Sunday, July 31, 2016

Your Pay: The True Picture That You Need To Understand

your pay options
When taking a new job, there are a number of elements that need to be considered. But let’s not kid ourselves, money will be the main motive behind accepting the offer.

First and foremost, you need a good basic salary. Your employer should always provide the remuneration that you deserve. However, this isn’t the only key factor. If you want to guarantee great outcomes, it’s imperative that you have an understanding of the full situation. Here’s what you need to know.

Additional Services

A great pay packet will serve you extremely well. But the employer may also offer various other benefits to make it an even more attractive proposition.

For example, a company car could make a noticeable impact on your finances. Although you’ll use it primarily for commuting, this can also aid your personal life. Alternatively, a paid travelcard on public transport will allow you to retain a bigger chunk of your salary. Let’s face it; this one item could save you thousands every single year.

Other perks such as free gym memberships or free private healthcare can also boost your situation. It might not be quite the same as getting paid those additional fees, but it’s virtually as good as.


The sum you are paid is different to the sum you take home. Quite frankly, it’s the latter that will count. As such, it’s the figure that needs to be calculated when working out your future financial projections.

Understanding 0T & BR Taxcodes is essential. The more money you earn, the more tax you’ll pay. This shouldn’t stop you seeking the highest salary possible. However, it is still important to appreciate the fees that you’ll encounter. Otherwise, you could be in for a nasty surprise.

If you’re self-employed, an accurate calculation of tax will allow you to prepare for your annual tax bill too.

Pension Scheme

Even if you’re in your twenties, it’s never too early to think about the future. Retirement will arrive one day, and you need to take the necessary steps to keep yourself protected and comfortable in those years.

Any great employer will have an interest in you as a person. As such, they’ll offer pension schemes that can help you plan for retirement in an effective fashion. The best platforms will involve savings from both you and your employer. This means you’ll see even greater benefits when that time eventually comes. 

You might not stay with the same employer forever, but that retirement strategy can follow you until you reach this part of your life. Of course, you can make other investments to help prepare for the future, but this type of retirement fund should be your priority. Do not forget it when accepting a job offer.

Overtime Rate

In addition to your normal hours, you may be required to work overtime at times. Or you may just want the extra hours to earn more money. Either way, it’s important to appreciate the terms of these agreements.

Will you be working for a bumper rate or getting paid at the same level? You need to take this into consideration, especially if unsocial hours will be involved. Some employers may offer flexitime, which can be very useful if you like to maintain a sense of freedom in life.

Either way, it should be a secondary factor. By no means should this be the deciding factor. Nevertheless, it can be a sweet bonus that makes the job more appealing. Do not underestimate its potential influence.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Short Term Loan or Long Term Loan? Know the Real Differences

term loan options
When people try to compare two types of loans, they’re usually trying to look at the comparative risks of both. Of course, it’s very rare indeed that two types of loan can be fairly compared in such a way, due to how unique everyone's situation is bound to be. The same applies here when comparing the (admittedly very broad) categories of short term and long term.

A short-term loan tends to describe a loan that will be paid back over the course of maybe three years. But it can be as short as a few months. Long-term loans see the borrow pay the money back over a decade, or even two decades.

Considering the lender

The outcome of loans tend to rely on the confidence of the lender. They require confidence that the financial status of the person to whom they’re lending money won’t be changing any time soon. It also requires a certain sense of confidence in the general economic climate. When it comes to short-term loans, the lender (assuming they’ve assessed you as a safe bet) is confident that they’ll get the money back soon. It’s seen as less of a risk for the lender.

Long-term loans, however, sees the lender put themselves in a riskier position. A long-term loan means that the agreement will last a period of 10-20 years - and a lot can happen in that time. Most people experience job loss, marriage, divorce, deaths, financial gains and financial losses in such a span of time. You could both be in for a bumpier ride!

Flexibility and safety

Many people who need to take out a loan are looking for quite substantial sums. But they’re also not likely to have assets that can provide them with an easy way out should something go wrong during the loan period. This doesn’t, however, mean that they’re completely locked out of the long-term options. It does mean that they’ll pay slightly higher interest rates. (Although some short-term loan interest rates can exceed these.) And homeowners may have to put their home down as equity in case the payments can’t be made within the agreed period.

