Help! My New Car Financing Has Eaten My Raise!

Let’s take a look at the facts: Housing prices are rising at a clip of 10-15% per year, tuition costs are rising by an average of 10% each fall, and energy costs – well, the average rise in prices depends on the week you happen to be looking at, but double-digit increases have been the norm for the past few years. And now, the really depressing fact: Average wage increases have hovered between a measly 3 and 4 percent for the past three years. Now what, you ask, does any of this have to do with car financing?

Hey, as simple as can be stated, it boils down to numbers. Interest rates: These are the hidden little killers that can destroy retirement plans and lifestyles over the course of a lifetime. Car financing is the second most important credit-related decision you will ever make, the first being the mortgage on your home. So, just as an example, let’s say that you make $30,000 per year and are looking to finance a $25,000 car over five years. The difference between attaining approved car financing at 6% interest and 16% interest equals $130 per month if you take the loan out over 5 years! And here’s the clincher – a 3% annual increase in salary will net you an extra $900 per year (and that’s before taxes), while saving $130 per month on your car financing puts nearly $1600 more dollars in your pocket. (And hey, that’s after taxes!) Even a few percentage points difference on your car financing can actually equal or exceed the raise you got from work this year!

I had no idea those tiny numbers could add up to so much money! What is my best option for getting an approved car finance plan – with the lowest interest rates?

In the end, your credit rating, and the interest rates it commands, can make or break you over the course of your life. Car financing is not rocket science, but you really have to be careful with the numbers – or you can end up paying thousands of dollars more than you have to. Your best approved car finance option is probably going to be obtained through a bank or credit union. The great things about getting your car financing through a bank is that you tend to get the best rates, personalized service, and you don’t have to worry about some pushy car salesman trying to shove useless add-ons down your throat every five minutes! However, banks and credit unions have higher car-financing standards, so you need decent credit to consider this as an option.

But wait a minute – the banks always take forever to process a loan, and the salesperson at the dealership can get me approved in minutes!

This is very true. But there is a price for that convenience, isn’t there? The dealer almost always offers you a higher rate on car financing – and be prepared for them to try and sell you every single add-on you never wanted in the hour it takes them to fill out the paperwork! That approved car finance arranged through the dealership may save you a week over financing through a bank – but just a few percentage points difference in interest rates can easily cost you $1,000 more each year for the entire length of your loan. So in the end…how much is that week worth to you?

All right…the dealer can be a bad option for car financing – but what about those online places that can approve me in minutes?

In all honesty, the Internet can be a great place to secure approved car finance. With the ability to hop around and shop the different sites, you can definitely get some decent interest rates, sometimes comparable to those offered by a bank – plus you can get approved in minutes, and be driving your new car in a day or so. So what’s the catch? Well, the Internet has more than its fair share of scammers just looking to get your social security number and other vital information. If that car financing information ends up in the wrong hands…well, you can do the math! Plus, the ‘Net can be terribly impersonal at times – but it is still a viable option for approved car finance at competitive interest rates.

Impulsive and poorly made car financing options can literally cost you the price of an entire new car over the course of your life. Approved car finance is available through a number of outlets, and each has its own benefits and disadvantages. However, if you want to be able to afford actually driving your new car someplace other than home and work for the next few years, you may want to avoid the inflated car financing, AND those useless add-ons, offered by dealerships.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Primary Cause Of Business Financing Frustration

Finding proper business financing is not easy at the best of times for most small and medium sized business owners and managers.

There are a number of reasons that collectively explain why the business financing market can be so difficult to understand and navigate.

But probably the single biggest reason is the lack of useful information about how the business financing market actually works.

Business financing information and education sources predominantly come in two forms: 1) Text books; 2) Major bank advertising.

If you’ve ever read through a educational finance text book or taken a business financing course, you already know how difficult it can be to apply the theories, principles, and strategies to a small or medium sized business.

Our formal education system provides limited information as to how the market place works, how to plan for financing requirements, how to manage periods of growth, decline, transition, start up, etc.

