• Bad Credit Alternative Lending Solutions

    by  • May 4, 2016 • Tagged: ,

    For a large part of America’s population, times are tough and taking out the occasional loan is a must. Without a steady job or a great credit history, they may end up looking at alternative lending solutions.

    Payday Loans

    Payday loans are the most expensive short-term loans available. Offered on practically every street corner in poorer neighborhoods, and even online, getting a payday loan is fast and easy.

    Say you need money to buy a new fridge because yours has broken down and your children need to eat. In a perfect world, you could go to an appliance store and purchase a new fridge with cash or store credit. People who don’t have that option though will find a payday loan to be the best option.

    A $500 loan will cost around $600 after a month of interest has accrued.  This is an expensive alternative.

    Short-Term Mortgages

    For the lucky Americans with home equity, an emergency is a little bit less scary. Instead of visiting a bank for a second mortgage or HELOC, try a private lender. The interest rates will be higher than at a traditional bank but money can be had quickly and easily – oftentimes even without a home appraisal.

    Private lenders also allow you to borrow smaller sums of money and to repay the money over a shorter period of time. While a bank wants to lend a lot of money over a great number of years, private lenders will give you a second mortgage for a couple of thousand dollars and a 3-year repayment schedule – perfect for someone looking to borrow money to buy a new car or replace the roof.

    Car Title Loans

    For people who own cars, there’s a third alternative lending option available. Car title loan companies are places where you can get money and still keep driving your car. There are quite a few options.  For example, car title loans Fort Lauderdale is a company that knows what the competition is offering and promises the most cash at the best rates and it’s been around for over a decade.

    Car title loans end up being cheaper than most private mortgages and practically all payday loans.  In the end, there are options for those with bad credit.

    Tax Scams You Should Look Out For

    by  • April 7, 2016 • Tagged: 

    Accountants busily working away, stressful documentation issues, and the hope for a big tax refund—yup, tax season is definitely here. The end date to file your taxes is upon us, and if you’ve waited until the last minute, you’re most likely frantically hurrying to get them done. Or perhaps you’re an early bird who had your taxes filed months ago. Whatever your situation, there’s something we should all keep in mind for the current tax season and for the years ahead—the abounding tax scams that pop up every year, designed by scam artists looking to steal money from hardworking taxpayers. Check out the tax scams commonly reported in the last few years and keep your money safe from opportunistic thieves.

    Email Phishing

    If you’ve received an email from the IRS stating that you owe money in back taxes, you may want to think twice before following the payment directions detailed in the message. It’s very rare that the IRS will resort to emailing taxpayers, and their correspondence is almost never about money owed—you’ll receive phone calls and letters in the mail long before your email app chimes. However, these scam artists are very sophisticated, and their work posing as an IRS agent can be very convincing, and supplemented with follow up emails and phone calls designed to stop you from questioning their legitimacy. Most email phishing scams around tax season will involve asking a taxpayer to update some sort of information for the IRS, including addresses, social security numbers, and more. These “updates” won’t actually be recorded by the government agency; more often than not the scammer has set up a fake website that appears to be an IRS owned entity. If you receive emails of this nature, assume a scam, and call the IRS directly and ask about said agent and the money you’re supposedly due to pay.

    Phone Calls

    While phone calls are more trustworthy when it comes to IRS interactions, be sure to tread lightly when you receive threatening rings that threaten further action if you don’t send money or provide sensitive information. Like emails, your best course of action is to call a direct line to the IRS, which can be easily found at www.IRS.gov, and ask about the agent and your current standing with the government agency. According to the IRS, phone calls have become one of the most popular ways scammers gain access to sensitive information, and trusting citizens become victims through this tactic almost every day. Beware of callers that get aggressive when you ask questions; they’ll often use scare tactics to convince taxpayers to pony up the money or sensitive information quickly and may threaten you with jail time or audits. Be aware of calls from banks as well; a trusted bank will have a customer service number, so call back and check if the call came from an authorized bank employee.

    Identity theft is one of the most common ways thieves benefit during tax season, as they have all of the information they need to file a bogus tax return and receive what you were owed. With the rates on identity theft on the rise, be sure you keep your sensitive information safe in every facet of your life. Leave your social security in a safe, protected place and never give out your SSN without knowing exactly how and why it will be used. Even things like searching for an apartment can see you handing out your sensitive information to near strangers; in cases like this, be sure to use a secure service like www.mysmartmove.com to keep your info safe.

