All About Payment Protection Insurance

document-428331_640Payment Protection Insurance, or PPI is a type of insurance that protects consumers and will pay out a certain amount of money that can assist you to cover monthly payments on loans, mortgages or credit cards should you find yourself in a position where you are unable to work or if you become unemployed.

This is designed to give you peace of mind since you are taking out a big purchase or financial product. As with any other type of insurance, this is the most sensible action to do to keep yourself protected from unexpected events that may occur later on in your life. However, a lot of financial institutions have mis-sold PPI over the years to several millions of people.

If you are in the UK, there are several ways to find out if you’ve been mis-sold PPI:

  • At the time you took out the loan or credit card, you were informed that getting a PPI is compulsory
  • You find out through your bank statements that it was added to your repayment without your knowledge
  • If the policy wasn’t explained to you properly by the salesman
  • At the time you took out the loan or financial product, you were self-employed, unemployed or retired – you are ineligible for a PPI and it means that you were mis-sold one.

You can check if you got Payment Protection Insurance, and you can still be able to claim if it was more than six years when you last took out a financial product. PPI dates back as far as the 1980s, although you will have to show proper documentation when you file a claim. The lenders themselves keep a copy of your information on file for six years and you can request and use the copy to file and process your claim.

Also, PPI is known through other names and these are: Loan care, Payment cover, Loan Protection, ASU and Protection Plan. It’s best to check your documents if any of these terms are on your statements, there is a possibility that you have been mis-sold PPI. Now, if you bought a financial product through a broker and they have gone bankrupt, there are still ways for you to go ahead and make a claim.

It is not too late to file for a claim but there is already a cut-off date for filing and it’s best for you to start out sooner than later. The proposed deadline is set to be June 2019.

It is possible to claim PPI on your own, yet it can be time-consuming and you’d have to take care of everything by yourself. If you do have several to make, it’s best to get the assistance of a professional claims management company and they will handle the entire process but at the same time keep you updated and advised on where’s the status of your claim is at. In this way, you can save time and money and you’ll be ensured that the process will be handled properly.

Looking to Personal Crowdfund?

coins-1523383_640There are generous people out there. There are people drawn to help with time, talent, and treasure when they can.

They will do what they can to help with an appeal meaningful to them. When they know of a need to pay unexpected medical bills, fulfill a sick child’s dream, send a niece on her honeymoon, help a nephew with college tuition, or anything that seems fair, honest, and needy, they are willing to help make it happen.

Personal crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to raise such money.

Startup businesses use crowdfunding to raise cash to open their business doors. Little league coaches use it to buy team uniforms. And, moms and dads use it just to raise money for a special vacation.

Crowdfunding began searching for big investors to help kick start businesses. It succeeded getting many a business off the starting line when traditional financing sources like banks slowed the flow of capital.

It can be quicker and less binding than lending and equity sharing. But, it caught on quickly with the private sector because it is basically a simple application of the internet’s universal reach to tap the average donors and concerned citizens.

Ron Lieber, writing for The New York Times observed, “They don’t replace traditional charity, or obviate the obligation to vote and lobby for policy changes that could reduce many of the needs they serve. But they can allow you to honor your own family’s history of having been helped by letting you pay back those who have supported you in the past, or toss the rope to others who are in circumstances like ones that you once found yourself in.”

Don’t waste the time or appeal.

For your sake and the contributors, you’ll want to choose the web platform for personal financing carefully.

You need a popular site with enough natural browser traffic to bring donations your way, but you will also want one that represents you well because your friends, family, and social media contacts are your first circle of appeal.

The looks and language of the website must represent you and support your credibility. So, you will want to one easy to locate and navigate.

It needs links, of course, to social media to facilitate and stretch the reach of your campaign, and it needs support in setting up your appeal.

Design, visuals, and even videos make a personal appeal more dynamic and powerful. And, you’ll need to personalize and monitor the fundraising as it goes along.

