By

Lois Center-Shabazz

Non-Owner Occupied Rental Real Estate As Investment

REAL ESTATE AS INVESTMENT
Non-Owner Occupied Rental Real Estate As Investment

Some investors prefer real estate as investment for long term investing, even though the work is difficult and the costs are very high. Even with property management its hard work. Property management firms are expensive, and when they quit you have to do the work until you find the next manager. You have to rely on property management to show up, tenants to pay their rent and both to properly maintain the property. Every time a tenant moves there are repair and replacement costs, sometimes those cost are huge. You get tax deductions for rental property, but not nearly as much as for owner-occupied property.

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Some owners are surprised to find that even if they a have mortgage on rental property, the rents are considered income, and the rental income is taxed.  Landlords have to file a schedule E (supplemental income and loss for landlords) to get all of their deductions associated with rental real estate. To keep tract of everything you are encouraged to keep a spreadsheet. You can get one online, free, one is google drive if you have a gmail account.

It takes a special person to own and maintain real estate as investment in the form of rental real estate. Depending on the cost, type and area is what depends on the difficulty of owning and making a profit off the real estate. Since the cost are very high (and if you get a loan – it is leveraged with debt), it could take a few decades before you see a profit.

The advantages of residential non owner-occupied rental real estate as an investment:

  • It is possible to have high returns when held long-term, if you hit a time in history when real estate is selling and is scarce.
  • You can depreciate the property (this is far more advantages for property purchased prior to 1987 though, the depreciation deduction is much less after that year).
  • You get a deduction for up-keep, but it is much less than the deduction you get for owner-occupied property.

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Disadvantages of residential non-owner occupied rental real estate as an investment:

  • Non owner-occupied mortgage loans carry a higher interest rate than owner-occupied loans.
  • Required down payment for non owner-occupied loans is much higher than owner-occupied loans. In many cases requiring 20%, compared to an owner-occupied loan of 3%-10% down.
  • You must pay capital gains tax on profits, when you sell.
  • Yearly maintenance cost for residential non owner-occupied real estate is usually much higher than owner-occupied cost. Most people simply do not properly maintain property that does not belong to them, and some are very destructive.
  • Long-term maintenance cost can be phenomenally high.
  • It is difficult to find reasonably priced properties in quality neighborhoods.
  • Neighborhoods with a lot of “four rent” signs are particularly difficult to avoid vacancies, it also sends a message.
  • Lost rents are not deductible.
  • A low quality neighborhood (that with high unemployment), brings a low quality tenant, i.e. the default rate on rent payments are high.
  • The debt carried when the rental is leveraged with a mortgage.
  • The constant turnover of new tenants is expensive due to fix up costs each time a renter moves.
  • You have to keep your fingers crossed, that when it comes time to sell, the prices in the are will be high, the type of real estate you own will be in demand, and there will be enough appreciation

Ladies, it takes skills to purchase a home and non-owner occupied rental property

The combination of an owner-occupied/non owner-occupied residential real estate can be a viable consideration for those who feel some form of non owner-occupied rental real estate is a must, as an investment. An example of a combination of residential owner-occupied and non-owner occupied real estate is a four-plex where you live in one unit, and rent the other three.

The advantages of the combination owner-occupied/non-owner occupied real estate investment:

  • You can qualify for the lower interest owner-occupied mortgage loan.
  • You can qualify for the lower down payment of 10% allowed with your owner-occupied real estate.
  • You can deduct the repairs and up keep on the rental portion.
  • You are present to monitor the repairs and encourage maintenance.
  • You can depreciate the rental portion.

You have a better probability of purchasing a property in a quality community since your initial cost are lower than a non-owner occupied property. A quality community brings a higher probability of a quality tenant. Attracting quality tenants is probably the most important aspect of residential non-owner occupied investments. Real estate as investment works when there is a high demand for rental real estate in an area. You will then have a large number of people to choose from.

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Disadvantages of the combination owner-occupied/non-owner  occupied real estate investment:

  • Your tenants may know where you live, if the property is titled in your name.
  • You can only deduct expenses for the rental real estate portion of upkeep, but not your own.
  • You will be liable for normal capital gains taxes on the non-owner occupied portion when you sell. There is a capital gain exclusion on the owner-occupied portion.
  • If you actively participate in rental activities, you can deduct $12,000 in losses if you are single and $25,000 if you are married on all properties you own.

Getting all of your IRS benefits are possible when you keep a spreadsheet of every single income item, expense and money returned to your tenants.

