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February 27, 2020, 9:44 am

4 money-saving services you didn’t know could be pay-as-you-go

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Did you know that British credit card owners owe, on average, £2,000 on those cards? That’s one of several eye-opening statistics from This is Money about Britons’ financial health. The site adds that clearing such debt can take two years, assuming a 17% interest rate and £100 monthly repayment.

Therefore, you should endeavour to avoid accumulating such heavy debt in the first place. However, even if you’re already deep in the red, there are various little things you can do to rein in your routine spending. Even just the following services are available on a pay-as-you-go basis.  

TV services

A while ago, you might have nonchalantly spent big on a large range of TV channels, with the cost of those included in a single, great-value package. Well, it might not look such great value if it dawns on you that you rarely watch much of the channels you have splashed out for.

Perhaps you could forgo paying for that all-in-one package – or even the BBC’s licence fee, if you never watch anything legally requiring that licence – by switching to pay-as-you-go options. Those could include streaming services, of which Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are good examples.

Photo by Tofros.com from Pexels

Mobile phone services

Given how indispensable a smartphone could seem to your day-to-day life, you could easily be excused for regularly upgrading your phone – and at significant expense – without a second thought. However, the conventional way of funding your smartphone habit isn’t necessarily the best way.

If you currently use a contract phone, you could be paying as much as £50 monthly to your mobile phone company, adding up to hundreds of pounds per year. However, you could switch to a non-contract phone and then use pay-as-you-go vouchers to top up your data as and when necessary.

Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Gym memberships

When investigating how to save money on everyday expenses, what better site to turn to than one aimed at students? Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, then, that Save the Student offers this particular pearl of wisdom: dump that costly gym membership you pay for month by month.

If you’re currently at university, it probably already offers gym facilities you can use much more cheaply. Even if your student days are behind you, it’s not hard to find pay-as-you-go gyms around the UK alone. So, you can get fit both physically and financially at the same time.

Office services

If you run your own business, you could have various costly overheads to think about. It doesn’t help that leasing a conventional office can require you to commit for 3 to 5 years, as an Entrepreneur article explains. If you’re already cash-strapped, such a big commitment can feel daunting.

Fortunately, there are other, comparatively flexible means of sourcing an office, saving you from needing to spend heavily on a contract that you could feel inclined to abandon sooner than previously expected. There are, for example, flexible workspaces in London from BE Offices, allowing you to sign just a one-month rolling contract and quit at short notice.

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September 18, 2019, 8:10 am

What Are the Basic Requirements for Obtaining Loans in Ontario?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Many people are surprised at how many options for financing are available today. This is especially true for people who don’t have much in the way of established credit or are currently rebuilding damaged credit score after experiencing some sort of financial reversal. What does it take to obtain personal loans in Canada or other types of loans? While there are some variants between lenders, the following qualifications are often applicable.

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You Must Be of Legal Age

Typically, no individual who is under the age of 18 is able to obtain financing without the help of a co-signer. A parent or other relative who is willing to sign the loan with you will work if you are underage and want to finance something like purchasing of a vehicle. Your co-signer would be responsible for repaying the loan if you were to default.

Keep in mind that not all lenders will extend financing to those under the age of 18 even if someone is willing to co-sign the loan. Before submitting an application, it never hurts to ask about the lender’s policy on this point.

Residents of Canada Only

People who are residents of other countries are usually not eligible to receive financing. You will need to confirm that you are in fact living in the country before your application is considered. There are some lenders who offer what’s referred to as “New to Canada” financing. This type of lending arrangement is targeted towards those who are seeking to become permanent residents rather than those who are temporarily living in Canada.

If you’re not sure that a lender would consider you to be a Canadian resident, outline your circumstances, including if you are seeking citizenship or plan to remain in the country with the proper documentation for several years. The lender will determine if you can be eligible for a loan based on those factors.

You Must Have a Verifiable Bank Account

It’s essential that you have a bank account that the lender can check and determine that it’s active and in good standing. This is important for two reasons. First, the funds from an approved loan may be deposited directly into that account. Second, even if the funding goes directly to an automobile dealer or some other type of creditor, the lender wants to know that you have a bank account that will be used to remit installment payments on the loan balance.

