Category: Debts

Should You Borrow Or Earn Yourself Out Of A Financial Crisis?

crisis in financeIt is not unusual for family finances to take a tumble and for everyone in the family to get concerned about how you are going to get through it. Many things can trigger a very sudden financial crisis. In many cases, it is a business failure. Many new businesses fail and they can take all of the money that you have invested in the ventures with them. On other occasions, it is a gradual decline and you have been throwing good money after bad for years. Perhaps you even saw the crisis coming but chose to ignore it.

At other times, it is a job loss that triggers the crisis. Most families can survive a redundancy or a job loss of one wage earner if there is another wage earner that can support the family for a few months. However, if there is only one wage earner, a job loss can throw the whole family into financial turmoil.

For many families, it can be an unexpected expenditure or an accident or ill health that triggers a financial crisis. Perhaps you had a car accident or an accident at work and you can no longer earn the money that you used to. If the accident was not your fault, you may be able to start a personal injury claim and it is worth looking into that. You may even be able to get an interim payment of compensation to help you get by. Sometimes it is a big purchase that tips the family finances over the edge and it can be hard to get them back on track.

There are only two ways to get yourself out of a financial crisis. You either need to borrow or earn your way to financial security. Here are a few ideas to help you decide which is best for you.

Keep your outgoings to a minimum

You need to get a clear picture of how much you have to earn or borrow to get by each month before you can put a plan together. There will have to be some cutbacks in your family budget in the short-term. It is important that everyone participates in the savings so sit the whole family down and explain to them that you need to tighten your belts for a few months.

Start by listing everything that you pay out for each month. It is useful if you have your bank statement in front of you when you do this. List the large outgoings first. These are usually the items that you can’t avoid paying out and include the mortgage or rent, car loan and utility bills. You even have to list the minor items such as children’s activities and the takeout coffee you have every morning.

Try to work out which ones you can do without. Try to negotiate a rent or mortgage reduction for just a few months and agree to make up the shortfall once your finances improve.

Luxuries will have to go! Eating and drinking costs a lot and is a luxury that you can do without for a month or so. Try a takeout instead or save even more money by making your own. Healthy, home-prepared meals take a while to make but save you a lot of money and do you good!

Borrow what you need to get by

There will be occasions where you need to get hold of money fast and you will not be able to wait to earn yourself out of trouble. Quick loans give you the cash that you need when you need it. Everything is done online and there are hardly any forms to fill in so the process is much quicker and streamline. There is a credit check involved and there is a huge variety of lending options so you can always find the loan that is just right for your circumstances.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage repayments, the last thing you should do is ignore the letters demanding money. It is important that you contact the company quickly and sort out a repayment schedule that is manageable.

Borrowing what you need can give you peace of mind and free up your time to get on with what is important which is finding another permanent source of income.

Find a new source of income

Obviously, your ultimate aim is to find another permanent job or to get another business up and running but this can take time. Dig out your CV and give it an overhaul. Refresh your personal statement and update your qualifications. Then start sending it out to potential employers.

In the meantime, it may be possible for you to take on a part-time job to help out with bills. There are always retail jobs and positions in catering and hospitality available. Could you do some babysitting in the evenings or sell some things to raise some cash?

Whilst you are finding it hard to manage financially, you must check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to. Check out with your local authorities or go online to find out more. There may also be welfare organizations that can help you.

If you have a spare room in your home, it may be possible for you to take in a lodger. The rent will help towards the cost of the mortgage and they will chip in for the household expenses such as gas and electricity.

You could also look into earning some money from home. Many people make good money working from their bedrooms! You just need an internet connection and a laptop and PC. You could work as a website tester, an administrative assistant or even as a freelance writer. There are literally thousands of jobs available through sites like Guru.

You do the jobs in your own time and so you will always be available to attend that important interview to get your new full-time job.

How Much Should Your Home Down Payment Be?

financial quakeWhen you’re buying a home one of the biggest considerations is your down payment. Depending on the loan you are getting, you may have a specific requirement for how much you want to put down. That’s the minimum for that loan, though, and doesn’t mean you can’t put down a larger amount. But should you? That’s a choice only you can make. Before you decide on what level of down payment you want to consider, take a good look at your finances and be sure that any down payment amount you choose won’t leave you in financial peril.

