The terms of home equity

Home equity is the value that your home has due to the payments that you have made on your mortgage. A home equity loan will enable you to borrow money using the equity that your home has as the collateral. It can be confusing to deal with all these terms but the reality of the situation is that you have to arm yourself with the knowledge of these terms. It is important to learn the definitions and understand what they mean when you are thinking of sourcing a home equity loan.

One of the first terms is collateral. This is the property or asset that is put as the guarantee that you will repay your debt. If this debt is not repaid then the lender is able to take the asset and use it to attain their money. With home equity loans the asset on the line is your home and you can be forced to move out of the home and lose the home if you default on the loan. The equity simply of your home is calculated simply as the difference between the worth of the home and the amount you owe on the mortgage.

You can use a home equity loan, which is a second mortgage to turn equity into cash, and this money is made available to spend on many items such as debt consolidation, home improvements, college or any other expense that you may have. There are in reality two main types of home equity debt. These are known as home equity loans which we mentioned previously and home equity lines of credit. These are often confused but they are not identical even though they are both secured by your property.

The typical home equity loan or line of credit is repaid in shorter times than mortgages. They are set up to run 15 years rather than 30 years but can be significantly shorter or longer depending. A home equity loan is a lump sum that is paid off over a set period. This is at a fixed interest and steady installment per month. This is one time and you cannot borrow again. The home equity line of credit operates a lot differently. There is a revolving balance that lets you borrow a certain amount for the duration of the loan or other set time limit. You withdraw as you need and pay off the principal and reuse.

There are various benefits and disadvantages of these two but this really depends on your unique situation. While there is more flexibility with the home equity line of credit there can also be some downsides due to the fluctuating interest. The home equity loan also has its disadvantages as it is possible to pay only interest and not principal and remain in debt. Whichever you opt for you must be aware of all the possibilities and how to avoid the downfalls. This can help you use either to your advantage and assist in keeping you away from the possibility of losing your home.

Mortgage and real estate information for debtors

If you owe money and have a below average credit score you may find it difficult to get a mortgage loan. In view of these facts, you may find interest in asking a qualified real estate agent help you find a home. These agents have a database full of houses that stream from land contracts, bad credit approval, and so on. The real estate agent may help you find a home you can buy despite how bad your credit maybe.

If you have outstanding debt, the lender will inquire about your credit history and debts incurred. The lender will ask if you have any outstanding loans, and if so, what amount do you pay monthly. In other words, if you have car loans, you will need to supply the balance owed and the amount paid monthly toward the loan.

Lenders will ask about credit card debts. If you reply yes, then the lender will ask how much do you pay monthly. Overall, the lender will ask how much monthly do you spend on incurred debts that come from your pretax salary on credit card repayments etc.

You will need to answer questions pertaining to assets, which includes cash on hand. The underwriters will investigate information relating to the questions. For example, they will examine and ask, "What is the estimated amount in your banking account?" How much funds will be available in your account after you have paid closing fees, down payment costs, and other fees applicable to mortgage loans. Do you have a saving account?

The lender will ask how much cash do you intend to apply to the loan. The lender may ask also if the down payment is money coming from your pockets. If the answer is no then the lender will ask where the money is coming from...

Loan Purpose

The loan purpose is of interest to the lender. Accordingly, you will respond to questions relating to the purpose of the loan, which includes, are you refinancing a current home, or are you an innovative buyer?

Refinancing Mortgage

If you respond to the question pertaining to the loan, letting the lender know that you intend to refinance a current home with the money lent; the lender will ask, "Do you require cash at closing to repay debts? Of course, the question that follows will be, "How much" cash will you need to pay the debts in full?

Property Purpose

The lender will require information pertaining of the home's purpose. Do you intend to use the home for work or dwelling? Is the loan intended to invest in the property?

Type of Property

The mortgage lender will also need to know if the home is duplex, condominium, or single-family housing.

Long term assistance guide

Long term care basically relates to the care or assistance that is needed when the individual is rendered incapable of taking care of his own self. The people who have taken retirement from their work and are dwelling on petite pensions most often constitute this category.

Human life is always standing at threshold of tomorrow. One stage of this precarious life is followed by the other and there comes a stage in everybody’s life when he needs special attention, love, care and assistance. But unfortunately, this does not happen for people today are so badly engrossed in their own lives that the old and suffering are most often neglected without a second thought. However, some non-government organizations and the government have taken the onus to help out such people in the time of maximum need.

The Family Factor

The family of the individual who is seeking long term care plays an undeniably crucial role. The long term care patients are generally gripped by some major illness, diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer etc that make you an oblivious and inattentive individual. There are also cases of life time ailment due to unfortunate accidents that cause spinal cord failure and the like, in other words complete bed rest. Initially the families of such patients readily provide all the assistance. They employ themselves as far as possible in giving the best care to the patient. But the problems come in the long run when the family members have to pay heed to their own jobs. It becomes very problematic for some of the families to take care of the patient then. The amount of daily expenditure is also a chief source of problems. It becomes difficult especially for a middle class family to spend regularly on the prolonged, at times everlasting ailment of one of the member. Not just this but generally it is found that several other disputes start blooming in this grim scenario.

‘Prevention is better than cure’, abiding by this wise proverb many families get the medical insurance etc. done for each and every member. This offers them great financial backing by the government. While many a well to do families provide long term care via their own personal savings. This enables them to spend whatever amount they want according to their requirement without clarifying and waiting for the external agency to help.

The Role of Government

The government of each country facilitates assistance to the long term care patients. The government care is meant especially for those who have not been able to make any good savings and purchase insurance policies throughout their life due to low salaries. The Veteran’s Administration (VA) is meant to provide care to all the veterans and their partners. The veterans taken care of are mainly the former prisoners of war, those with diminished income and the ones who become disabled due to their service. The Medicaid, a joint federal and state venture seeks the nursing of the elderly patients who need long term care. There is also the National Council on Aging working in the area of providing online help to the elderly, informing them about what kinds of benefits are meant for them. This nonprofit organization presents a list of around 1300 programs which are divided form state to state.

The Personal Planning

It is always prudent to accumulate your own money that can be used in case of any emergency. This farsightedness can make your and your family’s future happier even in the worst situations. Money is needed in all walks of life. Even if you save a single penny a day since childhood, it will be a great help in the long run. So, it is better to be wise today than to regret tomorrow.

Can i receive federal benefits if i retire in thailand

It is possible to receive federal benefits in Thailand. To apply for Social Security benefits, you need to apply to the Social Security Administration 3 months before reaching the age of 62 by completing a questionnaire.

The U. S. Embassy can provide copies of the questionnaire. Once completed, the questionnaire is then sent to the regional Social Security representative in Manila, Philippines. They will then reply directly to the applicant and will provide additional forms, which need to be sent directly to the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, Maryland. The Social Security Administration recommends allowing 120 days for processing.

The address of the regional Social Security Representative is:

Social Security Administration

U. S. Embassy

1131 Roxas Blvd.

0930 Manila Philippines

The address of the Social Security Administration main office is:

Social Security Administration Office of International Operations

P. O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235 U. S.A

Most U. S. Treasury checks are sent first to the Embassy, which then distributes the checks to recipients. The Embassy suggests that checks be deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. This helps prevent difficulties in cases of lost, stolen, misplaced or late checks, as well as delays in accessing funds due to bank clearance rules.

If you would like your check to be direct deposited into a bank account in Thailand, you need to contact Bangkok Bank. This is the only Thai bank in which Social Security payments can be direct deposited. Their address is:

Bangkok Bank Foreign Exchange Department

333 Silom Road

Bangkok 10500 Thailand

If you already receive Social Security or other federal benefits in the United States, and you intend to move to Thailand, please notify the Social Security Administration or other federal agency of your change of address. Your benefits will then be sent to your new address. Contact the Consular Section to advise us of your residence in Thailand and inquire about the procedures for having your benefit checks sent overseas or deposited directly into your account.

You may reach the Federal Benefits Unit of the Embassy at 0-2405-4272.

Learning basic accounting principles

Accounting has been defined as, by Professor of Accounting at the University of Michigan William A Paton as having one basic function: "facilitating the administration of economic activity. This function has two closely related phases: 1) measuring and arraying economic data; and 2) communicating the results of this process to interested parties."

As an example, a company's accountants periodically measure the profit and loss for a month, a quarter or a fiscal year and publish these results in a statement of profit and loss that's called an income statement. These statements include elements such as accounts receivable (what's owed to the company) and accounts payable (what the company owes). It can also get pretty complicated with subjects like retained earnings and accelerated depreciation. This at the higher levels of accounting and in the organization.

Much of accounting though, is also concerned with basic bookkeeping. This is the process that records every transaction; every bill paid, every dime owed, every dollar and cent spent and accumulated.

But the owners of the company, which can be individual owners or millions of shareholders are most concerned with the summaries of these transactions, contained in the financial statement. The financial statement summarizes a company's assets. A value of an asset is what it cost when it was first acquired. The financial statement also records what the sources of the assets were. Some assets are in the form of loans that have to be paid back. Profits are also an asset of the business.

In what's called double-entry bookkeeping, the liabilities are also summarized. Obviously, a company wants to show a higher amount of assets to offset the liabilities and show a profit. The management of these two elements is the essence of accounting.

There is a system for doing this; not every company or individual can devise their own systems for accounting; the result would be chaos!

Following stock tips

When everyone you are around is chatting about the hottest stocks, it can be hard to resist investing in that stock. Maybe your colleague doubled his money in some interesting new medial stock. Possibly your newspaper is promoting a specific company as “the next big deal.” Perhaps you read it in a financial newsletter. No matter where your stock tip came from, invest your money right on the spot can all too easily have a negative consequence.

