Ways to boost your credit score

Having a good credit score takes a lot of work. Building a good credit score is a process and will take time especially if it is not in your favor. Fortunately, there are things that could be done to boost this important number. More »

401K Vs a Traditional Pension Plan – Which one will be the best for you?

Earlier most of the Americans used to think that they will work in some big company for 40 years, build up a big pension. Once they retire, they will enjoy their golden years on that pension. Sadly, this dream has changed a lot in the last twenty years. More »

Four things to consider before buying a foreclosed property

Buying a new home can be quite challenging in the existing real estate market. There has been a recent increase in the number of foreclosed properties. This means that you will have more options to choose from when you are looking to buy a home. More »

How to Make Money with Forex Trading

Forex (Foreign Exchange) is a global market with business done via electronic networks or phones by brokers, individuals, and banks 24 hours a day. However, knowing how to make money via Forex trading could require some time. More »

Wage garnishment – How to stop it and keeping the paycheck intact

It can be a devastating experience for anyone to have his paycheck garnished from his weekly or monthly income. But there are successful ways of avoiding a wage garnishment. More »

 

Businesses and Commercial Insurance

Any business who deals with the consumer market will find having insurance is a requirement to run a successful enterprise. This insurance is often referred to as commercial insurance and is meant to offer a level of protection that will protect the business should any issues arise. There are several aspects this insurance covers that will help to ensure that the business never has to close its doors due to lawsuits or simply not having the money to fix repairs or damages.

  • What Commercial Insurance Covers

The categories which commercial insurance at santam covers ranges from the property of the business to the cars that employees may drive on a daily basis. Businesses not only have the property in which their business is housed, but may also have products in warehouses and the like that need protection. If there were to be a fire or vandalism, this insurance kicks in to help cover the losses and can be a great way to avoid more out of pocket expenses. If the business has fleet vehicles for transporting goods or for employees to utilize for sales, then the insurance will also cover the automobiles, which is mandatory in every state.

  • Liability Insurance for Commercial Uses

One of the dangers a business takes on is having someone injured on the premises or affected by something the business does. For example, if an employee were to get hurt on the job, the insurance policy would help arrange care and the like for the injured employee. However, most businesses decide to have liability insurance to protect themselves should a consumer become injured. For example, if a consumer were to enter into a showroom of the business, slip and fall. This is an accident that can happen to any business, despite the precautions which are taken and it can mean a lawsuit with a high amount of money paid to the consumer. With insurance, the business can offset some of these costs.

  • Finding Insurance for your Business

There are several companies that cater to business insurance and it is imperative that the business check out all the companies to find the best rate available. The owner of the business will also want to look into the policy and read more about the components of the individual policy that they are getting. They should look at the deductibles they are paying, as well as the annual amount they are paying. In addition, they should read for any clauses in place that could prevent the insurance company from paying. Through taking the time to research the company properly, the business owner can rest assure they have the correct policy for them.

Helpful Article:

http://www.sba.gov/content/business-insurance

What it means if you receive a CCJ, and how to get it removed

If you owe someone money and they begin court proceedings against you but you do not respond, you can be issued with a County Court Judgement (CCJ).

A CCJ is a formal acknowledgement authorised by the court that you owe money. This will arrive in the post and will confirm the amount that you owe, how and who you should pay and when the payment deadline is. You need to respond to this within 14 days of receipt; if the judgement is ignored and payment is not received, you can be summoned to court and forced to pay your debt as well as any additional court fees.

The record of your CCJ

If you receive a County Court Judgement, it will stay on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for 6 years.

Banks and loan companies will refer to this information if you apply to them for money, and they may reject your application based on records of CCJs on the register. This can also make it difficult for you to obtain a mortgage, credit card and even a bank account in the future.

To view the record of your CCJ you can access the register of judgements for a small fee – a simple search will incur a cost of £4.

How to remove the record of your CCJ

The easiest way to achieve removal of your CCJ record is to pay the outstanding order within a month of it being received. If you do this, the judgement will be completely removed from the Judgments, Orders and Fines register.

If you pay after the month grace period, you can request for the CCJ to be marked as “satisfied”. The order won’t be removed and will still be visible on the register, but people viewing it will be able to see that you have settled the payment. To do this you will need to contact the court to tell them that you have paid the debt, and provide proof of payment along with a £15 court fee.

However if you have received a County Court Judgement and don’t believe that you should have, you can contact the court to request that the order is “set aside” – this means that the CCJ will be cancelled and no record will be kept. This can be applied in cases where you either believe that you don’t owe the money, or didn’t receive or respond to the original claim forms sent before the CCJ was issued.

