PPI CLAIMS

When receiving a large loan, it can be overwhelming to think about its repayment. One thing that is concerning is the fear of the inability to pay back the loan due to unforeseen circumstances. Payment Protection Insurance is available to ease this fear. In the UK there is a scandal that has arose from the sale of PPI (Payment Protection Insurance). It can be referred to as a scandal because PPI  policies are sometimes sold without the consumer knowing. This causes the consumers to file claims against lending companies to get back money they have paid towards the policies that they were unaware they had.

Resources

If you are reading this and are someone who has been thrown into this type of situation, there are many resources out there to help you through it.

You are not alone! Companies are out there that can be hired to help you get the money back. For example, http://www.lowfeeppiclaims.co.uk, offers a competitive fee to help file these claims which can make the task less daunting. Most claims management companies will charge fees of 25% or more, whereas they charge a fee of 12% on your PPI claim, which is one of the lowest in the UK. A claims management company has the resources that will allow you to get your refund in a hassle free and timely manner.

Calculate your Claim

There are apps out there that can help you calculate what you could potentially be owed. You will need to know the details about your policy (Loan amount, term of loan, your premium amount and interest rate, etc.)

Buyer Beware

Consumers are also being mis-sold on PPI by not fully understanding their policies. There have been reports of a lot of consumers unhappy about PPI claims being turned down because of exclusion clauses in their policy. This is a form of being mis-sold on the policy because people buy into them thinking they would be covered for a particular situation and if that situation occurs, they may be denied coverage. Another issues is the coverage may not be explained in its entirety to the consumer when purchased, and the sum of money provided at payout could only be a percentage of your salary. There are often loopholes in the contracts that people are not aware of.

Overall PPI can be a very helpful tool to keep your family safe at times of crisis. However, it is  important to know what you are signing up for and to do your research before committing to a policy.

 

How to Prepare Your House for the Renting Market

With the opportunity of becoming a landlord just a click away, it seems that most home owners find a rather consistent revenue stream in the renting market. We already have successful business models such as AirBnB which work great with short-term rentals, and that’s not all. We all thought young families and couples, singles and millennials prefer to rent rather than to own a place. However, real estate trends in 2016 showed that rents were stagnating in less popular cities, while going up in startup-nest cities such as San Francisco, where a two-bedroom apartment would go up to $5000/month. This had a double impact: on one hand, it made buying houses more attractive to the young generation in the big cities; on the other hand, it really reminded millennials that they aren’t limited to a certain location and can very well move to places where payment is high and rent is low. This motivated the young landlords to rent their homes at an affordable price, enough to cover the mortgage costs. Below is a series of factors that motivated people to buy a house in 2016, top 3 being credit history improvement, promotion/raise and saving for a down payment.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Property

Stella Settlements, an Australian leader in real estate settlements proposes 13 steps into buying a new property:

  • Offer and Acceptance;
  • Deposits;
  • Appointment to Act;
  • Financial approval;
  • Signing of Mortgage papers;
  • Transfer of Land;
  • Stamps (Stamp duty in some cases);
  • Special Conditions (to be met);
  • Insurance;
  • Financial Inspection;
  • Arranging Settlement;
  • Effective of Settlement;
  • Keys (access) to the new property.

Once all the steps are completed and the new landlord acquires ownership of the new home, they can proceed with the legal documentation to rent short-term or long-term.

Preparing Your House for Renting

Just like with every new acquisition, a house needs improvement and is considered a lifelong investment. Every new buyer wants to add a touch of their personality and preferences in terms of interior and exterior design. Home owners usually do not make improvements if the house is either a historical heritage property or the landlord never plans on living there, so renovation costs aren’t fully justified. The downside of not investing any money in your purchased property is you could never ask for a fair rent price. The more benefits and home improvements a house has, the better for nailing down a decent price on the renting market.

Adding a Pool to Your Yard

Everybody loves being near water. Even when it’s not possible to have a nearby lake or small spring, if you are lucky enough to get a house with a generous yard, the best immediate addition would be an outdoor pool. This can raise the rent prices by a few thousand USD per year with just a one-time investment. Riverina Pools presents an impressive portfolio of pool projects with carbon fiber, using the latest technologies, as well as measurements in size, length, width and depth. You can play with light effects for a quiet evening experience or for pool parties. Outdoor pools usually have water filtering systems that make it easy to clean the water or keep the pool covered during cold season.

