Conquering Corona: How Seniors Can Respond to the Outbreak

Sam Bowman

You’ve faced a lot of obstacles in your life and have conquered them all, but the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Our economy has ground to a halt. Our schools and business are shuttered. Our towns and cities are on lockdown. Religious services are being held online. Holidays are celebrated by computer.

All of this is being done, or so it is said, to protect people like you: senior populations and those who are sick or immunocompromised. But you are not, and have never been, a victim, and you are far from helpless. Your independent spirit and fighting heart are needed now more than ever as you prepare to survive a threat that you cannot see. This article discusses the best tips and tricks you can use today to ride out the pandemic with your health, your sanity, and your finances intact.

First Things First

When it comes to preparing for and responding to the coronavirus, the first order of business is to safeguard your health. That means practicing rigorous hygiene, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing until the crisis passes in your particular area. The days of handshakes and hugs may be gone, at least for a while. Additionally, taking advantage of curbside pickup, food and pharmacy delivery, and store hours reserved for vulnerable populations is probably a good idea right now.

It also means doing your best to shore up your immune system to help you prevent infection or fight it off more effectively, especially if there is community spread in your area. This includes getting sufficient sleep and eating a well-balanced diet packed with essential nutrients. You’ll want to infuse your system with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to make it an inhospitable environment for any bug that would dare try to invade.

These are measures that won’t just protect you but will also protect those around you. Our already overburdened healthcare system, long beset by a shortage of doctors and nurses, now teeters on the verge of collapse. We need to collectively confront the surge. Anything you can do to relieve the burden on healthcare workers will benefit your community and its sickest patients.

Protecting Your Financial Health

Once your physical health is safeguarded, turn your attention to your financial health. Whether you’re already retired or preparing for retirement, the pandemic can pose a serious threat to your finances. After all, we’ve gone from a record-breaking economy to record-breaking unemployment in fewer than four weeks.

Now is not just a good time to take stock of your finances; it’s essential. An assessment of the state of your finances today can help you better predict the state of your finances tomorrow, no matter what may come to pass in these uncertain times.

Calculating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, will help to ensure you have enough assets on hand to not be overwhelmed by your liabilities, even if these hard economic times should last for a while. You can also take advantage of the array of financial calculators, retirement and post-retirement planning guides, and mentoring resources available online.

It’s also important at this time to resist the urge to overspend, especially if you’re shopping online. You may be feeling bored, anxious, or worried, and that’s just when the temptation to “treat yourself” may be greatest. Right now, it can feel like a package coming to the door is the only thing to look forward to right now, but you don’t want a moment of indulgence and self-comfort to rob you of the future you deserve once this lockdown is over!

Fear Itself

Studies show that the greatest fear many retirees face is the fear that health challenges will derail their retirement dreams. For many seniors inundated with a daily barrage of bad news about the pandemic, it probably feels like those fears are coming true, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you are living alone, with your spouse or children, or in a retirement community, you may be struggling with the anxiety and loneliness of social isolation.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay as much attention to your mental and emotional well-being as much as you do your physical and financial health. Make certain that you are reaching out to friends, family, and your healthcare providers for support, and don’t forget the wide array of mental health services available online, many at low or no cost!

This is also the perfect time to integrate gentle exercise and other stress-relieving, mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Consider journaling or meditation or taking a long walk around the neighborhood (properly distanced, of course) at the end of each day.

Above all, limit your intake of the news. Right now, it can be all too easy to get sucked into and consumed by the constant stream of updates, commentary, and health briefings which can make the personal threat seem larger and more immediate than it is right now. Limiting your daily dose of the news can help keep you properly informed while helping you maintain the perspective you need.

The Takeaway

As we contend with this “new normal,” it’s crucial that you take steps to protect yourself, physically, financially, and emotionally, from the particular threat this invisible enemy poses to seniors. Protecting your physical health means taking good care of yourself by getting good sleep and healthy exercise and by eating a nutritious diet. It also means practicing social distancing, wearing face masks when you’re in public, and being meticulous about your hygiene.

Now is also the time to protect your well-being in ways beyond the physical as well. Tabulating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, can help ensure you’ll remain in good financial shape for the future, no matter what the pandemic might bring. However, your financial health won’t mean much if you’re in a constant battle with fear, anxiety, and loneliness. To protect your heart and mind, as well as your body, seek the support of friends, family, and mental healthcare providers to see you through these troubled times.

