The Basics of Debt Management Plans

debt stress reliefDebt management plans are usually offered as a part of a debt consolidation solution to your various debt problems. According to it is a great way for you to seize control of your own finances and eliminate any unsecured debts you may have at the same time. Remember that unsecured debts are those that aren’t covered by a collateral asset such as a house or car. Typical unsecured debts include credit cards and student loan payments.

How it Works for You

When you sign up for a debt management plan, you are required to make a deposit every month to the company you signed up with. This deposit is used by the advisors at the company to pay off each of your multiple debts in a schedule that has been negotiated and agreed upon with the people you owe money to.

This monthly deposit you make is one that is determined by how much you can afford to pay each month while living frugally. You are informed of the amount you will pay before actually signing any agreements. You can have the monthly payment amount suggested to you by letting the debt management company analyze your income and expenses.

The Benefits of Using Debt Management Plans

These plans are made for a single reason – to keep your organized. This is the main advantage of such a program. It doesn’t reduce how much you owe, of course, but makes it far easier to pay off the debts because you make them on time. You can also finally make a budget for yourself that has a set goal and is realistic, without overdoing your spending on debt payments. These regular payments you make to pay off your debts also serve to improve the look of your credit score as time goes by, meaning that your creditors will no longer need to call you every two days to remind you about your outstanding payments.

Choose the Right Counseling Company

There are many credit counseling companies out there that are willing to help you manage your debt with a debt management plan. Most of these claim to be non-profit, while others will charge you for their services. You should always try to find a company that has trained, qualified and certified counselors working for them. Agencies like the Consumer Protection Agency, the Better Business Bureau, and the local DA office can help you identify companies that have a good reputation without any complaints or a history of bad service.

Points to Consider When Signing Up

It can take over three years to pay off all your debt using a management plan. While paying off your debt, you will have to live more modestly than you are used to. You also won’t be able to take out loans or apply for new credit cards while you are enrolled in the plan. If your payments on the plan are late, your costs may rise over time, and you will be at risk of having to stay in it for longer. With all these in mind make the right decision for yourself and your bank account!

Investing While in Debt is Totally Possible

debt investmentsDo you have some money saved up? It is completely normal to want to see that money grow in investments. If you happen to be in debt, though, investing seems like nothing more than a pipe dream. How do you get out from under a mortgage while investing money at the same time? Well, says that you can do just that. There are many ways in which you can balance your debts while investing in new ventures.

Know the Types of Debt You Have

Your ability to invest while in debt is based on the type of debt you’re trying to pay off. Some types of debt make it a very bad idea to invest in other ventures during. Others are not so bad. High-interest debt is the worst kind. This type includes credit card debts and similar situations where the interest rate is more than 10%. Low-interest debt, on the other hand, is easier to invest during. This includes car loans, mortgages, and bank loans for personal use.

Why Should You Invest While in Debt?

Getting rid of debt is a process that takes a long time. Loans that last for up to 30 years exist. You don’t want to dedicate all your time and money to paying off these debts and find that you have nothing waiting for you at the end of it. When you pay off debt on its own without investing, you gain financial freedom at the end of the period. This comes at the cost of less time for any future investments to mature. If you start a portfolio right now, the time value of money is such that a $100 investment today could yield over $10000 at the end of the 30-year period of your loan. This value depends on the interest rate of your investment over this period of time.

You Need a Different Portfolio

Investing while in debt is different to investing in ventures in the traditional way. The difference here is that instead of making low-risk investments you use that money to pay off your loans and long-term debts. The returns, in this case, include a reduced debt balance as well as the return on your high-risk investments including stocks. The higher the risk you take with your investments, the less money will go towards your loan payments. Of course, you need to consider budgeting to make sure that regardless of your investments you will still have just enough to pay off your loans.

Investing is still possible when you’re in debt. The question you should be asking yourself is: should you? This is a very personal decision. It depends on your confidence, your ability to assess risk vs. reward, and much more. This isn’t something that should be engaged in on a whim. You’ll be making some high-risk investments. Make sure you’re psychologically ready for this adventure. You don’t want to wind up demotivated and possibly depressed because an investment falls through. Learn to roll with the punches and focus on managing your debt too.

Thumb Rules of Investing in Stocks

investment in stockMaking profits in the equity market is not based on your luck. With a disciplined and research-based investment approach, you may be able to earn high returns. In addition, using some basic thumb rules based on the experience of other successful investors will help you earn profits.

Here are five thumb rules for investing in stocks

1. Do not try to time the market

Predicting the tops and bottoms in the equity market consistently over several cycles is almost impossible for seasoned investors. In reality, most people who try to time the market lose money.

