Punch Associates Discuss If Business Credit Card Debt Is Good or Bad

At Punch Associates, a firm that specializes in helping small business owners and consumers get out of debt, we are often asked if it is a good or bad idea to have business credit card debt. The answer is that it depends on a few factors whether the debt is helpful or harmful to your business.

Personal Liability

According to Nolo Press, most business credit cards are issued when business owners sign a clause that makes them personally responsible for the debt. This means, even if you have a corporate identity, you will be personally responsible and your credit score may suffer if you fail to pay the debt.

On the other hand, not every credit card issuer is quick to ding your personal credit score if you miss a timely payment. Nerdwallet compiled a great list of which major issuers of business credit cards report payment history on the business card to your personal credit score or not. Some of the major players do not report your business card payment history on your personal credit score, including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi and Wells Fargo(!).

All of the major card issuers do report your payment history on your business credit card to commercial credit bureaus, except BBVA. Thus, the bad news is that you are usually personally liable for business credit card debt. The good news is that you can choose a card issuer that will not ding your personal credit score for your payment history on your business credit card, and you can use a good payment history on your business credit cards to improve your enterprise’s creditworthiness.

The Interest Rates

The really bad news is that the interest rates on business credit cards are ridiculously high. The average rate is around 14 percent. Obviously, at rates this high, you end up servicing a lot of interest fees, if you carry debt on the card. Also, it can be really hard to pay off the debt at interest rates this high.

Who Gets the Card

We suggest that businesses limit who gets to use business credit cards. Otherwise, you can end up with a nightmare of unexpected expenses. Some companies simply have employees front the expense with their personal credit card, keep a receipt and count upon being reimbursed.

Other Benefits of Business Credit Cards

According to Investopedia, other than helping build business credit, business credit cards have a few more benefits:

  • They are easier to qualify for than a bank loan.
  • They are convenient because they allow one to make online transactions.
  • They help weather the waiting time on accounts receivable.
  • They often provide a rewards program.

The Other Drawback of Business Credit Cards

Other than high-interest rates, the dangers of misuse by employees and the risks to your personal credit by the personal liability clause required by almost all business credit card issuers, Investopedia found that there is one more risk of business credit cards that all business owners need to be aware of. These cards do not have the same legal protections that come with consumer credit cards. Thus, your interest rate can fluctuate without notice, based upon your usage of the card. Also, you may not have much protection when you have a billing dispute or when you need to return an item purchased.

Here at Punch Associates, we suggest that business owners use a business credit card to build the creditworthiness of your business and pay the balance every month or very soon. The danger at the interest rates charged on credit cards today is that one will have tremendous difficulty paying down the balance, which may harm your company’s cash flow.

If you are aware of their dangers and use them responsibly, business credit cards can help shore up cash flow issues for a few weeks at a time and improve the credit score of your business. If you have any questions on business credit card debt, contact us at Punch Associates. We are here to help


Trout Associates Financial Plan

Trout Associates Explain How Credit is Calculated

Some people may assume that only wealthy people can have good credit, but the truth is, a good credit score is available to anyone. Good credit is not the result of having a lot of money, it is the result of good financial habits and practices. In fact many people of very modest income have good credit, while many wealthy people have terrible credit.

HOW IS CREDIT CALCULATED?

Your credit score is like a final grade you might receive in school. Just like your grades in school, there are a number of different factors that determine your final grade, such as homework, tests, quizzes and special projects. Some factors, such as a mid-term or final exam, will carry more weight in determining your final grade than a single homework assignment. In fact, you may even be able to miss a few homework assignments and still get an A, if you do well enough in other areas to offset the damage the missed homework might cause.

The same is also true of your credit score. Some factors are more important than others and carry greater weight in determining your final score. For instance, if you have good credit overall, you may be able to make a late payment or two without significantly damaging your credit. If you credit is already poor, however, late payments can have a far greater impact.

