Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Debt settlement services outside USA and UK

Inspite of the Lehman brothers’ collapse in the united states, maximum of the management graduates from countries like India, China and few other Eastern nations are getting placements in the banking and financial sector and surprisingly the sector is offering handsome salary packages. Leading organizations like Citibank,, HSBC etc absorbed 15% of the total two months internship students in India. The highest package offered was around $1000 per month. As a result countries like USA and UK are planning to outsource their service and entering these markets to save money. But it is still a question that whether these countries will be able to cope up with the new areas of work outsourced from the western countries. One such area is the area of Debt consolidation and credit repair services. These services are common in US and UK but quite new to India. But recently I have found that a company in India is doing the job. They even have their debt consolidation and credit repair websites and people are thinking that they are based in USA only. One such website is debtconsolidationcare (dot) com .But debt consolidation or credit repair service is a serious issue. People in the eastern nations may not follow the standards maintained in the west as they are unaware of the needs and western condition. In my previous post I discussed on how to judge the authenticity of credit repair agencies. So it is another factor which you must take into account while opting for a credit repair or debt settlement agency. See whether the company is based in your country or outsourced. During this recession only careful decision can actually take you out of financial hurdles.

credit card offers

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tips to judge the authenticity of a credit repair agency

Smart credit management is a key to financial freedom and the various credit repair agencies are doing their job sincerely. But it’s also a fact that when many options are given, people can’t choose the right one and failing to do so make them exposed to various frauds, making the situation even worse. Credit management is a serious issue and the following tips will help you choose and judge the best credit repair agencies, so that you actually overcome your bad credit.

Written Documents

Always check the written documents and contracts before opting for any credit repair service. According to the federal Credit repair organization act, the credit repair agencies (except non-profit organizations) must give written documents of the offer before any agreement is made. So make sure that the agency you have opted for is following the procedure mentioned as it is the first step to judge the authenticity and quality of the agency.

Do not pay money before the work is actually done

No company can ask for payment before the work is actually done as this is totally unlawful. Always pay the money after you get your revised credit report issued by the credit bureau after six months of the correction made.

Self correction of credit report

It is unknown to many but you can actually rectify the mistakes in your credit report and the credit reporting agencies will guide you on that, without any fees. You can also get another copy of the report, free of cost.

No one can correct any negative item

If there is any incorrect information in your credit report, then you can rectify those. But remember that no agency can remove any negative item from your report if the information is accurate. It is infact unlawful. So if any agency promises you to remove all the negative items from the report, then think twice before going for that agency.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Banks Hiking Interest Rates without Warning

Some industries, such as payday loans, have been faulted for having high interest rates. However, even conventional lenders are beginning to hike their interest rates on credit card accounts without warning. There are many products that have been abused by banks, who claim the higher moral ground, that have literally devastated people's lives because of a rise in interest rates. The first of these was the adjustable rate mortgage, which literally caused the mortgage default crisis.

The Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages were teaser rates far below what a fixed rate mortgage would allow. This gave people the opportunity to buy a much more expensive home with a smaller payment. However, the teaser rate would soon expire and a new payment balance was sent out. This happened quite repeatedly until the homeowner had little option, but to default on the loan.

Credit Cards

Now, the credit card balances are set to default for exactly the same reason, except that many cardholders did nothing to merit the increase. That's because banks can choose to change the interest rate without giving a reason and are much more resistant to lowering as many of them are bleeding money right now. Some rates can go up over 30%, an outrageous interest rate.

How Payday Loans Differ

A payday loan does have a high interest rate when compared to the amount of money that is being borrowed and the time to repayment (typically the next business cycle). But, since it is not meant to be revolving or long-term credit, it is a one-time deal, and not a life-long anchor. If a person misses repaying the amount on time, then it can balloon, just like any past due account. However, most loans are limited to $300 to $600, unlike a home loan or a credit card.

The Final Word on Interest Rates

So, while it's important to look at interest rates when taking out a loan, you shouldn't miss the repayment terms. You might discover that the terms are subject to change without notice and that is really the type of contract you want to avoid in this chaotic market.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Financial Health Checkup: A must before investing.

Though in many of my previous posts I have stressed on investing in debt and low risk instruments of investment taking care of the present financial scenario, yet there are many traditional investors who think that investment in the securities market is the best option knowing that high risk is involved in it. It is a fact that high return investment options are always associated with high risk. But in this case also we have to take care of many points before investing in such options.It is not always possible to meet all financial goals with available savings. If the savings are limited and the needs are substantial, then one must invest the savings in avenues that would offer high returns. But high returns mean high risk. So what to do??Infact there are various scientific methods by which you can understand your risk profile before investing. Its also known as financial planning or financial health-checkup.

So do your financial planning without anyone’s help and get an idea about your risk taking ability and where to invest before investing.
Your age? (Age is an important factor in deciding what amount of risk to take)
• 25 to 35
• 35 to 50
• 50 to 65
• Above 65

Your position is best described by:
• You are self-dependent and don’t support anybody
• You have dependent(s)
• Nearing retirement
• Retired
How much of the following needs have been taken care of? (Fully, partially, not at all)
• Children’s education
• Insurance
• Retirement
• Housing
What proportion of your current expenses is funded from your investments?
• Nothing
• Upto 15 %
• 15 to 30 %
• 30 to 50%
• More than 50%

Your earnings in the future will:
• Far exceed inflation
• Marginally ahead of inflation
• Keep pace with inflation
• Will not keep pace.

