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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Debt Management offers a way out for debt laden UK

By Phillip Evans

Are we in the UK drowning in Debt? According to the insurer AXA, some 11.6 million people (25 per cent of the adult population) are said to be struggling financially with a significant number, around 1.3 million people, admitting their finances are entirely out of control.

The report suggests that over 3.7 million people are reported to be struggling to cope with mounting credit card bills and just over a million people have borrowed too much money and are now struggling to keep up their repayments.

Half a million home owners have been threatened with a bailiff or eviction and personal county court judgements CCJs has increased in quarter 3 to their highest level since the start of 2007

The public interest Company that manages the register of judgements on behalf of the Lord Chancellor has reported that within England and Wales County Court Judgements rose by 17.4 per cent year on year to 223,519, its highest level since the beginning of 2007 and from the second quarter of 2008 this is a 25 per cent increase.

Individuals entering into insolvency within the borders of England and Wales are on the up by nearly 9 per cent or just over twenty seven thousand in the 3rd part of 2008 compared with the previous quarter.

Bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) have increased 12 and 3 percent respectively.

The treacherous economic conditions for people and business has created a rise in corporate and personal insolvency and the worsening economy is making the prospect of a further rise in insolvency further predictable through 2009.

Unfortunately the planned Simplified Individual Voluntary Arrangement SIVA, due out next year has been abandoned by the Insolvency Service

A simplified version of the IVA, for consumers with debts up to 75,000 and that would only require approval by a simple majority of creditors rather than the 75 per cent majority under normal IVAs, was due to be introduced in April 2009.

The British borrower drowning in debt not wishing to go bankrupt really should consider both the individual voluntary arrangement or a more informal debt management program to help get your debt problems under control.

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Fannie Mae Bumps Rates for Reverse Mortgage by Week's End

By Spikoliolio Vanrock

Most reverse mortgage customers choose to work with a line of credit. They do this for multiple reasons, but that is for another article.

What I'm referring to here is the fact that this week, the margins charged by reverse mortgage lenders nationwide will increase a half percent or more.

What the heck is a margin? I was getting to that. The margin is the profit built into the loan by the bank and those that would put their money into mortgage backed securities.

For example, most borrowers, in the reverse mortgage arena, were moving forward with the constant maturity treasury based line of credit. The constant maturity treasury is simply an index or basis for the loan.

A couple of days ago the lender's marginal charge (banks profit) was 1.75%. The constant maturity treasury index rested at a .40%, the total of these is 2.15%. This would be the real rate of interest on the loan.

Lenders were sent notice just yesterday that Fannie Mae (a group that backs loans on the secondary market) has bumped up the margin .5 percent at the least.

The borrower won't really see any huge negatives from this. Up to this point we've been blessed by interest rates being below FHA's ground rate. This rate is what is used to figure the most money a lender can allocate to the borrower.

How much a senior is loaned and interest go hand in hand. A loan will be higher if the interest is lower. It goes the other way as well until the ground FHA rate is reached. Then any interest rate less than that rate will not make the loan higher.

Fortunately, we are well below that rate, and for most borrowers the increase in margin won't put them up above the floor. What that means is the borrowed amount they were quoted last week will still be good this week.

What will happen is the equity will evaporate slightly more rapidly due to the margin being raised. This isn't the best thing about a reverse loan, but not having to pay the mortgage company every month helps.

The downside is interest is accruing against the equity of the home. The higher margins will simply make that interest accrue a little quicker.

Home Building Hurdles and Construction loan Declines

By Rick Gomez

The financial crisis is affecting everyone. People are losing their jobs and some have to foreclose their homes. As a result, there is a decline in home building making some doubt that now is now the right time to build a home. [I:0:T]

What this means is that the number of homes or apartments being built will be the fewest since the Second World War. The reason for this is simple, not that many people are willing to build a home and banks are a bit hesitant whether or not to approve a loan.

In some states, there was a decline of more than 20 percent for new housing permits. This means contracts dont have that many jobs and there is not that much money collected from real estate taxes and building permits which contribute to local revenue.

Since its been months or even a few years that these homes were built, you have to expect that it is going to cost more now to construct something similar. The rooms which will be the most expensive to make will be the bathroom and kitchen. The number of windows and their size is another factor as well as the vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches.

Should there be any problems with the house, you dont call your landlord since there is none. You will have to find a specialist to figure out what is wrong in order to fix it.