Creditors will generally do more than just simply look at your credit score alone to determine your creditworthiness, the same way that colleges and universities will look at more than just your grades to determine if you are a good fit for their school. That being said, if your credit score is too low, creditors may not look any further. If your credit score is lower than they would like but still within an acceptable range, then they will often look at your overall credit file to determine where the lowered score is coming from. Some factors may influence their final decision more than others.

Here are the main factors that impact your credit score:

  • Payment history: If you have a good record of paying your bills on time, it will have a significant positive impact on your credit score. If you regularly miss payments or make late payments, however, that can seriously damage your credit score.
  • Debt to credit ratio: What creditors are looking for is how responsibly you manage credit. One good habit to have is to not always use all of the credit that is available to you. Conversely, however, if you already have too much available credit, other creditors may be wary of giving you more. A good rule of thumb is to never carry a balance worth more than 30% of your available credit.
  • Length of history: Everyone is going to have financial peaks and valleys. It’s fairly easy to pay your bills during peak times when money is plentiful, but what do you do when crisis hits and things get tight? The longer your credit history is, the more of an idea it gives creditors of how you handle credit over the long haul, not just in the short-term when things are good.
  • Types of credit: Different types of credit will have a different impact on your credit score. In addition, having a mix of various types of credit will also have an impact on your credit score. For instance, you may have $300,000 in total debt, but if $250,000 of it is a home loan, $30,000 of it is student loans, $19,000 of it is an auto loan and only $1,000 of it is credit card debt, that will generate a much better credit score than having only $100,000 in debt, but $30,000 of it is credit card debt.
  • Credit inquiries: When you apply for any type of credit, lenders will request a copy of your credit report. If they extend credit to you, it can take up to 30 days for it to show up on your credit report. Until then, other lenders don’t actually know if the first lender extended credit to you or not. For that reason, if a lender sees that another lender has recently requested a copy of your credit report, they will be less likely to extend you credit.



Having good credit is important for far more than just getting more credit. Your credit score can affect your insurance rates and even your ability to rent an apartment or other housing. Carrying too much debt will not only have a significant impact on your credit, but it can also make you vulnerable to financial collapse. Debt consolidation is one way to help you tackle your finances and get your debt under control. Trout Associates are debt experts that can help you explore a wide range of options to better manage your debt and get your finances back on track. Debt consolidation with Trout Associates can help you make one monthly payment. Not only will this help you avoid missed payments and costly late fees, but it can even help you pay down your debt faster.


Graylock Advisors Income

Graylock Advisors Shares Ways to Get out of Debt Quickly and Responsibly

Amid record high consumer confidence, the debt burden continues to weigh down many households in America. A State of Credit 2017 report unveiled by Experian shows the average American holds credit card debts amounting to $6,350 and non-mortgage debt of over $24,700. The non-mortgage debts are collateralized credit facilities such as car loans, commercial loans and personal loans. The average student loan has also been rising over the years and stood at a record $34,140 in 2017. The debt situation is worsened by reports showing people are spending much more than their monthly earnings. To bridge the gap, many are turning to new lines of credit.

Experts see the debt as an emotional rather than a rational problem. This is demonstrated by the continued practice of buying stuff one can ill afford. According to Financial Mentor, the top habitudes blamed for the rising debt problem include emotional spending, sense of entitlement, complacency, lack of plan and instant gratification. People with emotional spending problems are often tempted to use shopping as a route to escape boredom or relieve stress. The habit can easily cause bills to pile up, thereby making repayment untenable. Lack of a plan causes a disconnection between spending on one hand and earnings and savings on the other hand.

It also leaves the affected individual with no concrete budget, long term earning strategy or retirement plan. Complacency is an attitude that is widely blamed for causing debt escalation. An individual with this mentality believes he or she is already in debt so spending a little more wouldn’t make any big difference. Although the habit may keep you going for a few months, it may cause serious problems down the line such as increased charge offs, bankruptcy and foreclosure. The first step of getting out of debt is accepting you have a problem that needs urgent intervention. According to AARP, here are 6 ways to turn the corner when you are in debt:

Getting out of debt quickly and responsibly

1. Use savings to pay down large debts

It is safe to use part of your savings to pay the initial credit down payment, assuming your savings are at a level to justify this expense. This decision can go a long way to curtail the accruing interest normally associated with high interest debt. You will also get the money sitting idle in the bank to work for you.