Different lenders will require various types of information in order to confirm your active bank account. Some may be happy with a copy of your most recent bank statement. Others will collect basic information about the account and then contact the institution directly. Once the bank confirms that you do have an active account, you meet this qualification.

Proof of Your Identity

Be prepared to provide documentation that confirms your identity. This may be in the form of a driver’s licence, some type of government-issued identification that includes your image, or even a picture ID confirming you are currently a student at one of the universities in Canada. There are some lenders who would accept an employee-related picture ID, provided there is other data that helps to ensure you are the person that you claim to be.

Verifiable Sources of Income

Many people assume that the only source of income that lenders will consider is a steady full-time job. In fact, it’s not unusual for lenders to consider multiple sources of income other than wages and salaries. When you approach lenders about the qualifications for Ontario loans, ask for examples of what income sources they accept.

What are some of the more common income sources that lenders accept? Along with income from your job, money from pension funds, federal and provincial benefit programs like the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Compassionate Care Benefits, and monthly disbursements from trust funds are likely to be accepted.

One key to using various sources of income to meet the lender’s qualifications is making sure those funds are directly deposited into the bank account that you’ve provided. Proof of direct deposit, along with the amount of the monthly benefit or income, will often be what you need to give the lender a reasonable sense of security that there is money to help you make those installment payments.

Documentation to Confirm Your Permanent Residence

One final requirement that most lenders need is confirmation of your permanent address. This can be in the form of a utility bill, credit card statement, or some type of tax form. If your living arrangement comes with utilities included in the rent, a letter from your landlord confirming that you do in fact live at the address provided will often suffice.

Keep in mind that some lenders may or may not place emphasis on your current credit score. Some lenders are willing to work with people who have experienced credit issues in the past and are currently working to regain their good credit ratings. If the first lender you try does not work out, don’t hesitate to try a different one. Your efforts have a good chance of paying off in terms of getting the money you need and adding a positive reference to your credit reports.

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March 4, 2019, 9:40 am

Everything You Need to Know About Short Term Loans

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Banks and You,Personal Finance,Uncategorized

Getting rid of several debts can be taxing, especially if someone doesn’t have the right funding to get the job done quickly.

Here are just a few situations where it might be a good idea to consider obtaining short term loans:

  • Need to pay off a hospital bill as soon as possible.
  • Emergency surgery or procedure that needs to be paid before scheduling.
  • Got into a fender bender and need repairs completed quickly.
  • Need to pay a utility bill before service is cut off!
  • Pay off a ticker or legal fees.

There are hundreds of reasons why someone might not have the money they need for these unexpected situations!

Not everyone has money lying around for emergencies, and that’s okay! Short term loans provide much-needed funding for qualified individuals. Approval could be obtained in as little as a few hours—maybe even less.

What’s even better is that a person could expect to acquire the cash they need the same business day they apply (depending on the lender).

In general, short term loans are a type of emergency loan for those that need money with little hassle. But what short term loans are there for inquirers to consider?

Types of Short-Term Loans to Consider

If anyone is searching for a short-term loan, they may have browsed online or looked at their local newspaper. While short term loans are a popular form of funding, companies call them a variety of different names. However, most loans function the same.

Here are some popular types of short-term loans. Go ahead and see which one works for you and your current financial situation!

Payday Loans

Payday loans, also known as fast cash loans or a cash advance, provide borrowers with cash or a check (depending on their preference), and are one of the quickest ways of acquiring emergency funds. However, payday loans are tightly regulated depending on the state.

If a state offers regulated payday loans, borrowers may only be able to obtain less than $500 or up to $1,000. So, if a borrower needs more than those amounts, they should expect to look elsewhere.

Making payments on these short-term loans is fairly simple. Typically, when a borrower gets paid, that’s when the payday loan will need to be repaid. In short, a borrowers next paycheck will go towards paying off the entirety of the loan—including any interest fees.

It’s important to mention that rollovers are an option for individuals that choose to get a payday loan. Rollovers are extensions offered by payday lenders. They offer borrowers more time to repay their loan but are a pain. Every paycheck from that point onward will keep disappearing until the payday loan is fully paid off.

