Buying vs. Renting. We aren’t throwing money away!


While I was searching the internet for something to convince my urge to buy a house, I just randomly googled buying vs. renting and to my surprise, the results were all pro-renting and anti-buying.  Well, I was obviously not persuaded to rent anymore because of my past experiences with  renting, I decided to shed some light over the subject for people who might not have been in my place or those who still think, renting is better than buying. There may be some reasons based on which renting might  get more leverage, like not having to worry about repairs (but still have to pay) and not getting to worry about other little things all on your own. But there are still far more reasons based on which I would consider buying your own house over renting someone else’s. Here are some good ones for you to at least think before you rent.


You Buy once:


The main reason buying is still better than renting is you don’t have to pay your monthly rent. You make the payment once, and you own it. Even if that’s not the case and you opt for mortgage; just calculate the average rent you pay per year and the sale price and mortgage payments you’ll have to pay. Yes, your rent is still more than that. Given, the rate at which the rents are going high it is still a pricey choice as compared to buying. You may have to be able to collect a hefty amount but you’ll be paying all that just once rather than a continuous procedure like: down payment, maintenance, security deposits and the increasing rent every month. Houses in the major cities are still comparatively cheaper to the rents you’ll have to pay and which will collectively sum up to a large amount. Trust me when I say buying a house is not as impossible and hard as people have made it.


Increased Equity:


We all know the age old adage, “property builds equity,” but this actually is true. It goes like this, initially in mortgage, the monthly payments you make clears off your interest, then with time the balance is eventually decreased. The lesser, the balance; the more equity you gain over your property. As your home gains more equity value, it increases its resale value as well. Similarly, the built up equity over your property will allow you to plan and achieve your future goals ore smoothly than having rental worries on your mind.


The sense of belonging:


The best feeling you get with owning a home is the sense of ownership and possession. For people, who have lived as renters, the worst thing would be not able to personalize or customize the place they live in as per their wishes. With your own home you have the freedom and choice to make changes or add things just the way you like in your own living space. You don’t have to rely on your landlord to get things fixed, whenever he wants to (or maybe even not want to). Paint your house, add the light fixtures of your own choice or just try out some renovations after some time; there is no stopping you.


A reliable asset:


Your own home is the most reliable asset one can have, the financial and living security it provides to you and your family can never be attained from a place you rent.


Tax Benefits:


Federal and a few state income taxes gives people an advantage with owning a property by deducting interest and property out of them. You can save some on your taxes through this. However, in order to get these benefits on tax you need to consult tax advisors or file an income tax annual return with the government.


There are still many advantages of owning a house that I can list here but these major  gains will definitely won’t let your money go to waste.


Why Term Life Insurance May Be Your Best Option


Life insurance comes in two common varieties: whole life (also known as permanent) or term life. Both options have upsides and drawbacks, and each one serves a purpose based on different needs. So when you’re shopping for life insurance, keep in mind the best coverage is one that provides you with the reassurance you want for your family—at a premium you can afford.


The Basics


Term life insurance provides coverage for a certain period of time or until you reach a specific age. If you pass away during the term of coverage, your beneficiary receives the value of your policy. At the end of the coverage period (or term), your policy expires.


Whole life insurance covers you for your entire life and rates usually stay consistent as you age. Some whole life policies build cash value that you can borrow against while living.


3 Reasons Why Purchasing Term Life Insurance May Benefit You:




Term life insurance is a relatively straightforward product. The idea is that you pay a premium in exchange for a specific coverage amount that will go to your beneficiary upon your passing.


Some types of policies require a medical exam and blood work as part of the underwriting process, but many insurance companies offer term coverage without a medical exam. These policies are known as “no medical exam life insurance.” This type of coverage is widely available with an easy application that requires only basic health information.


Affordable costs


For many people, a compelling reason to buy term life insurance is coverage rates are typically initially lower than whole life insurance rates. You may find that term life insurance offers you the best level of financial protection for the price depending on your needs.


