Friday, November 30, 2012

The Basics of Small Business Loans

A loan is a very simple thing when you get down to it. You get some money and you agree to pay it back with interest. It doesn't matter if your business is a success or a failure, all the risk is on your shoulders alone. 

In business, we take it for granted that risk is just a part of life. When borrowing money for your business a lender may not lend you money if they think they are not going to be paid back. The risk of not getting paid back calls for the lender to ask for a bit of security like a mortgage on the business owners house, so if they don't keep up on the payments they can take and sell the house to cover the loan. 

If you weigh the risk of borrowing the money to the risk of selling a part of your company to investors, the business owner would rather borrow the money and take the risk alone. The business man is confident that they will be a success and they do not want to share that success will investors. 

The Promissory Note 


When borrowing money you’re going to have to sign a paper that states you promise to pay back your loan plus interest. It also states how and when payments are to be made. This document is called a "promissory note". 

Putting the loan in writing is a good idea whether you’re loaning the money to your brother in law or borrowing from a commercial lender. A handshake just doesn't cut it anymore. 

Forms of Repayment 


Lump sum repayment. You agree to pay principal and interest in one lump sum at the time agreed upon. Under this plan there would only be one payment for the loan and the agreement would be settled. This form of repayment can contribute to your business saving money and not having to worry about making monthly payments. 

Periodic interest and lump sum repayment of principal. You agree, for example, to pay interest only for two years and then interest and principal at the end of the third year. With this type of loan plan, often called a "balloon" loan because of the big payment at the end. 

Periodic payments of principal and interest. You agree, for example, to repay one-fourth of the principal each year for four years, plus interest at the end of each year. 

Amortized payments. You agree, for example, to make equal monthly payments so that principal and interest are fully paid in five years. Under this plan, you'd consult an amortization table in a book, on computer software, or on the Internet to figure out how much must be paid each month for five years to fully pay off a loan plus the interest. The table would say you'd have to pay a fixed amount each month. Each of your payments would consist of both principal and interest. At the beginning of the repayment period, the interest portion of each payment would be large; at the end, it would be small.
 
Amortized payments with a balloon. You agree, for example, to make equal monthly payments based on a five-year amortization schedule, but to pay off the remaining principal at the end of the third year. 

Prepayment penalties 


When you borrow money, it’s possible to pay off the principal faster than called for in the promissory note, since this stops the accruing of interest. In other words, if you have a three-year loan but are able to pay it off by the end of year two, you don't want to pay interest for year three. By law, some states always allow such early repayment, and you pay interest only for the time you have the use of the borrowed money. 

But in other states, the law allows a lender to charge a penalty (amounting to a portion of the future interest) when a borrower reduces the balance or pays back a loan sooner. It seems unfair to have to pay anything for the use of borrowed money except interest for the time the principal is actually in your hands. Make sure any promissory note you sign says you can prepay any or the entire principal without penalty. 

Cosigners and guarantors 


If you don’t have sufficient collateral for a loan, the lender can ask for other methods to guarantee that the loan will be prepaid. One is having someone cosign or guarantee the loan. That means the lender will have two people rather than one to collect from if you don't make your payments. Be sure to explain to whoever cosigns or guarantees the promissory note, that they are risking their personal assets if you don't repay it. 

Some lender wants the spouse to cosign the promissory note. If your spouse signs, not only are your personal assets at risk, but also all assets that the two of you jointly own like a house or a bank account. Also, if your spouse has a job, his or her earnings will be subject to garnishment if the lender sues and gets a judgment against the two of you because the loan isn't repaid as promised.


How To Motivate Your Employees

English: Motivational Saying
English: Motivational Saying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Motivating your employees can be one of the hardest parts of any manager’s job. Try as you might, you can end up feeling like your workforce don’t have shared goals, or are struggling to retain an interest in their jobs. There are several ways in which you can inspire your employees to be motivated and ready to give their best for their respective jobs, but all take time and require a strong dialogue to be opened up between different levels of management. Some of the best ways in which you can develop this process, and achieve higher levels of motivation, include: 

Create the Right Environment 


If your employees want to spend time in their workplace, then you’re already far ahead in terms of making them motivated. Invest in the quality of a workplace, and seek feedback on what can improve a space to make employees comfortable about where they do their jobs. 

Offer Shares 


A successful motivational tactic for many companies, offering shares in the company can make employees experience a stronger incentive to do well, as well as being able to receive the benefits of their hard work. 