As a word of caution, payday loans are a good financing option in terms of fast cash, but only for small amounts.

Auto Title Loans

Auto title loans are a type of secured loan. And like other short term loans, borrowers don’t have to wait long to obtain their funds!

The amount provided with auto title loans is a lot higher than other short term loans out there. However, that amount is based on the market value of a person’s vehicle.

The reason for this is because an auto title loan is a secured loan. With a secured loan, collateral is used to “secure” the money and ensures that the lender will receive their money back in case a borrower cannot repay.

For auto title loans, a borrower repays the loan through monthly payments. Typically, this takes 12 months or less. Most lenders let customers pay off the entirety of the loan anytime they please before the loan term ends.

However, title loan lenders also emphasize that any late payments or defaults on the loan will result in repossession of the vehicle. For this reason, borrowers should try their best to remain on top of their monthly payments.  

Installment Loans

Many lenders may advertise installment loans, but most loans are technically installment loans. An installment loan is any loan that follows a monthly repayment plan. These short term loans usually take a few months (12 months at most), depending on how much is borrowed.

Most installment loan lenders may even approve inquirers with little or no credit. But be warned! Rates may factor into that credit score and could leave someone in even more debt by the end of it!

Line of Credit

A line of credit acts like a credit card and could provide a convenient and simple form of funding. Depending on who’s offering that line of credit, a customer usually must pay off whatever they end up using and are given a max cap of credit to use.

Like other short term loans, a line of credit works mostly the same, but the amount of credit is based on credit history, income, and other factors.

When to Use Short Term Loans

These are just a handful of loans that fit under the ‘short term loans’ category. Just to recap, here are some advantages that all short term loans tend to have over traditional bank loans.

  • Shorter Time to Pay Off: Short term loans need to be paid off usually within a year or less. Having short repayment terms means rates may be less and paying off the loan sooner doesn’t seem as daunting. Other types of loans, such as mortgages, last more than 12 months!
  • Fast Cash Loans: Short term loans are less risky compared to longer term loans because of that shorter maturity date. That underwriting process becomes shorter as a result, and lets people acquire money the same day, or even the next day!
  • Easier to Obtain: Considered the lifesaver of emergency loans in the financial world, short term loans are there for people who may not have very good credit or meet the other minimal requirements of a long-term loan. This makes it easier for almost anyone to acquire the money they need!

Even with all these advantages, short term loans should be used responsibly and not taken lightly. They can really be a pain in the wallet if they aren’t paid sooner rather than later!

So those in need of quick, emergency funding who would like to experience the advantages listed above should consider short term loans.

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January 29, 2019, 1:20 pm

How to Collect Savings for your Kid’s Education

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Planning,Personal Finance

Post-secondary education can open doors for your kid in the future. It can forge their path to a fulfilling career and increase their chances of gaining a comfortable salary. As a parent, you want your kid to have every opportunity to follow their dreams. You can help make that possible by saving up for the costs of tuition, right now.

Start Saving Immediately:

It doesn’t matter if your child is still a toddler — it’s the right time to put money away for their education. The sooner, the better. The costs of tuition are high, and you’ll need time to generate enough savings to cover these costs.

A survey from the College Board found that the costs for attending an in-state public college average out to $25, 290 in a single academic year. These costs include tuition, housing, service fees and supplies. For a private college, the average costs rise all the way up to $50, 900 per academic year.

What’s more concerning is that the price of tuition grows with every year, so parents with very young children will have to plan for the real possibility of higher costs. In comparison to the averages from 2017-2018, the costs of college in 2035 are predicted to be $54,070 per year at public institutions and $121,078 per year for private institutions. That’s only 16 years away. If your childis still in diapers, these are the prices you might be dealing with when they’re applying for college.

Strive For A Third:

Financial experts advise that parents saving for college aspire to put away enough of their earnings to pay for a third of their child’s overall education costs by the time they apply for college. Another third should be paid off with earnings, grants and scholarships while the child is in college. The final portion should be handled with student loans and paid off after they have finally graduated. If you start saving for this goal now, you’ll have made good progress by the time your kid is in high school. According to a recent survey, the average family saves up $19,784 per child to pay for their college education —  this is lower than the average saving goal of approximately $38,953 each. Don’t be discouraged by the possibility of missing the mark — keep pushing towards the goal you’ve set. What
you end up saving will be of more help than if you hadn’t begun this process in the first place.

