Paying for Business Expenses Applying for a business credit card is something a small business should seriously consider for itself. Business credit cards can provide a range of benefits to a business. They allow a company to build up credit for better borrowing conditions down the road. They’re also quite easy to apply for. In this article, we’ll go over how to apply for a business credit card and other important points to note. What Is a Business Credit Card? A business credit card is a credit card that is intended for business expenses. These cards are not meant for any individual’s personal use, but they are available to businesses of all sizes. What Is a Business Credit Card Used For? Business credit cards are meant for business expenses, and as such, they come with several perks that you wouldn’t get with a normal credit card. Business credit cards typically have far higher credit limits than normal cards, but they are also harder to qualify for. [youmaylike] As a business phenomenon, business credit cards vary their offers greatly, and certain cards are meant for certain businesses. They are also highly customizable when it comes to individual payment terms. Businesses don't always have consistent incomes like individuals do, and business credit cards handle this problem. These cards are used to gain access to a long line of credit, to control employee spending on business expenses and more. One of their other common uses is to make accounting easier, as putting all business expenses on one separate account makes reporting to the Internal Revenue Service easier. In the end, there are many uses for a business credit card. Why Would I Need a Business Credit Card? You might not need one, but if you run a business, you’ll be leaving money on the table by not at least looking into them. Business credit cards can solve many of the problems business owners face. If you need employees to make purchases for the business, a business credit card is the safest option. These cards can be given to authorized users, a status you can easily give to any of your employees. From here, these cards make it easy to monitor employee spending and spot any discrepancies. You can attach customized user privileges to each card to limit spending and place limits on where the card can be used. As mentioned, if you feel like your credit is too limited, business credit cards are a sure way around low credit. According to the American Bankers Association, the average monthly payment on a business credit card is twice as high as the average payment on a normal one. If you’ve found yourself annoyed with the Internal Revenue Service over the complicated reporting processes for business owners, you’re not alone. This is where a business credit card can solve another problem. Simply handing over your business credit card statements to your accountant will make them love you. It will also provide them with the information they need to predict future spending. Another great use for a business credit card is lifting your liability for debts. Liability for credit card debt is determined by the liability offered by the card. If you’re using a personal credit card for business expenses, you are liable for all debts. On the other hand, if you use a business credit card with commercial liability, your business is liable for any debts, which changes the game. Keep in mind that some cards offer joint liability, which leaves both you and your business liable for any debts. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing any paperwork. Lastly, just as personal credit cards offer rewards programs, so do business cards. The main difference here is that business credit card rewards are tailored to your business needs. How to Apply for a Business Credit Card Before you apply for a business credit card, you should make sure you’re eligible. For the most part, you only require the following to be able to apply for one: A legal name for your business. A business structure to apply with, such as a Limited Liability Corporation. An explanation of the nature of your business. You’ll typically be given a list of industry types to choose from. A tax ID number issued by the Internal Revenue Service Your roll in the business you’re representing Various business/financial information including: Annual revenue. Number of employees. Length of time in business. Estimated monthly expenses. If you have this information ready, you can apply for a business credit card. At this point, it would be wise to shop around and find the best option for your business. Your decision on the business credit card you choose will have larger ramifications than your choice of a personal credit card. Applying for a business credit card is much the same as applying for a personal one. There are a few differences, but the main thing to remember is that business credit cards are taken more seriously than normal ones, so you’ll have to face a higher bar of entry. This doesn’t mean getting a business credit card is hard, but it does mean you need to arrive more well-prepared than you normally would. To make things easier, you can prepare for certain obstacles in advance. You may need to sign a personal guarantee that you will pay off any debts. Also keep in mind that if you’re the one applying for a business credit card, and your business doesn’t already have one, they will conduct a personal credit check. It may be best to try to optimize your personal credit if you plan on applying for a business credit card in the future. Some Options at a Glance Here are some of the most popular options for small business credit cards: Chase Inc Business Preferred This is a great option for a few reasons. With the Business Preferred card from Chase Inc, you get 80,000 ultimate reward points when you spend $5,000 with the card in the first three months. The card also provides generic, but highly useful benefits for business owners. Business Platinum Card from American Express The Business Platinum is ideal for businesses that spend a lot on flights and travel. This card offers numerous rewards on flight and hotel expenses and makes sure you get something serious back if you use it for these expenses. Chase Inc Business Unlimited The Chase Inc Business Unlimited offers unlimited 1.5% cash back. While we’ve said enough already, they also offer several other perks that are overshadowed by their first one.