Have Regular One to One Meetings 


This means taking the time to see people individually, rather than just relying on group situations where some people won’t be comfortable in bringing up private grievances. One to one meetings can also allow employees to learn more about their contribution to the company. 

Be Honest 


Being upfront with employees about why there are problems with a business, and suggesting ways in which they can help to improve these can instill a sense of belonging and shared spirit amongst a workforce. 

Provide Regular Rewards 


As well as giving out bonuses, set up schemes where regular rewards are given for good work. This might be as simple as awards for the week, or providing trips and gifts as incentives for completing quotas. 

Use Motivational Speakers 


Motivational speakers can be a great way to motivate employees due to your staff often being able to relate to situations the speakers have been in. Passionate and entertaining business speakers can have a great impact on employee morale and productivity. 

Be Flexible 

Showing that you trust employees enough to have flexible hours under certain circumstances, such as working from home on a project, can motivate employees to do their best when not in the office. Doing so also uses trust as a motivational tactic to make employees not want to let you down. 

Offer Training Schemes 


Employees will be more challenged if you are able to provide regular training schemes and opportunities for them to improve their skills. Making these part of a salary, and covering expenses, can benefit you and an employee if they are able to increase the value of their work. 

Make Sure Appropriate Praise is Given 


While keeping your praise appropriate, you can make the effort to send a personal email to thank someone for a job well done. Doing so prevents employees from resenting work for under appreciating their talents. 

Respond to Different Needs 


It’s important not to assume that a single motivation technique will work for everyone. Make the effort to know your workforce, and try to tailor different motivational techniques to individuals, as well as the group. 

Don’t Use Fear 


A small amount of fear over job security is useful, but without spilling over into creating a climate where employees are demoralized and resent management for creating too much pressure. Set clear goals, be strict when necessary over rules, but don’t go overboard. 

Author Bio: Liam Ohm writes about business, from hiring the correct keynote speakers to the latest financial trends. In his spare time he enjoys networking, socializing and travelling.


Are Payday Loans Bad

Loans
Loans (Photo credit: zingbot)
In many states in the U.S., due to the hostile home market, payday loans are getting difficult to get because of the higher interest rates and more restrictions, thus making it less profitable. Already many US companies are setting up shops in other countries such as Britain, where the markets are more lucrative. But that should not make those payday loans sound like something bad. Payday loans are gaining more popularity, with consumer credit up slightly and bank lending down sharply. 

Yes, payday loans do carry much higher rates but they are the best options for all those who know how to use them wisely. In fact they offer valuable services and are very useful for those people who use them responsibly  After all, where else can you look for a dependable source for immediate cash in any kind of emergency? 


Payday loans are easier, simpler and faster to get. Moreover, most loan providers have their own websites. One can log online and check out these loans and see if they are getting the best offers. It will just take a couple of minutes to compare and apply. One just needs to fill out an online application form, giving their personal details and other information. As long as you have steady employment and are a legal citizen, you can easily get the loan. Customer care will get in touch with you and inform you whether you have qualified for the cash advance. Within a couple of hours or maximum 24 hours, you will have the money you need in your bank account. 

Payday loans are no monster as they are made out to be. The purpose is to help you out in any situations of cash crunches. It is only when people use them carelessly or are not able to pay them back on time, the trouble begins. The interest rates are high. And those rates can keep accruing if you fail to payback within time. As a borrower, it is your responsibly to use them wisely and only when in need. 

The bottom-line is, that payday loans are not bad, rather they are our useful when we cannot look anywhere else for that small amount of cash we need so desperately. It is a ridiculous idea to do away with them. Already they have brought smiles on the faces of many and helped them tide over money problems without any worries. There are thousands of people taking out these loans and paying them back comfortably on their next payday. They are just the perfect solution for responsible borrowers.
 
However, care should be taken to not get into the habit of taking out these loans. You need to look into your finances and rethink your ways of spending if you borrow too often. Look at your own spending habits before reflecting a prejudice against those payday loans.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Things You Might Know about Bridging Loan


Bridging loan is one source of fast cash which can answer for any kind of financial needs that are urgent. This loan is ideal for those who do not have sufficient time to make arrangements to secure long term loans. This is considered to be a finance option which is short term as it is made easily available by the lender. One great advantage of this kind of loan is the fact that you need not prove your credit worthiness in order to avail it. While it may require you to post some kind of securities, it will just be the basis of the amount of money you will be able to borrow. Bridging loan offers numerous advantages, but one must carefully study its terms and conditions before signing up for one.