But the reason people will go with long-term options like secured loans is because there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to payment options. And many people who need larger amounts of cash need precisely that - flexibility!

Overall cost

The argument that many people provide in favour of short-term loans is that the overall cost is much lower. Interest rates aren’t as high when you go for options that need to be paid back within a few years. This has much to do with the aforementioned sense of lower risk on the part of the lender.

But the amount of money you can get from a short-term loan is nowhere near as high as what you can get from the long-term loan. And, at the end of the day, it’s the amount you need that will decide which option you should go for. Your income and your credit rating, of course, will also play a large part. Whatever you do, don’t take out a loan unless you’re 100% confident you’ll be able to pay it back. Be it in three years or twenty, returning the money is the priority.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Line of Credit is a Great Idea

another option is credit
Being an adult is hard – and expensive. Anyone who has enjoyed that title for long enough will know that they won’t always be able to make ends meet on their own. While there are many helpful financial products available, a personal line of credit from an online lender is a more reliable option for recurring expenses than the average small dollar loan.

The variety of options in your state for line of credit loans will depend on where you live. Each state has ratified laws regulating the size and conditions of credits, and only those lenders that abide by them will receive state accreditation. This certification comes in the form of a license, and it ensures the lender you’ve chosen follows the rules. When starting your search for a personal line of credit remember to look out for this licensing, as it’s a security feature that your state has created to protect consumers.

When it comes to direct online lenders, the size of this product is typically no greater than $1,000. This is the perfect sized loan for those minor items, repairs, and other obligations that you need help with. Substantial enough to provide assistance, yet small enough not to create undue temptation to overspend, they help you remain within your financial limits. Their repayment terms, too, have been designed to help you integrate this financial product into your finances. You’ll only need to make minimum monthly payments against the amount of the credit that you’ve used, as opposed to the amount of the entire limit.

Of course, you can choose to pay more than the minimum payment and repay the credit at a faster rate. That’s what makes a personal line of credit so convenient. It’s an incredibly flexible source of financial assistance. By securing yours with a direct online lender, you can increase its expediency twice-fold. Direct lenders allow you to apply online using a minimum amount of information. Limited to your contact and banking information, you can apply even if you have a bad credit rating.

It may be difficult to make it on your own, but it’s not impossible. When you have a line of credit at your disposal, you can pay for unexpected repairs, bills, and other expenses without worrying about your budget. Make a mature decision and search out a direct lender with state licensing for assistance and you’ll have no problems making ends meet.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Payday Loans: What Are The Advantages?

payday loans for instant money
We are always being told that payday loans are something we should avoid at all costs. This is primarily due to their high-interest rates and strict repayment plans. It can be easy to become too reliant on them due to the ease of their application process. Yet despite all of this, many people continue to use them, particularly when faced with a financial crisis. Your car might break down, or you might need quick cash for rent or utility bills. In these cases, it’s not hard to see why a payday loan could be appealing. So instead of viewing them in such a negative light, maybe we should change our mindset slightly. This list includes some top payday loan benefits that are hard to beat.

They are easy to qualify for

Bad credit is something that could prevent you from getting a loan from a bank or credit card company. While you can improve your score, this takes time and doesn’t help your current situation. Thankfully the majority of payday loans companies will lend you the money, despite your current credit rating. So if you need money but have a low credit score, this can make payday loans a viable option for you. Payday loans companies will do some background checks on you, primarily to establish whether you can pay the money back. They will want to know where you work and how much money you make per month. In most cases, you will need to provide identification to prove you are over eighteen years old too. These checks are minor compared to the ones that banks have to do when dealing with loan applications. It gives them confidence that you are a reliable person who has the means to follow their repayment plan. If you meet their criteria and qualify for the loan, you can get your money almost instantly.

It’s a quick process

When you apply for a loan at your bank, it can often take a while to get the results you desire. You have to complete paperwork, talk to advisors and then wait for their final decision and approval of your loan. This can take time and may not always guarantee that you will receive your loan on the same day. In comparison, payday loan companies such as Personal Money Store are renowned for their speed. Whether you apply in person or online, the application process is quick and easy to complete. The checks are not as extensive as your banks will be, and this speeds up the process significantly. You can have the amount of money you require deposited into your bank account or get the cash itself. The timescale will vary from store to store but in the majority of cases, you will receive your money within an hour. This is something that many banks are unable to match, which gives payday loan companies an edge. It also makes it convenient for people who need money in a financial emergency.

