Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Credit Card Processing: Watch Out for these Common Mistakes

Accepting credit card payments is a necessity and daily activity for business owners. While most small business owners don’t think much while choosing a payment processor, overlooking some very simple safety risks often proves to be a big mistake.

Credit Card Processing

These business owners often sign up immediately after receiving the first offer from a payment processor. Ultimately, various factors including a confusing price model makes them end up paying too much for credit card processing for their small businesses.

The most common issues these businesses face on a later stage, include stolen customer information, fines, revoke credit card privileges, and ultimately, lost revenue.

So, if you too are looking for a payment processor, there’re some common mistakes made by business owners that you should know about:

1. Getting into a Long Contract with Early Cancellation Fees

When you sign a processing agreement form, you agree to get into a binding contract with your processing company. Almost every big credit card processing brand has a fixed contract term. Though this duration may vary depending upon a lot of factors, most processing companies design their contracts to make maximum profit!

On an average, while a contract stretches three to five years, many good providers have month-to-month terms also. Most providers have an early termination fee that depends upon your monthly fee. For example, if you are signing up for a 3-year contract and want to terminate it after a year, you’ll have to pay for the next two years. So, it is always a better idea to find a credit card processor with month-to-month terms and no termination fees.

2. Making a Volume Commitment

Many credit card processing contracts involve a clause about volume commitments. According to this clause, you agree to process a fixed amount of dollars each month. In case are unable to complete your promised volume, you are most likely to face higher discount rates and other penalties.
Large enterprises often negotiate lower discount rates, but nearly all small and mid-sized businesses get hit by this practice. In order to prevent this from happening to you, you should carefully read all the clauses before signing up the contract.

3. Getting as Merchant Account from a Bank

Most small businesses want to save money by signing up for high risk merchant accounts through their banks, considering that they process payments themselves. In reality, however, the banks partner with payment processors doing underwriting and back-end processing. This makes you pay more than you should and besides, this allows the bank to take money through your processing as well as freeze your account. The best idea will be to go for a third-party high risk merchant account providers who can offer more economical deals.

4. Taking a Decision on the Only Basis of Price

Prices and rates isn’t the only consideration while choosing a credit card processor. You should also look for other facilities such as customer services, quick deposits, uptime and eCommerce features. Make sure your provider is offering mobile payments services, so that you can accept cards on a smartphone.

Consider comparing multiple credit card processors before deciding on any one. Remember, the cheapest may not always be the best!

Author Bio: Amslv.com provides high risk merchant account solutions to a wide range of e-commerce and mail order/telephone order merchants. We offer fast and easy approvals for bad credit merchant processing accounts and ACH.

Your Credit Card Statement Could Be Keeping You In Debt

If you take a close look at your credit card statement you can find information that you did not even know that the statement contained. You can find how much your total balance is, the date your payment is due, as well as being able to find out exactly how long it will take you to pay off the entire balance if you only pay the minimum amount due. This is a piece of information that has been newly added to the statement and most of us would rather not look at that. This ruins the belief that most people have that we can pay off the amount within a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately the way banks operate these days it is to benefit them and not the actual consumer. This is how they make more money. By taking a close look at your credit card statements you will see how the bank traps you into staying in debt.

Credit Card Statement

Minimum Payments

Credit cards are not like any other bill you will receive. When you receive a different type of bill the amount that is due is the total amount of the bill. But credit cards are different. They allow for you only to pay a small percentage of the total amount and roll over the remaining balance with an interest charged to it. They do this because in the end you are going to end up owing much more than you did in the beginning.

Amount Of Available Credit

Other information that you can find on your credit card statement is how much available credit you have that can be used. Even though most of us can figure out this number by using a calculator the credit card company feels that they need to inform you in hopes that you will continue to spend freely on that credit card. Instead of saying this is how much I owe, you can instead say I can still spend this amount. The negative effect comes once you get you next billing statement and see the amount of interest that has been charged and the total amount you then owe.

Convenience Checks

The credit card companies have gotten sneaky with the way the give you access to your credit limit. The newest way is through convenience checks. These checks often come attached to your billing statement. You have the availability to use these checks for anything that you need to make a payment on. You can write a check just as you would from your traditional checking account. It is important that you read the fine print that comes with these checks. When you write the check and the lender cashes it the check is treated as a cash advance. Most credit card companies charge a higher amount of interest as well as additional fees for the use of a cash advance. Therefore the amount you are actually spending will by much more in the end.

Conclusion

Most financial professionals will tell you to pay your credit cards off every month when you receive the bill. This will save you money and will help to improve your credit score and credit history. Credit cards can be a great tool when used carefully and properly so spend wisely. For more information you can visit our website.

What You Need To Know Before You Start Investing

If you are interested in becoming an investor there are many things that you need to know and learn before actually investing. This is a terrifying field to get into and you might have heard horror stories of people losing all of their money as well as the roof over their heads when they start out in the investing world. It is hard to not think about how scary the reality is of investing when the news is always speaking about bankruptcy and the market crashing however if you be careful and be smart you might be able to invest with little to no risk.

Investing

In this article you will find the basic tips to investing to help you learn how to invest the smart way. It takes more than being smart you should know how to ease yourself into the process and keep your money safe.

Education

Everything in the world of investing takes time. You will learn that learning how the stock market works takes time as well as learning what stocks to choose. Learning how to play the stock market is not a hobby as many people think it is. Many consider it a lifestyle.