To do this, you will need to complete an N244 application form and may also be liable to pay an £80 court fee. You will also have to attend court to explain why you do not owe the money, so therefore why the CCJ should be set aside.

Alternatively, your record will automatically be removed from the register 6 years later.

Beware of companies offering to remove the record for you

The above mentioned methods are the only ways to legally remove a CCJ from the register. Some companies may claim that they can remove the records for you, but they will often charge large fees and can encourage people to commit perjury in the process, which is illegal.

The Office of Fair Trading has warned that the help given by these companies can be incorrect and misleading which can result in getting you into deeper trouble and worse debt. These companies may also operate as a front just to sell loans to vulnerable people.

If you are unsure on how to proceed when you receive a CCJ, seek professional advice before taking action.

Rosie Percy writes for a diverse range of topics and industries including education, health and finance. Rosie has written for the Guardian and other lifestyle blogs, and now lives and works in Brighton.

The Time Efficient Payroll Support

While a payroll system might be one of a business’s most important functions, it can also be one of its most expensive. Good payroll systems keep the wheels of industry turning within your workplace, and not only do they ensure that your staff get paid on time, but they can also be used to manage your company’s accounts.

In addition to the expense, keeping a good, accurate and efficient payroll service can be extremely time consuming and, when it comes to business, time is money. There are, however, a number of tips you can follow to reduce the impact on the company coffers and the hours you spend on making your system work.

1) The best thing you can do is get to grips with technology. Payroll software turns a manual task into an automated and streamlined system, leaving minimum chance of human error. Most companies use payroll software, reducing the time and money spent on maintaining the service. In addition, good payroll software will have other functions, allowing you to keep a tab on the accounts at the click of a mouse and merge all your databases to gain an easy-to-read overview of your company’s spending. That’s going to be vital when it comes to deciding whether to implement pay rises or when streamlining might be appropriate. You don’t have to have an accountancy background to use one, as all the jargon is removed, meaning that even if you’re a one-man band, they can be simple to use.

2) Break it down to the basics. Many SME owners make the mistake of initially trying to include every detail in their systems. That’s fine if you’re using payroll software, but a real headache if you’re trying to do it manually! If you’re using the latter method, then try and keep the system as simple as possible. This will be reflected in your business policies, such as how the company approaches paid time off, attendance issues, commission and reimbursed expenses. Make your policies as simple as you can to begin with; there’s plenty of time to add further detail as you grow later on.

3) With cheques being slowly phased out, you might as well stay ahead of the game. Many businesses use electronic payment systems such as BACS to pay their employees. Much like payroll software, it means you can call up details of payments to staff and suppliers relatively quickly. However, unlike payroll software, it won’t allow you to track your company’s spending behaviour, but it will make your accounting a bit easier. In addition, eschewing paper in favour of technology can save you some cash. The Office for National Statistics estimates that businesses can save around £100 per year by using electronic payment methods rather than the company chequebook.

A good payroll system is vital to keeping on top of the financial aspects of your business and for keeping your employees happy. In order to make sure yours is time efficient, you’ll need to embrace technology, good planning and a little common sense.

0800 Freephone numbers for your business

You can have your customers reach you over the phone at a very economical price no matter which part of the world they are calling from. You can give them a non-geographic phone number and they will be in touch with your customer care department. If you choose 0333 numbers, a person from anywhere in the UK will reach you at the price of a standard phone call. 0333 are also often referred to as “Freephone numbers for mobile phone callers” as they are cheap to call to from mobile phones. Such number is perfect for Not-for-profit organizations or charities. This will be a very inexpensive way to promote the good will of your company.

Another number many businesses opt for is a 0844 phone number; the caller is charged about 1p to 5p per minute which allows your business to earn a rebate for each incoming call. That can be a good way to save costs. However, that might not be the best number for a customer oriented business. In that case it may be a good idea to check out freephone 0800 numbers which are absolutely free to call to from landlines. This number is mainly used to encourage customers to call you. This is a perfect number to use if you are into some marketing or sales campaign.

0800If you already have a business and are thinking to change your contact phone number to a free phone number, you must check your business model and see if this will be the right move for you. Since its free for the customers to call you, it will be an added expense along with the outgoings, but if it is increasing your sales, then it will be a justified move in terms of your sales. According to the research done by the Institute of Direct Marketing, it was found that the 0800 freephone numbers increase the sales and inquiries by almost 185%.

