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January 10, 2020, 10:25 am

Advice on Using a Refund Anticipation Loan during a Financial Emergency

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: More Financial articles

Tax refunds help millions of Americans each year financially. Filing an accurate paper tax return, which we do not recommend, should yieldits appearance in six to eight weeks from the date the IRS received your file.   For the recommended way to file a tax return, which is electronically, you will receive the tax refund in typically 3 weeks.  There are additional factors that may effect this amount of time as well, however if you are waiting on a tax refund and have a financial problem that needs to be taken care of using your tax refund, this time can seem like an eternity, and this problem may grow significantly worse if it isn’t taken care of in a timely manner!  That is why a solution has been created for this situation, and it is called a tax refund anticipation loan or tax refund loan.

What exactly is a refund anticipation loan or tax refund loan?

A refund anticipation loan (RAL) is a loan provided by lenders that are backed by the anticipated federal income tax refund you will be receiving in the future.  The process for acquiring these loans is quite straightforward, as the lender loans the amount needed plus any charges and interest rate expenses. The amount borrowed is then paid back later using the tax refund received.

What are the costs associated with tax refund loans?

These costs typically vary from one lender to another, but the one constant with all RAL’s is a high interest rate.  However, is a RAL is used correctly, and paid back on time, it is a tool that can save you significant money, time, and energy!  This is because RAL’s are short-term solutions for financial emergencies!  Finding the exact costs, can be found when you apply for this product.

Here are some of the most important things to consider with getting a RAL

Here are some of the most important things to know and consider when looking to get a RAL.   The top things that need to be considered include:

  1. Interest: the interest expense is likely to form the cost of getting a refund anticipation loan.  Most of these loans carry large interest rates, but are paid back in a quick timeframe, so the cost can be significantly less than letting the financial emergency, that these loans are usually gotten for, grow.
  2. Requirements: There are a few requirements when getting this product which include:
    1. Being a U.S. Citizen
    1. Be at least 18 Years of Age
    1. Have a Bank Checking Account
    1. Be Receiving Future Income i.e. Your Tax Refund
  3. Finding the best place to get a tax refund loan: Looking online or working with your tax preparer when getting a tax refund advance is the best way to go about finding the best option for it.  The most recommended online provider is tax refund loans.

Final thoughts and conclusion about tax refund anticipation loans

All in all, a RAL can be a very helpful tool during a financial emergency as a last resort.  However, there are many other options that you should consider first that can save you money.  For example, asking friends or family for help or a loan, using a credit card, and tapping into an emergency fund are some options you should try before getting a tax refund advance.  So if you have a financial emergency, and there are no other options, a RAL can be a great financial tool!

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November 5, 2018, 2:47 pm

How Small Business Owners Are Going to Benefit from Bitcoin

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: More Financial articles

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Pièces, Virtuel, Numérique

If you’re a small business owner, you may be wondering if you can benefit from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While this technology is still in its early days, and cryptocurrency remains a volatile payment solution, small businesses are likely to reap huge benefits from Bitcoin in the future, when it becomes more stable and widely-adopted.

Understanding Bitcoin – A Brief Primer

Bitcoin is a digital currency that’s based on a blockchain, which is a type of decentralized ledger technology, secured by cryptography.

Bitcoin is obtained by “miners”, who use computing power to solve complicated math equations and log transactions on the blockchain.

Bitcoin is unique, because it’s not regulated by a central bank. Instead, all transactions are verified by independent copies of the same blockchain. It also has a limited supply, which helps fight against inflation. For more about Bitcoin, take a look at this article from TechTarget.

The Benefits of Bitcoin for Small Businesses

So, why is Bitcoin a big deal for small businesses? Here are just a few benefits that Bitcoin could have for small businesses.

  1. Secure Online Transactions – Bitcoin is, by definition, a secure payment method which can be easily integrated into online storefronts. This means fewer fees and lower costs to launch online stores.
  1. Faster Transaction Speeds – Bitcoin, as a P2P system, has faster transfer times, compared to traditional banking systems. For example, a traditional cash advance deposits for business financing could take multiple days to process, especially if it’s moving between countries. Bitcoin, in contrast, could process this transaction in seconds.
  1. No Transaction Fees – Because Bitcoin is decentralized, there is no central authority regulating the transactions of users – meaning that there are no fees you have to be concerned about when transferring funds to another person or business.

This is especially powerful when it comes to transferring money internationally, which traditionally can cost quite a bit of money in fees, due to the complexity of working with international banking institutions.

