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Category Archives: Finance

Organize Finances for New Year

Review all your statements

Make sure you set time aside monthly to review all your bills and statements. This is a good time to look for things you are paying for but no longer need or especially for things that you can cut back on. A good online app that can help discover interest increases or add-on charges or even auto-renewing subscriptions is Truebill.

Check out your credit union’s online money management tools

Credit unions offer online tools to help with your financial management. How can I save for that hot sports car, that dream home or those toys for the boys? How much down payment do I need to save for that shack at the shore? What type of investment is the best for me? Play with their calculators to make your financial decisions easier. And if you want to set up a budget and track your spending take a look at their FREE personal financial management software which can aggregate all of your financial relationships and help you set goals.

Financial calculators will help you understand APRs, APYs, amortizations, and the power of money. Just go on your credit union website and select a category that peeks your interest:

Always prepare for the unexpected

As we all know, life can throw you some curveballs. Life’s challenges like the loss of a job, or medical issues can leave you drowning in a sea of debt. As I’m sure you have heard before, it’s essential to build an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of expenses. Even if you can save only a little each month, you can grow a financial protective cushion.

Cut loose of debt

Are you that person that makes just the minimum payments on your credit cards or other major debts? Did you know this means you’re paying mostly interest and barely even shaving away at current balances? One effective method for reducing debt is to concentrate on your highest-interest balances first, while still making timely smaller payments on all other commitments. When you have your high interest debt paid off, concentrate on the most expensive remaining balance, and continue this way till you’re debt free.

When your financial obligations are truly out of control, combining your debts into a single payment may provide the relief you need. Streamlining multiple debts into one single lower monthly payment can help you pay off your bills sooner. Your options include home equity, personal loans and zero-interest credit card balance transfers.

Get Out of Credit Card Debt

There are more than one way that a credit card issuer can get their money, one of the most common being lawsuits. Very often they file a civil suit; If a creditor obtains a judgment against you they can place a lien on your assets to recover the money or even worse: garnish your wages by sending the required documentation to your employer, which is required to comply by law. A good way of preventing these problems is to seek help from a professional credit card debt settlement company.

It will make it harder to find a new job

If it wasn’t hard enough to find a job with all the competition out there, staying in debt can make it a bit more difficult for you. This is because employers in many states can check the credit reports of job applicants, and a record filled with late payments and court proceedings may not let you be seen as a reliable candidate. Employers are able to do this because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Companies must have your permission to view your credit reports.

However, this usually only affects people who are searching for a upper management financial position. The reason is because your potential employer may view you as a person who cannot make responsible financial decisions because of your own financial problems. Before applying, check any accounts that may have debt. If you see anything that may cost you from getting hired, quickly work on repairing the problem.

Mortgage, Rental and loan rejections

In addition to your debt issues, reports indicating nonpayment of credit card debt not only decrease your chances of securing a mortgage, you are also less attractive as a rental candidate, since in many cases landlords often check the applicant’s credit before agreeing to hand over the keys. Likewise, if you are trying to apply for a loan at the bank, by having active debt somewhere else your chances of getting approved for a loan are between probably not and absolutely not.

Your debt can increase

In some cases people find themselves in a tight situation financially and they may chose to default on one high-interest card to keep the lower-interest ones to make purchases. What many people are not aware of are the penalties that come with not paying and/or paying late.

The reason that strategy will not work is because many credit accounts have “universal default” clauses in their agreement, which state that if you’re more than 30 days late on any one account, they’re allowed to raise your interest rates based on the increased risk, hence increasing the debt balance.

Potentially losing a job promotion

Again, this only affects for people that are in line for a promotion to a position where they have to handle money, credit checks, or make financial decisions. If you believe you may receive a job promotion in the future make sure to settle any debt you have because it could keep you from getting promoted.

Eliminate Your Debts

1. An Accurate Current Status

To start off, you need to have an idea of what debts you have, their remaining balances, minimum payments, and their current interest rates. Create a list that contains this information, along with the company you owe the debt to. Once you have that completed, arrange the list in one of two ways.

One way you can arrange your list is by using the remaining balances. Start with the account that you have the highest amount left to pay and work your way down the list to the lowest remaining balance. Another method for creating your list is by using the same procedures but start your list with the account that has the highest interest rate. Continue with your list until you are sure you have not forgotten any debts.

