What is a Good Credit Score

Credit scores are vitally important when it comes to purchasing homes, cars, and acquiring school loans. It is the three-digit number that determines how much of a loan we will be allowed and at what interest rate.

Stated by a Dallas credit repair expert, the better your credit score, the better your interest rate. The lower your score, the less beneficial rates you’ll be able to acquire. So what is a good score, and how do you get into range?

Credit Scoring System

The credit scoring system is completed by three major credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

They all use the same FICO scoring system, which awards you a point range based on several factors, including your credit history, credit utilization, length of credit history, new cards, and your total mix of credit. Points will vary slightly between the three companies, but your score shouldn’t differ more than ten or twenty points, at most.

The credit scoring system is used by lending agencies similar to a background check. Depending on your score, they can tell just by the numbers how good of a borrower you are.

Your credit score tells a lender two very important things:

–          Do you pay your bills on time?

–          Do you borrow responsibly?

Your score is heavily determined by your credit history (how well you pay down your debt), and credit utilization (how much you owe). A low score instantly communicates to lenders that they may be taking on some risk if they offer you a loan.

Your Credit Scores

Credit scores range from very poor to exceptional, with a point value assigned for each. The more responsibly you use your credit, the better your score will be over time. Each credit reporting company has a slightly different scale, but in general, you can expect the following point ranges:

300-579: Very Poor

580-669: Fair

670-739: Good

740-799: Very Good

800-850: Exceptional

The higher your credit score, the better the terms you will be offered on loan interest rates, repayment requirements, and down payment requirements. Those who fall into the “very poor” and “fair” ranges should expect significantly high interest and stringent requirements when loans are offered.

If:

You fall into a very poor rating, your loan or credit application may be denied outright.

Should your score remain in the “good” range, you can expect to be granted loans and credit, but likely with a less favorable interest rate than desired.

When you reach the “very good” and “exceptional” scoring ranges, you’ll receive the best interest rates available and receive loans of value. At the highest range, you’ll receive the best rates and offerings for loans possible, including low interest, minimum down payments, and longer payback times.

Use Credit Wisely

Your entire credit history factors into the credit score you receive from the credit reporting institutions. The more consistently you pay credit bills and loan payments, and the more responsibly you borrow, the better your credit score will be.

It takes time to build, but with steady, wise use over a long period, you should reach the “good,” “very good,” and excellent ranges with little issue. Does your score put you in good standing?

How to Move to Another Country: The Only Guide You Need

Do you dream of moving to another country?

While moving to another country may seem like an impossible feat, many Americans live abroad. In fact, according to the State Department, about 8.7 million Americans?currently live abroad.

So, how do you make it happen for yourself?

Check out this guide to learn how to move to another country.

1. Research the Country You Want to Move To

Every country has its own unique emigration laws, so it’s very important that you look up the laws in the country you’re considering moving to.

For example, you can move to China or South Korea pretty easily by taking on a job teaching English. Depending on your ancestry, you may easily be able to move to Ireland.

Some other countries, on the other hand, are notoriously hard to move to, such as India or Cuba.

2. Consider Buying Property

Did you know that you can actually buy your way to a new passport?

If you have the money to spare, buying property abroad is a great way to get your foot in the door in another country.

However, keep in mind that with most countries, you can’t just buy any piece of property. Usually, there’s a minimum price point you need to hit in order to be able to gain residency. Here are some countries where buying property gets you a ticket to residence or citizenship:

  • Fiji
  • Colombia
  • Brazil
  • Dominica
  • Panama
  • Latvia
  • Saint Lucia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Grenada
  • Belgium
  • The Bahamas

Whether you’re searching for oceanside properties for sale or an apartment in the city, there’s sure to be a country out there that has what you’re looking for.

3. Look Into Job Opportunities

While finding a job overseas is possible, searching for international employment can be difficult due to the change in customs, distance, language barrier, and more.

Thankfully, there are international recruiters, international job boards, and countries that specifically seek out overseas employees. As we mentioned early, moving to Asia is fairly easy if you take on a job teaching English. To qualify as an English teacher, you often just need a college degree.

