Trump Wants To End Student Loan Forgiveness How Is SL Account Management Already Helping Student Borrowers

Donald Trump’s 2020 budget has caused some waves in the Education Department and for students who need to take out or have taken out student loans. Trump’s budget has slashed Education Department funding and made some major changes to government programs aimed at helping students pay down their debt. Specific programs affected are the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the elimination of subsidized student debt. With more graduates of post-secondary institutions struggling with crippling amounts of student debt than ever before and a record number of student loans going into default, this news will make it even harder for graduates to get out from under their debt.

Thankfully, companies like SL Account Management are working hard to help as many people as possible with their current student debt. As a private company that assists students with document preparation and determining if they are eligible for any government debt-assistance or forgiveness programs, the SL team has their work cut out for them. The changes proposed to Trump’s budget will phase out the popular programs for loans that were taken out after July 1 2020. Currently, SL Account Management is striving to help as many people benefit from the programs as possible, while they still can.

Trump’s Big Changes

Trump’s big changes include a 10-percent cut in Education department funding, the elimination of the  Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and the removal of subsidized student debt. Established in 2007, under Bush, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program forgives loans for government workers and some nonprofit organizations provided they have been making payments for 10 years. The removal of subsidized debt means that the current benefit to borrowers who are in school or facing economic hardship of not having interest accrue on their loans will end. Ultimately, the goal of these changes is that the government will no longer be responsible for backing up federal loans that students are unable to pay back, meaning taxpayers will not feel those effects trickling down.

SL Account Management

SL Account Management continues to assist students in document preparation and trying to qualify as many people as possible for government debt-relief and assistance programs while they are still in place. SL Account Management provides each and every client with a customized approach to paying down their student debt. They provide a comprehensive one-on-one budgetary consultation to determine how students can pay down their loans while still maintaining a decent standard of living and quality of life. SL Account Management is willing to work harder than ever before to assist people struggling with student debt before Trump’s budgetary changes are rolled out in 2020.

Thanks, in part, to the recent downturns in the American economy, post-secondary graduates are carrying more student debt than ever before. Many turned to getting an education in an attempt to secure future employment for themselves, but what they found after graduation was that they were starting out with large amounts of debt. SL Account Management strives to help people get back on the road to financial freedom and will continue to do so for as long as possible.

Key Benefits Of Custom Software Development For Your Business

If you want to increase the productivity and efficiency of your business, you need to ensure that your software can meet the needs of your business operations and address issues even before they occur. Custom software development involves tailor-made designs and features far better than templates or packaged software.

With custom software, cost-effectiveness, integration, and personalized service play a vital role in your successful business operations. A unique and exclusive software makes your organization stand out and upgraded. In this post, you’ll learn about the important benefits of custom software development to achieve business success.

Personalized Features and Services

When it comes to software development, you don’t want your business to be left behind. While the built-in features of a packaged software can be modified, it only meets your small needs. It’s because packaged software has obvious limitations that can hamper your business growth. Custom software is a dynamic and innovative solution to today’s fast-paced growing businesses. Even if you have a small business, a custom software ensures that you won’t need to worry about minor issues brought about by a uniform software as everyone else does.

Here are the personalized benefits of custom software:

  • Customized features can be tweaked or modified according to the daily operations, needs, and expectations of your business.
  • You can decide on the complexity and intuitiveness of your software depending on the current performance and size of your business.
  • Perform daily tasks easier and faster.

Meet and Adapt Business Scalability

Businesses grow exponentially nowadays with proper planning and management. However, off-the-shelf software is not scalable. It means that you need to train your workforce again to use new software if your current software cannot meet the needs of your business expansion. On the other hand, you don’t have to conduct full training for custom software because you’ll be using the same system and only minimal enhancements and short training are required.

Here are the benefits of a custom software when it comes to business scalability:

  • Custom software can support your business throughout its stages and milestones.
  • Benefit from the innovative features brought about by upgrades, thus providing effective and efficient solutions to client or customer issues.
  • Expect the full trust and confidence of your employees when it comes to handling or managing the software for increased productivity and better customer service. Reduce cost involving acquiring new software because your existing or old package software can’t meet your new requirements for your growing business.

Current System Integration

Multiple software programs are what many businesses need nowadays because of varying requirements and emerging business demands. Just imagine training your staff to use different programs while managing customer service or product sales. It can be a huge hassle. That’s when custom software comes in.

Here are the benefits of system integration:

  • Your software developer can accommodate your workforce’s expertise levels.
  • All changes in app usage or staffing are quickly addressed by creating modules, short course training, and updates.
  • You can adjust your software towards the direction it is heading.
  • Integrate the best features from your current software version to the updated version. For instance, you can download and review product manager resume on your system for integration, so your employees can fill it up and send it to your dashboard for review and approval.

Encourage More Investors for Your Business

Of course, with custom software, expect nothing less but premium features and services. It means that your system is very competitive, so your major competitors won’t leave you behind. A custom software reflects your business reputation, and it is one aspect that investors check. Investors are impressed with businesses that have advanced facilities or state-of-the-art equipment and systems because of higher security and better system support.

Promote Cost-Effectiveness

Software development doesn’t come cheap. While the upfront cost of custom software can be pricier than packaged software, you can save more money in the long run. If you’re on a tight budget, you can take advantage of installment loans from a trusted lending company offering flexible terms and requirements.

Here are good reasons why custom software gives you more savings than traditional templates or off-the-shelf software:

  • Custom-built software doesn’t require constant change.
  • You can use custom software without significant investment for the long-term.
  • No need to worry about additional costs for licenses and extra fees like packaged software.
  • No need to spend on full software training like off-the-shelf software needs.

Get Full Support and Maintenance

Packaged software solutions provide limited support at the expense of your business, compromising your business operations and growth. If you don’t want to find your business in bankruptcy, get full support and maintenance from a trusted and reputable custom-built software developer.

Here are the benefits of working with a good custom software provider:

  • Your customer software is appropriately maintained as long as you desire.
  • Get a reliable, personalized, efficient, and targeted technical support plan.
  • Custom software provides stronger security features and solutions, minimizing system intrusion or cyber attacks.

Gain More Customers and Build Customer Loyalty

Because your employees are familiar and confident working with your business software, the service reflects on the influx of customers availing your products and services. Of course, the domino effect is tremendous, increasing the number of new customers, word-of-mouth of your excellent services, and boosting your sales.

Here are some ways a custom business management software can help you gain new customers and build customer loyalty:

  • Your staff doesn’t need to worry about fixing technical issues because of the full support provided by a good web developer.
  • Your employees can focus on the most crucial aspect of their tasks with minimal or zero disruption for higher productivity and personalized customer service.
  • You can collaborate with your workforce better to discuss the business side of things more often than addressing software issues, which impede the quality of your products and services and your entire business growth.
  • Create compelling and creative marketing strategies, analyze business metrics, and formulate better sales and customer engagement ideas instead of facing system issues every time. 

Conclusion

There are plenty of benefits to investing in custom software. As a business owner, you want to ensure you get everything set right the first time. If you want increased employee productivity, scalability, excellent features, greater security, and cost-effectiveness, getting a custom-built software is a smart decision. In any investment, you usually get what you deserve, and your business deserves the best system for a smoother daily operation and more success.

Understanding the Advantages and Risks Of Car Title Loans

More and more people are turning to car title loans as a way of getting money in a hurry. Although these short-term loans provide a lot of advantages, there are some drawbacks to them, as well. Understanding the benefits and risks associated with these loans can help you decide if they are the best choice for your situation.

Benefits

Speed is one of the primary benefits associated with car title loans. The total processing time for these loans is usually less than a couple of days. The loans are approved quickly since the lender doesn’t have to review a lot of information to make a decision about whether or not to provide you with a loan. In most cases, they just need to look at the value of your car.

If you own a vehicle, you can qualify for one of these loans. Unlike other types of loans, you don’t have to worry about passing a credit check. Instead, the lender uses your car as collateral for the loan. This type of loan is known as a secured loan. This is a lot different than unsecured loans where there is no collateral and the lender just has to take you at your word that you will pay it back. By securing the loan with your vehicle, it eliminates a lot of the risk for the lender. That is why the approval process for these loans is a lot easier than other types of loans.

