bookmark_borderFinancial Regrets to Avoid

  • Don’t just wing it; set a savings goal – It’s hard to know how much to save when you don’t know how much you’ll need down the road. Unfortunately, too many wait until retirement to figure it out and find themselves with too little savings, too late. A professional financial advisor can help you identify your long-term financial needs and lifestyle goals, and project how much money you’ll need at retirement to achieve them. Inflation and average market returns over time are part of the calculation. Knowing your retirement number also may help you make smarter financial decisions in your early years because you’re working toward a definitive goal.
  • Don’t forget to prioritize an emergency fund – Doing so can help alleviate the stress and aggravation that comes from unexpected expenses, such as a car or appliance repair. It can also serve as a resource for larger purchases if the desire or need arises.
  • Don’t buy a house you really can’t afford – There are many reasons why buying a home may be the right decision for you. If you’ve saved enough money for a down payment, have an emergency fund in place and plan to be in the house for five or more years, buying may be the way to go. Just make sure you’re not overextending yourself and going above your price range. By starting small – perhaps with a townhouse, condo or small home – and building up equity, you may be able to trade up over time if you so choose. It’s important to know that owning a property isn’t the right choice for everyone. For help deciding if ownership is a good fit for your current situation, use an online rent vs. buy calculator. Before purchasing, have a professional and reputable home inspector examine the property to identify potential risks or problems that may be deal breakers. Also, make sure you are in a location that offers unique attributes or is in demand to help increase the likelihood you can sell your property when the time is right for you.
  • Don’t neglect building a good credit rating – Purchasing items on a credit card can help you build up your credit score and make it easier for you to qualify for loans and other financial opportunities. Keep in mind that you should only buy items you can afford, and you should pay your credit card off at the end of the month to avoid accruing interest charges or creating debt you can’t afford to pay back.

bookmark_borderBasics of a Home Loan

The actual amount of the loan you are eligible for, or can get, varies, and depends upon many factors such as your capacity to repay it, your age, your family income, the number of dependents you are responsible for, and so on. The amount of the loan will also depend upon the tenure of the loan and the current interest rate. Tenure is the total amount of time that you are given for the repayment of the loan. Most institutions and banks will extend home loans for the purpose of buying a house or even a flat, for renovation of an existing property, or for extensions or repairs to be made to your existing home. However, in the case of buying a second property, when you already have one house or flat, most banks will have a different policy and set of rules, so be sure to ask some relevant questions and get clarifications about the specifics from your bank before you sign.

There is a process for seeking a home loan, which partly depends on your need for information ad clarification, and partly on the internal bank processes. The first step is to apply to a few banks and financial institutions, and begin the process of comparing rates and tenures. (Or you can compare rates on our sites). Once you have decided on the bank, the steps are as follows.Filling out the relevant applications and submitting the necessary documents. The sanction of the loan from the bank or financial institution depending on their criteria for age, repayment capacity, and property value. The disbursement of the loan, transferring the home loan amount to you via check.

There will be some documents which are required before the bank will sanction or disburse your home loan. The information in these documents will decide whether or not you are given the loan, as well as the interest rate you will be charged, and the tenure that will be allowed.

bookmark_borderStages of a Market Mania

The Idea Stage

The first stage of a mania starts out with a great idea. The idea is not known to many people yet, but the potential for profits are huge. This is usually translated as unlimited profit, since “something like this has never been done before”. The internet was one such case. People using the paper systems of the time were skeptical as “how can the internet replace such a familiar and entrenched system?” The backbone of the idea begins to get built. This translated into the modems, servers, software and web sites needed to get the idea into something tangible. Investments in the idea stage start off lackluster and made by people “in the know”. In the case, it may be the visionaries and people working on the project.

In the cryptocurrency world, the same question is being asked: How can a piece of crypto code replace our monetary system, contract system and payment systems?

