Road Traffic Injury Claims

Motorists who feel anxious about being involved in a road traffic accident have been given yet more cause for concern, as recent statistics show that road traffic injury claims for compensation increased significantly over the past 12 months. According to figures released from a report by the Actuarial Profession, despite a fall in actual accidents of 11% in 2011 compared to the figures released for the previous year, the number of claims is up by an astonishing 18%, with a range of factors behind this perplexing data.

Reasons for increasing road traffic injury claims

Injury claims

1. The severity of road traffic accidents

. A rise in the severity of road traffic accidents could be a reason why road traffic injury claims have gone up. That could explain why the insurance industry was hit with a combined £400 million bill over the course of 2011, with many injury claims being made in urban environments such as East London, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester, where road traffic accidents tend to be more common. However, improvements in road safety seem to have been made in big cities, especially as there seem to be more motorists in those areas.

2. Correlation between firm locations and accident spots

Some believe that there may be a correlation between the location of offices of injury claim management firms and accident hotspots, which could go some way towards explaining why there has been a rise in the number of claims. However, the fact that claims have been on the increase in the past year or so may hint at something different, possibly that there may be growing awareness of the fact that, in the event of injury, people are able to make compensation claims with the help of companies such as

3. Increasing the number of road traffic injury claim management firms

In the past few years, a number of injury claim firms have gone into the business of filling the void left by insurers who may seem reluctant to help victims of road traffic accidents get the resources needed to help them recover without having any financial problems. What many injury claim firms say they do is to help victims of road traffic accidents who may find that their health and finances will suffer through no fault of their own file a compensation claim against the negligent motorist.

Although it’s rare for people involved in accidents on the road to claim, the fact that more people seem to be doing it shows that negligible accidents are being cut out or that more people are looking into claiming compensation directly from the motorist at fault for their injuries rather than going straight to their insurer for help. Whether this growth in the number of road traffic injury claims will continue is unknown for now, but it will depend on how far the total number of accidents will rise or fall.

Here are some situations wherein you can apply for a road traffic injury claim-

Car accidents as a passenger

If you are a passenger involved in a car accident, you can claim a compensation for the same. Car accidents as a passenger are the most common type of road traffic injury claims that firms come across. Depending on the severity of the road accident, you may be able to get a claim through the RTA claims process.

Coach accidents as a passenger

Coach accidents or accidents involved in buses are comparatively less frequent, but you may still be able to receive compensation as a passenger in a coach accident. If the accident is caused due to the negligence of the driver, then a compensation claim will be raised against the driver. If the accident happened because of poorly maintained roads, then the compensation will be raised against the council of that area.

Accidents as a pedestrian

Even if you aren’t in a car or bus, you still run the risk of being hit on the road as a pedestrian. Sure, the number of careless drivers has been increasing incessantly. Therefore, if anyone’s driving has caused you an injury, then you can raise a compensation claim against them.

Bike and motorbike accidents

If you own a bike or a motorbike, you run the risk of being injured by others on the road. If you have had an accident due to negligent driving of another driver or rider, you can definitely raise a road traffic injury claim against them. If the accident has happened due to bad or mismanaged roads, you can raise a compensation claim against the responsible party.

Final words:

Although most modern cars are seen as being safe to drive, and road safety has in general improved considerably in recent years through government campaigns and efforts made by car manufacturers to make their products less hazardous, reckless drivers are still present on the road. Although there are laws in place to punish anyone driving dangerously for whatever reason, they still exist and can cause serious accidents that often end in severe injuries that may form the basis of a road traffic injury claim.

Financial Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Some people wait for the New Year to fix their finances. Well, the truth is that you don’t need to wait for January to get things done. Although we are quite at the start of the year, why not begin our discussion with a few basic financial management tips for businessmen?

