• Five websites to help make money online

    Making money online is not as hard as you think it is. If you have a bunch of skills to showcase and a drive to get things done, you can easily make hundreds of dollars every month. Nonetheless, sometimes, phony websites and Ponzi schemes seem to make it difficult to find the right sources of money. Therefore, we have taken the liberty to note down five reliable websites to make money online easily.

    YouTube
    Got something to share? Is it interesting and non-explicit? Then YouTube is the place to be. All you need to do is create engaging videos, and you can make thousands of dollars depending on how many views you get. Keep up the good work, and YouTube will keep paying you depending on the number of views on every new video you upload.

    Fiverr
    Fiverr is a great place to make money if you’re looking for freelancing jobs. From content writing to marketing and web development, Fiverr has a job for everybody. The basic pay starts at approximately $5 an hour. The process, too, is fairly simple. Once you get an order, you complete it, get paid, and Fiverr takes a small cut (around $1).

    Shopify
    With Shopify, there is no definite pay scale. This is because running a store on Shopify means starting a dropshipping business. The process is simple. Set up a store on Shopify and design your website using free templates. When a customer buys a product, the request goes to the supplier. They ship the product directly to your customer, and you make money.

    Zirtual
    This virtual assistant platform enables you to work for simply anybody remotely. Your boss can give many small tasks such as planning an event, making purchases, and booking appointments. A beginner gets paid anywhere between $11-$15 per hour. However, as your expertise grows, so does your base pay. Some end up making up to $500 a month only on Zirtual.

    Upwork
    Upwork helps you make money by utilizing your skills. From marketing to sales and graphic designing, you get a platform to showcase your skills and get paid. Upwork takes a small commission from your earnings. However, the more the payments, the lesser the commission taken. Nonetheless, as the platform is very popular, the competition is very high.

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  • 3 money-making apps in 2021

    In the age of smartphones, people have been able to make an app for practically everything. These apps have made it extremely convenient for us to lead our lives and carry out our day-to-day activities. You might not know this, but you can earn cash using apps in your spare time! Could you imagine how great it would be to get paid to be on our phone all the time? Here are some popular cash-making apps in 2021.

    Shopkick
    This app is perfect for those who enjoy indulging in a little bit of online shopping every now and then. This app only works on mobile, and you can redeem your points as gift cards whenever you decide to do so. Moreover, this app allows you to earn points whenever you walk into their partnered stores. You can also earn additional points by watching ads and videos as well as by scanning certain barcodes. The only downside to this app is that you aren’t paid in actual cash when using this app.

    ibotta
    This app is great if you are looking for an app that offers automatic payment options. This app can be used on your mobile phone as well as on your desktop browser. There are three easy ways in which you can get cashback from this app. You can either make purchases at eligible stores, upload a receipt from these eligible stores, or link a store loyalty card before you shop. Although the cash-out threshold is slightly lower than other apps, this is definitely one of the most popular apps being used right now.

    Foap
    Foap is perfect for all aspiring and professional photographers out there who are just beginning to hone their craft. This app allows you to sell your photos to people who need to use them in an easy and hassle-free manner. You only need $5 to withdraw cash from your account, and you don’t have to buy a fancy DSLR camera to sell your photos. All the payouts are sent through PayPal, so make sure you create your own account before logging into this app.

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  • Quick and easy ways to sell your timeshare

    Timeshares are a lucrative way of investing in property that you can own for a specific period. Investing in a timeshare opens up avenues for travel and affordable stay at exotic locations. But reselling the space is where it gets tricky, as the demand for these properties varies on factors like location and price. 

    Here are some good ways to make a sale quickly:

    • Go through an agent
      Real estate agents who specialize in buying and selling timeshare properties will help you unload your ownership quickly. You must do thorough research and choose an agent with plenty of experience in the area. Verified agents can broker a deal quickly because of their contacts in the market, and they will keep track of current listings and await an opportunity to broker deals for a quick commission.
    • Find a website
      A lot of websites nowadays broker timeshare deals online. They connect sellers to buyers who are looking to rent or buy some vacation space. In exchange for a small transaction fee or even a membership, you can list your timeshare deal on popular web portals. Your ad will be made visible to millions of buyers. Websites also offer professional help to close the deal without much hassle. This is the quickest way to offload timeshare properties.
    • Sell through your resort
      If you own a timeshare space at exotic beach resorts, it is always quicker to broker a deal with the resort owner. This way, you can avoid paying an agent or brokering a fee to third parties. The only catch is that you will have to verify the buyer, as resort owners will initiate the process to authorize the sale. But don’t make the mistake of exchanging your current ownership with a timeshare upgrade. Simply contact the owner and sell it off.
    • Advertise online
      If you can and want to sell your timeshare at a value you deem fit, advertise online. This way, you don’t have to shell out cash in order to make the sale through a third-party broker. Use social media and even Craigslist to put up free ads. But ensure that you can reach an agreement with potential buyers.
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  • 4 effective tips for booking your next rental

    Renting a car may seem like a simple activity, something you can do online in a matter of minutes. But apart from renter’s insurance, the cost of the rental, and other fees chargeable, there are a number of points to consider so you can get the best deal, from location to size of the vehicle and budget tips; here are a few tips to get you started.

