Qualifying for Loans is Easier if You Belong to Credit Unions

Most people do not realize that credit unions have several advantages over banks. It is less common for members to complain about interest rates, service fees, and other things the way that banks do. Remember that you are not trapped to use a typical community bank for the financial services you require. Credit unions have people who complain as well, but usually the complaints are far less. It boils down to the fact that there is a different business model that credit unions follow, which makes them more customer friendly than some banks. One evidence of this is that it is easier to qualify for loans in credit unions. Read on and learn many more benefits that they offer.

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  1. Customers are first. When you open an account with a credit union, you become a member of the credit union. It works to please its members or shareholders, and not stockholders, changing the focus from creating the biggest profits to creating the best customer service and support. Such a shift results in policies that are more customer-friendly.
  2. Lower fees. One of the ways banks make money is in the fees. The fees associated with a credit union tend to be lower than banks, and often there are no ATM charges. The overdraft policies less costly and these two elements tend to be a big money maker for banks. With lower fees, you can save money by banking at a credit union where you can avoid some of these larger fees.How-to-Apply-for-Personal-Loans
  3. Better interest rates. Credit unions offer higher savings rates and lower loan interest rates. Because they are not focused on making a profit, they instead want to cover operating costs, and pass on more favorable rates to their customers. The interest rates on a loan are often more attractive, and you may even qualify for further discounts if you have automatic payments set up. The interest rates on deposit accounts are higher than most national banks.
  4. Works with you. A credit union may be more willing to work with you if you have bad or poor credit, or have difficulty getting a loan. Loan officers make qualifying for a loan easier when they meet you directly and providing you are an active member, help find loan terms that meet your needs and don’t negatively impact other members. If you are interested in getting a loan with bad credit history, a credit union may be the best option for you to use. Credit Unions also offer programs to help you manage your budget or prepare for unexpected expenses in a “rainy day fund”.home_loan_with_bad_credit
  5. Qualifying to join. Credit unions have limitations on who can join them. It can be living in a specific geographical region, working at a certain employer or other types of affiliations like those associated with school systems. Once you join the credit union, you can stay a member for life, even when you stop meeting the initial member requirements. They may have a requirement that you have a savings or share account that remains open to keep your membership.

Indeed, credit unions offers so many advantages over banks. Over the years, these institutions have been identified to offer the best loans for home improvements, home equity loans, auto loans, and private educational funding. It is never too late to join a credit union and enjoy all these benefits that it has to offer.

Population and Housing Market are Bright Spots in Philadelphia

There are so many numbers that tell the story of how Philadelphia is today, but there is one that stands out as a definite expression of confidence in the city’s future. Last year, the Philadelphia office of licenses and inspections received building plans for almost 3,000 units of new residential housing, which is the most approved in a decade. These units cost about $465 million, which is the highest amount on record.

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These numbers show that many investors are betting that the population of Philadelphia will keep on growing and that many of the new residents will look for new homes and apartments. However, even with the new construction and the rising population, chronic problems of Philadelphia have not gone away. As with any big city, crime, drugs and corruption can be found in certain sections and it tends to be an uphill battle in some neighborhoods.

Despite all these  challenges, investors are not stopped from investing their money in center city, northern liberties, the Navy Yard and certain areas of the greater northeast, building homes, apartments and condos for their growing number of clients. If you are someone who is looking to buy a home in this part of the country, you might want to get acquainted with the essential indicators of the Philadelphia housing market and key indicators like:

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Population. According to estimates from the Census Bureau, the population of Philadelphia in 2013 rose for the seventh consecutive year to almost 1.55 million.

Employment. The job market in Philadelphia remains to be sluggish, although it is showing some signs of life in certain industries like hospitality, life sciences and the trades. In the previous year, there were about 3,800 more jobs in the city compared to the year before it. In 2008, the recession hit Philadelphia with full force like many big cities. Recovery is slower than anyone ever expected and there are many bright spots including an increase in startup businesses from entrepreneurs.

Crime. Last year, Philadelphia recorded almost 250 homicides, which is down 25% from the previous year. This is the lowest number since 1968. As a whole, major crime enjoys a relatively steady and gradual decline.

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K-12 Enrollment. Enrollment in schools run by the School District of Philadelphia fell almost 6%, the largest percentage drop in many years. Also, the student population in publicly funded charter schools continued to rise, and enrollment in schools run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia grew slightly, following years of gradual and steady decline.

These indicators have have not stopped people from buying homes and lofts for sale in Philadelphia. If you still have concerns about investing here, considering consulting with Philadelphia real estate experts to get their take on the neighborhoods that interests you most. Many of these agencies have a powerful real estate search engine for Philadelphia that can speed your due diligence.