The Possibilities

The first web sites were crude, limited, slow and annoying. The skeptics would look at the words “information superhighway” that the visionaries were spouting and saying “how can this really be that useful?” The forgotten element here is that ideas start out at their worst, and then evolve into something better and better. This sometimes happens due to better technology, more scale and cheaper costs, better applications for the product in question, or more familiarity with the product combined with great marketing. On the investment side, the early adopters are getting in, but there is no euphoria and astronomical returns yet. In some cases, investments have made decent returns, but not enough to sway the masses into jumping in. This is analogous to the slow internet connections of the 1990’s, internet sites crashing or information being incorrect on search engines. In the cryptocurrency world, it is being witnessed by high mining costs for coins, slow transaction times and hacking or theft of accounts.

The Acceleration

Word starts to get out that this internet and “.com” is the hot new thing. The products and tangibility is being constructed, but due to the massive scale involved, the cost and time expended would be massive before everyone is using it. The investment aspect of the equation starts to get ahead of the business development since markets discount the potential of a business with the price of the investment. The euphoria is starting to materialize, but only among the early adopters. This is happening in the cryptocurrency world with the explosion of new “altcoins”, and the large media press that the space is getting.

The Euphoria

This stage is dominated by the parabolic returns and potential that the internet offers. Not much thought is given to the implementation or problems because “the returns are huge and I don’t want to miss out”. The words “irrational exuberance” and “mania” begin to become common as people are buying due to sheer greed. Downside risks and negativity and largely ignored. Symptoms of the mania include: Any company having.com in its name is red hot, analysis is thrown out the window in favour of optics, the investment knowledge is getting less and less apparent among new entrants, expectations for 10 or 100 bagger returns are common and few people actually know how the product works or does not work. This has played out in the cryptocurrency world with the stellar returns of late 2017 and the incidents of company shares popping hundreds of percentage points by using “blockchain” in their name. There are also “reverse takeover offers” where shell companies that are listed on an exchange but are dormant have their names changed to something involving blockchain, and the shares are suddenly actively traded.

The Crash and Burn

The business scene for the new product is changing, but not nearly as quickly as the investment scene is changing. Eventually, a switch in mindset appears and a huge selling spree begins. Volatility is massive, and many “weak hands” and wiped out of the market. Suddenly, analysis is being used again to justify that these companies have no value or are “overvalued”. The fear spreads and prices accelerate downward. Companies who do not have earnings and who are surviving on hype and future prospects are blown out. The incidents of fraud and scams increasing to take advantage of the greed are exposed, causing more fear and selling off of securities. The businesses who have the money are quietly investing in the new product, but the rate of progress slows down because the new product is “an ugly word” unless the profits are demonstrated convincingly. This is starting to happen in the cryptocurrency world with the folding of lending schemes using cryptocurrencies and higher incidents of the theft of coins. Some of the marginal coins are crashing in value due to their speculative nature.

The Survivors

In this stage, the investment landscape is charred with stories of losses and bad experiences. Meanwhile, the great idea is coming into tangibility and for businesses that use it, it is a boom. It starts becoming implemented in day to day activities. The product starts to become the standard and the visionaries are quoted in saying that “the information superhighway” is real. The average user notices an improvement in the product and it starts mass adoption. The businesses who had a real profit strategy take a hit during the crash and burn stage, but if they have the cash to survive, they make it to the next wave. This has not happened in the cryptocurrency world as of yet. The expected survivors are those that have a tangible business case and corporate backing – but it remains to be seen which companies and coins these will be.

bookmark_borderCommon Small Loan Mistakes to Avoid

Limiting to Local Options

It’s natural to think of some of the local payday loan shop up the street when considering immediate options for loans. While people are initially attracted to the idea of a business’ proximity to their home, they should keep in mind that they are not in fact limited to these options. While it there may be a comfort or convenience factor considering the business location, the idea is avoid paying a premium price solely for that convenience.

