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Credit Card Consolidation

6 Credit Card Tricks to Give You the Upper Hand

The reality of it is that your credit card can either be the bane of your existence or your best friend. That depends entirely on how you use it and just how much you know about getting the best out of your credit card. Luckily, there are plenty of credit card tricks available to help you out. If you use your credit card carelessly, you will likely end up in trouble and throwing off your finances.

However, when you opt to use your credit card judiciously, it can be great. It can be a great source of instant credit while also giving you a host of other important benefits to enjoy. Whether you already have a credit card or are looking to get one, these 6 handy tricks will help you use your credit card to your advantage.

credit card perks

1. Do your research

It sounds simple, but one of the main credit card tricks is to do your research before you opt for the first credit card you see. It is hard to stress just how important doing your research is. There are a few things you need to know about the credit card you’re choosing such as:

  • Reward features
  • Minimum repayments
  • Cashback
  • Charges
  • Annual fees
  • Extras

Some cards may even offer things like fuel discounts, shopping-related rewards, air miles, and even dining options. However, it is good to know about the rewards offered. If you don’t own a car, the fuel discount won’t be important to you, so you might choose another credit card option instead. It is also vital that you read the fine print associated with the card. To maximise your credit card experience, research is important.

There are heaps of comparison websites out there that do all the hard work and find the best credit card for you. Canstar is really popular, but creditcard.com.au has a really user-friendly interface that enables you to customise results to suit you. You can filter results to show credit cards with the best rewards programs, bonus points, no annual fees, low-interest rates and more!

credit card tips

2. Take advantage of reward points & benefits

Many credit card companies offer reward points and cash back in certain circumstances. For example, when you pay utility bills, restaurant bills, movie ticket purchases, and more. Some card issuers have teamed up with retail chains to provide you with cashback offers and discounts, while others provide air miles, travel insurance and more. Technically, you are earning by spending on your credit card when you keep track of the rewards offered.

Points earned can easily be redeemed against gifts that feature in the company’s reward catalogue. They can get you access to things as small as a gift voucher or something a substantial as a car. Commonwealth Bank offers an awards program where you earn points for every $1 spent. These points can be spent in places such as Myer, Flight Centre and to book hotels. This is why these little credit card tricks can be so helpful!

Credit card companies offer benefits all year round and taking advantage of them is definitely in your best interest. If you have been loyally using a credit card for a number of years, then make sure to contact your credit card company and ask for an offer, they will usually apply it to reward your loyalty and keep you on board. These benefits, big or small, can make a huge difference in the long run.

credit card rewards

3. Be smart with repayments

Taking on a credit card is a big responsibility and takes a lot of self-control. It’s easy to get carried away and max out the card without having a clue how you are going to pay back what you owe. The more you borrow, the longer it is likely to take to pay off your credit card and the less you repay each month, the more interest you will pay.

We recommend putting aside a set amount of your wage each week/month to go exclusively towards repaying your credit card. The more you can repay the better because making minimum repayments will mean that by the time you end up paying off your credit card (if ever), you will have spent hundreds or even thousands more than had you made bigger repayments. Making minimal repayments can also have a negative impact on your credit rating.

One of the credit card tricks which goes without saying – paying on time is a hugely important factor to consider. Usually, late payment fees associated with credit cards are quite substantial, not to mention incredibly damaging to your credit score. Remember, the better your credit score, the better rates, fees and offers you will receive, so keeping a good credit score is crucial!

Your credit score is closely tied to your repayment history and late payments can heavily impact your credit score. If it is too late and your credit score is already damaged, then credit repair is a very real and beneficial process. We recommend getting in touch with Clean Credit.

4. Keep your credit utilisation ratio low

A credit utilisation ratio (otherwise known as credit utilisation rate) is the amount of credit you are currently using, compared to how much is available. Essentially, your credit utilisation ratio is calculated by the following formula:

Credit utilisation ratio = Total credit card debt / Total available credit

So, if you have a credit card limit of $1,000 and you are using $300 of this then the calculation would be 300/1,000 which would give you a credit utilisation ratio of 30%.

