Should You Borrow from a Pawnbroker?

As high street lenders clamp down on giving people credit, pawnbrokers like H&T are becoming an increasingly popular option with borrowers looking to secure capital.

The way that pawnbrokers work is simple. The lender is granted the money they need in one of two ways: either through the sale of an asset (in which case the capital belongs to them instantly), or by offering an item as security in exchange for a loan. 

There are many advantages attached to borrowing from a pawnbroker, and it is these that are making them so popular with borrowers. They tend to lend money quickly, and there are usually no credit checks required before loans are granted. For the struggling debtor and those in need of a quick cash fix, this makes them seem like an ideal solution.

But are they really all they're cracked up to be?

How Pawnbrokers Work

As mentioned above, pawnbrokers work by offering money in exchange for one of two things: the purchase of an item, or the holding of an item of security. The first option is a simple act of sale, so we won’t explore it any further here.

Pawnbroker
The second option is the more popular of the two. The borrower hands over an asset, usually jewellery, and in return the pawnbroker offers them capital. The specific details of the loan, such as how long you have to pay the money back, should be set out prior to the capital being handed over. Loans may last for anything up to seven months.

To protect you as a seller, the pawnbroker will give you a receipt as proof of ownership, to allow you to get the item back once the loan has been repaid.

You might be wondering what's in it for the broker. The answer is easy; your loan will accrue interest, and the rate will often be greater than the interest charged on personal loans. Typically, it will be around 5-12 per cent per month - a figure which can add up rather quickly.

As  a rule of thumb, most brokers will allow you to repay the full sum at the end of the loan agreement, rather than requiring you to pay back a set amount each month. You will also have the flexibility to pay back some or all of the sum early and thus reclaim your item. 

In some cases, pawnbrokers may be willing to extend the term if you find yourself unable to repay them, although they always have the option to refuse to do so. Usually, they will not extend such an offer to you unless you've at least managed to pay back the interest you've accrued. 

The Drawbacks of Using a Pawn Broker

Pawnbrokers certainly have their uses, but it would be unwise to assume that they're a perfect fit for every borrower.

Firstly, they tend to carry relatively high interest rates, making them an expensive way to borrow money. 

Secondly, they give the lender the power to sell your item if you can't repay them. They'll usually have offered you much less than it's actually worth, meaning that they profit but you're left out of pocket. Despite this, items still sometimes sell for less than they're worth, and less than you received in return for handing them over as security. Where this happens, you'll find that you remain liable for any outstanding debt. 

The Benefits

However, it's not all bad, or else pawnbrokers wouldn't be so popular. Borrowing money in this way can be a godsend for those who are desperate but find themselves with a poor credit history, as no checks are carried out. 

Pawnbrokers can also be a good solution for those who need money quickly, as capital is usually handed over on the same day as the agreement is reached. 

An added boon is that this type of loan tends to be very flexible: as a rule, you can redeem your goods at any time, and many brokers are willing to extend the term. An advantage of the former is that if you manage to raise the money to repay your broker earlier than expected, than you'll pay less interest than you feared because this only accrues for the actual length of the loan.

If you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, could a pawnbroker offer a viable way out for you?

Yen Rises as Bank of Japan Stands Firm on Monetary Policy

Forex brokers, traders and financial institutions are watching with interest as the Japanese yen continues to strengthen against other major currencies.

Wednesday's Asian session saw the country's national bank announce a commitment to maintaining their existing monetary policy, reviving investor confidence in the currency.  

A Popular Decision

Wednesday's Asian session saw the Bank of Japan announce that it was committed to its existing monetary policy, deciding with an 8-1 vote that it should be maintained. This decision will see the country continue to raise its monetary base by around JPY 80 trillion per annum. 

The announcement means that Japan will not be adding to the stimulus plan that saw the currency take a tumble in October. Instead it will continue at its current annual pace of increasing the annual base by 80 trillion yen (US$679 billion).   

Japan Monetary Policy
The Bank of Japan has adapted to its decision swiftly, cutting its inflation projection to 1 per cent for the fiscal year beginning in April 2015. In the same move, it has also raised its gross domestic product forecast to 2.1 per cent. 

Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, has described these acts by the Japanese financiers as "the most important element of today's meeting," going on to explain that "if anything, these projections were more optimistic than we had expected." 

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to deliver a press conference on the decision shortly. 

The Yen Strengthens against Its Counterparts

The statement by the Bank of Japan catalysed an end to the yen's three-day drop against the dollar, suggesting that it has gone a long way to allaying investor fears following the chaos and uncertainty trigged by the Swiss crisis.

Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia-Pacific currency strategy at Barclays Plc in Singapore, explained: "Given we've got the ECB tomorrow and expectations are pretty high there, and given the SNB, there has been at least some residual expectation that we would see some action. There's some dawning realisation now that the Bank of Japan aren't going to follow suit." 
  
This "dawning realisation" has seen the yen gain 1 per cent since yesterday (January 20th), climbing to 117.66 per dollar. It also rose 0.7 per cent against the euro, to 136.31 yen per euro.
  
The decision has caused the yen to gain against all of its sixteen major counterpart currencies.