Sun Damage is the Biggest Culprit for Brown Spots on Your Skin

Sun spots are flat brown spots that appear on areas of the body most exposed to the sun, like your face, shoulders, arms and hands. These develop over time from years of frequent or prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) light. UV light accelerates the production of melanin, the pigment in the upper layer of the skin that gives your skin its color, and increases uneven pigment production resulting in sun spots. By protecting your skin from further sun damage, you can lighten and fade sun spots with the help of some natural remedies or tropical treatments.

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Apply sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 to exposed skin any time you are outside and exposed to sunlight. This greatly helps in preventing sun damage and more sun spots. Prevent and fade sun spots at the same time with an anti-aging sunscreen or skin cream. The UV shields in such products will protect your skin from further sun damage while the anti-aging ingredients minimize the appearance of existing sun spots.

Consider lightening your sun spots with a natural remedy before resorting to harsher chemical treatments. You can squeeze the juice from one lemon into a bowl and dab the lemon juice on any areas of your skin with sun spots using a cotton ball or a cotton swab. Though fading sun spots with a natural remedy will take longer  than other treatments, the gentler fruit acids of lemon juice will brighten your skin with regular use and without irritating your skin.

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Use an OTC (over the counter) fade cream or lotion that contains less than 2% of a bleaching agent called hydroquinone. Hydroquinone can cause skin irritation, especially in its synthetic form so combining it with a skin moisturizer is wise. If you have sensitive skin, go for a cream that contains plant-derived hydroquinone or another plant-based lightener, like mulberry root, licorice root, azelaic acid or kojic acid. You may have to use an OTC fade cream for several weeks or months before sun spots fade.

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If natural or OTC remedies do not effectively remove brown spots on hands, feet and face over time, talk to your dermatologist about prescription strength creams that contain hydroquinone or with retinoids and a mild steroid. Sun spots will gradually fade over several months with regular use.

While you can permanently remove sun spots with medical treatments for hyperpigmentation like laser therapy, dermabrasion, freezing and chemical peels, try lightening and fading sun spots with at-home treatments before turning to complete sunspot removal. Aside from being expensive, these sun damaged skin treatments can cause temporary discoloration and skin irritation, including scabbing and redness, or even permanent discoloration and scarring.

Selecting Hardware for Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinet hardware is a more interesting style component of your cabinetry than you might actually think. While the color and finish of the wood are usually what people focus on initially, the hardware is aesthetically important as well. Whether the style of your kitchen is classic traditional, modern rustic or anything in between, you can and should match your kitchen cabinet hardware to the overall theme.

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Count the number of drawer and doors your cabinets have, so you will know the exact amount of pulls and knobs you will need. Do not be afraid to mix and match finishes, as well as consider coordinating these fixtures. Chrome, nickel, glass and stainless steel are just some of the finishes you will find across kitchen cabinet hardware.

Tubular Bar Pulls. If there is one type of kitchen cabinet hardware that is completely modern, it would be this. You can match these to sleek contemporary cabinets that would be right at home in a New York loft or on traditrional cherry cabinets in the suburbs. Tubular bars look good in kitchens with mosaic tile backsplashes, pendant lights and dark cabinets mixed with lighter stone countertops.

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Carved Tubular Bar Pulls. Put a little curve into your tubular bar pulls for another take on this modern style. The slightly rounded aspect makes these feel a touch more friendly and inviting than their more dramatic hardware cousins. Curved tubular bars can add a sense of warmth or give a contemporary edge.

Flat Bar Pulls. Whether vertical or horizontal, flat bar pulls offer a great transitional style that falls squarely in between the modern tubular bars and the classic knobs. These pulls look great on kitchen cabinets with Shaker-style doors and kitchens with glass backsplashes.

Curved Bar Pulls. With curved bar pulls, you can introduce just the right amount of decorative flair for a traditional kitchen. This style of cabinet hardware looks just as good on dark cabinets as it does with lighter wood tones, and really pops against stone backsplashes and marble countertops as well.

Artisan_polishnickelDark Knobs. Mixing kitchen cabinet hardware between pulls and knobs is a design trend that continues to grow in popularity over the years and allows you to pair the tradition of knobs with sleek modern pulls. However, if you prefer to stick to a traditional design scheme in your kitchen, go with dark knobs. They can contrast just as well with white cabinets as with those with light red wood finishes.

Brushed Metal Knobs. If you like the knob style and want to give your kitchen an old world feel, choose knobs in a brushedbronze finish.. The brushed or oil rubbed metal knobs are a versatile choice for lighter color cabinets and goes well with Shaker-style doors.

Choosing the right solid wood cabinets for your home and consider using under counter kitchen lighting as an accent when this room is not in use. Many kitchen designers add value to your decision making process. Whether your kitchen is cottage-style, contemporary or galley, complete the look with the right kitchen cabinet hardware.