Use Our Simple Mortgage Calculator!
Welcome to Finance Mastermind’s custom mortgage calculator. Are you thinking about buying your first property? Our mortgage calculator will certainly come in handy! Our calculator does all the heavy lifting behind the scenes. All you have to do is fill in a few easy fields and you’ll know what your mortgage payment will be in no time.
But that’s not all. We’ll also look at how to calculate mortgage payments on your own as well as the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early. Let’s get started!
Basic Functions of the Custom Mortgage Calculator
To get the most out of the custom mortgage calculator, you’ll need to fill in some basic information. Here are the fields:
- Home price: This is the price of the home you’d like to purchase. If you’re considering buying a home within a certain price range, you might want to go with a home price on the upper end to make sure you qualify. Then you can adjust the home price to see how it would impact your mortgage payments.
- Down payment ($ and %): The down payment is the money you intend to pay ahead of time to get a mortgage. You can enter a dollar figure or percentage. It’s subtracted from the mortgage amount and is the equity in your home.
- Length of the loan: This is the length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage in full.
- Interest rate: This is the mortgage rate you anticipate paying on your mortgage. Again, it’s good to be cautious and put a higher number in case mortgage rates go up.
Once you enter the above information, the mortgage calculator will output the following helpful information:
- Principal and interest: You’ll see a breakdown of the principal and interest you’ll pay over the life of the mortgage. Of course, if you pay off your mortgage sooner, you’ll save on interest, but this is to give you an idea if you only make the minimum mortgage payments.
- Homeowner’s insurance: You have the ability to add in the amount you expect to pay for homeowner’s insurance. If you’re unsure about this, it doesn’t hurt to contact an insurance broker to get an approximate cost of insurance for the property that you’re thinking about buying.
- Property tax: This is the amount of property taxes you expect to pay on an annual basis. Property taxes are to help maintain roads and city services. Sometimes you’ll pay them directly to the city, other times your mortgage lender will collect them on your behalf to pay them to the city.
- HOA fees (if applicable): HOA fees, short for homeowners association fees, are the amount of money you must pay on a monthly basis as a condo or townhouse owner. The main purpose of these fees is to maintain and improve properties in the association.
- Amortization schedule: This is a table listing each payment of your mortgage based on your payment frequency (usually monthly). Based on your scheduled payments, the calculator includes an expected payoff date of when you can expect to pay off your mortgage in full and own your home free and clear.
How to Calculate Mortgage Payments: The Equation Used to Calculate a Mortgage
Have you ever wondered how mortgage payments are calculated? Well wonder no more! Here’s the formula for calculating mortgage payments.
M = P[r(1+r)^n/((1+r)^n)-1)]
- M = monthly mortgage payment
- P = mortgage principal
- r = monthly mortgage rate; to get this take your mortgage rate and divide by 12
- n = number of mortgage payments over the life of your mortgage; take the number of years of your mortgage and multiply it by 12
Our mortgage calculator does all the hard work for you, but it’s still helpful to know how mortgage payments are calculated. Don’t worry, there isn’t going to be a pop quiz, but it’s still helpful to know how mortgage payments work.
How to Use a Mortgage Calculator
A mortgage calculator is a handy tool to use. It can help you not only figure out the monthly carrying cost of a home you’re thinking of buying, but also determine if a home is within your desired price range.
As mentioned, to get the most out of a mortgage calculator, you’ll need to input all the required fields. With the figures you enter, try to be as accurate as possible. If you’re not sure about a figure, it’s better to be cautious and overestimate. That way you’re better prepared in a worst case scenario if anything ends up being higher than anticipated.
You may want to run several scenarios in the mortgage calculator. For example, what would your mortgage payments look like if you only make a 5% down payment? How about a 10, 15 or 20% down payment? What if mortgage rates were 3%? How about 4%?
By running all these scenarios, you can get a good grasp of the numbers, so you can make an educated decision when it comes time to make an offer on a property.
How/Why a Mortgage Calculator Can be Useful
A mortgage calculator can be useful because you can use it to make sure you not only qualify for a mortgage, but can also carry the home. You may be able to qualify for a mortgage perfectly fine, but after doing a mock budget if you realize that the mortgage payments will be so high that most of your income is going toward your home with little money to save, let alone have fun, you might decide not to buy the home.
You can use the mortgage payment, homeowner’s insurance, property tax and HOA fees (if applicable) to determine if you can afford the home. Don’t be shy about asking the home seller what they typically spend on utilities in a month. You don’t want to be blindsided by those costs if they end up being higher than you thought.