When you purchase term life insurance, your monthly premium is usually based on factors such as age, gender and, in some cases, a medical history at the time you begin coverage. As you age, generally the cost of coverage increases, usually in five year increments.


Guaranteed exchange options


Some insurance companies allow policy holders to upgrade or exchange a term policy for a whole life policy at any time during the term coverage period. This means that any time during the term, you can convert to a whole life insurance policy for coverage that will last your entire life.


Choosing a guaranteed conversion or exchange offer usually means you can forgo a medical exam or application process. To find out if this option is favorable to your specific situation, do some research online or speak with an insurance agent.


To find out if term life insurance is the best option for you, consider your family’s future needs and what you can afford now. This will give you a starting point to determine if term life insurance may fit your lifestyle and meet your goals.


The Art of Purchasing Insurance: How to Secure Comprehensive and Affordable Coverage


Across the UK, insurance premiums are falling in the face of minimal disposable income levels and diminishing demand for services. Despite this, however, the insurance job market in the UK is continuing to stagnate while the industry itself is also experiencing an unexpected decline. While the fact that insurance companies are hiring less may be considered as a negative development for the industry, it at least provides an opportunity for consumers to negotiate the terms of their coverage and drive a more competitive deal.


The Art of Negotiation and Purchasing Insurance: 3 Tips for Clients


With this in mind, how should clients look to capitalise on this development to secure the best possible financial deal? Consider the following: –


1.       Compare the Market and Promotional Offers


It is a strange anomaly that insurance providers often reserve their best deal for new clients, as this is contrary to the principles of good customer service. If the time has come to renew your deal, however, this offers you the chance to gain an insight into the market and compare the best promotional offers available. These can then be used as leverage when interacting with your existing insurer, as you force them to make a decision between losing your custom and offering more favourable premiums for renewal.


2.       Seek Out Specialist Insurers According to your Needs


Increasingly, the diversification of the insurance market is creating specialist service providers for individual niches and market sectors. Take companies such as UK Insurance Net, for example, who have earned a reputation for excellence in the fields of professional and landlords insurance. Once a firm begins to specialise and showcase expertise in a specific insurance market, the demand for their service is likely rise and this enables providers to offer more competitive premiums over time. Although the process of identifying specialist insurers may take time and considerable effort, the financial savings that you make can more than repay this.


3.       Learn the Delicate Art of Negotiation


Even with a detailed knowledge of the market and a list of potential insurers, you will not achieve the best possible deal without being able to negotiate with service providers. Negotiation is a delicate and challenging art, and one that requires strong communication skills and an ability to remain calm under pressure. You must use your leverage wisely and ensure that you are negotiating from a position of genuine strength, as otherwise you will ultimately lose ground and end up paying slightly higher premiums throughout the course of the year.


Be Aware of the Risks of Short Term Loans


Promises made in the lending industry by the lenders to the customers are kept most of the times but there are a lot of instances where they are not as well. There can a number of reasons which can see people repenting their decisions because they were charged hidden expenses, pathetic customer service and on a whole failing to offer what they were promised. The payday loan industry is quiet a contributor to this trend. There are several payday loan companies which will not provide the details on the way they are going to charge you.


Learn from the experience of others


Research conducted across the industry and a wide scale of customers reveal that there are some of the common issues on which the customers feel cheated. With so many customers to handle bad customer service often comes up as a common issue. Most of the companies provide toll free numbers which can be used to contact the lenders by the customers. There are several instances where these numbers take longer time and even after repeated attempts one cannot reach the lenders. Let us look at some of the areas where the lenders try to snatch away some extra money from the customers.


There was a complaint from the customer with regards to multiple debits from their account by the lender. The customer had taken a loan of just $300 and as per the loan agreement agreed to repay the sum on the due date in full. For the convenience and assuring that they do not miss on the payment date, the borrower got into an automatic debit agreement with the lender. Along with the fee the borrowers expected their account to be debited for a value of $390. However, to their surprise, the salary account showed a debit of just $90 on the due date of the payment of the loan.

