Are Your Debt Rates Alarming?

With lenders bringing credit as close to the common citizen as they possibly can, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that almost everyone is in debt. In fact, the average credit card debt for every US household was as high as $8180 for April 2018, according to The Balance. This ease of obtaining loans has given people some form of security which can easily ruin their lives.

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While credit helps most people offset expenses that they couldn’t in their current financial situation, too much of it can be toxic. For instance, were situations similar to the great recession to arise, you might find yourself losing your job which would result in debt default and the eventual drop in your credit score. The goal should be to exercise financial responsibility when borrowing funds to avoid finding yourself in tricky situations.

Here are four signs that you have taken too much debt:

Your Debt to Income Ratio Is High

The debt-to-income ratio is usually the percentage of your income that goes into paying your debt. The higher the ratio, the lower your rates of earning more credit, not to mention your ability to handle emergencies when they happen. Ideally, good debt to income ratio should be below 50%.

A ratio that is higher than 80% should be considered as a red flag, and in case this is your situation, you should avoid taking up any more credit until you get back to a favorable ratio.Consumers should be careful when they need to get fast cash now to avoid taking more debt than they can handle. To accurately calculate your ratio, add up your total monthly debt payments and divide the answer by your gross income.

Your Credit Requests Are Constantly Denied

Your credit score typically acts as an indicator of whether you are a responsible borrower or not. Lenders will typically look into your credit score to before proceeding to approve you for a loan. Since having too much credit raises some red flags, then your aim should be to lower your debt levels. Furthermore, getting credit rejections consistently for too long can harm your score since the resulting hard inquiries are registered in your credit report. Your aim should be to pay down what you owe before it gets out of control.

You Have To Weigh Between Necessities and Debt

Credit is meant to make life easier. Every cent borrowed should contribute to a positive life without having to compromise on necessities. However, in case you find yourself toying around with the idea of paying off debt to miss on some necessities such as food, then you are in a debt crisis.

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Instead of taking more debt to help offset the current amount that you owe, you ought to find other ways to earn some extra cash. Consider getting a side job or even working extra shifts. Alternatively, seek debt counseling to know the best way forward for your specific scenario.

You Can Only Afford the Minimum Repayment Amount

Most lenders will often offer a minimum repayment amount, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stick to this amount. Paying extra will help offset your debt quickly. However, if you can’t afford to pay any more than the minimum, then you should look for a way out of this debt crisis. Such a trend cannot suffice in the long-term since the minimum repayment amount is prone to increase with time, which means that you might struggle in the future.

An Investopedia article notes that considering that almost all loans come with differing interest rates, you should opt for options such as debt consolidation as long as they help to lower the minimum repayment. Additionally, debt counseling could also give you a different perspective for approaching your situation.

Conclusion

Without a debt elimination plan, your debt might snowball into an even bigger issue like bankruptcy. Instead of caving into your frustration and getting more loans to offset the rest, look for ways to gain control of your debt to income ratio. Understanding your current debt situation is the first step to getting back to financial stability.

 

The Pitfalls of Investing and the Role of Financial Advice

A well-managed investment can yield real returns to fulfil your financial objectives, but it takes time, knowledge and experience to achieve investment success. Without financial know-how, you may fall into common pitfalls that could otherwise have been avoided.

It may be in your interest to consult a reputable independent financial advisor from the outset. He/she can help you decide which types of investments will suit your needs.

The benefits of conferring with an independent financial advisor are that they…

 

  • Can advise which investment products will suit your circumstances.
  • Help set appropriate financial objectives.

 

  • Make you aware – and how to avoid – the common investment pitfalls.

Common investment pitfalls include:

 

  • Investing without a specific plan

 

You need to have a clear, appropriate set of financial goals before considering investment options. Do you need to save for your child’s education? Do you need retirement savings? Take some time and think about this before you make any decisions. It is a good idea to enlist the services of a financial advisor at this point.

 

  • Choosing the wrong investment product and/or unit trusts

 

Once you have a concrete plan, it’s important to apply it effectively through choosing the correct investment products and/or unit trusts – each are geared towards achieving different investment objectives. For example, a retirement annuity (RA) has the benefit of allowing your contributions to be tax deductible but, barring specific circumstances, you’ll only have access to this money when you retire.

 

  • Forgetting about inflation

 

Over time, your money can lose its value due to an increase in the cost of goods and services; essentially, leaving you able to buy less with the same amount of money – this is known as inflation.

Your investment should yield a return that can (at least) compensate for the change in the inflation rate over the duration of your investment – this can help maintain the value of your money.

 

  • Not preserving your retirement savings when you change careers

 

If you change careers, prioritising preserving your money through investing in an appropriate savings product is a good idea. If you opt to take your retirement savings in cash instead of preserving it , there’s a chance that you will not have enough money to live off when you retire.