Investing in the stock tips you receive is almost always generally a very bad idea, for a variety of reasons. The first reason is quite simple; most “hot stocks” became hot simply because folks like an idea of a company. However, financial viability and likeability are extremely different from each other. If a company cannot come up with a business plan that is sound, then it will likely not be very profitable in the end, it does not matter how many people invest into their company. One prime example of this is the internet technology that surfaced in the 90’s, it was during this time that it was extremely easy for any type of internet business to get funding. Then what happens is that we have a dozen or so funded business that did not include actual strategies that were concrete to become profitable. This led to many businesses falling through and no longer existing to this date.

It is possible to avoid losing when accepting any type of stop tip, there is one thing that will remain unavoidable. Unless you have a very good friend that is liberate and financially active, it is highly likely that the “Hot tip” you receive will come to you, already cold. Stocks can be traded at the drop of a hat, and with new information constantly being traded amongst investors, it will quickly have an effect on the price of the stock. One good rule of thumb is that if you have heard of this stock tip from anyone rather it be a good friend, a newsletter, or the newspaper it is highly likely that others have heard the exact same tip. Then what this will mean is that the stock market has already been adjusted to meet these expectations of the tip, generally if the tip was readily received by numerous investors, the price could become inflated and this will cause great losses when the price is readjusted.

It is extremely important that you be extremely aware of all the risks that are significant and real. It is not a good idea to follow most of the stock tips you receive, but trading stock can be fun and rewarding for anyone who has the ability to afford the risks that are taken. Do not allow yourself to be sucked in by what could sound great; keep your principals in investments smart and knowledgeable.

Getting your home listed on the multiple listing service

Getting your home listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) used by realtors all over the country, you are gaining access to thousands of realtors, brokers, and thus their customers who are ready to buy. Basically, whether you are using a realtor or selling on your own, getting listed on MLS is a must. Most home buyers begin their search on the internet, so this listing is absolutely crucial to getting proper exposure for your home.

There are many options for getting on the MLS. If you hire a realtor, he or she will get you on MLS immediately. Realtors know the exposure that comes from the listing and that is why they spend the money and time to have access to it for viewing and listing as well. The listing does not really cost you, but you will be stuck paying as much as 6% commission on the sale of your home.

The best way to save money is to get your free MLS listing online. How, though, can you do that? The answer, to be simple, is that it depends. It depends on what kind of home you are selling, where you are selling it, and what is going on with the local market. So, then how do you get your free MLS listing online?

First of all, if you are selling an investment or vacation property, you can get free listing on MLS in most cases. As opposed to private residential properties, MLS allows the investment and vacation properties to go up with no fee.

Secondly, do some research about the area where you are selling. In some cases, if the market conditions are right, there will be free listing available for certain states or certain municipalities. Ask about your area or research it online yourself. If you are in such an area, you have to do nothing more than logon and get your property up.

Another way of getting your free MLS listing online is to look for trial listing options. Sometime, if you keep your eyes open, you will find that there are times when you can list for free for a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks may seem short, but it really can be long enough to get you the exposure you need. If you happen live in a popular area, that two weeks could even be more than enough. So the key is to pay attention for deals and trial offers.

Getting your free MLS listing online can save you a lot of time, a lot trouble, and a lot of money. If, rather than getting your free MLS listing online, you were to pay for a flat fee listing, it could cost you nearly a thousand dollars to do so. If you chose to go the way of hiring a realtor, you run into the problem of having access and being listed, but having to pay a hefty commission on the sale of the home once it is done. So look for a deal, and find a way to get yourself listed for free on MLS if only for a short time. It will be worth it.

Don t bother with the banker

Bankers are seeing less and less new faces at their desk every day. The Internet has taken their clients and provided them with cheaper, easier and more convenient ways to get the money they need. As generations continue to march on, traditional lending companies are being forced to provide newer outlets to get younger people’s business.

Unfortunately, with the lightning-fast expanse of the Internet, they’re failing.

No longer is it required of anyone to trudge down to their local bank to borrow money. Now anyone with access to a computer can apply for loans online. Since most public libraries offer free use of Internet-connected PC’s, nearly the entire world has Internet access.

What’s so great about applying for a loan online? Well, first, privacy. Internet browsing is now more secure than ever, with most websites offering highly encrypted loan applications. Server technology can now decode your personal data after it arrives on the loan company’s machine. These machines, which are only accessible by security-clearance holding individuals, are top of the line, secure, and hack-proof. Your data is safe.

Another great reason people are applying online for loans instead of visiting the banker is the immense amount of information available online. No matter what your question, you can find an honest and sometimes highly valuable answer that can save you money, whereas your banker can’t know it all. Even if he’s highly capable of providing answers, he can’t get them all.

Thirdly: accountability. Online lenders have to provide their potential customers with a large amount of information in order to ‘get the sale’. If they provide bad service, you can bet that Internet users will post that information online. A simple search for a lender can show you if people are happy with their service, or dissatisfied with it. Lenders go out of their way to make their customers happy, and once again that means better service and quality than any banker.

And probably the most important reason why people submit their loan applications online is the sheer amount of options. Online lending companies have to be greatly competitive – which translates into huge savings for people who take the time to look around for the best deals. There are so many online lenders that they are simply forced to provide a high level of service, or people will just not use them.

Online lending has taken huge strides to improve their image, and customers are responding. Borrowing large amounts of cash from an online company is a hugely growing trend. Bankers are not seeing as many faces because they are just overwhelmed with the amount of quality competition on the Internet. Between the advance security, vulnerability and accountability of online lenders, banks just cant keep up.

Bank of america online banking

Bank of America online banking is available to any customer who currently does business with the bank. Participation in the Bank of America online banking program is free and easy to set up.

One feature that sets the Bank of America online banking program apart from its competitors is the way it handles bill payments. You’d think a lot of data entry would be required, but that’s not the case. The program already knows the billing addresses of the most commonly used payees.

To set up a payee such as your electric company, start by accessing the built-in list of payees that the Bank of America online banking program maintains. The program already knows the names of the major players in the community and maintains the names and billing addresses that most customers are likely to use such as electric, cable, and utility companies, area department stores and local major financial institutions. Pick the payee from the list, enter your loan or account number and in seconds, that payee is set up.

If the payee does not exist in the list, you enter payee details one time, and you never have to deal with a payee again until there’s a change in address or other account details. When you have all your payees entered, they appear listed in alphabetical order. Next time you open the Bank of America online banking program to pay bills, you select the payee, enter the amount due and the day you want the payment to show up at the payee address.

Now here’s the cool part about the Bank of America online banking bill paying option. The money for the payment is not debited from your account until the payment arrives at the payee billing address. Most other bill paying options debit the money the day the payment is mailed not delivered, meaning the bank has 4 – 7 days to earn interest on your money! So in effect, you actually earn money by using the Bank of America online banking option.

Online cash advance requirements - so simple you ll fall off your chair

You may have recently heard about online cash advance services and wondered if the rumors of how easy it was to apply for an online cash advance were true. Well they are! Indeed the online cash advance requirements are so simple anyone can apply!

In order to fulfill the online cash advance requirements you will need to have a current job and a valid bank account. Assuming you have both of these, you have just qualified to apply for an online cash advance. The only remaining question is how much you want to borrow. Normally the lender of an online cash advance will provide you with a percentage of your salary - with a minimum borrowed sum of $250 and a maximum amount borrowed being $1,000. b You will not be asked to undergo a credit check and provide you can supply copies of your last pay-slip and bank account, the online application can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

With such simply online cash advance requirements, many borrowers find the service being offered is an ideal way to meet short-term cash-flow problems or to help them pay an unexpected bill. You’ll need to be careful, however, that you do not become dependent on the services of online cash advance lenders as the interest charged is not cheapest way you can borrow. So while the simple online cash advance requirements make this a great way to get out of short-term trouble, don’t make this form of borrowing part of your long-term financial planning.

That said, if you happen to have a bad credit rating then the minimal online cash advance requirements do make this service a god-send when it comes to finding a way to borrow money when no one else is willing to listen to your needs.

How to save on yearly automobile gas

If you are a typical driver, you drive more than 1300 miles in a month and, over the course of a year you'll purchase about 600 gallons of fuel to keep your car going. That's the “typical” driver; you may not drive quite that much or you may drive a lot more than that but the point is, at current gas prices, you might be spending as much as $1500 a year or more just to keep gas in your car. Unfortunately, experts in the field predict gas prices going up from what they are now, giving us all a large incentive to try and find ways to reduce our fuel consumption. There are some ways to do that!

The next time you reach for your car keys ask yourself: 'Do I really need to drive?' Every trip to the store does not require car keys; you may find that there are ways of getting to your destination that are less expensive or even free:

Walk! If your destination is just a quarter of a mile or so away, walking those few blocks will not only save your gas money it will help you stay in good shape.

Peddle! You may own a bicycle that's sitting in a corner and not being used; dust it off and use it for those destinations that are just two or three miles away. Don't worry! You never forget how to ride a bike! If you don't own a bicycle, consider buying one.

Public transportation! For those trips that are just not practical for walking or peddling, consider your public transportation options.

Ride sharing! There are literally thousands of carpools operating five days a week and saving their members plenty of money on gas and on wear and tear on their cars. Ask around at work, you may be able to find two or three people who live in your general area and who are willing to start a carpool. Also ask at work if the company has considered starting a van pool -- they may already have one that you can get in on.

Neighborhood networking! Many times, in suburbs and small communities, neighbors get together for weekly trips to the grocery store or into town for other shopping or supplies -- one week one person drives and the next week someone else drives. That type of arrangement also works great for getting the kids to school and home when you live in an area where there is no school bus service.

Telecommuting! More and more people are working for home and, with modern technology, they can even attend virtual meetings right from home. There are thousands of companies across the country that allow telecommuting and, if you can present it as a practical alternative to your management, you may join the ranks of telecommuters -- at least some days of the week.

