Getting the Facts: 8 Things You Need to Know Before Applying for Your Next Loan

No matter how careful you are with your finances, unexpected expenses can sometimes hit you completely out of the blue. A medical bill that appeared from nowhere, home renovations, a sudden urge to take a vacation to avoid suffering a burnout… and the list goes on. Understandably, no one should just jump into applying for a loan without a solid ground on how things work in the financial realm, so in that spirit, here are 8 things to know before you proceed:

Getting the Facts: 8 Things You Need to Know Before Applying for Your Next Loan - bank notes image

1. Have a plan on how to repay it

Not having a steady stream of income and trying to apply for a loan is a bad idea. Not only will you not be able to repay it on time, but it’s also highly unlikely you’re going to get approved in the first place. Even if you do have one, you’re going to need to gather all the necessary means of proving it before you apply. Usually, a letter from your employer will suffice. For those of you who are self-employed, it gets a bit trickier, but it’s still doable – just dig up the tax returns for the past two years and that should be it. If you have money coming in from other sources (such as part-time work), you’re going to have an easier time paying back the loan.

2. Minimize the lender’s risk

Your finances can be examined from a purely mathematical standpoint. The lender will take a look at your assets and subtract your liabilities; that’s how your net worth is determined. The former is a sum of what you own – such as your property, and the latter is a sum of your obligations – such as your mortgage. Understandably, the lender is running a business, and as such, looking for ways to minimize the risk is of paramount importance. So do what you can to present yourself as a financially stable individual and gather all the evidence necessary to back your case.

3. Know there are different types of loans

Depending on your needs, there are different types of loans you can choose from, with personal loans being the most popular ones by far. While some lenders have tighter requirements than others, there are personal loans guaranteed approval. Otherwise known as secure loans that are backed by collateral, these are particularly suitable for people with no credit history whatsoever. Then again, if your interests are of commercial nature, consider getting a business loan; once again, there are plenty to choose from. Lines of credit, term loans, equipment financing loans, and so on. There are also specialized loans you can apply for such as auto loans or student loans. When it comes to loans in general, there is no one-size-fits-all solution – it always depends on your needs.

4. Interest rates are one of the most important considerations

Interest rates have a great deal of influence on how much you’re going to end up paying in total. It’s hard to give any general advice on the subject because these can greatly vary from lender to lender. In fact, they can be anywhere between 5% and 35%, which can make quite a substantial difference, especially over the long term. Note that interest rates may not be the only fee you’re going to end up paying. Some lenders will charge you processing fees and some of them even impose a penalty for paying off the loan early, costing them valuable interest rate earnings in the process. Bottom line: every lender is different so always make sure to do your due diligence.

5. It’s a good idea to exhaust your other options first

There are alternatives to getting a loan, all of which should be considered before applying. If you have friends or relatives who could be lending you some money, it’s always better to ask them for help first. After all, no one will offer you as favorable terms as them; in fact, they may not even ask you to pay them back (but make sure to have a clear dialogue about the topic at the very beginning, otherwise you may jeopardize your good personal relationship with them). But if they insist on repayment – which they have every right to – it’s good practice to formalize the agreement in one way or another. Even so, there’s no need to be a burden to your friends and family, as there are other options; credit unions are one of them, and if the situation is suitable, you may even turn to your local church or get in touch with a charity.

6. Every loan comes with its own set of requirements

Depending on the type of loan you’re after, there will always be some requirements you need to comply with. But the following requirements universally apply to all of them:

– You need to be at least 18 years of age.

– You need to be a resident of the country.

– Your financial circumstances need to be proven.

– You need to have a steady stream of income.

Bear in mind this is the bare minimum – depending on the lender, other requirements and restrictions may apply.

7. Know the common loan terms

You’re probably familiar with the interest rates already; basically, this is a portion of the repayment the lender collects each month. The loan term is the total number of months you’ll be paying it off. The annual percentage rate is what the lender will charge you in addition to the interest rates. Finally, the principal is just a fancy way of describing the total amount of money borrowed. This is the basis on which the lender charges you interest rates. As you keep pacing back the loan, the principal decreases, and so do the interest rates.

