Thursday, 31 March 2011 | 19:19 | 0 Comments

School Band Fundraisers

School Band Fundraisers - Talk about your hard workers! Band groups are awesome when it comes to putting forth the effort it takes for fundraising success. The key is making sure they have the right fundraiser that will leverage all that energy.

In this article, we'll consider three band fundraisers that:

Take some effort
Are perfect for medium-sized groups
Produce excellent results

Citrus Fruit
One band fundraiser that fits the easy fundraiser formula is selling cases of citrus fruit shipped direct from the Florida groves.

Here, the band members use an order-taker brochure to explain the offering to prospective supporters.

You really need to go door-to-door or sell from a merchant table to achieve the kind of numbers where you'll raise substantial funds. This is perfect for a band group with enough members to canvass entire neighborhoods by working in pairs.

Customers can choose from Navel Oranges, Tangelos, Tangerines, Red Grapefruits, and mixed cartons. Order sizes range from ten pounds all the way up to forty pounds.

A common size is 2/5 of a bushel or 20 pounds. Generally, you can expect to pay roughly $8 for this size and make a profit of $4 each. These are rough prices because citrus fruit can vary in price based on weather patterns and availability.

Citrus fruit is a wintertime offering with availability best between mid-November through mid-April. There are discounts for large orders and bonuses for ordering a whole truckload.

Christmas Wreaths
Another band fundraiser that's a good fit is selling Christmas wreaths via an order-taker brochure.

It's another late fall fundraiser that takes advantage of a holiday "must have" decoration.

Since they're made fresh, you can get an early jump on the retail stores and conduct your fundraiser as an order taker before Thanksgiving.

There are a number of offerings in addition to the traditional door wreath.

Suppliers also offer door swags, mantelpieces, centerpieces, candle wreath packs, and fresh cut holly. Prices range from $17 up to $50.

Profits are approximately 40% of the selling price on most items, so it makes a great band fundraiser because the total revenue is high.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how quickly your band profits can add up with an aggressive marketing campaign. You need to set some high goals for each band member, such as ten sales each before Thanksgiving.

Delivery is easy, with each wreath sealed in a plastic bag to preserve freshness. Get your orders in early and allow two weeks minimum for delivery.

Coffee Fundraiser
A third band fundraiser that produces great results is a coffee sale. Like the other two fundraisers we've already discussed, a large selection of pre-bagged coffee products are sold via an order-taker brochure.

Your supporters can select from twenty or more flavors. Most suppliers have small "dollar bags" or the better selling half-pound package.

Usually, the cost for a half pound of quality coffee is $3, and the retail price is $5 or $6. You can offer a choice of whole bean, or ground varieties.

The idea here is to tap into the market for something that almost every household buys regularly, then expand upon it with multiple flavors.

Their names conjure up images of a cup of coffee wafting delicious aromas throughout the kitchen - flavors like Hazelnut, Toasted Almond, Hawaiian Coconut, Butterscotch, or Morning Glory.

Again, success is best achieved by presenting your offering to large numbers of prospective supporters. Set up a table at any event that draws a large crowd. Offer samples from tiny paper cups. Get the word out to as many people as you can.

Your band group works hard. Make sure you pick a band fundraiser that works just as hard by being impossible to resist.

Source: PLR College Scholarhips
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011 | 19:11 | 0 Comments

How To Write a Better Fundraising Letter

How To Write a Better Fundraising Letter - Looking for tips on writing a better fundraising letter? Use these quick tips
to craft your next donation request letter. Feel free to modify the sample
letter below to fit your specific needs.

-Good news - Always start the letter with a series of good news
-Use bullets to build momentum and make entire letter entertaining and informative
- Use foreshadowing to tease your reader and keep him or her reading.
- Create a widow at the end of the first page (a thought that's finished
on page two)
- Make your reader turn the page
-Describe what you want to do next
- Tell what you're going to do.
- Why you're going to do it.
- How you're going to do it.
- What results you expect.

List suggested contribution amounts
- Use even numbersin graduated amounts
- Offer a monthly auto charge credit card option ($10 a month is $120 a year)
- Include a blank line for write-in amounts
-Remind readers that their contribution is your budget - Your successes have been possible because of their past contributions
- Thank them!

Use P.S.'s for skimmers
- May titillate skimmers and get them to read the entire letter.
- To create a sense of urgency.

Sample Donation Request Letter


Dear Name of sponsor,

On (date of event), I will join hundreds of others to help end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis by (riding/walking/skating) in the MS (event name). By making a pledge on my behalf, you are supporting research and local services to those affected with this unpredictable disease.

Give details - Tell your story: I have a personal stake in this particular event. My (dad, aunt, sister) has MS. Not only do I want to help him/her, but also the many others diagnosed with MS. MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system. Some symptoms of MS may include loss of balance, impaired vision and hearing, fatigue, muscle weakness and, in some,
paralysis. Even simple everyday living skills become increasingly difficult.
Everyone is affected differently by these symptoms.

My goal is to raise at least (specify dollar amount) this year, which represents $1 for every person with MS registered with our local MS Chapter. Please help me reach that goal with your pledge. Your donation is tax deductible. If you wish, you may mail all or part of your payment amount today in the self-addressed stamped envelope enclosed with this letter.

Otherwise, I will collect your pledge after the event. Please make your check
payable to the National MS Society. My deadline to get my pledges in is (deadline date). Following the event, I will send out a brief recap of the MS (event name) to all my sponsors.

Thank you in advance for your support. Please call me if you have any questions or comments about the MS (event name). I can be reached at (phone number).


Your name
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011 | 19:10 | 0 Comments

High School Fundraisers

High School Fundraisers - High school—a constant hub of activities, studies, and events—and the last years of our school days shared with friends. High schools always hold a variety of events to raise funds for the many extra curricular activities that makes school fun.

High school students are old enough to realize that in order to have a successful fundraiser, a business plan should be in place. The plan should begin with the question, “what are we raising funds for?” What expenses will be incurred is also another consideration for your plan. Research the most successful fundraisers for high schools to produce. There are many Internet websites that have hundreds of ideas. Don’t use the same fundraiser year after year if profits have continuously declined. Recruit a lot of volunteers who are willing to work for the cause, and check your calendar to make sure there aren’t a lot of other charity events going on at the same time.

Once your plan is in place, think about the type of fundraiser you would like to hold. Successful fundraising ideas include scratch off cards, discount cards, car washes, bake sales, candy sales, seasonal gift catalogs and book fairs. You can find lots of information about any of these on the Internet.

Finally, make sure students alert the community about the fundraiser and promote it by placing flyers throughout the community. You might also try to get a radio or television station to sponsor your event, thus gaining greater exposure. Make sure thank you notes are sent to all those involved.
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Monday, 28 March 2011 | 19:51 | 0 Comments

Your Guide to Student Loan Consolidation

Your Guide to Student Loan Consolidation Student loan consolidation program is popular among those students who wish to combine their unsettled obligations into a loan. Nowadays, government in most countries offers Student loans in supports for the payment of their expenses in colleges and universities.
This program aims to help the borrowers in paying the cost of their education in low interest rates depending on one's credit and financial status. The consolidated loans have a fixed monthly interest rate for the entire duration.

The parent and the student shall consolidate their loans separately. They cannot combine their loans, because the same person can only attain consolidation. Married student cannot also combine their loans together with their partner in accordance to the provision that was revoked effective July 1, 2006.

When married students combine their loans, both of them will be responsible for the full amount. The consolidated loans cannot be break up for any reasons. In order to avoid the occurrence of this problem if the couple gets divorce, Congress rescinded this provision as part of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005.
Enumerated below are the two means in acquiring information regarding student loans.

1. Through the internet, borrowers can easily find institutions that offer lowest interest rates and they can make instructive comparisons. It also offers fastest and reliable source of data regarding this program, it answers the essential questions that the borrowers may inquire. Moreover, through this technology they can easily apply for the student loan consolidation program in their most convenient time.

2. Financial aid office of any learning institution can provide thorough information regarding the loan program for the student. The student and the institution were the only two parties involve in the loan program. However, there were, only a limited Postsecondary who participates in loan consolidation, nevertheless the borrowers can assure in simple, fast, and direct transactions.

Before an individual engages into the student loan consolidation, she/he has to consider some of the important factors. Firstly she/he has to keep in her/his mind that a student loan consolidation does not lessen the amount of debt; it only reduces the payment each month, but it can only prolong the time for her/him to pay the loans she/he have and increases entirely the loans obtained.

The maximum year that the consolidation shall allow the borrowers to pay back the loan is 30 years. Moreover, this could mean an added interest to the loans. Secondly, the interest doubles if the loan cannot be pay in a monthly basis. One must assess the fee of paying back her/his loans that are not combine compare when she/he will merge them.
Lastly, loans that were been consolidated cannot be pulled back so he/she have to be well-informed regarding the program before taking some relevant action.