Why is it important to keep a low credit utilisation rate? Maintaining a rate of less than 30% reassures credit reporting agencies that you do not borrow above your means. In turn, you can expect your credit score to improve. Plus, keeping the amount owed as low as possible will help you to remain in control of your credit card debt. This is one of the lesser-known credit card tricks, but a really great one to know!

credit card benefits

5. Restrict the number of credit cards you hold

When you have too many credit cards, it not only increases your tendency to spend, but it increases the risk of loss or theft. If you must have more than one card, it is best to own only two maximum. One for normal spending, and one for emergencies. Credit card debt can severely affect your life and your financial future, so use your credit card wisely.

If you have multiple credit cards, the outstanding debt can begin to pile up drastically. In the future, this could lead to difficulty when it comes to getting loans or any kind of credit. Therefore, it is best to consolidate these debts. Credit card debt consolidation ties all of your current debts into one new debt with a new (and usually lower interest rate) with an easier repayment schedule.

Using your credit card responsibly can bring a lot of good in the form of financial benefits. It also helps you to plan and optimise your resources far better. A credit card is a great financial asset if used properly alongside these credit card tricks.

6. Use your credit card as a tool

Credit cards are surrounded by a really negative stigma of uncontrollable debt, bad credit scores and crazy interest rates. In reality, so long as you are a responsible lender, a credit card can actually be a super useful tool that can boost your credit score and provide you with awesome perks, such as purchase protection insurance.

What is purchase protection insurance? Put simply, it’s insurance that comes from purchasing new products with a credit card. It’s one of the most amazing credit card tricks, but hardly anybody knows about it! Want to buy a new TV but don’t want to pay to insure it? Purchase it on your credit card and you will have 6 months insurance from theft, loss or accidental damage from the date of purchase!

How can a credit card boost your credit rating? As mentioned above, keeping your credit utilisation ratio can help to improve your credit score, but it doesn’t stop there. Making regular purchases on your credit card and repaying fast and in full can provide a huge boost to your credit rating. For example, every time you purchase new clothing, tech or refuel your car, pay on your credit card and then immediately pay this off. This will significantly boost your credit score because it shows you repay credit card debt quickly, proving you are a responsible lender.

Do these credit card tricks actually help?

The answer is yes. By implementing these credit card tricks, you will be able to use your credit card in a more financially successful way. People often do not have the guidance they require when getting their first credit card. Usually, this often means they end up in debt or in a stressful situation.

Credit cards are confusing at the best of times. Trying to understand and keep on top of all the different dates, figures and percentages that come with credit cards can be overwhelming. By taking note of these credit card tricks, you can enjoy more freedom and peace of mind when it comes to your finances.

The bottom line of using these credit card tricks

The bottom line is that everyone needs a little help with their finances sometimes. Whether you’re experienced or a newbie, it is always nice to have guidance. Unfortunately, many people have already landed in excess debt or with a bad credit score due to misuse of credit cards in the past.

This can make getting finance including credit cards approved very tricky, and interest rates very high. Luckily, there are companies around such as the Australian Lending Centre who could help you receive finance when the banks say no.

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Budgeting

Top 10 Budgeting Tips This Easter

Are you ready to hop into Easter? It’s just around the corner, which means holidays, events, family gatherings and more are all upon us. For a time of year that’s so full of fun and celebration, it’s so easy to blow your budget and overspend.

While it might seem a good idea at the time, it eventually will catch up with you as you work to pay it off. So, let’s avoid going into debt with these top 10 budgeting tips this Easter.

Top 10 Budgeting Tips This Easter

Easter is almost here, which means now is the perfect time to tighten those purse strings and start saving. Here are our top 10 budgeting tips this Easter:

1. Shop the year before

This one takes a bit of planning, and won’t help you for this year! But, once Easter is over, stock up on decorations and outfits for the following year. They will be heavily reduced so you can grab yourself a bargain.

2. Take advantage of free and low cost community and local activities

Easter is the time of lots of school holiday events, and these can certainly add up. Look around for things you can do for free and opt for that instead. Like heading out to the beach for the day or going on a bushwalk.