2. Use your tax refund to pay debt

Instead of splurging your tax funds to satisfy short-term desires like going on a vacation or buying high value items, you could use the check to clear some of the crippling debts. Paying debts in a lump sum will ease your debt burden and make it easier to clear the remaining debt moving forward.

3. Increase your debt repayment percentages

If you are serious about offsetting your debt, consider setting aside about 15% of your paycheck or social security benefits on loan and credit card debt repayment. Making slightly larger repayments will help you offset the accruing interest and clear the debts quicker. Most credit card issuers usually request around 2% monthly debt repayment on the existing balance.

4. Learn to negotiate lower interest rates

This is a popular strategy for lessening the debt burden. Once you have negotiated for a lower interest rate, you need to strictly adhere to the agreed terms of repayments in order to maintain a good standing with your creditors. This will place you in the good books and earn you better terms of credit in the future.

5. Find ways to earn more

As you work on paying off your debt, you should consider new strategies to increase your income and clear debt in the shortest time possible. Some of the ways to do this include negotiating a pay raise with your employer and looking for a part time position or a side gig to boost earnings.

6. Use Statute of Limitation to your advantage

If you have old, charged off debts and debts you are not obligated to pay, you can use the Statute of Limitation to clear your credit history. Old debts will feature on your credit history for seven years or thereabout and will certainly limit your chances of getting credit or favorable loan terms in the future. Some states have set limits on the types of debts that debt collectors can pursue and the legal means they can use to pursue such debts. A debt expert like those at Graylock Advisors can help clarify the matter.

How a professional debt expert can help

If you are in a bind and do not know what to do about your debts, you need to get in touch with a local debt expert. Debt management entities like Graylock Advisors offer an array of services, including debt consolidation and low interest rate debt consolidation loans to help clients stay debt free. Graylock Advisors will help consolidate your debt into one, low interest payment.


Brice Capital Effects of Debt

Unexpected Side-Effects of Debt According to Brice Capital

Many people today are struggling under a massive load of debt. According to the Washington Post, 7 million people in the United States are now behind in their auto loan payment for three months or more. This means that the debt of their auto loan is now overwhelming them. 

Also NerdWallet stated that Americans have an average of just under $7,000 in credit card debt. Since the credit cards issued today have very high interest rates, many of the people who struggle under this debt don’t think they will ever be able to fully pay it off. 

Brice Capital has found that, for their clients, this debt has many unexpected consequences: 

No Retirement Savings – 

Debtors are unable to save for their retirement, since they are making the mandatory interest rate payments on credit card debt. This will force them to have to work later in life. 

Marriage and Health Problems – 

The stress of trying to keep up with payments to multiple lenders, some of whom have ridiculous interest rates, takes its toll on young married couples. Also, people can have trouble sleeping, be depressed, get headaches and even have a heart attack when they are deeply in debt. 

Credit Score Domino Effect – 

Sadly, according to TheBalance.com, even if you are making those payments on time, 30 percent of your credit score relates to how much debt you carry. If you carry too much debt, your credit score will decline. 

That creates a domino effect, since it can also influence the amount of money you pay for auto insurance and even the type of job you qualify for. 

Juggling Other Expenses – 

Over time, people who are paying exorbitant rates for credit will begin to have trouble paying for other expenses, such as utilities, food and gasoline. 

Precluded from Home Ownership and Other Housing –

If your costs for servicing your debt exceed a certain formula, you will not be able to buy a home because your ratio of expenses to income will be too high to qualify for a home mortgage. 

Even if you are forced to rent an apartment, bad credit could preclude you from being approved by the landlord. 

