Sunday, September 29, 2013

Debt Consolidation Loans With Bad Credit: Clearing Debts With One Affordable Payment

Due to the current economic climate, the number of people with mounting debts and plummeting credit ratings is growing all the time. In fact, bad credit lending experts have never had it so busy. But what if the debt has become so much bankruptcy is looking attractive? Applying for debt consolidation loans, with bad credit a feature or not, is a popular solution.

The whole concept of consolidation is to provide a practical method of clearing debts immediately, leaving a clean slate from which to rebuild your credit reputation. But while this route is designed specifically for those in worsening financial situations, not everyone can qualify for consolidation.

Like all financial offers, there are conditions that must be satisfied first. However, with the right debt consolidation loans, with the correct loan terms secured, the chance of sustained financial recovery is very strong. That way, the same problems can be avoided.

What Is Debt Consolidation?

It might seem on the surface as though seeking a debt consolidation loan with bad credit is little more than taking on another loan. The fact that existing debts are proving too difficult to handle suggests securing any new loan would only be foolish.

But consolidation is not about taking on another debt – it is about replacing existing debt with a more manageable debt. Consolidation means clearing debts immediately, with a single loan and then repaying that loan in monthly sums that are significantly less than the original repayments.

For example, a debtor may have 5 loans with 5 different interest rates. The combined monthly repayments might add up to $1,000. However, through a debt consolidation loan, all of these loans are paid off, with the new loan requiring repayments of just $400 per month.

Benefits of Choosing Debt Consolidation

For those who successfully secure a debt consolidation loan with bad credit, the benefits are almost certain to ensure their return quickly to a strong financial position. However, it would be a mistake to think that the debt is simply gone. It is more accurate to say it is restructured.

It is true that clearing debts immediately has a definite positive effect on the financial situation, but more important is the potential long-term benefits that exist. For example, with each debt repaid, the credit report is updated, and the credit score is adjusted accordingly. With 4 or 5 loans cleared in one go, that means the credit score jumps significantly.

Another benefit is that extra cash becomes available. A single interest rate charged on the debt consolidation loan helps lower the expense, but through a longer repayment term (in some cases 30 years), the size of the repayment sum is much lower. Therefore, the repayment sum is much more affordable.

Qualifying For A Consolidation Program

But what is needed to qualify for a debt consolidation loan with bad credit? And how can an applicant be sure to secure the best possible program terms? The criteria are pretty basic, with applicants needing to be over 18, to have a reliable source of income, to be full-time employed for at least 6 months and be a US citizen.

Since clearing debts immediately is the purpose of the loan, there is little worry over debt-to-income ratios, but lenders will consider the degree of improvement consolidation will actually have. If the improvement is not much, then the application may be rejected. This, however, is extremely unlikely.

Finding a lender willing to grant debt consolidation loans is pretty simple too, but getting the best terms usually means looking online. There are also professional consolidation companies but they are more suited to clearing very large debts, and will charge a fee.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Advice On Getting An Excellent Payroll Service

Outsourcing payroll to a different company has been a common practice among business nowadays. This is not surprising at all considering the fact that one of every three companies handling their payroll on their own are usually punished by the IRS. The biggest reasons for outsourcing payroll is that it allows for just few errors and better productivity in the human resources department of a company. While it may seem favorable that there are a number of payroll companies out there today, this actually makes it a bit trickier to choose the right one. Below are some of the things you should remember when choosing a good payroll company.

1. Evaluate and Compare Your Company’s Needs

You can start by making a list of everything you are expecting to get from a payroll outsourcing company. There are various things that such companies may offer, so it is naturally important that you first figure out exactly what services you need. Basic or ordinary payroll services normally include basic calculations for salary and tax for every employee, delivery and check printing or even direct deposit, as well as regular reports. If these basic services are not offered by the company you are considering working with, you may as well look for another firm.

2. Take a Look at Their Special Features

Outstanding payroll service companies normally come with features that are beyond the basics. Many of these special features also have proven to be really beneficial to companies. Some of the great features you may want to find are integration to the HR software you are using, 401k plan management, and others. In short, there are just so many things that payroll companies can do for your own company, so you have to make sure that you can capitalize them.