Indoor Functionality: Elevators and Residential Lifts

People need to simplify their lives as much as possible, because the stress of everyday life will eventually weigh down on them. In this regard, architects have found the answer. Bringing technology into homes, will not only increase the value of the interior, but also bring more comfort. Experts at Grant Elevators believe that residential lifts are the future of mobility and space-saving. People want to have their most dependable belongings close to their hearts, and this might even include cars. We know that it might sound a little outrageous, but in the next few years, cars will also become an essential part of home design. And not only cars: imagine keeping your lovely motorcycle in the living room – a prized possession that friends dropping by will constantly admire. And why not go further by clicking a button and in a couple of seconds, the lift brings your motorcycle from the living room to the front porch of your building? Take it for a ride, go to the office or just take it for a spin. With everything within reach, the modern man will no longer have to worry about house chores or exhausting earthly tasks.

Architects anticipate an alleviation of menial problems which will lead to a better concentration on career and a more relaxed lifestyle.

Luxury Sells… and Rents Easily

If your aim is not long-term, but rather short-term rentals, think big. We already see offers to rent homes for the holidays, so there is an active market. Nomads are looking to get a mix of comfort and unique in terms of rent experiences. The best way to justify higher prices is either to provide a genuine local experience or a deep-dive into luxury for the time being. Pools and residential lifts can add to the luxury experience, as well as garden and interior designs. For inspiration on how to design your property and rent it as a luxury holiday home, you can check out Private Properties’s Instagram or Facebook feeds. They offer luxury short-stay rentals in Australia, but their tips and designs can be adapted to every house independent of location.

With these aspects in mind, what are your plans for financial prosperity in the housing market? Will you buy a house in 2017 and keep it or rent it?

 

Budgeting Advice: Ways to Keep your Finances in Check

There’s the old saying that ‘money makes the world go around’, but in reality, it should be ‘money makes your world go around’ as ultimately this resource is what makes our existence more enjoyable. For many of us it’s also something that can be quite scarce or not as plentiful as we’d like and as such it means we need to manage our money as best we can.

Trying to fit this around your day-to-day schedule can be a challenge though, but fortunately for you there are some simple steps you can take to get your finances in order. What follows are a number of approaches for you to consider:

Review your Expenditure

The first thing you can do is review your expenditure and create a chart or list of everything you need to pay for each month. Use estimations on things like utilities and your food bills and see how much this costs against your typical income on a monthly basis.

Implement Cost-Cutting Strategies

With this list of expenses, you can then look at areas where you could cut costs and make savings. Whether this is through being more efficient with your energy and installing a Smart meter to monitor this, or simply cutting down on how much you spend on groceries and treats, you could hopefully start to see an improvement in your finances.

Budget for Different Things

That’s not to say you shouldn’t cut down on everything enjoyable in your life. Make sure you can still budget for social and leisure time, as you should still treat yourself when you can. Just factor this into your budgeting each month and spend money if you feel there are special purchases you can afford.

Seek Professional Advice

There’s also nothing to stop you from looking to external support with your money. If you feel you’ve already tried a number of approaches to save but they aren’t working, then you could turn to wealth management companies such as Sanlam. These firms can assess your situation and help you create strategies and plans to safeguard the future of your finances.

While not all the above will apply to you and your money, the wise move is to start putting at least a few of these approaches into place now to help improve your situation. Eventually, you should start to see a healthier bank balance at the end of each month and hopefully a happier existence for you and any loved ones.

What is Flipping Houses All About?

Flipping houses has become a popular way for families and businessmen to earn extra income. Wikipedia provides a perfect definition of flipping, which is basically residential redevelopment where you buy low and sell high for profit. With the right tools, this method of investing can be quite easy. Basically… you buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood, fix it up, sell your house quickly and make money.

The First Step in Flipping Houses

The first step of flipping is to locate the perfect property. It is best to form a relationship with a good real estate agent that will keep an eye out for you. It is worthwhile to have a good real estate agent because they will already know the best areas and neighborhoods to invest. This will take away some of the research work from you. It is a good idea to invest in areas you are familiar with as well so you are not going in blindly.

Fixing Up a Flip Home

Once you find the right house, you will need to figure out how all of the remodeling work will be completed. You will either need to acquire the perfect contractor, or better yet do it yourself. If you are using a general contractor you will need to be sure they are trustworthy, reliable, good communicators, reasonably priced and talented. If you are handy and can do it yourself than your profits will be greater since you don’t have to use money to pay someone to do the work.

Pick the Right Items to Fix

When doing the renovation, you have to be smart in choosing what areas of the house will yield the greatest return on your investment. You also need to make the turnaround as quick as possible. Time is money. So, in order to sell your house quickly, it is crucial to make improvements to a few central parts of the property.

Kitchens are the biggest selling points of a home. The kitchen is where people spend the most time at home. Therefore it is worthwhile, it is where you will get the most bang for your buck. Home buyers will appreciate the new cabinets, granite countertops, upgraded backsplash, light fixtures and appliances. You can’t go wrong here.

Bathrooms are another area of the home that buyers are looking for upgrades. Next to the kitchen, it is an area of the home that is used often. An outdated bath is an eyesore to a buyer. Updated paint, trim, vanities and showers make a world of a difference.

