Category: Budgeting

What Is a Debt Consolidation Loan and What Are Its 7 Most Notable Advantages?

deal with debtsGrowing up, we are often told to avoid loans for the sake of maintaining good financial records (e.g., credit). We are also often taught that being financially independent is important and that we should avoid, whenever possible, borrowing money even from family and friends.

But there are situations where debt is essentially inevitable. In fact, almost 50 percent of the reason many are in debt is because of medical-related expenses which, as well all know, are not cheap and are often not avoidable. Of course, there are many other origins of debt, but nevertheless, it can be difficult to get rid of without the proper help at hand.

For the latter reason, let’s talk more about debt consolidation loans and what benefits these loans can propose if you are already in debt and need quick assistance in paying it off.

What Exactly is a Debt Consolidation Loan?

It may sound ironic, but a debt consolidation loan is a loan one receives to help them manage their current debt. You may already know this, but there are other aspects of a debt consolidation loan that are important to understand.

To get down to the details, when one receives a debt consolidation loan, all of their preexisting debt from multiple accounts and payments goes into one big account. All debt is consolidated as a single payment under just one lender, making it convenient and easy for the borrower.

One can receive a debt consolidation loan from many sources including, but not excluded to: banks, credit unions, payday lenders, and more.

However, know that debt consolidation loans are not for everyone. They won’t always provide financial advantages in all scenarios. Regardless, debt consolidation loans can also be useful for many and something they do not regret getting. For that reason, let’s talk about some of the specific advantages of opting for this refinancing option.

Advantages of Debt Consolidation Loans:

1. Helps you pay off debt quicker

One of the main reasons people turn to a debt consolidation loan is because they wish to eliminate their debt as quickly as possible. People want to get rid of debt quickly for two main reasons: 1) to avoid further penalties, fees, and interest rates and 2) to eliminate the stress of having debt.

But with everything consolidated under one source, you can better focus on tackling your debt. Your monthly payment may also be smaller, meaning no more delays in paying off debt on time as you’ll better be able to keep on top of your game.

2. Makes it clearer how much debt needs to be paid off and when

When you have multiple accounts, knowing how much to pay off and when is a juggling act. If one doesn’t have everything properly organized, things can get messy quickly. This alone may be why one is drowning in debt: because they lack the structure and ability to plan ahead to keep up with bills and current debts.

But with all debts in just one account via a debt consolidation loan, you will always know the deadline and how much you still owe. This makes paying off debts significantly easier for some people.

3. Allows you to avoid higher interest rates from creditors and credit card companies

In many cases, opting for a debt consolidation loan means getting to avoid higher interest rates. In fact, interest rates are often negotiable between 0 and 11 percent with a debt consolidation loan. Yet, many credit card companies charge a whopping 20 percent interest rate, which many cannot afford.

When paying reduced interest rates with a debt consolidation loan, you can have more money in your pocket and will be on your way to better financial security.

4. May raise your credit score

Some people when they have bad credit tend to believe that it can’t get much worse yet that it can’t get much better. They feel like they are stuck in a loop. It’s understandable why some people would think this way.

But debt consolidation can potentially help you receive a better credit score, and probably much faster than you’d think. With a better credit score, there are a plethora of benefits at hand including a better chance of getting approved for a credit card and an easier time renting or buying property.

5. Helps you avoid penalties and fees

When one can’t seem to keep up on paying their debts, penalties and fees may arise as a consequence. But it doesn’t just end there. With penalties and fees comes more stress and less money in one’s pocket, and in turn, a potentially even harder time tackling future debts.

Paying off debts quicker and smoother with a debt consolidation loan can eliminate these pesky penalties and fees as monthly payments may be smaller. Plus, debt consolidation can make it easier to plan ahead exactly what you’ll need to pay by your next due date.

6. Stops unwanted collection calls

When in debt, collection calls are not uncommon as creditors turn the account over to a collection agency. Collection agencies can appear threatening at times. That said, these calls can be frightening, annoying, and stressful to receive.

But when you are paying off debt quickly through the help of a debt consolidation loan, you can in turn avoid collection calls, allowing you to regain peace.

