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USDA Loans: The Low-Income Home buying Option You Didn’t Know About

USDA loans are for rural homebuyers and provide an option for zero-down-payment mortgages.

If you’re looking for a way to break into the housing market but don’t think you can afford it, this may be the perfect option for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what USDA loans are, who is eligible for them, and how to apply. You may be surprised at just how affordable home ownership can be!


USDA loans are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture. They are available to low- and moderate-income earners, as well as those living in rural areas. Lenders who operate under the USDA program typically require a credit score of 640. If you do not have this score or higher, you won’t be completely eliminated from being eligible, you may just have different requirements to receive your loan. This means that even if your credit is less than perfect, you may still be eligible for this type of financing. If your score is above 680, the USDA may consider a higher income to debt ratio.


To be eligible for a USDA loan, your household income must fall at or below the median income for your area. You can check the USDA’s website to see what the median income is in your county. In addition, you must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien, and you must have a steady income and employment history. The Single Family Housing Guarantee Program requires that each applicant personally occupy the dwelling as their primary residence. 


The USDA states “This program helps lenders work with low- and moderate-income households living in rural areas to make homeownership a reality. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, which in turn creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural areas.”


If you think you might be eligible for a USDA loan, the next step is to contact a participating lender. USDA-approved lenders can help you navigate the application process and will be able to tell you what documents you’ll need to provide. Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary documentation, you’ll submit it to the USDA along with your loan application.


The USDA will then review your application and make a decision. If you are approved, you’ll be able to start shopping for your new home! Visit the USDA website to determine eligibility and get started today!

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90 Day Money Saving Challenge

Ready to save some serious cash? The 90 day money saving challenge is a great way to get your finances in order and start building up your savings. This challenge can be adapted to fit your specific needs, but the basic premise is simple: save as much money as you can over the course of 90 days. Whether you’re looking to save for a move or a vacation, this challenge will help you reach your goal!


Option 1: Save $1,000 In 90 Days

Depending on what you are saving for, $1000 can be a great milestone to help you meet your goals or build a solid foundation to saving more. Depending on the month there is usually 12-13 weeks within 90 days. To meet the goal of saving $1,000 in 90 days, all you have to do is save $80/week. At the end of the challenge, you will have over $1,000 in your savings!


Option 2: Save $5 A day for 90 Days

Sometimes breaking it down to a daily savings challenge can be more rewarding or easy to manage depending on how you receive your money. For example, if you are a gig worker it could be easier to set aside money out of your daily pay instead of waiting till the end of the week. If you set aside $5 a day for 90 days, at the end of this challenge you will have saved $450!


Option 3: Save 10% of Your Paycheck for 90 days

This option will produce different results for everyone, but if you want to get in the habit of saving this can be a great place to start. Simply set aside 10% of your paycheck each week and watch your savings grow.


After 90 days have passed, don’t stop saving! The 90 day money saving challenge is just a way to start training yourself and transforming the way you handle your money. These good habits and seeing the win at the end of the 90 days should just motivate you to continue what you have accomplished.


Automate Your Savings. 

Once you’ve determined how much you can realistically save each month, set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you’ll never even see the money and will be less tempted to spend it!


Have a Goal in Mind

Some people find it helpful to have a specific goal in mind when they’re trying to save money. Whether you’re saving for a vacation, a down payment on a house, or just an emergency fund, knowing what you’re working towards can help keep you motivated. Join the discussion on the She Banks Community and let us know which option you are picking for the challenge, everything is easier with a strong support system and She Banks is here to help you reach your goals.

She Banks Women Financial Banking travel

Summer Road Trip Idea: Explore The American West

If you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip that won’t break the bank, consider exploring some of the amazing National Parks in the Western United States. Live your best life and travel the west this summer. From Arches National Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, there are plenty of breathtaking destinations to choose from. So gas up the car and get ready for an adventure! Here are some of the best budget road trip destinations in the Western United States:

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Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is located in Utah and is known for its incredible rock formations. The best way to experience the park is by hiking one of the many trails. You can also drive through the park to see some of the most popular arches, such as Delicate Arch. There are many things to do from breweries to off roading inside the town of Moab depending on your preference. Camping in Moab is a once in a lifetime experience. We suggest checking out the BLM campgrounds from $20 a night that surround the park. Admission to the park is $30 per car.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado and is one of the most popular national parks in the country. The park offers stunning mountain views, hiking trails, and wildlife watching opportunities. You can also drive to the top of Trail Ridge Road for an unforgettable experience. Trail Ridge Road is only open seasonally but it’s always a great time to visit the park. From stunning snow capped mountains in the winter, to colorful fall days and green summers, you can’t go wrong. For camping however, the best time to visit is the summer. Visit the National Park Service website to find your site (reserve early, they go quick!) which on average cost between $20-$40 a night.  Admission to the park is $35 per car.