8. Make a couple of price comparisons

Don’t just dive right in and pick the first lender you see. If you take a little bit of extra time to do some in-depth research which includes comparing prices online, chances are you’ll be able to find a much better deal in general. While you’re at it, it’s good to check up on their online reputation by visiting customer review portals and social media. As much as the lenders can afford to be picky in regards to who they take on board, you – as the loan taker – must be at least equally as careful and only work with the ones you can trust.

Conclusion

Based on these valuable pieces of advice, applying for your next loan should be a breeze, as long as you’re aware of your options. So make sure to do all the research necessary and only apply for a loan when you’re completely comfortable with it.

Getting the Price Right: 7 Smart Tips You Need to Know When it Comes to Selling Jewelry Online

The demand for jewelry is growing because of the need to showcase each person’s personal style. The different materials jewellery is being made out of is expanding as well. Online consumers can find everything from antique jewellery to resin pendants and individual pieces made by an artist from scratch.

You have the jewelry readily available and now it’s time to list it for sale. A bold title can peak interest, and an enchanting description keeps attention. The final selling point is the price. It can be difficult to know exactly what the piece of jewelry is worth. Here are the aspects of your jewelry to consider when pricing for online sale.

Getting the Price Right: 7 Smart Tips You Need to Know When it Comes to Selling Jewelry Online - online jewellery shop image

1.Material

Sometimes the value of a piece of jewelry is made apparent by the type of material it is made out of. If it is a diamond ring, you can simply find out the quality of the diamond and begin pricing from there. It is the same case for pricing between silver and gold, the prices of these valuable metals vary from time to time. It is also important to know whether a piece is solid or only plated in such metals.

There are times when the material is not completely reflected in the cost. Some cheap materials can be applied in difficult methods, which makes them valuable in that sense.

2. Cost of Labor

Always consider how much it is costing you to either hire someone to produce it or if you are making it yourself. Add this to the cost of the materials used to see exactly what each piece of jewelry is running out of pocket.

If you are making the jewelry to sell online, you must allow yourself a wage from producing the product. If sales do increase you can find a way to reach better margins and afford to pay an additional employee.

3. Replacing Products

Keep in mind your plan for when packages go missing or if jewelry breaks on its journey to your customer. If it is a one of a kind piece or especially valuable it could be impossible to reproduce. These costs need covered and adding a small amount of ‘insurance’ to the product cost can make it less financially devastating when you have to replace sales. Insurance is an unfortunate extra cost if nothing happens, but it can be a lifesaver if you need it.

4. Think About Shipping

The cost of shipping may scare some customers away. With the many online free-shipping promotions, people are more likely to choose an item which can be sent at no additional cost. A way to not lose money and offer free-shipping is to absorb that cost in the item price.

Most online vendors allow your customers to choose their own shipping and pay more if they want. Often for these, you won’t have to pay more than typical postage.

5. Is It Vintage?

If you are re-selling jewelry, it is important to look into the date the item was made to see if you can label it as ‘vintage.’ There are standards to when something counts as vintage, or antique, and if you do this appropriately it will draw in customers interested in the unique pieces of history. Knowing the history of your piece and being able to verify it can add a great value to collectors. One of a kind or rare pieces will always become more popular for those searching for something special.

6. Compare To Similar Jewelry

Research jewelry that is similar to yours, in materials and use, and understand what the market is already like before jumping into it. If you are reselling, multiple rings of the same style exist, so you might be able to find the exact ring and the price a different seller has set.

If your handcrafted jewelry truly is unique it can be hard to find a comparison. Just attempt to price on materials and if there is any demand for your ring that can be incorporated into the price.

7. Make A Profit

Do not simply sell for the cost of materials and labor, or what you have priory purchased the piece for. Add an amount for the profit, which every business intend to make. If it’s not something you purchased or made and just something you own, focus on what it has cost you over time in order to make a net profit. These costs might come from appraisals, listing and mailing fees, or repairs.

Why Sell Jewelry Online

Pawn shops and jewelers alike may give low prices for the jewelry because their goal is to resell it for a higher price or just use the materials to do so. Jewelry shops may be useful to have things appraised but often the price is still lowballed. By skipping the shop and selling strait to a consumer that extra profit can go to you.