3. Fees

While you may say that price isn’t the only thing that matters, it still needs to be taken into consideration. After you have figured out all of the services the payroll company may offer you, you need to determine if they are asking for something reasonable and fair. Be careful also with the hidden charges or fees that some payroll companies try to charge their clients. There could be different ways that companies charge their clients, so you need to understand first what you’ll need to pay for eventually.

4. Access to Information

You need to have access to the payroll information from your service provider. How easy it will be to do this is what you should look into as well. For instance, there are some payroll companies that allow their clients to log into an account online where all the necessary payroll information can be viewed and accessed.

5. Customer Service

Just like getting any other type of services, clients or customers are always looking for great customer service. As you will be needing their assistance even after you have hired them, you would want them to attend to your needs promptly and always be around to offer you help in any issues regarding your company payroll.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Differences Between Using an Insurance Agency As Opposed to Direct Carriers

Most agencies embrace a simple approach that involves hearing out their client's needs and then finding the most creative solution available through the access they provide to numerous markets. They work in the interest of the people as opposed to working for one company directly. A direct insurance company can only provide the product they sell, meaning they cannot offer you any comparisons because they do not have access to any markets for insurance other than their own. Consumers do not realize how much competition there is for insurance products such as car insurance, homeowners insurance and commercial insurance. The competition is fierce especially in California due to the Department of Insurance maintaining open markets for everyone.

A lot of insurance agencies do not attempt to be all things to clients, just because they might not offer business products, but only auto insurance. Their success has been earned by consistently delivering quality service and excellent results. They understand each opportunity to represent their partners is a commitment that puts their interests first. A reliable insurance agency will recommend you to top companies who can help you with any of your needs if they cannot provide the service themselves.

In addition, if an insurance producer's expertise is evident in many ways, you will experience the advantage from the very beginning. From the way they ask questions, to clear and simple presentation of documents and coverage. They will offer you different options but never force you to buy something you refuse to obtain. This will assure the best available coverage as well as pricing.

Most successful and educated insurance professionals will offer exclusive insurance policies that take most of the worries out of your concerns. Many insurance companies give a mistaken impression that a very legit exposure will be covered by your insurance policy that is already in place, when in fact; you do not have the coverage you may require. When in question, simply ask. There should be no maybe's or uncertainty. This is insurance- plain and simple.

Some exclusive insurance agencies have appointments with extremely competitive companies that provide broad coverage, flexible underwriting and proven expertise. With these types of companies, no other company can touch your rate. There is no competition because this is as broad as it gets. What that specific carrier specializes in is pretty much what their main focus is on so no other company can compete with. These are just some of the positive sides of using a full service insurance agency as opposed to sticking with one direct carrier.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Lukewarm Insurance Professionals Can Take The Social Media Plunge

The insurance industry is finally warming up to social media. Many agencies, companies, and insurance professionals have already established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. They are engaging their target markets while growing their follower, fan, and connection counts.

Facebook seems to be the favorite for many major insurance carriers. According to the Customer Respect Group's SocialEyes report, USAA has more than 137,000 Facebook fans. Farmers Insurance is the runner-up with 129,000 fans, and Geico has just under 100,000 fans. Additionally, New York Life recently expanded its networks on both Twitter and Facebook after focusing expressly on social media marketing.

Furthermore, social media and its uses are evolving. It's no longer just about marketing, it's now also used within underwriting and claims processes. Underwriters use social media to learn more about prospective policyholders. Claims professionals check social networking sites to monitor claimant social activity and uncover potential fraud. And for companies with local branches, there's Hearsay Social - a new social media platform that is helping big brands such as Farmers Insurance manage and monitor customer communications on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Despite the insurance industry warm-up, some insurance organizations have yet to integrate social media into their marketing mix. Some don't have the time or budget for it and others don't believe posting or tweeting will boost their insurance business.

Should you take the social media plunge?

I believe you should get your feet wet because social media is too big of a trend to ignore any longer. However, you probably won't see measurable ROI for a while, so don't divert insurance marketing dollars from proven lead generation activities. Fortunately, you can test the waters without spending a lot of money. If you're an agency serving local clients, Facebook is a great medium for promoting community events and sponsorships. All types of insurance organizations should consider LinkedIn. With more than 100 million users, LinkedIn is a great way to build business and branding through connections.

