Important Questions to Ask Before Getting a Personal Loan

Important Questions to Ask Before Getting a Personal Loan

Between all the financial alternatives you can consider, a Personal Loan is the deadliest. Make use of personal loans appropriately and they may very well be the ladder out of your economic ditch. Make use of them wrong and it’s like attempting to put out a house fire with gasoline. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors before taking a personal loan:

Personal Loans vs. Other Loans

Personal loans are generally not secured with high-interest rates, which make them just like credit cards. Nevertheless, the loan tenure can last for a couple of years: 3 to 5 year loans are not unusual especially for education and renovation. Interest rates for personal loans differ greatly accordingly with the loan’s tenure and quantum.

Personal loans are unspecific. Unlike auto loans or educational plans, the bank simply lends you the amount, without verifying what you desire it for.

First Choice Finance suggests that prior to getting a personal loan, consider the following:

  • Would a different type of loan be cheaper?
  • Are you spending or investing the money?
  • Will you be over-leveraged for other loans?
  • Do some other banks give better rates / benefits?
  • Are there better options?

Would a different type of loan be cheaper?

Bank robbery appears so negative. Let’s simply refer to it as indefinite loan tenure.

There’s a good reason why we have loans that are fit for a specific purpose; e.g., . Without a doubt, it is possible to get a personal loan to purchase any one of those things.

However certain loans often have lower interest rates and have much more benefits. For instance, if you currently have a home loan from a bank it is possible to typically get interest free renovation loans on top. Such a renovation loan could be a lot cheaper compared to a personal loan.

In case you’re self-employed, refrain from making use of a personal loan as a de-facto business loan.

Business loans are a pain to apply for; the credit officer requires a lot more questions than homeland security. However as soon as approved, business loans often have reduced interest rates when compared with a personal loan.

Nobody can prevent you taking a personal loan, and then putting the money into your business. Nonetheless, before you do this, at least make sure to talk about business loans with the bank.

Are you spending or investing the money?

Are you currently taking a personal loan to purchase stocks, precious metals, or make some kind of investment?

Then it is highly recommended you try more secure activities, such as chainsaw juggling or maybe naked bear wrestling both of which are considerably less risky.

Kidding aside, investing money from a personal loan is contradictory and itself ironic. If you don’t have enough money to save up for an emergency fund, and even money for investing, don’t even try to get a loan to get those in line.

In addition, a couple of investments appreciate more quickly than a personal loan’s interest rate. Although you may not go broke, but you will most likely suffer a loss.

Will you be over-leveraged for other loans?

Refrain from taking a personal loan within 3 months of other loan applications. For instance, a home loan, let’s suppose you’re planning to buy a house the following month, and haven’t acquired a home loan yet.

You need 20% down-payment for the house, which can’t be included in the home loan. Hence, you make an application for a personal loan to take care of the 20%, and it’s approved.

After the personal loan is approved, you make an application for the home loan.

Remember that your personal loan will make worse your DSR. So when it does, you can’t borrow just as much as you’d like.

Do some other banks give better rates / benefits?

Different banks provide different rates and amazing benefits. A few Instances are “interest free” months or lower interest for active customers. To get information on which bank has the finest offer to suit your needs, call them and compare their offers.

Are There Better Options?

In the same way, if you’re purchasing an expensive item like a piano, talk to the retailer and see if they allow an installment plan; this will likely end up being cheaper than the bank’s personal loan.

11 Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

11 Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

Cell phone bills can be expensive, on par with the monthly costs of powering your home or keeping your car gassed up. Of course, your cell phone can help you build your credit, but only if you aren’t strapping yourself with too large a bill every month.

So if you’re sick of shelling out a small ransom to call, text and watch YouTube cat videos on your smartphone, you should know there are ways to cut your bill. Here are 11 options:

1. Choose the Right Plan

If you’re signing up for a new cell phone plan, make sure you’re only paying for the plan you need. Unlimited texting, calling and data plans are nice, but you may use your phone less than you think.

Take a look at your phone usage over the past few months to determine if average usage is way under the allowances you’re paying for. If so, you can save some money by switching to a downgraded plan.

