Posts tagged: debts

Loan Options Available if You Have Less Than Perfect Credit

loan approvalMost people will encounter a time in their lives where they fall short on cash and need to borrow to cover their expenses. If you have a savings established you simply have to make a quick withdrawal. However, if you have no savings set up for emergencies and your credit is less than perfect you may think that you have no options. Luckily there are lenders willing to loan money to people who have a lower credit score, as well as other options available.

Short Term Loans

When you think of short-term loans, you may think that the only one you will qualify for is a very high-interest payday loan. Thankfully, there are payday loan alternatives. There are online lenders who offer low-monthly installment loans to people with less than perfect credit. And, unlike a payday loan, you have several different repayment options.

Title Loans

If you own your vehicle, there are lenders who are willing to use your car as collateral against a loan. Depending on the Blue Book value, this type of loan can give you access to more money than a short-term loan.

401K

If your company has a 401k plan and you are a contributor, you can borrow up to 50 percent of the vested amount. Since you are borrowing the money from you, the chances for a quick approval are very good. The best part about this type of loan is that while you will pay interest, you pay it back to you.

Pension

While you should never touch a retirement fund. If an emergency arises and you need the cash to prevent losing your home or your vehicle, and the company you work for allows it can give you access to a lot of cash in a lump sum. If you are less than 59.5-years old there is an additional fee of 10 percent plus the 20 percent withheld for the IRS.

Borrowing from Family

If you don’t have a savings account, a 401K or a pension that you can withdraw from, you can see if a family member is willing to give you a loan. If someone in your family does front you a loan, remember to treat it the same as you would any other lender. Come to an agreement before accepting the loan and then stick to it. It’s very easy to put a family member on the back burner and pay other bills first. Make every effort to repay per the terms agreed on and if you should have a rough month contact them and advise them when the next payment will be. This way you’ll stay on good terms should you need their help in the future.

Take on a Part-Time Job

If you find that you are having trouble making ends meet often, you may need to find a way to bring in more money each month. If you have a talent, you can sell items or services to fill in the gap until you reduce your overhead. If not, you may need to consider taking on a second job for a while to get you on your feet.

Hard times can happen to anyone. Maybe you lost your overtime or you have extra expenses like school or medical bills. Whatever the reason, there are many ways to dig out from under and get on an even platform. If your monthly expenses are very high, look at your bills and see where you can make cuts, even for the short-term. For instance, if you have a large cable bill, go to basic service. Also, if you eat out often, reduce it to once a month as a treat, brown bag your lunch for work and use coupons when going food shopping. By pulling in your belt, you will have the money you need to cover your expenses and work towards improving your credit score.

Financially Handling The Life Of A Landlord

property lord of landThe life of a landlord is a life of intense micromanagement. In order to keep many tenants happy, you are required to ensure that everything is maintained well from week to week. Not only that, but it’s a strange business to be a part of. There aren’t many other industries in which things may proceed routinely and without necessary interference for months, only to have every problem surface in one fell swoop. If you’re not prepared, you can be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of responsibility you have to deal with.

Financially handling the life of a landlord could be considered another thing entirely. It’s important to know that while profitable, a landlord must invest as carefully as they profit. The income flow is relatively stable, but the outgoings could differ wildly from month to month. There are many reasons as to why this is, but seemingly less methods to control those fluctuations. In order to manage your finances well, it pays to know how to operate. Within time you will get the hang of this, but new landlords especially can find themselves overcome with financial burden in a business they once assumed to be smooth sailing.

The following tips may just help you make better decisions in this field:

Take Money Matters Seriously

Many landlords prefer to cultivate slightly less-than-ideal tenants so they do not risk a tenant leaving. This is because that can often lead to a lack of income for a month or many months as new tenants need to be found. This can be relatively wise. A tenant who pays on time might not clean as well, and that’s certainly more ideal than a supremely clean tenant who never pays on time. However, taking money matters seriously is essential. After all, you’re not in this business for the charity of it.

A good way to strike a happy medium between legal backing and solid tenant relationships is to lay out exactly the methodology your tenant must follow. You can clearly define these terms in your tenancy agreement template. This means clearly laying out late payment charges, perhaps asking for a form of security income in case they do not pay (such as a guarantor,) or even asking for months of rent in advance. It might mean asking for lower, more frequent payments to keep the cash flow effective, or even to ask for tri-yearly instalments to cover the future.

Taking money matters seriously is important to be respected as a landlord. Let one-time slide and you can, unfortunately, set yourself up for this to be the norm. It’s always best to cover yourself, so try to ask for at least one month’s rent in advance before your tenant moves in. This gives you a buffering time to evict if they neglect to pay on time, and keep your cash flow active. As a landlord you must always be thinking about sustainable income, and plan in advance for this.