Laws change on just about everything,  yearly. Consult directly with current Internal Revenue publications for the latest changes
about Real Estate as Investment.

See IRS publication 527 at www.irs.gov: Residential Rental Real Estate Property (includes vacation property)
IRS Schedule E – Supplemental Income and Loss From Rental Real Estate

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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3 Important Facts to Know Before You Invest in Mutual Funds

3 important facts to know before you invest in mutual funds

Here are three facts that are the bare bone necessities to know before you start to invest in mutual funds. In this series, I will give you information little by little about mutual funds until I feel you have a great grasp on the topic, and can choose your own high quality funds.

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1. WHAT IS A MUTUAL FUND?

A mutual fund combines money from several investors to invest in different types of investments or investment companies. The investments could be stocks, bonds, money market instruments’ or other types of investments.

Each investor in the mutual fund hold a proportion of the investment in the way of shares. There are low-risk, mid-risk and high risk mutual fund companies, as well as low earning and high earning companies.

One mutual fund company is typically very diversified and can invest in as many as 400 companies or as few as 40 companies. Diversity is what takes much of the risk out of mutual funds.

Important facts to know about mutual funds

2. HOW DO I PURCHASE A MUTUAL FUND?

Stocks are purchased from stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, usually through a brokerage office or online broker. Mutual funds are baskets of stocks and can be purchased from a variety of places.

Mutual fund shares are purchased from the mutual fund company itself or from a broker. When you are educated in mutual funds, which I intend to do, you can easily purchase your own mutual funds online at any number of investment companies.

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3. WHO OVERSEES THE MUTUAL FUNDS I INVEST IN?

Registered and licensed Investment Advisers, in a team or individually, manage investment portfolios of mutual funds.

Investors have an advantage, by using the expertise and experience of the advisers.

You can go to sec.gov or finra.org to verify that your adviser is a registered investment adviser.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit it is Tricky
3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

Flipping real estate for profit seminars, advertising, and marketing is going on in my town and all over the internet and television. Since I have experience in long term real estate investing and I have friends who have tried to flip for profit, I would like to share some of our experiences.

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I, and some of my friend’s own properties out of state and we constantly get letters from people who want to buy our properties? We get letters, cards, brochures and everything in between.

Some of the letters are almost begging us to sell our property to them. Some claim they have all-cash, and others claim they are immediately qualified to buy. Here are many of the problems flippers have with those properties, so you may want to think hard before you answer advertisements to attend a flipping seminar who makes their money up-selling tapes and books after the seminar, that don’t work.

  1. It is Difficult to Find Properties That Aren’t Ready for the Bulldozer

Many of the so-called flippers are going to public records to find owners who live out of state and therefore, their reasoning is that they should want to sell. Many of the properties have family members who are taking care of the properties, living in them, and paying the rent. When you buy real estate to flip the most difficult task is finding a property that is not near condemnation.

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The fact that dozens of the flippers are going to public records to find sellers tells me the difficulty they are having finding quality properties to buy and flip. Many of the properties that are readily available are in bad shape, so after renovation there would be no profit. Properties that are held by realtors are already priced for the current market. Those that are auctioned off in foreclosure are usually bid up too high for a profit after renovation.

The surprises, especially to the amateur flippers are enormous. The missed surprises include hidden floor dry rot, floor and wall dry rot, rotten plumbing pipes buried under a slab, large holes in the roof, outside gas leaks, damaged foundation, bad electrical junction boxes in the wall or under the house, clogged main drain, asbestos in the outside shingles or inside in the walls, and mold. These are real life problems I have seen others have when buying a fixer or home to flip.

Any of these problems can take anywhere from $2000 to $20,000 or more to fix, each.

Home buying the right way take skill

  1. Flippers Real Estate Agents Offers That Generate Profits For the Flipper

Flippers contact homeowners and write ridiculously low offers, so they have money to flip for profit after fixing up the property. Most of the offers are rejected, even if the home is in bad shape. If the home is in an area with properties that sell quickly and the resale is high, they constantly beg for offers that are below appraisal. This process is easier in areas were homes have low sales value or with homes that stay on the market for a long time.

These homes tend to have more hidden disasters since they have stayed on the market longer. What happens is that the flipper, out of desperation takes the best offer they can get and after finding they bought a home in bad shape they will hide existing problems or get a false appraisal that is too large.

  1. Most Flippers are Forced to Get Financing from Investors

To buy real estate to flip you must have financing. Banks don’t want to do business with most of the flippers who have no assets, little experience, and may not sell the home before they run out of money for renovation, upkeep after renovation, and mortgage payments until the property sells.

