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BMO Harris Mortgage Review



BMO Harris Bank has a 200-year history. It was founded in 1882 as Harris Bank, but later became BMO Harris when BMO Financial Group, an institution with a legacy dating back to 1817, purchased it. This long history brings vast experience as well as a desire for development and growth.

In keeping with that vision of progress, BMO Harris has gradually refined its service models in an effort to optimize their customer experience.

BMO Harris Overview

Its competitive mortgage rates aren’t the only area where the bank stands out. BMO Harris is also a community-centric bank based in Chicago, but with branches across Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Arizona, and Florida.

The bank operates as part of the BMO Financial Group, a Montreal-based financial services firm that is among the oldest and largest in Canada. However, this scale of operations hasn’t distracted BMO Harris from its community values.

The bank was recently named one of the most ethical businesses in the world by the Ethisphere Institute.

As a mortgage lender, BMO Harris offers solutions aimed specifically at low-income and first-time home buyers. However, it also provides typical fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and jumbo loan options.

BMO Harris Mortgage Rates

Today’s Best Home Mortgage Rates
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BMO Harris Loan Specifics

BMO Harris offers mortgage products tailored to two very particular borrower profiles. On one hand, the bank provides mortgage products that are aimed at affluent customers. On the other, it also provides access to specialized loans for low-income households or those who don’t have significant capital available for a down payment.

Here’s a look at the mortgage products available from BMO Harris:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

BMO Harris advertises its fixed-rate mortgage as a good fit for those who expect to live in their homes for a long time. The cost predictability ensures borrowers can budget effectively and anticipate their costs. This is easier with fixed-rate loans because the interest rate won’t change throughout the loan term.

This mortgage is available for those purchasing or refinancing a primary residence, investment property or second home.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage is often considered a prime option for those who hope to reduce the initial costs for their home loan. These loans often come with a lower initial interest rate that fluctuates after a pre-determined number of years, depending on market conditions.

This won’t always mean a higher price, but it does create the possibility of having higher monthly payments after the initial term. What’s more, the rate doesn’t just change after the first term, it actually becomes a variable rate that can shift each year.

FHA Mortgage

BMO Harris offers loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration program. Through this program, eligible borrowers are often able to get a relatively low rate even with a small down payment.

There is also an added degree of flexibility in terms of credit score requirements, closing costs, and the ability to use gift funds. FHA mortgages through BMO Harris require a minimum down payment of just 3.5 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Home Possible Mortgage

The home Possible Mortgage program is designed to make home-buying accessible to lower-income borrowers. While a minimum down payment of 5 percent is required, borrowers may be able to access financial assistance for the down payment or closing costs.

Housing Grant Loans

BMO Bank also provides access to mortgages structured around a variety of housing grants. The bank can help customers connect with state or local grants and use those as financial assistance for closing costs or down payments.

Jumbo Mortgage

Designed for those looking at more expensive homes, jumbo loans provide larger loan amounts than standard mortgages. These loans are available as either fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages and are intended for those seeking a loan above $453,101.

The wide variety of loans available from BMO Harris Bank makes the institution’s products suitable for a wide range of borrower profiles. This variety is only part of what makes the bank stand out from the competition. 

BMO Harris also provides an integrated online banking experience that includes an auto-pay feature for those with a BMO Harris checking account. As of December 19, 2018, the bank offers a discount on closing costs for setting up automatic payments.

BMO Harris Mortgage Application

BMO Harris started as a community bank. The value of supporting the local communities remains central to how it operates today. This comes across in a web experience designed to easily guide users through the lending process.

Each loan page offers a simple five-step layout of the mortgage process, giving users key details about what to expect at each phase. These details clearly delineate what the borrower is responsible for and what the bank will take care of for them.

This simple five-step guide on each mortgage page can help to demystify the home-buying process and make the idea of applying for the loan less intimidating.

It’s also worth noting that BMO Harris does not directly advertise its mortgage rates on its website at this time (December of 2018). While this may create some initial difficulties in comparison shopping, it’s because the bank is focused on more personal experiences.

Instead of showcasing the lowest possible rate you can get, the bank provides an easy-to-use online tool that lets you obtain a personal quote by providing just a few pieces of information.

You don’t have to provide your Social Security Number, but should know how much the homes you’re considering cost and have an idea of what range your credit score falls into.

You can file a mortgage application and request for prequalification online. You can also access a few mortgage cost calculators and informational resources with information on mortgages on the institution’s website.

Beyond these factors, the bank also stands out for its ethical processes. In March 2018, BMO Financial Group was recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies of 2018. The award comes, to some degree, as a result of the bank’s focus on trying to support communities through its lending products and financial services.

BMO Harris Grades

With a legacy dating back more than 200 years, BMO Harris has had a long time to cement its reputation as a community-focused bank. The company appears to have done an excellent job in this area, as it has been recognized as a Better Business Bureau-accredited company with an A+ rating.

