Managing Your Money

3 Tips To Start Improving Your Credit

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Start Improving Your Credit

Credit is more important than many realize. It determines whether you are going to get a loan, a job, a home and even a good rate on your insurance. Because of this, you want to make sure your credit is in the best shape it can be. Regardless of what might have happened in the past, you can begin improving your credit today and reshape it for the future. Follow these three tips below to start your credit on the right track. Go through your credit report thoroughly. One of the first things you need to do is spend time going through your credit report and making sure everything is accurate. You might be surprised at how many people have inaccurate information on their credit report and don’t even realize it. If something isn’t right, you need to get it corrected as soon as possible. Even one or two inaccuracies could be costing you big time when it comes to your credit score. If you aren’t sure how to check your credit report or dispute wrong information, a credit repair company can help to do this for you. They will go through everything with you and work on making sure your report is accurate and up-to-date. Get a credit card or two. If you don’t have any credit cards, you might want to look into opening a couple up. When you have credit cards open, you will be able to start building a solid trade file and showing that you can make your payments on time. Your credit history is all about being able to pay your bills. You cannot show that if you don’t have any payments due each month. The longer you have the credit lines open, the better it is going to be for you overall. Pay down balances. For those who do have a bunch of credit cards open already, you might want to look into paying down some of the balances. You don’t want your credit card to be maxed out. Utilizing your credit properly is what determines your score as well. Don’t have your cards more than halfway maxed out. This will show that you aren’t relying on your credit cards to survive, while still building a solid payment history. By following the three tips above, you can begin improving your credit quickly and easily, without having to worry about it taking years to...

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Does A Reverse Mortgage Make Sense For You?

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does A Reverse Mortgage Make Sense For You?

Your primary residence is the largest single asset most Americans have. However, unlike CDs, stocks and other financial instruments, home equity generally isn’t available to the homeowner unless he or she sells the house. For older Americans, who own their homes outright, a reverse mortgage is a way to tap into the value that’s been building up for years without having to move away from the home you’ve created so many memories in. What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners aged 62 and older who own their homes or who have a substantially-larger amount of equity than they owe on their first mortgage. Instead of the homeowner paying the bank, with a reverse mortgage, the bank pays the homeowner. There are no restrictions on how this money can be used. The amount of the loan depends on the homeowner’s age, the value of the home and the condition of the home. The homeowner is not required to pay back the loan. However, the loan is due upon the loan holder’s death or when he or she moves out of the home. Benefits of a reverse mortgage There are a number of good reasons to take out a reverse mortgage. 1. Extra monthly income. The most compelling reason to take out a reverse mortgage is to boost your monthly income or to raise money to pay large, one-time expenses, such as medical bills without having to sell your home. 2. Ability to use your home equity without moving. You’re not required to move from your home with a reverse mortgage. In fact, these types of loans are only valid when you remain in your home. 3. Perfect credit not required. Since a reverse mortgage loan is tied to the equity of your home, no credit check is required. 4. You retain ownership of your home. As long as you stay current on your homeowner’s insurance and your property tax payments, you retain ownership of your home and can make remodeling and other decisions about the home without consulting the bank. Why a reverse mortgage might not be right for you As attractive as it may seem, a reverse mortgage is not right for every homeowner over age 62. Below are a couple of reasons to think twice about taking out such a loan. 1. You want to leave a family property to your heirs. If you live in a house that has sentimental value to your family, a reverse mortgage would make it necessary for your family to pay back the loan in order to keep the family home. 2. The fees can be high. You may not consider the fees on a reverse loan, since you are getting money rather than paying. However, as with any home loan, there are closing costs, fees and interest associated with a reverse mortgage. Make sure to shop around to find the best terms if you opt for such a loan. While a reverse mortgage isn’t the right choice for every American over age 62, this type of loan can help you pay your monthly expenses without having to move out of your home. Just make sure you understand all of the terms and fees before you sign a loan agreement.  For more information on home...