Perhaps you have no choice -- there is just no way, other than driving, to get from 'Point A' to 'Point B;' there are some things you can do to make your driving a money-saving experience.

Moderation! Watch your speed, if you drive at posted speed limits you'll actually be driving at the most fuel-efficient speeds; if you have cruise control, use it for highway driving. When pulling away from a stop sign or light, don't 'floor it;' jackrabbit starts are a big waste of gas. Jamming on your breaks wastes gas also and, more importantly, if you find yourself constantly hitting the breaks hard you're driving far too aggressively; there is no need to add medical bills to your gas bills.

Plan ahead! During the morning and afternoon 'rush hours' you may find that the shortest route between home and work is also the most congested. Find an alternate route, even if its a little longer, it will get you out of those gas-wasting traffic jams. It also may be possible to have your work schedule changed so that you can miss the heavy traffic on the major highways.

Driving 'lite'! The lighter your vehicle is, the less gas it will use. Don't lug around unnecessary weight. Also, use the cars well-designed aerodynamics to your advantage by keeping your windows closed and not having anything strapped to the top of your car.

Keep your car in shape! A well maintained car will burn less gas than one that has been neglected: keep your tires properly inflated; use the proper (manufacturer recommended) oil and gas in your car; change your oil and have tune-ups at regular intervals. If your tires need replacement, look for tires that are rated as LRR (Low Rolling Resistance). Proper tire inflation along with the LRR tires will be your biggest fuel savers.

Rising gas prices will probably be with us for quite a long time so, if you are interested in saving money on gas, take these tips very seriously.

Parkbridge capital has eye on the prize retirement communities

A slumping housing market, high energy costs, and turbulent financial markets are causing many baby boomers into more prudent choices for their retirement. Today's retirees consider a longer, more active lifestyle than previous generations, and now, with homes adjusting downward in value, many will have fewer financial resources than previously perceived. There is an answer for many of the upcoming wave of retirees: the new generation of manufactured homes, where quality, safety, comfort, aesthetics and value exist. Many people are turning to the up-scale manufactured home communities. "The benefits are not solely in the home itself. The community offers great benefits and value," states Lee Meekcoms, President of Parkbridge Capital Group, Inc. (www. parkbridgecapital. com), a privately held real estate investment, acquisition, and brokerage firm. With more than twenty-five years in real estate sales, acquisition, and development and a baby boomer himself, he understands this market well. "The boomers seek a lifestyle that is secure, fulfills needs, and provides enjoyable activities with friends in the retirement years," says Meekcoms.

Today, many manufactured home communities feature resort-living, sporting everything from gated entrances, to swimming pools, spas, recreational centers, clubhouses, community events, wireless internet, cable TV, activity coordinators, BBQ and dining areas, fitness centers, seasonal events and more. "The people that live in these communities are happy, creative and really enjoy the place and all that it offers," says Meekcoms, "staying at home is not really an interesting option".

These 77 million baby boomers, or 35 percent of all U. S. adults, have long known how to flex their real estate muscle. As the top breadwinners in the American economy, baby boomers have a strong relationship to their home and consider housing and real estate to be their best financial investment. Baby boomers also account for roughly 50% of all vacation homes according to the National Association of Realtors.

Trends in both manufactured home communities and RV resorts (which can have the same set of amenities as the manufactured home communities, and often, more amenities) are strong indicators that these properties are a wise investment; the reason why Parkbridge Capital has focused on this market. "We're confident that buying, upgrading, enhancing operations, and expanding existing properties will result in very good investor returns, while providing Americans with an affordable, or even a quite luxurious way to achieve the lifestyle that they desire."

One might expect that skyrocketing gas prices would discourage RV traveling or seasonal living elsewhere. However, Parkbridge Capital has found the opposite to be true. "Research indicates that those who own RVs overwhelmingly feel that RV vacations are much less expensive than other travel options," he says. "Observers of this phenomena note that RV owners are spending less time on the road and more time at their destinations. We're seeing a lot of growth in the "park-model" (resort cottage) sector of the RV market. The retiree simply drives their smaller RV, their car, or arrives by air travel, and remains for the season at the resort." Meekcoms expects that this trend will continue for many years.

Because of economic fact, many baby boomers want to enjoy a flexible lifestyle at a cost that isn't extravagant," he says. "The properties that we acquire with our partners and clients are a perfect fit for mobile, cost-conscious boomers who want the best of all worlds."

Parkbridge Capital Group has been involved with the purchase, sale or management of more than 100 properties worth in excess of one billion dollars in current value. More information can be found online at http://www. parkbridgecapital. com.

A site that will take care of all factoring requirements of is finally at your fingertips

A business can only grow when it makes more sales and wins the trust of the customers. However often the suppliers of raw materials want payment quickly while you have to sell finished goods to your clients on credit basis where the credit period may range from one to two months. Factoringquotes takes care of all your accounts receivable and by paying the seller of raw materials on your behalf and also paying you your dues from your clients. The company then recovers the dues from your client after the payment arrives. As a result your cash flows are not hampered and also you have money on hand to settle all your dues. Factoringquotes charges commission as a certain percentage from the total amount for rendering its services.

Hence in case of accounts receivable factoring, you may get up to 98% of the outstanding receivables. As a result the company will be able to process all orders and also increase its sales. Factoringquotes handles monetary transactions ranging from $5,000 to $30,000,000 per month. Also when you pay your supplier on time, often you can take advantage of supplier discounts.

You can get all factoring quotes quickly. All you have to do is provide your company details and requirements and within a few hours a representative of the company will get in touch with you. Factoringquotes also assists in other factoring requirements such as small business factoring, construction factoring, export factoring and even cash flow factoring.

Small business factoring proves to be a strong tool for small businesses who have just stepped on the path of progress. This is because a small business may not have the ability to sell goods on credit for 2-3 months as its funds will be locked up in accounts receivable. Factoringquotes comes to the rescue at it takes care of all accounts receivable of the company by providing immediate cash. The site also helps with purchase order financing where it pays for raw materials bought on behalf of the company. As mentioned before, the company stands to gain in the form of seller discounts.

Factoringquotes has also diversified in other types of factoring such as medical factoring of accounts receivables. In this industry the site arranges for funds to be paid to a health care provider on the insurance claims that are frozen in accounts receivable. Then there is also freight bill factoring where the company buys your freight bills and invoices and then gives you advance cash in less than 24 hours. The customers are given an options as to which bills they want to factor. Hence factoringquotes proves to be a cash flow solution for all companies who don't want their funds blocked for a long period of time.

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Why you must avoid bankruptcy

Bankruptcy does more damage to you and the people around you than you think! In all cases, it is best to avoid bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy seems to be the most convenient and easy way out during times of financial trouble to many. And often people are not ready to go in for the phrase: Avoid Bankruptcy. But majority of the debtors are not aware of two very important things:

1. Bankruptcy is not a wise solution for all debtors.

2. Bankruptcy is followed by harmful consequences, damaging all aspects of life.

Bad Effects of Bankruptcy and Why You Must Avoid them!

The disadvantages inherent to the process of bankruptcy also speak a lot in favor of why it is better to avoid bankruptcy. Following are a few disadvantages of bankruptcy.

1. Ruined Credit History: Bankruptcy creates ultimate damage to one's Credit history. It remains in the Credit report for 10 years from the date it was discharged. Not only that, it also stays in Court Records for 20 years. The worst part of this is that it reduces the chances of getting loans and jobs in the future as creditors and employers judge a candidate first hand through their Credit Report. Imagine, for 20 years, your record will follow you through all your applications! This is one hassle many can do without.

2. Property Repossession: Declaring Bankrupt can result in losing valuable assets (non-exempt property) or equivalent cash value. You may need to part with your most treasured property.

3. Stained Social Status: Personal bankruptcy can spoil your social status. Familial relations can also be stressed due to bankruptcy as you may lose your position in your family. Friends and acquaintances also loose trust and looks down upon a bankrupt. A person declaring bankruptcy is often seen as a person who has weak financial planning.

4. Damaged Business: Filing of bankruptcy by a business owner can shatter all chances of a growing business. The damaged credit rating of the bankrupt does not qualify him for business loans. This can result in a massive financial loss not only to the business owner but to all other people associated with the business.

5. Serious Financial Crisis: After being declared a bankrupt you can expect all your bank accounts, credit cards etc to be closed. Anything that you might be leasing, or buying on hire purchase, such as your car will be immediately returned to the owner. This can however give birth to tremendous financial crunch. In actual sense, you may be in a worse off position by declaring bankruptcy.

6. Hampered aspects of Life: Bankrupts may find it extremely difficult to buy or even rent a home; acquire insurance, security clearance and buying or leasing a car. This can lead to a lot of problems and put a big question mark on the chances of having a standard and secured living. It is thus advisable to avoid bankruptcy for a safer future.

Taking the Next Steps

At all cost, try to avoid declaring bankruptcy. There are various debt management companies around who can do wonders to your debts! When all methods has been evaluated and there is no other choice but to declare bankruptcy, do consult a bankruptcy lawyer in order to properly and correctly assess your situation. Do not just consult any lawyer, look for a specific bankruptcy lawyer as he will be the person who can most correctly guide you in this difficult situation.

American express blue cards which blue is for you

Times certainly have changed for American Express. Gone are the days where the American Express card was simply a charge card that had to be paid off in full every month. Yes, the old workhorse – the green card – is still available and popular too. However, American Express decided to take MasterCard and VISA on directly by offering its own line of credit cards. These “blue” cards have been such a hit with consumers that the admired financial giant is now offering four different blue cards from which consumers can choose. Each American Express blue card is different, so let’s take a look at just what makes each one so special.