How to Buy a House: UK Mortgages Explained

Since the economic decline, securing a mortgage in the UK has become increasingly difficult. But there's new hope, as the government have announced reforms on stamp duty meaning buyers could save thousands of pounds and making the prospect of securing a mortgage more realistic. 

However, entering the mortgage world can be a confusing mass of financial terms, paperwork and credit scores. So in this article we'll offer advice, explain the main two types of mortgages in the UK and hope to put your mind at ease.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

In layman's terms, a fixed rate mortgage means the rate of interest has been frozen, so your monthly payments will remain the same. Therefore, this type of mortgage provides a form of financial security, making it a popular choice. Although this security can come with a price tag, as a fixed rate mortgage is often slightly higher than its variable counterpart.

Mortgages Explained

The benefit here is that you're protected against inflation. Even if interest rates rise, your payments won't increase. On the other hand, if interest rates fall below the rate you're currently paying, you won't see any benefit. 

A word of caution: think before you choose a fixed term mortgage as there are often hefty charges if you choose to leave early.

Variable Rate Mortgages

This type of mortgage is a more suitable option for those who want a little more flexibility. A variable rate mortgage comes in the form of: tracker, standard variable rate (SVR), offset and capped rate. The common attribute of these is that the interest rate is variable – i.e. your monthly mortgage repayments will be affected both by inflation or a decrease in interest rates. Therefore, a variable mortgage has its bonuses as well as its drawbacks. If you opt for this type of mortgage, make sure that either you have savings, or your income allows for an increase in payments.

The main advantage with a variable rate is that as a general rule, they offer more freedom. For example, with an SVR or an offset mortgage, there is no fee for overpayment meaning you have the option of paying off your mortgage early.

Ultimately, the type of mortgage you get will be dictated by your personal situation and circumstances (including factors such as being self-employed, your credit history and your age). Speak to your mortgage advisor who will be able to tell you which mortgage is suitable.

Ways To Get Financial Stability By Making Money Online

Having enough money is really important for you to maintain all of your expenditures, your debt payments, and also secure your retired future and the life of your children. So, if you had been laid off or if you are having monetary problems even though you are into a job, you will have to try and improve your income. Now, you can do this even from your home as making money online is in vogue. 

Ideas on making money online 

There are various ways in which you can make money online. However, some of the most unique ways in which you can make money online are:

1) Selling digital photos – If you have a knack for photography, you can try to sell digital photos online. This is one of the unique ways in which you can make money online. You can also use other hobbies that you have to make money online. For example, if you have interest in writing, you can start freelancing. You will be able to make good money through freelancing. 

2) Sell baked goods – If you love baking, you can also sell the baked items you have been making. It is one of the simplest ways in which you can make money online. 

Making Money Online

3) Sell other items online – You can also sell other stuffs online – stuffs that you think you won’t need anymore, stuffs that you have got as a gift but you did not like, stuffs like your dresses that you have not been able to use and also electronic goods which you don’t need.  

4) Start participating in forums – You can also make money online by participating in some of the forums. There are quite a few forums that pay you for participating in their forums, both for helping the members in problems (any kind) or even posting queries about the problems you are facing.

5) Make money selling eBooks – Another way in which you can make money online is selling eBooks. EBooks are infact a big business online. You will have to find out what kinds of books are more popular among the people. If you have been a student of literature, you may find it easier. 

6) Create a topical resource hub – You can also make money by creating a topical resource hub. Creating a topical resource hub is nothing but putting together a list of the sites from where people may be able to find what they are looking for. In addition, you will also have to provide some details on these resource sites. 

7) Paid online surveys – You can also make money online through paid online surveys. You will have to do simple research in order to find such surveys. 

8) Try online designing – There are quite a few ways to make money through online designing. You can design logos for different websites, online cards, and online greetings and so on. If you have a knack for drawing and designing, you may be able to make good money through this.  

9) Become online tutor – You can also become an online tutor. There are various tutors that provide online tutorials. So, if you have that qualification and if you have a knack for teaching, you can opt to become an online tutor. 

10) Play online games -  There is one more option which is gaining popularity now a days is to play online games and win money. There are so many attractive online casino gambling games which are very easy way to win money online and it's secure as well. Caesars casino is one of them which gives very attractive offers to their users. 

Other than the above options, you can also make money by becoming an online juror. You may opt for any of the numerous online money making options. 

How to tell if you're getting the best deal on your car insurance

Running a car can be expensive enough without paying over the odds for insurance. Whether you’re purchasing your first ever policy or renewing an existing one, a bit of know-how can take you a long way when it comes to making savings. You may fall into the trap of thinking you’re getting a good deal if you’ve managed to pick up a shiny special offer or a discounted price, but are you really getting good value for money? If you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal, take a look at the following tips.

Have you shopped around? 

car insurance
With the cost of car insurance rising all the time, you’re falling at the first hurdle if you don’t shop around. Taking the first quote you’re offered might be tempting if you’re pressed for time and eager to get on the road, but this approach can leave you out of pocket in the long run. Luckily, today there’s no excuse for not getting a rundown of the different prices on the market. Far from being a time-consuming process, you can now get multiple insurance quotes in a matter of seconds using comparison websites. If you are tempted by special deals elsewhere, ensure you always read the small print carefully before committing to anything. 