Bridging Loan and the Fees Attached To It

Bridging loans can be taken by those individuals or businesses which are in darn need of financial assistance. However, this kind of loan may have higher interests rates considering that the lender bears higher risk as well. Other fees to pay includes valuation fee for those who will evaluate the value of the asset being given as a security. You also need to pay administration and legal fees. Some of lenders offering this kind of loan also offer equity participation. When it comes to formalities, there no strict form required which can assure you that your loan amount will be disbursed immediately.

Bridging Loan for Corporate Financing

For business financing, bridging loan can be used for many different purposes. For one, it is used in carrying the works of a business when it is looking for some new investors. The money obtained from securing the loan is useful to finance routine expenses of the business during this process. When an interested party starts investing, the cash flowing from such investment can be use in repaying the bridge loan. When partners in business withdraw their contribution upon retirement, it may become difficult for the business to continuously thrive with its remaining capital. This is another case where bridge loans can be used to smoothly run again the operation of the company.

Bridging Loan for Purchasing Real Estate

Bridging loan may also be availed by those who intend to purchase real estates. If you intend to buy a new property and you need to make down payment on it, you can obtain a bridging loan for this purpose. However, you may be required to post a collateral security before your application will be approved. Once you were able to secure the loan, the proceeds can be used to make your down payment. After you have found a buyer for your old property, you can use the proceeds of the sale in order to pay off the bridge loan. Should there be balance after paying off the loan, it can be applied to the remaining amount due of the new property. With this, you will be assured that you will not lose the property you always wanted simply because you do not have the funds available.


Author Bio:
Joel Cordle is marketing lead at Microbank.com.au, Micro bank is Friendly and Professional Lending Company, provide bridging loans and bridging finance as fast as 24 hours. We offer different types of bridging loans and help people those are buying a new property or need investment for business.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bank Lending Payday Loans

English: Author: swanksalot URL: http://www.fl...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Payday loans are a billion dollar industry today. The number of payday loan providers is on a steady rise and so is the number of borrowers. This points to the dependence among people with these loans to tide over their cash emergencies. These easy and fast loans offer great relief to many who find themselves facing a cash crunch and their pay day still far away. However, these loans should be taken out only during cash emergency and paid back within the next month. These should not be looked upon as a long term loans as they are not. They carry very heavy interest and that can only get bigger if not paid in time. 

Surprisingly, some banks too, have started showing interest in offering payday loans. Earlier, these financial institutions showed little interest in this industry. And some of these trusted institutions are certainly not the biggest loan sharks in town. Generally speaking, people taking payday loans from banks remain in debt for an average 175 days a year. The regular bank payday loan with a yearly 365% interest rate is certainly less than what other payday loan providers are charging.


The advance loans from banks, just like payday loans are usually made for two weeks or a month. But here, the banks do not accessing the borrower’s bank account information or use post-dated check. It makes use of customer's checking account to pay back itself. Many customers are not able to pay back the loan and fees, thus forcing them to extend the cycle of debt and forcing them to take out another loan to break free of the earlier debt. 

However, a recent research shows a cycle of higher debt with bank payday loans. The borrowers pay more overdraft fees than non-borrowers. This is a clear sign that some of these banks are targeting vulnerable borrowers and have already been warned to stop predatory bank payday lending. Already investigations are on to curb this practice and the regularity bodies are spreading more awareness among customers on these issues. For example, in US, Payday lending has been declared illegal in North Carolina. But still, there are many banks in Alabama who are still marketing their payday loans to their customers.
 
According to some banks, their loans differ from those offered by payday lenders. The advantage here is that as the borrowers are already their checking account customers, they can be sure if the customer will be able to repay the loan and has the fund. Moreover, the banks account the repayment history of their customers to credit bureaus unlike payday lenders. Moreover, banks normally won't give out new loans unless and until the earlier loan is paid off, unlike the payday loan lenders. 

If your bank is payday lender, you should try to get complete information about these loans. Talk about the terms and conditions, the interest rates charged, the payback time etc. Don’t be afraid to join the call for regulators to prevent some banks to keep away from payday loans. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When To Use a Real Estate Agent

You may be taking many steps today to prepare for your next home purchase. For example, you may be saving money for a down payment and using a mortgage affordability calculator to determine what size of mortgage you can afford. If you will be selling an existing home, you may be making minor repairs and upgrades to prepare to list your house on the market. In addition to taking these steps, you may be wondering if you should use a real estate agent to sell your existing home, buy your new home or both. Read on to learn more about when you should use a real estate agent or go to http://www.mortgagerates.ca/ for more information on applying for a mortgage.
 