With the dynamics of the economy and industry competition, it has become quite a stressful and tedious task for businessmen to handle their finances. Right from controlling and tracking to regulating and managing personal and professional finances, businessmen anyway have quite the load on their head. Taking care of their own finances becomes a second thought gradually, which may or may not lead to a huge downfall for small and large businessmen alike.

Financial ManagementNot all business owners are well-versed and adept at handling their own finances. While most professional finances can be managed, personal financial management can be quite a tricky situation on its own.

Without any drag, here are some helpful tips on how you, as a businessman, can manage your finances well.

# Tip 1 – Always plan ahead

You should plan ahead. Measure your success in your business. This is something you should know because failure to do so will not lead you to your expectations. You won’t even know if you already have reached your goal. Making a clear and understandable business plan will let you know where you are and the direction you are going depending on your time span.

It is always good to plan things. Plan stuff for your present and future to already anticipate and be aware of what lies ahead of you. This will help you to prepare in case of any downfalls or shortcomings your way. A healthy, sound and strong business plan which not only your counterparts but you as a business owner are completely aware and in support of will definitely take you miles ahead, keeping you financially strong and sound.

# Tip 2 – Be Aware of your financial position

It’s good to know your position financially. It’s good that you monitor your business progress regularly. In fact, it’s good if you do this on a daily basis. It’s important that you know how much money you have in your bank, the sales you are making and the level of your stocks. Every month, compare this position and compare it to your targets in your business plan.

Always stay aware of your financial situation. Sometimes, things may look brilliant on the outside but you’ll never know what’s harming your finances and how. Keep monitoring your bank accounts and other financial records to give yourself the periodical reminder that everything is going well with you, at least with the finances.

# Tip 3 – Learn the value of money

You should learn the importance of cash. It’s good to have profit but even huge companies can stop functioning if they don’t have enough cash to burn on daily costs like rents and wages. It’s good to know the minimum needs of your business to make it through and make sure you don’t go below this.

Even if you are a business owner and own all the luxuries possible in your life, always remember to take care of the money that you have earned and saved with a lot of hard work. Learn the importance of money and be aware of the areas and lifestyles that your money allows you to live in.

# Tip 4 – Don’t miss out on your taxes

Always meet tax deadlines. Failure to pay your taxes on due dates will really cost a lot for your business as you will suffer from fines and interests on those fines. However, if you meet these things, you can actually avoid unnecessary costs. Just plan it ahead and you will do really fine.

Do not ever think that you can get away without paying your taxes. As an ethical businessman and a true citizen of your nation and state, it is your duty to pay taxes, if not legally. Apart from this, failure to pay and file for your taxes may lead to major legal issues, which will put your business in jeopardy. Thus, irrespective of whatever you do, always remember to file for personal and professional taxes and abide by their payment always.

# Tip 5 – Request assistance whenever needed

Don’t be an ostrich. Do you know what these animals do? They bury their heads in the ground. If you think for a single minute that your company or your business is undergoing certain financial crisis, don’t ever ignore it. If you can’t solve this for yourself, you need to seek the help of finance experts. Don’t let your pride go up in your head and ask advice as soon as possible. Immediate solutions can stop impending problems. So, don’t wait until it’s too late.

There are more complex ways than the above, but it should still be adequate enough to help you, as businessmen, take care of your finances. Financial management for businessmen has always been considered to be a tough and challenging thing to do. However, with a little bit of research, study,and patience, you can keep your personal finances intact and ensure that sustainability of your business at the same time.

Learning the Basics about Trading Penny Stocks

In case you are interested in the personal finance field and especially if you have done some research into starting to trade on the stock market, you have probably come across penny stocks as a trading option. You have also most probably encountered one of two very biased points of view on this particular market – those who are saying that penny stocks are devil’s work or those that are saying penny stocks are the easiest and the quickest way to become a millionaire.

Trading Penny Stocks

Like so often, in reality, the truth is somewhere in between. Today, we will be giving a short introduction to penny stocks, an unbiased and factual introduction at that.