If your credit rating isn’t as high as it should be, going with one of these loans could be a good option. Trying to get money from a traditional bank to cover unexpected expenses is practically impossible with bad credit. If you own a vehicle, however, you can qualify for a title loan no matter how low your credit score is.

One great thing about these loans is that you don’t have to give up your car. Instead, you can continue driving it. Even though you are required to provide the lender with the title of your vehicle and a set of keys, you don’t have to give them the car itself. That means that you can continue driving to work to earn the money that you need to pay back the loan.

Downsides and Risks

Most title loans need to be paid back quickly. Typically, the loan term is less than a month. Although the interest rate starts out low, it usually climbs quickly if you need to add additional time onto the length of your loan. If you borrow a large sum of money, it may be extremely difficult to pay it back quickly enough to avoid additional fees and interest. As a result, you may wind up having to pay back a lot more money than you anticipated.

Since title loans are secured loans, there is always a chance that you could wind up losing your car if you don’t pay the loan back. If you stop making your loan payments, the lender can seize your vehicle and sell it to get the money that they are owed. If they aren’t able to get enough money through selling your vehicle, you may still have to pay them extra money. Adding insult to injury, if they sell the car for more than what you owe, they keep the extra money rather than giving it to you.

A lot of times, people jump into these loans without really thinking them through since they are so fast and easy compared to other borrowing options. It is important to be aware of the risks involved. You need to understand that there is a real chance of losing your vehicle if you don’t make your payments.

Even though there are a lot of risks involved, these loans still are a viable option for borrowers with bad credit. The key is to make sure that you can pay the loan back on time. You should also never borrow more than you can afford.

Proceed With Caution

A lot of lenders who deal with car title loans don’t have the best interests of their customers in mind. In fact, this industry is rife with predatory lenders. It is important to understand exactly what you are getting into if you decide to take out one of these loans. A lot of people have wound up losing their cars because they didn’t read the fine print of their loan agreement. Since lenders often make the terms of these loans extremely unfavorable for borrowers, they can be challenging to pay back.

With a vehicle title loan, the loan itself is secured by the title of a vehicle that is owned outright. In most cases, these loans need to be paid back in a month or less. If the loan term needs to be extended, the interest rate can quickly skyrocket. In many cases, the loans that are provided are also a lot lower than the total value of the car. A lot of experts frown on car title loans since they are geared toward borrowers with low income levels that make it difficult to meet the terms of the loan. Although some states have enacted legislation against unfair lending practices with these types of loans, changes have not yet happened at a national level.

Even if you need cash in a hurry, you should explore all of your other options before opting for a title loan. Some alternatives that you may want to look into include getting an advance from your boss, taking out cash on a credit card, or applying for a personal loan.

Easy Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Vacation

The good news is that you don’t have to have a ton of money in order to take a vacation. However, that does mean that you have to think very carefully about how you spend each and every dollar if you want to make the most of your time away from home.

It’s easy to spend way more than you planned for when you’re on vacation, but it’s equally as easy to save gobs of money. That is, as long as you hop in the car, get on the bus, or board that plane prepared.

Here are just a few easy ways you can save big on your next vacation without compromising your experience.

Look for Vacation Packages

Bundling can make things more affordable. It’s why so many travel websites allow you to bundle your plane tickets with rental cars and hotels!

However, you can bundle a lot more than your plane tickets if you want to save money. Many popular vacation destinations offer vacation packages of their own that will help you save.

For example, vacation packages in Williamsburg, VA can include lodging, tickets to area events, tickets to museums, and more. By purchasing them as a bundle, you can save more money than if you bought each one separately.

Make History and Education the Focus

There are a lot of great things you can do while you’re on vacation. In many cases, trips away from home include concerts, shows, and theme parks. There’s no doubt you’ll have fun if you make these things the focus of your trip, but you’re also likely to spend a lot of money.

Instead, make history and education the focus of your trip. Museums are wonderful places to visit when you’re on vacation. You can learn about local history, and they are especially great for children. The best part is, they cost a lot less than other attractions. Some are even free!

Don’t think museums have to be stuffy either. Many areas offer tours of historical landmarks, interactive museums, and outdoor walking tours that are affordable and fun.

Spend Less on Food

Creating a budget and sticking to it is important when it comes to traveling. One area where people spend more money than they would like is food.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on vacation, one of the best ways to do it is to learn how to eat on a budget. Ways to do that include:

  • Taking advantage of free breakfast
  • Making sandwiches in your hotel room for dinner
  • Dining at fancy restaurants for lunch, when menu items are cheaper
  • Avoiding restaurants that are marketed to tourists and eating locally instead
  • Stocking your room with snacks from the grocery store to avoid the vending machine

Pack Light, but Know Exactly What to Pack

Packing light can be a lot more convenient, but it turns out it can save you a lot of money too. For example, if you’re traveling by plane, most seats allow you to bring one bag on board for free. Checked bags cost extra. By getting everything in your carry-on, you can avoid that baggage fee.

Knowing what to pack is just as important as packing light. For example, don’t say you’ll get your toiletries when you arrive. You’ll end up spending precious time shopping for deodorant instead of enjoying your vacation. Not to mention, they are likely to be more expensive at your destination. Pack these items instead.

Choose How You’re Going to Get Around Wisely

There are a lot of US cities that are great for travelers without cars, and there are even more places in Europe where a car isn’t necessary. However, there are plenty of places where a car does seem necessary, and your own vehicle is always convenient.

You can save a lot of money by choosing how you get around at your destination carefully. A car may be convenient, but that doesn’t mean you need to rent one. It doesn’t mean you have to pay a lot to hail a cab or get an Uber either! Most cities have some form of affordable public transportation, while others are pedestrian-friendly. You can also consider renting a bicycle!

Going on vacation shouldn’t mean you have to drain your bank account to have a lot of fun. There are plenty of ways to save, and all that money can really add up. With these tips, you’ll save as much as possible so you can start planning your next vacation sooner rather than later!

How You Can Choose the Best Merchant Services for Your Small Business

When you run a small business, deciding which merchant services you want to use can take considerable time and effort. It might not always be clear which options would be best, and the type of services you use can have a direct effect on whether your payment methods are successful or not. By determining which traits you want your merchant service provider to have, you can make a choice that affects client relationships positively.

Here are some methods for choosing the best merchant services options for your business.

Do they offer real-time reporting?

Technology has made it easier than ever to keep track of which payments were made when. Real-time reporting allows you to access all the information related to your clients and payment data, so you can keep track of incoming and outgoing transactions. You can also narrow down results by time frame, which can make it much simpler to put together invoices and to see if sales have increased for your product or service. If you are collecting customer data, it can be helpful to have it all in one web-based system so you can spend less time on accounting and more time reaching clients.

Do they offer support?

Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a phone tree rather than a real person when you have billing questions, and your merchant services should be able to provide your customers with actionable information. This might mean that they include one-on-one training or a stocked resource center that can allow a customer to ask questions about your payment system. It can be important to have a full understanding of how payments are made, and your merchant services provider should give you the tools to complete transactions successfully.

Do they provide next-day funding?

As more companies are using payment methods such as PayPal or Venmo, customers now expect their money to go to their bank accounts as quickly as possible. The merchant service you choose to use should also offer this as an option so you can remain competitive with other companies. It is possible that some merchant services charge a fee for next-day deposits, but it is also possible that your business can avoid these, as well. This feature can help to strengthen your relationships with clients and also make it simpler for you to keep track of payments.

Do they provide integration?

If you are going for simplicity for your business’s processes, then it can be important for you to consider what integration programs you might want to use. The right merchant services provider should be able to streamline your entire sales process from beginning to end, while also allowing you to see which areas need improvement. If you find that your system is riddled with duplicate data entry or manual errors, then it can be all the more crucial to think about implementing automation.

In conclusion

Merchant services can help you to create an easier, more direct way to engage with customers. Choosing the right ones can also allow you to develop better results with additional support, next-day funding, and integration.

5 Tips for Getting an Unsecured Loan

An unsecured loan is a loan that is approved without any collateral attached. The lender takes on a lot more risk with this type of loan and because of that, there are certain terms you might have to agree too before the cash is paid out to you. One of the biggest pitfalls of unsecured personal loans is that they often come with a high interest rate attached.