7. Reduces financial stress

As a result of having debt paid off quickly and getting to avoid paying higher interest rates, stress related to debt and finances in general can be reduced significantly. With less stress comes a happier, calmer mind.

With less stress, one can achieve better performance at work and stronger relationships with friends and family. Having a calmer mind can also bring better health. After all, stress can practically affect every aspect of our lives, and it isn’t until stress is eliminated that we begin to feel like our true selves again.

If you are interested in seeing how you can receive a debt consolidation loan, you can find more information here.

Conclusion

For some people, managing debt can be fairly easy. However, for others, tackling debt can be a long, stressful, and seemingly impossible process that never seems to end. In the latter case, considering getting a debt consolidation loan may be a great option. While debt consolidation isn’t for everyone, it has a plethora of advantages that many can receive from it.

But before taking the next step, be sure to research the debt consolidation loan consto ensure the benefits will outweigh the potential disadvantages in your specific case.

Peer to Peer Lending Around the World

p2p leadingPeer to peer lending has become a phenomenon throughout the world in a very short time Due to the many variations of this practice throughout the world it can be confusing to people when this subject is discussed. Each country or region has its own laws, attitudes and customs in this area and they can differ significantly. So, if you are interested in peer to peer lending as a borrower or lender, or just want to study the topic some more, then read on!

What are some of the differences in meanings for the term peer to peer lending? In many countries, particularly those that are more advanced, technology plays a larger role. Lending and peer to peer investing platforms are online and bring together lenders and borrowers from all over an entire country. Investors do not know the individual whom they are lending money to and only see an online credit profile with which to make their decision. These platforms engaged in hundreds of loans each day. They also process loan applications, check credit of the borrowers and collect payments. These are large, and in some cases, publicly traded companies.

On the other hand, in some countries peer to peer lending is more local and personal. The lender will likely meet the borrower and they will develop a relationship. These relationships can ultimately result in several loans and the trust that allows a borrower to get more money if they have been faithful in their payments.

In some countries, the purpose of peer to peer loans is mostly to pay off credit cards or refinance existing debt. In other places, these loans may be more likely used to start a small business or pay unexpected medical expenses. There are also many other reasons to take these loans and more personal relationships allow the lender to assess the needs of the borrower and the likelihood that the loan will be repaid.

The laws of the land also play a big factor in how these loans, platforms and relationships work. Privacy laws may limit the types of information that a lender can know about the borrower. For example, a loan request for medical expenses may not include details about the borrowers specific medical issues. Credit reporting and bankruptcy laws also vary by country which affects the information available to lenders and may make is harder for them to assess the viability of certain loans. In areas where lender and borrower meet, the personal appeal and information provided by the borrower can go a long way in convincing the investor to make the transaction.

As the world has seen rapid adoption of this type of loan over the past ten years, the number of platforms and models has grown dramatically. Also, governments have scrambled to make laws protecting both borrower and investor. While there have been some issues, for the most part this type of lending has been highly effective for both parties and the future seems bright. Experts expect the outlook to continue to be good and growth forecasts indicate the market will continue to increase significantly.

Buying a New Home Is No More a Distant Dream

money for homeEvery individual dreams of purchasing their own home. A safe place where they might want to raise a family, or look after their parents. While the rising cost of real estate often dissuades people from the task, it’s important to remember that with the help of a home loan, your dream home is no longer just a distant hope that won’t be fulfilled.

If you’re hoping to realise your ultimate dream of owning a home, let’s take a look at a few steps that will help you along your journey.

1. Get Your Priorities in Order

Before you even start looking for a house, it’s important that you understand what you’re looking for. Do you want a home that’s in the middle of the city where you work, or do you want something that’s a bit quieter and closer to your hometown? Think about whether you want a large house with a garden or park nearby, or if you’re content with a smaller home with a good view. Figure out what is most important for you to have in your home. This makes the selection process much easier.

2. Outline Your Budget

Whether you’re funding the house by yourself or applying for a loan, it’s important that you have an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a home. Even if you do take out a loan, you’ll have to factor in the EMIs that you will have to repay into your monthly budget. For a better understanding of what you can afford every month, you can use an online home loan EMI calculator. Once you have your budget and priorities in order, you’ll be able to find a home that meets your needs.

