Spending Less and Saving More

What Are The Available Debt Consolidation Options?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Are The Available Debt Consolidation Options?

At times, you might find yourself in a financial quagmire where you are not only dealing with debt, but also multiple creditors. Under such circumstances, you must keep track of too many accounts and you get a pile of bills in your mail every month. If you fail to remit your payments on time, you have to deal with a barrage of phone messages from the creditors. If you are in such a situation, then debt consolidation is a viable option that will help greatly in minimizing your stress. There are two debt consolidation options available to choose from as will be discussed below. Taking a debt consolidation loan Using this approach, a financial institution will offer you a single loan that will pay off all the debts owed to the several creditors once. You will only have one outstanding loan with the financial institution, making it easier to remit you monthly repayments. Apart from streamlining your debt into one single entity, a consolidating loan usually attracts a lower interest rate compared to the different ones charged by each of your previous creditors. For example, some debts, such as those relating credit cards or retail store cards usually attract high interest rates payable every month. In such a case, it is better to consolidate such debts because the loan from the bank will definitely have lower interest rates. One thing you ought to remember is that you must have an acceptable credit rating to qualify for a consolidation loan. Also, you must have a substantial income to cover the single monthly repayment the financial institution requires you to make. Debt settlement If you have accrued too many loans and cannot afford the monthly repayments, then you should consider debt settlement as an option. However, it is important to remember that this option is eligible for unsecured loans, such as those relating to credit cards. You will approach a debt settlement company and ask them to negotiate with your creditors to settle for a certain amount of money that is paid in a lump sum. If the creditors agree to this plan, they will be accepting to get a partial payment of the money owed to them. By signing this settlement, the debt is fully settled although the amount is lower than the actual debt. In most cases, creditors agree to this option after the customer has defaulted to remit repayments for several months because they view it as the fastest and easiest way to recover a bad debt. Before embarking on any of the two debt consolidation approaches discussed above, reach out to a debt arbitration firm, like Financial Guidance Center. These companies have qualified personnel who will look at your personal finances and advise you on the best way forward. They also understand the dynamics of the current economic market and will come up with a solution that suits your financial...

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Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Personal Loans

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Personal Loans

If you need a personal loan, then there are a lot of options out there. However, not every option will offer you the same benefits, and some of their drawbacks might not be immediately apparent. The last thing that you want is to get a loan and find out that you owe a lot more money than you expected. Here are some tips to help you find the loan that is perfect for you: Understand Your Credit Score Before you even talk to any lenders, you want to know exactly what your credit score is. Once a year, you can check your credit score for free. If you want to check it more often than that, then you will need to pay . Your credit score will determine what loans you are eligible for. If you have a good rating, then you will have a lot of options and can likely get loans that have fairly low-interest rates. On the other hand, a poor credit score can mean that you will need to use options with high interest, such as payday advances. There are also some loan agencies that specifically advertise towards those with low credit score. If your credit score isn’t too great, then such an agency might be the perfect opportunity for you to get a loan and restore your credit rating. You should also make sure to check the APR of any loan before committing since that is one of the easiest ways to compare loans. Decide Between Online and Physical Lenders When getting a loan, you can choose between online businesses and lenders that have physical locations. Each has their own benefits. Online lenders have the potential to be cheaper, since they reduce the amount of work that is actually involved in the process. Since they don’t need to maintain a storefront, they can pass some of those savings to you. However, you also run the risk of using a disreputable lender if you pick an online lender without doing your research. Physical lenders may cost you a little more, but they will also give you a better chance to make a good impression. In cases where your credit score is borderline, your winning personality might be what convinces a lender to give you a loan. If you were dealing with an online lender, then you would not have that same opportunity to give your chances a little...

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Commercial Banking Tips For A Small Business

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Commercial Banking Tips For A Small Business

Choosing the right bank can often be what results in a small business being successful or not. Without the right bank, a small business is not going to have the confidence that it needs to make smart choices with the money that it does have coming in and will therefore end up less profitable and perhaps fail. Here are some tips for commercial banking in order to get the most out of it and to be as successful as possible. 1. Utilize a Sweep Account A sweep account is actually a pair of accounts. One account is like a normal checking account. The other is a special, interest-gathering account or market mutual fund. The way that this pair of accounts works is that you set a limit for the amount of money that you want to have in your checking account and you let the bank know this limit. Then, every time you get deposits from clients and customers that is above the limit of the checking account, you have access to all of that money until the end of the banking day. Then, any excess money over that limit that does not get used is swept into the market mutual or interest-gathering account in order to make sure that your money is working for you without you having to do anything special. This is important because it allows you to make more money based on the money that you have. 2. Have Your Personal Account at the Same Bank As Your Commercial Account You also want to make sure that you have your personal account with the same bank that you have your commercial account. This is extremely important because it will allow you to stay organized, view both of your accounts in a single online banking page, and easily make transfers between one account and the other. For example, if you need to transfer some of your own money to your commercial account in order to complete payroll for the month because your client is not due to pay you until after the two-week period, you can do this with minimal or no fees.  3. Use Linked Accounts to Accommodate Higher Sums Without Fees During certain times of the year, you might have a higher balance in your account than normal. You might not have an account that is able to handle this amount without triggering your bank to start piling on fees. To avoid this, consider using linked accounts that are all connected. This allows the accounts to detect if one of them is about to hit a threshold that would result in fees. It can avoid it by pushing some of the money to another connected account automatically. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in commercial banking, or visit websites...

