Archive

Posts Tagged ‘personal finance’

Getting Low Automobile Insurance Quotes Is Easier Now Than Ever

August 3rd, 2018 Comments off

Just like a lot of people around the world right now I’m experiencing a financial crisis. Since the economy has took such a dive, my work has cut everybody’s hours including mine down to four days a week which leaves me with 80percent of my normal income. I doubt that my meager savings will help carry me through until my hours pick up again, so I have to go over my household budget and try to trim out any fat that I see. A good place for me to start I believe is by getting a bunch of different car insurance quotes from multiple sources, as the premiums I am paying now are pretty high.

It used to be a real bother, and a time-consuming ordeal when you wanted to get a bunch different quotes from vehicle insurance businesses. That’s probably why I stuck with that other company for so long despite the ever-increasing rates. Because I was lazy and in the habit of it I ended up paying a large amount of added dollars in premiums that I didn’t need to be paying. There are plenty of vehicle insurance businesses online these days that it makes it easy to obtain multiple quotes and make sure that you have a comprehensive plan for a price that you can afford.

There are many websites out there that offer searchable databases that prospective customers can use. All it takes is for you to enter some information about yourself and your vehicles and in no time at all you can have several different car insurance quotes from multiple providers all around the country. Many of the businesses that you get quotes from our some of the large providers like Geico and Progressive, but there are other companies that you get quotes from which you might not have found out about otherwise. Many times it is surprising, and you might not think so, that these small auto insurance businesses can offer competitive rates. The truth is since they don’t have such a high overhead, they are able to provide much more competitive rates which is exactly what I’m after.

Now that I have gotten several automobile insurance quotes that I can afford, all I have to do is contact the businesses and find out the details on each policy. I need to find out what the declarations are for each policy. IE; deductibles, and coverages, as well as whether I will be able to sign on for a month to month plan or if it has to be a long-term contract. In addition, I would like to find out if I can get more discounts for being a good driver, not getting any tickets, having a late-model vehicle, etc. Those extras can really add up to significant savings, so it’s definitely worthwhile to at least ask.

If you are like me and you are spending too much cash on auto insurance, and you need to weed out some overspending, then it might be wise for you to do like I did and get these new auto insurance quotes.I’m a simple type of guy you need to handle one thing if time so after I get these car insurance quotes tackled, I can work my way onto the other things in my budget.

The fact is that changing automobile insurance is a really easy thing to do. You just need to get off of your duff and do it if you are paying to much. You can read more information by visiting http://pricecomparisoncarinsurance.com

Do You Understand Chapter 13?

July 24th, 2018 Comments off

The global financial crisis was a downturn of such unprecedented scale that many Americans were caught completely unawares and far from prepared. Without easy credit available many Americans found that their liabilities and expenses far outweighed their ability to pay for them. The number of bankruptcies filed increased dramatically due to the tightening of credit markets.

Many people considering filing for bankruptcy think of the more traditional Chapter 7 bankruptcy procedure first. This typically involves the wholesale liquidation of the petitioners assets, although there are some items that are exempt. Most unsecured debts, like credit card debt and medical bills, are discharged. Today, the United States Trustee who oversees Chapter 7 bankruptcies also imposes a strict means test, which may deny Chapter 7 relief to persons making enough money that the bankruptcy claim appears to be abusive.

However, there is an alternative to Chapter 7 bankruptcy available, Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as reorganization bankruptcy because it involves reorganizing the debtors finances in such a way as to allow eventual repayment. The Chapter 13 option is useful for people that have nonexempt assets that they wish to keep (assets that would be liquidated under Chapter 7) or people that have a predictable income and can technically pay off their debt if it is adequately restructured. Importantly, Chapter 13 also extends special protection to third parties that may be liable for debts, such as a co-signer or spouse. Unlike a Chapter 7 liquidation that discharges debt within a few months, Chapter 13 filings lead to the creation of a Chapter 13 reorganization plan that remains in effect for three to five years.

There are certain restrictions that come into play when considering a Chapter 13 petition because it is a reorganization of finances rather than a discharge of debts. To be eligible a debtor must be able to demonstrate a reliable income that will be steady for the duration of the reorganization plan. Once a steady income is proven, then living expenses are subtracted and if there is money remaining to make significant payments the petitioner will qualify. However, any unsecured debts over $336,900 and secured debts over $1,020,650 will disqualify a petitioner.

Along with the above restrictions, stockbrokers and commodity brokers are not permitted to petition for Chapter 13 protection, for business or personal finances. However, most people will qualify in spite of the basic restrictions involved.

Because the filing process for a Chapter 13 is so complicated, the filer needs the help of a professional to make sure paperwork is correct and complete. Because it is a bankruptcy a fee will generally be required up front before the professional accepts the job and it is important to begin the filing process before the situation is too dire. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a good solution for professionals and others with a solid income; self-discipline is absolutely necessary to make the reorganization work the way it should.