But these things should not deter you from considering building your own home even during a time when home building is on the decline. Why? Because building a home is a one time investment unlike rent where you pay a fixed amount per month and this could up the following year.

What is even better is that you live in a dwelling according to your specifications. If you dont like it or you want to add something, you can make changes and no one will oppose your decision.

Another thing that could reduce cost is the shape of the home. Houses that are shaped like a rectangle, square or dome shaped are more affordable to build since there are not that many angles or corners which increases the amount of labor and the materials that will be needed.

Many people that it will take between two to three years for the market to stabilize so business will be back to normal by 2011. So again, if you have the money, there is a lot of houses that are now available in the market to buy and when these are sold, equilibrium is achieved and there will be a construction boom once again.

If you had this property for a long time, then chances are the neighborhood around you is already well developed. You dont have to haul a lot of dirt, do grading, clear trees or blast through large rocks if your property happens to be somewhat secluded.

There are bargains to be found out there in the real estate marketplace but make sure you pick the best projects in the best areas.

You will also get tax cuts which will never happen if you are renting. You will be happy about this when it is time once again to pay your income tax for both federal and state since these are usually fully deductible.

What makes matter worse is that banks who happily loaned money to homeowners sold this to companies like Fannie Mae or to buyers of mortgage backed bonds. As a result, the value of most homes is now falling so you will have a hard time making a profit if you decide to sell your home.

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Thinkorswim, The Best Broker

By Walter Fox

There was a time when people were not getting easy credit from financial institutions due to their rigid conditions. Money flow in the market was limited in spite of the huge funds lying in the banks. Due to the new liberal economic policies of all countries of the world, common people got access to easy loans from banks.

With money in their hands, people to invest their money and stocks and currency options trading business found great new methods of detection. Online option and people with the beginning of the trading system jumped into the fray. Within a few trading sessions, felt the importance of the business techniques.

In order to help investors, many of the new brokerage sector experts. Commerce, who come from different sectors of society and the lack of basic knowledge of the discovery of the trade deal prompted by the choice of these agencies is very useful. This is a win-win - a win-win situation for traders and brokers of the success of a trade.

Along with the growth of market, new agencies are come into existence and some of them became very popular and successful. Thinkorswim brokerage is an American based broking company which offers live and online education services to its customers across the globe. They are the prominent advisers in the field of futures and option spread trading. They manage more than seventy thousand customer accounts which include individual traders and institutional users.

Thinkorswim options prompted brokerage was found to be a very useful account holder is a very healthy rate of success. They help their clients on different types of investments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, bonds, mutual funds futures. Thinkorswim has reached a slot in the ranking of the list many times, because it's customer satisfaction index levels.

Thinkorswim customer satisfaction rate of options trading tips and their popularity of the world's other major markets in the commission and also the best in the Nasdaq has given. In an international market you so that you can earn money from your business to meet the challenges of a sufficient knowledge is required.

Broker tricks and techniques are some important tools through which one can trade in the market. Also you can buy professional advisors in the form of a software product. For a new comer in the market these tools and advices are very important for making some gains from their trade. Without the help of these aids one cannot survive in the market for longer period.

By the way, these financial markets are more and more opportunities in decision-making profit from your hard-earned money is very remote, unless you are equipped with the same resources, skills and technology, it is more applicable to a prematureaoia. The best choice is a dealer for your advice on-line brokers who operate in a very long period of continuous study of the financial performance of companies and their best Thinkorswim.

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Different Credit Cards

By Eric Jilson

One of the most well-known and trusted providers of credit cards is American Express, especially in the low interest rate, high credit genre of cards. Often, their balance transfer options and up to fifteen months with no interest can't be beat. Some of their cards even offer points with redemptions towards travel, hotels, rentals, and more and often with no annual fee.

Chase credit cards have 5% on purchases and an offer of 0% APR for up to a full year. Cardholders can even receive cash back on 1% of their additional purchases. Chase offers a wide variety of cards, so you'll probably find one that fits your needs.

Citi has the Platinum Select card which has a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, though it does not apply to cash advances. If you fail to make payments, go over your limit, or otherwise do not meet the terms of the contract, however, you'll likely lose these benefits.