You could also look into doing a work exchange abroad or volunteering abroad through a service like the Peace Corps.

4. Organize Practical Matters

It can be easy to get carried away dreaming about your new life abroad. However, you must not forget about the practical matters that come with moving abroad. Here are some things you need to take care of before your move:

  • Figure out which items you’re going to get rid of and which ones you’re going to ship overseas
  • Look into changes you need to make regarding your insurance, taxes, and wills
  • If you have a pet, figure out the regulations in terms of vaccinations and quarantining
  • Figure out which bank you’re going to do business with abroad

Additionally, you’ll want to take time to learn about the culture and customs of the new country.

How to Move to Another Country: Wrap Up

Now that you know how to move to another country, it’s time to get started on your journey. Before you know it, you’ll be exploring a whole new culture.

If you liked this article, be sure to check back with our blog for more tips about moving abroad or other financial matters.

 

What is a Payday Loan and How does it Work?

The global economy is going through a phase of contraction right now. And for the masses, this is not good news. For most people, it implies that the cost of their day to day expenditure is going to rise while their disposable incomes are not. It is tough to manage day to day expenses regardless of how much your net income is and people are spending a large portion of it on food and utilities which previously was not the case. And this imbalance of relatively low income and high expenditure is getting worse with each passing day.

Sometimes when you are under the pressure and when things are not working out and you land yourself in a critical situation where a financial emergency strikes while you face a cash crunch and with no options to go, what would you do? Your expenses are ever-increasing and a fall in the cash leaves you stranded, and unable to sustain the interest payments of your credit cards and other debt, how are you going to manage?

These are the questions that you need to answer and fortunately for you, we have one that is Payday loans. They are your answer to the situation when you are short on cash and out of all options.

What is a Payday Loan?

A payday loan is your cash advances, usually offered for a short-term basis. These short-term loans are given out for a period of one or two. They provide you with the option of low balance borrowing when most of your options are exhausted. They can be extremely helpful especially when you get through a rough period. Their simple structure makes the terms of agreement quite easy to understand, and they are to be repaid till your next payday.

Moreover, with all its benefits comes there are some downsides attached to it as well. Although these loans work at times, however with the exorbitant interest rates make them an unattractive option to the most customer. And their hidden charges and added fees don’t do them any favors either. These predatory features are usually the ones that the customers are not made aware of at the time of the borrowing and they come as an unpleasant surprise when once you have borrowed the money.

So how do they work?

These loans offer you a quick cash relief usually up to five to six hundred dollars and they are to be repaid once you get your next pay. To opt for a payday loan, you have to first fill in a form, mentioning the amount you are borrowing and submit it with a post-dated check along with the fee surcharge that the lender might charge you. Once, your application is approved you are good to go. After the borrowing, you would have to check in with the lender sometimes again later, to repay him again.

If you are unable to do so then you have the chance to roll the loan over until the next due date. However, its drawback is that even though you might get the loan extended however the fee keeps on getting aggregating and this can turn out to be a honey trap for most customers.

Overall, these loans are generally expensive, and their annual percentage rate happens to be a lot higher than these conventional loans which you borrow from a bank. This can be understandable since it does have higher default risk. Even though their exposure might be less since the borrowed amount is low, most of their loans have a poor credit rating. These loans are usually offered without checking credit history or background, and such is the case that individuals opt for this even if they had a really poor credit score.

Cost of the Payday

The biggest issue with these loans is their exorbitant cost. Even though they might provide you with short-term relief, however, they cannot solve your long-term financial woes. And given that they charge high surcharge fees, your financial problems are set to aggravate even further. And if you are in a situation where there is a need to consistently rely on payday loans then this is not good news. You need to reconsider your strategy and look out for another option. These loans are not meant for your long-term cash woes.

If you keep continuing with it, they might even land you in trouble. Alternatively, you could talk to your supplier and ask for an extension or maybe even approach a bank and see if somehow you could get a traditional loan.

