7 Ways to Get Quick Cash Besides Risky Payday Loans

The holiday shopping season is coming up, and people in search of some quick spending capital might strongly consider taking out a payday loan. Think about it its a quick source of cash without the need for the credit checks and extensive protocols synonymous with personal lending. It sounds too good to be true.

Thats because it is. More than 19 million people struggling with their finances take out one of these unsecured personal loans each year without seeing the danger signs pointing to their finances, like insanely high, triple-digit interest rates. Unlike other loans, payday loans must be repaid in full on the borrower’s next payday at annual interest rates of around 400 percent, wrote Melissa Rayworth over at TakePart. Rayworth also noted that up to 97 percent of people will borrow from a payday loan again.

Related: Why a Third of Americans Treat Checking Accounts Like Payday Loans

Payday loan borrowers are also exposed to a downward spiral of debt that can last months (if not years), a wrecked credit standing and predatory, aggressive collection practices from debtors who want immediate repayment. If you take out a payday loan, you’re going to come out the financial loser almost every time, wrote Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar. They almost always cause more problems than they solve.

Before funding your post-Black Friday Christmas shopping with a payday loan, look at some of these simpler and reasonably safer ways to get some money fast.

Avoid Payday Loans with these Quick Cash Alternatives
1. Take out a Payday Alternative Loan.

Yes, these actually exist. Veridian Credit Union, for example, offers a PAL with a maximum loan amount of $1,000 and a six-month repayment term at an interest rate of around 20% (usually regardless of a borrowers credit score). While not the lowest interest rate, its more manageable than the high interest and short repayment terms of a payday loan. Another option is to consult with your bank or credit union about a small personal loan with better security, terms and interest.

2. Get a cash advance from your credit card.

Another similar, yet less expensive option, is to contact your credit card carrier for a modest cash advance. Again, the interest rates might not be the lowest, but this time, youre borrowing against your own credit limit and not some third-party payday provider. If the cash advance option seems too insurmountable to you, simply use your credit card for your holiday shopping, and avoid using it again until youve paid down your balance.

3. Withdraw from your emergency fund.

If the added interest of using your credit card is too much to deal with, you can always try taking just enough cash from your emergency fund to cover holiday shopping expenses. Since you act as your own lender here, this loan is entirely up to you to repay but financial discipline is important. Let too much time go by, and you might never get around to replenishing what you borrowed, and you might not have enough money if a real emergency arises.

4. Ask your employer for an advance.

Your job might may permit you a cash advance taken from your next paycheck. Its not a loan, so you wont have to deal with interest or repayment since its money that you have earned. However, keep in mind that if you ask for $200, be prepared for your next paycheck to reflect that difference. Its also wise not to make a habit of asking for cash advances; taking frequent financial shortcuts could leave a bad impression with your employer. Request some holiday overtime; the extra hours can yield you some extra cash.

5. Sell, pawn or auction off unwanted belongings.

Nows a better time than ever to sell some of those old things taking up space in your house. It could be anything from a used cell phone, to furniture, vintage clothing, appliances and more, a rich source of quick cash. Go the online route, like eBay, Amazon Marketplace or Craigslist. Visit some local pawn shops or thrift stores and see what kind of offer theyll make for your items.

Related: Why the Unbanked Are a Goldmine for Pawn Shops

6. Reduce your spending.

In the spirit of the holidays, is there anything you can temporarily cut back on or eliminate entirely to gain some Christmas cash? Put your gym membership on hold for a month or two, cook at home more than eating out, and save on gas by taking public transportation. Aim to spend less disposable income on clothes and entertainment, since this is the season for buying those things for your friends and family. Some financial experts even suggest adjusting the tax withheld from your paycheck so youll have more cash available now versus later.

7. Open a holiday savings account.

This is not a source of quick money per se, but if youre in a cash crunch this holiday, open a savings account designed to save money for holiday shopping. Your bank or credit union of choice might have its own version that can give you higher interest and generous deposit limits. Start now and have plenty of reserve money available by Christmas 2015, enough that finding an alternative source of cash wont even be necessary.

Use these tips as a start and brainstorm some more ways you might be able to save money during the holidays. Asking a friend or family member to borrow money can be a good option during a financial crunch or crisis, but its not always recommended. Even if the money is repaid on time, borrowing from a parent or sibling and then using that money to purchase a gift for them isnt very considerate. In this case, opt for a more economical gift, or express your creativity by making your own. Theyll appreciate your gesture more than money can ever buy.

Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain

DrCredit.com Launches New Loan Matching System for Personal Loans with …

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — People who have bad credit may worry that they will not be able to obtain personal loans when they need help paying for big-ticket purchases. Fortunately, DrCredit.com specializes in assisting these individuals with finding bad credit loans. These unique personal loans are aimed at allowing people who have made credit mistakes in the past get the financing that they need. Here is how the new loan matching system for personal loans works.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141119/159562

Finding Bad Credit Loans

Personal loans for people who have bad credit are offered by select lenders. Finding these lenders without the help of a matching service is a tedious process that may even be impossible. These lenders often prefer to work through a matching system, so borrowers may miss out on getting the financing that they need when they do not use a matching service.

DrCredit.com collect basic personal information about a borrower to help these individuals find a lender that meets their unique needs. Lenders that specifically offer bad credit loans are highlighted to ensure that borrowers do not waste their time applying for a loan with a lender that will not consider offering financing to someone who has had credit problems in the past.

The matching system allows people with bad credit to access financing of up to $25,000 by providing personal information including financial and employment details. The application process is done online, and the details that are entered during the initial application process will be used to help borrowers match up with lenders that offer agreeable loan terms that will fit into their monthly budget.

For more information or to apply for a personal loan please go to https://www.drcredit.com/personal-loan-application/

Comparing Personal Loans

One of the best features of DrCredits new loan matching system for personal loans with bad credit is the fact that borrowers can compare offers. While people with bad credit should expect to pay higher interest rates, it is possible that some lenders will charge unusually high rates in the hopes that people with bad credit will believe that these loans are their only option.

DrCredit lets borrowers see how much lenders are charging for people with bad credit to determine a fair offer before they commit to a particular loan. This can save borrowers money over the life of the loan and protects them from unscrupulous lenders who are just trying to take advantage of their misfortune.

Are VA loans fulfilling their duty?

Veterans are allotted unique products through the Veterans Administration to help financially assist them in becoming homeowners. However, an article in the Credit Union Times noted that credit unions are not using the product offering to its fullest potential.

In general, I dont think credit unions need to create special products just for veterans, said Debbie Guiney, CEO of the $69 million Allcom Credit Union in Worcester, Mass. They just need us to be aware they are out there and for us to reach out to make sure they know about what we offer and how it can help them.

Under the current system, Son Nguyen, founder and CEO of Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, was quoted saying he was frustrated that neither the National Credit Union Administration nor the VA tracks the numbers of credit unions offering VA loans. But he said he is certain more credit unions need to offer them.

No doubt reforming the VA loan would help more institutions offer it, Nguyen said. But nevertheless, it needs to be offered more routinely and more veterans need to be told about it, he said.

VA loans requirs no down payments on loans less than $417,000 and may not require a down payment on higher loan amounts. Additionally, VA loans have lower interest rates and do not require mortgage insurance.

Recently, the VA chief announced that the entire department was in need of, and will get, a complete restructuring.

The Credit Union Times article explained that the way its works is the VA provides a guarantee for VA loans in much the same way the Federal Housing Administration provides insurance for loans, according to the agency. The guarantee, or entitlement, refers to the amount of the loan the Veterans Administration will pay in case of default.

Nguyen stopped short of charging lenders with deliberately underselling VA loans, but noted one of the reforms VAREP has been seeking would require lenders to include VA loans in the loan disclosures put in front of veterans as part of the loan process.

32% Upside From This Undervalued Automotive Stock

When retailers have sales, the unknown names are often the
ones that get discounted the most. Its common to get a deal on
names that no ones ever heard of before, but when a brand name
goes on sale, everyone takes notice. That discounted price wont
last long.

The recent correction in the marketplace created some value
opportunities across the board — brand names included. Normally,
value investors look for relatively unknown or obscure names that
analysts have glossed over or ignored entirely to find price
disparities that they can take advantage of. But when certain
conditions align, even big names can get discounted and make for
an easy portfolio pick-up.

Like the name brand retail sale, these high quality stocks
wont stay under-priced for long.

Take a look at
Magna International, Inc. (NYSE:
MGA

)

, a $20 billion automotive parts wholesaler that operates on a
global scale. The company has been aggressively expanding with
the acquisition of Techform Group Of Companies, as well as the
opening of two new plants in India.

