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June 16, 2017

Coming to Terms with Bankruptcy

details about bankruptcy filingIt can be difficult to make the decision to file bankruptcy because most people are afraid of the unknowns associated with actually filing a bankruptcy claim and becoming insolvent. It’s scary to think that you could lose your house or your car, or any other valuable asset you have, and so a lot of people put off filing for bankruptcy for as long as possible; unfortunately, this usually only perpetuates the situation. What’s more, some people finally make the decision to file for bankruptcy and then find out they don’t actually qualify for it. It’s important to get the facts straight so you can decide what is right for you. Once you do make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you’ll want to start working toward the rest of your life.

Get Passed the Shame

There is no shame in reaching out to a Licenced Insolvency Trustee to discuss the option of bankruptcy. Once you have discussed your options and it is decided that you will file for bankruptcy, your credit counsellor can help you determine how to move forward. They will talk you through what the next few weeks, months or even years may look like for you in terms of your financial standings, and you can start to put together a plan to get back on your feet.

Work Toward Goals

Now that the bankruptcy has been filed, it can seem overwhelming to think that you need to start rebuilding your financial status. It’s important to have a list of things you want to work toward; for example, make a long term plan for holding a credit card again. Make a short term plan of building a savings account for yourself so you can cushion unforeseen financial issues in the future.

Talk to Your Family

Part of declaring bankruptcy is that you’ll need to attend some kind of counselling sessions; it will be important to your claim that you do this. What’s more, you should have a frank and honest conversation about your finances with your closest family members so they can understand what is happening to you and perhaps can help you. At the very least, having someone to talk to about what is going on can help you deal with it.

Don’t Give Up

Some people think that filing for bankruptcy is the end of the world. It is just a process by which you can hit the refresh button on your finances – in its simplest terms. Good and honest people often find themselves having to file for a bankruptcy because their finances have gotten out of their control. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or you don’t deserve to have anything ever again. A series of bad choices or circumstances got you here, but you don’t have to stay in that place.

If you aren’t sure if bankruptcy is right for you, consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and they will walk you through the criteria and help you determine if you need to file a bankruptcy claim. While it seems like it’s very unfortunate, you will be able to get through it with the help of your credit counselor.

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August 27, 2015

How to Choose a Currency for Your Offshore Bank Account

Financial sectorsIn a sharp contrast with your domestic bank accounts, your offshore banking service will provide you with the option of choosing currencies to be held in your accounts. It’s really a valuable feature for all your offshore accounts as it provides you with the option of maintaining funds in a different currency than your domestic one. It’s of great help when the domestic currency is likely to get depreciated. It’s important for you to identify the factors that drive exchange rates. You must also understand the effects of maintaining your account with various currencies. Your deposits may yield considerable interest when you pick certain currencies for holding currencies. It might even contribute towards foreign tax liability. Depending on exchange rates and fee structure, you might need to bear the expense of exchanging currencies for making withdrawals and deposits.

Depositing with your Offshore Bank

International wire transfers are very effective in funding offshore bank accounts. Systems that make it easier for you to perform free electronic fund transfers through domestic banks prevent international money transfers. Sending or receiving funds compel you to pay your banks for international wire transfers. In comparison, it seems much simpler to opt for a wire transfer. Banks charge different amounts for wire transfers; that’s why it’s important for you to check out various deals. You have only a few good alternatives. Jurisdictions in foreign countries don’t allow you to accept domestic checks. It’s not a practical idea to carry funds on your own.

Withdrawing from your Offshore Account

In order to turn their services more convenient to users, a number of options to withdraw funds have been introduced by offshore banks. You may be allowed to access funds worldwide by any offshore banking concern that provides you with an ATM or debit card. You might need to bear a certain amount as fees for using international ATMs. That’s why it is essential for you to check out fees before opting for this method. These fees may even be minimized when you withdraw bigger amounts of cash for a single time.

Checking accounts are even allowed by a few offshore banks. A good number of customers don’t prefer this method as it demands a high degree of confidentiality. When you draw checks on foreign accounts, you may experience certain problems regarding their acceptance at foreign outlets.

You may consider using two accounts simultaneously – one could be your domestic account and the other one could be the offshore one. Offshore banking funds worth higher amounts can thus be transferred to your domestic account, so that you may access them easily. By following this method, you may actually ensure more security and privacy besides availing the convenience of services offered by local banks.

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February 29, 2012

Getting a Loan: 4 Reasons To Stick To Your Current Bank

When you are in the market for a new loan, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration when making your comparisons. With so many different lenders and loan products however, this comparison can be stressful, time consuming and confusing – but unfortunately it needs to be done because a loan is definitely not a financial product you want to get wrong. The wrong loan can be costly, it can be frustrating, it can put your security at risk and you can be stuck with it for many years.

Fortunately there is a way to make all of these comparisons a little easier. You can’t and shouldn’t avoid spending the time comparing loans, but what you can do is make the comparisons you need to with your current bank, and save yourself some time and save your sanity.

1 – Type of loan

Each lender will offer a number of different loans, but most lenders will specialise in a certain type of loan. Whether a lender is a small business specialist, a teacher’s credit union or a financial institution which specialises in bad credit cases, they will have these specialities to allow them to better understand and cater to their particular client, and offer more comprehensive services for their target customer.

If you can find a lender who specialises in your type of loan, then you will save yourself time in the approvals process because you won’t apply to a high profile lender when you need a bad credit specialist for example, who can offer you alternative verification procedures. Similarly, if you are a small business owner, you want to be dealing with a lender who is a specialist in low doc loans.

Therefore, when you first applied for your current loan, transaction or savings account you should have sought out a lender based on your needs and the type of product you were after, as well as the type of person you are. As a result, your current bank should already be perfectly matched to your needs and situation, and should therefore be the perfect financial institution to tailor a loan to your needs.

2 – Staff

When there is a problem with your account or you have a question you don’t want to be endlessly on hold and you want to speak to someone who will listen and be able to help you. If you already have a number of accounts with a certain lender you will know the level of customer service you receive and whether your questions are answered promptly and easily.

It is also important for a bank to have a well qualified loan officer on their staff who is able to look at your situation and tell you upfront whether you will qualify for a loan, and whether there is anything you can do to improve your chances of approval. If you already have a loan with your current bank then you will have dealt with the loan officer previously, and they will know your financial history in detail. This can help reduce the perceived risk to the bank of lending you more money, as they can see the intricate details of your loan history and how reliable you are with your repayments.

Going back to the small business example, if your current bank is a small business specialist, they will also likely have a small business advisor as part of their staff. Having specialist staff to meet your needs means you can discuss exactly why you need the loan, and your goals for your business, to make sure that a loan is the right option.

3 – Access

Successfully managing your finances means always knowing what is going on with your accounts. Therefore, whether you prefer to check your balances online, on your smart phone, by calling the phone banking number of popping into a branch on your way to work, you will have established routines with your current accounts. This not only means you can stay on top of your accounts, but it also means you know the best ways to avoid unnecessary fees.

Even if you are getting a loan with your existing bank you will likely have to go into the branch to complete the paper work, and this gives you a chance to discuss your loan needs. However, there is no doubt that online banking is much faster and convenient than a branch visit could ever be, and by applying for a new loan with your current lender you don’t need to learn any new online banking systems, or remember any new online banking passwords, because you can access all of your banking products in the one place.

4 – Reputation and relationship

The reason word of mouth advertising is so successful is because it is devoid of any marketing hype or spin, and simply tells the true story of a real personal experience with a service provider. When you are shopping around for anything new, chances are you’ve asked your friends and family which product or service they use, and whether they are happy, to help you narrow down your search and choose a reputable and reliable product. However, the danger when relying too heavily on word of mouth advertising when it comes to banking products lies in how different your financial situation is to that of your friends and family.

There is usually a lot more going on with other people’s finances than they’ll let on, so one person’s experience with a bank may not necessarily reflect another’s. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on word of mouth advertising at all when looking for a lender, because you can ask yourself about your experiences with your current bank, and receive an honest and relevant answer. Ask yourself whether you are happy with the service, whether it is easy to do your banking with your current bank, and whether the products are reasonably priced and fully featured. This will give you a good indication of whether it is worth you taking out a new loan product with your current bank – whom you already know everything about.

Plus, when you have an existing relationship with your bank, it is often possible to have loan application fees waived, and you may even be able to negotiate on any ongoing fees, or qualify for a lower interest rate because you are known to the lender.

Alban has been blogging about personal loans for the last 3 years. He has also contributed several articles on savings accounts and credit cards.

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