2. Take a disciplined investment approach

Historically, great bull runs have also had their moments of panic. The volatility in the equity market has resulted in people losing money even during bull runs. However, if you follow a disciplined investment approach with long-term goals, it is most likely that you may avoid losses.

3. Invest in a broader portfolio

It is recommended you invest in different stocks across various sectors. Furthermore, you must include several asset classes to reduce your risk exposure. The different types of instruments that may be included in your investment portfolio primarily depends on your risk appetite and financial goals.

4. Monitor your portfolio regularly

The stock market is not only affected by domestic happenings. International occurrences also affect the equity market today. Therefore, it is very important that you monitor the performance of your portfolio regularly and make modifications as required. In case you are unable to track your portfolio at periodic intervals due to lack of knowledge or time, taking the help of an experienced financial advisor is recommended.

5. Avoid leverage

To ensure you do not face financial difficulties, you must invest the money that you can afford to lose. It is vital that you do not take on debt for stock market investing. In case the stocks do not perform as expected, there is a huge risk of losing the borrowed money and repaying the same may have adverse results.

Stock market investing may be highly profitable. However, you must do your research and make informed decisions. Furthermore, you must never let your emotions control your decisions and be realistic in your expectations.

Buying or renewing a bike insurance is a click away: 10 Benefits to Go Online

byke insurance renewalIn today’s internet savvy world, we all purchase something or the other online. From apparels, airline tickets, to gadgets, literally EVERYTHING is only a few clicks away! Even while writing this article, I ordered for a purple kurta to be worn in my office Holi party!

In fact, it’s not just clothes and groceries that are selling like hotcakes in the internet world, as people are buying insurance online as well.

Either you or someone in your acquaintance might have bought bike insurance online. After all, as per the research across 18 cities, more and more people are buying insurance online. Of the 3007 respondents,24% purchased motor insurance online.

However, if you are reluctant about going ahead with the online mode and prefer the conventional mode of arranging a meeting with various insurance agents and visiting their offices for detailed discussion, this article is meant just for YOU!

Benefits of online buying/renewing bike insurance:

Buying or renewing bike insurance online can prove advantageous in various ways, such as:

1. Automated servicing: The online platform is not meant for buying insurance only. As a prompt and efficient servicing channel, current policyholders can adopt the online mode to renew their policy as well, regardless of whether they purchased their policy online or not. Further, with just one click, you can download product literature like brochures, policy wordings, etc. and get instant premium quotes online.

2. Online assistance: If you are purchasing the insurance online, it doesn’t mean you will not get any assistance. Most of the insurance companies have live chat facility on their websites where customers can seek clarification in case of any query. Also, customers can call on the toll-free number of insurance companies to clear all doubts. You can go further and ask the insurer for a face-to-face meeting. The insurer will send an executive for further assistance.

3. Paperless transactions: Getting into paperwork is both time consuming and boring. But when you go online to buy an insurance policy, it requires just a few easy steps. Besides being efficient, you are protecting the Mother Nature by going paperless!

4. Time-saving and convenient: To purchase insurance offline, you need to go through the tedious task of filling long insurance forms. However, when you buy insurance online, you need to submit only a few details. Also, at the time of policy renewal, it’s easy to reload your information. As the insurer already has your details, you only need to submit your policy number. Further, insurance companies have designed an easy-to-understand user interface which has made the entire process of buying the insurance quicker and easier. And who wouldn’t love to cut the hassles of going out and standing in long queues, when buying and renewing of bike insurance can be done from the comfort of home. While watching the ‘Friends’ season on television, or during the office break or even from your mobile, bike insurance can be purchased in a hassle-free manner.

5. Cheaper premium rates: It is disheartening to see that nearly 75% of two-wheelers plying on roads are uninsured even when it is mandatory to have a third-party insurance to ply your vehicle on roads. Many times, people avoid the insurance to save some penny.However, buying a bike insurance online ensures additional savings. The insurance quotes are given for free, and in fact, you can ask for as many quotes as you want. Moreover, there is no obligation to purchase either! As there is no involvement of any agent and the insurer saves on paper and administrative cost, the same is passed on to policyholders in the form of cheaper premium rates.

6. Away from nasty agents: Though, an insurance agent plays an important role, sometimes they may not be helpful. Often, insurance agents prove to be pushy and may even have vested interests in a particular insurance policy. But when you go online, you get an option of comparing and choosing the right insurance policy after analyzing every aspect carefully. Also, there will be no interference or biased suggestion from insurance agents!

7. Instant policy issuance: When you buy a policy offline, the insurer takes a lot of time in processing physical documents. Whereas, in the internet world, the processing of information is instant and so is the issuance of your bike insurance.