Staying in a Bad Job – 

Changing jobs is risky. People struggling under a high load of debt and interest payments are hesitant to leave a soul-crushing job because they are afraid things may not work out at the new job, leaving them unable to service their debt payments at all. So, they may stay with jobs that are causing them even more stress and possibly harming their health. 

Paying Too Much for Purchases – 

If you are paying high interest rates on credit cards, you end up paying far too much for your purchases when you take into account the interest payment as well. 

Ignoring Health Issues – 

Since we don’t have a universal health care system in the United States, many people have to pay for their health care out-of-pocket. According to United Federal Credit Union, when one is juggling bill payments, some people opt to skip going to the doctor for a small thing that can morph into a larger health issue. 

Wage Garnishments –

If you get behind in these crushing payments and a creditor takes you to court, you could have some wages garnished from your paycheck. 

Bankruptcy May Not Help – 

If you mostly owe student loans or back taxes, as many in the U.S. do, these debts are rarely discharged in bankruptcy, so you will still owe the student loans and tax payments, even after bankruptcy proceedings. 

United Federal Credit Union also stated that the average credit card interest rate is just under 24 percent. If one could get a loan with a lower interest rate, such as nearer 10 percent, one could save about $260 yearly, if they had a balance of $2,000. 

If you are in excessive amounts of debt, consider consulting industry leaders, like Brice Capital, on debt consolidation and other means of improving your financial stability. Heavy loads of debt carry too many unintended consequences that devastate the quality of life for those who are ensnared in that web. 


Barron Advisors Credit Payment

Barron Advisors Explain the Effect Bad Credit Has on Your Life

Taking out a loan or using a credit card may seem like it makes life a lot easier, because now you can afford the things that you couldn’t afford before. The problem with this thinking manifests when you are not able to pay, whether in full or partially, and in good time. If you find yourself in either of these messes – that is, late payment or non-payment of debt – then you are beginning to have a negative effect on your credit score. Having a bad credit score means that you are in a lot of trouble financially, and although you might not see it right away, shortly you will feel the effects. Barron Advisors, a company that specializes in loan consolidation, explains how bad credit can affect your life as detailed below.

1. Non-Approval for Loans or Credit Cards
Most people with bad credit get rejected when they apply for a loan, and this can be very painful when you urgently need money. Most of your credit card applications will also be denied if you have bad credit. A few lenders may be willing to give you are a loan even with your bad credit, but these lenders are uncommon and will often charge higher fees in exchange. Many lenders are not willing to take the risk of giving credit to people who have been unable or unwilling to settle their loans with their previous lenders.

2. Denial of Employment
Some jobs are very strict, and most employers will check your credit score before they can consider you for such jobs. For instance, most managerial positions or finance related jobs require someone who has good credit, according to these employers. Therefore, as much as you may be qualified for a certain position in your dream company, your bad credit can cost you that job. If they realize you have gone bankrupt, have high debts, or substantial outstanding bills, they may not have confidence working with you. They will be afraid that your position might affect your performance at work. 

3. Landlords May Deny You an Apartment
Most landlords are very strict with their properties and may not be willing to approve you as their tenant if you have bad credit. According to Barron Advisors, you may keep being denied for apartments, and this can quickly become frustrating. If you are lucky to get a landlord who is willing to take a risk, be prepared to pay a higher security deposit than other tenants were asked for, because they won’t risk it without taking precautions. 

4. Paying Security Deposits for Utilities
In normal circumstances, people are not asked for a deposit on utilities, but if you have bad credit, you will have to pay these deposits. It won’t matter whether you have been paying your utility bills on time or not, because the utility companies will still require you to pay the deposit. With bad credit, you may also be forced to settle for a prepaid cell phone on a month-to-month contract, and the cost is usually very high. In extreme cases, you might not get this service at all.

5. Impact on Personal Relationships
In most relationships, finance is a tricky subject. It’s not uncommon for couples to get married before ever discussing income, debt and credit scores. However, the problem comes into play when you are trying to take out a mortgage or any other loan together. The spouse with a lower score will definitely affect the other person’s ability to access the things they want, because your ability to borrow together will be affected by the score of both partners. 