When enquired, the lenders could not be reached. The representatives of the company failed to answer the question properly. However, it was understood that the lenders had done this deliberately. They would keep on charging the amount every month and extend the loan term. This would offer them more profits. However, the customers would be paying through their nose for the loan which they intended to finish at the earliest.


What is the reason which prompted the lenders into doing so?


It is easily understandable that the more one extends the tenure of the loan, the better are the chances of earning more. It is this which prompts lenders to try and hide as much information and maintain little communication with the borrowers. They would quickly debit the account with just the fees and set the roll-over process. This will allow them more money from the net lend customer.


No Qualms – Over the complaints


There are some companies which do not stop their mistakes in spite of numerous complaints from the customers. Here are some which can serve as an eye opener for you.


  • Using the online automatic transaction process the company withdrew small amounts without any intimation.
  • One received extortion calls from the company which simply vanished when we got into recalling them.
  • There are several companies which get into these acts deliberately just because they can charge that extra amount from the borrowers. The best part is that one does not get a valid answer on enquiring about the same.


These companies are well aware of the fact that the payday loan borrowers have an urgent need and they are in a hurry to get the loans. The companies would often get them into signing even before reading the terms and conditions and this creates all sorts for trouble for them.


Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act 2.0


startupBy Jeffrey Arsenault of Old Greenwich, Connecticut

This month of April marked the two year anniversary of the JOBS Act signed by President Obama back in April 5, 2012. It was enacted to encourage the funding of small businesses by reducing securities regulations as part of an effort to create jobs and strengthen the economy. And now it seems that the U.S. House Republicans are set on creating a JOBS Act bill version 2.0. (more…)


Making Life Changing Financial Decisions: Choosing a Personal Loan in the Modern-age


Money may make the world go round but when making a decision to take a loan, borrowers should look at their monthly income and expenditure in order to ensure that monthly repayments are affordable. Every day, thousands of people in the UK take out a loan. An alternative to a loan is saving.


Consider Scale Carefully


Although large purchases will always be more daunting to make than small ones, the key to success is ensuring that you have the right mentality to succeed. For this reason, you must treat every purchase like it is a large one. For instance, if you can save £10 per week on your food shopping, then that’s over £500 per year. This may not be life changing, but over the year, if you apply this frugality to a number of shopping areas, the amount you save can be in the thousands.


Approach Decisions in a Logical Manner


Uninformed decisions can be made when we rush to make them. Rash decisions are often the worst ones we can make and, if it is on a large purchase, they can ruin a lot of hard work. If you’re considering a new car, a new home or a new appliance, you need to approach the decision in a logical manner. The more time you take to make the decision, the better as you’re more likely to research it and consider a cost-benefit analysis. It may seem a little cliché, but making a pros and cons list really can help. There’s nothing wrong with making large purchases but if you know that if you wait you can afford it without a loan, then this is worth considering.


Is a Loan Your Only Option?


If you absolutely have to take out a loan, ensure you have weighed up all your options.  Only once you have weighed up all your options, and ensured you can afford the monthly repayments should you go ahead with the loan.


How to Compare Umbrella Companies: Tips for Modern-day Businesses


If you’re a contractor or freelancer, then there’s a very good chance that you’ve either though of using an umbrella company, or you already are. The thing is; they’re not all the same, and it can be worthwhile doing a little bit of research to find out which of the myriad companies is best for you. It’s not difficult, and there are a few main points you should look out for.


First and foremost: compliance. Attempting to get round HMRC with spurious claims is a very bad idea indeed, which means that it’s essential you choose a reputable and compliant company. Good companies will shout about how they’ve been thoroughly assessed for compliance by an accredited company. It’s simply not worth taking a risk.


Next up is when you get paid. The date your pay comes in is very important when organising personal finances such as direct debits and standing orders. This is one of the areas in which things can differ greatly. Some companies will have one or several set dates on which they will pay you through, and others will simply pay you once the funds have cleared from the client. Some companies will even use faster payments rather than BACS.


