Give Credit Where It’s Due

Whether you are making moves to improve your credit rating, are just starting out and don’t know where to begin or are trying to get back on track with it all, there is one common theme: adjustments will have to be made.

When we think about our finances in relation to our lifestyle, we tend to live in the present rather than compare the past with what could potentially happen in the future. This is the most realistic way to look at it, a sort of “live for today” approach, which is fine in theory – as in, if you are only living for the one day. Unfortunately it’s not what happens for the majority of us, and as such we need to make provisions and plans for the future to be our backup should things go wrong or give us grounding for things to go right.

What is a credit rating?

Your credit rating score is something that companies and businesses use to assess you and estimate how reliable you are to fulfill any financial contract that they may have with you. It can be used from anything from car finance to mortgages, and even help with them deciding whether to give you something as simple as a store credit card. It is all based on previous dealings that you have had; if these dealings have gone wrong in any way, i.e. you haven’t been able to keep up your monthly repayments or bailed out of the agreement altogether, your score will go down and you are less likely to be considered for any future financial deals. This can also happen if you haven’t had any dealings in the past, as companies don’t have much to base their workings on. If you have paid on time (not before schedule – this can affect your credit rating too, but we’ll move on to that later), and kept to the wording of the contract that you have signed, your credit score will rise. Even a good credit score can mean that you are not considered for the very best deals; you have to be in the top percent and ranking as excellent to be eligible for benefits that most others can only dream of.

What can I do to boost it?

There are, of course, the more simple and reliable methods of boosting your credit score – such as paying on time, paying the correct amount, not asking for an extension to your contract and making sure that you are taking on something that you can afford for the long-term. Every piece of finance that you take out will affect your credit score. If you get a credit card and spend a little each month that you know you can easily pay back, this is a great way to improve your score without even having to think much about it. There is also such a thing as credit repair, in which the company will act as the middle-man between you and any organisations that you may be having financial disputes with, which if left unresolved could massively affect your credit score. Have a look online for the best credit repair companies that you can find to deal with you situation. You will have to spend money to get the help, but it will be worth it in the long-run, especially if you are trying to plan your future and any financial commitments that may be cropping up in it, such as house-buying and business loans. Early repayment on lendings like mortgages can incur fines and affect your credit rating, so even if you’ve tried to be good with what you’re doing, you need to be careful as to how it could tarnish your score later. Early repayment means less money in APR for these companies, so they’re losing out by you being good with your cash; it’s a complicated situation, but just be aware of all the things that you could be doing without realising the consequences that they may bring upon your rating.

How will it affect me?

If you’re not able to get credit on what you may consider necessities for your home, lifestyle or business, you will have to pay upfront and in full. You won’t be granted any financial help through a staggered monthly repayment plan or a loan if your score is really bad, although there are certain companies, as previously mentioned, that can try and recover this for you. It is a lengthy process and one that takes a lot of time and careful decisions to get completely right; if you are young and not thinking especially about what the implications of reckless or ill-advised spending (i.e. racking up credit cards and getting everything on finance) could be, then you will possibly be in for a shock when you are trying to settle your life down and forge your own path. It can be especially damning for those who are wanting to branch out of the workplace and start up on their own; if you haven’t got the means to fund your business, then you will need to look for a business loan if nobody else is willing to help. The lenders will instantly look at your credit score in order to determine whether you are essentially a safe enough bet for them. If you’re not, then your application will be rejected. It is as simple as that, and is getting easier for companies to do with the sharing of personal information between companies online. A decision can be reached in seconds. You can check your credit score online before applying for anything to ready yourself for what to expect; there are sites which will want you to pay for this service, but there are trusted agencies like Experian and Equifax which will be able to give you a thorough history of your spending in line with government laws and recommendations, and vet you fully before giving off a report which will determine what you need to be doing with your future.

Is there a free mobile version of QuickBooks?

Many business owners today are looking for mobile software options to do their accounting with. Since the most commonly known accounting software has been QuickBooks for quite some time, we have some good news and some bad news: there is a mobile option of Intuit’s new product, QuickBooks Online, but only in three paid versions, each coming with different features.

Let’s compare the most important differences, and then look at an alternative that is rising in popularity for those who are still hung up on the expense of a monthly QuickBooks bill.

QuickBooks Online offers Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus versions of their product, all of which can be accessed on the go. The Simple Start version allows you to do the basic things that you need as a business owner: track income and expenses, send invoices, and download bank and credit card transactions. The price is $15/month, which isn’t terrible, but there are a couple major drawbacks to this version.

