• 3 main benefits of applying for a business loan

    These days, a lot of people are leaving their jobs in the pursuit of setting up their own business. While a good idea is often the key to a successful business, the most important thing for you to start a business is the availability of funds. That is where business loans come into the picture. As soon as you launch a business, you will need funds to meet day-to-day expenses. Thus, securing a guaranteed business loan before you embark upon your journey as an entrepreneur, is very important.

    How to apply for a business loan?

    Since applying for business loans has become a common practice now, many lenders give you applications through both offline and online mediums. You also have the option to apply for loans with multiple vendors at one go. The lender needs to verify and establish whether you are in a position to pay off the loan in the future. You have to provide him with documents containing your prospective business plan, proof of monthly and annual revenue, business tax ID number, information related to tax returns, business bank statements, the ID issued by the government to you signifying business ownership.

    Benefits of applying for a business loan

    Bank does not interfere with your business

    While the bank analyses your financial health and wants to be sure about you paying off the loan, it does not dictate how you should run your business. If you are funded by an investor or a bunch of them, you will have to accept every direction or command issued by them. The bank does not participate in any activity undertaken by you as a part of your business. They do not question any of the decisions taken by you with regards to your business. They only expect you to pay off the loan along with the accumulated interest. You get to exercise full control over your business and can run it the way you want to.

    The interest rates are fair

    When you borrow money from a private lender, there are chances of inconsistencies in the terms both parties agree upon. That does not happen when you take a loan from a bank. There are several banks out there that offer loans and are each other’s competitors. Thus, they are bound to keep the interest rate limit in check and cannot afford to charge the customer with exorbitant interest rates. There will be an interest rate charged as that is how banks run their business, but it will be a fair rate.

    You get to keep the profit

    If you start your business using finance provided to you by an investor, you will share a large part of the profit with him. Though you are running the show, you have to share the returns with an individual just because he has invested money in your business. If funds are all you need, approaching a bank for a loan would be a better option. Banks offer you loans at specific interest rates and let you have complete ownership of your business. You get to have all the profit you have made through your hard work, to yourself.

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  • The best investment options for a retirement fund

    Retirement is one of the most important periods of life. After retirement, you can enjoy a happy, financially secure life with your family. However, that will require you to have a large enough bank balance that can guarantee financial stability for both you and your loved ones. You need to know the options for the best retirement investments so that you can effectively build the fund you need.

    Mutual funds

    A mutual fund is one of the best investment options you have for retirement fund building. Mutual funds are investment portfolios that include bonds, stocks, and other investment instruments. These funds are managed by experienced and professional managers who invest your money on your behalf and help you get the best possible returns. A great thing about mutual funds is that they offer the flexibility of choosing how much risk you are willing to take. You can build your investment portfolio depending on what kind of growth you want to see and your risk tenacity. You should know that the growth of your mutual fund investment depends a lot on the market situation. However, it is outweighed by the many benefits of mutual funds such as asset allocation, tax benefits, the option to transfer ownership, and low commissions.

    Bonds

    If you are looking for the best retirement investments, then you should consider bonds as a choice. Bonds are types of loans that you give to corporations or government entities. In return, they pay you interest on the amount lent by you. The rate of interest is agreed upon during the time of investment and it remains the same throughout the investment tenure. The best part about a bond is that unlike equity or mutual funds, you will be aware of how much return you can expect. Certain government bonds come with tax benefits too. Hence, if your retirement account does not offer any tax relaxations then these bonds will be extra benefiting to you too.

    Defined contribution plans

    When it comes to the best retirement investments, the defined contribution (DC) plan surely is the one loved by the most Fortune 500 companies for offering pension facilities to their employees. This plan comes in three varieties, 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b). A certain portion of your paycheck is used to contribute to different investment options, and you get the return in the time of your retirement. Some employers even contribute the same amount of money as yours into the fund to prove added retirement benefits. The 457(b) plan comes with tax benefits too.