The auto industry is set to grow for 2015. US sales rose 9%
in September compared to the same month last year, while IHS
Automotive predicts total sales for this year to be 16.4 million.
By 2017, total sales are expected to be more than 17.4 million
annually.

Auto sales worldwide are expected to climb 2.9% this year
while future growth is largely dependent on emerging markets like
China and India. In China, sales are expected to hit 23.3 million
in 2014 and should rise to 24.9 million in 2015.

Magna stands to profit from increasing global growth in the
industry. Heavy demand for replacement cars and car parts has
resulted in an all-time average age for vehicles on the road of
11.4 years. IHS predicts that number will rise to 11.7 years by
2019, suggesting strong future demand for automotive parts.

The stock trades at a discount at just 13 times earnings while
long-term growth is expected to be around 14%. That gives it a
P/E-to-growth ratio of less than 1 — a sign that the stock could
be undervalued. Quarterly earnings growth year-over-year is just
over 30% as well.

Magnas biggest competitor is Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE:
JCI

). It trades at a much higher multiple of 24 times earnings with
lower long term growth — only 14%. Magnas also done a good job
managing debt with a long term debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09,
versus Johnsons 0.54. Johnson has also been struggling with
quarterly earnings growth registering -54.5% year over year.

Investors get some downside protection in the stock with its
1.5% dividend yield and a share repurchase program. The companys
low debt burden should also help the company through economic
downturns.

Risks To Consider:
A global slowdown could hurt manufacturing, which would
impact Magnas future earnings. Investors should carefully watch
Chinese sentiment over the next few quarters as the country will
drive the majority of the auto industrys growth going
forward.

Actions To Take –gt;

The pullback in the overall market has given investors an
opportunity to purchase this stock at a discount. Based on its
earnings per share of $9.88 next year and a P/E of 13, this stock
should be trading at about $129 — a 32% value.

If you are looking to diversify your portfolio, then
check out

High-Yield International

for some of the best stocks from across the globe.

In fact, 79% of the worlds highest yielding investments are
located outside the United States. For more information about the
most lucrative foreign companies in todays market,

click here

.

Why SBA Loans Are a Lot Harder to Obtain After the Great Recession

One of the reasons that (expensive) alternative loans like merchant cash advances became so popular was because banks dramatically reduced their small business lending after the great recession. I spoke to a former CEO of a community bank. He told me when he first started at the bank back in 2006, they would issue loans based on stated income. Originally from Europe, he asked his colleague: What is stated income? It turned out stated income is whatever the income the business owner told the bank. It could be $50K, $100K, $150K or anything seemingly believable. The bank would just take it.

He was shocked, but during the go-go years of real estate, nobody questioned the insanity seriously enough. Then in 2007, the subprime mortgage crisis hit, followed by the prime mortgage crisis in early 2008, the credit default swap crisis in late 2008, etc. The government had to bail out big banks while a bunch of small banks failed. Many business owners had a very tough time maintaining their revenue while the banks tightened their credit policy. The bar became a lot higher for getting any loan, and business loans become extremely hard to obtain.

The following graph shows the number of SBA 7(a) loans by year. As you can see, the number of 7(a) loans peaked in 2007 and dropped dramatically in 2008 and 2009. The number of loans issued in 2009 is only 41.5% of the number in 2007, and has been hovering around 50% of the peak in the past couple of years. The total loan amount did come back and exceeded the pre-recession level . What this means is that banks are issuing a larger number of SBA loans in the past couple of years.

3 big money mistakes to avoid in college

Investing in a college degree should carry the often-cited disclosure: past performance is not indicative of future returns. With rising tuition prices and a sluggish labor market, a college education is no longer an automatic windfall to a better life. In addition to majoring in a field that will hopefully lead to a decent-paying job after graduation, students need to pass several financial tests.

The initial price tag of attending college is only the beginning. Over the course of several years, students are faced with financial challenges that can spiral out of control if ignored.

MORE: 10 worst college majors for todays job market

In order to gain a better understanding of these challenges, MagnifyMoney, an organization that aims to educate consumers about personal finance, recently noted the worst financial mistakes to make while attending college.

1. Skipping financial aid

Not educating yourself about financial aid opportunities is one of the most common and worst mistakes you can make in the college process. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 65 percent of students who are planning to attend college do not name grants as a source of financial aid, while 72 percent fail to name scholarships.

