Categories
Lending

How to Choose the Best Lender?

If you want to borrow money there will be all sorts of decisions that you should be making. Some people may just go for the first loan that they find, but others will do more research. It can be a really good idea to do a lot of research so that you know exactly what to expect. For example, you need to think about the fact that you will be making a big commitment to a lender as it is likely that you will be repaying for a while. It is therefore a good idea to make sure that you do some research and find the right lender for you.

Consider What You Want From a Lender

It is a good idea to think about what you would like from the lender that you choose. Think about any lenders that you have had before and what you liked and disliked about them. Also think about other finance companies you have dealt with too as they are similar. It is good to think about this because they do differ and it could make a big difference in your experience. It is much better to have a good experience than a negative one.

Look at the Cost

The cost of a loan is really important. You will find that some lenders will be more expensive than others and therefore it is worth checking this out really carefully. For example, there may be some lenders that have a reputation that they are expensive, but it is better to actually look at their costs and compare them. This is because you never know wo might have a good deal at one particular time. Also, you need to think about comparing costs during the course of the loan, particularly if you are borrowing for a long time. Lenders change their prices from time to time and you want to make sure that you are not overpaying. This means that you should consider whether you need to be careful with the loan that you do choose to ensure there is no charge if you want to change lenders part the way through.

Consider Their Reputation

You may also be concerned with the reputation of the lender. It could therefore be wise to take a look at their reviews and see what you think. Of course, reviews can be biased as well, so you need to make sure that you look at a trusted source of chat to people that you know about it all to see whether they have any experiences or opinions that they want to share with you. You may be willing to take a chance and judge for yourself or prefer to use a lender that you have used before that you already trust. Doing this though, could mean that you will miss out on a better deal or better service, so it is a good idea to try to be open minded about using a lender you have not used before.

The Importance of Customer Service

It is a good idea to consider how well you will be treated as a customer by the lender. It is something that you may not really think about too much, but it can be really important. If you have any problems or queries while you have the loan, then you will need to think about whether you will find it important to have a good customer services department to help you out. You can always contact them yourself and talk to them and that will help you to start to judge what you think they will be like if you actually choose to take them on as a lender.

Categories
Loans

Should I Repay my Loan?

There are a lot of people that feel they should be repaying their loans early. We do often hear that we could save a lot of money by doing this. However, it is advice that is suitable for some people more than others for a few reasons.

They Could be a Charge to Repay Early

It is really important to make sure that you check to see if there is a charge for repaying the loan early. This is often called an early redemption fee and it can be a part of certain loans. It will be in the terms and conditions of the loan, but it could be easier to just to ask the lender in order to find out. With some loans it can be extremely high. This tends to be mortgages with a fixed rate term and they will have a high charge if you try to repay before the term ends or they may even charge once that term is over but it might be less. Sometimes the charge might be quite small and it is worth paying it and then overpaying the loan in order to save money. However, it is worth calculating how much difference it will make first to ensure it is worth repaying it early. There will also be some loans which have no fee like this at all so there will be no calculations that need to be done with these.

You could Get a Better Return if your Saved the Money

IT is worth checking out the interest rates carefully. It is normally the case that loan interest will be significantly higher than anything you can make on your savings and therefore repaying a loan will be much more worthwhile than saving money. However, this will not always be the case. If you can find a savings account with a relatively high interest rate and a loan with a relatively small one then it could be better to save the money. For example, you may have a low mortgage rate, as mortgage interest tends to be fairly low and if you have a savings account whether you tie the money up, such as a bond or one that you need notice for withdrawals they could pay a relatively high amount which could be more than you are paying on the loan. You will need to do the calculations carefully though, to ensure that you will gain more by saving, rather than repaying the loan. Things may change too, especially if interest rates change so check regularly.

You Could Deprive Yourself Elsewhere

You need to be careful, that if you are making overpayments on a loan, that you are still keeping enough money to pay for everything else. You will have other financial commitments and you need to make sure that you keep up with those. For example, you need to pay your bills and other commitments and have enough left to pay for food and travel and things like this. Make sure you calculate carefully and budget appropriately so you keep to all of your financial commitments.

It Could be Stressful

For some people it could be stressful to overpay a loan. This may sound odd, but if you are trying to cut back spending elsewhere, they may find it difficult to cope. They may not be happy with having to give up their luxuries, budgeting all of the time or working harder to earn more money. So, it is wise to think about whether this could be an issue for you or perhaps for other people living in your household.

Categories
Training

Is it Worth Paying for a Training Course?

If we want to learn something new, whether for work or our own pleasure, then we might have to pay for some sort of training course. This could be a professional course with skills for our job, a college or university course or some other type of training course. Most courses of this type have to be paid for though and you may wonder whether it is worth paying for them. There are different points that perhaps you might want to consider as part of your decision.

Will it get me a Higher Salary?

If the course will increase your salary then the cost of it can be really worthwhile. It means that you will be able to get back the money that you paid for the course over time as you enjoy the increase in pay. You will obviously have to make that initial investment of both time and money but you should get rewarded back with higher pay in the future. There is obviously no guarantee that you will get a higher salary, but hopefully if you have done your research correctly, there will be a good chance that you will.

Will I Enjoy it?

It is worth thinking about whether you will enjoy the course. Of course, you could still gain form doing a course that you do not enjoy, but it is far easier to pass a course and to be motivated to study if you are enjoying it. Therefore, make sure that you will. You will find that there will be different people offering courses and so it is good to compare them and see which you think that you will enjoy the most. Obviously, you will also need to make sure that they are courses which are going to lead you in the direction you are hoping to go with a qualification that is recognised.

How Will I Pay for it?