Role of Banks:

Higher revenue and in turn profits have attracted the banks to move into the industry as well. For a conventional loan, your credit history, your bank account, and your financial assets and your income details are what you need to submit to apply for it, however, these requirements are not so important when you apply for a payday loan from a bank. The only mandatory requirement is that you have a bank account that you are applying to. Moreover, these payday loans are not any better from the ones that other institutions and stores, who provide them. These loans have predatory features installed in them and they too are quite risky and unsustainable for the long term.

Furthermore, in certain situations, they might even be considered worse than the usual payday loans. To qualify for a payday loan from a bank, you have to sign a waiver which allows the bank to pull off funds from your bank account at the time when the payment is due. This leaves you stranded as you don’t have the control of your account or the money that flows in there anymore. Whereas, when you go for a payday loan from an external source, other than the bank, at least you have the option to choose when the money goes out and when it doesn’t.

What are your options then?

If you are consistently heading in this direction, you need to rethink it. There are several things that you can do which include cutting down your expenses, delaying the payment of your utility bills or if nothing else that maybe do a short borrowing from friends or family. There are several alternatives to it and anything is better considering that you are not opting for a lifetime battle of never-ending loan repayment cycle.

Conclusion

Payday loans might be a fast and easy way to get you cash but these loans shouldn’t be your long-term strategy. They might work for you once or twice for a short while, but they won’t in the long run. Before opting for such loans, you need to rethink and revisit all the options. They might look attractive from the top but on the inside, they aren’t so great.

Car Title Loan Requirements: What It Takes to Borrow via Title Loan

What do you need to get set up with a title loan? Learn the car title loan requirements in this guide to the essentials you need to have before borrowing.

Could you cover a sudden emergency expense of $1,000? 60% of Americans would go into debt if faced with such an expense. If you face an emergency expense, you have options, one of them is a car title loan.

Knowing what the car title loan requirements are before you apply can make the application process easier. It can also improve your chances of getting approved and speed up the application process.

Use this guide to prepare your car title loan application.

Live in the Right State

Before you attempt to get a car title loan, you need to confirm you live in a state that permits them. Some states allow them but put a cap on the interest rate.

Some states have loopholes that allow car title loans. Then other states totally prohibit or heavily restrict car title loans.

Required Documents

To be successful in getting cash through a title loan, you need to gather all of the necessary documents. They will prove your ownership of the car and your identity.

  • Original title showing sole ownership
  • Government-issued ID
  • Proof of residency
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of income
  • Valid references
  • A working copy of the vehicle key

Most lenders will have you fill out an application and provide the necessary documents. They will also want to verify the condition of the vehicle before approval.

Sole Ownership

You need to own your vehicle outright and be the sole owner listed on the title. There can’t be any liens. Upon approval, the lender will place a lien on the car’s title.

Proof of Identity

You need to be able to prove who you are and where you live. Make sure your name on your ID matches your application. Then provide a utility bill with a matching name and address.

Proof of Insurance

The lender will want to know that the return on their loan is safe. This means having the collateral (the car) insured. If there’s an accident and the vehicle is lost, the lender will collect on the insurance payout.

GPS Tracker

Some lenders require a GPS tracker placed in the car. This enables the lender to track down or even remotely shut down the car should the borrower default on the loan.

What You Don’t Need

Because the value of your car secures the loan, the lender isn’t concerned about your credit score. While they want you to repay the loan, if you fail to, the lender can take possession of the car to collect the outstanding balance of the loan.

Satisfy the Car Title Loan Requirements

If you’re facing a sudden emergency expense and you don’t have savings to cover it, then a car title loan may be a solution. Use this guide to gather the required documents and get your application ready.

By meeting all of the car title loan requirements, you give yourself the best odds for approval.

Browse our blog for ideas on how to generate more income and strategies for saving.

 

Should I Become an Airbnb Host? (And Other Important Questions!)

So, you have a home that you’re thinking about listing on Airbnb.

Maybe you travel a lot and aren’t home often, so you want to make some extra cash by renting out your space. Or perhaps it’s a vacation home that you rarely use, and thus, is always available for others to enjoy.

