What To Ask A Debt Collection Agency When You Need Their Help

You allow different businesses to borrow money from you. Since your business started small, you understand their struggle and you want to help them out. While some debtors were willing to pay religiously, some are not. Some debtors will not take your calls, make excuses, or disappear. And because their actions are already a cause for your concern, you decided to hire a debt collection agency to help you in your dilemma. You think that this is a cost-effective decision. While that may be true, do you know what to ask the agency?

Debt Collection

If you can no longer handle the situation you’re in right now, you always have the option to seek professional help. Their services might come with a price, but it will save from the stress of doing everything yourself. Allowing the professionals to do the job on your behalf might even work out for the best. To ensure that you know what to expect and how they can help, here are some of the questions you should ask a debt collection agency.

1.Ask about their business background

First things first: You need to know the background of the debt collection agency you’re working with. If you’re able to finally set an appointment, start the conversation by asking how long they have been in the industry and how many employees they have. All of this information will not only help you determine details about the business, but it can also become a deciding factor of whether the collection agency is legitimate or not.

2.Ask about their working hours

The agency’s availability and working hours are important. If the agency is operating during working nights and weekends, they’ll have better chances of contacting your debtor and accommodating them when the latter makes a payment. Your debtors can no longer use the excuse of not being available to make payments because of time constraints. Remember, the more hours the agency operates within the week, the more likely they’re able to collect debt from your debtors.

3.Ask about the number of clients they have

This question is similar to the question about how long they have been in the industry and how many employees they have. If a company has a large base of clients, it might reflect how good they are. Good word might’ve spread. On the other hand, if they have too many clients, you should ask if they will give you your due attention. As a client, you should be able to see if they’re dedicated enough to handle your case even if they’re dealing with too many clients at once. Although this is a minor issue, asking this question to the agency will give you an idea of how flexible the company is.

4.Ask about their international experience

Not all lenders have debtors internationally, but if you do have one, it might be best to ask the agency about their experience about the process. This is crucial because debt collection laws vary from one country to another and once the collection agency violates any of these, your credibility (given that you were the one who hired them) will be at risk – and you don’t want that to happen. It might be best to work with a collection agency who has partners in different parts of the world so it’ll be easier to collect international debts.

5.Ask about collection rate vs. contingency rate

Don’t let the representatives from the agency snub you by answering one side of this question. When you meet with them for the first time, you should know what their contingency rate is for collecting debt on your behalf. You should also know how they could do the job for you. Don’t settle for an agency which offers the lowest contingency rates but doesn’t solve your problem. Doing this will only waste your time and money.

6.Ask about the frequency of status updates

You've paid for the services of the collection agency that’s why it’s just right that you’d be able to hear from them. When you’re convinced that you finally found the agency for you, close the deal by asking how often can you expect an update from them. Also inquire what should you use to contact them if you have any concerns or questions. Are they available online or do they prefer calls? Are they available to meet with you every week or only when there is a need? Yes, these things matter.

In conclusion

You might be stressed from contacting debtors just to pay you, but you don’t have to put all the responsibility on your shoulders because you can always acquire the services of a debt collection agency. Once you hire one, you can ensure that someone is collecting debts for you while you can focus on other things in your life. But before you can maximize the services a debt collection agency gives you, it’s essential that you also know what to ask them first.

About the writer: Karl Gardner is a writer contributing for debt collection agency firm Nelson, Cooper and Ortiz, LLC. His interest in writing legal topics are evident in his pieces, as he always strives to make sure his pieces are easy to understand and comprehend. Karl likes to play chess during his free time. 

Federal vs. Private Student Loans: What's the Difference?

A large percentage of those who seek higher education require some kind of financial assistance. Among adults age 18-29, nearly 40 percent carry some level of student loan debt. When deciding who to borrow from, the two major categories are federal and private sources. Let’s take a look at how each one answers common borrower questions.

Who Funds the Loan?

If you take out a federal student loan, you borrow from the government. Private loans are funded by banks, credit unions, state agencies, schools, and other private financial institutions.

Which One Has Lower Interest Rates?

In general, federal student loans have lower interest rates. For example, Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loans for undergraduates currently have a 4.45% interest rate. However, some federal student loans may have higher interest rates, such as Direct PLUS Loans* that come with a 7% rate. Also, the government charges an upfront fee on PLUS loans of nearly 4.3%, which can push the annual percentage rate (APR) on those loans up by nearly 1 percentage point.. 

Student Loans

The interest rates for private sources varies from lender to lender. However, competition tends to drive interest rates down.

*Direct PLUS loans are offered to graduate and professional students, and parents of undergraduate students. People typically take out these loans when they’ve maxed out other sources of federal financial aid.

What Are The Borrowing Limits?

Each school determines the federal loan types they choose to offer to their students. The school might also set limits on loan amount eligibility. Plus, your tax status influences the amount you can borrow. For example, for first-year undergraduates the loan limits are:
  • $5,500 for dependent students
  • $9,500 for independent students
Private lender loan limits vary from lender to lender and may also depend on your financial profile or credit score. Most private lenders will limit total borrowing to your school’s certified cost of attendance minus other financial aid received -- the rule that applies to PLUS loans. .

Are Interest Rates Fixed or Variable?

Once they’re issued, rates on all federal loans, are fixed for life. Most private lenders offer a choice between fixed and variable interest rates. If you choose a fixed rate, the rate might be higher, but you don’t have to worry about rate changes during the life of the loan.

Can I Apply For Loans Online?

The Federal Student Aid website offers in-depth information on federal loans and other sources of student aid. You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out what aid you’re eligible for. 

