By Ron KingThere are a variety of credit card types, each claiming to offer you the best possible deal. Finding the programs and incentives that works best for you is key to maintaining a good credit card history. Each type of credit card offer different benefits. Some are geared toward the individual consumer, while others are set up to work for small businesses. To find the type of card that best fits your needs, let's review some of the options. Business Cards A business credit card offers the business owner an opportunity to keep business and personal expenses separate. The card may offer special business rewards and saving opportunities that go above and beyond what the individual card owner has. Since money management is essential for running a business successfully, this card may offer an expense management service that helps track outgoing money. You can obtain additional cards for employees who may need them for travel expenses and such. You may also have a higher credit limit than you normally would on an individual card. Student Cards Many credit card companies will issue student cards with lower credit limits and fewer incentives, helping new card users to keep their spending in check. However, note that many college students now graduate with credit balances averaging from $3,000 to $7,000. With high interest rates, these debts can be a real problem to pay off. Debit Cards Prepaid debit cards are 1 type of credit card that has grown significantly in recent years. Although it works like a traditional credit card when making a purchase, that is where the similarity ends. With a prepaid debit card, you actually set the credit limit yourself by depositing money into the debit card’s account. The amount you deposit determines the credit limit on that card. This is a great way to have the convenience of a credit card without the possibility of charging more than you can afford to pay off. Cards for Bad Credit Even with bad credit, it is possible to obtain a credit card. These cards come with some restrictions not typically found on other types of cards. Your credit limit will be lower and your interest rate higher. Some may require you to have a secured card, meaning you have to maintain a savings or some other type of account that will cover the expenses on the credit card. Once you have established that you will be responsible in your credit handling, some, if not all, of your restrictions may be lifted. Cash Back Cards Many cards will now offer you cash-back incentives for using their cards. Depending on how much your balance is, and how often you use the card, you can earn cash back for your purchases. Some companies offer 1% off your balance while others, like Sears, will offer you cash off purchases made in their store. Either way, if you are planning on using a card, finding one that will offer you a cash incentive is a smart choice. Low-Interest Cards One of the more recent additions to the credit card world is the low-interest credit card. These cards offer a significantly lower interest rate than most of the older cards you may already have. As balance-transfer cards, most of them offer you the option of transferring a balance from a higher interest rate card and, for a specified period of time, your transferred balance will be at either 0% interest or something quite low. This can save you a fair amount of money if your plan is to pay it off. Reward and Incentive Cards Since credit cards have become such a lucrative business, many corporations have jumped on the bandwagon. Even airlines now offer credit cards that come with a certain amount of frequent flyer miles attached, depending on your balance and purchases. If you do a fair amount of traveling, this can be a real bonus. Along these same lines, reward credit cards are growing in popularity. Competition is stiff, and many card companies are now offering different reward or incentive options for using their cards. Once you accumulate enough points, the rewards pour in. These can be anything from travel insurance to small appliances. If you use a card regularly, finding one with a reward program can really pay off. Instant Approval Cards Another form of credit card is the instant approval card. Once you fill out the application, a quick background check will be done and you will have your approval almost immediately. Regular cards can take up to 2 weeks to process. Although you can get instant approval, this does not always mean you can get instant credit. Some companies will supply you with a temporary credit card number and allow you to begin making purchases immediately, while others will not, due to an increase in credit card fraud potential. Protect Your Credit Since there are so many options in choosing a credit card, you should do a little research before you apply. Decide what type of card best fits your needs and apply for that one. Don't go overboard, though. Applying for too many cards will negatively affect your credit rating. And, above all, once you get your new credit card, use it responsibly.