American Express Sky Blue, The Ultimate Travel Rewards Card

Sky Blue – If you are tired of all those rewards cards that promise you a weekend in Las Vegas, but can only deliver you an overnight stay in Providence, then the Sky Blue card should appeal to you. Touted by American Express as putting an end to travel reward card restrictions, Sky Blue goes where no other American Express blue card has gone before it. With absolutely no black out dates and no travel restrictions, the Sky Blue card allows for card holders to travel where they want, when they want. But, it even gets better: 0% introductory APR and no annual fee; discounts on airline tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals. You even get free coverage on rental car insurance and travel accident insurance with Sky Blue.

Blue Cash For Cold, Hard Cash

Blue Cash – If it is cold, hard cash that you want, then there isn’t a card that matches the American Express Blue Cash card. This is no 1% or 2% cash back card; the Blue Cash card is one that really works for card holders as it gives back 5% cash on just about everything you buy. Save 5% on gas. Save 5% on drugstore visits, on the bills you pay, and on so much more. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about redeeming your points as every year American Express will give you your earnings back to you in the form of a big fat credit to your account!

The Original Blue: The American Express Blue Card

Blue – The American Express Blue card was the card that got the whole blue movement rolling. Although it isn’t as power packed with the features found in Sky Blue or Blue Cash, the Blue card is still a worthy choice. If you select “Blue” you get 0% APR for up to 15 months, 4.99% APR on balance transfers for the life of the loan, and you will earn points toward the American Express free rewards program. Yes, there is no annual fee with the Blue card either!

Jet Blue: The Airline And The Card

Jet Blue – Named for the airline it represents, the American Express Jet Blue card allows card holders to accumulate points toward free Jet Blue Airways flights. Using the card the very first time nets users a cool 5,000 points right off the bat. You can also get double points at many places where you like to shop or eat.

As you have read, the competition for credit card carrying customers is heating up. With an American Express Blue Card you can receive benefits not available to customers of competing card companies. What are you waiting for? Put an American Express Blue Card in your wallet today and reap all of the rewards!

Capital markets driving the cost of mortgages

The capital that makes up your mortgage/ loan can come from a number of sources including other people's deposits and savings, stored up in the bank and other investors, all of which make up the Capital Markets. Of course, there isn't enough cash in the general consumers accounts to make up the capital needed for the mortgage markets so the majority comes from investors looking to buy debt instruments, which in this case are bonds.

The buyers of these bonds are looking for a good return on their investments, which is of course completely opposite to people looking for a low rate mortgage. In effect, you're borrowing money from an investor at a given rate (for you an interest rate and for the investor a rate of return). Of course, the investor is only willing to invest a certain amount of capital in such low yield bonds.

Now, the rates on a mortgage fluctuate from month to month and this rate is determined by how well 'mortgage bonds' are selling. A rise in sales will see a drop in yield and a drop in sales will see a rise in yield, thus attracting investors back into the market. The result of the average mortgage holder will be the opposite though. When investors leave the bond market, they will see a rise in mortgage interest rates.

Of course, the mortgage market is driven by a number of external factors, such as supply and demand but the greatest factors is that of inflation. Where inflation is low, the return for the investor is high, but when inflation increases, it devalues the investment and at the same time the mortgage. Suddenly a $120,000 mortgage can seem far less of a burden.

Inflation is kept under control by raising or lowering interest rates. When inflation is rampant, interest rates are raised, resulting in a rise in mortgage repayments.

Recent sub-prime mortgage lending issues in the US have had a knock on effect throughout the world. Billions of US dollars have been lost, simply because many of the associated bonds were bundled up and sold on to banks throughout the world. These mortgages were in effect over-subscribed in the states, with many people only able to afford a house with one of them. Unfortunately, the mortgages were being defaulted on and, having been sold on to UK, Hong Kong, German, French banks, they could not be easily recouped. The collapse in this market left many banks in serious problems. Losses could not be recouped and the bond market dried up as investors fled. New mortgages became difficult to find and their rates were much higher than previous. Interest rates have now been dropped so as to stimulate the market. Lenders have maintained bond rates at a higher level, giving them greater yield and the result will be a higher return for what is now percieved a greater risk.

Retirement planning for the stay-at-home mom

When you first plan on staying home with your children, probably the first thing you do is take a look and see if you can afford it. You cut back on cable TV, buy older cars, lose retirement benefits…

Whoops! Most moms don't seem to be thinking about what being a stay-at-home mom does for her retirement package. The years spent not working have a huge impact, however, when you decide to retire, so you need to plan now.

Let's start by looking at what you're losing for your retirement. No 401(k) with your employer contributing towards it. No pension, although those are getting scarce in most jobs anyhow. Less money available to put towards retirement. You aren't putting money into Social Security, so your benefits will be lower.

Ouch. Being a stay-at-home mom means you lose a lot for your retirement. Socially, the stay-at-home mom, as you may already know, is not as valued by most or by our government as the working mother. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare for your own retirement. It means more sacrifices, as you'll have to put more money aside, but better to provide your own retirement than be a burden.

You will want to consider having your spouse contribute towards a Spousal IRA. You may want to talk to a professional to determine the best type of IRA. According to the IRS website, up to $3000 may be contributed to a spousal IRA in a given year, assuming you are married and filing a joint return. See http://www. irs. gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590.pdf for more information on IRAs.

Of course, it's hard for most families to come up with $3000 a year to be put towards retirement. Saving while working is relatively easy; it can come out of the paycheck before you ever see it, so it doesn't hurt much. You need to figure out a monthly dollar amount you can contribute, so that it goes throughout the year. Don't hurt your family doing this, of course, but if you can find a way to get a little money put aside so you can have a decent retirement, do so.

Those who want only to be stay-at-home moms may resist the notion of finding a job, whether it be part time or working at home, but it is another option to keep money going towards your retirement. It assures you that some money is going toward Social Security, and gives you a little extra money to put towards your retirement. Once the kids are in school, a highly flexible job can keep your skills sharp, too.

For others, a home business is an option. You don't have to go the direct sales route, although it is certainly a popular way to start a home business with less risk. You can start a website on something you love, sell crafts you've made… perhaps something you love to do could be a small home business for you.

You are the only one who can decide which sacrifices you can make to ensure that you have a financially secure retirement. Take the time now to think about your future.

Uk finance from venture capitalists

Any new startup would require proper funding and without that it is difficult to be successful in their business venture. Choosing your UK finance partner is an important step in setting up your business. The venture capital firm should be able to understand your business clearly and provide proper funding at the right time to make you successful. Hence it is important to select to UK finance partner.

For startups and new companies in the life science biomedical companies there is a venture capital firm called Abingworth. They specialize in funding biomedical companies. They understand the biomedical industry clearly and have experience in funding such startups. They need to maintain a close relationship with the management of the startup to make them successful. You can approach Abingworth if you are looking for UK finance for biomedical startups or new companies in that field. They fund companies that develop products and also which work on specific ailment areas.

Finance in UK is provided by venture capitalist firms only if they are interested in the area of business that they are funding. The potential for commercial success should be prominent. Most of the companies look at the management which is running the company. The main criteria for them should be a strong management and the idea of business should be novel. You business could also be the current technology but they look at how different you are going to do it. Your approach has to be different to be successful commercially. Some of the UK finance firms also help you to get the right management team in place.

There are very few venture capital firms that fund the early stage technology in UK. Finance for such new start ups are difficult to get if you are not approaching the right kind of venture capitalist firm. ‘Pond Venture Partners’ is one such company that funds the early stage start ups. If you feel that you business is not growing then you have to approach companies like this in UK for finance. They have vast experience in funding the technology startups and they know the difficulties that the start ups face. They even help you write your business plan and build your team if you have the right kind of idea that would click globally. If your business has the potential to make an impact globally then you can approach Pond venture partners right away for finance in UK.

To get your funding you may not know which venture capital firm to approach. This is the case for most of the start ups. They may not know who will provide them finance in UK. Under such circumstances it is better to approach a Venture Catalyst who will help you to be in touch with the right kind of venture capitalist. Companies like Sturgeon Ventures provide such venture catalyst services. They help you to get in touch with the right kind of VC firms and they also help you throughout your business. They do not provide you the necessary capital but they help you to link with those who might be interested to fund your venture.

The most beneficial features of low interest credit cards

If you’re seriously interested in knowing about low interest credit cards, you will need to read this article. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about low interest credit cards. If you don't have accurate details regarding low interest credit cards, then you might make a bad choice. Don't let that happen: keep reading.

The most beneficial feature of low interest credit cards is the popular zero introductory interest rate that can last up to 12 months. These offers may only apply to the balance transfer and not to new purchases and cash advance. Therefore, making purchases and taking cash advance with your promotional offer credit card may result in paying multiple interest rates. Individuals who are planning to make purchases and carry a credit card balance each month may be better off with low fixed interest rate credit cards. Customers will need to decide if a 0% intro APR or a low fixed APR credit card is better suited for their personal needs. It’s not uncommon for the interest rate to shoot up dramatically after the introductory period expires. Therefore, customers should know what the interest rate will be after the promotional period ends.

The promotional offer or interest free period can save hundreds of dollars in interest expense. During this interest free period no interest is accrued if the account is in good standing. Many customers utilize the interest free period to transfer balance from high interest rate credit cards to a low interest credit rate credit cards to save money on interest expense. These cards are also very important for customers who are planning to consolidate credit card loans, make large purchases and carry a credit card balance from month to month. Credit card issuers charge a fee to do a balance transfer. This fee varies from bank to bank so it is a good idea to shop around for the best deal. Individuals with excellent credit score can ask to have the fee waived.