Furthermore, a 2018 study from the Reputation Institute recognized BMO Harris as one of the most reputable banks in the country. This distinction comes at a time when the reputation of the larger banking industry is improving in the public eye.

An American Banker analyzing past Reputation Institute studies in comparison to this year’s results highlighted this trend. Just two years ago, the banking industry was ranked as the worst sector in the U.S. during the Reputation Institute’s annual study. This year, banking has climbed to the 10th position out of 16 industries.

BMO Harris is an Equal Opportunity Lender operating under the NMLS number 401052.

  • Information collected on December 19, 2018

BMO Harris Mortgage Qualifications

  Payment assistance available Special access qualifications Down payment required
Fixed-rate loans No No Yes
Adjustable-rate loans No No Yes
FHA loans Yes Yes Yes
Home Possible loans Yes Yes Yes
Housing Grant loans Yes Yes Yes
Jumbo loans No No Yes

Qualification details vary substantially from loan to loan and are often reliant on a variety of conditions monitored by third parties, such as community groups that manage grants.

BMO Harris Phone Number & Additional Details

The post BMO Harris Mortgage Review appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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My Unconventional Best Work-From-Home Gear Guide (What’s Yours?)



I’m quite familiar with working from home in my tiny 78 sq. ft. “office”, but after looking at some online WFH gear guides recently, it’s all about standing desks, latest laptop models, and USB hubs. Eh? My desk is a basic folding table and my laptop is a 2015 Macbook Pro (with real scissor keyboard and real moving trackpad) that recently underwent DIY battery replacement surgery (way too complicated, Apple!).

My favorite WFH gear is different. Maybe yours is too? These are real things that I bought with my own money and I would buy them again if I had to do it all over again.

Quiet, Please! – 3M PELTOR X5A Over-the-Head Ear Muffs

I wear these every day to help me focus. They have the highest noise reduction rating (31 dB) available on the market. You even have to certify that you are using them for “professional/commercial use” (which I am while working for money, as far as I am concerned). At ~$30, they are also about $10 more expensive than other similar models, but I think the extra $10 is well spent to know you have the quietest experience possible. If you have kids running around the house, you need all the help you can get. They are “over ear”, which means they don’t put pressure on your ears and I can wear them for a relatively long time without discomfort. (I try to take regular breaks anyway.)

Budget Noise-canceling Headphones – Mpow H5 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

After a certain member of the house (ahem) stole my trusty old pair of wired Bose QC25 headphones, I decided to try out a budget pair of $50 bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones. These over-hear headphones worked out quite well and I really don’t miss the old Bose ones. I’d say they are 80% as good while under 20% the price of new Bose QC35 headphones.

Note: I do own a pair of regular Airpods, which I got as a nice gift. I do like them and use them for phone calls around the house and outside, but I use the Mpow headphones while at my desk listening to music or editing things.

Dependable Printer – Brother Monochrome Laser Printer

This thing is the workhorse of my home office, and yet also the oldest electronic item here at over 10 years old. Which is rather crazy, given that it has moving parts and daily to scan PDFs, make copies, and of course print. These Brother black-and-white laser printers are like the Toyota Corollas of the printer world – cheap yet reliable. The cost per page can be very low thanks to generic toner cartridges (that link is for two of them) if you don’t mind a slight decrease in quality.

Dry Erase Whiteboard – Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard

Another inexpensive but important addition for a variety of reasons. Sometimes something physical is just better than the digital alternative. This one is lightweight and thus easy to remove from the wall and move it around. You can also put up complex equations or obscure drawings and put it behind you during those Zoom and Webex meetings and impress/confuse/scare your colleagues. I like these BIC markers as they are higher quality and have finer points.

Looking around my desk, other random things that I probably like more than I should are my TI-85 calculator, classroom-grade pencil sharpener, and an ancient Swingline stapler (sadly not the red 747). The only thing that I have been thinking about upgrading is my office chair. Any suggestions?

“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

My Unconventional Best Work-From-Home Gear Guide (What’s Yours?) from My Money Blog.

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Do not re-syndicate without permission.

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Best NRE FD Rates 2020 : All You Need To Know



Non-Resident External or NRE Account can be a Savings, Recurring or Fixed Deposit Account where NRIs can deposit their foreign currencies which gets remitted to an Indian Account. An NRE account is held in Indian Rupees and is completely tax-free. In this article, we will discuss how you can select the best NRE FD and give you the best NRE FD rates in different banks in India.

NRIs cannot open a regular account that is designed for Indian Residents as per the guidelines by Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and this can attract huge penalties if breached. Also, no interest is earned if the account is closed within a year.