After the flipper finds that the home was overpriced for profit and they find the house is in much worse shape than originally thought, then they find that after sharing their profit with their investor or pricing the home for the market, they don’t have much left after sales, sometimes nothing. Then, this is where the flip begins to turn into a flop. Because of these problems, most flips are not profitable, and many flippers constantly find themselves in deep financial trouble.

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Before you think you can buy real estate to flip you should have some command of  both real estate buying and selling, the construction process, and the tax consequences when you have to pay short term taxes. Read the FHA rules to flipping properties.

There are many more facts to consider that you will have the privilege to read when my new eBook about Real Estate Investing comes out.

You can get my sample of “The Ultimate Guide to A Great Money WorkOver” and 7 other eBooks along with expert help with my course.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women

Frequently asked questions about mutual funds

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Funds For Women
I have given a lot of lectures about mutual funds for women. I like mutual funds because, if you do your research you can purchase low-cost and low-risk mutual funds on your own. Mutual funds are easy to understand and invest in. You can do it yourself once you have done some research. Here are five of about twenty-five of my most frequently asked questions about mutual funds by women I lectured to. After a few decades of successfully investing in mutual funds, I felt it is only fair that I share my expertise with you.

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  • ARE MY MUTUAL FUND INVESTMENTS GUARANTEED AT ALL?

Insurance is provided by the SIPC, which covers fraud. In other words, if you invest your money in company “C”, a registered investment company (registration with finra should be checked), and it is stolen by the President of Company “C”, you will be covered for up to $500,000 for each account, depending on the circumstances. Example: If a husband and wife have a joint account it is covered up to $500,000, if the each have additional retirement accounts in their separate names, the retirement accounts each are covered up to $500,000. Here is the SIPC insurance breakdown.

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  • WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

With a mutual fund you will get professional management, diversification, an affordable investment, and it is liquid. This is one of the main reasons that I encourage investors to invest in mutual funds, after reading my frequently ask questions about mutual funds. It only takes a little research and study to master mutual funds, but because there is a learning curve I encourage you to master them first.

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  • WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN A MUTUAL FUND?

You still have costs even when returns are negative, you don’t control the investments totally, you don’t know for sure if the price will go up after you purchase – but after research you can verify that you are getting a quality mutual fund where there is a good chance the price will rise in the future. If you invest on your own you can keep cost low and more money will go to you, but if you go with a broker, you will be required to pay brokers fees which are sometimes hidden and costly.

  •  YOU CAN EARN MONEY FROM YOUR MUTUAL FUND IN THREE WAYS

Dividend Payments — A fund may earn income in the form of dividends and interest on the securities in its portfolio. The fund then pays its shareholders nearly all of the income (minus disclosed expenses) it has earned in the form of dividends.

Capital Gains Distributions — The price of the securities a fund owns may increase. When a fund sells a security that has increased in price, the fund has a capital gain. At the end of the year, most funds distribute these capital gains (minus any capital losses) to investors. Most mutual funds pay money into your mutual fund account yearly, a few pay on a quarterly basis. This means if you pull your money from your mutual fund that pays out capital gains and dividends at years end, you will lose your profits.  So, be patient, and know your payout date.

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Compounded Returns – unlike simple interest accounts the interest on top of the dividends and capital gains will compound year after year, giving you compounded interest.

  • WHAT IS THE NAV OF MY MUTUAL FUND

Increased NAV (Net Asset Value) — If the market value of a fund’s portfolio increases (from dividends and capital gains), and after deduction of expenses and liabilities, then the value (NAV) of the fund and its shares increases. The higher NAV reflects the higher value of your investment. The more the NAV increases, the more money your investment will be worth. The NAV value can fluctuate from month to month or year to year, the important point to look at is that it has a net increase over time.

You have two choices:

Let someone else manage your money and end up with little or nothing OR learn some simple basic rules that could turn a little into a lot over time. I provide you with all the help you need in my eBook on Mutual Funds. I even give a 30-minute free clarification session after you read this article. The eBook I have written is clear and concise, after you finish it you will understand how to efficiently invest in mutual funds.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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I cover dozens of frequently asked questions about mutual funds in this eBook. Get this eBook and 7 more when you take the “Course for fantastic Finances”

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Why Women Need to Understand Investing Now

Investing Money for Beginners

Why women need to understand investing now

There Are No Guarantees if Women Do Not Understand Investing

Women need to understand investing now because there are no guarantees you will stay married or even get married, women need to know how to take care of their finances. This is the start of investing money for beginners. This includes learning stock mutual funds, bond mutual funds and simple index funds. With these three types of funds you can buy stocks inexpensively, with low risk and learn to read charts that are not difficult. 