Did you fill out your form correctly?

We all know that lying on insurance forms in an effort to reduce your premiums is fraud and can end up costing you dearly in the long run. But what’s less talked about is the effect that providing inaccurate or estimated information can have on the price you pay. Whether you’re filling out an application form by hand or simply using a comparison site to get a quote, it’s essential that you pay attention to detail and are as precise as possible. If you overestimate the value of your vehicle, how many miles you have on the clock or wrongly guess the amount of points you have on your licence, you could end up paying more than you need to for your policy. Similarly, not selecting the right type of insurance or being unclear about how you use your vehicle can result in higher bills than necessary. Be as accurate as possible, pay attention to detail when filling out your form and check it thoroughly before submitting.

Have you reduced your risk?

There are simple things you can do to change how insurance companies view you. For example, if you park your car in a garage or driveway and fit a Thatcham approved alarm and an immobiliser, you are seen as less of a risk in the eyes of insurers. If you’re buying a car, it’s a good idea to choose a make and model that is less expensive to repair. Being a safe driver will also stand you in good stead as the fewer points you have on your licence, the lower your premiums are likely to be.

Check your voluntary excess

If you are willing to pay more towards the cost of repairs in the event of an accident, your premium will be reduced. If you don’t know how much your voluntary excess is, check your policy or contact your insurance provider for information. If you want to bring your costs down, consider increasing your excess. If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, this cost can be recovered. Be realistic though - don’t be tempted to raise it to more than you can afford.

Review your options

If you’re guilty of making any of these mistakes, don’t be tempted to automatically renew your car insurance to avoid hassle. These days, switching your insurance provider is a straightforward process. If you’re serious about saving money, take the time to review your options before signing on the dotted line.

5 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Used Car

Everyone knows buying a second, third or even fourth hand car is a great way to save money rather than purchasing brand new. In general new cars lose at least a third of their value before being sold on. But for those looking to salvage that little bit extra when buying a used car there are plenty of tips that will help.   

1.Timing

The best time to buy a used car is just before Christmas, any time between November and late December. This is mainly because most people are focusing on splashing out on other things during the festive season. One study showed that buyers could save up to £500 on their new (used) car by purchasing at this time. It may not be convenient if you need a new vehicle immediately but if you can put it off it is worth the wait.

Buying a Used Car

2.Research

Work out your budget, what you need from a new car and research what models fit with your criteria. If there are a few you have in mind be sure to research how much they sell for new and second hand by looking online to avoid paying above the odds. Take note of additional running costs (petrol/diesel, insurance etc.) as well.

3. Use A Comparison Site

Used car comparison websites such as Exchange & Mart are a great way to research vehicles and see what’s on the market. They are also excellent for securing a superb deal and don’t involve any of the added hassle and pressure of dealing with a car salesperson. It saves time comparing models and prices without having to leave your home!

4.Buy at Auction

Buying a car at auction can also lead to some great savings but is a daunting experience for those unfamiliar with the practice. For this reason hiring a professional to buy at auction is a good idea. Although it is an extra expense the money you save on the vehicle should cover it with a bit left over, making it worthwhile.  

5.Check It Out

Three important things you should and can check online about the vehicle you’ve chosen before purchase are its MOT history, HPI (hire purchase information) for outstanding finance and serious accidents, and that its record on the DVLA site matches with the seller’s details. If there are any irregularities then it’s best to avoid the car. If not, then congratulations on your new vehicle!

Top tips to make and save money online

In the current global economic situation, it is safe to say everyone is feeling the pinch one way or another. Many homeowners are looking at new easy ways to save a few pounds here and make a couple of dollars there, and the internet is one of the best places to do this. 

Here are a few top ways you help your finances online: 

To Save….

Go Voucher Hunting

The internet is awash with websites offering deals on everything ranging from your weekly shop to a night out at a restaurant. A simple browse can end up saving you a small fortune over the space online, so it is definitely worth going on the hunt for some discount coupons!
Check Out Price Comparison Sites.

save money online
Ever thought that you are paying too much for your monthly bills? Well it turns out you probably are, as many companies don’t offer their best prices to existing customers. Looking at the deals firms offer to bring in new customers is always worthwhile, even if you don’t change suppliers. 

To Make…

Sell your unwanted items

Websites such as Gumtree, Ebay and Craiglist have become massively popular in recent years, with many people turning to selling their unwanted goods to raise a bit of capital. There will be always someone out there looking for something you longer need, plus you get to set the price of how much to sell it for so you won’t be disappointed once it has gone. 

Try Gaming Online

If practised responsibly, gaming online can be a great alternative to earning some extra cash. Casino sites that can be found at sites like www.iPadCasino.com.au offer the likes of slot machines, as well as poker and blackjack, plus you can set a weekly limit for your account so you can safely game to earn some extra income and have fun. 

How a Serviced Office Could Benefit Your Business

In recent years, serviced offices have experienced a rapid growth in popularity. This trend was largely catalysed by the financial crash of 2007, which saw businesses looking not only for more economical ways to rent premises, but also searching for mediums that offered more flexibility, to allow them to adapt to the growing atmosphere of uncertainty that gripped the country. 