However, there is no harm in at least filing the FAFSA, and benefits include more money to help pay for college. The deadline for filing the FAFSA varies across different schools, but it should be done as soon as the form becomes available, right after January 1 each year, in order to maximize your financial aid opportunities. You can estimate financial information on the form such as income before your taxes are complete, and file a revision once you know the exact information. If you have questions, dont be afraid to ask your colleges financial aid office or your high school counselor if youre not quite in college yet.

MORE: 3 popular myths about saving for college

2. Not managing debt wisely

Between credit cards and student loans, college is a time when many people start using debt on a regular basis. If this debt is abused, it can snowball to more painful problems later in life. On the other hand, if you start managing your debt wisely in college, it builds a good foundation for debt management after graduation. MoneyMagnify provides the following example of a student abusing her first credit card.

My mother actually signed me up for my first credit card, says Jeet Singh, a junior majoring in geology. She told me that its only for emergencies, nothing more. But, I figured a few small purchases here and there wouldnt hurt. Unfortunately, those small purchases quickly added up to $7,000, placing a heavy debt burden on Jeet and her mother.

Student loans can be worse than credit cards if used incorrectly. Unlike most other types of debt, student loans are not typically dischargeable through bankruptcy. This prolongs the longevity of student debt. Between 2005 and 2013, the total amount of outstanding federal student debt among seniors 65 and older grew from $2.8 billion to $18.2 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. From 2002 through 2013, the number of individuals whose Social Security benefits were offset to pay student loan debt increased about five-fold from about 31,000 to 155,000.

Since 2008, total student loan debt in America has surged by 84 percent to almost $1.2 trillion, according to a recent report from Experian. Student loans are now more popular than home equity loans/lines of credit, credit cards, and automotive loans.

MORE: 5 reasons why the war on poverty feels like a losing battle

3. Staying in college too long

Pulling a Van Wilder and staying in college for the better part of the decade to have fun is a dangerous strategy, especially if youve committed the previous two mistakes on this list. It takes careful planning to graduate college within four years, and even then surprises can occur that result in an extra year or two of unexpected tuition bills.

MagnifyMoney highlights Sangee Kumar, an accounting major that needed an extra year due to a heavy course load. I knew that I needed 150 credits to become a CPA, but I thought that I could do it in four years, Kumar says. Instead, he needed an extra year to keep his GPA above 3.5. Financially, I didnt plan on it. I mean, tuition rises every year, now I have to find the extra money to pay for the remaining two semesters.

Since its not uncommon to need more than four years to obtain a college degree due to life surprises, changing majors, or even difficulty in completing required coursework at the available times offered, students should financially prepare for a longer stay ahead of time. College 529 plans, work-study programs, part-time jobs, A+ program, financial aid, grants, scholarships, and loans can all help offset the financial burden of obtaining a degree.

Wall St. Cheat Sheet is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

GreenPath credit-counseling organization hires 55 in Michigan

GreenPath is expanding by opening up new credit-counseling offices across the US

The Farmington Hills-based non-profit has opened five offices over the last year, including new offices in Escanaba and Canton. It now has 60 offices across 12 states.

Our primary growth has been opening up the new offices, says Kurt Murphy, CFO of GreenPath.

The 53-year-old non-profit has been helping people regain control of their finances through counseling and strategic planning. That means helping clients avoid foreclosure or repairing their credit scores.

GreenPath has grown to the point where it employs 470 people. A majority of them are based in Michigan (385) with 310 employees at the organizations Farmington Hills headquarters. It has hired 65 people over the last year, including 55 in Michigan. Those jobs ranged from IT professionals to customer service reps.

GreenPaths revenue growth has been flat over the last year. Murphy attributes that to the growing economy and how hard American consumers were hit at the last recession.

People got hit pretty hard, Murphy says. It makes you a bit more careful before you pull that credit card out.

Source: Kurt Murphy, CFO of GreenPath
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroits growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

3 Practical, Easy Ways to Combat Financial Stress

By Sienna Kossman, Reporter for CreditCards.com

Take a moment and try to remember a day during which you didnt spend money, check your credit or bank account, or worry about a financial burden.

Cant think of one? Me either.

Since Im immersed in financial information every day at work while also managing my own finances, I cant help but feel completely drained by the topic of money.