But understanding investing now means you need to understand sane savings (my mantra), mega-money management (because everything is ultra-expensive), and investing (because you need to stay ahead of inflation to keep your money growing).

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Far too many women are still taught to be financially dependent, even when you work, and many don’t get involved in family finances since you feel prince charming will be there to protect them forever. It is important to work together on finances, and staying out of family finances could have dire consequences foreither spouse. Stay involved in your family finances.

Divorce or Death Effecting Your Finances

Because you have at least a 50% chance of divorce and even greater chance of being separated from your spouse, it is imperative that you understand all the nuances of money, including investing. I focus on mutual funds because, 1. That is where my long term expertise and success is, 2. They are easy to understand once you put some “peddle to the metal” and study some of what I call, “mutual fund research”. 

Understand investing now

If you are not dependent on your husband to take care of all finances during your marriage, or an adviser if you are single, then you will know what to at any time, including with an illness, accident, or death. Dependency is not a good thing.

Many women fall victim to con artist who prey on women with money and no financial skills, because they are not familiar with the ease at which others prey on those without financial experience. Understanding stocks, bonds and mutual funds will create a knowledge bubble around you, that will keep you safe.

There are literally millions who have lost millions due to being trusting and naive. Don’t make yourself a victim by keeping your financial knowledge and skills very low. The potential for divorce or death from a spouse are a major reason why women need to understand investing.

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Protect Yourself Now and in The Future and Protect Your Money

There are many women who never write a check or pay a bill, after getting married. That is hard to imagine, but it exists. Writing checks and paying bills are a powerful way to keep yourself aware of family finances and the limitations of money.

Then you monitor investments in mutual funds, or other investments for savings, college, or retirement, this gives you another layer of awareness and will help protect your finances now and in the future. I speak to beginning investors all the time who can’t analyze the simplest investments. This is not acceptable. Teaching investing for beginngers is something I am passionate about so you can protect specialty finances. 

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Therefore, women need to understand investing. Social security is meant to be a supplement, that is why the payout is very low for most people. Your 401k can be overrun with success if you know investing money for beginners. If you have a pension or get your husbands pension from death or divorce you can still benefit from know how it invest money. 

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When you understand investing, the chances are good you will also understand how to grow your investment retirement account and hold on to the accounts build by you or your spouse. Understanding why women need to understand investing will create an entire class of new and capable investors, who can also teach their daughters.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

3 Tips For Big Thing Budgeting for Groceries

Budgeting for groceries seems like a simple task. Make a list and buy what you need. Well, it usually doesn’t happen that way. If you are not precise about shopping, the list will be meaningless, and you will end up spending more money than you need to. Shopping the right way can save you thousands of dollars every year. Here is a short list of quick things you can do for big thing budgeting for groceries.

money quotes; budgeting for groceries seems like a simple task

YOUR SHOPPING LIST
1. Shopping with a list is important, but the list must be well thought-out. You should decide what your menu will be for the week, comparison shop for groceries by using prices online or in your weekly sales paper.
It is best to use your list to shop the isles for grocery shopping is much less expensive than the end of isles, where new products are often displayed.

Shop within the confines of a menu. Know exactly how many pieces of fruits, vegetables, meat packages, loaves of bread, box of cereal etc. Know what you will pay for each item and stay within a strict budget.

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BUY, PREPARE AND EAT IN A FEW DAYS
2. Buy and prepare only as much as you can eat within a few days. Food waste is a big reason for going over budget with your grocery bill. Clean your refrigerator at least once a month to closely monitor food use. It is even better to clean and monitor your refrigerator once a week if you have time.

Keep your refrigerator and cupboards well organized so food is used on a timely basis. Concentrate on fresh foods to prepare, not junk food or food that is already prepared. 

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SHOPPING WITH COUPONS WILL HELP
3. Coupons will help if you buy items you need. In other words, don’t use coupons to purchase items just because they are on discount. The next money saver is the sales paper and prices online. Another option is extreme couponing if you have time.

The savings comes at the cash register, when you have product for weeks, and when you sell product that is in excess. Buying in bulk also saves money on food, but you have to calculate your savings, it doesn’t always work. Shop with a calculator. 

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BE VIGILANT ABOUT SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES
Being vigilant about shopping and budgeting for groceries will make a big difference in your grocery bill. The savings can be enormous if you shop the right way.