Regardless of your situation, you know you want to become an Airbnb host. The only problem? You’re not exactly sure how to get the process started.

If this sounds like you, wonder no longer, because we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll tell you how to become an Airbnb host, as well as a few things you need to keep in mind throughout the process.

Now then, let’s get started!

Why Sign Up for Airbnb?

If you’re not super familiar with Airbnb and how the process works, you may have some questions about why people would sign up for Airbnb in the first place. The idea of letting strangers stay in your house is kind of insane, right?

Well, if you do things the right way, becoming an Airbnb host is not only safe, but it can also change your life for the better, too.

Of course, you can make some extra cash by renting out your house. And if it’s a vacation home that you don’t use often, you can even make enough to pay that extra mortgage, plus other expenses, which can be quite helpful.

If you’re not in your home a lot, you may be worried about someone noticing that it’s vacant and breaking in to steal your things. Having folks constantly coming in and out can help reduce that worry, which can give you some peace of mind while you’re away.

How to Sign up with Airbnb

Of course, before you can start making money with Airbnb, you first need to sign up and get your house listed. Doing so is as simple as going to Airbnb’s website and clicking the “Become a Host” section located at the top of the page.

It’s worth noting that Airbnb doesn’t just let anyone host. You’re going to have to provide a lot of information about your home and answer quite a few questions, which is understandable.

How to Have a Good Profile

Once you’ve been approved, and your home is listed on Airbnb’s website, you’re going to want to make sure you have a good profile setup. Having a profile that people want to click on and explore can help you keep your house rented, which is what you want.

Having good photographs is without a doubt the best thing that you can do for your profile. Things like lighting and decluttering your home are key to making your photos look appealing, so take some time to make sure your home is photo-ready first.

Also, be sure to be fair and honest with your price. Take a look at other houses in your area and be honest about whether or not your home is better or worse than some of those options. Listing your home too high will price you out of a lot of people’s budgets, and pricing too low can attract the wrong kind of attention, both things you don’t want.

Understanding the Risks

It goes without saying, but letting strangers live in your home for a brief period of time does indeed come with some risks. With that being said, Airbnb will help protect you and hold your guests accountable for anything that may go wrong.

Protecting Yourself and Your Home

While there are some risks that come with listing your home on Airbnb, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself and your home. Again, Airbnb does a wonderful job of holding guests accountable. But you should still keep some of these ideas in mind if you plan on becoming a host soon.

First, be sure to have all valuables locked away in a private area of the home. In fact, it’s wise to limit the number of valuables that you do have in your home, as it’s the best way to protect them.

If you can, you or someone you trust needs to walk through the house after ever stay. That way you can confirm everything is in working order, and if it’s not, you’ll know which guest caused the issue.

Speaking of guests, don’t be afraid to be picky about who you rent to. You can turn down any request, so track them often and shut down any guests that have a poor profile or question marks.

Also, you can limit the number of guests that are allowed per stay, or prohibit pets, to better protect your home. In fact, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with a few basic tips for Airbnb owners before letting your first guest through your doors.

How to Become an Airbnb Host: A Guide

Well, there you have it! That is a basic guide on how to become an Airbnb host, including a few basic ideas that you need to keep in mind throughout the process.

Remember, signing up with Airbnb is simple and easy. All you have to do is go to their website, answer some questions and provide some basic information about your home.

When making your profile, be sure to take good photos and provide accurate information about your home. That, combined with a good price point, can help you keep your house booked year-round.

Once you start having guests, be sure to protect your home and your valuables. Keep everything important out of the house or locked up, and check in after each guest to make sure nothing was damaged during their stay.

Looking for more ways to make a few extra bucks? Check out our blog!

Reasons Why You Should Hire an Accountant

When starting a business, entrepreneurs often tend to perform every task by themselves, including the financial end of things. As a business continues to expand, there may come a time when the accounting needs of your business outgrow your capability as an entrepreneur. A proper accounting structure may be key in helping you maintain accurate financial records. Here are further details on the reasons why you should consider hiring a certified accountant for your business.

