay Processor, Samantha Gates, was nominated for Best in Processing for the Northeast Chapter. Congratulations again to all of our superstars!

 

Growth

2017 was certainly a year of growth for Team Inlanta. The company welcomed three new Regional Vice Presidents; Brain Jensen, David Williams, and Kevin Laffey, along with a National Training Manager, Jennifer Jensen aboard. Inlanta expanded into 5 new states and added 12 new branches as well.

Inlanta also invested in evolving technology strategies by embracing the #1 ranked LOS System by the STRATMOR Group, rolling out a brand new mobile app called IM home, implementing a new video series, and starting a preliminary apprenticeship program.

 

Community & Events

This past year, we enjoyed showcasing our new Home Office in Pewaukee, WI, to business partners, friends, and fellow members of the Inlanta family with an Inlanta Open House and ribbon cutting ceremony this past July. Several members of our Inlanta family were present at events in local communities including an Hablamos Espanol expo in Illinois and the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) conference in Atlanta. Inlanta celebrated another great year of success at our Annual Sales Conference in Sheboygan, WI featuring an awards ceremony, top producers panel, motivational speakers, and more! Another highlight of the event included the presentation of the Customer Service Superstar Awards presented by Craig Pollack from Social Survey. Congratulations to Craig March, Dee Cayo, Yvette Clermont, Herb Lessmiller, and Jason Kupka for having the top customer satisfaction ratings in the company.

 

Philanthropy

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, we are always looking for ways to give back to our community. In honor of the many friends and colleagues who have cancer, have lost their battle to cancer, or know someone with cancer, we have made it our philanthropic mission to help find a cure. In July, a group of Inlanta employees participated in the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer in Milwaukee. The group asked fellow Inlanta employees, family, and friends to donate to the cause and raised a total of $1,500. They then spent the day at the Henry Maier Festival Park to participate in the Walk/Run. At our Inlanta Annual Sales Conference, our team also raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute through raffle & silent auction! To learn more about the Cancer Research Institute, please visit www.cancerresearch.org.

In May, we had the privilege of meeting Bryon Reisch and hearing his incredible story at our Annual Managers Summit.  Inspired by his story, our employees donated $1,700 to the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, which matched & exceeded our company’s original donation of $1,500! In total, we’ve raised $3,200 to help find a cure for paralysis!

Inlanta held two blood drive for the American Red Cross in 2017, giving the employees a chance to come together at our Inlanta Home Office to save a total of 179 lives. Thank you to our donors!

In September, we held a raffle as part of our 13th Annual Sales Conference. We raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organization that provides funding for lifesaving immunotherapy research. This was the third year we raised money for CRI and we look forward to continuing our work with them.

Further, we wanted to help local families in need during the holidays. Our corporate office and Pewaukee branch participated in Inlanta’s second annual food drive competition. Each team competed to bring in the most food items to become the competition victors. The winning team, our Underwriting department, donated 606 items! In total, we collected 2,984 food items for the Pewaukee Food Pantry.

As the holiday season approached, we were grateful for the chance to give back to our Pewaukee community by participating in a “Tree of Giving” for local senior citizens from the United Community Center. Our Pewaukee branch also participated in a holiday gift drive supporting 21 children in need this year.

 

We are grateful beyond measure for another successful year in 2017 and look forward to a bright future in 2018, which marks 25 years of excellence for Inlanta Mortgage, Inc.!

Make These Resolutions to Become Financially Strong in 2018

Financial Resolutions for 2018

If 2017 wasn’t your year financially, don’t fret. We’ve got 8 financial resolutions ready for you to put in place to ensure you become strong in your finances in the new year.

  1. Make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely

The first step in setting financial resolutions for the new year is to take some time to sit and define what you hope to achieve financially in 2018. Rather than creating a vague, unmeasurable goal like, “I want to be debt free by 2019,” make your goal SMART. If you’d like to pay off your credit card, for example, you can declare, “I want to pay down my Visa card to $0 by January 1, 2019, and will contribute X amount from each paycheck every month to do so.”

  1. Prioritize Any Debt You Have

If you’re like most people, you are entering a new year while still bound to old debt. It is important to understand, though, that not all debt is alike. Some of your debt may be causing more of a financial strain than others, like credit cards with high-interest rates, so taking time to dig into your debt and prioritize what needs to be paid off first will help you to gain some control of your financial strains in the new year.

  1. Calculate your Income vs. Expenses

Have you done the math? If not, now is the time to sit down and evaluate your income each month along with how much you are spending. This is a great time as well to gauge your expenses and figure out where you are being frivolous. If your income does not outweigh your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means.

  1. Make a Commitment to Pay Yourself First

What is the first thing you currently do when payday rolls around? Are you paying yourself first and foremost and investing in your own future? If not, this is truly an important goal to set for 2018.  Having a financial cushion set aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses can help save you from financial distress. Start by opening a new savings account at your bank and set aside money each month to help build your rainy-day fund.

  1. Invest in your Future with 401k

Do something your future self will thank you for. While investing in a retirement fund may not be the most exciting way to spend your hard-earned paycheck, it is crucial to ensure your future is secure. Think of it as very delayed gratification.