  1. No International Exchange Rates – Bitcoin is not subject to the daily fluctuations of international exchange rates. This makes it easier to transfer funds internationally – or accept payments from foreign customers and companies.5. Fraud Protection from Chargebacks– Bitcoin transactions are not reversible. A Bitcoin transaction is similar to handing cash over to a merchant – there is no way for a customer to easily file for a fraudulent chargeback, which is an increasingly common online scam.

For these five reasons and many more, Bitcoin may be the future of small business sales. It provides an immutable, convenient, and fee-free way to accept online payments both domestically and abroad and has a number of protections that make it ideal for both merchants and customers.

Look Forward to Mainstream Bitcoin Adoption – And Be Prepared

Currently, adopting Bitcoin in your small business may be difficult, and the volatility of the currency means that it is inherently risky. But, in the next few years, we expect that Bitcoin will become much more stable – and realize its true purpose as a truly decentralized, worldwide medium of exchange.

So, keep an eye on Bitcoin news, and make sure that your company is prepared to adopt the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Image source: Pixabay

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May 24, 2018, 9:54 am

Why Investing Proactively in Cybersecurity Should Be at the Top of Your Budget

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: More Financial articles

When it comes to business, the golden rule is that everything is always changing – and your business should change with it if you do not want it to perish. Entrepreneurship is not only about that great idea but also about knowing how and when to adapt to changes. As recent ransomware attacks have demonstrated, cybercrime is here to stay, and hackers seem keen to keep attacking companies rather than individuals – which means that companies have to adapt to this hostility, starting off by changing their budget.

How to Approach Your Budget

Changing a budget priority is not only about reallocating funds. It is mostly about employing a different perspective on things. What was perhaps once a footnote in how spending was approached has gradually emerged to the forefront of budgeting. Just like with the way advertising and marketing needs have evolved to adapt to the rapidly changing technology or the banking solutions that emerged to make online shopping easier, so has online security grown to occupy a much bigger space in a company’s needs. Any company today that does not have a dedicated IT department and an incident response plan is an easy target for cybercriminals wishing to steal sensitive data and extort companies for ransom by deploying malicious software.

Source: Pexels

Know the Enemy

In order to make sure that you allocate sufficient funds into cybersecurity, first you need to understand where the risk is coming from and at how much danger you are. For example, some types of attacks like spear phishing are more sophisticated and thus demand closer attention. Similar to phishing, spear phishing is a social engineering attack where a hacker disguises as a trusted entity in order to lure the victim into clicking on a malicious link that will give the perpetrator unauthorized access to data, install malware or even launch the first phase of an advanced persistent threat (APT). However, spear phishing is much more tailored than simple phishing rather than automated or sent en masse and thus more dangerous, because the recipient of the message is more likely to consider it genuine. Companies need to invest funds not only in cyber tools to fend off hackers but also in personnel training, as this would be the first and often most crucial line of defense in the case of tailored attacks like spear phishing.

Source: Pexels

Cyberattacks Are Bad for Business

Being proactive is key, as cyberattacks are not only bad for business in terms of disrupting service and turning clients away, they are also very expensive. According to the US White House’s Council of Economic Advisers study, the cost of cybercrime in the US economy amounted to a number somewhere between $57 billion and $109 billion, just for 2016 alone. This translates to a figure between 0.31% to 0.58% of that year’s GDP, which is a huge figure when it comes to a GDP of a country like the US. According to the report, the industries that were contributing the most to the country’s economy were hit the hardest, including manufacturing, government operations, and healthcare. Unsurprisingly, the finance sector was at the top of the number of incidents list, with a record of 471 breaches. The report, which became public in 2018, also suggested that insufficient funding in cybersecurity might be part of why the problem is so acute.

It is not easy to keep adapting to a changing landscape. Still, budgeting in for cybersecurity for your firm has evolved from simply a wise choice to an absolutely essential decision.

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May 23, 2018, 8:53 am

Tips for Playing Real Money Online Poker

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: More Financial articles

Source: Pixabay

Real money online poker can be tough, which is why most online poker players start on play money tables. This way, they can learn the basics without the risk of losing actual money. But, eventually, an online poker player would have to level up and try their hand at playing with real money. Here are some helpful tips for real money poker players so you can avoid committing the costly mistakes most new players make.

Establish Your Bankroll

The first thing every online poker player needs to learn is how to establish a bankroll. You will need to know how to manage your bankroll and the amount that you are playing with. For players who are just starting out, it is best to stick to tables and tournaments that have smaller blinds or sit-and-gos with low buy-ins.

Take Control of Your Spending

As a beginner, it is best to stick with just one table until you have gained enough experience and are sure that you have your game, and your bankroll, under control. Most online casinos offer several different payment methods to make it easier for players to create an account. If you take a look at the online casinos listed on, you will see that adding money into your account can be made very fast and convenient by using credit or debit cards, e-Wallets, eCheck, and traditional bank transfers; all you need to do is ensure that you play with what you can actually afford.


