Creating a Financial Battle Plan

As we move into the New Year, it’s a good time to take a long hard at your finances, especially if you’re struggling. Creating a plan to deal with your finances takes time and effort, but it can help you regain control for the long term.

So to help get your finances in order, take a look at our five top tips.

Make Goals

Whether it’s finding a new job, increasing your income, or paying off debts, set yourself goals. Goals help us to define the future, and enable us to create the steps to achieve them. So write down those goals, and then create a plan to get there.

Budget

Less than a third of us set a weekly budget, but if you stick to a budget then you’re able to see how much money you have to spend. Write down all of your income, expenditure and debts, and then work out what you can afford.

Prioritise

If money is tight, then always pay your most important bills first. These include; rent, council tax and utility bills, where the consequences of not paying can be serious.

Contact Creditors

If you’re struggling with debt, then make sure you let your creditors know. They are often sympathetic and happy to work out affordable payment arrangements. The same applies to debt recovery firms. Always be honest about your situation and try and come to an affordable agreement.

Seek Help

If you feel overwhelmed by debt, always seek help from a free debt advice organisation.

Why You Should Plan for Two Types of Budgets

If money is tight, it’s likely that you’ve sat down and worked out your incomings and expenses, in order to see where your money is going every month. However, it’s important to consider two different types of expenses: those that you have to spend every month, and those that are optional (such as entertainment). Keep reading to find out what each of these entails.

Needs Only Budget

A needs only budget should be a list of things that you absolutely have to pay each month. This should include things like the rent, your energy bills, basic food items, and any transportation you need to get to and from work. The reason why knowing your needs only budget is good, is because if you fall on really tough times, you will have an idea of how much money you need to earn to get you through a truly basic month. You can also work out whether a short term loan will help you, until you get paid.

An Optional Budget

An optional budget, also called a lifestyle budget, should include everything in your needs only budget, in addition to the luxuries that you pay for each month. This includes entertainment options, luxury food and takeaways, and nights out. The reason why experts often recommend you create an optional budget is so that you don’t fail when it comes to saving.

It’s a good idea to write out both a needs only, and an optional budget, just so you know where you stand with your finances. A short term loan could help cover you for anything extra that surprises you during the month.

For more information on long term lending contact today.

Understanding Your Options When Faced with Debt

When faced with debts that you are struggling to pay, you’re sure to feel stressed and overwhelmed. What you need to remember is that there are options available to you that can slowly but surely help your finances to recover. Keep reading for a few of these.

Short Term Loans

If you have a payment due before the end of the month that you can’t afford, a short term loan is perhaps the easiest option. Also known as a payday loan, you can basically borrow the amount of money that you need, and then pay it off on payday. Whilst this isn’t an option for people in piles of debt, if it can help you avoid more trouble, it can be a good plan.

Debt Management Plan

If your debt is more serious, a debt management plan may be a better option. This involves talking to all of your lenders and agreeing on a new repayment scheme. This will require you to pay one monthly fee that you can afford, which should lower your stress levels. You may also be able to freeze your debts so that you can pay them off without incurring additional interest.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is traditionally the final solution for those faced with debt as it can have longstanding consequences. However, if you have overwhelming levels of debt that you will never be able to repay, it can be the best choice. Keep in mind, though, that any assets you own may be sold off when you file for bankruptcy, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to have any form of credit for at least six years.

Other options, such as IVA’s, and trust deeds, are also available, so do speak to a debt management advisor if you are struggling.

How to Manage Your Freelance Income

Freelance work is rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Can you guess what the number one thing is that stresses freelancers out? It’s not deadlines, and it’s not interacting with clients; it’s cash flow. Cash flow is incredibly important to a freelancer, and when you can’t guarantee that payments will come in when you expect them to, you could find yourself in trouble. Here are some tips that can help.

Create an Emergency Fund

It is vital to have a backup fund available that you can dip into when payments are late coming in, and you have bills to pay. Work out how much your expenses are each month, and try to set aside at least double that – more if possible.

Open a Separate Business Account

Whilst it’s legal to use the same bank account for your personal life as well as your business, it’s not recommended. And, not only will having a separate account make your accounting a lot easier, but it will also help you to understand how much money you have available. Use your business account to pay your salary and to cover business expenses, and use your personal account for everything else.

Project Your Monthly Income

When you freelance, you will have some times that aren’t as busy as others, so it’s important to try and project your monthly income. You could either take this as an average figure, or budget for the lowest income figure you’ve had to date. Don’t be afraid to seek out short term loans if you need them either, to help cover your expenses.

Online Lending To Increase In The Upcoming Year

Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) performed in February 2013 a survey in South Africa. The result showed that 52% of persons survived made some purchases online in the past year. These figures will rise since internet connectivity keeps increasing. Many consumers are using the internet to do most of their shopping even to apply for loans.