Frees up Your Time

Business owners and managers usually have a lot to do, even without having to deal with payrolls, tax compliance, leases, insurance and internal operations. It would be best if you preferably were spending more of your productive time focusing on income generation rather than preparing financial statements or signing checks. Hiring professional accounting services in Vienna, VA may take over these critical, yet time-consuming operational duties. This will be helpful in freeing up your mental space to concentrate more on innovating products, extending your market reach and establishing strategic partnerships.

Sort out Your Tax Matters

When your enterprise was small, you may have been capable of easily making quarterly payments and filing annual returns on your own. As your business expanded, the payrolls and taxes likely became more complicated due to more variables and regulations seen on a local, federal, and state level. For businesses that operate in the international market, the taxes may be even more complex. Tax accountants are usually tasked with keeping up with any legislative changes, which helps ensure your business remains tax compliant. In addition, they may provide insight on how to minimize tax bills and maximize deductions, thus saving you money.

Jumpstart Stalled Business Growth

A business may suffer from a slowdown in its growth at some point during its formative years. During this slump, hiring a financial advisor, such as an accountant, may help your business in restructuring its debt and identifying unprofitable lines within your business. They may also offer advice on how to realign and adjust the prices of your commodities after carrying out a review of the prevailing market rates. Professional accountants may essentially provide a solid work plan that would propel you into growth mode.

From freeing up your time, handling your tax matters, and propelling the growth of your business, seeking professional accounting services is often a smart business step. It may cost you dearly if you try handing your finances personally as your business continues expanding.

5 Ways to Make Money In Retirement

Making money in retirement is easier than ever in 2020. With the birth of the gig economy and online jobs finding a way to monetize the skills you’ve mastered over the years is now a piece of cake. 

Don’t believe me? Follow along as we go through 5 easy ways to make money in retirement:

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money in retirement. Not only are there are a number of online publications that accept submissions from the public, but writing online is a great way to utilize your skills and wisdom as a senior.

The great thing about online publications is as long as your content is high enough quality and fits the requirements of the site, you can get published.

Writing for online publications is a great option for seniors looking to make some extra money in their spare time as well. Having the flexibility of when and for how long you want to work is an awesome perk.

Getting to improve your writing skills, while you also share the wealth of knowledge you have accumulated throughout life can be a really beautiful, even cathartic experience as well.

Some online publications that accept submissions from outside sources include:

  • Poetry Foundation
  • Slate
  • Carve Magazine
  • Story
  • Ideomancer
  • Brevity
  • SeekingAlpha

You can also become an editor for publications like Retired Brains, who are looking for seniors to help edit the work of the younger generations. Don’t be afraid to start your second career as a freelance writer, it’s easier than you may think.

The Gig Economy

According to Peter Miscovich, Managing Director of Strategy + Innovation, JLL Consulting, by 2020 gig workers will comprise half the workforce and as much as 80% by 2030. Simply put the gig economy is taking over. 

That isn’t all bad news, especially for retirees. Instead of being forced to get a full or part-time job to make some extra cash during retirement, now you can easily secure an extra paycheck or two in your own time online or otherwise.

From rideshare services to Airbnb rentals, to pet sitting and dog walking gigs, there are plenty of options out there for every type of person to monetize their skills and time in the gig economy.

It’s not just one consulting organization that believes the gig economy is taking over either. Even institutions like Intuit (known for Quickbooks) have estimated self-employment will reach some 43% of workers by 2022. 

It’s rare that seniors get to lead our economy and be so vital late into their lives, but this generation has that opportunity—thanks to the gig economy. 

Publish Your Own Book

Publishing your own book may sound far fetched, but the reality is the majority of books these days are self-published. 

In fact, according to a survey by Bowker, there were 1.68 million ISBNs issued to self-published authors in 2018, that’s a 40% increase over 2017. That doesn’t even include books self-published on Amazon which don’t require ISBNs.

So if most books are now self-published, why not take a shot at it. Online self-publishing companies now make it an easy, painless process. 