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How to Survive Financially after Retiring from the Military

Karoline Gore

Out of 630,000 homeless people in the United States, approximately 67,495 are veterans and 30.2% of veterans are unemployed, according to the Military Wallet. After serving the military, life should be fun and fulfilling. But that’s not always the case for service members who are forced into early retirement due to lifelong injuries.

They may experience challenges such as poverty, lengthy periods of unemployment, disabilities, mental health issues, and home foreclosure. Fortunately, having flexibility in your retirement is still possible after leaving active duty earlier than planned.

Cut Fixed Expenses

Cutting down the cost of fixed expenses like food, clothing, transportation, insurance, and shelter is great for ensuring your funds last longer. For example, you can move to a smaller house to cut the cost of utilities, insurance, and tax. Also, consider moving to an affordable location.

Other ways you can cut expenses is by limiting to one car or use public transportation. Also, opt for less expensive life insurance cover, and commit to eating at home often.

Consolidate Debts with Personal Loans

Paying off debts and avoiding loans is one of the best tactics to attain financial independence after retirement. Unfortunately, you are likely to take loans to settle medical bills, mortgage, and buy food. Although loans offer some financial aid, the interest rates can be high. If you have bad credit, access to financing can be challenging. For these reasons, you may want to choose personal loans for veterans.

Despite having a bad credit score, personal loans for retired military personnel are easy to access. They also have flexible terms; for example, APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99% and a repayment term of 3-60 months based on the loan amount. The flexibility of these personal loans allows you to pay off old debts. That way, you can focus on repaying your loans at a lower interest rate.

Have a Travel Plan

Traveling during your early retirement for relaxation and sightseeing is therapeutic. However, aim for budget-friendly travel that will push your money farther. Whether you are going on vacation abroad or within the region, pick travel dates during off-peak seasons.

Find Streams of Income

While most veterans with injuries qualify for disability benefits, the payouts are not always sufficient for housing and other basic needs. As a result, they end up with accumulated debts. There are various part-time job opportunities for veterans looking for jobs to stay busy during retirement. It is also wise to invest in passive income. Renting out your home, blogging, and photography, for example, can help you bring in a passive income while you travel.

Creating a retirement budget that covers the cost of food, utility bills, transport, insurance, and shelter is essential. A financial plan prevents you from overspending your monthly income and retirement benefits. Hire a financial adviser that will help you choose the right savings and investment plans to support your monetary goals.

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Tips on How to Purchase a Home in an Active Adult Community

Q&A with a Reader

Been wanting to ask you for years……

I believe you have a “permanent residence” in Arizona.

Knowing how money conscious you are ( I am the queen of frugal ) do you have to pay steep HOAs on your modular home residence?

I had a serious health issue two years ago “Livin’ the dream” now but this has made my hubbie and I seriously look at how we can spend more time together.

While cutbacks in spending are a huge part of this equation, so is trimming down housing costs.

We have so learned this from being an avid reader (and fan!) of you both!

Keep rockin’ it. In spite of COVID you have done us all a great service!

Pam

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for your kind words about our website! We appreciate it.

Our place is in an active adult community in the foothills of Arizona. Let me just say that there are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of these communities in the surrounding area and you probably will not have a problem finding a community that will suit you. You could even try New Mexico, Texas, or Florida.

Ours is small (350 sites?) and we chose this place years ago because it had a tennis instructor and we wanted to learn the game properly. We were blessed with this greatest guy to teach us…

But there are also communities that have 1,000 spots – some more and some less. The bigger the community, the more pools, community areas, and activities you will have. And I would imagine, the higher the HOA or “Lifestyle Fees” would be. But you also have a choice to purchase the land in some of these places (that means higher property taxes and insurance) or lease the land (which is what we do) and this gives us lower insurance rates and our property tax is based on our place being a vehicle, instead of a brick and mortar home — savings of thousands of dollars a year.

I would recommend going online, “virtually viewing” a few of these locations, and then go out there in person to see them. Then… when you have a location narrowed down, rent for a season to see if you like the community, the activities, where you are in relationship to shopping, theaters, professional ball games or what-have-you.

Then…

When you are ready to purchase, we would recommend that you purchase from an owner instead of through an agent. (This will also save you thousands of dollars).

If you go at the time the yearly “rent” or “Lifestyle Fees” are due, there will be units for sale by owners who might choose not to return to the area for any of a number of reasons. It might be they can’t afford it, it might be they are Canadian and have decided to spend their lives in Canada (for the healthcare), it might be because a spouse has died or is ill, and they cannot return to their place in AZ.