Online banking is now common among internet users. This is evidence that consumers are now increasingly becoming trusting and confident regarding the internet’s use in order to satisfy their financial needs. Online lending is becoming fast a preferred way of obtaining a loan. To lend money online is not a new method but it is becoming popular lately with numerous lenders choosing to operate only online. Even though some may consider it as an unusual concept, this method comes with numerous benefits to both consumers and lenders.

Saving time is one of the main benefits that attract thousands and thousands of people to online lending. Thanks to this method, you do not have to leave the comfort of your home to apply for a loan. You can do it at your place no matter the weather and the time. Since today, speed is an important factor to many consumers and lenders, online lending meets this requirement perfectly.

Another reason showing that online lending will increase in the upcoming year is the human ego. For many consumers, applying for a loan is a proof of failure. Entering a bank or a lending firm and applying physically for a loan in front of other people show that you are not able to meet your needs and of your loved ones without help. Online lending saves you such embarrassment since this method guarantees anonymity. You can apply for a loan online without having a neighbour or acquaintance recognising you.

Online lending also benefits for providers because they can expand their business by reaching a huge number of customers regardless their location. A lender based in Nairobi can serve a borrower living in Florida. In addition, this method does not require a big number of employees and an office. A lending can work alone from his home and serving numerous consumers without needing a help. These benefit show that in the upcoming year, online lending will increase and even become the norm since location and time will not be issues anymore.

For a payday loan or a short term loan, contact us for more information.

The Difference Between Lenders and Brokers

Mortgage broker sand direct lenders have many things in common. Both of them conduct campaigns of advertising for attracting customers and both of them collect information on your financial status in order to decide whether to lend you money or not. Both can also help you to get a better understanding of the mortgage process and clarify any legal revelations to you. However, there are some differences between lenders and brokers that you need to know.

Direct lenders represent a single lending source while mortgage brokers may represent various lending sources. Brokers are intermediaries between several lenders and you. Using a broker is like using a bridge for shopping around in order to find the best interest rates. However, using this bridge may also consume your time for obtaining a loan.

There is a considerable difference in rates of interest when working with a lender or a broker even though all of them take their rates from the same place that is the secondary market. Brokers have access to lower rates of interest because they do all the work related to the loan, from generation to qualification to submission to closing. A lender will have two or three people working inside the bank and helping him to obtain the loan for you. These people will ask money from the lender for their help.

Lenders use specific program parameters to set their guidelines. They will either approve or reject your loan with no or less alternatives. A broker can find the program that meets the specific needs of your loan and submit it to the appropriate lender with certitude that the selected lender will approve your loan. Therefore, brokers will not waste your time by submitting your application to a lender who will reject it after the approval process. Since mortgage brokers are independent, they can make quick decisions about the way they can reduce your costs. However, you need to have a high credit score in order to gain more power in negotiating with them.

According to your needs and situations, you can choose to work with a mortgage broker or a direct lender.

The Difference Between Auto Title Loans and Regular Payday Loans

If you need money and are looking for a way to borrow it, regular payday lender can be your option. Since there now many payday lenders, it is difficult to know who the best to meet your needs is.

However, if you are facing an emergency, you will not like to find a lender who requires long application process and credit checks. This suppresses most personal loans and bank loans from major lenders. Therefore, you have only two viable and main alternatives that remain in your hand: payday loans and auto title loans.

You have, more than likely, heard of both regular payday loans and auto title loans. However, many consumers do not understand that the two options have quite differences. Many differences between a payday loan and an auto title loan are specifics. If you want to obtain an auto title loan, you have to place, as security for your loan, a clean car. Typically, the lender will not conduct a credit check in your financial situation. With an auto title loan, you can borrow an amount of money up to the current value of your clean car. Such loan enables you to secure a low rate of interest.

On the other hand, regular payday loans do not require collateral such as a car in order to secure the loan. However, the lender will limit the amount of the money you can borrow. With a payday loan, the higher amount of money you can borrow is close to your monthly income and most of time, such loans come with high rates of interest.

Since you know the differences between auto title loan and regular payday loan, it is up to you to assess both options according to your current needs and situations. If you decide to take an auto title loan, you have to be sure that you have a clean car that does not have any lien holders. This means that you do not have any debt on your car, you paid off the entire money on it and the car belongs to you with your name on it. This is the main requirement for receiving an auto title loan. Once you meet this requirement, you can obtain the loan you need in short time.

With a payday loan, even if you do not have a car, you can obtain the cash but only a limited amount.

Strong Borrower Demands On Short-Term Lending

Many borrowers demand favorable terms from their lenders. It is not a surprise for lenders and other banks to meet borrowers demanding the best terms possible or better terms. However, some borrowers go beyond their bounds and harm their requests by approaching the lenders with a list of demands or requests they feel they must obtain with their loan.

