817-485-5050 info@schwabagency.com

mother sitting with distraught teen

How you can support your teen if they are in a toxic relationship.

February is Teen Dating and Violence Awareness Month.  A major goal of this month is offering resources and support to young adults who are in or who have recently escaped a bad relationship.  If you are a parent who suspects that their teen is involved in a harmful relationship, then your child needs your support more than ever.  Here are some of the things that you can do to help your teen.

  • Listen and Withhold Judgment

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Give Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Offer Resources

Sometimes, you cannot offer the support or help that your child needs.  If your teen isn’t comfortable talking to you, then do not take it personally.  Instead, do your best to connect your teen with counselors or other professionals that can help them manage their situation.  While it’s hard to step back, it’s important that your teen feels safe and empowered enough to make decisions on their own.

These are some of the things that you can do to help your child deal with a bad relationship.  Want another way to protect your loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

cardboard home next to calculator and money

Have bad credit?  Then here’s how you can still be approved for a home loan.

If you have bad credit, then getting approved for a home loan can be challenging.  However, this does not mean it’s impossible.  With FHA loans, borrowers can secure financing, even if their credit score is low.  Here’s what you need to know about this bad credit home loan program.

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA loans were created by the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 as a way to increase homeownership across the U.S.  FHA loans are government-backed, meaning that lenders can offer these types of loans without assuming risk.  This means that lenders are safe to offer FHA loans to borrowers who would otherwise be considered too risky to approve.

FHA Loan Requirements

While traditional mortgage loans require borrowers to have a credit score of at least 640, FHA loans have much more lenient credit requirements.  FHA loans are available to individuals with credit scores as low as 500.  If your credit score is anywhere from 500-579, then you can secure a loan with a 10% down payment.  Individuals with a credit score of 580 or above can secure an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment.

Please note that you will have to prove compensating factors that make up for your low credit score.  Common compensating factors include the following:

  • Large down payment (10% down or more)
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • High income
  • No outstanding debt
  • Large amount of cash reserves
  • Proof of significant amount of time with current employer
  • Proof of ability to make comparable rent payments

This is what you need to know about FHA loans and how they are providing financing opportunities for individuals with bad credit.  Are you looking to buy a home?  If so, then it’s time to start shopping for homeowners insurance.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

couple holding hands and showing off engagement ring

Important financial steps for couples.

If you have gotten engaged or are thinking about getting engaged, then congratulations!  This is a major step for you and your partner.  However, before you advance your relationship, it’s important that you are both on the same page when it comes to your finances.  Here are some of the important financial matters that couples should take care of before getting married.

  • Provide Access to Personal Information

One of the most important things to do with your partner is tell them where to find your important financial information.  This includes things like your checking, saving, and investment accounts, as well as information on your insurance, loans, and so on.  You should also tell your significant other where to find important documents like your birth certificate, titles, deeds, safe deposit key, and so on.  Having this conversation now will help them know where to find important information in the event of an emergency.

  • Discuss Financial Responsibilities

To avoid arguments or misunderstandings in the future, you should determine your spending and saving habits now.  You should also decide if you are going to open a joint checking account, who will handle paying the bills, and how you will handle major purchasing decisions.  By having a clear plan, you and your partner will be far more likely to manage your money wisely and avoid major fights.

  • Write Your Wills

To ensure that you have a say in how your estate and assets are managed after your death, you should create or update your will.  When writing your will, include your partner as a beneficiary to ensure that they receive a portion of your assets.  Additionally, decide if you will give them power of attorney, which would give them the authority to manage your affairs after your death.

These are some of the financial responsibilities that you and your partner should take care of before getting married.  Do you need help securing the right life insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

wiping down car exterior

Don’t make these car maintenance mistakes.

Unfortunately, many car owners get lazy when it comes to taking care of their vehicles.  While skipping a few service appointments and forgetting to check your oil may not seem like a big deal now, failing to maintain your car can lead to serious and expensive issues in the future.  If you don’t want to run into car issues, then make sure you avoid these car maintenance mistakes.

  • Not Washing Your Car

Many car owners are lazy when it comes to washing their vehicles.  However, allowing dust, dirt, and grime to build up can actually cause your car’s paint to erode.  This can cause your paint to flake off, leaving your car’s metal body susceptible to rust and other damage.  To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you should wash your car regularly and always finish the job with a protective coating of wax.

  • Failing to Check Your Oil

Keeping your car’s oil at the appropriate level is vital to your engine’s performance.  You should check your oil at least once a month to ensure that it is at an acceptable level and isn’t contaminated.  If your oil is very dirty, then it may be time to take your car in for an oil change.