You can get a good price for their unit, because they would rather sell it than spend the $1,000s of dollars for the yearly fee if they are not returning.

Yes, it will be used, and yes, you might not be “in love” with their decor, but you will have saved so much money by

1) not purchasing the land

2) not going through an agent, and

3) buying at the time when rent is due

Then you can realistically purchase whatever bed, couch or curtains you want to make the place yours.

Another benefit to having the place used, is that it will be completely furnished. Our used unit came with EVERYTHING including pots, pans, glassware, hammers, nails, light bulbs, sheets, towels, mops, brooms, bleach, laundry detergent, TV, stereo, … you name it. Again, it might not be your perfect style, but you will have saved a lot of money by not having to furnish the place completely from scratch. If you have doubles of things, just give them away to a senior home, church, orphanage, school or a charity.

Take a look at this piece, Worry Free Housing if you haven’t already.

Please feel free to ask us any other questions. We hope you find this information to be useful.

Again, thank you for your very kind words about our website.

We are thrilled that you have overcome your health issue and that you have many years ahead of you to enjoy your life with your husband and family.

Sending you our very, very best.

Akaisha and Billy

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Improving Life as You Age

Jane Brown

As we all age, we find that life can become a little bit harder. The things that we once used to take for granted are now something to be appreciated. As seniors age, they may have a harder time doing the things that they once did with ease. While many seniors may never admit that they need help, there are many things that we can do to help our loved ones.

When the ones we love age, they start to have a harder time getting around. Their mobility may start to decrease and their manual dexterity may also decline. Our loved ones may also experience more trips and falls which can cause us to worry a lot about their safety and security. They may also experience forgetfulness and memory loss. While these things are a common part of aging, we can help reduce the appearance of these things and make life easier. Here are some things that can benefit seniors as they age.

#1) Senior Living

One of the best ways for seniors to improve their quality of life and have more fun as they age is to enter a senior living community. Select Senior Communities can help find independent care, assisted living, or memory care for your loved one. These communities can give a senior just what they need. They also offer social gatherings and trips that allow them to engage their minds and stay active.

#2) Power Wheelchairs

As the ability to walk and move around gets harder with age, many people may find themselves staying home. Staying home and isolated from the ones you love is not a good idea because that can lead to dangerous health problems like dementia or memory loss. Staying active and getting out, even if you need a wheelchair, is best for your health. If your loved one does not want to feel dependent on others, you can get them a power wheelchair so that they can move freely wherever they want.

#3) Hearing Aids

Another necessary item a senior might need is a hearing aid. As we age, our ears do not work as efficiently as they did in the past. It can be embarrassing when you cannot hear what people are saying to you. To help keep the ones you love confident and happy, you can get them a pair of hearing aids to help them hear everything that is going on around them.

#4) Personal Alarms

One of the best tools that you can get your loved ones is a personal alarm or a medical alert button. These alarms can stay on your loved one all hours of the day and they can facilitate getting immediate help. They often have a small monitoring fee, but it gives them direct communication with emergency responders if they do need help. This can provide your loved one and you with peace of mind.

#5) Gym Memberships

While this may seem like a strange gift to get a senior, it is ideal for many of them. Find a gym that offers senior classes or low impact exercise opportunities such as water aerobics. This class will not only get your senior exercising, but it will also give them an opportunity to bond and make friends with others.

#6) Food Delivery

Cooking your own food and driving to the store to get your own food can be a challenge, especially as you age. Getting the ones you love a food delivery plan can help them eat healthily and worry less about their plans on how to get food. It can provide them with healthy dishes that they can enjoy without all the work.

#7) Vacation

One of the best things you can do for seniors is to give them a vacation. All seniors want to feel young again, and, if they are able, you should give them a vacation that they can enjoy. Depending on the person, you can let them join in on a family vacation or get them their own trip with other seniors. This will improve their happiness and overall view of the world.

These things can all help the ones we love age much more gracefully. As their lives become more difficult, these small tools and ideas can help brighten their day.

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How Investing in Property Can Increase Your Retirement Fund

Olivia Hanlon

Many people are turning towards investing in property rather than saving in a pension pot. This is especially true for people who have a significant amount of savings and don’t want these simply collecting dust in a bank account. However, some people decide to invest in property whilst also having a pension pot and simultaneously get prepared for their retirement. Whatever option you choose, there are various benefits to investing in property to increase your retirement fund.