The following are the expenses that must considered in granting student loans.

University fees such as the entrance fee, examination fees, miscellaneous fees such as laboratory and library fees and purchasing of books. Traveling abroad for studies have been consider in granting loans, with these corresponding expense such as the board and lodging.
How to apply for Student Loans Consolidation
She/he has to fill up an application form, which can be secure in any of institutions granting student loans like the Federal Family Education Loan Program or they can directly obtain it from the US Department of Education.

In any case, the terms and conditions are generally the same. She/he has to answer accordingly all the needed information to avoid confusion on the part of the lender. Therefore, the loan will be process immediately.
She/he has to prepare one of the following financial statements: Bank or credit account, proof of income or any financial records. These statements can greatly help in calculating for the interest rate of the loan and in paying it.

She/he has to acquire the list of expenses for the course they are taking up; this is applicable for the current student.
Remember that one should understand that once the loans were been consolidated, it has no turning back. One should be confident and understand all the essential information regarding the Student Loans Consolidation. Borrowers can only consolidate once; she/he has to be sure with the financial action she/he will make before losing money because of wrong attempt.

Source: PLR College Scholarhips
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How to Avoid a bad Mutual Fund

How to Avoid a bad Mutual Fund - We have all heard the advantages of investing in a mutual fund over trying to pick individual stocks. First of all mutual funds hire professional analysts that are market experts and devout many hours of study to the various stocks. Unless you want to devout a large portion of your free time to the study of the financial reports, you probably won't have as much information to make a decision as a mutual fund manager.

Then there is the well documented advantage of diversification. Risk is reduced by holding several non correlated investments. Put simply, some go up, some go down and combined, the return levels off the fluctuations, or risk.

Finally, a mutual fund offers smaller investors a chance to invest in small increments rather than having to save a large chunk of cash to purchase 100 shares of stock.

Given the above advantages, it's no wonder that mutual funds have become a very popular form of investing. Now there are thousands of mutual funds to choose from, so how does one make a selection? Here are a few tips:

1. Do not be seduced to jump on the recently performing best fund. It may seem like the safe and rational thing to do, but like individual stocks, you want to buy low and sell high, not buy high and pray for more growth.
2. Even good funds may not be able to overcome the force of the overall market. You should be looking for funds that can exceed the broad market without increasing risk. Each fund has certain risk parameters that it is required to follow. Read the prospectus closely to understand what these are.
3. Limit the number of funds that you own. Unless you are trying to simply achieve the same returns as the broad market, diversifying into many mutual funds will not reduce your risk or increase your return by much.
4. Funds that become too popular and too big tend to slip in performance. There are several reasons for this.

Find more valuable mutual fund resources at

One final point to keep in mind is that the type of fund will totally depend on your investment objectives. There are certain funds that are designed for your objectives be they retirement, income, growth, funding the kids college, etc.

Source: PLR College Scholarhips
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Index Funds Explained

Index Funds Explained - We have all heard of the familiar indices such as the Dow Jones Industrials or the S&P 500, but we don’t necessarily know how they relate to us as investors.

An index in a book helps us find a particular topic or subject within a big book, and similarly an index of stocks helps us to sample a much larger group of stocks, and to learn about the entire subject by watching just a portion of it.
The indices are basically just lists of particular stocks that meet certain guidelines or criteria for being included in the index.

For example, the stocks that make up the Down Jones Industrials meet certain qualifications. They are stocks in industrial companies, and they are stocks that are traded on the Down Jones. Furthermore, the creators of the index choose them because of the way they tend to represent the other stocks that fall into those categories. So when they choose index stocks, it is sort of like choosing a political representative who shares the views of the other people from his or her town or region. Because the stocks and their companies change over time, the indices are also changed. The Dow Jones index will usually add a new stock or two each year, and let others drop out of the index. In this way the most appropriate stocks are kept in the index, and then those who watch the changes in the index can get a general idea of the movement of the whole Dow Jones market of stocks.

One of the most interesting things about these indexed stocks is that you can purchase shares of the index, without having to go out and buy each individual stock in the entire index. Let’s say that for instance you like Dow Jones stocks. You can buy an index fund that invests in the funds found in the Dow Jones index. If the stocks on average go up, so will your investment in the fund that is tied to them. By buying the index you get diversity to protect you from losses and to help you take advantage of gains.

You can buy all sorts of index funds that participate in various types of stocks, because an index fund is sort of like a mutual fund that buys a particular type of stock. If you want to invest in the Japanese stock market or the London stock market, there are funds you can buy that are exclusively tailored for investors like you. And if you like transportation stocks, you can buy an index fund of transportation stocks. The same applies to stocks related to silver, gold, livestock, European currency, or a number of other different assets.There are even index funds to help you buy and sell based on the ups and downs of the market in options and futures.

To learn about index funds, and which ones might look like attractive investment vehicles for you, you can follow them in business newspapers. Or better yet, ask your local stockbrokerage firm to give you more information about index funds, and what sectors or areas of emphasis they participate in or target on behalf of their index fund stockholders.

Source: PLR College Scholarhips
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Flexible Mortgage Guide

Flexible Mortgage Guide - In today’s ever-changing world, people need more and more flexibility when it comes to borrowing and mortgages. With this in mind, more and more lenders are offering what they term as ‘flexible’ mortgages. However, the term ‘flexible’ can mean a lot of different things. If you are unsure about which mortgages are flexible and what the benefits of a flexible mortgage are, then this article might be helpful to you.

What does flexible mean?

Although there are a lot of mortgages that claim to be flexible, there are some things that define a truly flexible mortgage. There are four main characteristics you should look for when determining if a mortgage is flexible. These are:

· Being allowed to overpay
· Being allowed to underpay
· Being able to take payment holidays
· Interest is calculated daily


One of the best features of flexible mortgages is the ability to overpay. With traditional fixed repayment mortgages, there is no easy way for you to pay more than your fixed repayment each month. If you have a flexible mortgage, then you will have the ability to pay as much as you can each month. This means that during the good months you can speed up the process of paying your mortgage back. If you regularly overpay then you can save yourself thousands of pounds in interest payments.


Underpayments are another useful feature of flexible mortgages, but they should be used sparingly. If you are unable to make the repayment in a given month, then you can just pay as much as you can, effectively underpaying on your mortgage. Although this is good as it stops you from defaulting, there are penalties involved. The more you underpay, the longer the mortgage will last or the higher your repayments afterwards will be.

Payment holidays

Payment holidays are similar to underpayments, but they let you completely halt payment for a period of time. Although this might sound appealing, there are usually restrictions. Lenders will not let you take a payment holiday unless you have overpaid in the past, and after your holiday you will have to overpay again to get the repayments back on schedule. However, payment holidays are useful for people who are self employed or who want to take a break from work for personal reasons.

Other benefits

Another benefit of flexible mortgages is the ability to borrow back money from your mortgage. If you have overpaid in the past but are now in need of extra cash to fund home improvements or some other purchase, then you can borrow the money back that you have overpaid. Although you will be changing your mortgage terms again, getting a loan at the rate of your mortgage is the lowest personal loan rate you can possibly get.

If having flexibility and the chance to overpay and underpay is important to you, then you should definitely opt for a flexible mortgage.

Source: PLR College Scholarhips
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Political Fundraising Online

Political Fundraising Online -
Looking for low cost political fundraising tips? It's obvious that the campaign fund raising system is badly in need of reform. This article covers a dozen ways political candidates can raise money quickly and easily online.

Getting elected to any type of local, state, or national office is hugely expensive. As a result, most politicians are beholden to special interest groups who contribute heavily to fund their election and reelection campaigns.

There are plenty of ways that political candidates could raise money the right way, but that requires work and quite frankly, a lot of them take the easy way instead.

If they'd only use their brains and build grass roots fundraising organizations, leverage the power of the internet, and avoid wasting money on ineffective advertising, they could get elected without compromising their beliefs.

Remember how Howard Dean shocked everyone in 2003 with his fundraising prowess? Well, that success is a huge arrow pointing at new ways to raise funds online.

12 tips for online political fundraising:

Website name capture
Your candidate website should be designed to capture the names and email addresses of as many visitors as possible. Use the technique known as name capture that presents a special page to visitors asking them to be added to your mailing list. That way, you can add as many as 50% of your site visitors to your follow-up autoresponder messages.

Offer RSS feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) distributes new website postings to everyone who’ve signed up to receive your info. This is great for getting media coverage, creating a lot of links back to your website, and keeping supporters updated.

Add a blog to your website explaining your positions on the issues. Blogs are all the rage these days and having one will get you additional exposure within the political community. Be passionate in your postings! Allow visitors to add comments, but set them to be approved.