The Cost of A Real Estate Agent’s Services


One thing to consider before deciding if you should use a real estate agent for your sale, purchase or both is if you can afford to pay for the agent’s services. The services of a real estate agent are typically paid for by the seller, and the total fees paid to both a buyer’s and seller’s agent during a single transaction may range between five and ten percent, although there is some variation in this. However, you should be aware that the amount of the fees as well as who pays for them can be negotiated. With this in mind, it is possible for a buyer to use a real estate agent’s services and not pay any agent’s commissions at all. Furthermore, it is possible for a seller to negotiate agents’ fees so that they are affordable. 

The Benefits of an Agent’s Services


The transfer of real estate from one party to another is not something to be taken lightly. There are legal and financial ramifications associated with this transaction. Furthermore, the buyer needs to ensure that the home is functional for his needs and that the property is a sound investment. A skilled real estate agent offers expertise and knowledge that can be used in each of these areas throughout the process. An agent’s services are most beneficial for a seller in a buyer’s market and for a buyer in a seller’s market. In these situations, market conditions may be in favor of the other party in the transaction, and the skills and experience of an agent are vital. However, in all market conditions, a real estate agent can add value to the transaction. Because of the benefits associated using the services of a real estate agent, one of the steps that you should take in preparation of your upcoming sale or purchase is to locate a reputable, experienced real estate agent to assist you with this process.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Mis-sold Credit Card PPI Can Be Reclaimed

Loans
Loans (Photo credit: zingbot)
The mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance is one of the biggest financial scandals to occur in recent years. There is such a large amount of money at stake that many customers were mis-sold and they are only just now learning about it. It is estimated that PPI is worth £6 BILLION in revenue to UK banks and loan companies, generating in excess of £1.4 billion in profits. 

Nearly everyone has some type of credit accounts. It could be a loan, credit card, store card, vehicle finance, mortgage or any other type of finance. If you have or recently had credit is more than likely you had PPI and if this is the case it is also likely that you may have been mis-sold the policy.

If you think you have been mis-sold and you think you have a PPI claim, here is some good information you should know:

1. What is PPI?


The purpose of PPI is that it covers your debt repayments if you cannot work, become ill, have an accident or if you are made redundant.
For this reason it is commonly sold alongside credit agreements to protect both you and the lender in the event that you cannot make the repayments.
It's not that PPI is a bad product, the problem is the way policies have been sold to the consumer.

2. How do I find out if I have PPI?


First look at the documents that were sent to you at the time you took out your loan, credit card, mortgage or other type of finance agreement.
The PPI may be part of your repayment statements and might be listed as 'payment protection insurance', 'loan protection cover', 'card protection cover' or something similar.

If you do not have the paperwork or if it is not clear, contact your lender or finance provider and ask whether you have PPI.
If they do not have a reference number, but you believe that you have been sold PPI, ask them to provide details for whoever the underwriter was for their PPI products.

3. How do I know if I was mis-sold PPI?


PPI may have been mis-sold to you if it turns out that the policy is not appropriate for your needs. Set out below is a list of the reasons why such a policy may have been mis-sold to you.

  • You were aged under 18 or over 65 when the PPI was sold to you. The insurance should not be sold to people outside of these age ranges.
  • You worked less than 16 hours a week when the PPI was sold to you. PPI policies do not cover part-time workers.
  • You were employed on a temporary or contract basis when the PPI was sold to you. PPI policies do not cover temporary or contract workers.
  • You were self-employed when the PPI was sold to you. Protection for unemployment is not always applicable with these policies and you should have been advised of the employment stipulations with the policy.
  • You had an existing illness when the PPI was sold to you. Policies are probably invalid if you have a pre-existing medical condition, especially if your illness could worsen, leading to a loss of income.
  • You were not informed that the PPI policy would not cover conditions such as stress and backache. PPI policies do not usually cover mental health issues i.e. stress or depression, nor common muscular problems.
  • You were aware you may become unemployed when the PPI was sold to you. Some PPI policies do not cover a known or possible loss of income and this should have been explained to you.
  • You were not told about the cost of the insurance (or not told you were buying it at all).
  • You were not asked about any other insurance, similar to PPI, that you may have already been covered by. You may have already been covered by an existing insurance policy.
  • You were told that the PPI was necessary for you to get the loan. A loan is not dependent upon having Payment Protection Insurance. It is entirely optional.
  • You were not told that the same policy could potentially be bought for cheaper elsewhere. You do not have to obtain the PPI policy from any specific lender and there are many such policies available. You are supposed to be given the option to source the policy (should you require the same) anywhere.
  • You applied for a loan online where the box for PPI was automatically ticked. Many application forms for “on-line” loans or credit cards has a tick box to either opt in or out of PPI. In some cases, the tick box was already ticked and the applicant had to opt out of having the insurance by un-ticking the box. After July 2007 this was changed following the FSA (Financial Services Authority) intervention.