There are no restrictions

Another benefit of taking out a payday loan is that there are no restrictions on what you can spend the money on. This provides both flexibility and freedom to choose how to spend it. Many payday loan providers will not even inquire into what you need the money for. Banks, on the other hand, will require reasoning and evidence into why you require a loan. Once you tell them what it is for, you are often limited to only being able to use the loan for that sole purpose. For instance, if you apply for a mortgage, that money can only be used to buy a house.

While the majority of people use payday loans to get them out of a challenging and troublesome situation, others use it for less urgent reasons. Some use it to fund impromptu trips abroad or to help improve their homes. Some people have even used them to pay deposits for wedding venues and photographers. The lack of restrictions means you can spend the money on anything your heart desires. Just as long as you stick to the terms and pay the money back in a prompt manner.

Hopefully, this guide will have to give you further insight and knowledge into why payday loans could be beneficial. While there are disadvantages to taking out a unsecured loan too, there is no denying their convenience and flexibility. Always do further research into the terms and reliability of payday loan companies before applying. That way you will know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Biggest Legal and Financial Risks of E-Commerce

financial online risk
Running an e-commerce business isn’t as cheap as many people think it is. The running costs are extremely high. This is why you can’t allow financial complications to enter into your process. They will also harm your reputation, which will affect sales. Some may even end with prosecution.

Be wary of these risks in e-commerce!

Data security

One of the biggest concerns for any e-commerce company is the security of their data. After all, you’re going to have consumers giving you their bank details. Now, you may not be able to access intimate knowledge of these details yourself. Even the business owners usually can’t get a hold of that information so easily, as the data should be protected. But if a cyber criminal were to access the data somehow, then you’d be in a lot of trouble.

You have a legal obligation to make sure that customers’ information is protected a much as possible. You need to make sure you follow the SSL/TLS security protocols. This ensures that all information exchanged between you and the consumer is encrypted. If you’re using a third-party to collect money, then you need to ensure that they have adequate security measures.


Fraud is a very wide-reaching term. Even if we restrict the definition to the world of e-commerce, there are still a lot of dangers covered by that term. But fraud is a big worry both for owners and users of an e-commerce business. The most prevalent problem for the owners is “return fraud”. A criminal consumer may take advantage of your “no questions asked” return policy. They may order a new item, then “return” it within seven days. The returned item, however, may be counterfeit or second-hand. Consumers may also claim never to have received an item and request another.

For consumers, the worry stems from the fact that they’re giving you their card details. We’ve already discussed the risks inherent here in the above section. But if data leaks were to result in fraudulent purposes - or if an employee uses such information to make purchases - then this is severe. In such a case, you may need to protect yourself against a claim or even a charge of credit card fraud.


There have been instances in which a consumer may cancel a payment via their bank for an item they’ve received. This, technically, may fall under credit card fraud. (It could, of course, simply be a misunderstanding.) The bigger worry in this area is that a consumer doesn’t pay after agreeing to have paid for the item at a later date.

Finance is becoming more and more popular an option for e-commerce outlets these days. It’s basically considered a must if the bulk of your products are priced among and above the three figure range. But this option, of course, comes with the risk of a consumer not paying. That’s why many businesses choose to work with a third party who can offer help in collecting these debts. Unpaid debts constitute a big portion of the total losses that e-commerce companies suffer. Don’t let your business fall into the habit of allowing consumers to miss payments.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Preparing Financially For Retirement: 6 Tips

your retirement planning
Retirement planning is a tricky business. There are plenty of things you should definitely be doing, and plenty of things you should avoid, at all costs.

And one thing to ensure you’re doing is preparing financially. Given how hard it is to find a job, at any age, ensuring you have enough cash to last you through your senior years is vital.

And, rather than just tossing some spare change in a pot every week, you have to take things to a slightly more advanced level.

It’s never too late to start preparing - but the sooner, the better! Here’s what should be on your list.

1. Multiple pensions

Most of us will be entitled to a state pension, but very rarely is this enough. This will allow you to live, but at a basic level, with very few luxuries involved.