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Tips For Paying Off Your Student Loans

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Paying Off Your Student Loans

It’s very common to leave school and enter the world of work with student loans. Here are some tips for paying them off as quickly as possible and keeping them under control. 1. Consider Income-Driven Repayment Plans Chances are good that if you have just left college, you’re not going to be working your dream job and making tons of money. You are likely going to be working an entry-level position or a temporary job that is not related to your field while you look for more permanent work. This can be difficult if you have many different student loans that need to start being paid off within a few months of graduation. One way to deal with this is to consider an income-driven repayment plan. You have two main choices when looking at this type of plan. The first choice is the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE). This type of plan has you pay 10% of the income that you earn that is not earmarked for bills, rent, or transportation, or food. This is helpful because it allows you to only pay your student loans back as you have the money for them, meaning that as you make more money, you will start putting more money towards your student loans and will start paying them off more quickly, but your payments will remain reasonable while you are not making tons of money. At the end of twenty to twenty-five years on this plan, if you haven’t paid off the entirety of your loans, you debt is forgiven. The second choice is the Income Based Retirement Plan (IBR). This is when you pay between 10% and 15% of your discretionary income, or the income that is not set aside for necessities. Your loans are not forgiven at the end of any period of time. Talk to your lender about which type of repayment plans you are eligible for. 2. Keep the Government Informed If you have government subsidized loans, you can often defer them for legitimate reasons, such as an illness, a problem with your family, or some other crisis. By keeping the government informed, you can temporarily stop paying off your debts without accruing more interest. This is a good option if you run into serious financial problems because those serious financial problems, once resolved, will not be able to affect your future through your loans. For more information, talk to a company such as Financial Guidance Center that specializes in helping people pay off their...

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Personal Money Management: Why You Need A Financial Expert

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Personal Money Management: Why You Need A Financial Expert

No matter how much money you have saved in your bank account, it can quickly reach a low amount if you don’t manage it the right way. It is wise to contact a financial consultant if you are lost as to how to keep money in your private account for a long time. Below, discover what kind of services a financial expert can provide for personal money management and the price that you are likely to be charged. Why is it Wise to Hire a Financial Expert for Private Wealth Managements? Assistance from a financial expert is good because he or she can help you manage your money based on your specific situation. For instance, you will meet with the expert so he or she can evaluate how much money you have in the bank and if you are indebted to any creditors. Your money will also be assessed to determine what you should be spending on your daily living expenses (rent, utilities, and food). He or she will then be able to tell you the areas of your life that you are spending too much money on. The consultant will suggest ways for you to change how your money is spent as a way to keep more of it in your bank account. The financial consultant’s other goal will be to help you manage your money for future needs. If you intend on purchasing something large, expanding your family, or starting a business and retiring at a certain age, the consultant can help you accomplish those goals with strategic planning. The best way to accumulate a good sum of money over a long-term period is finding a way to earn a return on it. The consultant is likely to suggest that you put your money in a savings account that gives you an exceptional interest rate. If you follow the guidance of your financial consultant, you will begin practicing better money management skills for your future before you know it. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Financial Consultant? Financial consultants can charge an hourly or flat rate at their own discretion. Some consultants get paid based on commissions made from money management products that they sell to their clients. The estimated hourly rate is between $100 and $400, depending on the complexity of your case. You should expect to pay a little over $500 or more if you are charged a flat rate. Talk to a financial consultant as soon as you can to start working on your money management skills!...