Not Reading the Fine Print

A lot of times, lender promotions and terms seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, in most cases that’s because there’s a catch. Users should pay close attention to fine print, particularly if there are “special terms” or promotions. For example, a lender may offer a low or no interest period as a customer incentive, urging quick decisions. But the same lender may charge an extremely high interest rate when the grace period has elapsed.

Conducting Simple Internet Searches

Inevitably, simple internet key word searches for loans will result in options. But they aren’t necessarily the best ones, just the ones that advertise the best. Rather than pouring over countless webpages, using a platform that compares loan services has many advantages. These services typically break down loan company options into easily comparable categories to help make the best decision.

bookmark_borderImportance of a Credit Report

The simplest way to find out about your credit history is to order a copy online. You want a website that provides you with information from the three major credit bureaus;Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These bureaus analyze your financial decision making; both past and present, and put that information into a report. A good website to use that provides this information is creditchecktotal.com. It only costs $1 to check and can provide you with invaluable information compiled into a credit report. Your report will not only provide your current credit score, but also your entire credit history.

A credit report acts as your credit references. A positive credit history tells potential lenders that you manage your finances well, i.e. borrow money and pay it back in a timely manner. A negative credit history tells lenders you have a difficult time managing your finances and instead are in debt, often not repaying them as agreed.

Credit reports help you by providing you with your personal financial history. This may include attempts at fraud made by others at your expense or errors made by varying lenders. The report can also provide you with information on good or bad decisions you may have made in the past. By staying up-to-date with your financial history, you can ensure you are making good choices, have the ability to detect if someone is committing identity theft and ensure there are no errors.

In addition, a credit report can explain why you were not approved for a certain loan or line of credit. Even though you had a great or excellent credit score, you still had a negative item or charge back on your credit report, so the financial lender refused to approve you.

You can also see how fast your credit score can be transformed. If you go ahead and start repairing your credit, you can watch how fast negative items can be removed and how fast you will gain points putting your score from bad or below 600 to above 700.

bookmark_borderAdvantages IFSC Bank Codes

Saves Time & Money

Online banking’s biggest advantage over conventional banking is that it saves time. You can skip the traffic, the queues and the formalities of conventional banking and just outright complete your banking transaction within a span of minutes at your comfort and convenience. IFSC facilitates such online transactions and saves your time. Also, online banking enabled through IFSC helps make banking paperless and hence saves money. Such electronic banking is environmentally-friendly too apart from being simpler and quicker.

Shorter Transfer Time

Online banking enabled by IFSC also saves the time, effort and money, conventional services such as demand draft and bank cheques take for the fund transfer to be successful. Also the transaction is reflected in both the sender’s and the beneficiary’s accounts’ immediately as IFSC details are already confirmed. Moreover, other than the bank’s service charges (if applicable), there is no additional money spent to carry out such a quick transaction.

Secure and Transparent

For online banking, users need to submit key credentials including IFSC of the beneficiary which are subsequently verified by the bank. Only after the payer’s bank’s verification can a user make an IFSC-enabled fund transfer. This makes the process secure. Also, as online banking through the use of IFSC eliminates the human interference factor from the financial transaction process, such banking becomes more transparent and accountable and reduces the possibility of any kind of scam which can be carried out in the system. Moreover, in online banking since both the sender and the receiver account holders are informed of the transaction immediately through SMS or email, such banking is less susceptible to fraud or any loss.

Helps in Banks’ Reconciliation

IFS codes are unique to each participating bank branch which is how they help in a bank’s data’s reconciliation and validation. Without IFS codes, accuracy of electronic transactions will go down and banks stand the danger of carrying out inaccurate transactions. Also since all banks are now digitally-enabled, online fund transfers facilitated through IFSC help them in quick reconciliation. Also, IFSC being mandated for individual as well as corporate transactions helps banks in disbursing funds quickly and correctly. IFSC also makes it easy for banks to communicate and comprehend transactions across their branches and with the other banks too.

bookmark_borderDecoding Credit Score

It’s frustrating, but the real answer to, “What’s a good credit score?” is “It depends.” There are over 1,000 scoring models used, which means it all depends on what type of score you’re considering. FICO is generally considered the most important score, and it can range from 300 to 850. The median score is somewhere between 700 and 760, so if you’re in that range you’re considered normal.

