Nikon D5000: Following the Nikon Tradition

Nikon’s marketing for their D5000 DSLR camera is pretty simple. They say that it is smart, sharp, and simply brilliant. This is a bold marketing statement for a camera that shares a lot of features with the critically acclaimed D90.The Nikon D5000 is capable of shooting images of up to 12.3 megapixels. Featuring DX format and an active pixel sensor (CMOS), these features are combined with Nikkor optics and Expeed image processing to produce great image qualities. The Autofocus system of this camera can focus on up to 11 points. The old reliable F-mount is still present in this camera, which means that it is compatible to the biggest system of interchangeable photo lenses in history, including more than 400 Nikkor lenses. Image quality during low light situations is also improved due to its ISO sensitivity ranging from 200 to 3200. GPS geo-tagging is also available for this camera, capable of recording statistics such as the location of the image in terms of latitude, longitude, and altitude via the use of a GP-1 GPS unit.

The quality of the images created with this camera is just impeccable. And it goes beyond the resolution value of the lens. Low light shooting is now a breeze thanks to a low noise ISO system with sensitivity ranging from 200 to 3200. Also, the Active D-Lighting system restores details and shadows during high contrast exposures. Exposure accuracy is also helped by the presence of 2 systems that Nikon has developed: the 420 pixel RGB 3d Color Matrix Metering II and the Scene Recognition System. To top this all off, the images you capture can now be edited even without the presence of a computer. Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) is also standard for this camera. The D5000’s in-camera image editing system allows you to perform editing techniques such as filtering, perspective control, red-eye correction, among other effects. Various scene modes, exposure modes, and picture controls are also available so you can adjust your image according to a scenario.The mechanics of this camera are also made superbly. A 2.7 inch LCD monitor displays objects and options well. Continuous shooting is also possible up to speeds of 4.5 frames per second while in full resolution. Shutter speed can range from 1/4000th of a second to 30 seconds, and images using flash can be shot up to a speed of 1/200th of a second. In addition, this camera is built tough. You can shoot an average of 510 shots before needing a recharge, and the shutter is tested to be able to withstand up to 100000 cycles.

In addition to these gaudy statistics, it is also the second DSLR camera ever to be equipped with a video function. Even better, the video system, which in the D90 (the first ever DSLR camera with video) is considered limited, is much improved. Videos can be shot in 24 frames per second with to up to 720p HD quality.The Nikon D5000 is one of the best DSLR cameras that you can get for its price range. The options are plentiful, and the quality follows the Nikon tradition of creating excellent imaging tools. Smart, sharp, and simply brilliant indeed.

