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What is Mortgage Interest Deduction?

Mortgage Interest Deductions are allowable income tax deductions that equal the amount of mortgage payments in a year that are attributable to interest rather than principal repayments. Mortgage insurance premiums may also be deductible. Interest deductions are subject to the Pease phaseout, while mortgage insurance premium deductions are not allowed over certain income levels. Interest payments on mortgages are generally deductible from income taxes. Continue reading...

What is a Home Equity Loan?

Home equity loans give a homeowner the ability to borrow a lump sum against their home equity. Homeowners have the ability to use their home equity as collateral on a lump-sum loan from a lending institution. This may be done on a paid-off home or on one with an outstanding first mortgage. People sometimes use these to pay for large expenses such as their children’ s college, or as a debt consolidation tool. When used for debt consolidation, a homeowner will take out a large loan against the equity they have in their home and use it to pay off debts to credit card companies and other creditors. Continue reading...

What is Earnings Before Interest Depreciation and Amortization (EBIDA)?

EBIDA is one of the family of earnings metrics which give the analyst, investor, or accountant an opportunity to view earnings, which is synonymous with net income, with a few factors added back into it. In this case, interest payments on debt, depreciation of hard assets on the standard IRS schedules, and amortization of principal debts are all added back into the earnings of the company for the current period. Not to be confused with EBITDA, its more popular counterpart. Continue reading...

What does notional value mean?

Notional Value is used in futures, options, and forex markets to describe the total value of the principal of a contract or transaction, especially when either none or only part of that value has actually been exchanged. Notional value is used most often in interest rate swaps and futures contracts, and is "notional" because either no principal changed hands at the beginning of the contract (such as in an interest rate swap), or only a small payment was used to buy a larger position (such as in a futures contract). Continue reading...

What is a Home Mortgage?

A home mortgage is a long-term loan for the purchase of a home, secured by the value of the home itself. Banks as well as mortgage companies make mortgage loans to consumers and charge an interest rate for the duration of the loan that may be fixed or variable. Mortgage loans generally last for between 15 to 30 years, and they are constructed so that paying off a home can fit into a person’s budget while a bank or lending institution collects interest on each payment. Continue reading...

What is a Balloon Payment?

A balloon payment is a lump sum due at the end of a balloon loan term. In a balloon loan arrangement, the payment schedule does not amortize the entire amount of the loan, but instead allows for lower installment payments by holding a lump-sum payment until the end of the term. These terms are usually relatively short, such as 5 years, and often these arrangements are taken by individuals or consumers who plan on refinancing before the balloon payment comes due. Continue reading...

What is an Income Bond?

Income bonds are issued by companies and they will only pay a coupon or interest rate if the company generates adequate earnings to do so. Non-payment of a coupon or interest rate does not necessarily mean that the company is in default. The principal amount plus some interest is due to the bondholder at maturity. Income bonds are sometimes issued by companies who are experiencing hard times and cannot guarantee a coupon payment to bondholders. Continue reading...

What is Maturity?

Maturity is the amount of time an investment exists - once the security matures, it is paid off to the investor and concludes the transaction. Maturities are most commonly used in the fixed income context, with bonds having maturities consistent with when their principal is paid back to the investor. What is Yield to Maturity? How Do I Structure My Bond Portfolio? Continue reading...

What is a currency swap?

In a currency swap, institutions will enter into an arrangement lasting anywhere from 1 to 30 years, in which they loan each other an equal principal amount at the current exchange rate, lending out their currency and taking a loan in a foreign currency, and paying an interest rate in foreign currency to their lending counter-party. Institutions that engage in a currency swap (also called a cross-currency swap) seek to increase their exposure or liquidity in a foreign currency, and in some cases seek to take advantage of favorable interest rates in the arrangement. In fact, a currency swap can be considered a variation on an interest rate swap, except that in this case, a notional principal is exchanged at the onset. Continue reading...

What is a Balloon Loan?

A Balloon Loan has lower debt payments than a fully amortized loan up until a lump sum payment at the end of a term. Balloon loans have relatively low monthly payments due over their term and then a large lump sum payment for the remaining balance at the end. This can be advantageous if someone or a business knows they will be paid in a certain way that fits well with this schedule. Other people and businesses may be planning to use a more flexible approach where the lump sum due at the end is rolled into a new financing schedule (such as a two-step mortgage), and this is usually done if there is a reset provision in the contract. Continue reading...