    IRA plans

    The government offers the IRA plans so the working people can safely invest money to secure a retirement saving. It comes in different varieties such as IRA, spousal IRA, Roth IRA, rollover IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and SEP IRA. You can invest a maximum of $6,000 in an IRA account if you are younger than 50 years, and $7,000 if you are over. Some of the plans offer tax benefits too.

    With so many choices for the best retirement investments, you can compare different funds to conclude which one will benefit you the most.

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  • Choosing the best ETFs during the current times

    During the current uncertainty, choosing high dividend exchange-traded funds (ETFs) seems prudent. Several ETFs with high exposure to energy and real estate are floundering due to the novel coronavirus.

    Here is a list of five high-dividend ETF funds that may be a good investment option during this pandemic:

    Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF (LVHD)

    This dividend ETF provides two excellent features, higher payout and lower volatility. Although LVHD will generate negative returns in the current year, its performance is still better than the S&P 500. This fund tracks the QS Low Volatility High Dividend Index and allocates almost 25% of the weight in energy and real estate. However, no single investment exceeds 2.8%, which reduces the risk to some extent. The LVHD yield stands at 3.36% with an expense ratio of 0.27%.

    VictoryShares US Large Cap High Dividend Volatility Weighted ETF (CDL)

    This fund is over five years old with more than $207 million in assets under management (AUM). CDL targets the Nasdaq US Large Cap High Dividend 100 Volatility Index. This fund does not adhere to stringent methodology and offers some versatility. This may result in yield-driven strategies that rely on a smaller number of investments. Another feature of this fund is that it has no exposure to the real estate sector but has a 22.84% exposure to financial services. The yield on VictorShares is 3.23% and the expense ratio is 0.35%.

    Xtrackers MSCI EAFE High Dividend Yield Equity ETF (HDEF)

    During the current rough times, international equities are not providing high returns to investors. However, the 4.77% yield on HDEF makes it attractive to many. The fund’s energy exposure is low at 4.65%. Moreover, the integrated oil companies held by this fund are focusing on reducing expenses rather than lowering the dividends. HDEF has a 24.64% exposure in the UK, which may keep the returns steady during the current crisis. Additionally, the fund allocates 11% to Japan that should provide modest dividends. The expense ratio for HDEF is 0.20%.

    Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB)

    VB tracks the CRSP US Small Cap Index and offers an affordable option to invest in multiple small-cap securities. The median market capitalization for these stocks is $4.2 billion. When you invest in this fund, you are investing in the opportunity of buying a potential bounce-back driven by relative value rather than growth. The expense ratio for the Vanguard Small-Cap ETF is 0.05% and the dividend yield is 2%.

    WisdomTree Emerging Markets ex-State Owned Enterprises ETF (XSOE)

    As the nation continues its battle against coronavirus, China is resuming work, and fuel consumption is almost at its normal levels. Among the international funds, XSOE is a good option to build on the Chinese rebound and other emerging markets. This fund tracks WisdomTree Emerging Markets ex-State Owned Enterprises Index that invests in stocks across emerging markets that are not owned by the state. XSOE’s exposure to China stands at 39% followed by Taiwan and South Korea at 12.7% and 12.5%, respectively. The dividend yield is about 2.6% and the expense ratio is 0.32%.

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  • Check your eligibility for a reverse mortgage loan

    In a regular mortgage, you pay the lender over a period to eventually own the home. In a reverse mortgage, the lender pays you as an advance towards the equity of your home. The amount is tax-free and you do not have to repay it as long as you live in the home.

    Here are the basic reverse mortgage eligibility criteria:

    Age

    To qualify for this type of mortgage, you need to be 62 years or older. Under the new regulations that relax norms for a non-borrowing spouse, you may still qualify for the loan even if your spouse is less than 62 years old.

    Balance home equity

    Another major requirement to qualify for a reverse mortgage is that you should have a significant equity balance in the home. You must have at least 50% home equity while applying for the loan.