This trend was about more than just damage limitation; as the market became ever more competitive, businesses needed to thrive. Company premises can have a marked influence on their success, helping to refine a brand’s image. Location and working environment, too, play a major role, and serviced offices offer the very best of both.

Serviced Office

If your business is in need of a reboot, then it could be that a serviced office, like those offered by Landmark Plc., is just the solution you’re looking for. Read on to discover some of their key benefits and how they could benefit your enterprise…

Simplicity and Convenience

One of the key benefits of serviced offices is that they take the entire burden of maintenance and outfitting from business owners. When you sign that lease, you’re also securing a reliable internet connection, a phone line and furnishings. 

Most serviced offices will offer the added boon of a staffed reception, cleaning services and refreshment facilities, taking the time and effort of organising these from your already over-burdened shoulders. 

Flexible Leases

The average business lease will last for three to five years, yet knowing what your staff headcount, business priorities and locational needs will be this far into the future is a luxury enjoyed by very few companies. Serviced office leases offer much greater flexibility, with many of them allowing you to end your agreement much more easily. This means that your business need never be tied to a particular location, allowing you to expand or contract freely, and to move as it suits you.   

A Professional Image

Another benefit of serviced offices is that they help to convey a professional image. They are usually furnished to a high standard and outfitted with an experienced reception team to greet your clients, as well as providing a variety of spaces to meet your needs, such as conference areas and meeting rooms. This is very helpful in ensuring that you promote a corporate image for your business. Even for those clients who do not visit, the experienced reception team you have access to will help to engender this view of your company.    

Prime Location

Furthermore, serviced offices tend to be sited in the very best locations. Often, these are city centres or sites with access to major transportation hubs. 

Economical

A particularly appealing boon of using a serviced office is the cost savings that can be made; research by the UK Charted Institute of Purchasing placed these at up to 78 per cent. This sounds too good to be true, but it’s easy to understand how such substantial savings are made when you break it down. Firstly, there is no initial outlay for equipment. Utility and other bills are added in with the rent, which is a set amount that you know you can meet. Further, there is usually no requirement for you to hire secretaries, reception, post room, maintenance or cleaning staff, which saves a significant sum not only on wages, but also on recruitment costs. Additionally, infrequently used spaces, such as conference or meeting rooms, can usually be paid for on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis, which means that you’re not spending money on heating, renting and maintaining rooms that are rarely ventured into.   

Now that you know the many advantages of serviced offices, perhaps it’s time that you considered renting some for your business.

How to manage your budget when you are a newlywed couple?

Wedding planning and to organize the whole event is very exiting but after the honeymoon you'll realize that it comes with lot of responsibilities as well and you've to be financially secured to manage all those things. May be you both have different financial goals and also have some debt also in your name but after getting married it's high time that you both plan together and manage your budget.This will help both of you in managing your needs as well as saving money. However, you should note that planning a family budget may not be a piece of cake. You need to take various factors into consideration.

Planning a budget for newly-wed couple

Here are certain things which you should take into consideration while planning a budget when you are newly married:
  • Sources of income: Both of you should first note down the sources of income that you have. This will help you know the inflow of cash. The sources of income may include the likes of self employment income, salaries and wages, rental income, investment income (which is not reinvested), etc. Once you know the inflow of cash, you will be able decide how much to save, how much to spend and how much to put down toward the debt payments.
newlywed couple
  • Note down your expenses: When you are planning to formulate your budget, the most important thing is to note down your expenses. You may need at least 3 months time in order to find out the various expenses that you have. You may have to pay down your money toward your home expenses like monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, etc. Apart from this, you will also have auto expenses, credit card debts, student loans, etc. Also, you will have monthly utility expenses, dining, clothing, entertainment, grocery, etc. Once you can track down these expenses, you will be able to allot money toward each of these expenses separately.
  • Come up with an emergency fund: Now that you are married, it is very important to create an emergency fund. You should make sure that you and your spouse put a fixed amount of money in that fund and help it grow. You never know when an emergency can strike you or your spouse. An emergency fund will help you and your spouse manage any kind of emergency situation in a better way but if you don't have any emergency fund and in any emergency situation, you need some urgent cash then you can also go online and get help from some valuable sites like Check 'n Go to solve your problem.
  • Take help of online budgeting tools: All the major financial websites offer budgeting tools. You can simply download those tools and use them to formulate your budget. You can simply put the required details in the budgeting tool and it will provide you with the result. If you wish, you can follow the exact budget or you may even customize it as per your needs.
  • Follow the budget diligently: If you have prepared a budget, then make sure that you follow it as well. Unless you follow the budget, you will not be able to avoid debt problems. Moreover a proper budget will also help you save money and reduce unnecessary spending. This is of great help to newly-weds as they have already incurred a lot of debt at the time of their wedding.
Do not consider your budget as a punishment. It is just a way out to manage your finances and control your expenses in a better manner. You can change your budget on a regular basis as per your priorities.

Should you sell your pension?

We all know that a pension is in place to allow you to save money for a comfortable future, yet it can often make the road to retirement feel restricted, as you’ll have little input on how and when you’ll be allowed to access the money you have paid in. 

However, there is a way for you to gain control of your pension. You are legally allowed to cash in your pension, releasing some of your pension pot savings as a tax-free lump sum. 