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Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park is located in California and is known for its unique desert landscape. The park offers plenty of hiking trails, as well as opportunities to see wildlife. You can also drive through the park to see some of the most popular sights, such as Joshua Tree. Plan your camping trip on the National Park Service website with sites from $25.  Admission to the park is $30 per car.

Annual Parks Pass

The U.S. National Parks sells annual passes for $80 that will get you into any National Park in the country for free. If you consider that many parks are around $30 or $35 to enter, if you are planning on visiting at least three different parks over the year or plan to visit one near you multiple times, this is a great investment. 


With the pass (available here), you will be able to gain access to over 2,000 parks and recreation areas in the United States. For the most part, the pass does not apply to state, city or county parks. The pass covers one vehicle and everyone in the car when you present your card at the gate. Two adults can co-sign the pass together and share it over the year. The pass is valid one year from the month of purchase.


These are just three of the many amazing places to explore in the Western United States. So get out there and start planning your next road trip! And don’t forget to keep an eye on your budget – there’s no need to spend a fortune on this adventure. With a little planning, you can have an incredible experience without breaking the bank. So what are you waiting for? Hit the road and start exploring!


Happy Travels!


What’s your favorite National Park to visit? Let us know the She Banks Community.

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How To Start A New Wardrobe On A Budget

How to Start a New Wardrobe on a Budget

Do you feel like you’ve worn the same thing every day for the past month? It might be time for a wardrobe refresh! But if your bank account is feeling a little light, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we will give you our best tips on how to start a new wardrobe on a budget.

There are plenty of ways to save money when you are thinking about building or improving your current wardrobe. One way to do this is by thrifting or shopping at certain times of the year. You can often find great quality items for a fraction of the cost of new items. Another way to save money is by investing in a few key pieces that you can mix and match to create new outfits by creating a capsule wardrobe. These key pieces might include a classic blazer, a versatile pair of jeans, or a neutral sweater. By investing in these essential items, you’ll be able to create many different looks without having to spend a lot of money.


Assessing What you already Have, Selling what you don’t love.

When you are building a new wardrobe, the first thing you should do is take stock of what you already have. Consider each item in your closet and ask yourself, “When was the last time I wore this?” 

If it’s been a while, or you have never worn the item, consider selling it. Sites like Poshmark and Thred Up allow you to resell your clothes which can be a great way to generate income to help you fund your new items. With ThredUp, all you have to do is send in your items (it’s free) and they will pay you depending on what they are able to sell. You can get paid in cash or Thred Up credit. 


How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Building a capsule wardrobe is one way to keep your budget low and make time for other things in life.

The eternal fashion dilemma that always seems to strike at the worst possible moment, usually when you’re running late for an important meeting or date : “I have nothing to wear!” But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can build a capsule wardrobe that will see you through any fashion crisis.

Go through your closet and pull out everything that you absolutely love wearing. These are the pieces that make you feel confident and stylish, and they should form the foundation of your capsule wardrobe. Through this exercise, you are able to understand what colors you are attracted to, and gain a greater sense of personal style. Once you’ve got your foundation pieces, you can start to build out your wardrobe with a few key items. The basic idea of a capsule wardrobe is to have a few key pieces that are interchangeable, creating more outfits with less pieces. Read more about creating your own capsule wardrobe here.


Best Times To Shop

As the seasons change, so do the prices on clothing. So if you’re looking for a bargain, mark your calendar for the end of winter and the end of summer. You’ll be glad you did!

At the end of winter, stores are trying to get rid of their winter inventory to make room for spring items. This is when you’ll find the best deals on winter clothes, boots, and outerwear. Similarly, at the end of summer, stores are trying to get rid of their summer inventory to make room for fall items.

After the Winter Holidays is a great time to buy formal wear on sale like cocktail dresses or event attire. A bit of planning can go a long way for your bank account when you are planning your wardrobe.


Thrift Shopping

If you’re on a budget, thrifting is a great way to find affordable clothes that are unique and stylish. It’s a great way to find unique pieces that no one else will have. There are plenty of hidden gems to be found at your local thrift store, you just have to take the time to look for them. With a little bit of patience, you can put together a wardrobe that will have you looking and feeling your best.

What are some other ways you like to save money when shopping for clothes? Share your tips in the She Banks Community!