What should I look for in a good Mortgage Calculator?

Mortgage payment arrangements can be engineered in a number of ways, and a good mortgage calculator will give you enough flexibility to input the terms of your own. Ideally a mortgage calculator will be flexible enough to let you input the following: an adjustable rate, a rate cap, optional mortgage “acceleration” payments, balloon payments and resets, impound account calculations which take into account the property taxes and insurance you pay, as well as calculations which take any origination fees into account. Continue reading...

Should I consolidate my debt?

This seems to be a better choice than debt settlement, and it may make payments easier. Debt consolidation allows people to pay one bill a month towards their debt obligation, rather than many, and it may also give them a lower interest rate payment. A debt consolidation company or bank can settle the outstanding debts of the individual; this settlement amount plus fees becomes the principal loan amount or a new loan, which will probably be designed to have lower payments than the individual was paying before consolidation. Continue reading...

Will Ripple Make a Superior Payment System?

Ripple is already making waves in the banking world and may be poised to become the #1 option for cross-border settlements between banks worldwide. Ripple is described as giving cross-border payments a protocol as universal as Http does for the web. The current default system for communicating cross-border payments, SWIFT, has been around since the 1970s, but transactions can take nearly a week to settle. This is because SWIFT only provides secure messaging services for the requests from different institutions, but each transaction still requires several intermediaries who each might take a day to negotiate or complete their part in the deal. Ripple offers a revolutionary way to complete transactions in a matter of seconds, by directly linking banks around the world and cutting out the middlemen wherever possible. Continue reading...

What is a Bond Ladder?

A bond ladder is a portfolio of bonds that have different maturities, that may range from months to years in difference. A bond ladder is designed to reduce interest rate risk and create predictable income streams. An investor will build a bond ladder often in an effort to reduce interest rate risk and also to create predictable income streams, where coupon payments happen at different times and principal is also returned in various intervals. Continue reading...

What is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes ,and Depreciation (EBITD)?

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, and Depreciation (EBITD) is one method of viewing the earnings of a company with some of the typical expenses added back into it. It is not to be confused with its close cousin EBITDA, which also adds amortization back in. Amortization is essentially the same thing as depreciation, but amortization applies to intangibles such as debt principal amounts and intellectual property. Continue reading...

Can Blockchains Reduce Fraud and Failed Payments?

Blockchains can validate, clear, and document transfers of value much faster and more securely than traditional methods. Blockchains offer an extremely efficient and reliable means of processing transactions of any size in a way that reduced the likelihood of fraud and failed payments. If a cryptocurrency wallet says that there is a specific balance present in a specific wallet, then that balance is there; it can be validated using the transaction record held on the thousands of computers on a b... Continue reading...

What Does Debt Financing Mean?

Debt financing occurs when a company borrows money or secures financing through loans, with the obligation to repay the money (typically with interest). Generally, a corporation will engage in debt financing by selling bonds in the marketplace or to private investors, or with promissory notes or commercial paper. Generally the terms of the bond or the loan will have the company commit as collateral assets of the business, such as real estate, cash on hand, or fixed assets. Continue reading...

What is Accrued Interest?

Accrued Interest applies to a bond or loan, accounting for the interest that is calculated per diem for the time between payments. Accrued Interest is the amount of interest that has "built up" between the last payment and the present, with regards to bonds and loans. If a bond is sold from one person to another, and the corporation or municipality that issued the bond pays out an interest payment at regular intervals, the sale price will have to factor-in the "accrued interest" since the last distribution, and the buyer will have to pay the seller for the accrued interest due while the latter held the bond. Continue reading...

What is Minority Interest?

Minority interest is a portion of a company’s stock that is not owned by the parent company, and refers to a type of ownership that generally cannot exert influence over a company’s business decisions. If an outside investor or another company has a less than 50% stake in a company via shares, then they are said to have a minority interest. From an accounting standpoint, only the dividends of a minority interest are counted on a company’s books. If they exert influence over the decision-making, then a percentage of the income may also need to be included. Continue reading...

What is an Interest Rate?

An interest rate is a simple financial principle that’s been around for centuries, whereby a borrower has to pay for money borrowed. The interest rate is agreed to between the lender and the borrower, and there may be provisions under which the rate could change over the course of  a loan. In simple terms, an interest rate is the cost of money. Continue reading...