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How To Get Your Mortgage Paid On Time

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Get Your Mortgage Paid On Time

The goal is to have enough money to pay your bills and to pay them on time. However, it is very easy to fall on hard times. If your mortgage is due in the next few days and you do not have the money, then you have to explore your options. Read on to find out how to pay your mortgage on time. Look Into A Payday Advance A payday advance or loan is a short-term unsecured loan that is due on your next payday. This loan gives the lender access to your bank account. You also have to write a check for the full balance. The lender has the option of depositing the check on the due date. Ask About Rollovers, Renewals and Interest-Only Payments If you cannot pay back the loan by the due date, then you should tell your lender. Many lenders can make special arrangements to help you pay back the loan. These arrangements may include rollovers, renewals and interest-only payments. A rollover is when the loan rolls over to another pay period. A renewal is very similar to rollover, because the loan renews to a new pay period. Interest-only payments mean only paying the interest on your loan. Some lenders are even willing to restructure the loan and allow you to pay installments. If you need to borrow money in a hurry to pay your mortgage, then a cash advance is an option. Lenders will lend you the money as long as you meet the requirements. The requirements are very easy to meet, such as must have a bank account, must be 18 years or older, and have a job. Ask For A Deferment A mortgage deferral can help you stay up-to-date on your payments while you get your finances in order.  When you defer your mortgage payment, you are putting off the payment and paying it at a later time. To get one, you have to ask your lender for a deferment and explain that you are having financial difficulty. Some lenders are willing to let you miss a payment or two to prevent foreclosure. To get approved for a deferment, you have to prove that your financial difficulties are temporary and have a solution to the problem. For example, if your hours were cut at work, but your hours are going back to normal, then you can catch back up on your mortgage payments. If your lender agrees to defer your mortgage, then you should get the agreement in writing. It helps to establish a budget in your household. A budget will help you with making your payments on time. However, if you are unable to make payments on time, then you should tell your...

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Tips For Avoiding Injuries And Worker’s Compensation Claims In An Auto Body Shop

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Avoiding Injuries And Worker’s Compensation Claims In An Auto Body Shop

Working in an auto body shop puts you at risk of a variety of injuries from the metal fabrication, welding, painting and sanding equipment. Additionally, auto body repair requires the use of a variety of hazardous chemicals. Understanding the things that put you at the biggest risk of injury when you’re at work can help you to not only avoid that injury, but also the potential for a worker’s compensation claim. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your own safety if you’re new to an auto body repair environment. Hearing Protection is Important Auto body repair requires a lot of power tools, metal work and welding. All of these things generate noise. That constant assault on your ear drums can lead to hearing loss over time, which is a serious concern. You should always wear hearing protection when you’re in the shop, especially if you’re working with the welder, laser cutter, grinding wheels or other power tools. You can opt for small earplugs or even noise-cancelling headphones, depending on the work you’re doing, but make sure you wear something that will stay in place and won’t get in the way of your work. Caution is Essential Around the Machines Whether you’re working with CNC machines, metal benders or sand blasters, it is important that you’re cautious about your operation. Make sure you follow all of the necessary safety procedures when you’re using any of the equipment in the shop. Auto body work often involves heavy-duty metal panels and steel bars, both of which require heavy-duty equipment. One of the best things you can do is to always wear the required safety gear any time you’re working on the machines. Gloves, eye wear and bands to secure your clothes are all important. You may also want to skip the baggy clothes, long hair and wedding bands when you’re working on metalwork, because these things can get caught in the machines. Know Your Lifting Limits Auto body shops see everything from complete body panels to over-sized rim-mounted tires, much of which is heavy. Additionally, many of the things you may be required to lift in the shop can be cumbersome, such as bumpers and interior seats. Lifting these things improperly will increase your risk of back injuries, muscle strain and other hazards. Not only should you be sure that you’re lifting with your legs instead of your back, but you should also know your limits and when to ask a co-worker for help. For example, if you need to position a bumper, it’s best to have someone on the other side to help you balance and support it. Auto body repair is physically demanding, but it doesn’t have to be a minefield of injuries. With the information here, you’ll be able to safely navigate your work day without an increased risk of worker’s compensation claims. For more information about filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact a business such as McMullen & Ochs...