What are Penny Stocks?

There are quite a few definitions of penny stocks and depending on who you choose to believe, they will denote a different set of stocks. Most experts will agree that penny stocks have to fulfil two prerequisites in order to be called penny stocks. For one, a price of a single penny stock should not be more than $5. Secondly, penny stocks are mainly traded Over the Counter, while there are those that are also traded on exchanges. Most penny stocks will therefore trade on Pink Sheets, the OTC-QB and the OTC-QX.

Why you Need to be Careful

Unless you are reading scam websites whose only goal it is to get you to invest in penny stocks, you will read that they can be quite risky and this is absolutely true. Investing in penny stocks involves much more risk than investing in the more “traditional” stock market.

The first reason for this is that penny stock markets are much less monitored and regulated by independent bodies. Because of this, penny stocks often become part of various unsavory tactics, such as the “pump and dump” schemes.

In addition to this, penny stocks are much less liquid than regular stocks, meaning that you might find it difficult to find sellers or buyers for the penny stocks that you are looking to buy or sell. In short, you might have troubles selling or buying different penny stocks and this may cause you to lose money.

Finally, the vast majority of companies that are present on the penny stock market are “fragile”. They are often companies that are facing bankruptcy or who have only recently been founded. Because of this, there is a greater chance that a company you invested in will go under and you will lose your investment.

In short, penny stocks are risky.

Is There a Good Side to It?

While the penny stock market is definitely risky, there are also some good sides to it. If not, then it would not exist, quite logically. There are some very good reasons why people still invest in penny stocks.

For one, it requires much less money to start investing in penny stocks than in the more traditional stock market. Since they are much cheaper than traditional stocks, you can get your hands on a much richer stock portfolio with penny stocks.

The volatility (riskiness) of the market also ensures the possibility of making a relatively large return on your investment in a relatively short period. Perhaps the most example of this is Timothy Sykes, a penny stock investor who turned just over $10,000 into more than million and a half in just a few years. He later went on to give lectures at Harvard and teach courses for new penny stock traders.

If you Want to Trade

In case you are interested to start trading penny stocks, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, you should learn as much theory as possible on penny stocks. There are plenty of reputable online sources of information and quite a few books on the subject. It would also be a good idea to first learn the ropes with a free trial account that many penny stock online brokerages offer.

You should also be extremely careful about the companies you invest in as finding the right penny stock is never an easy task. One thing to never believe is the online hype that is often generated artificially and which might be part of a pump and dump scheme of some kind. If you do not understand the industry and you cannot justify your decision to buy, do not buy. It is as simple as that.

Another very important thing to do, or more precisely not do, is investing the money that you cannot afford to lose. Penny stock market is so fickle and so unpredictable that you are never 100% safe from losing your money. Because of this, only invest the money that you can live without.

Finally, make sure that you are being active and that you are checking on your investments regularly, meaning daily. Penny stock market is volatile and if you are not careful, you may end up with significant losses.

Find The Right Charting Software For XFR Financial Ltd Trading

It is vital to select the correct forex charting software because these charts are among the major factors you need to consider when trading. When you want to spend all your time watching a chart, you need to have the most efficient charting software that’s within your reach. The difference between a professional and an amateur is frequently the tools used by them. If you are really interested in making money like old, seasoned players at XFR Financial Ltd, you have to possess the same tools as that they employ for making gainful trades every day. It may surprise you to learn that getting the correct tools are not as expensive as you imagine those to be.

Financial Ltd Trading

XFR Financial Ltd criteria for good charting software

Like any other product, every software is not the same. Some charting software available in present market are indeed good, like the one XFR Financial Ltd has right now, while others are really bad. We are here to help you identify the software that are indeed superb and affordable too. We won’t focus on any particular brand but talk of the characteristics that make software package great.  One common feature of all first class software is they are user friendly. If ever you tried searching the market for charting software, in all likelihood you would have come across a number of high power solutions which are not really user friendly or difficult to use. It’s this convenience of use that could make or mar your experience. Don’t forget you want to excel in forex trading and not be an expert in using charting software.