A salesperson should have gone through all of the above points to make sure the policy was suitable. However, some companies misled consumers by failing to explain what it was for and who it applied to.

Consumers were advised that they needed to pay for such a policy if they wanted the loan or that it would cost them less if the policy was taken out with the loan.

The policies are purely optional and do NOT have to be purchased from the same company providing the loan.

In some instances, such policies were added to the loan without the knowledge or consent of the consumer by stating that the policy was “fully protected” without explaining that this actually meant a PPI policy would be added to the loan at a further cost.

How do I reclaim mis-sold PPI?


Write to your lender and state that you think you have been mis-sold PPI and therefore ask them to review your file. If your lender rejects your request, take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


Scottish Trust Deeds - A Debt Solution For Scottish Residents

In today's economy many people are having great difficulty paying their bills. Through a loss of their job, a sickness, or a financial crisis many people are finding themselves on the edge of bankruptcy. An alternative, offered to the people of Scotland, is something called a "Trust Deed".

How Does a Trust Deed Work?


A Trust Deed is a voluntary agreement between an individual who is unable to pay his or her debts and a licensed Insolvency Practitioner (the Trustee). It allows you to pay as much of your debts as your assets and your monthly surplus income will allow. Trust Deeds normally last between three and five years.

The role of the Trustee is to present your Trust Deed proposals to your creditors and then administer the Trust Deed to its completion.

As long as no more than half or a third of your creditors object to your Trust Deed, then it will become protected. Once the Trust Deed is protected, your creditors cannot take further action against you or make you bankrupt. Once you've successfully completed your Trust Deed, you’ll be free from all debt included in it.

While the terms of a Debt Management Plan are informal, and creditors may increase their demands on you at any time, with a protected Trust Deed, interest and charges will be frozen for its duration.

How Do I Know A Trust Deed Will Work For A Situation?


The check list for entering into a Trust Deed is straightforward.

  • Only individuals residing in Scotland can enter into a Trust Deed Scotland
  • There's no set amount of debt or level of contribution required for a Trust Deed
  • Each Trust Deed proposal is treated individually, based on your own unique circumstances
  • Only unsecured debts can be included in a Trust Deed

What Makes a Trust Deed Better Than Other Debt Solutions?


For those with a large amount of unsecured debt, for whom a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) may not offer a solution within a fixed timescale and for whom Sequestration (bankruptcy) may be too disruptive, a Protected Trust Deed offers financial freedom within the foreseeable future.

  • All interest and charges will be frozen
  • Pressure from creditors will be eased, as the Trustee deals with all correspondence and queries
  • A Trust Deed is usually more flexible than Sequestration. It also allows the individual to hold certain public offices, which may not be the case with sequestration
  • It may be possible for companies to continue trading and individuals to retain their directorships
  • Trust Deeds are not published in local newspapers
  • After you successfully complete the term of your Protected Trust Deed, you are free from all debt included in it

What Else Should I Know About Trust Deeds?


A Trust Deed will not be the ideal solution for everyone and you should consider all the implications before you enter into an agreement.

All assets and liabilities have to be declared. You may be required to release equity in your property and any assets of large value will need to be sold to raise funds
Entering a Trust Deed will affect your credit rating.

You need to stick carefully to a budget for the duration of your Trust Deed and your income and expenditure will be reviewed regularly during the Trust Deed.





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Walmart Critics Get Second Opinion

This is a selfmade image from the english wiki...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently we have read and heard a lot about Walmart and the employees concerned about the level of pay they earn. There has been talk about strikes and walking off the job. The nations constant dialogue on the state of Walmart, its employees, and lack of healthcare for it's workers has caused many to demonize this monster retail business.


Before you join the angry crowd that is criticizing Walmart, consider the interesting comments of Peter Suderman. He makes some interesting points about Walmart's effect on its employees and the country.

Who is Peter Suderman? 

Peter Suderman is a senior editor at Reason Magazine and Reason.com, where he writes regularly on health care, the federal budget, tech policy, and pop culture. He is also a film critic forThe Washington Times and a 2010 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.

