Home Improvement Loans Government Grants – Scammers have been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Better Business Bureau now knows which scams have been most prevalent during the pandemic and how much Canadians lost to them between March 1 and May 31, 2020. Home improvement scams take the top spot, with Canadians reporting losses …

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants – Scammers have been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Better Business Bureau now knows which scams have been most prevalent during the pandemic and how much Canadians lost to them between March 1 and May 31, 2020.

Home improvement scams take the top spot, with Canadians reporting losses of more than $50,000 over the course of three months. Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, a price that is too good to be true, or an unrealistic time frame. Scammers will take homeowners’ money and provide substandard work, or no work at all.

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

Once started, a rogue contractor can “find” problems that raise the price significantly. If you object, they threaten to walk away and leave a half-finished project. They may accept your deposit up front and never come back to do the work.

Canadian Government Funding Application Writers

Say no to cash-only deals, high-pressure sales tactics, high upfront payments, handshake deals without a contract, and on-site inspections. Always get a written contract where the price, materials, responsibilities of all parties and the schedule for the job are clearly stated. Always ask for references and check them out.

Puppy scams are the second most common scam reported during the pandemic, with losses of more than $20,000 reported. Many people who have worked from home or have isolated themselves have decided that they want the company of a dog or that this is an ideal time to bring a canine companion into the home, but they often come across fraudulent online advertisements for puppies that does not exist or will never be shipped.

Victims are often told to send money to special funds, insurance and a (non-existent) COVID-19 vaccine. There were also several cases where the consumer wanted to see or pick up the animal but was told it was not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, start by contacting a local shelter. If you are looking for a purebred animal, contact a local breeder so that you can make sure that the puppy actually exists. Don’t try to buy a pet without seeing it in person, and don’t send money with Western Union, MoneyGram, or through cash apps and gift cards.

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Consumers should be on the lookout for advance fee scams where you receive an email or phone call or see a flyer or online ad offering you a good deal on a car, mortgage, payday or other type of loan. This scam has cost Canadians a reported $20,000 from March to May 2020.

The catch is that there is some kind of upfront fee, such as an “processing fee” or insurance to get the loan or to lock in the low interest rate. Once you have delivered the payment, the “lender” disappears with the money.

Charging upfront fees for loans is illegal in Canada. Walk away from any loan offer with vague or unclear fees that are charged before you get the money. There are often fees charged for loans such as application fees, appraisals and credit report fees, and a real lender will post these fees prominently.

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

Legitimate lenders never guarantee a loan upfront, will never ask you to pay an upfront fee, and will not ask that these “fees” be paid through unusual methods such as iTunes gift cards. Walk away from any offer that comes with guarantees and/or requires unusual payment methods.

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Fake government grants have cost Canadians more than $12,000. Several government programs offering benefits or assistance during the pandemic have been advertised and are legitimate, but scammers also promise free money in the form of a government grant; all you have to do is pay a one-time shipping fee.

While legitimate government grants require you to contact and apply, scammers typically contact victims via phone, email, and social media posts, stating that the government is awarding “free grants.” You will be told that your application is guaranteed to be accepted and you will never have to repay the money. But many victims report that other charges will inevitably follow, and they can all seem very official. Regardless of the story, one thing is certain; you will never see the money you were promised.

Free money doesn’t come easily. Obtaining a government grant is an involved process, and one in which the grant applicant pursues the funds, not the other way around. If someone actively encourages you to give you money, this is a clear red flag that you are dealing with a scammer.

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Pay no money for a “free” government grant. If you have to pay money, it’s not free. A real public authority will not ask you to pay an advance fee.

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Many people have shopped online during the pandemic, and online shopping scams have cost Canadians $6,000. Many of the companies and websites people use were set up in the last two or three months by fraudulent retailers targeting consumers who are stuck at home. After the order is placed, consumers are left with either a cheap knock-off or nothing at all.

Before entering personal or financial information on a website, make sure the website is secure. Check that the URL (web address) starts with “https://” and includes a lock icon on the purchase or cart page. Make sure the site is legitimate, as many scammers will create a fake site to mimic a famous dealer’s site.

Employment fraud has cost Canadians nearly $6,000 and targets the thousands of people who have lost their jobs due to business closures or downsizing and are looking for temporary or flexible employment.

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

If you’re looking for a job, be wary of positions that don’t require special training or a job offer that doesn’t come with an interview request: a real company wants to talk to you before you hire. Look online: If the job appears in other cities with the same posting, it’s probably a scam.

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Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. Also, be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or great income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.

If you’ve spotted a scam, even if you haven’t lost any money, report it to www.BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can prevent others from becoming victims. Home renovations can be expensive. But the good news is that you don’t have to pay out of pocket. Home improvement loans allow you to finance the cost of upgrades and repairs to your home.

Specialized rehabilitation loans like the FHA 203(k) loan exist specifically to finance home improvement projects. And there are other mortgages — home equity loans and HELOCs — that can provide cash for a home improvement or any other purpose.

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So what is the best home improvement loan? It depends on your needs. Here’s what you should know.

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A home loan (HEL) gives you the opportunity to borrow against the equity you have built up in your home. Your equity is calculated by assessing the value of your home and deducting the outstanding balance on your existing mortgage.

Unlike a cash-out refinance, a home equity loan does not pay off your existing mortgage. If you already have a mortgage, you will continue to make its monthly payments while also making payments on your new home loan.

A home equity loan “spreads like a single payment up front. It’s like a second mortgage,” says Bruce Ailion, real estate agent and attorney.

Home Improvement Loans Government Grants

With a equity loan, your house is used as collateral. This means that lenders can offer lower rates because the loan is secured against the property. The low, fixed interest rate makes a purchase loan a good option if you need to borrow a large amount.

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Remember that you will likely pay closing costs on a home loan, between 2% and 5% of the loan balance. So the amount you borrow must make the extra cost worth it.

As an added bonus, “a home equity loan or HELOC may also be tax deductible,” says Doug Leever with Tropical Financial Credit Union, member FDIC. “Check with your CPA or tax advisor to be sure.”

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is another great way to borrow from your home equity without refinancing. A HELOC looks like a home equity loan, but it works more like a credit card. You can borrow from it up to a pre-approved limit, pay it back and borrow from it again.

Another difference between home equity loans and HELOCs is that HELOC interest rates are adjustable; they can rise and fall over the loan period. But interest is only payable on your outstanding HELOC balance — the amount you actually borrowed — and not on the entire line of credit.

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You can only borrow part of your maximum loan amount at any time, which means that your payments and interest costs will be lower.

A HELOC may be a better option than a home equity loan if you have a few cheaper or longer-term ones

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