Discover Platinum Cards are also offered with 0% APR as an introductory rate for up to a year. They also offer no annual fees, 5% cash rewards, and zero fraud liability along with limitless cash rewards for 1% of additional purchases. If you purchase products from their select, name-brand companies, they offer double the rewards for doing so. Of course, since you're paying a premium for the name-brand item, this may not really be that great of a deal. Make sure to read up on the card's requirements and small print before joining, as many find themselves caught because they didn't.

HSBC Mastercard offers manufactured goods from their in-house catalog to new cardholders. Since this bank mainly deals with newly established credit or people with credit difficulties, their offer few 0% APR or other deals. Their rates go as high as 18.75% and they usually have other fees associated with their credit re-establishing offers.

The AT&T Universal Platinum Cards are offered with similar deals, but also include many things the others do not. These include phone savings (through AT&T, of course) and free directory assistance credits and phone minutes monthly. This low-rate card is also a phone card, so you can use it to make long distance calls from any phone world-wide. This is in addition to their 0% APR for a year on purchases and balance transfers and their zero fraud liability guarantee. There are also options for insurance coverage on wireless phones built-in to the account. Of course, it's not all roses. There are down-sides to this card including variable rates after the year is up and very high rates on cash advances and defaults.

Bottom line, there are many cards out there for you to choose from and finding the right one for you is only a matter of looking through the options. For anyone looking for a new credit card or to transfer the balance and close out an existing card, there is a lot to look at out there. Hopefully this short list has helped you in making an informed decision. Be sure to check out each individual offer and to read contracts carefully so you don't get burned.

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Early Retirement ??" Something to Think About

By William Blake

There are so many people who work hard day in and day out for 40 plus years only to end up frustrated and depressed because they retired with little or nothing to show for their years of hard work. Early retirement is something to be considered if you would rather not still be working when you are 65 or maybe even older.

To plan for early retirement you have to think beyond the regular full time job that you have and even beyond the 401K you are working hard to build. There are other avenues of saving for your future so that you can enjoy retirement at an early age.

These avenues can really help your finances grow so that you will be able to stop working well before you reach the age of 65. And even after you reached your financial goal you may find it easy to continue following the same pattern and continue to build on your savings.

If you look at the history of the financial world and you consider the current state of affairs with government funds the future looks really bleak. That is especially true if you are resting your hope on social security benefits which may not be around when you are ready to draw on them. And because of the unstable market many have retired with nothing in their 401K. A different approach is needed. You need to invest.

The Possibilities Are Endless

What should you invest in? Real estate is the surest investment you can make. Though it may be a sure investment it is not one to be jumped into without educating yourself through courses and books that are available.

There are always advertisements out there telling you how you can make millions in a day. To learn how to avoid the frauds and find the real investment opportunities you have to educate yourself. With a little know how you can find properties to invest in that have real potential for huge value increases.

You can buy property, fix it up, and sell it for a profit. Or you can invest in rental property and sell when it is time to retire. Any way you look at it investing in real estate is a solid way to secure your financial future.

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Wondering What Day Trading Is? Here's How To Get Started

By Sam Lockwood

One way you can make money buying and selling on the stock exchange is by day trading. This method uses the volatility of the market over the course of a given day to help traders make their money. Currently, we're in one of the most volatile markets since the late 1990s, making it one of the best day trading markets.

Day trading can use short selling to profit from stocks even if indicators say that the prices are dropping in the near future. In every case, day traders will be working through brokers, and they'll have to watch two major indicators. These indicators are the TDISC and the NDIX. At the beginning of a given trading day, these indicators will tell you a lot about what's going on in several exchanges. They're sensitive to volatile markets. When markets are going down, the TDISC drops by more than two thousand ticks in a very short time. When markets are rising, the NDIX increases by the same in under a half hour of opening.

These rapid fluctuations are how day traders make their money. Doing quick buys and sells are the way that people in this kind of trading make a lot of money. However, these are also the way that they lose it all, if they're not careful. If you're day trading, you won't be buying for the long term. That means it's tempting to ignore your research and buy in volume. You may get lucky, but most times this doesn't happen.

Day trading isn't passive income - it's a job. Anyone who wants to do day trading should make sure that they've been properly trained. There are plenty of good online courses and seminars out there that'll help you be sure you know what you're getting into.

In addition to basic knowledge, you will also require a brokerage account. After all, one of the big tricks for day trading is short selling. This is when you borrow a share of stock from the broker you work with, then sell it right away. You're planning to buy another share to give back to him with it comes due. When the price of stock goes down, you make a profit. Time things correctly and read the market right and you'll find things working out well. You can also move larger amounts using leverage.

