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Archive for July, 2012

Fix Your Finances With These Simple Tips

Written by Toi Williams on Jul 31st, 2012 | Filed under: mindset

To improve your financial health, you need to adopt some good financial habits and take advantage of the benefits that are available to you.  These things are easy to accomplish and will only take a few minutes of time out of your day.   Once these have become regular habits, you will see a significant improvement in your financial stability and will be able to move forward on wealth creation.   Here are some simple tips for fixing for your finances that will help you see results quickly.

Start Budgeting

Spending money without using a budget to track and limit your spending is one of the easiest ways to get into financial distress.  Creating a budget is not very hard.  You must list all of your necessary expenses and subtract the money to pay for them from your monthly income.  The next step is to divide the amount remaining between savings and discretionary spending.  The budget may have to be tweaked over several months, but at the end of this time period, you should have a budget that you can live with.  It is important to try to stick to the budget so that you will not overspend and you will have money available for saving.

Sign Up For Employer Benefits

The benefits offered by your company may account for as much as 30% of the employee’s total compensation package and neglecting to take advantage of them is like paying your employer for the privilege of working for them.  Most of the benefits offered are designed to save the employees money or help them prepare financially for retirement.  Most people know that signing up for their company’s healthcare and retirement benefits can help them enormously, but they do not realize that they can also save money by signing up for dental benefits or vision insurance, enrolling in company life insurance plans, and using dependent care or flexible spending accounts.  Reexamine your contributions during the annual enrollment period to adjust your choices to provide the maximum benefit.

Who to Trust?

Written by admin on Jul 30th, 2012 | Filed under: bankruptcy

Here are some figures for you to consider:

The average household debt is over £50,000. 1443 CCJ’s are issued every day. A property is repossessed every 13 minutes, and even more shockingly, every 4 minutes someone is declared bankrupt and it is likely that you may be afflicted with debt too. Your debts may not be as substantial as that of the average households but if you find yourself struggling to meet repayments it could be time to consider talking to professional debt specialists.

This article will provide you with a short overview of the debt management services which are offered by the companies ClearStart and Debt Free Direct.

Debt can be daunting and the consequences of the impact that it can have on your life are never anything to look forward to. No matter how much debt you owe, there could be a solution that will make repayments affordable and more manageable.

If you owe more than £10,000 or £12,000 you may be eligible to apply for an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) which consolidates all your outstanding debt into a single, affordable monthly repayment. To find out more information about an IVA click here.

I felt that there was more advice available from ClearStart. Not only did they have advice on the services they could provide – they also had plenty of in-depth yet clear information on how to save money and how to avoid debt. They also offered more services, which made me think they may be a little more experienced.

I found that both services offered equal opportunity to contact a professional, with several methods open to the user. I felt confident that should I need advice, I would easily and quickly be able to get in contact with someone who could help me.

The other thing that I noticed is that both of these groups are equally as happy to point out the disadvantages of their services. Unlike some other companies, they made it clear that they may not be able to do certain things. It means I have no misguided preconceptions about what my service will involve. I can make a fully informed decision about how I am going to handle my finances.

I believe that both services are fantastic and would recommend either one of them to anyone who needs advice. They really are fantastic and they really helped me to make a good decision.

Personal Injury Claims

Written by admin on Jul 30th, 2012 | Filed under: collections

Personal injury claims are far more widespread today thanks to an increased awareness of the subject. An accident can occur anywhere and at any time which is why we see so many personal injury claims. The word itself isn’t limited to merely a road accident, a fall or slip or the like. It can also refer to an accident caused by negligence in the workplace. You should try and maintain responsibility for your safety at all times but you would also be wise to know your legal stance should you suffer from an accident brought about by another.

There is help at hand should you need it, a personal injury solicitor is an expert in legal matters when it comes to accidents and injuries where another individual or organisation has been the cause. They will represent you and gather all information and evidence in your favour for your personal injury claim.