If you want to compare rates between multiple private lenders, your best bet is a multi-lender marketplace. After answering a few questions about yourself, a marketplace lets you see actual rates from lenders you are prequalified with. This is the fastest way to connect with many lenders at once and see actual rates based on your unique characteristics.

When Do I Have To Start Paying Off My Loan?

If you’re an undergraduate with financial need, you may qualify for a subsidized loan. This means the government pays the interest while you are in school on at least a half-time basis. You also have a grace period for up to six months after you graduate before you have to start paying off your federal student loan.

Interest on private student loans and unsubsidized federal loans starts accruing as soon as you take a loan out. Some private lenders also offer a grace period that allows yout to defer payments for up to six months after you graduate or leave school. Whether you have a private loan or an unsubsidized federal loan,  interest will continue to accrue during the grace period. 

Do Lenders Require a Credit Check?

To qualify for most federal student loans, no credit check is required. The only exception is Direct PLUS loans which do require a credit check, regardless of whether the the borrower is a parent or graduate student. But instead of looking at your credit score, the government simply checks to make sure you don’t have any “adverse credit history,” such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or bills in default.. 

All private lenders require a credit check before approving a loan. Leveraging a multi-lender marketplace, however, makes sure your credit score is not affected by the inquiry process.

Do I Need a Cosigner for the Loan?

In most cases, you don’t need a cosigner to qualify for federal student aid. Most private loans are cosigned, although each lender sets its own requirements. 

Bricks And Mortar: The Ultimate Long Term Investment

The old adage that property is as safe as houses in terms of investment potential is as true today as it was thirty years ago. While the days of purchasing a property and merely sitting on it and doing nothing while you wait for the market to rise naturally are long gone, there are still plenty of ways that you can outperform the market and maximize your investment. While the early noughties saw an emergence of would-be property developers and investors, this sideline has now become a little more muted as the housing market isn’t as wildly attractive as it was fifteen years ago. However, if you have a nest egg that’s languishing in a savings account, you should consider bricks and mortar as a way of making your money work more aggressively for you.

Long Term

While you could choose to flip a property by purchasing the worst house on the best street for the right money, budgeting for a scheme of renovation works and then relisting within three months and selling at a profit, this can be hard to achieve if you already have a full-time job. Instead, many people see property as a long-term investment and a way of setting themselves up for a more prosperous retirement.

property

You need to scour the property pages and source a dwelling that will attract young professionals looking to rent. Source a pad close to good transport links, surrounded by cafes, bars and shops, in the thick of things and in a salubrious area. Head to those vicinities that are already established, like those suggested at https://www.forbes.com/sites/ingowinzer/2016/07/29/, to be sure of a healthy return.

The Sums

It’s vital that the rent that you charge each month covers your mortgage repayments. This way, the tenant is effectively paying your home loan, and you can hold onto your asset as you watch it increase in value. You still need to ensure that you can afford to cover the mortgage for at least three months, just in case your property is unoccupied for any reason. An investment should never put your financial buoyancy at risk. If you can realize a 7% rental yield, you have yourself an effective little investment that will tick over for a decade or more. Many novice landlords keep hold of their pads until the mortgage is paid off and the rental payment each month becomes another income. Others sell when they have built up enough equity within the property to reinvest for their twilight years.

Your Responsibilities As a Landlord

While you reap the rewards of letting out your dwelling, you also need to be aware of your responsibilities. You could choose to go it alone and be the first point of contact for your tenant should there be a leaky washing machine, a hole in the roof or a faulty boiler. In this case, you need to sort out the issues immediately whether you are handy with a wrench or not. Alternatively, you could take a look at a site like https://carispropertymanagement.com/property-management/los-angeles-metro-area/culver-city/ and allow a property management firm to handle the nitty-gritty issues of your rental. They can screen your tenant, fix any maintenance problems and recover your rental payments each month, making this a hugely convenient service.

Becoming a landlord isn’t as easy as it may first appear. However, by selecting your property purchase wisely and ensuring your calculations stack up, you could be investing in the ideal long-term property venture.

Foreign exchange: what entrepreneurs need to know about currencies

Exchange rate changes may have a significant impact on a country's economy. If a nation's currency is upgraded, the price rises as a consequence. If there is a devaluation, the currency's price in the foreign exchange market drops.

What happens in the course of an appreciation?

Appreciation of a currency is good for import, but bad for domestic tourism and export. In the revaluation, it comes to increasing the monetary value of the country.

forex

But what would an increase in the value of money mean for a nation's companies? Exports will become more expensive, foreign tourists would need to dig deeper, but imports will become cheaper. If one dollar costs one euro, for example, with the euro revalued by 20 per cent, the euro would subsequently cost $1.20.

Let's take Germany as an example. The American importer will now have to pay $20 more if he buys goods worth of  $100 from Germany. In the same breath, imports will become cheaper. So if goods in the US cost $100, the German entrepreneur would have to pay only $83.33.

Due to the fact that commodities are all traded in US dollars,  consumers can also look forward to cheaper prices.

The devaluation

Currency devaluation is bad for imports, but good for tourism and exports. A devaluation occurs when a nation's currency loses value compared to foreign currency. Importers will have to pay higher prices, while exporters will save money. This is exactly opposite to what happens during appreciation.

For example, let's say the euro was currently trading at $1.20. If the same goods were to cost $100, it would now cost $120 because of devaluation. If parity is reached due to devaluation, the goods would continue to cost $100.

However, import costs are rising. Exporters can look forward to sales increases but importers must expect sales losses at the same time.