    Bogus Charities

    It’s a sad world we live in when even those asking for charity are potential con artists. During tax season, you may see an influx of organizations or individuals approaching you for donations to their cause. Beyond philanthropic interests, some individuals can be swayed to donate with the promise of tax deductions, and scammers rely on this way of thinking. If you receive a request for money, do your research on the organization and look at the IRS’s approved list of charities. If you are looking to donate, use CharityNavigator.org to find legitimate charities that are near and dear to your heart.

    Scammers are highly sophisticated these days, and it’s essential that you stay on your guard during tax season and the rest of the year to ensure your money, assets, and family remain safe. If you believe you’ve been approached by a scammer, be sure to contact the IRS immediately. File early to avoid any fraudulent filings, and keep your sensitive information secret, unless prompted by a legitimate source you know and trust.

    Things to Note when Considering the Effects of loans on your Credit Score

    by  • February 23, 2016 • Tagged: , ,

    It is well known that installment loans are typically a great way for people with bad credit to still acquire a loan; however, it is good to understand how these loans may affect your credit so that you can get back on track towards having good credit once again. Below are three major things to note when it comes to considering your credit future while paying off an installment loan:

    Low risk equals low score impact

    Firstly, the debt from installment loans are typically stable relative to other types of loans over time; however, the early effects on your credit score of paying the fixed rates are also more modest. The stability of the installment loan comes both with good and bad news. In fact, it is the stability of the loan itself that actually explains why the debt payoff does not significantly improve your credit because it simply never lowers the score in the first place. The logic is that when a creditor is not worried about being paid back, there is less reason to incentivize you through a score deduction. It is not un-heard of to have a score between 650 and 750 or higher despite holding a six figure installment loan. On average the recipients of installment loans actually do hold a six figure amount of this debt, and there is no indication that this is a particularly more risky.

    Prioritize making regular payments

    Installment loans are unique because the total amount you receive has far less of impact on your credit score than the overall payment history does. Your history is considered in a more holistic way which can be an advantage to many with lesser but steady income streams. This means that making those regular payments in a timely way will ensure that when your history is reviewed you end up better off than you were before.

    Have Patience

    One should not shy away from installment loans due to the worry that they will not improve your score; in fact, it is actually very likely to improve. There is no disputing the fact that by lowering your balance by paying off your installment loan, that your credit will improve overall. As long as you pay careful attention to the advice above and use a steady income to ensure timely payments, your score will begin to better, however, in a relatively slow way compared with many other loans. It is therefore important to understand the importance of patience when improving your credit through an installment loan as they often are set to mature after a few or perhaps even a dozen years.

    In general, installment loans are a very safe alternative to other options for those seeking to acquire money and improve their credit while doing so. It is important to understand that with these loans it is far more important to focus attention on the management of regular payments and a steady stream of income rather than paying off a dauntingly high balance. This is because with installment loans, a steep balance should simply not daunt you, including those with poor credit scores. Educate yourself further on the specific type of installment loan before receiving one so that you can cover the necessary steps to slowly and steadily improve your credit score.

    How to Handle a Lingering Holiday Credit Card Bill

    by  • February 11, 2016 • Tagged: , ,

    We might be a month removed from the holidays, but for many Americans, the effects of gift-buying, travel plans, and holiday feasts are still very much present. The average American carries around $15,000 in credit card debt, and that doesn’t even begin to delve into the hefty interest rates that will also require payment. If you find yourself facing ever-mounting holiday debt, use these steps to get yourself back on the right track.

    Plan a New Budget

    Before digging yourself out of a debt hole, you have to ensure you’re not worsening it in the meantime. The best way to do this is to create a 12-month budget that will take you all the way through the next holiday season to ensure you don’t find yourself in a financial pickle again. Use an online service like Mint.com to make it easier on yourself, or enlist the help of a financial planner if you’re in need of specific guidance.

    Use the Avalanche Method

    If you’ve got multiple debts, you’ll have to make some decisions on which way you want to pay off first. While you should always be sure to pay the minimum dues on every account, you’ll also want to start getting rid of accounts completely. Many experts recommend the avalanche method, in which debtors list their debts in order of highest interest rate charge to lowest. Whatever excess money you have leftover for bills after paying the minimums each month should be dedicated to the top account on the list. Once that’s paid off, move to the next, and so on. Not only will this help you avoid terrible interest rates, it will also give you more peace of mind when you have less debt accounts to worry about.