Doing podcasts explaining your positions on important issues is another great way to push information out to the public. Create multimedia presentations for others to view such as speeches, hot topics, requests for donations, etc. You can get setup to podcast for under $100.

Position papers
Post detailed position statements on your website on how your views contrast with opponents. This will attract people searching for information on the issues.

Press kits
Provide summary info on your website in PDF document format for press kits to increase media coverage.

Collect donations online
Howard Dean stunned everyone back in 2003 with his online fundraising capabilities. Do the same in your race. Make it easy to receive campaign donations with one-click donation buttons.

Interactive website
Include interactive content on their site such as blog comments, forums, streaming videos of speeches, audio files, photos, "tell a friend" capability, etc.

Sell promo materials
Sell tshirts, hats, campaign buttons, bumper stickers, polo shirts, supporter kits, lawn signs, banners, placards, etc. Put the profits into your campaign fund.

Voter Registration
Provide detailed voter registration information for your area. Ask people to sign up for registration drives and Election Day turnouts.

Show Passion
Tell us exactly how you will MAKE US BETTER!

Start using these online political fundraising tips today.

College Scholarhips Source: PLR
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Free Easy Fundraisers

Free Easy Fundraisers - When your youth group needs to raise money quickly, you need a fast free fundraiser that you can rely on to generate the necessary revenue. The amount you make on these free easy fundraisers will depend on how much time you have to prepare and how well you execute your plan.

Here are three time-tested projects to raise some fast cash:
1 - Car Wash
2 - Yard Cleanup
3 - Community Cleanup

Car Wash Fundraiser
Car washes have proven to be great fundraisers in virtually every community. All you need are willing volunteers, a high-traffic location with good visibility, and some attention getting signs. You can put your car wash fundraiser together on short notice.

Here’s what you need to do:
1 - Line up a location with good main road frontage
2 - Ensure it has water access
3 - Assemble supplies list – hoses, buckets, wash towels, dry towels, squeegees
4 - Assign each volunteer an item from the supplies list
5 - Make 8-10 poster board signs in high-contrast colors
6 - Arrange your volunteers in 2-hour shifts
7 - Wash cars for six hours (Saturday preferred)
8 - Have dual lines so you can wash two at once

Your car wash fundraiser’s success will of course depend on the weather. If you can wash 12 cars an hour (one every 10 minutes in each line), you can easily raise more than $500 in one day.

Remember to put together a quick flyer that includes the reason why you’re raising funds and clearly states the price. You can even offer some extra services such as Armor-All tire treatment or interior vacuuming for an additional fee.

Alternatively, you can advertise a free car wash and just ask for donations for your cause. Often, this can raise more cash than stating a specific price, because people will see a group of volunteers working hard and having a good time, and may pay more than you would hav asked.

Keeping safety in mind, be sure to get volunteers to hold and wave signs toward passing traffic, not just volunteers to wash cars. If you have time, advertise your car wash event in the local newspaper, and post signs a day or two in advance.

Yard Cleanup
A yard cleanup fundraiser is extremely fast and easy to put together. Simply create a set of instructions for your group detailing what to offer, what to say, and how much to charge.

Like most fundraisers, the target market is family, friends, and neighbors. Depending on the age of your participants, your offerings can range from simple lawn care all the way up to mulching flower beds or pruning tree limbs. In many climates, autumn is a great time to do this fundraiser, because leaf clearing is always a needed service during those months.

Create a flyer describing your fundraiser and clearly list your prices for the various cleanup options. Assign a fundraising quota to each participant.

Offer some individual and group performance bonuses. There’s nothing like a team pizza party or movie passes to motivate a youth sports group.

Community Cleanup
A community cleanup, also known as a trash bag fundraiser, performs a valuable community service while also providing a significant revenue opportunity. Organizing a community cleanup project is a way to raise funds and send a positive message about your group at the same time.

This type of one day or weekend fundraising event is very similar to the Athlet-A-Thon or Fun-A-Thon concept. Here your group's participants solicit pledges from the usual suspects - family, friends, and neighbors. Have local businesses donate trash bags and recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect.

Pledges are tied to a specific attainment goal such as the number of pounds of trash collected or the number of road miles cleaned of debris. You'll need to create a one-page overview of your cleanup program and a pledge signup sheet.

It works best if your overview specifies a suggested range for donations, say anywhere from a penny to a dime a pound for a large project. An amazing amount of garbage can be collected from a local stream or illegal dumping area, so it's not a bad idea to also put a maximum limit on pledge amounts of $20.

Have local businesses donate trash bags. Recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect.

Do the math. You'll be surprised at how much money you can generate. Assuming 50 participants, each of whom has five pledges of a penny a pound, if you collect a ton of garbage, your group will raise $100 per participant or $5,000.

That's not bad money for a free fundraiser! You’d be surprised at how easy it is to collect a ton of garbage.

Each of these fundraisers is fast, easy to put together, and a reliable revenue generator for your group. As with any youth group event, an adult should be in attendance at all times for safety purposes. Get started on your free easy fundraisers today!
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Wednesday, 23 March 2011 | 04:01 | 0 Comments

Living Cheap

Living Cheap - Does living cheap mean being miserable, or giving up what you want? Not at all. In my own case, it meant getting the things I really wanted. Spend less on each thing or activity, and you can have more of them, right? The key is to spend less and still get what you need and want. I'll tell you how I managed it.

Living Cheap - Housing

The first house I owned was a mobile home on a small lot. I paid less than $20,000, and had payments of $257 per month. With taxes, insurance and repairs, it still cost less than rent. With three bedrooms, an expanded living room, and a nice fenced-in yard, it was very comfortable. Eventually I sold it for $45,000.

Two things that I did made it even cheaper. First, I paid down the mortgage as much as I could when I was working. Within five years I owed nothing, and from that point on it cost an average of $300 per month to pay for the utilities, phone, garbage collection, taxes, insurance, and repairs. This is living cheap.

It became even cheaper when I found that I could easily rent the other two bedrooms. I got $65 per week for one, and $75 or more per week for the other, and I included all utilities. I found decent young guys to rent to, and the rents added up to $600 per month, making this more than cheap living, and even better than free housing. I was making $300 per month AND living for free.

Living Cheap - Think And Plan

With lower expenses I could work less, so I could get by without a car. This saved even more money. An occasional bus fare, and the used bicycle I bought didn't add up to a fourth of what it cost to have a car. I needed to plan my trips around town a little better, but it was worth it.

Until I was almost 40, I never paid more than $40 for a piece of furniture. You have to know what is important to you. I DID pay $220 for a high-tech sleeping bag, because ultralight backpacking was important to me. On the other hand, since I couldn't tell the difference between a nice, clean used couch for $30 and one that cost $900, I bought the former.

I found that when I worked less, I had time to more carefully consider my options. Time can save a lot of money. I paid half of what others paid for groceries, and when I did get a car, I found a repossessed one worth much more than what I paid. When I went to Ecuador for a month, it cost $1,040, including airfare, hotels, meals, a guided climb up a 21,000-foot mountain - everything. It was possible because I had time to search for the deals.

I never cared much for jobs, and I worked only part-time for years. I played chess, wrote poetry, and read good books. I traveled several times a year. I met the love of my life in South America (happily married for almost 5 years now). This was all possible not because I made a lot of money, but because I spent less than I made, and used the difference for the things that mattered to me.

This article isn't meant as a how-to guide. I explain how I traveled and bought things so cheaply in many other articles. This is simply to get you thinking about the possibilities, and to point out some principles. What are the principles? Find ways to pay less without getting less. Don't buy things you don't need. Spend a less time working and more time thinking. Stay out of debt. Finally, know what is truly important to you, because this is what you can have more of by living cheap.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011 | 04:00 | 0 Comments

Secured Consolidation Loans

Secured Consolidation Loans - If you are looking for ways to make your debt repayments more manageable then our secured loans, consolidation UK loans from our top lenders could be the answer. Our lenders offer a wide product range at competitive interest rates and with repayment terms to suit your needs.

Secured loans, consolidation UK loans are defined by the fact that they are granted using the borrower’s home as security or collateral. This means that if they do not keep up with the repayments on the loan the will eventually have their home repossessed and sold in order to repay the loan. It is wise to ensure that before you secure a debt using the equity in your home, you are confident that you can cover the repayments on secured loans, consolidation UK loans. A simple income and expenditure analysis will give you a picture of your finances and enable you to budget for additional loan repayments. To work out exactly how much you need to borrow you must work out a total figure for your debts – don’t forget to ask your creditors for settlement figures, not balances, as any additional charges like early redemption penalties must be included. This is an early settlement charge that some creditors charge when you pay off a debt earlier than agreed at the outset and can be up to 2 months interest.