Get started by joining LinkedIn and setting up your profile, making sure to complete as many fields as possible. If you're not sure what to say, browse other profiles of like-minded professionals or use the services of an insurance copywriter. Then, start joining LinkedIn Insurance Groups to initiate and participate in discussions. You can even create a LinkedIn company page to showcase your insurance products, services, and associated recommendations.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Professional Liability Insurance

So you just graduated as a doctor, nurse, therapist, or pharmacist. Congratulations, you finally made it and now it is time to step into the real world and make a living while helping others. Plus you have to pay back all those student loans. However, your hard work has been rewarded with a very well paying career, but you must make sure you purchase professional liability insurance before you start healing the sick and curing diseases.

If you don't have liability insurance you could end up paying out thousand upon thousand of dollars if one of your patience brings a claim against you. Why take the chance in a sue happy society that we have created and with all the student loans you still have to pay back? Purchase your insurance and make sure you are protected.

Professional liability is not just for the hospitals and doctors anymore. Anybody that is employed in the medical field should have insurance to protect them.

There are different policies that you can look into purchasing. Most of the policies cover allegations of malpractice and you can get professional liability insurance to protect you or your medical business if you decide to go into business for yourself. The bottom like is that you need liability insurance before you ever even pick up a medical instrument.

Depending on what your specialty is you might need a specific type of professional liability insurance. Each specialty has different risks and different types of coverage. You can choose the amount of coverage you want along with the different limits you want on your coverage. There is a type of professional insurance for every type of worker in the medical field.

You should start by calling your state's insurance bureau and asking for information on professional liability insurance for medical personnel and business. The will be able to give you the steps that you will take to purchase your insurance and can give you the names and phone numbers of companies that provide professional liability insurance.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Debt Consolidation Loan With Bad Credit: 3 Steps To Securing Approval

When debts have grown to such a level that repayments are too much to handle, it is impossible to ignore the fact that something needs to be done. There are a few routes to consider, but amongst the most practical is consolidation. The good news is that getting a debt consolidation loan with bad credit is not such a major problem.

Admittedly, the temptation is to file for bankruptcy and get the debt monkey off their back, but the consequences of this option can be severe, with credit options all but wiped out for a period of at least 12 months. Consolidation is more proactive, and getting approval with poor credit scores is actually quite simple.

Why is this? Well, logically it would only be a bad credit borrower who would need to seek a debt consolidation loan anyway. Only after an extended period of struggling to make repayments, and missing them, would it be needed - and missed repayments cause credit scores to fall. But how can someone qualify for these loans?

1. Affordability

Lenders offer consolidation as a normal financial product, so it is possible to get one in advance of any real financial problems. But for those applicants who are seeking a debt consolidation loan with bad credit, the task of qualifying for the loan itself is quite simple.

As with all other loans, affordability is the most important factor in securing approval. When assessing this, the lender will look at your existing debts and their repayment sums. When these are combined, the lender knows to what degree the total repayment sum needs to be lowered to make it affordable.

Getting approval with poor credit scores is simple because the credit scores have no bearing on the assessment. What matters is that the monthly repayments on the debt consolidation loan are within your budget. If the total repayment on 5 existing debts is $1,500, then a new sum of $750 should be affordable.

2. Seeking a Longer Term

In relation to affordability, the best way to ensure this is to seek a longer repayment term. This is because it directly affects the repayment sum. For example, when seeking a debt consolidation loan with bad credit, agreeing a 20-year term is set to ensure approval more than a 10-year term.

How is that the case? If the combined debt balances add up to $150,000, then repaying that debt over 10 years means monthly repayments of around $1,250. But if the same principal is repaid over 20 years, then the monthly repayment sum is $625. Obviously, the latter is much more affordable.

But while securing approval with poor credit scores is so much more likely, it is important to note that the amount of interest paid over the lifetime of the debt consolidation loan will be much higher. The key difference is that the financial pressure is alleviated.