Shop when you are calm and hopefully you are not bothered by kids sneaking expensive groceries into the cart. When you follow these simple guidelines budgeting for groceries and saving money will become easy.

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Save Money When You Buy A Used Car, The Right Way Part 1

Buy a Used Car The Right Way

You may not be on the market to buy a used car, but at some point, your child, niece, nephew, grandchild or other relative friend or neighbor may be. Buying a used car can come with many “gotcha’s” that can ruin your savings. So, here are a few helpful hints.

WAYS TO BUY A USED CAR

There are many ways to buy a used car. Some are efficient and some are not. You can buy from a family member or friend and know the history of the car. You can also buy from the used car lot side of a new car lot, which is a good option when you go to a car lot.

You can purchase a certified used car, but it is a good idea to check out the VIN number any. The certified used cars are usually 3-4 years old and typically are in good shape.

You can also purchase a used car at one year old, from a rental car agency. You can also buy directly from a used car dealer, this requires a lot of homework on your part to make sure you have a quality used car, and you don’t get an over-priced car or predatory loan.

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A lady I spoke to at a seminar of mine told me she was concerned for her son. He went alone, to a used car lot and brought home a car. She was proud of him for taking the initiative to go alone, negotiate a car price and loan, and provide his transportation to and from work.

He was told the length of his loan period, but it was not true. That time period has long past, and he still owed a lot of money on his car loan. She could not understand how this could happen.

I told her to get the contract out, read the fine print, and get back to me. Before she contacted me, I told her what to look for. The following items are what she looked for, and sadly, many are what she found.

Credit scores can make or break your finances for car buying

GET INFORMATION ABOUT USED CAR LOANS FIRST

I informed her that she should talk to her son and tell him the importance of “doing his homework” before he makes a major purchase of any type. The next time he sees; “used cars for sale” – he should immediately start his research.

The first thing to do is to call the local banks and credit unions to find out what the going APR and interest rates are. Currently used car loans interest run from 2% to 5%. If you go to a used car dealer and he offers you 20%, you are better off riding the bus.

Alternatively, if he offers you a 7-year loan on an inexpensive used car, that is also a red flag — that something is wrong.

If you can qualify for a used car loan from a bank or your local credit union, these loans are far superior to the used car dealer loans.

You can get qualified from your bank or credit union first, then take your “evidence of loan qualification” papers with you to the dealer.

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DEALER INTEREST KICKBACK

The women I spoke to about her son’s used car loan informed me that her son’s contract stated he was paying 21% interest, he was told the interest rate was 9% by the dealer. Understand more about debt and money when you get your free ebooks on debt, money, and finances.

Used car dealers can charge something called a “dealer rate” over the “buy rate”. The dealer works with a lender who gives him the loan and allows him to “mark-up” the interest rate as he wishes, this is the “dealer rate”.

The dealer is not really concerned about the markup because he will get the difference between his rate and the lender’s rate, or the lenders “buy rate”. He uses the excuse that his clients all have bad credit, and are high risk.

That is not true, her son had good credit. His only problem was that he was a low-information buyer. The lenders “buy rate” is the lower rate the car buyer qualifies for — her son had a very low “buy rate”, but did not know it. Her son did not understand what the sign, “used cars for sale”, really meant, and neither did she.

A sad trick that some used car dealers’ play on low-information buyers is the conditional sale agreement. The buyer unknowingly signs a “conditional sale” agreement, after they have the car for a while, the dealer calls and tells them to bring back the car.

Used Car Buying Borders on Rocket Science,   -Lois Center-Shabazz

He then, informs the buyer that he/she must now sign a permanent sells agreement, but the interest rate has been increased.

Lois Center-Shabazz| Money Strategist | Course Delta Agency

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How to Go to College Without School Loans, Debt-Free College Should Be Your Goal Part 2

Debt-Free College Can Happen When You Understand The Various Options You Have

Going to college without student loans should be your goal, stay debt-free

Getting a debt-free college education begins with a deep understanding of the different types of colleges and universities. There are many different types of colleges you can attend, and it is important that you know the difference between them. Not all colleges and universities are good for all people.

You must know which is best for you, both financially and academically. I will start with a brief explanation of junior colleges, (also called community colleges), and end with for-profit colleges.

Junior Colleges Your Best Value for Debt-Free College:

If you want to get a certificate or a 2-year AA (Associates of Arts) degree in something that has high job value, the community college is a best value. If you are poor, low income or a struggling single parent you may be able to attend with a Pell Grant, avoiding loans. If you do have to get loans they may be minimal.

