Getting Started in Property Investment: What You Need To Know

I think that there will have been one time or another when we have all thought about investing in property. It seems like something we could do alongside our regular job, but it can be something that can grow quite easily too. Plus, just think of all of those properties that people will be paying the mortgage off for you. But is it all as simple as that? Here are some of the ways you can begin your journey to getting onto the property ladder and making it a business.

Check Your Finances

If you want to be approved for mortgages, then you need to know what your finances are looking like. If you have bad credit, for example, it might be a pipe dream that could take a little longer to see come to fruition. With a good credit rating and a regular income, you should be able to get approved for a mortgage.

Set Your Goals

Ultimately, before you start investing in property, you need to decide and set your goals. Do you just want a huge portfolio of flats for rent to help people have homes, or do you want to be buying and flipping houses quite quickly to get the cash? When you know what you want to do, you will know how to go about it and what kind of money you’ll be looking at needing.

How Much Risk Can You Stand?

For any investment, there is always an element of risk. So you need to decide for yourself how much risk you are willing to take. When you know your feeling on this, it can help you to decide what strategy you can put in place to make it all work for you.

Start a Budget

It can be a little dull and boring, but setting a budget is what is going to help you to achieve those goals. If a house needs to be modernized and redecorated, then you need to decide what you can afford to do with it. Otherwise, costs can get out of control and then you may not make as much profit as you were hoping to.

Create a Purchase Plan

You need to decide on the kinds of property that you want to invest in. Residential? Commercial? Ones that need work doing or ones that are ready to rent out straight away? Just make sure that you have a plan in place and do your due diligence for each property. Taking emotion out of it will help you to make better business decisions.

Stay Focused

Times may get tough when it comes to investing in property. So it is important to remember your goals and what you are looking to achieve. You might think you need to sell up at one point, but it could be better to hold on for longer, in order to get the maximum return, for example. Take your time, stay focused on your goals, and you will be achieving them before you know it!

5 Tips for Responsible Credit Card Use

Credit cards can be a useful financial tool in a number of ways. Aside from the purchasing power they provide, most credit cards come with beneficial rewards, and responsible credit card usage can help build and improve your credit. However, the key word in that statement is responsible, and improper credit card use can put you into a financial hole that is hard to escape.

In this way, credit cards are like fire– their usage can have a number of meaningful benefits, but irresponsible or careless use can create serious damage. According to recent research published by NerdWallet, consumers in America owe a total of $784 billion in credit card debt. The average American household with credit card debt owes balances totalling at $16,883, and this costs them approximately $1,300 per year in interest.

This is not meant to discourage responsible consumers from utilizing credit cards, but irresponsible credit card use can build excessive debt, damage your credit score and create a vicious cycle that is hard to escape.

This article is designed to help educate those who are new to credit cards, those who have already dealt with credit card debt or anyone who simply wants to learn better habits. Using these strategies and using your credit cards properly can greatly improve your credit score, reduce the stress of debt and give you more financial freedom and stability.

1. Remember they are credit cards

This means that you are essentially borrowing money every time you use your credit cards. They are not magic wands that give you free money, and everything you spend will have to be paid back with interest. Trying to think of every credit card purchase as borrowing money will help you be more cautious with your spending.

2. Only spend what you can afford

Just because your credit card has a certain limit does not mean that you have to use that much. In fact, if you use your cards responsibly, you should never have to think of your credit limit, as it will have no impact on how much you spend.

Your credit card expenditure should depend solely on how much you can afford to pay back when the bill comes, and you don’t even have to spend that much. A general rule of thumb is to keep your credit card balances less than 10% of your monthly income.

3. Use your money first

Many people make purchases using credit cards before using cash or debit cards, but this can be a mistake that creates bad habits and leads to more mistakes. Especially if you are inexperienced with credit cards, it is best to use the money you actually have before dipping into credit. A simple rule is to use cash or debit on everyday expenses and only use credit cards on large or irregular purchases.

