19. November 2015 · Comments Off on Christian Business Owners Still Get Paid · Categories: Loans

As a Christian business owner do you have people constantly expecting you to give away your services for free? Do people give you a sob story about why they can’t pay and expect you to give them a break? Do they call you a passive aggressive Christian hypocrite if you send out a late payment reminder? It can be hard balancing wanting to help people and not giving away your services for free. Remember, as a business owner you are in business to make a profit. You must protect your personal and business credit score.

Most business owners, service providers, and professionals have business expenses, as well as living expenses to include a mortgage, utilities, and possibly student loans. Creditors want to be paid. Creditors will charge a late fee if you don’t pay them on time. They may possibly report you to a credit bureau and this can adversely affect your credit score. So, how do you balance helping others and being a Christian business owner? My tips below will help you to operate as a business owner while honoring your Christian values.

1. Contracts – Use very detailed contracts. Do not trust handshake deals or word of mouth agreements. Put the agreement or terms of service in writing. Be very specific on due dates, amounts owed, late fees, etc. This includes barter contracts. Do not be afraid or intimidated to not hold the other party accountable for honoring their part of the contract.

2. Invoicing Procedures – Establish procedures and follow them. If you do not want to deal with this task then out source it to a Virtual Assistant or bookkeeper. This includes sending out late payment reminders. I recommend you work with a collection agent so that when needed the agency can go after the late payer. Using a collection agent will save you headaches and heartaches. Plus, you know they are following the law and you won’t get in trouble for accidentally violating a debt collection law or rule.

3. Choose your words carefully – I have learned when someone asks me if I can help or they say “so and so said you can help me” and I reply “yes, I can help” they are expecting the service for free. I have had to learn to respond with something that states this is a business service that I provide. Also, I have found when someone asks if they can skip a payment at holiday time I have a script ready to address that late fees will be assessed. Again, this task of communicating with individuals may be best left to your gatekeeper or a Customer Care Manager. Listen very carefully to what is being said by the person asking for your services. I also do not recommend giving away free strategy sessions. When you charge a small fee for an introductory session and charge for missed appointments you will eliminate the tire kickers and snatchers and grabbers. Watch out for the people that hit you up on social media via Messenger pretending to be your friend and then immediately they want free advice or services.

4. Know How Much You Can Give Away or Discount – Set clear boundaries. I don’t mind helping people. But it does get old helping the same people over and over again. You have to know your walk away point. Watch the person on social media. If they are out having fun while you sit home eating ramen noodles don’t get mad. Use it as a lesson. You just let that person skip a payment so they could have fun. The person does not respect or value you and your services. I recommend you know how many scholarships you are going to be able to give away each year and when you have exhausted that amount you know you cannot help anyone else for free. Also, know what discount you will give friends and family.

5. Know Your Value – Do not forget that you provide a valuable service. Just because someone else does not see the value does not mean you have none. Do not let the snatchers and grabbers wear you down. Learn to identify who is not your ideal client and learn to identify where they lurk and then go find a new fishing pond.

Those that are attempting to steal your products, intellectual property, and services will always have something negative to say when you ask for payment. In our digital age they will be as bold as to post nasty comments on social media platforms blasting you and your Christian values. They will probably “unfriend” you too. Remember, do not open a door that God as has closed. Count your blessings you were unfriended and saw the person show his/her true colors.

Don’t be made to feel guilty or shamed into giving away your products or services for free. The funny thing is these people would not work for free or give away their products or service for free, so they should not expect you to do it either. Everyone won’t love you. Rejection is God’s protection.

10. November 2015 · Comments Off on Credit Card Secrets You Must Know · Categories: Loans

When you were little, your introduction to the world of personal finance management most likely came about in the form of a gift from your parents: a pouch, perhaps a small canister, or any container where you could deposit loose change – any money that you mean to save up for use in the future instead of the present. By learning the fundamental practice of setting money aside now so that you can have something to spend later, you are able to develop a mindset that does not hanker to spend every last riyal that ends up in your hands; what you gain, instead, is a culture of responsibly ensuring that you have the financial resources for any need that may arise by preparing for such instances and making wise use of the money that you do spend.