2. Keep Your Phone Longer

Many wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T dangle the carrot of a new phone upgrade every year or so. Of course, you like new devices, but you might end up shelling out hundreds for a new phone or rolling the cost into your wireless bill, which sounds tempting in the store but will add to your monthly cost.

If your current phone works, hold onto it to save money.

3. Skip the Insurance

Device insurance sounds appealing when you’re about to drop hundreds on a new phone. But in many cases, it isn’t worth the cost.

“At $11 per month from Verizon, you’d still need to cough up an additional $50 to $200 for the deductible, depending on your device. It’s more cost-effective to invest in a sturdy, protective case and screen cover and treat your device with care,” said Kendal Perez, Savings Expert at CouponSherpa.com.

It’s also worth checking with your credit card issuer to see what, if any, kind of extended warranty options they offer on new purchases made with your card, or if you pay your cellular bill with your credit card. Learn more about your options with this handy guide to getting your money back when you break or lose your phone.

4. Use Family Plans

If you need more than one phone line on your plan, you may want to check if your wireless carrier offers family plans. Family plans offer savings for additional phone lines, decreasing the average cost of each line. In some instances you may be able to split the costs with a friend or family member you trust.

5. Don’t Surpass Your Data Limit

Seriously, don’t do it. Wireless carriers often impose steep fees when you surpass your data limit, so if you’re regularly bumping up against your limit, you may want to comparison shop for an unlimited plan. It could end up being cheaper than going over your limit several times.

6. Reduce Data Usage

If that’s not an option, consider reducing your data usage. Use secure Wi-Fi wherever available, especially when you’re engaging in data-heavy activity like downloading podcasts or watching videos. If you can reduce your data, you can potentially switch to a plan that charges less.

“Unlimited data plans are making a comeback…however, it’s better to track your usage and pay for the data you actually use. Compare plans between carriers and read the fine print,” said Perez.

7. Do a Bill Audit

Many providers charge for things you’ll never use or already have, such as emergency roadside assistance or 411. Next time you get your bill, go through every fee and charge to make sure you know what you’re paying for. Some unused services could be removed from your bill.

8. Look for Employee Discounts

Many employers and jobs have discounts available with major wireless carriers. Examples may include active-duty military members or state government employees. Find out if your employer or wireless carrier participate in such plans.

“If your employer has a business plan with a carrier, employees are typically eligible for a discount,” says Perez. “Ask your supervisor or HR department about this benefit and the amount of the discount.”

9. Make It Tax Deductible

If you have a home business and use your phone to conduct business calls and emails, you can deduct some or all of the cost of your wireless plan at tax time. This will indirectly reduce the cost of your cell phone bill.

10. Cost Share with An Employer

You also may conduct business on your personal phone for your employer. This could include phone calls, email and any other work activity. Ask your employer if they participate in phone reimbursement or cost-sharing policies.

11. Negotiate With Your Provider

Like many other service providers, wireless carriers face stiff competition from other wireless giants and smaller providers. As a result, they may be willing to negotiate to keep your business. Call your wireless carrier, tell them your bill is too high and that you’re thinking of switching to another provider. You may want to be ready with offers from other wireless carriers, and you’ll have some negotiation power if you’re a long-time customer and always pay your bill on time.

Also, keep in mind, the better your payment history, the better chance you have of negotiating, so don’t wait until you’re making late payments to begin talking. If you’ve already made some late payments, for your phone or other bills, you can see how they’re affecting your credit scores by reviewing your free credit report summary on Credit.com.

Switch Wireless Carriers

Competing wireless carriers are constantly trying to lure customers away from each other. If you can find a better offer from another carrier that provides the service you need, you have a compelling reason to switch. You can even look for budget alternatives, such as prepaid plans.

“Prepaid, no-contract plans from Boost, Virgin Mobile, Ting and Page Plus are all cheap alternatives to big-carrier plans… compare costs between big carriers and no-contract providers before you buy.”

The post 11 Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill appeared first on Credit.com.

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11 Awesome Tips for Making Ends Meet

11 Awesome Tips for Making Ends Meet

Do you need money on the side? Well getting your hands on a little bit more can be easy if you are willing to try new things and be a little industrious. Take a look at these great tips on how to do so.