By John WilliamsThe rising costs of college tuition have made it almost a necessity to apply for a student loan today. Students not only have tuition costs, but the cost of books, meals, gas, cell phones, recreation, etc. The variety of student loans enables students to take care of their varying college expenses. A student loan however, is a loan that must be repaid under specified circumstances. Each of the following are student loans with differing conditions and time frames for repayment: • A Direct Student Loan is a loan with a schedule of repayment six to nine months after the student has completed school. The Direct Student Loan is distributed through the school the student is attending, which enables the interest rates to be much lower than a Guaranteed Student Loan. • Guaranteed Student Loans, also known as Stafford Loans have a low interest rate. A student can apply for a subsidized or unsubsidized student loan. A subsidized loan means the government pays the interest for you while you are in school. The subsidized student loan is based on the students financial need. An unsubsidized student loan means you will be charged interest while you are attending school. The principal must start being paid after you have finished school. Both types of student loans need to start repayment six months after the student has finished college. • Federal Parent Loans or PLUS loans as they are known is a student loan not contingent on your income, but lenders do consider personal credit history. Parents or guardians who have a dependent child enrolled in college at least part-time are eligible for the PLUS loan. The interest rate is 9% or less. Virtually any school or program will allow you to utilize the Direct Student loan, Guaranteed Student loan or PLUS loan. It is very important to thoroughly research all available options for funding long-term education. Your future is tied to your funding, which is your student loan. About the author:John Williams is the student loan blogger at http://studentloan.blogspot.comHe reviews student loans and interprets often complicated financial data into simple to understand language. Circulated by Article Emporium
By Dean ShaininCopyright 2005 Dean ShaininYou can benefit from student loan consolidation, but there are things you should consider. It’s a good idea to start looking into how you can consolidate your student loans before the grace period ends. Big monthly student loan payments can be stressful when starting a new career.Why Should I Consolidate My Student Loans Now?There has never been a better time than now, to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in recent history. A student can get the best deals for consolidating debt and lower those monthly payments. Student loan consolidation can save you hundreds of dollars per year on repaying your student loan.How Does Student Loan Consolidation Work?When a student first applied for loans from several different government agencies and loan providers, they each gave a different interest rate and term for paying back the loans. The idea of student loan consolidation, is to take all the different loans and put them into one easy convenient loan. You then only make one monthly loan payment over time. This saves the student both time and money. Having a lower interest rate and less checks to write every month are the big advantages of consolidating a student loan.Student Loan Consolidation Is Now Easy OnlineYou can now get a consolidation loan online quickly and easily. The Internet makes research and finding great programs, easy as a few clicks of the mouse. You can get done in a day, what would in the past, take weeks to accomplish. You can learn everything you need to know from information sites that provide the latest news and data in regards to student loan consolidation. This empowers you to get the best deals on student loan consolidation. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can get loan quotes and compare loan companies that are competing for your business.Consolidation Loans Can Relieve StressStudent loan consolidation can help student loan borrowers focus on their education, instead of debt. With a single new loan and lower monthly payments, you can focus on what’s most important, education and your new career. There is no need to lose sleep at night stressing out about how you’re going to pay back all those student loans.About the author:Dean Shainin is a consultant specializing in student loan consolidation. To get more ideas,articles, resources and information, visit this site: http://www.studentloanconsolidationtips.com
By Paul LembergI know at first glance this sounds obvious, but it may be worth it for you to think about your prices. At least just for a moment. How did you decide on your current pricing? Did you conduct market research to understand what prospects would pay? Or did you compare yourself to your competitors and base your price on that? Or was it a crapshoot, and random shot in the dark? These are the ways most people do it, and they are all wrong. Because the price you set for your products and services is more important than you think. The following few paragraphs are a bit number heavy, but stay with me because this will be really valuable for you to understand. Let's say you sell a high margin product - information products and software are two good examples. Your price is $60, and your costs are $10 - that means your gross margin (selling price - your costs) is $50 each time you sell one unit. Let's say further that your overhead is $5,000 per month. If you sell 100 units you'll break even, right? Now you want to sell more, and decide you can take some business from a competitor by lowering your price - temporarily. You lower it to $40 - a 33% price cut, and not uncommon. Your costs remain $10 and your overhead is still $5,000, only now your gross margin is $30 - 60% of what it was before. And how many units do you need to break even now? 166! That's 66% more unit sales required to make up for the 33% price cut! But what if you're feeling very aggressive and you cut your price in half (also not unheard of) to $30. Now you have to sell 250 units - just to break even! That's 2-1/2 times as many as before. How easy do you think that's going to be? Let's use a different example - something that has real manufacturing