The amount you borrow is subject to a charge by the lending company and is called the Annual Percentage Rate or APR. Lenders usually quote typical interest rates for secured loans, consolidation UK loans but these are only indications of what you may be offered and not a guarantee. The exact interest rate you are charged will depend on the amount you wish to borrow, the number of years you need to pay back the loan (term) and the lender’s flexible assessment of your unique situation and ability to repay the loan as agreed. You’ll enjoy lower Interest rates for secured loans as apposed to unsecured loans because the lender is taking a lower risk with you betting your home that you will repay the loan.

Comparing APRs is a good way to see just how competitive different secured loans, consolidation UK loans and lenders are. You may even find that the same lender offers lower interest rates for the same product if you apply online as apposed to using the telephone. Interest rates are also referred to in different ways, depending on your repayment preferences. You may choose a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate. With a fixed interest rate your monthly repayments are fixed for the entire term of the loan and remain unaffected by fluctuations in the bank base rate. This will give you the security of knowing exactly how much you are expected to pay each month. In the case of variable interest rates, the rate you pay is linked to the bank base rate and could go up and down from month to month. This would make it difficult to budget accurately but would give you the flexibility of benefiting if interest rates drop. On the other hand, if rates increase you will end up paying more for your loan.

Some lenders allow you some flexibility in permitting over-payments and lump-sum payments with secured loans consolidation UK loans. This could enable you to clear your debt over a shorter period if you can, thus bringing down the total cost of the loan.

Source: PLR
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Secure vs Unsecured Loans

Secure vs Unsecured Loans - Essentially, there are two types of loans: secured loans and unsecured loans. Secured loans are loans in which you pledge some sort of collateral. The bank may repossess the collateral if you do not repay the loan according to the terms you agreed to when you took out the loan.

Unsecured loans are not backed by any collateral. You borrow money on the strength of your good credit and ability to repay alone.

Revolving vs. Installment Loans

Revolving and installment describe the amount of time you have to pay back a loan. With a revolving loan, you have access to a continuous source of credit, up to your credit limit. You repay only the amount of the credit you use, plus interest on the unpaid amount. You may re-borrow the principal you've repaid. So the loan could remain "open" for years.

With an installment loan, you pay an agreed amount, which includes principal and interest, every month. Each payment reduces the balance of the loan until it is paid off. There is a fixed ending date, known as the term of the loan.

Fixed vs. Adjustable Interest Rate Loans

Fixed interest is just that. You and the bank agree to a certain interest rate and it remains constant throughout the term of the loan. Fixed interest rates give you the stability of always knowing what your payment will be, so you can budget accordingly.

Adjustable or variable rate interest fluctuates. Usually it is pegged to the Prime Rate - the interest the U.S. Treasury charges to its best borrowers. When the Prime Rate is high, such as during a period of inflation, you pay more. When the Prime Rate is low, such as when the government is trying to stimulate the economy during a recession, you save on interest. If you need to borrow during a period of high interest, your payments will drop once the Prime Rate drops.

Types Of Loans

Auto Loans: A secured loan in which the collateral is the vehicle you purchase.

Credit Cards: An unsecured loan which allows you a line of credit against which you may borrow by presenting a plastic card to the merchant from whom you are purchasing the item. You may make more than one purchase, up to your credit limit.

Personal Loans: Secured or unsecured loans made for a fixed purpose.

Mortgages: A secured loan in which the collateral is the real estate you buy.

Home Equity Loan: A secured loan for a fixed amount in which the collateral is your home. In some cases, the interest on this loan may be tax deductible. See your accountant.

Home Equity Credit Line: A secured, revolving line of credit in which the collateral is your home. In some cases, the interest on this loan or a portion of it may be tax deductible. Consult a tax professional or your accountant.

Home Improvement Loan: A secured loan for a lump sum fixed amount in which the collateral is your home. The money may only be spent on home improvements. The interest on this loan may be tax deductible. Consult a tax professional or your accountant. (In some areas of the country, a home improvement loan "secured by the equity in your home" may not be available. In these areas, an unsecured home improvement loan would be available.)

Student Loan (Stafford Loan) A loan for college expenses underwritten by the U.S. Government. The loan is granted to the student. Payment is deferred while the student is still in school.

Personal Line of Credit: Unsecured loans allowing you access to funds up to a fixed credit limit.
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Never Use Payday Loans

Never Use Payday Loans - Should I Ever Use a Payday Loan Service?

In the past several years, payday loan stores have been popping up all over the country. With names like "Check Into Cash," "The Cash Store," and "EZ Money," they offer unsophisticated consumers the promise of quick, easy cash with few questions asked. But at what price?

The High Cost of Easy Money

Americans paid more than $6 billion in payday loan fees in 2005, and the number is likely to be much higher when the results for 2006 are tabulated. Payday lending is a big business, and it's also one of the fastest growing in the country. EZCorp, for example, was a lowly Texas-based pawnbroker just a few years ago. Thanks to expanding into the payday loans business in 2002, the company has more than quintupled its profits, and its stock had the best one-year price performance of any company traded on the major exchanges or NASDAQ, through June, 2006.

While buying EZCorp's stock a year ago would have been a wise financial decision, actually using the company's services has never been a good idea. The reason EZCorp and companies like it make so much money is because they rip off their customers, and this is hardly a matter of opinion. According to EZCorp's 2006 report for shareholders, the average payday loan has an annual percentage rate (APR) of 530 percent - and that's not a typo - that's highway robbery. So why would anyone ever use a payday loan service?

Target Market - The Unsophisticated and Credit Constrained Consumer

Most of the payday loan business's customers are people who are unsophisticated and / or have made bad decisions with their credit in the past. These are people with no savings and no credit, who live check-to-check. They don't realize that when they agree to pay a $40 fee for a $200, two-week loan, they are paying an astronomical annual interest rate. Or in some cases, they just don't care - they feel that they have no other options.

A disturbingly large percentage of people use payday loan services in order to avoid incurring NSF (non-sufficient funds) charges with their banks. People living check-to-check, with no access to conventional credit, can be devastated by unexpected expenses. Imagine a single mother who needs to write a $200 check to get her car fixed in order to get to work the next day, but she doesn't have the $200 in her bank account. She writes the check and then immediately goes to the payday loan store, where she can usually borrow the $200 with nothing beyond verification of her employment with a recent check stub. In this case, the single mom may actually be making a wise choice - since NSF fees are said to have an APR of 665 percent, and bank overdraft fees are even higher, at 1,160 percent APR. Clearly, the system is stacked against those who need the most help.

The Cycle of Indentured Servitude - And How To Avoid It

In the worst cases, people end up working all week in order to pay back their payday loan, and then have to take out another payday loan in order to make ends meet. Thus, the cycle continues, and these unfortunate people are relegated to the modern equivalent of indentured servitude.

The best way to prevent this from happening to you is to always maintain adequate lines of credit. In the above example, if the person could have simply charged the $200 repair bill on her Visa or Mastercard, all would have been well. Using a credit card to automatically pay for your regularly occurring charges, such as your phone and cable bills, is a good way to avoid NSF or bank overdraft fees, as well.

If you find yourself in trouble, be sure to always pay the minimum due on your credit cards - make this a priority second only to survival. If you default on your credit cards, you may have a very difficult time getting credit again in the future. Avoid the mistakes of the payday loan consumer, and of course, avoid the payday loan stores. Your money should be applied for your own benefit, not to the bottom line of unethical companies that make profits for their shareholders by exploiting the poor.

Source: PLR
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New Boat Loans

New Boat Loans - Buying a boat need not be too daunting. You can still have bit of luxury without necessarily having to go broke.

There are many lending institutions that are primarily focused on giving out boat loans. And they are your best bet among the many financial lenders. For one, they can give you sound advice on the tax implications of your purchase. They can tell you that you can register your boat as a home and, therefore, deduct some taxes for owning a boat. They can also assist you in processing the necessary documents to have you cruising as soon as possible. And, they can process your application fast. Some would take just a few hours to have a package ready for you.

When choosing a new boat loan, look past the interest rate figure. Most lenders will give you a choice of a fixed-interest rate for the duration of the term or a flexible rate. The experienced boat loan financiers can give you a fairly accurate projection of interest-rate fluctuations. But do remember that a fixed-rate loan, while it guarantees fixed charges for the entirety of the loan term, also carries a slightly higher rate. The flexible rate, because it factors in inflation risks, is a bit less expensive.

There are also lending facilities that offer flexible repayment plans. For example, you may require a seasonal payment schedule rather than the usual monthly payment schedule. This allows you to be free in particular months to devote your resources to other obligations. You may even opt for an annual payment schedule. Or, go to the extreme and pay as often as biweekly.

But before you start computing, budget first for other costs that come with taking a boat loan. You will have to pay for necessary processing fees: appraisals, underwriting, etc. that you have to go through before being approved for a loan, as well as other incidental costs.

Source: PLR
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National Payday Loan

National Payday Loan - Payday lending or making payday loans is now a booming industry, and with life getting tougher for many people each and every day, it’s only ever going to keep expanding.

