Four Keys To Putting Yourself In A More Secure Financial Position

Financial security is a big concern for people nowadays. With the recent market crash and recession, it’s easy to see why. Shaky finances can suddenly become a lot worse for the unprepared. It’s also simply easier to live life when you have a lot less in the way of stability as far as your money’s concerned. Financial stability is having the ability to get money when you need it. To live as free of debt and potential disaster as possible. It takes preparation and investment. We’re going to take a look at some of the methods you can use to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

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Your assets

One of the best ways of making sure that you have money you can dip into in emergencies is to have assets that you invest into. If you have a home, make sure you take good care of it and build value in case you ever need someone to buy your house for cash. When banks fail and your accounts become inaccessible, assets are the surest place to find funding you need. That’s why so many prefer buying homes as opposed to renting. With assets, you know you always have money lying in wait.

Your debt

Debt is something you want to get rid of as soon as possible. Carrying debt means carrying obligations that can affect the decisions you make. They tie you down financially and are worth getting rid of as soon as possible. Try avoid credit card debt as much as possible. If you’re worried about debt, pin it down and pay it back instead of shuffling it around. Making more frugal choices can help you make bigger payments and get rid of it quicker. This is often cheaper than taking long-term payment plans as well.

Your credit rating

This is majorly related to both the previous points. A lot of people don’t care about their credit rating, but we just gave you two. Your debt plays a huge role in it and it can severely reduce your chances of accumulating assets. Reducing your debt will help you improve your credit score. This opens the possibility of getting mortgages and loans to acquire real wealth. Paying your bills on time instead of late also plays a big role. Sometimes, checking your credit rating can help you even point out mistakes. Occasionally, points are docked because a company made a mistake.

Your savings

Savings are the other way besides assets to prepare for your future, financially. It’s best to diversify how exactly you go about your savings. Use a high-interest bank that you plan on rarely touching to save in the long term. In the short term, keep physical cash that you can dip in and out to when you need it. It’s also a good idea to set up a separate emergency fund. Beyond that, stop accumulating stuff that you no longer use and need. Clear the clutter from your home and start selling unwanted stuff. Savings need to be built over time but this can give you a starting boost.

Borrowing Basics: What Is A Hard Money Loan?

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You might have heard the term ‘hard money loan’ before – but many people investing in real estate fail to understand what it means. We’re going to go through everything you need to know about hard money in this guide, so read on to find out more.

What are hard money loans?

Hard money lenders allow people to borrow money against the value of their real estate – or property they intend to buy. They are often more expensive than normal mortgages, but there are plenty of benefits. Lenders will offer loans much quicker than a typical bank, so it can give you access to important money sooner. And, they won’t base the loan approval on a credit score.

Who uses them?

Many different people use hard money loans. But, they seem to be most popular with property investors and home flippers. Investors can use the funds to buy a property – sometimes up to 100% of the value. They can then invest a little more in renovations and improvements, and sell on to make a profit. However, people with bad credit can also use hard money loans. If they want to make home improvements, for example, then a hard money loan is issued against the value of their home.

What types of hard money loan are there?

There are various types of hard money loans. According to Hard Money Phoenix, these include mortgage financing, bridge and residential equity loans. However, it’s important to understand that when you borrow hard money, they are often referred to as loans ‘of last resort.’

Who lends the money?

Hard loan lenders tend to be individuals or small groups or companies. It’s important to understand that not all hard loan lenders are of sound quality – and many could be classed as loan sharks. However, if you can find a reliable local hard money lender, they can be a valuable asset.

Are there any dangers?

As with all types of financial products, of course, there are plenty of dangers of taking out a hard money loan. Some interest rates can be much higher than typical mortgage rates – even those in the subprime category. The rates are understandable, as the risk of lending with no credit score is a big one for anybody handing out hard money loans. But, the risk for borrowers is a big one, too. You could lose your home if you fail to make your repayments. And, if you don’t pay it back early, you will end up increasing your repayable amount by a significant amount.

So, hard loans are best for the short term?

Absolutely. High-interest loans will always have their place, and they can be an excellent way of raising funds quickly. If you borrow money through a hard loan and can pay it back as soon as possible, they can often make sense. This is why so many real estate investors use them as a vehicle to finance buying property. They can borrow and pay for the home, and sell it on at a profit in a short space of time. This limits their exposure to interest and protects their profit margins. To conclude, be careful when using hard money loans – and pay them back as quick as possible.

How To Get Your Finances In Order Before You Buy A House

Mortgage lenders have learnt their lesson since the crash of 2008. They’re no longer in the business of doling out 0% deposit mortgages at ten times earning. No, thanks to the getting the fright of their lives back in 2008, they’re behaving more prudently, like a bank should.