A superior charting software package comes with many tools that facilitates your trading. It also has all the familiar technical indicators along with few more specialized ones. It would also offer lots of customer support to help you if you experience difficulties in understanding certain features. Another factor is how large is the number of its users. A XFR Financial Ltd package enjoys the patronage of a very large number of users and is very helpful in understanding more quickly than contacting customer support. This is because with an extensive customer base, you can find answers to most of your questions already documented by other existing users.

Characteristics of bad charting solutions

Certain features are common to all bad charting packages. First of all, they are not user friendly. Because they lack first class technical indicators, they are very buggy. As you might have already guessed, they are bad at offering customer support. As a result, you waste lot of time in overcoming your difficulties. Badly designed charting programs make your trading more difficult than what it is in fact.  These could also have execution problems that slow your trading at XFR Financial Ltd immensely. It can cause enormous problems while you are undertaking any kind of short term trading like scalping.

It is worth spending bit of your effort and time to look for and procure a top class charting software.

4 Tips Every Startup Owner Need to Remember for Securing Business Loan

Startups lack cash. In the initial years, bootstrapping is their only option to survive. Only after a certain level of growth can they expect round one VC funding. And that too only when they are deemed worthy by the VC firm.

Securing VC funding is tough. Most startups fail to meet the qualifying criteria.

No wonder 90% startups in the US failed within just one year of starting their operation.

The ones run by smart and ambitious owners, refuse to give up. Their owners look for alternative ways to garner money. Crowdfunding is one such way. However, the problem with crowdfunding is the product/service offered by the business must be innovative, original and useful to be able to attract fund from unknown investors.

Small business loans

Business loan

A rather easier and simplistic solution is to apply for a business loan. I am not saying it’s in the arm’s reach because it is not. Getting a business loan is less hassle some than getting seed funding or launching a successful crowdfunding program.

But that in no way means it’s like purchasing candy. Banks and financial agencies look for few things when they approve a loan request. Read on to find out whether your business meets these requirements.

Prospect, not desperation

Nobody likes desperate people. If you sound desperate to get a loan, lending agencies will begin to suspect. Businesses often apply for a loan so that they don’t go bankrupt. This kind of loan is the dictionary definition of a bad loan. Banks want to avoid the bad loan. Subprime mortgage loans were bad and caused the economy to suffer immensely. If you push them hard, chances are your application would be declined.

So, don’t be desperate. Instead, show them your business has some prospect. For that, you need a strategic approach. Check which businesses secured loans in the past and the industries they belong. If your business doesn’t belong to the same industry, at least have a client whose business does.

If you operate in the B2C sector, securing a loan is a bit easy. Because in B2C, prospect means pulling in as many end customers as you can. If everyone’s buying your product, or at least showing interest in, getting a business loan would be easy.

Never lie about anything

Whatever you do, never put anything on your application that’s factually incorrect. Some loan applicants have done this in the past, they purposefully lied and ended up facing dire consequences. Not only were they rejected by the bank to which they applied, but were shown the door by other banks as well when they applied to these banks.

Simply put, if lying on a personal loan application is bad, then lying on a business loan application is worst. The future of your business depends on it. Banks or financial institutions hold a lot of power. They can put your company on the blacklist. If that ever happens, it’d be indeed difficult for you to operate, let alone expand your business.

Ask sensibly

Don’t ask for too much, or too little. Understand your needs. How much money do you need for your business? And what are your plans to do with this money? Lenders want you to have everything figured out. If you sound confused, they’d think you lack a clear vision and probably reject your application.

We suggest you talk to a business consultant who knows how much money a startup might need in the initial years. The advantage of hiring an advisor is you get to know the hidden expenses. An experienced advisor has seen hundreds of businesses grow and fall. Talking to them could give you a fair idea of how much your operating expenses could be – both the high and low end of the spectrum.

