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If you’re getting ready to apply for your first home loan, you’re going to need to understand the home loan basics.

When you go to apply for a home loan, you need to understand the terminology. Let’s start with the most basic of terms.1. Principal – The principal is simply the amount you borrow to move into the home of your desires. If you apply for a loan of $250,000, the amount the bank actually gives you is the principal amount.2. Interest – Every home loan comes with an interest rate. The interest rate is the amount a lender is charging you to borrow the principal. Interest rates are typically the key to a loan as there are a wide variety of loans that have flexible interest rates that change every year, ever few years or simply remain set over time. In general, you want to minimize the interest rate as much as possiblebalance transfer promotions .3. Term – The term of the loan is simply the number of months you have to repay the money you’ve borrowed from the lender. For instance, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is indicative of a term of 360 monthly payments to be made over 30 years. Don’t worry,balance transfer promotions there are loans of much shorter periods of time.AmortizationAmortization is not only a mouthful, it is the one term that may confuse you during the loan process. First time home buyers often mistakenly assume the same amount of interest and principal will be reduced in each loan payment. Unfortunately, lending institutions are not willing to go about it this way, which leads us to amortization.With amortization, lenders typically apply many of the initial payments on your mortgage almost entirely to the interest owed on the loan. If your loan calls for monthly payments of $1,000, the first payment may have $900 applied to interest and only $100 applied to the principal. As the months pass, the amount paid on the principal will increase. Yes, it is maddening.2

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We have a client that just terminated the sales person after 10 months for non performance. Why did it take so long, you ask, to terminate this person? Well, the client was very interested in making sure that it did everything possible to work with this sales rep in order to enhance their performance. But in retrospect, it should have been about 4 months ago or so that the client fired this person. The reason why it hung on was because the company was waiting and hoping that a different result was going to come by just providing some more time to the sales representative. What's the key lesson here? It is when you can see that a sales person's not performing and that you can see that they're not making steady progress in improving their sales activity and pipeline and actually closing business. The best rule of thumb is to act quickly, to let that kind of person go so that you can make room for replacing them with somebody who can be more productive. Many sales managers get attached to the individuals who are on their sales team. The process of building positive motivation and a “team spirit” can cloud the image of whether or not a sales person is actually performing. Sales management needs to make sure that it doesn't wait and hope too long for a sales person to get success before taking the necessary action to terminate and replace individuals who are non performers.

But it's very easy for sales management to be clouded in their perspective on this subject, again, wishing, hoping and wanting the sales person to perform. Frequently, delay happens through the “non-performer” efforts to sell the sales manager on the fact that things are actually improving. On the case of our client, the sales representative actually spent a good portion of his time preparing and briefing management on trying to provide evidence that sales were actually picking up and that a full pipeline was right around the corner. So, this in one of the key things that you need to look for as a sales manager… whether or not the person who you're working with actually is demonstrating actual results and improvement in their sales pipeline versus just selling you on the fact that things are getting better. Do you have any sales people in your team who are not hitting their numbers and haven't been for several months? Do you have any new hires who are way behind in terms of hitting their forecast and achieving their sales results you originally hired them to produce? Now is a great time for you to take a look at those individuals and determine what you're going to do to either get them on a short term corrective action plan or move them out of the company. Make sure that 2006 is a year in which wishing and hoping is replaced by solid commitment to excellence and achieving the sales results that you need for your company.

Banks offer a large number of financial services, and pay you interest on at least some of them. Because of this, many people are quick to overlook the fact that banking is still a business, and banks need to make money to pay their employees, keep the utilities running, and make a profit for their shareholders and customers. If you've ever found yourself wondering exactly how it is that banks manage to pay out as much as they do while still making money, then this article is designed for you.

Below you'll find information on some basic banking services, as well as how banks make the money that they need to cover all of their expenses and make the profits that they need to grow.

The Basics of Banking

Most banks have a variety of account types and services in common. These include savings accounts, chequeing accounts, certificates of deposit, investment services, online account access, and lending services, and are among the things that most people expect to find when they choose a new bank.

Having services in common with other banks enable the banking industry to be competitive… one bank can set itself apart from the rest by offering superior service and better rates and terms than the others that they compete with locally.

Savings, CD's, and Other Interest-Bearing Accounts

Some of the services that banks offer are interest-bearing, meaning that they have an interest rate that is paid to the account holder based upon the amount of money that's in the account. These accounts are an incentive for customers to put both their money and their trust into the bank, as they are the accounts that pay a return on the money in them. Interest rates that are paid on these accounts can vary from bank to bank, though they are all based upon rates that are set nationally to ensure that they do not fall too low.

Chequeing, Loans, and Other Interest-Charging Accounts

In order for banks to stay in business, they have to make money one way or another. They do this by issuing loans, offering chequeing accounts, and having other interest-charging accounts and services that must be paid for. Loans require that the borrowed amount be repaid with interest, and many chequeing accounts either charge a monthly maintenance fee or have other costs associated with them in addition to the overdraft fees and fines that are applied when you try to write a cheques for more than you have in your account.

Other services, such as safe deposit boxes, also have fees associated with their use, and credit cards that are issued by banks charge interest rates as well as potentially some other fees associated with their use.

Advanced Banking Services

There are a variety of banking services that are not common to every bank but are well-known enough that many banks offer them. Services such as online account access and itemized bank statements may be offered for free or may have charges associated with them, but provide a better understanding of your finances and more information on where your money is going and how than the standard bank statement. Banks may also offer advanced services such as investment services, money market accounts, currency exchange, and even the opportunity to invest in the bank itself.

The services that are offered by any one bank will largely depend upon that bank and the wishes of the owners and operators, so you should investigate fully the services that are offered before assuming that any one specific service is available.

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