Business Startup Toolkit

A toolkit developed for the Small Business Administration that let’s community-based organizations set up workshops for aspiring business owners.

This post is aligned with a network of sites interested with the intersection of small business, the philanthropic sector and government in creating healthy and sustainable communities.

For more information on small business grant and home ownership programs visit TopGovernmentGrants.com.

Manage Your Money, And Reap The Rewards

Financial issues are a leading cause of stress and depression. Don’t be one of those people! No matter what your finances look like, things will look better if you take steps to improve your financial habits and get your bank account into better shape. Continue to read to find out how to improve your finances.

Success starts with managing money well. Profits should be protected and capital invested. If you put your profits into your capital you can build a better foundation; you need to keep a careful watch on them so you can see more profits. Set standards for profits and what you put into capital.

Save a ton of money while traveling abroad by avoiding the touristy areas and opt for local restaurants and cafes. Various hotel and other restaurants are tourist areas that tend to be very expensive, so research where locals eat. You can find quaint restaurants with lower prices and great tasting local cuisine.

Taking note of each and every expenditure is a great way to discover where your money tends to go. Though writing in a book that can easily be put away so you don’t see it often will allow you to forget about it and not use it. Instead, create a big chart or board at home and use that to list all your expenses. Seeing this multiple times a day can help keep it fresh in your mind.

If you are going to invest your money, make sure you aren’t hit with massive fees. Full service brokers levy fees for services they provide. These fees will take away from the money that you earn because they are paid before you get your earnings. Avoid patronizing brokers that charge high commissions, and do not invest in funds that have high management costs.

Rather than using a credit card that is close to being maxed out, use two or more credit cards. Two payments will have lower interest than one high payment. Keeping lower balances on two cards, rather than maxing out one card, protects your credit scores and can even improve your credit history if you keep both cards paid on time.

If you travel by air frequently, it can be worthwhile to sign up for a program that rewards frequent fliers. Most credit cards have some sort of rewards program that allows you to redeem points for cash or gifts. Your frequent flier miles will constantly increase and are redeemable at thousands of hotels or airlines across the world.

If a credit repair company guarantees a better credit score, run away screaming. Some companies may say they can absolutely fix your history. However, this is a misleading claim because the cause of your poor credit may differ from the cause of someone else’s poor credit, and these varying factors require different treatment methods. To guarantee success would be a fraud and no one should make this promise.

Financial Situation

You should be feeling happier and more confident now that you have some ideas about how to fix your financial situation. You need a few starting points on how to improve your individual financial situation. With a new sense of hope, share this material with a friend who may be in need.

Credit Repair Basics For The General Publics

If your credit report contains inaccurate information then it will negatively affect your credit score, making it difficult to get any lenders to work with you. You can actually fix your credit yourself and finally have a healthy credit report. This article will tell you what you need to know to repair your credit.

If you don’t want to pay too much at a time, you can avoid paying higher interest rates than you started with. If you are being charged a distressingly high interest rate, you may be able to talk to your creditor. However, when you signed up for the line of credit you also agreed to pay the interest. You need to be able to prove the interest rates are too high if you want to sue your lenders.

No credit repair company can remove factual information, no matter how damaging, from your credit report. This information can stay on your record for about seven years. However, if there is incorrect information, you can have it cleared up easily by yourself.

If your credit does not allow you to obtain new credit, getting a secured one is much easier and will help fix your credit. These are extremely easy to qualify for. A secured credit card looks just like a regular card, and works like a regular card, but you have to have the necessary money in an account to guarantee payment. A responsibly used new credit card will begin healing your credit score.

You must pay your bills consistently if you want to repair your credit. Pay these bills on time, and make sure you pay the full amounts owed. You will notice an improvement in your credit score pretty quickly after paying off some past debts.

Due Date

When you are trying to fix your credit record, call your creditors and make payment arrangements that will benefit both of you. You should contact the company and request a lower interest rate or a due date change if necessary. Talk to the company and see if you can change your due date or monthly fees.

Pay down the balance on any credit card that is 50% or more of the credit limit. If your credit card balances exceed 50% of their limits, it will lower your credit score, so spread your debt over multiple cards, or better, pay down the balances.