Transcribe

If you type fast and have experience with transcribing audio, you’re probably able to make some cash on the side working for companies which provide transcriptions for hearing impaired people. There are many online job sites such as Elance and Odesk where you can find a variety of transcription job offers. If you want to get repeat work, you’ll need to write quickly and accurately, with proper spelling and grammar.

Do Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing consists basically of promoting a third party’s services or products. You could post YouTube videos with links to products, or incorporate their promotional material in your blog, website or page. If you have a blog or page that has great content and constant traffic, you should check out websites such as Commission Junction for services and products which will allow you to connect.

Sell Music

If you have a small band with some sort of local following, you can expand your audience and make some cash on the side by recording an album and selling it online. You can use social media to get more people interested in your music and your act. This will probably easier and more successful than attempting to score a major label deal, particularly if your music isn’t particularly commercial or is not in one of the most popular genres.

Write An eBook

Are you talented or very knowledgeable in a certain niche? Do you have an inspiring or fascinating life story, or perhaps a story of overcoming adversity? Do you have a secret for doing a certain thing that many people could benefit from? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should write an eBook, and try your luck selling it at online retailers such as Amazon. You don’t need a publisher or literary agent – all you need is a compelling idea which people will want to read about.

Haven’t yet found an idea that suits your personality or skills? Keep reading for other online money-making tips which will help you make ends meet.

Start An Online Store

If you market or make a unique product, it can be a great idea to sell them online, directly to customers. This is an excellent route for niche products, such as personalized pet accessories. You’ll need a website which looks professional and is set up to receive orders and then invest a bit of cash for the website and merchandise. If the store becomes particularly successful, you’ll be able to rent space to other retailers that have products to sell – that’s how Amazon started out. You can check out 3dcart.com for more info on selling things online.

Online Cash Loans

What better way to get your hands on some money quickly than through internet loans. Once taken with a strong understanding of the terms and paid back within the right period, online cash loans can be a great way to fund purchases when they are needed quickly and as a necessity.

Sell Products At Online Retailers

If you can sell a product but don’t feel ready to start an online business, you can reach out to one of the many websites which does the hard work of placing the items you sell in front of people who are willing to buy them. If you want to sell collectibles such as jewelry or handmade art, check out Zibbet, Etsy or ArtFire. Etsy is the biggest of them, excellent for vintage or handcrafted items, so you’ll definitely get an audience there.

Sell Your Photography

If you’re a skilled photographer with a large portfolio, you could make it work for you by licensing photos to microstock agencies such as Dreamstime and Shutterstock. There are many blogs and websites who are looking for art to accompany articles, so if you have the sort of photos they’re looking for, you could definitely make good money off it.

Flip Domains

The term ‘flipping’ refers to the practice of buying domain names and selling them at a profit. You’ll need a bit of ingenuity, a lot of research and some luck, but you can make a nice sum from time to time. The idea is to check out Google Adwords constantly and be aware of trending keywords, then predict which domain names will soon be in demand. This is not that easy of a task since the simple, clever and/or obvious names are usually taken.

If you come up with a name you might want to purchase, go to a domain name registrar and run it. If it hasn’t been taken yet, all you’ll need to do is pay a purchase fee, and maybe a setup fee, plus the yearly renewal fees. Many companies such as GoDaddy specialize in registering domains. While this can be time-consuming, the payoff can be big – valuable domain names will often sell for over $100,000.

Don’t give up yet – we’ve got a lot more tips which will help you put your skills to pay rent online.

Do Freelance Work

If you’re out of a job in publishing, marketing or web design, and your attempts to find a steady job have failed, it might be a good idea to start a freelancing career. Web sites such as Guru, Textbroker, and Elance allow potential employees to bid for the jobs requested by potential employers.

When we checked, new jobs at Elance ranged to $10 an hour for graphic designers to $1,000-$5,000 for iOS or web developers. Be ready to present your skills and case in a short proposal which states the reasons why you’re the perfect candidate for an assignment. Keep in mind that you’ll need to apply for a variety of jobs before getting one.

Find Quick Odd jobs

When you have some free time and are looking to do certain jobs quickly, you can check out Gigwalk, a free app where companies advertise short assignments they need completed, such as going to a business and writing a Yelp review for it for $20. If you’re good at running errands or assembling furniture, you can sign up at TaskRabbit, where people and business who need some temporary help try to find workers. You’ll need to go through a video interview and a background check, but you can definitely pick up some cash there between jobs.

