Planning a trip overseas is going to be a very personal process. It will take into account not only the destination (or destinations) and duration of the trip, but also the purpose of travel and the activities planned. An important part of travel planning is obtaining the proper travel insurance, which will also depend on the destination, duration, and purpose of the travel.
Students as well as employees heading overseas for long-term residence are going to have different insurance needs than someone who is traveling for a few weeks of leisure and recreation. Contact a good insurance company to discuss the different options available to fit your specific travel needs — and do so well in advance of your trip.
Travel insurance is going to cover not only travel, but also things that can happen to you while you’re at a specific destination. This is why airline insurance, while useful while you’re in the air, is completely inadequate as a sole means of insurance. Look for policies that help when passports and other documents are lost or stolen and that cover belongings whether they are in transit or at your lodgings. Good travel policies will include visitor medical insurance so that you can get treatment in hospitals around the world. It can even provide death benefits if the unthinkable happens.
After the real estate crash a few years ago, it was revealed that many mortgage professionals weren’t behaving professionally. They were acting with disregard to professional ethics or operating without a valid and up-to-date license in their state. The mortgage boom that preceded the crash offered such amazing profits that many questionable individuals were drawn into the industry to make a fast buck — on both sides of the equation.
As a result, many states have toughened their requirements for mortgage loan officers. Part of this was dictated by the SAFE Act which governs mortgage licensing and requires a national registry of mortgage professionals and companies. However, many states took it upon themselves to go beyond the federal requirements to protect the interests of home buyers in their state. There are now tough standards for training, such as for Pennsylvania mortgage continuing education , as well as regular background and credit checks as well as other requirements in order to renew a license as well as obtain an initial license.
In general these requirements will apply to mortgage brokers and mortgage loan originators, no matter what state they are in. Usually individuals who have clerical or support jobs and are not responsible for loan origination, negotiation, or similar activities, are exempt from licensing requirements. Mortgage companies are required to check the licenses of all employees and borrowers would do well to check with their state banking authority or the new national registry to verify those licenses themselves.
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The trend toward doing everything online has grown to encompass the process of obtaining loans. This phenomenon applies to everything from mortgages and home equity loans to personal and auto loans. Those considering using online lenders need to be very careful that they are dealing with a reputable and trustworthy lender and not a scam company — or a bunch of computers that can’t provide personal attention if there is a question or problem with a loan.
Even people who plan to go through a three dimensional lender, such as their bank or credit union, will likely conduct initial research online in order to understand the types of loans available and how interest rates and their own credit history may affect their ability to borrow. While research can be very useful when negotiating a loan, the source of much online information is questionable. Borrowers should carefully investigate whether a website is run by a legitimate bank or a noncommercial site such as a consumer awareness or financial watchdog site. There are many legitimate non-profits that provide education on loans, especially mortgages, and have websites with reliable information. However, there are also many websites that provide misleading or outdated information simply to lure new lenders or to drive advertising to a site.
Some people will still decide to utilize online lenders. As long as they do so cautiously and with due diligence they will reduce the risk that the lender is a sham. Ignoring outrageous promises regarding rates and fees is the first step. Another important step is understanding that comparison rate sites will not include rates from credit unions, which may offer a lower rate than the participating lenders. Lastly, check the credentials of the lender itself to make sure it is properly licensed and regulated by the federal government.