    Self-occupied

    The third reverse mortgage eligibility criterion is that the home should be self-occupied. Moreover, it should be your primary residence. Investment properties are not eligible for reverse mortgage loans.

    Counseling

    When you apply for a reverse mortgage loan, you need to undergo a counseling session from a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved agency. During the session, you will be given all information related to such loans and will also help you understand if a reverse mortgage is appropriate to your requirements or not.

    In addition to the aforementioned eligibility criteria, the home on which you want to avail for the loan must also adhere to certain qualification norms as listed below:

    • Such loans are available for all kinds of self-occupied homes, such as FHA-approved condominiums, two-to-four unit multi-family properties, single-family homes, and townhouses.
    • The home must be in good condition with both the interiors and exteriors in working order. Additionally, it should be well-maintained with no termite problems, working garage doors, and sound electrical outlets.
    • Your home will need to be appraised by a reliable and approved appraiser.

    You also need to meet certain financial requirements to qualify for a reverse mortgage loan. These are listed as follows:

    • Your income should be adequate to meet property-related expenses, such as insurance, taxes, Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, and any other applicable charges.
    • The lender may also look at your credit report to determine your current income and assets to ensure you are able to meet all your present financial obligations.

    Although a reverse mortgage loan may help meet your financial requirements during your post-retirement years, it is important to remember a few things about these loans. These include:

    • The lender does not levy additional costs and other fees.
    • The interest may change as reverse mortgage offers variable rates.
    • Because the interest is added to the principal amount, the outstanding balance increases over the years.
    • The interest on the loan is not deductible from your income tax returns until the amount is repaid either in full or partially.

    In case your spouse is not part of the loan, your spouse may reside in the home post your demise as long as all expenses like taxes and insurance are paid by your surviving spouse.

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  • 5 best NNN properties for sale in LA

    Generally, the real estate taxes, maintenance, and building insurance expenses are paid by the landlord when the tenant pays the rent. However, in the case of the triple net (NNN) property, the tenant has to pay those too, in addition to the utility boils and the rent. The rent is lower for the NNN properties for sale which has made them a popular option among the investors.

    Below is a list of the five best NNN properties in Los Angeles.

    Convenience store

    • Location: Baton Rouge, LA
    • Cost: $2,995,401
    • Premises: 4,509 SF
    • Renewal options: 4 x 5 years
    • Lease expiration: 1/20/2040
    • Lease type: Absolute NNN
    • Rental increases: 2% annually

    If you are thinking about investing in an NNN property in LA, then this convenience store may just be the right option for you. This is an already established store with multiple locations, which makes it a profitable option. It is located in an advantageous position, which offers visibility and traffic.

    Jiffy Lube and Precision Tune Auto Care

    • Location: Alexandria, LA
    • Cost: $1,285,714
    • Premises: 5,000 SF
    • Lease expiration: Varies
    • Lease type: NNN
    • Rental increases: Varies

    If you want to invest in profitable NNN properties for sale, then consider these auto care facilities. You will have zero responsibility as a landlord and all the support you need from Jiffy Lube. The over 30,000 traffic count of vehicles per day, these facilities have excellent visibility. The Alexandria and Metrocenter Malls are located nearby too, which guarantees even more traffic.

    Exxon

    • Location: Bernice, LA
    • Cost: $1,794,966
    • Premises: 2,644 SF
    • Renewal options: 4 x 5 years
    • Lease expiration: 1/31/2039
    • Lease type: Absolute NNN
    • Rental increases: 2% annually

    This is one of the best NNN properties for sale in LA. With zero landlord responsibility and consistently great performance, this property will make sure that you get the best out of your investment. Only this February, this Exxon pumped 39,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Currently, it is in consideration to add a Truck Stop to this Exxon property, which will surely render it more profitable.