    The Great Purge

    You may have money sitting around in your closet—literally. Make sure you purge items you no longer need and hold a garage sale to make some extra cash that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. These items aren’t limited to clothing. Consider old furniture, appliances, and any other items piling up dust. The more you can part with, the fatter your wallet will be. If items are too worn to sell, consider donating to charity. Often, you may be able to use these donations and tax deductions. You have to stop spending until you have your finances completely under control. This doesn’t mean denying yourself the necessities, but it does mean cutting out the non-essentials, like your morning coffee or gym membership that doesn’t get used. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t use or need, and check on automated payments to ensure you’re not paying for things you don’t need to be.

    Put Your Card Away

    If you have an issue with spending, leave your credit card at home. Simple and to the point. It may be convenient and get you what you need right away, but it’s only going to hurt you in the long run. Delete your credit card information from your web browsers to avoid frivolous online shopping that might be done on a whim, and always take a minute or two to determine whether or not you truly need an item, even if it’s a small expense. Don’t let the siren’s call of rewards or points inspire you to pick up that card.

    Transfer Your Balances

    Some choose to transfer their credit card balances over to a zero percent interest rate card from a company like Citicards.com. Check to be sure that you qualify for such an offer, and if accepted, pay it off as quickly as possible. You’ll need to determine whether or not the balance transfer fees will be worth this step.

    Get Some Tax Help

    If your holiday bills are piling up on pre-existing debt, and you’re worried you may find yourself in hot water with the IRS, see what a tax professional can help you work out. Using the services of a company like www.communitytax.com can help you navigate the fresh start initiatives the IRS put in place a few years back and determine which course of action is best for your individual needs. Whether it’s an offer in compromise or an installment plan, tackling your tax issues head on is the best way to deal—ignoring them could result in some serious consequences.

    If you’re dealing with a financial hangover from the holiday months, now’s the time to start tackling your debt.

    Is Owning a Rental Property Worth It?

    by  • January 13, 2016 • Tagged: 

    The buy-to-let market should be going through something of a boom. With first time buyers still finding it hard to raise the required mortgage deposit, often 25%, the housing rental sector continues to increase with almost 3.5 million people today living in private rented accommodation in the UK. But is owning a rental property worth it?

    On the face of it, buying a property to let appears to be a good investment and with home ownership at a 25 year low, there are greater numbers of people seeking rental accommodation today than ever before. There is, however, a shortage in the housing market for rental properties. To discover the reasons for this, we must first look at the recent economic history of the UK;

    The crash of seven years ago saw many of the big property renters off-loading their property portfolios, and the recent new tax laws, due to come into force in 2017, have also proved off-putting for many considering a buy to let mortgage. With many landlords already finding margins wafer thin, the new legislation restricting what can be claimed against tax is enough for some to make property renting an unviable proposition.

    The National Landlords Association claims 31% of private landlords owning one property, and 17% those who own two to four, either just broke even or lost money between April and June of 2015.

    As a property landlord you have a duty of care to your tenants with annual gas and electrical safety checks having to be carried out. Furniture has to be fire resistant and the place fit for purpose. These regulations are being tightened up and wear and tear legislation is changing. From 2016 out goes the annual allowance and in comes tax relief on replaced furniture only. All these moves have been designed by the government to specifically reduce buy to let mortgages. So is the whole thing worth it?

    Providing you realize the pitfalls, and take the time to research the area of your proposed purchase, buying-to-let can still be an excellent investment in the long term. The usual buy-to-let property hotspots continue to apply; London, Bristol and Birmingham lead the pack, with Slough, Reading, and Southampton seeing the biggest monthly rental yields outside of Greater London. Cities with high student populations also do well, with the vast majority of those students living in rented accommodation.

    As with any business, minimizing overheads is the prime concern. There are a plethora of financial institutions offering financial incentives for those enquiring about buy to let mortgages, so always make sure to do a little research on the different mortgage providers. That said, all will probably require you to be an existing customer with a high credit rating, or at least have a good level of property collateral or liquidity.

    If you already have a private mortgage, have never missed a payment, and have accrued a level of collateral on the property, approaching your current mortgage provider is always a good starting point and cuts out any middlemen. Failing that, find an unbiased Mortgage Broker to talk to, or a fully regulated Independent Financial Adviser.

    Comparison websites can provide an idea of what’s on offer but beware, seeking good advice is paramount. Buy-to-let mortgage providers do not have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and as such you could be open to what might be termed unusual practices.

    Finally, even with all the doom and gloom, in a recent survey of buy-to-let landlords, only 10% said they were considering selling their property.