When you are in dire straits or faced with unaffordable or unexpected expenses, a personal loan might be the only option for you. Before a bank or lending institution can approve an unsecured loan, they need some sort of reassurance that you can pay it back. To determine this, several factors are taken into consideration including (but not limited to), your credit score and the outcome of your affordability assessment (your debt-to-income ratio).

You know that a personal unsecured loan is the best option for you, but how do you ensure that your application is approved, especially if you have no collateral to offer? That’s the tricky part and we have 5 tips to share with you, to improve your chances of getting the cash loan you need.

1. Pay your bills on time.

This might not seem like an immediate fix, and it’s not. By paying your bills on time, you will develop a good credit record and this is something that banks and lenders look at. If you show that you can be responsible and pay your accounts on time, every month, your application will be viewed more favourably. Having a good credit score also often means you will be offered a lower interest rate.

2. Show you have a stable income.

Lenders want to know that you are earning enough to pay the installment each month. For this reason, you should include as much detail regarding your income as possible. Don’t just provide your payslip as proof. If you earn any extra money with a part time job or through a side hustle, make sure that you provide those details too.

3. Share the load with a creditworthy friend.

If you have a creditworthy partner, friend, or family member who is willing to co-sign on a personal loan with you, your application will be viewed more favourably. The co-signatory will be confirming that they will pay back the loan amount if you are unable to come up with the payments.

4. Apply with the right lenders.

Not all lenders are the same. Some might turn down your application, while others will give your application and financial status a broader overview. Research which lenders are the most sympathetic while still operating in strict accordance to laws and regulations in the industry. It’s strongly recommended that you first apply for instant cash loans with Multimonthloans.co.uk, if you want the best possible deal and a quick turnaround time on your application.

5. Be honest!

During an affordability assessment you will be asked to make a note of all of your expenses and income. If you fib on this assessment, you could be caught out quite easily when the loan company checks your bank statements or other supporting documentation. Be as honest as possible and don’t expect to loan more than you can realistically afford to repay.

Follow these 5 simple tips to improve your chances of getting an unsecured cash loan as quickly as possible. 

Commercial Business Loans: Are They the Best Option for You?

A commercial business loan is completely different from a personal loan. For one thing, there are many more options for how to get funding, which is good news for business owners. Loans of different types all reflect various versions of a business loan. Some might be unsecured whereas others use unpaid recent invoices as a form of collateral to ease cash flow constraints.

Let’s now run through a few of the types of commercial business loans to see which one is the best option for your business.

Startup Loan

A startup loan is intended only for startups that are limited on funds and looking for a lender to provide some initial capital. It only applies usually to new startups rather than ones that have been around several years, so only a small percentage of businesses qualify.

Commercial Business Loan

A commercial business loan is another way to fund the next phase in a business’s development. This type of loan is only available to certain types of businesses that qualify for them.

The main advantage of this type of more traditional commercial lending is that it tends to be more affordable than other options. The repayment terms are quite specific though.

Asset-based Loan

An asset-based loan uses the value of qualifying unpaid invoices as a value determinant. The lender offers a line of credit based on the value of invoices that meet their criteria. The line of credit then facilitates faster cash flow for your company than waiting 30-60 days to get paid for outstanding invoices.

This type of business loan is useful when growing quickly. When this happens, costs grow rapidly with a larger premise, new staff, and equipment while larger invoices don’t get paid any faster! This quickly creates a cash crunch where a company grows faster than it can manage. An asset-based loan, therefore, eases the cash flow problem, so your company can continue expanding.

It’s possible to apply for business loans from Lending Express with an asset-based loan as one option. As a broker, they can find lenders that support companies with valuable invoices.

Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance works in a different way to an asset-based loan. Instead of using invoices, here credit card billables can add up to a sizable sum and these can be used for the purposes of a cash advance.

A cash advance relating to credit card billables is then repaid once the credit card payments are received from your customers. This works well for a company that is dealing more often with credit cards vs mailing out a paper invoice to large businesses.

Vehicle or Equipment Financing

Sometimes your business needs to purchase important vehicles or specialized equipment that they require to operate. When funds aren’t available for them, this creates a major obstacle. Some lenders offer financing for companies to go ahead and purchase the equipment or vehicles they require. These types of loans are usually secured against the new assets.

The right type of commercial business loan depends on a) what your company qualifies for, and b) how much money is required. By determining these two facets, it helps narrow down the options for business funding to a few choices to pick between each with their own pros and cons.

How Certain Factors Influences Your Vehicle Insurance Claims

Probably, there is much that you don’t know about insurance premiums. If you step out to go shopping for a favourable insurance premium, it’s essential that you learn everything an insurance premium entails. There are two factors that affect the cost of your premium. They include raising your deductibles or lowering the amounts of coverage.

It’s challenging to realize that even the overall rate of your car insurance premium is somehow affected by other different factors. However, some of these factors can be controlled while others can’t. Getting to know what affects your rate can assist you to make a steady decision when you plan to acquire an insurance premium. Additionally, you will be aware of exactly what step to take to cut the cost of all the expenses.

Demographic factors.

Such factors include your age, gender, marital status, credit score and your geographical location. All these factors affect your insurance premium in different ways. Let’s take a look at some of these factors in a summary.

Marital status.

Couples are said to be involved in fewer accidents compared to single people. This means that getting married especially for men can lower the insurance premium rates. The rate at which your premium will decrease will also depend on your previous driving history. If it was pathetic, definitely you will have to dig deep. If you are a man whose driving record is clean and has never been involved in an accident, then your premium rates can be cut by half.

Credit score.

Most insurance companies consider your credit score and give it a thought before they finally determine your rate. If you are wondering, there is no specific point where your credit score will start to affect your rate. However, lower scores will translate to higher insurance premiums.

Gender and Age.

Statistically, younger men incur higher rates compared to young women. There is an increase in the number of teenage men that get involved in accidents compared to young girls. Generally, older men have a better reputation for careful driving compared to older women.

However, some evidence compiled suggests that older women are involved in less minor accidents compared to older men. Despite the statistic, the difference in premium is not that drastic.

The place you live in.

Many traffic accidents transpire close to people’s homes. Therefore, the area of your residence will significantly affect your insurance premium. An area that is dense with cars and the population is massive translates to a higher risk of accidents, injuries, theft and collisions.

In some areas, repairing your vehicle is costly compared to other areas. Additionally, some areas are faced with high rates of theft and burglary. Also, in most urban cities, there is an increased number of unemployed persons. This means that there is a high number of uninsured drivers. Most of these drivers can’t afford to ensure their vehicles.

Profession.

Auto insurance organizations may make correlations between a person’s profession and the risk of an accident. This way they will adjust your premium consequently if they see there are chances of you getting involved in an accident.

A good example is delivery drivers and journalists. These professionals are always on the road travelling to different places. This means that their risk of getting involved in an accident is high. Compared to pilots who only drive between the airport and their home, so they don’t spend much time on the road.

Paramedics, police officers and nuns are always given thumbs up as they are considered responsible and more careful while on the road. Insurance companies view them to be more cautious compared to average drivers.

Factors that are car –related.

The car model that you drive affects your premium rates. Some cars are likely to be stolen. They are costly to repair and even lack safety features that work to prevent the occupant from accidents.

Safety rating.

A vehicle that possesses a high degree of safety features means that there are reduced reasons for having to pay for a passenger’s medical bills. Owning such a vehicle will cost you less when it comes to insurance rates. Possessing a car with less safety rating will mean that you will have to pay more for your insurance.

The size of the vehicle.

Large vehicles are assumed to be safer compared to smaller vehicles. Large vehicles rarely get involved in accidents. This means that larger vehicles with adorable safety ratings are required to pay less when it comes to insurance premiums.

On the other hand, smaller cars, i.e. sports cars are required to pay extra costs compared to larger vehicles. Such car owners are involved in high speeds which mostly result in fatal accidents. It’s for this reason that most insurance companies take caution.

The age of the car.

Car repairs are similar. The cost of repairing an old car is almost the same as that of a new one. However, in the event that an older car is involved in an accident, the expense of carrying out the repairs might be higher than the vehicles worth. In such an event, the owner will likely discard the vehicle and request to be compensated with a new one instead of repairing.

The cost of replacing a new car is elevated. It’s more costly compared to replacing an old car. A newer car has a higher coverage premium. What you should know is that paying an insurance premium is a burden that you have to bear for owning a car. Therefore, it’s up to you to do all it takes to have a lower rate that will be beneficial to you.