Paying for the course is an important consideration. Even if you know that you will gain in the future as a result of doing it, you still need to make sure that you can afford it now or you think about how you will fund it carefully. If you are going to university and have not been before you can get a loan. There are also other student loans for those who have studied before or for those doing additional study as a student loan will only cover four years of study but you need to prove the money will be used to enhance your career. You may also be able to borrow using more conventional loans. It could be better though, to see whether you can spread the cost and pay in instalments and then you may be able to afford the course without getting a loan. If you do it part-time then the cost may be low enough for you to be able to use some of your salary towards it. You may also have savings that will cover the cost or you might want to spend some time saving up so that you can then afford it.

Is There a Cheaper or Free Alternative?

It is wise though to make sure that you are not overpaying. There are some courses that are free and these are worth looking at. You may find that they provide you with the information that you need or they will provide a taster so that you can use it to decide whether this topic is really something that you want to go on and study. This is particularly useful if you are studying an area that you know very little about.

Categories
Parenting

How to Prepare for the Costs of a Baby

If you are growing your family then you will have extra expenses. This is something that many people accept and just cope with at the time. However, with some careful planning it is possible to make it a lot easier to manage. It is a good idea to think about what you will be needing to cover the cost of and that should help you to plan more easily. Then you can start to think about where you will find the money needed.

Costs the Baby Will Bring

The baby will bring along costs. These include things like food, clothing, car seat, pram, cot/bed, toys etc. These may not seem like that many things to consider, but they will add up over the years that you bring up your child. Also, these are just the essentials and as they get older, they eat more, clothing costs more and they want electronics and things like that. Then there could be the university costs too and the list can go on and on. It is good to try to work out the cost if you can, although try not to be daunted by it because people usually manage to afford their children, it is just that if you are more prepared, it will make it easier.

Costs of Missed Work

There will be the possibility that income will be reduced due to maternity or paternity leave but some employers will be really generous when it comes to pay and you will get full pay, it will depend. However, this small loss in income could pale into insignificance compared to the cost of being at home with the child. Before the child starts nursery or school they will need to be looked after all of the time. A parent could do it but they will not be able to work or will only be able to work part-time while the other parent is not working and can look after the baby. Even once they are at school there will be before and after school care and holidays to sort out. There are places you can take them or you could use a childminder or nanny but these are expensive and you will have to make sure that you are earning enough to justify the cost.

Ways to Save Money

Therefore it will necessary to think of ways to cut back your spending in other areas. Many parents will cut back on luxuries and treats for themselves compared to what they would have bought before the baby came along. This means less new clothes and things for the home. Some things will be cut back automatically, such as eating out, evenings out etc as although you may be able to get a babysitter at times, you may not want to do it as often as you did before. You may find that you are just too tired to cope with going out in the evenings with sleepless nights and the energy you need for looking after a child anyway. This means that some savings may just happen anyway. However, it is worth making sure that you do concentrate on making sure that you are in control of your spending. It can be very tempting to keep buying lovely things for your children and this could end up meaning that you spend a lot more money than you were before. Therefore, setting a budget could be a useful thing to do.

Ways to Earn More

You may also gain form thinking of ways to earn more. Perhaps something the parent at home with the child can do when they are alone looking after them if that is possible or the other parent finding a way to earn extra. It might be a case of trying for a promotion or changing jobs to one that pays more but it might also involve finding extra work elsewhere.

Categories
Freelancing

Is it Good to be a Freelancer?

There are some people that choose to do freelance work either instead of a more conventional job and others that do it alongside their job. Some people find it really beneficial and really enjoy it, but there are advantages and disadvantages. It is worth understanding what these are so that you can decide whether you feel that you want to have a go at it or not.

Advantages

  • It can feel really good to be in control of the work that you take on. When you freelance you can pick and choose jobs and only do what you wish. This means that you can pick all of the fun work and not do the jobs that you think will not be so much fun. So, think about the parts of your current job that you do not like and the fact that you will be able to avoid doing these if you are a freelancer.
  • You will be able to charge whatever you wish. This means that you could potentially get paid more as you will be able to ask for the pay that you want. You will be more in control and will be able to just take on work which pays an amount that you are prepared to work for rather than having to do what you are told for your salary.
  • You might be able to choose your own working hours. It might be the case that you prefer to work later in the evenings, early in the mornings, at weekends or at times when a conventional employer will not want you to work. If you freelance then you may have more flexibility with the time that you can work, depending on what you are doing and this means that you could work the hours that suit you better.
  • You can choose how much work you take on as well. This means that if you have certain times of the year when you want more work and times when you want less then this could be achieved if you are a freelancer. You will be able to take on more work when you need it and less when you need more time for yourself – perhaps during school holidays if you are a parent and you need to look after children or you might want more work at times of the year when you have more expenses.

Disadvantages

  • Although you have a freedom to pick and choose the jobs you want, the reality is that at times you will take on work that you will not really enjoy because you have no other choice. There will not always be lots of work and if you need the money you will need to take on what is available.
  • In theory you can charge what you wish but you will have competition. This means that you will need to price in line with others so that you get taken on for the work. Often freelancers are competing with lots of people for work, especially if they are looking for work online. Competing with people across the world for work means that you may have to charge low prices because there will be others willing to do the work for a lot less money because they have a lower standard of living.
  • Working hours that suit you will only work in certain jobs. If you have to visit or phone a customer or deal with them closely, then you will have to work the hours they need you to work. If you are doing work on your own, then this might be easier. You may find though, that you will need to put in a lot of hours in order to get a decent amount of pay so you may have to work more hours than you want to anyway.
  • If you want more work at certain times of the year, you may just find that the type of work you choose does not work out this way. It might be that there is a higher demand at the times when you hope to be working less and you might decide that you will have to take that work on or else you will not get any income. It might just be a case though, of making sure you pick a type of work that fits in with your requirements.