It is also important for the outside of the home to be manicured. Spending money on new landscaping and outdoor fixtures is crucial. Curb appeal is the first thing people see and can be the first impression that a buyer can’t look past.

Selling the Home

Once the home is sold, all of the hard work will be worth it. Selling your house quickly should be a priority as the longr you are in it the more overhead you will have.

Simple Steps to Manage Debt this Year

Accumulating debt is something many people do at some point in their lives. This can be a result of purchasing a house by taking out a mortgage or getting an auto loan to buy a new car. College debt is another increasingly common factor in the US.

Even small purchases can put people into debt. Using any type of credit card to make purchases of any kind can cause debt to accumulate, so anyone with any amount of debt needs to know how to manage it so that it does not get out of control. If a person has too much debt, they may spend more time juggling payments than actually paying them off. A few simple tips can go a long way to help manage your personal finances.

Make a list of what you owe.

This list will include the creditor (like a bank, a mortgage company or other lender), the total owed, required monthly payment, and the date the payment is due. Cross reference the information on your list with a statement or by logging into your account online. Analyze your list every couple of months to see where you are with any particular debts.

Pay your monthly bill on time.

The late fee for missing a payment is easily avoidable and will only add to your existing debt. You will also likely end up with higher interest payments, adding to your debt. Create a reminder or an alert on a tablet or your smartphone of when payments are due. A reminder should be at a few days before the payment is due and not on the due date. Remember to take into account when your payment will be sent and when it will be received. If you are sending a payment on a Friday night, it may not be received until Monday.

Something you may want to do is sync your smartphone and tablet so a reminder or an alert will be displayed on both devices. You may also want to schedule your payments in advance if you have this option.

Create a payment calendar for bills.

If you have certain bills that will be paid at different time of the month, a payment calendar can help to keep you on track and manage personal finances in a simple, organized way. Indicate on your calendar which bills you will need to pay with each paycheck or expected payment. Sometimes due dates for bills can possibly get changed. This might mean you need to try and adjust your payment calendar so that you do not run short of funds.

Pay more than the minimum when you can.

Paying more than the minimum payment for bills like credit cards helps keep your balance in check; if you only make the minimum payment, interest will add to the balance in time. Keep in mind that when you charge more than you pay each month, your debt will grow.

Prioritize your existing debts.

Certain debts need to be paid before others. The debt with the highest priority is typically the payment for a credit card. The credit card with the highest interest rate should be paid first (while still making at least minimum payments on all other cards, of course). A trick you can use to help decrease interest charges is to transfer balances to a lower rate card. This may be a good option for anyone who has multiple credit cards with payments at different times of the month. Another option could include making a payment on a credit card that has the highest balance.

Create an emergency fund.

Unexpected events can happen at any time, and you never know when you might need funds for something unplanned. These events could include getting let go from a job or maybe an accident that has damaged your vehicle. Try putting something like $25 or more every week into an account at any bank or credit union. After a year you will have $1300 to use as an emergency fund. If you keep adding to this fund, you will have a solid cushion for three to six months of living expenses.

Create a monthly budget.

Knowing how to set up a budget is a great way to know what you can spend each month. If this is done at an early age, managing money in the future will become that much easier. The best thing about setting a budget is that any funds left over each month can be saved or even used to make an additional debt payment.

Breathe.

Debt will not go away overnight. But having a system in place and keeping on track will allow you the joy of watching your debt decrease. Once you’re out of debt, it’s important to keep the system going to ensure that you can live without the fear of debt and can eventually achieve the financial freedom that everyone looks for.

 

 

The Beginner’s Guide to Managing Money

There are people that were born to manage money, but for many others it’s a tough task and it can end up causing people’s finances to spiral out of control pretty quickly. Managing money is as simple as you make it, and as soon as you hit that age when your money is your own responsibility, then that’s when you’ll want to get on top of it straight away and learn how to manage it appropriately. There are many tips to follow that will help you manage your money better, and below we’ll look at some of the most important things to consider to ensure you stay financially sound.

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Create a Spreadsheet

Your first step when managing money is to create a spreadsheet on your computer, as it will help you keep track of all of your finances so you’ll be able to see where you are as the months go on. On your spreadsheet, you should have information on your monthly expenditure and any income you receive. Doing this will give you an idea of how much you are spending on things, and you’ll be able to allocate sums of money for whatever you want. You’ll also be able to see how much money you can save, and what you can cut back on in future months to increase your savings. It’s important that you go into as much detail as you can when it comes to expenditure, such as haircuts, gym memberships, takeaways, and many other costly things just so you can keep on top of it all.