Should You File for Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision. It damages your credit and seriously impedes your chances of getting a loan. Yet, it might be your best option. If you’ve gone through all of your debt-relief options and still feel as though you’re buried, there’s not much that you can do.

Ultimately, bankruptcy is your chance to start over. It’s your second chance. The path won’t be easy but if you’re smart you can create a strong financial future for yourself.

Reasons to File

It might be easier to keep your head in the sand, but it’d healthier to face your problems. One of the most common reasons to file for bankruptcy is medical debt. When it comes to your health, you can’t pull punches. It doesn’t matter if you have great insurance or if you’re uninsured, you have to get medical treatment.

Unfortunately, health problems can interfere with your ability to work. This makes it even harder to keep up with your bills. If you’re lucky, your boss will be understanding and you’ll be able to hold on to your position.

If you’re not, you’ll lose your job.

There are other reasons why you might not be able to repay your debts. These include your home is being foreclosed, you’re living entirely on credit, and you’re being sued by your creditors.

You should carefully review your situation before you decide to file bankruptcy, even if you’re sure it’s what you want to do. You want to make sure that all other options are exhausted before you commit to this step.

Alternatives

Okay. You’re in a rough financial position. Do you have any options besides bankruptcy? It depends on the state of your case and how dire things have truly become. However, it’s worth it to at least consider if there’s something else you can do.

You can try tightening your budget. No more trips to the movie theater, no more coffee during your morning commute. Cut your spending to the absolute minimum. You might have to make more serious financial adjustments as well, like downsizing your home and selling your car.

If slashing your budget isn’t enough to do the trick, you can try picking up extra work. Getting a second or third job isn’t fun but it could get you out of your difficulties. A solution is to become a rideshare driver. Then you don’t have to worry about scheduling conflicts.

A strategy that could work for you is to negotiate with your creditors. They’ll often accept a payment plan. Just make sure that you don’t agree to something you can’t stick to. Otherwise, you’ll end up in the exact same spot.

Be wary of credit counselors that promise amazing things. A good one acts as an advocate on your behalf in dealings with your creditors. A bad one charges you a lot of money and doesn’t do anything at all.

Do You Qualify?

Everyone can’t file bankruptcy. You have to meet certain standards. There are two types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. They each have their own specific rules.

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you can’t afford to pay your bills. You’re completely swamped by your living expenses and have no way to repay your debts.

You also have to earn less than a set amount. The court will determine if your position is as dire as you claim.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for people who have a job and are earning income. They must have less than $394,725 of unsecured debts and less than $1,184,200 of secured debt.

Contact an Attorney

If you seriously think that bankruptcy is your best option, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney. He or she can explain your options and help you achieve your goal. An attorney might be able to help you discharge your debt as well.

Going through a financial upheaval is incredibly difficult. It can mess with your stress level as you’re eaten up with worries about money. However, bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world. You can completely recover.

In order for that to happen, you need to be smart with your finances. You’ll have to submit to a strict financial plan. It won’t be a lot of fun but it will slowly improve your credit.

You can speak with a professional to determine if filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you. If it is, it’s better to get started as soon as possible.

The average UK debt stands at an astonishing £15,400

According to the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), UK homes now owe an average of £15,385 to places such as banks, credit card companies and other lenders. They have also said that debts for households in the UK have reached an all-time high. Furthermore, the TUC have stated that due to years of wage stagnation and austerity measures in place, household debt has increased rapidly as a result of households being forced into raising the amount that they borrow.

According to the TUC, in the 3rd quarter of the past year, the amount of money that was owed by households in Britain had risen by £428 billion. It was stated that roughly each household owed around £886 pounds than they did in the previous 12 months. The statistics released by the TUC include student loans but not outstanding mortgage debts.

It was also recorded that levels of unsecured debt as a share of incomes of households is at the highest level that it has ever been at, around 30.4% including short term loans, personal loans and credit cards. The TUC have also stated that the amounts owed by debtors is significantly higher than the £286 billion peak in 2008 before the effects of the financial crisis came into play.

This highlights the role of using lower cost alternatives such as borrowing from family and friends, credit unions or where possible, using payday loans comparison websites which have helped customers save on average £120 per loan.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, has warned that household debt is at “levels of crisis.” She believes that the many years of wage stagnation and austerity measures have left many families in vulnerable situations. O’Grady also said that she thinks the government is “skating on thin ice” by relying on debts accumulated by households to stimulate economic growth and she stated that a strong economy needs people to be spending their wages rather than credit cards and loans.

It is expected that today graduates who leave University, are not only leaving with a degree but also 50,000 pounds in debt. Although, the students are not subject to making repayments on their loans until they earn over £25,000 pounds. This has been recently changed from £21,000.

Sacred Guide To Choosing The Right Term Life Insurance

While planning to buy insurance, you have to think carefully about your families needs, their lifestyle, your current age, your budget, your gender, your current health, extraordinary and unforeseen expenses such as mortgage balloon payments, medical emergencies and the costs of sending your colour kids to college.

There is simply a lot to think about when assessing your insurance needs, and it’s often not easy to do so until you put it all down on paper. Buying any form of life insurance is a decision, which may affect you and your family for 30 years or more into the future and you certainly don’t want to just wing it. Below are several considerations to think about carefully when deciding upon the amount your family may need to live comfortably in the unfortunate situation where you may pass away.

Your age

Quite obviously, if you buy your term policy at age 25 and you are a healthy non-smoker, you’ll pay a lot less than if you are age 50 and have high blood pressure or other warning signs of congenital disease in the future.

Your gender

Women simply live longer than men, so you may need to stretch the amount of insurance your spouse and her children, if any, are expected to need by an extra 10 or 15 years if the insurance is purchased to protect your wife.

Your lifestyle

Here is often where the rubber meets the road. Assessing realistically what type of lifestyle the surviving spouse will have in the future. Do you live in a palatial home, regularly take exotic ski vacations or, as is often the case, do you live an excellent lifestyle but only because both you and your spouse work? It’s not often easy to talk about how your lifestyle would change if one of you passed away but it’s a necessary factor in choosing life insurance.

Budget vs lifestyle

Buying term life insurance is akin to buying a new pair of shoes. One size, colour, and style of shoe do not fit all. Another consideration is budget vs lifestyle. Are your finances stretched so that even a modest insurance premium seems to be a pinch? Imagine then the upheaval your spouse would undergo if you vastly underinsured or even skipped your life insurance needs entirely?

Your health

Assessing your health or the health of your spouse can also become a “come to Jesus moment.” Do you or your spouse smoke or are heavy drinkers? Do breast cancer, prostate cancer or strokes and heart attacks run in your family genetics? Do you have any dangerous hobbies such as paragliding, skiing, or do one or both of you ride to work on a motorcycle? These are all critical elements to help self-assess the risk of dying earlier in your life.

Changing family needs

Another thing to assess is the changing needs of your family. Did you just give birth to a child or adopt. Did you recently purchase a home and want to be sure that the house is paid for in the unfortunate result of you are passing? Did it only recently occur to you that your son or daughter will attend university and modern colleges are much more expensive than you thought? There are dozens of conditions that cause one to go reexamine their life insurance needs, so even if you have life insurance, periodically look at it with fresh eyes to see if your insurance needs an update.

Is my work coverage enough?

Many people work for companies that offer life insurance at a competitive group rate. So they sign up for it at age 23 or 24 and that’s the first and last time they look at it. And while having insurance through work is great, it’s quite frequently no longer enough for a worker who has since gotten married, had children, and he or his spouse has undergone a worsening health situation. As mentioned before, be sure to reexamine and reevaluate any life insurance policy you have frequently.

Simple Dollar’s Life Insurance Tips

Besides affordability, savvy insurance shoppers would be wise to consult an independent insurance agency regarding the time of payout in case of the passing of your loved one as well as an honest assessment of their insurability. Some insurance companies can take two or three years to pay out rather than doing so immediately, and others make any health risks either completely restrictive, or they make the insurance so unaffordable it’s simply a losing proposition. If you have any type of health risks, you want an honest assessment by a reputable insurance company.

A One-Stop Guide To Productive Invoice Financing

For those who may not know, invoice financing can be simply described as the financing of unpaid invoices which is to be paid within a short period of time. And what makes it very important is the fact that you won’t have to wait for it to be approved like you normally would when it comes to securing a loan from a bank or any other lending institutions.

