miercuri, 13 august 2014

7 golden rules of credit

Get the green light from the bank for a loan for the financing of a project is a time of high stress for entrepreneurs who can make a difference in the viability of a business. Prepare yourself before facing account manager and know the tactics to be successful.

1 Provide complete information to the bank

Trust is the basis of signing a credit agreement. Therefore, it is essential to provide the financial institution with the most complete and reliable information possible. All data that will be requested, even if you think you have little relevance must provide to the bank. The financial institution should know the company well, in order to present you with the most appropriate solutions. Furthermore, it should not feel that ignores relevant aspects.



2 business viable and strong balance sheet

The company's management is a key factor in analyzing the allocation of funding by financial institutions. For the company presents a lower risk to the bank is important that your business has a solid balance sheet and a balanced economic and financial situation. A condition that will allow the management to deal with more adverse economic and financial circumstances. The company business must be viable, which means that in the future, their survival must not be called into question in a difficult environment.



3 Activity and margin growth

The company's ability to distinguish the market where it operates is crucial to get the approval of funding by the bank. "We can point a company has lower risk, the following factors are present: good products and good customers, markets and diversified customers, their products or services have competitive advantages over their competitors; production units are modernized and technologically updated, the their managers have high market knowledge and experience in business management, "explained the official source of Santander business.



4 Sector exporter is privileged

With the subject to an adjustment program and all the difficulties that it has caused Portuguese economy, exposure to other markets has helped businesses grow. The reduced dependence on the domestic market has been seen as an advantage compared to companies who are completely dependent on the direction of the national economy. By contributing to a more balanced economic and financial situation, the export activity is well regarded at the time of loan appraisal.



5 Meet public support available

With very high rates of interest to the possibilities of many companies, should look at the market of subsidized lines of credit by the State to see if your business fits the requirement of each of these instruments. Although also not be for everyone, these lines have lower "spreads" as well as amortization periods and grace more extensive than the average of the banking market. Ensure that these lines are not to recycle credit, but actually serve to further investment to the economy.



6 Solve debts to the Treasury and Social Security

If you have debts to the state machine, notably Social Security and the IRS should address this issue immediately or at least start with these institutions to negotiate an agreement of payment that can be extended by time. This is a requirement that you must meet in order to gain access to bank financing. Sometimes just presenting the agreement enclosed with the state payment.



7 Compare offers from several banks

In certain periods or contexts, banking launches credit products more competitive against the usual offer specifics. Banks tend to compete with each other "spreads" and similar grace periods, but there are features that distinguish them. Look for offerings available in the market before heading to the institution of their choice. And if comparisons obtained to get more favorable terms.

vineri, 11 aprilie 2014

All about college credit cards

College credit cards are the credit cards that have been specially designed for college students. College credit cards are more popularly known as student credit cards. College credit cards allow the students to experience the benefits of credit cards much earlier in their life. Through college credit cards, the college students are able to learn more about credit cards and their use. In fact, for most of the students, their college credit card is their first credit card that acts as a gateway to the world of credit cards. Some other students might have previously used supplementary credit cards linked to their father’s credit card account; however, for such students too, their college credit card is the first one that is truly theirs.

College credit cards are not very different from other types of credit cards in the basic sense; they function in the same way as any credit card would. However, there are some differences, which basically arise from the fact that college credit cards are used by people who have no prior experience with credit cards and who perhaps don’t understand the concept of credit cards completely. Hence, the credit card supplier is at risk with issuing credit cards (college credit cards) to such people whom he is not sure about. Most of the students don’t have a credit history either. In such a case, the supplier of college credit card cannot be sure of receiving the credit card bill payments in time (and even receiving them at all). To counter such risks, the supplier of college credit card requires the parent of the student to co-sign the college credit card application form as a guarantee. Moreover, the credit limit on college credit cards is generally around $500-$1000 per month, which is lower than what it is for other credit cards (this credit limit is generally sufficient to fulfil the typical needs of a student). Another risk mitigation instrument used by the college credit card suppliers is the interest rate or APR. The APR on college credit cards is generally higher than that for other credit cards. Again, this is done to dissuade the students from overspending on their college credit card (and finally not being able to pay their credit card bills).
However, if we were to look at these impositions in a positive sense, we would find that these are actually in favour of the student (who is still getting trained to take on the real world of credit cards).  Moreover, college credit cards also help the students in establishing a (good) credit history which is another important benefit that becomes handy when the student needs any type of  loan at a later stage in his/her life.