Check your local council for Easter holiday activities within your community. The Budget Mom also has these ideas…

3. Look for Easter savings

Whether it’s food or decorations, specials are the key. Plan your Easter menu the week before and browse online before you shop so you can plan your purchases without impulse buying (it’s tempting when it is all so cute). Op shops may also have some great bargains – they will have their Easter decorations out.

Kmart and Target are also great places to find low cost toys that the kids will love. If you want to take their minds off chocolate for a minute, there are loads of Easter activity toys and plush bunnies for them to treasure.

4. Cull the excess without the fun

Kids don’t need loads of gifts at Easter – that’s what Christmas is for. Get back to basics with smaller, budget-friendly gifts from the Easter Bunny. Sometimes a book and a toy can replace some of the sugar. Children can build wonderful memories that remain long after you’ve found that last little egg in the sofa cushions.

5. Have everyone bring a dish

If you happen to be hosting this year, make your job easier by asking family and friend to bring a dish. This not only saves you plenty of time in the kitchen but also offers financial relief in the process.

6. Buy low-cost Easter accessories

While it can be fun to dress up for Easter, but you don’t need a whole new outfit for the occasion. Find something in your cupboard in Easter colours and spruce it up with a pair of bunny ears for added fun!

7. Get cooking (on a budget)!

Easter treats can be expensive, so why not bake them at home instead? There are plenty of ideas over on Pinterest to get you started.

You can also check out these budget-friendly recipes

8. Create a Easter budget plan

With the help of the Australian Lending Centre free budget planner, you can stay on top of your finances all year round! Take 5 minutes to fill it out here.

9. Get crafty for Easter

You can also save on the decorations with a few DIY projects at home. It’s the perfect way to keep the kids busy during the holidays while having the house filled with Easter fun.

10. It’s OK to say no

It’s all about setting your budget boundaries. If you’ve gone over your budget for the week, then reign the spending in the following week. Switch a trip to the cinema for a night at home with movies on the couch. You can make popcorn and treats and still have fun without blowing your budget.

While these top 10 budgeting are a great start for the holiday season, it’s important to have a budget you can stick to throughout the year.

easter-budget

Top 10 Budgeting Tips

Of course, these budgeting tips shouldn’t just be for Easter time. You can apply them to any holiday period and set yourself on the path of financial stress. If you’re after more top 10 budgeting tips, then go ahead and get this budget planner calculator.

It will help keep you on track with your finances all year long, so you are in the best position possible. Of course, life does come with unexpected surprises, and there may be times where you find yourself short of debt and needing to take out a loan to tide things over.

This is a great option to have! It can be just what you need to get back on your feet financially and give yourself a fresh start. If you do need a loan, make sure to factor it into your budget straight away so you can get on top of your repayments and make sure you don’t miss any along the way.

Taking Out A Loan

Despite our best budgeting efforts, sometimes we are left with no choice but to take out a loan to get the financial help we need. If you find yourself needing a loan, Australian Lending Centre can help you out.

We offer a variety of services from debt consolidation through to Bad Credit Loans, Debt Management and Refinance. No matter what financial position you are in, you can get access to the money you need – fast. This will help you get back on track with your budget and in control of your finances once again.

Categories
Personal Loans Car Finance Refinance and Refinancing

What Is a Good Car Finance Rate?

Buying a new car is an extremely momentous and exciting occasion in your life. Whether it is your first car and a second-hand model, or your fifth car and you have opted for new off the shelf. The one thing that factors into both is being able to pay it off. Finding the right finance rate for your car is very subjective, and a lot of it has to do with your individual circumstances. So what is a good car finance rate?

Let’s take a look at this further.

What is car finance?

Having a car is almost a necessity in life for most people. From travelling to and from the office to dropping kids off at school and extracurricular activities, it can be hard to get by without them. In fact, some families even find they need two cars to make things work. The problem is, cars tend to gobble up money – fast.

If you don’t have enough savings to go out and buy a car (new or secondhand), taking out a car loan is a great option. It allows you to pay back the car in manageable instalments so you don’t feel the full hit of the purchase all at once.