10 Creative Ways to Finance a Startup Business

10 Creative Ways to Finance a Startup Business

Funding your start-up can take some time and some foresight however, these 10 creative ways to finance a startup business will give you the boost you need – take a look.

Personal Finance

While most people will think that personal finance is not the most creative of financing option, there are actually a lot of entrepreneurs who have not thought about this.  They will not consider saving up or using their personal savings for their start up.  Most investors will not look at putting money in your venture if they do not see that you have some investment as well.

Unsecured Business Loans

Unsecured business loans can be a fantastic way to get credit and can provide a fast turnaround, so your start-up gets the money quickly. Application processes are typically fast and you can learn more about the whole process from a reputable finance company like https://www.unsecuredfinanceaustralia.com.au.

Family And Friends

Your family and friends are the people who believe in you and will want to see you succeed.  They are also more likely to provide finance without you having real customers or hard assets.  Of course, you should always get this financing in writing or in promissory notes where you convert the loan into equity at a future date.

Peer-To-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a newer finance option and works by finding a group of people who lend money to each other.  While this has been around for years, startup businesses are still new to this.  It is best that you look for a lending group that is willing to fund new ideas because not all lending groups will.

Use Crowdfunding

The power of the internet is great for finding people who share your ideas and are willing to provide a small about to back your startup.  Crowdfunding has spread from being for non-profit organizations and you can offer pre-sales or other rewards for people investing in your venture.  The JOBS act which was passed last year will also allow people to make small equity investments this way.

Microloans

There are a number of non-profit and for-profit organizations that offer small loans of up to $35000 in an effort to promote entrepreneurship.  These loans are generally given to people who are unable to secure a loan through the bank.  Some examples of these loans will include the Patriot Express loans.

Vendor Financing

If you require tangible stock for your venture than most manufacturers could be convinced to defer payment on the goods until they have been sold by you.  This will mean an extension of the normal 30-day payment terms that the business uses.  The extension will generally depend on your credit worthiness and the extra fees that you are able to cover. Here is a good piece from Investopedia.

Purchase Order Financing

One of the most common problems that start-ups face is their inability to accept large new orders as they do not have the capital to build and deliver the product.  PO financing will be able to help as the companies offering this will generally advance you the funds to pay the supplier.  This allows the transaction to be completed and for the profit to flow to your business. 

Factoring Accounts Receivable

This is a similar option to PO financing but looks at the unpaid amounts that you are due.  If you have a high volume startup then this will help you scale up.  You can provide cash on your sales immediately instead of waiting for the 30-day payment period to pass.

IRA Financing

Investment retirement account funds and 401(k)s are perhaps the most accessible of the alternate funding sources.  You will not be able to use your own funds for your startup, but other people will be able to loan you money from their self-directed funds.

The 10 Creative Ways To Finance A Startup

Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

How to Get Your Grout to Look Brand New

Grout can be troublesome. While ceramic tiles are designed to resist stains, deflect grime and last for years, grout tends to absorb dirt and become strained all too easily. You might have tried many different cleaning solutions and homemade remedies on your grout, but nothing seems to get that dark brown stain out from between those shiny ceramic tiles. What can you do?

Remember, when tackling dirty grout, always start out with a mild cleaning solution, and if that doesn’t clean it fully, gradually move on to more aggressive cleaners. Of all the commercial cleaning solutions out there, we’ve found OxyClean to be the simplest and most effective at tackling messy grout lines and dirty tiles. Not only is OxyClean tough on grout, its main component is hydrogen peroxide, a “green” cleaning product that is neither a carcinogen nor a neurotoxin. Simply combine the OxyClean with water, rub onto the grout, and let sit for the recommended time before rinsing it off and brushing away any residue.

You might be tempted to use a rough brush to push the solution into the grout lines. Don’t do that! Using an abrasive brush such as steel wool or Brillo pad will wear down the grout and do more harm than good. In some cases, it could break through the grout, forcing you to get it replaced. Of all the brushes, an old electric toothbrush is the most effective at brushing dirt out of grout. Much like it does to your teeth, the electric toothbrush rotates and scrubs the gunk out of the grout, while simultaneously reaching those hard-to-get or unseen spots.