Your credit score matters

You may not want to hear it, but for securing a business loan, credit score matters big time. You have to have excellent business credit and decent personal credit. There’s a threshold limit. If your score falls below that limit, chances of getting a business loan are slim.

If your score is above that limit but below the next threshold limit, you will secure a loan but the interest rate will be pretty high.

Business credit scores are of different types. Startups typically aim for a small business loan, which may be hard to secure if you don’t have any previous credit history. In this case, the highest FICO trademark SBSS score would be 140, given your personal credit is outstanding. There are two things you can do if you couldn’t progress beyond 140:

First, wait for your business to grow and gain credit. Second, improve your personal credit. A combination of both is also not a bad idea.


Securing a business loan is hard, but what’s even harder is to put the borrowed money to right use. People often forget that the money is not there and they’d have to repay it sooner or later. Don’t be one of them. Follow the tips here to secure a loan for your business and operate wisely, so that you could pay the money off quickly.

Avery Richardson is a blogger and writes about personal finance, frugal living, money management, and innovative money-making ideas. When she is not writing you can find here experimenting with cooking. You can read here the latest article on how Small Businesses Can Save Money.

The Different Ways to Pay Bills Online

This article gives you a few methods by which you may pay your bills online. This is an alternative to methods such as via the phone, post or in-person payment.

Try your bank first and foremost. They offer quite a few ways to pay your bills. They have a few tools that you may use online. You also get the added benefit of having the payment appear on your bank statement as going directly from your bank account to the company you wish to pay.

Pay Bills Online

This makes proving that you paid it a lot easier (for if there is trouble with the company you are paying), and it makes it easier to prove to Uncle Sam that you are not making any accounting errors. Otherwise, the tax people will write a custom essay on every un-provable expense.

You may set up a direct transfer with most banking online services. This is where you input who to pay, when to pay them, and what amount to pay them. All you then need to do is action the transaction and you are done. In many cases you are also able to make this a recurring action. You can set a date and have it come out on that date every month.

This is similar to setting up a “Direct debit” with your bank. In this case you give your permission to allow a certain amount of money to come out of your bank each month. The difference with a direct debit online payment method is that it is more flexible. You can give permission to allow varying amounts to be removed on a regular basis. You may also specify an end date, upon which the direct debt cancels itself.

One common way of paying online is via the website of the company you wish to pay. There are a lot (a very lot) of payment methods that a company may set up, in order to receive payment online. Your primary concern should be to check to see if their chosen payment method is secure. You will need to research into their payment method and see if it has all of the telltale signs of being secure.

If you are still not 100% convinced then sign up for a credit card that has protection integrated into it. There are some credit cards that will return your money if it is removed fraudulently. Use your credit card to pay via their website and your money will be a little safer. There are a lot of payment methods an online company may choose in order to take payment online. Most of them (probably all) will involve taking a few of your card details, and your registered billing address.

You may pay a bill online by using a third party site. These websites allow you to upload money from your bank account in order to create a balance. You may then use that balance to pay bills online. People pay bills in this manner because it often involves no need for entering your card details to the many websites/companies you pay.

You only need add your card details to the third party site. So if we assume that your details are safe, a third party website may be used to pay your bills online. If the billing company tries to withdraw more than your balance, you are able to put a block on there so that they cannot. You also get the added benefit of being able to pay via means a simple as entering your email address and password.

You may wish to pay your bills online using offline payment vouchers. This is where you buy a voucher from a shop and then enter the vouchers details online. The payment method was used quite a bit during the early days of mobile phone pay-as-you-go plans.

They are not seen as often these days, but you will find that they are still a viable payment option online. They are often seen for people who wish to purchase pay-as-you-use mobile internet, or by people who are not comfortable with entering any bank/pre-payment/credit card details online. It will involve going to a store and buying a voucher, however all that you need to enter to pay (in most cases) is the voucher number.