At the same time, it's an often unregulated business, with 17 states of the USA in effect banning payday lending altogether due to the apparent lawlessness of the industry.

It's not that hard to see why there is such a problem. Although such payday loans are intended to be short term arrangements only, basically getting you through to your next pay check, unfortunately, for many people, that’s not the way it actually works out. And with industry average interest rates around 470% APR, one has to ask, why is this industry growing so rapidly?

The answer is that it is providing a service that is required, at a price that the consumers can afford; the actual APR is of no great interest to the customer, because their only concern is “Can I afford to repay the loan on my next payday”?

Why do consumers use payday loans? The answer probably falls into two parts:
First, because it is a fast, convenient way of getting quick cash (and now that it can be done online, it’s even easier) and, second, because they probably cannot get credit any other way.

For a borrower with a poor credit history payday loans offer a lifeline when it is most needed, to pay those unexpected bills or to prevent repossession of an item that has been bought on credit for example.

Problems only arise when clients are unable to repay loans (but surely this applies to all forms of credit?). Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that, with such astronomically high APR rates, it only takes a couple of missed payments for the initial small sum borrowed to become a major debt burden.

Take for example Ms. A’s case. She took a loan of $500, with interest due on repayment of this sum two weeks later, of $125. Several missed payments down the road and the debt had ballooned to $3250, to repay a debt of only &500! How scary is that?

Of course, payday loans DO have a role to play in the day to day life of modern America and there are many industry insiders, from the more reputable lenders, who are pushing hard for the introduction of stricter regulations, regulations that could then be introduced across the nation, rather than on a state by state basis.

In this way, the consumer will know exactly where they stand in terms of the laws relating to payday lending, and it will be in the interests of the more reputable lenders to expand across the nation as well. This ensures that everyone has access to their services, thus removing them from the potential clutches of some of the less ethical money lenders.

As Jeann Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America puts it, the present system means that "Payday lending is the poster child for predatory small loans that take advantage of consumers who have trouble making ends meet".

A standardization of payday lending regulations and laws across the country should go a long way to making such a gloomy prognosis redundant in the future.

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Monday, 21 March 2011 | 04:03 | 0 Comments

Living Debt-Free

Living Debt-Free - Do you dream of living without the burden of excessive debt hanging over your head? It’s possible, but not easy. Living debt free requires financial discipline, all the time. To become debt free and maintain a debt free life, try the following three steps:

1. Get rid of existing debt. This is obviously your first step to living a debt free lifestyle. Cut up any credit cards that you currently have in your wallet, purse, or desk drawer and do not apply for or accept any other cards. Pay your bills on time, sending as much as possible to one account while paying the minimum due on all of your other accounts until the account is paid off. Do this until all of your debt has been paid off.

2. Create a budget. Every single person who lives without debt has a financial budget and follows it. Without budgeting for expenses and incidentals, people overspend on unnecessary items and then when things just “happen” unexpectedly, (otherwise known as unplanned for expenses) these individuals rely on credit cards to make ends meet. Make a list of every monthly expense you can think of. Then, make another list of every incidental expense that you pay throughout the year but not necessarily on a monthly basis. If you usually get 3 oil changes a year at $20 a piece, you need to plan for $60 a year for oil changes, which is the equivalent of $5 per month. Once you have a comprehensive list, subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income and see what is left over. Be sure you include savings accounts in your “expenses”. Pay yourself first is a good rule to live by. If there is still money left over, congratulations! Use it to pay more on each individual account until everything is fully p

3. Avoid credit like the plague. Make all of your purchases with cash and you will never fall into the debt trap again.

Manage Your Money

As you are starting the process to a debt free life, you should be extremely mindful as to where your money is going. It’s important that you track your spending habits for a period of time in order to see where money is being wasted, or where you can cut costs without completely changing your lifestyle. Keep a notebook where you list every single item you purchase, including the amount you paid, where you purchased it, and the reason. Include all bills that were paid, how much you paid, and how much you still owe. After a few months of tracking your spending habits, you will be able to determine exactly where all of your money is going, and you may be surprised at how much your little purchases are adding up and eating away at money you could be using to pay off debt to enjoy a debt free lifestyle! That cup of coffee you grab every morning on the way to work could be costing you $10 or more each week- about $40 per month, and brewing your own coffee at home could save you considerably since you can purchase

How to Remain Debt Free after Recovery

One of the biggest mistakes people make after making a financial recovery is to allow themselves to fall back into old habits. Before they know it, they’ve racked up another few thousand in credit bills, and they’re heading down the same path to having a desperate situation where they just can’t make their payments on time each month.

You do not need to have credit cards in your wallet. Yes, it is a very odd feeling to go from having several cards available to you to none, but it is the safest way to avoid overspending. You may want to keep one credit card in a safe place in your home, for purchases that do require a credit card. Think long and hard before using the card, and if it is possible to buy it with cash, than do that instead. A credit card should not be used for every purchase, nor should it be used when you want to buy something unnecessary that you don’t have enough cash to purchase.

If you want a luxury item, save your money until you can buy it- if after several months of saving you decide you don’t need it, then you’ve saved the money on an item you previously may have purchased on a credit card, discovered you didn’t really need or want it, and then had to pay back three to four times what the item is worth after all the interest and finance charges were added!

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Home A Loan

Home a Loan - The number of homeowners taking out secured loans is set to slow down over the next five years according to analysts at Datamonitor. Over the past five years, the market for secured loans has increased by over 50%, however predictions indicate that loans secured against property will only increase at a rate of 5.3% a year up to 2009. Last year, 016bn was borrowed by homeowners secured against the value of their property but according to Datamonitor this will rise to 014bn a year by 2009. Datamonitor stated that the slowing demand for loans reflected a public perception of an ongoing "soft landing" for the UK housing market. Maya Imberg of Datamonitor said ¡°The rapid growth rates the secured lending market has enjoyed over the last five years are set to cool01".

The slowing in house price inflation that has been experienced over the past few months is seen by analysts to have discouraged homeowners from taking out loans secured against the increased value of their homes. Secured loans are normally seen as a sensible way to borrow for certain expensive items, such as home improvements, due to the higher borrowing limits and cheaper interest rates that are generally charged compared with an unsecured loan.

In the past it has been common to see that while the value of homes has risen, many families have increased their mortgage borrowing to release money tied up in the property, to pay off other debts or make expensive purchases. This mortgage equity withdrawal generated approximately 01 billion for homeowners01 between 2001 and 2004. The recent perceptions that a return to the risks of negative equity occurring as a result of buyers needing to obtain increasingly large initial mortgages to purchase property combined with the slowing down in house prices, has caused many to be more cautious in their borrowing.

In July 2005, the total UK personal debt stood at 0114 billion and has been spiraling out of control at a rate of 01every four minutes. The number of bankruptcy applications and home repossessions is also on the increase.

According to mortgage-arrears counselors, White Horse Mortgage Services, the main reasons for people falling behind on their loan repayment include:

* Absorbing: a reduced income such as loss of overtime 26%
* Financial mismanagement: 25%
* Redundancy and unemployment: 14%
* Accident, sickness or injury: 12%
* Relationship breakdown: 7%
* Over-indebtedness: 5%
* Others: 11%

UK website money net has evolved its range of services to integrate the societal changes in debt management, by bringing out a price comparison service for debt consolidation loans, as part of its loan awareness campaign. Whilst moneynet offers a comprehensive loans guide, moneyfacts has also taken account of consumer behaviour and concern, with a dedicated loans glossary. In the US, lowermybills provides a loan price comparison service.

Additional resources:

Source: PLR
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Holiday Payday Loans

Holiday Payday Loans - Payday loans are not only meant for emergency financial needs in-between paydays. These are not only for hospitalizations and unplanned car or house repairs. These can be used for extra expenses that are likely to occur during holidays. Some of these holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and New Years. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with a turkey, and Christmas means gifts to be given. But these two holidays are too near each other. And these can easily drain a person’s finances.

To help the beleaguered pockets of persons celebrating the holidays, and to prevent spoiling the cheerful seasons because of a lack of funds, a few lenders offer holiday payday loans. Like the usual payday loans, these holiday loans can be obtained by submitting an online application. The processing is also as quick. That is, the loaned amount can be obtained the next day. For example, when a person does not have enough money to buy food for the Christmas Eve, he may file for a loan on the day before Christmas Eve and get the needed money in the morning, with enough time to shop.

Holiday payday loans, like the regular payday loans, can be obtained if a person meets the usual minimum requirements. There will be no credit checks and often, no faxing of documents. But what makes holiday loans different from regular payday loans is the main purpose of the loan, which is to meet extra expenses.