That means that it’s a little more difficult for people wanting to buy apartments or houses. Now they have to actually have to prove that they can meet the mortgage repayments and have enough money left over to meet their other obligations.

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Your Other Debts

Generally, creditors want to be able to get a picture of your general financial position before making you a loan. Part of this will involve investigating your other debts and assessing whether this will affect your capacity to repay a loan.

Most lenders operate on a 45 per cent rule. In other words, they want to find out whether your debt payments, plus the new mortgage payments, will come to less than 45 percent of your income. That means that if you earn $4000 a month, creditors will usually require that your loan repayments amount to less than $1800.

For many people, this is a make or break situation, especially when you consider how much personal debt many people have. If you have outstanding debts on credit cards or even an auto loan, try to pay it down before applying for a mortgage. Large, outstanding debts may affect the terms of your mortgage, and prevent you from taking one out altogether.

Improve Your Credit Score

Now that banks are being more cautious about who they lend to, credit score requirements have increased. Most banks require a score of at least 600 to get a basic package. Again, the terms are likely to be unfavourable with such a low rating, so it’s worth trying to improve it. At higher scores you’re more likely to get more loan options and better rates.

What many people forget is that your credit rating doesn’t just affect your relationship with the bank, it also affects the seller. Real estate agents and private landlords are interested in your credit score because it is a sign of whether you’ll ultimately pay up. Real estate agents want to do well for their clients too, so that means choosing the best buyers.

If your credit score is low, it might be worth investing in a personalised credit report. This will detail your credit history and enable you to find out where you’re falling down. It also gives you an opportunity to dispute any issues in your report that inaccurately reflect your credit performance.

Prepare For Costs Of Closing

The costs of selling are high. For example, if you’re selling a house for $500,000, you’re likely to be paying around $10,000 in direct costs. Though you may be able to claw these back later through seller credit, the lender does not know that at the outset. Therefore, there needs to be some money set aside for seller costs before you apply for a loan.

How Can I Improve My Finances?

It’s a question that you’ve probably asked yourself a million and one times. But finding an answer can prove to be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll ever face. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re stuck in a financial rut. Don’t fear; help is at hand.

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We’ve all made mistakes in the past. Don’t let them define your future. Instead, use them as the springboard for working your way to a brighter future. Vow to make this the starting point for a better life, and you will not go far wrong.

Here’s how.

Get Yourself On The Property Ladder

Strictly speaking, buying a property isn’t for everyone. For example, if you are a traveller that wants to experience different parts of the world, renting is for you. In most scenarios, though, getting on the property ladder is a step in the right direction.

A purchased property will become your biggest financial asset. This has to be considered a better option than renting, which is essentially paying off someone else’s investment. Stepping onto the ladder can be difficult. But these tips should help you overcome the most common issues for those with bad credit.

Once you are on the ladder, you’ll constantly be building a better financial future. Better still, you’ll have far more freedom for making improvements to the home too.

Consolidate Debts

Nobody likes being in debt. While mortgages or buying a car on finance are normal processes, owing money elsewhere can be scary. Worse still, a change of circumstances can make it very difficult to make those repayments. This can bring very serious consequences.

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Managing your debts is crucial, though. One of the best ways is to take out a personal loan to clear off those existing debts. Consolidating could save you a lot of money through potential extra charges. Moreover, it’s far easier to control one account than the six or seven currently open.

You’ll be helping your financial situation, and your emotional health too. Don’t underestimate how important the latter can be. A clear mind is your most powerful asset.

Increase Income

The best way to have more money at the end of each money is simple. Earn more of it. Of course, there are many steps you can take to reduce your monthly expenses. However, having more money to start with will give you a far greater platform.

If you cannot ask for a raise at work, then you’ll have to make money elsewhere. Starting an online business on the side can be a fantastic option. And if it becomes successful, you might be able to drop your current job altogether. Alternatively, you could make use of your skills and talents on a freelance basis.

Another option that many people like to take is making investments. There is a risk involved here, and not everyone will want to play with their savings. Nevertheless, when you get it right, it can open up greater financial freedom.

Whatever method you take, increasing your earnings will make your life a lot better.

Want More Financial Success? Try These Ideas For Size

We all want to be a bit better off, don’t we? Well, although not everyone can be filthy rich, being better off is actually easier to do than you might think. It takes a lot of hard work and a change of mindset to make your money work better for you, but it is possible. So, if you want to improve your financial health and wealth, read on to find out what you need to do.