Benefits of an NRE FD Account

An NRE FD Account holder has the following benefits –

  • Both principal and interest earned are tax-free in India
  • Principal and interest earned are freely repatriable to account holder’s country of residence
  • High-Interest Rate
  • Can be opened jointly with other Non-Resident Indian(s)
  • Offers flexible tenures that may range from 1 year to 10 years

Best NRE FD Rates

Below is a table that compares NRE Account FD Rates across all the banks along with the tenures mentioned.

Name of the Bank Tenure
1 year 2 years 3 years 5 years
SBI 5.70% 5.70% 5.70% 5.70%
HDFC BANK 6.15% 6.15% 6.25% 6.15%
ICICI BANK 5.80% 5.80% 6.00% 6.00%
PNB 5.80% 5.80% 5.80% 5.80%
AXIS BANK 6.55% 6.65% 6.50% 6.50%
CANARA BANK 5.85% 5.85% 5.80% 5.80%
KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK 5.90% 5.90% 5.90% 5.50%
BANK OF BARODA 5.90% 5.90% 5.90% 6.15%
BANK OF INDIA 6.30% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25%
IDBI BANK 5.95% 5.85% 5.90% 6.10%
UNION BANK OF INDIA 6.75% 6.40% 6.40% 6.45%
FEDERAL BANK 6.15% 6.15% 6.25% 6.25%
INDUSIND BANK 6.65% 6.75% 6.75% 6.65%
YES BANK 7.25% 7.25% 7.25% 7.25%
CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA 5.70% 5.70% 5.70% 5.70%
INDIAN BANK 5.90% 5.80% 5.80% 5.80%
HSBC BANK 4.50% 5.00% 5.25% NA
CITIBANK 4.25% 4.25% 4.25% 4.50%
INDIAN OVERSEAS BANK 6.25% 6.30% 6.20% 6.20%
PUNJAB AND SIND BANK 5.85% 5.85% 5.85% 5.85%
UCO BANK 6.10% 6.10% 6.10% 6.05%
UNITED BANK OF INDIA 6.50% 6.25% 6.25% 6.00%
ORIENTAL BANK OF COMMERCE 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25%
DBS BANK 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75%

* IndusInd Bank provides this interest rate for 61 months and above. 

Small Finance Bank FD Rates

Our government has licensed some companies to operate as financial institutions, small finance banks for example. Though not a scheduled commercial bank, these institutes are very niche in operations Fixed deposit is one of the services offered by Small Finance Banks. Down below are some small finance banks that provide the best interest rates for an NRE FD Account.

Small Finance Bank Tenure/ FD Interest Rates
1 year 2 years 3 years 5 years
AU Small Finance Bank 7.00% 7.50% 7.77% 7.50%
ESAF Small Finance Bank 8.00% 7.75% 7.30% 7.30%
Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited 7.75% 7.45% 7.55% 6.75%
Suryodaya Small Finance Bank 8.00% 8.00% 8.25% 9.00%


We see that it is very tough to choose from, especially when each is better on its own. But there are certain factors you must keep in mind while going forward such as interest rate and a trustworthy long-term relationship with the bank. Also, you must check if the account can be operated from the country you live in right now. Some major banks have branches in countries like the USA, UK, and the Middle East.

The post Best NRE FD Rates 2020 : All You Need To Know appeared first on Compare & Apply Loans & Credit Cards in India-

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Coronavirus Stimulus Check 2020 [how much you’ll get & who qualifies]



(The following is a transcription from a video I recorded. Please excuse any typos or errors.)

Quick little update for you.

The Senate and the White House reached an agreement on this big stimulus bill, the Trump coronavirus stimulus check for 2020.

Let me share with you who will be eligible, how much you will get, what the qualifications are, and when you can expect to receive the stimulus check from the U.S. government.

And so if you haven’t heard about this, it’s pretty cool because you’re probably going to be getting a nice fat check from the government.

Here are the details that you need to know.

It is expected to be up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, which is pretty fun.

These amounts are based off of your 2018 tax returns if you haven’t filed 2019 tax returns yet.

Taking Your Income Level Into Consideration

And according to this article from the Los Angeles Times, the amount received will decline gradually beginning with individuals who make $75,000 a year or married couples who make $150,000 total each year.

Individuals making $99,000, or above or couples making $198,000, or above would receive no check.

Which looks like this:

And here is another helpful breakdown of how big your stimulus check will likely be:

When will you get your check?

Stimulus Check Timeframe

The fun thing about is they’re expected to be shipping within the next few weeks.

So that’s really cool. And you don’t normally see the government move this fast on things, but the stock market’s been doing fantastic the last two days as a result of the expectation of this thing coming through.

While I’m not really excited about the long term effects of the government giving away all this money, I know a lot of people who will be excited to get a little bit of cash in their pocket.

So that’s the latest update for the Trump coronavirus stimulus check for 2020!

Let us know in the comments below what you plan to do with this Trump stimulus check that you will hopefully be receiving soon!

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