10 Steps To Reduce Your Debt: Do-It-Yourself Debt Reduction

Getting into debt is easy and worrying about it won’t do much in relieving you from your debt. The best you can do when you have already run into debt is to start working towards reducing or clearing the debt and staying out of debt in every possible way. You can find your own strategy to deal with the debt, but there are several DIY debt reduction strategies and tips you can use to get over your financial woes.

1. Evaluate the debts. Start by collecting all financial documents and printing credit reports so you know exactly where you are with the debts. Most times people get scared just thinking of how hefty the debts are but you will never know until you take the courage to evaluate the debt so you can start somewhere with the recovery. Include all personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and payday loans in this evaluation.

2. Check your current earnings and budget. With the clear debt information, you then must start working towards debt reduction. Calculate the monthly income you get after taxes and basics like mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities and insurance. This way, you will get to find out how much you can spare for paying off the debt.

3. Find ways to increase pay off amounts. Sometimes when you subtract all basics from your income, you might find that you have very little amount left you can use on the debts. If the amount is too small, try and come up with ways through which you can reduce spending. Carpooling is one of the temporary methods you can use to cutback the expenses.

4. Create a plan. Now that you have some money to use on the debts, create a plan of how you are going to handle the debts and pay off. Will you start with one debt or pay a little every month for every debt you have? You might find it helpful to start with debts with highest interest rates or highest balance.

5. Negotiate repayment with your lenders and creditors. Agreeing to negotiate terms will be a plus to your credibility and your lenders or creditors will be more than willing to strike a deal with you.

6. Keep up with the debt reduction plan. Commitment is your only ticket out of debt so keep up with the plan.

7. As you continue with the repayment plan, avoid adding any more debts on top of what you already have.

8. Find better ways to deal with your financial issues besides getting loans. You can for instance, avoid making purchases for those that are not urgent.

9. Leave your credit card at home when going out unless you are going shopping. It will keep impulse buying at bay. In case you are going to shop, make a list of everything you need and stick by it no matter how tempting things in the store appear.

10. In case you take up a loan again, be consistent with your repayment and avoid piling loans. Try and have one loan at a time.

Is Refinancing the Right Choice for You?

RULE No. 1 – Never Lose Money

RULE No. 2 – Never Forget RULE No. 1

– Warren Buffet

When one of the world’s richest man talks about money, everyone must pay attention. His advice is useful for everyone including people with car loans. If you have a car loan and are losing money because of high-interest rates, you must take necessary steps for saving your hard-earned money.

You can save money by applying for refinancing because it will help you in obtaining lower interest rates and affordable monthly payments. When you begin the process of refinancing, you apply for a second loan to pay off your first loan.

When should you apply for Refinancing?

Even though it is a good move for saving your money, you should not opt for it without thorough understanding of your situation. If any of the following situations applies to you, only then you must initiate the refinancing process:

Is there a Significant Drop in Interest Rates?

Check out the current interest rates for obtaining a used car loan in your area. If the interest rates have reduced phenomenally since you purchased your car, you could save money by refinancing your car.

Is there an Improvement in your Credit Score?

Your credit score is an important factor for lenders to determine your interest rates. If you had a bad credit history or zero credit score at the time of buying your car, you may have received high-interest rates.

If you want to start the refinancing process, check your credit score. If your credit score is healthier and has improved considerably, you can apply for it.

Is your Loan Term Lengthy?

Most people concentrate on lower monthly payments but forget to consider the car loan term. A lengthy loan term is bad news because it means you have to pay interest for a longer period of time. So, if your loan term is longer than five years, you must opt for refinancing and choose a shorter loan term. It will help you in reducing the total interest amount.

Is there a Pre-Payment Penalty?

Before opting for refinancing, you must consider the terms and conditions of your present car loan. There are many lenders that charge high pre-payment penalties for breaking the loan contract. You must opt for refinancing only if penalty fees don’t negate the savings that you will receive by refinancing your car loan.

Is your Car Lease expiring?

Under a car lease agreement, the financing company purchases the car and then leases it to you for regular rental payments. At the end of the lease period, you have the option of buying the car or returning it to the financing company. If your car lease is expiring and you have no money to buy the car, you can opt for refinancing. The refinancing option is also helpful for those people who want to get out of their ongoing lease agreement.

Where to look for Refinancing?

Once you are sure of refinancing, you have several options to start the process. You can apply for refinancing at your local bank or a credit union. You can even visit websites of several online auto financing companies and choose one that offers you the best interest rates.