Give the credit card companies a call and find out if they will lower your credit limit. Doing this keeps you from overtaxing yourself. It also shows the lending company that you are responsible.

Before going into debt settlement, find out how it will affect your credit score. Do some heavy researching before starting an agreement with any creditor; there are other options that may not damage your credit score as heavily. The creditor does not care what happens to your credit score, as long as they get their money.

Joining a credit union may be helpful if you want to work on improving your credit score and are finding it difficult to access new credit. Credit unions sometimes have better rates and more options for your credit rather than a large bank. You can base this on how well the economy is in your area instead of the national situation.

It’s vital that you actually begin paying the bills that you have if you want to improve your credit. More importantly, you need to start paying your bills in full and on time. Your credit rating will quickly rise as you settle up your overdue bills.

Credit Score

As shown here, you can do a number of things to help repair your credit and get back on solid footing again. By following the advice given in this article, your credit score should improve. A good way to enhance your credit score is DIY credit score improvement.

Debt Consolidation Isn’t Terribly Difficult Once You Read This Advice

Everyone hates debt; it is an overwhelming thing to deal with. When people are faced with extreme amounts of debt, they often learn they will resort to behavior they never thought they would. Instead of struggling, use this article to learn more about debt consolidation.

Never go with a debt consolidation company just because they claim non-profit status. For example, a company saying that it is a non-profit agency is not necessarily good. Always research any company at the website of the BBB, or Better Business Bureau.

Lots of people succeed at lowering payment obligations with a simple call to creditors. Most creditors will find a way to help their debtors pay off their balance. If you’ve been having trouble paying your credit card payments then you need to contact the company that gave you the card to see if there’s anything you can do to work this situation out.

Check your credit report. They can help you understand the depth of your financial problems and reveal patterns to help you see where you went wrong. Doing this will prevent you from getting into financial troubles once again.

It is very important to do some background research on different debt consolidation companies before hiring a counselor to help you. This will allow you to find out who is the best for your situation.

Sometimes, you can use your retirement or 401K money to pay for credit cards. This shouldn’t be done unless you’re sure that this money can be paid back into your account. If you are unable to, you may have to pay a penalty fee or taxes.

Which debts would be best consolidated, and which can be paid off normally? Do not include zero percent loans in your consolidation unless the rate is due to expire. Go through each loan with the lender to make wise decisions.

When looking at which debt consolidation agency to go with, you should look at the long term. You need to deal with your debts today, but you need a company which will continue to work with you into the future. Many companies offer services that will show you how to avoid financial problems after you’re debt free.

Find out what their privacy policy is. See what sensitive information they store and how it is protected. Determine whether or not they encrypt your files. If the information isn’t encrypted, your identity could get stolen if their computer system is hacked.

You should learn more about different debt consolidation services, for instance by looking for reviews written by clients. Check with the BBB, or Better Business Bureau, and similar consumer watchdog organizations to be sure you are not entrusting your hard-earned money to those with bad reputations.

Determine all of the fees that you will need to pay, beforehand. The company should give you a detailed account of the fee structure. They cannot collect a dime unless they perform a service. You should not need to pay for any fees to set up an account with this company.

Don’t choose a debt consolidation on the grounds that they claim to be a non-profit. Even though you’ve heard differently, not for profit doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. You can easily check to see if the company is reputable by contacting the BBB, which stands for Better Business Bureau.

When selecting a debt consolidation company, it is important that they are always available when you need them. Even after you have signed an agreement, you might have further concerns and questions that need to be addressed. Ensure this company has an excellent customer service center who will always answer any questions or concerns you have.

People often feel defeated when in insurmountable debt and get desperate by making bad choices. This is something that does not have to happen and shouldn’t even be entertained. You know how debt consolidation may help now, so try using these tips to improve your finances.

People That Need Debt Consolidation Should Read This

It isn’t easy to prepare for debt consolidation. But if you can make it work, it can improve your financial situation. The information that follows will get you started on the path to debt consolidation.

Just because a company calls itself nonprofit doesn’t mean they are completely trustworthy and will be fair in their service charges for debt consolidation. That term is frequently used by predatory lenders that want to give you bad loan terms. Check them out at the BBB’s website first, or ask people you know for a recommendation you can trust.