So, college credit cards are really something that every student should consider going for.

Student credit cards

For students, the student credit cards are the best way to enter the fascinating world of credit cards. Student credit cards help the students in taking advantage of the various benefits associated with credit cards in general e.g. convenience, safety, rebates etc., much earlier in their life. Moreover, student credit cards act as training ground for students, most of whom haven’t had any experience with credit cards. The student credit cards help the students in gaining hands-on knowledge about the various aspects of credit cards and their use. Most credit card suppliers also include a small guide that helps the students in gaining a good understanding of credit cards, upfront. The students learn more and more with every transaction on their student credit card and as they experiment with the various benefits associated with the student credit cards using their student credit cards in various ways. Another important benefit is in terms of the time that student credit cards save for the students. As we know, time is very valuable for students and by using their student credit card to order things online, they can actually save a lot of time too. Moreover, the students might require short term loans (in case there is a delay in the arrival of funds in their account, for whatever reason); and student credit cards facilitate this very easily taking the burden off from the student (so students can use their student credit cards like a loan for making payments in the meantime). As such, money is the other critical thing for students. Student credit cards again become handy here by saving them some money in terms of rebates from retail stores, grocery shops etc. Moreover, the students also receive additional rewards/benefits from the members reward programmes that come with all credit cards (including student credit cards).

As students use their student credit cards, they keep building their knowledge database. This knowledge becomes handy when they are out of college and into their job and looking for a full-fledged credit card (i.e. credit cards which have lesser restrictions, more credit limit etc as compared to a student credit card). Hence the student credit cards help the students in making a knowledge-based decision rather than a fancy-based one. Such decisions and the knowledge about using the credit cards in a disciplined manner, acts as a deterrent to one of the most serious problems being faced by credit card industry i.e. the problem of credit card debt.

With so many advantages on the plate, the student credit cards are really an essential for every student.

Credit card offer

So many credit card offers, what to do?

Just browse through the daily newspaper and you will be overwhelmed by the number of credit card offers advertised. Move around the town and you will find credit card offers being advertised everywhere. Same is the case is with television which seems to host a number of credit card offers too. So, the credit card offers are there everywhere. Why are there so many credit card offers? Well, quite simply because credit card business is a highly profitable business for the credit card suppliers.

In this situation, when there is no dearth of credit card offers, which is the best credit card offer?

There is nothing like a best credit card offer, really. A better question to ask would be – ‘Which credit card offer is the best for me?’ The spending habits of one person are different from that of another person. Their living styles vary and hence their needs vary too. So for deciding on which credit card offer is best for you, you need to evaluate your needs vis-ŕ-vis your lifestyle and your spending habits (and not go just by the recommendation of someone). For example, if you frequently travel by air, a co-branded airline credit card might be more suited to you than the general purpose one. These airline credit cards offer discounts, rebates and other kind of rewards when the credit card is used for making payments (the rewards are even higher when these credit cards are used for paying for the airline tickets or other airline products). Similarly, if you have a favourite retail store where you do a lot of your shopping, it would be beneficial to check if the retailer is a credit card supplier too and if there is a credit card offer that suits you. A lot of big retail chains do offer co-branded credit cards to their customers and these credit cards offer rebates/discounts etc when they are used for making payments at the retail store. As such, you get reward points for making payments at any place but the rewards are higher on the payments made at retail store.  On similar lines, we have credit cards for gas stations and grocery stores too, which you can opt for if you have a favourite gas station or a favourite grocery store where you shop a lot.

So, if you look around, you will find a lot of lucrative credit card offers. However, this doesn’t mean that you enrol for all the credit card offers. You need to first evaluate your needs and rank them. Then you need to evaluate what all credit card offers suit your needs. And finally you can make your choice and go for a credit card offer that covers most of your needs and gives maximum benefits.