Truman Advisors Share the Differences Between Good Debt and Bad Debt

Loans have helped many to improve their financial position, while others have fallen into deep problems due to the same loans. While it is possible to live an entirely debt-free life, avoiding loans can hinder your ability to own your dream home or car or start a business that could positively change your life. Therefore, a loan can both be a good and bad thing at the same time. The main difference is the reason you are taking out the loan and how you put the money to use after acquiring it.

The first thing to do is note the differences between your wants and your needs. In this case, if you borrow money to cover for your needs or buy things that appreciate in value, then that’s good debt. If you borrow to cover your wants or buy things that depreciate, then that’s bad debt. The following examples of both good and bad debt will give you a clearer distinction between the two.

Good Debts 

1. School Loans

Using a loan to pay for your education is good debt because once you acquire your academic degree, you will be able to earn more money in your lifetime. It’s something that qualifies you for a certain job over those who lack such qualifications. Therefore, borrowing to pay for your education or child’s education is rarely a bad decision. 

2. Home Loans

Being a homeowner is commendable. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a home at the moment, and while taking out a mortgage loan may be daunting due to the size of the loan, this is typically a good decision. Truman Advisors argue that rather than continue paying for rented housing, that same money can be put toward a home loan and be used to build equity. A mortgage is a good example of good debt and can be a smart financial decision depending on your unique situation.

3. Auto Loans

Some people’s lives are more convenient with their own car, especially when public transport is not available or is unreliable. Buying a car often becomes the only option, and if you cannot afford it, you will be required to take out a car loan. An auto loan can be both bad and good debt. The deciding factors are the type of car you buy and the way that it’s used. A used car with low miles that helps commute to work and make a better living is good debt, while a new Ferrari used to drive to the mall is bad debt.


4. Business Loans

They say it takes money to make money and this is why in most cases borrowing money for business is justified. However, make sure that you borrow with a good plan and have great business prospects so that at the end of the day, the business generates more income than the initial expense. According to Truman Advisors, a business loan is good debt if, and only if, you are purchasing or paying for something that brings more money to the business. 

Bad Credit 

1. Loans for Discretionary Expenses 

Taking out a personal loan to be able to pay for vacations, buy expensive clothes or jewelry or any other discretionary item is bad debt. You should either save for these things naturally or wait until you can boost your income, but never borrow. 

2. High-Interest Credit Cards

Credit cards provide their holders with the ability to make purchases anytime they choose, regardless of whether it’s a need or a want. This freedom of spending using borrowed money makes credit card bad debt. Unfortunately, almost every American has a credit card, and it makes them feel like it is easier to afford an item using a credit card than using cash. The bad news is that it is hard to get out of credit card debt and it is better if you do not acquire it in the first place.

3. Payday Loans 

Most companies that provide payday loans charge excessively high interest rates because they know many people are desperate for cash. Truman Advisors says that you should be very careful because paying off these loans becomes very difficult. A payday loan is one of the worst forms of bad debt, and even if you desperately need a short-term loan, it is better to exhaust all other options rather than relying on such companies. 

You will more than likely find yourself borrowing at some point in your life, and it is good you understand the difference between good debt and bad debt. Watch out to avoid falling into deep debts that could have been avoided in the first place. 


Roseland Associates Personal Finance

Roseland Associates Explains the Basics of Personal Finance

You may be surprised how many millennials (or even baby boomers) do not understand the basic principles of basic finance. However, it is not just millennials who are suffering from a lack of knowledge of personal finance. There are millions of people out there who find themselves living paycheck to paycheck each month. They are unable to live the lives that they want to since they are burdened by financial debt. This lack of information that was not taught in public school has done incredible amounts of harm to those who wish to live the best life they can. Fortunately, we have some information on financial planning 101 that will help you gain control of your life and live debt-free.


