Shop Smart! - Video

 

Summary: It doesn't matter whether you are shopping for curtains or a home loan—keeping a few simple ideas in mind can make you a smart shopper. It will also help you save money and a whole lot of time.

The following is the transcript of the video:

If you're looking to get the most from your hard-earned money, one of the best things you can do it is educate yourself before you spend it. This holds true for whatever you're in the market for, whether its groceries, a new car, or even borrowing money. (You can see some other tips about borrowing money on Tips.Net.) After all, when you borrow, you're simply buying the use of someone else's cash. And what you have to pay back is not only the amount that you borrowed, but also the fee charged for the use of the amount that you borrowed, more commonly known as interest.

But how do you know if you're getting a good deal or not? Well, again, by educating yourself. Be aware of what's available in the marketplace. For example, if you're searching for the best mortgage refinancing that you can get, you have to find out what's being offered. You'll also need to know what the most competitive interest rates are. Get quotes from several different lenders stating their rates and fees, and get them in writing. But don't stop there. Don't take their word for what your costs or savings will be; run the numbers yourself with a good set of mortgage calculators. Compare the total costs of each loan.

Of course, you'll want to know where your credit stands. Some unscrupulous lenders have been known to sell customers high-priced loans when they should have qualified for lower-interest rate products. So take nothing for granted. Get a copy of your credit report so that you can be certain that you're getting the best deal possible for your situation. And if it's a little shaky, take steps to repair your credit. It can only save you money. And who couldn't use a little bit more money?

If you're looking for cash advance or low-interest personal loans, the story is still the same. Since the fees and interest rates that can be charged are as varied as the lenders that charge them, you can only protect your wallet by knowing what's available and comparing similar products.

Lastly, by all means, familiarize yourself with the laws that are in place to protect consumers—that's you—along with your rights under those laws. Don't fall victim to scams and overcharges. Be smart; educate yourself. You'll end up with the best loan available for your needs, at a price that you can live with.

For a longer tip related to this subject, see Shop Smart!

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