Why Payday Loans Are Good for Many People!

Payday Loans have been criticized by many as a poor financial choice. These loans are also called Payday Advances, Salary Loans or Payroll Loans. Critics say that the interest is very high and that people can get into trouble once they begin to borrow money that way. Both of those statements can be true, but … Continue reading “Why Payday Loans Are Good for Many People!”

Payday Loans have been criticized by many as a poor financial choice. These loans are also called Payday Advances, Salary Loans or Payroll Loans. Critics say that the interest is very high and that people can get into trouble once they begin to borrow money that way. Both of those statements can be true, but are not always the case. Just like anything else in life, if someone chooses to misuse assistance or abuse many other options that they have that normally are good, things can still end up to be bad!

Let’s address some of the concerns. The first concern is about the high rates of interest. It is true that the Interest Rates on these loans would seem astronomical compared to most traditional loan rates. But let’s take a closer look.

When a person gets a $100 Payday Loan and it costs them $20 to borrow it, many people would criticize that this is a rip off and that it is a form of predatory lending. They feel that it is unfair to people who may not fully understand the costs involved in this type of unsecured loan. They might say that Cash Advance Loans are too expensive when compared to other loan products or services and that Payday Loans should be avoided.

Now, when your auto mechanic is fixing your car and he orders a part for you, what happens? Let’s say that the part costs $100 wholesale to the mechanic and that the suggested retail price of the part is $150, which he charges you. Now he only had this part in his possession for minutes or possibly hours, but he still has profited by twice the amount of the Payroll Loan lender. The mechanic is taking a minimal risk that the part fails and he has to do the repair again at no charge. The Payroll Loan lender has taken a much greater risk by lending money to people whom other lenders would turn away.

Think about it for a moment. If the restaurant that you and you family had dinner at last night ordered fresh food during the day yesterday to prepare meals, and your meal cost them $100 in raw food ingredients, but then your bill came to $150 (plus tip!) then why is this practice looked down upon? The restaurant only had possession of the food for a few hours before serving, yet they could add the $50 of revenue to cover their costs and make a little profit.

Somehow, when other types of business make much greater revenue on the products or services that they deliver, it just seems to be considered by most to be free enterprise and is perfectly acceptable. In reality, it is! Our society depends on goods and services being provided to fill the needs and wants of the public and everyone knows that some money must be made at each level or no one would bother doing it! Essentially, we gladly pay because we have needs that we can’t fulfill on our own!

Using this new found perspective, why should Unsecured Loan Lenders do this for Free? They have bills to pay and need to make a little money too, which is the same as any other form of commerce. Because of the higher risk that they take, they also need to cover their losses. Do you think you pay too little for insurance? Probably not. When insurance companies sustain huge losses, they increase their rates to stay profitable. It is just part of the costs we pay, just like it is with short term Loans.

Now the other thing that Payday Loans are often criticized because of is the concern that once someone begins to borrow against their future earnings, they can get into financial trouble. If someone needs more money than they make, it is difficult to get back to good financial health. Once people start using credit to get things they need, they can get in trouble when the bills start to come due.

Hmmm. Does this sound familiar? If someone sees the latest fashionable pair of boots on their way home and it only costs $150, will they likely skip Starbucks one morning a week to save up to buy them? Will they save the $5 per week and wait 30 weeks to buy the boots with cash, after they go out of style? Or will they pull out their trusty credit card, run into the store and come out $150 plus tax, plus interest in debt!

When you don’t want to cook, you go out to eat. But what if your budget included dinner at home? You rely on your credit card to pay for dinner. When you don’t have any extra money and you accidentally drop your smart phone, and the display breaks, you use your credit card. If you develop a throat infection and need to pay the doctor’s co-pay, or your dog needs to see the vet, or your car won’t pass inspection without new tires or your children need new shoes for school, you use your credit card.

Using your credit card means you are borrowing against your future earnings. You are assuming that you will continue to make enough money to pay back the credit cards and the interest, along with your normal living expenses. This is the way most of us live. We use credit to our advantage and realize that there is a cost for doing that. We also use credit to help us achieve the quality of life that we want to live, along with paying for things that we have to pay for.

For people without credit cards, and possibly have poor credit on top of that, a Payroll Loan is likely one of their only options. Believe it or not, these folks have needs and wants too. They get hungry, they need to have safe cars, they get sick, their kids needs shoes and so on. They just can’t borrow against their future earnings the way you probably can.

Traditional lenders, especially in recent years, tend to only want the lowest risk customers and generally are not interested in doing business with the typical applicant for a Salary Loan. The loan applicant needs a steady job and a bank account to qualify for this type of loan, and those two characteristics may help to indicate that there is a good chance that the potential borrower is trying to do the right thing.