You’re able to start putting into a pension pot from the age of 22 or sooner if you wish to be enrolled as early as possible. However, while the return on pensions can be great if you’re on a regular salary, anyone who has extra cash may want to consider the other options that could end up more lucrative for them in the long-term. After all, when you retire, it would be ideal to have a monthly income you could depend on, and a property, for example, could provide this income for you. Alternatively, you could sell your investment when it comes to retiring and have a lump sum of money to travel with and enjoy. The choices are endless, but first, you have to decide what is best for you.

To help you get started deciding whether investing to increase your retirement fund is worth your time, we have listed some things to consider and how to be successful, ensuring you invest in the best places and get a huge return on your initial investment.

  • You can save monthly rent

If you invest in a buy to let opportunity, then you can use the monthly rental income to save up and add to your pension pot when you’re ready. You could potentially even create a private pension pot separate from your employer one where you can earn interest on your savings. For example, a lifetime ISA is available to those up to the age of 40 and gives individuals the chance to save up £4,000 a year and earn £1,000 interest bonus on this. Ultimately this means you could put your monthly rental income you’re acquiring from tenants into the ISA which will then be ready to withdraw when you retire. Plus, you will also have the ability to sell on or pass down the property you own and make even more money.

  • Research the best areas to invest for maximum returns

Anyone who is investing in property to increase their retirement fund will need to make sure they’re successful with multiple (or just one) investments so they can reap the financial rewards when they finally retire. Therefore, before investing in property, you must research the best places to invest that will allow your property to gain capital appreciation over time and end up being worth a lot more than you bought it for. Off-plan developments are ideal for investors who want properties for below-market value prices and still want to feel secure in their investment choice. RWinvest is a property company who specializes in both residential and student properties, and they recommend investors look towards the north-west of the UK for the most lucrative returns. Cities like Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are all in their recommendations for anyone struggling to decide on a city they want to put their money into through property.

  • Selling your property for maximum returns

If you’re savvy enough to have invested in an area and property that encounters high capital growth, then you will be able to sell it when you retire and have a sum lump to do whatever you wish with. In the next four years, it is predicted that property prices in the north-west (specifically) will increase by 24% so imagine how much more growth there will be between you investing now and then selling the property in one or two decades.

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Watch Your Income Increase with Four Money Management Options

Jane Brown

Saving money is probably something that most adults today wish they had started doing earlier. Many young people with little to no expenses often forget that one day they will have to put more money towards bills than they get to put towards recreation. This not only applies to youth but also for adults who have trouble saving enough money.

In order to start truly living the life you want, you have to understand the importance of:

  1. Having a savings account
  2. Having a budget
  3. Setting clear goals for yourself
  4. Investing in a CD

Having a savings account

While young people may be more invested in saving up for a new outfit or cellphone, adults face a lot of expenses that they have to save up for. For example, if you just recently bought a house and are going through a renovation that calls for French doors, you may have to save up to cover the cost.

Living the life you want doesn’t have to be a difficult task when you choose to save early on before you need the money. Most adults who have the privilege to purchase a home have access to money through their personal savings accounts. Many people have these, but the value of savings accounts, in the long run, shouldn’t be understated. Living paycheck to paycheck is a surefire way to not have enough money to make that next big move that might involve buying a house or an emergency that comes up.

Having a budget

With all of the pictures we see of celebrities showing off their new cars and expensive clothes, setting a budget may seem like no fun. However, budgeting is very helpful for managing money in a smart way. If you find yourself in need of more money, more often then not, you most likely aren’t doing a very good job budgeting.

There are multiple ways you could go about spending your money. If you’re doing it right, you will come out on top. Some of the best people who really know how to budget understand the concept of doing something or buying something at a reasonable price. For example, if you have a goal of having enough money to travel frequently, you may find that learning how to travel for less could save you a lot of money to put aside. The best thing about budgeting is that you don’t have to conform, but you are able to save money that you really don’t have to spend.

Setting clear goals for yourself

In order to reach your financial goals, it is imperative that you set reasonable, clear goals for yourself. If you aren’t creating expectations for what you want, it will be hard to tell if you have made any progress in your financial journey. Not only that, but you will not have a clear mind as to what you need to do to reach that next milestone. If your goal is to earn more income, you may have to change the way you use your time. You may have to set aside more hours to work remotely or pick up another job to work during your free time. Goals are extremely important, not only to motivate you to take action, but also to help you move the needle in your financial life.