Payday loans can help ease up the financial pressures brought about by the holiday seasons, especially if a person was not given any bonus. The absence of a bonus is not usually an accepted reason to ignore the holidays and to refuse preparing any special activity. There are last-minute gifts to buy. The Christmas tree needs to be replaced. Relatives are coming to visit. And the kids have been requesting for new clothes. With payday loans, a person can meet all these demands. And a person’s social life does not necessarily suffer due to lack of funds.

Another valuable aspect of holiday loans is that the few lenders who grant them offer an additional incentive. That is, the service fee is no longer charged if the borrower pays the full loaned amount on the due date. In other words, getting a holiday loan is simply using your own salary earlier and with practically no additional costs. The payday loan can be described as free. This is probably one way of lenders to spread around the generous holiday spirit.
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Fantasy Credit Report

Fantasy Credit Report - Your Credit Report (the Boring Part)

Your online credit report is a collection of files and records pertaining to your credit history. It is often referenced for hiring, renting, mortgages, loans, background checks and many other situations which may require an involvement of a larger sum of your income or a need for your personal services. Your online credit report contains the good the bad and yes, the ugly, within its pages. There are 3 major credit report bureaus from which the information comes from: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. For the most they are similar, but between the three bureaus there may be some different items listed.

What If!?

What if your online credit report was only full of positive, correct and up to date items? This would be like a fantasy credit report. You could use it like a tool for certain things like getting a low interest loan or the mortgage you actually wanted. You could use it as a weapon against those creditors who automatically assume that your credit sucks and turn the whole finance game around on them. This fantasy credit report would be like a report card with all A's (something most of us have never experienced right?). Imagine not having to worry about what the results are going to be when the phone rings from the bank because you have total peace of mind that your credit report is not only clean but also free of errors and mishaps. The anxiety of waiting for the results of your credit standing concerning a major purchase can cause equal or more mental tension than a doctor walking in the room with his results for a major medical test.

Making the Fantasy a Reality

Okay, so this whole fantasy credit report thing is exactly just that right? A fantasy. Well... not necessarily. See, you are the only one that can ultimately control what happens to your credit report. Yes, of course there are those 'unknown factors' - BUT, the good news is there is a big first step you can take to help start achieving your own personal fantasy credit report. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report and see what negative items are sitting on your file. More than 70% of all U.S. citizens with credit reports have false or out of date items on their credit file. By spotting these items early and taking the appropriate steps to remove them you can improve your credit rating. What else can you do? Develop a personalized budget. It will take a couple months of re-adjusting but will help you to see where your money is going and begin to mature your spending habits. Also, think about your major purchases before you make them. Too often in our society, consumers buy things without a s

To read more about how you can get your online credit report free with no obligations, see what is on your file and find out how to fix your credit report go to

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Credit Card Equipment

Credit Card Equipment - Business today is as competitive as it’s ever been and, especially since the emergence of the Internet, customers are looking for merchants they can trust and that can offer them the best in service and convenience. It’s simply indispensable to accept credit cards to gain the confidence of your customers, and studies show that sales often increase 10-50% for businesses that begin using credit card equipment to process secure transactions.

Exactly what kind of credit card equipment do you need? There is a large gamut of credit card equipment products on the market today. These include: terminals, terminal & printer combinations, pin pads, card processing printers, wireless credit card processing terminals, credit and debit card processing software.

Credit card equipment is not as expensive as you may think. Terminals have prices that range from $99 to $760. Terminals with printers can cost twice as much. Pin pads are also about $100 to $300, and will allow you to accept debit card purchases as well. Don’t penny pinch when it comes to this relatively inexpensive business expense, since a one-time savings of $30 could negatively affect your business in the long run. You want credit card equipment that is quick, light, and above all reliable. Some dependable credit card equipment manufacturers include Verifone, Nurit, and Hypercom.

It’s usually a good idea to purchase your credit card equipment directly instead of leasing. The most important consideration, however, will be choosing a merchant account provider. A reliable provider can pre-program your credit card equipment for you, and since they expect to work with you for several years, they are less likely to try and get a “quick sale” from you. Service and honesty goes a long way when choosing a merchant account provider and credit card equipment.

As you might guess, wireless terminals are especially useful for mobile merchants, taxi drivers for instance, as well as merchants who sell at trade shows or other traveling venues where credit card equipment is needed on the go. When purchasing wireless credit card equipment, make sure that it offers secure, reliable processing and includes payment software that you can use with your portable computer, PDA, or other mobile device.

Credit card equipment is used in conjunction with credit card processing software. Do a little bit of research before choosing which software you are comfortable with, and identify which software is supported by your transaction provider. Some of the most known brand names in credit card equipment software include industry standards like PC Charge Express and Pro, IC Verify, and

You’ve got your business off the ground. Now all you need to do is obtain quality credit card equipment in order to accept and process your customers’ credit card transactions.
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Building New Credit Habits

Building New Credit Habits - Repairing your credit entails getting rid of the negative credit report information and catching up on your overdue bills. This could raise your credit score but might not be enough to make you credit worthy again. However, to raise your credit score high enough to entitle you to a loan, you have to rebuild your credits. Doing so would only prove that you have the capability to handle credit responsibility.

Although it might be difficult to start, but once you achieve that momentum you need, you will be sashaying to a good credit score. You can always begin by developing the required credit habits.

The Do’s of Using Your Credit Card Wisely

Although many people are born without the skill it requires to use credit cards, it is important to learn the rules of the game. All you need to do is to remember simple do’s and don’ts of credit card usage and in time, you would welcome healthy spending habits in your financial life.

The first thing you do want to ever do is to use your credit card to make your everyday purchases, especially food, gas and clothing. It is bad enough not to have cash-on-hand but buying simple everyday items can develop into a habit wherein you may tend to substitute a credit card with cash. It is always advisable not to take your credit card out of your wallet for everyday purchases but instead use your cash or a debit card.

The next thing you do not want to do is develop a habit of making minimum-only payments. If you make minimum payments each month, you are only increasing the length of time it will take for you to pay off your debt. Additionally, it will also increase the amount of interest you could end up paying.

If you are one of those people who usually buy things that are way off budget, remember not to use your credit card to buy things you cannot afford. One way to get into debt is living off borrowed money. You might end up waking one day realizing you are so much indebt that you wish to return your expensive purchases back to wherever you bought them from.

The Do’s of Using Your Credit Card Wisely

Learn how to make correct decisions when it comes to buying items you need against those you simply want. Everybody knows what a “need” is and what a “want” is. Remember not to substitute need from the want and vice versa. If you are using your credit card wisely, it
only means that you are being responsible in recognizing what things you need and which you only want.

Next, always let your creditor know in advance if you would not be able to pay your monthly payment on time. Since most creditors offer assistance with your payment if you give them a heads up, it is important not to simply forget about the payment for no reason at all. You can do this by simply calling your creditor, explain the situation and ask if they allow late fees to be waived.

Lastly, do not exceed with your credit limit. The safest is to stay within at most 30% of your credit limit. Because the major part of your credit score reflects on the quantity of debt you actually have, it is important to keep your balance low in order to preserve a good credit standing.

Source: PLR
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Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Avoiding Credit Card Fraud - Credit card fraud is becoming more and more of a problem, and if you are not careful then you could lose money to fraudsters. If you are worried about fraud but are unsure how you can protect yourself and your credit cards, then this article could help you. Here are some useful tips and advice about how to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

Methods of fraud

The methods and types of fraud are increasing as criminals learn new techniques and get improved technology. The most common methods of fraud today include:

·Copying and ‘cloning’ of cards
·ATM fraud
·Internet card fraud
·PIN number stealing

All of these methods are used more commonly than ever before to effectively steal your money. Obviously, it is impossible to totally eliminate the problem of credit card fraud, but there are things you can do to greatly reduce the risks.

Keep cards close

Make sure that you never let your cards out of your sight. Never leave cards unattended, and certainly don’t lend your card to anyone. If you are paying in a restaurant or shop, make sure you pay attention as to where your card is. A common method used to copy your card is to get the details whilst you pay, so keep an eye on your card at all times.

Check receipts

Whenever you get a receipt or a credit card bill, check that all the items and amounts are correct. If there are any amounts that you are unsure about, contact your card issuer immediately. Any paperwork that you throw away should be disposed of properly. Shred documents so that people cannot go through your rubbish and discover your card details.

Look behind you

When withdrawing money from a cash machine, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder to read your PIN. The easiest way for someone to use your card illegally is to see your PIN and then steal the card. Also, make sure you never keep a written record of your PIN, especially near your cards.

Use reputable firms

When buying on the Internet, make sure that you only purchase items from large and well-established providers. Small or unknown providers should be avoided as even if they are genuine, their security and encryption may be poor and allow fraudsters to access your details.