Make sure the debt consolidation firm’s counselors are qualified. Find out whether these counselors contain certifications from reputable organizations. Are they backed by places that are reputable so they can be trusted and are strongly backed? This will give you a better idea of whether or not the company will be right for your needs.

Make sure to do your homework when researching a debt consolidation company. Doing this will help ease your mind that the future of your finances is in good hands.

Consider the long term when picking out the debt consolidation business that’ll be helping you. Obviously, you want to get the current situation straightened out, but find out whether or not the company will work with you in the future as well. Many offer services that can help you today, tomorrow and well into the future.

Do you currently hold a life insurance policy? Cashing out your policy can help you eliminate some of your debt. Talk to your insurance agent for more information. In some cases, you get to borrow some of your policy investment in order to pay current debt.

When considering a debt consolidation loan, look for one with a low fixed interest rate. Without this, you won’t know what to pay every month and that can make things hard. Search for a loan that give you decent rates, allowing you to be in a better position than today.

Try to use a loan to clear off the debts that you have. Creditors often knock off a large percentage of the debt in order to receive a lump sum payment. This will help your overall credit score, rather than harm it.

Debt Consolidation

Ask about your debt consolidation company’s interest rate. A fixed rate is always a better option. This way you know the amount you will be paying for the duration of the loan. Beware of adjustable interest rate debt consolidation plans. A lot of the time this will make it to where you have to pay them more interest than the money you owed.

While you are working at consolidating your debts, try to understand how you ended up in this position. The purpose of debt consolidation is to resolve your debt, and you want to be able to avoid it in the future. Try soul-searching to see what caused this situation to avoid it from occurring again.

Debt consolidation can be the help that you are looking for if they are not a scam. Keep in mind that if things seem too good to be true, they probably are. Ask a potential lenders many questions and prior to agreeing to anything with them, have these questions answered.

Pay for purchases in cash when you have a consolidation plan in place. You don’t want to get into the habit again of relying on your credit cards. This will cause you to get into the same habits that caused problems in the first place. Pay with cash and you can’t overspend.

Becoming debt free takes hard work. Use what this article has gone over if you’d like to figure out what can be done so you can consolidate your debts. This can help you brighten your future.

Stock Market Basics That Everyone Must Know

If earning more money is your goal, you should think about putting money in the stock market. You might be shocked by the earning potential. However, for you to make large sums of money through investing, you need to study and learn to make the right choices. Keep reading to learn the basics of successful investing.

Always maintain realistic expectations about your investments. It is rare to have overnight success in the stock market, unless of course you do high risk trading. Prudent people know to avoid such high risk activity due to a great chance of losing a lot of money. Understand this fact in order to prevent yourself from making costly errors with your investing.

Creating a long-tern strategy is the best way to make the most money when you are investing. Be realistic when investing. In order to maximize your profits make sure you try and hold on to your stocks as long as you can.

Before going to a broker, you should do some background research to make sure you can trust them with your money. By spending some time investigating their background, you can avoid rouge brokers who will rob you of your hard earned cash.

Before you jump into the stock market, watch and learn first. Especially before making that first investment, you should get in as much pre-trading study time of the market as you can. It is not uncommon for successful investors to have spent years watching the market before they actually invested their own money. Spend some time as a stock watcher. This gives you the ability to make sound decisions, leading to greater returns.

Be sure that you have a number of different investments. You don’t want all of your money riding on one stock alone, you want to have options. Investing everything in a single company who ends up unexpectedly going bankrupt will bankrupt you as well.

Living Expenses

Your portfolio should always have a reasonable amount of diversity. You don’t want to have all of your eggs in a single basket. So if something goes wrong in one stock, you have the potential to still earn profits from another.

Keeping six months of living expenses in a high interest account provides a lot of security. That way, if you are faced with a major problem like medical emergencies or unemployment, you will still be able to meet your monthly living expenses, such as your mortgage or rent. That should tide you over while you resolve those issues.