3. Offer Security For Greater Sums

Whether an applicant is seeking a secured or unsecured debt consolidation loan with bad credit can be significant. As with every other kind of loan deal, the lender wants to be sure they will get their money back, and offering some kind of security helps in that cause.

When large debt sums need to be covered, collateral might be hard to find, but a cosigner would be ideal. A cosigner, of course, acts as a guarantor promising to make the debt repayments if the borrower is not able to make them.

Getting approval with poor credit scores might be straightforward, but approval of the debt consolidation loan is practically guaranteed when a cosigner is included.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Internal Audit Report – A Titanic Responsibility

the White Star Line had an Internal Audit Report carried out before the Titanic was even finished. Imagine that a third party had performed a thorough risk assessment of the vessel and gone through a number of “what if “scenarios. Maybe the lookout in the crow’s nest would have had his binoculars and seen the iceberg earlier. Maybe Harland and Wolff would have used a different kind of rivet which wasn’t so prone to popping under pressure. Maybe there would have been sufficient lifeboats for all the passengers and crew. The list goes on and on.

More recently, BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has provided another timely reminder of how a massive company can be virtually brought to its knees by something which might have been avoided if proper risk assessment procedures had been conducted in the first place.

OK, so these are extreme examples of what can go seriously wrong in any major organisation but they do underline the need for constant vigilance when it comes to identifying possible risks and making sure that they are mitigated as much as possible.

Most larger companies now have their own internal audit departments reporting to the board of directors’ audit committee but, however competent they may be, it always pays to have a third party either conducting its own separate audit or working alongside internal personnel. If nothing else, it brings a fresh perspective to bear and enables issues to be identified that insiders might have missed altogether. The remit of an internal auditing team is usually broad and may encompass areas such as the efficiency of operations, the reliability of financial reporting, the deterrence and investigation of possible fraud, safeguarding assets, and compliance with laws and regulations.

Internal auditors typically conclude each audit with a report summarising their findings, making any necessary recommendations and noting any responses or action plans from management. An audit report may well contain an executive summary; a section that includes the specific issues or findings identified and related recommendations or action plans supplemented by appendix information such as detailed graphs and charts or process information. Each audit finding within the body of the report may contain five elements, sometimes called the "5 C's":

1. Condition: What is the particular problem identified?
2. Criteria: What is the standard that was not met? The standard may be a company policy or other benchmark.
3. Cause: Why did the problem occur?
4. Consequence: What is the risk/negative outcome (or opportunity foregone) because of the finding?
5. Corrective action: What should management do about the finding? What have they agreed to do and by when?

The recommendations laid out in an internal audit report are designed to help the organisation achieve its goals. These may relate to operations, financial reporting or legal/regulatory compliance. They may relate to effectiveness (i.e. whether goals were met or compliance with standards was achieved) or efficiency (i.e. whether the outputs were generated with minimum inputs).

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Professional Accounting For Small Business Can Help This Business Grow Even Stronger

It is usually thought self-evident that a large corporation or organization requires a separate accounting department to handle the sheer value of its financial operations. Without the accountants, it is said, the largest business in the world can easily crumble and fall to the ground within weeks. Inexplicably, the same rule is not considered to be in force for small businesses and start-ups. Accounting for small business is unfairly and shortsightedly put on the back burner and forgotten.

Every large business was, at some point, much smaller, and every multinational corporation was, years ago, a much less significant participant in the global market. Believe it or not, but accounting for small business may well lie at the basis of the successes shown today by household name companies. Proper management and excellent staffing do not, in themselves, build a business’s assets and guarantee long-term stability together with strict adherence to every existing federal and local rule. Yet, often the mistake is made early on. Financial mistakes accumulate until they are either happily resolved through hard work, or cause deep financial problems and even meltdowns.

Here are a few tips on how accounting for small business can lead to larger, more stable business:

1) Decide early on if you can handle the necessary data volume in-house. While some one-person start-up businesses may prefer to keep accounting internal, many have found that switching to an external provider of financial operations saves resources, frees up staff that can be more useful elsewhere, and takes the stress out of day-to-day operations.