Apply for a credit card

Should I apply for a credit card and how?

Are you pondering on whether you should apply for a credit card? Well, the answer quite simply is – ‘Yes’ - you should apply for a credit card (this is true for most people).  The credit cards seem to have transformed our lives. In fact, one can term credit cards as a revolution. Today, you find ads in TV/newspapers/website/shops and almost anywhere and everywhere; all asking you to apply for a credit card. When you look around, you see that most people have credit cards. In fact, most people have multiple credit cards. Everyone seems to apply for a credit card. So, why should you apply for a credit card?

There are a lot of benefits associated with credit cards; however, the most important benefit is the convenience that they offer. For most people, this is the prime and the sole reason that instigates them to apply for a credit card. This wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago, when not many merchants accepted credit cards. However, today, most merchants do accept credit cards. So, instead of carrying a lot of cash on you (which is both inconvenient and unsafe), you can just carry a small piece of plastic with you. Moreover, you get interest free credit i.e. you don’t have to pay the bills till the next monthly billing cycle. So, you can buy now and pay later (when your salary arrives) – a great reason to apply for a credit card. To add to that, there are certain merchants that offer interest-free instalment payment plan i.e. you can make a big purchase today and pay for it in instalments on your credit card. So credit cards works as instant long term loan too (not just a monthly loan). Yet another reason to apply for a credit card is the discounts on shopping. This is made possible by the tie-ups between credit card companies and the merchants. So credit cards offer many benefits.

There are various ways in which you can apply for a credit card - you can apply for a credit card in person, you can apply for a credit card on the internet and you can apply for a credit card on phone too (by asking the representative to meet you). You will as such be approached by a lot of sales representatives, all asking you to apply for a credit card with their company.  To apply for a credit card, you will need to fill-in a credit card application form (which is easy to fill and the representatives of the credit card company will assist you in that).  When you apply for a credit card, you basically enter into an agreement with the credit card supplier (the form that you fill when you apply for a credit card is actually an agreement). After you have submitted your application, the credit card company conducts certain checks to determine your credibility; and if everything is fine, you receive the credit card.

So, applying for a credit card is easy and to apply for a credit card or not to apply for a credit card is a matter of personal choice. However, for most people who don’t have any credit card, the recommendation is “Apply for a credit card”.

Rejection of credit card application

As time progresses, more and more people are joining the revolution called ‘Credit card’. Yes, it’s really a revolution. Now you don’t need to worry about how much cash you have in your pocket when you go shopping, just carrying this small piece of plastic (credit card) is enough to assure you of a good shopping treat. You can use your credit card to order things from the comfort of your home (on the internet). So the number of credit card applications seems to be on the rise. However, not every credit card application turns into a physical credit card. Some credit card applications get rejected too.
Let’s check why a credit card supplier would reject a credit card application when he has spent so much time and energy (and money) on wooing new customers.

One obvious reason for rejection of credit card application is human error i.e. the error committed by you in filling up the credit card application. These can be small mistakes like a wrong telephone number or wrong name or the postal code might be wrong. It’s normal to make mistakes, after all we are human being and no human being can be termed as perfect. Another strong reason for rejection of a credit card application could be missing mandatory information i.e. when you forgot to fill-in some mandatory information in the credit card application form. Sometimes, the credit card application could be rejected because the credit card application form has been filled-in in a handwriting that is illegible to the people processing your credit card application. At other times, the sales representative (of the credit card supplier) could have made a mistake in either depositing the form correctly or in guiding you in the filling of the credit card application form (newly hired sales representatives can make such mistakes).

However, these human errors are just minor errors that can be corrected later on and hence the only impact would be in terms of the delay in receiving your credit card. The main and the most important cause for rejection of credit card applications is bad credit ratings i.e. a negative credit history. If you have been using other credit cards or if you have taken bank loans/mortgages in the past, you would have already build your credit rating. If you have been making your bill/instalment payments in time (and in the correct amount), you would have already acquired a good credit rating. However, if you have been irregular or if you have been defaulting on your payment dues, you would have developed a bad credit rating. This credit rating is calculated by credit bureaus who receive feeds from various credit suppliers. All credit card applications are checked for the credit rating of the requestor and if it comes up as negative, the application is rejected outrightly.