Know Your Opponents

There is no single strategy in real money poker, and you can expect your opponents to be using a lot more strategies and tactics compared to those in play money games. A few things to take note of, especially by those who are just starting out in real money poker: your opponents will be calling your bets a lot, so you need to bet with hands that have value, instead of making bluffs. If you do have good hands, do not hesitate to play them aggressively. It is also better for you to bet and get calls instead of trying to make sophisticated plays.

Find the Table That Suits You

There are a lot of table variations featured in online poker rooms and there are many ways to play poker, so you will need to find the table that best suits your playing style. Try more than one variation, as each one has its strengths and weaknesses and it will be beneficial for you to see which one you are most comfortable playing at the real money poker table. And, while online card rooms allow poker players to sit at more than one table at a time, a beginner would be better off focusing on one table at a time.

Playing real money poker can mean taking greater risks and taking note of these tips can be helpful in preparing you to become a smarter player. By learning the basics of the game, you can avoid making costly mistakes that most newbie online real money pokers make.

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June 27, 2013, 6:00 am

Why Would You Pay Over $3 For a Cup of Coffee?

by: MD    Category: More Financial articles

Why would you pay over $3 for a cup of coffee?

That’s what a buddy once asked me. He proceeded to tell me what a rip off this is and how I already have a coffee maker/Tassimo machine.

The reality is that I do my best writing at coffee shops. I just can’t get into the zone in my room. There’s no sense of urgency and I get easily distracted by everything. So I hit up a coffee shop, grab some coffee, and start writing like an animal. When I’m complete or just tired, I go home.

I know. I get it. Coffee at a coffee shop is a rip off. It’s not cheap and it’s over-priced.

$3 is too much for a cup of coffee. We can all agree on that generally speaking.

So why the hell do I spend this much money on coffee?

Sometimes in life you have to move past the tactical stuff and the boring details to think about deeper stuff. You can’t always just worry about the same minor details.

I do my best to study top-performers and successful friends. I want to see what they do differently.

They usually have one thing in common. They don’t stress over the excruciating minutia. They focus on the next big issue and something higher to tackle. They solve major problems consistently.

One of my friends wasn’t happy with his job. While everyone else at the job complained about the management and bashed each other, creating a toxic environment, he did something different. He took evening courses and earned his degree in a field that guaranteed him work. He found a new job eventually and left his old place of work. He knew that complaining about the same crap would get him absolutely nowhere. Now he makes more money than ever before.

Do you stress about the minor stuff?

We all stress about such minor stuff and it’s never worth it. I get stuck in this trap sometimes. I worry about responding to comments and emails and I forget to tackle higher issues.

Why do we stress about the minor stuff? Because it’s safe and easy.

After I finished reading The 4-Hour Workweek, I posted the following note on my desk:

Are you inventing things to do to avoid doing the important?

Whenever I’m aimlessly surfing the web, I look at this and get myself back into gear.

Are you thinking big enough?

I’m certainly not. I’m not strategic enough at all. I know this. I respond to useless emails and spend hours doing nothing. We’ve already covered this angle.

Today, I just wanted to throw out some random thoughts on strategy and higher-level thinking:

  1. We have to think past today. Spending a few bucks today for a lunch with a successful person might cost you some money. You never know what doors it will open up in the future for you.
  2. Will this matter in a week? That’s what I ask myself now. We can laugh off most of our problems and embarrassments by asking if they will even matter in a week from now. They usually don’t matter in a few minutes.

Back to the friend bashing my idea to go to the coffee shop to drink coffee and use my laptop. He usually just sits around and does nothing. He goes on Facebook and it takes him forever to respond to a basic email. Maybe, hitting up the coffee shop isn’t such a bad idea to get some work done.

Sometimes you have to create systems for yourself.

I’ve come to realize that will-power will only take you so far. You have to create some systems and barriers for yourself to improve your behavior.

For example, if you don’t want to eat junk food, then don’t have any around the house. It’s hard to eat a bag of chips in the middle of the night when you don’t have one.

When I want to get work done, I hit up a coffee shop, drink expensive coffee and get work done. It also doesn’t hurt seeing some attractive young ladies.

When it comes to the gym, I pay extra for my membership because it gives me access to certain classes. I know that I can’t miss a class because someone will text me and make fun of me. And I’m the king of peer pressure, so I certainly don’t want to be called out for missing a class.

So what do you guys think: is it worth spending $3 on a cup of coffee? Are you a strategic thinker?

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