Here is his Twitter feed on Saturday :



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Get Cash Back With Ebates


Trying to play the points game with credit card purchases is a sometimes frustrating and non-profitable endeavor. Over the last few years I have tried different cards for their cash back points and I have seen only poor results. The cards usually have the items that you need to purchase but later change categories and your out of luck. And what about the cards that have rotating categories, it just doesn't work. There has to be a better way.

Some cards have you using their portals to make your purchases. When you shop through your card issuer’s portal, the company places tracking information on your computer. This tracking information allows the retailer communicate back to the issuer the cost of your purchase and how much cash back you should receive. The tracking information and the online store work together to make sure you receive the cash back as described in the portal.

The system isn’t always wonderful, though. The shopping portals rarely have the specific store you’d like to shop, and it can be a pain to log into your credit card website every time you want to purchase an item online. I prefer the convenience of a shopping portal that works with every credit card, like Ebates.com, rather than a branded issuer-based portal.

I’ve been using Ebates occasionally for the past several years. By creating an account, you earn cash back at more than 1,200 stores. Membership is completely free; in fact, you can earn money by being a member by referring your friends.

The concept of spending money to save money is interesting. It only works when you’re spending only the money you would spend anyway, without the cash back incentive. If a cash back rebate is the impetus that helps you decide to purchase a product, the purchase may not be the best idea in the first place. Furthermore, you have to carefully consider the total cost of your purchase. Many times, you can find a better price for a certain product on a website that’s not included in the portal’s list. For example, if your favorite book is $10 on Amazon.com and $15 on Barnes and Noble’s website, the 4% cash back you receive for Barnes and Noble doesn’t make up for the difference. The book is still $14.40 at Barnes and Noble.

When you do find a good deal on the stores supported by Ebates, receiving your cash back is easy. I created a PayPal account and linked it to my bank account, and use this account primarily for payments from Ebates. You could also configure your Ebates account to distribute your cash back to you in the form of paper checks, if you desire. Furthermore, if you prefer to designate your cash back to a charitable organization, you can provide information for the non-profit to receive your payments.

Ebates is another option available for those who want to make the most of their everyday purchases. Sign up today for free to use Ebates to maximize your cash back. Used in conjunction with a cash-back rewards card, the rebates are unbeatable.

How to Financially Prepare for Unexpected Injuries and Illnesses

English: Ambulance 5
English: Ambulance 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Life is full of unexpected delights and sorrows – it would be very boring otherwise. Though the delights bring high points that really make life worth living, the sorrows can often bring burdens that are difficult to bear. Nobody knows what’s around the corner in terms of potential injuries or illnesses, so the sensible thing to do is plan for adversity before any unfortunate events potentially occur and become overwhelming. 


Talk with family about finances and the future 


It’s easy to put off financial discussions time and again, while it’s never easy to go into detail about what should happen if an unexpected illness or injury occurs. Yet being prepared is the best way to cover all bases and ensure that there is financial security in the event that the worst happens. Ostrich syndrome, burying one’s head in the sand and hoping everything will simply go away, doesn't work.
Talking with a spouse or partner about financial options in the future helps to break down the understandable reluctance to address the issues. Nobody wants to think they are going to have problems, either unexpected ones or in the long term. Yet inevitably, there are certain unavoidable aspects of life, such as growing old, which will likely present future problems, meaning that putting everything off until the last minute is not going to help when difficult situations occur. 

Serious illnesses 


There are always risks of serious illness, such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes, so taking out appropriate insurance will assist with covering the costs of treatment, recovery and loss of income through not being able to work. A good life or trauma insurance policy will help defray the expenses involved, paying for hospital treatment and specialist backup, providing an income to meet mortgage repayments or even paying off a mortgage and other debts completely in the event of the death of a breadwinner.
 
The earlier a policy is taken out to cover these types of issues, the less expensive it is likely to be, and though it may seem like worrying too much, the resulting peace of mind is worth it, as is the potential financial security this can provide. 

Accidental injuries 


One of the most common injuries experienced by car drivers and passengers is whiplash, where the neck is damaged as a result of an accident. For this reason, whiplash compensation normally features in every motor insurance policy; it is widely acknowledged that this can be a very debilitating injury, sometimes causing medical problems for a number of years. However, because bogus whiplash claims simply push up the price of insurance for other motorists, it is important that a whiplash claim is validated and substantiated by a medical professional. 