To help you decide which method for creating your list is best for you, ask yourself two questions: Are the amounts of your remaining balances fairly high, and how many payments do you have left to pay? If you have a substantial amount of money left to repay, go with the interest rate method. By eliminating the debt with the highest interest rate, you will save money in the long run. However, if your remaining balances are low to moderate, go with the remaining balances method. Once you eliminate the largest debt you owe, you will have more funds to apply to the smaller debts.

2. Arrange Your Funds

With list in hand, set aside enough money to cover the minimum payments on each debt. With the funds you have remaining, apply an additional payment amount to the debt that is on the top of your list, in other words, make two payments. If the minimum payment is too steep and you do not have enough funds for making an additional payment, move down your list to debt that you can afford to make an additional payment on.

Yes, you could go ahead and apply your remaining funds to the remaining balance on the debt that you have on the top of your list, however, our goal is to pay off your debts, not pay them down. This will all become clearer a little later on.

3. Set’ em Up and Knock’ em Down

Once you have started this plan, keep going until you have the first debt completely paid off. When it is gone, you can take the money from that payment you no longer have and apply it to the next debt on your list. If you had to skip the top debt, go back and see if you now have enough to be able to make two payments. Continue paying off your debts in this manner until you have completely cleared your list. Before long, you will have accomplished what you initially thought would be impossible, you have eliminated your debts.

Does this plan sound familiar? It is commonly referred to as the “debt snowball”. No, I am not saying this little slice of genius is my creation. I am simply saying that it is the best way to eliminate your debts without causing, even more, financial hardships. Just keep in mind that if you are having a hard time making even the minimum payments, you will have to either find an extra source of income to initiate this plan, or look for financial counseling to help via alternative methods.

Credit Card Processing

A proper Credit Card processor provides support to every aspect of your business starting from merchant account processing by providing you with merchant processing account. The processing of credit cards and debit cards with a fast response from both the front-end and backend is the key to a proper business merchant processing. The charges may vary according to the payment gateway, but you can find yourself relieved of the hassles you otherwise had to take. They take care of the details of cards along many devices like mobile device, POS, etc., and verify the data according the card holders name. The transfer request is sent almost immediately for crediting the same amount to the merchant’s account.

These companies are already developing their commitment towards the security of transfers. Even the small businesses are relying more on the cashless transaction, thus the small business merchant support is also being provided by many such processors. They accept credit card payments and process them taking utmost care to provide security and speed.

To assure the merchant of the security and speed of the processing, the companies are engaging their efforts in making the payment gateway more encrypted. Thus any chances of forgery or hacking are obliterated. With the latest 128-bit SSL algorithm, only the merchant and customer have the right to know the required part of the transaction, I. e. PIN number or identification number on the part of customer and another PIN number for the merchant. This classified information provide the base of the secure mode of payment.

Knowing the basics of any operation can make the most of your business, and the Card processors are taking care of that. Carrying cash is not at all mandatory for the customers nowadays and merchants are providing enough facilities to make the payment options more efficient with a bit of help from technology through card processing companies. Above all, payment gateway continues to be the ultimate protector of the security of the transaction.

Reaching Freedom From Debt

Don’t negotiate – The terms of the debt repayment are not thought by most of the people who have debt. If you have credit debt, your credit card company must be called up by you to ask for a lower interest rate. A lot of amount can be saved by doing this simple step. Forbearance can always be asked for by you on car loans, credit cards and student loans.

Don’t think “everyone is doing it” – Never assume the fact on your own that “everyone is doing it”. It is one of the ways by which you can get into trouble. It mainly comes by seeing your friends or family in debt or by seeing people buy costly electronic gadgets or clothes by using credit cards. So, don’t get yourself into it, if everyone is doing so because it will be frustrating later on to get out from it.

Thinking of paying a debt without a plan – Most of the people think that debt can be paid off without having any plan. But it is not possible to do so. Wealth can be built and debt can be paid off by making a personalized plan. Make sure to have a plan in order to pay your loans in an orderly manner.

Forget to change the attitude – This is one of the worst mistakes that a person can do in his lifetime. This is because change is not liked by most of the people. But you have to change your attitude for a better result. New financial plans should be incorporated to get good outcomes.

Achieve A Debt Free Lifestyle

Figure out how much debt you really have

First, you need to do what you should do whenever you face any serious problem: determine the nature of the problem and how bad it really is. In other words, you need to take careful account of your debt situation. When in debt, especially if you have multiple sources of debt, it can be tempting to avoid facing the truth about how much you really owe altogether. So, sit down with a piece of paper or a computer spreadsheet and simply add up all of your debt. The number you come up with is what you will target to become “zero” in the very near future. Imagine the relief you will feel when that happens!