Good debt and bad debt

The first step is to understand the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt can help you get further on in life, and allows you to buy homes, cars, and build up a solid credit rating. However, unless you can actually afford the debt, it will often turn bad. Bad debt is anything that you will struggle to pay back, and it can quickly spiral out of control. It is essential that you clear your bad debts before moving onto the next step. If you want some advice, you can find some in our handy guide.

Savings

The next step is savings. You should only start a savings account if you have cleared your expensive debts, as you will effectively be losing money. Look into high-interest savings accounts that will give you a bigger return. One thing to remember is that these accounts will usually not allow you to access your money, or will charge you for doing so. With this in mind, it’s best to leave it there and forget about it. And, once your restricted period is up, you should have a nice chunk of return.

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Investment

There are three main areas you can invest in: stocks, bonds, and cash. However, you should never play with money that you rely on, as anything can happen, and you risk losing everything. That said, bonds are usually quite safe investments, although far from exciting. If you are looking for more glamor, try the precious metals market. You can even get started from your own home with services like ACM Forex. They act as a broker and provide software that you can use to buy and sell your gold stocks. There are dozens of different services for different stocks and commodities, so have a look around and choose the one you are comfortable with. And, once again, please be careful of losing all your savings.

Spend less

Of course, one of the best ways to protect your money is not to waste it. By developing a different mindset, you will be able to start noticing areas where you are a little too happy to spend. It all begins with the little things. Buying lunch every day at work? Pack your own home and save around $50-100 a month. By the end of the year, that could mean the difference between a camping trip and a more luxurious vacation. So, bear that in mind the next time you stop at McDonalds for your breakfast.

Got any financial tips you would care to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Viable Personal Loan Options For People In Financial Trouble

If you find yourself in a sticky financial situation, you might have to look at the possibility of getting a personal loan. At the current time, there are lots of different options available that might be suitable. You just have to research them all in order to work out which is going to offer you the best deal. Presuming you have a decent credit score, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the capital you require. Some of you might only need a few hundred pounds, but others might have to seek more. Depending on how much cash you want, you should select the best option accordingly. We’ll do our best to give you the lowdown today and explain all the top loan solutions in layman’s terms.

Getting your personal finances in order is important if you want to limit the amount of borrowing you undertake. If you are struggling at the end of every month, it could be time to look at your situation and find ways of cutting back. Short term loans are never going to be a long term solution. If you have to borrow money for your bills every month, more drastic measures must be taken. Perhaps you could downsize your home? Or maybe you could get rid of that petrol-guzzling sports car?

Payday Loans

When it comes to getting loans fast, you simply cannot overlook the payday lenders. Some people even think that payday loans are the best financial aid available. Short term loans of that nature could help you to make ends meet at the end of the month. Contrary to popular belief, interest rates are more than fair so long as you meet your repayment obligations. While the companies that provide that form of lending have received a lot of bad press over the last few years, most of them practice in a professional manner. So long as you keep your word and never borrow money you can’t afford to pay back, using a payday lender could be the perfect solution to your financial issues.

Logbook loans

If you own a car, there is a new type of loan you might like to consider. Logbook lenders work by providing funds based on the value of your vehicle. Thankfully, you don’t have to hand over your car in order to receive the money. So long as you can prove ownership, the lender will offer you an amount of money to be paid back at a predetermined time. If you fail to make those payments, you risk losing your vehicle. However, that is all you will lose, and so it’s a pretty low-risk form of lending. No logbook loan provider will ever try to take your home to recover the debt. Just search online and make sure you read all the small print if you want to make sure you get the best deal. Many payday lenders are moving into this market. So, you could use the same companies.

Traditional bank loans

Since the global financial crisis hit, most high street banking groups have been hesitant when it comes to releasing funds to low paid clients. However, that is slowly changing, and so it is worth making an application. You will get better results if you arrange an appointment at your local bank and speak to someone instead of applying online. Even if they don’t offer you the full amount, they might have an alternative solution that will see you though. Perhaps a simple increase in your overdraft would be enough? Just speak to a representative, explain your situation and see what they come up with. If you have a mortgage with the bank in question, they should be more willing to offer you a loan.

Credit cards

While using a credit card to cover your expenses is not technically taking out a loan, it could be a good solution if you have a suitable credit rating. So long as you can afford to pay the money off in one installment, you shouldn’t pay a penny in interest. That means you can get the cash you require without having to apply for a loan. Of course, people slip up when they fail to clear the total balance. Credit card providers charge varying rates of interest on borrowing for people in different circumstances. You might get lucky and obtain a card with an incredibly low rate. However, most people end up paying somewhere between 10% and 30%.

