Success is attainable when a person is willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Sitting back and hoping for a miracle is no way to reach the top. Hard work, dedication, and a belief in one's self will allow a person to realize their potential and rise to the levels of achievement they are striving for. With some tips to become a more successful individual, even a beginner can pave the path towards their goals and one day reach them.

We are using each letter of the alphabet to give success-making tools and advice to help you advance and move the needle towards your future. As we hit V, W, and X, three more useful pieces of success-building information are at your fingertips. Use your mind and time wisely, take these tips into serious consideration, and become a stronger worker. Success is up to you, so if you want it, go for it!

Value

A person must be of value to a company for them to be needed and well-appreciated. If you don't bring anything to the table, don't expect there to be an empty seat waiting for you.

As per Business Insider, "Successful people provide value to others. When you shift your focus off of yourself and onto the people you serve, you set yourself up for financial success: Do what you love. Serve others what they love. Get money in return."

If you don't bring value to a company, you will not last long there leaving little or even no room to grow. Plus, you'll find yourself wondering what your purpose is rather that using your abilities to make a difference. Know your value and use what you've got to make a difference in a field you're passionate about.

Work Ethic

To become a success, a strong work ethic is imperative. Laziness, a ho-hum attitude, and procrastination will hinder your performance. A strong work ethic means you care about what you do and you put forth your best effort at every turn.

According to Spherion, "A job well done fosters a sense of personal satisfaction and professional fulfillment. These are the kind of workers employers are eager to hire and promote. When an important project needs to get done, these individuals can be counted on."

As per Chron, those with a good work ethic are "reliable, productive, dedicated, cooperative, and have strong character." If those five traits don't scream success, nothing will.

"X Factor"

Do you have that "something special" that makes you stand out from the pack? It could be a particular talent, a winning attitude, extreme intelligence, or charisma that puts you into a category that others just can't match.

Having the "X Factor" makes a person unique and sought-after. Their standout quality propels them to the top because they fill a void that nobody else can cover. Similar to value one can bring to a company, the "X Factor" is even stronger and more specific. It can't always be pinpointed, but people know it when they see it.

If you believe you have a special gift, share it with others in the workplace. It may be unconventional, but change is always useful in shaking things up. Be a breakthrough and reach success in a way never seen before.

Hold tight, because Y and Z are coming soon. Success from A – Z is almost done, but your success is just beginning!

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It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.