    • Book in advance
      Book your travel arrangements well in advance, especially if you are planning a road trip. This way, you can switch vehicles in the cities planned along the route to save money and rent a different car each time. The location also matters as research suggests that car rentals in the suburbs are slightly cheaper than in a franchise that is smack dab in the center of the city. Also, avoid renting one straight out of the airport, as taxes and hidden charges will be levied on such rentals.
    • Take the weather into account
      There is not much you can do when it pours or snows out of nowhere. But taking the weather into account can help you rent a suitable vehicle for those driving conditions. For example, four-wheel-drive cars work well in heavy snow conditions or places where traction is compromised. You can select special vehicles by clicking on the filters and prioritizing your search on booking websites during winter and rainy months.
    • Consider space and occupancy
      If you are going on a long road trip, consider renting an SUV or full-sized vehicle that offers more comfort and storage. In driving conditions where the road might get bumpy or rough, a full-sized vehicle is better suited for long hours or even driving at night. Most full-sized SUVs are equipped to seat 5-6 people and still leave enough boot room for their luggage. It pays to book in advance so that you also get the best deal that is available out there.
    • Save money with fuel efficiency
      Most people who search for car rentals always filter the results according to fuel efficiency before even looking up the rental price. Because you can save more money by driving a mileage-friendly vehicle rather than renting a car that is cheap but turns out to be a gas guzzler. Fuel-efficient vehicles are also environment friendly, so you get points for that! Compare across popular websites that offer car rentals for 2021 and get the latest quotes with value-added services.

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  • Digital transformations in financial services – Its significance

    Stiff competition urges every business to push themselves out of their comfort zones to make customers happy and ease complexities for employees and customers. Technological evolution is constant in every field, and digitalization has helped make things convenient for all. While we’re aware of the convenience and time-saving opportunities that are brought about by digitalization, this article discusses its perks in the financial services field.

    Saving time is the most significant factor in financial services after digitalization came about. No longer do people have to wait in long lines to withdraw or deposit cash. An ATM or banking apps come to the rescue. Moreover, transferring money online eliminates the procedures that would otherwise take days to reflect the result and saves a lot of paperwork. It definitely is more environment-friendly, reducing the consumption and wastage of paper.

    Another significant benefit of digital transformation in financial services is the convenience of the employees and customers. One transaction in the digital era takes no more than five minutes. In the pre-digital era, people would have to wait for days to get through an emergency transaction. Moreover, now there are a plethora of options.

    There were already so many benefits of digitalization in the banking sector, but the pandemic recognized another noteworthy feature. We’re talking about contactless payment and digital transactions. While most retailers were well-equipped with accepting digital payments, the pandemic urged others to adopt the change in order to survive the global epidemic. Many transport facilities also started working with online payments for the convenience of contactless payment.

    Financial services saw a growth of 40%, thanks to the use of MasterCard, and Visa reported an increase of 150% across the country alone. People worldwide are using digital payment services, and it will become a norm even after the pandemic fades.

    A workplace fully equipped with digital services helps connect employees from different locations, allows teamwork, streamlines processes, and ensures faster results. In fact, it is safe to say that digitalization allows more time for employees to engage in other productive work rather than unending paperwork. In other words, a digital transformation has allowed for more productivity.

    When asked if a digital transformation in the financial sector has been a boon or a bane, the benefits truly out-do the cons. The transformation has been beneficial for all—business owners, employees, and customers.

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  • 5 reasons to choose mortgage refinancing

    Refinancing involves replacing an existing loan by paying it off with a fresh one. Such an act usually costs somewhere between 3% and 6% of the loan’s principal amount, along with application fees, title search, and an appraisal. Since refinancing is a big decision to make, understanding whether this move could actually save you money is essential. So, the following reasons will help you know whether youn should consider mortgage refinancing.

    Lower interest rates
    Keep an eye out for lowering mortgage refinance interest rates in the market, and just when the rates drop, you can consider refinancing to pay significantly less in monthly payments. Today, the norm is that if mortgage refinance can give you even 1%-2% in lowered interest rates, it is a viable idea for a homeowner.

    Shortening the loan term
    As you refinance due to the change in mortgage refinance interest rates, you can even choose to reduce the loan term. Instead of paying a mortgage for 30 years, you can even half that time if the change in interest rate is significant. Keep your calculator handy and get a deal that will get you out of mortgage payments sooner.

    Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
    In case of a forthcoming significant rise in interest rates, mortgage refinancing is a good move as you can choose to opt out of ARM and turn to a fixed-rate mortgage. This move reduces the risk of paying higher interest due to market fluctuations and increase your monthly payments. But rest assured there is a fixed interest rate that helps you keep your finances checked and secure.

