For the last couple of years, we’ve heard about the tight credit market. It’s been more difficult to qualify for credit. Even credit card issuers reduced the amount of money they were providing. However, mailboxes are starting to see an influx of credit card offers, and things are getting a little bit easier (although we are still far from the heady days of easy money seen in the years leading up to the financial crisis). It might be a little easier to get approved for a loan or credit card now than it was last year, but that mean it’s a good thing?
A few years ago, it was a credit card user’s world. As long as you paid on time and didn’t go over your limit, you could have your choice of credit cards and interest rates. However, with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) that went into effect last year, meant to crack down on credit card companies, consumers are finding that they are paying higher interest rates. In addition, it can be harder to negotiate a lower interest rate.
I had a credit card for over 15 years that routinely offered an interest rate below 10%. Now, the interest rate is 15.99%. When I called to have it lowered, they would not negotiate with me as they had in the past. When I threatened to take my business elsewhere, they were unfazed. “Sorry,” I was told, “there is nothing we can do at this point.”
Do you have a solid plan that will make your financial goals a reality?
Craig has recently written some excellent articles on how to create SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
However, setting financial goals is just the first step. Once you have your aspirations properly identified, you’ve got to follow a concrete, actionable plan to move from where you are to where you want to be.
You need a map and directions to reach your desired destination, one that lays out your path in a step-by-step manner.
Financial Goals without a Plan are Pointless
Lending Club is an online website that offers a unique borrowing and investing model to individuals who need funds and those who are looking to make some money.
Credit-worthy, pre-screened borrowers are paired up with savvy investors in what Lending Club calls a win win situation for all. Peer to Peer or Person to Person lending is the basis of the site. Investors sign up to make money and borrowers sign up to reduce their cost of paying back debt. In summary, investors fund loans for approved borrowers. Borrowers save over bank interest rates and investors profit with returns as high at 9% annually (about the average).
Information for Investors
Investors make their money from Lending Club when they invest in 3 to 5 year notes. Investors get to choose which notes they want to purchase by looking through selection criteria. Once you purchase a note you will then begin to receive monthly payments directly from Lending Club as the note is being paid back by the borrower. Lending Club will take 1% of each payment for their fee and you get to keep the rest. You make your money on the interest collected. Since 2007, when Lending Club was launched, investors have earned, on average, a net annualized return of 9.5%.
Are you sick of your credit card? A lot of people are! Now you have a chance to win cash prizes by destroying your credit card.
Perkstreet Financial and Lending Club are teaming up to help people end their reliance on credit cards. They are declaring January 31,2011 Shred Your Credit Card Day. When credit isn’t used wisely it can snowball into tremendous debt. Perkstreet and Lending Club want you to know there are alternatives to using a credit and that you can end your debt!
From December 15th, 2010 through January 29th, 2011, can can enter a video of yourself destroying your credit card(s) or why you are done with credit in 2011. Upload the video to ShredYourCreditCard.com and you can be entered to win!
Why you should participate (from the ShredYourCreditCard site):
There has been a lot said about peer to peer (P2P) lending lately. With the economy and credit market crunch making it difficult to get more traditional loans, “alternative” lending opportunities are arising. Peer to peer lending is a way for those who might be turned down by a bank to get the loans that they want/need, while providing an opportunity for investors to make some money by lending to others.
What is P2P (Person to Person) Lending?
Frequent readers of personal finance blogs are familiar with the importance of getting out of debt and staying out of debt. The reasons for avoiding debt are both economic and emotional, and they are so well known that we can call “staying out of debt” Personal Finance Truism #1. Let’s briefly review the reasons behind Personal Finance Truism #1: