January 30, 2013
Over the last several years, the emphasis on mis-sold PPI has risen, rapidly. With increased numbers of people making PPI complaints, banks have to reimburse people left, right and centre for their own misdoings due to mis-selling payment protection insurance.
PPI is an optional policy that can be added on to a number of financial agreements, to help protect the borrower, should their circumstances change. Loan, mortgage and credit card protection are all eligible for this additional insurance that ensures payments are met in the event of redundancy or debilitating illness. With the economic climate the way it is at the moment, the threat of redundancy is a very real concept – if you were to take out a loan, you may feel the need to protect yourself just in case of this eventuality.
The problem is that in many cases, banks sold the policy to people that didn’t want, need or even know about it and this is why the rise in PPI has continued to skyrocket.
The recent decision by the financial watchdog, the FSA, has played a huge part in the PPI complaint boom. Last year, they instructed banks to write letters to known victims of mis-sold PPI, with between 4 and 12million in total expected to be sent to people all over the UK .
If you are one of these millions who have had, or are due to have, a letter through their letterbox, it can be the chance you need to claim back money that is rightfully yours. Don’t just throw it out, thinking of it as junk. If it’s a legit letter from your bank or finance provider, chances are you may be eligible for a claim and should bite the bit and go for it. The director the FSA thinks that only 10% of people who are written to will actually take the opportunity to claim, which is such a shame when there is billions to be paid out to people nationwide.
Last year, £1.9bn was paid out to successful PPI claimants , with the total redress looking like £13bn as of January 2013 . Industry insiders predict this value to so much as double to more than £25bn in reality , if all those eligible take the initiative to claim.
As the months go by, more and more people are claiming, with the volume of PPI complaints skyrocketing. At the moment, the banks are seeing approximately 100,000 claims sent to them each month , whilst the FOS has employed a staggering 1000 extra caseworkers to work solely on PPI cases . Whilst a number of these claims may be false or frivolous, many are genuine claims made by people who have been mis-sold PPI and you could be one of them.
With the British Bankers Association pushing for a deadline in PPI complaints, as soon as spring 2014, now is the time to claim your PPI payments if you haven’t done so already. After all, what have you got to lose?
, Financial Panning
January 25, 2013
Getting to grips with setting up a business website can be a daunting prospect. With over a third of the world’s population now using the World Wide Web, the way you present your company and run your website can be a vital factor to your success.
From your domain name and digital certificate, to social media, SEO and subdomains protected through SSL Wildcard, the array of elements to take into account when building up your site is phenomenal.
First and foremost, purchasing your domain should be a priority. Try to secure a memorable address – ideally your business name, containing less than ten characters. If both .com and .co.uk domains are available, it is worth owning both, and pointing the second over to your preferred domain – giving you ownership of the domain as a brand.
Once you have obtained your domain name, consider purchasing a digital certificate. This will give your customer base an added sense of security when browsing your website. Obtained through a trusted Certificate Authority, such as Symantec, a digital certificate will authenticate your identity and encrypt all sensitive data passed between browsers and your server.
SSL Wildcard can offer security on multiple subdomains under your primary domain. Web users are consistently seeking a streamlined and efficient Internet experience, and subdomains can make your website far more efficient. Whether you want to send credentials directly to your mobile-optimised site or to create direct page links, building in subdomains will enhance the usability of your business website.
As well as ensuring your website contains effective, SEO enhanced copy, it is also essential to pick up to five key SEO terms and have these running throughout key elements of your website. This will significantly improve your search engine ranking and make your business more visible to potential customers who use your key phrases as search terms.
Optimise your business website today with a digital certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority.
, New Website
, Website for Business
January 18, 2013
A lot has been written about strategies to get out of debt, plan a budget, and stick to it. If you want to be one of those success stories of people who have clawed their way out of debt on their own, that’s great. If you’re digging out of a particularly deep hole, or your shovel is disproportionately small, you may quickly realize that getting out of debt on your own is an all but impossible task.
As calls from creditors start harassing you at all hours of the day and you watch your monthly statements steadily increase, it may seem as if bankruptcy would easily solve all your problems.
This is rarely the case, so today we’re going to talk about the range of professional options available to you. In Canada debt program options include: Credit Counseling, Debt Consolidation Loans, Debt Settlement, Consumer Proposals, and finally, when all else has failed, Bankruptcy.
A professional brings years of experience, a greater knowledge of your options, and, most importantly, a non-biased approach to your finances. They’ll help you examine your income and expenses and come up with a short and long-term plan to get you out of debt and keep you out.
This may also include negotiating with creditors in an effort to reduce the amount of interest you pay, lowering the monthly payments to make them more manageable, and lengthening the deadline for payback.
One thing credit counseling won’t help with is actually reducing the amount you owe. That’s fine – you DO owe the money, but if you’re truly in trouble, you might need a more drastic option.
Debt consolidation takes all of your debts and pays them off under a single loan. That loan is now your only debt. This is incredibly helpful because you’ll only have one monthly payment, which is easier to track, plan for, and pay on time. It’s also possible to negotiate a lower overall interest rate. On top of all that good news, you can also lower your monthly payment to something you can manage more easily.
The drawback to a lower monthly payment is that it could end up taking longer to pay your debt consolidation loan off than it would just paying your debts back.
Hiring a debt settlement specialist to negotiate your debts might be the best decision you can make. By speaking to each of your creditors, they’ll work on your behalf to lower the total amount you owe, lower interest rates, and set up comfortable monthly payments.
Despite it’s rather passive name, this is an official agreement between you and your creditors to settle your unsecured debts. You’ll work with a licensed bankruptcy trustee, and this option is pretty much the last step before bankruptcy and WILL negatively affect your credit score and borrowing ability.
Tags: Credit Card Debt
, Debt Problems
, financial planning
, personal finance
January 14, 2013
The world of binary options trading has gained greater prominence as more people become attuned to the trading benefits offered. The simplicity of making money from what amounts to a higher/ lower choice of asset price direction, coupled with the potential for high profits has helped to fuel an ever greater uptake from this method of trading.
The accessibility of this trading method has also increased interest in this form of investment. It is so easy to get yourself up and running. Account opening only requires a small deposit and contracts can be placed on any of the major global markets from just a few dollars.
Here we take a look at three key advantages of using binary options as an investment vehicle and make a case as to why you should take a look at this trading method as a viable and simple way to get started with financial trading.
1. Access Global Markets
When you first open you account with a binary options broker you may be surprised to see the wide range of assets that are available for trading. Unlike when trading with Forex brokers for example, you are not restricted to the assets on which you can profit. All of the major financial asset classes are offered, including Forex currency pairs, Stock Indices and Commodities. It is also possible to profit from movements in some of the largest global companies with contracts available for purchase on major players such as Google, Amazon, JP Morgan and Coca Cola.
This wide range of markets means that it is nearly always possible to find an opportunity to take. Furthermore trading can take place on your account wherever you are based in the world, as at some point, somewhere, a market will be open for you to analyse and trade.
2. Weekend Trading
If this ability to trade a wide selection of different markets during the week is not enough, you can also opt to trade at the weekend with some brokers. While the markets themselves are closed at this time, many brokers offer the facility to place a limited amount of contracts on certain assets over the weekend. Due to the market being closed and the trader not knowing where the market will open first thing on a Monday morning, the returns offered for these trading positions tend to be high. Many of these contracts yield well over a 400% return.
While there is much more speculation involved with these positions, they nevertheless can provide a good way in which to make a high gain on your investment. You just need to select your opportunities carefully and only use small amounts of your capital when trading these outcomes.
3. Profit From Different Price Outcomes
While binary options trading is often thought of as profiting from a higher or lower movement of an assets price, there are in fact many ways in which they can be used to capture market moves. While the Call and Put option are the most easily recognisable of the binary trade, there are an increasing number of new contracts now available. These will allow you to profit from a range of different market outcomes.
The most popular of these newer contracts are the One Touch and Boundary range. The key benefit of these is that you can use them when no trends are present and markets are simply looking to ‘mark time’. These provide a further way in which you can use binary options to keep building up the value of your investment over time.
, financial planning
, Foreign Exchange
January 9, 2013
For some reason, most of the marketing behind home ownership leads you to believe that you should be paying off your home for the next 20-30 years. People even have ‘mortgage-burning parties’, where they (symbolically or actually) burn their mortgage documents at the same time that they retire.
If it sounds crazy to take over 20 years to pay for something, don’t worry, it’s absolutely possible to pay off your home faster.
Interest Rates Are Important
A lot of people assume if you’ve been dealing with a bank for most of your life that they will be the best option for getting your mortgage. This is not always the case and it’s imperative that you shop around. Even a 0.05% difference on the interest rate will mean thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
Websites like http://mortgagerates.ca are fantastic for comparing lenders (even those you’ve never heard of) and making sure you’re getting the best rate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your bank. If you prefer to keep your accounts in the same place, at least explain to your rep at the bank that you have better options and ask if they can match them.
Your Mortgage – Pre-payment Options
Interest rates aren’t the only consideration for your mortgage. If you want to pay this off aggressively you’re going to need some pre-payment options. There are typically two ways you can pay down your home faster.
- Monthly payment options – most mortgage lenders allow you to modify the amount you’re paying every month. This is usually listed as a percentage of your payment. For example, if a lender allows you to bump up your payment by 25% and your current payment is $1,000 a month, you’ll be allowed to increase that to $1,250. You can get mortgages that allow up to a full 100% increase.
- Lump-sum payments – You should also have the option to contribute lump-sum payments whenever you want. These are great for things like tax refunds, bonus cheques, and other found money. These are typically offered again as a percentage, this time of your total mortgage amount, and range from 10% to 25%. So if you owe $300,000 on your mortgage, you’d be able to contribute up to $75,000 a year (at 25%) on top of your regular payments.
Finding The Money
You might be laughing at the idea of having an EXTRA $75,000 a year kicking around, and yes, it’s probably not going to be that much. What it does is give you options.
If you really decide to get serious about paying off your home, it’s time to prioritize. Remember that every dollar you put towards it now will save you all of that compounding interest in the future, so the time to make the most sacrifices is right now.
Make cuts wherever you can. Use an online mortgage payment calculator to calculate how much every extra payment will save you in the long run – this will keep you motivated.
, home loans
, personal finance