Connect with us

Lifestyle & Culture

Mortgage broker or go direct: Which is best?

You cannot go around wasting your time in testing both waters, that is why, in this article, we will help you balance out your options, and in the end, you’ll get to choose which is best for you.

Published

on

When you are in the process of finally securing your new home, there is one step left to do: securing your mortgage. Then here comes another dilemma for someone like you, a new house owner, that is to either work with a mortgage broker or find a direct lender. 

In reality, there are many stated advantages and disadvantages in choosing either from the two options, but how can you identify which works for you best? You cannot go around wasting your time in testing both waters, that is why, in this article, we will help you balance out your options, and in the end, you’ll get to choose which is best for you. 

Mortgage Broker VS Direct Lender 

First things first, identifying their differences and services offered, this way, you’ll have an overview of what makes them different from each other. 

Mortgage Broker. They are commonly called as “middlemen”. Basically, they handle all the paperwork and do the legwork for you. They act on your stead rather than you doing all the work. They are like your personal shopper of a right lender, instead of you going around, your mortgage broker looks for the best deal and matches it with your current credit status. 

Like in Mortgage Simple, they are experienced mortgage brokers that can help you find the best product. They go through different financial institutions and lenders to find the most competitive mortgage providers just for you. 

Direct Lender. These are organizations like banks and other financial institutions that offer mortgages. A direct lender is actually the source and the ones that a mortgage broker are looking for. 

Working with a mortgage broker best offers

As mentioned, choosing either of the two options has actually various advantages and disadvantages. For now, let us focus on the benefits if you decide to work with a mortgage broker. 

A mortgage broker best offers include: 

Detailed comparison. This means that you’ll get an accurate rate, fees, and features of each prospect lender in your area. To stress out, your mortgage broker is responsible for going around and looking for the best deals that work for you. 

Wide mortgage options. A mortgage broker has an extensive list of lenders under their wings. That basically means, they can go around matching your credit report status to a wide array of lenders under the list. 

It is also essential to take note that there are three different kinds of brokers. 

  1. Tied brokers. These types of brokers are tied up to a single lender, which means they only offer what mortgage services are available in the company. 
  2. Multi-tied brokers. Unlike to tied brokers, multi-tied brokers have a limited range of mortgages but comes from a wide panel of mortgage lenders. 
  3. Independent brokers. These types of brokers are the most common and best to work with. They have access and contacts to different mortgage lenders and have a great advantage to find the best deal for you. 

Expert assistance. Going through different mortgage applications can confuse people, especially the ones that are new in the industry. Getting a mortgage broker can offer you expert help and get you through the paperwork with minimal confusion. 

Great advocate. An excellent mortgage broker with good standing can advocate on your behalf, this means, you’ll get a high chance of getting approved and success with the process. 

The best thing in going to a direct lender;

On the other hand, while there are many benefits in working with a mortgage broker, going to a direct lender can be a good option too. Here are some points that might help you in your decision: 

In-house processing. Going to a direct lender gives you an edge to have all your paperwork done in an in-house processing. Since a bank loan officer receives your application, you’ll get a direct line in getting the best deals at the bank. Also, the processing speed is faster. 

Up-close inquiries. The best thing in going direct is you can raise all your questions and confusions direct to the loan officer. Any questions you had in mind can be addressed and clarified by the bank loan officer—no need to have a middleman to bridge your questions. 

Freebies. Going directly to a lender, your bank loan officer can offer you financial products deals like credit cards or savings accounts that a mortgage broker is not provided with. These kinds of offers are exclusive to direct customers only. 

Takeaway 

Whether you choose to work with a mortgage broker or going directly to a lender, your decision must best benefit you. If you don’t like the hassle of going around looking for the best lender that you can work with, working with a mortgage broker is best for you. But if you are the type of customer who likes to do everything personally, going direct can work for you. Either of the two has significant advantages, it’s all up to you, which you think works and offers the best for you.

NEWSMAKERS

LGB online daters report positive experiences… plus harassment

LGB online daters are also more likely than their straight counterparts to experience a range of negative behaviors on dating platforms, varying from name-calling to physical threats. Among those who have ever used an online dating site or app, they reported experiencing at least one of the forms of harassment measured in this survey on those sites and apps (69%, compared with 52% of their straight counterparts).

Published

on

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults who use online dating sites and apps generally report that their experiences with online dating have been positive – even more than straight online daters (65% said their experience was very or somewhat positive, versus 56% of straight online daters).

This is according to a Pew Research Center survey, which found that a majority of LGB adults (55%) report that they have used an online dating site or app at some point, roughly twice the share of straight adults (28%) who say the same.

Among LGB adults who are married, living with a partner, or in a committed relationship, 28% say they met their current partner online. This is more than double when compared with 11% of partnered straight adults.