The key interest rate also has an impact

The so-called exchange rate systems also play a key role. Due to the fact that currencies are traded on the foreign exchange market, the supply and demand principle applies. If supply exceeds demand, the exchange rate will fall. However, if demand is greater, the value of the currency will rise. As a rule, the players are major international investors: institutional investors, insurance companies, major banks and private investors.

Sometimes Central Banks can also influence currencies. Changes in the key interest rate can impact a nation's currency. The level of the prime rate is the fee that banks have to pay when they ask the central bank for money.

If the key interest rate is high, banks hesitate. After all, they have to charge consumers even higher interest rates, so that the bank can earn some of the credit. High interest rates can thus prevent high inflation.

What will be the Top Forex Broker in 2018 in India and the Rest of The World?

Are you interested in Forex trading to make some quick profits? If so, let us remind you that choosing the best Forex broker to get started with, is essential. Although a Forex trader is assumed to have some previous knowledge and experience of the industry, still a good Forex broker can make a difference. It becomes even more crucial if you are inexperienced. 

There are various factors that you need to look before you can actually come up with a decision as what broker you should go for. However, this can be a hectic task to do. Today, we have enlisted top Forex brokers of Developing countries, including India, so you can join them with full confidence and make your way earning profits.

India Chooses World’s Top Forex Broker of in 2018

It’s also a fact, that many Indian Stock and Forex traders start working with Top FX Brokers - world leaders of Forex Industry in 2018. This fact shows that many well-known brands perform really well in conquering the market of Indian Forex players. Top Forex companies, such as XM.com are fighting for the Market and it seems that they are reaching some success.

Forex Broker

We’ve collected a list of trusted brands that have a chance to become Indian and World’s Leaders of Forex trading industry. Please note that the list is compiled after screening below mentioned Forex brokers through a rigorous selection criteria. 

Should XM be Ranked as the Best FX Broker for 2018

XM is one of the best Forex brokers around the world and especially - India offering its clients to trade multiple trading assets including Forex, metals, stocks, induces, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and CFDs. The broker was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Belize. The broker is fully authorized and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and from Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in Cyprus. The broker is well-known for offering world’s most reputable trading platforms such Mt4 multi-terminal and MT5. The broker also offers a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options to its customers along with excellent customer support round the clock. Other important features of the brokers include low spreads starting from 0.0 pips and high leverages of up to 1:888. The broker also offers a bonus reward up to $500 to its clients.

FXTM – The Second Top Rated Broker for 2018

FXTM is also another award-winning Asian and Indian broker that offers its clients to trade more than 250 tradeable instruments. The broker was established in 2009 and is recently relocated to Cyprus. The broker has multiple regulations from different regulatory bodies across the globe including IFSC and SEBI. Considering the security of clients’ funds, the broker holds its client’s investment in segregated bank accounts. The broker offers competitive spreads ranging from 0.1-1.3 pips along with generous leverages of up to 1:1000. The minimum deposit to open an account at FXTM starts from $5 only. There are various methods available for deposit and withdrawals at FXTM including Skrill, Debit card, Credit card, Fast Bank Transfers, Web money etc. The broker also offers a referral bonus to its clients for referring a customer to them. 

Plus500 Rises to the Third Position in Topbrokers.com Listing

Plus500 is an online Forex broker offering cutting edge trading services to its clients all around the world . The broker offers a wide range of tradable instruments. However, the leverage offered by the broker is cooperatively low i-e 1:300. The broker was formed in 2008. It is regulated by the world’s most reputable regulatory bodies including ASIC and FCA. Plus500 is known to be an NDD broker. The minimum balance requirement to open an account at Plus500 is just $100. The broker also offers a demo account to its clients so they can practice their trading skills without putting their real investment on a stake. The broker offers excellent multilingual customer services to its clients. Traders can deposit and withdraw funds using multiple methods available At Plus500.  

EToro: EToro is another popular name in the world of Forex trading. It is a multi-purpose trading platform that doesn’t offer only brokerage services but also acts a social trading platform enabling its clients to copy trades of other professional traders. It’s almost been a decade since the broker was formed i-e 2007.The broker is fully regulated by Financial Conduct Authority and Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission under license number FRN 583263 and 109/10 respectively. The broker offers a great deal of security to its clients’ funds and holds all investment from clients in isolated bank accounts. The minimum deposit at EToro is $50. The broker offers its clients state of the art trading platform with an additional feature of copy trader. The customer support team at EToro is very friendly and responsive.

Avatrade: Avatrade is one of the oldest online Forex brokers offering its clients to trade in stock, Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, metals, and CFDs. The broker was incorporated in 2006. The broker’s head office is in Ireland. It is fully authorized and regulated by Australian Securities and Investment Commission as well as Central Bank of Ireland – CBI.  The broker doesn’t limit its services to a specific region or class, it takes into accounts the needs of all stakeholders. It also offers swap free account for Muslim traders. Traders can get started with Avatrade by depositing $100 only. It offers completive spread with a leverage of 1:400. There are multiple methods available to deposit and withdraw funds at Avatrade including payment through cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, web money and other local payment methods. 

Final Words for Indian traders

In the last, we would like to suggest traders that they should focus on developing their trading skills more than looking for best Forex broker around in India. No doubt, a good Forex broker plays a vital role in the success of a trader, however, you must not forget that brokers are meant to earn profits and not to serve a social cause. They still might trick you sometime, therefore, it is pertinent for you to learn different trading tips and tricks so you can stay independent, safe and financially sound.

Top Things You Need To Think About when Investing in a Luxury Property

When you are searching for a property, you may find it difficult to know if you have found the right one or even if you can afford it. At other times, you may think that you have found the home of your dreams, but in either situation, you won’t want to rush into things and you won’t want to push a sale that you are not quite ready for yet either.