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Top 5 Retirement Planning Tips

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top 5 Retirement Planning Tips

If you’re thinking about retirement, there’s no better time to get started than now. Don’t wait and make it a New Year’s resolution, don’t wait until next month, make a plan today. You’re never too young or old to get started. Here are five retirement planning tips: 1. Look into your employer’s retirement benefits Does your employer offer a pension or a 401k? If so, find out how you can earn your pension or contribute to your 401k. Many employers will even match 401k contributions up to a certain percentage. For example, if you contribute 5% of your gross salary to your 401k, your employer will contribute another 5%. Take advantage of contribution matching to accelerate your retirement savings. 2. Pay your future self first Decide on an amount every month that you will put into an IRA. An IRA is a special savings account for retirement that is tax-deductible and tax-deferred. Open an IRA and have the amount automatically transferred to it every month. If you get a bonus or a tax return put half this money into your retirement savings. If you get a raise, increase your monthly contribution. 3. Seek financial advice Get help from a financial planner or an independent broker-dealer (IBD). They will give you advice on investments depending on your age and future retirement needs. Thanks to new legislation called the fiduciary rule, financial advisors must give clients the best possible advice suited for them without any conflict of interest. You can trust the advice you receive so you can invest and plan with confidence. 4. Pay off your mortgage After you’ve contributed to your 401k and maxed out your IRA contributions, the next plan of attack should be your mortgage. Any extra income from bonuses or raises should go straight to paying off your mortgage. There is no better peace of mind, especially during retirement when you’re on a fixed income, than living in a home that is paid for. 5. Fake it until you make it The best way to know how much money you need to live the lifestyle you want in retirement is rehearsal. Calculate how much money you will have in retirement to live on every month based on your current contributions. Use that amount as your budget every month, even if you make more money. Can you pay for expenses on this amount? Are you living the lifestyle you want in retirement? If you’re not saving enough this rehearsal may be a good wake up call. There is no better time to plan for your future than right now. Start planning your retirement...

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4 Tips For Securing Private Equity Capital For Your Business Idea

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Securing Private Equity Capital For Your Business Idea

Whether you are launching a new business or adding a new product line to your existing company, finding the capital to do so can be a challenge. Instead of the traditional route of bank loans, consider looking for investors that are willing to provide some private equity capital for your new venture. The following tips can help you find the funding you need from a private source. Tip #1: Start Close to Home The best sources for private equity capital is from people that already know and trust you. Approach family, friends, and business acquaintances with your plan and needs. Even if they don’t have the funds to lend, they may be able to put you in touch with someone in their network who does. Investors are more likely to take a chance on you if you come with a recommendation from someone you both know well. Tip #2: Know the Investment Criteria Every private investor has their own set of criteria for providing private equity capital to a new business. These criteria tend to fall into the following core groups: The experience and past relative success of the people involved in the venture. A survey of possible or historical profits in the venture. The development and size of the potential market. The amount and liquidity of the investment. A general risk versus return profile. Knowing where a possible investor stands on each of these criteria can help you tailor your proposal so that it appeals to them. Tip #3: Plan for the Future Financing is an ongoing process, which any smart investor knows. Don’t try to create a financial or business plan that is dependent on a single investor or funding source, and don’t try to build a successful business on a single round of financing. You need to have a professional and realistic business plan that shows short-term and long-term growth plans along with future plans for securing funding and what those funding needs are projected to be. A savvy investor will become distrustful if you try to pitch your idea as though it only needs their backing–they know it takes the investments of many to lead to success. Tip #4: Educate Yourself You may have a great idea and a great plan, but make sure you are well versed on the business and client demographic you will be selling to, especially if you are branching out into a new field. You also need to work through as many what-if scenarios as possible so you can calmly and easily answer an investors questions and relieve their concerns. Understanding your own proposal inside and out can help you structure it so that the investor perceives that you are taking on more risk than they are, which will make them more likely to provide the private equity that you need. For private equity financing, contact a company such as RLS...