Here are a few of the things you could do with the extra money that unlocking your pension could bring. 

Transform a hobby into a business venture

Transitioning from the world of full-time work to retirement can be challenging for some, so having a hobby can be a great way to keep yourself busy. Many people turn their hobbies into lucrative businesses by bankrolling them with some of the money they have released from their pension. 

sell your pension

While you don’t have to turn it into a full-time job, it is always nice doing something that you really enjoy, especially if you can earn a few extra dollars from it. 

Reward yourself 

We all have dreams in mind that are often abandoned because we don’t have the appropriate funds to proceed. Unlocking some of your pension funds provides you with access to a lump sum of money, allowing you to fulfill the dreams that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to save up for. 

Imagine what you could do with the money? Perhaps you could carry out some much-needed home improvements that you’ve spent years trying to save up for, or even go on a well-deserved luxury vacation. 

Tie up loose ends 

Nobody wants to head into retirement feeling weighed down by debt. Unlocking your pension could provide you with enough funding to clear your existing debt, leaving you to relax and enjoy the rest of your retirement, debt free. 

While unlocking your pension may appear an attractive prospect, as getting to release your pension gives you more control over money you have earned, it is not a decision which should be made in haste. There are pros and cons to both sides of the process and at the end of the day it depends entirely on your own personal circumstances. Ensure that you speak to a financial advisor before you make your decision. 

A Quick Guide To Car Insurance And Keeping Premiums Low

Once you’ve bought your beautiful new car, it’s easy to forget everything else that needs doing. A new car can leave you low on cash after hefty down payments. You can spend months saving for it and hours negotiating the price. However, that is all pointless if you don’t find the right insurance policy. After the stress of buying, diving into insurance policies will be the last thing on your mind. But, it is very important.

You can lose a lot of money with the wrong insurance cover. There are hundreds of different insurers out there and twice as many policy options. You need to find the right one for you. By that we mean the right price and the right cover. Don’t fight for every penny on your new car and then pay over the odds for insurance. Work your car insurance into the initial budget of your new car. Don’t get caught out later with large bills.

Car Insurance

This article will guide you through the process. By its very nature, car insurance is complex. You need to understand the minefield and navigate through it. We’ll help you learn what to look for and what policy is right for you and your car. We’ll then help you cut costs and keep your premium low. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into the basics.

At a very basic level, insurance is a premium you pay to cover yourself against future costs. You’ll pay a monthly fee or a lump sum to a car insurance company. In the event of a road accident, breakdown, theft or fire, your car insurance company will cover the costs. Of course, it is not always as simple as that. We’ll get into specifics further down the page.

Car insurance is a legal requirement. You absolutely must insure your car before you even get behind the wheel. Driving without it will land you with a fine, prosecution and a very expensive premium in the future. Governments are quick to crack down on this type of behaviour and you could see your car taken off you. It’s simply not worth the risk! If you own a vehicle but it is currently off the road, you still need to declare this. Search for a SORN certificate online and fill this out.

Car insurance quotes are generally worked out by assessing risk. Insurance companies cover the cost of your accidents and damage in exchange for monthly payments. Therefore, the most risky drivers incur the biggest monthly costs. If you are a risky driver, the insurance company anticipates having to spend more money on you. That cost is passed onto the driver through higher premiums and monthly payments.

It is a system that is entirely based on generalisations. In many cases this seems unfair but it is simply the only realistic way of ranking insurance brackets. These brackets are constructed through the following risk factors. Age, gender, occupation, postcode and the model of car you drive. 

Young drivers, in general, are considered more dangerous. This is backed up by statistics; a higher percentage of young drivers are involved in accidents. The insurance company balances out this percentage by charging higher prices to young drivers. Statistically men have more high impact accidents than women. Traditionally men’s premiums were higher as a result. This has since been ruled out due to anti-discrimination legislation. 

Drivers with a more dangerous occupations are also subject to higher premiums. Jobs that require a lot of driving incur higher charges, for example. The area in which the car is kept also plays a large part. Insurers assess the likelihood of car theft and damage in a particular area. Dangerous neighbourhoods and street parking will negatively affect the price of your insurance. 

Finally, the make and model of the car is a determining factor. Insurers take into account the reliability of certain car manufacturers. They assess the price of the vehicle, the performance and the safety features. Naturally, a more powerful car registers a higher price. Car insurers have around 50 brackets in which every car fits into. Before you buy, check where your car falls and ask yourself if you can afford that particular premium.

After the risk factors have been assessed, you must decide what type of policy is right for you. There are three variations here. The first is ‘Third Party Insurance’. This is the bare minimum that you must purchase. In the event of an accident, it will cover any damage to third parties. That’s any damage to the car, building or landmark you hit. It does not cover any damage to your car. This type of insurance is generally used when your car isn’t worth very much. 

The second type is ‘Third Party Fire and Theft’. This insures you for all of the above. It also covers you against fire damage and any costs if the car is stolen. This is common amongst first time car owners and young drivers. It is relatively cheap and covers most eventualities.

