Posts tagged: finance advice

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.

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.

Bad Credit Now Can’t Take Away All Your Options

Bad credit relatedIn these days of a worsening economy and increasing job layoffs, sliding down the slippery slope to bad credit is no longer only associated with careless, undisciplined spenders.  Careful, conscientious people are caught in situations they never choose which have led them to bad credit. We don’t have to look far to see the casualties of bad credit and those who are labelled as such, often feel mentally paralysed.

The Theft of Your Options

Perhaps the most confining aspect of bad credit is its stifling ability to rob one of life’s most precious commodities: options.  Why are options so critical?  Because without them, you are driven by the whims of others:  others’ schedules, programmes, interest rates, jobs, cars and on and on it goes.

Veggie Burger or Juicy Steak

An option can, for example, give you the choice between a healthy veggie burger and a scrumptious, juicy, thick steak.  For the health conscious, the choice may be easy.  For the carnivore reading my words, walking away from the scrumptious steak is tantamount to a mortal sin.  But the option to choose gives you power; power to rule over what you want and need in daily life.

Pull Up!

The downward spiral of bad credit does remove many options and although life’s emergencies or less than optimal financial choices may have slapped the “bad credit” label on you, although costly, it doesn’t mean financial death.  Quite the opposite – the vast majority of us have families and responsibilities to take care of and have no wish to fail in doing so.  It’s time to rise above the muck and wake up to your options, one of which may be a bad credit short term loan.

Experts Praise Options

The discipline of assessing your financial position is crucial to recovery with bad credit.  Experts recommend honest, careful listing of all your debts, large and small.  The step of making a budget cannot be overlooked as you list your income and how you spend your monies each month, both of which give you a realistic picture of next steps you can take in your plan to move ahead.

Now fast forward five years – every decision you make today will either put you in a better or worse financial situation then.  The option of leveraging cash today with what is sometimes called a bad credit payday loan may give you some breathing room financially for a short term in order to move forward tomorrow.

Freedom of Choice

Back to the veggie burger and steak illustration, which would YOU choose?  Say you were assigned one while your neighbour in the table next to you got his or her choice – feeling a bit cheated?

The truth is that, with your finances, you absolutely must be in control of your choices.  These choices include discipline, hard work, seeking out counsel if needed.  You may need the option of immediate cash to give you financial options in the near future.  Your bad credit doesn’t need to keep you from a short term loan.  You can use these monies for any purpose you desire, they are generally given with instant approval and with payday right around the corner, you can pay them right away.

Always read carefully the terms of any loan and experts caution against using short term bad credit payday loans to continue bad spending habits.

Gift of Time

The ability to pause and examine your options and best next financial steps require time to think; time to assess what your challenges are and how you will face them head on.  Now your less than perfect credit doesn’t call the shots, you do.  Your choice of tools in gaining more time may be best served with a short term loan before your next payday.  Here’s to your options!

Freelance writer Sarah Fox sees options as key to freedom in all of life.  She notes that bad credit payday loans are gaining increasing attention as option-based planning gains popularity.

How Do I Know Which Loan To Choose?

equity-rate_how-to-choose-the-best-home-equity-loans_1-3When selecting the right loan for your situation, it’s necessary to look at a range of different factors; these range from the types of loans that are generally available, through to the importance of understanding interest rates and your how much your credit score determines what you can borrow. It’s also important to think about what the loan is for, and what options there are if you have bad credit.

Types of Loans

Loans can be divided into several broad categories, which include secured and unsecured loans. A secured loan is generally taken out against something valuable that you own, whether that be a piece of property, a car, or jewellery. The lender can choose to repossess an asset or sell it in order to pay off the loan. Secured loans do produce low interest rates and longer contract terms than unsecured loans, but with a higher risk of losing valuable assets.

Unsecured loans, then, represent forms of credit that don’t use assets, but are instead valued through their rates of interest – this might include a personal loan from a bank, a credit card, or an emergency or payday loan – these loans are worth considering if you need money quickly, and if you can take out a loan off the back of a positive credit score.