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Tips For Getting The Cash You Need For Those Last-Minute Gifts

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Getting The Cash You Need For Those Last-Minute Gifts

The holidays are a financially stressful time, particularly when you’re stretching things paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when companies are taking vacations, mail is delayed and paychecks may simply not arrive on time. In the last few days before the holiday, you might find yourself with a few more things to pick up and a delayed or missing paycheck. Luckily, there are other ways that you can deal with this situation. Here are a few tips to help you with some last-minute funds for gift-giving. Apply for In-Store Credit Even if you’ve never had a credit card before, applying for in-store credit at a major retailer might give you the opportunity to pick up those last minute things you need while you wait for your paycheck to clear. Many stores will issue an approval decision in-store, and any approved credit line will be available to spend immediately. This may be all you need to finish up your gift shopping. Turn Your Extras Into Cash If you have old electronics laying around, many shopping centers have automated machines that will issue cash for those old devices. Cell phones, tablets and similar items are often accepted in exchange for a predetermined cash value. You can also sell things like this on a local classified site. Consider marketing your unused electronics as great holiday gifts, and you might be able to sell them quickly. Borrow From a Quick Loan Provider Sometimes, your credit won’t be strong enough for an in-store card, and you may have already exhausted all of the extras in your house that you could sell. In that case, you might find that a local quick loan service may help you out. These loans aren’t credit-based, so you won’t have to worry about a low credit score preventing you from getting the cash you need. You can get a payday loan in minutes from most lenders. Just make sure that you bring all of the documentation needed. You’ll want to have your identification, a couple of your most recent pay stubs and a check for your current checking account. Call ahead to see if you need to bring anything else, that way you won’t have any further delays. Contact a company like EZ Check Advance to learn more.  With these tips, those last-minute gifts will be no trouble at all. In either case, you’ll have the cash you need to carry you until your paycheck arrives after the...

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3 Things To Do Before Borrowing Money From A Friend

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Do Before Borrowing Money From A Friend

Finding a way to get cash fast when you need it can be difficult, unless you have a good friend who happens to have some extra money. If this friend is willing to loan you some money, you might find your solution to your problem quickly. Unfortunately, though, borrowing money from friends is not always the best way to handle cash crunches. Here are three things you may want to do before you ask your friend for a loan. Think about your budget and ability to repay the money Before you borrow money in any way, it is highly imperative to consider how you will repay it. To do this, you should carefully think about the reason you need the money. Could you get by without borrowing it, or is it a complete necessity? Second, you should look over your budget. If you do not have a budget, you may want to sit down and view your expected income for the next month or too, as well as your expected bills. Will there be enough money left over for you to repay the loan? Consider the value of your friendship If you feel you would have the means to repay the money you borrowed, you may also want to think about the value of the friendship you have with this person. Friends are an important part of life, but problems can occur in friendships when situations (especially those with money) go awry. If you borrow this money and run into other financial problems and are unable to repay your friend, it could cause problems in the friendship. As you consider this option, you may want to evaluate whether your friendship is important enough to you not to risk it, because loans between friends can cause friendships to end. Look into alternative ways to borrow money Finally, you may want to look into other options for borrowing the money you need. If you do not want to risk your friendship, getting a payday loan might be a better option. To get a payday loan, you may need to have a job and a bank account, but that is really about all you will need. The nice part is that the loan will be issued by a third party, and you will not have to worry about losing an important friendship in your life. If you think that a payday loan would be the best option, contact a payday loan lender today. Once you apply for a payday loan (from companies like Payday Express), you might be able to have the money within a few...

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Checking Accounts: The Difference Between Fees Up Front And Compounded Fees And How To Avoid Them

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Checking Accounts: The Difference Between Fees Up Front And Compounded Fees And How To Avoid Them

Banks make money by charging fees on products or services it provides customers. Fees can add up and become rather costly if you do not know how much you are assessed, the charges you can be assessed for, and what the differences between the two main categories of fees are. Before you choose to open a new checking account for the first time, it helps to know the difference between the fees one bank charges up front and the compounded fees another bank charges that may surprise you. There are also a tips here to help you avoid the fees.  Fees up Front Fees up front are any fees the bank charges to open a checking account, fees for checks printed, fees for low account balances and fees for debit card production and/or use. Most of these fees should not surprise you, as most banks charge one or more of these fees to open an account. Even with “free” checking, there is often a charge to print and use checks or a charge to create a debit card for use at designated ATMs. Fees Compounded While banks can charge fees for bounced checks and overdrawn accounts, they generally publish what these charges are. However, you may be caught off guard by the ways in which some banks assess and collect these fees. For example, one bank may charge a $35 returned check fee, and if that fee overdraws your account, they can add another fee for an overdrawn account. This fee for an overdrawn account may be assessed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis until you have cleared up the negative balance and paid the bank. The daily fees for a single week can sometimes equal or exceed the sum of one returned check fee! These are fees the bank may have published in a service pamplet, but some banks do not always tell you how rapidly the fees build up and continue to build on top of each other. How to Avoid the Fees To avoid fees up front and avoid compounded fees you may not have expected, you need to select the bank with the lowest fees all around. (This may take some digging, but there are banks out there that have a very manageable fee schedule.) Additionally, the bank representatives will point out their different checking accounts and ways in which you can save money by choosing a different financial product. Try to avoid using checks entirely and use just your debit card instead. It will save even more money in fees because you will not have to pay the check printing fee or any bounced check fees that may occur in the future. Finally, consider banking at a credit union, where the fees are significantly less than a...