In summary, these unsecured loans are not for everyone. However, for many hardworking people who need money and cannot turn to traditional lenders, a Payday Loan may be the perfect solution!

Suicide Risk

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides.

Most people don’t have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear and helplessness can accompany the thought that someone might be suicidal. There are several things that you should know about suicide:

1. Treat every threat as serious – Never ignore, minimize or promise confidentiality when someone talks about suicide. Listen carefully and do not interrupt.

2. Think about warning signs – Has the person been faced with a difficult situation recently such as a job loss, unplanned pregnancy, divorce or health problem? Do you notice any changes in their mood, sleep, appetite, or participation in activities? Are they giving things away? Do they seem pre-occupied with death?

3. Consider the history – Have there been suicide attempts or incidents of self-harm in the past? Were there friends, relatives or role-models of the individual who committed suicide?

4. Ask the question – If someone “hints” or implies that life is not worth living ask “Are you suicidal?”

5. Don’t make assumptions – People who commit suicide might never have suffered from mental illness. Most individuals who have suffered from mental illness are not suicidal.

6. Assess the risk level – Some people have thoughts of suicide when life is overwhelming but do not have any intention of following through. Their statement may be a “cry for help”. Support and problem-solving options might be what they really need.

7. Determine if there is a plan – Ask questions about what the person might be considering. Be direct and get very specific information about what they are planning to do. Medium risk involves having thoughts, impulses and a plan.

8. Find out if they have the means – Does the person have opportunity to access what they need to fulfill their plan? If so, they are high risk. Do they have a gun, pills, a vehicle or other means that match their plan? Remember that being under the influence of a substance at the time also increases the risk.

9. Don’t try to be a hero – Access services of a professional who will do an assessment and create a treatment plan. Call a Suicide Crisis line, take the person to the hospital or ask police to transport for you. Make sure that you share the information you have gathered with the professionals involved.

10. Let go! – Sometimes individuals are taken to an Emergency Room and are not admitted or are hospitalized and then released a day or two later. You may not agree with what is happening but it is up to the professionals involved to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help the individual. It is NOT your responsibility to keep the person safe or alive.

Suicide affects so many people – the individual, family, friends and society at large. It is therefore important that we learn as much as possible about suicide and then are wise and compassionate.

Mastering Your Credit Scores

Your credit score can impact nearly every aspect of your life. It can control whether you can obtain a mortgage, auto loan, or even a job. With this said, it is vital that you understand how to improve your credit score. Federal law requires that everyone have access to one free credit report per year. The reason this law exists is to allow individuals to verify that their credit reports are accurate. If there is inaccurate information listed on your report, by law you have the right to dispute the inaccuracies; the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond to the disputed items. If the creditor who put the disputed item on your credit report cannot provide proof that you are responsible for the debt, it should be removed. To obtain a copy of your free credit report you can call 877-322-8228, or mail a request to annual credit report request service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

After you have received a copy of your free report and have reviewed it for any inaccuracies; you will need to dispute them directly with all three credit bureaus. The bureaus include TransUnion, Experian, Equifax. Once you have verified the information on your credit report is accurate, you can then use the following suggestions to help you increase your scores.

• Make Your Payments On-Time – The single most important thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. If you have had late payments in the past because you simply forgot to make the payment, you may want to set up automatic payment arrangements to pay your bills. This will ensure that your bills are paid on time.

• Credit Card Balances – Credit cards (revolving credit) account for 30% of your score. To maximize your score, you should always keep your revolving card balances below 30% of their available limit.

• Credit Availability – Your scores are calculated based on your unused available credit, how much credit is open, and the length of your credit history. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your score. Based on this factor, it would be in your best interest to keep your revolving cards open instead of closing them, because closing old revolving cards would significantly shorten the length of your credit history. To keep a revolving card open, you should use the card at least once every six months. This will keep them from being inactivated.

• Lack of Credit – Unfortunately, if you have very little credit because you pay cash for everything; you probably also have a low credit score. Scores are only determined by the activity reported on your credit report; cash purchases have no bearing on your current score. Therefore, you want to have at least one installment loan and two revolving accounts open at all times. If you are having trouble getting credit, you could apply for a secured card from a local bank or credit union, or you could ask a relative or significant other if you could become an authorized user on one of their revolving cards. Becoming an authorized user will give you an instant payment history. Just make sure that the account you are going to become an authorized user on does not have late payments, or has a balance near the accounts limit.

• Judgments and Collections – If you have a judgment or collection that originated years ago, when you pay or satisfy the derogatory item it may temporarily lower your credit score. Keep this in mind if you plan to apply for credit. You may want to delay paying off old collections right before applying for a mortgage or auto loan.