Put your debt into categories

As you add it up, put each type of debt into its own category. The reason for this is that different types of debt should be treated differently. Examples of relevant categories include credit card debt, department store card debt, mortgage, second mortgage, auto loans, and equity lines of credit. Also, if you have multiple credit cards, for example, be sure to list each one separately.

Arrange in order of which to pay off first, by interest rate

Now, next to each debt instrument you have, write down the amount you owe and the interest rate for each one. Most likely, your credit cards will carry the highest interest rates, for example. Now, re-copy your list in the order of highest to lowest interest rate.

Pay off one at a time

Put together a plan to pay off each of your cards, one at a time. Each month, start by making the minimum payment on each of your cards, except for the highest-interest card. For that one, pay it down as much as possible each month. As you successfully pay down each card, you will get a feeling of accomplishment that will encourage you to keep fighting your debt monster until it is completely dead. By paying off the highest interest cards first, you will be freeing up more money each month to pay down your remaining debt faster.

Work on your credit score

One of the smartest ways to get rid of debt that many people overlook is to take the steps necessary to improve your credit score. You could potentially save a lot of money per year in interest payments simply by improving your credit score. The reason is, a better score will mean you will be eligible for lower interest rates, and it is the high-interest rates associated with debt that keeps people in debt longer.

Rolling Over Credit Cards

Credit limits

Use of cards comes with a credit limit that you can buy for. This is set by the bank issuing it and is dependent on monthly income. Each bank has a different limit setting as well as some of the cards having budget payment facilities where as others do not offer this kind of service.

Acquiring a card is usually easy to get as long as you qualify financially. In fact, the banks are only too willing to give them to you so they can make some easy money. The bank charges on overdue card payments are high and it is not difficult for people to end up not meeting their commitment by the due date. Instead of being careful about their spending they run up their cards to the maximum. If you have surplus money rather put it into a savings account and gain interest.

Making minimum payments

If you only pay the minimum amount due on your credit card you are going to end up paying astronomical amounts of interest that compound monthly. Overall, it is far wiser to pay the full amount due as hen all you have to pay extra is the monthly charge for card usage.

Applying a sensible strategy to spending is the best way of making monthly purchases. A credit card is ideal for paying grocery shopping, or, for any other items needed for the household, or any other payments. The problems with plastic purchasing arise if you overstep buying your necessities and spend freely on expensive unnecessary luxury items.

Costs of living today have risen to such an extent that it is difficult to maintain the standards you are used to and which was the normal way of life in the past. Thrift has unfortunately had to enter our existence on a daily basis.

Worldwide there are many people now forced to live far beyond their means. This encourages rolling over of their credit cards in order to continue the existence of a lifestyle in the way they are accustomed to. This eventually is going to prove such a financial strain that many people will find they have to resort to downsizing their homes, cars, schools, and forms of entertainment expenditure in order to be able to survive. Otherwise, they will be without money, credit cards, and bankrupt.

Manage Credit Card Debt

To break this cycle of ever increasing debt the first thing that has to change is your mindset. You must believe you are worth something, that you are valuable, and are a special and unique person. This is not an easy thing to perceive, especially if you have had a life full of people telling you something other than this. To have an identity, to know who you are, is a place of contentment, If you are content, you will stop striving for things, if you are happy, it does not matter what you have or do not have. You are created in the image of God, allow Him to define you, God say’s you are fearfully and wonderfully made, he took his time putting you together, He thought about what your purpose was and gave you the tools to achieve that purpose. This God sent His Son who we killed, but that was part of the plan, because without His death the Comforter could not come, If you need some financial comfort, know that godliness with contentment is great gain, and that without a credit card, you immediately rid yourself of a source of credit card debt within your life, get the scissors out cut up all your credit cards and you put your self in a place where the debt generated by the credit cards cannot get any bigger. Freed from debt you are now free to earn money from the Internet.

You can start to address the debt outstanding, by changing the way you make purchases. Pay for all purchases with Cash or by Debit Card. This will give you a much greater appreciation of what you are spending, this takes a bit of getting used to, but the first thing you will feel is empowered, this will make you feel good about yourself, and will also give you a sense of control over where the money is being spent and what for.

To get an even tighter grip on the debt situation you will need to make a budget, fill out a budget planner, and begin to forecast future spending, but more importantly look to find areas where you can begin to save money. Once you are saving money, this frees you up to spend time earning money on the Internet. I told you this was not a get rich quick scheme, but do not bail out, all you need is an attitude adjustment, a new mindset, and I can help you with that.