Of course, it does come with a catch. Just like any other loan, you repay it with interest to the financial institution you borrowed from. So let us take a look at what is a good car finance rate?

excited buying new car

What is a good car finance rate?

As previously mentioned, this often depends on your individual circumstances. But there are a few key factors that need to be considered when taking out a car loan. All these factors help determine your finance rate and how much you end up paying in the long run:

Interest rate

This is, of course, one of the biggest components to factor in when weighing up a car loan. The interest rate is expressed as a per annum number. Before taking out a loan (any loan) you need to know what that interest rate is. Your credit score can affect how much interest you pay. If you have bad credit and have a history of not paying off loans, a traditional lender is unlikely to take a chance on you. You may have to look for a non-traditional lender who will offset the risk with a higher interest rate.

The loan period

This can be as short as three years or as long as five years. If you opt for a longer-term loan it means your repayments each month will be smaller. However, you end up paying more interest overall.

The repayments

In general, these are made monthly. However, you can always discuss with your lender if you would prefer to pay these off fortnightly or weekly instead. If you pay it off quicker, it can mean you will end up paying less interest in the long term.

Fees and charges

It is always important to look into other fees and charges that might be involved. These can add to the loan amount significantly.

Get the best car finance rate
There is a lot to consider before applying for car finance

How to get the best car finance rate?

Now that you know what is a good car finance rate and the factors that contribute to it, you can look at how to get the best rate for yourself.

You have a couple of options when it comes to taking out a loan:

  1. Take one out with the dealer: the finance rates are often higher with this option, but there is no planning required and it’s very convenient.
  2. Take one out with a bank or non-traditional lender: this option is less convenient, but often gives you the best rate. You are not relying on the dealer for both the price of the vehicle and the loan, so it takes away a bargaining chip.

The best way to get the best rate is to do your homework. Shop around and take a look at who is offering the lowest rates and whether the terms they set work for you.

What if I want to change my loan?

Firstly, it is important to determine whether refinancing your car is the right step for you. What exactly is it and what does it entail?

It essentially involves taking out a new loan to pay off your own loan. The main idea behind refinancing your car is to save you money in the process. If you manage to reduce your monthly repayments then it can free up that cash to be spent on other financial commitments.

There are four reasons you might look at refinancing your car:

  1. Lower monthly payment
  2. Lower interest rate
  3. Longer loan term
  4. Shorter loan term

If you are unhappy with your current situation and are looking into what is a good car finance rate, then this may be the best option for you.

Getting the right help

Whether you are in the stage of looking at different cars on the market and working out your finance options, or perhaps you bought a car recently (or not so recently) and are looking at changing your loan. It is always good to get a professional opinion. The team at Australian Lending Centre will look at your particular situation and offer the best advice based on your needs. Get in contact with us today.

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Debt Management Credit Card Consolidation Financial Planning Interest Rates

How is APR Calculated?

Wondering exactly what APR is and questioning how is APR calculated? We have all the answers you need to help you discover what the APR is and why it is so important when it comes to interest rates and borrowing money.

What is APR?

APR, or annual percentage rate of charge, refers to the interest rate for a whole year. Rather than looking at a monthly fee or rate charged on a loan or credit card, the number is expressed as an annual rate instead. Many people confuse APR and interest rate, but there is a clear difference between the two. Understanding this can make a huge difference when it comes to your repayments.

If you have a credit card or a mortgage, then it is highly likely you have heard this term before. But have you ever taken the time to work out what it actually means for you? While it doesn’t make much difference when it comes to paying off your credit card, it can make a huge difference to your monthly mortgage repayments. Therefore, it needs to be looked into carefully and calculated properly, especially when it comes to choosing between lenders.

While an interest rate may look good on surface level compared to other lenders, it can be deceiving depending on their APR. We show you why.