Investing in a CD

One last thing you can do to manage your money in a smart way is to consider investing your money into a CD (certificate of deposit). This is essentially a high-interest savings account that you can use if you just want to put your money in and watch it grow rather than taking it out in the long-term. CDs are meant to work in the long-term and can have strict rules on when you can access the money that is stored away. According to Business Insider, the best way to save your hard-earned money is to place it somewhere that has high interest like a CD. Overall, this is a smart option for someone really wanting to see their money grow in the long-term and can afford to put it away in limited liquidity.

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The Best Years of Life: Enjoying Retirement with a Chronic Condition

Sam Bowman

You’ve been looking forward to retirement for pretty much your entire life. You have dreampt of the day when you could finally leave the rat race. You’ve longed for the time when you could finally spend your days doing what you love with the people you love.

But now you are facing a chronic health condition, and you fear that your dreams for the retirement you deserve are evaporating. Your diagnosis, however, doesn’t have to deprive you of the post-retirement life you have been dreaming of. The life you’ve been working for. The life you deserve.

This article will show you how to live your best retirement life, even when you are living with a chronic health condition.

Monitor Your Financial Health

One of the most significant challenges facing anyone preparing for or in retirement is ensuring their long-term financial well-being. It’s difficult to predict exactly how much money you will need to maintain the lifestyle you want during retirement. In fact, our estimates are usually far short the reality.

And when you are facing a medical diagnosis, the challenge can be especially acute. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate how a chronic health condition will impact your finances across the long term. That’s why it’s especially important to have a robust nest egg ready and waiting for you and your family when you need it.

Many people who are hoping to retire early are using the FIRE technique of strategic investment to help them quickly grow their retirement savings. If you have a chronic health condition, the ability to ramp up your financial reserves can make all the difference not only in when you retire but also in the quality of the life you live after retirement.

Fighting for Your Rights

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, there are certain rights and benefits that you are entitled to. This can include everything from financial assistance for people with particular types of physical or cognitive impairments to protections against discrimination in housing.

The nature of your condition itself might also qualify you for additional benefits and protections. For example, many workers are now suffering from chronic and sometimes life-threatening illnesses due to asbestos exposure in the workplace. This can entitle you to financial settlements to support your care and offer some measure of compensation for the health affects you are suffering.

What all this boils down to is knowing your legal rights and enlisting help, including legal support, when you need it. This way, you can ensure that you have the resources you need and deserve to live the kind of retirement you want.

Practicing Prevention

When you are facing a chronic illness, by definition you are going to be more vulnerable to infections. And the last thing you want is for your glorious retirement plans to be sidelined by illnesses that could have been prevented.

If the recent pandemic has taught us anything, after all, it’s the crucial importance of meticulous hygiene. So, to live your perfect retirement life in the face of chronic illness, make sure to make rigorous sanitizing and frequent handwashing a part of your daily routine.

Shaking Things Up!

One of the best ways to live your ideal retirement life is to break out of your comfort zone. True, your diagnosis may have altered your plans a bit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new and even better ones.

So perhaps you can’t spend your days perfecting your golf swing, as you’d planned. But you can get out on the beach with a metal detector and go about finding some hidden treasure — or at least a little bit of coin!

And while you might not be up to hiking the Appalachian Trail or hopping trains across Europe as you had once envisioned your dream retirement to be, you can still enjoy some international flavor closer to home.

For instance, you might just decide to head to the high deserts of Mexico for a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the “Golden triangle of tequila-making.” And if your visit to Mexico has you yearning to stay for a while, then you have a ton of great options for making your new retirement fantasy a reality.

La Pueblita Retirement Community, for example, offers a beautiful community in a breathtaking setting. Best of all, the Community provides all-inclusive services, from medical care to aging-in-place support. And that means that your health condition isn’t going to stop you from living out your retirement in style!

The Takeaway

Living with a chronic health condition isn’t easy, but it’s even worse when your diagnosis jeopardizes the retirement dreams you have been working toward for decades. Thankfully, it is still possible to live an ideal retirement, even when you are confronted with a chronic health challenge. The most important thing is to know your rights and seek support when needed, focus on your financial goals and needs, practice sound preventative health, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

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How Long Does It Take to Boost Your Credit Score?