Damaged stocks are okay to invest in, damaged companies are not. When a stock has a temporary drop in price it is a great time to buy, but it is also important to be certain that the decline is really temporary. A company that made a fixable mistake can make a stock drop, but not the value. If the company’s stock dropped in value because of dishonesty, greed or scandal, however, the stock might never recover.

As this article stated, you can make a very good income by investing in stocks. Having knowledge of the subject is very important to make substantial amounts of money. Take the advice from this article and soon you will be on the path towards being an expert in the stock market!

Only allocate a tenth or less of your investment capital into a single stock. Therefore, if your stock eventually starts to crater, you will not have risked all of your money.

Solid Advice For Credit Repair. You Can’t Go Wrong When You Follow These Tips

Have you been experiencing trouble and been feeling stressed because of bad credit? A lot of credit scores are going down during this difficult economic time. Luckily, there are ways to improve it, and you can start right now by having a look at these credit score repair tips.

If credit restoration is your goal, create a plan and stick with it. Real changes come from commitment to healthy spending habits. Only buy the things that are absolutely necessary. If the thing you’re looking at is not both necessary and within your budget, then put it back on the shelf and walk away.

Credit Card

Getting a traditional home loan can be difficult, if not impossible, with imperfect credit. If your income is a factor you may qualify for a FHA loan, which has lower standards and makes the federal government your lender in a sense. Even when the resources for making down payments or paying closing costs are lacking, FHA loans can help.

If you need a credit card to aid in fixing your credit but you cannot obtain one due to the state of your credit, applying for a secured credit card is an option. This card is very easy to get, because you put money into an account ahead of time and then spend from that, so the bank doesn’t have to worry about not getting their money. A responsibly used new credit card will begin healing your credit score.

If your credit card has a balance of over 50% of your limit, it should be your number one priority to pay it off until the balance is under 50%. Carrying a balance of more than half your credit limit negatively impacts your credit score. Either pay this balance down or spread it out over multiple cards.

Credit Score

If your credit card is carrying more than half of its credit limit, your first priority should be paying it down until it is below 50%. Your credit score can be negatively impacted if you are carrying a large balance compared to the available credit you have. While you are paying off these cards, reduce the balance to a small percentage of your available limit.

With a good credit score, you can easily buy a house and mortgage it. By paying off your mortgage on time, you will even improve your credit score further. Owning a valuable asset like a house will improve your financial stability and make you appear more creditworthy. This will be useful in case you need to borrow money.

When you are trying to clear up your credit contact your credit companies. By doing this, you will keep your credit from getting worse by making sure that your debt does not increase. Credit card agents may have the authority to eliminate monthly charges, extend your due date or change your billing cycle.

If your low credit rating has ever frustrated you and left you discouraged about your future, then apply the advice here to change your course. These strategies can aid in stopping your credit score from going down and you will be able to make it go up again.

You won’t be able to repair your credit until you are able to pay those bills. It is key that you pay them on time and in full. Do the best that you can. You will notice an improvement in your credit score pretty quickly after paying off some past debts.

Use Your Bank Cards The Right Way

Making a purchase and deferring payment for it is the primary advantage offered by bank cards. Be knowledgeable about bank cards before you start using one to avoid financial disaster. Read this article for great credit card advice.

Should you notice a charge that is fraudulent on any credit card, immediately report it to the credit card company. By doing this, you can help your credit card company catch the thief who is making these unauthorized charges. This will help ensure you are not liable for any fraudulent charges against the card. To report any unauthorized charges to your card, either call or email your credit card issuer.

Lots of charge cards come with hefty bonus offers when you sign up. Read the fine print before signing up, however, because there are often many ways you could be disqualified from the bonus. Often, you must spend a particular amount within a certain time period; think about whether or not you can do what the terms require prior to getting excited by the offer.

Never charge items on credit cards that cost far more than you have to spend. While it’s suitable to pay for an item that you can afford to pay for later, don’t buy something that’s seriously out of reach.

Credit card companies set minimum payments in order to make as much money from you as they can. Whenever you can afford to, send in payments that exceed the minimum amount. This will help you to avoid high interest rates, and it will also help you take years off of the payment structure.