Interest Rate Vs APR

Firstly let’s take a look at the difference between an interest rate and an APR. So how exactly does APR differ from the interest rate? Put simply, the interest rate is the cost of borrowing the money. For example, if you borrow $500,000 with a 5% interest rate, this is the principal plus interest. Your interest for the year will be $25,000, or a monthly payment of $2085. Simple, right? So where does APR factor in?

APR on the other hand, includes other costs associated with borrowing money and is calculated as an annual figure. This is what makes the APR a much more effective way of determining the costs associated with a loan. These fees can include broker fees, closing costs, rebates and more. Just like the interest rate, they are often referred to as a percentage.

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How Is APR Calculated?

Let’s take a look at the example above. You have purchased a home for $500,000 and we know that the interest owed to the financial institution on top of this is $25,000 a year. But now we have to look into what other costs were incurred in this process, such as:

  • Did you pay any closing costs?
  • Did you have mortgage insurance?
  • Was there broker fees?
  • Rebates?
  • Any other costs?

These fees are added to the original loan, to give you a new loan amount. For example, if these fees amount to $5,000, then your new loan amount is $505,000. The interest rate stays the same at 5%, but a new annual payment is calculated against the new loan amount. Instead of paying $25,000 annually it is now $25,250.

So, how is the APR calculated from all of this?

You need to take the new annual payment ($25,250) and divide it by the original loan amount ($500,000). This will get you 5.05%.

In this scenario the APR is 5.05%, while the interest rate is 5%. As you can see, APR is the figure you need to pay attention to as it actually refers to the amount you will be paying back.

What Does This Mean for Loans?

When it comes to borrowing money for a big loan, such as a mortgage, many borrowers get hung up on simply comparing interest rates. The problem with this is that it does account for any of the upfront costs that are involved with the loan. This can account for a high APR. While the interest rate may have initially looked good, when you factor in the APR, it may not be the best offer out there for you.

The part most borrowers find confusing is when they come across two different lenders, offering the same interest rate with the same monthly repayments, but with different APRs. What this means is that the lender with the lower APR requires fewer upfront fees throughout the process. All in all, this will offer the better deal for you.

Having a clear idea of what an APR is and being able to answer the question how is APR calculated will make huge difference when it comes to taking out a loan. You can use this information to make more informed choices that leave you financially better off as a result.

Australian Lending Centre

Get in touch with the experts at Australian Lending Centre for professional advice about APR’s and how they are calculated. We can help you make informed decisions related to your circumstances without getting lost in the numbers. We are always here to help.

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News Business Loans Financial Planning Short Term Business Loans Short Term Loans

Emergency Business Loans – Risk vs Reward

As we find ourselves in the middle of a global health crisis brought on by COVID-19, there comes a point where protecting physical health comes at the expense of our financial health. Employees at risk of carrying the virus are being forced to stay home. Spending habits have completely changed. The stock market has crashed. The list goes on… But what does this mean for your business? Cashflow is likely to be stretched within any company at this time, particularly within business start-ups. If you don’t have much money in the reserves then how can you keep your business afloat if the worst does happen? Emergency Business Loans can provide a fast source of income for when things don’t go to plan. This sounds great, but what are the risks?

What Are Emergency Business Loans?

Emergency business loans can provide a fast source of income to give your business the cash injection it needs during tough times. They are usually granted quickly and you don’t always need a great credit score in order to be approved. But they do often come at a cost, including higher interest rates than a standard loan. Emergency loans come in many forms. These include unsecured personal loans, credit card cash advance loans, payday loans and even pawnshop loans.

Emergency personal loans

The great thing about emergency business loans is that they can be processed extremely fast. You can expect to receive an emergency business loan within days of approval. Depending upon your credit score, you might qualify for an unsecured personal loan. This means that the loan will not be secured against any assets, such as property or a motor vehicle. Personal loans usually have fixed interest rates and can be paid back over a set period of time. Before taking out an emergency personal loan, you should first ensure that you will have the funds available to pay it back, otherwise, you will wind up in a worst financial position than you started in, along with your credit history taking a battering.

Emergency cash advance loans

It is possible to use the remaining balance on a credit card to take out as a short-term loan. This will mean a higher interest rate than normal and this rate will also be relative to how much you take out. So be wary of how much you do borrow via a cash advance loan.