costs. This time, your product sells for $100, and your cost of goods are $50 per unit, for a gross profit of $50. Same $5000 overhead, same number of units to break even. Now imagine you cut your price 20%, to $80, leaving you with $30 of gross margin. You need to sell 66% more units. Ouch! What if you cut the price to $70. This 30% price cut means you have to sell 2-1/2 times more units - just to stay even. Let's go further... Competition is really heating up and you think that matching them cut for cut is the way to go. The price for this amazing widget of yours is now a bargain basement $60. (Shucks, that's only 40% off your original price. Salespeople and business owners do this every day.) How many units do you need to break even? 500. Five hundred? That's five times your original number. Do you really think you can sell five times what you did before - at least without significantly raising your overhead and your variable cost of sale? How many times have you done just this in response to competitive pressures? How many times have you cut prices because you thought it would help you sell more? :(:(:( What we've just done is a simplified version of what's called margin analysis, and I hope it gives you a glimmer of what can happen when you mis-price. For the most part, your price cuts don't automatically enable you to sell 66% more than you did before, and generally - at least not in this universe - you don't sell 250% more, and never, ever do you sell 500% more with this kind of price cutting. But there is some good news - and it's very good. Let's look at what happens when you raise your prices. Remember your high-margin product. It sells for $60 and costs $10 to make. Through good product positioning and excellent marketing you raise the price to $70. That's only a 15% increase. Now you only have to sell 83 units to break even, and if you sell the same 100 units, your profits go from $0 to $1000. Nice increase... And that "hard" product - the one with $50 of costs? Raise the price tag 20% to $120, your margins increase to $70, and now your breakeven drops 71, and you make $2000 if you sell the same number of them. See how this works? :):):) You can do this same analysis in a bit more sophisticated way, considering your marketing costs, sales or affiliate commissions, travel expenses if you have them, and so on. You can see the actual pricing effect varies quite a bit depending on these details. If you have a high-leverage, pay-only-for-results affiliate model, a very high gross margin and almost no fixed overhead, you have a lot of price flexibility. You can cut the price 25% and only need to sell 15% more! That's not too bad at all. But only in that type of model. If you have a office, some staff, and a physical product - in other words, fixed overhead - lower prices can kill you - and you won't even see it coming. And higher prices? They can make you rich. By now you are starting to see the tragic effects of mis-pricing on the downside, and the marvelously enriching possibilities of raising your prices. This only works, of course, when you can also increase your value proposition... Stay tuned for part 2. Follow this link at the bottom of the page to get a copy of an Excel spreadsheet to play with. Get the spreadsheet, plug in your own numbers. It will really blow your mind. Also, feel free to pass this article or the spreadsheet on to your friends and associates. They will definitely appreciate it. http://www.paullemberg.com/higher-part1.html About the author:Paul Lemberg is the President of Quantum Growth Coaching, the world's only business coaching franchise system built from the ground up to rapidly create more profits and more life for entrepreneurs. Paul is also Executive Director of the Stratamax Research Institute, a business coaching and consulting firm specializing in helping entrepreneurial companies quickly increase short term profits for sustainable long term growth. http://www.quantumgrowthcoachingfranchise.com
By Paul HeathObtaining can be a real challenge. If you have a bad credit history and you’re seeking a loan to buy a home, a car, or a personal unsecured loan, you will usually have to work a bit harder convincing a lender to underwrite your loan. You’ll almost certainly pay a higher interest rate than someone with a good credit history and the amount available for you to borrow will likely be lower. What Is A Credit History? Before you pursue a loan of any type, it’s important to know more about your credit history. It is a record of all your past financial commitments and contains information about your repayment reliability and the total amount of debt you’re carrying. Banks and other lenders look at this record to determine your credit worthiness, usually by assigning you a credit score. The lower your credit score the less likely a lender is to underwrite your loan. How Did I Get A Bad Credit History? Your credit history is an ongoing compilation of information about you, so anytime you make a late payment or miss a payment it is captured in the file. Likewise, if you have ever defaulted on a debt or otherwise failed to fulfil a financial contract it will show up in your credit history. Credit reference agencies collect other information about you, such as changes in employment or address. If your record shows that you make such changes frequently this will also lower your credit score. Will I Ever Qualify For A Loan? Yes, most people with bad credit will be able to qualify for some type of loan but usually with some restrictions and limitations. There are numerous lenders who focus specifically on loans for people with bad credit so don’t give up. Just keep in mind that you will probably be charged a higher interest and offered a lower loan amount. The positive part of this is that once you’ve secured the loan you can start repairing your bad credit history by making regular, on-time payments. It happens slowly, but over time your credit history will show improvement. What Type Of Loan Can I Get? There are two types of loans available to you if you have poor credit – unsecured and secured. Unsecured loans are more difficult to get because you don’t put up collateral as security for the loan. This is risky for the lender so expect them to require more stringent loan terms in this situation. Secured loans, on the other