Going through a court case is not the easiest of processes as you are required to be in attendance at every hearing and if you are suffering from stress or broken bones, you are unlikely to be functioning at your best when making an accident claim. Your personal injury solicitor will visit you in the hospital as soon as he has been made aware of your accident and that you are interested in him representing you in court. Your injury lawyer will collect all the information that you have to give him in order to be in a position to defend you in seeking your personal injury compensation.

Once your injury solicitor has reviewed all of the information at his disposal, he will attempt to recover monies to cover for everything regarding your case. This could be, for example, monthly maintenance fees or hospital fees. This won’t, of course, make up for the loss of a scar or broken bone but it will certainly help to relieve any financial burdens which can make the situation worse and cause you greater stress. They know what injuries and their consequences are typically valued at so have a greater chance at approximating any compensation from an injury claim that you qualify for.

Accident solicitors don’t just limit their service to fatal accident and personal injury claims, however. They also help you with such matters as finding a doctor to provide you with a free consultation and pay you home visits as well as locating for example a car repair centre in the case of a road accident claim.

The responsibility of personal injury solicitors are essentially to provide to you, a service that will allow you to benefit from accident compensation for an unfortunate event brought about by another individual or organisation.

Identifying Signs Of Identity Theft

Written by Toi Williams on Jul 29th, 2012 | Filed under: scams

It is important to pay attention to the early warning signs that your personal or financial information is being used illegally.  No matter how creative, silly or transparent a scam may seem, it can be very dangerous to your finances and financial security.  Identity thieves are sophisticated and smart, taking advantage of distraction and trust to obtain the information that they need.

Compromised personal information can lead to big financial woes.  More than 74 million people in the U.S.were victims of cybercrime in 2010, leading to $32 billion in direct financial losses.  To help you avoid adding to these losses, here are some early signs your identity has been compromised.

Your Credit Card Gets Declined

Having your credit card declined unexpectedly can be one of the first signs that your account has been compromised.  If your credit card gets denied, you should go home and check your account immediately.  If you see anything at all suspicious on the account statement, call your credit card issuer to alert them to the problem and cancel that particular card.

Mystery Charges Appear On Your Statement

Strange charges on your credit or debit card account are a good indicator that someone may be using your account fraudulently.  Identity thieves often test stolen credit card numbers with small purchases so you should examine all of your charges for any that you do not remember making.  Contact your credit card issuer no matter how big or how small the suspicious charge is so that they can help you determine if the purchase was made illegally or was simply a mistake.

You Get Unexpected Debt Collection Calls

If you receive a call from a debt collector trying to a collect on a debt that you do not know about, someone may be using your identity.  It is important for you to not ignore these calls and to find out as much as you can about the debt so you can determine if it is being attributed to you.  If they continue to claim that you are the person responsible for the debt, there are some steps that can be taken that may eliminate the debt and alert authorities that your identity has been compromised.  Filing a police report will be helpful in prosecuting the person responsible whenever they are found.

What Are The Penalties For A Delinquent Payment?

Written by Toi Williams on Jul 25th, 2012 | Filed under: collections

Have you ever justified the consequences of making a payment late because you believe that the penalties are insignificant and not damaging enough to worrying about?  If so, you join millions of people across the nation that have harmed their credit by making a payment late or missing a payment completely.  Late payments can have many damaging penalties that may not be apparent until your life is negatively affected.  The fallout created by numerous delinquent payments can have the ability to affect you for years.

Late Payment Charges

The initial penalty for a late payment is often a late fee.  This fee is generally charged directly to the account and the amount of the fee usually falls between $5 and $39, depending on the account and the company holding the account.  You want to avoid late fees because having to pay one of these fees is like giving your money to a business for nothing in return.  Multiple late fees add up quickly and can cause financial distress.