Open The Right Account:

Parents have good intentions when they open up a savings account in their child’s name.

The better move is to open up a 529 plan because it is specifically designed for college savings and it offers tax and financial aid benefits that won’t come with your regular savings account. The plan has no limitations on age, so your child can use it even if they don’t move onto college right after high school. Every state has their version of the plan, so do your research to see what benefits yours offers.

Leave The Fund Alone:

The only time you are supposed to touch the contents of the fund is when your child is finally accepted into college and paying the tuition. Grabbing money from the fund will stifle its growth and encourage you to keep finding reasons to take from it again.

As a specialty savings account, it comes with the benefit of compounding interest that benefits from a larger balance. By syphoning money from this fund to pay for unexpected bills, you’ll lose out on this extra cash. You’ll also likely face penalties in the form of taxes and fees for withdrawing cash early for reasons other than education.

If you’re dealing with an emergency payment and you need some extra cash to take care of it, don’t dip into the college fund even if it’s only for a small amount. If you need a quick fix for this minor crisis like an overdue bill or unexpected car repair, consider using an installment loan. To see if you’re eligible this product, check out Moneykey.com/installment-loans-online/ to learn more.

Online installment loans are short-term solutions that can help you deal with your problem right away. The repayment term is long so that you can tackle it at a convenient pace. You can learn more about the process at the official MoneyKey website.

The costs of post-secondary education are intimidating. At times saving for tuition may seem like an impossible mountain to climb. But with planning and determination, you can make it happen. You can save up enough to get them into the school of their choice and proudly watch them earn their degree.

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December 13, 2018, 6:09 pm

Financial Tips to Avoid Debt During the Holiday Season

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

 

 

There is plenty of opportunity to overspend during the holidays, but overspending will only leave you scrambling to pay back your debt in the new year. With the proper planning and foresight, however, you can make it through the holidays without falling into the holiday debt trap.

 

Especially if you’re already juggling debt outside of the holiday season, it can be difficult to enter this time when there are so many expectations and pressure to spend. You might not know what to do if you owe money and still have to pull off the holidays for your family and loved ones, but you don’t have to worry. There are ways you can prepare for the holidays so that you keep your spending in check.

 

Make a List of Gifts

Start with the essentials and make a note about things you will not be buying. Ask yourself: What do I definitely need to get? Who will I definitely be buying for? Typically, people shop for their immediate family, extended family, friends, coworkers, neighbours, and children’s teachers.

 

That isn’t to say you have to buy gifts for all of these people, be realistic about who you will be spending for and from there decide who needs more unique, expensive gifts and who can receive more generic or handmade gifts.

 

Spend Wisely

Take your list with you everywhere. It could be a good idea to have a version on your phone and a backup in your wallet or purse. Stick to the list, it’s important. You can also go into your shopping with cash only, so you know how much you have to spend and so you won’t make impulse buys. If you plan on using credit cards, plan ahead: take the card you’re using and leave the others at home.

 

Prepare for Holiday Expenses

The holidays aren’t just expensive because of gifts, there are other costs that we tend to forget about. There’s decorations, food and drink, travel, charitable donations, and postage and shipping for anything being mailed off.

 

Make a list of these expenses in a spreadsheet or planner and put down your planned spending and actual spending. Be generous with your estimations, you don’t want to spend more than you’ve planned for. If your planned spending is too high, then move some numbers around until you’ve got the right balance.

 

Take Action Against Your Debt

Maybe you’re already struggling with debt and can’t see any way of paying back your creditors on time. If you are in a desperate position of considering bankruptcy, then it’s time to contact David Sklar & Associates for the help of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. They can help you figure out how to best protect your assets and what steps need to be taken to resolve your situation. A consumer proposal might be what you need, and the sooner you know it, the better. Then you can get back to planning for your financial future and enjoying the holidays without major financial strain.

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