2) Explore your accounting for small business provider’s ability to create complex reports and budget forecasts. More often than not, these services, when kept internally, quickly lose their accuracy and technical level. At the same time, their proper use can quickly evaluate the company’s operational efficiency through timely discovery of excessive costs and improper documentation.

3) Ensure that your accounting for small business provider is a certified accounting service registered with the appropriate bodies and authorities. In addition, look for authorized dealer or user status in the specific software package that you use. If they are, training will be provided to your internal staff to allow for tweaks to be carried out in-house.

4) Consider obtaining the services of a small business accounting provider for part-time forecasting, planning, financing and other operations, if you are looking into growing your business in the foreseeable future.

5) Take a step towards a modern paper-free document management system, starting with the messy paper-based accounting with bills, notes and other documents. Enquire if cloud-based solutions for your financial tracking needs are available.

All of these steps, taken together, should give you all of the knowledge and tools necessary to decide on a top-level provider of accounting for small business. Most importantly, they can take your business to a fundamentally new level by moving lengthy and stressful operations outside of your work environment. In summary, accounting for small business is just as logical and indispensable as accounting operations for an international conglomerate.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Value of an Insurance Professional

With the internet boom, some consumers are looking for their insurance online. Many people, confused by all the insurance jargon, trust their insurance agent or broker to guide them in making the right choices. But, there are different kinds of insurance agents and brokers, and, the one a person chooses can make a big difference in the type of service he receives as well as the choices he is offered. There are captive agents and independent agents. They each approach protecting their client in different ways.

Captive agents work with a specific insurance company, and as part of their business agreement with that company, they can offer only that company's insurance products. They may also be required to sell other products from that company, such as annuities and investment plans. Since they only sell for one company, they generally have an in-depth knowledge of that company's policies.

Independent agents and brokers can offer products from different insurance companies. Having more companies helps them better serve their clients, as they can review multiple options to find a policy and rate that is right for each individual. Insurance rates vary from company to company. Independent agents can put together a customized insurance plan. Plus, they can offer affordable protection for a home, business and other assets. So, rather than spending hours gathering quotes from various companies, everything can be accomplished with just one call.

A good insurance professional will know all the questions to ask in order to assess his clients to find the right insurance coverage. He or she will also know how to attain a variety of discounts that are often overlooked when purchasing over the internet. Remember, many factors determine car insurance rates.
Companies look at driving history, type of car, claims history and other factors to determine rates. Taking a driver safety course or getting married may help increase policy discounts. An independent agent or broker can offer advice on what level of coverage makes the most sense for an older vehicle.

Consider separating a homeowner's policy from the car insurance policy. Bundling the two policies does not always equal cost savings. It may, but have an independent agent should evaluate the effects of separating the policies. The discount for keeping them together may be outweighed by the lower price another company has for car insurance. An independent agent or broker can offer guidance for multiple insurance needs-auto, home, life, business and more. They can customize a package of policies just for any consumer.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Professional Debt Settlement Companies: Recognizing When Their Services Are Required

Once upon a time, when debts became too much to handle, lenders turned the screw and claimed compensation by seizing collateral, or the borrower declared himself bankrupt and thus avoided having to make payments they could not afford. Today, there are other options, and professional debt settlement companies can work apparent miracles in lowering debt.

The whole idea behind settling a debt is that the task of clearing existing debts becomes much more affordable and efficient. However, there are tricks to the achievement, with not simply anyone able to secure a good deal. Remember, creditors want all the money owed to them, if possible.

So, at what point does it become obvious that the services of a professional firm are needed to negotiate a good debt settlement agreement, and finally end the financial nightmare that repaying spiraling debts actually is.

Knowing Professionals Are Needed

So, when does it become apparent that professional debt settlement companies are needed? And exactly how worthwhile is seeking a settlement anyway? Well, a settlement is hugely useful when the size of the existing debt is so great that meeting repayments is becoming impossible.

A settlement means that the creditors accept a certain percentage of the actual debt in return for writing off the remainder. For example, if $50,000 is owed, then a settlement could see just $25,000 paid with the creditor seeking no further payment. However, clearing existing debts in this way has its negative side too.

Any debt settlement agreement is going to be noted in a credit report, and it will see the credit score of the debtor increased. This is because the full amount of the debt is never paid. Credit scores are improved only when a debt is repaid in full.