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How Can You Give Your Spouse Or Surviving Family Members Quick And Secure Access To Your Assets?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can You Give Your Spouse Or Surviving Family Members Quick And Secure Access To Your Assets?

If you’ve recently suffered a death in your extended family, you may be witnessing firsthand the potential consequences of failing to adequately plan for one’s heirs. If someone dies unexpectedly, without a will, surviving family members may scramble to uncover bank accounts and other potential assets without many clues as to these assets’ whereabouts. However, in an age where large-scale security breaches and identity theft happen on seemingly a daily basis, you may be reluctant to leave a list of all your assets and financial accounts without taking precautions against this information falling into the wrong hands. What can you do to make this process easier for your surviving spouse or other family members? Read on to learn about several ways to keep this information secure, but easily accessible to the right people. Get a safety deposit box If you don’t plan on opening any new credit cards, loans, or investment accounts in the near future, you may want to simply write a list of account names and locations and keep this list in a safety deposit box. Let your spouse or children know that you’ve left this information for them, and keep the key for the safety deposit box in a secure place. Upon your death and once an estate has been opened, your heirs should be able to access this safety deposit box and quickly gather your accounts for distribution. Leave a list of accounts with your attorney Another option that will eliminate the need for a safety deposit box is to simply leave a list of accounts with the attorney who handled your last will and testament. Keeping these documents with someone who has taken an oath to keep them safe and confidential is one of the securest options possible, and having the same person or firm handle your will and account distribution will save time and money. Encrypt an electronic file on a hard drive For those who would prefer to keep account information easily handy (but who worry about online security), typing a list of accounts and saving it in an encrypted form on an external hard drive or USB drive can let your spouse or family members quickly access this information, and even use the funds in your checking or savings accounts to pay bills while your estate is pending. You’ll need to keep this hard drive or USB drive in a secure place and ensure that at least one other person knows the security key needed to un-encrypt this confidential information. Click here for more information on estate...

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New To Credit? Stay On Top Of Yours With These 4 Error-Checking And Reporting Tips

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New To Credit? Stay On Top Of Yours With These 4 Error-Checking And Reporting Tips

You may not get your credit report in the mail each month, so you may not think about it frequently, but it is important that you keep an eye on it. If your credit report has bad marks on it, it will affect your chances of securing a loan or even getting a credit card. In fact, if you plan on renting an apartment or home in the near future, a bad credit history could impact the decision making. Depending on what field of business you plan to work in, it could also hinder your efforts at locating solid employment. Mistakes are all too common credit reports, so you need to stay on top of yours. If you’re new to having credit, here’s what you need to know about checking and reporting errors: 1. Get Your Annual Free Copy of Your Credit History. By law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from all three credit-reporting organizations each year. You can request these through the individual companies or by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, where you can input your personal information and receive your free report from all three – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. 2. Inspect Your Reports for Errors. Your credit report includes details on credit cards, foreclosures, collections, bank accounts, loans, etc. It also has a tally of the companies who have previously accessed your credit history. Keep in mind that as you go through your credit reports that errors may be on all three or they may only be on one of the three. Some of the most noticeable errors include outdated or incorrect personal information, payment history and credit limits. For example, you may have a credit limit that is higher than what is listed or your payments were indicated as late when they’ve been on time every month. You could also locate loans, credit cards, etc. that you never actually applied for. 3. Contact the Creditor of the Error. If any errors are located on your report, contact the creditor that reported the misguided information to the credit reporting agency. You can call or write them a letter. If you need to send any supporting documents to prove your story, make sure that you send copies and not the originals, as you may need them again later. Don’t forget to also make a copy of your written correspondence for future use. If it is determined that the error is indeed incorrect, then the creditor is required to inform the credit reporting agency to delete or update the inaccurate information. 4. Get in Touch with the Credit Reporting Agencies. If your creditor will not fix the error, you will need to contact Equifax or whatever agency shows the error on your credit report. You will dispute the charges by phone or letter. You can even dispute your report online at any of the three agencies. You will need to send in supporting material that shows what the error is, what your dispute is and what the adjustment is. Make sure to save copies of everything. If, for some reason, you’ve already gotten yourself into trouble with your credit, it’s not too late to repair it. It never is. Contact a credit repair company in your local area to discuss your situation and determine what...

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