    Convenience store

    • Location: Orleans, LA
    • Cost: $2,089,815
    • Premises: 676 SF
    • Renewal options: 4 x 5 years
    • Lease expiration: 1/20/2040
    • Lease type: Absolute NNN
    • Rental increases: 2% annually

    This convenience store establishment operates in over 40 locations, which makes it a known name. This particular property offers constant profits with 2.30-time rent coverage. The store is strategically located in a dense business area, which guarantees regular traffic. The neighboring businesses include Domino’s, Rainbow, Super 8, Wendy’s, Walmart, Taco Bell, Raising Cane’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Popeyes, and more.

    Jiffy Lube

    • Location: Natchitoches, LA
    • Cost: $711,914
    • Premises: 1,600 SF
    • Lease expiration: 2/28/2027
    • Lease type: NNN
    • Rental increases: 12.5% on 3/1/2022

    With Shell Oil Company offering a corporate guarantee to this Jiffy Lube, it surely is among the top NNN properties for sale in LA. It is located nearby popular areas, which will make sure to lead heavy traffic towards the establishment. It surely is a profitable investment option for you.

    The NNN properties are in demand right now. You can invest in any of these top options to guarantee hassle-free profits.

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  • Top 10 debt settlement companies you can choose from

    Debt settlement companies provide the service of lowering your existing debts by negotiating with your lender to provide financial relief. There are many such companies that can help you with repaying only a percentage of your loan to settle it permanently. Below is a list of the top 10 debt settlement companies you can compare and choose from.

    Century Support Services

    Century Support Services offers debt settlement services to people who have a debt of $10,000 or more. The process can take up to 48 months, but you will have to pay their fees only after your debt is settled. They also offer a free consultation.

    Pacific Debt, Inc.

    Pacific Debt Inc. offers debt settlement services for a fee of 15-25% of your settled debt. To avail of their services, you must have a debt of at least $10,000. The process takes up to 48 months, and you pay the fee after the service is completed.

    CreditAssociates

    If you have a debt of $10,000 or even more, then CreditAssociates can be one of the top 10 debt settlement companies to help you out of the situation. They can effectively lower your dues and charge you a certain percentage of the settled debt.

    United Debt Counselors

    The best thing about United Debt Counselors is that they provide their debt settlement services via their website, which makes the process simpler. They will assign you a local debt counselor who will guide you through the entire process.

    New Era Debt Solutions

    When it comes to the top 10 debt settlement companies, this is a name that has to be considered. They have been in this business for more than 20 years and have an impressive record.

    Freedom Debt Relief

    Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt settlement companies that help people with $15,000 or more in dues. They can lower your total debt by a significant amount for a fee of 15-25%. The process takes up to 24 months.

    CountryWide Debt Relief

    This debt settlement company promises to lower your debt by at least 20%, and will not charge you any fee if they cannot keep the promise. To avail of their services, you need to have a debt of $10,000 or more.

    Elite Financial Services

    With free debt analysis services, this debt settlement company is a popular choice among people who want to lower their debts. They charge you after the completion of the service, which can take up to 36 months.

    National Debt Relief

    The list of top 10 debt settlement companies cannot be completed without the National Debt Relief Company. They serve customers with $10,000 or more in debts for a fee of 15-25% of the settled amount.

    Accredited Debt Relief

    If you have a debt of $10,000 or more, then Accredited Debt Relief can help you reduce and settle it. The fee is charged only after the debt is settled.

    All these companies are known for their effective debt settlement services, which you can benefit from. You can compare them to find the right one for yourself.

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  • Choose the best credit card companies for bad credit

    As defined by FICO (the leading credit rating agency), bad credit is defined as a score of less than 580. Your credit score may range between 300 and 850, and an excellent or good rating is often when the minimum score is 700. If you have a lower credit score, you may have to pay higher interest on loans and may not receive the best financial offers.

    One of the best and quickest ways to increase your score is to use a credit card. When you avail of the accurate card and use it correctly, you may be able to increase your score in a few months.