Emergency payday loans

Unless you’re expecting an influx in cash in the very near future but are in a desperate and immediate need for cash to tie you over, for the time being, a payday loan is a risky option. APR’s can be as high as 400% and need repaying in full, rather than in instalments. This should be a last resort option. It’s easy to become trapped in an endless cycle of re-borrowing in order to pay the last payday loan off.

Emergency pawn loan

Another last-ditch option here. You can have personal items valued by a pawnbroker, of which they will use as security in order to back the loan. And if you find yourself unable to repay the loan, your pawned item will be listed for sale.

Are There Alternatives to Emergency Business Loans?

Your personal credit score will not be affected by your business loans. Nonetheless, you still need to submit your personal credit rating. You also need to prove your revenue for a year or two. Banks have tightened their lending criteria in recent times and often require financial history or in-depth account records to assess the capacity of the business to handle their financial obligations. This means that applying for emergency business loans through a bank can be a tedious, time-consuming process. For this reason, if you need funds fast, then banks aren’t a great option.

Emergency business loans may come at a higher cost for borrowers with no proof of income and a poor credit rating. When this happens, it is advisable to search for other options. Here are two alternatives which could help you establish or maintain your business especially when there is an urgent need for funds:

Line of Credit

Do you have a business account with a bank, but don’t qualify for its traditional business loan? You can apply for a line of credit instead. A line of credit enables you to access extra money whenever you need it. This is because they don’t have a fixed term, unlike personal loans. So, you can use it without applying for another loan. You also only pay interest on the amount you have borrowed, not your entire credit limit. However, usually, interest rates are usually variable with lines of credit, meaning that they can fluctuate up or down. You also can’t expect a quick turnaround with a line of credit because it may take weeks before it gets approved. Yet, it can still be a very useful resource for future business emergencies.

Specialised Lenders

Specialised lenders like Australian Lending Centre cater to businesses that do not qualify for traditional emergency business loans. ALC understands that business must continue as usual despite any financial drawbacks.

Considerations Before Taking Out an Emergency Business Loan

If you want your business to keep operating, you need the right funding to pull you out of problematic financial situations. There are also some management decisions that require immediate cash to sustain growth and avoid serious fallbacks.

What are the things to keep in mind when applying for emergency business loans?

Determine the business’s needs and the amount you need to meet it

It is important to have a clear idea of what you really need before you sign the loan application form. It is very easy to lose track of what you intended to do from the start if you don’t have a clear understanding of your needs. Remember that the amount must not be greatly higher than your actual needs. When running a business, it’s important to remember that the costs must be lower than the profit. Otherwise, you will end up spending more than what you actually earned and your business will suffer.

Review your credit history

Have you missed or been late on some of your previous debt repayments? If so, why did it happen? Before you apply for an additional loan, make sure that you have a good budget in place to avoid repeating the same mistake.

Specialised lenders may offer bad credit business loans, meaning they can still approve your loan application despite negative credit history. But reviewing your credit file is good to practise. You may find that there are defaults or judgements which have been incorrectly listed. So, before you send your business loan application, make sure that your credit file is accurate and up to date. Companies such as Clean Credit are able to quickly and easily assess your credit file and repair it if required.

Study your financing options

Specialised lenders may offer better terms than traditional banks, especially if you don’t have a stellar credit rating. Review the company and its loan products, and compare them with other financing institutes. Check if the financing procedures are safe and secure and if you will be able to save more money in the process. It is also important to talk with the loan officer and ask about the details of the loan, including its comprehensive terms and conditions.

Always consider your business plan when applying for a loan – make sure that the amount you borrow and the financing agreement will support your plans. Use every cent you get to support your goals and to build a solid credit history so that you can quickly access business loans with better rates in the near future.

Emergency business loans from specialised lenders are usually approved between 24 hours and 7 days – so it is advised to create a budget before you send in your loan application. Not only will it ensure that you will use the money exactly as you planned, but it will also keep you from defaulting on your loan repayments.