 

  • Limiting yourself to one market and one asset class

 

Diversification is a key factor to a successful investment. For example, investing in an equity fund may have the potential for higher returns over a long period of time. However, it’s susceptible to fluctuation which could last for a significant amount of time. Furthermore, you’re invested in one asset class; in this case, shares.

A balanced fund, on the other hand, invests in a number of asset classes including shares; property; cash and offshore, which provides more stability and lower risk.

 

  • Making decisions based on emotion

 

Many investors make two errors that can lessen the value of savings: trying to find the best time to enter the market and switching between investments too often. A financial advisor can help investors minimise doubt – especially during volatile market conditions – so that you keep a level head and avoid making decisions for the wrong reasons.

 

How A Property Broker Can Help You Make The Right Investment Choice

A property broker is a person that helps people buy or sell property both commercial and residential, including land. They work either individually or as part of a real estate company.

The broker is usually well informed of the current market trends and prices. Therefore, they can help sellers and buyers make the best decisions when buying or selling the property. If you are looking to buy or sell the property, this article will highlight to you how a property broker can help you make the right investment choice.

Connections

If you have ever tried selling a property at a solid price, then you know how hard it can be to do it on your own. Reaching potential customers is very difficult. A property broker has good connections in the local market with other brokers and clients that are in need of a property to buy.

The process of sourcing for a favorable one that meets your needs and budget can be tasking, especially if looking to buy property. Taking too long also will mean other investors will have taken the property.

A broker helps to easily get you a property in accordance with your needs and budget quickly using their connections. What’s more, a broker is also able to help you complete administrative tasks like transfer of land, search and others quickly and effectively.

Valuable Knowledge And Experience

Another great advantage of a top property broker in Dayton is the valuable knowledge and experience they provide in the buying or selling process. The broker can advise you on the price of selling your land since they know the market trends.

They can tell you when is the right time to sell and then maybe you should hold the property. A top property broker also has experience in buying and selling land, so they can take you through the process with ease and protect you from fraud.

Good Negotiation Skills

One of the biggest problems that many sellers and buyers of property have is getting the right price for the property. A property broker is informed of the current market trends and therefore they can negotiate for the property from the point of information.

Besides the trends, they are also aware of the demand and supply conditions. Therefore, they can help negotiate a price based on that. With a property broker, you can get the best price for a property when buying and get the best returns when selling.

Comparison Of Properties

When buying property just like buying anything else, it is important to have a range of properties to compare with. Brokers have a variety of properties on their portfolio with comparable prices in the same area or nearby. With the comparison you might end up getting a better deal than you imagined.

Other benefits of using a property broker include; they save you lots of time, they offer unparalleled guidance through the entire process, they help with paperwork, and they enhance the process of buying or selling land making it go smoothly without any errors.

 

How to Save Money on Home DIY

The DIY never stops when you are a homeowner as there is always a project to work on whether it is decorating, building or fixing. Some homeowners will call in the professionals for most tasks which is a good idea in certain cases, but it can actually be easy, cheap and rewarding to do a lot of this work yourself. You will always want to save money when it comes to DIY, so here are a few handy tips to keep the costs down.

Find Guides Online

First, you need to make sure that you are doing the job properly so that you do not create any costly damage. The internet has made it incredibly easy to carry out all kinds of home DIY tasks as there are lots of easy to follow guides, instructional videos and helpful communities who can help. Even if you are not experienced in DIY, you should easily be able to tackle plenty of jobs provided that you have the right tools for the job and can follow a set of simple instructions.

Versatile Tools

Following on from this, you need to make sure that you have a full toolkit of versatile tools. This will include items like a claw hammer, screwdriver set, adjustable wrench, ratchet spanners and power tools. These should always be purchased from specialists like RS so that they will last and never let you down. Having these tools will help you to tackle an enormous range of jobs around the home and will prove to be a smart investment.

Ask for Help

You can also save money for asking for help with your DIY project. It can be much easier to complete work when you have a spare pair of hands or somebody to help you with the physicals labour, plus this is much cheaper than hiring somebody to help with the job (although you may want to take them for a drink/lunch!). In addition to this, you may also find that people will be happy to lend you tools and materials so that you do not have to purchase them yourself which can be a great way to reduce costs.

Home DIY can actually be very enjoyable and rewarding, plus you can save a huge amount of money by doing the work yourself. That is not to say that DIY is cheap, though, as it can cost a lot in terms of equipment, tools and materials. The above are a few simple ways that you can help to reduce costs of home DIY without interfering with the quality of the work and should allow you to tackle a wide range of jobs around the home whether you are making repairs, building something or making a repair.