Don’t Spend Money On Items That Are Unneeded

Allocating yourself a sum of money every month that will allow you to spend it on what you want is a good start, but as soon as that money is gone, don’t spend any more money on unneeded items. It’s nice to treat yourself to some new designer clothes now and again, but there’s nothing wrong in buying unbranded clothes either. Ask yourself if the item you are looking to buy can be purchased cheaper, or if it is even needed at all. When buying shopping, it’s always wise to have a look at https://7coupons.in/ to see if there are any coupons for the outlets you are shopping in so you can save money on the items you are buying.

Set Yourself Monthly Saving Targets

There is nothing better than earning money and having access to it in your bank whenever you want it, which is why setting monthly saving targets will benefit you greatly. Not only will it benefit you by giving you savings, but it will also make you feel good about yourself knowing you have worked hard to earn every penny. You will quickly realise that budgeting and managing your money efficiently has got you where you are.

The above are just a few of the basic, but most important tips when it comes to managing your money efficiently. You’ll find there are plenty of other tips to follow, and depending on how serious you are about managing your money will depend on which tips you take advantage of. Keep your money management simple, and you will find your credit report will benefit from it in the long run.

6 ways to save money for your small business

In today’s economy, all successful small businesses are looking for any and every way to lower costs for the business.  Many small business owners fail to dedicate enough attention to this because they are spending the majority of their time doing what they do best, which is run their business.  If you are a business owner who is like this, it may be wise of you to assign an employee to examine all expenditures at your business.  There are many ways in which a business can save money.  Here are 6 ways most business owners can save money for their cherished investment.

Hire smart, inexperienced people.

That is right I said hire inexperienced people.  Experience is not the only thing of value someone can bring to your organization.  Experience certainly costs more. One way to do this is the next time you put up a job ad, eliminate any mention of how many year’s experience someone must have to apply for this job.  Replace it with “Recent graduates welcome to apply.” Some businesses have used this approach to success and hired candidates fresh out of college or graduate school.  This allows your business to gain a monetary advantage by providing an entry-level salary and can benefit you by having employees who are up-to-date on the latest technology.

Make sure your business is classified properly.

This is most important for purposes of Workers Compensation Insurance. Many industries have several different classification codes because the industries have several different types of businesses with different levels of risk.  The different levels of risk are reflected in the price businesses pay in premium.  Landscaping is a great example of an industry with many classification codes. Some companies simply mow lawns, other companies plant and maintain sod, others climb into trees with chainsaws to cut limbs and branches.  Each type of business has a different classification code and each level of risk pays a different price in premium.  Taking a little time to speak with your insurance agent about what exactly it is that your business does and does not do can save your business significantly in premium paid for workers’ comp insurance.

Try bartering with other businesses

Bartering is one thing successful small businesses are usually great at.  Especially bartering with other businesses.  Bartering might seem old-school but it can definitely be effective. Catering companies and coffee shops frequently work with companies, especially start-ups.  If you have something of value to provide them they may be willing to cater an event of yours for free or at an extremely discounted rate.  Actually, the possibilities are endless as long as you proactively establish relationships with other local businesses who can benefit from your services.

Switch banks

It should be no surprise that banks are looking to squeeze more revenue any way in which they can.  Banks after all are a business too and they need to turn a profit.  There is one fact many people and business owners fail to realize in relation to financial institutions: they are a business as well and they have to pay turn a profit in order to continue providing you the services they provide.   partner.  The industry is necessary for success in both your personal and professional life.  Switching financial institutions frequently is not a great idea, but shopping around to ensure your bank is competitive with other banks in your area is in the best interest of your small business.  If you can cut significant costs by switching to another bank, then it may be just what you need to do to save your company money.

Invest in a safety and return to work program. 

You might be wondering why I am telling you to invest in something as a way to save your business money.  Especially investing in something like a safety program. Healthy employees are happy employees and happy employees are productive employees.  Investing just a little time in an effective safety program can save your business immensely in lost productivity and insurance premium.  A return to work program is an essential part of any safety program.  The quicker an injured employee gets back on the job and in the routine of going to work, the more likely they are to return to regular employment.    This will prevent your workers compensation insurance premium from increasing from having too many to too severe claims at your business.

Embrace telecommuting.

Telecommuting isn’t possible for all businesses, but you might be surprised how many people can effectively do their jobs from a remote location.  If you can find ways to allow employees to telecommute it can be a huge money-saver for your business. It can cut down on wear and tear to your office space as well as your electronics.  Meaning you will have to replace these devices less frequently.  Many employees appreciate the opportunity to work from home and it may be a benefit you can and to their compensation package instead of a higher salary.

Bio

Walt Capell is the President/Owner of Workers Compensation Shop. Walt started Workers Compensation Shop in 2005. Workers Compensation Shop is a rapidly growing national insurance agency with a strong reputation for forward-thinking, out-of-the-box products and solutions for business owners. Walt would like to use his experience in insurance and as a small business owner to benefit the small business community.