Categories
Financial Planning Debt Management

Budgeting Tips – Learn How to Manage Your Finances

There are many benefits that come with budgeting. Creating a budget is something that everyone can do. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, what expenses you have, or which stage you are at in life. They can be created specifically for your needs. In this blog, we share budgeting tips to help you to manage your finances, but first, here are some reasons you might be considering a budget:

Set and meet a savings goal

Have a big trip on the horizon? Looking into high schools for your kids? There are plenty of expenses in life that add up fast, and creating a budget is a great way to work towards them. You may even have a bigger goal in mind, such as buying your first home. Every little bit counts and budgeting will help get you closer.

Overview of your finances

You may think you are spending wisely, but often on closer inspection of where your money is going, you may discover otherwise. Often we spend blindly, thinking we are keeping track, but when we add up the numbers, it can be a shock. Creating a budget lets you see exactly where your money is going and what you are spending it on.

Improve your spending

Finally, with a budget, you can improve your spending. You don’t have to cut out the luxuries, but rather just look at cutting down in places to help you add more money to savings instead.

No matter which reason applies to you, creating a budget is a practical solution. It puts you in charge of your finances. Here are some great budgeting tips to help.

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Budgeting Tips – Manage Your Finances

Start with the Past

This may sound draining, but it really is the best way to do it. It’s best to go back about a year, so you get a full overview of all your expenses. This might include insurance and other bills that come at different stages throughout the year.

Print out your statements and run through them with different coloured highlighters. For example, use yellow for household expenses, green for car expenses and orange for entertainment. Just being able to see this at a glance will give you a good indication of where your money is going each year. And remember, a budget isn’t about cutting out bad spending. It is about being aware of where you money is going and cutting down on areas. Maybe you didn’t realise you went out so much?

Set Achievable Goals

Look at where you are and where you want to be. There is no point cutting out all entertainment expenses, just to buckle down and save. This just isn’t realistic and you will end up slipping up, which will put you back at square one. Instead, set goals you can achieve, and always allow for ‘anonymous’ expenses, such as a couple of dollars for the cake stand at school. You need a bit of leeway for these small expenses that can add up.

Open a Savings Account

Now you have a goal in mind, make sure you have a savings account set up. The most important thing when it comes to your savings account is to ensure you are earning interest on the money. Opt for an account that has a good interest return, after all this is easy money in your pocket that will give your savings a good boost.

Use cash

By using cash instead of your credit card or bank card, you will become much more aware of your spending and less likely to overspend. This is one of the best budgeting tips out there. Take out a certain amount each week and watch where it is going – don’t let yourself spend beyond this. It is so easy to tap away on a card and not even consider where your money is disappearing too.

Ring all your providers

Another one of those golden budgeting tips. This one can be time-consuming, but it is so worth it. Ring around all your providers, mobile phone, internet, insurances, etc., and look for a better deal. Often all you have to do is ask, especially if you have been with them for a while.

Stick to It

Don’t let yourself go, as bad habits will come back really quickly if you find yourself giving up. If you have the odd slip-up, that’s fine, get back on track and go again. And if you are finding it is just too hard, this may mean you need to take a look at your goals and readjust them to make them more achievable. It’s all too easy to feel like a failure if you can’t meet your goals. However, if this is the case, it is more likely that your initial goals just weren’t achievable. Budgeting apps can be useful if you are struggling to budget yourself. Money Brilliant is one of the budgeting apps available in Australia.shutterstock 1120539272 Budgeting takes hard work and perseverance, but the results speak for themselves. Use these budgeting tips to help you to manage your finances and soon you’ll be in a good position to reach your savings goals. If you need a bit of extra help managing your money, get in contact.

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News Debt Consolidation Debt Management Financial Fitness Financial Planning

Fast Loans and the Fastest Ways to Repay Them

When you need cold cash now, fast loans can be your best bet. Fast loans are quick and easy to obtain. Lenders can process loan applications within 24 hours meaning you can have your funds in your account overnight.

Whilst fast loans may be your saving grace, how can you repay your loan back quickly?