Figuring out What You Can Afford
Your mortgage payment is a key figure to help you determine whether or not you can afford a property. As a homeowner, your mortgage payment is the most significant cost in most cases. By knowing what your mortgage payment will be ahead of time (before making an offer on a property), you’ll be better prepared.
But your mortgage payment is only one of the expenses of being a homeowner. It’s equally important to factor in other costs, such as utilities, home insurance, repairs and maintenance. By creating a mock budget ahead of time of what you expect your home expenses to be, you can be better prepared so you can make a fully informed decision on whether a home is a good fit for you.
Pros and Cons of Paying off Your Mortgage Early
Are you contemplating paying off your mortgage early? Whether you have the money to pay off your mortgage in full or it’s just one of your long-term goals, here are the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early.
- By paying off your mortgage sooner, you’ll pay less interest over the life of your mortgage. Depending on your mortgage amount and the interest rate, you could save yourself thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars by paying off your mortgage sooner. That’s more money in your pockets, rather than the bank’s coffers.
- Another reason you might want to pay off your home sooner is that you’ll own it free and clear. You’ll no longer have to make monthly mortgage payments. This allows you to use that cash flow toward something else like saving toward an early retirement or buying an investment property.
- The last reason you might want to pay off your mortgage sooner is less stress. You’ll no longer need to worry about what would happen if you lost your job and needed to pay the mortgage since you no longer have one. You can also tap into the equity in your home for other purposes like investing.
- You’ll no longer be able to claim a tax deduction on your income tax return for mortgage interest. Before paying off your mortgage, you’ll want to run some numbers to see if it makes sense to forgo this tax write off.
If you put all your money into your home, you might be ill equipped to weather a financial storm. For example, if your home needed major repairs or you lost your job, your emergency savings might not be enough to cover it.
- You might also be able to get a better rate of return by investing instead of paying down your mortgage. If you’re risk adverse, you may prefer the guaranteed rate of return you get with paying down your mortgage, but for everyone else there may be better ways to use your money.
- You may also have to pay a penalty if you pay down your mortgage early. Most lenders let you make some prepayments, but if you exceed those prepayments you could be on the hook for quite a hefty fee, negating some or all of your savings.
- You could also negatively impact your credit score. When you pay off your mortgage, you no longer have that credit facility open. If you don’t have any other credit like a credit card, you might find it difficult to apply for and obtain other credit.
- You could also leave yourself open to identity theft. Since your property is owned free and clear, someone could try to take out a mortgage fraudulently in your name.
Pros and Cons of Adjustable Mortgage Rates
An adjustable rate is a mortgage that begins with a low fixed interest rate for between three and 10 years, followed by a period of adjustment in rates. It’s important to recognize that adjustable rates aren’t the same as fixed rate mortgages, where the mortgage rate remains the same for the term of your mortgage.
Now that you have a better understanding of adjustable mortgage rates, let’s look at their pros and cons.
- Your mortgage payment is fixed for the first three to 10 years, giving your predictability. This makes it easier to budget since you know exactly what your mortgage payment will be at the start of the loan.
- Adjustable rate mortgages make a lot of sense if you’re unsure what the future holds. For example, if you’re unsure whether you’ll be moving or selling the home, you may be able to sell the property before the interest rate starts to change on the mortgage.
- Although your mortgage rate can eventually change with an adjustable rate mortgage, there are limits and caps to how much your mortgage rate and mortgage payment can increase, providing you with some predictability and peace of mind.
- If interest rates were to go down, you could benefit. Your mortgage rate could in turn fall. This would allow you to decrease your mortgage payment or you could keep it the same and pay down your mortgage even faster. It’s a win-win situation.
- If interest rates were to start to go up or even skyrocket, your mortgage payment could go up when the adjustable phase kicks in. You could find it difficult to keep up with the higher mortgage payments.
- With an adjustable rate mortgage, you’ll need to plan for when interest rates start changing and in turn your mortgage payments could go up. You can do all the planning in the world, but if you’re not able to sell your home or refinance when you want to, you could be at risk of losing your home.
- Adjustable rate mortgages sometimes come with mortgage penalties. This is a fee you’re required to pay if you sell your home or refinance your mortgage in the middle of its term. If you think there’s a chance you might need to do that, it’s a good idea to choose a lender that allows this.
- Generally speaking, adjustable rate mortgages tend to be more complicated than fixed rate mortgages. If you’re a first-time home buyer, you may be better off sticking with a simpler fixed rate mortgage.