You should consider educating yourself on how to invest before you start to play with your actual bank account money. There are many different books available for you to read as well as actual courses that are available on the Internet.

Do Not Be Afraid

It seems that every time we turn on the news we hear of the market crashing or a major company closing its doors and this can make anyone scared when it comes to investing. No one wants to lose his or her money and money can make a person very emotional. However it is important to lose the fear when you are considering investing. Fear makes people do crazy things such as when the market takes a nosedive they sell off their entire portfolio. Being afraid takes a toll on a person. It will cause them to trade too much, too little or even invest in too many different items. But the good news is that if you understand what you are doing and you are well educated you can make smart business and investing decisions and there will be nothing to be afraid of.

Starting Small

You might be reading up on how to select stocks and maybe even doing some research to figure out which stocks you want to buy. The only way to be sure that you are ready to start investing is to jump right in. Of course you want to start small to learn the ins and the outs of investing but if all you do is research you could be wasting precious investing time.

Conclusion

When you start out in the investing world you need to learn the ropes. This is sometimes by trial and error and other times it is just from learning from someone with investing experience. Either way investing is a tough world to be in or you should be prepared for bad credit installment loans the ups and downs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why Does Someone Want to Buy My Structured Settlement?

If you have been wondering why “someone wants to buy my structured settlement”, there are a few things you should know. There are financial services companies that offer this option to people that have been involved in personal injury lawsuits. This can often be a good option for some people that want better access to their money.

Structured Settlement

What these companies offer

These companies offer to pay people that have this kind of income a set amount in exchange for their taking over the payment. This offer is always less that the full value of the lawsuit amount. The reason for this is so that the company can make money. What percentage of the total amount a company offers can vary. This will depend on different factors and some of these are current interest rates and the economy in general and the amount of the payout over time.

People that look into these services will find that these are offered by many different companies. The time it takes for someone to receive money once they have signed up can vary but in most cases it can take about six weeks. People will also want to know that they do not have to sell the entire amount of their settlement – it is possible to sell only part of it in many instances.

What this can do for people with settlements

Anyone that has a settlement and is having financial problems may benefit from using this kind of service. An example of this might be to pay off bills, purchase a vehicle, remodel a home so it works better for the injured person, pay off a mortgage or other needs. Some people will find that cashing out the settlement will allow them to start a business or purchase income property. In some cases, people will want to use the money to learn new skills that can get them into new jobs or to send a child to college. There can be very good reasons why it is a better idea to cash out. People may also want to look at how inflation can potentially change the value of their settlement over time.

The IRS ruling 119273-97 from 1999 says that selling structured settlement payments does not constitute a tax liability. However, people will want to talk to their tax professional prior to agreeing to this kind of settlement to make sure that they handle this matter as required so as not to cause any tax consequences.

This guest post was written with the help of DRB Capital.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saving Money on Car Insurance Takes More than 15 Minutes

Everyone wants to save money on their car insurance, after all, if you have to have coverage, you might as well have the least expensive coverage possible. Few people want their savings to affect the quality of their insurance though. So, short of getting cut rate insurance that only helps you if the stars align correctly on the day you need to make a claim, how can you make sure you get the best deal on car insurance?

Car Insurance

Know How Insurable You Are

Insurance rates are determined by a complicated formula that takes multiple risk factors into consideration. Personal factors include your gender, age, marital status, location, credit score, and profession. Gender, age, and marital status are based on statistics. Young men have more accidents than young women, married people tend to have fewer accidents than singles; these are things that you can’t change, or at least won’t want to change just for a lower insurance rate. Where you live can affect the risk of an accident because most accidents occur near the home. High population equals higher level of unpredictably, meaning higher risk factor, therefore higher rates. History of theft in your neighborhood/city can also affect you.

The other big factor into how insurable you are is your driving habits. Accidents and tickets can prevent you from getting competitive rates, and even make it difficult to get coverage at all. Insurance companies don’t want to have to pay out for a high-risk driver.

When you fill out all the information to get a car insurance quote, you’ll be asked about how often you use your car, as well as what for (pleasure, work, etc). The less often you use your car, the more likely you’ll be able to get a lower rate. You may even be asked if you park on the street or in a garage, because indoor parking makes it less likely that your car will receive damage.

Pick an Insurable Car

Though some of your personal factors can’t be helped, you do get to decide what kind of car you drive. Here are some things to look for to find a car that won’t send your insurance rates through the roof:
  • High Safety Rating- Safety ratings are based both on your likelihood of getting into a wreck and your likelihood of being injured should an accident occur. The higher the rating, the less likely the insurance will have to pay on accident claims and large medical bills- therefore you will pay less too.
  • Car size- Larger cars usually have higher safety ratings because they protect you more than small cars. But bigger engines often come with higher insurance costs, so keep that in mind.
  • Car Age –Since older vehicles are more likely to be totaled rather than repaired, newer cars have higher collision coverage rates, which can translate to a higher premium. New cars also may be more likely to be targeted for theft, but they also can have alarms and other anti-theft measures that will balance out or lower the premium.

Getting Lower Car Insurance

These are the main factors that affect your insurability. Keep them in mind as you shop around, and remember to get quotes from multiple companies. Even if one company gives you competitor quotes, you’ll want to double check those, because their information is not guaranteed to be correct.