Here are some tips for paying back your loan faster

1. Pay more

If you can afford it, put in larger payments each month to pay off the principal more quickly. For example, $2500 fast loan with 6.8 % interest with a 10-year payback period would cost $28.8 a month. Making $70 payment on a monthly basis instead of $28.8 enables you to repay the fast loan in just over 36 months. By paying the principal more quickly, you will also pay for less on interest.

2. Make additional payments

The less you owe, the less interest that you will be charged. If you are able to budget effectively; you may be able to make additional payments to your fast loan.

3. Create a plan to pare your fast loans

Know exactly when your fast loans will end. Next, create a goal to pay it off within a specific period of time, commit to it and pay it according to the repayment plan. Make it a routine to pay it off monthly. If you’re facing difficulty in coming up with the monthly payments, create a budget and cut back on your expenses. This way, you can lift your debt obligations off your shoulder faster than ever.

4. Automate savings

Automatically transferring money into alternative accounts is a great way of saving that extra cash. Rather than spending money on trivial things such as movie tickets, or that unhealthy meal; automatic payments can help you set aside that extra cash to pay off your debt.  Make sure that you will only use that account for paying back your fast loans and other types of debt. This will require sacrifice in certain areas, but it will ensure that you are one step closer towards financial freedom.

With the growing wave of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin; some experts have suggested investing your extra savings into crypto. This is an extremely volatile and unpredictable form of investment that we do not recommend. Many experts compare cryptocurrency as a form of gambling. Whilst, it may seem as though there are immediate increases in profits; you may lose all your hard-earned savings in a second.

Hide your credit card in a safe place

Don’t be a victim of credit card theft. With easy access to your credit cards via pay pass; strangers who have access to a lost credit card can easily tap on purchases less than $100. Keep your credit card securely in your wallet. If you lend your card to friends or family, make sure you keep track of any transactions online.

Keep your phone in your pocket. 

The same rule applies to your mobile phone. With the rise of Apple Pay, you can purchase your transactions through your mobile phone. Make sure that you keep your phone locked with a passcode so that strangers cannot make any payments without facial recognition or a passcode.

5. Close some credit cards

Having them on your wallet may tempt you to spend more. Leave only the low-interest credit cards for your urgent needs.

6. Consolidate your debts

One of the best ways of ensuring that you continue to pay off your loan quickly is to consolidate your debts into one neat and tidy bundle. This will also protect you against the rising interest rates across different loans. This will benefit you in the long run; whilst making it easier to manage your debts.

7. Be proactive by increasing your income

Earning cash while dealing with your debts is a good way to stay proactive about overcoming debts. You don’t only generate wealth to pay for your loans; you also build your nest egg. If you can put away $100 every month out of your income, that would be $1,200 annual savings.

At the Australian Lending Centre, we can help you avail of our easy-to-pay fast loans and our debt management plans. We can help you strengthen your ability to repay your loans and live a financially secure life. It takes discipline and planning, but you can surely do it.

Contact Australian Lending Centre to get back on track. 

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News

Staying on Holiday Budget with Prepaid Credit Cards

Wondering how you’re going to stay on holiday budget? Prepaid credit cards could be a wise alternative to starting the year without a massive blow to your bank account or credit line.

You are using your own money.

AusPost has a Load & Go prepaid Visa card that is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted, you can reload online or in-store, no reload fees, no monthly fees, no credit checks, no interest charges and no application form. They make it so easy a toddler chewing on an iPhone could load money and start shopping online before you finish reading this post!

Prepaid credit cards can be loaded with the funds you want to allow yourself to spend. You can safely know that once the funds are depleted, you are cut off. There is no going over the limit or a going over-limit fee. There is no interest charge because the money is all yours.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

You can safely spend money knowing that you are not dipping into the rent, mortgage payment, or household funds. Think of the relief you’ll have when you open that pesky credit card bill and see that you didn’t blow your entire credit line partying like a pop diva in Bali!

You saved for this holiday and you want to have fun. Load up a prepaid credit card with the funds you want to use and travel safely without the wad of cash in your back pocket and without draining your bank account or credit line dry!