Automotive insurance will also cover the hospital bills for other injuries experienced in an accident, so it is essential to look at the small print of an insurance policy to check if it will provide the right level of cover. Auto insurance can also cover legal fees – because legal costs can be very expensive, it is worth paying an additional insurance premium in the event that lawyer fees are required. 


Friday, November 23, 2012

Mis-sold Credit Card PPI: Things you must know

In the past 18 months claims against banks for mis-selling PPI(Payment Protection Insurance) has rocketed, with the Financial Services Authority reporting that 2.2m PPI complaints have been made against the banks between January and June 2012 alone – an increase of 129% on the previous six months. However, whilst the numbers of people claiming back PPI on loans and mortgages rises steadily, fewer PPI claims being made against credit card providers. This is despite the fact that, according to the Competition Commission, credit card PPI accounts for one quarter of the PPI market. 

To make sure you aren’t missing out on reclaiming PPI on your credit card, here is how to check if you have PPI on your credit card, how to tell if you were mis-sold PPI and how to claim back your PPI.

How to check your credit card for PPI


There are several ways to check if you had credit card PPI. Start by finding your Credit Agreement – this shows if you signed up for PPI. If you no longer have it and your account is still active you have a legal right under the Consumer Credit Act to get a copy from the lender for £1.

You can also look at your statements – any PPI you were paying will be itemised under 'payment cover', ‘card insurance’, 'protection plan', 'ASU’ (Accident, sickness and unemployment) or similar.

As PPI claims increases, most lenders now have a PPI customer number. They should give you answer over the phone or within a few days. By law credit card companies have to keep details of accounts for six years after it was active so they will still have this information, even if it’s been bought by another credit card company – such as Egg who are now owned by Barclaycard.

If you no longer have your account details but your card was still active in the past six years, you can find them on your credit report. Equifax and Experian have free 30-day trials.

If your credit card account was close over six years ago and you no longer have the credit agreement, statements or the account number, it’s unlikely you will be able to make a PPI claim as that information probably will no longer be held by the company. 

How to tell if you were mis-sold PPI


If you answer yes to these questions you were probably mis-sold PPI:

  • Were you self-employed, working part-time, unemployed, retired, in the civil service or a student? 
  • Were you told that you were more likely to have your application approved if you bought PPI? 
  • Did you feel pressurised into buying PPI? 
  • Have you found PPI on your statement but were never sold the product? 
  • Did you have any pre-existing medical conditions such as back problems, diabetes or a heart condition? 

How to make a claim on mis-sold PPI


Once you’ve established that you have had PPI on your credit card you can start a claim either yourself of by using a PPI specialists such as Gladstone Brookes. In 2011 Gladstone Brookes dealt with 44,600 claims for mis-sold PPI and claimed back over £108m. To start your claim call 08000 469 144 or complete their online PPI claim form.
Author Bio :

This post was written and supplied by Gladstone Brookes, a PPI claims company in the UK. They have helped tens of thousands of happy customers reclaim their mis-sold PPI's on their credit cards, loans and mortgages since 2006. Regularly writing and sharing personal finance and money saving advice.


Saving Money and Getting your Personal Finances in Order

Budget
Budget (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
At this time of year with Christmas on the horizon, every penny counts. Kids are demanding all kinds of expensive gifts and you’re trying to save money for next year’s summer holiday, as well as needing a new coat before the weather takes a turn for the (even) worse this winter. 

The main issue that people have when it comes to getting their finances in order is budgeting, especially when you have to factor in how much you’re going to spend on Christmas presents. One of the best methods of budgeting is to sit down at the start of each month, when you’re fully aware of what expenses you’re going to have and roughly when they’ll be, allowing you to establish a rough figure as to how much you can spend each week until the next glorious pay day. 


If you can establish just how much you have available as what is effectively “disposable income”, then you can work out whether or not you can afford to go out and buy that new winter coat you need, or the pair of football boots your son wants or maybe even the One Direction tickets for your daughter, (secretly you – admit it). 
To make this even easier on the wallet there are a number of online discount sites on the Internet that can provide you with some substantial savings. For example, search for specific promotional codes and you’ll be presented with a series of discounts ranging from free delivery to 10% off the final bill. 


These discounts will prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run – especially in the run up to Christmas – allowing you to save up money for presents and the all-important dinner! 


If you can learn to budget, you’ll soon find that you’re much better off financially. It’s amazing how just sitting down and working out how much you NEED to spend each month, and how much “disposable income” you have can help to keep funds in the bank. You’re never too old to learn either, you just need a pad, a pen, all of your bills and a calculator. 