4. Find the right card for you

Credit card rewards can be one of the most useful, beneficial aspects of the cards, and you should use them to your advantage. The first step is to find the right card– with the right rewards– for you.

If you travel a lot, use cards with hotel and airline rewards; if you are a college student, get a student card that rewards you with electronics and useful gift cards. There is a credit card for any interest, vocation and person out there, and sites like offers.creditcard can help you identify the right one for you.

5. Ignore the minimum payment amount

You should pay as much of your credit card balance as possible, and it is best to pay it in full each month. Paying the minimum may seem like it is temporarily helpful, but this will quickly rack up loads of interest. This should go without saying, but you also need to pay your bills on time.

Carefully budgeting and determining how much you can afford to spend ahead of time will greatly influence and benefit your credit card spending. Spend your cash first on regular expenses, find the right card for you, spend only what you can afford and pay your balances on time to experience all the benefits of responsible credit card use.

Using Credit to Your Advantage

Although many of us don’t practice what we preach, most of us think of credit as something that is to be avoided wherever necessary, and which has a good chance of getting us into financial difficulty or at least causing us to pay lots and lots of interest to the banks and credit card companies. Although it does pay to be very cautious of credit, you should not necessarily be scared of using it, especially because it is pretty easy to use credit to your advantage, if you know what you are doing.

Here are some simple tips that can help you use credit more to your advantage:


Use Balance Transfers to Stop Paying Interest

If you have one or more credit cards and you’re paying an astronomical amount of interest on them, it’s time to look for a zero interest balance transfer card. If you are accepted for one of these cards, you can transfer your current credit card debts to it, and thus avoid paying interest for between 3 and 40 months! That translates to a lot more money left in your pocket each month!


Earn Interest

If you are able to find a low-interest rate, then taking out a loan and either investing it (if you know what you are doing), or placing it into a higher-interest savings account for a while, could actually make you money! But please remember that if you plan to invest, there is no guarantee that you will make any returns and you could end up losing money, so only ever consider this if you are really confident you know what you’re doing.


Use the Interest-Free Period for Emergencies

If you haven’t built up an emergency fund (and you certainly should), and a financial emergency strikes you down, instead of going to an extortionate payday lender or similar,  apply for a credit card that will allow you to make purchases immediately, and which has a payment free period like the RCS Credit Card does. That way, you can use the card to pay for whatever it is you need without accruing interest assuming you pay off the balance within the payment free period.


Collect Air Miles


Another advantage to using credit cards is that many of them offer air miles or other rewards to their customers. So, if you use your credit card to pay for everything from your daily coffees to your household bills, providing you pay off the balance in full at the end of each month, you could actually be making money or the equivalent in travel or discounts, anyway!


Improve Your Credit Score

One of the most important ways that using credit can be of advantage to you is by building up your credit score. For example, if you have never used credit before, your credit score is not likely to be great because you are basically an unknown and lenders simply have no idea as to how well you will be able to manage your credit, so there’s a good chance many will turn you down. By taking out a credit card or loan designed for people with poor credit, and then using it responsibly, you can start to build up a credit history and improve your score, making it easier for you to get bank loans, mortgages and car finance in the future. The same applies to people who have a poor credit score through poor credit management in the past, but you do need to ensure that you use your new line of credit responsibly. You should also be careful not to use more than 25 percent of the credit available to you at any one time, as that could negatively affect your efforts.


Get Protection

If you’re making a big purchase, it pays to use a credit card to do so, not for the reason you might think; it saves you having to pay for it all in one go, but because you will be afforded an extra level of protection, making it easier to get your money back should anything go wrong with the purchase, and you be ripped off. If you do this, it’s still a good idea to pay off the full balance before interest starts accruing, though.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that credit can be used to your advantage. It’s just a matter of using it sensibly and avoiding the temptation to overspend or use the credit available to you in less than optimum ways.