If the price of the shares you are holding falls, then you will:
• Sell all of them
• Sell some of them
• Keep them as it is
• Buy more of them

If you answer these questions and find answers on your own then you will be able to get an idea about your financial standings and what step to be taken. I think everyone must do this financial check up to avoid heavy loses and to go for the right investment path.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Debt Instruments of Investment: the best investment option.

Millions of investors have incurred heavy loses by the end of 2008 following the 1 year of unprecedented stock market volatility. This has not only shaken the confidence of the investors, but also made the situation worse as many such investors have already withdrawn considerable sum of money from the various instruments where they have invested. But in contrast to this situation, the global bond investors not only managed to escape the loss, but also bagged considerable profits. Now we may think that what is so special in bonds and what is the reason behind its success. Bonds are debts which are issued by the government and companies. When a person is buying a bond he/she is actually lending the money he/she has invested to the government or companies for a certain period of time. Its just like you are lending the money to someone and getting the interest in return. But your principal amount which you have invested or is safe. Taking care of the present financial market condition it is suggestible to invest in bonds as they are the simplest and safest mode of investment. If this is not enough to motivate you then few facts and figures about the bond performance will be enough I think. It has been seen that the global equity funds have fallen by 24% in 2008 but in comparison the global bond portfolio was up by 16%. The Renfield US government bond fund performed very well with a huge growth of 58%.Quite strange yet a positive indication to the investors. The list doesn’t come to an end. There are other players too. The SWIP global bond fund experienced a growth of 53%, Henderson overseas bonds experienced a growth of 49 %. Now if you are wondering that what is the reason behind this success story inspite of this global financial turmoil, the answer is huge currency fluctuations. Besides the reduction in interest rates has helped in pushing the prices return up. It is really a positive indication to the investors. Besides, people who have just started to invest or already invested in few stocks and incurred losses, must shift to bond investments and its times to balance your portfolio. Often people underestimate bond investment looking at the return or performance in comparison to the stock investment. But Bonds I feel are the safest and best instrument to invest in, taking care of the present market scenario. In matters of investment, “slow and steady always wins the race”.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Long Term Investment : a key to capital appreciation

Farsightedness is very important to succeed in the long run. But often people become desperate when money or any financial issue is involved. It is a general human psychology to apply shortcuts and I have seen many investors following the same path and ending up in huge loss. I always used to recommend my clients to go for long term investment plans instead of high return short term plans. Now you will ask why?? The answer is simple: It is just like the story of the rabbit and the tortoise. For example you are planning to invest a certain amount in a certain plan. Now you will first look into the instruments or portfolio where you are investing, the Net Asset Value of the particular product and obviously the past performance, and if its showing a past return of 40% to 45 %, then you will instantly buy it. Many people have done it also and they are facing the consequences now as millions of people have experienced huge capital loss. But the smarter ones are sleeping peacefully as they have invested in long term plans. Even I did few experimenting investments few years back and seen that all my mutual fund investments suffered considerable capital loss but my long term retirement plans are least affected. Everyone wants to become rich, but this can’t be achieved through shortcuts.

Beside, I have also seen a trend among the young generations to make quick money. They always avoid long term plans thinking of the tenure of those plans. Its my message to the young generations, to go for pension plans, as, time really passes very quickly. So its time to build your future and if you save today after 15 years you will get benefited. Don’t look into the past performances or how much return a plan gave, but look into the basic structuring of a plan, how it works and how you will get benefited. The present situation is so unpredictable that going for long term plans can really benefit you.

Investment to me is just making right choices and just a matter of patience and patience always pays…

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Identity Theft Insurance: What is it and How it works?

Human beings are rational animals. We have the power to think, strategize and create such things which can really change the whole functioning of the society and the world as a whole. But beware of few such animals who never think twice before locking up their rationality in their cupboard. Hence they are only “animals” or if the term is too harsh, you can call them “Identity Thieves”. Friends, no need to lock your doors as they will not infiltrate into your home directly, instead they follow a cowardly approach of stealing personal information like social security number, credit card number or any information which is valuable to you , through the misuse of technology. So it’s a real problem as you don’t know where they are and who they are. But apart from being rational, we are smart too.That’s why we are humans and we have managed to device an excellent weapon to kill this non-violent yet dangerous crime. The weapon is THE IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE.A recent study conducted by the Federal Trade commission revealed that in 2005, around 8.3 million Americans fell victim of identity theft and the thieves accumulated around $6000 worth goods and services from just 10% of the victims. Besides 56% of the victims were unable to give any information as they were clueless. In majority of the cases credit card and debit card numbers were stolen. But thanks to IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE which will not only cover you, but will also protect you from possible threats.

How it Works?

If you want to buy an Identity Theft Insurance policy then you can buy individual plan as well as family plans. In an individual plan the yearly premium is around $70 to $75 and for family plans the premium amount is around $140 to $150. One can also opt for a monthly premium scheme.

Besides, the policies have various preventive schemes and under these schemes regular alerts, newsletters on identity theft prevention tips by experts are sent to to the policy holders. This creates an environment of alertness which subsequently lowers the risk of frauds and misuse of personal information.

After purchasing the policy if someone fall victim of identity theft then there are experts who take care of the whole recovery process. There are specially appointed recovery advocates who handles all the disputes regarding the recovery. Besides, these experts work on civil and criminal judgment issues and provide necessary information to the Federal Trade Commission to solve the case more quickly and save time of the victim.

Under the reimbursement programme individual and family policy holders can be reimbursed up to a theft of $20,000, inclusive of the fees and costs involved in the recovery process.

I think that Prevention is always better than cure and trust me such an insurance for you and your family will prevent you from many threats which may be you are unaware of.