Financial Advisor

One of the best things that you can do is go through a financial advisor to see if they can give you some help as to how much you can afford and even what type of mortgage you need as well. You need to remember that a lot of additional charges will come up during the buying process and you also have to worry about the survey fee, any home insurance that you have to take out and furnishing as well. All of this can put a serious dent in your budget and it can also make it very hard for you to make the best decision.

Luxury Property

Your Credit

Before you do go to your advisor, you need to assess your own personal credit file and you also need to address any issues as well. If there are missed payments or if there are any late notices then this will really go against you and it will also have a huge impact on your mortgage. It’s very important for you to have a good credit history and you also need to try and predict any financial problems that could go against you and your property in the future as well. This includes being overdrawn at the bank and it also includes being on maternity leave as well. The last thing you’ll want is to go for your dream home, only to find that small things are going against you.

Research

When you buy a more expensive home, or when you buy a luxury home, you may find that you have to pay way more for your insurance when compared. This is because the cost to rebuild the house will be much more when compared to the cost of a standard property, so this is something that you have to keep in mind. Luxury homeowner’s insurance is ideal here because it means that you get your property covered and it also means that all of your belongings are covered as well. It does help to look into the cost of the property before you do this, and how much it will cost to insure so you have a good idea of the expense.

Priorities

Lastly, you need to take a look at your priorities and you also need to try and find out what location is best for you. For example, do you need to be close to your work? The local bus routes? Do you drive? If you don’t then you may want to be close to the town centre or any other shops as this will save you from running into a lot of issues at a later date.

Banks Aren't The Only Ones Who Do Loans

Even now, a decade after the major mess of an economic collapse, getting a loan from a bank can be incredibly tough. However, it is worth noting you should rarely take this personally and just accept there are so many criteria the banks require these days. They don’t like it when credit is left unused, they don’t like it if you're starting a new business, they don’t like lending when a record is diverse and they don’t like lending to people that have an unsteady flow of cash, no matter how much they make. Basically, they like playing their loans safe. It’s as frustrating as it is real. 

loans

The question still remains, though: what can you do if you’ve been refused a bank loan? 

Well, first things first, don’t despair or give up just yet because we have a few alternatives that are well worth you exploring. 

1. Peer-To-Peer Lending

This is one of those ideas that has taken off with more gusto than a SpaceX rocket and has fast become the most celebrated form of non-bank finance. Essentially, the way it works is through online platforms that match people’s needs with private investors who then collectively lend the money. The reason this has become more popular than Bernie Sanders is you are getting better returns than any savings account and offering borrowers better interest rates, which means they’re more likely to succeed too. Winner. 

2. Forget About Traditions

Just because you need a line of credit does not mean you have to go to the bank. A quick pit stop at somewhere like UnsecuredFinanceAustralia.com.au today and you’ll find there are institutions out there that are much more open-minded about who they lend too and that’s because they treat each request on a case by case basis. This means they are much more likely to lend unsecured loans because they don’t just look at backgrounds, they look at future potential too, which is why they have such high approval ratings. 

3. Merchant Cash Advance

Talking of unsecured loans, there has been a sharp rise in Merchant Cash Advances within the alternative lending sectors. The reason for this rise is because banks don’t like lending to businesses that have card terminals. There are just too many risks for them - rented premises, hired equipment, seasonal fluctuations in revenue etc. That’s where merchant cash advances solve this issue. They base their loans on recent card transactions and then request repayments are made as a percentage of future takings. One thing a lot of people like about this option is how painless it feels. It’s like having your taxes taken out of your paycheck instead of you having to pay them yourself. 

Of course, these aren’t the only lending trends to have cropped up in recent times as a result of stringent bank requirements. There are also things like micro-lending, factoring, credit and charge cards, supplier credit agreements, revolving credit facilities and purchase order financing. So, if you do find yourself getting turned away by the revolving door of your bank, don’t panic. There are plenty of other options, friendlier ones, that are well worth you approaching.

10 Steps To Taking Better Control Of Your Business Finances

Every business owner want to make sure that their company makes money. It’s the sole purpose for setting up. Okay, so a lot of entrepreneurs will begin with a passion or an idea that they really love. But more often than not, they’re pursuing it to make money, or to change their lives. So it’s always going to be important for the business to actually make some money. It’s easy to assume that as soon as you get going, you will make money. But it’s not necessarily the case. Because business finances can be incredibly tough. You have to put in a lot of time, effort, and hard work - and it can feel quite soul destroying.

business finances

But, when things start to pay off, it’s always worth it. You just have to get yourself and your business to that stage. Which again, isn’t always easy. But with a lot of determination and hard work, it will happen. Taking control of your business finances can be tough when you’re not on track, but it’s not impossible. And you can often really turn your business around by doing this. You just have to know how.

So whether you’re currently in a bit of a financial mess, or you want to work on improving your business financial process for the better, let’s take a look at 10 different ways to can take better control of your finances.

1. Be Transparent

The very first thing that any business will need to do, no matter their situation, is learning to be a bit more transparent. If you’re ignoring the problem, then it will only ever get worse. Or maybe you don’t really know how bad it is, because you’ve never looked into it? Either way, you won’t be able to move forward until you get under your finances and really get to know the situation. Being honest with yourself about your business finances is the first step to being able to control them.

2. Budget Better

Next, you’re then going to want to start to budget a bit better. This won’t always be the case, but when you’re having financial issues, you may find that it’s because you’ve not budgeted well. Either you’re not making enough money, or you’re spending too much (or sometimes, a combination of the both). So by finding your feet with a better budget, you’ll start to gain back control.