It is important to know that when you are dialing a free phone number from your cell phone, there is a charge and it varies depending on your mobile network. The company still wants you to call at their 0800 freephone number because they want to create an image showing that they care for you and can call them anytime. This gives you an added advantage over your competitors who do not have this freephone number.

You can easily set up a 0800 freephone number for your business and most creditable providers provide useful call handling services with every number. Now you don’t have to install any equipments and kits to route your calls to your staff. You can use the 0800 phone number on your phone through an instant virtual switchboard that can be easily controlled. It is a very good option for both small and large businesses and the set up is also very easy.

Your phone company will give you complete control over your number and an online management tool that will help you in controlling and monitoring your calls. You will be able to use features like call queuing, multi level IVR, call whisper, set up hunt groups and divert your calls to mobile or voice mail. All these features on the freephone number makes it a great tool for small business. It is very important to be in direct contact with your customers as it has a direct impact on the growth of your business.

For more information visit: http://www.telecomsworldplc.co.uk/numbers/0800/

Istanbul property investment offering high yields

Many countries near the Middle East and North Africa have faced many turmoil, but Turkey has always managed to remain buoyant and even shine. Experts believe that Turkey has always been a favorite place for doing investments, especially Istanbul that has been growing and developing at a very rapid pace.

Istambul PropertyLibya and Egypt has created history by showing that nations can be bought to their knees by civil unrest, however Turkey is showing little signs of being dragged into the domino-like rampage of revolutions.

Turkey has managed to emerge strong from nearby political unrest due to many factors.

Democracy – Turkey’s economy has improved a lot over the last few years, but it has little to do with the current high profile. It is a democratic nation having connections with organizations ranging from the Council of Europe to G-20. Turkey has provided a western environment to its population, tourists and investors.

Industry – Istanbul is becoming the favorite spot for many corporate companies and they are finding value for money in setting up their bases. A savvy investor will see many corporate travelers coming to the city with huge amount of money to spend. Istanbul is named as the top conference locations in the world and since then the value of the property is touching the sky. This can be a simple case of future demand outweighing supply.

Istanbul and Akbuk – Every year, a large number of tourists come to Turkey, many of them go to the coastal resorts like Akbuk and a good number going to Istanbul for ideal property investment. Even the government has given endorsement to Istanbul properties investment.

Hotel rooms – Istanbul gets a good number of corporate travelers and tourists, hence buy-to-let room investment makes a lot of sense here. These are property purchases that suit the ‘armchair investor’, usually from Europe or the USA, and this currently is where the interest is being generated.

Tourism – Turkey is the hot spot for many visitors from all corners of the world. As per the airport authorities, there has been a steep rise in the number of passengers over the last 10 years. Coastal areas like Akbuk attracts many tourists because of the turquoise sea and beautiful surroundings inviting new trade.

How business storage can be beneficial for your company?

There are self storage facilities available for people who are moving to different house. It can be an easy and quick solution to those people who want to store their furniture for an interim period. Nowadays, many companies are realizing the benefits of storage and it can provide solutions both long-term and short-term.

  • Security of valuable items :

If a company has some valuable stock, their main concern will be the security of these items. It will be more risky if there is too much robbery in your area. In a storage unit, no one will come to know what is stored in that place and therefore it will reduce a lot of stress of the companies. These storage units are locked with the state of the art security system providing added security.

  • Storing documents :

When you are running a business throughout the year, it is for sure that there will be thousands and thousands of important and confidential documents and it should be stored in a secured place. When you are storing huge number of contracts, invoices, accounts books and other official documents round the year, then their storage will be a big concern. Many businesses prefer to keep previous years’ documents in a business storage. This way the office won’t get cluttered and most importantly, they can access the storage area at any point of time. Now it will be easier for the company to focus on other important aspects and they wont have to worry about the safety of the documents or lack of space.

  • Reducing the size of your company:

Over the last few years, many companies had to downsize their premises in order to survive. There were companies who had to take places on rent so that they can save some money every year. Shifting of different things from bigger area to smaller area can be a big trouble. Instead of squeezing everything to a limited space, business storage will allow many companies to hold on to their excess stock and office equipments off the premises. This way everyone will be able to work in a safe and clutter-free environment.

  • Expanding the size of your company :

While some companies had to reduce their size and strength, there were other companies who were lucky enough to find that they were growing and hence needed more space. It may be tough at times to find the right location on rent, hence storage unit will be the ideal solution to store new stocks and office equipments.