This article was written by UK-based author Matt Rawlings. With more than ten years of freelance writing experience, Matt is an expert in consumer advice content, providing details on how to use KGB promo codes to make significant savings on your online purchases.


Grow your Business With a Merchant Account

English: A typical credit card terminal that i...
English: A typical credit card terminal that is still popular today. visanet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you're a small business owner, you can’t act like a Mom and Pop store in a worldwide economy. Some of us over 50 business owners, with established businesses or starting second businesses are learning the importance of accepting credit and debit card payments. 

Today the pockets of today’s consumers are filled with more plastic than paper. How many times have you walked into a small business and saw a sign that read “We only accept cash or checks”, Did you walk out without purchasing anything? 

No matter if you’re a small or large business you need some type of credit card processing so that you don’t lose customers to your competitors, who are more prepared to handle all kinds of transactions with credit card machines.

Start a with a merchant account and see your business grow.


If you are looking for ways to grow your business, you need to consider a merchant account from a reputable credit card processing company. The ability to handle various transactions shows your clients that you mean business, that your payment options go beyond “cash or checks,” which can help build a customer base that will keep patronizing your goods and services for years to come. With a merchant account, you can easily accept most major credit cards. 

Portability of credit card processing.


You may be on the traveling a lot, going to conferences, seminars and trade shows to promote your products. Just because you aren't in your store it doesn't mean you should lose out on a sale. With mobile or wireless credit card processing, you can accept plastic at a kiosk or vendor booth. A reputable credit card processing company will provide merchant support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in addition to electronic billing and account management.


Know who your dealing with.


It makes good financial sense to research a merchant account service provider to ensure that you’re getting the best rates. A credit card company’s fee structure, including how long you've been in business, the percentage of wireless sales you make each month, the type of business you have and your credit score all determines the fees you pay. It makes sense to shop around. Other things to consider when securing a merchant account is whether or not the processing company offers encryption and secure payment gateways. You need to partner with an enterprise that will keep your information safe. 


If you're not accepting credit or debit payments you're losing business. Your clients are leaving you for other businesses that have credit card acceptance. Most of these virtual terminals pay for themselves in the long run. Grow your customer base and make money by setting up your account soon.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Term Life Insurance Available for the 50 Plus Person

Universal Life Insurance Company
Universal Life Insurance Company (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)
If you are past the age of 50, you may not know that you can still apply for a term life insurance policy. As time passes, it’s natural to think about the financial future of the people you cherish most. Term life insurance for senior citizens may help address some of these needs.

Why might a senior citizen want a life insurance policy?

Life insurance for seniors can help compensate for future expenses that your retirement savings may not cover.

You can also use term life insurance to help loved ones:

• pay off a mortgage
• cover estate taxes
• afford payment of final expenses
• transfer a business

Do I need to be in good health to be approved?


All life insurance companies may evaluate your physical health when quoting you for a term life insurance policy. Age, gender, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, history of family illnesses and prescription medications can be considered when evaluating life insurance for senior citizens. Physicians may generally administer the same paramedical exam they would perform on a younger life insurance candidate. If you’re concerned that your general health condition will prevent you from being approved, some providers offer an option to insure people ages sixty and over with no medical exam. These policies generally range from $3000 to $15,000 in value and are appropriate for seniors

How young do I have to be to get approved?

It could be a rare event that insurance providers will issue a permanent life insurance policy to senior citizens over sixty. However, you may be issued a term life insurance policy for up to ten years from some of the leading providers as a senior citizen. It is common to be able to receive a 10-year term life insurance policy until the age of 70; in some states, like Arizona, seniors may be issued a policy until age 75.

How much can I expect to pay monthly?

When you’re a senior, it is important to consider the benefits of buying a term life insurance policy as soon as possible. Monthly rates for term life insurance policies may increase significantly on an annual basis. For example, a person at age 60 in great health and no history of family illness might pay $68.76 monthly whereas someone with the same medical standing at age 65 can expect to pay $117.37 for a 10-year $250,000 life insurance policy with MetLife. At 70, the same person might pay $223.56 monthly and at 75 could pay $431.91/month for the same policy.*

What should I look out for?

Too much life insurance is sold rather than bought. The best advice for seniors should be determine what it is they want to insure against and figure out what type of protection makes sense for them.

In other words, you should figure out what your loved ones’ financial needs will be. Then, you should determine how much insurance you’ll need to provide for their financial future. If you do decide that life insurance for seniors can cover your needs best, you should ask around and find a good professional that will not “sell” you on policies.



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