Budgeting

Americans are incredibly impulsive whenever it comes to purchases. The positive emotions that come from purchasing something can sometimes be overwhelming. We do not think clearly when we overspend on our budget each month. However, the key to financial freedom is effective and consistent budgeting. You need to be able to control your financial impulses before they control you. Create a monthly budget and stick to it no matter what. You will thank yourself in the long run for your dedication to financial discipline.


Cutting Out Unnecessary Expenses

Although budgeting is important, one could argue that cutting out unnecessary expenses is even more important. Luxury expenses such as a coffee and fast food can really harm your wallet each month. The best thing to do in this situation is to take a good look at your spending patterns and identify any unnecessary spending each month. Think long and hard about the items that you are spending money on. Are they absolutely worth it? Can you live without it? Your answers will help you determine the best financial course of action going forward.


Paying Down Debt

Most people around the world will go into debt at some point or another in our lives. The cost of living is rising rapidly, and some people are forced to take out loans just to survive. Fortunately, there are services available that can help you pay down your debt. Companies like Roseland Associates consolidates your debt into one convenient payment schedule at a reduced rate. This will help you put your focus into one singular debt and will allow you to pay it down responsibly. Identifying your priority debt to pay down is crucial as well. Speak with an expert at Roseland Associates to get insight on how consolidation may be the best way to pay down your debt.


Creating a Savings Account

As mentioned before, budgeting is the key to financial freedom. However, you will want to put money away each month to help build a savings account. You never know when you may face a financial crisis and need immediate help. Taking out another personal loan may have you drowning in more debt. Create a monthly financial plan and put aside a little bit of money each month into a savings account. You never know when you might need to make a withdrawal when the funds stop coming in.


Create More Income Streams

America is the land of opportunity. It is incredibly easy to open a business and begin selling products and services. One of the best routes to financial security is through developing more streams of revenue. This means that you will want to find ways to educate yourself and use your newly acquired knowledge to create a small business or take on a side job. Dozens of people use their free time to accumulate some extra cash each month that helps them out financially. Consider this option if you need some extra money to help you pay down some debt.


Creating Financial Goals

While these tips may be helpful, they mean nothing if you do not create achievable financial goals. The importance of goals cannot be overstated. They help us keep on track whenever we want to accomplish something. Having a vision in your mind about what kind of financial situation you want to be in will help clarify your plan of action. Be sure to sit down and write out some financial goals that you wish to accomplish. Speak with a financial advisor or a trusted friend to help you make a financial game plan and stick with it.


Achieving Financial Freedom

Millions of Americans struggle with financial problems each year. They can never seem to catch a break from the financial onslaught of debt that keeps increasing. Unfortunately, the problem is usually the person’s bad financial habits. These bad habits can keep racking up debt and prevent you from living your best life. This is why education is incredibly important when it comes to creating a pool of wealth that you and your family can enjoy. Contacting financial experts and loan providers like Roseland Associates is crucial for receiving the education you need to overcome these financial issues. Use these tips to help educate yourself on the basics of finance and take yourself closer towards living a life worth living.


Dutchess Partners

Dutchess Partners Provides an Overview of the FIRE Movement

If you’re interested in personal finances, chances are good that you’ve come across the FIRE movement. FIRE stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” This movement, which is popular among younger professionals, is focused on living frugally and saving aggressively — all with the end goal of retiring much earlier than usual. 


Basics of the FIRE Movement


While there are no official rules for the FIRE movement, the idea is simple. Some people come to the movement because they don’t want to work for the majority of their lives; others simply don’t want to be beholden to employers or financial institutions. Still others want to retire early and enjoy adventures, philanthropy, or even entrepreneurial pursuits. 

In decades past, “retiring early” meant that you might get out of the workforce at age 50 instead of in your 60s. FIRE followers are setting their sights even lower — many want to retire in their 30s or 40s. Naturally, the target age varies based on the age of the person, their income, and how much money they need to retire. 

The principles of FIRE are simple. First, you need to cut your expenses, often dramatically. Second, you must start saving and investing aggressively. Of course, that looks different for every participant. People who hate to scrimp and live frugally might cut their costs, but not quite to the bare bones. 