    Taking On Wedding Debt Is a Bad Idea

    by  • August 21, 2015 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Getting married can be a wonderful thing if you’ve got rich or generous parents and an unlimited budget to fulfill your wildest wedding dreams. But if you’re like most people, the cost of getting married can unfortunately detract from the happiness of what should otherwise be your special day. According to The Knot’s 2014 Real ... Read more →

    How to Save Money on Monthly Expenses

    by  • February 16, 2015 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    1.      Verify You’ve Signed up for the Right Plan The wrong cell phone plan can eat up a lot of your income. So you want to be sure you are signed up for the right plan. Contact your carrier and check to see how many minutes you are actually using versus what you are paying ... Read more →

    When Should You Buy Your First Home?

    by  • November 20, 2014 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Are you thinking about purchasing your very own home for the first time? Perhaps you’re sick of renting or you’d just like a permanent place to call your own. Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re certain that you’re ready to buy your first home and are doing it wisely. Follow the helpful tips ... Read more →

    Maximize Profit on Your Business Website

    by  • November 19, 2014 • Tagged: , , , ,  • Comments

    Every business needs a website. Local market searches are a driving force for businesses to increase market share locally. Organic web traffic is not just about local traffic, though that is where the bulk of online traffic generates. It is also about global traffic. Shoppers in other countries use the web to find better products ... Read more →

    8 ways to monetize your website

    by  • September 29, 2014 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    The Internet is a great way to make money. In order to do this though, it is necessary to know how to monetize a website. There are all sorts of different ways to do this, but knowing the ins and outs of this process is helpful. That is why understanding the eight different ways to ... Read more →

    Budgeting for Traveling and Using a Great Rewards Credit Card to Help Along the Way

    by  • July 8, 2014 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Learning about different cities, cultures and customs is educational and exciting! Everyone loves to visit different places, whether it is to visit friends or family or for a vacation. You may be wondering if it is possible to travel more without spending a lot of money. It is possible, with careful budgeting and using a ... Read more →

    Loan Shark Guide

    by  • July 3, 2014 • Tagged:   • Comments

    With research suggesting that the number of illegal money-lenders operating in the UK continues to soar, read our handy guide to how to spot a loan shark and what to do if you fall victim to one.  Our guide covers the definition of a loan shark, how to handle a loan shark as well as ... Read more →

    How to Cruise on a Dime

    by  • May 23, 2014 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Cruise holidays are some of the best deals out there for budget travellers. All-inclusive cruise deals mean that most food, accommodation and transportation are all nicely wrapped up into one very reasonable sum for a journey that can vary from the Caribbean to Asia. With a range of amenities that are included in the cost ... Read more →

    Best Money Tips for Single Parents

    by  • May 22, 2014  • Comments

    If you are a single parent, trying to have enough money for everyday bills is hard enough. Yet, you want your children to have an enjoyable life. Follow these money tips to save money and have enough to cover your bills without the worry. Keep an Emergency Account An emergency account is necessary for every ... Read more →

    Can You Write Your Own Will?

    by  • December 18, 2013 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    It’s a common misconception that you have to hire an attorney to write your own will. Yes, an attorney will know how to draft a will properly and they know your state’s estate laws, but there are plenty of legal websites out there that can help you draft just as good (if not better) of ... Read more →

    Getting Rid of the For Sale Sign: How to Get Approved for a Home Mortgage Loan

    by  • November 24, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    The dire straits of the economic recession are still taking their toll, especially within the struggling real estate market. There are millions of people throughout the United States who are eagerly searching for ways to qualify for a mortgage loan so that they can get the keys to their new home as soon as possible. ... Read more →

    Ways to Save Money on Sports Shoes

    by  • November 13, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    If you’re a sportsperson then taking care of your body will be essential and your shoes will be far more than a fashion statement. There are many different models of sports shoe for each sport. Some are better than others and some are cheaper than others. The trick to buying the perfect sports shoe is ... Read more →

    Vegas Baby!

    by  • October 1, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    When we started our blog, we were freshly engaged, and had started to plan our wedding. Readers of our blog know that we had some expensive ideas for the wedding and not many of you agreed with our decisions. We went ahead with our own plans anyway a few years after that first post. Five ... Read more →

    INFOGRAPHIC: Be A Premier Performer at Tackling Debt

    by  • September 26, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The number of individuals living with debt in the UK is on the rise. As of July, the total amount of personal debt held by individuals was right around £1.426 trillion. This is partly the result of the global economic recession which caused a high percentage of redundancies but it’s also on a count of mismanaging ... Read more →

    We’re Buying a House…Sooner or Later

    by  • September 19, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Sadly, after almost nine years of renting an apartment and stable rent payments, we’ve decided that we need to get a bigger place to live. Our financial lives were pretty simple the past few years, even with the addition of a new family member. We’ve decided to turn our world upside-down and look for property ... Read more →