Highlighting HAMP – Home Affordable Refinance Program

In case you missed the news, the government wants to keep you in your home; like it or not. They’ve employed several programs to carry out the task, each seemingly more aggressive than the next. Personally the whole thing reminds me of a bad pot of soup. Chef Obama and his sous chef Mr. Geithner keep adding salt and pepper until the whole mess is inedible, all the while wasting the remaining ingredients in the kitchen leaving cupboards bare and guests unfed.The latest push comes in the form of the Home Affordable Refinance Program or HAMP. Per the Treasury press release, the $75 Billion program aims to prevent foreclosures and help responsible families stay in their homes. The program will do so by partnering directly with the lenders carrying non-performing loans, via the GSE’s (Fannie and Freddie), FHA, and the FDIC.How does it work you ask? HAMP will reach from 3 to 4 million at-risk homeowners using a five prong strategy. Here are the highlights:Five Prong Strategy1. Create clear and consistent guidelines for loan modifications2. Require that banks use the US Treasury guidelines when modifying loans3. Allow judicial modifications during bankruptcy when borrowers have no other options4. Require strong government oversight at banks to monitor compliance5. Strengthening FHA programs by providing support for local communitiesWho is Eligible for the Program* At risk homeowners suffering from serious financial hardship. These hardships includes financial shock from temporary loss of income, those experiencing increases in monthly expenses, and/or those suffering from payment shock resulting from an interest rate adjustment or reset on their mortgage. The at risk definition also applies to homeowners deemed “underwater” (with a combined mortgage balance higher than the current market value of the house).* Homeowners facing imminent default of their mortgage. You are not required to be behind on your mortgage payments to be eligible for a loan modification. Quite the opposite in fact. Studies show that modifications are actually more likely to succeed when done by borrowers before they miss payments. Therefore regardless of whether you are current or behind on your mortgage, you may call your lender to request a loan modification.* Owner occupied homeowners ONLY! No flippers – The government calls this a “common sense restriction.” If you are a speculator, which I assume is their broad term for investor, and/or a house flipper you are out of luck when it comes to the HAMP program. This isn’t to say banks won’t modify your loan too, rather the incentives from the HAMP program will not apply.* FHA conforming loans ONLY! No jumbo mortgages – Another of the so called “common sense restrictions” the HAMP program does not help homeowners who needed jumbo loans when purchasing their home. The incentives in the program are targeted towards helping buyers within the FHA loan limits. To clarify, it does not require that a homeowner have an FHA loan, simply that the loan balance fall within the loan limits of the FHA program guidelines.* High debt level borrowers who agree to enter HUD certified consumer debt counseling – This is a special provision for individual homeowners who also meet the other provisions of the program. If their back end debt, which includes all monthly expenses in addition to their mortgage, is equal to 55 percent of more of their total income, homeowners will be required to enter debt counseling to receive a loan modification.How it WorksThe simple goal of the program is to keep homeowners paying on their mortgages. The theory is that most defaults are not a result of homeowners choosing to walk away because they owe too much on their home, rather a belief that these defaults occur because the borrower cannot meet the monthly financial obligation. By adjusting monthly payments, fewer defaults will occur and housing markets will be stabilized.The government and lenders will share the effort to lower monthly mortgage payments to between 31 percent and 38 percent of a borrowers’ gross monthly income. The first burden will be on the lenders with the government batting clean up. Steps involved in reaching this goal are as follows:1. Lenders will reduce interest rates on the current loan to as low as 2 percent hoping to reach DTI ratios of 31 percent2. If interest rate reductions don’t accomplish the goal, amortization periods will be extended to 40 years to reach the proper ratio3. If after completing steps 1 and 2 DTI ratios still have not reached 31 percent, lenders may forbear principal at zero interest until ratios are met4. the federal program will supplement lenders efforts by sharing the costs involved with reducing ratios from 38 percent to the desired 31 percent ratio5. modifications will be kept in place for 5 years. After 5 years interest rates can be increased by 1 percent each year to the conforming loan survey rate in place at the time of modification.Incentives for SuccessAs incentive to loan servicing companies, the HAMP program will reward each servicer with an upfront fee of $1,000 for each successful modification made within the guidelines. Further servicers will be given an additional $1,000 per year up to 3 years, called a “Pay for Success” incentive as long as the borrower successfully remains in the program. These success incentives will also be available to servicers who modify, FHA, VA, or agriculture department loans, and/or refinance loans according to the Hope for Homeowners programs.Lenders and servicers willing to reach out to borrowers not currently in default may receive an additional $2,000 incentive payment ($1,500 to mortgage holders and $500 to servicers) by completing successful loan modifications before a borrower misses a payment. Borrowers themselves will receive further incentive by successfully staying in the modification program. An additional $1,000 per year, up to five years, will be given to borrowers going straight towards reducing the principal balance on the mortgage loan.Addressing Further Value ErosionOne of the outstanding issues concerning lenders is the risk of further value erosion if modifications fail and they are forced to ultimately foreclose at a later date. To address that issue the US Treasury Department will fund up to $10 Billion dollars for a program set to partially offset losses realized by lenders who experience steeper losses on foreclosed loans after completing a modification. Structured as a simple cash payment, it will be received by mortgage holders on each modification, linked to the declines in the home price index.Junior Liens Although junior lienholders are not required to participate, lenders and servicers participating in the HAMP program will receive additional incentive to extinguish junior liens in order to reduce the overall indebtedness of the borrower. Servicers will be reimbursed for the release according to a specified schedule and will receive an additional $250 payment for obtaining the release from a valid second lienholder.Thoughts and Issues Preferential treatment towards one class of borrower and geographic inequity across the 50 states are the two most glaring problems with the HAMP program. Although well intended and very much needed in the residential markets, the program will continue to be viewed as biased and raise resentment among the majority of borrowers, currently not eligible for the program. Clearly directed towards homeowners in the most dire of circumstances and with the fewest alternative solutions, wealthier borrowers and more sophisticated professional investors are left to fend for themselves.If lenders and the federal government encourage HAMP qualifying borrowers to place themselves in a better financial position by changing the terms of their agreed up on loan, and then paying them to do so, shouldn’t wealthier borrowers and investors be encouraged to do the same? If one group of borrower is “villainized” while others are forgiven for the same behavior isn’t it human nature for that first group to protect themselves against perceived unfair attacks?The message of the current administration is hope and change. Those of us encouraged by the message hoped that change would apply to all of us equally when reflected in public policy. Their required agenda includes the stemming of a financial meltdown in the financial markets driven by catastrophic losses in the residential real estate markets. Unfortunately the piecemeal approach to the problem has only encouraged more bad behavior by many who feel left out or villainized.In theory we all pay taxes and we all have an equal vote. In practice the policies and programs which spend tax payer money and address issues facing all groups of American citizens should be available equally and without bias or should not exist at all.