Low interest credit card can be very versatile because they have similar feature to a standard credit card. Features can be similar to a standard credit card such as cash back, rewards, no annual fees, bonus miles etc. It’s important to compare features of low interest cards and apply for the one that fulfils your needs. Paying your entire outstanding credit card balance on time each billing cycle is the only way to avoid paying interest expense. This may not be financially feasible for many customers due to the fact that they do not have the available funds. Therefore, by using a low interest credit card to make purchases and maintaining a credit card balance will be the next best choice to save money on interest expense. The amount of interest accrue on your account depends on the interest rate you receive.

It’s a common situation for individuals with bad credit to pay credit card companies large fees and finance charges. This situation keeps the card holder indebted to the credit card companies for years to come if no action is taken. This is a good reason to have excellent credit to avoid high finance charge and fees. Credit card issuers can change the rate of interest on your low interest credit card for several reasons such as making late payment, poor payment history with other creditors, applying for too much credit etc. To maintain good credit habits only charge what you know you can afford.

Many individuals use a low interest credit card to consolidate credit card debts to save money on interest expense. It can eliminate making monthly payments to various creditors. Do the necessary research before deciding to consolidate because if not done wisely can end up costing more than you would have saved. Because consolidation will extend the term of your loan it may increase the total amount of interest payment paid over the life of the loan. Debt consolidation is an excellent opportunity to keep you out of bankruptcy and get your finances back on track. Consolidating simplifies your paperwork and saves time and energy by only keeping records for a single loan instead of several loans.

Understanding grace period as it relates to your low interest credit card is very important. The grace period generally last between 20 to 25 days. This is the number of days stipulated in your credit card agreement before your credit card company starts charging interest on new purchases with certain conditions. During this period customers do not pay finance charges on new purchases if the account did not carry a previous balance. Also, monthly payments must be received during the grace period time frame. Usually credit cards without a grace period are charged finance charges immediately on new purchases even if your previous month's bill was paid in full.

The internet is the easiest place to find low interest credit cards with online credit card application. Website like www. icreditonline. com offers various types of credit cards. The cards are grouped into different categories. Clicking on low interest credit cards will bring up a list of low interest credit cards. Customers will then be able to compare offers and submit their online credit card application for approval. Going on line to find your credit card is very rewarding because it is very convenient and fast. There is no need to travel from banks to banks trying to find the right credit card. Customers can obtain all the information needed to make a wise decision in choosing a credit card that meets their needs just with the click of your mouse.

Read your credit card agreement to find out if there are separate interest rates for balance transfer, new purchases and cash advance. Card holders maybe charged a very high interest rate and fees for cash advance or making new purchases while getting the 0% intro offer for balance transfer. Don’t let this happen to you. Take the time to read the credit card agreement. Reading and understanding the credit card agreement is of utmost importance because it gives you the knowledge needed to make the right decision.

Mortgage loan basics interest only loans pay option arm

To understand loans and mortgages we need to understand loan limits first. If your loan amount exceeds the amount below, you will qualify for a Jumbo Loan, which carries higher interest rate.

One-Family (single family homes) $417,000

Two-Family(duplex) $533,850

Three-Family (triplex) $645,300

Four-Family(fourplex) $801,950

FIXED Loans:

30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates

This loan program is fixed for 30 years. Your interest rate will not change for 30 years. This is ideal for people who plan to stay at their present property for a long period of time.

20 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates

Fixed for 20 years. Your payment will be higher than 30 year fixed loan becuase your loan term is only for 20 years. Interest rate will not change for 20 years.

15 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates

15 year fixed loan has a loan term of 15 years and will not change during this period. Your monthly payment on this loan program will be much higher than 20 years fixed or 30 years fixed. Use this loan program if you plan to sell your home in 5-8 years. Interest rate will not change for 15 years.

ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)

ARM Loans are fixed for a certain period of time, where after that period ARM loan becomes an adjustable loan. How do they work?

Each ARM Loan Program has these options:

1) Index: Most comon index-LIBOR

2) Margin: Is given to you by your lender, and it is the difference between the index rate and the interest charged to the borrower

For example 5/1 ARM. This loan is fixed for 5 years after which in 6th year it becomes an adjustable loan. Your loan officer will tell you what your index is and what your margin is. Usually 5/1 arm is tied to 1-year treasury index and margin is around 2.00%-3.00%

Your index + margin = Fully Index rate . Your new note rate (interest rate) after 5th year.

What about the 6th year? What would your payment be?

Let's say that your loan officer told you that your margin is 2.5% with 1 year treasury index. You will have to look up 1 year treasury index for a specific month.

1 year treasury as of Oct.2005 is 4.18, and you know that your margin is 2.5%. Therefore you new interest rate is 1 year treasury 4.18% (index) + 2.5% (margin) = 6.68% for the begining of 6th year.

Index rate are move on monthly basis, therefore your payment may flunctuate each month. In most cases banks wills end you a statement advising you that your rate will change.

3) To protect consumers from high index rates, lenders implemented a CAPS.

An example of this is a 2/6 cap, which allows the interest rate on your ARM loan to go up or down by no more than two percent every adjustment period, and has a total limit of six percent for cumulative changes. Therefore a 2/6 cap on a 5% ARM will allow a maximum rate (6 + 5%) of no more than 11%.

In some cases you will see 2/2/6, which means 2% adjustment with 2 year prepayment penalty and total of six percent of cumulative changes.

4) With an arm you can have either a fixed rate or you can choose an Interest Only structure loan.

1/1 ARM Mortgage Rates

1 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is fixed for 1 year and in 2nd year it becomes an adjustable.

3/1 ARM Mortgage Rates

3 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is fixed for 3 years and in 4th year it becomes an adjustable.

5/1 ARM Mortgage Rates

5 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is fixed for 5 years and in 6th year it becomes an adjustable.

7/1 ARM Mortgage Rates

7 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is fixed for 7 years and in 8th year it becomes an adjustable.

10/1 ARM Mortgage Rates

10 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is fixed for 10 years and in 11th year it becomes an adjustable.

Interest Only Loans

For example, if a 30-year fixed-rate loan of $100,000 at 8.5% is interest only, the payment is .085/12 times $100,000, or $708.34. This is an example of interest only payment.

Each loan payment consists of Interest and Principal. Here you will be paying an interest each month and your principal will be adding to your balance, thus increasing it. You may also pay both principal and interest.

If a lender offers you an Interest only Loan these loans are tied to an index just like ARM loans.

MTA Index: The MTA index generally fluctuates slightly more than the COFI, although its movements track each other very closely.

. 1 Month MTA ARM Mortgage Rates

. 3 Month MTA ARM Mortgage Rates

. 6 Month MTA ARM Mortgage Rates

. 12 Month MTA ARM Mortgage Rates

COFI Index: This index rise (and fall) more slowly than rates in general, which is good for you if rates are rising but not good for you if rates are falling.

. 1 Month COFI ARM Mortgage Rates

. 3 Month COFI ARM Mortgage Rates

LIBOR Index: LIBOR is an international index, which follows the world economic condition. It allows international investors to match their cost of lending to their cost of funds. The LIBOR compares most closely to the CMT index and is more open to quick and wide fluctuations than the COFI.

. 6 Month LIBOR ARM Mortgage Rates

. 12 Month LIBOR ARM Mortgage Rates

Pay Option ARM Loan

Pay Option ARM in a new loan program allowing customers to choose from up to 4 different payments. This loan program is part of an ARM, but with added flexibility of making one of the 4 payments.

Your intial start rate varies from 1.000% to anywhere around 4.000%. The intial start rate is held only for one month, after that interest rate changes monthly.

4 major choises are:

1) Minimum payment: Fot the first 12 months interest rate is calculated using the start rate after that interest rate is calculated annually.


Loan Amount: $200,000.00

Initial Rate: 1.25%

Index: 3.326 (MTA as of October 2005)

Margin: 2.75%

Payment Cap: 7.5%

Fully Indexed Rate: 6.076% (ndex + margin )

Minimum Payment Changes:

Year 1 $666.50 Minimum Payment

Year 2 $716.49 = $666.50 + 7.50%

Year 3 $770.22 = $716.49 + 7.50%

Year 4 $827.99 = $770.22 + 7.50%

Year 5 $890.09 = $827.99 + 7.50%

The Option ARM's 7.5% payment cap limits how much the payment can increase or decrease each year, except for every fifth year (beginning in the 10th year on certain programs), when the cap does not apply. In the event your balance exceeds your original loan amount by 125% (110% in N. Y.), the payment amount may change more frequently without regard to the payment cap.

Becasue you are paying "minimum payment" this option will defer a payment of an interest which will be added to your balance.

Minimum Payment Adjustment Period: The minimum payment is usually set to 12 months, unless negative amortization limit is reached.

Minimum Payment Cap: This is a limit on how much the minimum payment can change. Your payment cap will be 7.5% for the first five years. On your next payment due, your minimum payment cannot increse or decrease more than 7.5%. If it does than a loan is recast.

Recast (Recasting) or re-calculating your loan is a way of limiting negative amortization (neg-am). Option ARM's recast every 5 years. When the loan is recast, the payment required to fully amortize the loan over the remaining term becomes the new minimum payment

2) Interest Only Payment: With Interest Only you will avoid deffered interest, becausue you are paying principal and interest. If you pay only Interest or Principal your loan balance will increase because you are adding either pricipal payment or interest payment to your loan balance, thus leading towards Neg-Am Loan.

Your payment may change on monthly basis based on ARM index (LIBOR, COFI, MTA).

3) Fully Amortizing 30-Year Payment: It's calculated each month based on the prior month's interest rate, loan balance and remaining loan term. When you choose this option, you reduce your principal and pay off your loan on schedule.

4) Fully Amortizing 15-Year Payment: It is calculated from the first payment due date.

Negative Amortization Loan (Neg-Am Loan)

Negative amortization loans calculate two interest rates. The first is called the payment rate the second is the actual interest rate. The true interest rate is calculated as simply the index plus the margin without periodic caps. Borrowers are given a choice of which rate to pay. Thus advertisers of negative amortization loans often refer to these loans as "payment option" loans.

