Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Some Little-Known Benefits Of Credit Cards – The Necessary Evil Of Our Nation

In the United States of America, there’s always this buzz of credit cards being more of a bane than boon to the society. Given the fact that credit card debt is plaguing the entire nation and is standing as an obstacle to their personal financial growth, everybody thinks that credit cards are nothing but the necessary evil of our nation. While it is true that we can’t step out of our homes without tucking the credit cards into our wallets, it is also true that this is the reason behind the soaring credit card debt within the nation.

Although the debt consolidation companies are there to help you combine your high interest debt into single monthly payments and get rid of the debt burden, yet debt is something that has become a part and parcel of our lives. Among all this financial chaos, people tend to forget the hidden benefits of using credit cards. Credit cards not only make it easier to shop but they also offer us a number of free benefits that many consumers aren’t at all aware of. As long as you use your credit cards responsibly and keep paying off your balances in full, you’re away from danger. Have a look at some little-known benefits of credit cards.

  • Chargebacks: If a company doesn’t give you a good product or service for which you’ve paid, they usually won’t refund the money. But if you have a credit card, that company might even refund the money. This is a process which is known as chargeback. In this process, the credit card company will refund the money to you and then charge you the cost to the business. However, you may require meeting certain conditions like disputing the charge within the given time period, making a good faith effort to solve the problem with the merchant and offering a tracking number to prove that you have actually shipped a lost return back to the merchant provider.
  • Extended return back policies: There are many retailers who restrain returns to only 30 days but usually there are a number of credit card companies that extend this policy to about 90 days. MasterCard will refund you up to $250 for a purchase that has kept you dissatisfied within 60 days if the store doesn’t accept to return the money. On the other hand, Visa’s Return Protection policy will reimburse consumers for all the eligible items up to $250 within 90 days of purchase and the annual limit is $1000 per account.
  • Price protection: If the retailer from whom you bought a product doesn’t have a price-drop policy, you can recuperate the savings that you missed out on directly from your credit card company. In fact, MasterCard and Visa will reimburse you for the price difference on another item that you locate at a lower price within 60 days of your last purchase. This is indeed one of the biggest benefits of credit cards.
  • Shop without money: There are many people who tend to keep their money in the bank and shop on credit or with their debit cards. When you have credit cards, you can get the advantage of shopping without having to use your cash. Even when you forget your money back home, you can fulfil your desires of owning something if you have a card in your pocket.
Hence, if you have credit cards, you should know the ways in which you should use them. Misusing your credit cards can push you into the deep dark hole of credit card debt. Always stay in touch with your financial advisor and help yourself stay away from debt.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of Theinternationalfinance.com he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Ballooning Student Loan Debt – What Obama Can Do And Can’t Do About It

The entire world is a twitter about the endorsement of Elizabeth Warren’s bill by President Obama and the changes that are being made to the Pay as You earn program. But the question is that despite all these endorsements and changes, will either of these actions help reduce the student’s financial woes? What s Elizabeth Warren’s bill missing? Well, it seems that this bill has no chance of passing within the House as it is. The Republicans won’t approve a bill that is paid for with the tax of a millionaire. If more of a push was made for enhancing financial education on the repayment options of student loan debt, they could afford to refinance their older federal student loans.

If default rates weren’t near 15%, there would certainly be more revenue coming from student loans that were paid back on time. Experts see that for the large part, defaults are unnecessary. Federal student loans usually come with more options for repayment than with any other type of loan. While you can’t take a year off from repaying your mortgage loan, you can take a year off from student loan repayment when you go through any financial problem.

Defaults are gradually getting easier to remove since the July 1st change that will allow for payment to get out of default depending on the income of the borrower. A woman who was in remission from cancer, got her loans out of default because a student loan servicer instituted this program ahead of time. So much can be done by Obama about debt repayment issues. Obama has been kind enough to take the decision of incentivizing all those student loan servicers who keep default rates low and this will inevitably mean that they have to educate the borrowers more on the student loan debt repayment options. Honestly, the biggest incentive should be loss of government contracts if they’re not properly informing the borrowers after their first late payment. They should help them with an alternative repayment plan and also give them information on payment breaks.

In the educational efforts, colleges should also be incentivized in order to provide more financial education than an online form for exit counseling when students graduate with federal student loans. Obama supports students to go through a 1hour budgeting session with a peer counselor at a student money management school that offers such a service.

Now the sad news is that the new expansion of the Pay as You Earn program to reduce income-related repayments for 5 million borrowers, probably falls on ears that aren’t listening to Obama’s announcement. In addition to that, the income related programs aren’t catered to meet the needs of everybody. As there are different ways to repay student loans, there are some people who can achieve an extended repayment plan by consolidating their loans.