Traveling Wisely – Be Smart With Your Money

People have found that they can run into completely unexpected troubles and issues when they are in different countries wile traveling. Sometimes they learn this important truth in a hard way. There are many queries and answers that might have saved them from the problems and issues they saw and once you are in a completely different country you need everything to travel without any fuss.

Traveling Wisely Smart With Your Money

Traveling wisely is crucial to have a safe and enjoyable trip no matter where you are.

There are certain things that you need to care of whenever you are planning a trip. These things are not just to read but to be followed strictly to journey comfortably.

Make copies of documents: When you travel you must have copies of your credit card along with all the important documents you have got. This is a great habit and can actually save you a lot of trouble in case you run into any emergencies. In case, you loose your credit card it can become a nightmare to attempt to cancel the card as soon as possible if you do not have copies of your credit card. Make sure to keep these copies in different bags so that if you by chance lose one of your bags then you still have some copies.

Take separate cards: If you travel together with your spouse you can take along separate cards in numerous names and accounts. This way, if one among you loses their card you will still be able to use the other card for your stay during the time it takes to exchange the one you lose. Believe it or not it can take many hours to exchange your card in other countries. Having separate cards will give you the option of staying out of financial emergencies.

Make money transactions wisely: Your credit card company is consistently in action to look out for thieves and potential fraud schemes. When you travel you tend to withdraw money numerous times on a daily basis, this makes the company suspicious and they can deactivate your card based on this suspicion. So it’s advisable to withdraw money properly and not on whims. It is also good to inform the credit card company about your traveling plans so that they know you will be making a lot of transactions.

Inform your bank about the place you will be going and inquire if your credit card is the most suitable choice for that specific country you are traveling to. This is needed because sometimes the card transaction formalities differ from countries to countries. If you are a frequent traveler then you can also get cheaper rates on these things.

Why being wise is necessary

By taking these simple precautionary steps you can have a stress free trip. There are some pitfalls but those can always be avoided. Not to forget the fact that a credit card still remains a good means of shopping overseas. Although the exchange-rates offered by the credit cards are typically higher than currency exchange counters but using your credit card is cheaper compared to other options.

Is Subprime Auto Loan a Harbinger of a Financial Crisis?

My previous article was on a subprime mortgage. In that article, I very briefly talked about deep subprime loans in the automobile industry and how it could trigger a crisis.

Later, I felt this topic requires an elaborate discussion and decided to churn out a new article focused exclusively on it. So in this article, I am going to discuss how a subprime loan is affecting the auto industry and how the economy at large could be affected by it.

Auto Loan

Who take these loans?

Figuratively speaking, a crisis is like a recipe and the elements that trigger it are the ingredients. In case of subprime lending, imagining it could lead to a medium-scale financial crisis, one of the ingredients is people with poor credit score taking auto loans.

The majority of these people are reckless in nature. They don’t think of the consequences. Not being able to pay off the debt could damage their credit report beyond repair. They don’t consider this as a possibility when they take auto loans.

Increase of delinquency

Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicate there’s a huge increase in the number of delinquent subprime auto loans. The data also indicate traditional banks have given 4.4% of subprime auto loans, compared to 9.7% loans, approved by equity backed private firms and non-banking lending agencies.

Auto finance companies reported a much higher level of delinquency rate as compared to banks and credit unions. Take a look at the graph below:

Auto finance

The difference is visible in the graph above. The reason behind the difference is underwriting norms. Banks, especially the traditional ones have stringent underwriting policies. Auto finance companies, however, relaxed underwriting guidelines to lure new customers. Their myopic approach to lending is causing the delinquency rate to go higher.

Market share

Auto finance companies hold a whopping 70% share of the market and offer loan to the riskiest of borrowers. The total worth of this market is $200 billion. The more it balloons, the higher becomes the risk of a crisis.