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The ABCs Of Keeping Your Tax Bill Manageable As A Freelance Writer

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The ABCs Of Keeping Your Tax Bill Manageable As A Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer works out great for a lot of people. You get to skip the morning rush hour traffic and even forego the traditional office attire if you wish. You don’t even have a nagging boss on your shoulder telling you what to do all day. Even though you may not have the conventional bosses as a freelancer, there is one main boss that you cannot avoid: Uncle Sam. When tax time rolls around in April, you better believe Uncle Sam will be reminding you that you still have to pay your dues. If you want to keep that bill that good ole Sam hands you down to a manageable number, there are some simple rules that you should be following. Arrange a tax account aside from your usual banking account. It sounds like a complicated task, but having an extra tax account can be one of the most intelligent decisions you make as a freelance writer. Keep this account completely separate from everything–even your usual business funding or payment account. When you get paid, simply slip a small percentage of what you earned into the account, 10 to 15 percent will work, and make sure you don’t touch this money for anything, ever. Seriously, just pretend it no longer exists until your tax bill comes in. Be sure to pay quarterly taxes. The simplest way to avoid an unruly bill from Uncle Sam that sends you into a panic is to do just what the IRS recommends. If you are earning the majority of your income as a freelancer, you should start paying quarterly taxes. The IRS even provides a handy tax estimation worksheet that you can use to determine just how much you ought to be paying. Plus, you should know that if you spend the year knowing that you should be paying quarterly and don’t, you may be handed stiff penalties come tax filing time. Carefully monitor every expense you can find. That new printer you bought to print customer invoices is a potential tax deduction. That corner closet you transformed into a work space, it’s a deduction as well, and so is the long trip you took to a nearby city for a business meeting, the cell phone you use to communicate with clients, and even items as small as that new office chair or the paper you bought for your printer. Keep detailed records of every expense that you have related to your career because, at the end of the year, all these costs can bring down your tax bill. For more information and assistance, talk with professional tax consultants, such as those at Wiggins, Smit, Burby, Reineke, & Company...

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Three Private Equity Firm Myths To Ignore

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Private Equity Firm Myths To Ignore

Partnering with a private equity firm is an excellent way for an organization to get the capital it needs to grow and excel. Unfortunately, a number of business owners miss their opportunity to experience these benefits because of myths. Here are just three equity firm myths you should be ignoring if you are considering this type of partnership. Firms Are Only Interested In A Quick Financial Fix Private equity firms aren’t just interested in a quick, financial fix. They are equally concerned about improving the overall performance of the company as well. The fundamental reason for this is greater investment security. These firms aren’t interested in handing over a large sum of money to a company that will only fail due to poor operational practices, ultimately causing them to lose their money. These firms want to ensure that their investment is stable and will therefore take an equal concern on improving the operation of the company. Firms Come In Like A Ruthless Takeover There is also the concern that equity firms often come into a company with force, firing managers and liquidating assets, making it feel more like a ruthless takeover than a partnership. The reality is that the firm will make some changes; however, this doesn’t have to include a complete overhaul. If the company is sustaining itself, making a profit and remaining productive, the equity firm isn’t going to come in and try to fix that which isn’t broken. The terms of the investment are generally clearly laid out before you sign any agreement forms. If you don’t agree with the new terms, you don’t have to accept the offer. Firms Only Offer Capital Especially if you are dealing with an experienced private equity firm, don’t at all believe that the only value they can bring to an organization is capital. Experienced firms often have a certain industry in which they generally invest. This history of similar investments allows them an inside glimpse of how businesses within a particular industry operate, both the good and the bad. This invaluable experience can be brought to your organization to help you excel and avoid pitfalls previously witnessed. Remember, a return of investment is the most important thing to an equity firm, so they are going to do everything in their power to keep your company profitable.     Don’t let a myth keep you from a partnership with a private equity firm. Do your research and ask questions to find a firm (such as RLS Associates) that is best aligned with your...