3. Work On Your Margins

Another really key idea that can help you here involves your profit margins. You’ll often find that when there’s not enough profit in something, whether it’s a service you offer or a product that you sell, it’s not viable. And your business has to be viable in order to keep going. So, you need to improve your margins by considering some of the options mentioned in this article to turn your current situation around.

4. Cut Your Expenses

The principles of a profitable business are simple. You earn more money than you spend. So if you find that your financial issues are down to what goes out, then you’ll want to work on that. If your business is overspending and it’s getting you deeper and deeper into financial difficulties month after month, you’re going to need to cut your expenses. Simple!

5. Find Cheaper Alternatives

One way to cover off the last point, and just to shake up your financials altogether, is to look for cheaper alternatives in the business world. Because it’s a no-brainer that if you’re paying over the odds for things, it will have an impact on your finances. Sometimes, this will mean finding new suppliers or products so that you can produce your product or services at a more favorable price. Sometimes this will mean that you need to outsource because it’s cheaper. Either way, cheaper alternatives can often work in your favor financially.

6. Utilizing Equity

Then, you’ve always going to option of working with equity. Sometimes, you’ll want to read up, using this webpage, about equipment loans and equipment financing to see what financial options you have. Sometimes you may want to release equity or sell what you have, to free up cash too.

7. Hiring An Accountant

If you’re really struggling to make a difference to your business finances by yourself, then you may need some help. Maybe you’re not skilled when it comes to numbers? Or you’ve tried some of the previous points already and you’re just not getting anywhere? Well one option you have for help with working with an accountant. They might be able to help your situation by taking control of your books and giving you the invaluable advice you need to get your finances back on track again.

8. Working With A Consultant

But they’re not all. You may find that an accountant can deal with your books, but that’s it. If they’re not really making a difference to your business altogether, then maybe a business consultant is the best way to go. When you work with a consultant, they’ll be able to look at your business as a whole, and help you to do damage control. Sometimes, bringing in an outside perspective is what you need to be able to iron out the issues.

9. Working On Your Sales

Although it’s not something that is directly to do with your finances, it very much impacts them. Because maybe the issue is just that you’re not making enough money. And to do that, you need to bring in more money. And, you’ve guessed it, this will always involve working on your sales processes. So maybe you need to really hone in on your sales tactics to see if this makes a difference.

10. Set Up Systems

Finally, you may also find that starting to implement the right systems will work out best. Because business finances can be complex - and certainly stressful. So when you’re able to set up a system that will simplify this, especially if you’ve started to gain back control, you should find that this keeps you on track going forward.

Four Ways Property Could Boost Your Finances

Property is something that people can really make a fair bit of money from. So much so, that people choose to leave retirement funds or savings for the future down to property and not in things like pensions or standard savings. However, there are more ways to make money from property than just buying and selling the one you live in. I wanted to share with you four ways property could boost your finances. 

Property

Renting out property for a monthly income

Buying a property that you have the intention of renting out can actually be a very lucrative investment to make. The beauty of this sort of investment is that you not only get the long term option of making money, as property values do tend to stabilise or increase, but you also get the benefit of a monthly rent. Once your have taken into account any mortgage commitments and fees, the difference left is a great profit to bank, that you could either save or put towards any future investment of rental properties. However, you do need to take into account that you have to commit yourself financially. 

Building your very own dream home

Maybe you like the idea of building a home, and this can be a real great investment, albeit a more long term option to consider. Of course, you need to find the right piece of land in the right area, and then you may need to think about hiring an award winning architecture firm to draw up the right plans taking into account your ideas and vision. The materials you use and the the things to think about in regards to floor plan could end up seeing you make a very nice profit once the house is built. Of course, this could then be something you live in and not benefit from for a while, or selling right away could see your recuperate costs and make some money. 

Renovating a house

Similarly, you could consider buying a home that is run down, and renovating it bringing it back up to modern standards. Homes that require renovation do tend to go for a cheaper price, and then budgeting with what you spend on it once completed could see you really make a tidy sum. This could be something that you do every year or as often as you can and banking the profits could help fund the future far more lucrative than perhaps a pension or savings could. 

Renting rooms or taking advantage of holiday lets

Finally, have you ever considered renting out a room in your home, or even thinking about renting out your current property as a holiday let? Thanks to websites like Airbnb you can do this very easily. This works well if you live in a desirable spot, perhaps in the quaint countryside or close to the beach. 

I hope that this has given you some inspiration as to how property could really boost your financial situation, for now or for the future.

Use Tech To Lend Credibility To Your Business

When you have a business, you need to make sure that it is perceived as being credible and professional. If you don’t achieve this, then it can mean that you are much less likely to see the kind of success you are dreaming of, and you can find it hard to bring in customers and clients alike too. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to lend credibility to your business, no matter how inexperienced you are or how young the business is in comparison to some of your rivals. There are many pieces of technology which can in particular help you to give your business more credibility, and it is worth looking into what those are now to give you the best head start possible. Consider using these pieces of tech to give your business a lot more credibility.

technology

Use A Virtual Address

One of the main things that people look to for signs of credibility is the address of a business. If your business address is one which appears to be the address of a respectable and reputable area, then it will have a surprisingly positive and enduring effect on the business. You will be more likely to gain customers and clients, keep partners happy by virtue of association with yourself, and gain more trust from those who are coming across your business for the first time. If you are not happy with your actual address, you can use a service like physicaladdress.com to improve the appearance of your address. This will make a huge difference, and it will be easy to set up and manage too.