Sometimes, borrowers believe wrongly that they have the right to receive any kind of loan and the lender must meet any form of their demands. Most of the borrowers’ demands turn around the period of approval, the closing costs, and the rates of their loan.

Some borrowers demand to their lender to limit the interest rates of their loan, to suppress the closing costs, and to extend the period of payment while reducing the term of approval. The borrowers want to obtain the loan quickly but to pay it back over a long period without facing penalties such as high interest rates and additional fees. In some cases, the lender can consider a maximum repayment period of 36 months but the borrowers may demand to extend this period to 60 months. Such demands move the lenders to reject their applications.

If the borrowers demand to pay only 6% of interest rates while the lenders fixed the rates at 8%, the lenders can decide to keep his money instead of lending it. This is a way to force borrowers going back at their demands. This is the same with the terms and closing costs. It is normal to make one or two payments at closing but if the borrowers demand the suppression of such term, it can be difficult for them to receive the loan.

When making such demand, the lender may have a close look to the payment history of the borrower for finding out if the demand is just a preference or a money problem. A good credit score may not move a lender to release the fund. If borrowers make numerous demands even with good credit, the lenders may be reluctant when it will come to release finances. Many lenders do not want to deal with borrowers coming with many demands during the approval process because it is a sign that problems will arise even in the future and it will be hard to treat them.

In order to obtain a loan and keep a good relationship with lenders, borrowers must negotiate with them instead of making demands or requests.

Where To Start When Applying For A Short-Term Loan?

This world is so unsteady economically that you will not always have enough money to face emergencies. When such emergencies require more money than you have currently, short-term loans may be your best option. There are debt tools to offer money management and instant cash requirements.

The term of suck loan is often short, few days, as its name suggests. This loan helps you to deal with an urgent situation while waiting for your next paycheck. It is easy to get access to short-term loans by filling an application online. The lenders simplified the process so that any consumer over eighteen years old can access to the loan without trouble. The process does not require any faxing either.

The big incentive of these loans is that they do not involve any credit checks. However, you have to fulfill some requirements when you fill an application for a short-term loan. You need to have a regular income and a checking account old of at least three months. You must have a regular job or receiving a monthly check regularly that can be a social security or a pension.

The period for a short-term loan is usually between fourteen and eighteen days. Choose carefully your date of payment when you are sure that you will have the fund to pay back because if you ask an extension of the term, the lender will charge a high interest rate with additional fees. The sooner you pay back the entire amount of the loan, the better you will be. It is in your best financial interest to avoid depending on these loans for a period longer than necessary. The amount of the loan varies from £100-£1000 and you can fill the application at your house without worrying about confidentiality. You can also pay back the loan online.

However, short-term loans come with strict laws. You would do better to check the laws in your town before applying for such loans. Short-term loans seem simple and easy. Consumers who are young or do not have any credit history may opt for these loans quickly without thinking about the risks. The interest rates of short-term loans are very high. You should think about taking a short-term loan after exhausting the other alternatives such as asking an advance from your boss, taking a small loan from a credit union, or using checking overdraft protection as an urgent short-term loan.

How To Manage Rising Living Costs

In the United Kingdom, living costs rose dramatically in the last years. The main reason behind it was the move by the government to print cash in order to help bail out the banks. This fuels basically inflation. Unfortunately pay rises could not keep up with this inflation. The government used an official index, called CPI, to measure inflation.

However, this tool does not reflect the real inflation cost. Many people criticized this tool and accused government of hiding the real figures of the inflation by manipulating the index. Other sites tracked the inflation and made public the real cost being up to four times higher than the government’s result. Even in the U.S, some commentators called the government’s result as a lie.

Many families living in larger cities are now into debts due to the housing costs combined to the rising prices. Statistics show that many consumers use their credit card to purchase shopping. This is a sign that their expenses are higher than their incomes are. Since it was easy to get extra credit cards, these debts increased quickly. The debt cycle is always deadly and vicious.

The debts affect all the areas of our life including physical, emotional, mental, and financial area. This vicious cycle begins often with a simple purchase of a luxury that you are not able to pay with your own money. Such purchases are addictive and as you struggle to pay it back, the debts will start to pile. You will have to borrow additional cash for paying back the existing debts. This is how this cycle never ends until you will be unable to deal with your debts.

It is vital to avoid this debt cycle. It is simple to reduce your debts no matter the amount. You have to decrease your expenditure and increase your income. Even though, these steps are simple, it is difficult to follow them. Decreasing your expenses in order to reduce your debt does not mean that you have to abstain from necessities. You have just to spend your money wisely. Instead of using credit cards, use debit cards. Avoid using your credit cards for any purchase and do not make big investments hastily. Do not shop on impulse.

Increase your income by working harder. Start your own business or learn tools about wise investments. Make sure that your income is beyond your aspirations. Set up a reasonable budget with financial boundaries. If your debts are deep and serious, you can hire a professional.