Private Student Loans For College – Credit and Cosigner Requirements

Today, the cost of obtaining a quality education increases each year. This can leave families struggling to pay their child’s tuition bill each semester. There are many alternatives to paying for college: student loans, grants, scholarships, college savings funds.However, often the amount from these various streams do not always equal the total amount needed. This is when having the option for private student loans for college can make the difference between a student completing their degree, or dropping out.Tuition, dorm fees, books, and meal plans quickly add up. Applying for private student loans for college is a better alternative than taking out a second mortgage to cover college expenses. This financial aid alternative offers competitive interest rates, a flexible repayment plan and a tax deduction for parents. There are several options that both parents and students have when considering private student loans for college.Private Student Loan OptionsOne of the most popular options for private student loans for college is the Signature Student Loan. To be eligible, a student must be working towards a degree at a community college or a four or five year degree college for at least half time. Additionally, there are certain credit criteria that must be met. This can be one of the challenges for parents and students. Unlike the Federal Stafford loans, a person’s creditworthiness determines whether or not the loan is awarded. Your credit is not used to determine eligibility for Stafford loans.If a student wishes to apply for a Signature Student loan but does not have established credit, a cosigner who meets the eligibility requirements is acceptable. Your cosigner can be releases from repayment obligation after the student has made 24 consecutive on time payments.Another options for private student loans for college is the Continuing Education Loan which is a credit-based loan for post-secondary students who are not pursuing a degree. Part-time degree seeking students may also apply for this type of loan.The institution where classes are taken must be accredited by the department of education in the state where it is located. Additionally, applicants must have established credit and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.All private student loans for college require an established, good credit history for the student and parents, regardless of the type. These loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, so the lending institutions must have some type of guarantee for being repaid.Before applying for these or any type of financial aid, families must determine the total cost for attending college, review their financial position, and weigh the best options so that the student can have complete success.

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Student Loan Debt Consolidation Advice

The cost of an education not only includes tuition fees, but also living expenses and textbooks and other study materials. Most students and their parents are unable to pay for all of these expenses up front, but reason that the student’s expected future earnings after their education is complete will be more than sufficient to pay off their educational loans. When these plans fall through, the former students can find themselves in serious trouble and they should seek student loan debt consolidation advice. Debt consolidation is a debt reduction system that allows borrowers to bring together all their existing debts and loans into one payment. Taking a debt consolidation loan reduces the risk of a loan default and thereby improves the credit rating of the borrower, which can be helpful when potential employers do a background check, not to mention when the former student applies for car or home loans.Student loans are a useful resource when students need to cover the cost of education. These loans can also fund housing and tuition expenses incurred during the period of education. Many students opt for government loans as well as private loans that help with their financial overload. Loan consolidation is another useful offer made by lending institutions when loan payments are due and students cannot afford to pay them off.Student loan consolidation is offered by many lending agencies and is intended to improve the overall financial condition of students. Loan consolidation combines several loans into a single low monthly payment instead of different amounts to pay for each loan. This lowers the rate of interest and hence the burden on students is reduced to a considerable extent. Debt consolidation packages provide some of the best money-saving options to students.Interest rates have the largest financial impact, as they form a substantial part of the total amount students spend in repaying their loan. Even a fraction of a percentage point in interest can equal a large sum of money over the lifetime of a loan. When looking for a lender to handle loan consolidation, students can save a lot if they compare interest rate offered by different debt consolidation companies before making a final decision.Student loan consolidation is a way of managing debt, which enables students to bring together all their existing debts and loans into one payment plan. This means that the student will not be required to make payments to various creditors, and instead will shift to a single monthly installment system.It is quite easy to apply for and get a student loan consolidation. The borrower has to only fill out a form and submit it to the lender. Many private lenders make these forms available online and that makes it even easier to apply. Such consolidation loans are a very good option for students who are struggling to repay their education loans. Most students who investigate private college education consolidation loans and federal student consolidation loans find that they are able to save money on interest, as well as reducing their monthly installment payments. Both the Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) programs offer student loan consolidation. In addition to these, a number of private lenders and banks offer student consolidation loan programs.Not every lending institution does offers interest rate reductions, but there are a few who do offer a wide range of percentage savings. Some lending institutions offer interest rate reductions just for making payments on time. Before making a decision, students need to compare available options and savings incentives offered by different debt consolidation companies and check their total savings over the course of the repayment term.