So, apart from being fast as far as approval is concerned, there are other reasons why you need to consider invoice financing as part of your day to day business practices:

 

Invoice Financing Promotes Business Growth

If you happen to be the sole owner of a startup and would love for your business to grow at an exponential rate, then one of the ways you hark this is through invoice financing. And how is this even possible you might ask? Well, it’s quite easy, to be honest.

For a business to grow on a steady, upward trend, it needs some good cash flow. And one way of having good cash flow is through invoice financing. With this kind of cash flow, it would be a tad easier for you to pay off all your suppliers and have everything operating smoothly.

You’ll also avoid the stress that comes with not having enough money to run your business and thus have enough time to operate optimally. Needless to say, this will end up increasing your productivity in the long run.

 

Only Make Payments When You Can

The main reason why you should consider practising invoice financing is that more often than not, there usually isn’t any pressure to pay back. This because it’s only payable when your clients have cleared the tab.

And so with the pressure of creditors knocking at your door after every couple of days gone, you can easily focus on what really matters, and that’s growing your business.

Apart from being spared from the stress that comes with fixed-term payments, you’ll always have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the cash flow in your business since, well, you don’t have to make any payments until the clients clear it for you. Trust me, it doesn’t get any cooler than this!

 

You’ll Be More Comfortable in Taking Bigger Risks

Another reason why most startups are afraid to take bigger risks is simply that they don’t have the monetary resource of doing so. and as you know what the dictum says, ‘bigger risks equal bigger rewards’.

But thanks to invoice financing options, you can be encouraged to take that risk which, if backed up with the right kind of hard work, will most certainly end up in paying off big-time.

 

Invoice Financing Is Way Convenient

Long gone are the days when you had to leave your office and queue at a bank just so you can apply for a loan, which is highly likely to be rejected because you are a struggling startup. But with invoice financing, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your office.

This is because you can do all the application online and have the money wired to your bank account. If you do this right, you can have your application approved in a matter of hours which is a far cry from the normal loans that might even take weeks or worse, months.

 

Eliminate The Likelihood of Accumulating Bad Debts

Nothing damages your business more than accumulating bad debts. Heck, even a single bad debt on your resume can scare off both the prospective clients as well as lenders. And that’ll be the beginning of your end as an entrepreneur.

But with invoice financing, the likelihood of accumulating bad debts is completely taken out of the equation. For instance, you’ll have the chance to have the balance cleared as soon as the clients make the necessary payments.

Also as mentioned earlier, it is quite important for you to take short term loans since you can really be sure about what will happen in the long run because fate takes twists and not all twists are good ones. It’s therefore safe for you to always be prepared.

 

Conclusion

After going through all the above mentioned financial benefits that are attached to invoice finance, it shouldn’t be that much of a problem securing one whenever the need arises. But if this ever happens, it would be a great idea for you to take your time and carry out in-depth research.

The last thing you want to do is getting a lender who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. And once you’ve found a great lender, then your next order of business should be choosing to finance the invoice with the highest urgency.

The others which aren’t on top of your list of priorities can wait for the right time since failure to finance them on time would do little to nothing as far as affecting your business is concerned.

The Best Merchant Card Machines for Small Businesses in the UK

In today’s complicated and developing business environment merchant card machines can help give your business that badly needed boost. For those who are wondering how these payment terminals achieve this, read on to find out more about how your business can profit with a PDQ machine.

Regardless of the size of your business, statistics have shown that merchant card machines can help increase your customer base by as much as 70 percent. Business has become more dynamic than ever before, and if businesses don’t upgrade to the usage of these machines, they fail to benefit from these transactions.

Let’s face it, this is a consumer’s market, and customers need ease of transactions, and large cash transactions are way too inconvenient. Here, we’ve outlined everything you need to accept card payments, including the best card machine options for small businesses in the UK:

How do I Accept Card Payments in My Small Business?

If you want to accept card payments, you’ll not only need a payment terminal – there’re other things you need to sort out first.

 

  • Merchant Account

 

The merchant account is a protected account where money from clients sits while the payment is approved. It’ll be provided by your payment service provider or bank and is a requirement for receiving card payments.

 

  • Payment Gateway

 

The payment gateway is the part of the chain that authorizes the payment. Your payment service provider or bank provides this together with your merchant account.

 

  • Card Machine

 

Lastly, you need the payment terminal. There’s a range of PDQ machine options for small businesses on the market, from inexpensive budget options to feature-heavy full point-of-sale systems.

The following is a roundup of the best merchant card machines for small business in the UK:

Top 5 Merchant Card Machines

Are you on the hunt for an affordable way to start accepting card payments? Then have a look at the following 5 merchant card machines:

 

  • iZettle Reader

 

iZettle is a well-liked card machine option for small businesses in the UK. This card reader is sleek, small, and is one of the most inexpensive options on the market.

Features

  • Battery life of up to eight hours
  • Accepts magnetic stripe, contactless and chip, and pin payments
  • 12-month warranty
  • Money deposited within 1-2 business days
  • Connects through Bluetooth with your tablet or smartphone
  • Free POS App
  • It’s incredibly fast.
  • You can send receipt through Email or SMS

 

  • PayPal Here

 

Though not as competitively rated as the iZettle payment terminal, it does benefit from integration with PayPal, one of the best online payment methods. If you already have a PayPal account set up for your business, this payment terminal might be a good option.

Features

  • Accept contactless and card payments with no monthly fees
  • Payments reach your PayPal almost instantly
  • Works with Android Pay and Apple Pay
  • A UK-based customer support team
  • No fixed contract
  • The machine is cheap

 

  • SumUp

 

Although SumUp may be less recognizable than the two previous options, it’s the most economical app-based card machine in the UK. SumUp is the best alternative to iZettle for businesses, but their current transaction fees are slightly higher.

Features

  • Lowest fixed fee: 1.69% per transaction
  • Very simple payment app
  • Accept all credit and debit cards
  • No fixed monthly costs
  • 100% online application with no paperwork and no contract
  • Allows Bluetooth connection and is compatible with Android and iOS phones and tablets

 

  • Square

 

This PDQ machine is the smallest, most lightweight card reader on this list. It’s literally a square-shaped plastic payment terminal that is white all over, but the technology makes it just as reliable as bigger card readers.

Features

  • The most comprehensive free app
  • Keyed-in payments possible
  • Accepts contactless cards, chip and PIN cards, and other mobile payments
  • Accept American Express, MasterCard and Visa
  • Comes with a free point-of-sale app
  • Can also be used to sell by phone, online and collect payments via invoices

 

  • WorldPay

 

WorldPay is the UK’s biggest card processing company and also offers an assortment of other PDQ machines and merchant services for both online and offline payment processing.

Features

  • Compatible with all iOS and Android devices
  • 24/7phone support
  • Fees depend on turnover and more
  • Accept payments over the phone or face-to-face
  • Issues receipts via SMS or email
  • Keypad comes with a 12-month warranty

What is the Cheapest Card Reader for Small Businesses in the UK?

The lowest priced card reader in the UK, in terms of upfront cost, is the iZettle reader which goes for £19 + VAT. It also offers very competitive card transaction fees (1.75% flat fee), but not the absolute lowest. To get that you either have to go SumUp (1.69% flat fee) or PayPal Here (as low as 1.00%).

Which is the Best Card Reader for Small Businesses in the UK?

While all of the 5 PDQ machines highlighted above are great and allow your small business to accept card payments, the iZettle card reader is perhaps the best choice. Not only is it the well recognized, but at just £19 + VAT it’s very cheap to try out. And they offer transparent pricing and among the most affordable fees.

Final Verdict

 

  • IZettle: Ideal if you just need a card reader.
  • Square: Ideal if you need more than just a payment terminal.
  • SumUp: perfect for getting started.
  • PayPal Here: Best if you need online integration with PayPal.
  • WorldPay: Best suited for businesses that need to accept phone payments or those who want to work with a recognized brand.

There is clearly a lot to process when it boils down to payment processing and card readers. Pat yourself on the back for making it this far; hopefully, you’re more confident about your knowledge of merchant card machines.

Ensure you’ve understood what each company charges for different transactions and what may be the ideal option for your business. Also, don’t ignore things like customer service repute. It’s a very competitive market, and you can make sure you get a payment terminal that can best help your small business flourish.