The co-founders of Plumfund.com, Sara and Josh Margulis, for example, promote their personal crowdfunding site as, “Our tasteful, online fundraising platform allows friends and family to give and receive without fear or etiquette concerns.”

And, any plan must pursue the website fees and their potential impact. Some sites charge per donation; some take a flat fee or percentage of the donations, and others just charge for credit card processing fees.

So, what’s your plan?

Collecting money never comes easy. And, it can be difficult for people to swallow their pride and reach out.

But, with the internet’s reach, you’re looking at hundreds, perhaps, thousands of potential contributors.

You need the web platform, of course. But, you also need a compelling need, a “sales” pitch that secures interest, and appeals to the better instincts of browsers.

You need to set a reasonable and achievable financial target, and you must update your donors on the progress.

You should have a way to recognize and show appreciation for donations, and you want to end the campaign in a reasonable time-frame.

ConversionXL lists other “tricks” to help your personal crowdfunding succeed. For example, they suggest avoiding any all or nothing appeal, including your personal contact information and justification for the pitch, publishing the names of donors, and display willingness to accept even the smallest donation.

You not have to write your appeal in the style of a PR firm in San Francisco but your sincerity of your need should be apparent.

Personal crowdfunding is rewarding if a little more work than you might expect.

Blue Apron Free Week: Is Blue Apron Worth a Try?

Blue Apron Free Week
Have you seen those colorful, happy farm-to-table commercials on TV? You know the ones with cartoon-like characters, fresh and delicious-looking produce and happy faces throughout? Blue Apron is one of the most popular companies providing these farm-to-table experiences without having to head to the supermarket. In fact, the company is serving more than five million meals each week.

So, to answer the question posed in the title, yes, Blue Apron is worth the try and here’s why…

Blue Apron’s Cost

Right away I’ll tell you that Blue Apron isn’t a family-friendly meal plan. You’ll get three two-person meals a week for about $60. You can also get a Blue Apron meal plan for a family of four. For a four-person plan you’ll get two ($69) or four ($140) meals for the week (that is only a few dinners a week).

Blue Apron Free Week
That may seem like a lot of cash to shell out to only feed you and your partner (or your family) a few days out of the week (my initial thought). However, when you compare the Blue Apron quality of product and amount they are sending you you are really getting a decent deal. In fact, once I looked into it, making these dishes at home with comparable fresh ingredients would cost twice as much as Blue Apron is charging.

So, now that we’ve gotten the monetary items out of the way, what is the Blue Apron experience like?

Preparation of a Blue Apron Meal

When it comes down to it, that is exactly what Blue Apron is: an experience. You receive fresh “farm to table” produce in the mail with recipes and instructions on how to prepare the food. You’ll get to try new and exciting foods and feel accomplished because you’ve cooked it yourself.

Blue Apron Free Week
Preparing a Blue Apron meal is extremely easy too. Each delivery is accompanied with recipes for the items in the box. Each recipe card has the name of the dish and ingredients on the front. Turn the card over and you’ll see easy-to-read step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the meal (which is great if you’re learning to cook).

Delivery

Preparing the meal isn’t the only easy step either. Ordering, receiving and cancelling your Blue Apron deliveries is easy too. All you have to do to sign up for Blue Apron is register on the site. The company has also thought out their shipping process as well.

Blue Apron Free Week
You can log in to Blue Apron and change your delivery date based on your specific schedule (they’ll even deliver on Sundays). Opening and unpacking your Blue Apron order is comparable to Christmas! When it gets to your home each item is packaged individually with ice packs to keep it cool. You simply open the box and pick up layer by layer of fresh organic produce.

If you aren’t happy or need to discontinue your shipments for any reason you simply send the company an email and receive a cancellation link in return. You can also skip weeks if you don’t have the money or don’t like the upcoming recipes. It is truly hassle-free.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Blue Apron seems like a quality product for a reasonable price. You get high quality produce without having to brave the supermarket crowd (and that’s enough for me to want to continue weekly shipments). If you’re interested in giving the services a try you can sign up during Blue Apron free week or keep an eye out for promotions and then decide if you’d like to continue with their weekly deliveries.