First of all, with Simple Start you can’t set up invoice to automatically bill on a recurring schedule. If you want to do that (many if not most business do), you’ll have to bump up to the Essentials package. Another key feature that Simple Start is missing is a license that grants other employees to access QuickBooks Online. That means only one person can do all of the accounting for your company.

In the Essentials package, not only can you automatically bill on a recurring schedule, but up to three people can access QuickBooks Online. While it isn’t clear from their package comparison page whether those additional two people can access all of the features, this is certainly a step-up. Throw in a handful of other minor features and the price doubles from $15/month to $30/month.

Should three people with access not be enough, the Plus package offers a total of 5 people. It also allows users to track inventory, create and send purchase orders, and it gives employees and subcontractors limited access to enter the time that they’ve worked. These are definitely helpful functions, and there are more you can check out on the QuickBooks Online comparison page. The Plus package comes in at $40/month.

Is there a free version of QuickBooks? Unfortunately not. Can most users get by with the $15/month version? That depends on their needs, but most will need software with more features.

It’s unfortunate that the Simple Start package offers too few features for most business users, and to get the full benefit of using QuickBooks Online you’ll have to upgrade to the Plus version for a total of $480 every year.

But if you’re just getting started, or are looking for a Free QuickBooks software package, you’ll find a great alternative at an infinitely better price. ZipBooks is a free professional accounting option that is quickly becoming the preferred alternative for many users. Through ZipBooks, you can send and receive invoices, track income and expenses, track inventory, and even set recurring profiles for your customers so they are automatically billed.

The reason they don’t currently charge a monthly fee is because they make money off invoice financing and they also offer premium paid services like full-service online bookkeeping. All the services are optional so you can use their accounting software for free even if you never use a paid service.

For this online accounting software provider, they are playing a numbers game. Even if only 5-10% end up using a paid service, that really starts to add up as subscription numbers climb into the millions.

But is it mobile-friendly? Yes, and the ZipBooks iPhone app is remarkably functional and intuitive. It lets you easily send professional looking invoices from wherever you need to send them, and do just about everything else a business owner hopes for. They have an Android app coming soon and the web app looks good on any screen size.

In addition, any of your employees can access all of the features of ZipBooks without paying a dime. It’s the free QuickBooks that we’ve all been hoping for, and it comes with no ads or gimmicks attached.

Maybe we’re finally moving into a new age of accounting software that allows any type of business to flourish in today’s modern world! If so, ZipBooks seems to be at the forefront of that movement, and if you’re looking for a good mobile app or a free version of QuickBooks, it takes less than a minute to setup a ZipBooks account that you can try out instantly for yourself.

Market Your Real Estate For Ultimate Success

If you are a property investor then you need to market your business just like everyone else. There is a lot that goes into buying a property, turning it all around and then selling it on for a profit. You need to think of what you do as a collective business. The property you sell are like products and to get them sold in a successful way you need to think about marketing. There are many ways from which you can approach the marketing aspect, you likely already use a few, but here are some for you to consider before your next marketing campaign gets underway.

Estate Agents

You can put your finished properties for sale with an estate agency. This gets rid of all of the marketing because they will do it all for you. They manage everything, allowing you to sit back and relax as the sale goes through. However, be careful because they take a sizable chunk of commision that will come off your profit margin. This is where you may want to consider not using one instead to increase your own profits. If you are a one off seller then this comes untenable, why go to all that effort for one property? But if you are a full time investor then you are essentially taking around ten per cent off your yearly profit because of this which is a huge chunk of cash.

Use The Right Images

The first thing you need to think about is what images to use on your site. Marketing is a tricky business, but if you are going to do it yourself you need the right pictures of your property. It isn’t as simply as taking a few snaps, there is more to it. You may want to go and find a realty photographer, they know what works. If you get the right images you are more likely to get the viewings that go with it.

Focus On Your Website

Now you have the images you need a website. On this website you can put all of your properties for sale and when they come up. Buyers may be attracted to it due to the lack of estate agency commision, but first you need to ensure it works. For the best results, use a website developer. You need to find a good host, then tell the developer exactly what you want and need. Check out other real estate developers’ websites to check it out and see what they do. Improve on what works and cut down on what does not. The more information you give your developer the better job they can do. Double check it all. You don’t want any glitches or issues stopping people shopping around, make sure it is accessible and easy to navigate too. You’ll also need to do some work with SEO, because it can ensure people looking for homes in your area stumble upon your website. Otherwise, they won’t even know it exists and there will be no chance of a sale.