Higher Interest Rates

If a payment is not made on time, some creditors will increase the interest rate for an account dramatically.  The interest rate increase can double or even triple the original interest rate for the account, requiring the person to pay significantly more to keep the account in good standing.  An interest rate increase can be financially devastating for accounts with large balances.

Account Default

Your account may be placed in default if a single payment is late by thirty days or more.  This typically means being reported to the major credit reporting bureaus for account default, which shows other creditors that you are untrustworthy when it comes to paying debts.  In order to avoid having any of your accounts go into default, make sure that you make all of your payments on time and that you pay at least the minimum owed to keep your account in good standing.

Managing your finances

Written by admin on Jul 19th, 2012 | Filed under: credit cards

Personal finance can be a challenge to most people especially to those with poor credit and financial problems. It always helps to create a personal financial plan in order to help keep track of where your money goes. It also helps to avoid coming into major debt problems. Below, there is some advice provided regarding how to manage your finance.

Tips on managing your personal finance:

1)  It is always a good idea to educate yourself- Buy a small notebook to keep track of your income (What comes into your home) and your expenditure (what goes out of your home) and this well help you to see where your money goes weekly, monthly etc. Your income should also include any investments or bonds and stock you have. Your expenditure on the hand should include things like bills and any debt that you owe.

2) Try to save at least 10% of your money if you can. Saving is always a vital part of personal financial management. Saving always provides you with your silver lining and your contingency to fall back on when your stuck for cash. Although it can be hard to start, it is a really good habit to start to get into. After your debt has been paid off, try to save at least 5-10% of your cash at your own time scale.

3) Always search for advice and tips from the internet and newspapers or ask family and friends for tips on how to save money as well as manage money.

Credit Cards:

Credit cards can be a good or bad idea, depending on your personal financial situation. Nowadays there are too many types of credit cards to keep track of ranging from high, low and free interest rate credit cards. There are credit cards designed for different kinds of people such as students, graduates and working class people. However it is always advised to think carefully before applying for one as they are a huge financial responsibility. Some are long term while others are short term. Shop around for the best one that suits you

Why It’s Wise to Be Frugal

Written by admin on Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed under: saving

No matter how much money you make it is never a good idea to be a fool with your money and just throw it around. Even if you make several thousand dollars per week, if you aren’t careful with your money, it will all be gone before you even know what happened to it. Why do you think people open up their own savings accounts? They want to make sure that in case something bad happens in their career that they have something to fall back on. Even the richest of people or the people that make ridiculous amounts of money every week have a back-up plan and can’t afford to not be frugal.

The very first reason why it is important for you to be frugal is because we are talking about money that you have earned all by yourself. No matter how much money you are bringing in does it ever make any sense to be careless with it? Think of it this way – if you had a whole gallon of milk would it make any sense for you to pour half of a glass down the drain? Of course it wouldn’t and in the same sense it doesn’t make any sense for you to spend money when you don’t need to no matter how much of it you might have.

We could talk all day why it is a good thing for you to not spend too much of your money but as a savvy investor you probably already know all of those reasons. What about all of the people out there though that can’t afford to spend a little extra on something that they don’t really need? Of course you might be able to afford it but if other people could live without it then couldn’t you also live without it too? It all comes back to the same basic point, why overspend if you don’t really need to?

So in the end no matter what kind of money you are taking home, it never hurts to be frugal. Being frugal is not only a good way to conserve your money while it is coming in easily but if you ever have a hiccup in your income stream you will already be adjusted to a frugal lifestyle. While we all hope that never happens, if you are already living a lifestyle that supports that off-chance then you won’t feel the effect of it so harshly.

Is Debt Consolidation an Option?

Written by admin on Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed under: consolidation

In this day and age it is quite easy to find ourselves underneath a whole mountain of debt. Not only are we almost forced by the media and advertisements to take out loans for things that we only think that we need, the interest rates are often built to take advantage of the fact that we can’t pay in cash. If you have debts just piling up, instead of trying to pay them off one by one for a long period of time, why not consider debt consolidation?