There are many other ways to help increase a credit score; but keeping your payments on time, managing your debt properly, and having a reasonable amount of available credit are the easiest ways to ensure an acceptable score. Just remember, derogatory credit will immediately lower your scores, whereas making your payments on time and keeping your balances low may take as long as six months to recover from one negative item reported on your credit report.

Don’t Invalidate Fire Insurance

Don’t invalidate your fire insurance policy.

I find this a very strange case but it just shows how important it is to read the small print as if you ignore the conditions of the policy your policy could be invalidated.

In this case it was a condition of the FIRE insurance that the SECURITY Alarm was maintained and monitored. Times had been tough for the insured and he let the maintenance of the security alarm lapse and as the ARC had not been paid for 6 months they stopped monitoring the site.

Vandals broke in and set fire to the factory. It was a furniture company and they incurred losses of over £750,000.

The case went to the High Court, the judge had nothing but sympathy for the Directors of the Company and he took ‘no pleasure’ in ruling that as it was a condition of the combined insurance policy that alarm was to be monitored by an external firm, the Insurers did not have to meet the claim.

There are often conditions attached to the insurance policies we take out which relate directly to the risk. We need to make sure our cars have valid MOTs in order not to invalidate the policy. We are required to notify the insurance company if we get a speeding fine but, to my mind oddly, you do not have to tell them if you decide to do the Speed Awareness Course rather than pay the fine.

I have just come across a case, now in front of the insurance Ombudsman, where an insurance company voided the policy and returned all the premiums because the policy holder had unwittingly exceed the value of the ‘valuables’ within their contents insurance. They had insured the contents of their house for £60,000 but there was a clause stating that the value of the valuables should not exceed 66% of this.

They had to rush their daughter to hospital, and while they were out the thieves struck taking goods and damaging the property to the value of £70,000. When assessing the claim the loss adjusters calculated that the value if the valuables in the house exceeded £40,000. Normally claims would be ‘averaged’ to reflect the under insurance, but the insurance company in this case argued that the under insurance voided the policy. As I said this case is in front of the ombudsman as I write.

Back to case in hand where a fire insurance claim was dismissed as a security alarm and monitoring were allowed to lapse. Clients of ours run a hotel and there is someone on reception all the time so if the fire alarm is activated there was always someone on duty to respond. We came round to the time when the annual contract with the ARC [monitoring station] needed to be renewed. The Hotel Manger wanted to cancel it as it was considered an unnecessary expense. I said I agreed but asked him to check with his insurers to make sure they had no objections. The Insurers confirmed; monitoring was a condition of the policy.

Often with in the insurance policy there is a clause that the fire alarm is maintained in accordance with British Standards. It would be interesting to know whether a similar claim has been dismissed as the Fire Alarm has not been adequately maintained.

Understanding Minor Fractures

A fracture is essentially a broken bone. Sometimes, when external force is applied to a bone, the bone is unable to withstand the force and it breaks or cracks. This break or crack is called a fracture. When the bone breaks completely it is referred to as a major fracture. A crack in the bone is called a minor or stress fracture.

Common Causes Of Minor Fractures

Minor fractures are typically caused by high impact sports and sports that require repetitive movements. High impact sports such as basketball, soccer and long distance running commonly result in cracks in the legs or feet. Sports such as rowing, cricket and bowling, all of which call for repetitive movements, tend to cause minor fractures in the arms, shoulders and other parts of the body.

Problems can also arise when individuals abruptly start out a new exercise or increase the intensity of their workout without warming up or conditioning their muscles. This increases the amount of pressure that is exerted on the bones causing them to crack.

Anatomical abnormalities, faulty equipment when working out and osteoporosis are other common causative factors.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Minor Fractures

If you have a dull, persistent pain with a swelling around the site of the injury, chances are it is more likely to be a crack in the bone or a minor fracture. In case of a major injury, the pain is more likely to be sharp and excruciating. In either case, it is important to visit a doctor so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment that will help ease the symptoms and heal the injury. If you suspect that your bone may be cracked or broken, never try and diagnose or treat it yourself as this could make matters worse.

Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination to diagnose the presence of a crack in the bone. Depending on the site of the injury and the severity of your symptoms, the doctor may ask you to get an X-Ray or to do an MRI for a more accurate diagnosis.

Treatment

If a minor fracture is confirmed, the first things your doctor will ask you to do is to apply ice onto the affected area several times over the next 24 to 48 hours and to minimize all activity involving that area. It is important to let the bone rest as much as possible so that it can heal itself. When the swelling and pain has subsided and you are ready to return to activity again, it is important that you do this slowly and carefully so you don’t risk injuring yourself again.