This is the same when applying for credit cards as a means of having another source of funds to spend. Most of the time, having credit cards are often associated to financial loss but with the right ways of handling it, you will be able to see how helpful it will be. Below are some tips and tricks you must know if have a credit card:

Check For Annual Fees

Most companies charge a certain amount of annual fee on the cards. However, very few people know that they can easily get rid of such fee, especially if they have a good credit score. For this case, all you need to do is to pick up the phone, call your bank and request for the fee to be removed. Tell them that you are going to dump the card if they don’t remove the fee.

Universal Rules

Say for example, if you are late in making the repayment of one of your cards, you will be charged with a much higher rate of interest on your other cards. So, one of the most important credit card tips for you is to make the payment on or before the due date. This is considered to be part of their universal default rules which is a disadvantage to the subscriber if he has no idea of this.

Try Waiving The Late Fees

If you have never been late before paying your balance and fees, you can call up the credit card company to have them waive the late fees for you. Some representatives may refuse this request but it doesn’t harm to just call them and try. You may call another time and you might just be lucky with the next representative.

Stashing cash away among your possessions is certainly not an option in this day and age. If you want to have total convenience and security with your finances, as well as a smart management strategy, then turning to reliable banking institutions for their products is the best thing to do.

03. November 2015 · Comments Off on Four Tips to Visit Car Dealers Like a Pro · Categories: Loans

Shopping for a new car does not have to become and overwhelming experience. Use the four tips to get the most out of your experience.

1. Know what you are looking for.

Start by asking yourself why you are buying a car. This may seem like a no brainier, but truly think about what you use your vehicle for currently, and what you may use it for in the future. Do you travel long distances frequently? Do you plan on starting your own business in the near future? Do you plan on starting a family? Doing more outdoor activities? By considering what you will be using your automobile for in the next couple years, you can make a selection that includes features best suited to fit your lifestyle. It’s important to avoid buying a vehicle solely because you like the style if it does not also meet your current or future needs.

2. Do your research.

Once you have decided which car you like, read reviews and do some research on the value. It is important that you know what you should pay for the vehicle you are looking at. What does a good price look like for both the new and used model? Most importantly, what is the average price other buyers have paid for the same vehicle? This will allow you to spot a good deal when you see it and avoid being overcharged when visiting car dealers.

3. Contact your local car dealers before you visit.

Check out your local dealerships’ website, or call them to find out what their inventory contains. Narrow your list of dealers to visit to those that carry the model you are looking for. Then, find out which car dealers have the best price on the automobile you want. You can ask over the phone, or send an email asking what their best price is. Let them know you are intent on buying and that you are doing some comparison-shopping between dealerships. They all want your business, so by making them compete you can potentially lower the price. Also, find out if they are running any specials, and read the customer reviews of the dealership.

4. Know how to get the best deal.

There is always room to negotiate on the price of the car, the interest rate, and on the monthly payments. Make sure that you know your credit score before you buy, that way the car dealers cannot tell you that your credit score does not qualify you for a lower rate. You can also consider getting financed by a bank or another lender, rather than taking the in-house financing from the dealership. Find out if you can get pre-approved for an auto loan from an outside lender, and what the interest rate would be. That way, if a dealer offers an interest rate of say, 7%, but the bank offers 5%, you could save thousands over time by going with your outside financing. You can also use this as a tool to drive down interest rate before accepting the in-house financing.

If you utilize this approach, your experience when looking for a new ride will be much more pleasurable.

25. October 2015 · Comments Off on Teaching Your Children to Be Money-Wise · Categories: Home

Many children are not taught how to manage money properly which results in them growing up to be financially irresponsible. Debt is a huge problem today and millions of people are deep in debt, having trouble paying their bills and experiencing relationship issues. Millions of people are declaring bankruptcy annually!

Why do people have so much problem handling their money? This is because society pressures us to spend our money on all sorts of things that we really don’t need. We are told to buy whatever we want because we deserve it. If we don’t have enough cash, we can just charge it and pay later. Unfortunately, the more you charge, the greater the interest and the monthly payments keep growing. It is really fun to take a vacation now or buy a new car, but when you are still making months and years down the road, the excitement will soon disappear.