3. Create a Shortlist

The house-hunting process is generally quite a long-drawn one. You may see several houses before you find one that you truly identify with. If you’re lucky, you may like a home the instant you walk in and see it. However, this isn’t always the case. Once you’ve seen a wide selection of houses, you should make a list of the ones that you would definitely consider buying. Then you can list out the pros and cons of each home before making your final decision.

4. Find Financing

Unless you’ve won the lottery or you’ve been saving incredibly well over the last few years, you’ll probably require a loan to cover the cost of your new home. There are a number of loan options available to you, and you will need to find one that fits your needs. Depending on your requirements, you could find a loan that offers higher financing, better interest rates, or quicker disbursals. You could also use a home loan calculator to find out the kind of EMIs you would be required to pay based on the interest rates being offered.

5. Budget for Your EMIs

Now that you’ve found your perfect home and got a loan to finance it, it’s a good idea to come up with a repayment plan. You may have to readjust your monthly budget to factor in your EMIs and curb your expenditure a little. Of course, it goes without saying that you should also ensure you put away some amount of your savings for any financial emergencies that may come your way.

With our 5 quick tips, you could soon be on your way to finding your dream home and settling down with your family. Remember, a home loan doesn’t have to be a burden, it could be the stepping stone that helps you achieve your dreams.

Rent’s Due and Money’s Tied Up: Quick Solutions to Footing the Bill

money billsFor some people, renting is a lot more affordable and easier than owning a home. There’s no property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance, or repairs that you have to cover. Though it can be convenient to simply pay rent, there are months where footing the bill is easier said than done. A car repair, high utility bill, medical emergency, family emergency, or a mix up with your paycheck can exhaust your funds leaving you in a bit of a jam.

There’s a lot of programs that help homeowners struggling to afford their mortgage payments, but what can you do as a tenant? With only a few weeks before the first and the threat of eviction for nonpayment, you may feel like you’re back is against the wall. Before you throw in the towel and wave your white flag, here are some quick solutions to getting that rent paid.

Work Something Out with Your Landlord

First and foremost, let your landlord know that you’re going to be a bit late on the rent this month. This prepares them financially and could stop them from starting the eviction process. Ask for an extension on the rental payment if possible. If you’re usually good on paying, they may be willing to work out an arrangement with you where you break the past due amount up into smaller amounts and add them onto the regular rental payments until you’re caught up.

Move Some Things Around

Now, take a look at your personal finances. Are there bills that you were due to pay on or around the same time your rent was due? Can these bills be paid at a later date? This can free up some cash you need now and give you more time to pay the other bills later. If another bill is going to be late, reach out to the service provider to inform them to try and avoid fees or collection efforts.

Sell Some Things

When things get down to the nitty gritty sometimes the only way it can be handled is to sacrifice. Perhaps you can clean out your rental property and sell some things for cash. You can get a quick response by taking photos and using an online app to sell to interested parties nearby.

Installment Loans

If your rent payment is due and the deadline is only a few days away, you probably won’t have time to earn enough to pay the balance in full. If you’re simply dealing with a temporary setback (a higher energy bill) and not a serious financial crisis (loss of employment), there are installment loan direct lenders that will lend you a helping hand. If you meet the minimal eligibility criteria, you could have several hundred or thousand dollars deposited into your account within a few business days. Then, you can pay the loan off with conveniently monthly payments.

Get a Roommate

If you’re dealing with an ongoing financial problem like the loss of a job or a decrease in pay, you may want to consider finding a roommate to move in with you. This can be a friend or family member who is in need of a place to stay. You might also offer a room to college students or single individuals who don’t mind a small space. Make sure this is alright with your landlord prior to offering your space. Having someone else in the place with you cuts down on all costs ensuring you can pay your rent on time.

Try Ridesharing

If you can’t get enough to pay your rent from your income, perhaps the solution is to boost your income. Ridesharing has become increasingly popular. Many companies even offer a sign-on bonus of a few hundred dollars. You can get paid a decent amount each day depending on how frequently you drive and where you live.