Go For The Best Word Processor

You might be surprised at what a difference it can make to use the right kind of word processing software in your business. How your letters appear to others is a huge factor in how professional your business looks, and most of that can be achieved by simply using the best possible word processor. With the right word processor, you can include a letterhead on your letters which is consistent and professional, and also ensure that the overall look of the letters is professional too. This can make a huge difference when you are contacting someone, so it is definitely worth looking into. Take a peek at https://www.thebalance.com/free-online-word-processors-1356661 for more on choosing the right word processor for your business.

design

Answer The Phone Just Right

How’s your phone manner? No matter how good it is, you might find it beneficial to use a professional phone answering service, as this is proven to be one of the best ways to improve the public perception of your business. Adding credibility to your business can always be hard, but if you use a virtual service for answering the phones you can be sure that your customers will find it a much better experience. This helps add credibility and keep your customers happy at all times, so it is worth looking into this at your earliest convenience. This is one of the easiest ways to give your business a little more credibility on the whole.

Injured and Unable to Work, What to Do

After an accident, you struggle with therapy, sufferance, and pain. And, to add more to this trouble, you have your email and mailbox full of medical bills that need to be cleared. If you’ve been out of office for some time now, you can deal with financial issues, caused by no paychecks coming from your employer.

injured

When you’ve been injured and can’t work, you have the right to claim for benefits to cover your expenses during recovery. How much you receive depends on your age, contract, wage and the numbers of worked hours previous to the incident. 

But, claiming lost wages is hard work, because details are hidden in complex text laws and contracts. Furthermore, regulations on compensation coverage vary with the state. You need to dig into your contract to see what benefits are available for you and whether you’re eligible, based on your injuries. Then, you must fill out applications and wait for answers from your employer.

If you had an incident not work connected, you can still claim to recover missed wages and earnings opportunities. Let’s take a closer look.

Workers Compensation 

In all states, employers must have a workers compensation policy for workplace injury and illness. Even better, in most cases, workers can benefit from insurance even in the situation in which their negligence has contributed to the injury. 

In most states, this type of insurance includes medical coverage, disability benefits, rehabilitation, and death. You also get two-thirds of your usual pay weekly, until you recover. 

workers compensation

Medical Coverage - normally, it’s unlimited. Here you can include all your medical bills:
  • Doctor visits;
  • Medical diagnostic tests;
  • Hospital and nursing care;
  • Medications;
  • Physical therapy.
Disability Benefits - you can get a partial reimbursement of your wage, for the period in which you are temporarily or permanently disable. The percentage of wage you receive varies from one state to another. 

Rehabilitation - also called vocational rehabilitation benefits, they’re meant to help you return to work.  You have the right to paid training if you have to change occupation due to injury.  Sometimes the insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of your training, as amounts vary with the provider.

Death Benefits - for people who get killed on the job, the provider pays benefits to the surviving partner and minor children. 

What If the Injury Didn’t Occur on the Job?

At first, call your employer and explain your current situation. Make sure you mention all important details - how long you’ll be missing, what doctors say about your future abilities, whether you’ll be able to restart your normal tasks. 

For the sick leaves and paid leaves you have available, you should receive your regular paycheck. Then you have the right to unpaid, job-protected leave. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you can benefit from up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave. It’s not going to pay your bills, but it keeps your job in the long run. 

Your health insurance should cover medical care, but what about the other expenses? In these cases, your options are limited. And, it’s wise to ask for professional help from an injury lawyer. Anyway, it’s important to know that you still have the right to receive compensations for the time you aren’t able to work. 

At www.ohiovalleypilawyers.com, you can consult a personal injury attorney who can help you understand how to recover lost wages. This way, you can determine who’s liable and what documents you need to claim to recover the lost money. 

Normally, you should be able to prove:
  • How your injuries kept you from working - with documentation from your doctors 
  • How much money you would have made during the time in which you weren’t able to work - with information from the HR department mentioning your wage and the number of missed hours. 
If you’re self-employed, you can recover your lost money if you manage to prove your average income prior to the incident.

What about Social Security Disability Benefits?

If your medical condition keeps you away from work for more than a year, you can try to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If you’re eligible, then you get compensations for not being able to work. Amounts vary based on your previous contributions. You can ask for these benefits only if you’ve paid Social Security taxes on your wage and you have enough working credits. 

social security

When applying, you must make sure you have all documents up to date, to prove the fact that you’re unable to perform working activities - if you can have a different occupation, you don’t qualify. 

An alternative to Social Security Disability Insurance is the ERISA insurance. Depending on the state of residence and company you work for, you can benefit from a private insurance that can cover between 50 and 80 percent of your monthly salary until you can go back to work. Discuss options with your HR manager and, if you’re eligible, file a claim. 

The Takeaway 

Being injured and unable to work doesn’t mean bankruptcy. You have the right to recover wages and lost money. Every situation has its particularities, but in most cases, it’s a matter of justice and responsibility. The person or organization that caused your losses and pain must pay you compensations.

Avoiding the Risky Business of Real Estate

A lot of people start plans to invest in real estate because they are under the impression that they are onto a winner. And it’s not much of a surprise when you consider the huge rise in house and commercial properties over the past few decades. But as the last financial crisis taught us, there is no such thing as a guarantee when you invest in real estate. And there are plenty of issues that you must watch out for if you want your investment to end up growing rather than shrinking. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know. 

real estate

It’s mostly about you.

First of all, it’s important to understand that your success in real estate investment is largely down to you. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to do your homework, learn the market and ensure you don’t buy a duff property that could ruin you financially. And if you are negligent as an investor, not only can it cost you a fortune, but it can also result in you ending up in serious hot water. So, as to whether or not real estate is a risk - it’s all on you

Get the homework done.