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Three Tips For Collecting Ancient Coins

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Collecting Ancient Coins

There are some great hobbies you can engage in, but none as potentially fulfilling as collecting ancient coins. You will want to learn some of the tips and guidelines that come with the territory, so that you are able to put together the best collection possible. If this is what you are looking for, read on and make the most of these tips, so that you can learn all you need to know about ancient coins.    Tip #1: Make Sure That You Don’t Get Burned By Fakes One problem with collecting ancient coins is that there are a number of coin dealers who might attempt to pass replicas off as fakes. The last thing you would ever want to do is get burned by one of these fakes, which is why you’ll need to have a quality appraiser to inspect it for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most of your coin purchase, whether you are dealing with coins you purchase from dealers at coin shows or hobby stores. Doing this will provide you the opportunity to have backing behind your purchases.   Tip #2: Get Your Ancient Coins Insured Without question, the most important thing you can do with your ancient coin purchase is to get it insured. When you join the American Numismatists Association (ANA), you will be able to have insurance to come with it. You will be able to get your entire ancient coin collection insured, so that you are able to protect the value of your ancient coins throughout the years. As you upgrade your collection, always make sure to purchase coins and safes that will allow you to store them safely without a problem.  Tip #3: Stay In The Loop With The Right Reading Materials If you want to always learn more about ancient coins, the best thing to do is stay up to date with publications throughout the industry. You will be able to get the stay up to date with the prices and grades of your coins, as you build and continuously collect. You will also be able to join up with various coin collecting organizations in your area, so that you are able to exchange information with people who are serious about their collections and consistently trying to find the best pieces.  When you follow these three tips, you will be able to get the most of your ancient coin...

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Don’t Spend A Night In Jail By Using A Bail Bond Service

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Spend A Night In Jail By Using A Bail Bond Service

Bail was a concept designed to prevent people from spending a long time in jail while waiting for their hearing. If you find yourself being charged with a crime and held pending a hearing, posting bail gets you back home to your family. But if the bail amount is higher than what you can come up with, the bail bond process is there to help. Here is how a bail bond still gets you out of the cell and back home again. Setting Bail The crime you’re charged with will be considered bailable or non-bailable. Serious crimes, such as manslaughter, have no bail and require you to be in custody until your hearing. A bailable crime, such as shoplifting, has a range of bail amounts associated with it. A judge uses guidelines to set the bail amount. They will take into account your previous record and the likelihood that you’ll come in for your hearing. This is a good time to have a lawyer representing you. They will ask the judge to consider several factors when establishing the bail amount: Your reputation as an honest person shows that you will show up for your hearing. Your financial status makes it difficult for you to post a high bail. Your responsibilities at home make it important for you to be at home and not in jail. Your lawyer will try to get the bail set as low as possible. Your Next Steps Once bail is set, you have the following options: Post the bail in cash and get out of custody. Decline to post bail and stay in custody. When you post bail, the court gives you a receipt for the cash. When you return for your hearing, you’ll present the receipt and get your money back. If the bail amount is too high, and you still want to post bail, you’ll now talk with a bail bonds service. Bail Bonding Think of a bail bond as a short-term loan. For a fee, the service will post the bail amount for you so you can go home. When you come in for your hearing, the service gets their money back from the court. If you fail to appear at your hearing, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest and the local law enforcement will try to find you. The bail bond service will also look for you because they lose their money if you don’t show up. The service is highly motivated to find you before local law enforcement. If the sheriff’s office finds you first and brings you in, then the bond service loses their money. This is why the service has personnel trained to locate those who have “skipped out” on their bail. Understand What You’re Getting Into Before using a bail bond service, make sure you have the intention to show up for your hearing. If you miss it for any reason, there will be many people looking for you. Your record will show that you missed your hearing, which will make it harder on you in the future, should you be charged with a crime. You’ll also have difficulty finding a bail bond service that will take a risk on you without charging you a high fee. For more information about bail bonds, contact...

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