Wendy Polisi is the founder of Credit Repair College and Finance the Dream. Credit Repair College empowers people to take control of their financial future by learning everything they need to know to repair credit on their own. For more information on credit repair please visit them on the web. Finance the Dream offers lease options throughout the United States.

IRS Eases Investment Rules for 529 College Savings Plans

July 13th, 2018 Comments off

Saving for college is always difficult and is even more so during the current economic downturn. One of the most popular college savings plans are so called “529 plans.” The IRS recently announced that participants in 529 plans will be able to change their investments more often in 2009 than in past years. The IRS will allow a change in investment strategy twice in 2009. This is good news for 529 plan participants, especially those who may otherwise be locked into a mix of investments that has turned out to be more speculative than initially contemplated.

Tax-Free Distribution Options A 529 plan, a type of qualified tuition program, allowed taxpayers to contribute to an account established for paying a student’s educational expenses. Eligible educational expenses may include the costs of tuition, books, and fees at eligible institutions, such as colleges, vocational schools, and other ostsecondary institutions.

Contributions to 529 plans are not tax-deductible. However, earnings are tax-free, and distributions used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified education xpenses are tax-free.

Be aware that A 529 plan should not be confused with a Coverdell Educational Savings Account (Coverdell ESA). A Coverdell ESA is also a savings account for education expenses that offers tax-free distributions. The funds saved in a Coverdell ESA can be used for elementary and secondary school expenses as well as college costs.

Investment Decision For the most part, participants in 529 plans must select only from among broadbased investment strategies designed exclusively by the program. The IRS has also traditionally permitted a change in investment strategy only once a year.

In response to the economic slowdown and the turmoil in the financial markets, the IRS will allow investments in a 529 plan to be changed during 2009 on a more frequent basis. A 529 plan will not violate the investment restriction if it permits a change in the investment strategy twice in calendar year 2009, as well as upon a change in the designated beneficiary of the account.

About the Author:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Real Estate Investors

April 21st, 2018 Comments off

Sometimes a search through your bookshelf is like a treasure hunt. As I plucked Stephen Covey’s 1989 Seven Habits of Highly Effective People from my shelf, I believe I found some long lost gold. Flipping through the yellowed pages, I soaked in some of the long forgotten golden nuggets the book contains, and I pondered what the seven habits of a highly effective real estate investor would be.

I personally believe that the habits of a successful real estate investor are not particularly exceptional. I think that any person that wants to become a highly effective real estate investor can become one if they set their mind to it. Here is what I think the seven habits would be:

Habit One: Know Your Goals

The majority of the real estate investors I know set out with a goal in mind. I know a man that started investing by selling his house to buy two lots, on which he built a townhouse complex that had 8 units. Since then, he has started his own company and is building and selling hundreds of homes in Toronto every year. So, in this case, it shows how some goals may be simple, but can lead to much bigger things. Or, if goals are large they should be broken down into numerous shorter term goals.

Habit Two: Make Your Money when you Buy

It’s very risky to pay over market value for a property in the hopes that the rent will go up, the area will improve, and/or the property’s value will increase. The simple formula for long term success in real estate is to buy a desirable property below market value, in an area with a lot of potential for future growth.

Habit Three: Hire Help

Unless you want to take on a few extra jobs when you buy a property, I suggest that you think about hiring a property manager, an accountant and a real estate agent. The property manager can do repairs to the property and collect rent. The accountant can do your bookkeeping and yearly taxes, and the real estate agent can work with you to find more real estate investment properties. Just make sure that the people that you hire are trustworthy and will help you achieve your goals.

Habit Four: Use Just the Right Amount of Leverage

Serious real estate investors use leverage to get what they want. If you keep buying property with cash every single time, even the richest person in the world will soon run out of money. Leverage is when you invest a small amount on a much bigger amount. In other words, it’s possible to put $10,000 down on $100,000 house. If that house makes $5,000 a year, then you ROI ( return on investment) would be 50%. If you had paid for the whole $100,000 up front, then the return would still only be 5%. However, the downside of putting a small amount down is that it does not protect you from fluctuations in the market. If that same house drops to $90,000, you can wind up owing more on that home than the property is worth.

Habit Five: Find Good Partners

If you are starting out in the world of real estate investing without a lot of money, it’s hard to reach your financial goals if you aren’t willing to enter into partnerships with others. Your partners could be a family members, friends, colleagues, or even companies. I enjoy hearing success stories where someone with no money of their own enters into a contract on a property, but know they can make it happen by partnering up with another investor. My husband and I are millionaires from our real estate investing, thanks in great part to some of the partners that contributed equity to our investments along the way. Without them, we would likely only own half of the properties that we currently own today.