Government or Private Assistance

Lastly, there are some options for renters who have fallen on hard times. Check with your city, state, and county to find out about government and/or private programs that help tenants with back rent. You may need to meet certain criteria, but if eligible you could have your rent paid for you and even reduced in the month’s ahead.

As cost-effective as renting can be for some individuals, there are times when paying the rent each month is impossible. If your funds are all tied up or you’re going through something that will change your finances temporarily or permanently, there are still resolutions to getting your rent paid. Remember, start by talking with your landlord to avoid eviction procedures and then consider the tips listed above to accumulate the cash you need.

What Is The Future Of Loans?

loan futureThe technological revolution has been a serious point of interest for the lending industry. In the wake of mass digitisation and an increasing reliance on the Internet and connected technology for business purposes, many lenders (and borrowers) have found themselves wondering where lending will be and what the process will look like in the future.

Well, fear not: if you’re a borrower, then things are looking up for you. The future isn’t quite as rosy for traditional lenders, though; they’ll have to work harder to compete in an increasingly crowded market, and they’ll need to be able to battle online-only companies with significantly lower overheads and a more persuasive and desirable brand identity.

The first indication that the lending industry was changing as a result of an increasingly online-dominated landscape was arguably the peer-to-peer lending boom. The first P2P lending companies began appearing in the late 2000s, revolutionising the concept of money-lending by emphasising a more grassroots approach which favoured the relationship between consumers and companies rather than the transaction itself.

P2P lenders represent (in theory) a more transparent, more grounded industry with an increased focus on the consumer, which is why borrowers will be better off in the future. The Internet has already created a number of opportunities for companies to fill niches which were not previously filled by bigger companies.

These niches include more flexible student finance agreements, online-only mortgage lending which allows users to get a quote in minutes without a lengthy credit check process, and quick-turnaround lending which majorly threatens credit cards, among others. Put simply, the Internet has changed the landscape of loans and lending forever, and it’s not looking likely that this change will be reversed.

With that said, a large amount of the functionality and operation of loans looks likely to continue as normal, albeit with a decidedly more ethical spin. Let’s take payday loans as an example. Some negative press around certain payday loan lenders means that the public is more wary than ever about hidden terms and conditions; with scandal comes increased scrutiny.

Even though this is the case, the best payday loan lenders are unlikely to be fazed by this. A huge amount of payday lenders already carry out their business with near-total transparency and an emphasis on ethical treatment of their customers; problems begin when loan companies attempt to draw more money out of their customers than they have been honest about, and that’s just not something that a reputable payday loan company would ever want to do.

In a similar sense, the types of loans on offer to consumers are unlikely to change, although we’ll probably see more lending around bitcoin and cryptocurrency as the kinks in these systems are worked out and the security around them increases. Right now, the issue with lending cryptocurrency is that there’s no centralised authority, so there’s no way of absolutely guaranteeing the safety of cryptocurrency transactions. At the moment, the bitcoin lending process requires a huge amount of trust from both parties, so as these systems are refined and changed, expect to see this currency taking off in a big way in terms of lending.

Otherwise, the future of loans is, well, business as usual, as boring as it might sound (but boring is good when it comes to finance). As it stands, the vast majority of loans fall into four categories: secured loans, unsecured loans, short-term loans (payday loans) and peer-to-peer loans. There are other kinds, but these are the most common types of loan you’re likely to come across.

There’s just no reason why increasing digitization and cryptocurrency are likely to change this. Unsecured loans will still be offered to consumers, although the amounts are likely to change based on new developments in online technology and companies who are willing to trust their customers more. Secured loans will continue as long as people have property against which the loan can be secured.

Peer-to-peer lending looks like it is only going from strength to strength, although there will need to be tighter regulation and a closer eye on business practices going forward if it’s to maintain its current standing. Payday lending is unlikely to change as long as there are people who need money on a short-term basis, and with the recent rise of the gig economy, the number of people who require this service is only likely to increase. If the future of loans will change at all, it will likely be towards this more short-term lending system as people’s incomes are less certain in a majority self-employed economy (if that is indeed where we’re going as a society).