I have been financing homes now for 17 years. Most of the focus of the applicant’s ability to repay a loan is placed on his current earnings. Sure, there are credit and appraisal requirements, but by and large, my time is spent analyzing income. Hundreds of studies have been done to correlate income and credit, and guess what? There is absolutely zero correlation (which is one of the reasons why the “stated income” loans just didn’t work out). So most of the time spent crunching numbers by myself, my processor, my underwriter, and even the back-end auditors, is done so analyzing income.
So When a study comes out that shows an overwhelmingly convincing correlation between income and health, my interest is piqued. This is not a study of causation, attempting to prove that people earn money because they are fit and vice versa, but merely noting a strong interrelationship between the two factors and their inverses as well. You can click on the logo below to see the 148 page study by United Health Foundation. The one habit favoring low-wage individuals is that of binge drinking.
Scotland has voted to remain part of the United Kingdom and will hash out their tax rate changes which take effect as early as 2015. While doing a bit of research on the UK debacle, I ran across this bit o’ information about our taxes here in the U.S. that was of more interest to me personally. The IRS claims that 47% of tax returns filed in 2012 reported adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $30,000, while only 3.6% of tax returns reported AGI of at least $200,000. There are about 300 million households, but in 2012 only 145 million tax returns were filed. Of those who filed, 64% of the returns paid federal income tax while 36% of the returns did not pay any federal income tax. So if you paid any income taxes in 2012, you are included the 31% minority of the population which did so. Thank you for keeping our government afloat (is that the right word? BTW: This is not a cry for a vote of secession).
Interestingly enough the National Association of Realtors shows that 54% of all licensed agents earn less than $50,000 per year while 7% earn more than $200,000 per year. Real estate agents are more polarized in their incomes than the national averages listed above. Realtors earn an average of $39,140 per year and it’s the 89th best job to have in the country according to US News and World report (#1 is software developer).
How is that for a smattering of useless information? Here’s what you really want to know: Thirty year FHA loans are at 3.5% and Conventional loans are at 4.25%. Fifteen year rates are way lower at 3.0% (APR will be higher, depending on the loan and down payment amounts, and amortization term–as closing costs and the presence of mortgage insurance affect each loan differently.)