    Cashout equity
    Some homeowners refinance to cash out the equity in their homes. This equity is used for major expenses like home remodelling or a child’s college education. While this move may seem ideal at the time, refinancing also means deciding on mortgage terms. For some homeowners, this decision can keep them from getting out of debt and compel them to continue paying mortgage for several years ahead.

    Changing ownership rights
    Refinancing is an opportunity for any homeowner who wants to make a change in documents related to borrowers’ names on the loan agreement. If the house is bought by spouses who are now divorced, friends who are no longer in partnership, or any other two entities who need a name removed from the borrower’s list, this is an opportune time for them to put in those changes.

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  • Top 5 VA loan lenders

    A VA loan is a benefit provided to veterans, military personnel, and their spouses, wherein they can become homeowners. They are exempted from paying the down payment or any mortgage insurance. Private banks and mortgage companies provide these loans. A large number of options makes it challenging to select the right provider. Therefore, we have put together a list of the five best VA loan lenders of 2021.

    Here are some of the best VA loan lenders:

    Guaranteed Rate
    Guaranteed Rate operates in all 50 states with over 300 branches nationwide. One can apply online and even undergo paperless document verification and approval. However, the pre-approval process is slower when compared to other providers. The company has a minimum credit score requirement of 600. Guaranteed Rate offers a variety of solutions, such as jumbo mortgages, FHA, and VA loans. However, it does not provide equity loans.

    Flagstar Bank
    Flagstar Bank offers various home loan lending solutions to help buy, build, or refinance veterans’ homes. The company operates in all 50 states online and is available in 70+ branches across 29 states. It takes less than three days to pre-approve loans, and its closing time is approximately 30 days. Flagstar Bank offers low mortgage rates and has a lower-than-average credit score requirement.

    Veterans United Home Loans
    This organization offers a variety of loans, such as FHA, USDA, and jumbo loans. It allows fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages too. However, the company does not offer home equity loans. It charges higher rates than the other providers and provides in-person services in only 18 states. Nonetheless, Veterans United Home Loans’s online application and pre-qualification process are efficient, and it offers free credit counseling services through certain programs.

    PenFed Credit Union
    PenFed has a limited number of options. It offers fixed jumbo, VA mortgage loans, and home equity loans. The company has a higher credit requirement and does not charge any lender fees. It offers its services in all 50 states and has a few locations outside the country. At PenFed, pre-approval happens within three days, and the closing time is 35 days.

    Quicken Loans®
    Quicken Loans is one of the largest loan providers in the country and provides a completely online and paperless experience. It has various pre-approval processes set up and takes up to 40 days for closing. The company requires a minimum credit score of 620 and offers various loans, such as Conventional, FHA, and VA.

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  • Top 3 lenders offering the best VA IRRRL rates

    The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers a valuable option of an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) for veterans and related members. This enables individuals who already have VA loans to reduce their debts and avail a lower rate of interest. It shortens the loan term and helps transform an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) into a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM). The main advantage of an IRRRL is that borrowers do not need a new Certificate of Eligibility or a minimum income. Those who have VA loans are nearly qualified for refinancing. Read on to know top lenders offering the lowest VA IRRRL rates currently:

    Veterans United Home Loans
    This lender was honored for closing the highest number of VA loans right from 2016 to 2020. Their no-down-payment programs and the one designed for first-time homebuyers receive the most credit for being the best in terms of customer service. Presently, the company offers six 30-year VA programs, including a Streamline IRRRL, a VA Cash-Out, and Jumbo loans with low VA IRRRL rates ranging from 2.750% for a 30-Year Fixed and 2.990% for the 30-Year VA Cash-Out Jumbo program. The rates may vary depending on the borrower’s credit score and market conditions.

    USAA
    USAA is known for its VA jumbo home loans that allow borrowers to get up to $3 million without charging any money for VA funding fees. They also offer additional benefits on insurance, banking and have member discounts. The online process of VA loans is very systematic. Borrowers can easily calculate their mortgage by filling up basic details (loan term, house price, down payment, etc.) and also get pre-approved loans. However, the final document cannot be processed online. Presently, the VA IRRRL rate is as low as 2.875%, and the VA Jumbo IRRRL rate is about 3.500%.

    Navy Federal Credit Union
    The main benefit here is that borrowers are not required to pay a down payment or purchase private mortgage insurance. They offer purchase, refinance, jumbo, fixed, adjustable VA loans with low VA IRRRL rates of 2.100-2.465% depending on the loan term. Navy Federal has an additional feature called Freedom Lock that allows borrowers to lock or float the interest rate without any extra charge. They even have a rate match guarantee option which means that if the borrower can find another lender with a low-interest rate, they will either match the rate, and if they can’t, they will pay $1,000 once the borrower has closed the deal with the other lender.

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