8. Storage of policy documents at one place: When you go online, you will always have the soft copy of your insurance policy in your email. It means, you can access your policy anytime and anywhere. Did you know the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI) has introduced a digital motor insurance initiative known as e-VahanBima?It says that you don’t need to carry your motor insurance policy document every time you take out your vehicle on the road.

9. Check policy review: As you do it at the time of purchasing other things on the internet, you can check the reviews of previous customers and their experience with the insurance company before going ahead. It means, you can compare features of different policies and know about the reputation of a company before zeroing in on.

10. No impact of demonetisation: I know, the ‘demonetisation phase’ is over, but what if the government comes up with its second season? As it is said, ‘once bitten, twice shy’ so, go for the online mode to ensure that any cash crunch scenario doesn’t affect the process of buying or renewing bike insurance. All you would require doing is, log on to the insurer’s website and fill the important details, including policy information, vehicle registration number, add-ons, if any, and make payment via net banking.

Remember, accidents happen unannounced.Therefore, the least you can do is, apply for a comprehensive bike insurance that takes care of the associated expenses and ensures your financial security.

Further, it is reassuring to know that buying bike insurance online doesn’t pose any serious safety threats as every step is taken by an insurer to keep your personal information confidential.

Different Cash Management Services, Fees Charged by Banks in India

cash management servicesCash management primarily means the proper collection and disbursement of funds. This is an important task because it is beneficial in maintaining the cash flows for any company. Conventionally, it was a paper-based system and entailed several risks like higher processing costs and security.

The cash management services have undergone significant changes. Banks think from the point of view of their customers and offer doorstep facilities for their customers’ benefits. Efficient services ensure effective collection and payment as well as accurate disbursals of cash.

An efficient cash management system has the following four benefits.

1. Reduces transaction time
2. Helps companies to increase their net profits
3. Decreases losses for businesses
4. Saves idle time for banking customers

Meaning of cash management system

An efficient cash management service is a process where the bank makes collections and payments on behalf of the customers. The entire procedure is quick and streamlined because of the banks’ wide network. Furthermore, the robust clearing infrastructure, specialised technology to provide timely and efficient management, and tie-ups with other banks are beneficial for customers.

Basic cash management services

• Receivables and collections management
• Advanced information technology (IT) solutions for providing customization
• Post-dated cheque management services
• Collection of cheques in bulk
• Multiple electronic funds transfer mechanisms
• Cheque purchasing facility

Management of payables

Under the cash management system, banks also offer the following payment management services.

• Refunds of investments made in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
• Interest and dividend warrants
• Issuance of bulk demand drafts for the bank as well as network banks
• Remote printing of various instruments like pay order or demand draft
• Writing cheques for network banks as well as home bank

Escrow services

Banks also offer escrow services for their customers. Some of these are as follows:

• Availability of escrow depository accounts facility
• Structuring transactions and deals with investment banks, clients, and lawyers
• Customised reporting and management information system (MIS) as per client requirements
• Dedicated team for completing complicated transactions, which includes legal officers and product managers

Modes of delivery

Banks provide cash management services to customers through the following two modes.

• Own personnel
The banks recruit personnel for providing these services to their customers

• Agents
Under this mode, banks outsource the services to external agents

Electronic fund transfers

• National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)

Such transactions occur between the destination and transferring banks. These transfers may be done on all days except Sundays. The transactions are completed in twelve batches (between 8am and 7pm) on weekdays and six batches (between 8am and 1pm) on Saturdays.

Fees payable per transaction are as follows:

o Up to Rs. 10,000: Rs. 2.50
o Above Rs. 10,000up to Rs.1lakh: RS. 5
o Above Rs. 1 lakh up to Rs. 2 lakh
o Above Rs. 2 lakh: Rs. 25

• Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)

Such fund transfers are executed in real time without any waiting period. There is no limit on the amount that may be transferred through RTGS. However, users need to transfer at least INR 2 lakh (with no maximum limit) through this mode.

Fees payable per transaction are as follows:

o Above Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh: Rs. 25
o Over Rs. 5 lakh: Rs. 50

• Immediate Payment Services (IMPS)

Most electronic fund transfers occur through NEFT or RTGS services. However, these occur in batches, which may result in delays. To overcome this, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) introduced the Immediate Payment Services (IMPS). This service is available to Indians and allows users to transfer funds through their mobile handsets. This inter-bank transfer service is available on all days for 24 hours.

Fees payable per transaction are as follows:

o Up to Rs. 1 lakh: Rs. 5
o From Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh: Rs. 15

Banks are focusing on providing better services to their customers. Cash management system helps customers reduce their risks and manage cash flows more accurately.