Finance

Financial Tips for Small Businesses

Entrepreneurial endeavors need consistent attention. A small business owner should have a financial plan in order to stay afloat each year. Think ahead. Do not be caught in a whirlwind of papers and panic come spring when you’re unable to pay your taxes and facing the reality of going under. There are simple things you can do to ensure your records are sufficient for tax filing and that you have a stable base for years to come.

What is your estimate per monthly income? How much revenue do you expect to bring in on average based on the business. If you do not have a standard ballpark number as a goal, how do you know if you are dragging or booming in sales? Every company should have a detailed file of incoming and outgoing business checks. Now would be the time to review those sheets. If you find disorganization, invest in software to do the work for you. You can even request the program to project revenue and expenses for coming months. Once you have those numbers you can create a financial plan that will give you consistent results, not accounting for periods of lesser profit. Nonetheless, with an accurate record you will soon learn when your best and worst selling months begin and end.

During off-seasons or months with loss, you need to amp up your efforts. Use this time to consult marketing companies and generate interest for your services. Also, cut back during these months. You can find cheap office supplies online. You will still need to make payments, so order cheap checks online instead of getting the expensive ones. Simple saving solutions make a big difference, especially when you are using items that you go through pretty quickly. Paper products and other office necessities will take out a chunk of your finances unless you look for the best deals.

Consider the profit versus the revenue. Your expenses must be considered in relation to what you bring in. If your expenses are too high and you’re not making a profit, what was the point of all that hard work? Find a way to cut expenses. Do not get caught in a situation where you depend solely on loans and help from the banks either because that is a slippery slope.

Hopefully you will find some comfort in your organizational skills. Success is not about what figures you can write into a blank check, but how well you play the game. If you can survive both good and bad times financially then you are better off then some.

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Payday loan

Can Payday Lenders Sue, Arrest, Or Put You In Jail For A Payday Loan?

Many payday loan consumers live in fear everyday because of unpaid payday loans.  The reason why is payday lenders sometimes threaten customers to pay back their payday loan debt within a short deadline or they could face serious consequences if they do not come up with the money on time.
We have heard several threats and here are some of the most commonly used ones:

  1. We will sue you for check fraud.
  2. We will have someone arrest you.
  3. We will make sure you go to jail.

Are these true?  Can a payday lender really sue, arrest, or put you in jail for a payday loan?  The answer is no.  Defaulting on a payday loan is not a crime and cannot result in criminal charges.  This means that you cannot be prosecuted, arrested, or put in jail check fraud, breach of contract, or anything else that your payday lender might threaten you with.

Making false threats to collect on a debt is illegal in every state.  If your payday lender has threatened you with the statements above, or something similar, it is likely that your payday lender is conducting business illegally and is unlicensed.  This is usually the case if you received your payday loan from a company online.  90% of internet payday lenders are unlicensed, which means that they do not have the legal ability to take civil action against you.  For this reason, they threaten customers into paying them because they know that if they are not successful on collecting the debt themselves, then there is no other way for them to get their money back.  They also cannot take you to court if  you live in a state where payday lending is prohibited.  The states in which payday lending is not allowed are:

  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia

Storefront payday lenders are a different case.  Storefront payday lenders are legal and licensed, which means that they can file a civil lawsuit against you.  

The purpose of a civil lawsuit is to simply obtain a judgment for a wage garnishment so that they can be repaid.

To avoid civil action, you need to keep communication lines open between you and your licensed payday lender.  Taking you to small claims court for a payday loan is the last thing that your payday lenders want to do.  Suing you will take a lot of paperwork, money, and time out of your payday lender.  The only reason your payday lender will resort to civil action is if they are hopeless about getting their money back.  The best thing for you to do is to talk to them about your situation and try to work out an arrangement that you can both agree on so that you can both avoid the legal battle.

In some cases, your storefront payday lender may not cooperate with you for a payment arrangement.  If this is the case, try to contact their corporate office instead.  They are usually more lenient to work with and have power over the specific store that you borrowed the payday loan from.  If the corporate office accepts the payment arrangement you are proposing, the store cannot disapprove it.

To avoid encountering these problems in the future, keep in mind that payday loans are short-term loans that should be avoided at all costs.  Do not take out a payday loan unless you are 100% sure that you will be able to pay the full amount back in time.  Never take out more than one payday loan at a time because doing so will set you up for a trap that will be very difficult to get out of.

If you find yourself drowning in payday loan debt, do not be afraid to seek professional help.  Getting out debt is easier with the right payday loan consolidation company on your side.  Do not lose another night’s sleep worrying about your finances anymore.  Do everything you can to help yourself gain the financial freedom you truly deserve.

Finance

Financial Tips For the First Time Home Buyer

Are you hoping to take advantage of the great opportunities available in this market as a first time home buyer? Here are some items to evaluate and pointers to help boost or maintain your credit score and credit worthiness.

Check your credit report. Once a year you are entitled to a FREE credit report from the three largest consumer reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Learn what your credit score is and understand its ranking. Of course, the better credit you have, the more likely a mortgage company would be to lend you money, among other factors. Keep in mind that if you’ve recently had your credit checked, you may request a copy of your report. There should be no additional cost to provide you with a copy.

Pay your bills on time. Ensure there aren’t any outstanding bills that are to be paid or anything in collections. Oftentimes, late payments will show up on your credit report. If you’re habitually late it may affect your credit worthiness.