Christine Tan

Credit rating has a significant function when it comes to loan approval. The digit was designed to estimate the creditworthiness of borrowers. It is among the primary eligibility tests that lenders utilize today to filter borrowers. It would be ridiculous to think credit scores are static. It keeps changing either downwards or upwards, based on how credit is dealt with. The rating ranges from 300 to 850 points. Usually, 850 points are considered perfect.

Any score between 760 and 849 points is deemed to be perfect, while 700 t0 759 is good. Additionally, a fair score ranges from 650 to 699. A score below 659 is low. Even though lenders may interpret credit ratings differently, one hardly qualifies for loans with bad credit, which often falls below 600 points. Indeed, there are licensed money lenders meant for individuals with bad credit. However, you cannot negotiate for lower rates and better terms in case your credit is poor. Most lenders require borrowers to have good credit for approval.

You can have a poor rating because you have never utilized credit in the past. In general, the score is computed using the details on your credit report. A credit profile contains information relating to how one handles credit along with other financial obligations. For instance, credit agencies use such information as to how you make payments and credit utilization.

Missed payments and excellent credit utilization, lower credit scores. Maybe you have bad credit, and you are struggling to raise it. Perhaps you intend to apply for a large loan shortly, and you need excellent credit. If this is your condition, I am pretty sure you would have loved to know how long it is going to take you to improve your credit rating. In this blog, we are going to look at the length of time it takes to boost your credit score.

Rectify Errors Mistakes on the Report

Mistakes on credit reports have considerable damage to one’s credit score. Verifying and correcting errors is among the fastest ways of boosting your rating. Identity error is just an example of a mistake that can be indicated on the report and dip your score. For instance, a person’s credit card may be reported on your profile. Credit bureaus often require a maximum of two months to make that correction. Errors in one of the accounts may take longer to be rectified. This is because the creditor and the bureau must be involved. The process may take up to 3 months. Misunderstandings between the three parties involved may make the process even longer.

Build Credit History

As we stated at the outset, having a low rating is not always an indication of bad credit. Sometimes it shows that your credit is rather thin. In other words, you have not taken steps to confirm your level of creditworthiness via the credit report. In case this is your situation, start by opening a credit account and ensure you are making payments recurrently. This does not mean that you now have an opportunity to overspend or borrow money even when it is not necessary. Also, deal with licensed lenders, such as Bugis Credit, to limit the chances of being scammed.

Address Delinquent Accounts

Do you have bad credit? Making current delinquent accounts which might be on collections may improve your score a little bit faster. Once an account update is reported, positive deviations in your score can be seen. Nevertheless, the late payment is always reflected on your report for seven years.

Cut Credit Utilization

Credit utilization is a significant factor used to compute your score. It shows the amount owed in comparison to the available credit. For instance, in case you have a limit of $10,000 in your credit cards, and your balances stand at $9,000, the ratio will be 90%. This will hurt your rating. Paying the balances can lead to significant improvements with time. Credit utilization ratio may account for up to 30% of one’s credit score. Always maintain the ratio at 36% or below.

These steps can help improve credit rating. Nevertheless, the best way to go is to establish an outstanding payment history over time. This means that you begin the process now since it can take relatively longer. It requires effort, but it is worth it.

How Long Will It Take?

It is quite unfortunate that the exact period it can take to boost your credit rating cannot be predicted. No one can tell how soon improvements can be evident. Nonetheless, it depends on the time taken to update your report. Businesses take different times to deliver credit updates. Some take days, others months. It may take some weeks to get a notable deviation in the score. Even if your report is updated using positive details, it can still be guaranteed that the score will upsurge instantly to impact an application significantly. The rating may remain at the same level or even dip depending on other relevant details on the credit report. The best thing to do is to keep monitoring it, making appropriate credit moves.

The Bottom Line

A credit score is affected by several factors relating to credit usage and management. A lower score does not mean you have missed payments. It might be because you have never utilized credit in the past. Therefore, no information can be used to determine your creditworthiness. There are several measures that you can take to boost your rating. For instance, you can regularly check and correct the mistakes that might have been made in your report.

In case you have never utilized credit, opening a credit account and ensuring payments are regularly made and on time can help. While we cannot tell with certainty how long it can actually take for your credit rating to improve, we know it all depends on time take for positive updates to be made on your report. Avoid any financial habit that can negatively impact your score, such as missed payments.

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Can One Get a Loan Online with a Cosigner?