The final type is ‘Fully Comprehensive”. This insures you against almost all problems on the road. It covers third parties and your own car. This is the insurance that gives you the best peace of mind. Large companies and businesses may need to consider a specialist insurance. This is to insure their entire fleet of company cars are covered. Find more information about insurance on contract hire and leases at Listers.

As you can see, there are many factors that affect the price of your car insurance. With this in mind, there are some things you can do to bring the price down. First of all, upgrade the security of your vehicle. Installing an alarm and immobiliser will drop the price significantly. Try to find off street parking in a garage or covered space. Limit your mileage and only claim when you absolutely have to. Building up a no-claims bonus will work out cheaper than claiming a few hundred pounds. Finally, make sure you shop around. Being loyal doesn’t work out in the world of car insurance. At the end of every policy, look for a better deal.

We hope you now have a stronger understanding of car insurance. It is a complex world, but it pays to fully comprehend its workings. Only by understanding it, can you find the tricks to making it cheaper. Happy hunting!

Credit Card Debts: Figuring Out the Best Repayment Option

Credit Cards are one of the easiest and quickest ways people get into debt. They have varied interest rates, depending on the credit card you apply and qualify for. Qualifying for a credit card is easy, and the interest rate that you get given on that card is adjusted to reflect your credit score. So, if you have a good credit score you will be able to access a credit card with a lower interest rate. However, if you have a poor credit score you may only be able to access credit cards with a much higher interest rate.

Credit Card Debts
If you are one of those people who have credit card debt, which most people who do not have a zero balance are classed as in debt, then you have a few options, especially when it comes to becoming debt free.

The options that are available to you are listed below. You should be able to find an option which best suits you and your individual requirements. You may be able to become debt free quicker than you may think.

I Have Money to Pay off Debt

If you've got money to pay off your debts you may be in a better position than most other people. So, you need to use this extra money in the best way possible. If you are lucky enough to have some money hidden away somewhere, maybe for a rainy day, then you need to use this to repay some of your credit card debt. If you have multiple credit cards, you need to repay the credit card provider with the most urgent debt attached to them. This could be because you have fallen behind with repayments, or it could simple be the credit card provider that charges the most interest.

This extra money that you think you have could be a mirage. You need to think carefully before committing any extra or spare money you may have to pay towards a credit card debt. If your money is from a savings account, that is great. You can use this money to repay your credit card debt.

However, if you believe you have money spare at the end of each month, you need to double check to see if this money is not tied into any priority debts.

What Are Priority Debts?

Priority debts include repayments on a mortgage, on rent or council tax debts. These priority debts are vital. You must not fall behind with any of these payments. Where you may think you have extra money at the end of the month to repay credit card debt, could be safer being used to ensure that these priority debts are paid.

All other debts are classed as non-priority debts, and this is where your credit card debt is placed. Even though the classification of this debt can seem quite nonchalant, these debts must still be paid off.

I Have No Extra Money to Pay off Debt

This is the position most people find themselves in. They simple do not have the extra or surplus money available to repay their debts, including credit card debt.

Fortunately, there are places which can help with credit card debt and get you back on a good financial path.

Applying For a Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) forms part of an informal agreement between yourself and your creditors. Within this arrangement both parties agree upon a repayment plan that helps repay your credit card debt in regular installments.

You may have to speak to a DMP provider, who will work on your behalf to agree and establish this new arrangement. Some DMP providers will charge you for using this service, so it is important that you do some research around these debt management plan providers before you may any financial commitment to them.

Applying For a Debt Consolidation Loan

Some organizations and individuals advise that you should never have to borrow more money to pay off existing debt. To them you must ask “have you ever been in debt before”?

How you make arrangements in repaying your credit card debt is entirely up to you. You must choose an arrangement that works best for you and your own financial situation.

A debt consolidation loan allows you to repay your existing debt with another, larger loan. This larger loan can bring benefits as well. If you choose to consolidate your existing debt with a larger one, then you may receive a lower interest rate. This is because you have taken out one larger debt compared to several smaller debts spread over different credit card providers.

Much like a debt management plan, it is important to consider everything. You should research debt consolidation companies in full to ensure that they are reputable.

Arranging a Debt Arrangement Scheme

You may be able to set up a debt arrangement scheme with your local authority. These programs help those people who are crippled with debt, from credit card, loans, overdrafts and even priority debts.

Come To Agreements Directly With Creditors

Some of you may be lucky enough to be able to write off some of your credit card debt by speaking with your credit card providers directly.

If you have no extra or surplus cash, and can demonstrate this to them, they could agree to pause interest on your credit card or reduce some of what you owe to them. However, they will come at a cost. Your credit card provider may ask you to refrain from using the card for a period of time, or may close your account so you are unable to use the credit card for the duration that your debt is outstanding.

Bankruptcy

This can be the last point of call for some people, and so it should be. You should never look at declaring yourself bankrupt as a first, second or even third option. Use bankruptcy if there is nowhere else to go and no other solution available to you. Bankruptcy may only be considered if you have a large debt on a credit card or credit cards.

5 Tips for Anyone Struggling to Get a Mortgage

Mortgages are never easy to get, no matter who you are or how good your credit is, because there are no guarantees of approval. While there are certainly things that work in your favor if you’re trying to get approved, that doesn’t mean one lender won’t still find a reason not to give you the mortgage you need to move into your dream home. In this article we’re going to discuss five things you can do to improve your chances of success if you are or have been struggling to get approved.