  • Missing Service Appointments

When you take your car in for a routine service appointment, your mechanic will set your dashboard indicator lights to go off the next time that you are due for a check-up.  While it may seem like a waste, it’s important to take your car to the mechanic even if there’s nothing obviously wrong with it.  By keeping up with routine service appointments, you can prevent major issues from developing in the future.

Avoid making these mistakes if you want to take better care of your car.  Remember, having the right auto insurance is another way to protect your vehicles.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

organized desk

Tips for getting your home organized this year.

If you are like many other Americans and have set a resolution to get organized in 2020, you may not know where to start.  While the idea of cleaning and decluttering may seem overwhelming, there are steps that you can take to get started and stay motivated as you clean up your act.  Here are some of the organization tips that you should try.

  • Start in One Place

While you probably have several disorganized areas in your home, it’s best to focus on one at a time.  Start your organization journey with the area that bothers you the most, or the area that others are most likely to see.  Once you have decided where to start, keep working on this area until you have completely cleared away the clutter and organized things to your satisfaction.  When you focus on cleaning up one area at a time, you will have an easier time staying focused and will be less likely to get overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing your entire home.

  • Take Your Time

Many homeowners get frustrated when organization projects take longer than a day.  However, cleaning and organization takes a considerable amount of energy, so it will likely take you a while to get everything done.  Rather than rushing through things and challenging yourself to get your home in order overnight, it’s better to slow down and be thorough.  By tackling your organization projects over a span of several days, you can take your time and avoid frustration and burnout.

  • Maximize Your Space

Some homeowners struggle to keep things organized because they do not have enough storage for their household items.  If you need more storage space, then you should look around your home and think about ways that you can make use of wasted space.  For instance, many homeowners overlook the additional storage space they have underneath their beds or over their doors.  By getting creative and looking for ways to repurpose your space, you can create more storage and keep your home organized longer.

These are some of the organization tips that you should try out this year.  Remember, the start of the year is also a good time to get your various insurance policies into order.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

woman petting dog

Keep your furry friends safe all winter long.

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to protect your pet from all the dangers that they face.  Unfortunately, during the winter months, your pet faces more risks than ever.  To keep your furry friends safe this season, here are some of the precautions that you should take.

  • Do Not Leave Your Pets Alone in the Car

While most pet owners understand the dangers of leaving their pets in the car during summer, many are not aware that it’s also dangerous to do so in winter.  When your car sits idle, it traps cold air, and the temperature inside your vehicle can actually drop below the temperature outside.  Obviously, leaving your pet in such conditions makes them susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.  Remember, even dogs that are bred for cold conditions are at risk for these cold-weather risks.

  • Keep Them Warm for Potty Breaks

When your dog’s fur gets wet, it does not insulate well.  This is why you should protect your dog with a waterproof coat when taking them out in wet conditions.  When selecting a coat for your pet, look for one that will not impede their ability to go to the bathroom and also look for ones that provide much-needed coverage to their sensitive tummy area.

  • Schedule a Vet Appointment

If your pet has not gone for their annual vet checkup, then you should schedule an appointment this winter.  Cold weather can exacerbate your pet’s existing conditions, such as arthritis, or make them more prone to injury.  Having your pet examined by a professional will help you diagnose any medical conditions that you were not aware of and can also help you keep your pet happy and healthy this season.

These are some of the steps that you should take to keep your pet safe this winter.  Want another way to care for your pet and other loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

home made out of cash

Here’s why your homeowners insurance may have gotten more expensive.

If you are approaching the renewal period for your homeowners insurance, then it’s time to look over the policy summary provided by your insurer.  One particular thing to look at is if your premiums have increased.  If you have noticed an increase in your rates, there are several legitimate reasons why this may have happened.  Here are a few of the common explanations.

  • Home Renovation Projects

If you have recently completed home renovations or updates that increased the value of your property, you may have to increase your coverage limits accordingly.  More coverage means higher premiums, so this could explain why your premiums have increased.

  • Changes in Your Claims History

Oftentimes, homeowners that have recently filed a claim experience a rate increase the following renewal term.  The size of for the increase depends on the claim type.  Act of God claims such as wind/hailstorms often see minor change in premium where non-weather-related claims such as water damage, freeze or liability can see larger increases.  Fortunately, you can once again gain access to lower insurance rates if you manage to stay claim-free for an extended period of time.

  • Your Risk for Extreme Weather Events

In recent years, the number of wildfires, wind/ hailstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events have increased significantly.  As the frequency of these damaging events increases, insurance companies often file rate increases with the applicable state so they can keep up with resulting home insurance claims.