    Here are some of the best credit card companies if you have a lower score:

    Credit One Bank Visa Credit Card

    Several card issuers require you to deposit $200 or more when you apply for a card. However, this card from Credit One Bank is an unsecured product and does not require any upfront payments. You receive 1% cashback when you use this card for groceries, fuel, and satellite, cable, and Internet services. Additionally, you get a $300 limit, which increases as you responsibly use the card.

    Indigo Platinum Mastercard

    If you have ever applied for bankruptcy, the last thing you want is to apply for a credit card and be rejected as it further hampers your credit score. The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is an excellent option as it provides $0 cash advance fees during the first year. After that, the cash advance fee is applied at a high of 5% of the transaction value of $5.

    Milestone Gold Mastercard

    This is an excellent way to check your eligibility with the pre-qualification tool that suggests other options in case your profile does not match the requirements of this credit card. The company issues the card even if you have a previous bankruptcy, and the foreign transaction fee of 1% is among the lowest applicable in the industry. However, if you are unable to pay the bill on time, a 29.9% APR is applicable, making it very costly.

    Discover It Secured

    This card offers 2% cashback on your spending on fuel and restaurants applicable on a combined expense of $1,000 for every quarter. Additionally, you receive 1% cashback on other general purchases. Moreover, the card issuer matches your cash back earned at the end of the first year. Discover It comes with no annual fees and does not charge a penalty on your first late payment. Moreover, the card does not entail penalty APR for payment delays. However, it is a secured card, and you need to pay a $200 deposit at the time of availing the same.

    Capital One Secured Mastercard

    The card is an excellent choice if you are new to credit as it does not charge an annual fee or a penalty APR. Moreover, there is no foreign transaction fee, which is beneficial if you study abroad or travel. The minimum deposit may be only $49 (if you meet the eligibility requirements). You may qualify for a higher credit limit if the first five payments are made on time.

    The above cards are designed with beneficial features that help rebuild your credit and improve the score.

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  • Top 5 home equity loan lenders

    A home loan, or a home equity loan, is the fixed lump sum amount borrowed against your home’s built-up equity. The lenders allow you to borrow 85 percent of the home’s equity. The usual repayment period is between 5-30 years, and there is a fixed interest rate applicable. So, let’s find out who are the best providers of home equity loans. 

    PenFed Credit Union
    PenFed has been in the running for over eight decades and has an open charter. This implies that there is zero military affiliation needed. For joining, you will have to open and maintain a savings account with a minimum of $5. Residents of all 50 states can avail themselves of their home loans facility. Some of the loans that you can seek are VA mortgage, jumbo, and fixed conventional loans, along with refinancing and home equity loans. Your minimum credit score should be 700. 

    Bank of America
    This lender offers conventional loans, Federal Housing Administration, jumbo, Department of Veterans Affairs, mortgage refinancing, and home equity lines of credit. The maximum loan amount that you can avail of is $2.5 million. For qualifying Merrill Lynch and Bank of America clients, the bank provides origination fee discounts.

    Discover Home Loans
    Discover Home loan is renowned for its transparency when it comes to the fee on home equity loans. Interest rates are fixed and are usually within the range of 3.99-8.99 percent for first liens and 11.99 percent for second liens. To apply for a loan with Discover home, you must have substantial equity in your home and a good credit score. 

    Regions Bank
    When subscribed to autopay, Regions Bank provides you with home equity loans starting at 3 percent APR. You get loans at a fixed interest rate and zero closing cost. You can get the loans for a term of 7, 10, 15, or 20 years. A line of credit for this home equity loan is available at an introductory rate of 0.99 percent for the initial six months. After the introductory period, the interest ranges from 3.75 percent to 10.75 percent. 

    PNC Bank
    Residents from all 50 states can avail of this firm’s services. At present, PNC serves over eight million customers and can provide you with all kinds of mortgages, such as FHA, ARM, home equity line of credit, fixed-rate, medical professional mortgage program, USDA, PNC Community, refinancing, jumbo, and VA.  

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