Even if you have an upper-700s credit score, or you’ve made it into the elite 800s, there will always be room for improvement. Good credit is dependent upon the “right” amount of the “right” loans paid at the “right” time. FICO scores also reflect how long your credit history is, and the longer the better-in other words, it’s a lot easier for someone in their 50s to have good credit compared to someone in their 20s just by virtue of their age.

Instead of obsessing over that elusive 850, focus on good credit practices that will improve your score over the long haul. Pay off all your credit card debt each month, but aim to have a small selection of credit cards open-between three and eight is a good range. For some people, this is easy, but for others it’s extremely challenging to stick to that zero balance. Each account should be used at least once a year, and you should never cancel a card unless you’re paying an annual fee for it.

When a card is canceled, that credit line basically disappears. That’s why choosing credit cards with low-interest rates and rewards that are beneficial to you are so important. Financing a car, student loans and mortgages can also help boost your score, assuming you make the payments on time.

Unfortunately, there’s no black and white formula that you can lean on to make sure that you’ll get approved for a certain loan or interest rate. Your best bet is watching your credit score, cleaning up any mistakes and practicing good credit skills. There are also reputable legal firms that specialize in helping you clean up your credit if you went through a rough patch. With this approach, your score will naturally rise without stressing you out.

bookmark_borderCash Collateral Loans

Generally, the phrase cash collateral is used to refer to any kind of asset that the lender can easily dispose off to get cash, should the borrower declare bankruptcy. In fact, collateral can be described as any asset, which the lender is willing to accept as security for providing cash loans. Basically, investment securities and assets including cash, financial instruments and documents of title can all be utilized for offering security against cash collateral loans. However, the kind of securities acceptable by different lenders often varies. For instance, a particular kind of asset may be accepted by one lender, while another lender may refuse to accept that as collateral.

Though there are different kinds of assets available for securing cash collateral loan, one option that is frequently used is to deposit cash with the bank or the lender in an interest-offering account. The deposit has to be retained till the entire loan is paid back. Moreover, this account should always have a balance equal or more than the amount outstanding against the loan, at any point of time. Certain lenders do not allow the borrower to withdraw any funds from such an account, except under very rare circumstances. Even if they allow the withdrawal of funds from such accounts before the loan has been paid back in full, they will most likely charge additional fees and penalties.

Of the many benefits of availing cash loans against offering collateral, a very significant one is the fact that, generally, the lender would charge very competitive rates of interest. Though the credit worthiness of the borrower plays an important role in decision-making, the provision of collateral considerably reduces the risk of the lender. So, such loans can effectively be used for settling other debts that may carry higher rates of interest, or for availing loans for the remodeling of home. And that certainly goes to enhance its worth.

bookmark_borderControl Your Finances

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR MONTHLY BILLS

Monthly bills consist of things such as rent, electric, water, council tax and gas. These are bills that are usually the same amount every month. Make a list of all the bills you pay every month along with how much you are paying for each one. Now add up the figures so you know how much you are paying each month in total. If a bill ranges between two amounts then write down the higher amount. For example if you pay between £50 and £70 for electricity then write down £70. You can find the amounts by reading through your bills or bank statements.

Some Electric and Gas companies give you the option of paying a single monthly payment. This way they can monitor how much gas or electricity you are using and adjust your monthly payment accordingly. It is good if you take this option so you only need to add the extra money when they increase or decrease the direct debit. The companies don’t mind you going into debt with your gas in the winter as your payments will reduce the debt in the summer months if you don’t use your heating.