Prices among the best umbrella companies are pretty similar across the board, but it’s still worth making the comparisons. Always make sure that you’re comparing like for like, as headline rates can often be misleading; they sometimes quote for after tax. Fixed fee is usually the way to go, too – using a company that charges a percentage can get difficult and often works out more expensive.


Last, and probably least, are extras that companies sometimes use to tempt you in, such as stationery and vouchers. They’re generally not that important, but they may just tip the scales if you’re comparing two companies that are otherwise very similar.


Finally, you should give some thought to customer service. You wouldn’t go and work for a normal employer without first trying to find out what it’s like to work there, so don’t with an umbrella company. Reviews are easy enough to find – see if other people have enjoyed a hassle free time with their choice.


There you have it – comparing umbrella companies isn’t difficult at all, but there’s no point in signing up with one until you’ve checked to see if you’re getting a good deal.



Student loan default – How serious it is?


The consequences of loan default in general are so severe that your credit ratings get affected making it difficult to obtain traditional loans from banks or other financial organizations for reasonable interest rates. Student loan default has worse consequences leading to a very troublesome situation. However, it is not impossible to overcome the grave situation if you take appropriate measures. Student loans are supportive to pursue higher education and these loans are offered by federal government and other private lenders at Most of the students find it difficult to continue their education without availing loans either from the government or from private lenders or both.


Credit history gets affected if you default on student loans


The interest rates are quite low for student loans and the terms are quite flexible allowing the students to defer loan repayments in case the borrowers are yet to get settled in a comfortable job with decent income. However, at some point of time the students need to begin repaying the loans. With accrued debts, most of the students find repayments quite stressful. If for some reason, the student fails to make the repayments as specified in the loan agreement, we can say that the loan is being defaulted. The major consequence is that the credit record of the student is much affected.


As you are aware, the credit record is highly important in many aspects. The lenders might take legal action against the borrowers to recover the loan amount or might dispose the collateral in case of secured loans to recover the amount lent. Some of the lenders consider extending the loan term if a major portion of the loan is repaid. In this situation, the lenders need to charge higher interest rates. There is yet another major issue in defaulting on the loan. It becomes difficult or almost impossible to get conventional loans for lower interest rates.


Default on student loans will make the phone ring off the hook as the collections agencies are after you. Continuous harassment from the aggressive collection agencies hired by the government keeps troubling you repeatedly for the loan settlement. If you are employed in a decent job, the lenders might file lawsuit against you. Since you owe money, you will not win the suit. Once you lose the case, the collection agency might opt to file petition for garnishing your wages. This will be submitted to your employer who is required to send a part of your salary to meet the monthly payments along with some penalty charges to the collection company before you get your pay.


Till you settle your student loan completely, the tax refund will be taken by the government. Besides these issues, there are possibilities that you lose chances of getting good employment. It becomes difficult to lease a house. When you approach banks or other conventional lenders for loans to purchase house or vehicle, your application gets rejected due to the bad credit history on account of loan default. However, there is the offer to rehabilitate the student loan. Through this program, you are offered provision to make payments in a more comfortable manner. The default status is removed and the seizure of tax refund amount and wage garnishment will not be there anymore.


Student Loan Forgiveness Programs


The students who struggle with loan repayments can make the best use of loan forgiveness programs which are drafted to offer relief to the indebted students. To support the education of the students there are offers of financial support from the federal government and private lenders. Parent PLUS loans and Stafford Loans are some of the most preferred options of loans for making higher studies possible. Direct loans can be availed directly from the federal government. The offer of Federal Family Education Loan is offered by credit unions, banks and other lending companies that participate in FFEL program.