Christine Tan

Money lending is a high risk business. That is why online lenders put up high requirements to be met before one may qualify for a loan. Still, other online lenders are willing to take a risk with their clients. The answer to the question of, can one get a loan online with a cosigner is not simply a yes or no. Can we say it’s both? Read on.

There are many reasons why one would consider applying for a loan with a cosigner. One is to qualify for a more significant online loan amount. This happens in situations where the borrower has a below par credit score. As a result, their loan limit is lower. While most borrowers decline to disburse a loan to one with a cosigner, some still do.

Cosigner Requirements

A cosigner is a type of guarantor. He/she signs a promissory note and agrees to take responsibility in case the borrower is unable to pay the loan. Below are some of the requirements you must meet:

  • A minimum credit score of 670
  • Eligibility for the loan
  • Debt to Income ratio of at least 50%

How cosigner loans work

Online application

People no longer go to the bank physically to borrow money. Those days are gone. Nowadays, they make an application by filing an online application form. Once that is done, you should sit back and wait for the approval.

Select the loan amount

The application form needs to be as detailed as possible. For a loan with a cosigner, you need to select the loan amount. Online lenders offer varying loan amounts. Most likely, you will be given a minimum and maximum limits to choose from. Select the exact quantity you wish to apply for.

Avail details

First of all, you will be required to provide details of you and your cosigner, including contact information. Please do so promptly. On that note, you should have your cosigner close so that you may be able to provide accurate information. Ensure you are dealing with a genuine provider. This is because you may be providing critical information to the wrong people, and that is dangerous.

Wait for loan processing

In many instances, loan processing online is usually real-time. Therefore, expect the provider to respond promptly on whether you’re qualified for the loan. If yes, the online lenders such as Instant Loan will specify the exact amount you will be given, the repayment time and interest rate to repay your loan. In short, you will be provided with all the loan information you need.

Sign contract

Technology has increased efficiency, especially in the financial sector. Once you’ve been approved as qualified to receive a loan, an email will follow soon. Check it out, read the contract attached keenly and agree to terms and conditions by signing the agreement.

Disbursement

Just like any other loan provider, once you are qualified to receive a loan, the money will be disbursed to your account. Upon receiving the payment, it’s now time to spend wisely and start thinking about repayment.

In many instances, the loan recipient gives the cosigner a small amount of the loan as a thank you. Usually, this is optional, but some cosigners feel entitled. This makes it look like it’s their right. If you think the money is not enough for such, do not stress. It is not mandatory to give the cosigner a thank you token. After all, you will pay back the money to the last cent by yourself.

Benefits of having a cosigner

Quick approval

A cosigner can have your loan quickly approved irrespective of your eligibility. Imagine getting a loan approved instantly even though your credit score is terrible. This is a great plus.

Reduced interest rate

A cosigner’s credit score will stand in for you. It is a general rule that banks give increased interest rates to borrowers with bad credit scores. Since your cosigner has a good credit score, you will get a reduced interest rate. This means you will incur lesser costs in acquiring and repaying your loan.

Opportunity to rebuild your credit score

Once issued with a loan, this is an excellent opportunity for you to rebuild your credit score. Without a cosigner, probably the chance would not have presented itself. Therefore, take it and make use of it. Repay your loans on time and pay to the last cent. In the future, if you wish to borrow money online, it will be easy and possible.

Less pressure

With a cosigner, expect less pressure from your lender. Why? Because your lender knows in case you default, they have someone to go after. Therefore, they will sit back and wait for you knowing their loan will be repaid, whether by you or your guarantor.

Higher loan amount

The lender sets the amount loaned to you based on your cosigner. This means you are likely to get a higher loan amount. The loan provider will consider your cosigner’s credit score and not really yours. Since your guarantor has a higher credit score, the loan amount you will get will likely be higher.

Better terms and less conditions

Mind you, lenders increase requirements with respect to your credit score. With a higher score courtesy of your cosigner, expect better terms and lesser conditions. Had the lender considering your credit score, perhaps you’d had received more conditions and straining terms. Therefore, you should be thankful to your guarantor because of the better terms.

The Bottom Line

It is possible to get a loan online with a cosigner. While this is possible, the lender will have to do sufficient background checks to ensure the lending organization is not making the wrong decision. Going to borrow money online is turning out to be the better option for most people. It looks like banks are being left behind because of their lengthy processes and procedures. A cosigner loan does not guarantee anything. This means you may be denied a loan with a cosigner. Therefore, ensure the person you are choosing as a cosigner is of good character and credit record.