The apparent silver lining

It seems streams of news indicating a surge in subprime auto loan has hit a nerve. Melinda Zabritski, a senior director working in Experian observed: “We started to see delinquencies go up, and lenders really seemed to respond especially in Q1 of this year (2017) by tightening up a little bit.”

Market observers are reporting a pullback from lenders and buyers. A study conducted by Experian in 2017 showed subprime and deep subprime credit ratings are at a 10 year low. In the first quarter of 2017, both categories of lending dropped almost 9%.

This, in my opinion, was seemingly silver lining. I used the word apparent because data received from the fourth quarter of 2017 didn’t look very promising. A number of private-equity firms who earlier gave deep subprime auto loan suddenly discovered how incredibly hard it is to bail out customers.

As subprime auto defaults kept rising, giving equity-based firms a hard time cleaning up the mess, many wondered whether this could lead to a crisis?

Could it?

Luckily, most of the defaulters are people who took the loans way back in 2011 or even before 2011. It means the high rate of defaults might continue only for a short period. The only way we can get an idea of the future is by looking at the present. As the present rules governing subprime auto lending is becoming tighter, we can expect there’ll be no crisis in the future.

Where it all started

Subprime mortgage lending, as opposed to subprime auto loans, has a history that’s more or less known by all of us. The latter has a rather shoddy history. It’s mainly the non-banking agencies responsible for the current-day crisis.

After the 2008 market-crash, the only remaining avenue for profiteers was high-interest auto loans. Billions of dollars were poured into the auto loan industry. By then, the lending guidelines became stricter and the number of people taking auto loan remained far less than that of people who refinanced their homes prior to the 2008 fiasco.

These are the two reasons subprime and deep subprime auto loans never turned into an ugly crisis. However, the financial regulators and authorities could have done more than what they did. They are partly responsible for the high rate of car loan defaults, seen in recent time as they should have taken preventive steps way earlier.

After big banks quit

Analysts agree that delinquency rate being high started getting noticed after big banks quit from the auto lending space. It dried up fresh investment dollars, but in a way, it was a good thing as a full-blown crisis can now be avoided.

Concluding remarks

The century-old adage says “better safe than sorry.” It’s not too late for regulators to introduce new measures to change lax guidelines. It’s good that they started circling the industry. They should continue doing this.

Avery Richardson is a personal finance blogger and writer at, who loves to write and educate people about money management and frugality.

Steps to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt

Debts like credit cards and other consumer debts are wretched parts of the American households. Credit card companies put up attractive ads that promise to shower all sorts of freebies to their customers. According to the Federal Reserve, nearly 58% of the common people have outstanding credit card balance.

Credit Card Debt

This shows that people need to start taking steps to get out of debt that is incurred because of unwarranted use of credit card.

Here are the steps to eliminate credit card debt endorsed by the financial experts:

Start budgeting – Budgeting is best way to know about your financial health. At the onset, this might be a difficult task for you, but with continued focus and dedication it will become easier to follow. Budgeting is important because it will help you to identify the reasons for your bad purchases.

You should keep aside a part of your monthly income for recreational purpose. This is because essential monthly expenses like mortgage payments, house rents, groceries, insurance and so on will take up the lion’s share of your salary.

Creating a monthly plan for your expenses can certainly help you to stay inside your budget and increase your capacity to repay all your loans.

Make a list of all your loans- Make a complete list of your outstanding balances, interest rates and charges and rank them. Mortgage payments and vehicle payments may take the loin’s share of your monthly income since they fall in shelter and transportation category.

You can also trim your monthly expenditures to accelerate the loan repayment process and find new ways of reducing your expenses. You can also monitor your expenses and save up each pennies.

Deal with one credit card at a time- If you cannot cope with multiple credit cards, then deal with one at time.