When I begin to sense financial exhaustion, its easy to neglect good financial habits by using the excuse that I just need a break. An impulse buy, take-out dinner or bill pay procrastination can all result from financial stress. Over time, those remedies can take a toll on your wallet.

That marked-down scarf and delivery pizza are not sound solutions for money worries. Trust me.

Theres evidence that worrying about money can even slow your cognitive function. A study published in the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Science journal last year revealed that financially stressed individuals temporarily lose the equivalent of 13 IQ points and experience feelings that mimic the effects of a sleepless night.

Yikes.

I dont know if my money woes are that extreme, but theyre still burdensome. Over the past few months, Ive decided to combat my financial stress in more constructive ways instead of over-indulging or ignoring obligations. Here are some tips that have worked for me that may refresh your financial outlook:

1. Make one day each week spend-free.

Daily expenses are often necessary, but when youre on a tight budget the simple act of pulling out your debit or credit card to make a purchase can be a reminder of how much money you do or do not have.

Tracking your spending can be draining, and mental exhaustion is one reason why many otherwise good budgets fail. But, if you dont spend money, there is no spending to track.

To counteract negative emotions associated with making payments, I plan my week so I can go at least one day without paying for a single thing. I used to save Sunday for grocery shopping, other errands and paying bills, but now I do all those things on Saturday morning in preparation for the week ahead so I dont need to spend a dime on Sunday. It makes me feel more in control and comfortable going a day without even glancing at my budget.

2. Pay bills as soon as possible.

Unpaid bills can hang over your head, even if they arent past due. Thanks to technology, we are now reminded by email and text about bills that are coming up.

To avoid keeping track of numerous due dates, take a half hour each payday and pay as many monthly bills as possible. I started doing this once I had a consistent paycheck after college. Although its hard to see money come into my account and then leave almost immediately, it feels great knowing my most important financial obligations have been attended to.

Waiting to pay a bill the day its due also puts you at risk for late fees, a temporary service lapse or other unwanted costs of forgetfulness. Pay bills as soon as you can so you wont have to remember to do so later. And, if thats not an option, consider setting up auto-pay for your bills. The easier you can make the payment process the better youll feel.

3. Dont check account balances every day.

The more I look at my student loan balance, the more I worry about how long its going to take me to pay it off, even though Ive been making larger-than-necessary, on-time payments. Constantly checking the figures isnt going to make the debt vanish any faster, so obsessing over it does me absolutely no good.

Its like when youre on a diet and trying to lose 10 pounds. Weighing yourself three times a day doesnt make the process go faster.

If youre guilty of loan balance paranoia, too, try simplifying your spending habits so you dont have to constantly confirm all is in order.

Ive found this to be especially helpful when managing debt. A fridge calendar with notes about when money is coming in and supposed to leave my accounts each week serves as a good, frequent reminder of my financial situation without requiring daily financial account check-ups.

This article originally appeared on CreditCards.coms Taking Charge blog.

Core Investors seminar on property for financial freedom

KUCHING: If you wish to achieve financial freedom, look no further than the field of property investment.

According to Core (Community and Real Estate) Investors director Bowie Tan, there should be six basic guidelines to follow if someone wishes to dive into property investment.

“These six guidelines are fundamental analysis, cashflow management, portfolio management, property management, mortgage and financing as well as legal, rights and procedure,” Tan said during a seminar held on Oct 5 at Kingwood Inn Hotel here.

He also highlighted the importance of not buying a property based on an investor’s feelings, as the result could be disastrous.

“This is why at Core Investors, we ensure that the project is a good buy or else we won’t invest. We make sure our calculations are right before making a decision, and I believe this is the reason why we have had 100 per cent success in our investments over the past few years,” Tan said.

He also shared with participants of the seminar on how invest with ‘no money down’ as well as how to continue investing even though a third property loan is only allowed at 70 per cent.

Another featured speaker at the seminar was Sen Tan who achieved financial freedom at the tender age of 23 years old and is now a fulltime property investor.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to join Core Investors can join them for RM997 on a two-year membership, according to Tan.

“The benefits of being a member include member networking and gathering sessions, free ‘How To Get Out Of The Rat Race’ seminar, discount vouchers for investments, investment opportunities, bulk project management packages, bulk renovation packages as well as partnering opportunities,” he said.

Those interested can contact Terence at 016-8602750 or Celine (016-8752133) or visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/coreinvestors) for more information.