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Thursday, January 15, 2015

4 Reasons Why People Say to Choose a Credit Union

Americans are experiencing a growing distrust with big banks. They don't like how banks are selling their mortgages, charging fees for debit cards, or sneaking in covert charges to increase their profits. This has forced consumers to turn to alternatives for everything from CDs to checking accounts.

One of the most prominent alternatives is a credit union. They offer a few unique advantages driven by a more consumer-friendly philosophy.

Let's explore four reasons why credit unions are recommended over banks by the common person.
1. They're Cheaper

Large financial institutions have an unsightly overhead, which translates to additional fees that the consumer must pay. They're able to collect an average of $150 in additional fees each year because of this.

Credit unions are different. They don't have those unsightly fees because they're intended to serve a local audience. This translates to free checking, overdraft fees that are smaller and fewer stipulations to keep your accounts free of charge.

2. They're Just as Accessible as Big Banks

It’s true that credit unions are smaller. This means you might have to go outside of their network if you want to access things like ATMs, but most credit unions will do their best to allow you access or reimburse you for using ATMs outside of their network.

Couple this with features like online check depositing to see how credit unions are just as accessible as any big bank.

3. They Have Better Interest Rates

When large banks operate, they have to save a penny everywhere they can. This includes giving you less back for interest and credit rewards.

Credit unions are different. They operate on a smaller scale in hopes that their customers will trust them more. This results in fewer costs and a larger margin of profit for credit unions, which they then give back to the customer in the form of higher interest rates on checking and savings accounts.

4. They Work for the Customer

Banks are financial institutions that work to further their own profits. They take large risks that put the customer's money at stake because of this.

Credit unions are different. They put the customer first, which means that they only make decisions that benefit both the business's interest and your own. Some credit unions like PenFinancial Credit Union and others even allow customers to hold a part of the company as their own to allow you to feel even more secure in the decisions that they make.

Credit Unions are Generally Better than Big Banks

The simplest answer concerning why people say credit unions are better than banks lies in the way credit unions operate. They're smaller with more advantages because they focus on working with the customer.

If you're interested in seeing what a credit union can do for you, then now is one of the best times to do so. You may be able to escape the fees and hassles that big banks are imposing upon their own customers by doing so.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Six Things to Know Before Declaring Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is always an unpleasant thing to consider, but it may be the only way that you can escape crippling debt that is impossible to pay off. If you need to declare bankruptcy, there are some things you need to know.

1.      Be prepared to have your finances exposed

When you file, you will need to appear at a meeting of all of your creditors in court. A bankruptcy trustee will ask you questions about your finances, and creditors can ask questions as well. You will have to be completely honest and list off all property, assets, creditors and debts. Otherwise, you face potential fines and jail time.

2.      Read through the paperwork

Bankruptcy proceedings involve filing a lot of complicated forms, and you should take as much time as you need to properly understand them before taking the final step. The one form you should look at the most is the statement of financial affairs.

3.      Never file for bankruptcy without an attorney

It'll cost you a little more, but a good bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid needless seizures and help you navigate through the maze of laws that are tied to bankruptcy. Be completely honest to your lawyer and to the trustee that's assigned to you. If hiring an attorney is difficult because of your financial difficulties, then you may file a petition for a fee waiver with the court.

4.      Remember that bankruptcy is personal

This may seem like an odd lesson, but bankruptcy protection does not actually eliminate debt. If you're declaring bankruptcy because of a loan, then creditors can still go after other co-signers that are on that loan.

5.      Don't pay off certain creditors

Many people will try to pay off some debts before declaring bankruptcy. Doing this will ruin your case while using credit cards to do so is considered fraud. You'll need to consult your lawyer if you've already paid someone off.

6.      Bankruptcy can take a long time

The average chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts four months while the average chapter 13 can last up to five years. You'll have to be prepared for a long slog if you want a bankruptcy discharge.

You'll need to weigh these facts and others before making a final decision. If you feel that you're prepared, then consult a lawyer to begin the process. The process is hard, but it can help you start anew.

Information credited to AC Waring & Associates Inc., a bankruptcy trustee in Edmonton.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How To Deal With The Financial Burden Of Car Repairs

Hearing a random rattle in the hood or a squeak in the brakes is never too promising. On top of fearing for your safety, you're afraid of the cost. Fortunately, smart planning and intelligent decision-making skills help you to deal with these unexpected costs.

Have Money Set Aside

While you certainly cannot predict the moment when a car problem is going to happen, you can do your best to be prepared for it. Having a completely drained bank account is not smart for a variety of reasons, and unforeseen car issues are some of them. If you always have at least a little bit of money set aside, then you do not need to worry about charging expensive repairs on your credit card or driving around with a damaged vehicle.

Purchase Service Contracts and Warranties

As soon as you buy your car, you can start taking steps to ensure the financial cost of the repairs is covered. First, find out if a warranty is available for the vehicle. The manufacturer may cover certain repairs. You also should ask about an extended service contract. People who are planning to have the car for a long time can benefit from paying a little bit each month into the account.