Do your research, and work out your best solution. You must keep yourself motivated if you attend a community college. Some find it difficult to focus since you are no longer in high school, but also you don’t have the attention of a four-year college.

You can also later transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelors’ degree if you decide to get it sometime in the future. Transfers are allowed at most four-year colleges.

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State Colleges and Universities:

Your absolute best value for colleges and universities, under junior colleges, are your state colleges and universities. These colleges and universities have the lowest cost of tuition and fees for a four-year degree for most colleges. The books and room and board, as with all colleges and universities are extra.

If you live at home or with a relative a state college or university can be a real value and leave you with little or no loans. Most employers in local towns gives preference to their local state college and university students for employment, since they usually know the quality of those schools.

For poor and lower middle class students many can go to their local four-year college with a Pell Grant and part-time job, leaving them with no school loans if they live at home. This is huge. Most HBCUs are priced similar to state colleges, a few are priced as expensive private colleges or universities, so remember to do your research.

Studends don't get that masters degree too soon, go to college without student loans

Private Colleges and Universities:

This includes famous and not-so-famous colleges and universities. Some of the colleges that fall into this category are expensive Christian schools, some are ivy league schools and some are small little known colleges and universities. They all have one thing in common, and that is enormous costs.

Enormous costs that will leave you with school loans of $40,000 to $200,000. This is a near tragedy for poor or middle income students, these loans could take 30 years to repay. No college graduate should be braced with that much of a load on their backs for so long.

These schools have enormous hidden costs, so it is imperative that you research costs at the schools’ website, otherwise you could be left with severe sticker shock after you start. You can get a good job if you go to an inexpensive school, as well as an expensive school, so why not protect yourself, your finances, and your future, with a low-cost college or university.

Ladies, don't get cheated buying a car.


For- Profit Schools, Colleges, and Universities:

In for-profit colleges, the learning is usually quick, the courses are short, and the costs are high. How do you know if a school is for-profit? They do a lot of advertising on TV, they are usually located in a strip mall, business park,  office building or online only – they don’t normally use college campuses. When you research for-profit schools the graduation rates are usually very low and the student loan pay-back is also very low.

They offer short, quick programs and degrees. You may have to do a lot of research to find them listed as for-profit online. Some of them claim to be non-profit, but they are not. Many of them give college degrees in a little as 1-2 years, or certificate programs in as short as 6-8 months. Some employers don’t recognize degrees from for-profit colleges. Since for-profit colleges have been accused of and found guilty of numerous problems against students, some are now calling themselves non-profit. But, they are still for-profit with another name. Most are located in office type buildings, or store fronts, they offer quick classes and very poor financial aid packages, with education that is not always recognized by employers.

Get Debt-Free College by Knowing Your Options, Go Here

The biggest problem with these schools are that most of them include loans for even the poorest students, the courses are often times quick, they offer a lot of certificate programs that require the passage of an exam to get your certificate.

Many kids don’t pass the exam because the courses are so quick, so they don’t get their certificate, and now they have loans with no ability to get work. This is usually the most difficult way to get debt-free college.

The government has recently cracked down on for-profit schools since the default rate on exams, including board exams is high. One for-profit nursing school had a pass rate on board exams of zero. None of the students passed the nursing board exam, but they all had loans they could not repay.

One type of for-profit school that was closely scrutinized was found to brace students with near $80,000 in school loans, this was the Corinthian Colleges.

After petitions and media attention, the government forgave all their student loans with forgiveness, this is rare. The problem was that students could not get jobs after attending. The employers told them they did not recognize the school as adequate for job placement.

The students were told they would have no problem getting jobs when they enrolled. Itt technical Institution was recently shut down due to its predatory methods against its students.

It is a part of the government crackdown on predatory for-profit schools. You can search google for a list of for-profit schools that have been closed by the government. Understand the current student loan debt crises to keep your student loans at 0 or very low.

Financial aid packages in for-profit colleges almost always includes loans, and for many who can’t get jobs, it is not possible to pay the loans back. These loans can leave students with a lifetime of poor credit.

Your best bet for debt-free college:

The best way to get debt-free college is 1. Go to a junior (community) college on a Pell grant, work part-time, and live at home. 2. Go to a state college or university with Pell grant, work part-time, get a relative to help, and live at home. 3. Go to a state college or university with the help of a relative or on a full scholarship. 4. If you decide to go to an expensive private college or university, go with the help of a relative or a guaranteed full scholarship or fellowship for graduate school.