Also, among LGB people who are now single and looking for a relationship or dates, 37% are currently online dating (versus 24% of straight people who are single and looking).

However – and this is worth highlighting – LGB online daters are also more likely than their straight counterparts to experience a range of negative behaviors on dating platforms, varying from name-calling to physical threats. Among those who have ever used an online dating site or app, they reported experiencing at least one of the forms of harassment measured in this survey on those sites and apps (69%, compared with 52% of their straight counterparts).

More than half of LGB online daters (56%) say they have received a sexually explicit message or image they did not ask for, compared with 32% of straight online daters who say the same.

Stalking was also raised as an issue, with roughly half of LGB online daters (48%) saying that someone continued to contact them after they said they weren’t interested, compared with 35% of their straight counterparts.

About four in 10 LGB online daters (41%) say someone called them an offensive name on one of these sites or apps – 16 percentage points higher than the share of straight online daters (25%) who say the same.

Lastly, 17% of LGB online daters said that someone on a dating site or app threatened to physically harm them. This is more than twice the share of straight online daters (7%).

Perhaps not surprisingly, according to the Pew Research Center survey, LGB adults who have ever online dated are more likely than straight online daters to think harassment and bullying is a “common problem” on dating sites and apps (70%, compared to 61% of non-LGBs).

No matter the drawbacks, don’t expect online daters – LGBT or straight – to just dump it.

As per the Pew Research Center survey, even among those who experienced at least one of the asked-about forms of harassment on dating sites and apps, they still said that online dating is safe for the most part. Three-quarters of LGB people who have experienced at least one of the harassing behaviors saying it’s a very or somewhat safe way to meet someone, with 64% of straight online daters who have been harassed agreeing.

And with 78% of LGBT online daters (and 69% of their straight counterparts) still believing that dating sites and apps are a very or somewhat safe way to meet people, this trend isn’t going anywhere soon…

Continue Reading

Travel

Anti-LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ now prohibited by Albanian psychologists

In a move that effectively bans “conversion therapy” in Albania, the country’s Order of Psychologists announced that it will prohibit registered members from offering attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Published

on

Photo by Polina Rytova from Unsplash.com

In a move that effectively bans “conversion therapy” in Albania, the country’s Order of Psychologists announced that it will prohibit registered members from offering attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

Medical associations are critical of this practice – e.g. the World Psychiatric Association criticized these as “wholly unethical,” and the Pan American Health Organization warned that they pose “a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

Other countries deal this this, including Malta, Ecuador, Germany, Brazil and Taiwan. Still other countries are in the process of banning the practice, including Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the US.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Study finds more severe eating disorders among LGBT individuals

Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options.

Published

on

Photo from @thoughtcatalog via Unsplash.com

A study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds that eating disorder patients who identify as LGBT have more severe eating disorder symptoms, higher rates of trauma history, and longer delays between diagnosis and treatment than heterosexual, cisgender patients.

“While we know there is a higher prevalence of eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, particularly trans and non-binary folks (with rates estimated to be anywhere from 40% to 70%), our field is in its infancy with researching this health disparity, so I believe research like ours is especially important” said clinical psychologist Jennifer Henretty PhD, CEDS, one of the study’s co-authors who serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery.

Eating disorders are a serious mental health concern: At least 30 million people—of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender-identities—experience an eating disorder in the US alone, and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time; bulimia nervosa, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time and then try to offset the food using harmful behaviors (like vomiting); and anorexia nervosa, where people regularly eat too little due to a fear of gaining weight and thus are malnourished.

The causes of eating disorders are not clear but both biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but it appears that the rate of the disorder may be on the rise in middle-aged and even older adults.

The peer-reviewed academic study analyzed data from 2,818 individuals treated in residential (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and/or intensive outpatient (IOP) levels-of-care at a large eating disorder treatment organization; 471 (17%) of the participants identified as LGBT. The facilities were operated by Center for Discovery, a US healthcare provider specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.

Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other non-heterosexual/non-cisgender identities have significantly higher rates of mental and physical health conditions compared to their heterosexual, cisgender peers.

“LGBT individuals are more likely to experience housing and employment discrimination, and to struggle with multiple mental health challenges related to minority stress; this perfect storm of barriers means eating behaviors are often overlooked,” said Vaughn Darst, RD, who serves as Operations Advisor for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery and who also discussed in a TedX talk the complex issue at the intersection of gender, body image, food and identity.

The study found a full 12-month delay in treatment for LGBT patients compared to non-LGBT patients.

“Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options, particularly at the residential level of care” said Darst.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Greater availability of non-alcoholic drinks may reduce alcohol consumption

The findings suggest that interventions to encourage healthier food and drink choices may be most effective when changing the relative availability of healthier and less-healthy options.