Take Out a Small Loan

Adding more debt onto existing bills is not the best decision to make, but sometimes, it's the only one. Talk to your bank about small loan amounts that are available to cover the cost of repairs. You can also look into payday loans. However, you want to be sure that you'll have the amount of money to pay back when it is due. When choosing loans, always pay attention to the interest rates so that you aren't paying back significantly more than you took out.

Opt for Used Car Parts

Depending on where you go to have your vehicle fixed, you might be able to ask for used car parts. Choosing these parts over brand new ones could mean that you are not getting the best products on the market, but you are buying something that is affordable. You can use these parts at least for now and look into upgrading when you have a little bit more money. Used tires, like ones purchased at Hercules tire sales, are an example of common used car parts.

Dealing with the cost of car repairs does not need to be a nightmare when you have money saved or are wise about obtaining funds for the work
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Educate Yourself: 5 Less Known Loan Types And When You Might Need Them

The following loan types can help people in exceptional circumstances. A 203 (K) or a balloon mortgage come with benefits and obligations that will fit different types of borrowers looking to purchase a home. Reverse mortgages and secure loans effectively put up equity or assets as loan collateral. Cash advances are smaller loans that many can use for a short-term occasional cash infusion.

FHA 203 (K)

203 (K) loans can be put to good use by people handy and knowledgeable in home repair. Finding a shabby house, repairing it and selling a newly-renovated high-value property is the ideal situation that a 203 (K) loan facilitates. However, borrowers should research whether a given repair or renovation will demand a proportionately higher price on the real estate market. Some home renovations and “improvements” end up being very unprofitable.

Balloon Mortgages

Typically, these loans have a 5 or 7-year duration with a fixed low rate that is very attractive. The trick to balloon mortgages is that they have a giant “balloon” payment at the end that is due all at once. For example, a five-year mortgage for $100,000 at 5 percent annual interest would require monthly payments of $536.82. This is reasonable while it lasts, but the balloon is a $92,365.63 obligation at the conclusion of the loan.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage converts existing home equity into cash without monthly repayment requirement as long as the borrower lives in the house. Upon sale of the property, the lender is paid back proportionately to the percentage of equity turned into cash. In effect, a reverse mortgage lets a borrower benefit now from a future property sale without losing the property.

Secured Loan

Secured loans are based on an asset that the lender has a right to confiscate in case a borrower does not make agreed-upon payments. As long as the secured collateral is not critical, secured loans may be a good idea for borrowers with bad credit scores.

Cash Advance

These are short-term and relatively small infusions suitable for necessities. The experts from Deerfield Pawnbrokers say cash advances can be made by tax specialists, with the borrower’s anticipated tax refund used to pay back the principal borrowed and appropriate interest.

Though they may seem like great deals, prospective borrowers should be very careful to read the fine print. Each of these loan types have sub-categories based on specific borrower needs, expenses and lender risk.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick Cash - 5 Ways To Get Money Quickly

No matter how much money you make from your job, it’s always nice to be able to make some extra cash on the side. However, it can be difficult to find money-making opportunities, with everything else you have going on. Luckily, it can be done. Here are five ways to get money quickly to help you pad your bank account even more.

Sell Your Stuff
Everyone has a ton of old junk lying around their home that they may not think is very useful. However, your old trash may just be considered treasure to someone else. Whether it’s old clothes, electronics or anything else, consider taking your stuff to a pawnshop, like
Gold Star Jewelers, or having a garage sale. In either way, you might be surprised to find out what people will pay for your old stuff.

Get A Loan
If you are really hurting for money and need it now, consider getting a loan through a bank or a payday loan from a financial lender. Loans should be used carefully and paid back as quickly as possible in order to avoid high interest rates. However, when you need money in a crunch, they can be incredibly helpful.

Look Online
If you already have a fulltime job, you likely won’t have the time for another one. But if you are looking for some extra money, there are usually freelance manual labor jobs that you can find in the classified listings online. Some people may need help moving or landscaping their yard, and they’ll be willing to pay someone to help them. This is a great opportunity for side money and jobs are always presenting themselves on the Internet.

If you are a healthy and able-bodied person, there are a few different options to consider that allow you to donate for money. Women can donate their eggs for hefty amounts of money and men can donate sperm, though it may be for less than what woman get for their reproductive parts. And both men and women can donate plasma, which can bring in upwards of $50 per trip.

Recycling is not only good for the environment, but it also helps you earn money as well. Some people may opt for going around and picking up old soda cans to put together a few extra cents here and there, but another option is to go for larger pieces of scrap metal. Both types of recycling can bring in a bit of extra money, if you know what to look for and where to recycle it.

Earning extra money is something many people wish they could do. But in order to do so, you may have to think outside the box and get a bit creative. Consider the options here for getting money quickly when you need it.
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