The opposite of short selling is deciding to borrow or buy a share of stock at one price, then selling it the same day for a higher price.

To do well in day trading, you must have excellent observational abilities and amazing nerves. You also have to have a short memory. That's because you're going to have to look at losses, and you have to be able to do it without letting stress take over.

Now, it is possible to do day trading from home and to do well at it. Use the right programs and tutorials to find out everything you can, and make sure all trades are executed according to a careful plan. Be sure to get them done before the last half hour of the trading day in your market, as well.

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Home Buddies Economic Outlook 3 - Credit and Investor Opportunity

By Cliff Pape

Over the past several weeks we have taken a bird's eye view of the US economy. In this post I will be addressing what we will likely see happening in mortgage and real estate markets in 2009. Finally, I will point out the unique opportunities that are available in this type of environment.

Credit Markets & Lending

It seems the biggest story coming out of 2008 is the Fed's announcement in November to buy up $600 billion in unsecured debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie and Freddie. The push is an attempt by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to steer toward lower mortgage rates - not just lower short-term rates.

The sole reason the Fed did this was to lower debt cost (i.e. make it cheaper to obtain a mortgage). They are attempting to kill two birds with one stone by making mortgages cheaper in hopes of enticing potential single family home buyers with credit to come off of the sidelines and purchase.

Investors have always had the role of stabilizing property values after every bust and this cycle is no different. When investors and retail buyers begin to buy up property, values will start to recover which helps the banks' balance sheets. The good news for loan officers is that the cycle so far has been pretty predictable and we have long been anticipating a new refinance boom that usually comes after federal manipulation.

Real Estate Markets

There are a few things to keep an eye on in Houston. If housing permits continue to contract, it could be a while before the national residential real estate scene improves. Several markets such as Houston are still bucking the national trend, but, even in these markets, permits are beginning to contract which is pointing toward a slow-down as we head into 2009.

Layoffs will be the biggest indicator for Houston for next year. If there are massive job losses then the already fragile market could see a big setback.


Fear in markets leads to an over-correction and there may never be a better time to buy property in Houston - if you have good credit. In otherwise stable markets like Houston, fear is causing prices to move below what Houston's economic indicators should warrant.

With credit standards like they are right now, many investors (and most retail buyers) are out of the game because they are not able to get financing for single family homes. So now is a window of opportunity for smart investors with good credit to buy up undervalued investment properies in Houston.

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Fixing Up Your Bad Credit

By Darren Cason

The term "bad credit" really means a poor credit rating. A credit history that is less than ideal can result in the rejection of an application for a loan, especially with the more conservative lenders such as banks. However, bad credit does not have to be a hindrance any more because there are lenders out there who are willing to offer packages to assist people in financial difficulties. It is possible that you won't even have to offer any security to obtain the loan. If you are in this situation, it may just mean that you have to pay a higher interest rate to offset the risk that the lender is taking with you.

There is a solution to your problems now, even if you are unable to make a payment at some stage. It is possible to repair your credit, but to do this you have to work out what resources you have to assist you in the repayment of the loan. There are some kits available in the market to help you with this dilemma and there are also resources in certain libraries that you can research. You should be able to make photocopies of any relevant information. This information will also assist you with any negotiations you will make with your prospective lender. Most kits will guide you step by step through the process.

Your intial step should be to obtain copies of credit reports from the credit agencies. Clear up any discrepancies or false information as this will be of benefit to you in the future when you are establishing your creditworthiness.

Once you have obtained the reports, carefully examine your credit score and evaluate your financial situation and if you are finding it difficult to meet your minimum payments, consult with your lenders to decide upon a mutually satisfactory solution. Most lenders will be more than happy to work with you as they realize that it is better to have some repayments happening than none at all. Explain your situation in detail; don't try to embellish the truth so you can have honest suggestions on how to improve your credit score.

Once you have made the first difficult step in repairing your credit rating, it is important to maintain your rate of payment to transform a "bad" credit into an "excellent" one.

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Getting Personal Loans When You Have Bad Credit

By Trinity Hall

If your credit is less than stellar, you may have difficulty securing loans. Banks are taking a risk by lending to you and for this reason, you may have to shop quite a bit to find an institution that can help you out. Even though that is the case, you can find help if you look enough.