Refrain from more debts – You are already overwhelmed with the present debt amount, and it would be wiser on your part to stop adding any more debt and increase your burden. If you keep using credit card irresponsibly, then you are digging yourself deeper into debts. The biggest challenge would be at this time is to abstain from all kinds of loans when you are already struggling.

Pay the maximum amount- The more you pay down each month, the quicker you can free yourself from all the financial nightmares you have. Those who make the minimum payment, their loan may continue for lifetime.

Use cash frequently – You must start using cash frequently and avoid keeping those cards with you. You may tend to overspend, if you carry your credit cards with you. Therefore, it will be a lot helpful, if you use cash to pay for almost everything. This way you’ll feel the pinch, every time you take out the money to pay someone and eventually save some good money.

Request for low interest rates from creditors- You can get a reduced interest rate on credit cards if you have a good past track record of repaying loans or you are a long-term customer who makes payments on time. The creditors may spare you and ask for lesser interest rates which will help you to save thousands of bucks annually.

Make more debt payments – You must make good use of all the spare cash left with you. Add those extra cash to the debt payment amount to pay off your highest interest rate debt, faster.

Ask for loan from friends and family members- This could be a good option to get rid of credit card loans quickly. If they agree to help you, do not forget to use a written contract with an established schedule for repaying and interest rates. Pride and peer pressure could motivate you to repay your debts to them as soon as possible.

Once you start living within your means, follow a good budget and reduce the unnecessary expenses, then only you can eliminate all your debt problems.

5 Financial Tips For New College Students

For the millions of Americans who start college every fall, college can be an exciting time. However, the reality is that college, for many Americans, can also be a very expensive time.

With most college grads accumulating an average of $30,000 in debt, college freshman could benefit from some helpful financial advice.

Financial Tips For New College Students

#1 Understand Your Financing Options

Most students today need some sort of financial aid to subsidize their education. Students considering outside help in paying for college should take their time and do the research necessary to make the best and most informed decisions possible.

In addition to grants and university-sponsored scholarships, students should also research additional merit-based funding and organizational scholarships. For help in researching scholarships, students may turn to their university’s financial aid office. Often times, there are many more funding opportunities available than one may realize upon first thought.

The time and effort put into researching and obtaining additional scholarships and grants will pay off in the end, as the more a student can avoid borrowing, the better.

#2 Discover The Magic Of Budgeting

Budgeting is a simple and helpful way to keep one’s finances on track. From time immemorial,  people have been using budgets to keep track of expenses. Underscoring the importance of budgeting, some of man’s earliest documents, that have ever been discovered, were used to keep track of financial calculations.

Students should first take stock of their incoming earnings, in addition to any usable savings and the available financial aid. Once armed with a clear assessment of the available funds, a student can then draft a budget. The total money available should be divided to find a total spending allowance per week or month. The idea is to get an estimate of how much can be spent within a given period.

It’s okay if not every week is exactly the same. Some weeks a student may spend more on food and others on entertainment. As long as the student knows their budget, they may make adjustments as needed. A budget is just a guideline, and not a hard and fast rule.

#3 Develop Helpful Systems To Keep Finances On Track

There are many systems out there aimed at helping financially conscious people in keeping their budgets on track. One popular method is the envelope system. The idea with this system is to keep spending in check and on track. A student may divide their monthly or weekly expenses into envelopes to help them manage and keep track of their money.

The best thing about this system is that it works for seasoned pros or budgeting beginners. For many who are learning how to budget, envelopes are a great first step, as they give newbies a real sense of how much money can be spent.

#4 Just Say No To Credit Cards

One of the biggest pitfalls that students can make is falling into the credit trap. Exorbitant interest rates and other charges often make it difficult for students to pay back the credit cards that may be available to them. The extra time and effort involved in paying off the cards is often not worth the original expense.

#5 Use Your Student Discounts

Being a student means getting discounts on things like electronics, software, and even dining at some local restaurants. Students should ask retailers about the available students discounts before making any major purchases; the savings can be astronomical.