OK, so let’s move onto the practical things you can do to make sure that your investment is a low risk rather than high risk. As we discussed above, your first goal is to hit the books about property, find out about how the markets work, and even get in touch with other local property buyers and speak to them about your goals. Seriously, it’s well worth your time and will help you avoid some costly mistakes. There are classes out there in virtually every town - or online, of course. And the more you educate yourself, the more chance you have of success. And if you have the money available to buy a property or two, there should be nothing stopping you from investing in your personal education, either. 

Go it alone or build a team?

Serious property investors aren’t just guys or girls that make it alone. They have teams of people behind them and buying that kind of expertise lessons your risk significantly. You might need a team of Realtors on hand to help you find a suitable property. You will need to know home inspectors to ensure you aren’t buying a dud. And you will also need to build up close relationships with lenders, contractors, mortgage brokers, and construction teams if you want to taste any kind of success. And vetting these people will make a big difference, too. Get recommendations from friends and family, hold interviews, and also do your own homework to ensure you know a good company from the cowboys. 

real estate investment

Can you actually do this?

Before spending a cent on your property project, be realistic with yourself. As pointed out over at https://www.vystal.com.au, there are many areas of real estate investment that will be critical to your success, and you have to remember that the best property investors sometimes work on their portfolios full-time. Is this something you could do? Do you have the nose for a bargain, or the chops to go into a run-down property and fix it up? Can you manage people? If not, think carefully about diving into a project of this scope, or you will end up spending money in the wrong places and increasing your risk of failure. There are some ways out if you really don’t have the skills to do everything alone, of course - hiring a project manager, for example. But when you are just getting started, you ‘ll need to go through the financial side of things with a fine tooth comb to ensure you can afford it.

Do you know the market?

Location is everything when you are getting into property - no matter whether it’s a holiday home, a business building, or residential real estate. And nothing is more vital than understanding the local market before buying a new slice of the pie. You have to be diligent - particularly when just starting out. And while the dream of any real estate investor is to buy at a knockdown price and sell for a considerable profit, the reality is that these kind of sales are few and far between, especially when you are a beginner. So, get to know the market of the area you are buying in. Investigate local state development plans to spot public investment in particular areas, to make sure that you can buy cheap and sell for a profit. And be careful not to over-leverage - be responsible with every purchase and ensure you can survive if anything goes wrong. Which brings us nicely to our next point…

Only invest what you can afford to lose.

As with any other investment, it’s vital that you can afford to lose the money you spend - completely. You will need a strong income when entering the field, for a start - perhaps working full-time while your new investment career takes off. And you should also have considerable savings behind you - at least enough to last you for six months in the event you were to lose your job. Like it or not, real estate investment is something of a rich person’s game, and it’s vital you have a large, comfortable cushion to fall back on if the market tanks and your property or properties start to lose value. 

Know your tenants

Finally, as discussed at https://www.crowdstreet.com/, you need to have a good idea of the type of tenants you want to attract - because they are a huge risk. A non-payer, for example, can end up costing you a small fortune - you’ll have to pay for your entire mortgage and might even need to pay fees to try and evict them. Look at creditworthiness, check their capability of paying a regular rent, and give them a full interview to find out if they are suitable for the property. You don’t have to accept anyone as a tenant, but once they move in it can be difficult to move them on if you decide you don’t like them. 

Good luck - and make sure you limit your risk!

Why Banks Fear Bitcoin

When you receive money, you usually either spend it directly or deposit it into your bank account. Using your money, banks offer loans to other customers or invest in the markets. The system normally works to everyone’s advantage, but financial institutions occasionally go bankrupt, and it’s possible that you could lose your money. 

The most recent example of this occurred during the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. When a government does not have sufficient income to cover its expenses, it can ask its central bank to print more money. However, this means that the purchasing power of the national currency is reduced, as the money already in circulation is effectively devalued.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin originated from this crisis and was born out of the belief that people should have access to an alternative financial system and a currency that is neither created nor controlled by any government or central bank. Bitcoin thus became the world’s first cryptocurrency. With a promised maximum of 21 million coins and almost 17 million coins already created, the value of Bitcoin depends entirely on market forces: basic supply and demand. 

The idea behind a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is that there is no third party involved to verify and validate a transaction: users can transfer money directly between one another. The traditional process, of course, is not instantaneous: it takes a couple of days and often incurs high fees. This is why banks fear the success of Bitcoin - it could become the currency of the future, free of the influence of governments and banks, enabling rapid, inexpensive, direct and private transfers. 

The anonymity at the heart of Bitcoin’s appeal is another major issue for banks, since they can’t keep an eye on how clients use their accounts, which kind of transactions they make and with whom. On the distributed public ledger where all Bitcoin transactions are freely available, even though everyone can see the transactions themselves, there is no private data to display. 

New cryptocurrencies are being launched all the time, with over a thousand blockchain-based altcoins now available to trade, and millions of investors around the world now wanting to take part in this monetary revolution. International cryptocurrency brokers offer the opportunity to invest in the most popular coins, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Iota, Ripple, and Litecoin. Bitcoin trading platform UFX is one of the most highly regarded across the online trading industry, since it offers some of the most advanced tool and charts, as well as highly favourable trading terms.

Learn How to Save Money when Hiring a Lawyer

You might not need a lawyer during ordinary days. If you are a business owner or you plan to buy a property, hiring a lawyer is imperative. 