Financial education is very important. After all, the changes that are made to the Pay as You Earn program does help the borrowers but they won’t get any benefit until 2015 December. Hence, there’s lot of time for even more defaults and missed payments without financial education.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of Theinternationalfinance.com he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

When Should You Call A Financial Lawyer?

When you’re knee deep in financial problems and you have no idea what to do, whom should you get help from? When you have your creditors and debt collection agents calling you at any time of the day, who should you speak to? When you win a personal injury case and you still don’t receive the monetary benefit, whom should you take resort to? Well, if we pay attention to the kind of lives that we lead, we will see that there are many different situations during which we need the help of a financial lawyer. While there are some people who avert the possibility of getting help of a lawyer, there are some others who run to a lawyer at the drop of a hat. Check out the situations when you must go and get help from a financial lawyer.

  1. When you’re knee-deep in debt: Are you someone who has incurred a huge amount on your credit cards? Are you getting calls from your creditors who are threatening you to sue you? Are you spending sleepless nights? If answered yes, you’re the perfect candidate for getting help of a financial lawyer. Creditors can exercise their power over someone who is not being able to pay his obligations but you being a layman, aren’t always aware of the steps that you need to take. It is then that you need to see a financial lawyer and narrow down your options.
  1. When you’re settling your debt: Are you someone who has decided to settle down your debt and repay only a portion of the outstanding balance instead of repaying it entirely? If answered yes, you can consider getting help of a financial attorney or a lawyer as he has different roles to pay during a debt settlement process. While he can negotiate with your creditors about waiving off certain portion of your principal balance, he can also manage your trusted account, take care of your credit report so that debt settlement doesn’t have a big impact on your credit score and also report your payments to the credit bureaus. So, in order to take the aforementioned steps properly, you could get help of a lawyer.
  1. When you want a financial separation from your partner: Are you someone who is about to call an end to your married life? Do you want a separation from your partner? Well, although this is something that leaves over a trauma over your mental condition, if not treated well, it can also leave you bankrupt. When you’re opting for a divorce, you also need to separate your finances and make sure you don’t remain liable for your joint accounts, credit cards and for the debt that your spouse incurred. Who will take care of such complex legal and financial issues? Well, alongside the help of a divorce lawyer, you also need to get help of a financial lawyer to complete things in an easy way.
Hence, if you’re someone who is going through any of the above mentioned situations, you can call on your financial lawyer to alleviate the complex financial issues.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of Theinternationalfinance.com he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Retirement Planning In A Stressful Market – The Qualities That You Need

The most crucial part of retirement planning is making the right financial decisions in accordance with the present market conditions. But some non-financial qualities like courage also play a very important role in helping you make the smartest financial decisions. Although we perceive our financial choices to be purely rational, the bare fact is that any number of personality traits can influence our decision, especially in today’s stressful markets. After reading about the financial traits that one needs to plan his retirement in most articles, let’s have a look at the non-financial qualities that can also affect the fiscal aspects of retirement planning.

  1. Courage: Here we are talking about the minimum courage that one needs to make a commitment towards his own future. There are many who resolve to spend a peaceful retirement but very few among them can live up to their dreams. That does require a type of courage or optimism, whichever you say is applicable. Saving for retirement requires you to surrender something today for receiving a worthy payoff in the near future. This means being prudent about drawing down your nest egg so that you have enough money left in the 90s and beyond.
  1. Resourcefulness: Sometimes sticking to a single plan isn’t always enough as you got to provide some creative ways to keep improving it. So, if you see that in spite of giving in your 100%, your retirement nest egg is not giving the desired result, you should immediately consider ways to enhance your savings like signing up for an auto-increase option. This is a way in which the amount that you tuck aside into your 401(k) increases each year. If your employer doesn’t offer a matched contribution, don’t fall short of investing.
  1. Perseverance: Yes, retirement planning is indeed a very long journey with many obstacles like market crisis, job loss, unanticipated expenses and many more. All such obstacles can undermine your initial commitment and also derail all your plans. So, even after you have made a full-proof plan, the ups and downs of life may test your courage to maintain the plan. Whenever you’re thinking of decreasing your 401(k) contribution in order to buy a better television, you need to find the resolve to stay on the same path and not urge to the temptation of following your desires. This way you can stick to the same plan and show your perseverance in a matter where you should nothing but win!
  1. Humility: These days you will get a long list of swaggering CEOs and hedge fund managers who act in a humble way only to take undue advantage of you. But don’t be a hypocrite. By being humble, it means knowing your limitations while creating a retirement plan and affording to have enough respect for the different things that you don’t control. Be aware of the rise and fall in the stock market, especially when you want to save for retirement.
Therefore, if you’re a late baby boomer who is about to retire, make sure you have all the non-financial qualities mentioned above.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of Theinternationalfinance.com he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.