A loan that allows negative amortization means the borrower is allowed to make a monthly mortgage payment that is less than the interest actually owed during that month. For example, let's say we have a $200,000 loan with an adjustable rate that's currently sitting at five percent. Simple interest on this loan is easy to calculate. Multiply the interest rate by the loan amount and you have the annual interest of $10,000. Divide $10,000 by 12 months and the monthly "interest only" payment is $833.33 or simply here is the formula for your monthly payment for interest only loans: loan balance x interest rates / 12 = monthly payment.

Now, let's say that there's a provision in the loan documents that allow the borrower to make a minimum payment based on a "payment rate" of four percent. So your lowest payment would be $666.67 because the "payment rate" is based upon four percent, not the actual interest rate, which is five percent.

So if you make make the lowest allowable payment you are actually losing $166.67 in equity. The balance of the loan increases to $200,166.67.

Exotic Mortgage

You may have heard this term before. So what are they?

The latest and most exotic mortgages out there include:

1. The 40-Year Mortgage: This is similar to a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, except the payment is being stretched over an extra 10 years. The lender will charge a slightly higher interest rate, as much as half a percentage point.

2. The Interest-Only Mortgage: With an interest-only mortgage, the lender allows the borrower to pay only the interest for the first so many years of a mortgage. After the grace period, the loan essentially becomes a new mortgage with the interest and principal being stretched only the remaining years. Please refer above for Interest Only Loans.

3. The Negative Amortization Mortgage: This interest-only type of mortgage allows a buyer to pay less than the full amount of interest. The difference between the full interest payment and the amount actually paid is added to the balance of the loan. Please refer above for more information.

4. The Piggy Back Mortgage: This is actually two mortgages, one on top of the other. The first mortgage covers 80% of the property's value. The second covers the remaining balance at a slightly higher interest rate.

5. 103s and 107s: You may not need to save for a down payment at all. You could borrow 3% or 7% more than your home is even worth. These loans give you the option of borrowing money needed for closing costs and moving costs. You can include it all in the mortgage.

6. Home Equity Line of Credit: These aren't just for those who own a home! They are commonly known as HELOCs, and they can finance an original home purchase using a credit line instead of a traditional mortgage. HELOCs are variable-rate mortgages tied to the prime rate. If you use this mortgage as your first mortgage, all of the interest is tax deductible.

Vehicle financing explained

Financing a vehicle is something that most people will have to do once, twice, or several times throughout the course of their lives. There are a few different ways that one can go about vehicle financing and those include:

• Vehicle Leasing

• Vehicle Loans

Both of these have their benefits and draw backs, and must be thoroughly considered prior to making any sort of decision. Either way you choose one thing that will remain the same is the fact that both will affect your overall income for several years to come. You will be required to fill out an application for credit, that will be used to determine rather or not you are eligible for financing, if you have a good credit score this could be easy, if not you may have difficulty finding financing for a vehicle. Typically the financing option will last anywhere between 3 to 5 years depending upon the amount of the loan, and your payment arrangements.

Leasing a vehicle is completely different and has a variety of aspects that make it typically appealing to the average consumer. Some of the key appealing points in leasing include:

• Lower monthly payments

• Lower down payments

• Lower costs of maintenance

By leasing a vehicle, you will be gaining a vehicle with less money all the way around. Typically leasing a vehicle is cheaper than obtaining financing for one, and you will have a longer warranty than you would outright purchasing a vehicle. This could prove beneficial if the car ever malfunctions mechanically or otherwise. It is well known that when a car breaks down or any part of the vehicle malfunctions it could be extremely detrimental to the consumer as well as their pocketbook. With this type of warranty many items will be covered that would not generally be covered under a financing option.

The ultimate choice is yours financing versus leasing, it is all the matter of doing some extensive investigation and figuring out which option works the best with you and your financial situation. If you have no credit or bad credit, you will likely have to speak to a lender that specializes in these types of situations, there are many ways that even with a bad credit score that you can obtain the financing you need to obtain a reliable vehicle at a price you can afford.

New rules for buy to let landlords

A tightening of regulations regarding the letting of larger properties containing three or more storeys, converted into smaller self contained residential units, came into force at the beginning of April 2006. Further information on the Licence for Multiple Occupation is available on www. propertylicensing. gov. uk, but here are the basic facts:

The licences will be issued by the Local Authority after an inspection regarding room arrangements and sizes, facilities included and fire and safety regulations. The landlord will also have to satisfy the Local Authority that acceptable arrangements have been made for the management of the properties. The costs of these licences are expected to be around Ј100 per each tenant and will be renewable every 5 years.

It’s felt that the tighter regulations may help genuine landlords wishing to enter the market, by assuring mortgage lenders that these properties are to be converted and managed in such a way that they could be favourably considered as suitable for buy to let mortgages.

Unscrupulous landlords may be less than happy with the new rules, which carry a fine of up to Ј20,000 if they don’t conform!

Typically the property we’re referring to would be student accommodation. If you live in or near a University town you’ll be aware of the huge demand for such accommodation.

Here are a further two rules designed to protect tenants in multiply occupied properties:

· Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

· Housing Health and Safety Rating System

First, TDS - This regulation comes into force in October 2006 and is being introduced as an amendment to the Housing Act 2004.

It has been found that a source of contention between landlords and tenants is the refundable deposit situation. Some landlords are less than scrupulous and on the other hand, some tenants are slightly less than perfect! As soon as TDS comes in, all refundable deposits will be held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. A scheme administrator, acting as a neutral “referee”, will hold the deposit. At the end of the tenancy the administrator will pay back the deposit to the tenant if all has gone well on both sides. If there are any adjustments to be made, they should be agreed at this time and then the administrator should be informed of the situation. Payment should be made by the administrator within 10 days of this notification.

If it is impossible to reach an agreement and it proves necessary for either party to obtain a final court order deciding the proportion of the deposit to be paid to either party, then the administrator holds the deposit until this stage is reached and will then pay out the money accordingly.

When an administrator returns a deposit, interest must be added. The decision on the rate will be announced by the Government. Any balance of interest will be retained by the administrator and may be used to fund the running of the scheme.

Secondly, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System – If a tenant is concerned that the condition of the property is affecting their health, they can call in inspectors to make a judgment on this. These inspectors will have the power to demand any repairs which they think are necessary. The fine for landlords not complying with these conditions will be up to Ј5,000.

Obviously, there will be a cost to landlords in complying with these new rules and this will have to be recouped. Not all landlords will have the means to carry out the work and in the short term some of the properties in really poor condition may close. The end result, though, should be a better standard of accommodation and a fairer deal overall, making it more tempting for shrewd investors to enter this type of market via a buy to let mortgage!

Revolutionised banking

In a couple of years the internet has revolutionised the manner the most of us do our banking. The majority of banks and building societies offer their internet services 24 hours per day, meaning that even those leading the most unconventional of lifestyles can access banking at their convenience. Wherever you live in the UK, loans, current accounts, and mortgages can all be bought and administered online that makes life so much easier for any person.

Ever since the advent of the internet, businesses have been looking for ways to use it in innovative, safe and secure ways eager that it will offer more opportunities to drive business and increase profits. That includes banks which have often been at the forefront of internet technology in the search for a cheaper and much more efficient way of undertaking business with their customers. Even though they are unlikely to risk outrage by completely eliminating their branch networks, many high street banks would prefer the majority of clientele to transact their business online. That is because it is by far the most profitable channel for the financial institutions.

And surely from a customer's point of view there are many good reasons to do your banking online. It's enormously convenient plus you don't have to go cap in hand to the local bank manager if you want to arrange any form of borrowing, and risk the embarrassment of being turned down. Now all that is required is a click of the mouse, whether it's to submit an application for a short-term extension to an overdraft, or to apply for one of the many longer-term personal loans, all are available on the internet plus it is a great way to open online savings accounts and have access to your account any time of the day.

Indeed, the internet is quickly becoming the number one place for applying for personal loans, and more people are frequently doing their banking online with payments association APACS reporting a 174% rise in numbers over the past year. Their figures show the greatest rise in usage coming from the over-55s with a 350% rise over last year. That ties in to a drop in reported online fraud as users become savvy to the most obvious phishing scams, and banks improve their education of users and tighten their own online security.

Online comparison sites have also become extremely popular with the internet community. They have made momentous in-roads into the financial markets and potential customers can go there to compare loans, credit cards or even mortgages all on one website, without the need to do any of the hard work themselves. With everything required to cover all banking needs online, it is easy to see why it has become so popular and will grow even bigger within the next couple of years.

3 ways tenants lose money

Are you still renting a home or apartment for yourself or your family?

If so, you're losing money. Think about these three ways you lose money by renting:

1. You're paying for someone else's mortgage payment. You're missing out on the appreciation that the property gives to the landlord. Appreciation is a term used in accounting relating to the increase in value of an asset, which means in real estate terms, added value to the property. Over the past five years, houses appreciated significantly, making many new real estate investor multimillionaires.

2. Tenants don't get to freeze their monthly housing expenses like home buyers can. Of course, many home buyers get mortgage payments with adjustable interest rates and their payments go up over time. However, these payments will not go up over the long term like rising rents. Just think about how much an apartment costs today compared to ten years ago. A two bedroom apartment in Lake Elsinore, California leases for $1,000 today. The exact same apartment rented for $325 in 1996, when it was brand new. Home buyers who had low monthly payments in 1996, who did not refinance their mortgage, enjoy low payments and don't have to worry about rising rents.

3. Renters don't benefit from tax advantages. Home owners get income tax deductions. Tax deductions for interest costs, for instance, save tax payers thousands of dollars.