Sure academic books and courses can go through all these areas in great detail, but is the information practical, real world, something you can relate to and apply yourself as a manager or owner of a small or medium sized business?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO.

Most finance text books speak to big business financing dynamics that are not easily transferable to small and medium sized business scenarios.

Outside of the formal education system, the next great source of business financing information is the information provided by the major banks, which they tend to make available to you by the boat load through their broad based marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, the information by itself seldom helps you determine if a particular institution would be able to provide you with financing, or what would be required to qualify for a loan.

The good news is that business financing sources continue to grow in numbers as more and more lenders carve out a particular piece of the market to service.

In order to take advantage of these alternatives, you need to have a solid approach in place when seeking business financing.

Here’s a short list of things to consider

>>> Develop a solid, ongoing, understanding of both your personal and business assets, income, and cash flow.

Regardless of the business financing model, these elements will always come into play to some degree.

Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your business financials is also an indication of your ability to manage the underlying business.

>>> Monitor and manage your personal and business credit.

Small and medium sized business financing is focused on both personal and business credit histories.

Regular reviews of both personal and business credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies are important to avoid errors and credit practices that can severely damage your borrowing power.

>>> Develop your marketing position.

Yes, seeking business financing is a marketing exercise.

When applying for business financing, you’re marketing your business to lending sources and they in turn are marketing their business financing programs to you.

Think of the lender as a customer to better understand what they’re looking for. Then, develop a business proposal that addresses all their potential needs and concerns.

>>> Research Lending Sources

There are lots of business financing sources. But there is also lots of variation in the types of business applications each one is prepared to consider.

Broad based lenders rely on credit history and net worth. As you get more specific in terms of financing application and industry, lender programs become more narrow and can be harder to locate.

You need to consider things like industry, sector, and geography when looking for business financing sources.

Financing consultants and business loan brokers can be an excellent source of information to aid you in this process.

>>> Qualify The Lender

Before you make a formal application, find out if the lender has the programs and lending track record to meet your specific needs.

Too often, the lender is doing all the qualifying.

>>> Compare your options

Depending on the scenario, there can be several financing strategies that could work for your business.

Make sure you take the time to compare before making a decision. The extra time spent could save you considerable time and money in the long run.

>>> Start Today

Regardless of what your business financing needs are right now, you should regularly invest time staying on top of your business financials, monitoring your credit, and researching financing sources that fit your industry and potential future requirements.

When the time comes to acquire capital, your proactive efforts can make all the difference in getting the capital you need with terms and timing that are acceptable to your business.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

RV Financing: Make A Wise Choice

RV financing goes hand in hand with purchasing a new or used recreational vehicle. You will definitely need to take a look at your RV financing options prior to purchasing. RV financing can either help or hurt you in your RV purchase by saving you or costing you maybe hundreds of dollars down the road. In general, when looking at different RV financing terms, you will want to find the best monthly payment. This payment should have you paying the least amount of interest over the life of the RV financing loan. You will have the option to self-finance, dealer finance, online RV financing, or through a bank loan.

Types Of Financing

1. Many people first think of a bank or credit union as the best source of RV financing. If you have been working or have a close relationship to such an institution, you may receive a good deal. It is important to note that this type of RV financing institution may not offer you a wide range of flexibility to the terms, and they typically do not have specific financing for RV buyers.

2. Self-financing is another popular RV financing tool for purchasing an RV. You can use cash, CDs, a retirement policy, life insurance policy, or even a home equity line. Beware of capital gains tax, or early withdrawal penalties for money and the funding base you plan on using for your recreational vehicle purchase. You can also consider your new RV as a second home, if it has sleeping, bath, and kitchen areas. Self-financing can be one of the best, most rewarding ways to finance your motor home purchase.