Many people look at debt consolidation in the wrong way entirely. They see it as a bad move to take on a whole new loan or debt when they still have so many things to pay off. In reality that line of thinking couldn’t be any farther from the truth. A person in debt may have 3 different credit cards and several other places that they owe money too. They will all be at varying interest rates, some of them very high if they have ever missed their payments. Having to pay back debt to several different organizations every month is, in itself one of the most stressful things that a person in debt can do.
When you choose debt consolidation however, all of your debts are rolled up into one nice, simple package. Gone are all of those varying interest rates and bills coming in the mail every month. Your debt consolidator will pay off all of your debts for you and then you will make one monthly payment to them at an interest rate that you agree upon when applying for debt consolidation. It isn’t hard to see why that is much more preferable compared to paying high interest rates to several organizations each and every month.

Most importantly, a debt consolidation agency will understand the situation of a person in debt and will be able to work with you in a realistic manner. No matter how far in debt you are, they have worked with someone in your situation before and they can offer you the type of advice that you can actually use. So if you feel like your debt situation is becoming one that you are just about drowning in then you might want to look into a debt consolidation solution. There is no shame in it and once you do it you will have much more breathing room.

Are You Getting The Best Short Term Loan?

Written by Toi Williams on Jul 17th, 2012 | Filed under: loans

Getting the best short-term loan for your needs can help you improve your financial stability and solve your financial issues.  There are many short-term loan products available today from numerous lending institutions, so it is important to review the features of the loan to determine which one provides you with the most benefit. Here are some signs that will show you that you are getting the best short-term loan available to you.

An Interest Rate That Is Low

The interest rate that you are paying for the loan is one of the most important features to review before signing up for the loan.  The interest rate determines how much you will be paying to the lender for borrowing the money through the loan.  Some short-term loans have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan and some short-term loans that have an adjustable interest rate that can fluctuate from month to month.

A lower interest rate is a good thing because it means that the lender is charging you less.  A difference of a few percentage points could end up saving the person hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan.  While a low interest rate is not the only thing you should look for in a short-term loan, it is an excellent indication of which one will be ultimately be best for you.

Acceptable Loan Terms

The repayment terms of the loan are another thing that should be carefully reviewed before accepting the loan.   Some short-term loans are written for a period of several months while some others are repaid over several years.  The longer the loan term, the lower the monthly payments will be but you will pay more in interest charges.  It is very important to read all of the information included in the loan agreement to understand exactly what you are getting into when you sign up for the loan.

Protect Yourself From Fraud And Identity Theft

Written by Toi Williams on Jul 10th, 2012 | Filed under: mindset

When an unauthorized individual learns a person’s Social Security number, bank account information, credit card number, or other personally identifying details, identity theft can occur.  The criminal then uses the information to buying things on credit in the victim’s name, wipes out their financial accounts, or uses their identity to perform other criminal acts.  All consumers need to take precautions to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraudulent actions performed in their name.  Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

Invest In A Paper Shredded

Throwing documents that contains personally identifying information in the trash can be financially devastating if a criminal gets ahold of that document.  Some criminals pick through trash bins looking for items that contain personal information and then sell that information to other criminals that can make use of the information.  Shredding these documents using a basic paper shredder before throwing them away will make it much harder for identity thieves to piece together your information.

Secure Your Mail

Personal mail often contains confidential or personally identifying information, including bank statements, credit card statements, and checks, but many people allow their mail to be delivered to an unlocked mailbox where criminals can open and browse through at their leisure.  This is especially dangerous if you do not retrieve your mail regularly or are going to be gone from home for a few days, as the criminal can take all the time that they need under the cover of darkness.  To keep your mail secure, try to use a locked mailbox or other secure location for your incoming mail, pick up your mail as soon as possible, and place mail containing identifying information in a blue Postal Service mailbox or take it to the post office instead of leaving it in your home mailbox.