Online stores also give you a much wider customer base than a local market. This can be vital when it comes to beautiful individual pieces that may be harder to find an adventurous buyer for. There are even internet sites like this company that can help you know exactly what a diamond is worth.

13 Budgeting Tips to Help You Survive on Social Security

 It is believed that roughly 25% of those aged 65 years and above live with families that rely on social security. For this reason, retirees who earn less than $1500 in social security must operate a very tight budget in order to meet up with their financial responsibilities. The following are some of the measures you can put in place in order to stretch your social security and meet your financial obligations;

13 Budgeting Tips to Help You Survive on Social Security - retired couple image

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Try to delay taking your social security

Though you should start collecting your social security at the age of 62, your monthly social security benefits will get higher if you can just wait for a little till your retirement age to start collecting the money. If for instance, you start collecting your social security at 62 when your retirement age is 67, your social security benefits will be reduced by 30%. Learn more about this from Navigation Wealth Management experts.

Consider moving to an area with lower costs of living

You can maximize your social security benefits when you reduce the costs of your living. Do not hesitate to move to a city or town with lower costs of living when you retire.

Try and pay off your debts before retiring

Credit card bills and mortgages are some of the biggest debts that can deplete your social security funds. Try as much as possible to repay them before you retire.

Consider moving to a more tax-friendly state

Many states, including the Washington DC, do not tax social security benefits. Living in states that do not tax social security will help you stretch your benefit further to cover your daily expenses.

Join discount membership programs

There are some fantastic discount membership programs you should consider joining if you want to get more from your social security. The AARP membership, for instance, will provide you with discounts or savings on your health expenses, entertainment, shopping, and restaurant meals. There are some other community memberships you can find that provide discounts for seniors.

Request from senior discounts when you make travel bookings

As a senior citizen on social security, you will have more time to travel but flights and hotels can be incredibly expensive. You can save more money off your social security by simply taking advantage of discounts on airlines such as Southwest Airlines, and American airlines. There are several hotel chains around the world that also offer discounts to senior citizens worldwide.

Make sure you don’t overpay for prescriptions

The costs of medications can quickly add up and you should consider choosing the generic payment options if possible if you want to save money on such medications. You may want to join a prescription membership program to receive rewards such as discounts.       

Volunteer or get a senior job

If you do not have a health challenge that will reduce your mobility, it will be ideal to become a volunteer or get a non-physically demanding job. Volunteering is a good way to spend your free time, even if you don’t get financial rewards for such.

Avoid adding new debts

If you cannot pay off all debt before you retire, then you should avoid adding new debt, if you want to maximize your social security benefits. You should consider steering clear of whatever that causes impulse buying and practice self-control so that you can stick to your budget. It is disheartening to know that many people are still entangled in debts even after retirement, this eventually makes it almost impossible to save money off their social security.

Downsize to a smaller home

One of the best ways to save money while living on social security is to sell your home and move into a smaller one. Fortunately, home values increase over time and you should take this opportunity to sell that family home and move into a smaller home that will cost much less to maintain. Moving into a smaller home does not mean you have to give up on your comfort, you just want to give up the unnecessary free spaces and reduce the costs of maintaining such large homes. If you don’t want to move out of your large home, you may want to consider renting out a room or apartment from the home, to save more on your social security. Having a roommate will help you save costs of utilities, including electricity, water, and cable.

Consider online income opportunities

If you have not considered online money-making opportunities before, this could be the ideal time to do so. Online income opportunities such as freelance writing, data entry, and survey participation can give you a few hundreds of dollars to augment your social security.

Make use of restaurants that offer discounts to seniors

It is okay to eat out at restaurants once in a while, even though you want to be frugal with your living expenses when you are on social security. There are numerous restaurant chains that offer up to 25% for seniors, on all types of foods and drinks. There are some restaurants that offer free meals to seniors on a particular day of the week or month.

Make use of free entertainment advantages

You don’t have to spend part of your social security to have fun and be entertained. There are museums and movie places where seniors can enter for free at a certain time of the day. Your local theater or coffee shop may organize open mic shows that you can attend for free. Book readings, free outdoor activities and free lectures at local colleges, are some of the free entertainment and educational opportunities you should take advantage of.