Here’s the thing: legal fees can be expensive. In fact, the average annual salary for lawyers is at $118,000 or approximately $9,847 per month – and it is increasing every year. 

law

Still, don’t be intimidated by those figures, especially the up to $450 per hour rate. There are still many ways you can save money when hiring a lawyer and here’s what you need to do:

Choose your lawyer wisely

Just because you need them, it doesn’t mean that you can’t choose them. To save on legal fees, make sure you go for a lawyer that not only specializes on your case but also understands your cause and someone you are comfortable dealing with. You can also go for lawyers who are solo practitioners or belong to a smaller firm since they charge less compared to those who are part of big firms. Ask for recommendations as well since this could also help lower the fees.

To help you better, you may visit gemancriminaldefense.com to find a defense lawyer to find the best fit for you. 

Discuss and negotiate 

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about fees, especially during the initial interview, which is usually free. You need to know what you are paying for, the lawyer’s billing practices, inclusions and exclusions, and payment scheme among many others. This will give you an idea on whether the person you are hiring for legal services is fit to your budget. 

Then, go ahead and negotiate. If you want to save money when hiring a lawyer, don’t just accept the lawyer’s proposition, especially for hourly rates. Instead, offer alternatives, compromise, and be honest about your budget. You can also examine the case and see if attorney’s fees can be awarded since this will save you money as well. 

Limit phone calls and emails

This is applicable if you agreed on hourly payment scheme. Keep in mind that “time is money,” which means every minute spent answering your calls and messages equate to costs that you have to pay. 

If you want to save more, make sure you provide all the necessary information needed in your case, including documents, timeline, and narratives, as early as possible. The more informed your lawyer is, the easier for him to devise strategies to help you win your case. 

Schedule meetings to keep you updated as well. During meetings, make sure it is meaningful, relevant, and related to the case matter. This way, you don’t have to be billed for the hour you spent talking about something that is not related to the case.  

Help your lawyer to lower your costs 

Your lawyer knows the law, but this doesn’t mean you cannot help. You can do some things to help your lawyer such as making necessary phone calls, delivering needed documents, or even doing factual investigation. It could be tiring on your part, but if your lawyer agrees, you can save a big amount. 

Consider contingency fee agreement

This is ideal for cases involving sexual harassment, negligence, physical injury, wrongful termination, and racial discrimination. 

Under the contingency fee agreement, the lawyer will work on your case without charge unless you win. Once there is judgment, your lawyer will take a percentage from the award, which is often pegged at 33 percent. 

Contingency fee sounds appealing, but be careful on other fees associated to your case. You might be asked to pay for filing fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses, which are not covered by the agreement. Ask about these fees first and then negotiate the terms of payment. 

billing

Respond quickly

You can negotiate all you want, but do you really want to know how you can lower your costs? Make sure you work closely and cooperatively with your lawyer. 

What you can do is to stay involved in the case as much as you can. Your lawyer should consult you first before requiring the need for certain witnesses or documents, which often equates to additional costs. Always respond to your attorney’s requests for information, especially when deadlines are involved. Otherwise, delay could lead to additional expenses that you have to shoulder. 

Check the billing statement

By this time, you and your lawyer already agreed on the payment scheme and billing schedule. He sent you a billing statement, which enumerated every correspondence and appropriate fees. 

Don’t take it as it is. Make an effort to review the statement and don’t be embarrassed to contest or clarify matters that you think should not be included in the bill. Any overcharges could be an oversight by your lawyer, so make sure to clarify. Check if there is any increase in rates, which is not included in the agreement. Otherwise, you will pay more than what the lawyer actually rendered. 
   
Hiring a lawyer can be costly, but this doesn’t mean you cannot do anything to lower the rates. Take note of these tips to save more without compromising the lawyer’s quality of work.

Making More Money Off Of Your Property

If you own a house, you’re doing quite well in the money department already. Even if you’re slowly paying off a mortgage, you’re in a stable position with good debt on your side and the chance to go higher and higher if you wanted to. However, sometimes we aren’t making as much money as we need to keep ourselves living a comfortable life. If you’re finding yourself in this kind of situation, and you don’t have many assets to your name other than the property you live in, this is the list for you. 

Rent Your Place Out (or just a room)

And it doesn’t even have to be the entire house! This is a good idea for anyone who tends to travel a lot, either for work or personal reasons, and can make you a steady income month by month. It’s also a great idea for anyone with a spare room who doesn’t mind sharing with a stranger from time to time. 

Property

But where can you find yourself a lodger? It’s not like anyone in your neighborhood is in desperate need of another house! Instead, turn to letting agents to better find someone who is in desperate need of your room, based on your location and client availability. 

Rent Out Your Driveway

Almost everyone has a car, and because of that parking tolls can be extremely expensive. This is where you can come in! Rent out your drive to make some quick money day by day, and still at a cheaper rate that’ll make your desirable. 

If you do have a driveway, and you live in an area near to local amenities or an airport, your drive really could be a prime bit of real estate. There’s a lot of websites out there in which you can find people looking for a cheaper car parking spot per day, and you can make an extra thousand or two per year because of it! 

Become a Backdrop

And by this we mean turn your home into a film or TV set for a few days, and earn hundreds by simply staying out during an allotted time. In the media business people are always looking to save money when it comes to needing areas to film in. So if a company doesn’t have to build their own interiors because they have other options, it’s a great place for you to step in. 

If you live somewhere interesting, or particularly open with fun decorations, or in a place that has high traffic due to its city status, make sure you sign up to a site to advertise your home. 

There’s quite a few ways to make money off of your property, and they might be in ways you didn’t even think was possible before. Make sure you look into these options if you’re at your wits’ end with clutter and online work; you have some real estate in front of you that can be put to very good use when you need to.