Habit Six: Be Persistent

When starting out in real estate (or even when you’re established) you’re going to hear the word “no” a lot, so make sure you don’t stray from your goals. Some of the people you could hear “no” from are as follows:

– Potential partners that are not able or not willing to get involved with a deal,

– The banks – on just about every deal we had trouble getting financing and had to deal with multiple lending issues,

– Family- we’ve asked numerous family members to become our investment partners and are more often than not turned down. But it never hurts to ask, as family members will give better interest rates than the banks,

– Insurance companies – if you don’t live in the same province as the property you are trying to insure, most insurance companies don’t want to do business with you. We have approached and been turned down by numerous insurance companies that won’t insure our Ontario properties because we live in British Columbia,

– Property Management Companies – it’s possible that the property management company that you would like to hire doesn’t want to manage your property.

But even when we’ve been turned down by all of the above at some point or another, we don’t lose sight of our goals and keep pushing forward.

Habit Seven: Research – Always be learning

– The best investors are the ones that ask a lot of questions, keep their eyes open for new opportunities and do a lot of research. Many get right into the details of a city. They go to the municipal offices and pull the official plan. They get zoning details and applications. They talk to the city councilors about plans, they attend city council meetings and know everything that is happening in an area.

Not every good investor I know possesses every one of these habits. And I know there are habits that many good investors have that I haven’t covered. But as I thought about the most effective and successful investors that I have met or read about, I realized that almost all of them did possess each of the above habits. And, that anyone could really do what they did if they set out to establish these habits and practices in their real estate investing.

Learn How to Retire a wealthy real estate investor with Julie’s free Real Estate Investing Starter Tips Guide. Learn how to create financial freedom, positive cashflow and massive wealth with tips like: How to find quality investment properties, finding and keeping great tenants, and easy ways to make investment property recordkeeping simple and more profitable.

Should You Be Concerned About Your Credit If You Have Student Loans?

April 5th, 2018 Comments off

In today’s economy, many people are willing to go into debt for a college education, hoping for a brighter financial future. Unfortunately, student loans are not simple, and they often cause college students to graduate with a lot of debt. In most cases, upon graduation, the entry-level job that these college students start out working in does not make paying back the loan easy. Because of these circumstances, many people are worried about the affect that student loans have on their credit.

One of the most difficult parts about the road ahead might be your ability to obtain credit. There are many creditors out there who could be hesitant to loan you money or give you a credit card based on your high level of debt and your low initial salary. And, depending on what your past credit rating is already it could be all the more difficult.

Because you are a recent college graduate, you student loan debt is probably the largest debt that you have ever had, and this is one of the reasons it is going to effect your credit. Usually, we think of our credit rating in terms of our ability to pay back our liabilities, however, our credit rating also takes into consideration our level of debt. This is why your credit is going to be affected when you graduate and your student loans are high.

One of the best ways to maintain a decent credit rating is to plan for dealing with the student loans now. Since your credit score evaluates your level or debt and payment history, a successful payment plan will not only lower your debt level, but it will also help establish consistent payment habits. In doing so, you will find that you can help your credit score even though you may feel that it initially was lowered upon graduation.

Also, for students who have not graduated college yet, consider making payments on your interest now rather than waiting until after graduation. Usually, the government allows students to wait until after graduation to begin paying their loan balances; though, interest adds up and you can get a head start by making payments while you are still in school. One reason for the problems with student loans is that people do not realize the amount they have to pay back. Interest adds up overtime, and then they graduate with a larger amount than they anticipated having to pay back.

One of the nice perks about student loans is that they give you a grace period after graduation, allowing you approximately 6 to 12 months to begin the repayment process. This grace period enables you to find a job and get on your feet financially before you begin making payments. Many people actually find employment before their grace period ends, and if they do it is a good idea to set aside money to use towards your beginning payment. This way, they can start off with a decent payment amount, and hopefully continue making consistent payments in the future.

Just like most loans, student loans usually have a timeline that requires your payment in full – usually 10 years. Your monthly payment will be determined on this timeline, however, if you can afford to, it would be smart to pay more than the minimum payment. When you do this, you will obviously pay it off sooner, and you will also avoid paying more interest than you need to.

Just like any financial liability, it is definitely not wise to skip payments for your student loan, because it will affect your credit. Instead, a good idea is to contact your lender and try to negotiate a payment plan that works better for you. Most lenders are surprisingly nice to work with; and, if you contact them, they will most likely be willing to help you find a solution to your troubles rather then letting your skip payments. Talk with them if you find yourself overwhelmed, and demonstrate your willingness to act in good faith.

The most important thing you need to remember in regards to your student loans and your credit is to NEVER default – NEVER. When you default on your student loan, it could stay on your credit record for approximately seven years. And, if you take too long to pay it back or neglect it, you could be involved in a legal battle. In addition, your lender might have the power to garnish your wages and eliminate your tax refunds.

For many a student loan is necessary and although it may be a tad risky for your credit, there are ways to safeguard your credit and pay off your student loans in the process. Responsibility is key. And, when you are paying them back, prioritize them so that your credit is protected.

When is right to refinance your home mortgage?