All the best for finding a better car loan!

Courier Driver Insurance: What You Need to Know

There are many things that you need to set in place when you first start out working as a courier driver. However, one of the most important things on your list should be to ensure you have adequate insurance.

Finding suitable insurance is essential. Not only is insurance a legal requirement, but a policy that covers all your needs will also serve to provide you with peace of mind while you work. Here is what you need to know.

Courier Insurance is not Standard

Insurance is a legal requirement for every driver – in fact, even if you are not using your van a lot, it must still be insured. However, if you use your vehicle to carry out delivery work, you should be aware that you’ll need more than just standard vehicle insurance. As a courier driver, you will be considered a higher risk than other road users, because you will stop frequently, you have deadlines to meet, and you may also transport valuable goods that need to be covered under a policy. It therefore makes sense to spend adequate time researching the most suitable policy, even if that means spending a little more on it.

Different Types

There are different levels of policies that you can choose from. Everybody’s circumstances are unique, so it is important to find the most suitable policy for your personal situation when working as a courier driver. Various factors could influence your insurance, from the type of vehicle you drive to how far you travel and how many drop-offs you make.

One of the most important things to look for is goods in transit cover. This provides coverage for all the cargo you transport, some of which may be very valuable. If you have an accident or the goods are stolen, you are liable for the damage or loss, and this could cost you a lot of money. So to have complete peace of mind you’ll need to invest in decent goods in transit cover. (You should also find out what is not covered under a particular policy, as it may not include high-value goods like jewellery.)

Breakdown cover is another thing you should definitely consider including. This will provide you with protection should you experience problems on the road, as it can be very difficult if something goes wrong when you are working to a deadline.

Other things that may be covered in a policy include vandalism, overseas travel, public liability, employers’ liability, personal belongings and replacement van cover. You may also want to get a fleet policy if you have numerous vehicles. It’s important never to assume that any aspect is covered; always check the details carefully and understand exactly what you’re covered for as well as how much excess you will have to pay when you make a claim.

Look Around for a Suitable Policy

When you start your research for insurance, always search around and get quotes from various providers, as they’ll all provide slightly different policies at different prices. This is an important decision for any courier driver, so do spend some time over the process. And remember, don’t simply buy the cheapest you can find – you need to make sure it really does provide the cover you need.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

Top 4 Reasons to Pick Annual Travel Insurance

Choosing a travel insurance policy is not exactly an exercise one looks forward to with excitement. You rarely find anyone who is enthusiastic about premiums, the extent of cover, and the feeling of putting pen to paper on a policy document! Most people would much rather be wistfully imagining rolling waves, endless beaches, imposing monuments and mountains of fun.

But putting effort into finding the right policy is as important as putting effort into the itinerary of your trip, especially if you travel frequently.

Why face risk?

You may be an optimist, feeling yourself impervious to danger or thinking that most hazards in strange places are exaggerated by the fearful; or you may be a pessimist, feeling sure that if the worst could happen, its bound to happen to you. Risk does not care either way. A realist realises that risks are dependent not merely on your outlook, but the nature of your trip and destination. This is why for the frequent traveller, annual travel insurance is never a waste of money. In the event of an accident, injury, mishap or loss that affects you, your family or your belongings, you will not regret having the safety net of a solid policy.

Why waste money?

Once the regular traveller realises, however begrudgingly, the need for a solid policy, attention invariably turns to money. Since it all lies in the realm of risk and potential, you should ensure you only pay for what you need. The benefit of good annual travel insurance plans is that they focus on giving the consumer plenty of options, while making sure that in light of the destination and type of trip to be taken, you’re not paying for anything you won’t need.

Why waste time?

Your travel time is precious – and so is the time taken to plan every trip. Buying a separate policy every time not only wastes money, it consumes time. This is why annual travel insurance is so helpful. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to focus even more on making the most of a short business hop to Brussels, taking advantage of a regular foray into the Amazon for an ongoing field study, or spending your cash beach-hopping around the Mediterranean.

Why not benefit?

The greatest benefit of annual travel insurance lies in the peace of mind it gives you. But you also have access to extras like free cover for children, free cover for cruises and golf gear, 24 hour contacts, and even bonus access to certain perks. This makes your cover seem less like strain and more like shopping! But all the while you should remember that you can’t put a real price on peace of mind.

Why Payday Loans Are Good for Many People!