Emotional Satisfaction of Home Ownership

Besides losing out on making money with real estate, renters don't get the same satisfaction of home enjoyment that benefits home buyers. Many landlords won't allow you to paint your walls in colors that you desire. Also, you won't feel like fixing up the property with custom window coverings and you get little say in flooring materials. Because you can't make your personal statement, you won't feel like you're HOME as much as home owners who feel emotionally connected to their property.

How to Buy Your First Home

The biggest barrier to home ownership is often accumulating funds for a down payment. People think they have to have thousands of dollars for a down payment. However, if you have good credit and a decent job, you can get a mortgage for a home with zero down. And you can finance some of your closing costs as well as ask the seller to help you pay a good portion of your purchase costs. With today's mortgage finance plans, you may be surprised to find out how much of a home you can afford with payments similar to what you currently pay in rent.

You may have to go out of the major metropolitan areas to buy a home. That's why so many people commute in Southern California. Affordable housing costs much less in outlying areas. But so do the rents. If you're renting an apartment for $2,300 in Los Angeles, you could buy a $500,000 home in Wildomar. Our daughter just purchased a home in December 2005 and her mortgage payment, for a 3,000 square foot new home, costs less than $2,300. With her tax savings, she will pay even less than renting a small apartment closer to downtown L A.

If these amounts sound high to you, check your local area. Perhaps your monthly rent is only $1,000 and houses cost less than $200,000. Talk to a mortgage loan officer and see how much of a home you can afford.

If you're renting, make one of your priorities to buy your own home.

Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher

Why buying and holding is dangerous to your retirement

Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

When someone tells you that the dam is breaking, do you just stand there and get washed away by the floodwaters? Why does the professional management industry give you that advice for managing your retirement? Why did trillions of dollars get lost in the millennium bear market due to the bad advice of passive money management?

The Latest Research

A study by three academics from the London Business School was recently reported in a great Wall Street Journal article titled "Long-Term Risk Is Underestimated," goes a long way toward debunking the myths of long - term investing. Professors Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh, and Mike Staunton dispelled the buy-and-hold notion by observing, "not only can markets take a long time to recover, but also investors generally underestimate what the safe long-run period is to hold stocks."

Just how dangerous this Buy & Hold myth can be is seen in another finding of the study, which is that "out of 16 major national stock markets, investors from only five would have been guaranteed positive annual returns over every 20-year period during the past century."

That's pretty staggering. Most people feel it's a slam-dunk that they're going to win over 20 years. Of course, that presupposes they won't fall prey to another problem, which is survivor bias. It's quite possible that even if the market worked out over 20 years, the handful of stocks they picked might not, as most people who bought Internet stocks can now see clearly. The article also exploded one of the present-day myths. “You know, the market's been down three years in a row, and therefore it can't decline for a fourth”, as positioned by so many pundits. The professors' response to that is: "The history of stock market performance shows that across 16 markets, the probability of a fourth down year is 40%. That also happens to be the probability of any other year being a down year."

The Bear Ate My Retirement

The millennium bear market will go down in the history books as one of the worst bear markets to date. For those of you who are young and have time on your side, you should be able to suffer through the years it takes to get back to break-even. If you are nearer to retirement, your retirement plans have probably been altered. There are many sad stories documented about people just like you who have lost much of their retirement savings to the millennium bear market.

I can only plead with you to evaluate trend timing techniques to grow and protect your precious assets. Invest with, and not against, the market and let the mathematics of an advancing and declining market work in your favor.

An analysis of journal communications jrn

Journal Communications (JRN) is comprised of seven essentially separate businesses: The Milwaukee Sentinel, Community Newspapers, Television Stations, Radio Stations, Telecommunications, Printing Services, and Direct Marketing. The company’s five reportable segments do not exactly match these seven businesses; however, I believe an investor should analyze JRN on the basis of these seven businesses and their constituent properties, rather than as a single going concern with five reportable business segments. Additional reasons for this belief will be outlined below. For now, it is sufficient to say that if Journal Communications were to divide into seven separate public companies, the combined market value of those companies would be substantially greater than JRN’s current enterprise value. Simply put, the sum of the parts would be valued more highly than the whole.

Journal Communications has an enterprise value of just under $1 billion. Pre-tax owner’s earnings are probably around $125 million. So, JRN trades at eight times pre-tax owner’s earnings. That’s cheap.

Journal’s effective tax rate is 40%. That is an unusually high rate. Journal’s media properties would likely generate more after-tax income under different ownership. The difference would be material; but, for anyone other than a highly leveraged buyer, tax savings would not be a primary consideration. When evaluating Journal as a going concern, it is perfectly appropriate to treat the full 40% tax burden as a reality. These taxes reduce owner’s earnings by $50 million.

With after-tax owner’s earnings of $75 million and an enterprise value of $1 billion, Journal’s owner’s earnings yield is 7.5%. Remember, this is the after-tax yield. The pre-tax yield is 12.5%. When evaluating a company, it’s best to use the pre-tax yield for purposes of comparison. Last I checked, the 30 – year Treasury bond was yielding 4.63%. So, looking at JRN’s current earnings alone, the stock appears to offer a large margin of safety.

This is especially true if you consider the fact that earnings yields offer more protection against inflation than bond yields. They don’t offer perfect protection. But, with stocks, there is at least the possibility that nominal cash flows will increase along with inflation. The cash flows generated by bonds are fixed in nominal terms, and therefore offer no protection against inflation.

When evaluating a long-term investment, such as a stock, I do not use a discount rate of less than 8%. This reduces JRN’s margin of safety considerably. Instead of being the difference between 12.5% and 4.63%, Journal’s margin of safety is the difference between 12.5% and 8%. Is such a margin of safety sufficient? Maybe.

When evaluating a prospective investment, I first look at the risk of a catastrophic loss. What is the magnitude? And what is the probability? For my purposes, a catastrophic loss is defined as any permanent loss of principal. The risk that I’ve overvalued a business is always greater than my risk of catastrophic loss, because I insist upon a margin of safety. A catastrophic loss is one that wipes out the entire margin of safety.

I can make a bad investment without suffering a catastrophic loss. For instance, most mutual funds are bad investments, because they underperform alternatives. However, mutual funds do not usually carry a high risk of catastrophic loss. In fact, they generally have a low risk of catastrophic loss, because they are highly correlated to the overall market.

It’s easiest to understand this concept if you think of valuing companies as being a lot like writing insurance. Even if reality exceeds your expectations in nine out of every ten cases, a terrible misjudgment in the tenth case can cause you great harm. It isn’t just how many mistake you make. It’s also how big they are.

Some stocks, like Google (GOOG), trade at prices that allow for catastrophic losses of considerable magnitude. Other stocks, like Journal Communications, trade at prices that only allow for very small losses to principal. However, there is also the matter of probability. How likely is it that a Google shareholder will suffer a catastrophic loss? I don’t know. I’m not even willing to hazard a guess.

In the case of Journal Communications, I am willing to stick my neck out.

I believe an investment in JRN carries a very low risk to principal – considerably less than, say, an investment in the S&P 500. Why? Because Journal Communications is trading at a very modest owner’s earnings multiple. But, that isn’t the only reason. You shouldn’t look at Journal solely from a going concern perspective. JRN mainly consists of readily saleable properties. The assets backing shares JRN are quite substantial:


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee’s only major daily and Sunday newspaper. The Sunday edition has the highest penetration rate (72%) of any Sunday newspaper in the top 50 U. S. markets. The daily edition has the third highest penetration rate (49%) of any daily newspaper in the top 50 U. S. markets. The paper has a daily circulation of 240,000 and a Sunday circulation of 425,000.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also operates three websites. JSOnline. com and OnWisconsin. com generate advertising revenue. PackerInsider. com is a subscription – based website.

Over the last three years, both daily circulation and Sunday circulation have decreased by about 1% annually. Full run advertising linage has also fallen by a similar amount; however, after accounting for increases in part run advertising and preprint pieces, it appears there has been no real decrease in total advertising.

The Journal Sentinel generates approximately $230 million in revenue. Advertising accounts for 80% of the Journal Sentinel’s revenue (the other 20% is circulation revenue). Advertising revenue is somewhat cyclical, and may currently be above “normal” levels.

It’s difficult to value the Journal Sentinel, because JRN places the Journal Sentinel and its community newspapers under one reportable segment. Even if the numbers for the Journal Sentinel were broken out, I would have still have some difficulty coming up with an exact figure, because I’m not an expert on newspapers.

Having said that, I can’t see how the Journal Sentinel could be worth less than $250 million or more than $500 million. If I had to put a dollar figure on the Journal Sentinel, it would probably be in the 250 – $300 million range. I’d like to think this is a conservative estimate, but I don’t know enough about newspapers to be sure. JRN’s failure to break out the numbers for the Journal Sentinel apart from the community newspapers complicates the issue. However, I am quite confident the Journal Sentinel is worth no less than $250 million.

It’s even more difficult to value JRN’s Journal Community Publishing Group. It consists of 43 community newspapers, 41 shoppers, and 9 niche publications (automotive, boating, etc.). The group generates about $100 million in revenue. I can’t value this group apart from the Journal Sentinel, because of the aforementioned lack of disclosure (combining the group with the Journal Sentinel for reporting purposes), my inability to find enough public information on community newspaper businesses, and other such factors.

The best I can do is offer an educated guess as to the combined value of JRN’s publishing business. My best guess is that, taken together, the Journal Sentinel and the community newspapers are probably worth somewhere between $300 million and $500 million.


Journal Communications owns 38 radio stations. The most important of which are: WTMJ-AM Milwaukee, KMXZ-FM Tucson, KFDI-FM Wichita, and KTTS – FM Springfield (MO). All four of these stations are number one in their market. JRN’s radio stations generate about $80 million in revenue.

