From Rags to Ritches

Credit repair companies: good, bad or just plain useless?

Dec
09

Can credit repair companies really fix bad credit reports? These companies claim they can, but the industry has a bad reputation and scams have been widely reported in the media. According to credit industry regulators, reputable credit repair companies are few and far between.

The most common complaints centeron:

charging fees for services that clients could do for themselves

overstating their ability to improve a credit rating

contracts that include excessive termination fees

withdrawing funds from clients’ bank accounts without authorization, or after the client has said that they intend to cancel the contract.

There are times when credit repair does actually work. For example, removing legitimate errors from a credit report. In fact the main function, arguably the only function, of credit repair companies is to remove errors from credit reports. They could be errors in reporting from lenders, or errors in the client’s personal information. But removing these errors is not difficult – in fact, most people could do it for themselves.

Some credit repair companies will offer to negotiate with creditors but, not all creditors will engage with credit repair companies. If, after taking into account all of the above, you do decide to try a credit repair company, look for three things:  longevity, reputation and a money-back guarantee.

Remember their services don’t come cheap. Signing up for a credit repair service could increase your financial problems rather than fix them.

What steps can YOU take to repair, fix or improve your credit report? Here are a few:

request a copy of your credit report and check that it is accurate and fair. If not speak to the credit reporting agency – they may be able to fix the errors straight away

seek out a reputable financial counselor who will work with you on a plan to pay off your creditors

talk to your creditors – at the end of the day they want to be paid. If they know that you are taking meaningful steps to address your debt problems they might cut you some slack

be honest with your creditors – if you foresee a problem let them know straight away. Many utility companies, in particular, will invite you to contact them if you are having problems paying a bill.

The important thing is to contact them before the due date. This will help you avoid slipping backwards down the bad credit slippery slope. You don’t want to undermine your progress.

The most useful piece of advice is to set a realistic time frame and stick to it. It may take a year or two, or even more to wind back that bad credit report but in the end it will be worth it. Remember to acknowledge your milestones as you pass them by. When you finally repair your credit report you will have learned some valuable lessons. The most valuable is that your financial health is in your hands.

How To Creatively Finance Your Business Despite Your Bad Credit Score

Nov
29

If you’re a small business owner with a poor or middling credit score, you are probably worried about how to obtain financing for your business. The good news is there is such a thing as bad credit business financing. The bad news is, of course, that these alternative business financing options can come with some pretty hefty fees, down payments and interest rates. This is the temporary trade-off you will make in lieu of having better credit. As your company grows and prospers, you will be able to improve your credit score along the way. In the mean time, here are some business financing options to consider for near term working capital when your credit is damaged:

One form of bad credit business financing is factoring your receivables. A factoring company will examine your aging schedule of receivables to determine which customers owe you money and how likely these customers are to pay you. The factoring company will buy all or some of your receivables, giving you access to cash now. The factor will only buy receivables that you are expecting from reputable and stable customers with good credit histories.

Another form of bad credit business financing is ROBS, Rollovers as Business Startups. If you have a personal retirement fund like an IRA or 401K, you might be able to extract cash to help fund the startup of your corporation without penalty. There are some caveats, however; you can only execute an ROBS strategy if you have a C Corporation, not an S Corporation or any other business structure, and you should only execute an ROBS under the guidance of a certified public accountant (CPA). If you opt to borrow money from your 401K, you will have to pay it back in full on deadline or else you will face some major penalties.

If you need major equipment for your company, one option is to work with a company that specializes in equipment financing. These are not banks or traditional lending institutions; they are companies that focus on equipment financing only, and the interest rates offered will likely be higher than interest rates offered by conventional lenders. But the trade-off here is you will have quick access to the equipment you need to keep your business operational. This type of bad credit business financing is appropriate for construction, landscaping and manufacturing companies, among others.

Merchant cash advances (MCAs) are short term loans, usually 24 months in duration or less, which are repaid when the lender takes multiple small but regularly scheduled payments from your credit card sales or straight out of your business bank account. MCAs can have high interest rates but if you select a trustworthy lender, the advantage is fast access to working capital. Be sure to pay your MCA back on time and in conformance with the agreed upon terms and conditions set forth by your lender to avoid penalty fees and further credit score problems.

These are just a handful of the bad credit business financing options available to small business owners with less than perfect credit. Consult with your existing banker and your CPA to determine if you have other options available based on your own unique business situation.

 

The Future of Money: What you need to know about FinTech’s Blockchain Technology Trend

Nov
20

There is a lot of exchange of money that is completed online between people, especially of those people in a variety of countries. Bitcoin has been a popular choice for many, but this has become a dying trend. The future of money now is with blockchain. This is a relatively unknown technology that can easily be misunderstood by those who are not familiar with it. With all of this misunderstanding about this technology, people find it to be very controversial and have a lot of mistrust for this new technology only because of its association with bitcoin.

FinTech companies are very interested in the blockchain technologies. For experts in the financial world, they understand that there is actually nothing controversial about this new trend. What is blockchain? It is basically just a digital ledger that is shared with a variety of different parties. What makes this so unique and uncontroversial is the fact that changes cannot be made to it with having the majority consensus agree to the changes. This is not the only great thing about this so-called future of money so fantastic is that data cannot be changed after it has already been entered into the ledger.

In many other forms of financial systems, you are actually putting your trust into one third party to give you the right information. For instance, you trust your bank to give you accurate bank statements or your antivirus to make sure that your computer safe. Trusting just one entity with your information can be dangerous because they can offer misinformation or just simply lie to you. This is how mistakes happen. This is the biggest reason why blockchain is such a huge game changer. These records will be accurate and since they cannot be changed, you can trust that the information that you are receiving is trustworthy. The best part is that these ledgers can offer all of this detailed information without making its users compromise their privacy.