Teach English Online

Once again, if you’re trying to make extra cash as a senior it pays to bank on skills you already have, that way you aren’t forced to learn something new before you can even start earning.

So, if you’re reading this, congratulations, you can become an English teacher in 2020. 

There are a number of organizations that help teach English online to the estimated 1.5 billion English-language learners worldwide (according to the British Council). 

Many of these require bachelor’s degrees at a minimum, including one of the most popular services, VIPKID, which pays an average of $22/hr. Teach Away is another popular organization, but it also requires a bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, although the average pay is slightly higher.

If you don’t have a college degree you may want to try Kukuspeak, an online service that teaches English to Chinese students.

Teaching English can be a fun and rewarding experience. What was once a volunteer role, now also leaves you some extra spending cash, you’re welcome retirees. 

Become A Beautician

The final, and admittedly most out of the box, way to make money during retirement is to become a part-time beautician. If you love fashion, beauty and are willing to learn, part-time beauticians have become sought after jobs of late

Beautician’s employers need part-time help but can’t afford to pay someone to come on full-time. You may think that it takes years of schooling to learn the techniques of beautician, but the reality is there are a number of easy classes available online to enhance your skillset and resume quickly.

Everything from online make-up classes to eyelash extension courses are available at reasonable prices.  Part-time beauticians make an average of just over $15K, working only 20 hours per week or less.

In 2020, making money in retirement is no longer a hassle. In fact, it can be a fun and rewarding experience that can invigorate your golden years. Thanks to the gig economy if you love fashion you can be a beautician, if you love to write you can be a writer, and if you love to teach you can become a teacher. 

So, don’t be afraid to follow your passions—and make some money doing it—in 2020.

 

How Do Online Loans Work and Which Online Lenders Can You Really Trust?

Do you need cash quickly?

If so, you’ve probably looked into getting an online loan. Online lenders are changing the way people receive loans because it’s a faster, easier to get money in your account compared to applying for a loan through a traditional bank.

But not all online lenders are a good idea, so you must do your research before taking any money, even if you’re short on time. Keep reading to learn more about online lenders, the benefits of online lending, and what to avoid to make sure you don’t get scammed.

What Are The Benefits Of Online Lending? 

Online loans offer a lot of different benefits to consumers. As we mentioned earlier, they are fast and convenient, but that’s not all. Here are three reasons you should consider online lenders:

  1. Easy Comparison Between Loan Options

Applying online lets you pull together options from multiple online lenders and easily choose which loan is best for you.

  1. Quick Approval 

Most online lenders offer rapid approval processes, so you can get money into your account faster and not have to wait days for loan approval.

With banks, the process is typically much slower. You might be able to apply for a loan online, but you will have to wait days for an answer and could have to go into a branch location.

  1. Better Rates 

Since online lenders don’t have overhead like banks and credit unions do, you’ll often see lower rates and service fees.

  1. Easier Approval 

If you’ve got a high credit score, getting a loan through a traditional bank is easy. However, if you’ve gone through some rough financial times or you are still building your credit, it will be more challenging to get money.

Online lenders are more willing to give people with lower credit scores the cash they need, and some don’t require a credit check.

  1. Unsecured Loans 

Many online lenders only offer unsecured loans. This type of loan means that only your credit score will go down if you can’t pay it back on time. Your car won’t be repossessed, for example, if you miss payments.

While there are plenty of benefits to online loans, not all lenders are legitimate, and you should always proceed with caution.

What Online Lenders Can You Trust? 

If you do a quick search for “online lenders,” you will find plenty of options, but how can you tell which ones you can trust?

You should be very skeptical of online lenders, especially when they ask you to share personal information. Before you apply for anything, make sure you check for reviews and bad experiences online.

Learn More About Online Loans 

The world of online lenders can be confusing if you’ve never received an online loan before. The best thing you can do before you commit is to conduct plenty of research and make sure you trust the company, and that you have the financial means to pay back your loan on time.

Check out the rest of our website for more important information on online loans that will help you make an educated decision.