Golden Circle: The Backbone Of Investment

The History of Investing in Gold

Gold has earned a rich and valuable history throughout the world. Coins containing gold were first seen in 800 BC. The first pure gold coin came about 300 years later. The value of gold coins has continued to increase and is one of the best investments in the world.

The Value

Gold maintains value as time passes. You may purchase gold to preserve and pass on your wealth to future generations.

Inflation

When the cost of living goes up, gold is your ideal investment against inflation. As inflation rises, so does the price of gold. For fifty years, the price of gold has increased along with inflation.

Deflation

When prices drop, the economy is left with excessive debt and the growth of businesses slow down. This is referred to as deflation. This is what occurred in the 1930s during the Great Depression. You may already know prices dropped at this time, but the price of gold soared.

The Increasing Demand for Gold

In the past, the demand for gold increased due to the boost in emerging market economies. In a lot of different countries, this caused the cultures to intertwine with gold. This was when India became one of the nations with the largest consumption of gold. Gold became invaluable for many different markets such as jewellery. The biggest demand for gold in India is in October because this is the traditional Indian wedding season. One of the most traditional ways to save in China is by purchasing gold. This demand has never wavered.

Diversifying the Portfolio

The best way to diversify is with investments separate from each other. Throughout history, gold has not been correlated with other types of investments such as stocks. During the 1970s, stocks plummeted while gold soared. By the 2000s, you were most likely still purchasing gold. Gold can decrease the risk and volatility of your portfolio.

Geopolitical Uncertainty

Gold does not lose value during financial uncertainty. This is the reason gold is referred to as the crisis commodity. You probably see gold as being safe because it outperforms the vast majority of other investments. The current crisis in the European Union led to an increase in the price of gold. When government confidence declines, the price of gold goes up. This includes purchasing gold coins from Goldstackers.

The Supply of Gold

Since the 1990s, the majority of the gold supply has been coming from the global central banks selling gold bullion. You may be aware this source significantly slowed in 2008. Since 2000, there has also been a drop in the amount of gold produced by the mines. It can take as long as a decade for new mine production to begin. As the available supply of gold decreases, the value of gold increases. There are also more investors demanding gold. They now see gold as an investment class and safe commodity. This has further increased the demand for gold while reducing the amount available.

The Bottom Line about Gold Investments

You should always make gold a part of your diversified investment portfolio. The events causing paper investments to decline including stocks and bonds, trigger a rise in the price of gold. Over the long term, gold has always maintained the value. As time has passed, gold has been successfully used as a hedge against inflation. As major currencies have lost value, gold has remained steady. This is an investment you should strongly consider.

7 B2B Effective Growth Strategies on a Budget

Each business owner is on a never-ending hunt for improving growth strategies without spending a fortune. When it comes to growth, many experts focus on B2C companies. However, B2B growth strategies require as much attention as B2C.

The importance of constantly looking for new solutions can’t be overlooked. B2B companies must be open to new experiments to stay ahead of the competition. Exponential growth is often the goal. But can it be achievable while staying within a reasonable budget?

Let’s take a look at several growth strategies which won’t empty out the company’s bank account.

1. Creating Interactive Content

B2B marketing efforts involve engaging the customer just as B2C approaches do. Creating interactive content, which can catch the attention of a representative, is a highly useful method of getting conversion without exceeding the budget limits.

Interactive content creates a useful “fun” experience. For example, you could come up with a simple game, which checks the professionalism of your potential target audience. Professionals are always happy to test their skills. A quick and appealing test is likely to be shared and reposted.

2. Using Mobile Marketing

Plenty of things have been said about the importance of mobile marketing. However, many companies are still somewhat slow with the implementation.B2C has been taking advantage of the mobile approaches for years. B2B seems to be somewhat behind.

Mobile friendly websites, mobile app development, mobile-oriented promotional efforts are just the tip of the iceberg. According to experts at Miromind, mobile-oriented SEO solutions show impressive and fast results for B2B companies.

3. Taking Advantage of PPC Ads

 

While you may think that this method is more useful for B2C companies, it’s not true. Generating organic traffic to your website by taking advantage of PPC ads is an excellent strategy. It doesn’t require serious investments since you only pay for an actual client, who has a potential of converting.

While you are optimizing your website for SEO efforts, you can give the business a boost with posting PPC ads.

4. Considering Marketing Automation

These days, programmatic advertising is gaining momentum. By investing resources in automating your marketing process, you can cut the marketing team expenses and focus on other important matters.

Besides numerous marketing automation software available on the market today (some freebies are easy to find as well), you can look deeper into programmatic advertising and enjoy a “hands-free” promotional effort.

5. Listing On Third Party Review Sites

When you are asking clients for reviews on your website and reviewing your own products there, it creates useful content for your potential clients. However, being listed and reviewed on other websites can help you enjoy quick business growth due to increased visibility.

Influential review websites can bring you thousands of new potential clients every month. All you have to do is offer information about your company to these sites. Get listed on influential websites and make sure your profile is full and interesting.

6. Practicing Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the key components of B2B business growth. A special approach is vital to catching the attention of the company representative. B2B email marketing requires a careful approach to checking email validity and creating proper calls to action.

With the right specialist taking care of email marketing efforts, the expenses can be kept to a minimum while the result may be impressive.

7. Exploiting Social Media

Many B2B companies opt out of social media marketing because they don’t quite understand which tone of voice they should use with their audiences. Sounding too professional is a risk since people usually use social media to relax. Sounding too relaxed is a risk as well since it may create the wrong impression about the company.

A simple way out is to ask the employees to use their social media accounts to promote your services. It’s that easy. A couple of seconds a day for reposting and sharing can lead to substantial conversions.

Effective B2B growth strategies are a reality even if you are on a tight budget. Use the above tips to choose the right approach.

UK Chancellor plans to wipe out high cost borrowing

In the Autumn budget plans, Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced plans to attempt to wipe out the dominance of the payday loan industry. He has announced that they will create a no-interest loan scheme in order to do this.

This scheme will be offered to over 3 million people who are on low incomes in the UK and is similar to one that was offered in Australia. As reported by the Australian Government, this programme officially helped 4 in 5 people to stop using payday lenders. The scheme will attempt to lower the cost of debts that people have accumulated as a result of borrowing from high-cost credit lenders. It will also aim to provide a much cheaper, more affordable substitute to payday lenders. Another objective of the scheme is to aid people in society from ending up in debts that they are unable and preventing them from turning to loan sharks to pay off the extortionate amounts that they might owe.

In order to get help with this project, and to ensure that it goes the best way possible, Phillip Hammond will aim to get support for this scheme, by teaming up with others. This support will come from debt charities, banks and other lenders.

Also in the Autumn Budget, The Treasury has said that in 2019 there will be a survey that will take place in order to test the likelihood of this scheme working as well as a pilot scheme to physically test how successful it will be before it actually occurs. As well as this, they have said that they will provide £2 million to help design these plans in order to try and entirely wipe out loan sharks which are often illegal.

Furthermore, grants will be provided to many entrepreneurs that are involved in the technology industry. This will act as an incentive for them to create cheaper, legitimate substitutes for people who are no longer willing to borrow from payday lenders. Another aim that Phillip Hammond has laid out, is to extend the amount of time given to customers when trying to settle their debts before creditors can take action against them. This is known as the ‘breathing period’ and Hammond plans to extend this from 6 weeks to 3 months.

This plan as set out in the Autumn Budget, also takes place after the recent shutdown of Wonga in August. They were the largest payday lender and after receiving huge amounts of critisicims for mis-selling loans to many customers, they went into administration. Another reason for the demise of Wonga, was due to the fact that in recent years there has been a huge number of claims for compensation that have been made against them.

Elsewhere, traditional short term loans have pivoted their loan proposition away from payday products to more personal loans, with lenders such as Cashfloat and MY JAR now offering loans repaid over 12 and 24 months. This should give customers more flexibility when repaying their loans through staggered repayments and alleviate the problems associated with high cost short term borrowing.

Payday loans have cost borrowers over 800 million pounds

According to recent statistics released by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) the UK’s finance regulator, people who had in total taken out £1.3 billion pounds in payday loans had to pay back a significant amount more than what they had borrowed. Of the £800 million borrowed in 2018, over £2 billion was repaid which includes interest rates and late fees.