Putting 20% Down

Among your down payment options is choosing to put 20% of the purchase price down on the purchase of your home. This option is often chosen because it generally avoids the requirement for you to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). However, not everyone has this level of down payment, and there are times when it pays to keep money where it is and not pull it from savings or other investments to use it for a down payment. In some instances, you could actually lose money by trying to avoid PMI with 20% down.

5% and 10% Down Loans

For people who don’t have a 20% down payment or don’t want to put that much money down on their home, 5% or 10% as a down payment is relatively common. Most people with good credit will qualify for these types of loans through various banks and credit unions, along with other types of lenders. Paying PMI will be required as a part of these types of mortgages, but in a number of cases, this PMI amount will not be high. With a low PMI and the ability to leave money in the bank or in investments, this can be a chosen option for many buyers.

FHA and the 3.5% Down Requirement

When people choose a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, the minimum amount they can put down with good credit and solid income is generally 3.5%. In some cases, an FHA loan may require them to put down more than that, such as 5%. The money they put down can be from their own funds, or it can be a gift from someone else, but it cannot be from a loan. There will be PMI required because of the small down payment, but this can allow people who do not have a lot of money to purchase a home so they no longer have to rent.

No Money Down Loans, Like USDA and VA

In some cases, the Veteran’s Administration and the USDA offer loans where a person doesn’t have to put any money down. There are specific requirements for these loans, and the seller of the home may be asked to pay closing costs in the transaction. Additionally, good credit is generally required, and for USDA loans, there may be specific areas in which the property has to be located. This can be a hindrance for someone looking for property under these types of loans, but the lack of a down payment can also make them attractive to some buyers.

Putting a Larger Amount Down on Your Home

Another option is to put much more than 20% down on a home. Some people do this on investment properties, but there are also people who choose this option for their primary home. They may do this to reduce the size of their mortgage payment, get a mortgage with a shorter term, or otherwise get more favorable offerings from their lender. They may also have money available to them that they aren’t investing, so they want to use it in a way they feel is wise. Paying more down can be an option for people with higher levels of income or savings.

No matter which option you choose for a down payment, it’s often best to consider a variety of options. Then you can make the right decision based on your specific needs and situation. There is no right or wrong choice when making a down payment on a home, because everyone has different circumstances. The ‘right’ down payment choice is the one you’ve thought about, understand, and that works for you.

The Secrets You Don’t Know About Attending College

educational loansAttending college may be part of the American dream and something that you assumed would be part of your future. The reality is that many prospective students are put off by the harsh realities of the situation. At the beginning of this decade, young people started to question the true value of a college education. The point has been debated in homes all over the country ever since.

Think about what is in it for you

It is absolutely true gaining a qualification at college will give you many opportunities that those who do not attend college miss out on. Statistics show that, in the past, college graduates can expect to earn a higher salary than other employees and they tend to get jobs where they have greater job security. It is easy to see why this is the case. Graduates have spent three or four years attaining skills that are highly valued by employers. They are able to express themselves accurately and confidently in verbal and written communications. They approach life with an analytical and critical attitude but they can also think abstractly.

These skills are not just useful when it comes to getting a job. They are extremely useful attributes in the ‘adult’ world where the graduates act as consumers, voters and members of society.

Consider the sacrifices that it takes

All of these benefits do come at a cost and the main one is financial. There are several ways of financing your college education and many students take out loans. This would be paid back, gradually, when you graduate and get a job. However, the cost of tuition is rising and there is no longer a guarantee that you will walk out of college and walk into a very highly paid job.

This is when financial problems can set in and settlement loans are a good way of getting through this difficult period before a dream job comes along.

Other students are able to access scholarships, grants, or other financial support and this eases the financial burden, especially in the post-college period.

There are some things that money cannot buy

Perhaps, when viewed at a purely financial level, there is an argument that college is not the best life choice. This is missing the point. The truth is that college provides a young person with life experiences that they would not obtain in any other way.

The freedom of not having to listen to your parents telling you what to do on a daily basis is highly attractive for most 18 and 19-year-olds. You are in charge of your own destiny. You have ultimate freedom before you enter into the confines of a relationship and parenthood where you always have to consider the needs of others.

The world of work is no picnic and comes with psychological pressures that you may not want to deal with at such a young age. College gives you space to ‘grow up’ at your own pace and become an adult in your own time.