Blockchain is starting to make waves in the financial world with some of the largest banks in the world beginning to research how they can utilize applications of blockchain. Estonia is just one location that uses blockchain in order to secure their banking infrastructure, actually has the lowest rate when it comes to credit card fraud in the entire euro zone. Internet startups are starting to pick up on blockchain for their own businesses as well.

The future of money really is found within the blockchain technology. People want something that they can trust because it is their money on the line. Blockchain has a lot of potential, and there can be so many other applications of this technology in other fields. Think about putting documents like health records or even things like marriage licenses in the blockchain. You can create a visible trail for audits so that you can see each event without actually compromising anyone’s privacy. Blockchain is the new technology to trust and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

 

Mobile Shopping Economy Growing Trends

Nov
10

Mobile shopping is a recent phenomenon that has grown rapidly over the last few years. In the year 2004, £15.8B was spent on mobile shopping in the UK. This figure has doubled in only 10 years with figures standing at £33.4B in 2014. One of the reasons for this is the popularity of the mobile phone. It is estimated that 50% of all internet sales in the UK are done over a mobile phone or a tablet.

In the United States 29% of people using smartphones and 28% of people using tables claimed to have made a purchase with the use of their mobile device in 2013. Today many more Americans claim even if they have not made the purchase over their mobile device, they have at least found a product on their mobile device and used this research to go to the store and buy it.

Why mobile payments are important for your business?

In a world where the youth are turning toward the mobile for shopping, it is essential that businesses are able to keep up with demand. Mobile payments are the latest in technology that keeps up with the demand. People look toward quick and easy solutions and mobile payments seems to be the way of the future. Don’t let your business remain in the past but instead keep up with the modern age and add mobile payments to bring your business up to date.

Final Thoughts

The mobile shopping economy has already seen great advances over the last ten years. As more and more people are encouraged to purchase online, the cheaper prices will act as direct competition for physical shops. This completion may well kill off the physical shop altogether in the same way the supermarket has almost killed the local shop in UK highstreets.

The Scope and Growth of The Mobile Market Economy

Oct
31

The mobile shopping economy is growing along with the technology that enables mobile shopping to be so popular. The growth of mobile shopping is a rapid growth as more and more people own smartphones and tablets. This rate of growth shows that mobile shopping could reach the point where the majority of all shopping is done over a smartphone or a tablet. The majority of 18 to 24 year olds all own tablets and smartphones and this generation is the first to take full advantage of the mobile technology.

Who uses mobile shopping?

Many Americans own smartphones and use them for anything from work to mobile shopping. However, 96% of 18 to 24 year olds believe that the smartphone is the most essential item of everyday life. It is this group therefore that use mobile shopping the most. It is believed that the majority of this age group feel that internet shopping is far easier than going into a physical shop.

Many companies are now encouraging 18 to 24 year olds to use their mobile to make purchases as an online store uses less capital than a physical one. As more and more people are encouraged to purchase this way, physical shops will phase out as nobody will want to pay more money to purchase than is necessary.

Companies are increasingly turning to companies, such as OkcSeo, to increase their we presence in order to draw in customers. SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) companies provide a wide range of services such as internet advertising, social media networking, wep page optimization and citations to directories, which make it easier for clients to find companies online.

 

What is A Regulation (Part 2)

Oct
20

Title I and Title II

Title I and II are simply simple names referring to the two parts of the legislation that make up the JOBS Act. These are extremely important to the startup and crowdfunding portions of small business ventures. While these changes started in 2011, Title II did not go into effect until 2013. There is a Title III to be put into practice in May of 2016 that concerns equity crowdfunding and is made possible by the rules accepted by the SEC after initiation of Title II.

Accredited Investors

Accredited investors can be an asset to new companies because they do not need as much protection by the government. These financially stable and well established investors do not need backup and can stand alone when it comes to financially backing a business startup. These types of investors are used to all the paperwork and regulations of many business investments, but may like the ease of small business backing with its more lenient strategies.

The new laws are extremely helpful when the health of the economy is concerned. The legislative changes have brought hope many entrepreneurs who may have been holding back from taking the leap into the business world. With various options and increased eagerness in crowdfunding, the traditional small businesses that many communities were built on may make a substantial comeback.

 

What Is a Regulation? (Part One)

Oct
06

mall businesses add variation and opportunity to an economy. The community benefits from fresh entrepreneuring minds and activities. There have been plenty of obstacles in the past that have inhibited these up and coming business ventures. Individuals have, thankfully, enjoyed some positive changes in the world of startup business funding. These changes have invited more people to the forefront, that otherwise would have been unable to participate in a company startup.

JOBS Act

Otherwise known as the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, the JOBS Act was put into place as law to make it easier for small business owners to get funding. Regulations that normally make it harder to get funding are more lenient for small business owners, inviting more interest concerning financial backing. This act was meant to help the economy and renew an interest in small business.

Legislation and Crowdfunding

The year 2011 brought many changes allowing small business to gain access to funding. Securities that are a part of crowdfunding now have an exemption. This is very encouraging for the many individuals that would like to be a part of helping a small business get up and moving. This also ensures that the majority of the money sourced to the cause of a business startup is actually used for that purpose instead of getting tied up in various other responsibilities. Some of the legislative changes put limits on the monetary amounts that can be exempt under the new and revised laws. The new changes that resulted in the JOBS Act have been a long time in the making and have resulted from intense lobbying on the part of committed individuals.