When your credit gets worse and worse, it becomes harder and harder to get new loans. This can create a situation that becomes almost impossible to escape from. Unexpected expenses can make things even more difficult.

Personal loans are usually issued for a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The term of the loan is usually only a few weeks. If you have bad credit, the good news is most lending institutions wont check your credit history before issuing the loan.

With payday personal loans, the lenders doesn't expect collateral and also will not perform a credit check for eligibility. Since they will be taking on quite a bit of risk, they will charge interest rates that are quite high.

If you are employed for a larger company, you might want to look into any loan options with them. Many companies, as a benefit to their employees, offer personal loans. The loan will almost definitely have a lower interest rate attached to it since it is usually not offered so that your employer can make money off of you. There probably wont be any fees for early repayment either so you might be able to save yourself some money by paying off the loan early.

Some kinds of personal loans can help you to build credit. For example, taking out a signature loan and making payments will help your score which may lead to more favorable interest rates in the future.

By bettering your credit score, you will increase your chances in the future of being able to borrow needed money for longer periods of time and at a lower interest rate.

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CitiBusiness Credit Cards Are For Entrepreneurs Like You

By Caressa Waechter

As a small business owner, you are going to need to use a business credit card. You cannot mingle company and personal funds, therefore you should not be using a personal credit card for business purposes.

As a business owner, you will find many uses for a business credit card. You will use it for travel expenses, paying bills, or just making general office purchases - the possibilities are endless.

There are several to choose from, but one of the top issuers of credit cards for business is CitiBank with their CitiBusiness credit card. If you use a CitiBusiness credit card, you are using a credit card that was made with the business owner in mind.

Since you have the opportunity to get additional cards for your employees, and set the amount of credit for each card, CitiBusiness puts you in the drivers seat when it comes to your business finances. They provide online account management that gives you the ability to view all of the card charges, view statements online, and otherwise have complete control of your CitiBusiness credit card account.

With their business credit cards with low interest rates, they will have a card that meets your needs. Citibank is often running special introductory rates for a certain length of time, which really allows you to control your cash flow during the set period.

CitiBusiness offers credit cards that include a rewards program. With such a program, you earn a given number of points for every $1 you spend with your credit card. The choice of how to redeem points is up to you. They give you a few options so that you are not stuck with just one choice.

When you own a small business, you really need to have at least one credit card that is the name of your company. This lets you maintain complete separation of personal and business expenses, while giving you the ability to track business spending.

If you are going to use a credit card for your business, then you really should use a card that is specifically designed for small business use. One such card is the CitiBusiness credit card, which offers some incredible benefits for the entrepreneur. See how you business can benefit from a CitiBusiness card today!

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Have You Considered Switching Car Inusrance Yet?

By Susan Tanner

Recently I had watched a one hour segment on television and was shocked to notice how many insurance commercials appeared in that short amount of time. I have to admit that it was quite annoying. With so many choices, I also worried the process might be difficult or confusing.

While hearing ads for various companies, I wondered to myself if lower premiums meant less coverage. Surely it did. How could someone save money and not give up anything in return? I was skeptical about the claims to save money so I investigated it myself.

First, let me state that I live in a small community with a population of approx 2,500. Needless to say, local car insurance choices are few and far between. Frankly, my wife and I had our cars insured by the same people that our parents and grandparents did. After watching the advertisements, I was convinced to make a change!

I took down the contact information for these establishments and was also pleasantly surprised to find that quotes were available online. I was also glad to see how quick and simple the process actually was. It took less 15 minutes to complete the whole application. Even better was that I discovered I would actually be able to save some dough!

Specifically I would be eligible to save $350 annually. That averages out to almost $30.00 per month! Although some may thing this is not very much, I felt it was great. That is the equivalent to a dinner out for my family.

I researched even more so and found the coverage of what I currently had would be the exact same. Affordable auto insurance did not equal less coverage! In a time where our economy is so unstable, any chance to save money is great.

My wife and I decided to change and see if we were happy with the decision! We signed up for a company that seemed right for us. The company had great customer service and I saw actual savings in my pocket! The customer service was just as high quality as the local guy. This left me completely satisfied with my decision to switch.

I am glad I watched the television program that night. I am glad I decided to investigate further. Most of all I am glad we have saved an average of $29 per month! The amount in our savings account has increased. We have also gone out to dinner a time or two. It has been a positive decision for us!

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