Different plans to support the student borrowers


The parents who intend to offer support to their children’s education can opt for Parent PLUS loans. Perkins loans are drafted to meet the cost due to the post secondary education. These loans are offered by the education institutions which participate in Federal Perkins loan program. The interest rates are low for these loans. Federal Perkins loans are those offered to eligible students who are not in a position to afford Stafford loans. The repayment options are quite flexible to make the process easy for the students. Though the repayment options are highly in favor of the students, the economic recession has led to a sag in the job market leading to default by many of the borrowers.


Due to this grave situation, the government has initiated student loan forgiveness program for ‘Direct loans’ obtained at from the federal government. Besides this offer, there are also Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs for Perkins, Stafford and PLUS loans. However, the loans that are defaulted are not eligible for Forgiveness programs. The students are offered payment options such as Level, Income Sensitive, Extended Plan or Graduated Plan. The payment based on income is considered most convenient by most of the borrowers. The loan repayment amount is determined by taking into account the income and the size of the family.


A specified maximum percentage of his gross income is allowed as payment towards the interest and the principal amount of the loan. If the student is yet to settle the loan after 10 years of repayment, the amount outstanding is forgiven by the federal government. Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is started to forgive the loans which were availed by the students under the Federal Direct Loan Program. The students who have completed minimum of 10 years of ‘qualified employment’ are eligible for this program. Employment with the Federal government, offering military service, employed with non- profit organizations and offer voluntary service with Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and VISTA are termed as ‘qualified employment’.


A well trained child care provider is eligible for the cancellation of the entire loan amount that is obtained under the Direct Loan Program or under the FFEL. Employed as a teacher, doctor or nurse helps in cancelling the loan dues. The nurses or teachers working to serve the people in the low income areas are eligible for the loan forgiveness. Although there are offers of forgiveness programs for the student borrowers who offer services to enhance the life of the downtrodden ones, it is recommended that you make your best efforts to repay the student loans with the consolidation program.


The Student Trap: Creating a Suitable Workspace without Spending Outside of your Means


The time-bomb that is student debt has been ticking away steadily since the Great Recession; and this is a trend that has been carried on through a host of developed economies. According to the Telegraph, this could ultimately mean that two-thirds of students will fail to repay their taxpayer-funded loans during their lifetime. This not only offers an insight into the financial challenges facing students, but it also suggests that many will fail to make their mark on the employment market.

Need vs. Want- Knowing Your Necessities When Setting A Budget

How to Feng Shui your Workspace to get the Most from your Studies



With this in mind, there is a clear need for students to optimise their workspace and level of productivity without spending outside of their means. The use of feng shui may provide an ideal opportunity to achieve this, as it allows for the application of low-cost ideas, materials and methodology. Consider the following: -


  1. Ensure that your Desk is within Clear View of the Door


One of the fundamental principles of feng shui is that you should always position yourself in a way that enables you to keep your eye fixed on the nearest door. The benefit of this is considerable; as it helps you to remain focused on the task in hand and prevents you from becoming distracted by feelings of stress, uncertainty or anxiety. If the layout of your workspace does not allow you to face the nearest door, place a hand-held mirror on your desk and tilt it accordingly.


  1. Maintain a Clear and Clutter Free Workspace


On a more fundamental level, feng shui also dictates that you should maintain a clean and clutter-free workspace. The same principle can also be applied when designing the remainder of your home, as it lends itself to clearer thinking and more effective decision making. Not only is this exercise almost entirely cost free, but it can also be therapeutic and capable of refocusing your mind after a prolonged period of uninterrupted studying.


  1. Ensure that your Desk is not Placed Directly under a Beam


If your home was fabricated before the 1980’s, it is likely to feature a high number of ceiling beams. In this instance, you should strive where possible to ensure that your desk is not positioned directly beneath these, as this is considered to be oppressive and capable of disturbing even the most logical of thought processes. If this is unavoidable, commit to hanging a small bamboo wind chime from the beam as it will combat the negative effects of the overall structure.


While short-term loan companies such as Smart Pig offer students an opportunity to access low cost and low risk credit, it is important that you strive to minimise your expenditure where possible. This will help to regulate your debt levels and create a more solid financial foundation for your future.