Archive for February, 2009

Should You Be Worried About the Economy?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

If you are worried about gas, try carpooling.

If you follow the news, chances are the state of the economy may have you a little concerned. Bad news is rampant, the housing market is shaky and doom appears to be around every corner. While there are some definite problems with the economy right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start panicking. Smart money management is always important, but if you find that you are overly worried about the state of the economy, there are a few steps that you can take to shore up your financial defenses and stop worrying.

The first step is to take a hard look at your mortgage payments, car payments and any other loans that you may have. If they are calculated under a variable rate, now is the time to start allocating a little extra each month to ensure that you have enough to keep up with the payments. If your mortgage payment looks like it is going to be too high, act quickly by negotiating with your bank for either a payment deferment or even a refinance. No one wins in a foreclosure situation and most banks will be willing to work something out with you.

The second step is to think about consolidating your credit card bills if necessary. If you are paying on multiple cards that all have high interest rates, you could be wasting a lot of money each month. Take advantage of a low or no interest card that will allow you to transfer those high balances into one. Just make sure you read the fine print to see how long the interest rate will remain low. Or use Loanio to receive a loan from lenders, this is easy and painless to do. This not only helps you save money on high interest fees, but you can also save time by paying only one bill every month.

Next, you can take a look at what you’re spending and how rising prices are affecting you. For example, the cost of gas right now has many people worried. You may find that you’re spending more to get to work than you may make for the day, or the ratio may have changed dramatically. If this is the case, consider setting up a carpool with other workers to save money, or you may even be able to arrange to telecommute. There are many ways that you can reduce your monthly expenses and free up more money to handle the rising cost of necessities.

This is also a good time to think about setting up an emergency fund. This is a very beneficial type of savings account that can tide you over if you run short during the month, or if you end up with a personal crisis on your hands. When you have the security of a savings account, emergency fund or other means of income, you’ll be in a much better position to weather any economic storm.

While the economy has been better, there is certainly no need to start panicking right now. Simply follow smart money practices, and you’ll be in a position where you can withstand whatever comes.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-28 20:01:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Loanio Roundup – The Economy, Small Business, Loans, and P2P Lending

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The Economy, Small Business, Loans, and P2P Lending

Welcome to the fourth edition of Loanio’s roundup. There’s more on the peer to peer lending industry in this post with several links for small business entrepreneurs to check out as well. Browse through and make sure you’re up to date on all the financial information. Might want to grab a coffee first.

We hope the remainder of your weekend is great!

The Economy:

  • U.S. banks still aren’t lending says Business Week.
  • Wall Street Journal looks at global currencies, markets buffeted.
  • FT goes in-depth on the global financial crisis.
  • American Bankers writes in closing act, Wachovia lays bare extent of woe.
  • Forbes says fear will subside.
  • The Economist posts the financial crisis: into the storm.

Small Business:

  • P2P Lending is offered as a funding option for home business owners at Cash Paid Surveys.
  • Blogging Stocks posts Entrepreneur’s Journal: Can’t get a business loan? Try a credit union
  • Your Outsource Solutions blogs “Online Marketing Tools for Today’s Small Business” e-Book Release.
  • 24/7 Wall St. writes Google (GOOG) Earnings: A Perfect Proxy For Small Business.
  • CNN Money points to a sharp drop in business lending – again.

Peer-to-Peer Lending:

  • Top Ten Reviews says Peer to Peer Lending is the next internet craze.
  • The International Herald Tribune internet lending sites come under stress.
  • About.com writes P2P Lending caught in credit crunch, Prosper.com pauses.
  • Maneo becomes first P2P Lending platform in Japan says Prosper Lending Review.
  • Lubbock Online features Peer-to-Peer Lending: beneficial for loaner, borrower, but also risky.
  • Champs Portals writes about hiccups in peer to peer lending start-ups.
  • New York Times asks is Peer-to-Peer Lending working for you?
  • Wall Street Journal says Peer-to-Peer Lending sites getting squeezed in credit crunch.