The figures showed that the average loan that was taken out was £250, however the typical amount that borrowers would have to pay back would be significantly more than that. The figures stated that the average amount they had to repay was 65% more than the original sum, at £413. The extra amount paid by consumers was sometimes 100% more, which is worrying given the FCA’s price cap to avoid customers paying back double their borrowed amount.

In addition, in figures released by the Financial Conduct Authority over 5.4 million high cost, short term loans were taken out in the year up to the 30th of June 2018. People living in the North West of England had the highest uptake for these loans, with people living in Northern Ireland taking out the least – due to the popularity of credit unions in this part.

A large number of these borrowers who used these high cost facilities were of the younger age groups. Just higher than one third, 37%, of all borrowers were between the ages of 25-34. As well as this, around a third of all borrowers were tenants and just over a quarter still lived at home with their parents.

The Financial Conduct Authority have also stated that although the numbers of high cost, short term loans have increased since 2016, the numbers are significantly lower than the levels that we saw in 2013. This is due to the fact that regulation was brought in to put a cap on the cost of borrowing money and to limit the number of times payday lenders could roll over their loans.

A breed of new payday lenders has emerged which include those targeting bad credit customers and offer guarantors to provide extra security. Elsewhere, there has been the pivoting of lenders offering traditional payday loans to more flexible instalment loans repaid over 6,12 and 24 months. Over the next few years, we could see the payday product before obsolete and evolve into a more flexible, bespoke personal loan product.

Regulators have said that in general, the cost of borrowing is lower than in previous times when there was no cap on the cost of borrowing. The Financial Conduct Authority have been in charge of protecting consumer borrowing activities since 2014. The tighter regulation in the industry has seen some of the largest players in the UK leave due to increased costs or forced closure due to mis-selling high cost loans including Wonga, The Money Shop and Cash Genie.

Essentials for Any Growing Business

Every business usually sets out with the objective of experiencing steady growth. While some businesses grow more quickly than others, it is the only way to ensure your business survives in the long run. There are some fundamental things you can do to improve the chances of your business experiencing healthy growth. It usually means focusing on things that seem to be giving you the results that you need and expanding on that. There are essentials that seem to work for most successful businesses, but bear in mind every organization will need a different approach. If you’re interested in knowing what these essentials are, continue reading the below article.

Finance

It can’t be expressed enough how important keeping your books in order as a business is. If your business is healthy and experiencing steady growth, then you should have a stream of income coming in and going out. To effectively manage your business finances, track your expenses and develop a bookkeeping system that works for you. Here are a few tips for bookkeeping systems you could use.

DIY: If you can’t afford the services of a professional or want to reduce expenses, then you may have to DIY when it comes to bookkeeping. You can use software like Quickbooks or Wave to help you do all of the repetitive and detailed tasks.

Hire a Professional: If you can afford to, hire a professional to manage your accounts for you. Be sure that they have the certifications and experience needed to handle the job. In doing so, you should have peace of mind knowing your finances are in good hands.

Protection

Protecting your business is a must, especially as you can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future. When you aren’t prepared for any curveballs that are thrown at you, it could cripple your business. In light of this, here are two core ways that you can protect your company from outside threats.

Lawyer:  You should always have a trained and experienced lawyer at hand who can help you deal with any serious legal matters. They can also be useful when it comes to reviewing contracts and making sure you don’t agree to anything that could hurt your business later on. To find a business attorney, decide what you’re going to need them for and ask for a referral from partners or friends.

Insurance: Aside from getting a lawyer, insurance is another must for your business. There are several types of insurance you could get that range from protecting your assets to keeping your office space safe. If you have one or more automobiles, you should also get insurance for your vehicles as well. Look for the best price commercial auto insurance on the market and ensure you have the coverage you need.

Talent

Another essential for a growing business is talented employees. They are the people that make all of the magic happen and enable you to meet your targets. Periodically review your staff’s performance to check that they’re delivering to the highest standard and see where you can offer help or support. To find the right talent, ensure the job descriptions you put out are detailed enough and tap your employee networks as well. By doing so, you should be able to attract the right types of candidates. 

Business Integration

Business Integration refers to a strategic placement which aims at synchronizing the technology of information and market networking, as well as the business cultural cues and goals. It also focuses on how the technological advance is aligned with the business objectives and strategy. In essence, business integration refers to the reflection of the absorption and functional ability of IT. It is indeed an indispensable aspect of management. As a matter of fact, technology has become highly embedded in business, which further implies that successful business enterprises is currently taken as a domain for business leaders other than the resounded technology experts. With this in mind, Virgin group has embarked on integrated technology across the precinct of its business. As the business organization expands, there is a subsequent increase in challenges affecting management which should be streamlined with its subsequent growth. This move has engineered expansion through the Virgin enterprises, which has led to its unique competitive advantage and a sound rate of expansion. This paper will use the case of Branson business strategic placement in various levels of its analysis for case illustrations.

The management is faced with the challenge of establishing a concrete organizational structure which absorbs and promotes the intent of the organization at large. Indeed, sound organization structure frames up organizational controls as well as financial controls, which help it in implementing the strategic business activities. The controls also dictate and underpin the business performance with respect to their relationship with both the business structure and strategy.

As a matter of fact, the structure of an organization puts a framework of the organizational procedures, authority and controls in reporting rapport and the entire business management process. Indeed, it is the organizational controls that sets a framework for the implementation of the strategy and provides for the comparative exercise of the business goals and achievement. This helps in identifying the strategic resolutions that would ensure improvement from underperformance and thus a competitive advantage. In particular, Virgin group has been able to expand both locally and internationally to Australia among other business hubs of the world.

However, through the basic framework of business activities, the structure and strategies of the business are closely related. Indeed, the adoption of a particular strategy has a significant impact on the business structure that results. According to business research findings, organizations structure change often when the performance declines. Consequently, for the management to hold after the decline, it should modify the general structure in order to give room for restoration. This means that the organization must adopt positive structural changes that would enable it accommodate its respective business strategy. This is done following a stable research which unveils the need for such an action. Through a feasibility test of business performance in different fields, one enterprise diversifies across other profitable ventures within and without its area of specialization a profile taken by Virgin group.

In order to enhance the business performance through structural and strategic synchronization, the organization must adopt positive techniques in hiring and further development of employees. Business operating capital is essential for the success of any prospective venture. However, the growth for such capital is far much valuable and rather the root cause of expansion of the enterprise. For instance, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a case example that emerges from little capital investment to a huge chain of supply side business investment. To begin with, the business adoption of a broad structure was preceded by a constrained business structure. In essence, Branson began through the publication of a ‘student’ magazine which emitted a thorough exposition which gave rise to a chain of investment fronts.

In the tender investment stage, Branson’s Virgin operated at a small scale prospect while the management structure proved quite simple with the involvement of a limited number of personnel. This was an easy structure where strategic business engagement and implementation was easy to manipulate. However, the structure of the business was gradually changed following some of the expansion that followed the installation of the recording studio at his home in Oxford shire home. Consequently, this increased the output generation to millions of magazines and, therefore, necessitated a devised selling mechanism which saw the sales go worldwide. This also means that Branson must have recruited employees into the organization following the strategic expansion prospects which would see the structural transformation of the organization and graduation from a simple structure to a functional structure of the enterprise.

Through the structural transformation prior further establishment of chain business premises, Branson was also able to manipulate strategic placement that saw the establishment of the highly capital intensive business with the airlines contrasting sharply with the former investment in low capital investments of recordings. The financial control emanated mainly from the investment focus that aimed at expanding the business prospects through the established business strategy. In the attainment of a competitive business framework, it is also important for the recognition of a well established workers recruitment and retention in order to streamline the business objectives with the workers ability and proficiency.

Workers recruitment is also an essential function to consider during the adoption of certain business structure. Recruitment involves the identification process for prospective workers from the time of application for posts to the time of arrival of application to the organizations’ management. This followed by the selection process for the most acclaimed employee to join the organization’s taskforce. This also provides a chance for identification of fit workers for the sake of operation proficiency. Technological integration means that the organizational taskforce must be able to employ the contemporary technology. This also implies that the workers must be creative enough to sufficiently warrant the cognitive engagement in the operational aspect of the business as well as taking advantage of new insurgence of technology, which provides a sounding corporate culture and a competitive advantage as a result. For instance, Branson was acquitted to technology advancements. In the view of advancements in digital technologies, Branson expanded its retail outlets interest through the onset of online retailing following the advent of the Internet. A product of this intervention includes the Virgin money and the joint investment with the Norwich Union. Furthermore, Branson also took advantage of the cellular communications which further led to the establishment of Virgin Mobiles in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom.