Published

on

Photo by Joyce McCown from Unsplash.com

People are more likely to opt for non-alcoholic drinks if there are more of them available than alcoholic drinks, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

A team of researchers at the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, and the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge, UK found that when presented with eight drink options, participants were 48% more likely to choose a non-alcoholic drink when the proportion of non-alcoholic drink options increased from four (50%) to six (75%). When the proportion of non-alcoholic drink options decreased from four to two (25%), participants were 46% less likely to choose a non-alcoholic drink.

Dr Anna Blackwell, the corresponding author said: “Alcohol consumption is among the top five risk factors for disease globally. Previous research has shown that increasing the availability of healthier food options can increase their selection and consumption relative to less healthy food. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that increasing the availability of non-alcoholic drinks, relative to alcoholic drinks in an online scenario, can increase their selection.”

Participants in the study completed an online task in which they were presented with a selection of alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic beer and soft-drinks. The drink selections included four alcoholic and four non-alcoholic drinks, six alcoholic and two non-alcoholic drinks or two alcoholic and six non-alcoholic drinks. 808 UK residents with an average age of 38 years who regularly consumed alcohol participated in the study.

When presented with mostly non-alcoholic drinks, 49% of participants selected a non-alcoholic drink, compared to 26% of participants who selected a non-alcoholic drink when presented with mostly alcoholic drinks. These results were consistent regardless of the time participants had to make their decision, indicating that the findings were not dependent on the amount of time and attention participants were able to devote to their drink choice. The findings suggest that interventions to encourage healthier food and drink choices may be most effective when changing the relative availability of healthier and less-healthy options.

Anna Blackwell said: “Many licensed venues already offer several non-alcoholic options but these are often stored out of direct sight, for example in low-level fridges behind the bar. Our results indicate that making these non-alcoholic products more visible to customers may influence them to make healthier choices. The market for alcohol-free beer, wine and spirit alternatives is small but growing and improving the selection and promotion of non-alcoholic drinks in this way could provide an opportunity for licensed venues to reduce alcohol consumption without losing revenue.”

The authors caution that as the study measured hypothetical drink selection online, results may differ in real-world settings. Further studies are needed to determine how the relative availability of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks impacts the purchasing and consumption of alcohol in real life.

Alcoholism is a big issue in the LGBTQIA community.

In 2017, a study found that bisexual people had higher odds of engaging in alcohol use behaviors when compared with people from the sexual majority. This study also found that bullying mediated sexual minority status and alcohol use more particularly among bisexual females.

Still in 2017, another study noted higher levels of alcohol use among men who have sex with men (MSM), which is closely associated with intimate partner violence (IPV). The same study found that over half of MSM experienced IPV, and just under half of MSM perpetrating IPV themselves, including physical, sexual, emotional or HIV-related IPV.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Slot game guide for Rainbrew

Looking at the masses of very good online slot games out there today.

Published

on

Among the masses of very good online slot games out there today, there is a rather large number of games at 666 Casino that adhere to the same theme.

One of these such themes is that of Luck o’ the Irish, with the old Irish charm clearly being an attractive trait for both developers and online gamblers. The amount of games made with this aesthetic and narrative in mind, makes it a little harder to stand out from the rest of the rainbows and leprechauns at times, but Rainbrew does just that with a unique twist of the format.

This 3, 5, 5, 5, 3 reel slot game with 243 ways to win, turns rainbows into a brew, enjoyed by leprechauns, themselves. The unique layout and this slightly humorous narrative combine to make a fine addition to the many Irish themed slot games out there already. 

About the developer 

Rainbrew was developed by Just For The Win in collaboration with Microgaming.

The latter is a name that regular players of online slot games will know well, as Microgaming have a huge collection of online slot games and slot machines to their name, with many of them using interesting and original themes.

Microgaming have done well to add a different dynamic to the Irish themed slot game here, adding some of their smart, trademark animations to make a very playable slot game. 

About the game 

As already mentioned, Rainbrew has a different narrative to most Irish themed slot games. We aren’t just chasing rainbows and pots of gold here, as the leprechauns featured are crafting their own brew which, judging by the colour of it, looks as if it is made of rainbows.

Bubbles in pipes provide the border for the reels, with a blue tube and a green tube at the top and bottom of the screen respectively. The symbols of the reels look woody, with smoking pipes, mugs full of this special rainbow brew, barrels and the game’s 2 leprechaun characters appearing on them.

The game has quite an interesting layout but one that many gamers will have seen before, as 243 ways to win are made of the 3, 5, 5, 5, 3 reels on display. On them you will see wild symbols that are able to substitute for almost all other symbols to create a winning combination. The only symbol that a wild cannot be swapped for is the scatter, which is crucial to the bonus features.