Keep contact numbers

If you have your card stolen or you think you have been the victim of credit card fraud, then you need to sort the problem out as quickly as possible. Keep all the contact numbers for your card issuer in a safe place so that you can call them up and sort out problems immediately. If you are careful and act quickly, you can limit the damage of fraud or prevent it occurring at all.

Source: PLR
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Avoiding Credit Card Scams

Avoiding Credit Card Scams - Although many credit card companies are perfectly honest, there are also many dishonest ones who want to rip you off. If you are unaware of the ways in which you can be conned or misled then you could end up losing a lot of money.

If you are a first time credit card user or have had credit cards for years, it is important to know about possible scams that you can be exposed to. Although many credit card companies are perfectly honest, there are also many dishonest ones who want to rip you off. If you are unaware of the ways in which you can be conned or misled then you could end up losing a lot of money. Here are some of the worst credit card scams around and how to avoid them:

Debt suspension
Debt suspension offers are sometimes offered by banks as a way to ‘help’ you keep on track with payments. The way debt suspension works is that you pay a certain amount each month so that if you cannot pay your bills then no interest will accrue during this time. Although this might seem like a good idea at first, the benefits are really quite minimal. You cannot use your card whilst you are out of work, and although no interest is being added, your payments are not being paid so once you can work again you still have the balance to pay. In essence you are paying money for something that will not really help you. If you are getting a credit card then make sure that this type of debt suspension offer is not included at a cost to you within your payments. If it is then get it removed and find an independent insurance policy that will help with your payments if you are unemployed.

Advance fees
One of the worst scams around is the advanced fees scam, which targets people are desperate to get hold of a card with good rates. The ‘lender’ will offer you a card at a great rate, but the catch is you have to pay them an administration or approval fee up front so that your application is processed. Once you have paid this fee then you probably will never hear from the company again. If you are ever offered a card but are asked to pay a fee upfront, just refuse. Even if you have poor credit you shouldn’t need to pay fees up front for cards. A lender should either accept or reject your application, and fees are not required.

Credit protection
One of the most common scams around is to add expensive credit protection to your card in case it is lost or stolen. The extra money you pay for this protection is usually very high, and often covers you for very little. If you report your card stolen immediately then it is unlikely that you will lose much, and other insurance policies or consumer laws often cover you already. If you really want protection then get a separate policy from an independent company that will work out a lot cheaper and will allow you to protect all your cards at once.

If you are getting a credit card, then remember to check and double-check all clauses within the agreement you are signing. If anything seems suspicious at all, then do not sign and find a different company. As long as you are aware of the dangers you will find a fair and honest credit card company who can give you great rates.

Source: PLR
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Thursday, 17 March 2011 | 02:18 | 0 Comments

How to Creative Financing Options

How to Creative Financing Options - With today's rising prices it's all most people can do to stay afloat financially. So how does a young couple save enough money to break into the housing market? Sometimes you have to think outside of the box and come up with creative financing options. One such example is Lease-to-Own, or Rent-to-Own house purchases.

Basically, in this scenario, the landlord and the tenant come up with an agreement to purchase the house within a designated period of time (usually 3 years or less), for a specific price. An option fee of 1 to 5% of the price is credited to the purchase price and a premium is added to the rent payment to accumulate a deposit. If the buyer backs out of the purchase agreement they lose both the option fee and the rent premium.

Typical Rent-to-Own Contract Features

The rent and home price are usually established and documented based on market value plus any negotiation between the buyer and seller.

A rent-to-own contract will have an option period where the borrower can build equity while living in the home. Once the option period expires, the borrower is counting on successfully qualifying for a mortgage to purchase the home. It is imperative that the borrower has a good idea of their ability to assume a mortgage; speak to a lender before entering on a rent-to-own agreement to have your financial situation examined. You may only have to improve your credit rating, and this can be accomplished by making timely minimum payments any loans or credit cards each month.

Often a lender will want to see that an amount above the market rent price has been set aside. This ensures that the seller is not providing the borrower with a kickback by artificially inflating the selling price. Usually the bank will also request an appraisal for this reason.

If at the end of the option period, the buyer discovers problems with the home, it may be cheaper to walk away from the deal than purchase a house which may develop into a money pit.

The selling price of the home is agreed upon at the beginning of the option period. This means that after a 3 year option period if houses prices drop the borrower may request a down payment based on the new value. For instance, a 5% down payment on a $225,000 home would be $11,250. If the home drops 3% in value, or to $218,250, the 5% down payment from this would be $10,912 – bringing the maximum loan amount to 207,338. You need $225,000, now you have to make up the difference.

However, the price may indeed go up 3% in price and the seller is out the amount of the increase. It is for this reason that some contracts are drawn up with no final price quoted, just specifying the house will be sold at fair market value at the end of the option period.

There are shady sellers out there who will create a contract with an easy escape clause, such as the right to evict a tenant with only 3 days notice. It is in the buyer's best interests to have their contract reviewed by a lawyer before entering into a binding agreement. Also, pay your rent on time and do not give the seller any opportunity to renege on the agreement.
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Reasons For Financial Problems

Reasons For Financial Problems - Most of us know when we hit a financial disaster, usually we can even trace the beginning of the process that led to the financial failure, but the problem seems to be the fact that some people keep repeating the mistakes, or adapting new problematic methods of trying and solving problems.

The wise financial planner would first consider his own strong and weak points before making financial decisions and would draw conclusions for the experiences he had in the past, the few points that ultimately lead to financial disasters that I will discuss here are very basic and natural, yet many people do not practice the least amount of caution when making plans.

The first and most prominent problem with bad financial planning is that the planner has no financial education, in this case I would strongly advise seeking professional help. Most of do not have formal financial education, and many of us do not understand the financial basics that rule the markets, other do not want to go into these calculations, but all these groups should start by admitting that they do not have the knowledge of dealing with financial planning and look for someone who does. The great benefit of listening to advise of experts is that it teaches you things, the approach to financial planning, the basics of a new financial plan and much more, it is very possible that in a few months you will be much more educated and better informed in a way that will allow you to start making your own calls.

The second problem is making decisions and planes letting other people manage you finance for you, and I don’t mean letting you professional financial planner but friends, neighbors and family. Even though these people have the best intentions, it is very clearly your own responsibility to take care of your personal finance, and as much as it is unpleasant to make financial plans and take care of your personal finance it is a fact of life you must practice.

The third, and last mistake we are going to discuss is choosing the wrong kind of financial advisor, some people are tempted to let the wrong kind of people manage their finance situation, this includes insurance experts, tax experts and other financial experts of all sorts. It is important that you find a person that you have good communication with , that understands you and what financial help you are seeking, and that this expert be an expert on the issues you need help the most, do not let personal relationships, family connections and business relation dictate the financial expert you use, it is of extreme importance that this person is as close to being perfect for you as possible. The best thing to do is to look for a person that works in a financial office and makes his money by advising and managing personal financial accounts, someone that has been around for long and that will have the experience to guide you through the processes.

source: PLR
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The Secret To Never Ending Financial Success

The Secret To Never Ending Financial Success - You can be both rich and happy. It is great to have a huge bank account and at the same time, enjoy life with your loved ones. Money alone will never buy you happiness; but money can help you enjoy life more, which enhances your happiness.

Many people are saying that it is getting harder and harder to earn and make money these days. That may be true to some extent, but it all depends on the person and how he maximizes the use of resources available to him.

Mergers, downsizing of companies, and massive lay-offs occur more often now. Affected employees take this chance to engage in their true passions and open small businesses, do consulting work, join network marketing, and try their hand in internet businesses.

Indeed, these challenging times provide opportunities to build a business, which is arguably one of the best ways to become rich. These global circumstances ushered in the age of entrepreneurship where many young people are getting rich and strutting their way to the bank!

So, how were they able to do it? How were they able to overcome adversities and bounce back to lead happy and prosperous lives? What is the secret to their happiness and never-ending financial success?

The secret is in their perspective. These people live in a state of abundance. When you live in such a world, you will not be bothered by limitations. Do you want a successful career and a close relationship with your family? You can have both! Do you want to focus on business and still have enough time for fun and play? You can have both! Do you want to earn a fortune and do the work you love? Yes, you can have both!

These people have transcended the world of limitations. They keep in mind that there is limitless supply for everybody. They abhor penny pinching and aspire for the best. They believe that there will be always plenty of money to go around. They also think, “Isn’t it a shame to live cheaply in an abundant world?”

But this is not to say that you should rush out, shop, max out your credit card, and become financially irresponsible. This is not the way to minimize your money worries. What it means is that you must find your true passion and live your life’s purpose.

People who live with true abundance never worry about having enough. Worry keeps you from feeling free and joyful. Worry leads to a life full of fears. Fear gets in the way of creativity, change, and growth. It makes you seek stability and status quo. If you keep on worrying, it is difficult, if not impossible, to think of great abundance or believe that you can have all the things you aspire for.

Wealth or happiness? You can have both.