Children should be taught at an early age how to manage their money. An allowance is a good way to teach them responsibility as long as you are using it as a learning tool and not paying them for doing jobs they should already be doing as part of a family. As children get older, they can be paid for doing extra chores so they are better prepared for future employment and will understand the concept of being paid for doing a good job.

Help your children understand the importance of dividing their money into 3 different areas:

  1. Save some – Open a bank account for something important in the future like school, a car, a home. Put some in a piggy bank for something they want in the near future like a special item, trip or event.
  2. Spend some – This is for things they want or need right now like snacks, clothes, fun stuff. When you take your child to a store, they can use some of their own money to buy small items so they aren’t expecting you to come up with the money and they will appreciate their stuff more.
  3. Give some – Have your child donate some money to a worthy cause or put in offering at church. This teaches them the value of helping others.

Talk to your kids about credit cards and how damaging they can be if used irresponsibly. Be a good example when using your own credit cards and try to pay with cash or debit.

Helping children manage their money by making confident choices will help them build their esteem and they will have a much better chance at becoming a financially responsible adult.

18. October 2015 · Comments Off on Why Spring Is Known As the Mortgage Season · Categories: Home

Are you one of the many people who have heard the expression – “spring is the mortgage season”? Have you often asked yourself why?

Traditionally, the period between September and November is the busiest time of the year for real estate agents and finance/mortgage brokers. As this is the time of the year when many people are:

1. Looking at selling and buying real estate; and

2. Looking to take out home loans.

Also, spring, is the time of the year when homes look their best and people are happier to attend open inspections and auctions.

Start Planning

Before you start looking around for your dream home, you should start planning by undertaking the following steps:

Step 1- Presentation

Because first impressions always count to the buyer, it is important to make sure your property looks its best from the moment it goes onto the market for sale. This means ensuring that both the interior and exterior are as presentable and attractive as you can make them.

Step 2 – Perform a Financial Health Check

Just as you have a regular medical check done on your health, you should also consider having a health check done on your finances. Because, performing a financial health check will tell you if your finances:

>> Need attention;

>> Are under control; or

>> Could be better.

The financial health check will help you take control of your finances. So, why not start straight away by using a Budget Planner Calculator to work out what you are spending your money on.

Step 3 – Work out How Much You Can Borrow

Do your sums by using a Borrowing Power Calculator to work out:

>> How much can you borrow? and

>> What repayment amount can you afford?

Step 4 – Get your Home Loan Pre-Approved

By getting your home loan pre-approved, you will have the peace of mind knowing that your loan has already been assessed by a qualified finance/mortgage broker. Also, you will have the upper hand when negotiating the purchase of the property with the seller (vendor) and/or real estate agent.

Step 5 – Choosing a Suitable Home Loan

Once you have sorted out your budget, it is time to start choosing a home loan. When choosing a home loan, it is important to work out:

>> The features you need from your loan; and

>> The cost of the loan in terms of fees.

To help you in choosing your home loan, you should ask different lenders/credit providers for a copy of their “Key Facts” sheet. It will give you the information you need and it will also give you a comparison rate of the total costs of a home loan against other home loans.

Note: Lenders/credit providers must give you a Key Facts sheet for a home loan, if you ask for one (but not for interest only loans or line of credit loans).

Step 6 – Choosing a Suitable Licensed Real Estate Agent

You should consider appointing a suitable licensed real estate agent who:

>> Will assist you when you are selling your home;

>> Will assist you with your property search when you are buying real estate;

>> Has a good knowledge of the demographics of your local area;

>> Has a good knowledge of comparable sales in your local area or the area you are looking at;

>> Will alert you to new listings before they reach the media; and

>> Will be able to offer additional advice.

Step 7 – Documentation

At a minimum, you will be required to produce documents such as pay slips, which can provide evidence of your income.

Selling your current home and buying a new one can be an overwhelming task for many. But, you can ensure stress-free and happy home buying process by employing the services of a qualified finance/mortgage broker. He/she will provide expert assistance every step of the way and ensure that you obtain the best home loan deal.