Consumer Credit VS Capital Credit

Consumer credit on one hand, is easy to get. Fill out a few online forms and unless you have some real financial problems you’ll receive your very own, personalized, plastic credit card along with all the accompanying literature (lots of fine print) within days.

With consumer credit in hand you can buy anything from gas at the pump, to beer at the ballpark, or a college education (student loans sound familiar to anyone?). A consumer credit card company wants you to buy all kinds of things on credit (often at ridiculously high interest rates – formerly called usury), to pay later, while piling up a mountain of debt that will allow the lending institution to make you work for the rest of your days in order to pay off your debt to them.

In Contrast – Capital Credit…
On the other hand, capital credit allows you to purchase wealth producing capital assets (i.e. land, machinery, buildings, corporate stock), to pay back the loan at a reasonable rate until you own the asset outright, and are reaping the full financial benefits of owning wealth producing capital. Done right, the loan is paid back out of FUTURE EARNINGS (i.e. dividends) instead of the borrower’s own pocket.

Capital credit however, is much harder to get (try buying a house sometime) than consumer credit. Generally speaking, borrowers must be able to prove they don’t need the money (meaning they have ample collateral with which to back the loan) before the lending institution agrees to anything. The result is that most wealth producing capital assets that yield lucrative dividends to their owners are accessible ONLY to a small percentage of people – the 1{9198332639182e13dab42b9ea1f4c116af819992db0fa97f6ccd85a5ba1453c0} to 5{9198332639182e13dab42b9ea1f4c116af819992db0fa97f6ccd85a5ba1453c0} who can prove they don’t need the money.

Almost everyone else is effectively left out in the cold when it comes to accessing capital credit and owning wealth producing capital assets. This is the basic reason for the wealth gap that’s transformed America’s democracy into a 21st century American oligarchy.

Enter Kelso and Adler
Enter a gent named Louis O Kelso, who back in 1958 published a book entitled “The Capitalist Manifesto,” in which he (and co-author Mortimer Adler) suggested that every American citizen should have access to capital credit with which to purchase wealth producing capital assets at reasonable interest rates and in the process actively participate in (instead of being left out of) America’s highly productive free market economy.

Such a strategy according to Kelso and Adler, would democratize a free market economy. Such a strategy would maintain the private ownership essence of the free market while preventing the monopolistic tendencies that have historically undermined political democracy in laissez faire capitalist economies. In other words, it would save the free market from its own historical tendencies to self destruct.

By democratizing the free market (while creating lots of demand via a second “investment income” for every citizen*) and systematically reducing the malignant wealth gap, Kelso and Adler predicted an economic expansion even larger than the one that followed in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s Homestead act of 1863 which gave every American citizen 160 acres of land (one kind of wealth producing capital asset), if they were willing to take care of it. But where land is finite, business opportunities and corporations (as well as the economic possibilities) are infinite.

Oligarchs Successfully Marginalized Kelso/Adler
The oligarchs however have successfully kept a lid on Kelso and Adler’s revolutionary ideas and to this day most of the public actually thinks there are ONLY 2 choices when it comes to economics. There is the historically right leaning, free market, laissez- faire capitalist approach of the Republicans. And there is the historically left leaning, labor union favoring approach of the Democrats.

Importance of a Credit Report

The simplest way to find out about your credit history is to order a copy online. You want a website that provides you with information from the three major credit bureaus;Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These bureaus analyze your financial decision making; both past and present, and put that information into a report. A good website to use that provides this information is creditchecktotal.com. It only costs $1 to check and can provide you with invaluable information compiled into a credit report. Your report will not only provide your current credit score, but also your entire credit history.

A credit report acts as your credit references. A positive credit history tells potential lenders that you manage your finances well, i.e. borrow money and pay it back in a timely manner. A negative credit history tells lenders you have a difficult time managing your finances and instead are in debt, often not repaying them as agreed.

Credit reports help you by providing you with your personal financial history. This may include attempts at fraud made by others at your expense or errors made by varying lenders. The report can also provide you with information on good or bad decisions you may have made in the past. By staying up-to-date with your financial history, you can ensure you are making good choices, have the ability to detect if someone is committing identity theft and ensure there are no errors.

In addition, a credit report can explain why you were not approved for a certain loan or line of credit. Even though you had a great or excellent credit score, you still had a negative item or charge back on your credit report, so the financial lender refused to approve you.

You can also see how fast your credit score can be transformed. If you go ahead and start repairing your credit, you can watch how fast negative items can be removed and how fast you will gain points putting your score from bad or below 600 to above 700.