These are some of the factors that could have caused your homeowners insurance premiums to increase.  Do you need help with your home insurance coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you today.

couple looking at car insurance on laptop

The benefits of getting a joint auto policy with your significant other.

If you are in a committed relationship, then you and your partner should consider getting a joint auto policy.  While this step isn’t very exciting, it is a good way to advance your relationship while saving money.  Here is what you need to know about joint auto policies.

  • Why Should You Get a Joint Auto Policy?

Joint auto insurance policies are designed to offer coverage to two separate individuals and their vehicles.  Essentially, joint auto insurance is a way for couples to secure the car coverage each partner needs with a single policy.

Up until this point, you and your partner have probably managed your car coverage separately.  However, paying premiums on two separate policies can start to add up.  When you switch over to a joint policy, your household only needs to pay premiums on a single policy. This cuts your installment fees in half and you take advantage of the multi-car and multi-driver discounts most carriers offer. Not only do joint auto insurance policies save you money but, because your auto insurance is consolidated into a single policy, your coverage also becomes easier to manage.

  • Is Joint Auto Insurance Right for Every Couple?

Joint auto policies are best suited for couples where both people have clean driving records and no gaps in their car insurance coverage.  If one or both partners have tickets, traffic violations, or at-fault accidents on their driving record, then joint auto insurance may not be suitable.  This is because the risky driver can end up driving up coverage costs for the more responsible driver.  Additionally, you should not secure a joint policy with your partner if they have poor credit as this, too, could end up making your premiums more expensive.

This is what you need to know about joint auto insurance policies.  Interested in learning more about this car coverage option?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.   We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

dog sticking head our of car window

Take care of your pets as you drive them around.

As a pet owner, you often have to drive with your pets in the car.  While this probably does not seem out of the ordinary for you, it’s important to remember that this task does pose serious risks for your furry friends.  To keep your pets safe in the car, here are some of the precautionary measures that you should take.

  • Transport Pets in a Carrier

While you might hate the idea of putting your pet in a cage, it’s much safer to crate your pets when transporting them.  When you allow your pets to run loose in the car, they are more likely to get thrown into the side of your car or get launched off the seat.  Additionally, your pet may try to sit on you, making it harder to operate your car safely.  When you crate your pets, you can ensure they are confined in a sturdy, safe place that is less susceptible to being jostled or thrown about as you drive.

  • Do Not Transport Pets in the Flatbed of a Truck

Some dog owners like to transport their larger dogs by putting them in the flatbed of their pickup truck.  However, it is important to understand that this is incredibly dangerous.  In fact, several states have outlawed this practice as it causes thousands of pet deaths every year.

  • Do Not Let Your Pets Stick Their Heads Out of the Window

While your pet might love to feel the wind in their fur, it’s actually very dangerous to let your pets hang their heads out of open car windows.  Not only could your pet fall out of the car, but they can also get clipped by passing vehicles or get debris in their eyes.

These are some of the things that you should do to keep your pets safe as you drive.  Looking for the best way to protect yourself and all your passengers?  Then make sure you have the right auto insurance in place.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

holiday party

Try out these suggestions to host a stress-free holiday party.

If you are hosting an event this holiday season, then you may be feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done.  While there’s no way to eliminate your stress completely, there are things that you can do to alleviate it a bit.  Here are some of the party-planning strategies that can help you reduce your stress levels.

  • Create a List

When planning a party, you should create a list that documents everything that you need to get done before the day of the event.  This is because trying to keep everything straight in your head makes you more likely to forget details, which creates unnecessary stress.  Writing things down will help you stay organized and realistic about your party.

  • Clean Your Home Gradually

Trying to completely clean your home in a single weekend is a surefire way to stress yourself out.  Rather than trying to get your home guest-ready all at once, try to tackle this task in the weeks leading up to your party.  For instance, gradually clear up clutter and clean often-overlooked areas.  Then, the day before the party, all you have to do is run the vacuum and clean your bathroom, and you will be ready to go.

  • Prepare Food Ahead of Time

When planning your party menu, think of foods that you can prepare ahead of time.  For instance, things like soups, stews, quiches, and tarts can be cooked in advance and then frozen until the day of your party.  By cooking ahead of time, you can save yourself the stress of cooking a full meal while simultaneously trying to take care of last-minute party preparations, greeting your guests, and so on.

These are some of the things that you can do to reduce your party-hosting stress.  Looking for another way to avoid stress this holiday season?  If so, then turn to the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, for the hassle-free insurance experience that you deserve.  Contact us for assistance with all your coverage needs today.