Journal Communications owns seven television stations. Almost all of these stations are ranked as one of the top three in their market. Three are NBC affiliates, three are ABC affiliates, and one is a Fox affiliate. JRN owns two stations in Milwaukee, two in Idaho, one in California, one in Michigan, and one in Nevada. Journal’s TV stations generate about $90 million in revenue.

Again, it’s too hard for me to value JRN’s TV stations and radio stations separately. Taken together, I believe they’re worth somewhere between $250 and $450 million.


JRN owns a 3,800 mile network in the Great Lakes region. Norlight Telecommunications generates about $150 million in revenue. I’m very hesitant to make any attempts to value this division, because I don’t understand the telecom business well enough. Having said that, I don’t see how it could be worth much less than $350 million.


I don’t like the printing services and direct marketing business at all. I have no idea how to value them. They do have revenues though; so, they are probably worth something to someone. Revenues from these two businesses exceed $100 million, but they are not very profitable.

Real Estate

JRN owns a surprising amount of unencumbered real estate. For the most part, such properties are closely tied to one of JRN’s operating businesses. As long as JRN continues as a going concern, much of the real estate could not be sold. Just to give you some idea of the extent of these properties, it appears JRN owns a little less than two million square feet – much of which is in or around Milwaukee. I can not accurately value such real estate. As I said, much of it is closely tied to operating activities. However, buildings in urban areas can sometimes be converted to other uses.

It hardly matters though. Journal Communications is likely to remain a going concern for some time, and as long as it does, it is unlikely to dispose of such assets.


So, what is JRN worth? It’s hard to say. The current enterprise value is around $1 billion, which is clearly too low. My most conservative estimates for the publishing, broadcasting, and telecom businesses alone add up to $900 million. I think those are very conservative estimates. Using more reasonable estimates, I can not arrive at a value of less than $1.25 billion for JRN’s constituent parts. This is true whether I perform an intrinsic value analysis on the entire company, or apply some sort of earnings, sales, or EBITDA multiple to each business separately.

Journal Communications is probably worth somewhere between $1.25 billion and $2 billion. I’m quite pessimistic about the newspaper business; therefore, I would lean towards the $1.25 billion figure (which assumes slightly declining revenues). Any sort of revenue growth would dramatically change the valuation. If such growth will occur, JRN is extremely undervalued at these levels. However, I’m not sure there will be any growth at all.

Journal Communications voting structure will probably discourage the best course of action: breaking up the company. JRN should spin off the community newspapers, the TV stations, the radio stations, and the telecom business. The printing services and direct marketing businesses should also be disposed of in some way. These are really very different businesses. There are few good reasons for keeping them together, and many good reasons for separating them.

Newspapers, radio, and TV all face different challenges. They need different managers who have complete control over capital allocation and who are compensated based on the performance of their business, not on the performance of a hodge-podge of various media properties. Breaking JRN up will make it easier to manage and will make it easier for current owners to dispose of their shares at more favorable prices should they wish to.

If these businesses traded as five or six different public companies, it is very unlikely their combined market cap would be less than $1 billion. It may not even be necessary for them to be publicly traded. There might be buyers for such properties, if JRN’s properties were separated into common sense collections.

But, none of this is likely to happen. Employees control JRN (they maintain control through the ownership of shares with disproportionate voting rights). No one interested in shaking things up will take a stake in this company, because he would be unable to impose his will. I can’t imagine management ever embarking on such a sweeping venture without some prodding from the outside.

JRN has almost no downside. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of upside either. There is a real danger investors will see their returns wither away as the time it takes to realize the value in Journal Communications proves costly. Time is the enemy of the investor who buys this kind of business at this kind of price.

Objectively, I have to admit JRN is undervalued. But, I’m not sure it’s grossly undervalued – and I am sure there are better long term investments.

An overview of purchase protection insurance

Many people are not aware of the insurance that many credit card companies provide their credit card holders; it is called purchase protection insurance. Many of the major credit cards offer this type of insurance for free, others may require an additional fee in order to receive this purchase protection coverage. The terms and conditions that relate to this type of coverage vary from Credit Card Company to Credit Card Company.

Typically how purchase protection works is this, when you purchase any an item using your credit card from any store, the credit card company provides coverage against the items against theft, loss of the item, and accident damage. This coverage usually last a pre-determined amount of time, generally about ninety days from the date you purchase the item. It is important to read all terms and conditions that apply to your specific credit card, because there may be specific actions required by you, as well as specific limitations.

Many of these purchase protection policies dictate that the purchased item is required to be worth a specific amount of dollars, to be eligible for the protection. If an item you have purchased becomes damaged, lost, or stolen and it is determined eligible for purchase protection, you must contact the credit card company. Your credit company that provides the protection, will then reimburse you for the price you paid on the item, this will be the price listed on your statement or receipt issued from the store.

You should also look carefully at this protection plan, because your company may only claim liability up to a certain amount for each item. Additionally, limitations may be stated in regards to the amount of damaged it will cover. Usually, if the item is damaged upon receipt it will be covered.

Again, in order to take full advantage of the purchase protection plan on any credit card, you should take extra special care to read the agreement and the terms set, forth that regards purchase protection. If you should have any questions about if a specific item is covered, then you should phone the credit card company, and speak to their customer service area to get answers to your questions. They should be available and absolutely willing to answer all of your questions regarding this manner, if the person you speak with does not provide clear and precise answers, you should ask to speak to someone else.

Business jetblue from american express - ideal for jetblue flyers

Business JetBlue Credit card is the outcome of the joint efforts of American Express and JetBlue airlines. If you are one of those who frequently avail the services of the JetBlue Airways, then you have an ideal credit card in Business JetBlue from American Express.

You can extract the maximum benefits out of Business JetBlue Card from American Express only if you have enough credit to make monthly payments on time. So, those of you who can afford to pay in full each month after the introductory rate expires (to evade finance charges), can well benefit from the remarkable reward program of Business JetBlue Credit Card from American Express.

Highlights Of The Reward Program

To get detailed information about the reward program of Business JetBlue from American Express go through the following:

§ The rewards program awards you a dollar for each dollar you spend on the card. You will receive additional 2 points (award dollars) for each dollar you spend on JetBlue flights, car rentals, wireless phone charges, gas, office supplies and equipment. Also, earn double award dollars for what you spend at movie theaters, concerts, golf courses, restaurants and other places of entertainment.

§ A 5% discount will be given to you on any JetBlue flight in addition to other rewards program points and savings.

§ Your first purchase will reap 5000 bonus award points. (Your statement credit should be at least $50).

Here it would be necessary to highlight that 200 award-dollars amount to one TrueBlue point and 100 TrueBlue points earn you a one round-trip flight in JetBlue.

Other Features

Take a look at some of the other features of Business JetBlue from American Express, which might concern you:

§ The Business JetBlue card has annual fee of $40, a quite reasonable fee as compared to other airline reward cards.

§ Though the average interest rates are high, you will be able to save money on free reward flights if you are able to pay your monthly balance in full.

§ Your rewards will not expire as long as you earn points or there is some redemption activity in your account within a 1-year period. The TrueBlue awards expire after 1 year of issuance.

§ Through the OPEN Savings program, you can also avail automatic discounts at leading merchants.

Special Benefits From The Card

Business JetBlue from American Express allows a lot of additional benefits you would love to have such as – special Internet account related services, entrance to the OPEN Savings Network, Automatic bill payment and account alerts, extended warranty for purchases, Auto rental insurance, Purchase protection, insurance for Travel accident, Emergency card replacement, various travel and emergency assistance services.

Construction projects and gas prices plan your budget accordingly

If you have a construction project planned, you may want to adjust your projections to include the impact that will be felt from rising gasoline prices. As the price of motor fuel goes up, so does the price of goods and services that have to be transported to your job site, and that translates into higher prices for construction.

Almost everything related to building projects runs on gasoline. If it costs more this year to fly business passengers across the country in jets that run on gasoline, that also means it will cost more for you to have your construction workers drive back and forth to the construction site each day. Next time you pass one of these gigantic dual-wheel extended cab pickup trucks with the tool box mounted on the back, consider how many construction workers drive commute to and from building sites in those big gas guzzlers. Those workers have to pay for their gas, and if they are getting hit hard in the wallet, they will have no other reasonable option than to pass the higher cost along to you, in the form of higher hourly wages. But not only labor costs more when gas prices spike. In fact, relative to the cost of raw construction materials, labor costs are affected very little. The real impact on your budget will be felt when you go to the lumberyard or home improvement store to buy supplies.

Many of the supplies used to build homes have to be shipped all the way across the country. And many of those supplies are made in factories or manufacturing plants that operate heavy machinery using – you guessed it – gas and oil. So if you are ordering, for example, power tools or generators that run on gasoline, and those are made in a plant that uses gas to fuel its machinery and then ships the heavy tools to you by truck, you are paying for gasoline several times over. It begins to add up a penny and a dime at a time, and can soon send you over your budget. Truckloads of concrete blocks, sheet rock, lumber, and fencing – whatever materials you need to build your house, they are probably coming to you thanks to gasoline-powered transportation. And they may have built-in gas costs even before they are loaded on the truck.

If you have construction plans, don’t’ wait for prices to stabilize. You are better off breaking ground now, while the potential spike in cost per square foot is still a topic of armchair speculation. By the time gasoline hits four dollars a gallon, it will be too late to reconsider your options. But plan ahead, and add another 25-30 percent to your overall budget, to make sure that you leave yourself a comfortable margin of error, in case the costs you listed suddenly go higher. And try to lock in contract agreements for prices of labor and materials now, so that they can’t fluctuate with the price swings that might happen between now and your completion date. That way, if gas prices stabilize, you will be way ahead of the game and might end up with some surplus capital to invest in upgrades or other amenities you didn’t think you could afford.

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