The Ins And Outs Of Buying Your First Credit Card

your credit cardCredit cards are an ever expanding form of payment in the financial world, for both the consumer and the provider. If it is your first time buying a credit card, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing on what it all means. Here is a simplified list of what to expect from owning and using a credit card.

The Procedure of Making Payments

A credit card allows you to make instant purchases without the requirement of physical cash. Whatever provider you choose, you are set on a prearranged amount of money which you can spend on, but must pay back. This is when it gets a bit complicated, so let’s clarify. After a purchase, you have a ‘grace period’, which means you have up to 56 days to pay off the card without incurring any interest. Ensure that you never delay the payments of your bills. If you do, you can expect to have unexpected charges and penalties to pay off.

How to Keep your Financial Details Safe

We all like to feel secure when it comes to money, which is why it’s important to understand credit card safety. As soon as the card arrives in the post, sign the back of it straight away. This means that if it gets lost or stolen, you’re protected. Never give your account number to an incredible source. This includes giving any information over the phone (unless you initiated the call and talking to a bank), posting anything on social media or answering emails which ask for personal information (a bank would never do this). Check your account activity regularly for purchases which you haven’t made, either online, on the phone, or through paper statements, it’s easy and doesn’t take up a lot of time. If you feel like you’ve made a bad decision or the card looks fake, you can establish the legality of your card by using a reliable credit card validator. Finally, if you have lost any cards or feel like any fraudulent activity has occurred on your bank activity, go with your gut instinct and contact your bank or card issuer.

Features of a Credit Card

Many credit card users don’t understand all of the features which come with it. The biggest quality of a card is the credit limit which is attached. For first time consumers, a lower limit may be set by the issuer, meaning you need to watch how much you spend. Contact less payments are great for quick and efficient payments, especially when you’re in a hurry to get home for the football game. Any purchases under $100, simply tap your card against a contact less reader to make a fast purchase. You can also use a credit card for cash advances and balance transfers. Specific credit cards come with extra features such as, international travel insurance, extended warranty with best price guarantee cover and complimentary airport lounge access. Before deciding on a credit card, do your research and pick the best one which suits your needs.

Expert or not, credit cards can catch out the smartest of users. Which is why it is essential to always plan ahead and utilize the web for helpful information.

Ways to Invest in a Comfortable Future

better finance futureThe future is hard to predict, a little scary, and full of opportunities. Life is about taking calculated risks and understanding the importance of predictability, which is why many people over the world have turned to investing in their future in order to live comfortably. But what exactly does it mean to invest in your future, and how can you go about doing it?

Reducing Your Debt

There’s always the problem of student debt. It’s something that we can end up paying back over the course of our lives. If we don’t make use of our schooling, then it can make us feel like we’ve wasted a lot of time in college and university. If you’re still young enough to consider going to college or university, then take a moment to look at other options. For instance, you don’t need a degree in anything if you have ample experience and a portfolio to show off. Many employers are now shying away from degrees and have begun to look more at someone’s experience and skills than their paper degree. Avoiding student debt by simply not attending college or university is a legitimate strategy. When you consider that some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time dropped out of college, it’s easy to see how unnecessary a formal education is.

Seeking Assistance

There’s plenty of help you can get to help you invest in a comfortable future. For instance, hiring a financial adviser comes with many perks. For starters, they’re great at managing wealth and teaching you how to reinvest your savings so that they continue to grow. This is both to beat inflation and give you a great sense of satisfaction by just watching your bank balance grow. You can also seek assistance from more experienced people you know. For instance, asking an elderly relative or your parents how they saved for their retirement and questioning them about mistakes they made could reveal some helpful insight.

Building relationships

It’s difficult to get through life on your own which is why you need to have friends and family members close to you. Investing in your relationships sounds easy enough, but very few people in the world have real relationships with people that they can count on. It could be a significant other, a really close friend or even just family members who are reliable and will go the extra mile to get you out of trouble. These are the people that will help you when you turn 60 and finally retire, and they’re also the people that will help you out of mentally stressful situations.

Saving Money

And of course, we can’t forget about saving money. Whether you’re an incredibly dedicated worker or someone that only works part time, it’s important to live a frugal and healthy lifestyle that will ultimately give you all the financial security you need. Spending money on luxuries is important to maintain a happy life, but there are times when you also need to save money in order to get the most out of your future.