Set Limits

As a landlord, you must also invest in your properties. This is a no-brainer. While it might be that the light bulbs should be replaced by a tenant, the bigger responsibilities are yours to handle. After all, this is your property. Now, you should set some hard and fast limits here. Let’s say the sofa in your property has a spring loose, and your tenants are demanding a new one. It might be perfectly reasonable to simply repair the sofa using a professional upholstery service, rather than outright spending thousands on a new fixture.

It might be that you choose to steam clean a mattress rather than purchase a new one. After all, as long as you’re providing a habitable, nice and clean standard of living, you should not be troubled into wasting money on unwise investments. It can also be wise to adjust rent over time to stay more compatible with inflation and the rising cost of living.

It might also be that within your contract you stipulate that utility usage is on an unlimited tariff. Of course, this should be subject to fair use. For example, a tenant who keeps their heating on full blast over the winter might find the property wonderful and comfortable to live in. When it comes to reading the electricity bill, you might have an argument to give. ‘Fair use’ is the sacred mantra for all tenants offering a form of unlimited payment. This allows tenants to stay responsible for unfair action, and prevent you from wiping your monthly profits simply trying to pay the bills.

Also, consider damage. Damage to property is something that is completely on the shoulders of your tenants. While you might allow for a lick of paint or cleaning out of good investing faith to cultivate the relationship, deeper damages may require you to bill the tenants or punish their security deposit. Do not be afraid to do this in the interest of being a ‘friendly landlord.’ You are a business, not a charity. Your tenants are allowed a license to your home, but it’s still your asset, and any damage could be considered vandalism within punitive laws if not rectified financially.

With these correct limits set, you have a much greater chance of setting the clear parameters within which your tenants operate.

Savings & Excess Funding

Things will go wrong. It might be you experience a hefty leak in two of your buildings on the same morning, and the carpet damage will take professional care to fix. It might be that you need to relocate a certain tenant to ensure their home is fixed. In these instances, heavy investment is required. This can be debilitating. However, if you’ve been smart about this, you will likely have at least a buffer of savings for you to dip into and try to improve your standing.

Financially handling this might be difficult, but by nesting away your profits you can potentially keep the sustainable profit going long term. Just as someone investing in automotive repair to allow them the potential of getting to work and earning, you must keep a ‘sustenance’ funding supply of sufficient breadth. This ‘rainy and annoying day’ fund will give you the means to keep your assets working for you, rather than against you. It also helps sustain tenants who see you take affirmative action in their interest.

With these small tidbits of advice, financially handling the life of a landlord will become that little bit easier.

Don’t Let Your Home Be The Cause Of Financial Problems

home money issueWhile home ownership is the goal that many people share in life, very few homeowners actually consider the negatives of home ownership. That is until they are a problem for them. Although for the most part, home ownership is a fantastic financial choice, there are also times when owning a home can have a detrimental impact on your financial health. However, this is usually when you don’t take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your home from financial issues. To learn more about protecting yourself from financial problems that could be caused by your home, read on.

Protect your property from the unexpected

There are times in life when we choose to skip paying certain bills because we see them as being necessary. Whatever you do, don’t make property insurance ones of them. The fact is that anything could happen at any time, which is why taking out homeowners insurance from a reputable company like Trusted Choice is so important. Whether a storm hits and destroys your home, a house fire ruins your property, or a break-in leaves your home in tatters, it is vital that you have adequate protection in place. Every home needs insurance, because the fact is, you never know what might happen, and it is always best to be protected.

Make maintenance a priority

A common mistake that far too many homeowners make, which turns their properties into money pits, is not taking maintenance seriously. If you take the time look after your home and deal with any issues that occur as and when they do, your home should remain in better shape. However, if you leave these issues to worsen over time and don’t deal with them, then you may end up with a home that is falling apart and will cost a lot of money to put back together again. If you aren’t big on household DIY, don’t let that put you off of keeping up with your home’s maintenance, call out a contractor instead. Never put off with household problems as they will only end up costing you more to fix.

Invest for the future

If you want to ensure that should you want to sell your home in the future, you are able to do so easily, and for a good price, it is important to keep your property up to date. This means being willing to invest in new technologies as and when they are available, such as solar power, for instance. These kinds of investments will come at a cost, but the fact is that by choosing to invest in them, you can give yourself and your future the financial security needed. The more up to date a property is, the more easily it should sell.

There you have it, a guide to everything that you should know about ensuring that your home is not the cause of financial problems. Take note of the tips above, and you can make sure that home ownership does not leave you in a financial hole.