Understand that cost is the most important factor when it comes to choosing an education with debt-free college. It is absolutely essential that you know all cost and academic programs of your chosen school, by reading their online catalog. A last reminder, that if you do not pay off student loans you have signed for,  and you get behind, the government will catch up with you, and garnish your check.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

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How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

 You Can’t File Bankruptcy on Student Loans, Understand College Without Student Loans, and Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans.

How To Go To College Without Student Loans, Get Debt-Free College Part 1

There are many reasons you should strive to go to college without student loans, one is the crushing pain of debt, another is that you are not allowed to file bankruptcy on student loans due to hardship.

If you start a business with any amount of money and your business fails, you can file a business bankruptcy on your loan balance due and later start over with replenished credit. If you buy a home and fail, you can short sell your home or let it go into foreclosure and you can later buy another home, once your credit clears.

This is not the case with student loans, politicians have rigged the system, so no matter what, you have to pay. You only have a short grace period after you graduate, but your grace period, if you don’t have a job, you still have to pay. If you don’t have a relative who is willing to step up and make the payments until you get a job, your life can be ruined forever with bad credit.

subsidized vs. unsubsidized student loans

The unpaid school loan balance grows exponentially due to collection agency cost and interest on interest overdue charges. The balance can double every 3-4 years until one day you open a letter and find you owe $100,000 on an original $5000.00 student loan. It has happened to many and it does not have to happen to you or anyone else.

Recent New Programs to Save College Students Credit

The new programs the Obama Administration created for college students with student loans has made payback easier, but you must apply for them, and even though your payments are decreased to an affordable rate until you find a decent job, you must still make your payments. There is no hardship benefit for most.

The program is called the income-based repayment program. There are others as well. This program is mostly for government subsidized loans, but there are programs for private or unsubsidized loans, but they are more difficult to get them to help you. If you delay regular student loan payments with an income based repayment plan, the delay in paying interest can raise your balance two to three times the original loan balance. So, it is recommended that you do EVERYTHING in your powers to make your reglalar payments.  The situation is direr for unsubsidized loans; these lenders can be brutal.

It is better to find an actual loan forgiveness program. There are different types of programs listed at Consumer  


They charge interest while in school,
and you don’t get the benefits that come with government subsidized loans. Subsidized loans don’t charge interest while you are in school and therefore cost much less than unsubsidized loans, sometimes as much as half.

Get This Amazing Budget Planner to Start Your College Planning

I Went to College with Almost no School Loans

I went to graduate school with a horrible amount of school loans so I know the difference. I had unsubsidized and subsidized, it seemed to take forever to pay off my unsubsidized loans. In college, I had one very small subsidized loan that took only a couple of years to pay off. I figured out why my unsubsidized loans took so long to pay off, but by then it was too late, I just suffered and eventually, they were paid. It took me a total of 12 years to
pay off my loans, it would have been sooner if I figured out the game they were playing with interest and time.

When it comes to graduate school, most of the financial aid is student loans, and some the predatory unsubsidized loans. Focus on scholarships or fellowships if you plan to go to graduate school.

 I Was Lied to About the Cost of my Private University Graduate School Up Front

It is extremely important to research each and every school you consider attending before you apply. I attended a state university for undergraduate school and had no problems with loans. I only had to take out a tiny loan, which I paid back quickly after graduation. I researched every school I considered attending graduate school.

The one problem I had with the graduate school I actually attended was that I did not include current students in my research. I was given an estimate of the cost of attendance for four years by the student affairs office. It turned out the actual cost was double what I was told, and that was after I lived like a pauper in graduate school.

At one point I planned to leave because the costs were getting out of control, but after a lot of introspection, I decided I was half way there so I should finish.  I don’t recommend you go to a private school unless you have a full scholarship, full fellowship, rich parents or family members who can pay for your college.

If you are poor or middle class your financial aid package will be lop-sided with huge loans, and in some cases bad unsubsidized loans. You have to ask yourself; Do I want to spend the rest of my life paying on school loans? It could very well happen if you attend a school too expensive for your budget.

Understand Student Loans and College Cost with This eBook

Do Your Research Before You Apply to Colleges That Interest You

Every college and university catalog is currently, online. If you have a computer at home, you are all set. If you do not you can go to your local library and use the computer there. Here is what you do. First of all, look at the cost, many of the more expensive colleges have their cost hidden, so don’t give up, it’s there. Search total cost to attend college X (substitute the name of each in the X field).