Interest Rates and Your Credit Score

How much you can stand to borrow and repay on a loan will depend on interest rates and your credit score. The base rate of interest is set by the Bank of England in the UK, and is currently at 0.5 per cent – most lenders will charge above this for loans, although mortgages can be taken out to match the base rate. In terms of an average loan, you can might pay 5.2 per cent on a £3,000 payment, with 1 year to repay – this 5.2 per cent interest will mean you repay around £230 a month to cover the loan.

Credit card interest rates are also variable, and can go from very low introductory offers to about 18.9 per cent and higher in interest charges per year. Payday loans, which are easy to apply for, but come with the understanding that you make a full repayment with interest at the end of a month, can charge up to 1400 per cent in interest for their quick lending.

The kind of interest rate you have to pay will primarily depend on your credit score, which is worked out through your past borrowing history, as well as through your employment and address history. A negative credit score can result from defaulting on loans, and from consistent periods of time away from work; this can make it difficult to get credit, and can mean that you have to work to rebuild your score with credit agencies such as Equifax, Callcredit, and Experian.

What the Loan is For

Whatever loan you need, remember to consider how much risk you’re willing to enter into – what is the purpose of the loan, and can you realistically expect to make repayments with interest within a given contract? Also, think about what kind of collateral, or assets, that you can afford to gamble with. If you do have bad credit, it’s similarly worth considering approaches that lower your personal risk – getting a loan with a guarantor can be useful, as they agree to make payments on your behalf if you are having problems. Borrowing against the equity in your home can also represent a calculated risk if you need to raise a significant amount of money in a short period of time.

6 Unusual Loan Options For Borrowers With Bad Credit

loansIn spite of the tight credit market that we all hear about via the news, there are still many loan options available for borrowers with bad credit. The challenge is to find the loan that makes sense for your needs. Repayment options, interest rates, collateral required, and loan amount needed all impact a borrower’s decision about which loan to choose.

  • Peer-to-Peer Lending – Peer-to-peer lending services act as a broker of sorts, connecting lenders with borrowers. While the borrower’s credit score is considered, bad credit is not usually a deal-breaker, since the loans are generally smaller. Lenders spread the risk among a large number of borrowers as a way of protecting themselves. Some of the loans are for as little as $50.

Borrowers apply online. It is free to apply. Questions about the amount requested, reason for the loan, credit score, and existing debt are answered online. If approved, the lender deposits funds using an Automated Clearing House(ACH), check, wire or with PayPal.
One of the best things about this type of loan is that the rates tend to be lower than other loans for borrowers with bad credit. What keeps the rates low is that lenders bid on the loans they want to fund. This process drives the interest rate down.

  • Cash Advance Loans – This type of loan works for borrowers with bad credit since there is no credit check. The loan amounts tend to be for small amounts. As is often the case with high-risk loans, high interest rates are charged to cover the high risk incurred by the lender.
  • Title Loans – Title loans offer another option for borrowers with bad credit. People who own cars outright can pledge their car as collateral for some quick cash. Due to the very high rates charged for this type of loan, this should be a last resort loan when all other possible resources have been exhausted. Usury laws do not apply to this type of loan, so it is not uncommon for the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) to be as high as 250 percent.
  • Permanent Life Insurance Loans – Many life insurance policies have cash value. These types of policies can be borrowed against. This may be the easiest and best loan to obtain for borrowers that own this type of insurance policy. A check is often cut on the spot if you drop by the office. Credit scores are not a factor. Policyholders should read the Policy Loan Provision in their insurance paperwork to find out the details. The interest rate and repayment information is stated in that Provision.
  • The 401(k) Loan – For borrowers lucky enough to have a 401(k), this can be one of the best sources for cash. Since you are essentially borrowing your own money, they do not check your credit.

This loan is often even cheaper than a bank loan. Strict regulations dictate that this loan be repaid in five years or less.

  • Pawn Loans – Pawn loans are quick and convenient. A borrower can pledge personal property for a fast cash loan. As long as the debt is paid according to the terms of the agreement, then the collateral is returned to the borrower.

Jack Sperrow is a widely recognized financial blogger that writes regularly at  The website advocates against illegal lenders by allowing borrowers to report lenders and financial scams.  Read more about Jack on his Google+