Bonus Features 

The bonus features in Rainbrew come in the form of a classic free spins round and the more custom-made feature, which is the Sidewinder Feature.

The former is triggered when the scatter lands on reels 2, 4 and the horizontal reels, with up to 10 free spins being the result. 

Verdict 

All in all, this is a fine addition to the slot game collection that Microgaming has and a fine addition to all of the popular Irish-themed slot games out there, too. The free spins feature is key to big wins, so let’s hope you land those scatters.

Continue Reading

Love Affairs

Unique gifts for the man in your life that you can both enjoy

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when shopping for a gift for your partner is to be thoughtful. Try to find a gift that is personal and unique, so that they feel supported and valued.

Published

on

Finding the perfect gift can be hard, particularly when you’re buying for a man who already has a lot of gadgetry and an independent income.

Often, they tend to buy themselves the gadgets and garments they want, leaving you with limited options when it comes to finding them a present they’ll love. 

Don’t despair, because there are still loads of ways to surprise them and give them an unforgettable treat. If you’re trying to find a gift, be it for a birthday, holiday or special occasion, then read on to find a selection of ideas that you can share with them. 

An Experience Voucher

One of the best ways to give a unique, unforgettable gift to the man in your life is to buy him an experience voucher. There are many options to choose from, ranging from supercar track days and hot air balloon rides through to cooking lessons and cocktail masterclasses, meaning there’s something for everyone. You can choose an experience that you will both love and book it for them so that they have something to look forward to in the future. 

You can choose an experience that you will both love and book it for them.

A Sex Toy

If the love of your life is a fan of spicing things up in the bedroom, then there are these options here for sex toys that will entice and engage them. You can use them on your partner, or allow them to use them on you, to create intimate experiences that neither of you will forget. A sex toy is also a great way to start experimenting in the bedroom, so buying one as a gift way to start your journey towards a fulfilling and exciting sex life. Just make sure he doesn’t open it in front of his family! 

A sex toy is a great way to start experimenting in the bedroom.

Designer Underwear

Many men wear the same old underwear for years, but this can be uncomfortable for them, as well as unappealing for you. Try to find them some new underwear made by a designer brand, so that they can look good and you can feel even better. Try to buy them in a style that suits their body and a color that will set off their skin tone, so that their underwear will look good and well as keeping your partner snug and comfortable. 

Try to find them some new underwear made by a designer brand, so that they can look good and you can feel even better.

A High-End Electric Guitar 

If your partner is an avid guitar player, but you want to enjoy some respite from the sound of their favorite songs coming through the walls during their late-night jam sessions, then consider buying them a luxury electric guitar. When played without an amp, they are almost entirely silent, meaning that they can practice to their heart’s content while you sleep soundly in another room. Check out the high-end electric guitars on offer from some of the world’s most respected instrument makers to find one that your man will love. 

When played without an amp, they are almost entirely silent, meaning that they can practice to their heart’s content while you sleep soundly in another room.

A Couple’s Massage

Massages are a relaxing spa treatment that almost everyone enjoys, so if your partner is a fan of being pampered, then consider getting them a voucher for a couple’s massage or spa day. You can both indulge in a relaxing massage and spend a relaxing day together. Many spas also offer you the chance to try out other treatments with your partner, so check out the menu and see if there’s anything that you will both enjoy. Afterwards, you can cool off in the pool or the hot tub, bringing your relaxing, rejuvenating day to a close and leaving you both refreshed and ready to face whatever the future brings.

You can both indulge in a relaxing massage and spend a relaxing day together.

A Pet

Buying a pet as a surprise gift is not advisable, but if you and your partner have been considering taking the leap and becoming a pet parent for some time, then paying for it could be a great gift. Make sure that you both choose the animal together so that you find one that fits perfectly into your little family. You might not be able to surprise them, but you will be able to buy a gift that you will both love and which will be a major part of your lives for many years to come. 

If you and your partner have been considering taking the leap and becoming a pet parent for some time, then paying for it could be a great gift.

A Trendy Kitchen Accessory 

Gourmet cooking has become fashionable over recent years, thanks to celebrity chefs. As a result, many men love to spend their time in the kitchen, whipping up their favorite dishes. Search for a quality kitchen accessory that will enhance their cooking experience and help them to create even more tasty treats, which you, of course, will be more than happy to sample to check that they taste as good as they look.

Gourmet cooking has become fashionable over recent years, thanks to celebrity chefs.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when shopping for a gift for your partner is to be thoughtful. Try to find a gift that is personal and unique, so that they feel supported and valued. Use this list to find inspiration and share the joy with your loved one. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Most Popular