SET UP DIRECT DEBITS

Direct debits allow companies to take the money direct from your account when the bill is due. Once you know how much you need to pay on bills each month you can leave that amount in your account or transfer the full amount to another account if you want to use a separate one for bills. Companies will inform you of any increases so you can adjust the amount you pay. If possible choose the same day for the payment to come out if you are paid monthly, or the nearest day, which is useful if you have all your outgoings coming out of the same account.

Note: these companies can only take out what has been authorised so you don’t have to worry about extra money being paid out. There are also times when they may take the payments 2-3 days earlier because of the direct debit date falling on a weekend or a bank holiday so make sure your money is in your account in advance. Call the companies you pay to set up direct debits. You can actually save money with the direct debit method as you get offered discounts.

MULTIPLE BANK ACCOUNTS

Your bank allows you to open multiple current or checking accounts which you can use for various purposes such as spending and bills. Use one of your accounts for your monthly bills and set up your direct debits to come out of this account. Transfer the total amount of money you need to pay bills into this account once a month and you’ll know that the bills are sorted for the month. I would recommend that you add extra money onto the total so you don’t have to worry about going overdrawn. It may also be a good idea to have a small overdraft on the account in case you need it.

You can also use an account for your general spending needs such as groceries and fuel. I recommend you have your salary transferred into this account – so after transferring the bill money everything left is yours to spend. You can also use this account as a savings account by letting your money stay in there and spending only what you need. Anything left over by Payday can be classed as savings.

If you prefer you can have a separate savings account where you can transfer a set monthly amount or have it done automatically via a standing order. Or you can manually transfer anything left over from last month. It is always recommend having some money saved in case you need it. You never know when there is going to be an emergency or a situation where you need extra money. You could choose an amount you can comfortably save and consider it a monthly bill.

SET SPENDING BUDGETS

Sometimes we can be too reckless with money. Imagine walking into the store with the children in tow and they start adding things to the basket. Imagine seeing something on offer and grabbing as many as you can or picking up something you didn’t really need but it was a bargain. After putting money aside for the bills it is recommend you set yourself a spending budget. For example you may only have £400 left for the month so you could limit yourself to £100 spending per week. Make sure you have the things you really need before you start spending and use the leftover for treats.

You can save money by focusing on the most important purchases for the week and buying certain things in bulk. Buying a six pack of baked beans might be cheaper than buying six separate cans. If you like to drink buy a few cans to drink at home and cut down your time in pubs and bars. If you use public transport try buying a travel pass to save money on paying fares separately. Try taking a packed lunch to work. Basically, if you don’t really need it then don’t buy it.

bookmark_borderFirst National Legacy Card

First National Legacy credit cards offer purchase protection that covers theft, loss or damages to contents. Fraudulent purchases are covered by a zero liability if the card is reported missing or stolen prior to use. Cash advances are included as part of the credit limit, and can be withdrawn at any ATM that accepts Visa cards, just as with all other credit cards. Of course, you will incur a cash advance fee, but this option comes in quite handy in emergencies.

A deposit is not required to access a line of credit with these cards and a timely repayment history results in an increased credit limit and reduced annual percentage rate. This allows even those with a bad credit history to use non-cash payments, according to First National Bank, and has been tailored to cater to those who would like to get their credit history back on track.

Account activity on First National Legacy credit cards can be accessed through a secure login through which provides around the clock statement access, payment processing, automatic payment scheduling, dispute resolution and support, profile management and personal identification number requests. Text and e-mail alerts can also be configured for all transactions so that you can keep a tab of all activity on your card and account.

If you’d like to get a First National Legacy Visa credit card, you need to have been referred by an existing card holder. Enrollment for these cards is not open to the general public and is by invitation only. On being referred for one of these cards, you are required to accept the referral either online or directly by using the referral number in the e-mail you would have received. Once you’ve got your new card, use it responsibly and watch your credit history fix itself.