All the best.

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How Can I Get out of Paying My Payday Loans

Christine Tan

Are burdened with making payments? We know how discouraging it can be when you have to deal with several payments each month. Is there anything that you can do to get out of this condition? There is a lot that you can do to salvage your condition. Let us take an example of one type of loan – payday loans.

When faced with an emergency, payday loans can save you. These loans are very accessible and do not have a lot of eligibility requirements. In many cases, a proof of income and a bank account qualified individual who had attained the legal age. While lenders examine the credit score of borrowers, they do not put a lot of focus on it like traditional lenders. It takes a short time to apply and get approved for payday loans. Specifically, the application takes a maximum of 15 minutes. Some lenders take just two hours after the application is approved to deposit funds into borrowers’ accounts. This is the reason behind the recent popularity of payday loans.

When the deal is so sweet, think twice. While payday loans can help you in times of emergencies, you have every reason to avoid them. These loans are costly, and instead of salvaging your financial conditions, they more often make things worse. With high-interest rates, the loans have a short repayment period, usually between 2 and 4 weeks.  Usually, making payments leaves with a deficit that makes it so difficult to cover all your expenses for the month. If this happens, there is always a snare to reapply again.

You will discover you are in the vicious cycle of payday loans when it is already too late. There is also an option of rolling over a loan in case you cannot afford the payment. However, the fee charged for this option is very high. For instance, a rollover of a loan of $100 often requires a fee of $30. Imagine rolling over six times! Payday loans are predatory, and you should only opt for them when it is necessary. Even it times of emergencies, it pays to consider other alternatives. What can you do in case you are overwhelmed with making payments? Here is how you can get out of paying your payday loans. 

  • Consider debt consolidation

As we earlier mentioned, there is always an option of renewing the loan.  However, this option is costly, and you don’t have to consider it. Instead, consolidate your payday loans with a cheaper and affordable loan from a1Credit then you can then begin paying off the consolidation loan. If you consider this option, do not again borrow too much. Only take an amount that is sufficient to pay off the loan and perhaps an extra amount that can sustain you through to the next payment.

It would help you to aim to get out of debt. Well, taking a consolidation loan to repay another loan may seem as if you are not making any headway. But that is not the case. Remember, you are aiming at getting out of expensive payday loans. You can benefit a lot from the interest savings. Also, you will be given a consolidation loan at better terms. For instance, you are going to have sufficient time to repay the loan.

  • Create cash

One of the best things to do in this condition is looking for extra cash to repay the loan. You have several options for doing this, though it boils down to two things; look for more income or lessen your expenses. None of these options is easy, but they are most appropriate. Let’s look at each of them.

  • Increasing income

The best way of improving your income is to find additional work. It doesn’t mean that you have to look for permanent work. You will only hassle over a short period to pay the current loan fully. But if you need extra cash beyond what you are currently surviving on, you may have to hassle throughout. There are two ways of looking at matters here. The additional cash that you are looking for will save you on the payments and the high interest that come with payday loans. Also, if you continue to repay the loan, there will be no need to borrow again.

Where can you work? Consider the skills that you have. You can be a freelancer on part-time. Individuals write articles and poems online and are paid quite well. Alternatively, you can work overtime if there are such provisions in the company you are working with. You can also ask for a promotion or ask for a pay rise. In case these options do not work for you, you can seek another job altogether. 

  • Sell stuff

Another way of increasing your income is by selling possessions. Just like getting additional work, it is not a walk in the park. However, it is much better compared to incurring finance charges. In case you are not comfortable working more, consider selling the stuff that you are currently not using. Use the proceeds to pay off the payday loan. When your financial situation stabilizes, you can again acquire them.

  • Lessen costs

Is bringing in extra cash impossible? You can cut your spending until you are back on your feet again. This may mean trimming your budget significantly. It is also not easy because it’s like lowering your standards of living. But then, this is only a momentarily thing that should be motivated by your current financial situation.

  • Ask for help

You can also talk to a friend who understands your situation. Take a loan from him and use it to repay the loan. Once the payday loan is paid off, focus on paying back the loan from your friend to avoid compromising your friendship.

The Bottom Line

Payday loans can help you in times of emergencies. However, try your best to avoid them. As discussed here, the loans may end up damaging your financial condition rather than helping. What can you do to pay off the loans? We have discussed some of the strategies that can help you. Put them into practice, and hopefully, you will succeed.

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