hand, require you to provide some form of asset as collateral. Most of the time this means you will secure the loan with your house. The amount of money you can borrow and the interest rate you will pay are influenced by your credit history, your total amount of debt, and your home’s value. Different lenders weight these items different ways, so be sure to check with several to find one with a program suited for you. I Have Bad Credit – Where Can I Find A Loan? Before you submit any loan applications, gather some information from several potential lenders. Find out about their interest rates, any special loan terms they may require, and any other specifics about their loan process. One word of warning – researching lenders is different than actually submitting loan applications. You can do all the research you want, but be careful not to submit a large number of loan applications over a short time period. This kind of activity can actually damage your credit history further. Another option is to contact an independent loan broker to help you find appropriate lenders and loan programs. Other Resources For Finding Bad Credit Loans One of the most popular resources for researching bad credit loans is the Internet. Almost all lenders have web sites that provide guidelines and information about their loan programs for people with bad credit, and some even offer online application processes. As noted above, though, don’t fill out large numbers of applications or you may damage your credit rating further. About the author:For Online Loans Home Loans Please visit us at www.1st-onlineloans.com
By Carrie ReederAn online debt consolidation loan allows even people with a poor credit to reduce their overall monthly payments and regain their financial footing. While there are personal loans that allow you to do this, tapping into your home’s equity is a better option. Choosing A Loan Refinancing your home to access your home’s equity enables you to pay off your short-term debt and write off the interest on your taxes. A line of credit won’t let you do that. With bad credit, your interest rates will be slightly higher than a traditional mortgage, but they will be lower than a line of credit. You also have the option to refinance your loan in two years, after you have established a good credit record. Applying To Online Lenders Online mortgage lenders offer financing to all sorts of credit situations, including those with bankruptcy or a foreclosure in their records. Before you begin the process, take the time to research refinance options by different lenders. Compare rates and terms to find the best fit for your situation by requesting quotes. One you have picked a lender, go ahead and apply online for the deepest discounts. Usually a lender will reduce fees or interest rates for online applications. Unlike a regular mortgage, your home equity loan will take some time to approve since the lender has to verify the value of your home. If you believe the listed price of your home is undervalued, request an appraisal. With today’s hot real estate market, home values are rising between 5nd 50year. Plan To Refinance In The Future When you have received your home equity loan, make plans to refinance again in two years. In those two years, you can build your credit score to good by making regular payments on all your bills. You can also raise your score by closing credit card accounts with lenders. If your lender doesn’t automatically refinance your loan, approach them with a request for a quote to refinance. Typically, your lender will give you a better than market rate. However, you still should compare quotes of other lenders to see if you can find a better finance deal. About the author:Carrie Reeder is the owner of http://www.abcloanguide.com,an informational website about various types of loans. To view our list of recommended debt consolidation companies online, visit this page: http://www.abcloanguide.com/debtconsolidation.shtml
By Carrie ReederCar loans are easier to get by using an online financing company, even if you have bad credit. You can compare financing rates for the purchase of a new or used car, apply in minutes, and receive a blank check within days. Car Loans Online Online technology allows easy shopping for car loans. Through connected databases, call centers, and streamlined processes, you can connect to lenders to find low rates regardless of where you live. Sub prime lenders, who specialize in financing people with poor credit, now have to compete for your business. Even with a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you can find financing to purchase your vehicle. Depending on your credit score, you may decide to work with a sub prime lender who partners with certain car dealerships. In these cases, be sure to compare both the loan’s and car’s price. You can also put down a large down payment to improve your prospects. Easy Comparisons Comparing car loans is especially important if you have poor credit. You can receive free online quotes from lenders within minutes so you can compare both rates and terms. By comparing financing packages, you can be assured that you have found the lowest rate. Speedy Applications Technology has also sped up the application process. When you apply online for a car loan, your application will typically be processed within an hour. Through databases, lenders can verify your information and approve you for a loan amount. You can decide to use part or all of the amount to purchase an automobile. Quick Money Once your application has been approved, you will receive a blank check and final paperwork in the mail within a couple of days. With the check you can purchase your car or truck from a dealership or private individual. When you decide on a purchase price, you simply fill in the amount on the check. Refinancing Option You can also refinance your car loan in the future. By making regular payments and reducing short-term debt, you can build your credit score to good within two years. You can then decide to refinance your loan with a traditional lender with lower rates. About the author:Carrie Reeder is the owner of http://www.abcloanguide.com,an informational website about various types of loans. To view our list of recommended auto finance companies online, visit this page: http://www.abcloanguide.com/autoloans.shtml