Are you interested in Blue Apron? Get $30 off your first week using this link.

Don’t Rob Peter to Pay Paul

credit-squeeze-522549_640Many Americans fall into faulty means of debt control because they fail to consult financial advisors when it comes to portfolio diversification, optimization, and streamlining. For example, some people use one credit card to pay off another credit card.

This works for a while until interest catches up or credit card options run out. Suddenly, debt has compounded, and continues to compound, while the creditors pull on their collection boots and prepare to lighten your household.

There are situations other than credit cards where poor investment choices are apt to lead into voids of debt whose depth cannot be gauged.

Bad Debt vs. Good Debt

While debt can be a good thing, like bed bugs NJ,  it usually isn’t. Examples of what are considered “good” debt include

  • Mortgages
  • Real Estate Loans
  • Business Loans
  • School Loans

Examples of “bad” debt include:

  • Auto Loans
  • Store Credit Cards
  • Credit Cards in General

Do you see the difference? When it comes to things which produce a yield over time, debt isn’t always bad. Getting into debt to earn a degree can be a great way to secure your future. Should you select an occupation that pays well and employs students right out of the gate, then collegiate debt is a very good thing.

But, financial tips today often avoid what was once considered “good” debt. Today, collegiate investment isn’t what it was. Over the last several decades, obtaining a college degree is so common employers expect it like they used to expect prospective employees to have a GED.

Additionally, as the housing market has collapsed, and the Fed is raising rates, not all mortgages are “good” debt anymore. Some of them have become shackles. Increases in business taxation has compounded debt as well. For many mortgage holders, it may be time to consider a mortgage note buyer to secure the capital you need.

Now, when it comes to auto loans, store credit cards, and credit cards in general, those are still bad financial decisions. Sorry. if you got your hopes up for a reversal. So, while experts agree that there is “good” debt, it’s hard to come by, and requires exceptional credit.

So, if you’ve found yourself loaded with bad debt, there are ways out. You can help yourself by budgeting better and paying down your outstanding credit cards. You can also seek credit consolidation, contact the creditors for an alternative paydown, or seek credit counseling. If worse comes to worse, you might find help in bankruptcy.

Options for the Adroit Investor

Hopefully, bad debt has not crippled your finances. But, money never earns value sitting still. If you want your money to make money, you have to invest.

Even with interest rates increasing, it is difficult to find bank savings accounts or Certificates of Deposit that amount to anything.

Stocks, bonds, and commodities challenge average investors with their complexity and unpredictability. Mutual funds might be better investments, but they are not readily liquid.

Adroit investors perform due diligence on investment vehicles before they invest. They consider the pros and cons. They study the investment’s performance history, and they look for information about the investment’s future.

But, for the average investor, due diligence takes time, training, and education. It also uses tools that analyze the data and makes predictions. These tools also take specialists to operate, read, and interpret the results.

One of the more popular investment tools today is the use of asset allocation software. The software helps investors to divide investments among cash, bonds, and equities to spread the risk in your portfolio and improve your investment opportunities through diversification. The software allows you to reap the benefit of automated results that have been tried and tested.

To be sure, not all automated asset allocation software options fit every situation. That’s a reason it makes sense to talk with investment professionals when trying to diversify and upgrade your financial portfolio. They’ll know the ins and outs which exist beyond the software.

Avoid Debt At All Costs

Because the market is continuously in flux, no single portfolio option will meet all of your needs and those of your family on a regular basis. You’re going to have to drop certain things and add other things to make it work in the long haul.

This means meeting with investment professionals on a regular basis and pursuing possible investments cautiously. So, get protection from the financial elements by using advisors who understand the economic weather and can help you invest.