If you’re having no luck with the various cleaning solutions, consider investing in a steam mop. A steam mop uses high pressure, hot water and steam to blast your flooring and clean your grout. The high pressure created by the machine lifts dirt from inside the porous grout lines, flushing it out and leaving a shiny, new-looking surface in its wake.  Using a steam mop is great on the environment since it uses hot water instead of harsh cleaning chemical solutions.

 

Cleaning with the steam mop is very easy. To use your steam mop, all you need to do is hold the nozzle and direct the steam through it and onto the grout line. Direct the nozzle up and down the grout lines to directly take on the dirt. You want to rent or buy a steam mop that has a strong pressure gauge and can reach ~350ºF, as this is the optimal temperature for cleaning grout. Cleaning mops are very effective when used alone, even more so when used following a more traditional cleaning attempt using a homemade or commercial cleaning solution which are used by the professionals such as Sir Clean Pro. Once you’re finished using the steam mop, use an attached brush, old toothbrush or nylon brush with soft bristles to wipe away any leftover dirt residue. Once you’re done, your tile floor or wall should look shiny and new.

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

My daughter has been asking, requesting, and even begging me for a pet; specifically a dog. I have not fulfilled her wishes because I know the huge responsibility that having a dog entails. It means getting up early or staying up late to walk the dog. It means cleaning up after the dog during the training stage. It means managing pet hair, accidents, and chewed up shoes. It could mean a huge carpet cleaning or replacement bill. If you are a little more lenient and decide to get your child a pet here are a few carpet cleaning tips for pet owners to ease your mind.

Having pets doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your carpets. A little hard work, active planning, and preparation is all you need to stay on top of things and keep your carpets clean around the hustle and bustle of dogs and cats. Accidents are bound to happen, whether you have one pet or several, but reacting with immediacy and the proper cleaning techniques can make the difference between a temporary mess and a permanent stain on your carpet. Of course, you can always hire a professional carpet cleaner and if you live anywhere near Charlottesville, VA, check out Tidy Guy for some great deals on carpet cleaning.

mom pet owner carpet cleaning tips

Managing Pet Hair

Pet hair can be impossible to get rid of. Many dogs shed, leaving hair in their tracks everywhere they go – across the carpet, on the couch, on your clothes and pillows and blankets. Some dogs shed so much that vacuuming can’t keep up, and you can even risk clogging your vacuum with the hair.

One way to lessen the pressure on your vacuum cleaner is to do a ‘lint roll’ over your carpets before you turn on the vacuum. Wrap an old paint roller in masking tape and attach it to an old broom handle to get the outer layer of pet hair off your carpets before you vacuum. This can also be an effective way to clean hair off your furniture as well. In order to stay on top of your pet’s shedding, vacuum your carpets at least three times per week.

Dealing with Pet Accidents

Accidents happen, always. Sometimes you’re training a new puppy and they don’t make it outside in time, other times your already-trained dog gets too excited to see you and has an accident. Reacting immediately to these kinds of accidents is the key to minimizing stains and damage. Follow these steps to clean the carpet as flawlessly as possible:

  1. First, lay an old cloth over the urine stain on the carpet. Stand on the cloth to press it into the carpet and absorb much of the moisture.
  2. Next, clean the area with a solution made from four drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to one cup of warm water. Work the solution into the carpet’s stain before rinsing it well with a clean, wet towel.
  3. To avoid future stains in that spot, blot the stain with a vinegar and water solution.
  4. After you’re done cleaning put some paper towels down and place a book on top to act as a weight to facilitate moisture absorption.

It isn’t advisable that you use a steam carpet cleaner to tackle pet-related stains. Using a steam cleaner can yield the opposite result, setting the stain and making it impossible to remove. There are many products available on the market that is designed to remove pet-related stains. It’s important to follow directions very closely when using products like this in order to bring about the best results.

A handheld carpet vac (available usually for < $100 online) is a great tool for successfully getting rid of pet stains in your carpet without breaking the bank. Use only warm water in your carpet extractor before attempting to use an enzyme treatment to get rid of any odors. Using water first will rid your carpets of any chemical residues, which can inhibit the enzyme treatment from doing its job. Remember, liquid messes spread easily in your carpet, so immediacy is key to handling these types of stains.