Expand your way of thinking and adopt an abundant mindset. Add a dose of creativity and think out of the box. Figure out a way to have the best of both worlds.
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How to Safeguard Your Financial Life

How to Safeguard Your Financial Life - Several financial planners would agree that one of the foremost and important steps that you should take to protect your financial stability is to set aside funds
as emergency reserve. The concept that you have the fund for emergency and unexpected events is enough to help you stay away from using your credit card and
drown yourself in debt.

How to Get Started
Everyone must stash a little extra cash in case of emergencies. However, how much money should you keep? Although the topic of exactly how much money is needed
for your emergency fund is open to debate, the minimum amount should be enough to cover your expenses for daily living for at least three months. It is also
wiser to save for six months though most financial planners agree on a full year worth of cash.

Your personal circumstances and what it takes to provide you with a peace of mind are the elements to help you determine just how cautious you want to be.
If for instance, you have well-off parents who have always been supportive and willing to help you in a financial crisis, an emergency fund for three months
will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you had reach for you credit card for help and end up paying 15% in interest on the debt, you would be better off
saving enough money for your expenses that would last for at least six months.

If by any chance you are thinking about where to place your money, emergency fund, paying off the credit card debt or funding your 401(k), you can always start with
your credit card debt. Next, you can contribute to your 401(k). This step is especially useful since you can later borrow money from your 401(k). However, as
soon as all those are finished, return to your project of setting up your emergency fund.

If you do not feel like you are required to make your entire funds this week, you can start like everyone else. Begin by setting aside a monthly amount, like
for instance, 5% of your paycheck or other amount that allows you to build one month’s worth of living expenses over the course of a full year. It is also
advisable and helpful to make this automatic. You can do this by asking your bank to do an automatic program for deduction from your checking account to your
savings account.

Additionally, monitor you spending habit each month and always search for areas that you can develop. If by any chance you receive a promotion, bonuses, or other unexpected windfalls, always think about including them to your emergency fund.

Where to Keep the Cash
Keep your emergency fund somewhere that is both easily accessible and safe because you might be required to get the cash in a hurry during emergencies. Remember
not to put your cash in the freezer but do not tie them up together in stocks whose worth may have declined by the time you need them.

The best option you have is to open a savings account or money market account. However, always examine their offer with regards to the minimum balance, interest
rate and other terms.

By time you think you have saved enough, learn how to stop. You can now sleep easier and try to start placing your additional saving into higher-interest and usually less accessible investments or accounts.

Source: PLR
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Merit Based Financial Aid

Merit Based Financial Aid a real merit to students -
Merit-based financial aid is one of the main financial aid packages awarded based on their merit or merit plus of students. Merit-based financial aids usually come from state or federal sources or private sources. These types of financial aid packages are intended to assists students to help their college expenses. Merit-based financial aid need not have to be repaid. The rules and regulations of financial aid packages are based on the federal financial aid rules.

Merit-based financial aids can be obtained based on your performance or talents in a variety of areas such as academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, athletic, leadership, volunteer work, or artistic talent (art, music, or theater). You can also obtain merit-based financial aid if you have any other personal qualities which distinguish you in the applicant pool.

Merit-based financial aid will not consider you or your family's financial situation. Though most scholarships are a combination of financial need and merit, but still there are several scholarships which are purely based on merit. Recipients of these scholarships are selected without regard to income information. The amount of scholarship varies according to the state you reside and also in which scheme you are awarded by a scholarship.

Now let us check how to search for a merit-based financial aid. First of all you have to contact your State Department of Higher Education. Almost every state will have a scholarship program for its residents. But remember that these scholarship programs will mostly be limited to its students who join the college. That is, for example the scholarship program offered by the State of Alabama will be provided for qualified students of Alabama who decide to attend in Alabama state colleges and universities. Also, the student applying for a merit-based financial aid package need to be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, or must be attending at least half-time in an approved postsecondary educational institution.

Also don’t forget to research institutional scholarships. Check the various types of scholarship programs offered by the colleges. You can check the college websites, catalogs, and financial aid offices to know the details of institutional scholarships offered by them. Institutional awards are usually offered within a particular college or on a university-wide basis. Hence check what types of institutional scholarships are offered by your college or the college you are going to join. After checking a list of scholarships that interest you, apply for the one with relevant documents which support your achievements.

To receive merit-based financial aids you need to fill up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), no matter how many colleges you are considering. The FAFSA features a section for students to record the colleges to which you need your information to be sent. Remember to check with each college to verify if there are any additional forms required.

source: PLR
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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 | 01:17 | 0 Comments

Reasons For Financial Problems

Reasons For Financial Problems - Most of us know when we hit a financial disaster, usually we can even trace the beginning of the process that led to the financial failure, but the problem seems to be the fact that some people keep repeating the mistakes, or adapting new problematic methods of trying and solving problems.

The wise financial planner would first consider his own strong and weak points before making financial decisions and would draw conclusions for the experiences he had in the past, the few points that ultimately lead to financial disasters that I will discuss here are very basic and natural, yet many people do not practice the least amount of caution when making plans.

The first and most prominent problem with bad financial planning is that the planner has no financial education, in this case I would strongly advise seeking professional help. Most of do not have formal financial education, and many of us do not understand the financial basics that rule the markets, other do not want to go into these calculations, but all these groups should start by admitting that they do not have the knowledge of dealing with financial planning and look for someone who does. The great benefit of listening to advise of experts is that it teaches you things, the approach to financial planning, the basics of a new financial plan and much more, it is very possible that in a few months you will be much more educated and better informed in a way that will allow you to start making your own calls.

The second problem is making decisions and planes letting other people manage you finance for you, and I don’t mean letting you professional financial planner but friends, neighbors and family. Even though these people have the best intentions, it is very clearly your own responsibility to take care of your personal finance, and as much as it is unpleasant to make financial plans and take care of your personal finance it is a fact of life you must practice.

The third, and last mistake we are going to discuss is choosing the wrong kind of financial advisor, some people are tempted to let the wrong kind of people manage their finance situation, this includes insurance experts, tax experts and other financial experts of all sorts. It is important that you find a person that you have good communication with , that understands you and what financial help you are seeking, and that this expert be an expert on the issues you need help the most, do not let personal relationships, family connections and business relation dictate the financial expert you use, it is of extreme importance that this person is as close to being perfect for you as possible. The best thing to do is to look for a person that works in a financial office and makes his money by advising and managing personal financial accounts, someone that has been around for long and that will have the experience to guide you through the processes.

source: PLR
Read more

Top Financial Mistakes Made by College Students

Top Financial Mistakes Made by College Students - A list of the major financial mistakes college students should avoid making to maintain a good credit standing and stay out of debt.

1. Blowing your school loan money!
Instead of using your financial aid for books, tuition, room & board, many students will choose to finance their extravagant lifestyle of partying, clothes, gadgets, and eating out. These school loans you've worked so hard to get should be paying for your education, not you social use the money wisely. You'll be paying them off for many years to come.

2. Credit Card Debt!
Even responsible adults can rack up some hefty credit card debt, but students, who have no viable income besides their school loan money, and what cash mom & dad give them, have no business getting multiple credit cards. This is a recipe for credit disaster, because now students will not only have their school loans to repay when they graduate, but large credit card balances. Nellie May, the largest student loan maker, says that most graduate students have an average of $5800 in credit card debt.

3. Not Paying Your Bills on Time!
Racking up huge credit debt and not paying your bills on time is a good way to ensure that you can't purchase a car, rent an apartment or even get a cell phone after you graduate. Keep the credit cards to a minimum, and pay your bills on time to keep your good credit rating. You'll thank yourself in a few years.

4. Bad Budgeting!
Being a college student generally means living on a fixed income. Weather it be your financial aid money or money from a part-time job, or even money from Mom & Dad, the cash is usually limited and setting up a budget is important. A monthly budget doesn't mean you can't do the things you want to do, but simply a plan so you know the "must-pays" actually get paid. Figure out exactly what bills and expenses you have every month and plan for those first. Any money after that you can budget for social / recreational items like CD's and kegs.

5. Going to a College that's too Pricey!
Instead of going to your local community college for your pre-req classes and spending $25 a unit, many students feel they have to go to the 4 year university straight out of high school. Many end up returning home and going to a C.C. anyway, but attending a local school first is a good way to save money, and get those required classes out of the way cheap. After you've completed these courses, transfer to a 4 year school to complete your undergraduate degree. This will save thousands upon thousands of dollars that you would have racked up on student loans, and been paying off well into your 30's.

So many of the bad financial decisions students make is a result of poor financial education. Students haven't been taught by their parents or high school teachers the importance of maintaining a good credit score, paying bills on time, and budgeting income. Wise spending during the college years will ensure that the money you make after graduating will be spent on things you want, not credit card payments, collection companies and school loans.

Source: PLR
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