Payday Loans have been criticized by many as a poor financial choice. These loans are also called Payday Advances, Salary Loans or Payroll Loans. Critics say that the interest is very high and that people can get into trouble once they begin to borrow money that way. Both of those statements can be true, but are not always the case. Just like anything else in life, if someone chooses to misuse assistance or abuse many other options that they have that normally are good, things can still end up to be bad!

Let’s address some of the concerns. The first concern is about the high rates of interest. It is true that the Interest Rates on these loans would seem astronomical compared to most traditional loan rates. But let’s take a closer look.

When a person gets a $100 Payday Loan and it costs them $20 to borrow it, many people would criticize that this is a rip off and that it is a form of predatory lending. They feel that it is unfair to people who may not fully understand the costs involved in this type of unsecured loan. They might say that Cash Advance Loans are too expensive when compared to other loan products or services and that Payday Loans should be avoided.

Now, when your auto mechanic is fixing your car and he orders a part for you, what happens? Let’s say that the part costs $100 wholesale to the mechanic and that the suggested retail price of the part is $150, which he charges you. Now he only had this part in his possession for minutes or possibly hours, but he still has profited by twice the amount of the Payroll Loan lender. The mechanic is taking a minimal risk that the part fails and he has to do the repair again at no charge. The Payroll Loan lender has taken a much greater risk by lending money to people whom other lenders would turn away.

Think about it for a moment. If the restaurant that you and you family had dinner at last night ordered fresh food during the day yesterday to prepare meals, and your meal cost them $100 in raw food ingredients, but then your bill came to $150 (plus tip!) then why is this practice looked down upon? The restaurant only had possession of the food for a few hours before serving, yet they could add the $50 of revenue to cover their costs and make a little profit.

Somehow, when other types of business make much greater revenue on the products or services that they deliver, it just seems to be considered by most to be free enterprise and is perfectly acceptable. In reality, it is! Our society depends on goods and services being provided to fill the needs and wants of the public and everyone knows that some money must be made at each level or no one would bother doing it! Essentially, we gladly pay because we have needs that we can’t fulfill on our own!

Using this new found perspective, why should Unsecured Loan Lenders do this for Free? They have bills to pay and need to make a little money too, which is the same as any other form of commerce. Because of the higher risk that they take, they also need to cover their losses. Do you think you pay too little for insurance? Probably not. When insurance companies sustain huge losses, they increase their rates to stay profitable. It is just part of the costs we pay, just like it is with short term Loans.

Now the other thing that Payday Loans are often criticized because of is the concern that once someone begins to borrow against their future earnings, they can get into financial trouble. If someone needs more money than they make, it is difficult to get back to good financial health. Once people start using credit to get things they need, they can get in trouble when the bills start to come due.

Hmmm. Does this sound familiar? If someone sees the latest fashionable pair of boots on their way home and it only costs $150, will they likely skip Starbucks one morning a week to save up to buy them? Will they save the $5 per week and wait 30 weeks to buy the boots with cash, after they go out of style? Or will they pull out their trusty credit card, run into the store and come out $150 plus tax, plus interest in debt!

When you don’t want to cook, you go out to eat. But what if your budget included dinner at home? You rely on your credit card to pay for dinner. When you don’t have any extra money and you accidentally drop your smart phone, and the display breaks, you use your credit card. If you develop a throat infection and need to pay the doctor’s co-pay, or your dog needs to see the vet, or your car won’t pass inspection without new tires or your children need new shoes for school, you use your credit card.

Using your credit card means you are borrowing against your future earnings. You are assuming that you will continue to make enough money to pay back the credit cards and the interest, along with your normal living expenses. This is the way most of us live. We use credit to our advantage and realize that there is a cost for doing that. We also use credit to help us achieve the quality of life that we want to live, along with paying for things that we have to pay for.

For people without credit cards, and possibly have poor credit on top of that, a Payroll Loan is likely one of their only options. Believe it or not, these folks have needs and wants too. They get hungry, they need to have safe cars, they get sick, their kids needs shoes and so on. They just can’t borrow against their future earnings the way you probably can.

Traditional lenders, especially in recent years, tend to only want the lowest risk customers and generally are not interested in doing business with the typical applicant for a Salary Loan. The loan applicant needs a steady job and a bank account to qualify for this type of loan, and those two characteristics may help to indicate that there is a good chance that the potential borrower is trying to do the right thing.

In summary, these unsecured loans are not for everyone. However, for many hardworking people who need money and cannot turn to traditional lenders, a Payday Loan may be the perfect solution!