So, these are the 2 most important reasons for rejection of credit card application and you must pay heed to them (especially the credit rating).

“Online credit card usage” – convenience at its best

Commerce and technology, combined as a one package – this is what online credit cards are.
With the advent of internet, the knowledge and communication barriers were broken. Also, with internet, came the concept of e-shops or virtual shops that existed only on the internet. You could shop at these shops by making use of their online credit card payment-acceptance ability. Once the online credit card payments were verified and approved, the goods got delivered to your door. This is what we call convenience at its best.

With more and more e-shops getting setup everyday, online credit card usage is becoming even more popular. The possibility of receiving online credit card payments has given a totally new dimension to shopping. Now, you can not only shop from the comfort of your home, you can even get discounts on these products. This is really amazing. No need to bother about the weather, no need to worry about the traffic jams or any other thing. Just go to an e-shop, select a product, make use of their online credit card payment-acceptance facility to make the payment and be ready to receive the goods at your doorstep.
With online credit card processing facility, starting a business (an online business) has become just unbelievably easy.

However, there is nothing without pitfalls. One of the pitfalls of online credit card usage is the possibility of online credit card fraud. This online credit card fraud can happen in two ways. The first one is related to the company, on whose website you made online credit card payment for purchase of goods; this company itself could be fraudulent i.e. it could take the online credit card payment from you but not deliver the goods to you. Moreover, they could use the details of your credit card (received through the filling up of online credit card payment form by you) for fraudulent purposes. The second type of fraud is committed by fraudsters who use various softwares/devices to capture the details of online credit card payments (as you enter them on the online credit card payment form of a website). These softwares are popularly known as spyware and these fraudsters as online spies. The spyware works by capturing keystrokes or taking screenshots of whatever you do on your computer and then passes it on to the spy. However, there are anti-spyware softwares available which can be used to counter such spyware.

So, the advent of online credit card usage facility is a boon to us. However, you must exercise caution when making online credit card payments e.g. don’t access your bank accounts or make online credit card payments from internet cafes (unless you are absolutely sure about the credentials of the internet café).

Low interest credit cards

A lot of people just look at low interest credit cards when they are looking to get a credit card for themselves. The credit card suppliers too advertise low interest credit cards more that any other kind of credit cards. However, should low interest credit cards be the only ones on your list when you are hunting for a credit card? Probably not. For some people, interest rate or the APR is probably the most important thing to look for when selecting a credit card. However, that doesn’t hold good for everyone. Low interest credit cards are good and should surely be on your list, but APR is not the only thing to look for.

Let’s start with understanding what an APR (annual percentage rate) is and where its importance lies. APR is simply the interest rate that is used to calculate interest on the balance in your credit account with the credit card supplier. There is no interest charge if you make the full payment of your credit card bill (by the due date). However, in case of a partial payment, you will need to pay an interest on whatever you owe the credit card supplier. The APR is backward calculated to get a monthly rate and the same is applied on your balance to calculate the interest for the applicable period.

That means, people who are not sure about being able to pay the full amount, every time, should surely look for low interest credit cards. A low interest credit card helps in reducing your total outgo by curtailing the interest you pay on your balance. So, low interest credit cards help in slowing down the rate at which your credit card debt builds up. Thus low interest credit cards are surely important for a particular group of people, as stated above.

Besides this group, there are others who don’t really need low interest credit cards. These people are capable of (and intend to) pay off their credit card bill in full every month. Their purpose in using a credit card is convenience and other benefits associated with the credit cards. So, be it low interest credit cards or high interest ones; it really doesn’t matter for them.

So the need for low interest credit cards is more felt by a particular group of people. However, even if you go for a low interest credit card, you need to pit the various low interest credit cards against each other (vis-ŕ-vis the other benefits they offer)  and then select the low interest credit card that is best suited to your needs.

So, first you need to evaluate whether you need to go only for low interest credit cards and then select the low interest credit card that fulfils your needs. After all, you don’t go hunting for a credit card everyday.