It’s important to note that FIRE followers are not all planning to retire at 30 and spend the rest of their lives on the golf course. Many simply want to build up savings and investments so they’re less dependent on work. That way, they can stop fighting for promotions and focus on building their own companies, for example, or pursue a gig-based career with breaks for travel. 


What Do You Need to Start FIRE?


If you want to start following the FIRE movement, you’ll need to get informed. To start, you can gather your financial documents. How much do you spend each month? Each year? Then, it’s a good idea to look at your earning power. 

The third component is the most important: what kind of lifestyle do you want to live after you retire early? This information will tell you how much money you need to have coming in to sustain that lifestyle. If you want to own your own home in a gated community, your costs will be different than if you plan to move to a developing country. 

As you’re figuring out your potential future costs, it’s important to be both honest and conservative. You may want to travel now, but will you want the same thing in 20 years? Some things to consider include: 


  • Healthcare and insurance costs into old age
  • Childcare, raising kids, and college tuition
  • Housing upgrades and maintenance
  • Travel costs
  • Future plans to work or run a business



If you’re not sure how to estimate your costs accurately, it’s a good idea to get help from a professional. Financial experts can help you understand the true amount of money you’ll need to retire early. That way, you can figure out how much you’ll need to save, invest, and work down the road. It’s also helpful to work with a company like Dutchess Partners to consolidate your debt and find out if you can save money on interest payments and other fees. 


Drawbacks to the FIRE Movement


Like any financial strategy, FIRE is not without its drawbacks. According to some experts, followers may be underestimating how much money it takes to retire at 30 or 40. Others may not be planning for the costs that will arise later in life. 

For some people, the extreme FIRE lifestyle might not be a sustainable option. After all, some followers take things to the extreme, opting to live on a fraction of their salary. In the process, however, they miss out on valuable life experiences and time with family and friends. 

In the goal to retire early, FIRE followers might decide to undertake riskier investment strategies than they would otherwise. A bit of risk is fine, of course, but when taken too far, it can wipe out your entire savings. In many cases, financial experts say that a slow and steady approach to saving and investing can be more responsible. 

Are you thinking about applying the FIRE method principles to our own life? Whether you’re planning to go all-in by living frugally, or you want to take a more moderate approach, one of the first steps is to tackle your debt. Instead of managing multiple payments and interest fees, consider debt consolidation. At Dutchess Partners, lenders can make use of consolidation loans — that way, you have just one payment each month. With the money you save, you could start investing, building a savings, and getting on the path to retiring early.


Gladiator Lending

Gladiator Lending Warns Against the Pitfalls of Personal Loans and How to Avoid Them

Introduction

Sometimes you run short of cash for one reason or the other. Perhaps you have come across a profitable venture, but you don’t have the resources to take advantage. Alternatively, you could have an emergency that needs urgent cash that you may not have readily available. In such a case, you can apply for a personal loan that helps you leverage on your ability to repay back the debt. Although a personal loan can be great in such circumstances, it can also be dangerous, especially if you don’t know what to look out for. Here are some of the common pitfalls of this type of lending, and how you can avoid them: 

Borrowing Mistakes

1. Failing to Distinguish Between Needs and Wants

Some people make the mistake of borrowing to purchase what they want instead of what they need. The difference between a want and a need is that the latter translates to something that you can’t do without. An example of a need is food or rent, while wants relate to luxury items. 

Make sure that before you think about taking a personal loan, you have confirmed the urgency of the item and other possible finance options. There is no sense in committing yourself to debt just to buy something that you can survive without. If you really want to purchase that item, you are better off saving and using your money once available. 

2. Borrowing in Excess

The lender can give you the option to take a second loan if you keep your loan repayments constant for a specified period. The mistake that people make is that they get carried away and borrow more money than they need. They forget that loans can be expensive, and the more you take, the more you have to give. 

Don’t become a victim of this fallacy after you get that personal loan. You can avoid this temptation by using some of your personal savings to cover any additional expenses that may come up when using the loan. On the other hand, if your savings are not enough, try to cut costs on other things so that you can have more cash at hand. 