Loanio in the News:

  • Prosper Lending Review mentions us in Lending Club rapidly adding more states.
  • Southtown Star takes a look at Peer-to-Peer lending: Weighing benefits, risks.
  • A brief mention of Loanio in lending alternative hits hurdle by New York Times.
  • P2P Lender Prosper closes marketplace to lenders; Loanio unaffected for now writes Free Signal.
  • P2P Banking blogs Loanio says it won’t face registration process in near future.
  • A quick mention in Banking on Customers’ post what’s coming…

Photo Credit: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-26 05:40:29. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Is Leasing an Auto a Good Option Right Now?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Should you lease a car?

With the current state of the economy and rising interest rates, many are considering leasing an auto instead of making an outright purchase or financing one. While there are a few benefits that can come through a leased vehicle, this is a decision that will require some careful thought and weighing of the pros and cons before leaping. This is particularly true if you have never leased a vehicle before. Let’s take a look at whether or not leasing is a good option right now.

First and foremost, the most important thing to consider about a lease is the fact that you will have a buyout price at the end of the lease period. Many people forget about this extra fee and at the end of a few years find out that they really aren’t in any position to purchase their car. Unless you have more than enough money saved up to pay that extra fee at the end of a lease term, this may not be a wise option.

Another common problem facing those that lease is the fact that once the lease is complete, you won’t have a vehicle to trade in unless you do decide to purchase the leased vehicle. While leasing is convenient, it is often very difficult to get another car, especially if your funds are limited. Unless you plan on leasing for many years to come, this is something that must be considered. Essentially you’ll be paying for two to three years on a car, but at the end of the term, you’ll have little to show for your efforts.

While the interest rates for leases are usually a bit lower, there are some extra fees that may be included that can reduce any potential savings dramatically. It is vital to read through a lease document completely before you sign it to ensure you understand how much you will be paying now, during the term of the lease and when it is over. You may be told that your lease payment will be a certain amount when you are shopping for the car, but in actuality, you’ll have to add in other fees on top of that initial quote and your payment can be affected. Dealers that are above board usually do not tack on extra fees, but it does pay to be cautious.

We’ve gone over quite a few negatives about the leasing process, but there are a few positives to consider as well. First and foremost, the monthly payments are usually quite a bit lower. Considering the state of the interest rate market at this time, this is usually a very attractive selling point for many car buyers. The warranties are usually a bit better on leased vehicles and you may even be able to take advantage of some tax benefits if you do decide to go this route. Leasing is not for everyone, but with careful management and a complete understanding of the terms, they may also be very beneficial.

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Originally posted 2020-10-24 04:55:29. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Loanio Roundup – Credit and P2P Lending

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Credit and P2P Lending

Welcome to the third edition of the Loanio Roundup. This edition looks at what is going on in P2P lending, the economy, and more. There are some links on college financing and a swift look at the auto industry. Browse the links below and tell us what you think. What are you most interested in hearing about? Have a good weekend!

The Economy:

  • Market Watch tells U.S. stocks slammed again; economic data come in bleak.
  • Business Week writes making Wall Street pay?
  • Kiplingers says heed the wake-up call.
  • New storm hits markets says FT. Is it too late?

Auto:

  • Auto dealers wait for sales rebound says Orlando Business Journal.

College:

  • Student Online Tips asks why the need to consolidate student loans?
  • Top Student Loans writes student loans – what you need to know about applying for student loans.
  • Scholarship Website talks all about student loans.
  • Geared Investor offers up reasons why you shouldn’t pay of student loans early.

Peer-to-Peer Lending:

  • Nice Words writes about the rise of peer-to-peer online lending.
  • New York Times talks about how in credit crisis, some turn to online peers for cash.
  • Wall Street Journal briefly mentions p2p lending in mortgage lending for sellers.
  • The Experience Economy discusses peer to peer: why P2P is better than capitalism an interview with Michel Bauwens.
  • Zopa shuts down US branch says Rate Ladder.
  • Making Money says he’s lending $1000 in The Street.com through p2p lender sites.