3. You also have the RV financing option to finance through your RV dealer. Dealers will have access to lending companies and/or loan products that regular corner banking services do not have or are able to offer. Dealers have competitive, flexible terms and rates, which may be more beneficial to you. Typical dealer loans will range from 10, 15, or 20 years, depending on the RV itself. Make sure you read between the lines before signing anything, and make sure you understand all of the terms.

4. A recreational vehicle club can also offer your quality financing for your motor home purchase. These RV clubs have financing lenders and companies they work with on a regular basis. You may find these motor home club financing lenders offer low rates and good terms. If you are thinking about buying a specific manufacturer’s make or model of RV, double check to see if the manufacturer offers financing before making your final spending decision.

5. Online options are a great way for you to cost compare different lending options. There are online tools, such as an online RV calculator, which can assist you in figuring out a monthly payment with interest rate, loan amount, and length of term. Loans can also be secured online.

Most importantly, look at the total cost of the loan throughout its life. There are simple interest loans, balloon payments, pre-payment penalties, and more. Do research on your own to ensure you make the wisest, most education decision when financing your recreational vehicle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Secrets of Litigation Finance

There are secrets to litigation finance that every plaintiff should know prior to applying for lawsuit funding. Too many plaintiffs rush to litigation finance as the answer to their current cash flow problems without completely understanding the intricacies behind litigation funding. This article should shed some light on plaintiff litigation finance and the secrets that some litigation finance companies use to make money

What is litigation finance?

Litigation finance is not a “loan” but rather it is a cash advance based upon the merits of a lawsuit that provides a plaintiff with sufficient funding to reach the conclusion of the case when the plaintiff will receive his/her fair share of the settlement or verdict. Litigation finance companies invest in the lawsuit itself as opposed to advancing money to the plaintiff in the form of a loan. Litigation finance is not based on a plaintiff’s prior credit or bankruptcy status. Other terms used for this type of funding include: lawsuit loan, litigation funding, litigation loan, lawsuit funding, lawsuit finance, lawsuit cash advance, case loan, case cash advance, plaintiff cash advance, litigant funding, pre-settlement loan, pre-settlement lending, pre-settlement cash advance, etc.

How do litigation finance companies make money?

All litigation finance companies are different and charge interest and fees differently. We all agree that litigation finance companies assume a lot of risk due to their investment in the lawsuit as opposed to investing in the plaintiff. The investment is therefore only as solid as the case. We are all familiar with how quickly a good case can get thrown-out or a jury can award a large settlement for a case that we could call “frivolous.” The United States justice system never ceases to surprise us. With that in mind, the investments of litigation finance companies are risky. They must charge relatively high interest rates on the cases that are successful in order to make-up for the unsuccessful cases. Some litigation finance companies use a multiplier instead of an interest rate which is really just a different way of accomplishing the same thing.

Are there other fees associated with litigation finance?

Again, all litigation finance companies are different and charge interest and fees differently. Generally speaking, the answer to this question is “yes.” These fees usually show-up on the contract that the plaintiff’s attorney must sign and are then taken from the settlement upon a successful case. Some examples of these fees include: origination fees, application fees, documentation fee, closing costs/fees, premature payoff penalty etc. These fees are not that different from traditional loans but plaintiffs should be aware of these so they are not blind-sided when they see these fees.

Is litigation finance a different way of getting my settlement?

Litigation finance should not be a substitute for your settlement but rather a raft that helps you stay afloat while your attorney fights for you. Too many plaintiffs apply for litigation finance with the belief that litigation finance is simply a different way to get their settlement money. Assuming you win your case, the amount owed to the litigation finance company varies greatly depending upon the length of time between the date of the advance and the date when you receive the settlement/verdict money. You should exhaust other means of funding first. Some good sources of information about litigation finance are The Funding Exchange (www.TheFundingExchange.com) and Expert Law (www.expertlaw.com).

Conclusion

As a plaintiff, you should understand litigation finance and the process of securing funding before you apply. If your expectations are set appropriately and you proceed with litigation finance then you will find that it is a saving grace in the turbulent world of litigation. If you apply for litigation finance without a true understanding then you may be disappointed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off