3. Settling too Fast

Another mistake that some people make is going to the first bank or lender that they know to get a personal loan. They take whatever deal they can get because they trust the person or institution. The problem with this move is that you miss out on other, potentially superior offers. 

Anytime you want to get a personal loan, take a few days to do some research and find out what the market has to offer. There are new players like Gladiator Lending that can have much more favorable conditions and repayment terms. Taking your time can help you find a cheaper personal loan. 

4. Looking at One Factor Alone

Another mistake that some people make when selecting a personal lender is looking at one thing. For most people, it’s the cost of the loan. Although there is nothing wrong with this, there’s much more to a lender than just costs. 

Take the example of Gladiator Lending. If you truly want to have an amazing personal loan experience, look at what they have to offer. Make sure that they have an excellent support system that can guide you whenever you need clarity on something. Having more than one perspective on a lender opens your eyes to numerous possibilities. 

5. Hidden Fees

Another mistake that people make when taking a personal loan is failing to read the fine print. They just sign the papers in a hurry because they want to get their hands on the money. This action may work against them when they want to repay the loan. For example, it may not be such a good idea to repay more than the required amount every month since it can attract more charges. 

To avoid such a mishap, ask your lender if the personal loan has precomputed interest. Under such an agreement, the bank charges you more for paying back more than what is required every month. Other than that, make sure that you take your time to read the fine print to find out more about any hidden charges. 

Conclusion

Taking a personal loan is a great idea if you want to finance a need, and you can afford to borrow. However, if it’s your first time borrowing, take note of the above mistakes and try to avoid them so that you don’t find yourself in a lot of trouble.


Robert Tweed

3 Reasons To Help Finance Sustainable Businesses

Sustainable businesses are often viewed as a social good. They are seen as companies that contribute to less pollution and a move away from greenhouse cases. These attributes make them attractive places for consumers to shop and do business. But sustainable businesses should also be seen as attractive business investment venues as well. Sustainable businesses can be more lucrative and have advantages that place them above many of their standard competitors.

Robert Tweed

Favorable tax scenario

Financing sustainable businesses can often put an individual in a favorable tax situation. There are a number of tax breaks and benefits that result from working with sustainable businesses. Companies may receive government grants that they can pass on in one way or another to their investors. Some companies are able to take advantage of tax breaks for using wind and solar energy. These tax situations can lead to lower expenses and a greater return on investment. They can immediately place sustainable businesses over many of their competitors when considering where to invest.

Intense consumer interest

Financing a sustainable business can help an individual tap into a large market of sustainably-minded individuals. This market is lucrative for a number of different reasons. One reason is that this group of people is full of young people who can become consumers for life. These young customers are always the most attractive for marketers and advertisers. Another benefit to working with these companies and their customers is the lack of price elasticity.

In most instances, customers will leave a particular area or company if prices increase. Sustainable businesses have a greater appeal to most customers outside of their prices. As a result, a company may be able to raise prices on their consumers without having those consumers seek other businesses for the same product. This relationship between companies and consumers could be the secret to making a considerable amount of money off of an investment.

Shared financial attributes

Financially sustainable businesses are often lucrative in the same way as normal businesses. They have considerable sources of capital and experienced business leaders in charge of them. Many of these companies have identified their niche and are able to pursue it substantially. They have established contracts with vendors and a marketing plan that will lead to their success.

This attitude is a recent development in the field of sustainable businesses. Robert Tweed remembers that sustainable businesses were once seen as the domain of people more interested in saving the planet than making money. But with recent innovations, an individual can invest in a sustainable business and make all of the money that they would make elsewhere while also receiving marketplace and tax benefits.

Companies interested in sustainable businesses need to treat them like any other business for purposes of investment. Some of these businesses may be run poorly or have a problematic business model. Others are inherently attractive and may lead to a considerable amount of income. No matter the situation, a sustainable business portfolio needs to be an eventual goal of any company looking to succeed in the 21st century.