Doorstep loans

Doorstep lenders are not quite as popular as they once were. That is because it is much easier to arrange lending online these days. However, there are a number of companies you could use if you get stuck. Doorstep lenders will come to your home and give you any money you borrow in cash. They will then return weekly to collect the agreed payments. Just be aware that some doorstep lenders are still charging phenomenal rates of interest. So, you should only use them as a last resort. Again, don’t make the mistake of borrowing money you can’t afford to pay back. There is no hiding from doorstep lenders. They know where you live, and so they won’t bother sending reminder letters. They will simply turn up at your door.

Having learned a little more about the best types of lending available to people who are struggling, we hope you will find a way of reducing your stress levels soon. Just remember that borrowing money to pay your bills is not a long term solution. If you can’t afford to make your monthly payments, you should look at ways in which you can reduce your spending. Either that or you will need to look for a job that offers better wages. Also, you should never borrow more money to pay lenders back. That is the start of a slippery slope that could result in you becoming entangled in a web of missed payments and final demand letters.

We all know how stressful it can be when you don’t have enough money to keep everyone happy, but at least you now understand the options in front of you.

Personal Loan Options

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Get Rich Quick Become a Financial Advisor

Personal Finance TipsAre you looking for a new career that will earn you major cash? Why not become a financial consultant? Finances are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially since the recession. Americans are forming a much closer relationship with their money and want to have competent leadership guiding their decisions. But in order to be a successful financial advisor, you don’t have to have a degree in financial management. According to a recent study, 88% of financial planners and advisors worked in a different profession first. This means that any persistent, money minded individual is able to succeed in this profitable market.

Many eligible financial consulting candidates receive professional development training from large firms like Wells Fargo Advisors and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, without requiring tough advisory certifications. They prefer to put trainees through financial advising programs that help them achieve the necessary regulatory licenses to perform financial advisory duties. And most trainees are compensated well for their time, earning between $3,000 and $8,000 a month. Others forgo large firm training and find less formal avenues of training while working their full time jobs.

Although financial advisors should seek great financial training, they must also develop the personal skills that individuals have come to expect from their money managers. To be successful in today’s market, financial advisors must develop a deeper understanding of wealth management tools, the market, and be able to predict where the market will go.

Successful and comprehensive financial coaching will utilize these elements:

Coaching as a Process: Financial coaching is a slow paced, marathon.

Coaches must be committed for several months or even years to help clients fulfill short and long term financial goals.

Educational: Great financial coaching is based on education. Clients and financial advisors must work together to learn how their money can work for them. Smart financial coaches must learn how to select the right clients in order to establish a reputation.

Wealth Growth: The goal, and true indicator, of successful financial coaching is growth in client wealth. Without measurable growth, clients and financial advisors will be unable to learn which methods work best for the financial team.

The demand for financial coaching is on the rise. Individuals with a money, management, or financial background, should strongly consider building a financial advising business, and starting a financial consulting merchant account with eMerchantBroker.com. Our professional managers will process your client transactions and help expand your business.

Small Business Debt Consolidation Planning

Any business can end up in debt, just as a person can. Obviously, we do not want to see that happen. The problem is that this is rarely something that we can control. There are many moments in the life of a company when the unexpected happens. That is especially the case in the event that we are talking about a small business since backup plans are rarely possible.

The good news is that there are always debt consolidation plans that you have access to. This is actually one thing that not many small business owners know. Using one can easily help you to put your hands on a loan that has just one purpose: debt consolidation. Alternatively, you can also talk with consultants (consider Today’s Growth Consultant click here) or get a regular small business loan.

In order to start your way towards proper debt consolidation, you will need to gather all your bill, loan and credit statements. This is necessary in order to properly understand the amount of debt that you are currently faced with. All the debt statements have to be considered.

The next step is categorizing the debt. When you review the statements, think if your debt has to be paid really fast or it can be postponed. Consolidating only some of the debts that you have at the moment is possible while avoiding the consolidating of others. As time passes, you can consolidate all the loan that the company has.

Now you need to start comparing interest rates, terms and conditions and fees that are associated with your debt consolidation options. This helps you to decide what option is available for you and what is really beneficial based on the situation you are in at the moment.

Getting the debt consolidation loan is tricky since many things will go through your mind. However, keeping cool is not that difficult. These are loans that are basically created especially for the situation you are in. Because of this, the interest rates are lower when compared with most other loans. When referring to terms, everything is basically associated with repayment dates associated with the debt that you have.