Credit Card

Always pay your credit card on time. You may have to pay large fees if you ignore the due date on your credit card statement. Furthermore, many credit card providers will increase your interest rate if you fail to pay off your balance in time. This increase will mean that all of the items that you buy in the future with your credit card will cost more.

You should develop a budget for your credit card usage. It is a good idea to include your credit card into your budget. Do not think of a line of credit as extra money. Figure out a set amount that you’re comfortable with setting aside to make payments on your credit cards every month. Don’t go over that amount, and pay the balance off every month.

Don’t start using charge cards to purchase things you aren’t able to afford. No matter how nice an item is, you shouldn’t use a credit card to finance an item if you cannot afford it. High monthly payments, along with months or years of finance charges, can cost you dearly. Take some time to sleep on the the decision and make sure it is really something you want to do. Talk to the store if you still want to buy a big-ticket item after thinking it over. You may be able to get financing in the store, and many times this is a better deal than using your credit card.

When you use your card properly, they can prove extremely helpful. Keeping yourself as debt free as possible and upholding a solid credit score is possible when you apply the tips from this article. When you accomplish this, your cards stay available to make purchases when you need to make them.

Advice For Success In The Stock Market

Putting your money in the stock market is a great way to earn more income. You’ll be amazed by how much profit you make. But, to maximize the money you make by investing in stocks, you have to be smart about it, assuming your desire is to be successful. Keep reading to learn the basics of successful investing.

A long-term plan is wise if you want to make a lot of money from a stock market investment. You’ll also be a lot more successful by having realistic expectations as opposed to trying to predict unpredictable things. Hold onto stocks for however long it takes to meet your profit goals.

Stock Market

It is prudent to keep a high-earning interest bearing amount of money saved away for an emergency. The idea here, of course, is that should you ever need emergency funding, you can break into this fund and hopefully get by without depleting it. Or, should you really need it on an extended basis, at least the money will be there.

Monitor the stock market before you actually enter it. Studying the stock market at length is recommended before purchasing your first investment. Prior to investing, try to follow the stock market for at least a couple of years. If you are patient and observant, you’ll understand the market better and will be more likely to make money.

If you intend to build a portfolio with an eye toward achieving the strongest, long range yields, it is necessary to choose stocks from several sectors. Although, on average, the entire market has gains each year, not every part of industry will increase in value from year to year. By having different positions through different sectors, you could capitalize on industries that grow drastically in order to grow your portfolio. Rebalancing your portfolio regularly will cut down on your risks from losing stocks and sectors while aligning yourself to capitalize on future growth.

Think of your stocks as interest in a company that you own, rather than just simple meaningless elements to be traded. This means that you will really want to be knowledgeable about any investment you’re making. Learn a lot about the company and its various strengths. Learn about where you’re vulnerable. You will need time to decide whether or not to invest in certain stocks.

If you aim to have a portfolio which focuses on long range yields, then you want to grab a variety of the stronger stocks from a wide range of industries. Not every sector will do well in any given year. By investing in multiple sectors, you will allow yourself to see growth in strong industries while also being able to sit things out and wait with the industries that are not as strong. Re-balance every now and then to prevent the chances of profit loss.

As stated previously, a good way to make a lot of money is by investing it in stocks. However, it is important to be quite knowledgeable about it in order to get the most out of your investment. Take the advice from this article and soon you will be on the path towards being an expert in the stock market!

Increase Your Wealth: Easy Tips For Investing In The Stock Market

The topic of investing has been discussed in countless books, papers, and reports and websites. If you attempt to read it all, you will most likely find yourself confused and overwhelmed before long. Then what are the fundamentals concerning investing that you should take the time to learn? This article contains all you need to know.

Set realistic goals when you begin to invest. It is generally understood that success does not happen overnight without taking on inadvisable high risk investments. Keep this in mind as you build your portfolio to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of.

Stock Market

Prior to investing any cash with investment brokers, ensure you utilize the free resources you have available in order to shed some light on their reputation. By taking the time to investigate their background, you leave yourself less open to the possibility of investment fraud.

Carefully monitor the stock market before entering into it. Before your initial investment, try studying the market as long as you can. Prior to investing, try to follow the stock market for at least a couple of years. If you wait long enough, you will know how the market functions and you will be making the right decisions.