Sort out your deposit

In the UK, the minimum deposit you can put down on any mortgage is 5pc of the cost of your new home. In every case, the more money you have to put down on a deposit, the better your chances of being approved are. Likewise, the more you put down, the lower your interest rate will be. The less interest you pay, the more money you’ll be saving on the purchase of your home. That savings translates directly into equity. Assuming a home purchase of about £200,000, you’re going to need £10,000 in the bank to show as a deposit. The catch is that your deposit needs to be seasoned – meaning that it has been on deposit for a while. Rather than put in a lump sum and then apply three to six months later, it’s better to deposit it in parts, so that the lender sees you as ‘’saving’ the money – even if it’s a gift from family, or the result of closing out an investment account. Once you meet that 5pc deposit requirement, you can then use government schemes to get equity loans towards your deposit on any new home – sometimes getting as much as 20% equity from the government.

Get a Mortgage

Examine your income and outgoings

Income is another area you’ll need to make sure you’ve got tidy before anyone will approve you for your mortgage. You’ll need to reduce or eliminate almost any extraneous payments for things like credit card bills, car payments, and other things that might make your income look at all stretched. Obviously if you’ve got a great income this won’t be as much of an issue, but if you’re a couple working together, and you’re both earning the average UK income of about £25,000, you’re going to want to look sharp. If you both have car payments and outstanding credit card debts, you’re chances of being approved will drop noticeably. Make sure those items are paid off, or better, have one spouse take on all loans, and completely clear out the loans of the other spouse so that he or she shows no outstanding debts. Just make sure you do that for the spouse with the best credit rating.

Make sure you meet residency requirements

This one is a bit tricky. If you haven’t been a resident of the UK for at least three years, almost no one is going to give you a mortgage. There are a few companies who will consider your application, but you’ll want to search for an independent mortgage adviser  first, who can help you locate lenders that will help you. If you aren’t able to find someone who will lend to you, there are other options, such as seeking a mortgage from a lender based in the country you lived in before moving to the UK. Sometimes they will lend directly to you based on the strength of the UK market and your previous history in the other country. Other times they may have a partnership or arrangement with a lender in the UK that they can use to assist you. If you find that you are still unable to meet the requirement, that’s ok. Just keep saving money so that you have an even larger deposit when you are able to meet the residency requirement.

Fix your credit score

You and your spouse or partner, if you’re married or otherwise attached, will both want to check your financial history with the credit reference agencies. They’ll use these reports to assess your risk and history of repaying previous loan obligations. By checking to see which of you has the best report, you’ll know which one will have the best chance of successfully being approved. In the event you find any mistakes or errors on your report, you’ll want to make sure you get those fixed before applying. Even people with perfect credit can still be turned down, so the less perfect your credit score is, the more likely it is that you’ll be turned down. Just make sure you aren’t ripped off by any of the credit agencies when doing this.

Be prepared if you’re self employed

For those of you who are self-employed, you’ll have more hoops to jump through than the average person. This is because you’ll need to prove your income, which will require showing any prospective lenders your business accounts. You will also have to show them two to three years of tax returns (more is better), and they may even want to see your future business projections. All of this information should be signed off on by your business accountant (this will need to be a chartered accountant). Technically you only need to have the accountant sign off on your business accounts, but by having the accountant sign off on all of your financials you’ll be showing the lender that you’re not flying by the seat of your pants. Having a competent accountant overseeing your business finances goes a long way towards reassuring leery lenders.

By applying the steps above to your unique situation, you can significantly improve your chances of being approved. That approval is quite literally the keys to your new home or flat, and will let you stop paying rent and start paying for your own place. It’s not an easy or simple process, as you’ve no doubt already discovered, but with a little determination and hard work you can make your dream of home ownership come true. Good luck, and remember to thank us in the comments.

Auto Insurance: Tips For Choosing The Right Cover

When it comes to car insurance there is a huge amount of advice and guidance on how to save money. However, the cheapest car insurance deal don’t always offer the best cover. Getting the right cover for you, other drivers and your passengers should be considered of equal importance to cutting costs. Once you have worked out the cover you require, you can then set your mind to searching for the cheapest quotes and negotiating the best deal with insurance companies. Here are some top tips on how to choose the right auto insurance cover for you.

Do you need insurance?

Yes, to drive in this country you must have the mandatory level of coverage. If you are caught driving without the legally required level of cover, you could be subject to a fine, lose your license or have your vehicle impounded. Additionally, if you are sued following a car accident where you damage another person’s property or cause injury or death, you will have to pay the legal costs yourself.

The exact coverage required varies from state to state so you must find out what requirements apply to you. You can do this by contacting your state Insurance Commissioner. Mandatory coverage across the states includes liability insurance. This covers you in incidents mentioned above where you damage someone's property or if someone is hurt or killed. The money goes to the third party, not you or your passengers.
 
Auto Insurance
If you are new to car insurance, you might find the National Association of Insurance Commissioners guide to auto insurance helpful.