Loanio in the News:

  • US News says Credit Crunch? Your Move, Peer Lending
  • Loanio briefly mentioned in Finextra’s P2P lender Zopa reports soaring uptake as credit crunch bites
  • Banktech writes Loanio.com rolls out peer-to-peer lending platform.
  • Free Signal says just-launched P2P lender Loanio joins Finovate Conference Demo lineup.
  • Nuwire Investor posts Loanio.com Lowers the Risk in “High-Risk.”
  • Peer-to-peer lending: Weighing the benefits, risks of borrowing from strangers, friends by Yahoo! Finance.

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Originally posted 2020-10-19 05:45:40. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How to Fix a Mistake On Your Credit Report

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Know your credit!

We all make mistakes, but when it comes to your credit report, a simple or small error can have a big impact. In fact, one small error is more than enough to drag down your FICO score and could even prevent you from getting a loan in the future. It is very important to monitor your credit report and score on a regular basis to spot any errors that occur. This will enable you to take quick action to fix any damage that has been caused before it can affect you adversely. Here are the steps you need to take to fix a mistake on your credit report.

1. File a Dispute.

This is done through the actual credit bureau. Since there are three different major reporting agencies, you may need to monitor all three to see if all of your reports are being affected. Each one will have to be dealt with separately, especially if the error appears on all three reports. In many cases, it may take 60 days or more for something to show up on a report, so if you do spot an error, you will need to keep monitoring your other reports as well.

All three bureaus now offer the ability to file a dispute online, or you can file it by phone or through regular mail, depending on your preference. You will need to select the reason for your dispute and provide the correct information if necessary. Expect to wait up to 45 days for a response one way or the other.

2. Contact Creditor Directly.

If your dispute is denied and you are certain that there is still an error on your report, you can contact the creditor directly. Keep a record of all communications and send a copy of everything you send to a creditor to the three major reporting agencies as well. Always use registered mail when you contact a creditor, since they will need to respond to you within 45 days to remain compliant.

If you do not hear back within that time frame, you will need to contact the reporting agencies to update them on the status of the dispute. In many cases if the creditor has not responded within that time frame, the agencies will simply remove the error.

3. Know Your Rights.

It is a very good idea to review the Fair Credit Debt Collections Protection Act so that you are aware of your rights when it comes to dealing with creditors, reporting agencies and collection agencies. The information contained in this act will assist you in determining your further course of action if you cannot get the error removed from your report.

With diligence, you can protect your credit rating from adverse affects due to errors, but it is up to you to make sure that they are taken care of promptly. If you are not currently monitoring your credit reports, you may want to consider doing so, especially if you plan on applying for a loan within the next 180 days.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-13 05:18:27. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Loanio Roundup – Wall Street Crisis and the Resilient Dollar

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The Resilient Dollar

Welcome to the second edition of the Loanio Roundup. This edition focuses heavily on the national economy and peer-to-peer lending news. We hope you enjoy pursuing through the links below. Leave a comment and tell us what you think – we’d love to hear your views on the Wall Street Crisis and National Bailout.

The National Economy:

  • McCain reshuffles rescue deal writes Wall Street Journal.
  • NPR asks is the financial storm about to break?
  • Business Week talks on the financial crisis: how to stop the panic.
  • Economist focuses on the resilient dollar especially on why the greenback has managed to so far withstand the financial panic.
  • NYT says ignoring reality has a price.

Career and Home:

  • CNN Money says jobless claims fall from 7-year high.
  • Yahoo! Money presents the How-to Guide: Buying Life Insurance.
  • Kiplinger talks about marriage and money.

Peer-to-Peer Lending and Loanio in the News:

  • FiLife writes new age borrowing: peer to peer loans.
  • My Card Blog posts Loanio launches person-to-person lending service.
  • American Banker writes Loanio P-to-P firm caters to subprime borrowers
  • Center Networks says peer-to-peer lender Loanio launches to help credit challenged people obtain loans.

Photo Credit: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-12 09:26:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Much Money Do You Really Spend?