Don’t make an attempt to time markets. Research shows that patience pays off and slow and steady is the tried and true method for success in the world of stock. All you need to do is to decide how much money you can safely afford to invest. Then, make a habit of investing regularly, and don’t stop.

If you’re confident doing investment research on your own, try using an online brokerage. When it comes to both commissions and trade fees, online brokers are significantly cheaper than ordinary brokers, or even discount ones. Since profits are your goal, lower trading and commission costs definitely help.

An important part of investing is re-evaluating your stock portfolio periodically, such as every quarter. This is because the economy constantly changes. Some industries will advance, while others will gradually die out. Depending on current economic conditions, some financial instruments may make better investments than others. So, it is crucial to follow your portfolio and make any needed changes.

Try not investing a lot in the company where you’re employed. While owning stock in your employer company can make you feel proud, it still carries a certain degree of risk. If something negative happens to your employer, both the value of your portfolio and your paycheck could be threatened. Conversely, if the company has a solid history and employees can buy shares at a discount, this could become a very lucrative opportunity for you.

Do not invest a great amount of money in the stock where you work. It’s important that your entire portfolio isn’t based on a single company’s stock. If your main investment is in your own company, then you might face hardship if your company goes under.

A financial advisor can be a great resource, even for those who plan to manage their stocks on their own. A good professional will not just give you some good individual stock picks. They will help you figure out how much you are at risk and look at your long term goals to determine a timeline. You can both then develop a customized plan that will help you to achieve your goals.

If you’re confident doing investment research on your own, try using an online brokerage. Most fees will be greatly reduced with any firm when you do the leg work and research yourself, even with the discounted brokers. This is an easy way to cut back on your investing costs, letting you enjoy the highest potential profits.

So, now you are informed. You should now start formulating a strategy for the future now. While it is fun during your youth to not plan too far in advance, sometimes you need to look a little further than next week. Because you now have some great knowledge, you need to utilize it in order to remain in control of your finances.

Helpful Advice You Should Read About Debt Consolidation

Is debt consolidation something you’ve heard of? Most people have heard the term, but many do not understand what is involved with debt consolidation. This article will aim to solve that problem. If debt consolidation is something you have in mind, this piece is for you. The information you find here will help you understand the choices available to you and your financial situation.

Check your credit report. The first step to helping your credit is to understand why you got to where you are in the first place. This will allow you to stay away from going the wrong way with your finances after getting them in order.

When you are exploring debt consolidation options, do not assume that a non-profit business is completely trustworthy or that they will give you the best terms. This term is often used as a disguise for predatory lenders and you could end up with very unfavorable loan terms. Check the BBB.org website to find a highly reputable firm.

Don’t necessarily trust just any non-profit debt consolidation company when you’re researching your different options. Certain companies mask themselves as non-profit in order to fool people into using them, resulting in extremely high loan terms that you cannot get out of. Check the BBB.org website to find a highly reputable firm.

Borrowing money can be a good way to pay your debt off. Contact a lender to see what kind of deals you can get on the interest rate for a loan. A car could be used as collateral for your loan. Borrow money only if you can pay it back on time.

Low fixed rates are something that you want to seek out with debt consolidation loans. Without this, you won’t know what to pay every month and that can make things hard. Look for a one-stop loan that provides favorable terms over the life of the loan and puts you in a much better financial position once the loan has been paid off.

If you’ve got a home, you should consider refinancing it and taking that cash to eliminate your debt. Rates are low, so it is the best time to consolidate what you owe this way. It is likely you will pay less monthly on your mortgage as well.

Before using a consolidation company, ensure they have qualified counselors. Do they have any certifications? Do they have a legitimate reputation that you can count on? You can determine if they are worth using to consolidate your debt if you know this information.

Don’t take money from an unknown entity. Loan sharks are looking to take advantage of you. When choosing a debt consolidator, take the time to learn about their reputation and all about their interest, fees and other charged which can quickly add up.

Now you’ll have a good understand of debt consolidation. Be sure to do sufficient research to ensure that you fully grasp the pros and cons of your options. If you do things right, your financial future will be much brighter.