Pay off or at least pay down your outstanding credit bills. Mortgage company underwriters are extremely conscientious about extended credit. Although each underwriter varies in their approach and assessment, in general, the less you owe, the better. Your credit report will show if you’ve ever gone above your credit limit, which can negatively impact your credit score.

Boost your savings. As you’re saving for your down payment, add some extra ‘padding’ to your account. You’re a less risky candidate if you still have financial padding in your account after you close escrow.

Monetary gifts. Ensure you can explain where they came from and whether you have to repay them. If you received a $2,000 check from your aunt, be prepared to not only explain what it was for, but you may need to ensure she’s available to sign an affidavit noting that it was a gift and that you aren’t responsible for paying it back.

Remember, anything you ‘owe,’ whether it be insurance, utilities, car payments, child support, credit card debt or other, the more you owe, the more ‘risky’ you are to a potential lender. You want to eliminate or reduce what you owe to lower your risk level and boost your savings and other financial assets to enhance your credit worthiness.

Payday loan

The Benefits and Risks of Payday Loans

Payday Loans are designed to give you a small, short term, unsecured loan which you repay on your next pay day. Sometimes, waiting for payday to come around can feel like an age, especially if you have prematurely spent last month’s packet! Too often can unexpected expenses arise whilst your account is somewhat sparse, from ‘final demand’ bills, MOT payments, to emergency health care costs. What is unique about Payday loans is not only that they can be used for almost anything, but that they are a quick and easy way to access credit. The majority of payday lenders can now be found online and provide just one simple application form for you to fill out. Providing all the information you enter is accurate and verified, payment is usually received on the same day as your application is submitted. All legitimate online payday lenders have associations with support agents available 24 hours a day and it is always recommended that you speak to a financial advisor to discuss your options before you obtain a payday loan. As Payday loans can be used as funding towards almost anything, they tend to come under various guises from, ‘Cash Loans’, ‘Quick Cash’, ‘Short term loans’ and ‘payday advances’ to name but a few. There are also ‘Low Income Payday Loans’ which are designed especially for individuals with a limited salary.

Furthermore, Payday Loans are perfect for individuals with bad credit. Since it is a form of unsecured loan, you do not have to secure it against any collateral. Additionally, payday loans can be generally obtained without any credit checks being made. Nevertheless, there are a few restrictions in order to qualify for this type of loan; you must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum monthly income (usually around £300 or less), be a UK resident and have a UK bank account. Most payday loans can be arranged for anywhere between £80 to £1,500 and this can vary depending upon the lender and the borrowers circumstance. Furthermore, as with most unsecured loans, interest rates are relatively high often reaching 3 to 4 digits. In regards to repayment, this is usually arranged in the agreement with the lender, but usually you repay the loan on your next pay day.

Short term unsecured loans to be repaid by next pay day is now a multimillion pound business, some reports suggesting it’s worth over £900million. According to Consumer Focus, the payday loan market has almost quadrupled since the recession began. UK Lenders have noticed an opportunity to charge as much as 4,400% annual interest. Although, many payday lenders complain that APR is an unfair measure as the loans granted are specially designed to be paid off within 28 days and can be cheaper than most unauthorised overdrafts. Despite the huge interest rates, it’s been recorded that over 1.2million people have taken out short term loans over the last 4 years emphasising that a growing priority within a typical UK household is a ‘quick fix’ to their finances rather than long term solutions. Despite the boom in the payday loan market, the Better Banking Campaign controversially claims that approximately 5 to 7 million people in Britain alone are still denied credit today.

Five of the seven largest payday lenders in the UK are actually US owned or financed. This is because the idea of the Payday loan originated in the US. Ironically, many American States have now effectively banned these forms of short term loans by placing caps on interest rates that lenders charge. MP Stella Creasy has recently proposed a Bill to enforce similar regulations in the UK in regards to short term lending. The ‘Ten Minute Rule Bill’ comes after a front page scandal which reported over 5,000 innocent Britons were told they owed hundreds of pounds in loan repayments, despite never obtaining a loan in the first place. Creasy hopes she will receive government approval to tackle the increasing level of loan harassment to families living in poorer communities. The Bill hopes to place a cap on interest rates, limit loans to one quarter of monthly income and hopes payday loan firms will help those who do not have access to affordable credit. To summarise, the Government is being urged to crack down on ‘legal loan sharks’ in an attempt to restore some hope to households being harassed over their debt problems. Before now, The Office of Fair Trading has failed to cap both unauthorized bank charges and interest rates on payday loans, leaving borrowers in somewhat of a pickle!

It is essential to ensure you have done your homework when it comes to obtaining a payday loan. Campaigners are warning that Payday Loans are potentially ruinous, with more and more firms claiming they can provide the cash in less than an hour. Some lenders are even promoting their loans on Social Networking sites, such as Facebook, whilst others have created iPhone Apps specially designed for instant loans. As many lenders now operate online, for the ease of the consumer, finding a legitimate firm is more difficult than ever. Before you jump into a payday loan application, it is advised to speak to an Independent Financial Professional to get some impartial and honest advice. This type of loan is designed especially for emergency situations and should not be used as a regular source of money. A more regular and reliable alternative for example would be to obtain a credit card which is designed to help budget your finances with stable monthly repayments and can be used to help improve your credit rating.