Alternatively, as already mentioned, you can go for the small business loan that is offered by a commercial or a private lender. Just as with a small business loan or a debt consolidation loan, you have to consider fees and interest rates, together with terms and conditions.

If you do not know that much about how to locate a really good loan for your business, it is really important that you talk with a debt counselor. This is something that can help you out a lot in identifying those options that are really good for you. There are actually many companies out there that are specialized in helping those that are in the situation you are in at the moment. Do not hesitate to talk with such a professional since his knowledge is so much higher than what you have at the moment. It is an advantage to always consider.

What are the Contract Terms and Early Cancellation Penalties Business Owners Need to be Aware Of?

Know What You’re Signing Up For

If you accept credit card payments, you need to work with a merchant services company. Be certain you fully research every company you are considering working with, or you may find yourself trapped in a contract that doesn’t work in your favor.

Read the Contracts Carefully

Philip Parker of cardpaymentoptions.com, in an interview with BusinessNewsDaily, recommends that small business owners avoid provisions in contracts to “pay ‘damages,’ ‘liquidated damages,’ or any language that obligates you to pay a fee or another undefined amount for canceling service prior to the contract’s expiration.”

Also, check to see if the contract includes an auto-renewal. If it does and you need or want to cancel your small business merchant accounts, you may find yourself being charged a cancellation fee even after your contract term is up because it automatically rolled over into a new contract.

Cancellation Penalties

One particular point of the contract you should pay attention to is what you’ll be charged should you decide to cancel your service. An early termination fee can be a hefty fee, depending on the type of fee the provider levies. Attorney Paul A. Rianda says that a provider may choose one of three types of early termination fees.

  • Your contract may specify you need to pay a flat fee, which may be up to $500.
  • A hybrid fee is “calculated by multiplying a fixed amount by the balance of the term left in the Merchant Agreement.”
  • The last type of fee is calculated depending on what the provider loses by your company canceling the contract.

“Inadequate disclosure of fees is a common problem,” Rianda says. Providers may not disclose that there is a cancellation fee at all, and, if they do, it is not easy to find in the contract. This means that, in addition to thoroughly reading the contract, you may also need to talk to a sales or customer service representative to gather specifics on the fees.

There may be a clause in the contract that could be beneficial to you. According to MerchantCouncil.org, “Many merchant service agreements have a clause that voids the termination fee if processing rates are raised within the contract term.” You may have to find this clause yourself. Many sales representatives have not read their company’s contracts completely and are unaware of this type of clause.

Other Fees

No matter which company you are considering, you will be charged an interchange fee. Suneera Madhani defines this fee in a blog post for Forbes magazine as “the direct cost of credit card transactions from the credit card companies,” and it will be the same with every company. The company also charges a mark-up, which may be percentage-based or a subscription. As a subscription rate is a flat fee, it may end up being a cheaper option for your company.

A Contract Isn’t Necessary

You don’t need to sign a contract in order to set up a small business merchant account. Instead, consider one of the several merchant services providers that operate on a month-to-month basis while still offering quality services.

Coastal Equities Finance Tips 101: Using Home Equity to Eradicate Bad Debt

Equity to Release in Your Home
Equity to Release in Your Home

Find out how you can use your home’s equity to get rid of all your bad debt in this edition of Coastal Equities Finance Tips 101.

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The average American carries over $20k in bad debt. This can be from credit cards or merchant and store accounts. Basically, unsecured debt is bad debt because there’s nothing to back it up with. If you default on the payments, the debt becomes toxic, rarely ever paid off or fully recouped.

Unsecured debt carries a very high interest rate because of the high risk rate to the lender. Therefore, it usually follows you around for quite some time. If you own your own home and have plenty of equity, there’s a simple and straightforward solution that we’ll explain how to use in this edition of Coastal Equities Finance.

Assess Your Debt

Use a spreadsheet and carefully list out each credit account and the amount owed. Next, tag the interest rate and the minimum monthly payment. Factor what that payment is combined for all of your debts each month. Chances are it’s a sizeable monthly encumbrance. Now move on to step two.

Access Your Equity

Take out a home equity loan that’s locked in at a low interest rate to pay off all your bad debt with. Get rid of all that debt in one foul swoop with a lower interest and longer term, secured loan. Not only will your credit score skyrocket, but you will save thousands per year in interest and fees, too.

That aside, you will have also consolidated your payments into one easier monthly payment as opposed to many of them. When you compare the interest rate on a HELCO (equity) loan to a credit card, there is NO comparison. It’s just smart debt reduction tactics that can help you enjoy a debt-free existence.