Which is why setting up your own private pension would be a wise idea. Alternatively, enquire with your current employer, to see if they run such a scheme.

2. Invest

You have to start playing the long game - today. By investing some of your cash for retirement, you can ensure you're met with a lump sum when that day comes. As a result, an uncomfortable retirement just got transformed into a happy one!

There’s no shortage of options either. You could buy shares in an up and coming company, to sell them on when they become of more value. Alternatively, you could look into a self-directed IRA, which gives you more control over your investment.

There are plenty of ways to get advice on that investment, too. From an IRA custodian provider to a financial adviser, ensure you’re getting the help to keep you making the right choices!

3. Alter your insurance

As you get older and you get less and less dependants, it’s unlikely you’ll be needing that life insurance. Instead, as your age keeps rising, it’s far better to look into critical injury and illness insurance instead.

Contents insurance may also become less applicable to you as well, as you rely less and less on material goods. If you’re moving into a senior home, then you won’t need any kind of buildings insurance whatsoever.

4. Get rid of debts

It’ll be incredibly hard to pay off any debts once you retire. Without a steady source of income, your debts will start to pile up and you’ll be powerless to stop it.

So act now! Do whatever it takes to ensure you’re free before you hit retirement age. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

5. Review your will

Your circumstances may have changed over the years. You may have come into more money or assets. You may have a new child, or a new grandchild. All these changes need to be factored into your will where possible.

6. Check benefits entitlement

Retirees are entitled to a select amount of benefits, in most cases. Some are about your physical and mental state, while some are based on your wealth. By knowing which benefits you may receive, you’ll be able to adequately budget for your retirement.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Need Help With Medical Expenses? Read This Now

about medical expenses
Not everyone is able to get adequate health insurance. If you've found yourself in desperate need of help for covering medical expenses, you do have options open to you. These are some of the routes you may want to explore.

Medical bill advocates

If you’ve been given a hefty medical bill, then there are people out there you can hire to have your back. These people are called medical bill advocates. They’re experts when it comes to assessing everything on a medical bill and finding areas in which costs can be cut. They can help you dispute payments that aren’t actually necessary. (And yes, sadly, this does happen. Care providers may bill you for things unnecessarily just so they can get more profit.)

Getting a loan

For some people, this may seem like a bit of an extreme option. But sometimes it may be necessary to simply take out a loan. The fact is that medical bills piling up that aren’t being paid is extremely bad. Not only can they increase in price the longer you leave them, but they can affect your credit score. You might be better off looking into personal loans than finding yourself drowned by medical debts.

Compassionate crowdfunding

You’ve probably heard about online crowdfunding. For the most part, the famous crowdfunding successes are found in the entertainment industry. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of successes found in humanitarian causes. You can set up a crowdfunding page if you’re in urgent need of financial assistance for medical bills. One of the problems with this route is that, to get the most financial potential, you have to market your campaign a little. That can be a little too strange for some people!

Support groups

Are there any support groups out there for the problem you’re facing? Perhaps the most famous example here is that of cancer. There are support groups out there for pretty much any kind of cancer. Some of these support groups use donations and government funding to assist those struggling with medical bills. This isn’t guaranteed, of course, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

Government programs

Yes, the government are the ones responsible for allowing people to get into huge medical debt in the first place. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t turn to them if you’re in desperate need of help. In America, for example, you may be eligible for Medicaid, even if you’re not on a low salary. And no, Medicaid and Medicare are not the same thing. People who can’t get one may still be able to get the other!

Filing for bankruptcy?

This is, as you can imagine, the most extreme option available to you. (Well, unless you’re planning on breaking bad. But don’t do that.) More than half of all bankruptcy claims are tied to health care expenses, so you’re not the only one who may consider it. But if things are really bad, and you’re willing to take the hit on your credit score, it might be an option. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is likely to erase your medical debts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Expert Advice That Will Help You Sell Your Property

property selling
It isn’t hard to find a guide that will help you buy a property. Whether you are looking for a buy-to-let or a conventional real estate opportunity, the knowledge is only a few clicks away. But, what if you don’t want to buy? What if you want to sell? Selling a house is much harder than buying a house, which is why you need to know the tricks of the trade. And, because they are hard to come by, this post is going to help. Below you will help advice from industry experts on how to sell your house.