  1. Keep your Credit Healthy

Just as you are likely focusing on building healthy habits for yourself in the new year, building healthy credit habits is important too. Having solid credit can help you to achieve some of your biggest financial dreams – like owning a home of your very own! That is why it is important to build credit and maintain healthy habits early on like making ALL of your payments on time, keeping your balance low, and checking your credit score often to ensure you are staying on track. If you’d like more tips on how to build and maintain healthy credit, contact your local Inlanta Mortgage financial expert to discuss your situation today.

  1. Turn on Auto Payments

If you haven’t done so already and are struggling to save money, setting up auto payments that automatically transfer money from your paycheck to your savings account can help you build your savings. This may look like your account is taking a hit at first, but soon, you will adjust and be glad you did it.

  1. Follow the 50/20/30 Rule

Have you heard of the 50/20/30 rule? If not, there’s no better time like the new year to start a new tradition! The 50/20/30 rule involves using 50% of your income for “essential living” (this means paying your rent, utilities, groceries, car insurance, phone, credit card, etc.), 20% goes to financial goals (savings, retirement, investments, etc.), and finally, 30% goes to your personal spending (yes, you still get to have a life!). To learn more about this method and how to put it to good use, check out this article from The Penny Hoarder today.

 

Helpful Hacks to Stretch Your Holiday Budget

While the holiday season is a joyous time of year full of laughter, love, and cheer, it can also be a time full of stress and financial despair. According to a study completed by the American Research Group, Inc., the average American is expected to spend over $900 on gifts for family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season alone. If you don’t have $900 already set aside for gifts this season, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re bringing you some great ways to stretch your holiday budget and save you from financial distress.

Hacks to stretch your holiday budget:

  1. Make a Plan: First things first – sit down and take a hard look at your finances, how many people you’d like to purchase gifts for, and what your budget will allow. Making and pricing out a list will also help you to stay on track and on budget.
  2. Do your Research: Have your eye on a specific gift for someone? Don’t jump on the first deal that comes your way. Try comparison shopping online or download a digital coupon app like RetailMeNot for deals and discount codes.
  3. Sign up for Email Alerts: If you’ve got several favorite stores, make sure you sign up for email alerts to receive news and information on sales and discount offers.
  4. Pay with Cash: While it’s tempting to charge up your credit card for gifts you think your family and friends will really love, setting a strict budget and taking out the exact amount of cash you plan to spend will help you to avoid that post-holiday debt.
  5. Take Advantage of Credit Promotions: While we do encourage you to use cash to stay on budget, it may be smart to check into your credit card company incentives and promotions to see if they offer cash rewards or points that will help you earn more. If you do decide to go this route, please remember to use credit responsibly
  6. DIY: It’s truly the thought that counts, so why not channel your creativity to make your own, personalized gifts for your loved ones? With the robust internet today, you should have no problem finding a number of ideas. Try checking out Pinterest to get you started.
  7. Set a Limit: There’s no harm in proposing a monetary limit with family and friends to help you stretch your budget on gifts this year. It is likely that they are in the same boat as you are and will welcome the gift limit idea.

So, leave the stress behind this season and use these handy tips to help you stretch your holiday budget.

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving

It’s the season of giving. So, why are we spending so much? If you’ve signed up to host Turkey Day this year for your family and friends, here are some ways to save you from financial distress while planning the perfect holiday get-together.

  1. Crunch the Numbers

Take a minute to sit down and plan out how many people you can comfortably accommodate in your home as well as how many people you can afford to invite. This will help you determine the size of your party and how much food and drinks you will need to serve.

  1. Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve got the numbers down, it’s time to plan your budget and your shopping list. Remember that Thanksgiving is a time to gather and enjoy a feast with those you love, so have some fun planning the menu and don’t forget to take into consideration your guests’ dietary needs and restrictions.

  1. Divvy Out Dishes

Just because you are hosting the event doesn’t mean you can’t ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine, extra dessert, or side option. With you taking on the hosting duties and responsibilities, your friends will likely prefer not to show up empty handed and will be more than happy to help you out.

  1. Shop Early

There’s no need to stress yourself out even more by rushing to the store the night before the big event. Plan ahead and shop early, picking up items you need as you go along. This will help you avoid an overflowing shopping cart, an extra-long grocery receipt, and a hefty credit card charge. Don’t forget to check for coupons online or in store as well when doing your shopping.

  1. Save on Decorating

While seasonal home decor always adds a nice touch, it is important to remember that you can still fill your house with holiday cheer without breaking the bank. Check out Pinterest for these awesome DIY Thanksgiving decorating ideas or head to your local dollar store for inexpensive party extras.

  1. Turn Down the Heat

With the heat of the oven and baked dishes, along with all the extra guests hustling and bustling around your kitchen, you can opt to save a little extra on your heating bill this month by turning down your thermostat.

  1. Remember the Reason

In the chaos of it all, take time to remember the reason why we celebrate and appreciate the love that is shared amongst family and friends this time of year. No matter how extravagant your event turns out to be, there is greater importance in gathering together than there is in spending your savings on dinner.

Looking for more ways to save this season? Check out these 50 Ways to Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner. From all of us at Inlanta Mortgage, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and joyful holiday season!