The Pros And Cons Of Your First Credit Card

money cardsYour first credit card is milestone in being able to stand on your own two feet. Not only can you improve your credit score, making mortgages more available to you, you can afford more bills and groceries each week, and you have plenty of backup cash in storage just in case of an emergency. However, we all know it isn’t simply sunshine and roses, so we need to think about the benefits and drawbacks of having a credit card. If you’re a young adult or someone older who never got the chance to before, and you’re just deciding to invest in a card of your own, here’s the biggest things for you to consider.

The Pro: Credit Cards Have Reward Systems

Credit cards, the more you use them, often have rewards for you to use at the end of the week or month. This makes them a lot more useful when it comes to shopping, and provides a little more incentive to use a credit card in a healthy manner. For your first card, looking into the systems each provider offers can require a bit of shopping around (to make sure you can use them for all purchases), so don’t make any decisions based on simple want alone!

The amount of different cards there out there means rewards can vary wildly from person to person. For example, with this in mind, you can get a variety of things on your credit card use, such as cashback for the standard types, or free flights for people using a travelling orientated card. It’s often a good idea to have more than one card in your possession, as being able to handle more than one at a time shows off how versatile and responsible you can be with money. It also means more rewards!

The Con: Debt Can Pile Up

Let’s face it, we can lie to ourselves a lot when it comes to money: ‘I need a new TV’ or ‘A few more dog treats won’t hurt!’ Even just thinking about the hypotheticals shows off how many different walks of life can bring in some debt when we let ourselves lose control.

At its core, credit is predatory, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use it safely. With this in mind, we can all agree that debt is a big drawback of using a credit card, and using your available credit too much is dangerous. Even the fact that credit card consolidation loans exist suggests that this is a common habit for people to fall into, so be aware of making excuses for yourself to use your credit card.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the amount of options there are on the market for getting a credit card. They’re there to help you rather than hinder you, and there’s no trap for you to fall into when you fully research terms and conditions, and any better alternatives! Balancing a checkbook gets easier and easier when information is so accessible like this.

Freedom Debt Relief Shares Old-Fashioned Savings Tips That Still Work

debt storyIt’s true that financial habits change as time passes, but there are some money saving methods that are tried and true. Adopting some of these old-fashioned savings tips recommended by Freedom Debt Relief will help you build your savings account. The money you save can be used to boost your emergency fund, pay off debt, or take your annual vacation without going into debt. With that said, there are a few time-tested savings methods you can adopt.

Get rid of marketing messages.

Once you give your contact information to a company, you open up the door for them to send your marketing messages. Companies send millions of dollars and lots of time crafting messages that will convince people to buy. It’s hard to resist the temptation of marketing messages, so opt-out of them completely. If you’re receiving marketing messages, click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email to stop receiving those message. That way, you never get hit with an advertisement.

Cut back on eating out.

Eating out at restaurants is enjoyable, but the cost adds up quickly, especially if you’re eating out several times each week. Reducing the number of meals you eat in restaurants will let you save hundreds, possibly even thousands of dollars each year. When you do eat out, don’t let leftovers go to waste. Portion sizes in the United States are large enough that you can take half your meal home and enjoy it for the next day’s lunch or dinner.

Don’t pay for things you can do for yourself.

While it may be more convenient to pay someone to do small repairs or other odd jobs, you’ll save money by doing things yourself. Picking up some basic sewing skills, for example, will allow you to make your own clothing repairs and avoid having to pay a seamstress. Freedom Debt Relief recommends using the internet to learn how to solve some of your basic repairs and save the big jobs for professionals.

Save your change.

A few dimes and nickels here and there doesn’t seem like much, but over the course of weeks and months that little bit of pocket change adds up. Get a separate change jar or bucket where you can collect you change. You might be tempted to dip into it every down and then, but leave it alone. The longer you let you change accumulate, the more you’ll have, says Freedom Debt Relief.

Avoid disposable items.

Let’s face it, many of us like to eliminate as much housework as possible. To accomplish that, we turn to disposable items like paper plates, cups, and cutlery. Not only do these items lead to more environmental waste, they also cause you to spend more money than necessary. It only takes a few minutes each day to do the dishes. Freedom Debt Relief advises families to simply make the sacrifice and avoid throwing money away on disposable items.

Get rid of debt.

With debt, we can purchase things now and then conveniently pay for them over a period of time. But, there’s a catch. When a lender gives you the option of paying for something in installments, you’re going to pay interest. The more you borrow, the higher your interest rate, and the longer it takes you to pay off the debt, the more you’ll pay in interest. You can potentially save thousands of dollars in interest, says Freedom Debt Relief, just by paying off debt faster. Look for extra money in your budget or find ways to increase your income and use the additional money to reduce your debt faster.

Don’t discount these methods because they seem old-fashioned. You’d be surprised to see just how much impact these savings strategies can make on your savings account.