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Unemployed Student Debt Consolidation Converting Wasteland of Unemployment and Debt

Oh okay! So you are the one who did not get pay back the loans. And you are the one who is unemployed…Let me get this straight you are an unemployed student with unpaid debts? You are searching for loans? The idea of new loan does not seem such a good idea. You bet it isn’t, unless it is debt consolidation loan for unemployed student.The cost of education is touching new heights. This has made compulsory for students to take loans. Making repayments is easier said than done especially when student is unemployed. Separate payments on two or more loans are like counting bills all the time without much success. This makes debt consolidation all the more important for unemployed.Unemployed Student loan consolidation works on similar terms as any ordinary consolidation. Debt consolidation loan will combine various loans into single consolidated loan. This loan takes care of various debts. Unemployed student with one loan to be paid in 5 years and another in 10 years or so will have one debt consolidation loan and instead of different interest rates like fixed on one and variable on another, a single loan structure will decide for all loans.Depending on the loan amount and availability of collateral unemployed student can apply for secured or unsecured debt consolidation. For smaller amounts that are below £25,000, unemployed can apply for unsecured debt consolidation. No collateral and easy repayments for terms extending from 5-10 years. With secured debt consolidation, unemployed student gets to make use of property like automobile and real estate. Secured debt consolidation enable unemployed student to borrow larger amounts like £25,000-£75,000 and above. Repayment terms for secured unemployed debt consolidation will be 10-30 years. Secured will offer comparatively lower interest rates than unsecured counterpart.As a rule interest rates are reduced with debt consolidation. Without that debt consolidation makes no sense. An unemployed student needs to carefully see that the cumulative interest rate on different loans is higher than the interest rates on debt consolidation loan. Many debt consolidation hopefuls neglect the interest rates and concentrate on lower monthly payments. Monthly payments extended over longer loan term will always result in lower payments. An unemployed should be careful to carefully calculate the monthly repayments and see you are not paying more. Online tools like loan calculator can help you in doing that.Debt consolidation for student enables unemployed to fill in for the time when you start earning. Lowering monthly payments will be very helpful especially while you are looking for job. With debt consolidation, a student will see that at least one area has become manageable. One monthly payments payment will seem to end payment chaos. With one lender to deal with, it will keep harassment from other lenders at bay.Unemployed student will have to search for new loan lender who works advantageously in consolidating loans like education loan, student loan, credit card bills or any utility bills. Searching for a respectable lender for debt consolidation is crucial for an unemployed borrower. High upfront free, high consolidation fee, redemption fee, lender insisting extending loan term – are few of the reasons why you need to look for more lenders. Always ask for quotes and ask questions about things that are not clear to you. And move ahead with lender if you are satisfied. Often unemployed student just stop at interest rates. Look for other debt consolidation policies and interest rates for the entire loan term. Check for discounts and benefits for unemployed student.An unemployed student should not live under the illusion that debt consolidation will reduce debts. Your debts will remain there; debt consolidation will make it possible for unemployed student to payback these loans.Students usually have this twin burden of unemployment and loans. Knowing you don’t have the best partners to boast of debt consolidation is a good way to tackle debts while you deal with the other. The person with the worst credit condition can find loans at low interest rates. You are just an unemployed student with a few unpaid debts. Your decision to consolidate can negate debt from having an effect on your progress. This is crucial! Especially when so many things, including your job situation, depend on how well you have performed with debts.

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Planning to Go to College? Check Out Some Unsecured Student Loans to Ease the Burden

If going to college were cheap, there would be no articles like this. But if so, then this must be a perfect world. Sadly, though, it is not. However, there are three options available to students for funding their college education. One option is to apply for their school’s financial aid. They can also choose to apply for loans.Students can easily qualify for unsecured student loans. These loans have relatively flexible qualification requirements. You do not have to jump through hoops to get them. Do not worry about not having a strong credit score. These loans do not require them. Most of these loans also do not require you to make a deposit upfront nor charge you with excessive fees.There are many ways of using unsecured student loans to your advantage. You can use them to purchase your books and necessary equipment, like a computer system. You can also use them to pay for transportation costs or for car repairs. But if you have already accumulated some credit card debts, it is wise to use your money to pay off these debts first. Credit card debts are very expensive, and before you know it, they will become difficult to manage.Student loans have a wide range of repayment periods. You can choose to repay your loan from within 60 months to within 30 years. It all depends on the amount borrowed and the terms of the loan agreement.On the down side, unsecured student loans tend to have higher interest rates compared to secured loans and typical personal loans. Unlike secured loans, unsecured student loans do not require any security. For this reason, lenders consider them risky and charge a correspondingly higher interest rate.These can significantly help students earn their college degree. The interest rate maybe a bit high, but you can always repay it many times over once you get a high paying job after earning your degree.

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