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Overspending is an enormous problem for Americans right now and the sad truth is, many of us do not even know we are doing it. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet at the end of the month, or you are desperately waiting for that next paycheck to arrive, you may need to take a hard look at your financial situation, your budget and how much you spend every month.

Track how much money you spend on small things.

We typically consider our rent or mortgage payments, car loans and utilities as the only items that need to be budgeted, but there are many small items that can crop up and eat away at your bank balance. These are typically unnecessary expenses, and over time, enough of them can quickly add up. Let’s take a look at how to determine how much you spend and how you can get your expenditures in line with what you make.

It’s a great idea to keep a little log book and write down everything you buy for the period of one month. Everything, no matter how small, should be noted down in your log. At the end of the month, total everything up and see just how much money you have going out the door. This is probably the easiest way to figure out what needs to be cut, since you’ll have everything right in front of you. Here are some of the most common culprits.

1. Eating Out.

Americans spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, eating out and these expenses can quickly add up. You can save quite a lot of money simply by cutting out one meal out a week, and even more if you really get serious about cutting back. Once you’ve logged how much you spend on food, you may be surprised at how much of your paycheck is missing.

2. Recurring Subscriptions.

This is a problem for many online. You sign up for something, forget to ask for a refund before the trial is over, and before you know it, you’ve got several “memberships” or recurring fees that you don’t even know about, all being taken right out of your account every month. These will add up fast, and can do a lot of damage if they are not caught in time.

3. Superfluous Items.

Even though these items are typically small, they take up a big chunk of your budget. All too often we don’t think about the little, “it’s only a dollar,” items that we see at the store. While each one may be inexpensive, when you add them all up, it can be shocking to see just how much you are spending. The log book of your monthly expenses really comes in handy to see which of these items can be cut from your budget.

By taking the time to see how much money you actually do spend, you can stop overspending before it gets out of control and starts to eat away at your paycheck.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-10 05:16:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Do You Need a Money Manager?

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Money managers for many are necessary.

If your idea of organizing your finances is throwing a receipt in a big pile, you may want to consider the benefits of hiring a money manager. There is a new trend in the financial world where daily money managers are becoming very popular, and for many consumers, they are very necessary. Let’s take a look at what a daily money manager does and how they may be able to benefit your personal finances.

1. Organize paperwork and receipts.

When it comes to getting your paperwork in order, or keeping a record of all of your receipts, most of us end up failing miserably. Trying to track down little slips of paper is maddening at best, and for those of us with little time on our hands, the task of getting our paperwork organized is simply too much. We put it off and before long you end up with a slew of jumbled papers and you can’t find the one receipt you really need. A daily money manager will catalog all of your paperwork, filing it away and help you keep track of expenditures by organizing your receipts.

2. Paying bills on time.

If your schedule is hectic, or you simply aren’t good about dates, paying your bills on time can be a struggle. A daily money manager can be used to help you make sure that all of your deadlines are met, and that nothing is left unpaid by the end of the month. Once again, for those with a busy lifestyle or an inability to keep everything running smoothly, a daily money manager can be a true financial lifesaver.

3. Mediation.

A daily money manager does not replace an accountant or a lawyer, but they can assist in mediating between their clients and these professionals. For example, if you have filed a claim with an insurance agency, a money manager can assist you in handling the communication with the agency and getting all of your necessary documents together. The vast majority of daily money managers are trained and have backgrounds that include legal, financial, and insurance expertise.

4. Day to Day Basics.

For many of us, the devil is in the daily basics of keeping our finances ordered. Instead of letting things get out of hand for months at a time, a daily money manager can offer assistance in keeping checkbooks balanced, paperwork accounted for and everything you need to have handled in your personal finance life done.

As we get busier as a society, it is clear that there is a definite need for daily money managers. If you do decide to hire a daily money manager to help manage your finances, there are a few things to consider ahead of time. First, you will need to make sure that they are accredited and licensed. This professional will have access to your documents and it is vital to ensure that you can trust them. Look for a major national firm or someone in your local community that you can rely on.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-09 05:14:08. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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