Robust customer support through the new 0333 Telephone numbers

Any business will go through a huge loss if there is a communication breakdown. Your business will attract customers based on your products and prices and what they prefer, but you keep your clientele through service.

0333 NumbersOne very vital aspect of providing good service to your customers is by providing robust customer support. It is very important to have an online connection with your customers through internet. They should be able to get answers to all their queries through email or by phone. A majority of the people will prefer to talk on the phone and get their queries resolved instantly. And they don’t want to pay a lot of money for such calls.

You can have your customers reach you over the phone at a very economical price no matter they are calling from which part of the world. You can give them a non-geographic phone number and they will be in touch with your customer care department. If you choose 0333 numbers, a person from anywhere in the UK will reach you at the price of a standard phone call. When you choose a 0844 phone number, the caller won’t have to pay any charges at all. This will be a very inexpensive way to promote the good will of your company.

With the help of the new numbers, you will be able to get a lot of new customers. The variety of choices in 0333 or 0844 numbers affords a tremendous advantage to businesses. The phone number that you choose for your customers to dial should be very easy to remember. Many potential customers will see your advertisement on the television or heat it on the radio and they will want to call you asking for more information. You want to have a number for your business that they can easily remember and it does not get written down, especially when you are driving. This way you won’t lose the calls of your clients. These 0333 or 0844 phone numbers can be easily routed to your land line through VOIP.

Once you are in contact with your customers, you can give them feedback, support or expertise requested. With a very good customer support, you can always draw in new clients and do business with them. A good communication is very important for your business to do well.

Wage garnishment – How to stop it and keeping the paycheck intact

It can be a devastating experience for anyone to have his paycheck garnished from his weekly or monthly income. But there are successful ways of avoiding a wage garnishment. Wages are garnished from the debtors paycheck after the creditor gets a judgment for the outstanding debt balance. The creditor gets in touch with a sheriff who will send the garnishment paperwork to the debtor’s employer. The payroll department will review the garnishment papers and money will be taken out from the paycheck until the judgment is satisfied.

  • How long will the check be garnished?

Garnishment laws are different in every state. Some state laws will allow the creditor to pull out money from the debtors paycheck once, whereas in other states, the creditor will garnish the wages until the debt is satisfied. It is important that you are well aware of your state laws regarding garnishment. However, there are some wages that are exempt from garnishment. For example, welfare unemployment, Veteran benefits, Social security, Workers compensation, child support, Pension, sick and vacation days cannot be touched for garnishment.

  • How much can be taken out from your check?

Again it varies with laws of every state. Most states allow up to 25% on regular debt. 50% can be taken out in case of child support or alimony. If you have a second child or a spouse, then it can be garnished up to 60% of your paycheck.

  • How to stop a wage garnishment?

You can stop your wages from being garnished by filing a wage garnishment exemption with the court or with the levy officer within 10 days from the start of the wage garnishment process. Basically, you have to show official documents to prove that you cannot afford the money from being taken out because of your present financial hardship and you have a family to support. Your ability to prove the fact that a garnishment will prevent you from buying the basic needs like food, clothing etc. will help a lot. If you file a claim for exemption and the creditor fails to challenge it within a certain period of time allowed by the court, the judge may rule in your favor and set the garnishment aside.

You, or with the help of an attorney, may file a motion to set aside, suppress, or void a writ of garnishment due to lack of jurisdiction or unlawful bases. You can challenge the writ by saying that you never owed the debit in the first place, or the SOL period in your state has expired. You can also dispute the validity of the debt.

When you are settling the debt amount, make sure that you get a release letter so that the creditor is not able to collect the difference amount at a later stage. It is important to get a satisfaction of judgment letter. This document will prove to the court that the debt has been paid in full.

Important Resources:

http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/garnish.htm

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/Bills_and_Notices/wage.shtml

http://www.fms.treas.gov/debt/awg.html

The Ins and Outs of Hard Money Lenders

If you want to invest in real estate but you don’t have cash, you have to fund your investments through a loan. Bank loans are a possibility, but they require a substantial down payment that can really put a strain on your finances. Most banks require about 20% down, which equates to $20,000 on a $100,000 home. As a real estate investor, you might be interested in any alternative that doesn’t require as significant of a down payment. That is exactly what hard money lenders provide and it’s a great opportunity to get funding for a real estate investments. One alternative to hard money lenders are direct payday lenders but they usually deal in small loans amounts.