Is business credit card helpful?

‘Yes’ –is the answer that’s comes out almost immediately. That is true at least for most businesses (especially small businesses). Before we delve deeper into how business credit cards are helpful, let’s try and understand what a business credit card is.

Put simply, a business credit card is a credit card that is owned by a business and not an individual. To understand this better, you can simply draw an analogy between the business credit cards and business bank accounts, which are in the name of the business as well. Other than that, business credit cards work in pretty much the same fashion as the personal credit cards; with a few exceptions. These exceptions are in the form of flexibility in credit limit, low APRs and some other additional benefits that are available to business credit cards only.

Even from just that, business credit cards seem a good proposition. However, business credit cards would be attractive even without those benefits because the main benefit lies elsewhere.  The big-big benefit from a business credit card is realised in terms of business expense accounting. For most small businesses, business expense accounting is a big overhead. With business credit cards, this is handled very easily – you just have to ensure that you make all your business expenses on your business credit card and let the personal expenses be on the personal credit card i.e. segregation of business and personal expenses is all you need to do. So the bill for your business credit card will have all the business expenses on it and you wouldn’t need to collate all the various bills or sort out the items from your personal credit card bill. The key here is to make sure that you use your business credit card for all your business expenses (or as much as you can).  Moreover, a lot of business credit card suppliers realise this need of small business and even organise the business credit card bills in a way that meets the accounting requirements of these businesses. So mostly, they will appropriately group the expenses on the business credit card bill so as to facilitate business expense accounting. In fact, some of the business credit card suppliers go to an extent of providing the bills in a format that can be downloaded and exported to an accounting system i.e. you don’t need to enter the data manually in your accounting system. In case the format is not suitable for your accounting system, you can hire a software professional to write a small quick program to convert it into a suitable format.

Thus just one reason - ‘facilitation of business expense accounting’, is enough to support the case of small business credit cards.

Eliminate credit card debt

How to eliminate credit card debt? – A questions that is asked by a number of individuals around the globe. These are the individuals who somehow (mostly due to uncontrolled spending) landed into the mouth of this monster called ‘Credit card debt’. So what are the ways to eliminate credit card debt?

If you are looking to eliminate credit card debt, you have already reached 50% of your goal because your decision to eliminate credit card debt is the first and the most important step towards you being able to eliminate credit debt. Having said that, it is important to mention that you also need to be firm on this decision and stick to it with complete sincerity and seriousness, till you finally eliminate credit card debt (and even after that).

To eliminate credit card debt, you need planning. This starts with analysis of current situation in terms of your debt and your finances (current and as expected in near future). So to eliminate credit card debt, you need to first check the amount you owe on various credit cards. Just use a notebook to note down the amount you owe on each credit card and the corresponding APR associated with them. Once you have this information handy, you can total up the various amounts to get the total amount of your credit card debt. After all, you can’t eliminate credit card debt if you don’t know how much it is actually. The next thing is to see if you have enough cash handy e.g. in your various bank accounts, which you can put to use to eliminate credit card debt (of course, you will need to take a view on how much cash you will need to fulfil your day to day and specific future needs). If you find that you have enough to eliminate credit card debt completely, just go ahead and eliminate credit card debt and earn your peace of mind. However, if you can’t eliminate credit card debt completely, check the amount that you can use to eliminate credit card debt partially. Next step, as you must have guessed, is to check how best you can use this amount to eliminate credit card debt (even if partially) i.e. which portion of credit card debt should you eliminate first. So, first eliminate credit card debt on the credit card which has the highest APR and which is hitting you the most. Then eliminate credit card debt on the credit card which has the next highest APR and so on and so forth. If you are incurring additional late fees etc on some of your credit cards, you might decide to reserve some amount to make minimum payments on those credit cards (before you finally eliminate credit card debt on them).

What we have seen is just some basic analysis and first steps on how to eliminate credit card debt. You might need to take some other steps to eliminate credit card debt e.g. consolidation of credit card debt is one good option. However, it’s imperative to understand that any and all methods to eliminate credit card debt will fail if you don’t inculcate controlled spending habits.