Knowing The Time Is Right

There are 4 key situations that tell a borrower that they need help in taking control of their debts. Since professional debt settlement companies take control of your finances, the move can mean some severe consequences, but the outcome should make it worthwhile.

Amongst the situations is when your own attempts to cut back on spending and apply strict budgets seem to always fail. Discipline is hugely important, but clearing existing debts can be extremely difficult when the situation is already in chaos. When someone else is enforcing austerity measures, then it becomes impossible to give in.

A second situation is where your own efforts to negotiate a debt settlement agreement with creditors are clearly failing. Creditors can be extremely stubborn, but hiring a professional to represent your cause can mean the debt is slashed to as little 30% of the actual figure.

The most obvious situation that would suggest the services of professional debt settlement companies are needed is when the original plan is causing more stress than anything else. Sometimes the sum owed is not the problem, but the debt repayment schedule itself. Clearing existing debts in one go is the best way around the problem, while the advice garnered from your dedicated representative will ensure your consumer rights are known too.

Finally, another situation where a debt settlement agreement is the best option is when the debt repayments themselves are too much to meet. This is especially true when dealing with credit cards, when one or two months missed payments push the minimum required payment very high.

What should be remembered, however, is that the terms of the debt settlement agreement are essential to make it worthwhile. This means deals need to be carefully examined, not jumped at.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Debt Consolidation Or Debt Settlement: How Best To Clear Your Debts

Debt can become a crippling weight on the shoulders of honest borrowers, so much so that eventually a deal is needed to clear the debt. Bankruptcy should always be the last resort, and before that stage, debtors can choose whether debt consolidation or debt settlement is the right course of action.

Deciding which of them is the right option has a lot to do with specific circumstances, and whether the entire debt can be covered by a single consolidation loan, or if only a percentage of the debt can be handled.

Choosing debt consolidation may be more expensive in the short term, but unlike debt settlement programs, they do not have a detrimental effect on credit records.

So, which is the best one to choose? Which can be of the greater benefit? Understanding the difference can help in making the right decision.

The Consolidation Option

When choosing whether debt consolidation or debt settlement is the right option, it is important to look at the advantages and the mechanics of the two options. There are definite benefits to both, but depending on the financial situation, one can be more suitable than the other.

When it comes to choosing debt consolidation, it is important to note that this means all debts are repaid in full. It does not involve agreeing any reduction in debt, and therefore no savings are made. Basically, a consolidation loan is secured to repay all of the debts in one go. And with the right loan terms, the monthly obligation becomes more affordable.

Basically, if 5 loan balances add up to $50,000, with their interest rates varying from 9% to 15%, and combined monthly repayments of $800, consolidation sees the balance replaced by a single loan of $50,000, with one interest rate and a longer loan term, ensuring repayments fall to perhaps $400. Debt settlement programs provide a very different solution.

The Debt Settlement Option

Whether opting for debt consolidation or debt settlement, the purpose is the basically same - the weight of debt is lifted, and hopefully for good. But while debt consolidation has its advantages, in some situations debt settlement is the best option, not least because only a fraction of the debt needs to be repaid.

The essence of settlement is the negotiation that takes place prior to it. This is where the savings are secured, with required payments sometimes falling to just 30% of the actual debt figure. Choosing consolidation loans means that 100% of the debt is repaid, so effectively no savings are made at all.

Central to any debt settlement program is the introduction of a strict financial regime, which effectively controls what is done with the limited finances available. And while bankruptcy sees the credit affected for 10 years, the settlement affects credit options for just 2 years.

Choosing The Right Option

So, which is the best option, debt consolidation or debt settlement? The answer is often a simple matter of mathematics. For example, calculating the amount of excess income by taking your total expenditure from your total income, is essential in any loan application - and choosing debt consolidation is much like choosing simple loan.

But in choosing a debt settlement program, it is important to note that a professional settlement negotiator is needed to hammer out a good settlement deal. These will charge a fee.

Also, the deal is dependent on the ability to make a lump sum settlement payment, so if the deal is to pay 40% of a $100,000 debt, $40,000 needs to be available to pay immediately.