Hard money lenders DO charge higher interest rates than banks

Despite what another source may have told you, hard money lenders typically have higher rates than a bank. They use your real estate investment as collateral for the loan, which means it’s a much shorter loan than a traditional bank loan would be. Once you’ve sold the property, your hard money loan would then be paid off in full. The shorter the loan is, the more interest they have to charge you in order to make a profit and that’s why hard money lenders charge the interest rates that they do.

Hard money lenders charge very LITTLE upfront as a down payment

Since hard money lenders provide real-estate backed loans, they have collateral in case the investment doesn’t work out. This is why they are comfortable charging very little upfront. The benefit to you as the buyer is substantial. This means that you won’t have to pay a high down payment like you would with a bank. On a $100,000 home, you might only have to pay $2,000 – $5,000 down with your hard money lender, opposed to the $20,000 that the bank would ask for. Hard money loans are an excellent way to fund your real estate investments without breaking the bank.

Hard money lenders DO hold you liable for what you owe

Unlike a bank where you can sometimes use a short sale or foreclosure process to get out of your loan, a hard money lender is still going to hold you liable. In fact, the property you are buying is used as collateral. If you are unable to sell the home and pay back the loan, your hard money lender can take the home as payment and your loan will be forgiven. This is why hard money lenders never provide loans for higher amounts than the value of the real estate that you are buying.

Hard money loans CAN help you afford renovations

As a real estate investor, you are likely to make your profit by flipping homes and making them more valuable than what you purchased them for. Hard money loans require very little upfront, which means that you will have more money to afford renovations. Some hard money lenders will even provide you with a loan that includes the money you need to complete the remodel. This can be very beneficial to your finances and it can help you flip homes without stressing out about the money that you are spending.

Hard money lenders DO NOT use credit as a determinant for your approval

A hard money lender is very unlikely to use credit as a determinant for your approval. This is unlike banks that have strict policies that they must abide by. Your approval will be based on your income, the property that you are purchasing, and the value of the home. This allows an individual with poor credit or even no credit at all to still qualify for a loan. Additionally, since hard money lenders require such a small down payment, you don’t need much money to get started.

Car Insurance Coverage Limits You Should Have

Car insurance is a serious decision that people have to make to drive a car. Insurance agents will always suggest to take out as much coverage as possible to protect you and your car. However, since you car insurance policy offers various types of coverage, it is a good idea to know what are the limits that you have. Talk to the insurance agent and explain to him or her that you need to know in detail what the benefits are for each of the clauses on the car insurance policy that you have decided to take out.

Car InsuranceRemember that a standard car insurance policy may include as much coverage as you need, hence your car insurance could be considered a collection of different coverage policies to protect yourself and your car at different events and circumstances with different limits, as well.

Different Clauses, Different Coverage Limits

Car insurance includes the cost of medical care for the passengers traveling aboard in a car in case of an accident. Medical expenses have a limit of $ 2,000 for each traveling companion.

Personal Injury

Protection is usually required by law in several states of America and covers all medical expenses for you and your passengers independently of whoever was at fault in a car crash. In this case, the limits are determined by each state and insurance companies abide by them, including the corresponding state limit for this coverage.

Liability for Bodily Injury, is another concept included in car insurance, and pays for personal injury that the driver or traveling companions suffer. However, the limits for this coverage varies from state to state and also include liability coverage in the case someone sues you. Thus limits can be as low as $10,000 per individual traveling in an insured car, to $20,000 when the driver is injured in such accident.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist

Coverage are another add-on clause to your standard car insurance that protect you when you are involved in an accident where the other driver is responsible, but he or she does not have enough insurance, too little, or none. The limits of this coverage matches to the limit of your own coverage, although in some states, is limited to personal injury only, while in others may include damage to your car. Limits in this case are regulated by state law.

Comprehensive coverage pays the cost of damage to your car that is not caused by a collision, including fire, burglary, etc. More than limits, the coverage is based on deductibles versus premiums. The higher the deductible chosen for your policy, the lower the premium.

Finally, Collision coverage pays for damage to your car in the case of an accident. Similar to the comprehensive coverage, the limits are regulated by deductibles and premiums. Deductible limits usually range from $250 to $1,000, but are worth it if you have an expensive car, although this coverage is optional and not required by law.

Tailored Coverage

If you are concerned about the different insurance limits, deductibles and premiums, remember that all of the above coverage is optional and you can get an insurance policy tailored to your protection needs and within the limits that you expect to pay and get paid in the event of an accident.