The integrated business framework is a function of various factors. The implementation of basic organizations’ strategy works hand in hand with its formulation. Indeed, the structure and systems of an organization is mapped as the most influential and resolute sources of competitive advantage as well as the choice of a strategy. This implies that the capacity for the organization is quite essential in outlining and implementation of the strategic objectives as well as adopting sound structural adjustment in favor for enterprise development. However, across the entire framework of business integration, businesses have to have refined harmonization prospects of cooperation, specialization as well as coordination which would further provide a refined guide into selecting the best enterprise structure. Indeed, effective systems of business management are fundamentally anchored on tactful financial planning, and control as well as well acquitted human resource management practices through a strong team of management.

The success of management activities can also be dictated by the developed or the pre-existing policies which further defines the course of activities taken by the organization. The policies of undertaking the activities therein levels a guidance on the manner in which various activities need to be done for the organization to achieve its goals as per its prospective objectives. Furthermore, policies enhances consistency in the approach to various activities besides creating a conducive environment upon which the work is done and thus the effectiveness in execution of the various business strategies. For instance, Branson was able to establish and surface through the Virgin’s Cell enterprise due to the aspects of deregulations and privatization. Indeed this venture was enabled through the deregulation of telecommunications in Britain among other global players.

Furthermore, Branson brand exploitation was further enhanced through the privatization and deregulations that came about in 1980s and enabled Branson to acquire a rail Franchises which gave rise to the Virgin Rail in collaboration with stagecoach. This also means that Branson was able to identify the competitors in the field of investment and, therefore, strategic means of combating competition, which included the various collusions and collaborations that the enterprise established with competitors. In any business environment, competition is an aspect that can result to a failure if not checked with urgency. Consequently, for any business enterprises to succeed, it must lay fortified prospects of countering competitions while holding the industry constant and increasing its market share. Furthermore, loosened regulations also paved way for the Branson to open the Virgin Blue in Australia. These were strategic ventures that succeeded among other unsuccessful ventures such as attempts by Virgin group to operate the British National Lottery.

The process of instituting concise systems such as information systems also enhances the logical and timely flow of information which further enhances the performance of the business. This means that the report on daily operations and emergencies are essential in analyzing the performance of a strategy with a view of improving it and the realization of a complete circuit of business activities. This mean that report regarding the customers, operations, purveyors, workers as well as the financial report should be discreetly and timely availed for the business management purposes. This scenario enables the management to track and remit most optimal implementation initiatives as far as the daily operations and internal and external environment are concerned. This aspect also ensures that an organization is capable of identifying other prospective investment areas and evaluating the suitability of the latter.

In the light of the above, Virgin group was actively involved in analyzing structural information from across the globe. This ensured that the business identified new markets as well as business opportunities. Furthermore, the organizations’ initiative further enabled the tracking of highly competitive forces in the industry of interest and thus helping it define the optimal strategies to use in encroachment of the business. Through information sharing and remittal, Virgin was in a position to expand outside the UK between 1998 and 2011 through a series of replicated Virgin Ventures worldwide as well as new ventures. Finally, from the organizational structure, the business forms a legal agency upon which decision-making and the governance procedures are emphasized.

Finally, for any business enterprise to capture and manipulate the market, the essentials of providing distinct services such are mandatory. This is one of the aspects that enabled Branson’s Virgin Group to penetrate markets successfully through the provision of quality, competitive, and brilliant services to all clients. Indeed, communication between managers and the concept implementing personnel in an organization is a powerful tool as it provides for the effective analysis of the level of implementation particularly for the strategic controls. This also enables organizations to a formal assessment initiative which focuses on evaluating the progress of implementation of strategies besides providing the supplementary remedies that would inspire successful implementations thus fostering the business’ propensity to achieve its laid down objectives. A business venture that allows the interplay of both external factors is paramount in the attainment of a singled out success from the competitive advantage that results. This also implies that the social connectivity between the implementation taskforce and the management is highly emphasized.

How do you choose the right fire insurance policy for you

Fire insurance is of vital importance to the modern home. It is undeniably playing an imperative role by allowing you to mitigate or even cancel out your losses in case a fire should occur by securing a fire damage claim Los Angeles. There are several factors to consider when choosing a fire insurance policy. You have to do your due diligence by researching and expanding your search for the best viable options. Here are some tips and pointers on how you can choose the right fire insurance.

Take note of the right coverage.

The effectiveness of your fire insurance policy is measured by the coverage it has of your properties. Having a fire insurance policy means having indemnification in time of a loss. It is thus necessary to go with the right policy to make sure that you maximize this protection should tragedy strike.

If you own the house, it is a good idea to try to insure everything, meaning the house and everything inside it. When you are leasing a place, you should ensure the contents inside. If you own the entire building, have the structure valued for fire insurance as well.

To start the insurance process, take your time in listing all the items you own that have value. A clear concise list of all these items and their corresponding values give you a general sense on the kind of fire insurance policy that you should go for. This will speed up your negotiations with your insurance agent as well.

Should your house or properties be subject to an unfortunate fire incident, having the right coverage will allow you to rebuild more quickly by getting a substantial fire damage claim, Los Angeles, that matches the value that you have lost.

Get the highest deductible possible

A deductible means the amount you have to pay your insurance company until the you are eligible for insurance claim. For instance, if you value your property at a million dollars and the collectible is set at 250 thousand, you have to keep paying the premium up to that amount before insurance kicks in. If the total payments have reached the amount of 250 thousand, after a fire incident, the fire damage claim should be at a full million dollars meaning you are earning the extra 750 thousand. A higher deductible, insurance companies will allow you to pay a smaller premium and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

There are exceptions to these however. If you can afford it, you can choose a higher premium and a lower deductible. This would insure your property faster and earn your peace of mind immediately.

Check your fire policy exclusions

It is common place that there are instances where a fire policy will have exclusions to claims. These are of far fetched situations however. For example, most insurance claims in the US exclude events such as war or allied perils. If the fire comes out of these events, the fire insurance company can choose to reject any claims.

Foul play, including insurance company employees or not, automatically disqualifies you from any claims as well. You should be careful with your claims, as these kinds of actions cannot only reject your claims but can land you in a trial for a criminal offense as well.

As important it is to list all the property you have that have value, you should also make sure that you have taken into account the property you have that are not included in the fire policy plan. In a fire damage claim Los Angeles, you will not be able to get paid insurance from these items.

There are several reasons why properties are excluded from fire insurance claims. If an item is perishable, like food, plant ornaments and others, you will not be able to include them in your fire policy for obvious reason that their value degenerates immediately.

Lower your premium by adopting security measures.

Homeowners can have a propensity to act carelessly knowing that their home is insured. This, however is not going to be looked well upon by insurance companies. Insurance, for them, is a risky business. They may choose to increase the premium if they see a huge risk in approving your insurance policy.

Before having your house checked to get an offer from the insurance company. You should install all the necessary safety equipment such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors. Owning fire hazards such unchecked wiring or improper placement of flammable materials can make your premium skyrocket. Make sure you run a thorough check of your entire home before the fire insurance agent comes. And do this at regular intervals should the insurance agent come to check again and for your own safety as well.

Compare fire insurance companies before deciding.

When choosing a fire insurance company, give a quick research on all the available options in your area before even sitting down with any one of their agents. You should list the categories by which you should rank your choices. Then you can start with talking to the agents of your chosen insurance companies. Have them give you a quotation so you can compare all of them one by one.

Review your policy at least once every year.

All of  the factors listed can change over time. For instance, you could negotiate to lower your premium by installing a better safety system. Your coverage may change as well based on new insurance laws passed. You should take note of all of these changes in your yearly review to insure that your fire insurance policy meets your requirements.

Always remember that owning an insurance means allowing yourself to be able to negate risks. If you keep this in mind when drafting your fire insurance policy, you can save you a ton of money and at the same time give you peace of mind. Never settle for anything less than what you think is your minimum requirement.