Other coverage

Not all states require drivers to have any more than liability insurance, so again you must find out what the rules are in your state. However, depending on your use of the car, the type of car you own and other important factors, sometimes the minimum coverage required in your state will not be enough. Additional cover includes:
  • Personal injury protection – This covers your and your passengers’ medical expenses following an accident. It also covers loss in income arising from your injuries.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This covers the costs if you are hit by someone without insurance or minimal coverage.
  • Collision – This covers expenses for fixing damage to your car following an accident.
  • Comprehensive – This covers costs if your car is stolen, or damaged (not because of an accident but by vandalism, theft, fire, flood, etc.).
What is the right coverage for you?

Here are some things you should consider when thinking about optional cover:
  • Do you really need it? A lot of drivers, especially new drivers, will pay for all the optional coverage on a “just in case” basis. This is a fact that pleases insurance companies. Work out exactly what coverage applies to your situation.
  • Minimum coverage will not always be the cheapest. Often you receive a more comprehensive policy for less money.
  • Experts recommended that you should be covered for an amount equal to the total sum of your assets in order to protect them.
  • Your history of driving and how you use your car will also provide you with guidance on what level of coverage you need. If you have a history of accidents or commute to work every day on dangerous roads, then it might be a good idea to make sure you are well covered.
  • Collision and comprehensive policies are not required in any state. However, it is still important to work out whether you should be covered. For example, if your vehicle is in good condition and you may be a safe driver, you probably don’t need collision cover. However, if you are concerned that your car could be stolen, then comprehensive cover should be taken out.
  • Collision and comprehensive policies are worth having in case you want to fix or repair your vehicle after it is damaged by theft or vandalism or involved in an accident. This type of coverage is based on a deductible (the amount you must contribute before the policy kicks in).
  • To ensure your premiums are kept low, choose a collision policy with the highest deductible that you can afford. With this kind of policy, you should fix minor damage to your vehicle using your own money instead of claiming for every problem. The more claims you make, the higher your premiums will be.
  • If you decide collision and comprehensive insurance are right for you, you may wish to find out if the policy covers damage to or theft of the contents of your vehicle. It is a good idea to also check whether the policy covers windscreen damage and loss or theft of keys. Most policies will include this but sometimes they don’t, so it is worth checking.
  • For collision and comprehensive cover, you should also inquire whether they will provide a courtesy car while your vehicle is being repaired.
  • You may only need to purchase the required minimum of personal injury protection. You may already be paying for this type of insurance via your employer, so there is no need to over pay for personal injury protection.
  • In many states, uninsured motorist coverage is not compulsory. However, it is a good policy to invest in. It protects you and your family even if you are walking, cycling or running at the time of the accident. It is estimated that around 16 percent of drivers in America are underinsured, so this type of coverage could bring you some peace of mind.
Auto Insurance

Now, go get that awesome deal!

Work out how much you can afford and are prepared to pay for your car insurance. Use comparison websites like http://www.freehoustoncarinsurancequotes.com to assist you in shopping  for the best deal. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of each result within your budget carefully to make sure it offers the right coverage.

As mentioned in the introduction to this article, there are many resources online that provide guidance on saving money on your car insurance. Do your homework to make sure you are making use of all the money-saving techniques available.

As well as finding a great deal, finding a policy that offers you adequate cover is also important. We hope that you have found this information helpful in your quest to find out more about auto insurance.

Is It Too Late To Save Money On My Heating This Season?

With the rising cost of utility bills, it makes sense that we try to do what we can to keep these low. It is easy to assume that in order to save money you need to do work well in advance of winter, but that is not the case at all.

Money On My Heating

With winter well upon us, many of us are used to having our heating on as much as possible just to keep warm. This can be expensive and this cost is a worry to many people. However, rather than worry about it too much, use this as an excuse to start making your home more energy efficient.

Using Your Heating In The Right Way

As much as we would all like our heating to be on 24/7 we really don't have the funds to do this. Instead, we need to make the most of our heating, so it works as efficiently as possible. For starters you need to make sure that heat cannot escape the rooms you are trying to keep warm. Draught excluders are a life saver for this! It should go without saying, but making sure that doors are closed as much as possible also helps. During the evenings keep curtains closed too. You basically need to do what you can to keep heating trapped inside rooms.

Invest In New Heating Ideas

It is also worth looking at whether there are investments you can make into new equipment which could help. For example, such as installing a ductless heat pump system. These systems require you to spend an amount to buy them, but this can easily be recouped. They'll save you plenty of money on your heating bills, especially if you look at it long-term over a couple of years.

Upgrading Your Home

There are also upgrades to your home that can help. For example if your windows are quite old then it could be time to change these. You really don't want heat escaping through old window frames or double glazing. It is also worth looking at insulating your home. This involves placing a layer of material through the brickwork in your home and the attic. Think of this as like covering your home with a giant blanket, to help keep the heat inside. 

Save Now For The Future

It goes without saying that some of these changes will take time to put into place. This means that you are really looking to save money for the future rather than this season. However, small changes you can make will make a little dent on your heating bill this year. So use your heating more sensibly this season to try and make a difference now. On top of that you need to start investing in changes to save money on your heating bills in the future. The chances are that the cost of heating is only going to carry on rising, so you need to make changes now to help counteract this.