Use A Legitimate Buying Site

The first question that pops into your head is ‘how do I get a buyer to buy my house or make an offer?’ It is true that it is very hard to get an interested party to make a bid for a variety of reasons. But, that is why a lot of experts advise you to avoid them and go to selling sites. These sites are there to make a quick purchase and take your property off of your hands. Sure, you might not get as much as you want from the sale. Still, you will get a good deal and won’t have to deal with months of stress. Just look for accreditation and qualifications before you give them a call.

Make Your Home Sparkle

Your home should be the best version of itself that it can be as that will impress potential buyers. If it looks a mess and needs a makeover, it will make buyers warier. With that in mind, you should give your property a makeover before you entertain any guests. That means you need to give a deep clean. Seriously, you can’t miss a spot because buyers will look behind the appliances and under the carpets. Most experts also say that you should think about adding value. A buyer will snap up a house that ticks every box.

Get Multiple Valuations

One of the biggest problems you will face is the value of your house. Even if your house price is legitimate, a buyer will haggle until the end to get a discount. If your listing is a little off, they will avoid it like the plague. As a result, it is important to get a variety of valuations to determine the price. As long as all of them are in the same ballpark, you are fine. However, if they differ, you need to decide what price to go with in the end. Another good tip is to research what other properties in the area sell for on average.

Do Your Paperwork

Everything is going fine, and then there’s a problem. What’s the problem? Believe it or not, it is because of the paperwork. Yes, an error with your paperwork can put you back weeks. In fact, it can ruin the entire deal if you are unlucky. As such, you need to get your paperwork in order. Make sure that you dot the I’s and cross the T’s if you want the deal to go smoothly.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Beginner's Guide To Buy To Let

related home mortgage
With a growing demand for rented properties, buy-to-let is an attractive option. However, it is not without its pitfalls. It is not something that should be entered into without thorough research and consideration.

If you have some cash to spare, there are lots of investment opportunities such as property, stock options, etc. It is important to work out which best serves your needs. If you’re going down the buy-to-let route, read our beginner’s guide first.

1. Gather Information

Before you begin looking at property options, read as much as you can about property investment. Gather information from the professionals and ensure you are fully informed.

It is also important to undergo market research in the area you intend to buy in. Look for up and coming areas. You need to be able to find properties that meet your budget but that people would wish to live in. Look for transport development projects. Are there any outer suburbs that will benefit from transport expansion plans? This may make them desirable areas over the next few years. Other things to consider are amenities, schools, crime rate, etc.

2. Work Out Your Finances

All investments require a serious amount of number crunching. You will need to work out the likely cost of properties, deposits, and mortgage repayments. You can then compare this to the rent you could command. Would this be a desirable investment? Will the rent comfortably cover the repayments and provide a profit? What would happen if the property was empty for a couple of months? Would you still be able to manage the repayments?

3. Shop Around For Mortgages

It is important to shop around for mortgages to ensure you get the best deal available. Be thorough with your research. Find out as much as you can about the companies and their offering. Look for businesses that are experienced in this area. You can glean a lot of information online. For example, you can read about SMBIA and other investment companies. Look at ways they can support you as your investment portfolio grows.

4. Think About Your Target Market

When buying to let, think carefully about your target market. What does your desired tenant look like? Are they families, professionals, students, etc.? This will impact on your buying decisions. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what they will expect from a property. Can you deliver this?

5. Consider Properties That Can Be Renovated

If you have access to building resources, you may wish to consider a renovation project. Properties that need significant renovations are often priced more favorably. However, it is important to take into consideration all the likely costs for repairs and decoration. Costs can mount up, and it is easy to be caught out. Ensure you make reasonable allowances for unexpected costs.

6. Be Aware of Pitfalls

When making any investment, you need to be aware of any potential pitfalls. This could include:
  • An increase in the mortgage rate
  • A downturn in the housing market (if you are looking to sell eventually)
  • Major repairs needed on the house
  • Tenant issues such as non-payment of rent
  • The house sitting empty for a significant amount of time 
Buying to let can be lucrative and rewarding. Just make sure you do your homework and are well-informed before making any decisions. And always be aware of pitfalls.