Conclusion

Living a frugal lifestyle perhaps is the most important skill you should embrace when living on social security. Cutting costs can be very inconvenient for many, but the rewards can be very enticing. You may want to take advantage of free evening schools for seniors in local colleges and universities where you can learn a new skill you can apply outside of the school to make extra income and live comfortably with your social security.

Denied! Advice On How To Get Your Loan Application Accepted

When money is tight, there’s one thing you can rely on – a personal loan. Banks are usually happy to accept an application as long as the applicant is deemed trustworthy. Then, you can use the cash to rebuild your finances and steadily get out of debt one step at a time.

But, what if a lender won’t process your file? What are your options?

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You can try other creditors, such as a family member, yet they might not be able to help. The best option is to make sure you don’t get rejected, and here are the tricks of the trade which will help.

Check Your Rating

Lenders use credit ratings to figure out whether a loanee is eligible for a loan. If yours is bad, there’s a good chance it will get rejected very quickly. By checking it beforehand, you can decide if it needs some work. Should it require rebuilding, there are things you can do to ensure it goes up in the future. For example, paying debts on time, even if it’s the minimum amount is a basic yet effective hack. Money Facts UK has nine more steps you can follow if you need extra advice.

Provide Basic Info

And as much of it as possible. As well as a credit score, lenders use things such as names and addresses to perform a background check. Therefore, a lack of information won’t go in your favour. Also, double check the application before sending it off for appraisal. Banks, in particular, reject stuff out of hand if they don’t have the correct details at the time of filing. This means anything from a new address to a new job. It also includes spelling mistakes, so make sure they are zero. If you can verify them with references, that’s a bonus.

Try Non-Traditional Lenders

Banks have a strict policy which they follow to the letter. As a result, securing a loan can be tough if you have a few things which don’t look good on paper. Fast Loans UK is different as it says yes where others say no. Don’t worry because it isn’t a scheme. They have quality control managers to help accept applicants others might find risky. A credit union is another option. Created to help people in debt, it won’t turn its back if your credit is poor and you struggle to get through the month. Of course, always avoid loan sharks as they are dangerous and unscrupulous.

Offer Security

The definition of an unsecured loan on Money Supermarket is: “Unsecured personal loans are available to would-be borrowers… you do not have to be a homeowner to apply.” Therefore, there is no need to provide an asset as collateral. To a bank, this is a risk and they might reject your application. By filing for a secured loan agreement, such as a mortgage, it gives them more security and means they are likely to accept your offer.

Valuables to consider securing against a loan include a house, a car, or jewellery.

Balancing Money Saving with a Social Life

One of the biggest problems people seem to face when saving money is to be able to socialize at the same time. It is often misconstrued that these two things cannot be compatible, which is totally false. It requires is a little bit of budget analysis and bargain hunting in places, but most of all it just requires more research.

Work out the Budget

Firstly, look at the amount you need to save and work out a time frame so that you can budget effectively for that period.  Make sure that you don’t try and save too much so that you are able to spend money on other essentials and leisure. This requires a fair amount of time to make sure all of the numbers are worked out, with a contingency plan for any unexpected occurrences.

There may be a way to rearrange your funds to accommodate your leisure time. For example, if you only eat home cooked meals 4 times a week, you could change that to 5 or 6 times. You may spend more on groceries, but a lot less in the long run.

Bargain Hunting

This is pretty self-explanatory, people every day are constantly looking for ways to get bargains, whether it be through coupons or discount codes. One of the best examples of this is Groupon, which is a website/app that finds discount deals for group events. The brilliant thing about this is that the deal literally requires you to have a social group to attend with you.

Choose the Right Event

When money saving, choosing the correct event to attend is an important part of both of the previous points. This goes hand in hand with budgeting as you shouldn’t go to an event that you know will cost extortionate amounts of money for minimal experiences. There are so many options for reasonably priced, great experiences, comedy clubs London being one example among many. It is all about how much effort you put in.

It is always important to prioritize certain things, but it is also important for the mind to enjoy yourself from time to time. Even if you still can’t afford these things, don’t let it stop you from socializing. You can still go to cafes or invite friends to your home, which can definitely brighten your day. For something extra to brighten your day, check out this brilliant infographic containing some entertaining jokes.