You should find a grid. In that grid, it will explain all of the costs for four years, down to the paperclip. I have looked, and it is the norm, I did not find a single college or university without the four-year cost of college grid. The private schools will display outrageously expensive costs, some of them I looked at a cost between 200.000-300,000 for four years.

Those costs are definitely for rich kids or the lucky few who get guaranteed scholarships. It makes no sense at all to go to a school like that with a financial aid package that includes school loans.

Your loan bill at that school could definitely scar you for life.  You will have either a lifetime of loan payments or have a good chance of a lifetime of loan default if you become ill, disabled, or can’t find a job that pays enough to make the payments – there are no guarantees. Coming Soon, Part 2 of this article.

As of 2017 we now have a new administration. They have not said what they will do with student loan fulfillment problem, but have hinted toward doing nothing, and taking down the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau website. Because of this, the student loan crises could hit epic proportions if students continue to have more debt than they can pay with low job opportunities including, no job or low paying jobs.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

->Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

->Get Your FREE Fantastic Finances Tips Course by eMail

->How I Build Fantastic Finances ; Read More…

5 Reasons Great Small Business Records are Essential

5 reasons great small business records are important

Small businesses are often times under staffed and the owners are over worked. But that is no excuse for maintaining poor small business records. Some small businesses don’t understand the “records” part of their business to the point where written records are almost non-existent.

Not keeping detailed small business records or no records at all can cause serious problems for your business and the agencies that regulate your business. For some, record keeping is just one of those task they don’t want to deal with, others complain they don’t have the time.

No matter what your reason for poor small business record keeping, the reasons for good records are immense; they range from not missing important tax deductions to preparing financial statements.

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Budgeting For Small Business Starts With an Affordable Car
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Here are 5 major reasons for keeping detailed small business records:

1. Maintain business ethics and stay honest with the IRS and other regulatory agencies, as well as your own peace of mind
2. Support items reported on tax returns
3. Monitor Your Small Business Progress for Profits
4. Understand Your Net Profit Subject to Tax
5. Prepare your financial statements

  • Maintain Business Ethics and Regulations

It depends on the industry your business is aligned with that determines which agencies regulate your business. But, no matter what agencies regulate your business, good records will keep you prepared if you are questioned. Honesty is an absolute must, to maintain the integrity or your business product and service, and keep your doors open. Staying honest will avoid having to worry about being caught for dishonesty later, effectively maintaining business peace of mind.

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Keep Small Business Debt Low and Start With an Affordable Home
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  • Identify Your Source of Receipts To Support IRS Deductions

When the IRS scrutinizes your business the first thing they want to see are authentic and honest receipts. Keep them to keep your business honest. All receipts must be original and not tampered with. Keep your receipts organized and safely stored. The last thing you want is for the IRS to be forced to guess your actual costs due to poor record keeping and no proof of costs. To facilitate your tax preparation and reporting, as well as your responses to potential IRS inquiries, it is beneficial to record and store your documentation of any transactions between related parties. An example of transactions between related parties, i.e., a corporation and its sole shareholder, may be subject to special scrutiny.

For great small business records you must know your finances like the back of your hand

  • Make a Profit and Monitor Your Small Business Progress

You need to know how much you are spending on your business to keep it running efficiently. Understand your break even point to arrive at a profit. For example: “How much do I need to spend to create and sell my product or service?” Always keep good records of all of the costs of taking your product or service to market. You can avoid having a business that loses money each time you sell a product or service without knowing it. A sure road to small business failure is not knowing the exact cost of every item of your business.

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Understand Investing, Budgeting, and Saving For Small Business
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  • Calculate Your Lowest Net Profit Subject to Tax

You cannot deduct expenses that you approximate or estimate. You must be able to prove (substantiate) your business expenses with timely and accurate records to support the amounts deducted to compute your net profit. Burden of proof is on you, if you are ever audited. The proof is in accurate and honest receipts, expenses and your
small business records

Borrow Money From a Banking Institution or Other Commercial Lender

Potential lenders are going to check your credit and analyze projections to repay a business loan. All business assets, sales and receipts will be verified. Business relationships are sometimes subjected to scrutiny. Keep personal finances separate from small business finances, to avoid confusing regulatory agencies and prompt an audit, or prevent your ability to get small business bank funding. Understand the difference between your business and personal affairs by maintaining seperate accounts for each.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

Get Your FREE Fantastic Finances Tips Course by eMail

How I Build Fantastic Finances ; Read More…

Don’t forget your free sample copy of “The Ultimate Guide to a Great Money WorkOver